Panama Canal Act: “An Act to provide for the opening, maintenance, protection, and operation of the Panama Canal, and the sanitation and government of the Canal Zone” (Signed by the President August 24, 1912.)1
[Sections 5 and 11.]
Sec. 5. That the President is hereby authorized to prescribe and from time to time change the tolls that shall be levied by the Government of the United States for the use of the Panama Canal: Provided, That no tolls, when prescribed as above, shall be changed, unless six months’ notice thereof shall have been given by the President by proclamation. No tolls shall be levied upon vessels engaged in the coastwise trade of the United States. That section forty-one hundred and thirty-two of the Revised Statutes is hereby amended to read as follows:
“Sec. 4132. Vessels built within the United States and belonging wholly to citizens thereof; and vessels which may be captured in war by citizens of the United States and lawfully condemned as prize, or which may be adjudged to be forfeited for a breach of the laws of the United States; and seagoing vessels, whether steam or sail, which have been certified by the Steamboat-Inspection Service as safe to carry dry and perishable cargo, not more than five years old at the time they apply for registry, wherever built, which are to engage only in trade with foreign countries or with the Philippine [Page 472] Islands and the islands of Guam and Tutuila, being wholly owned by citizens of the United States or corporations organized and chartered under the laws of the United States or of any State thereof, the president and managing directors of which shall be citizens of the United States or corporations organized and chartered under the laws of the United States or of any State thereof, the president and managing directors of which shall be citizens of the United States, and no others, may be registered as directed in this title. Foreign-built vessels registered pursuant to this Act shall not engage in the coastwise trade: Provided, That a foreign-built yacht, pleasure boat, or vessel not used or intended to be used for trade admitted to American registry pursuant to this section shall not be exempt from the collection of ad valorem duty provided in section thirty-seven of the Act approved August fifth, nineteen hundred and nine, entitled ‘An Act to provide revenue, equalize duties, and encourage the industries of the United States, and for other purposes.’ That all materials of foreign production which may be necessary for the construction or repair of vessels built in the United States and all such materials necessary for the building or repair of their machinery and all articles necessary for their outfit and equipment may be imported into the United States free of duty under such regulations as the Secretary of the Treasury may prescribe: Provided further, That such vessels so admitted under the provisions of this section may contract with the Postmaster General under the Act of March third, eighteen hundred and ninety-one, entitled ‘An Act to provide for ocean mail service between the United States and foreign ports, and to promote commerce,’ so long as such vessels shall in all respects comply with the provisions and requirements of said Act.”
Tolls may be based upon gross or net registered tonnage, displacement tonnage, or otherwise, and may be based on one form of tonnage for warships and another for ships of commerce. The rate of tolls may be lower upon vessels in ballast than upon vessels carrying passengers or cargo. When based upon net registered tonnage for ships of commerce the tolls shall not exceed one dollar and twenty-five cents per net registered ton, nor be less, other than for vessels of the United States and its citizens, than the estimated proportionate cost of the actual maintenance and operation of the canal subject, however, to the provisions of article nineteen of the convention between the United States and the Republic of Panama, entered into November eighteenth, nineteen hundred and three. If the tolls shall not be based upon net registered tonnage, they shall not exceed the equivalent of one dollar and twenty-five cents per net registered ton as nearly as the same may be determined, nor be less than the equivalent of seventy-five cents per net registered ton. The toll for each passenger shall not be more than one dollar and fifty cents. The President is authorized to make and from time to time amend regulations governing the operation of the Panama Canal, and the passage and control of vessels through the same or any part thereof, including the locks and approaches thereto, and all rules and regulations affecting pilots and pilotage in the canal or the approaches thereto through the adjacent waters.
[The remainder of this section concerns the payment of claims for damages for injury to vessels, cargo or passengers from passage through the canal.][Page 473]
Sec. 11. That section five of the Act to regulate commerce, approved February fourth, eighteen hundred and eighty-seven, as heretofore amended, is hereby amended by adding thereto a new paragraph at the end thereof, as follows:
“From and after the first day of July, nineteen hundred and fourteen, it shall be unlawful for any railroad company or other common carrier subject to the Act to regulate commerce to own, lease, operate, control, or have any interest whatsoever (by stock ownership or otherwise, either directly, indirectly, through any holding company or by stockholders or directors in common, or in any other manner) in any common carrier by water operated through the Panama Canal or elsewhere with which said railroad or other carrier aforesaid does or may compete for traffic or any vessel carrying freight or passengers upon said water route or elsewhere with which said railroad or other carrier aforesaid does or may compete for traffic; and in case of the violation of this provision each day in which such violation continues shall be deemed a separate offense.”
Jurisdiction is hereby conferred on the Interstate Commerce Commission to determine questions of fact as to the competition or possibility of competition, after full hearing, on the application of any railroad company or other carrier. Such application may be filed for the purpose of determining whether any existing service is in violation of this section and pray for an order permitting the continuance of any vessel or vessels already in operation, or for the purpose of asking an order to install new service not in conflict with the provisions of this paragraph. The commission may on its own motion or the application of any shipper institute proceedings to inquire into the operation of any vessel in use by any railroad or other carrier which has not applied to the commission and had the question of competition or the possibility of competition determined as herein provided. In all such cases the order of said commission shall be final.
If the Interstate Commerce Commission shall be of the opinion that any such existing specified service by water other than through the Panama Canal is being operated in the interest of the public and is of advantage to the convenience and commerce of the people, and that such extension will neither exclude, prevent, nor reduce competition on the route by water under consideration, the Interstate Commerce Commission may, by order, extend the time during which such service by water may continue to be operated beyond July first, nineteen hundred and fourteen. In every case of such extension the rates, schedules, and practices of such water carrier shall be filed with the Interstate Commerce Commission and shall be subject to the act to regulate commerce and all amendments thereto in the same manner and to the same extent as is the railroad or other common carrier controlling such water carrier or interested in any manner in its operation: Provided, Any application for extension under the terms of this provision filed with the Interstate Commerce Commission prior to July first, nineteen hundred and fourteen, but for any reason not heard and disposed of before said date, may be considered and granted thereafter.
No vessel permitted to engage in the coastwise or foreign trade of the United States shall be permitted to enter or pass through said [Page 474] canal if such ship is owned, chartered, operated, or controlled by any person or company which is doing business in violation of the provisions of the Act of Congress approved July second; eighteen hundred and ninety, entitled “An Act to protect trade and commerce against unlawful restraints and monopolies,” or the provisions of sections seventy-three to seventy-seven, both inclusive, of an Act approved August twenty-seventh, eighteen hundred and ninety-four, entitled “An Act to reduce taxation, to provide revenue for the Government, and for other purposes,” or the provisions of any other Act of Congress amending or supplementing the said Act of July second, eighteen hundred and ninety, commonly known as the Sherman Antitrust Act, and amendments thereto, or said sections of the Act of August twenty-seventh, eighteen hundred and ninety-four. The question of fact may be determined by the judgment of any court of the United States of competent jurisdiction in any cause pending before it to which the owners or operators of such ship are parties. Suit may be brought by any shipper or by the Attorney General of the United States.
That section six of said Act to regulate commerce, as heretofore amended, is hereby amended by adding a new paragraph at the end thereof, as follows:
“When property may be or is transported from point to point in the United States by rail and water through the Panama Canal or otherwise, the transportation being by a common carrier or carriers, and not entirely within the limits of a single State, the Interstate Commerce Commission shall have jurisdiction of such transportation and of the carriers, both by rail and by water, which may or do engage in the same, in the following particulars, in addition to the jurisdiction given by the Act to regulate commerce, as amended June eighteenth, nineteen hundred and ten:
“(a) To establish physical connection between the lines of the rail carrier and the dock of the water carrier by directing the rail carrier to make suitable connection between its line and a track or tracks which have been constructed from the dock to the limits of its right of way, or by directing either or both the rail and water carrier, individually or in connection with one another, to construct and connect with the lines of the rail carrier a spur track or tracks to the dock. This provision shall only apply where such connection is reasonably practicable, can be made with safety to the public, and where the amount of business to be handled is sufficient to justify the outlay.
“The commission shall have full authority to determine the terms and conditions upon which these connecting tracks, when constructed, shall be operated, and it may, either in the construction or the operation of such tracks, determine what sum shall be paid to or by either carrier. The provisions of this paragraph shall extend to cases where the dock is owned by other parties than the carrier involved.
“(b) To establish through routes and maximum joint rates between and over such rail and water lines, and to determine all the terms and conditions under which such lines shall be operated in the handling of the traffic embraced.
“(c) To establish maximum proportional rates by rail to and from the ports to which the traffic is brought, or from which it is taken by the water carrier, and to determine to what traffic and in connection [Page 475] with what vessels and upon what terms and conditions such rates shall apply. By proportional rates are meant those which differ from the corresponding local rates to and from the port and which apply only to traffic which has been brought to the port or is carried from the port by a common carrier by water.
“(d) If any rail carrier subject to the Act to regulate commerce enters into arrangements with any water carrier operating from a port in the United States to a foreign country, through the Panama Canal or otherwise, for the handling of through business between interior points of the United States and such foreign country, the Interstate Commerce Commission may require such railway to enter into similar arrangements with any or all other lines of steamships operating from said port to the same foreign country.”
The orders of the Interstate Commerce Commission relating to this section shall only be made upon formal complaint or in proceedings instituted by the commission of its own motion and after full hearing. The orders provided for in the two amendments to the Act to regulate commerce enacted in this section shall be served in the same manner and enforced by the same penalties and proceedings as are the orders of the commission made under the provisions of section fifteen of the Act to regulate commerce, as amended June eighteenth, nineteen hundred and ten, and they may be conditioned for the payment of any sum or the giving of security for the payment of any sum or the discharge of any obligation which may be required by the terms of said order.