Session of Monday morning, June 30, 1902.
The session opened at 10 o’clock a.m.
The Arbitrator said that he would now consider the second and and third questions; that is to say, of the valuation of the probable catch during the remainder of the season and the value of the skins. He states that the James Hamilton Lewis was seized on the 2d August, 1891, and the White on the 15th July, 1892. The arbitrator again repeated that he asks the questions without prejudicing the cases. [Page 428]The probable catch of the James Hamilton Lewis for a stated time must be estimated from the 2d August to the end of the season and for the C. H. White from the 15th July to the end of the season.
Mr. Peirce stated that the publication which the defendant party wished to hand to the arbitrator is not signed, consequently is valueless as evidence.
Mr. Komarow. In handing certain publications to the arbitrator and to the opponent party, I do so only to prove the passage I read and which bears upon the question treated. The publication is only a reminder to facilitate the memory of what has been said by me. As for the title of this publication it need not be considered.
The Arbitrator said it is now a question of the number of seals which the James Hamilton Lewis could have taken.
Mr. Kroupsky. An average can be taken from the entire number of seals that are ordinarily caught at that time of year. The number of seals taken on Commander Islands does not exceed 15,000 per season during the last years. The sealing season lasts about ten weeks, consequently the catch per diem is about 200 head or a little over. For the seal catch in a stated time by pelagic sealing vessels we must refer to Mr. Townsend.
Mr. Komarow stated that Mr. Grebnitsky, on the basis of American documents, has collected a certain amount of data on the number of seal skins taken by vessels engaged in sealing, and that is why Mr. Kroupsky insists that the vessels could not have taken 2,600 seal skins, as is alleged by the party claimant. The sealing season ceases in the last third of the month of August, after which the skins have little value, because their color fades. According to the figures for 1894 (Report on Fur Seal Investigation) near the Commander Islands, 37 schooners took 7,688 skins; according to the figures for 1893, 38 schooners took on the side of Russian territory 12,052 skins. According to the figures for 1892, 87 schooners took 17,242 skins, but that figure includes the sealing on the Japan shores (by English vessels). On page 262 of the Report, Part III, it is shown that all the sealing in 1891 was done in the Asiatic waters; there were taken 8,432 skins, of which 6,616 were the catch of English vessels and 1,826 of American vessels.
Mr. Peirce protested against the introduction of a deposition by Mr. Grebnitsky, an expert who is not present.
The Arbitrator said that each State can name the expert it wants, thus Mr. Komarow could have been named in the capacity of expert. In an arbitration between States it is of far greater interest than in purely juridical proceedings to draw forth all evidence, whether direct or indirect, which may serve to give full light.
Mr. Peirce said that as Mr. Grebnitsky is not present he can not be cross-examined.
The Arbitrator observed that the hearing of the experts by the arbitrator could have taken place without the presence of the other party.
Mr. Peirce again said that it can not be known whether the deposition of Mr. Grebnitsky is entirely correct. The document in question was prepared by him for his own Government.
The Arbitrator said that he will take into consideration that the figures have not been discussed. Besides, he states that in the affair [Page 429]of the Costa Rica Packet Mr. de Martens sat at Brussels and discussed with the experts. A debate with the experts did not take place.
Mr. Peirce, after having again stated that Mr. Grebnitsky was obliged to make as favorable report as possible to his Government, he says that he will submit to the decision of the arbitrator. He wishes, however, that his protest be inserted in the verbal proceedings.
The Arbitrator said again that these are not evidence, and that it is to the interest of both parties not to be too strict as to form. He will, however, take account of what the delegate of the United States says.
Mr. Peirce said that in his opinion it was not a question of form, but of figures. He found himself in an unfortunate position, since it was impossible to ask Mr. Grebnitsky for explanations.
Mr. Komarow believed that credence should be given to the work of Mr. Grebnitsky, who has been charged by the United States Senatorial Commission to give its opinion on these questions.
Mr. Kroupsky. The sealing statistics are published each year. The figures for the years preceding 1894 are sometimes twice as large as for the years following after 1894.
He produced the figures. He set forth in a few words that besides the allegation in question a matter of much greater gravity is involved. It is question of the preservation of seals in which Russia and the United States are involved.
Mr. Peirce said that question is not now under consideration; this session is not a scientific reunion.
The Arbitrator stated that the professor first said 15,000, but from the statistics which he now hands to him it is 33,000. Consequently, the figures must be changed.
Mr. Kroupsky said that what he is speaking of relates to the regularly organized sealing on the sealing ground. As for pelagic sealing, he refers to Mr. Townsend.
Mr. Komarow. The name of Mr. Grebnitsky, whatever may be his personal value as expert, vanishes before the fact which he cites, and we also, the American figures. He reiterated that according to the United States official documents the total number of seals captured by the 37 British vessels (including the six confiscated) was 17,242 head in 1892, being an average of about 460 skins per schooner. The English vessels, according to the United States data, are always more lucky in sealing. In the number above mentioned are included five schooners which sealed also in the Japanese waters. The greatest number of seals (900) was captured by the schooner Sayward, but that schooner sealed on the coast of Medny Island. The greater part of the schooners captured from 200 to 400 each.
The Arbitrator asked Mr. Grunwaldt if he had anything more to add to what has been said regarding the number of seals which could; have been killed after the 2d of August.
Mr. Grunwaldt said that Townsend and Grebnitsky are savants equally recognized as competent by both America and Russia; neither their honor nor their competence can be questioned, even though they are in the service of the Government. He admits entirely the figures of Grebnitsky.
The Arbitrator asked Mr. Townsend as to the probable catch of the James Hamilton Lewis and the C. H. Wliite from August 2.[Page 430]
Mr. Townsend said that the average is 600 per diem, which makes 1,800 in one month. The following data were given by him: For 1886, schooner Mary Ellen, 961 seals in fifteen days in the month of August; for 1887, schooner (Canadian) Favorite, vessel as large as the James Hamilton Lewis, took 1,800 seals in eighteen days in the month of August; for 1895, the Savannah, 1,200 seals in twenty-three days. According to him the James Hamilton Lewis could have taken 1,000 (according to the note of Mr. Garrett, 2,000; according to those of Messrs. Gutowski and Roëll, 1,000) seals after the 2d of August. Seals were not decreasing in 1891, 1892, and 1893 as much as later on; the restrictions of Paris tribunal affected the sealing. Subsequent to 1892 fewer were taken. Pelagic sealing has never been so good since Paris tribunal.
The Arbitrator. You say there was no decrease in 1892?
Mr. Townsend. No apparent decrease. Seals were very numerous at sea in 1890; fewer seals killed on islands by Governments.
Mr. Komarow remarked that Mr. Townsend had cited exceptional cases and not an average figure.
The Arbitrator asked Mr. Townsend for the average figures.
Mr. Townsend said that it is necessary to make a difference between large and small schooners. He considers the James Hamilton Lewis, of 60 tons and more, a large vessel.
The Arbitrator asked why large vessels catch more seals.
Mr. Townsend. Because they have more boats and more sealers.
The Arbitrator asked him the number of the crew.
Mr. Townsend said 20 to 25 men—2 men to each boat.
The Arbitrator asked how many boats the James Hamilton Lewis had.
Mr. Peirce. May I read the crew list and ask Mr. Townsend how many boats she probably had?
The Arbitrator. Certainly.
Mr. Peirce read from page 121.
Mr. Townsend. Six hunters. In fair weather all able-bodied men, even captain and mate, would be put to work and would go along. There are, say 9 or 10 boats. In addition to the regular hunting boats they have one or two other boats. The schooner Swan took over 1,084 seals in Bering Sea in twenty-three days in 1895 with spears alone. One can take three times as many seals with guns as with spears. There was a special inducement to hunting, because prices were higher in 1890 to 1892 than ever before or since. A white crew is better than an Indian one, because it takes more risks.
Mr. Komarow recalled the passage of the report wherein it is said that the average catch of seals per season was, in 1892, 460 head per vessel.
The Arbitrator asked what the Russian Government did with the Lewis and the White.
Mr. Komarow produced documents which relate to the sale of the schooners.
Mr. Peirce asked Mr. Townsend several questions.
There were a good many classes and kinds of vessels in Bering Sea, were there not?
Mr. Townsend. Many kinds.
Mr. Peirce. Some were very small?
Mr. Townsend. Yes; one was only 18 tons.[Page 431]
Mr. Peirce. Some were vessels not only small, but of little value?
Mr. Townsend. Yes, all possible kinds; some worthless.
Mr. Peirce. Some not worth sailing away after seizure?
Mr. Townsend. Yes; they were allowed to rot on the beach.
Mr. Peirce. The equipment varies, does it not?
Mr. Townsend. Yes; some is good, some poor. At that time everybody wanted to go sealing. There were a hundred and fifty vessels in the fleet at that time. All old tubs were sailing.
Mr. Peirce. Is there not a great difference in the equipment?
Mr. Townsend. Yes.
Mr. Peirce. The vessels of the same size have different equipments?
Mr. Townsend. Yes; it depends on the owners.
Mr. Peirce. Was the Lewis, with 8 or 9 boats, an average vessel, or was she better equipped than the average?
Mr. Townsend. She was quite up to the average of her size—75 or 80 tons; she was a good average sealing vessel.
Mr. Peirce read statement of what she had on board (p. 138).
Mr. Townsend. She strikes me as being above the usual outfit. I fitted out a schooner myself once. She seems to have been well equipped to feed a white crew for a ten months’ cruise.
Mr. Peirce. She was likely to get better than an average catch?
Mr. Townsend. The equipment indicates the class of men she carried.
Mr. Peirce. With such a manifest she was likely to have people above the average?
Mr. Townsend. Yes.
Mr. Peirce. Some ships were larger than the Lewis?
Mr. Townsend. Yes.
Mr. Peirce. Would they necessarily have more boats?
Mr. Townsend. Perhaps.
Mr. Peirce. Alexander MacLean had reputation of bringing in a good catch?
Mr. Townsend. Yes.
Mr. Peirce. Is it equitable to estimate the possible catch of Lewis on basis of all ships engaged in Bering Sea that year?
Mr. Townsend. No, for they include a number of small vessels not amounting to much.
Mr. Peirce. Can you give an average of the larger ships?
Mr. Townsend. Yes; I have the log books or copies of them.
Mr. Komarow stated that the delegate of the United States questions the American experts. He asks what is the mode of procedure. He agreed that the questions to the American experts be asked in English, but requested that the answers be translated. He also reserves the right to question the Russian experts.
Mr. Peirce agreed.
Mr. Komarow took note of it.
The Arbitrator again stated that it is not question of furnishing evidence. The questions are asked to enlighten the arbitrator. It is he who first questions, then the delegates may question the experts of both parties. It is very difficult to determine whether there will be any difference from a juridical point of view between the answers given by the experts to the questions of the arbitrator and those of the delegates. The procedure in international arbitrations is not yet established.[Page 432]
Mr. Komarow. Would like to know with regard to the provisioning of the James Hamilton Lewis. If the amount of her provisions would warrant the supposition that the vessel could have continued sailing a long time.
The session adjourned until 3 o’clock p.m.