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Reporter's Statement of the Case of acceptance of this order, will in addition pay bonus provided expenses paid will not be in excess of thirty-five thousand dollars, bonus not in excess of twenty-five thousand dollars, and expenses and bonus together not in excess of fifty thousand dollars.
“Please inform me in writing if you will accept these conditions."
Plaintiff accepted in writing on the same date.
VI. Plaintiff proceeded under said authority, secured equipment, hired labor, and was engaged in salvaging the ship until April 12, 1921, when a storm so damaged the ship as to cause plaintiff to cease operations. He sent to the Secretary of the Navy the following radiogram from Nassau, on April 19, 1921:
“ Barge 31 at 4.00 a. m. April twelfth in northwest gale was lifted bodily by heavy sea forty feet to eastward Stop At 7.00 a. m. stern sagged six feet submerging after part breaking bottom and buckling sides of boiler room Stop Can cut at boiler room and float forward end but do not recommend Stop Consider vessel constructive total loss Stop Recommend stripping and abandoning Stop Please radio decision direct " and received by radio on board the wreck, on April 22, 1921, the following reply from the Secretary of the Navy:
“ 2022 refer yours nineteenth April stop salvage period turn in salvaged material to commandant seventh district 0545."
VII. It does not appear from the evidence that plaintiff, prior to the receipt of the radiogram from the Secretary of the Navy referred to in the preceding finding, had salvaged or stripped said barge No. 31 of any of its apparel. After the receipt of said radiogram plaintiff proceeded to strip said barge of its apparel and loaded the salvaged material, the result of the stripping, on the schooner Crosland, then under hire to plaintiff, and on the 11th day of May, 1921, said salvaged material was discharged from said schooner Crosland and delivered to defendant's Navy officer at seventh naval district, Key West, the value of which was fixed by competent appraisers at $2,017.63.
Reporter's Statement of the Case VIII. Plaintiff submitted bills to the Navy Department under three heads, viz: (a) For expenses incurred prior to signing contract and supported by vouchers
$2, 154, 49 (b) For expenses incurred under contract of March 31, 1921..
34, 413. 41 (c) Itemized account under contract of March 31, 1921,
as amended by radiogram from Secretary of the
19, 832. 42 IX. The Navy Department disallowed claim (a), settled claim (b) for a consideration of $30,000, and took a release therefor as shown by Exhibit X of plaintiff's, as follows: From Sloan Danenhower & Company (Inc.), of 11 Broad
way, New York, N. Y., to the United States in re salvage of U. S. Navy water barge No. 31, ashore on Cat Island, in the Bahamas, in March and April, 1921,
under contract dated March 31, 1921 “Whereas, under an agreement entered into by the commandant of the seventh naval district on behalf of the Navy Department with Sloan Danenhower & Co. (Inc.), of 11 Broadway, New York, N. Y., dated March 31, 1921, the said Sloan Danenhower & Co. was authorized to salvage U. S. Navy water barge No. 31, ashore on Cat Island, in the Bahamas, in March and April, 1921, under conditions and terms in said agreement set out; and
“Whereas the said Sloan Danenhower & Co. (Inc.), did undertake to salvage the said U. S. Navy water barge No. 31 and did incur by reason thereof certain expenses, for which they are entitled to be paid in accordance with the terms of said contract; and
“Whereas, on account of said services rendered and expenditures incurred under said contract, the said Sloan Danenhower & Co. has made claim against the department and has agreed to accept the sum of thirty thousand dollars ($30,000) in full settlement and satisfaction of all claims, charges, and demands whatsoever arising under said contract; and
“Whereas, the Secretary of the Navy, under authority conferred upon him by law, has determined that the said Sloan Danenhower & Co. should be paid on account of said services and expenditures incurred by it the said sum of thirty thousand dollars ($30,000) to which it has been adjudged to be entitled in final settlement of its claim, the receipt of which is hereby acknowledged, the said claimant for itself, its successors, and assigns does hereby release and
Reporter's Statement of the Case forever discharge the United States of and from all manner of debts, sums of money, claims, and demands whatsoever at law and in equity arising out of said services rendered and said expenditures incurred by the said Sloan Danenhower & Co. under the agreement of March 31, 1921, for the salvage of U. S. Navy water barge No. 31.
“In witness whereof the claimant, the said Sloan Danenhower & Co. (Inc.), of 11 Broadway, New York, N. Y., has authorized its president and secretary to execute these presents and to affix its corporate seal hereto this August, 1921.”
With reference to claim (c), defendant offered plaintiff $1,000 in settlement thereof, which plaintiff refused to accept.
X. The action by the Navy Department is more specifically shown in a letter to plaintiff of April 14, 1925, from the Judge Advocate General of the Navy, marked Exhibit 8, and by reference made part of this finding, as follows:
“I acknowledge receipt of your letter of April 6, 1925, relative to claims arising out of the services rendered the department in connection with the U. S. Navy water barge No. 31 when aground on Cat Island in the Bahamas in March and April, 1921.
“These claims, three in number, designated as A, B, and C, were thoroughly considered when submitted in 1921 and action taken with respect to each of them in accordance with the result of the investigations made, as follows:
“ The claim designated as A in the sum of $2,154.49 for reimbursement for expenses incurred in preliminary work in connection with the salvage of the stranded barge previous to the authority given under the salvage agreement of March 31, 1921, was disapproved.
"The claim designated as B for reimbursement for expenditures incurred in the attempt to salvage the barge, under the terms and conditions of your contract with the department of March 31, 1921, in the sum of $34,413.41, was adjusted, approved, and paid in the sum of $30,000.00. This amount was accepted by you in full settlement and discharge of the claim.
“ The claim designated as C, as compensation for stripping water barge No. 31 after salvage work had been abandoned, and for conveying the salvage material to Key West, Florida, was adjusted and approved by the department in the sum of $1,000.00, which amount, however, you declined to accept.
Opinion of the Court “In view of the foregoing, it seems that no further action with respect to this matter is required by the department.”
The court decided that plaintiff was not entitled to recover.
SINNOTT, Judge, delivered the opinion of the court:
Plaintiff in its petition seeks to recover the sum of $21,986.91 for services which it claims to have rendered in an attempt to salvage defendant's water barge No. 31. While attached to the Navy squadron the said barge became stranded on Cat Island, one of the Bahama group, off Nassau. She settled on the rocks, the pinnacles of which punctured her bottom. The commander of the fleet early March 7, 1921, caused to be removed from the stranded barge all portable material and took off the officers and crew.
Plaintiff proceeded to the wreck of said barge, arriving alongside on March 11, 1921, and found the barge ashore and abandoned, all portable articles thereon having been theretofore removed.
On the same day an officer of said barge came alongside and boarded her and talked with Sloan Danenhower, president of plaintiff corporation, about salvaging the barge. Danenhower told said officer that he was proceeding with a diver's examination and an attempt at salvage. Said officer said "All right; good luck to you," and departed in the sloop in which he came.
Danenhower then took up quarters on board the wreck and transferred provisions, diving apparatus, and gear to her. On this conversation with the said officer plaintiff bases its right to recover for the bill referred to in Finding VIII, viz: (a) For expenses incurred prior to signing contract and supported by vouchers...
$2, 151. 49 We find nothing in this loose conversation with the officer to sustain any agreement with defendant covering salvage. Even if said loose talk could be construed into an understanding, with reference to salvaging the water barge, there was no evidence that the said officer had any authority to bind defendant.
Opinion of the Court After making an examination of the wreck, plaintiff wired to the Secretary of the Navy as follows:
“Navy water barge thirty-one twenty-four forty-two seventy-five forty-eight exposed position all compartments flooded. Divers report holes in forepeak hold fire and engine rooms. All hands abandoned ship. Found vessel deserted. Will remain aboard preventing looting proceeding salvage. Offer float. Actual expenses guaranteed plus bonus thirty-three thousand if successful or day's work regular schedule. Request telegraphic decision Nassau and confirmation authority remain in charge of operations."
On March 31, 1921, plaintiff's president, Sloan Danenhower, being at Key West, Florida, received the following letter from J. L. Latimer, captain U. S. N. commandant, seventh naval district, at Key West :
Subject: The salvage of Navy water barge No. 31. “I am authorized by the Bureau of Construction and Repair, Navy Department, to direct you to proceed with salvage of water barge No. 31, under the following conditions, namely:
“ The department will pay actual expenses of operation whether successful or not, and if vessel is delivered at navy yard, Charleston, within forty-five (45) days from the date of acceptance of this order will in addition pay bonus provided expenses paid will not be in excess of thirty-five thousand dollars, bonus not in excess of twenty-five thousand dollars, and expenses and bonus together not in excess of fifty thousand dollars.
“Please inform me in writing if you will accept these conditions."
Plaintiff accepted the conditions set forth in the above letter on the same date. Plaintiff proceeded under the authority in the said letter, secured equipment, hired labor, and was engaged in salvaging the water barge until April 12, 1921, when a storm so damaged the wrecked water barge as to cause plaintiff to cease operations. Plaintiff then sent to the Secretary of the Navy the following radiogram from Nassau, on April 19, 1921 :
“Barge 31 at 4.00 a. m. April twelfth in northwest gale was lifted bodily by heavy sea forty feet to eastward Stop At 7.00 a. m. stern sagged six feet submerging after part