« ForrigeFortsett »
AN ACT to further protect the public health and make more ef
fective the national quarantine. Section 1. Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That the Secretary of the Treasury shall have control, direction and management of all quarantine stations, grounds, and anchorages established by authority of the United States, and as soon as practicable after the approval of this Act shall select and designate such suitable places for them and establish the same at such points on or near the coast line of the United States or the border of the United States and a foreign country, as in his judgment are best suited for the same and necessary to prevent the introduction of yellow fever into the United States, and, in his discretion, he may also establish at the group of islands known as the Dry Tortugas, at the western end of the Florida reef, and at such other point or points on or near the coast line of the United States (not to exceed four in the aggregate) as he deems necessary, quarantine grounds, stations, and anchorages, whereat or whereto infected vessels bound for any port in the United States may be detained or sent for the purpose of being disinfected, having their cargoes disinfected and discharged, if necessary, and their sick treated in hospitals until all danger of infection or contagion from such vessels, their cargoes, passengers, or crews has been removed.
Sec. 2. That in cases in which the title to the land and water so selected and designated is in the United States, it shall be the duty of the department, bureau, or official of the United States having custody or possession of such land and water, or any part thereof, not used by the Government for other purposes designated by law, or possession of said Dry Tortugas Islands, on demand of the Secretary of the Treasury, to deliver the same into his custody and possession for the use of the Public Health and Marine Hospital Service, evidencing such delivery by a suitable instrument in writing to be delivered to the Secretary of the Treasury. That in cases in which the title to such land and water, or any part thereof, is in any other owner than the United States it shall be the duty of the Secretary of the Treasury to secure the title and possession of the same to the United States for the use of the Public Health and Marine Hospital Service of the United States, by purchase at a reasonable price, it possible; but if, in his judgment, the price demanded for such property be excessive, he is hereby authorized to apply to the AttorneyGeneral of the United States to cause to be instituted, in the proper tribunal, condemnation proceedings in the name of the United States for the purpose of acquiring for the United States the title and possession of such land and water, and said Attorney-General shall, as soon as possible after such application by the Secretary of the Treasury, cause such proceedings to be instituted and conducted to a conclusion, and the custody and possession of such land and water, when duly acquired in accordance with the award made in such condemna
tion proceedings, shall be delivered to the Secretary of the Treasury for the use of the Public Health and Marine Hospital Service.
Sec. 3. That on acquiring possession of any land and water in accordance with the provisions of this act for the purpose of establishing thereat a quarantine station and anchorage, the Secretary of the Treasury shall cause to be published in such newspapers as he may think proper, once a week for four successive weeks, a notice of the selection and designation of such places for quarantine stations and anchorages, with a description of the boundaries of such quarantine stations and anchorages, and such rules and regulations as he shall adopt and promulgate, requiring vessels with yellow fever among their passengers or crews to go to specified quarantine stations and anchorages to be dealt with thus before visiting any port of the United States. He shall establish at such quarantine stations and anchorages all necessary instrumentalities for disinfecting vessels and their cargoes, and where the same shall be required shall erect the necessary hospital buildings and install the necessary furniture and fittings for receiving and treating the sick among the passengers and crews of vessels going to such quarantine stations and anchorages, and provide for the separation of those among their passengers and crews who are suffering from yellow fever from those who are in good health, and shall further provide for doing all things necessary to eradicate such disease from such vessels, their cargoes, passengers and crews.
Sec. 4. That any vessel, or any officer of any vessel, or other person other than State health or quarantine officers, entering within the limits of any quarantine grounds and anchorages, or any quarantine station and anchorages, or departing therefrom, in disregard of the quarantine rules and regulations or without the permission of the officer in charge of such quarantine ground and anchorage or of such quarantine station and anchorage, shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor, and upon conviction thereof shall be punished by a fine of not more than three hundred dollars or by imprisonment for not more than one year, or both, in the discretion of the Court. That any master or owner of any vessel violating any provision of this Act or any provision of an Act entitled "An Act granting additional powers and imposing additional duties on the Marine Hospital Service," approved February fifteenth, eighteen hundred and ninetythree, or violating any rule or regulation made in accordance with this act, or said act of February fifteenth, eighteen hundred and ninety-three, relating to the inspection of vessels, or to the prevention of the introduction of contagious or infectious diseases into the United States, or any master, owner, or agent of any vessel making a false statement relative to the sanitary condition of such vessel or its contents, or as to the health of any passenger or person thereon, shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor, and on conviction thereof shall be punished by a fine of not more than five hundred dollars or imprisonment for not more than one year, or both, in the discretion of the Court.
Sec. 5. That in any place where a quarantine station and plant is already established by State or local authorities, it shall be the duty of the Secretary of the Treasury, before selecting and designating a quarantine station and grounds and anchorage for vessels, to examine such established stations and plants, with a view of obtaining a transfer of the site and plants to the United States, and whenever the proper authorities shall be ready to transfer the same or surrender the use thereof to the United States, the Secretary of the Treasury is authorized to obtain title thereto or possession and use thereof, and to pay a reasonable compensation therefor, if, in 'his opinion, such purchase or use would be necessary to the United States for quarantine purposes, and the quarantine stations established by authority of this Act, shall, when so established, be used to prevent the introduction of all quarantinable diseases.
Sec. 6. That whenever any established station, or any land or water, or any part thereof, shall be acquired by the United States under the provisions of this Act, jurisdiction over the same shall be ceded to the United States by any State in which the same is situated before any compensation therefor shall be paid.
Sec. 7. That the sum of five hundred thousand dollars, or so much thereof as may be necessary, is hereby appropriated out of any money in the Treasury not otherwise appropriated, for the purpose of carrying into effect the provisions of this Act, as well as for the purpose generally of preventing the importation of yellow fever and other quarantinable diseases into the United States, and for the further purposes, in co-operation with the State or Municipal health authorities, of eradicating them should they be imported, of preventing their spread from one State into another State, and of destroying their causes.
Approved June 19, 1906.
LEGISLATURE AUTHORIZES SALE OF LOUISIANA QUARANTINE
PROPERTY TO THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT.
The General Assembly of Louisiana was in session when the Mallory-Williams bill was passed, empowering the U. S. Public Health and Marine Hospital Service to establish its own quarantine stations on the maritime approaches of Southern ports, with the option of acquiring by purchase or lease any existing State quarantine plants which might be deemed desirable. The State of Louisiana was therefore confronted with the practical problem of deciding whether it would not be better to realize on the value of its magnificent plant on the Mississippi river by selling it to the U. S. Government at once, than to 'hold it and take the chances, regarded by some as almost a certainty, of its being put out of business in the near future by the establishment of a Federal Quarantine Station nearer the gulf.
It would appear that this apprehension was not shared to any extent by the members of the General Assembly as the first bill authorizing the sale of the Louisiana quarantine plant, introduced by Senator Thorpe, was promptly defeated.
The Governor of Louisiana was firmly convinced of the expediency of selling the Mississippi River Quarantine Station to the U. S. Government without delay, and it was understood that his influence with the General Assembly was being exerted in favor of legislation authorizing such a sale.
On the other hand, the President of the State Board of Health was outspoken in his opposition to this project, basing his objections on the following legal and moral grounds:
1. The unbroken line of decisions by the U. S. Supreme Court affirming the right of a State to maintain quarantine as a part of the police powers guaranteed the separate States by the Federal Constitution and incidentally to collect quarantine inspection fees, as in the famous law-suit won by the Louisiana State Board of Health against the Morgan and Cromwell Line Steamship Companies.
2. The fact that the Statutes of Louisiana, still in full force, give the State Board of Health exclusive control of Maritime Quarantine within the State.
3. The occurrence of repeated instances in the past in which the protection supposed to be afforded by the U. S. Marine Hospital Service has been shown to be, to say the least, hesitating and uncertain.
4. The fundamental principle of self protection, according to which the legally constituted Health Authorities of the State are the ones who should be charged with the duty and responsibility of keeping out foreign pestilence, as contemplated by the laws creating these officers.
The President of the State Board was not disposed to consider any mere question of expediency, being firm in his convictions of right and believing that his contentions would stand the test of law if the matter should be taken before the courts, but in deference to his friend, the Governor, who agreed to take no precipitate action in the premises, refrained from opposing the Concurrent Resolution introduced by Representative Smart at the very close of the Legislative session of 1906 authorizing the sale or lease of the Mississippi River Quarantine Station to the Federal Government. That resolution was as follows:
ACT NO. 203. (By Mr. Smart, of De Soto. House Concurrent Resolution No. 16.) Authorizing the Governor of the State to lease or sell the State's
Maritime Quarantine Station, plant and property at or near the mouth of the Mississippi river to the United States, and to cede to the government of the United States jurisdiction over the site
of such station. Whereas, the Act of Congress approved June 19, 1906, authorizes the Secretary of the Treasury to establish quarantine stations at such points as in his judgment are best suited to prevent the introduction of yellow fever; and
Whereas, Section 5 of said Act authorizes the acquisition by the Federal Government of quarantine stations now maintained by State or local authorities; therefore, be it
Resolved, by the General Assembly of the State of Louisiana, Thar the Governor of the State of Louisiana be and is hereby authorized, in his discretion, to lease or sell the Maritime Quarantine Station, plant and property at or near the mouth of the lIississippi river, belonging to the State of Louisiana, to the United States and to cede to the Government of the United States jurisdiction over the site of said station; and the Governor is authorized to fix the price of such lease or sale and the proceeds of same shall be paid into the Treasury of the State to the credit of a special fund to be set apart for the future needs of the State Board of Health and to be drawn and used by said Board pursuant to appropriations regularly made.
J. W. HYAMS,
J. Y. SANDERS,
VEWTON C. BLANCHARD,
Governor of the State of Louisiana. A true copy: JOHN T. MICHEL, Secretary of State.
REACTION IN FAVOR OF STATE CONTROL. GOVERNOR PETITIONED NOT TO SELL LOUISIANA QUARANTINE
PLANT. Within a relatively short time after the General Assembly authorized the Governor to sell the Mississippi River Quarantine Station the people of New Orleans began to realize what this meant and a remarkable reaction of sentiment occurred.