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AUTHORIZATION AND PROVISION FOR THE MAINTENANCE AND OPERATION OF THE PANAMA CANAL BY THE PRESENT CORPORATE ADJUNCT OF THE PANAMA CANAL, AS RENAMED
MONDAY, JUNE 26, 1950
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES,
SUBCOMMITTEE ON THE PANAMA CANAL OF THE
Washington, D. C.
The subcommittee met, pursuant to notice, at 10 a. m., Hon. Donald L. O'Toole (chairman of the subcommittee) presiding, for consideration of H. R. 8677, which is as follows:
[H. R. 8677, 81st Cong., 2d sess.]
A BILL To authorize and provide for the maintenance and operation of the Panama Canal by the present corporate adjunct of the Panama Canal, as renamed; to reconstitute the agency charged with the civil government of the Canal Zone, and for other purposes
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That section 5 of title 2 of the Canal Zone Code, approved June 19, 1934 (48 Stat. 1122), is amended to read as follows: "5. ESTABLISHMENT, ADMINISTRATION, AND FUNCTIONS OF CANAL ZONE GOVERNMENT. The independent agency of the United States heretofore known as the Panama Canal shall hereafter
"(1) be known as the Canal Zone Government;
“(2) be administered, under the supervision of the President or such officer of the United States as may be designated by him, by a Governor of the Canal Zone; and
"43) be charged, except as otherwise provided by law, with the performance of the various duties connected with the civil government, including health, sanitation and protection, of the Canal Zone.
"Appointment of other necessary persons, see section 81 of this title, as amended." SEC. 2. Except as otherwise provided in, or where inconsistent with, the provisions of this Act, the terms "the Panama Canal," "the Canal," and "the Canal authorities," wherever appearing in the statutes of the United States and having reference, prospectively, to the agency heretofore known by those names, are amended to read "the Canal Zone Government."
SEC. 3. Except as otherwise provided in this Act, the title "the Governor of the Panama Canal," wherever appearing in the statutes of the United States, is amended to read "the Governor of the Canal Zone."
SEC. 4. Except as otherwise provided in, or where inconsistent with, the provisions of this Act, the term "the Panama Railroad Company," wherever appearing in the statutes of the United States and having reference, prospectively, to the corporation heretofore known by that name, is amended to read "the Panama Canal Company."
SEC. 5. The headline and introductory clause of section 7 of title 2 of the Canal Zone Code are amended to read as follows:
"7. CONTROL AND JURISDICTION OF GOVERNOR OVER Canal Zone. The Governor of the Canal Zone shall:
SEC. 6. Section 9 of title 2 of the Canal Zone Code is amended to read as follows:
"9. REGULATIONS GOVERNING NAVIGATION AND TRANSITING OF CANAL, INCLUDING LICENSING OF OFFICERS OF VESSELS.-The President, or such officer of the United States as may be designated by him, is authorized to make, and from time to time amend, regulations governing—
"(1) the navigation of the harbors and other waters of the Canal Zone; "(2) the passage and control of vessels through the Panama Canal or any part thereof including the locks and approaches thereto;
"(3) pilotage in the Canal or the approaches thereto through the adjacent waters; and
“(4) the licensing of officers, or other operators, of vessels navigating the waters of the Canal Zone.
"Any person violating any of the provisions of the rules and regulations established under this section shall be punished by a fine of not more than $100, or by imprisonment in jail for not more than thirty days, or by both."
SEC. 7. Section 10 of title 2 of the Canal Zone Code, as amended by section 1 of the Act of June 13, 1940 (ch. 358, 54 Stat. 387), is further amended to read as follows:
"10. INJURIES TO VESSELS, CARGO, CREW, OR PASSENGERS, OCCASIONED BY OPERATION OF CANAL.-(a) INJURIES IN LOCKS OF CANAL.-The Panama Canal Company shall promptly adjust and pay damages for injuries to vessels, or to the cargo, crew, or passengers of vessels, which may arise by reason of the passage of such vessels through the locks of the Panama Canal under the control of officers or employees of the said corporation: Provided, however, That no such damages shall be paid in any case where the injury was proximately caused by the negli gence or fault of the vessel, master, crew, or passengers: Provided further, That in any case wherein the negligence or fault of the vessel, master, crew, or passen. gers proximately contributed to the injury, the award of damages shall be diminished in proportion to the negligence or fault attributable to the said vessel, master, crew, or passengers: And provided further, That damages shall not be allowed and paid for injuries to any protrusion beyond the side of a vessel, whether such protrusion is permanent or temporary in character. A vessel shall be considered to be passing through the locks of the Canal, under the control of officers or employees of the corporation, from the time the first towing line is made fast on board before entrance into the locks and until the towing lines are cast off upon, or immediately prior to, departure from the lock chamber.
"(b) INJURIES OTHER THAN IN LOCKS.-The Panama Canal Company shall promptly adjust and pay damages for injuries to vessels, or to the cargo, crew, or passengers of vessels which may arise by reason of the presence of such vessels in the waters of the Canal Zone, other than the locks, when the injury was proximately caused by negligence or fault on the part of any officer or employee of the corporation acting within the scope of his employment and in the line of his duties in connection with the operation of the canal: Provided, however, That in any case wherein the negligence or fault of the vessel, master, crew, or passengers proximately contributed to the injury, the award of damages shall be diminished in proportion to the negligence or fault attributable to the said vessel, master, crew, or passengers: And provided further, That in the case of any vessel which is required by or pursuant to regulations prescribed under section 9 of this title, as amended, to have a Panama Canal pilot on duty aboard, no damages shall be adjusted and paid for injuries to any vessel, or to the cargo, crew, or passengers of any such vessel, incurred while the vessel was under way and in motion, unless at the time such injuries were incurred the navigation or movement of the vessel was under the control of a Panama Canal pilot.
"(c) MEASURE OF DAMAGES GENERALLY.-In determining the amount of the award of damages for injuries to a vessel for which the Panama Canal Company is found or determined to be liable, there may be included (1) actual or estimated cost of repairs; (2) charter hire actually lost by the owners, or charter hire actually paid, depending upon the terms of the charter party, for the time the vessel is undergoing repairs; (3) maintenance of the vessel and wages of the crew, if such are found to be actual additional expenses or losses incurred outside of the charter hire; (4) other expenses which are definitely and accurately shown to have been incurred necessarily and by reason of the accident or injuries: Provided, however, That there shall not be allowed agent's fees or commissions or other incidental expenses of similar character, or any items which are indefinite, indeterminable, speculative, or conjectural. The corporation shall be furnished such vouchers, receipts, or other evidence as may be
necessary in support of any item of a claim. If a vessel is not operated under charter but by the owner directly, evidence shall be secured if available as to the sum for which vessels of the same size and class can be chartered in the market. If such charter value cannot be determined, the value of the use of such vessel to its owners in the business in which it was engaged at the time of the injuries shall be used as a basis for estimating the damages for the vessel's detention; and the books of the owners showing the vessel's earnings about the time of the accident or injuries shall be considered as evidence of probable earnings during the time of detention. If the books are unavailable, such other evidence shall be furnished as may be necessary.
"(d) DELAYS FOR WHICH NO RESPONSIBILITY ASSUMED.-The Panama Canal Company shall not be responsible, nor consider any claim, for demurrage or delays occasioned by landslides or other natural causes, by necessary construction or maintenance work on Canal Locks, terminals, or equipment, by obstructions arising from accidents, by time necessary for admeasurement, by congestion of traffic, or by any other cause except as specially set forth in this section. "(e) SETTLEMENT OF CLAIMS.-The amounts of the respective awards of damages under this section may be adjusted, fixed, and determined by the corporation by mutual agreement, compromise, or otherwise; and acceptance by any claimant of the amount awarded to him shall be deemed to be in full settlement of such claims.
"(f) ACTIONS ON CLAIMS.-Any claimant for damages under this section who considers himself aggrieved by the findings, determination, or award of the Panama Canal Company in reference to his claim may bring an action on such claim against the said corporation in the United States District Court for the District of the Canal Zone; and in any such action the provisions of this section relative to the determination, adjustment, and payment of such claims, and the provisions of the regulations established under section 9 of this title, as amended, relative to navigation of Canal Zone waters and to transiting of the Panama Canal, shall be applicable. No action for damages which is cognizable under this section shall lie against the said corporation otherwise, or in any other court, than as provided in this paragraph, or shall lie against any officer or employee of the corporation: Provided, however, That nothing in this paragraph shall be construed to prevent or prohibit actions against officers or employees of the said corporation for damages for injuries resulting from acts of such officers or employees outside the scope of their employment or not in the line of their duties, or from acts of such officers or employees committed or performed with intent to injure the person or property of another. Actions under this paragraph shall be tried by the court without a jury.
"(g) INVESTIGATION BEFORE VESSEL'S DEPARTURE.-Notwithstanding any other provision of law, no claim shall be considered under this section, nor shall any action for damages lie thereon, unless, prior to the departure from Canal Zone waters of the vessel involved, the investigation under section 10a of this title of the accident or injury giving rise to such claim shall have been completed, and the basis for the claim shall have been laid before the corporation."
SEC. 8. Title 2 of the Canal Zone Code is amended by adding in chapter 1 thereof two new sections numbered 10a and 10b, and reading as follows:
"10a. INVESTIGATION OF ACCIDENTS OR INJURIES TO VESSELS, ETC.-Whenever within the waters of the Canal Zone, including the locks of the Panama Canal, a vessel, or its cargo, crew, or passengers, meets with an accident or sustains any injury which may be the basis of a claim against the Panama Canal Company, or inflicts any injury upon any structure, plant, or equipment of the said corporation, the Board of Local Inspectors of the Canal Zone Government, or a member thereof, shall promptly conduct an investigation of such accident or injury, including all the facts and circumstances surrounding the same and bearing on its proximate causation, the nature and extent of the injury, and the amount of the damages, if any, occasioned by such injury, and shall promptly, upon the conclusion of such investigation, transmit to the corporation, for its consideration in connection with any claim which may arise, a transcript of the record of such investigation, together with its findings and conclusions respecting the accident or injury. All matters pertaining to such investigation shall be completed before the vessel involved departs from Canal Zone waters.
"10b. INJURIES BY VESSELS TO CANAL STRUCTURES OF EQUIPMENT.-A vessel, or its owners or operators, shall be liable to the Panama Canal Company for damages for injuries to any structure, plant, or equipment of or appertaining to the Panama Canal when such injuries are proximately caused by the negligence or fault of the vessel or its master or crew or by the issuance from such vessel