Puslapio vaizdai


It might be reiterated here that the officer of the deck, whose duty it was to see that a proper lookout was maintained at all times, likewise looking straight ahead. In fact, the four men on the bridge at that time were doing nothing but looking ahead. The wheelman was the fifth man on the bridge.

It might be added at this point that when the "old man"-the commanding officer-is on the bridge, naturally the men are more alert at that time than they might be if he was not there, and they are all attempting to see things before the "old man"-again meaning the captain-sees them.

Now, the fact that they did not see the periscopes-which are designed to be invisible is not in my opinion a fact showing that the lookout was not proper. The periscopes on the S-4 at the time of the collision were the so-called finger periscopes-not like the old design of periscope used during the war-and moreover, as I understand it, they are so painted even in peace times as to be invisible. When the periscopes of a submarine only are showing, its presence is not being made known in a clear and unmistakable manner. fact that a submarine is so constructed that it is impracticable for it to observe the ordinary rules of the road does not excuse it from obeying the rules. Without a tender it is not making its presence known.


There are no decided cases on the question of the responsibility of a submarine, operating submerged, in collision with surface craft. At least, I could not find any. I doubt whether a case can be found which establishes that such a lookout as was on the bridge of the Paulding on the day of the collision was an improper lookout. Should there be any doubt upon the question, doubts must be resolved in favor of Commander Bayliss.

I might state that in the case of the Clyde Navigation Co. v. Barclay (1 A. C. 25), an old English case, arising out of a collision in the Clyde, in the daytime, the court held that the pilot and officer on the bridge were a sufficient lookout and that the bridge was the proper place for lookouts under the circumstances. This case coming in the midst of some decisions which are cited rather broadly shows clearly that no rule as to lookouts has any general application, but the facts alone are the basis for the decision of the court. The Paulding did not have merely two men maintaining a lookout, but in fact had four men doing nothing else but looking ahead at that time. Senator ODDIE. If you have that case and anything else you want to put in the record, you can do so.

Mr. CUNNINGHAM. Yes, sir. An interesting case disclosing the application of the rule that the facts and circumstances of each case will determine what is a proper lookout is that of Marguerite Wemyss v. The City of Conewago, in 1927 (9 M. C. 255), in which case the position was taken that the steamer was at fault for placing a lookout on the bow at night in heavy weather. The court held that the steamer was not at fault for stationing a lookout on the extreme bow at night in heavy weather, when there was wind and spray, unless it was improper seamanship for the lookout to be so stationed.

This same position has been taken in other cases and is a clear indication of two things: (1) The fact that the bow may not under all circumstances be the proper place for a lookout; and (2) that the facts and circumstances of the case alone will determine this question. That is all, Mr. Chairman.

Senator GERRY. Just one question. On the bridge of the Paulding there were windows, were there not?


Senator GERRY. Were those windows closed or open?

Mr. CUNNINGHAM. I do not think, as I remember, that the testimony brought that out; did it, Captain Wheeler?

Captain WHEELER. The testimony does not show it.

Senator GERRY. That is my recollection. I understand there is something in the testimony on that in your court of inquiry. Commander HOOVER. It shows in the Coast Guard court; they were looking through the glass on the Paulding.

Senator GERRY. The windows were closed, then.

Mr. CUNNINGHAM. The windows were closed, then, but I might say in this connection that the quartermaster was between the two clear panels of the window, and with his nose almost touching the window, looking out on the port side at the time of the collision. Inside, the officer of the deck was also on the port side, between, naturally, the panels.

Senator ODDIE. You have a statement, Mr. Savoy?

Mr. SAVOY. I just wanted to call Senator Gerry's attention to the fact that while he was out of the room, a certain statement was put into the record with respect to English and French regulations. It becomes interesting in any investigation such as this, to note the French regulations because of the fact that France is so vitally interested in submarines for the protection of her coast. You probably will recall that she refused to attend the conference on the limitation of naval armaments held at Geneva last year, mainly on account of the fact that the question of submarines was involved. It is brought out in this memorandum, particularly, that at the ports of Cherbourg, Brest, Toulon, Bizerte, St. Malo, Granville, and Chenal du Four, they have in the fairways restricted areas which ships are advised to use in entering, and which submarines are prohibited from using for maneuvers. Also, near Brest thay have a particular area where submarines alone may operate. I have pointed that out to show that France does protect her surface craft and submarines, in spite of their importance in the protection of her coast. Furthermore, France notified shipping of submarines maneuvers and of other maneuvers which might endanger shipping.

Senator GERRY. I am very glad to have that.

Senator ODDIE. If there are any further statements that you gentlemen would like to put into the record, we will be glad to have you do so.

Mr. CUNNINGHAM. Might I make this statement: In behalf of the Coast Guard, and the Treasury, we want to express our appreciation to you, Senator Oddie, and to the other members of the committee, for the courtesy and attention we have received. We appreciate it most highly.

Senator ODDIE. We want to be perfectly fair and to give your service every chance to be heard and to put everything you desire in the record.

Mr. CUNNINGHAM. Thank you.

Senator ODDIE. All right.

(Thereupon, at 5.15 o'clock p. m., the subcommittee adjourned, subject to the call of the chairman.)

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Washington, D. C. The subcommittee met, pursuant to the call of the chairman, at 10.50 o'clock a. m. in the room of the committee in the Capitol, Senator Tasker L. Oddie presiding.

Present, Senators Tasker L. Oddie (chairman) and Peter G. Gerry. Present also, Commander J. H. Hoover, United States Navy, Mr. Spear, Mr. Lake, Mr. Davis, and Mr. Savoy.

Senator ODDIE. The committee will come to order. I will ask Mr. Spear to take the stand.


Senator ODDIE. Mr. Spear, will you give your name, address, and occupation to the reporter?

Mr. SPEAR. L. Y. Spear, New London, Conn., vice president and technical head of the Electric Boat Co.; president of the New London Ship & Engine Co. By profession I am a naval architect and have specialized in the design and construction of submarines.

Senator ODDIE. Will you give us a brief statement of your technical training?

Mr. SPEAR. I graduated from Annapolis in the year 1890. After graduating I went to sea for two years and then went abroad to study naval architecture. I was transferred to the Construction Corps of the Navy and served in that organization for eight or nine years. I resigned from the service in 1902 and since that time have been continuously engaged in the design, construction, and operation of submarines. That is my main business.

Senator ODDIE. Are you familiar with the various safety devices in use on submarines in this country and in foreign countries and, in a general way, with those that have been suggested for use?

Mr. SPEAR. Yes.

Senator ODDIE. You have made a special life study of matters of that kind?

Mr. SPEAR. That has been my main business for the last 28 years. Senator ODDIE. Are you familiar with the subject of these hearings with regard to the sinking of the submarine S-4?

Mr. SPEAR. Yes; I am quite familiar with the S-4 case.

Senator ODDIE. We would like your candid opinion on the actions of the Navy in regard to the accident to the S-4 and in relation to its efficiency or any possible negligence in connection with the accident and especially in connection with its life-saving and salvage opera

tions and also in connection with the construction of submarines and safety appliances connected with them.

Mr. SPEAR. Let us begin with the construction first, then.

Senator ODDIE. Yes.

Mr. SPEAR. The S-4, as you no doubt know, was designed in 1916. The date of the design is quite old.

Senator ODDIE. Where was the S-4 built?

Mr. SPEAR. The S-4 was designed by the Navy Department and was built in the Portsmouth Navy Yard. It is a Governmentdesigned and Government-constructed boat entirely.

Senator ODDIE. Were you connected with the Navy at that time? Mr. SPEAR. No, sir; I was not.

Senator ODDIE. Were you consulted in any way in regard to the plans and specifications?

Mr. SPEAR. No; I had no connection whatsoever with the construction of the S-4.

Senator ODDIE. But you are familiar with it?

Mr. SPEAR. I am quite familiar with the design and construction of the S-4, but my company had no connection with it.

Senator ODDIE. Now, will you proceed, please.

Mr. SPEAR. I only wanted to bring out this fact, that the design is, so to speak out of date; it was designed in 1916.

Senator GERRY. When was she built?

Mr. SPEAR. She was laid down in 1917, or late in the fall of 1916; and I think she was about three years building two or three years. I have not the exact date in my mind, but I think she would have been completed in 1918 or 1919. She was designed in 1916. That was the first submarine that the Navy ever designed. All submarines in this country before that time were designed by private firms to meet the specifications and requirements issued by the Navy Depart


When that particular group of vessels was designed by the Navy Department the development of safety devices for submarines had not reached the point that it has reached to-day. In other words, if we were now to design a boat of this displacement it would be possible to-day to incorporate into the design devices that were not known at that time; and we could make a safer submarine, and one better able to withstand the damage that she suffered, and one which would, afford much better opportunities for the escape or rescue of the men than was possible in 1916.

The progress made in the general subject is very great. It is more or less analagous to the progress that has been made in the development of airplanes and motor cars. So that, ton for ton, you can do a great deal more now than you could at the time those boats were laid down.

Broadly speaking, the S-4 had in her all of the recognized devices and safety features that were in common use at that time. I should say that she compared favorably with the general run of submarines designed at the same time that she was; but that she could not be considered at all equal with respect to safety to a submarine that we would design to-day of the same size.

So much for the matter of design. Now, with respect to the actual accident and the handling of the situation after the accident, my judgment is that

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