Executive Order 1348

By virtue of the Authority vested in me, I hereby establish the following Order for the Canal Zone:

  1. If any seaman who shall have signed a contract to perform a voyage shall absent himself from an American vessel at any port or place in the Canal Zone, without leave of the master, or officer commanding in the absence of the master, such master or the Collector of Revenues or his deputy acting as the Shipping Commissioner may make complaint against such absent seaman to the judge of any Circuit Court of the Canal Zone, who thereupon shall issue his warrant against the seaman complained of in order that he may be brought before him to answer the complaint; and, after a hearing before said judge, if it shall appear that the seaman had signed a contract to perform a voyage on the vessel and that the voyage agreed for is not finished or altered, or that the contract was not otherwise dissolved, and that such seaman has deserted the vessel, or absented himself therefrom without leave, the judge shall commit him to jail to remain there until the vessel shall be ready to proceed on her voyage, or until the master shall require his discharge, and then to be delivered to the master, the latter paying all the costs of such commitment which may be deducted by him from the wages due to such seaman.
  2. If it shall appear on the hearing hereinbefore provided for that the voyage of the vessel is continued contrary to agreement, or that the vessel is badly provisioned, or unseaworthy, or that the officers of the ship have been guilty of cruel treatment toward the seaman, he shall be discharged and the judge shall require the master to pay to such seaman one month's wages over and above the wages due at the time of discharge, and to provide him with adequate employment on board some other vessel, or provide him with a passage on board some other vessel bound to the port from which he was originally shipped, or to the most convenient port of entry in the United States, or to a port agreed to by the seaman, and the seaman shall have lien on the vessel to compel compliance with the order of the judge, who shall have authority to issue all writs necessary to enforce his jurisdiction; and the judge shall cause to be entered upon the crew list and shipping articles and official log the cause of discharge and the particulars in which the cruel or unusual treatment consisted, and shall cause his name to be subscribed thereto officially, and shall cause the entry made in the official log to be read to the master. The latter's reply thereto, if any, shall likewise be caused to be entered and subscribed in the same manner.
  3. If any consul or vice-consul of any foreign government, who is commissioned to the government of the Republic of Panama and is recognized by the United States in the Canal Zone, such foreign government having a treaty with the United States, or with the Republic of Panama, stipulating for the restoration of seamen deserting, shall make application in writing stating that the person therein named has deserted from a vessel of any such government while in any port of the Canal Zone, and shall furnish proof by the exhibition of the register of the vessel, ship's roll, or other official document, that the person named belonged, at the time of the desertion, to the crew of such vessel, it shall be the duty of any judge of any Circuit Court of the Canal Zone, to issue warrants to cause such person to be arrested for examination. If, on examination, the facts stated are found to be true, the person arrested, not being a citizen of the United States, or of the Republic of Panama, shall be delivered up to the consul or vice-consul, to be sent back to the dominions of any such government, or, on the request and at the expense of the consul or vice-consul, shall be detained until the consul or vice-consul finds an opportunity to send him back to the dominions of any such government. No person so arrested shall be detained more than two months after his arrest; but at the end of that time shall be set at liberty, and shall not be again molested for the same cause. If any such deserter shall be found to have committed any crime or offense, his surrender may be delayed until the tribunal before which the case shall be pending, or may be cognizable, shall have pronounced its sentence, and such sentence shall have been carried into effect.
  4. This Order shall take effect from and after this date.

Signature of William Howard Taft
Wm. H. Taft.

The White House, May 6, 1911.

This work is in the public domain in the United States because it is a work of the United States federal government (see 17 U.S.C. 105).