Page images

be verified by or in behalf of the claimant and filed with the clerk of said court within six months from its organization, or they shall be held to be waived and barred.

SECTION 4. That the practice and proceedings established and directed by said chapter four hundred and fifty-nine shall be followed and had in regard to all claims provable under this act; and it shall be the duty of the said court hereby re-established, in the mode and subject to all the conditions, limitations, and provisions of said chapter four hundred and fifty-nine, except as changed and modified by this act, to receive and examine the claims mentioned in section five of this act and to enter judgments for the amount allowed therefor in two classes.

SECTION 5. That the first class shall be for claims directly resulting from damage done on the high seas by Confederate cruisers during the late rebellion, including vessels and cargoes attacked on the high seas, although the loss or damage occurred within four miles of the shore, excluding claims which have been proved pursuant to section eleven of said chapter four hundred and fifty-nine. The second class shall be for claims for the payment of premiums for war risks, whether paid to corporations, agents, or individuals, after the sailing of any Confederate cruiser.

SECTION 6. That in examining claims in either class it shall be the duty of the court to deduct any sum received by any claimant as an indemnity, dividend, set-off, or otherwise, so that the actual loss of such claimant only shall be allowed.

SECTION 7. That the judgments rendered by said court under this act shall be paid by the Secretary of the Treasury out of the sum of money paid to the United States pursuant to article seven of the treaty of Washington, and accruing therefrom, not appropriated to claims proved under the provisions of said chapter four hundred and fifty-nine, or any act extending the time for the filing of claims thereunder.

SECTION 8. That judgments entered in the first class shall be paid before judgments of the second class are paid. If the sum of money so unappropriated shall be insufficient to pay the judgments of the first class, they shall be paid according to the proportions which they severally bear to the whole amount of such unappropriated sum. If such sum shall be sufficient to pay the judgments of the first class and not sufficient to pay the judgments of the second class, the latter judgments shall be paid according to the proportions which they severally bear to the residue of such unappropriated sum after the judgments entered in the first class are paid.

SECTION 9. That the said court, after all its judgments and decisions have been rendered, shall transmit to the Secretary of State a list of such judgments and decisions, stating the class and amount, with interest at four per centum from the time the loss accrued to the thirty-first of March, eighteen hundred and seventy-seven, a certified copy of which shall be by him transmitted to the Secretary of the Treasury, who shall thereafter, as soon as may be, and upon such notice and in such manner as he shall prescribe, pay the said judgments out of any money in the Treasury not otherwise appropriated : Provided, however, That such payments shall be made in accordance with the provisions of the preceding sections : And provided further, That the whole amount paid out shall not exceed the amount remaining of the Geneva award and interest, as it was when actually covered into the Treasury. And so much money as may be necessary to carry out the provisions of this section is hereby appropriated out of any moneys not otherwise appropriated.

SECTION 10. That all moneys necessary for the payment of the salaries of the judges and officers authorized by section two of this act, and for the lawful expenses of the said court hereby re-established, are hereby appropriated out of any moneys in the Treasury not otherwise appropriated; all of which shall be reimbursed out of the said unappropriated moneys before any of the judgments rendered under this act shall be paid. And after the reimbursement of all the expenses authorized by this act, and the payment of all the judgments rendered thereunder, if there shall remain any part of the said money, the same shall be and remain a fund from which Congress may hereafter authorize payment of other claims thereon.

Approved, June 5, 1882.

[blocks in formation]

AN ACT for the creation of a court for the adjudication and disposition of

certain moneys received into the Treasury under an award made by the tribunal of arbitration constituted by virtue of the first article of the treaty concluded at Washington the eighth of May, anno Domini eighteen hundred and seventy-one, between the United States of America and the Queen of Great Britain.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That the President of the United States be, and he is hereby authorized to nominate and by and with the advice of the Senate, appoint five suitable persons, who shall constitute a court, to be known as the “Court of Commissioners of Alabama Claims.” Each of the judges and other officers of said court shall take the oath of office prescribed by law to be taken by all officers of the United States. The President shall designate, by appointment, one of the said judges to be presiding judge of the court; and all vacancies which may occur in said court by reason of death, resignation, or inability, or refusal or neglect of any or either of said judges to discharge the duties of his position, shall be filled in the same manner as vacancies occurring in offices under the Constitution of the United States are filled.

SEC. 2. That the said judges shall meet and organize said court in the city of Washington, where the said court shall hold its sittings. Three judges of said court shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business, and the agreement of three shall be necessary to decide any question arising before said court.

SEC. 3. That the said court be, and it is hereby, authorized to publish notice of its sessions, and to make all needful rules and regulations not contravening the laws of the United States or the provisions of this act, for regulating the forms and mode of procedure before the said court, and for carrying into full and complete effect the provisions of this act. Such rules and mode of procedure shall conform, as far as practicable, to the mode of procedure and practice of the circuit courts of the United States; and the said court is hereby vested with the same powers now possessed by the circuit and district courts of the United States to compel the attendance and testimony of parties, claimants, and witnesses, to preserve order, and to punish for contempts; and in all claims which shall be presented before said court the person or persons prosecuting such claim shall be deemed the complainant and the United States shall be deemed the respondent. And said court shall have power to compel the production of any books or papers deemed material to the consideration of any claim or matter pending therein.

SECTION 4. That each of the said judges shall be paid monthly, at the rate of six thousand dollars per annum; and they shall have a clerk, who shall be appointed by the President, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, to be paid at the rate of three thousand dollars per annum; and the said court shall have authority to appoint one short-hand reporter, to be paid monthly, at the rate of two thousand five hundred dollars per annum; and said court shall be further allowed the necessary actual expenses of office-rent, furniture, fuel, stationery, and printing, and other necessary incidental expenses, to be certified by the presiding judge of said court, and to be audited and paid on vouchers under the direction of the Secretary of State.

SECTION 5. That the President may designate a counsellor-at-law, admitted to practice in the Supreme Court of the United States, to appear as counsel on behalf of the United States, and represent the interest of the Government in said suit, and in all claims filed for indemnity for losses, as provided by this act, subject to the supervision and control of the Attorney General. Such counsel shall receive for his services and expenses such reasonable allowance in each claim as may be approved by the court, to be apportioned in each claim adjudicated, and paid from said award upon the certificate of one of the judges.

SECTION 6. That the marshal of the United States for the District of Columbia, or his deputies, shall serve all process issued by said court, preserve order in the place of sitting, and execute the orders of said court.

SECTION 7. That the said court shall proceed immediately after its first meeting in the city of Washington, with all convenient dispatch, to arrange and docket the several claims admissible under this act, and to consider the evidence which shall have been or which may be offered by the respective claimants, and in opposition thereto, allowing such further time for the production of such further evidence as may be required and as it shall think reasonable and just, and shall thereupon proceed to determine and award upon each of said claims according to the provisions of this act.

SECTION 8. That the judges of the court created by this act shall convene in the city of Washington as soon as conveniently may be after their appointment; and the said court shall exist for one year from the date of its first convening and organizing; and should it be found impracticable to complete the work of the said court before the expiration of the said one year, the President may, by proclamation, extend the time of the duration thereof to a period not more than six months beyond the expiration of the said one year; and in such case all the provisions of this act shall be taken and held to be the same as though the continuance of the said court had been originally fixed by this act at the limit to which it may be thus extended.

SECTION 9. That all records, documents, or other papers which now are or hereafter, during the continuance of the court, may come into the possession of the Department of State, in relation to such claims, and which shall be found necessary to the examination and adjudication of the same, shall, upon the order or requisition of said court, be delivered to the court for that purpose, and to be given such weight as evidence as the court shall think just.

SECTION 10. That each of the said judges shall have authority to administer oaths and affirmations, and to take the depositions of claimants, parties, and witnesses, in all matters pertaining to the presentation or examination of said claims; and if any person shall knowingly and wilfully swear or affirm falsely in such examination or deposition to any matter or fact material to the investigation of the claim touching which such person is examined, or if any person, whether claimant or witness, shall so swear or affirm falsely to the

« PreviousContinue »