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the authority of this Act unless the board shall be unable, after a bona fide effort, to contract with any person a citizen of the United States for the purchase, lease, or charter of such vessel under such terms and conditions as may be prescribed by the board.
The board shall give public notice of the fact that vessels are offered and the terms and conditions upon which a contract will be made, and shall invite competitive offerings. In the event the board shall, after full compliance with the terms of this proviso, determine that it is unable to enter into a contract with such private parties for the purchase, lease, or charter of such vessel, it shall make a full report to the President, who shall examine such report, and if he shall approve the same he shall make an order declaring that the conditions have been found to exist which justify the operation of such vessel by a corporation formed under the provisions of this section.
At the expiration of five years from the conclusion of the present European war the operation of vessels on the part of any such corporation in which the United States is then a stockholder shall cease and the said corporation stand dissolved. The date of the conclusion of the war shall be declared by proclamation of the President. The vessels and other property of any such corporation shall revert to the board. The board may sell, lease, or charter such vessels as provided in section seven and shall dispose of the property other than vessels on the best available terms and, after payment of all debts and obligations, deposit the proceeds thereof in the Treasury to its credit. Åll stock in such corporations owned by others than the United States at the time of dissolution shall be taken over by the board at a fair and reasonable value and paid for with funds to the credit of the board. In case of disagreement, such value shall be determined in the manner provided in section ten.
SEO. 12. That the board shall investigate the relative cost of building merchant vessels in the United States and in foreign maritime countries, and the relative cost, advantages, and disadvantages of operating in the foreign trade vessels under United States registry and under foreign registry. It shall examine the rules under which vessels are constructed abroad and in the United States, and the methods of classifying and rating same, and it shall examine into the subject of marine insurance, the number of companies in the United States, domestic and foreign, engaging in marine insurance, the extent of the insurance on hulls and cargoes placed or written in the United States, and the extent of reinsurance of American maritime risks in foreign companies, and ascertain what steps may be necessary to develop an ample marine insurance system as an aid in the development of an American merchant marine. It shall examine the navigation laws of the United States and the rules and regulations thereunder, and make such recommendations to the Congress as it deems proper for the amendment, improvement, and revision of such laws, and for the development of the American merchant marine. It shalí investigate the legal status of mortgage loans on vessel property, with a view to means of improving the security of such loans and of encouraging investment in Åmerican shipping:
It shall, on or before the first day of December in each year, make a report to the Congress, which shall include its recommendations and the results of its investigations, a summary of its transactions, and a statement of all expenditures and receipts under this Act, and of the operations of any corporation in which the United States is a stockholder, and the names and compensation of all persons employed by the board.
Seo. 13. That for the purpose of carrying out the provisions of sections five and eleven no liability shall be incurred exceeding a total of $50,000,000 and the Secretary of the Treasury, upon the request of the board, approved by the President, shall from time to time issue and sell or use any of the bonds of the United States now available in the Treasury under the Acts of August fifth, nineteen hundred and nine, February fourth, nineteen hundred and ten, and March second, nineteen hundred and eleven, relating to the issue of bonds for the construction of the Panama Canal, to a total amount not to exceed $50,000,000: Provided, That any bonds issued and sold or used under the provisions of this section may be made payable at such time within fifty years after issue as the Secretary of the Treasury may fix, instead of fifty years after the date of issue, as prescribed in the Act of August fifth, nineteen hundred and nine.
The proceeds of such bonds and the not proceeds of all sales, charters, and leases of vessels and of sales of stock made by the board, and all other moneys received by it from any source, shall be covered into the Treasury to the credit of the board, and are hereby permanently appropriated for the purpose of carrying out the provisions of sections five and eleven.
Sec. 14. That no common carrier by water shall directly or indirectly
First. Pay, or allow, or enter into any combination, agreement, or understanding, express or implied, to pay or allow, a deferred rebato to any shipper. The term deferred rebate" in this Act means a roturn of any portion of the freight money by a carrier to any shipper as a consideration for the giving of all or any portion of his shipments to the same or any other carrier, or for any other purpose, the payment of which is deferred beyond the completion of the service for which it is paid, and is made only if, during both the period for which computed and the period of deforment, the shippor has complied with the terms of the rebate agreement or arrangement.
Second. Use a fighting ship either separately, or in conjunction with any other carrier, through agreement or otherwise. The torm "fighting ship” in this Act means a vossel used in a particular trade by a carrier or group of carriers for the purpose of excluding, preventing, or reducing competition by driving another carrier out of said trade.
Third. Retaliate against any shipper by, refusing, or threatening to refuse, space accommodations when such are available, or resort to other discriminating or unfair methods, because sucb shipper has patronized any other carrier or has filed a complaint charging unfair treatment, or for any other reason.
Fourth. Make any unfair or unjustly discriminatory contract with any shippor based on the volume of freight offered, or unfairly treat or unjustly discriminate against any shipper in the matter of (a) cargo space accommodations or other facilities, due regard being had for the proper loading of the vessel and the available tonnage; (b) the loading and landing of freight in proper condition; or (c) the adjustment and settlement of claims.
Any carrier who violates any provision of this section shall be guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of not more than $25,000 for each offense.
Seo. 15. That every common carrier by water, or other person subject to this Act, shall filo immediately with the board a true copy, or, if oral, a true and complete memorandum, of every agreement with another such carrier or other person subject to this Act, or modifica tion or cancellation thereof, to which it may be a party or conform in whole or in part, fixing or regulating transportation rates or faros; giving or receiving special ratos, accommodations, or other special privileges or advantages; controlling, regulating, preventing, or destroying competition; pooling or apportioning earnings, losses, or traffic; allotting ports or restricting or otherwise regulating the numbór and character of sailings between ports; limiting or regulating in any way the volume or character of freight or passenger traffic to be carried; or in any manner providing for an exclusive, preferential, or cooperative working arrangement. The term "agreement" in this section includes understandings, conferences, and other arrangements.
The board may by order disapprove, cancel, or modify any agreoment, or any modification or cancellation thereof, whether or not previously approved by it, that it finds to be unjustly discriminatory or unfair as between carriers, shippers, exporters, importers, or ports, or between exporters from the United States and their foreign competitors, or to operate to the detriment of the commerce of the United States, or to be in violation of this Act, and shall approve all other agreements, modifications, or cancellations.
Agreements existing at the time of the organization of the board shall be lawful until disapproved by the board. It shall be unlawful to carry out any agreement or any portion thereof disapproved by the board.
All agreements, modifications, or cancellations made after the organization of the board shall be lawful only when and as long as approved by the board, and before approval or after disapproval it shall be unlawful to carry out in whole or in part, directly or indirectly, any such agreement, modification, or cancellation.
Every agreement, modification, or cancellation lawful under this section shall be excepted from the provisions of the Act approved July second, eighteen hundred and ninety, entitled "An Act to protect trade and commerce against unlawful restraints and monopolies," and amendments and Acts supplementary thereto, and the provisions of sections seventy-three to seventy-seven, both inclusive, of the 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," and amendments and Acts supplementary thereto.
Whoover violatos any provision of this section shall be liable to a penalty of $1,000 for each day such violation continuos, to bo rocov. ered by the United States in a civil action.
Sec. 16. That it shall be unlawful for any common carrier by water, or other person subject to this Act, either alone or in conjunction with any other person, directly or indirectly
First. To makė or give any undue or unreasonable preference or advantage to any particular person, locality, or description of traffio in any respect whatsoever, or to subject any particular person, locality, or description of traffic to any undue or unreasonable prejudico or disadvantage in any respect whatsoever.
Second. To allow any person to obtain transportation for property at less than the regular rates then established and enforced on the line of such carrier, by means of false billing, false classification, false weighing, false report of weight, or by any other unjust or unfair device or means.
Third. To induce, persuade, or otherwise influence any marine insurance company or underwriter, or agent thereof, not to give a competing carrier by water as favorable a rate of insurance on vessel or cargo, having due regard to the class of vessel or cargo, as is granted to such carrier or other person subject to this Act.
SEC. 17. That no common carrier by water in foreign commerce shall demand, charge, or collect any rate, fare, or charge which is unjustly discriminatory between shippers or ports, or unjustly prejudicial to exporters of the United States as compared with their foreign competitors. Whenever the board finds that any such rate, fare, or charge is demanded, charged, or collected it may alter the same to the extent necessary to correct such unjust discrimination or prejudice and make an order that the carrier shall discontinue demanding, charging, or collecting any such unjustly discriminatory or prejudicial rate, fare, or charge.
Every such carrier and every other person subject to this Act shall establish, observe, and enforce just and reasonable regulations and practices relating to or connected with the receiving, handling, storing, or delivering of property. Whenever the board finds that any such regulation or practice is unjust or unreasonable it may determine, prescribe, and order enforced a just and reasonable regulation or practice.
Sec. 18. That every common carrier by water in interstate commerce shall establish, observe, and enforce just and reasonable rates, fares, charges, classifications, and tariffs, and just and reasonable regulations and practices relating thereto and to the issuance, form, and substance of tickets, receipts, and bills of lading, the manner and method of presenting, marking, packing, and delivering property for transportation, the carrying of personal, sample, and excess baggage, the facilities for transportation, and all other matters relating to or connected with the receiving, handling, transporting, storing, or delivering of property.
Every such carrier shall file with the board and keep open to public inspection, in the form and manner and within the time prescribed by the board, the maximum rates, fares, and charges for or in connection with transportation between points on its own route; and if a through route has been established, the maximum rates, fares, and charges for or in connection with transportation between points on its own route and points on the route of any other carrier by water.
No such carrier shall demand, charge, or collect a greater compensation for such transportation than the rates, fares, and charges filed in compliance with this section, except with the approval of the board and after ten days' public notice in the form and manner prescribed by the board, stating the increase proposed to be made; but the board for good cause shown may waive such notice.
Whenever the board finds that any rate, fare, charge, classification, tariff, regulation, or practice, demanded, charged, collected, or observed by such carrier is unjust or unreasonable, it may determine, prescribe, and order enforced a just and reasonable maximum rate, fare, or charge, or a just and reasonable classification, tariff, regulation, or practice.
Séc. 19. That whenever a common carrier by water in interstate commerce reduces its rates on the carriage of any species of freight to or from competitive points below a fair and remunerative basis with the intent of driving out or otherwise injuring a competitive carrier by water, it shall not increase such rates unless after hearing the board finds that such proposed increase rests upon changed conditions other than the elimination of said competition.
Sec. 20. That it shall be unlawful for any common carrier by water or other person subject to this Act, or any officer, receiver, trustee, lessee, agent, or employee of such carrier or person, or for any other person authorized by such carrier or person to receive information, knowingly to disclose to or permit to be acquired by any person other than the shipper or consignee, without the consent of such shipper or consignee, any information concerning the nature, kind, quantity, destination, consignee, or routing of any property tendered or delivered to such common carrier or other person subject to this Act for transportation in interstate or foreign commerce, which information may be used to the detriment or prejudice of such shipper or consignee, or which may improperly disclose his business transactions to a competitor, or which may be used to the detriment or prejudice of any carrier; and it shall also be unlawful for any person to solicit or knowingly receive any such information which may be so used.
Nothing in this Act shall be construed to prevent the giving of such information in response to any legal process issued under the authority of any court, or to any officer or agent of the Government of the United States, or of any, State, Territory, District, or possession thereof, in the exercise of his powers, or to any officer or other duly authorized person seeking such information for the prosecution of persons charged with or suspected of crime, or to another carrier, or its duly authorized agent, for the purpose of adjusting mutual traffic accounts in the ordinary course of business of such carriers.
SEC. 21. That the board may require any common carrier by water, or other person subject to this Act, or any officer, receiver, trustee, lessee, agent, or employee thereof, to file with it any periodical or special report, or any account, record, rate, or charge, or any memorandum of any facts and transactions appertaining to the business of such carrier or other person subject to this Act. Such report, account, record, rate, charge, or memorandum shall be under oath whenever the board so requires, and shall be furnished in the form and within the time prescribed by the board. Whoever fails to file any report, account, record, rate, charge, or memorandum as required by this section shall forfeit to the United States the sum of $100 for each day of such default.
Whoever willfully falsifies, destroys, mutilates, or alters any such report, account, record, rate, charge, or memorandum, or willfully files a false report, account, record, rate, charge, or memorandum shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, and subject upon conviction to a fine of not more than $1,000, or imprisonment for not more than one year, or to both such fine and imprisonment.
Sec. 22. That any person may file with the board a sworn complaint setting forth any violation of this Act by a common carrier by