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2d Session. S

No. 57.

JOHN R. BOWES.
[To accompany bill H. R. No. 570.]

JANUARY 30, 1855.

Mr. AARON HARLAN, from the Committee on Commerce, made the fol

lowing

REPORT The Committee on Commerce, to whom was referred House bill No.

570, for the relief of John R. Bowes, now report: That John R. Bowes, as an agent of the government, was in charge of the public works and property of the United States at Michigan City, in the State of Indiana, from 1st September, 1846, to the 28th March, 1849, and again from the 26th April, 1851, to the 26th September, 1852, at the compensation of ten dollars per month. This account was approved by the chief of the Topographical Bureau, and transmitted to the office of the Third Auditor, for payment out of the appropriation made by the act of August 30, 1852, for repairs and contingencies of harbors and rivers. This account, on being submitted to the Comptroller, and by him to the Secretary of War, was rejected, for the reason that the services were rendered before the passage of the act, and was not properly payable out of that appropriation.

Your committee see no sufficient reason why this claim should not be paid, and therefore report the bill back to the House, with a recommendation that it pass.

2d Session. )

No. 58.

ATKINS DYER.

January 30, 1855.–Laid upon the table, and ordered to be printed.

Mr. AARON HARLAN, from the Committee on Commerce, made the

following

REPORT. The Committee on Commerce, to whom was referred the petition of Atkins Dyer, have had the same under consideration, and now report:

That the facts in the case are fully stated in the petition, and they show that the petitioner was, on the 15th October, 1846, master and owner of the brig “Germ,” which, with an American crew, cleared from the port of Philadelphia for Kingston, in the island of Jamaica, and, as he says, from thence to a port in the West Indies, and back to a final port in the United States.

On arriving at Kingston, in Jamaica, he changed his voyage, and took a charter for the Spanish main. His crew was American, and they, by reason of this change in the voyage, claimed their discharge, and to which he gave his consent.

The American consul at Kingston gave him a certificate that a crew of American seamen could not be obtained, and he took on board a crew consisting of two Americans and three foreigners, bound for the port of San Juan de Nicaragua. At this last port two of this crew ran away, and left him a crew of only five, including master and officers; and as there was no American consul at this port, and as no seamen could be procured, he was compelled to return to the port of New York with this crew of three Americans and two foreigners.

In the port of New York, tonnage duties were demanded and paid, to the amount of eighty-five dollars and seventy-five cents. These duties were claimed for the reason that two-thirds of the crew were not Americans, as required by law, in order to entitle the petitioner to an exemption from tonnage duties.

The seventh section of the act of March 1, 1817, vol. 3, page 352, of United States Statutes at Large, provides “that the abatements of duty allowed by this act in the case of vessels having a certain proportion of seamen who are American citizens, or persons not the subjects of any foreign power, shall be allowed only in the case of vessels having such proportion of American seamen during their whole voyage, unless in case of sickness, death, or desertion, or where the whole or part of the crew shall have been taken prisoners in the voyage."

None of the exceptions in this act specified cover the case of a voluntary change of voyage and discharge of crew, and for this reason the committee are of opinion that the petitioner is not entitled to the remission of duty which he claims, and they ask to be discharged from the further consideration of the subject,

2d Session. S

? No. 59.

PATRICK C. MILES.
[To accompany Senate bill No. 447.]

JANUARY 30, 1855.

Mr. HENDRICKS, from the Committee on Invalid Pensions, made the fol

lowing

REPORT,

The Committee on Invalid Pensions, to whom was referred Senate bill

No. 447, for the relief of Patrick ©. Miles, have had the same under consideration, and report:

l at the rate ofueries, he was hontially jut permance by a pie focal legislation, policy of the month, whicheed, and wa

That the said Patrick C. Miles served in company K, of the 1st regiment of infantry, in the war with Mexico, and faithfully discharged his duty as a soldier. At the storming of Monterey his conduct was most gallant. In that engagement he was struck by a cannon ball and lost his right leg; and was also struck by a piece of a shell, whereby his right arm is partially jut permanently disabled. Because of these injuries, he was honorably discharged, and was pensioned at the rate of eight dollars per month, which he now receives. It has been the uniform policy of the government, both in its general and special legislation, to provide pensions of but eight dollars per month for private soldiers and non-commissioned officers, in case of total disability. The committee are satisfied that where the disability is so entire, as in the case of Sergeant Miles, that he cannot contribute anything by his labor towards his support, this sum is insufficient, and that a larger sum ought to be given. The committee have hesitated to recommend a departure from the general policy in particular cases. On the other hand, they believe that if relief were provided by general legislation, very many cases would be brought within such law, that were not intended to be provided for; and that it would be safer for Congress to retain the control of such cases, and grant special relief when required, rather than empower the Pension Office to discriminate, in cases of total disability. Entertaining these views, the committee report this bill back to the House for its action, without making any recommendation thereon.

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