The Acting Secretary of State to the Italian Chargé.a

Sir: I have the honor to inclose herewith, for the information of your Government, a copy of an enactment by the Philippine Commission providing for the arrest, examination, and return of seamen deserting from foreign vessels.

Accept, etc.,

Robert Bacon.
[Page 942]


[No. 1439.]

AN ACT Providing a method of enabling masters of ships in certain cases to secure the return to their ships of seamen who have deserted therefrom in the Philippine Islands.

By authority of the United States, be it enacted by the Philippine Commission that:

  • Section 1. On application of a consul or vice-consul of any foreign government having a treaty with the United States stipulating for the restoration of seamen deserting, made in writing, stating that the person therein named has deserted from a vessel of any such government while in any port of the Philippine Islands, and on proof, by the exhibition of the register of the vessel, ship’s roll, or other official document, that the person named belonged at the time of desertion to the crew of such vessel, it shall be the duty of the supreme court, or of any court of first instance, or of any judge thereof, or of any judge of a municipal court lawfully established in the Philippine Islands, to issue warrants to cause such person to be arrested for examination. If, on examination, the facts stated are found to be true, the person arrested, not being a citizen of the United States, or of the Philippine Islands, shall be delivered up to the consul or vice-consul, to be sent back to the dominions of any such government, or, on the request and at the expense of the consul or vice-consul, shall be detained until the consul or vice-consul finds an opportunity to send him back to the dominions of any such government. No persons so arrested shall be detained more than two months after his arrest, but at the end of that time shall be set at liberty, and shall not be again molested for the same cause. If any such deserter shall be found to have committed any crime or offense, his surrender may be delayed until the tribunal before which the case shall be pending, or may be cognizable, shall have pronounced its sentence, and such sentence shall have been carried into effect.
  • Sec 2. The public good requiring the speedy enactment of this bill, the passage of the same is hereby expedited in accordance with section two of “An act prescribing the order of procedure by the Commission in the enactment of laws,” passed September twenty-sixth, nineteen hundred.
  • Sec. 3. This act shall take effect on its passage.

  1. A like note was sent to all the representatives of foreign maritime countries at Washington.