Session of Saturday morning, June 28, 1902.
The session opened at 10 o’clock in the morning.
The Arbitrator said that examination of the technical points will be resumed. In the first place he would question the American experts, then the Russian experts.
Mr. Peirce said that it was decided yesterday, in the preliminary morning session, that the Russian experts should be examined first, as Mr. Komarow has already given information on the subject of whaling.
The Arbitrator had no objection to the Russian experts being examined first, provided it is so agreed by both parties.
Mr. Komarow agreed that the examination be reversed.
Mr. Peirce handed to the arbitrator the notes (see session of Friday, June 27, p. 6) which Mr. Komarow gave him yesterday, also a printed document with regard to the vessels which were seized under the same conditions. (The Bering Sea question, embracing the fur-sealing, industry of the North Pacific Ocean, 1898. 8°. Ottawa. Government Printing Bureau, 1899. Printed.)
He added that in his opinion the introduction of new testimony was not regular, and he wished to reserve the right to object to the introduction of new arguments.
The Arbitrator said that he desired some information on the whaling season in Okhotsk Sea and on the average number of whales that can be killed there between the 1st and 10th of October, as well as before the 1st of October, as the captain of the Cape Horn Pigeon claims an indemnity for the time of his detention at Vladivostock [Page 414](from September 10, 1892, to Octobei 1, 1892). We must know the number of whales which the captain could have taken during the remainder of the season.
He believed he should again state that he asks this information without in any way having decided any question. In case the question of right be affirmatively decided, the arbitrator must be enlightened by the experts in order to fix the amount of indemnity claimed by the party claimant.
Mr. Peirce observed that not only must the whaling season but also the time necessary to traverse the entire distance between Vladivostok and the whaling grounds of the Okhotsk Sea be ascertained.
Mr. Asser asked the expert, Professor Kroupsky, whether the method of average can be accepted, and if the method of the party claimant, which takes the average number of whales taken by the captain in his former expeditions in the same waters and deducts the two whales which he had taken during the voyage in question, is just.
Mr. Kroupsky, Russian expert, gave a copy of a publication emanating from the United States Fish and Fisheries Commission.
In Bering Sea, he said, the most favorable season for whaling (during a great part of the year the sea is covered with ice) is during the months of August and September. Among the documents presented to the arbitrator will be found detailed information. Data may also be found in other publications entitled United States Commission of Fish and Fisheries, Part XVI; Report of the Commission for 1888 to June 1889, Washington, 1892. Page 81 reads:
The season in the Okhotsk usually begins about the last of May to the 1st of July and continues to the latter part of October. The whaling season on the Japan grounds is commonly from May to November.
The Arbitrator asked what is the distance from Vladivostok to the fisheries in the Okhotsk Sea.
Mr. Clifford said that it is necessary to take into consideration the current, the north winds, and the fog. A great speed can not be attained under these unfavorable conditions. It takes about 10 days to traverse the distance from Vladivostok to said fisheries. The distance is 650 miles, but on account of the winds it is necessary to traverse a distance of about 1,000 miles. It must be remarked that there is a typographical error on page 41 of memorandum. It should read December 18, not September 28.
The Arbitrator asked Professor Kroupsky to kindly indicate upon a marine chart the part of the sea where the fisheries are located.
Mr. Kroupsky produced a marine chart of that region and showed that the distance between Bering Island and the coast of Vladivostok is about 30 degrees of longitude (165°–135°). In a direct line the distance is, approximately, 1,800 kilometers.
The Arbitrator stated that the two parties are agreed upon this calculation. He asked how many whales could have been taken.
Mr. Komarow wished to state, before Mr. Kroupsky answers, that the defendant party, which he represents here, sets forth in his counter memorandum and in his surrejoinder the reasons why it does not admit the indirect damages. As the question relates to the indirect damages, he wishes to state that he maintains the same view as the Imperial Government.
The Arbitrator said that he has already stated that these questions decide nothing.[Page 415]
Mr. Kroupsky. As to the estimate of the number of whales which could have been taken, it is difficult to make an estimate; it is a calculation of probability. In making this reservation he says that in eighteen days, at the rate of three days to each whale, 6 might be caught.
The Arbitrator asked him again, “What average do you admit?”
Mr. Kroupsky saw no more reason for admitting 6, 7, 8, than more. An average of 6½ might be taken for eighteen days.
The Arbitrator, continuing to question the professor, told him that the captain had already taken two whales, and that, according to the exhibit, the product from one whale, based upon the two whales already taken, is estimated at from 1, 100 to 1,300 pounds of bone per whale and of 100 barrels of oil per whale. He asked the expert whether that estimate is correct, and whether the value of the bone is from $1 to $5 per pound, and whether a whale can be estimated at $1,250 for the year 1892.
Mr. Kroupsky said it is only a question of the bones of the head. He estimates that the average of bone obtained from one whale is 1,200 pounds and of oil 100 barrels. The price of the bones was from $1 to $5 per pound in 1898. The price of the oil may be estimated at $13. The prices do not differ from year to year.
The Abbitrator asked if that is the price in the San Francisco market.
Mr. Clifford said that for the oil and bone it is the price of the San Francisco market.
The Arbitrator asks if an import duty must be paid.
Mr. Grunwaldt said “No.”
The Arbitrator stated that consequently the price of $1 to $5 represents the value of the whalebone on the market.
Mr. Grunwaldt said that throughout Russia the average value of a whale is 2,500 roubles.
Mr. Peirce asked if the Russian experts have ever seen the whales that are caught at sea or those that are found in the bays.
Mr. Kroupsky said that he speaks of the big whales (bowheads) which are caught at sea. There are two kinds—the “bowheads” and the “right” whales.
Mr. Komarow further stated that the Russian experts depend upon the figures contained in an American report, which will be sent to the Arbitrator.
The Arbitrator asked how the business is carried on.
Mr. Kroupsky says that the products of the whale are prepared upon the vessels or on the coast by the captains of whalers.
The Arbitrator said that consequently the captain sells only the product, and not the whale. He asks what is the price of the bone and oil.
Mr. Kroupsky presented a report from the governor-general of the province of the Amoor. He said that the merchants—that is to say, the retail dealers—make a profit of 100 per cent; that makes a value of 25,000 roubles for one whale. They buy the product at their own risk.
Mr. Peirce said that the price for which the product of one whale is sold to the retail trade has nothing to do with the market price for oil and bone.
The Arbitrator stated also that it is only for the retail trade that the whale is valued at $25,000; but for whalers the price of bone is from $4 to $5 per pound. There are two values, the value of the bone [Page 416]and oil in the market and the value of the different products in the retail trade.
Mr. Peirce said he would like to know if Mr. Kroupsky has any experience in the trade in question.
Mr. Kroupsky said that he is versed in this business, as he lives where it is carried on.
The same question is asked of Mr. Grunwaldt who says that he understands this business.
The Arbitrator asked Mr. Clifford to make his deposition.
Mr. Clifford said that as advocate he is interested with all matters appertaining to commerce. Seventy-five or eighty years ago the New Bedford captains made voyages of from four to five years’ duration and sold their cargoes at San Francisco. Since the existence of the railroad the vessels are in the ports of the west coast (San Francisco), and it is there the captains go aboard their vessels. They go to the whaling grounds, catch the whales, prepare and put the oil into barrels and bone in the holds of their ships. They do not sell the whales, but the bone and oil. They unload the cargo at San Francisco. The captain and crew are paid according to the San Francisco prices, in shares. If the Cafe Horn Pigeon had taken seven whales, the bone and oil of those whales would have been sold at San Francisco and the captain and crew would have been paid their share of the profit of that voyage. The price of the bone was $6; now it is from $4 to $5. In 1890 Captain Baker had received $5.75.
The Arbitrator put several questions to Captain Baker, experiences in whaling.
Captain Baker said the oil and bone are sold at San Francisco, and sometimes at New Bedford. The price of the bone in 1890 was $5.75, and of the oil $13 per barrel. Regarding the catch, he said 6 is a catch, 10 a good catch, 4 a bad catch. During late years he was sent to a new ground by speculators. The catch never exceeded 6 whales in twenty days. He has never sold a whale, always the products; he would not know how to value a whale, nor even one of the whales one sees from time to time in exhibitions.
The session here adjourned from noon to 3 o’clock.