PROPOSED AMENDMENTS TO THE LAWS FOR THE BETTER REGULATION AND GOVERNMENT OF THE NAVY AND THE PENSION FUNDS CONNECTED WITH THE NAVAL SERVICE.
COMMUNICATED TO THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, MAY 2, 1834.
Washington, May 1, 1834.
To the Speaker of the House of Representatives:
I submit for the sanction of Congress certain proposals for amending the present laws in relation to the naval service, prepared and reported by the board constituted under the act of May 19, 1832.
The papers on this subject arc Nos. 1 to 5, inclusive.
These proposals are approved by me, and, if adopted in the form of laws, appear well suited "to the present and future exigencies of that important arm of national defence. "
Washington, May 30, 1834.
The board of revision, having adopted the amendments suggested by you in the 109th and 111th articles of the proposed "act to revise and enlarge the act for the better government of the navy of the United States, " and in the proposed "act for the navy widows' and orphans' fund," submitted the same to the Attorney General of the United States for such remarks and suggestions as he might deem it proper to make; and the Attorney General having expressed his concurrence in the amendments, and in the "draught as it now stands " of the proposed laws, they are herewith respectfully submitted, with a copy of his letter referred to.
I have the honor to be, with great respect, sir, your most obedient servant,
JNO. RODGERS, President of the Board of Revision.
To the Hon. L. Woodbury, Secretary of the Navy.
Attorney General's Office, April 30, 1834.
I have re-examined those parts of the proposed "act to revise and enlarge the act for the better government of the navy of the United States" which are particularly referred to in your letter of this day, and, with the amendments now introduced, concur in the draught as it now stands. I have the honor to be, with great respect, your obedient servant,
B. F. BUTLER.
To Commodore John Rodgers,
President of the Board of Naval Officers, constituted under the act of May 19, 1832.
Extract of a letter from the president of the board of revision to the Secretary of the Navy, dated—
Washington, April 7, 1834.
In the letter which accompanied the proposed regulations for the navy, the board appointed under the act of May, 1832, had the honor to state the causes which prevented their forwarding at that time the alterations, amendments, and additions to the laws, which they had prepared to submit to you, for the consideration of the President of the United States and of Congress.
Having examined the different statutes with which the proposed alterations are believed to conflict, the board adopted, and annexed for recommendation, such repealing clauses as in their opinion the different alterations will render necessary.
For the purpose of facilitating a comparison of the propositions of the board with the laws for which they are submitted as amendments or substitutes, the board enclose statement 0, showing the sections or articles of existing statutes to which each article or section of the proposed laws has the most direct reference, or which treats of the same subject. These references are occasionally accompanied by very concise statements of the reasons which induced a recommendation of the particular changes proposed.
The board are aware that their earnest desire to promote the usefulness of the navy, even when aided by all the knowledge which they may have gained of the practical operation of the existing laws, in the course of their professional service, may not have enabled them to detect all their defects, or to designate their best remedies. They hope, however, that what they have done may lead to beneficial results by the action of those who are more competent, and without whose action no proposition of the board can effect.
An act to revise and enlarge the act for the better government of the navy of the United States.
Article 1. The commanders of all fleets, squadrons, navy yards, or vessels, belonging to the navy, are strictly enjoined and required to show in themselves a good example of virtue, honor, patriotism, and subordination; to be vigilant in inspecting the conduct of all such as may be placed under their command; to guard against and suppress all dissolute and immoral practices, and to correct all such as may be guilty of them, according to the laws for the government of the navy, upon pain of such punishment as a general court-martial may think proper to inflict, and as the nature and circumstances of the neglect may deserve.
Article 2. The commanders of vessels and navy yards, to which chaplains may be attached, shall have divine service performed on Sundays, whenever the weather and other circumstances will allow it to be done with propriety; and they shall cause as many of the officers and men to attend as can be spared from other duty.
Article 3. If any officer in the navy shall be guilty of cruelty or oppression, or of gambling, drunkenness, profane swearing, or any other scandalous or dishonorable conduct, unbecoming an officer, not otherwise provided for in this act, he shall, on conviction thereof, be cashiered, or suffer such less punishment as a general court-martial shall direct; and if any petty officer or inferior person belonging to the navy shall be guilty of profane swearing, gambling, drunkenness, or other immoral or disgraceful conduct, not specially provided for in this act, he may, at the discretion of the commander, be reduced to an inferior rating, or confined not exceeding ten days, or flogged not exceeding twelve lashes, or be brought to trial before a court-martial, in which latter case he shall, if convicted, suffer such punishment as the said court shall adjudge.
Article 4. Any officer or other person belonging to the navy, who shall, when engaged in battle, pussillanimously cry for quarter, or treacherously yield, or shall strike, or attempt to strike the flag without proper authority, shall suffer death on conviction thereof by a general court-martial.
Article 5. If any officer commanding a fleet, squadron, or vessel shall, upon the probability of an engagement, or upon signal for battle, neglect to prepare his fleet, squadron, or vessel for action, or shall not, when so directed, use his utmost exertions to join in battle, or shall fail to encourage in his own person his inferior officers and men to fight courageously, he shall, on conviction thereof, suffer death, or such other punishment as a court-martial shall adjudge.
Article 6. Every officer or other person belonging to the navy, who shall not do his utmost to take or destroy any vessel which it is his duty to encounter, or to afford relief to vessels belonging to the United States when engaged in battle, or who shall, through cowardice, negligence, or disaffection, withdraw from or keep out of battle, or desert his duty or station, or shall induce others to do so, or shall not properly observe the orders of his commanding officer, or use his utmost exertions to carry them into execution, when ordered to prepare for, join in, or when actually engaged in battle, or while in sight of an enemy, shall, on conviction thereof by a general court-martial, suffer death, or such other punishment as the said court shall adjudge.
Article 7. If any officer or other person in or belonging to the navy shall disobey the lawful orders of his superior officer, or strike him, or draw or offer to draw or raise any weapon against him, while he is on duty, or in the line of his duty, or for having performed any act of duty, he shall, on conviction thereof before a general court-martial, suffer death, cashiering, or such other punishment as the said court shall adjudge; and if any person in the navy shall treat his superior officer with contempt or disrespect, or use provoking or reproachful words, menaces, or gestures to him, he shall be punished at the discretion of a general court-martial.
Article 8. If any person in the navy shall make, or attempt to make, any mutinous assembly, or shall utter any seditious or mutinous words, or shall conceal or connive at any seditious or mutinous practices; or, knowing of the same, shall not forthwith communicate it to his superior or commanding officer; or, being witness to any mutiny or sedition, shall not do his utmost to suppress it, he shall, on conviction thereof, suffer death, or such other punishment as a general court-martial shall adjudge. *
Article 9. No person in the navy shall give, hold, or entertain any intercourse or intelligence to or with any enemy or rebel, without leave from the President of the United States, the Secretary of the Navy, the commander-in-chief of the fleet, the commander of a squadron, or the senior officer in command, who may be present; or if any letter or message from any enemy or rebel be conveyed to any officer or other person in the navy, and he shall not within twelve hours make the same known, having opportunity to do so, to his superior or commanding officer, or other proper officer, whose duty it may be to take cognizance thereof, every such offender shall suffer death, or such other punishment as a general court-martial shall adjudge.
Article 10. Spies, and all persons who shall come, or be found, in the capacity of spies, or who shall bring or deliver any seducing letter or message from an enemy or rebel, or endeavor to corrupt any person in the navy to betray his trust, shall suffer death, or such other punishment as a general court-martial shall adjudge.
Article 11. If any person in the navy shall desert to an enemy or rebel, he shall, on conviction thereof by a general court-martial, suffer death.
Article 12. If any person in the navy shall, in time of war, desert, or shall entice or aid others to desert, he shall suffer death, or such other punishment as a court-martial may adjudge.
Article 13. If any person in the navy shall, in time of peace, desert, or shall persuade, aid, or entice any others to desert, or shall at any time know of any desertion, and not communicate it to his superior or commanding officer; or shall receive or entertain any deserter, knowing him to be such, and shall not, with all convenient speed, give notice thereof to the commander of the vessel, navy yard, or station to which he belongs, or to the commander-in-chief of the fleet, or commander of the squadron, he shall, on conviction thereof, suffer such punishment as a general court-martial shall adjudge.
Article 14. If any person belonging to the navy shall absent himself without leave, or remain absent after his leave shall have expired, and shall voluntarily return within three days after such absence, or termination of leave of absence, he may, at the discretion of his commander, be punished as limited in the thirteenth article of this act.
Article 15. If any person in the navy shall, through intention, negligence, or any other fault, suffer any vessel of the navy to be stranded or run upon rocks or shoals, or improperly hazarded; or if any person shall willfully or maliciously injure any vessel of the navy, or any part of her tackle, armament, or equipment, whereby the safety of the vessel shall be hazarded, or the lives of the crew exposed to danger, he shall, on conviction thereof by a general court-martial, suffer death, or such other punishment as the said court shall adjudge.
Article 16. If any officer of the navy shall order any public property, not then in the possession of, or in imminent danger of falling into the possession of an enemy, pirate, or rebel, to be set on fire, or otherwise unlawfully destroyed; or if any person in the navy shall set fire to, or otherwise unlawfully destroy any such property, he shall, on conviction thereof by a general court-martial, suffer death, or such other punishment as the said court shall adjudge.
Article 17. If any person in the navy shall fraudulently make and sign, or shall aid, abet, direct, or procure the making or signing of any false muster; or shall knowingly execute, or attempt, or countenance any fraud against the United States, he shall, on conviction thereof by a general court-martial, be cashiered, and rendered forever incapable of any further employment in the service of the United States, and shall forfeit to the navy pension fund all the pay and subsistence then due him, and suffer such other punishment as the said court shall adjudge.
Article 18. If any person in the navy shall waste or embezzle, or fraudulently buy, sell or receive any ammunition, provisions, or other public stores; or if any officer or other person shall knowingly permit, through design, negligence, or inattention, any such waste, embezzlement, sale, or receipt, every such person, upon conviction thereof by a general court-martial, shall forfeit all the pay and subsistence then due him to the navy pension fund, and shall suffer such further punishment as the said court shall direct.
Article 19. If any person in the navy shall sleep upon his watch, or negligently perform the duty assigned him, or shall leave his station before regularly relieved, he may be punished at the discretion of a court-martial, or be otherwise punished at the discretion of the commander, as limited by the thirtieth article of this act.
Article 20. The officers and other persons belonging to any ship or vessel, appointed as convoy to merchant or other vessels, shall diligently and faithfully discharge the duties of their appointment; nor shall they demand or exact any compensation for their services, nor maltreat the officers or crews of such merchant or other vessels, on pain of suffering such punishment as a court-martial shall adjudge.
Article 21. If any commander or other officer shall receive, or permit to be received, on board his vessel, any goods or merchandise for freight, sale, or traffic, except gold, silver, or jewels, for freight; or shall demand or receive any compensation for the receipt or transportation of any other article than gold, silver, or jewels, without authority from the President of the United Slates or Secretary of the Navy, he shall, on conviction thereof by a general court-martial, be cashiered, and be thenceforward incapacitated from holding any office or place in the navy of the United States.
Article 22. If any person in the navy shall unlawfully kill any other person when without the territorial jurisdiction of the United States, he may be punished with death, or such other punishment as a general court-martial shall adjudge.
Article 23. If any officer of the navy shall challenge any other officer in the navy, or accept a challenge from any officer of the navy to fight a duel, while either of them are in actual service, or under orders for service, or for any act of duty performed by either party, such officer shall, on conviction thereof by a general court-martial, be dismissed from the navy, or suffer such other punishment as the said court shall adjudge.
Article 24. If any person in the navy shall quarrel with any other person in the navy, or use provoking or threatening language or gesture, he may, at the discretion of the captain, be punished as limited in 30th article of this act, or be brought before a court-martial, and suffer such punishment as the said court may adjudge.
Article 25. Any theft committed by a petty officer, or person of inferior rating, may be punished at the discretion of the captain, as limited in the 30th article of this act, or as a court-martial shall direct.
Article 26. If any person in the navy shall, when on shore, plunder, abuse, or maltreat any inhabitant, or injure his or her property in any way, he shall suffer such punishment as a court-martial shall adjudge.
Article 27. Any master-at-arms, or other person of whom the duty of master-at-arms is required, or provost marshal, who shall refuse to receive such prisoners as shall be committed to his charge, or, having received them, shall suffer them to escape, or dismiss them without orders from proper authority, shall suffer in such prisoners' stead, or be punished otherwise, at the discretion of a court-martial.
Article 28. All persons belonging to the navy, who shall commit offences while on shore, or in port or harbor, not provided for in articles 22 and 26 of this act, shall be subject to the same punishment as if such offences had been committed at sea.
Article 29. Every person in the navy shall use his utmost exertions to detect, apprehend, and bring to punishment, all offenders, and shall at all times aid and assist all persons appointed for this purpose, on pain of such punishment as a court-martial shall adjudge.
Article 30. No commander of a vessel shall, of his own authority, discharge a commission or warrant officer, nor strike him, nor inflict any higher punishment upon him than reprimand, suspension from duty, arrest, or confinement not exceeding ten days, unless longer confinement should be necessary to bring him to a court-martial; nor shall he, of his own authority, cause or permit to be inflicted upon any petty officer, or person of inferior rating, any severer corporal punishment for any offence, or at any one time, than twelve lashes with a plain cat-of-nine-tails, and confinement not exceeding ten days, unless longer confinement should be necessary for the purpose of bringing the offender to trial by court-martial; nor shall he suffer any other than a plain cat-of-nine-tails to be used; nor shall any commanding officer, during the absence of the commander of the vessel, unless such commander shall be absent for a time by leave, inflict, or allow to be inflicted, any other punishment than suspension or confinement, for which he shall account to the commander of the vessel on his return, on pain of dismission from the navy, or of such other punishment as a court-martial shall adjudge.
Article 31. Every commander of a vessel, whenever a petty officer, or person of inferior rating, may join his vessel, shall cause the purser to make an accurate entry on the muster book of his name, date of entry into the service, date of his appearance on board, time when his service expires, and his rating; and whenever officers or other persons shall be so sent in prizes, or to sick quarters, or transferred to other vessels, the commander of the vessel from which they shall be sent or transferred shall take care that they are furnished with, or accompanied by, a complete statement of their respective accounts, and with a correct copy of the entries in the muster book which relate to their rating, commencement and termination of service, duly signed by the purser and approved by himself, upon penalty of such punishment as a court-martial shall direct.
Article 32. Every commander of a vessel shall cause the purser to note upon the muster book the time when any death, desertion, or discharge may occur, and shall see that the purser secures all the effects of deceased persons, for the benefit of their legal representatives. He shall cause to be transmitted to the Secretary of the Navy, as opportunities may occur, complete muster and pay books, made up to the last day of March, June, September, and December, signed by the purser and approved by himself, or be punished at the discretion of a court-martial.
Article 33. Every commanding officer of a vessel shall cause the laws for the government of the navy to be publicly read to the ship's company as often as once a month, and to be hung up in some public part of the vessel, on pain of such punishment as a court-martial may direct.
Article 34. No secretaries, schoolmasters, or clerks shall be borne on the books of any vessel or navy yard, nor be entitled to pay, until they shall have by letter accepted their appointments; after which they shall be subject to the laws, rules, and regulations for the government of the navy; and no petty officer, or person of inferior rating, shall be entered on the books of any vessel or navy yard as a part of their complement, nor be entitled to any pay, until they shall have duly signed the shipping articles of the naval service.
Article 35. Publications relative to differences between officers, of a private or personal nature, are prohibited. Any newspaper publication, or pamphlet, or any handbill of such character, either written or printed, shall be cause for the arrest of an officer and for charges against him, and shall be punished as a court-martial may direct.
Article 36. In all cases when the crew of any ship or vessel of the United States shall be separated from such vessel, by wreck, loss, or destruction of the same, all the command, power, and authority given to the officers of such ship or vessel shall remain and be in full force, as effectually as if such wreck, loss, or destruction aforesaid had not occurred, until such ship's company be regularly discharged from, or ordered again into, the service, or until a general court-martial or court of inquiry shall be held to inquire into the wreck, loss, or destruction as aforesaid; and if, by the judgment of the said court or other satisfactory evidence, it shall appear that all or any of the officers and men of such ship's company did their utmost to preserve her, and, after such wreck, loss, or destruction, conducted themselves agreeably to the discipline of the navy, then the pay and emoluments of such officers and men shall be paid as if they had continued on board such vessel; and if it shall appear, as aforesaid, that all, or any of the officers and crew, as aforesaid, omitted or neglected such their duty, then the pay and emoluments of such offenders may be forfeited to the navy pension fund by sentence of a court-martial; and any officer or other person who shall, after the loss of such vessel, conduct contrary to the provisions of this act, shall be liable to the same trial before a court-martial, and, on conviction, shall suffer the same punishment as if such loss had not occurred.
Article 37. Whenever, by any article of this act, no specific punishment is named, and a court-martial is authorized to inflict a punishment at their discretion, they shall not, in the case of a commission or warrant officer, inflict any higher punishment than dismission from the service; and in the case of a petty officer, or person of inferior rating, they shall not inflict a severer corporal punishment than one hundred lashes, nor imprisonment beyond one year.
Article 38. It shall be the duty of the commanding officer of any fleet, squadron, or vessel acting singly, when on foreign service, to send to the United States, in some public or other vessel, all petty officers and inferior persons, at the expiration of their terms of service, or as soon thereafter as may be, unless in his opinion the detention of such persons for a longer period should be very essential to the public interests; in which case he may detain such as shall hereafter enlist until the vessel to which they belong shall return to the United States; and in case of such detention, the persons so sent home, or so detained, shall be subject in all respects to the laws and regulations for the government of the navy, until their return to the United States, and their regular discharge from the navy; and all persons who shall be so detained beyond their terms of service, or who shall, after the termination of their ser-
vice, voluntarily re-enter to serve until the return to the United States of the vessel to which they may belong, and their regular discharge therefrom, shall, while they are so detained, or shall so serve beyond their original terms of service, receive an addition of one-fourth to their former pay.
Article 39. All officers not holding commissions or warrants, or who are not entitled to them, except such as are temporarily appointed to perform the duties of a commission or warrant officer, or secretaries, schoolmasters, and clerks, are to be deemed petty officers.
Article 40. The pay and emoluments of such officers and crews of any of the ships or vessels of the United States as may be taken by an enemy, pirate, or rebel, who shall appear by the judgment of a competent court, or otherwise, to have performed their duty in endeavoring to preserve and defend such vessel, and after the taking thereof to have conducted themselves agreeably to the discipline of the navy, shall continue and be paid to them until their death, exchange, or discharge.
Article 41. The officers, non-commissioned officers, privates, and musicians of the marine corps shall be, in all respects, subject to the laws and regulations which are, or may be, established hereafter for the government of the navy of the United States, except when they shall be expressly placed under the direction of the Secretary of War, or the command of an officer of the army, by direction of the President of the United States; in which case they shall be subject to the laws and regulations which are, or may be, established for the government of the army.
Article 42. Whenever any part of the army or of the militia of the United States shall be serving on board any vessel of the navy, they shall, while so serving, be subject to the laws and regulations for the government of the navy, and to the orders of the sea officers, in the same manner as marines.
Article 43. Whenever any part of the army or militia of the United States shall be embarked on board any vessel of the navy, for transportation only, they shall not be subject to the laws and regulations for the government of the navy, but to the laws for the government of the army; but they shall, nevertheless, be subject and conform to the internal regulations of the vessel in which they may be embarked, upon pain of confinement by the commander of such vessel while on board, and of such punishment as an army court-martial may direct after they shall have been landed.
Article 44. Any person entitled to wages or prize money may have the same paid to his assignee, provided the assignment be attested by the captain and purser; and in case of the assignment of wages, the power shall specify the precise time they commence. But the commander of every vessel is required to discourage his crew from selling any part of their wages or prize money, and never to attest any power of attorney until he is satisfied that the same is not granted in consideration of money given for the purchase of wages or prize money.
Article 45. All crimes and offences committed by persons belonging to the navy, which are not specially provided for in this act, shall be punished at the discretion of a court-martial.
SECTION II.--COURTS OF INQUIRY.
Article 46. Courts of inquiry may be ordered by the President of the United States, the Secretary of the Navy; or the commander of a fleet or squadron, when without the territorial jurisdiction of the United States, or by any commanding officer within the United States, who may be authorized by the Secretary of the Navy; which courts shall not consist of more than three members, and a judge advocate, or person to officiate as such: and the witnesses shall be summoned in the same manner, and under the same penalties, and the testimony taken in the same manner, as is prescribed in this act, in the case of courts-martial; and such courts shall have the same power to summon witnesses, to administer oaths or affirmations, and to punish contempts as courts-martial.
Article 47. It shall be the duty of such courts to report, to the authority by which they are convened, the evidence which may be taken; but they shall not express any opinion, unless specially required in the warrant for convening the court, and then only when such court is directed to inquire into the circumstances under which any ship or vessel of the navy has been wrecked or lost, or improperly hazarded; in which case it shall be the duty of said court to investigate and report upon the conduct of the officers and crew thereof; and in all proceedings before a court of inquiry, the party whose conduct shall be the subject of investigation shall be allowed an opportunity to be present, and to cross-examine the witnesses who may be adduced, and to offer such legal testimony as he may think proper to said court.
Article 48. The proceedings of courts of inquiry shall be authenticated by the signature of the president of the court, and the judge advocate, or person officiating as such, and shall be forthwith transmitted by the judge advocate to the authority by whose warrant the court was convened; and, after being approved, or disapproved, by the competent authority, shall be deposited and filed in the office of the Secretary of the Navy; and the proceedings of courts of inquiry, or a certified copy of the same, under the hand of the Secretary of the Navy and seal of the Navy Department, shall, in all cases not capital, or extending to the dismission of a commission or warrant officer, be evidence before a court-martial, and of equal authenticity as if the witness, whose testimony was then taken, had been examined before such court-martial, provided that the court shall be satisfied that the presence of such witness could not have been had before such court-martial.
Article 49. Before proceeding to make the investigation directed, the president, and each of the members of the court of inquiry, shall take the following oath or affirmation; to be administered by the judge advocate, or person officiating as such:
"I, A. B., do swear (or affirm) that I will well and truly examine and inquire, according to the evidence, into (and if required report upon) the matters to be investigated before this court, without partiality or prejudice."
After which, the president, or senior member present, shall administer to the judge advocate, or person officiating as such, the following oath or affirmation:
"I, A. B., do swear (or affirm) truly to record the proceedings of this court, and the evidence to be given to the same; and that I will, on all legal questions, upon which my opinion may be required by the court, give the same without prejudice or partiality, and according to my judgment and conscience."
Article 50. General courts-martial may be convened as often as the President of the United States, the Secretary of the Navy, or the commander-in-chief of a fleet or squadron, -without the territorial juris-
diction of the United States, may deem proper; or by any commanding officer within the United States, who may be duly authorized by warrant from the Secretary of the Navy. No general court-martial shall consist of more than thirteen, or less than nine members, for the trial of capital offences, if nine members can be ordered without injury to the public service. And, for all other offences, a general court-martial shall consist of not more than nine members, and in no case less than five members; and when the highest number required shall not be ordered, the reasons therefor shall be stated in the precept for convening the court. The senior officer of the court, who may be present at any time, shall preside, and the other members shall take rank according to their grade; or, if of the same grade, according to the date or number of their commissions, respectively.
Article 51. General courts-martial for the trial of flag officers, shall consist of flag officers and captains only; for the trial of captains, shall consist of flag officers or captains—or, in cases where it may be absolutely necessary, one-third of the members may be commanders; for the trial of commanders, one-third of the members may, when absolutely necessary, consist of commission lieutenants; for the trial of other commission or warrant officers, or others in the navy, the court may, in case of necessity, consist of lieutenants. But, in all cases, general courts-martial shall not consist of officers below the rank of captains, if they can be convened without injury to the public service.
Article 52. All complaints, on which an application for a general court-martial is founded, shall be exhibited in writing to the proper authority, signed by the party or parties preferring the same; and shall be accompanied by a list of witnesses, and with a statement of the facts which it is expected each of such witnesses may be able to prove; and the accused shall be furnished with a copy of the complaint as soon as practicable, and shall be called upon to state what he may have to offer in explanation, and to name such persons as he may wish to have summoned as witnesses.
Article 53. The officer authorized to convene a court-martial, having received the complaint, statements and lists named in the preceding article, shall take care that the charges and specifications are put in proper and legal form, and that the accused be forthwith furnished with a copy of the same; and that all witnesses belonging to the naval or military service are duly summoned, and shall furnish the names of all witnesses, not belonging to the naval or military service, to the marshal of the district in which they may respectively reside, annexing to such list the name of the accused, and the time and place of trial; and the said marshal shall be, and he is hereby, authorized and directed to summon such witnesses to be and appear at the time and place specified, and to make return to the said court of his proceedings; and, in case of the refusal or omission of any witness so summoned to appear before said court at the time specified, who shall reside within one hundred miles of the place where the court is held, and no sufficient reason or excuse being given, the said court may forthwith issue, to the said marshal or his deputy, a process in the nature of an attachment, requiring him to take such delinquent or delinquents and bring him or them before the said court.
Article 54. Before proceeding to the trial of any case, the accused shall be at liberty to challenge any member named in the precept to sit on said court, for good cause shown; the truth and sufficiency of which cause of challenge shall, in each case, as it shall occur, be decided in a summary manner by the other members of the court; and if it be adjudged true and sufficient, the member so objected to shall not sit in trial of the accused by whom he has been challenged, but may resume his seat on any subsequent trial before the same court.
Article 55. In case no challenge shall be made, or, if made, after the same shall be disposed of, the president and each member of the court shall, if a sufficient number remain to form a court, before proceeding to trial, take the following oath or affirmation, which the judge advocate is hereby authorized to administer:
"I, A. B., do swear (or affirm) that I will truly try, without prejudice or partiality, the case now depending, according to the evidence which shall be adduced, the laws for the government of the navy, and my own conscience; and that I will not by any means divulge or disclose the vote or opinion of any member of the court, except to the President of the United States, the Secretary of the Navy, or other officer authorized to approve the proceedings of this court, unless required so to do before a court of justice in due course of law."
And the" judge advocate shall then take the following oath or affirmation, to be administered to him by the president or senior member present:
"I, A. B., do swear (or affirm) that I will keep a true record of the proceedings of this court, and of the evidence given before the same, and a separate record of the votes given by each of the members; and that I will not divulge or disclose the judgment of the court, until it shall have been approved by the competent authority; nor will I divulge or disclose the vote or opinion of any member of the court, except to the President of the United States, the Secretary of the Navy, or other officer authorized to approve the proceedings of this court, unless required so to do before a court of justice in due course of law; and that I will, on all questions touching the case in which my opinion may be required by this court, give the same without prejudice or partiality, according to my judgment and conscience."
Article 56. In all cases, prior to ordering a court-martial or court of inquiry, by consent of the person ordering the court and the accused, before the trial, or of the judge advocate and the accused after the court has convened, the deposition of any witness may be taken under the direction of the court, on interrogatories and cross-interrogatories; and such deposition may be taken before any judge, justice, or notary public in the United States, or the mayor or chief magistrate of any incorporated city or borough of the United States, or before any captain in the navy, or consul, or vice consul of the United States in any foreign country; and such deposition as aforesaid shall be admissible in evidence, in the same manner as if the witness was himself produced and examined before the court; and in any case where the witness does not belong to the navy, and is about to leave the United States, or may reside more than one hundred miles from the place of trial; and if the judge advocate and the accused do not agree and consent to such deposition, or in case either of them shall omit or neglect in a reasonable time to prepare and transmit his interrogatories and cross-interrogatories, the deposition of such witness may be taken ex parte, and shall be equally available as if both parties had consented thereto; provided that, in all cases in which the punishment prescribed for the offence with which the accused is charged may be capital, the personal attendance of the witness against the accused shall be in no case dispensed with, except by the consent of the accused; but his evidence shall be given orally.
Article 57. In all cases, not specially excepted and provided for, the testimony given before a court of inquiry or a general court-martial shall be oral, on oath or affirmation, to be administered by the
senior member of the court who may be present; and if any person shall refuse to appear as a witness when legally summoned, or shall refuse to give his evidence, having no lawful excuse therefor, or shall prevaricate; or if any person, in the presence of said court, shall behave in a contemptuous or disorderly manner, it shall and may be lawful for said court, by the written order of the senior member of the same, to commit the party so offending to the custody of the provost marshal of the court, to be by him imprisoned, confined, or detained in close custody until released by order of the said court, or until such time as may be prescribed in such order, provided the same shall in no case exceed the period of two months; and the said provost marshal shall forthwith, on the receipt of such order, take the offender and commit him to close custody, agreeably to the terms of said order; and in all cases in which any suit or indictment shall be brought for any act done in obedience to such order, the defendant may plead the general issue, and give the special matter in evidence; and upon the production of the original or a certified copy of said order, under the hand of the Secretary of the Navy and seal of the Navy Department, judgment shall be given for said defendant in any court of the United States.
Article 58. The copy of any document, record, or paper on file in the Departments of State, Treasury, War, or Navy, when certified under seal to be a true copy by the Secretary thereof, shall be as valid and admissible in evidence, in any general court-martial or court of inquiry, as if the original were produced.
Article 59. Any person not belonging to the navy, or not subject to naval law, who shall, on his examination as a witness before a court of inquiry or a court-martial, commit willful perjury, and any such person who shall corrupt, procure, suborn, or persuade any such witness to commit willful perjury, shall, and may be, prosecuted by indictment in any court of justice in the United States, having jurisdiction of the same; and shall, on conviction, suffer such penalties as are prescribed, or are or may be authorized, by laws of the United States in cases of perjury or subornation of perjury. And in every indictment for perjury or subornation of perjury under this act, it shall be sufficient to set forth the offence charged, without setting forth the authority by which the court was held, or the particular matters brought, or intended to be brought, before the said court. And any person belonging to the navy who shall be guilty of the before-mentioned offences, or any one of them, may be tried by a general court-martial, and, upon conviction, shall be cashiered, or suffer such punishment as such court may adjudge.
Article 60. When the proceedings of any general court-martial shall have commenced, they shall not be delayed or suspended on account of the absence of any of the members, provided five or more be assembled; but the court is enjoined to sit from day to day (Sundays excepted) until judgment be pronounced and signed, unless the court shall be adjourned or dissolved by the officer ordering the same, or by his superior in command; nor shall the president, or any other member of said court, after the proceedings are begun, absent himself therefrom, unless in case of sickness, or ordered to go on duty by a superior officer, or other sufficient excuse, to be judged of by the court, on pain of being cashiered, or of • suffering such punishment as a court-martial shall adjudge. If so many as five members shall not assemble, any three members may adjourn the court from day to day for not exceeding ten days, when, if five members shall not attend, the court shall, by such non-attendance, be dissolved, and all its previous proceedings be rendered null and void.
Article 61. The judgment of every court-martial shall be authenticated by the signature of the president, and all the members of the same who may be present when the said judgment shall be pronounced, and also of the judge advocate; and it shall be the duty of the judge advocate to transmit, with all convenient dispatch, the record of the proceedings, the private record of the votes given by the court, and the judgment given by the court, to the Secretary of the Navy, or person ordering the court; and when such proceedings shall have been approved or disapproved by the competent authority, and the same finally acted upon, they, with all the documents relating to the case, shall be remitted to the Secretary of the Navy, to be filed upon record; the private record of the votes being first sealed and endorsed by the officer approving or disapproving the proceedings, who shall not disclose the vote of any particular member unless required so to do before a court of justice.
Article 62. All sentences of courts-martial which shall extend to the loss of life, or to the cashiering or dismission of a commission or warrant officer, shall require the concurrence of three-fourths of the members present; and no such sentence shall be carried into execution, until confirmed by the President of the United States, or, if the trial takes place out of the United States, until it shall be confirmed by the commander-in-chief of the fleet or squadron; except such as go to the cashiering of a commission or warrant officer, which are in all cases first to be approved by the President of the United States. All other sentences may be determined by a majority of votes, and carried into execution on the approval of the officer ordering the court.
Article 63. The punishment which may be adjudged by a general court-martial upon commission or warrant officers may be as follows:
1st. Death, in those cases only specially named in this act.
2d. Cashiering, but in those cases only where death or this punishment is specially named in this act.
3d. Dismission from the navy.
4th. Loss of rank, by placing him lower on the list of his grade, or, if at or near the bottom of the list, to be suspended from rank for a certain time; and all promotions from the next grade below him, within that time, to take rank of him.
5th. Suspension from duty, without pay or emoluments.
6th. Suspension from duty, with part pay and emoluments.
8th. Dismission from the squadron or vessel.
9th. Public reprimand.
10th. Private reprimand.
11th. Forfeiture of pay when due. More than one of the above-named punishments may, however, be included in the same sentence by a court-martial.
Article 64. Whenever it shall appear to any court-martial, from the testimony in the case, that the charges which have been preferred against any person, on trial, are malicious, frivolous, or vexatious, they may express such opinion in their proceedings.
Article 65. No person shall be liable to be tried or punished by a general court-martial, for any offences which shall appear to have been committed more than three years before the issuing of the order for such trial, unless the person, by reason of having absented himself, or some other manifest impedi-
ment, to be shown to the satisfaction of the court, shall not have been amenable to justice within that period.
Article 66. All sentences of court-martial, which shall go to cashiering, dismission, suspension from rank, or death, or shall acquit any commission or warrant officer in the navy, shall be published in some one or more newspapers printed at the seat of the general government; and, if required by any officer who has been tried by a court-martial, a certified copy of the proceedings in his case shall be furnished, after the same shall have been approved or disapproved by the authority ordering the court.
Article 67. No officer or other person shall be criminally or civilly amenable for any act done as a member of a court-martial or court of inquiry, or under the authority or direction of said court, on account of any irregularity in the form of the authority by which said court is convened, but may, in all cases, plead the general issue, and give this act in evidence.
Article 68. Every officer who is by this act authorized to convene courts-martial, shall have power to pardon or mitigate the sentence of any such court, which by this act he is authorized to approve and confirm.
Article 69. All naval courts-martial shall be held on hoard of some vessel of the United States, or in some place in which the United States have special jurisdiction.
Article 70. To every general court-martial and court of inquiry there shall he attached a provost marshal, to preserve order in the court, and to execute its orders, which said provost marshal shall be furnished, on the written requisition to the president of the court, if not before appointed, directed to the proper officer nearest to which the court may be convened.
Article 71. Every officer shall, when arrested, deliver up his sword, when required, and shall confine himself to the limits assigned him, under pain of being dismissed from the service by the sentence of a general court-martial.
Article 72. Whenever general courts-martial and courts of inquiry shall be held out of the territorial jurisdiction of the United States, the proceedings preliminary to the trial, as well as on the trial, shall correspond, as nearly as circumstances will permit, to the provisions of this act; and in such cases, the authority convening said court shall appoint a judge advocate, none having been previously appointed by the proper authority.
SECTION IV.--SUMMARY COURTS-MARTIAL, FOR PETTY OFFICERS AND PERSONS OF INFERIOR RATINGS.
Article 73. Summary courts-martial may be ordered upon petty officers, and persons of inferior rating, at the request of the commander of any vessel in the navy, by the senior officer in command who may be present, for the trial of offences which the commander may deem deserving of greater punishment than he is, by this act, authorized to inflict upon his own authority, but not sufficient to require trial by general court-martial.
Article 74. Summary courts-martial shall consist of three commission officers, and of some competent person to act as recorder. Before proceeding to trial, the members shall take the following oath or affirmation, which the recorder is hereby authorized to administer:
"I, A. B., do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will well and truly try, without prejudice or partiality, the case now depending, according to the evidence which shall be adduced, the laws for the government of the navy, and my own conscience."
After which the recorder of the court shall take the following oath or affirmation, which the senior member of the court shall administer:
"I, A. B., do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will keep a true record of the evidence which may he given before this court, and of the proceedings thereof."
Article 75. All testimony given before such court shall be given orally, on oath or affirmation, which the senior member of the court shall administer.
Article 76. Summary courts-martial shall not sentence any person to any severer punishment than thirty-nine lashes, and confinement for one month, and reducing to a lower rating; and the sentence of such summary courts-martial shall not be carried into execution without the approval of the senior officer in command who may be present.
Article 77. The proceedings of all summary courts-martial shall, after approval, be sent to the commander of the fleet or squadron to which the vessel in which such court is held may belong, to be by him transmitted to the Secretary of the Navy; and when held on board any vessel not acting under the orders of a superior officer, they shall be returned to the Secretary of the Navy by the commander of such vessel.
Article 78. The commanding officer of every ship or vessel of the United States who shall capture or seize upon any vessel, or any goods, wares, or merchandise, as prize, shall carefully preserve all the papers, books, and other writings found with the same, or which may come into his possession appertaining to the same, (signals or significations of signals excepted,) and transmit the whole, unmutilated, undefaced, or otherwise changed by him, to the judge of the district court in which such captured vessel or other prize property may arrive, on pain of suffering such punishment as a general court-martial may adjudge.
Article 79. The commanding officer of every ship or vessel of the United States, making a capture of any kind whatever, shall transmit, as early as practicable, to the Navy Department, and to the person appointed to receive and pay the prize money, complete lists of the officers and crew, and others on board their vessel at the time, entitled to a share of the capture, setting forth the rank, quality, and rating of each person at the time of the capture, and the class in which they are entitled to receive prize money, certified by himself and the purser of the vessel, on pain of being punished at the discretion of a general court-martial.
Article 80. No person in the navy shall take out of a prize, or vessel seized as prize, any money, plate, goods, or any part of her cargo or rigging, unless it be for the better preservation thereof, or necessary for the use of any of the vessels of the United States, or under instructions from the Navy Department, before the same shall be adjudged lawful prize by a competent court; but the whole, without fraud, concealment, or embezzlement, shall be brought in, and judgment passed thereon, upon pain of
every person offending herein forfeiting his share of the capture, and of suffering such further punishment as a general court-martial shall impose.
Article 81. No person in the navy shall strip of their clothes, or pillage, or in any manner treat with cruelty or unnecessary severity, any person or persons found on board a prize or captured vessel, on pain of being dismissed from the service, or such other punishment as a general court-martial shall adjudge.
Article 82. The net proceeds of all ships and vessels-of-war, privateers, pirates, and the goods, wares, or merchandise found on board of them, shall, when captured by any vessel of the navy, and adjudged good and lawful prize by the competent court, belong wholly to the captors; and the net proceeds of all other vessels, goods, wares and merchandise, which shall be captured or recaptured by vessels of the navy, shall be equally divided between the navy pension fund and those making the capture, when the same shall be adjudged good and lawful prize, or awarded as salvage, or deemed as forfeited, by the competent authority.
Article 83. A bounty shall be paid by the United States for each person on board any ship or vessel-of-war belonging to an enemy at the commencement of an engagement, which shall be sunk or otherwise destroyed in such engagement by any ship or vessel belonging to the United States, or which it may be necessary to destroy in consequence of injuries sustained in action, of seventy-five dollars, if the enemy's vessel was of inferior force, and of one hundred and fifty dollars if of equal or superior force, to be divided among the officers and crew in the same manner as prize money; and when the actual number of men on board any such vessel cannot be satisfactorily ascertained, it shall be estimated according to the complement allowed to vessels of their class in the navy of the United States; and there shall be paid as bounty to the captors of any vessel-of-war captured from an enemy, which they may be instructed to destroy, or which shall be immediately destroyed for the public interest, but not in consequence of injuries received in action, fifty dollars for every person who shall be on board at the time of such capture.
Article 84. The net proceeds of all prizes, to which the officers and crews of vessels belonging to the navy of the United States shall be lawfully entitled, shall be distributed in the following manner:
1. The flag officer of a fleet or squadron, or other officers being commanders of fleets, squadrons, or divisions, by authority from the Secretary of the Navy, or in conformity to the regulations of the navy, shall receive six per cent. of the said net proceeds of all prizes which shall be made by vessels acting under their orders, as hereinafter defined and limited.
2. The commanding officer of any vessel of the navy, being actually on board at the taking of any prize, if acting under the orders of any flag officer or other officer being the commander of a fleet, squadron, or division, as hereinafter defined and limited, shall receive twelve per centum; but if he shall not be acting under the orders of any flag or other officer as aforesaid, he shall receive eighteen per centum; but a master commandant or commander attached to and being on board of the same vessel, with and under the orders of a captain, shall, if such vessel shall capture a prize in which no other vessel shall be entitled to share, receive three per centum of the net proceeds; and whenever the vessel shall be a joint captor with some other vessel of the navy, then the share of such master commandant or commander shall be as is hereinafter provided.
Second class.—The sea lieutenants, masters, and captains, or officers of the higher rank of marines, or of troops doing duty as marines, who may be doing duty on board when the capture is made, shall receive thirteen per centum.
Third class.—The surgeon, purser, chaplain, lieutenants of marines or of troops doing duty as marines, second master, and secretary to a flag officer, or commander of a fleet, squadron, or division, shall receive five per centum.
Fourth class.—The passed midshipmen, midshipmen, assistant surgeons, masters' mates, if warrant officers, boatswains, gunners, carpenters, sailmakers, schoolmasters, and clerks, shall receive fourteen per centum.
The remainder, together with the amount herein allotted to any of the preceding classes, in which there may be no person entitled to share, shall be divided into equal shares, and distributed to the rest of the crew as follows:
Fifth class.—To boatswains' mates, gunners' mates, masters' mates, (not being warrant officers,) yeomen, carpenters' mates, ships' cooks, masters-at-arms, sergeants of marines, or of troops acting as marines, nine shares each.
Sixth class.—To captains of tops, captains of forecastle, armorers, coxswains, coopers, quartermasters, quartergunners, seven shares each.
Seventh class.—To officers' cooks, ships' corporals, captains of the hold, stewards, sailmakers' mates, corporals of marines, or of troops doing duty as marines, masters of the band, and seamen, five shares each.
Eighth class.—To ordinary seamen, musicians, and private marines, or troops doing duty as such, four shares each.
Ninth class.—To landsmen, boys, and other ratings not above enumerated, and together with all passengers, or persons rated as supernumeraries, doing duty and assisting on board, three shares each; excepting officers, who shall, if doing duty by order, share with that rank to which they may belong.
Article 85. Whenever more than one vessel of the navy of the United States shall assist at any capture, or be in sight at the time of such capture, and shall have made itself known by signal or otherwise as a vessel-of-war of the United States, the share of the prize money accruing from such capture, which may belong to the commanding officers of vessels so assisting, shall be divided among them, according to the number of men and guns on board the vessel they may respectively command.
A master commandant, or commander doing duty on board a ship of the line, under a captain, shall share as though he was in command of a sloop-of-war of the first class. If any of the said commanding officers of vessels shall at the same time be commanders of fleets or squadrons, by order of or authority from the Secretary of the Navy, or in conformity with the regulations of the navy, they shall be further entitled to their share as commanders of fleets or squadrons, from such of the vessels assisting in the capture as may belong to their fleet or squadron, as hereinafter defined and limited. All the other officers and persons, belonging to or serving in such vessels, shall share equally in the respective classes to which they may belong.
Article 86. The commanding officer of a vessel shall be deemed to be under the command of a flag
officer, or commander of a fleet or squadron, when he shall have actually been placed or taken under his command, and shall have actually received some order directly from, or be acting in execution of some order issued by such officer; and when he shall be directed to join and report to any such commander of a fleet or squadron, he shall then be deemed to be under the orders of such commander from the time that he arrives within the limits of such officer's station; and shall be considered under the command of the commander of such fleet or squadron, until such commander of a vessel shall have received some order directly from, or be acting in execution of some order directly from some other commander of a fleet or squadron, or from the Secretary of the Navy.
Article 87. A flag officer, or other officer sent to command any station, shall have a right to share, as commander-in-chief, in all prizes taken by ships or vessels employed upon and belonging to the station, from the time that he arrives within the limits of such station; but if a junior officer be sent to relieve a senior as commander-in-chief, he shall not be entitled to share as commander-in-chief in any prize taken by the squadron until the command shall be resigned to him, but shall share only as a junior commander of a squadron until he assumes the command.
Article 88. A flag officer, or other officer appointed to command a squadron upon any station, and passing through or into any other station, shall not be entitled to share, as a commander of a squadron, in any prize taken out of the limits of the station to which he belongs, or is appointed, by any vessel under the command of the commander of a squadron on any other station, or under orders direct from the Secretary of the Navy.
Article 89. "When an inferior officer in command of any squadron shall be sent to reinforce a superior officer in command upon any station, the superior shall have no right to any share of prizes taken by the inferior, until such inferior shall arrive within the limits of the station, or shall actually receive some order from him, or be actually in execution of some order issued by him; and such inferior shall be entitled to his proportion of all captures made by the squadron which he is sent to reinforce, from the time that he shall arrive within the limits of the command of such superior.
Article 90. A commander-in-chief of a fleet or squadron quitting his station for any reason except upon some particular urgent service, with the intention of returning to such station as soon as such service is performed, shall have no share of prizes taken by ships or vessels left behind, after he shall have surrendered the command to another officer appointed commander-in-chief of such station, or after he shall have passed the limits of his command without being superseded.
Article 91. An inferior commander of a squadron quitting his station, except when detached, by orders from the commander-in-chief, out of the limits thereof, upon a special service, with orders to return to such station as soon as such service is performed, shall have no share in any prizes taken by the vessels remaining on the station after he shall have passed the limits thereof; and, in like manner, the commander-in-chief, or commander of a squadron remaining on the station, shall have no share of prizes taken by such inferior commander of a squadron, or by the vessels under his command, after he shall have quitted the limits of his station, except when detached as aforesaid.
Article 92. When vessels under the orders of commanders of fleets or squadrons belonging to different stations shall happen to be joint captors, the commanding officer of each vessel shall pay one-third of the share to which he is entitled to the commander of the fleet or squadron to which he belongs; but the commanding officers of vessels acting under orders direct from the Secretary of the Navy, being joint captors with vessels under the command of a commander of a fleet or squadron, shall retain their whole share.
Article 93. If an officer of the navy shall be sent to command at any port or station on the coast of the United States, he shall have no share of the prizes as commander of a fleet or squadron which may be taken by any vessels, excepting such as shall have been expressly directed to act under his orders by the Secretary of the Navy, and then only when captured within the limits of his station.
Article 94. A flag officer, being the commander-in-chief of a fleet or squadron, and having no other flag officer or commander of a squadron under his command, shall have to his own use the six per centum of the net proceeds of prizes taken by vessels under his command, as herein provided for and limited.
Article 95. When there shall be commanders of squadrons or divisions duly appointed by the Secretary of the Navy, or in conformity with the regulations of the navy, acting under a commander-in-chief of a fleet or squadron, the six per centum of the net proceeds of prizes taken by any of the vessels of the fleet or squadron, which is set apart for the commanders of fleets and squadrons, shall be divided as follows: If there be but two officers to share, including the commander-in-chief, the commander-in-chief shall have two third parts, and the junior one third part; but if the number of such officers who may be entitled to share shall be more than two, then the commander-in-chief shall have one-half, and the other half shall be equally divided among the said juniors.
Article 96. The captain of the fleet shall, while actually serving as such, be considered as a junior commander of a squadron in the distribution of all prizes made by the fleet or squadron to which he belongs; but he shall be entitled to only two-thirds of the share of such junior commander of a squadron, to be taken from the share of the flag officers or commanders of squadrons.
Article 97. In case any difficulty should arise in the distribution of prize money, or money to be distributed as such, not sufficiently provided for in this act, the same shall be referred to the President of the United States, for his directions thereupon, which shall be final, and have the same force and effect as if herein inserted.
SECTION VI.--PRIZE AGENTS.
Article 98. The commander-in-chief of a squadron, or the commanding officer of any vessel of the navy not belonging to a squadron, shall appoint, by power of attorney, one or more persons as the agent or agents for the officers and crew of such squadron or vessel, to act in their behalf in all matters relating to the proceedings for the condemnation of vessels seized as prize by such squadron or vessel, and for the receipt and distribution of the proceeds of such vessels, which may be lawfully decreed to belong to the captors.
Article 99. It shall be the duty of all persons who may be duly appointed to act as agents for prizes to give satisfactory bonds to the Secretary of the Navy, in the penal sum of twenty thousand dollars, or such larger sum as, from the amount to be received by him, the Secretary of the Navy may require, for the faithful performance of their duties; a certified copy of which bond, under the seal of the Navy
Department, shall be produced by such agent to the judge of the court by whom the prize may have been condemned, before such judge shall direct payment or delivery to such agent of the amount which may be decreed to any captors.
Article 100. It shall be the further duty of all such persons appointed as agents for prizes to give public notice within ten days after the receipt of any prize money for distribution, in at least one of the newspapers published in Washington, Norfolk, Baltimore, Philadelphia, New York, and Boston, as often as once in a week, for two months, stating the time when any prize money shall have been received for payment, when and where payable, and the name of the vessel from which such prize money was derived, and of the vessel or vessels entitled to share in the same; and he shall make all payments to the persons entitled to the same, or to their legal attorneys, on duplicate prize lists, taking receipts on each.
Article 101. If at the expiration of two years from the publication of such notice, as prescribed in the preceding article, all the persons who may be entitled to a share of any prize shall not have received the same, it shall be the duty of the agent for such prize to pay over all such unclaimed amounts to the Secretary of the Navy, for the benefit oft he navy pension fund: provided that the navy pension fund shall, thenceforward for the term of five years, be liable to the legal claimants of all such shares which have been so left unpaid by the prize agent"; but no interest shall be paid on such unclaimed shares, and, if not claimed within five years as aforesaid, the amount of such shares shall belong to and be the property of the navy pension fund; and every prize agent shall, at the expiration of two years from the receipt of the proceeds of any prize, forward to the Secretary of the Navy one of the prize lists, upon which payments for such prize may have been made.
Article 102. No agent for prizes shall be entitled to claim, as commission for performing all his duties as such, more than five per centum upon the gross amount of the proceeds which may be adjudged to belong to the officers and. others for whom he may be authorized to act.
Article 103. Be it enacted, &c., That all money accruing, or which has already accrued, to the United States from the sale of prizes, shall be and remain forever, a fund for the payment of pensions to the officers, seamen, and marines, and to the widows and children of such officers, seamen and marines, as may be entitled to receive the same by the provisions of this act; and if the said fund shall be insufficient for the purpose, the public faith is hereby pledged to make up the deficiency; but if it should be more than sufficient, the surplus shall be applied to the making of further provision for the comfort of the disabled officers, seamen, and marines, and for such as, though not disabled, may merit, by their bravery or long and faithful services, the gratitude of their country.
Article 104. The said fund shall be under the management and direction of the Secretary of the Navy for the time being, who is hereby authorized to receive any sums to which the United States may be entitled from the sale of prizes, and employ and vest the same, and the interest arising therefrom, in any manner which he may deem most safe and. advantageous: and it shall be the duty of the said Secretary to lay before Congress, annually, in the first week of their session, a minute statement of his proceedings relative to the management and disbursement of said fund.
Article 105. Every officer, seaman, or marine, disabled in the line of his duty while subject to the laws for the government of the navy, shall be entitled to receive for life, or during his disability, a pension from the United States, under such regulations as have been or may be established and approved by the President of the United States, according to the nature and degree of his disability, not exceeding the amount of his pay at the time he was disabled.
Article 106. Any officer, seaman, or marine who shall have been killed, or who hereafter may be killed, or die by reason of a wound received in battle, while subject to the laws for the government of the navy, leaving a widow, such widow shall be entitled to receive half the pay to which the deceased was entitled at the time of his death, which allowance shall continue during her widowhood; and in case of no widow, or of the intermarriage of such widow, the same allowance shall be made to any child or children of such officer, under eighteen years of age, until they shall arrive at the age of eighteen years; provided that the said half pay shall cease on the death of such child or children.
Article 101. Be it enacted, &c., That the navy ration shall consist of the following daily allowance of provisions for each person:
Fourteen ounces of salted pork, with half a pint of peas or beans; or, one pound of salted beef, with half a pound of flour, and a quarter of a pound of raisins or dried apples; or with half a pound of rice, two ounces of butter, and two ounces of cheese; fourteen ounces of biscuit; half an ounce of tea, or one ounce of coffee or one ounce of cocoa; two ounces of sugar, and one gill of spirits. And of a weekly allowance of half a pound of pickles or cranberries; half a pint of molasses, and half a pint of vinegar.
Article 108. Fresh meat may be substituted for salted beef or pork, and vegetables for the other articles usually issued with the salted meats, allowing one and a quarter pound of fresh meat for one pound of salted beef, or for fourteen ounces of salted pork, and regulating the quantity of vegetables so as to equal the value of those articles for which they may be substituted.
Article 109. Should it be necessary to vary the above described daily allowance, it shall be lawful to substitute—
One pound of soft bread, or one pound of flour, or half a pound of rice, for fourteen ounces of biscuit; half a pint of wine, for a gill of spirits; half a pound of rice, for half a pint of beans or peas; half a pint of beans or peas, for half a pound of rice.
When it may be deemed expedient by the President of the United States, Secretary of the Navy, commander of a fleet or squadron, or of a single ship, when not acting under the authority of another officer, on foreign service, the articles of spirits, butter, cheese, raisins, dried apples, pickles, and molasses, may be substituted for each other; provided the article substituted shall not exceed in value the article for which it may be issued, according to the scale of prices which are or may be established for the same.
Article 110. In cases of necessity, the daily allowance of provisions may be diminished or varied by the direction of the senior officer present in command; but payment shall be made to the persons whose
allowance shall be thus diminished, according to the scale of prices which are or may be established by the same; but a commander who shall thus make a diminution or variation must show to his commanding officer, or to the Department, the necessity for the same.
Article 111. No commission officer, or midshipman, or any person under eighteen years of age, shall be allowed to draw the spirit part of the daily ration; and all other persons shall be permitted to relinquish that part of their ration; and to every person who by this article is prohibited from drawing, or who may relinquish the spirit part of his ration, there shall be paid, in lieu thereof, the value of the same in money, according to the prices which are or may be established for the same.
Be it further enacted, That all the provisions of this act shall go into effect on the ----- day of ----- next; and that, from and after that day, the following acts and parts of acts, and all other acts or parts of acts which may be contrary to or inconsistent with the provisions of this act, shall be and are hereby repealed, viz:
"An act for the better government of the navy of the United States," approved 23d April, 1800.
"An act granting navy pensions in certain cases;" approved 20th January, 1813.
"An act granting pensions to the orphans and widows of persons slain in the public or private armed vessels of the United States;" approved 4th March, 1814.
The seventh section of "An act in addition to an act, entitled 'An act in relation to the navy pension fund;'" approved 16th April, 1806.
"An act in addition to an act giving pensions to the orphans and widows of persons slain in the public or private armed vessels of the United States;" approved 16th April, 1818.
"An act extending the term of half pay pensions to the widows and children of certain officers, seamen, and marines, who died in the public service;" approved 3d March, 1819.
The first section of "An act further extending the term of half pay pensions to the widows and children of officers, seamen and marines, who died in the public service;" approved 22d January, 1824.
"An act further to extend the pensions heretofore granted to the widows of persons killed, or who died in the naval service;" approved June 28, 1832.
The third section of "An act providing for a naval peace establishment, and for other purposes;" approved 3d March, 1801.
"An act supplementary to the act, entitled 'An act to provide for a naval peace establishment, and for other purposes;'" approved 27th March, 1804.
The second, third, and fourth sections of "An act to increase the navy of the United States;" approved 2d January, 1813.
Provided, That nothing in this act shall be construed to prevent the payment of any pension already granted until the full expiration of the period thereof; nor to affect or impair the rights of any person or persons which may have accrued during the existence of the acts or parts of acts hereby repealed.
Navy widows' and orphans' fund.
Article -----. Be it enacted, &c., That all money accruing, or which has already accrued from the deductions made or to be made, from the pay of the commission or warrant officers of the navy of the United States, for the navy widows' and orphans' fund, together with any which may accrue to it from any source, shall be and forever made a fund for the payment of the pensions to the widows, children, and relatives of the commission and warrant officers of the navy who may be entitled to receive the same.
Article -----. The said fund shall be under the management and direction of commissioners, who shall consist of the Secretary of the Navy, and the Navy Commissioners for the time being, who are hereby authorized to receive all moneys to which the said fund may be entitled, and to employ and vest the same, with the interest arising therefrom, in any manner in which they or a majority of them may deem most safe and advantageous; and it shall be their duty to lay before Congress annually, in the first week of their session, a minute statement of their proceedings relative to the management and disbursement of said fund.
Article -----. The said commissioners, upon application of the widow, or, in case of no widow, then upon the application of the child or children, or, in case of no widow or child, then upon the application of the widowed mother, or unmarried sister, she being under eighteen years of age, of any commission or warrant officer, who may die after the law authorizing the deduction from the pay of the said officer, for the benefit of this fund, shall have passed, may grant annually to such widow, or, if no widow, to such child or children, being under eighteen years of age, or if no widow or child, then to such widowed mother, or unmarried sister, she being under eighteen years of age, such pension as the state of the fund will allow, and the pecuniary circumstances of the applicant may require, Dot exceeding such an amount as, in addition to the income of the applicant from other sources, will be equal to the furlough pay of the deceased at the time of his death.
Article -----. It shall be the duty of the said commissioners to prepare estimates of the probable claims upon the fund, for a series of years, upon the basis of life annuities, so as to regulate, as far as possible, the annual pensions in such a manner as to prevent the necessity of their discontinuance or reduction.
A proposed act to change the titles of certain officers of the navy.
Be it enacted, &c., That from and after the passage of this act, all masters commandant in the navy shall be taken to be, and shall be called "commanders;" and all sailingmasters shall be taken to be, and shall be called "masters;" but such change of title shall not impair, or in any way affect, the rank or privileges of any masters commandant or sailingmasters now in the service; and, should they receive new commissions or warrants, they shall respectively take rank from the date of their present commissions or warrants.
A proposed act in addition to the act of May 15, 1820.
Be it enacted, &c., That it shall be lawful to enlist boys for the navy, with the consent of their parents or guardians, not being under thirteen, nor over eighteen years of age, to serve until they shall arrive at the age of twenty-one years; and so much of an act entitled "An act to amend the act entitled 'An act to amend the act authorizing the employment of an additional naval force,'" approved 15th May, 1820, as is inconsistent with the provisions of this act, shall be, and is hereby repealed.
The hoard of revision, &c., respectfully suggest, so far as relates to the Navy Department, the expediency of amending the act entitled "An act further to amend the several acts for the establishment and regulation of the Treasury, War, and Navy Departments," by omitting the words "or services," in the first part of the section, and. the words "and purchasers," occurring in a subsequent part of the section; so that the fifth section, thus amended, would read as follows:
Sec. 5. "All purchases and contracts for supplies, which are or may, according to law, be made by or under direction of the Secretary of the Navy, shall be made either by open purchase, or by previously advertising for proposals respecting the same; and an annual statement of all such contracts, and, also, the expenditure of the moneys appropriated for the contingent expenses of the navy of the United States, and for the discharge of miscellaneous claims not otherwise provided for, and paid at the Treasury, shall he laid before Congress at the beginning of each year, by the Secretary of the Navy."
Proposed amendment to "An act in addition to the several acts for the establishment and regulation of the Treasury, War, and Navy Departments.
Be it enacted, &c., That whenever, in the opinion of the Secretary of the Navy, it shall be conducive to the public interests to transfer any article of provisions or other stores from the appropriation under which they may have been purchased for the naval service, to any objects under other appropriations for the navy, it shall be lawful for him to authorize such transfers; and, upon his representation of the value of the articles thus transferred, it shall be the duty of the proper officers of the Treasury to transfer the amount upon the books of the Treasury from the appropriation to which the articles may have been transferred to the appropriation from which they may have been or may be taken.
Statement of the corresponding articles in the proposed modification of the laws and the sections or articles of existing laws which treat of the same or similar subjects, with occasional reasons for the variations and additions that are proposed.
Proposed act to revise and enlarge the act for the better government of the navy.
Article 1. The 1st article corresponds with the 1st article of the former act. It is made more comprehensive, and a neglect of its provisions is made punishable by court-martial. The former article had no penalty.
Article 2. The 2d of the former act differs in only requiring divine service on Sundays, and extends it to navy yards. That part of the old article which required daily prayers was never observed, and it was deemed best not to continue it, to be further neglected.
Article 3 corresponds to 3d of old act: is made more specific as to the punishments which may be inflicted, and adds gambling to the prohibited acts.
Article 4 comprises a part of 4th of former act: is confined to the offences which, if proved, are to be capitally punished, and adds the attempt to strike the flag, without proper authority, to this class of offences.
Article 5 comprises a part of 4th and 5th of the former law: it is confined to commanders of fleets, squadrons, or vessels, in presence of an enemy.
Article 6 comprises a part of 5th and 6th of former law: relates to all officers, and others generally, in presence of an enemy.
Article 7 corresponds with 14th of old act. It adds to the old provisions that of protection against violence, in consequence of having performed duties.
Article 8 corresponds generally with 13th of old act: differs from it in mitigating the punishment of death for making or attempting to make a mutinous assembly, and leaves it discretionary with a court to inflict that or a less punishment, according to the particular circumstances of each case.
Article 9 comprises the 10th and 11th of old act.
Article 10 same as present 12th.
Article 11 same as present 16th.
Article 12 is a corresponding article to 11th in old act: limits the power of inflicting the punishment of death to a period of war only; while the old law allows it at all times.
Article 13. A part of 11 of old law, but excludes death in the penalty. The discretion of courts-martial can then only inflict one hundred lashes as the maximum punishment, while by the old law the court might sentence to death.
Article 14. No provision in the old act: establishes a distinction between absence without leave and desertion.
Article 15 for 19 of old act: provides for the punishment of acts for which vessels, or the lives of persons in vessels, are through malice exposed to danger, in addition to former offences—a clause much wanted, as, under the old law, the most serious offences of that kind could only be punished with one hundred lashes.
Article 16, for 25 of old act: varied, by providing for the destruction of property when in imminent danger of falling into the hands of an enemy; a power which has of necessity been exercised, though prohibited by the old law.
Article 11 for 18 of old act; the same, except designating to what purpose the forfeiture shall be applied.
Article 18 for 24 of old act; the same, except specifying the disposition to be made of the forfeiture. Article 19 for 20 of old act; omitting the penalty of death.
Article 20 for 22. Omitting the punishments by court of admiralty, and confining them to courts-martial; leaving to aggrieved individuals the ordinary remedies of law for damages, if they choose to pursue them in that way.
Article 21 for 23. Varied, so as to allow goods to be received for safe-keeping, as it has frequently been desirable in the disturbed state of South America and Mexico, but never to be done for the personal
advantage of any officer of the vessel. The precious metals and jewels are permitted, as in the old law, because, from their comparatively small bulk, it is frequently for the interests of the commercial community to place them under the protection of an armed vessel.
Article 22 for 21. Varied, so as to embrace all cases of homicide, and leaving the court to measure its sentence according to the nature and circumstances of the crime.
Article 23. A new article; making all challenges, while on service or for any official act, a cause for punishment; when not on duty, offenders are left to the civil tribunals.
Article 24 for 15 of old act.
Article 25 for 26. Varies, by confining it to petty officers and inferior persons, and limiting the punishments.
Article 26 for 27, with verbal variation. Article 27 for 31. The same.
Article 28. A new article: providing for any offences committed when on shore, which might not be embraced in two other articles. Article 29 for 28. The same.
Article 30 for part of 30. Varies, by defining more closely the limitations upon the power of commanders to inflict punishments.
Article 31, for part of 29 and 30. Commanders to have proper entries made in muster book, and to see that men transferred have their accounts sent with them.
Article 32, part of 29. Commanders to note casualties, &c., in muster book, to secure clothes of deceased persons, and to transmit muster books to the Secretary of the Navy quarterly.
Article 33, part of 29. To cause the laws to be read monthly and to be hung up in some public part of the ship.
Article 34. New article, regulating secretaries and clerks.
Article 35. New article, prohibiting newspaper and other publications between officers.
Article 36, for section 3, of old act. Varied, by authorizing the forfeiture of wages to pension fund, in cases of neglect of duty duly proved.
Article 37, for part of 41. Limiting the powers of courts-martial, when they are left to measure the punishment at their discretion, under articles that name no specific punishment; varies from the old one in limiting it for officers, and limiting confinement for others.
Article 38. A new article, authorizing commanding officers to detain men beyond the term of their enlistment, under certain circumstances, and directing an increase to their compensation when so detained, and extending the provisions of the act over them till discharged.
This article may possibly be considered objectionable in some of its provisions; or, if not objectionable in principle, as being out of place in the body of this act.
The power to detain men in the service beyond the time for which they enlisted, and against their consent, and this power to be exercised at the discretion of the commander of a squadron or vessel acting singly, may seem to be greater than is consistent with a proper regard to the rights of individuals.
It is not intended, however, that it shall operate upon any persons who may have enlisted previous to the time when the proposed act shall take effect; and with those who may enlist after that time, it will constitute a part of the terms of their agreement.
That some provision of the kind is of great importance, the past experience of our naval administration has fully demonstrated. The seamen who are collected for the navy are necessarily enlisted at different periods, as they may present themselves from day to day.
Whatever care may be used in selecting crews formed from persons having nearly the same time to serve, it can rarely happen that the extreme differences will not reach to two or three months, though the numbers at the extreme may bear a small proportion to the whole number of the crew. In such cases it is now necessary, when ships are on foreign service, to discharge those whose time of service first expires, in a foreign port, and risk the loss of their future services to the country, or to procure a conveyance for them to the United States, return with the vessel itself before their term of service expires, or detain them on board without any legal authority for so doing, and when by the terms of their agreement they are no longer amenable to the laws for the government of the navy.
Although it has always been the wish of the Department to limit the cruises of vessels to such periods as would allow their return home in time to discharge men before or at the periods named by their enlistments, no exertions have yet been able to carry this fully into effect. It is believed that it cannot be done, under the circumstances of the remote employment of some of our vessels, without incurring an increase of expense, and producing injuries to the great interests of the country, which the occasional short detention of a few individuals would hardly seem to justify; especially when the individuals shall have entered the service with a knowledge of their liability to such detention.
To obviate objections, so far as seemed compatible with the object in view, the authority has been limited to the detention of the vessel to which the men may belong; and, as a compensation for such extraordinary service and detention, it is proposed to give them, during its continuance, an increase of one-fourth of their pay.
It would seem that these provisions would have been more appropriately introduced in a separate act, as an amendment to the law which now regulates the periods for which men may be enlisted, but it was deemed better that it should have a place in the law for the government of the navy, that it might, by being read monthly to the crews, become familiar to their minds, and at the same time become readily and generally known as one among the ordinary restrictions and liabilities consequent upon enlistment into the naval service.
Article 39 for 33: enumerates some officers as being excluded from the class of petty officers, more than the old act.
Article 40 for section 4 of old act. Same.
Article 41: a new article for marines.
Article 42: a new article for troops when embarked for duty.
Article 43: a new article for troops when embarked as passengers.
Article 44 for 34.
Article 45 for 32: varies, by leaving the punishment to discretion of a court-martial, instead of "according to the usages of the sea service."
SECTION II.--COURTS OF INQUIRY.
Article 46 for 1 of old act: varies, by allowing them to be convened by any commanding officer within the United States, by permission from the Secretary of the Navy. This seemed to be an important provision for remote points, as Pensacola, &c.
Article 47 for 1st part of 1st article: varies from the other by prohibiting the expression of any opinion, except upon the causes for the loss of, or improperly hazarding a vessel. This was done because the expression of an opinion upon general subjects seemed unnecessary, as the head of the Department will be perfectly competent to form an opinion for himself upon all such cases.
The expression of an opinion, when that opinion should be unfavorable, could not be otherwise than a censure, and, as such, a punishment to a certain extent; and certainly would be calculated to raise a prejudice against the party who might subsequently be brought before a court-martial to answer for the same act.
Article 48 for 2d: prescribes the form of authentication and record of the proceedings, and the circumstances and forms under which the testimony so taken may be used as evidence before a court-martial.
Article 49 for 3d: prescribes the form of the oath, which varies a little from the former one.
In this section several changes and additions are proposed; some of them involving powers or principles which may be deemed important. Among these is the mode proposed for compelling the attendance of witnesses, when residing within certain distance of the court. The present act for the government of the navy provides no mode for obtaining this necessary means of securing justice. It now depends upon the will of individuals, who do not belong to the naval or military services, whether they will appear before a naval court-martial, or give evidence in any manner, however important their testimony may be to the public interests, or to the party upon trial. The board of revision proposes to obtain their attendance by the intervention of the same officer whose duty it is to procure the attendance of witnesses in the civil tribunals of the United States; and when the distance shall be such as to render personal attendance inconvenient, they have proposed to allow their evidence to be taken by interrogatories and cross-interrogatories, in all cases with the assent of the accused, and in some without his assent.
The right of challenge, for good and sufficient cause, is expressly granted to the party accused, by the proposed amendment. This has generally been granted in practice, but it has been sometimes doubted whether it could be claimed as a matter of right, or depended upon the court as a matter of favor.
One of the most important variations will be found in the oath to be taken by the members and judge advocate.
In the law as it now exists, the votes and opinions of the individual members cannot be made known, except required in some court of justice in due course of law. The acts of the court, as such, can alone be known to the party on trial, to the public, or to the officer, whose approval or disapproval renders those acts valid or nugatory. Among the reasons for this departure from the usual practice in our civil courts, are to be found the fact that it frequently becomes necessary to constitute courts-martial with some members who may be of inferior rank or junior to the party to be tried, and the ill consequences which might arise, if the particular votes of such junior members should be known to the party accused, under whom they might afterwards be required to serve. These and other reasons seemed of sufficient force to justify the continuance of all the present restrictions, with the exception of the officer who is to approve or disapprove the proceedings and sentence. This exception is proposed, because the offences tried by courts-martial are not unfrequently in a degree technical or professional, involving considerations and opinions upon which professional men are most competent to judge. The capacity of different individuals to form correct opinions in such cases may vary in degree, from their general intelligence or opportunities of acquiring professional experience, which are generally known to and may be duly appreciated by the approving officer. It may happen that decisions will be made in some cases by a bare majority, which to the approving officer may seem to be severe, and which he would be disposed to remit or mitigate if he possessed a knowledge of the state of the votes, but with which he might be unwilling to interfere without that knowledge. It is believed that the alteration may tend to mitigate punishment, without producing any injurious results to the service.
Under the existing law it has been decided, that if, from any cause, the number of members who may assemble on any day after the proceedings are commenced, shall be less than five, the court is by that fact dissolved. It is proposed to allow a smaller number to adjourn from day to day for a certain time, as it might in many cases be highly useful.
The particular punishments which may be inflicted upon officers has been added, because the general discretionary powers granted by the existing and proposed law seemed to require it for the officers as well as for others.
It has also been proposed to establish some time within which offenders shall be brought to trial. A similar provision exists in the army laws, and in those of most other military codes, and seems but a measure of common justice. After a long period, witnesses, or other means of repelling a charge, could only be obtained with great difficulty, if they could be obtained at all.
A more specific enumeration of the rank of officers who may be ordered upon courts-martial has been proposed than exists in the present law. This seems desirable to remove doubts, which have existed in the minds of some, as to the right to order certain officers upon that duty; and because it is deemed of importance to the interests of the navy that courts-martial should, as far as practicable, be composed of the higher ranks.
The other proposed changes or additions relate rather to the forms of procedure, and will be found in connection with the respective articles.
Article 50 for 35. Varies, by giving the Secretary of the Navy authority to permit any commanding officer within the United States to convene a court. The number to form a court is varied, allowing not less than nine instead of five for capital offences, if it can be avoided, and the maximum of nine for all minor offences, retaining five as the minimum in all cases: requires reasons to be stated in the precept when the maximum shall not be ordered.
vessels which may be deemed liable to seizure; and that for any mistake which should give a claim for damages, the claim must be met and answered by them, without reference to or aid from those under their command. With reference to these facts, and to the proportions granted in other countries, it is presumed that the alteration will not be considered unreasonable.
The portions of the other officers and crews of vessels are arranged differently from the present law. The commission and warrant officers are now classed with those only with whom they are usually associated in their ordinary intercourse. The proportions assigned to the individuals of each class are such as in the opinion of the board correspond with their relative responsibilities, rank, and duties, and vary little from the present law. That portion which is allotted to the petty officers and persons of inferior ratings, is graduated upon the same principle; but as the numbers of each rating are liable to considerable fluctuation, a new principle of distribution is proposed, so as to secure, in all cases, the same relative proportions for the individuals of the several classes.
The present rule for distribution, when more than one vessel are concerned in the same capture, is retained for the commanding officers, because the rule will, as respects them, in all cases operate in the same manner, there being but one, and always one, in that class in each vessel. For all others the present rule is so modified as to give each individual, of corresponding classes, the same amount, however much the number in each class may have been varied by accidental causes. The want of some rule of this kind might, and in fact has, frequently defeated the evident intention of the present law.
Several additional articles have been introduced, to define more clearly the circumstances under which commanders of squadrons shall be entitled to a share of prizes made by other vessels, and with a view to prevent, as far as possible, all difficulties upon the subject.
Article 18 corresponds to 7th article of 6th section of old act: omits the express penalty of forfeiture of his share of the prize, and leaves the punishment to court-martial.
Article 79 also to 7, being rather more full and particular, with the same modification of the penalty.
Article 80 for 8, omitting the power given to the court of admiralty.
Article 81 for 9, with slight modifications.
Article 82, for section 5, with some modifications, and giving the whole of all public vessels, instead of half of inferior force.
Article 83 for section 7, increasing the bounty and extending its allowance to vessels destroyed for the public advantage.
Article 84 for section 6; distribution of prize money.
1st class increased from 15 to 18 per cent., of which the flag officer's share is increased in the same proportion, being six instead of four per cent.
Captains and commanders: Their proportions are regulated when serving together in the same vessel, she being the sole captor.
Second class increased from 10 or 11 2/5 to 13 per cent.
Third class varies in the officers belonging to it, and gives 5 per cent.
Fourth class takes a part of the old 3d and 4th, excluding all petty officers, and gives 14 per cent. The petty officers and inferior ratings receive the remainder, which is divided into shares, so that the first class of petty officers receive 9, the next 7, the next and. seamen 5, ordinary seamen and marines 4, landsmen and boys 3 shares each.
This arrangement secures to each individual in each class a regular proportion, whatever the number in such class may be.
Article 85, for section 6, article 7, establishes the distribution when vessels are to be entitled to share as joint captors.
Articles 86 to 96 inclusively, relate to the various claims of flag officers or commanding officers of fleets, squadrons, or divisions, and define them as accurately as possible, for the purpose of preventing future disputes.
Article 97 makes the President the umpire to settle all disputed or doubtful points in the act for the distribution of prize money, meaning thereby to prevent all litigation upon the subject.
This is a new section, and is meant to secure for the captors responsible agents to receive and distribute the prize money that may accrue to them. The nomination of the agent is given to the commander, because he has all the responsibilities of detention, and must answer all liabilities for improper captures.
The navy pension fund is made the agent for the captors after two years, and, upon condition of paying claimants within five years, is to be entitled to the dividends then remaining unclaimed.
The last article fixes a maximum for the commissions, which an agent may claim for his services.
Navy pension fund.
The principal objects proposed to be effected by the changes recommended in this section are, to render the present grants to widows of persons slain in battle available for life, or during widowhood, instead of the limited grants for a term of years, as heretofore established; and to collect into one act all the provisions necessary for this purpose, and to provide for other persons who are, or may be, entitled to pensions for personal injuries, when subject to the laws for the government of the navy, under the different acts now in force, and which relate to such persons.
The existing laws, which relate to pensions for other causes than the above named, are left as now established, under the belief that they are properly subjects for special legislation, which may be adapted to special circumstances.
First article is the same as section 9 of act of 23d April, 1800.
Second article is the same as section 16 of ditto, as amended by act of -----.
Third article is the same as section 8 of act of April, 1800, modified slightly to conform to act of -----.
Fourth article is the act of 20th of January, 1813, and others, making the grant to widows for life or widowhood, instead of five years, but limiting it to death in battle.
The variations from the present law, which are proposed in this section, are such as, in the opinion of the board, materially contribute to the health and comfort of the seamen. The authority to use either
of several of the articles will increase the power to promote those essential objects according to circumstances; and, in many cases, such changes would be indispensable.
The reasons for continuing, under certain restrictions, a part of the present allowance of spirits will be found in a letter from the board to the Attorney General of the 29th ult.
Navy widows' and orphans' fund.
This proposition is entirely new, and is offered to be dependent upon any revision which may be made of the laws regulating and increasing the pay of the commission and warrant officers of the navy; and to any such law it is proposed to add the following article:
"Provided, nevertheless, That the Secretary of the Treasury shall be, and he is hereby, authorized and directed to deduct from the pay, hereafter to become due, of the commission and warrant officers of the navy of the United States, three per centum of the amount thereof, and to pay the same to the Secretary of the Navy, and the Navy Commissioners for the time being, who are hereby appointed a board of commissioners by the name and style of 'commissioners of the navy widows' and orphans' fund,' which, together with any other moneys to which the fund may become legally entitled, shall constitute a fund for the relief of the widows and orphans of the said commission and warrant officers of the navy of the United States; to be invested by said board, and the proceeds of it divided and disbursed, in such manner as may be hereafter prescribed by Congress."
Repeated attempts have heretofore been made by the officers to effect, to a certain extent, the benevolent objects to which the proposition relates; but the difficulties have always been too great to be overcome by their unaided efforts.
The more important of these difficulties have been found in the wide dispersion of the officers, and their constant change of position; the difficulty of collecting, investing, and managing their funds, without an expense disproportionate to the amount, and in a manner which should, at the same time, be safe and productive. The course here proposed for adoption obviates nearly all of those difficulties, and in a manner which it is hoped may be found liable to no strong objections.
The board were fully aware that a proposition of this kind could not be sanctioned without injustice, if made to operate upon a pay already established, unless it was done with the assent of each individual upon whom it might operate. They, however, did and do still believe that if connected with a new law, revising, and, as they hope may be the case, increasing the compensation of the officers, there would be no injustice in the measure, and no opposition from the officers; but that it would receive their general, if not universal approbation.
It will be perceived that although each officer contributes in proportion to his compensation, yet the widows and orphans of those only are to participate in the distribution whose income from other sources does not reach a certain amount, and then are not to receive more than to supply that deficiency. It is proposed to provide for the necessities of all, but for the luxuries of none. Within these limits it is believed that the deductions proposed for the fund will be sufficient for the cases which will be embraced by the plan, and will impart benefits which cannot be obtained by the unaided action of the officers, nor be expected as a direct donation from the government.
It is proposed for consideration, solely upon the condition that it may be made dependent upon a revision of the law in relation to the pay of the navy.
Changes of the titles of "master commandant" and "sailingmaster."
These changes are proposed as matters of simple convenience. The present denominations are long and inconvenient for use, either verbally or in writing, and do not convey any correct idea of the duties of the respective officers. The terms proposed as substitutes are shorter, more convenient, and rather more correctly significant of the duties performed by those officers to whom they refer.
Act for boys, &c.
The proposed act to authorize the enlistment of boys is considered of great importance to the interests of the navy. In the opinion of the board it would secure all the benefits which could be anticipated from the introduction of apprentices, while it avoids the difficulties and evils connected with such a system. It is expected that such an act would, without any additional expense, place it in the power of the navy to provide for itself many petty and warrant officers who would be much better qualified in every respect, for the performance of their respective duties, than those who, from necessity, are now employed in those situations, which all naval men agree in considering highly important to the full efficiency of a ship-of-war.
The changes proposed in the present act, entitled "An act further to amend the several acts for the establishment and regulation of the Treasury, War and Navy Departments," are offered in consequence of your having specially called the attention of the board to its provisions, and because the classes of cases proposed to be omitted have not, and, from their nature, cannot be executed in strict conformity to the law, without such expense and inconvenience as would, in the opinion of the board, greatly overbalance any possible advantage that could result from a compliance with its requisitions.
The proposed amendment to "An act in addition to the several acts for the establishment and regulation of the Treasury, War and Navy Departments," is offered from a conviction that the power which is therein proposed to be given to the head of the Department may frequently be exercised with great public advantage, and it is believed without injury in any case. It does not, in fact, vary the amounts to be expended under the different appropriations, but merely authorizes the purchase of articles from an appropriation for which, from any cause, they are not then wanted, by another appropriation for which they may be immediately required, and paying for the same by a transfer of the value on the Treasury books. This arrangement may frequently prevent the loss of, or injury to, perishable articles, and enable the Department in all cases to use such of those which may be on hand as shall be most for the public interests.