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JOURNAL OF INSURANCE.
NEW YORK INSURANCE LAW. AN ACT TO ESTABLISH AN INSURANCE DEPARTMENT. PASSED APRIL 15, 1859,
THREE-FIFTUS BEING PRESENT. The people of the State of New York, represented in Senate and Assembly, do enact as follows :
Sec. 1. There is hereby established a separate and distinct department, which shall be charged with the execution of the laws heretofore passed, or that may be hereafter passed, in relation to insurance.
SEC. 2. The chief officer of said department shall be denominated the Superintendent of the Insurance Department. He shall be appointed by the Governor, by and with the advice of the Senate, and shall hold his office for the term of three years. He shall receive an annual salary of two thousand five hundred dollars, to be paid quarterly. He shall employ, from time to time, the necessary clerks to discharge such duty as he shall assign them, whose compensation shall be paid to them monthly, on his certificate, and upon the warrant of the Controller. He shall appoint one of the said clerks to be his deputy, who shall possess the powers and perform the duties attached by law to the office of principal during a vacancy in such office, and during the absence or inability of his prineipal. Within fifteen days from the time of notice of their appointment, respectively, the Superintendent and his deputy shall take and subscribe the oath of office prescribed by the constitution, and file the same in the office of the Secretary of State, and the said officers shall be, in all respects, subject to the provisions of the sixth title of chapter five of the first part of the revised statutes, so far as the same may be applicable ; and the said Superintendent of the Insurance Department shall give to the people of the State of New York a bond, in the penalty of ten thousand dollars, with two sureties, to be approved of by the Controller, conditioned for the faithful discharge of the duties of his office; and the said Superintendent shall not, either directly or indirectly, be interested in any Insurance Company.
Sec. 3. The Superintendent of the Insurance Department shall possess all the powers, perform all the duties, and be subjected to all the obligations and penal. ties now conferred by law upon the Controller of the State, or to which the Controller is subject, in relation to Insurance Companies and the formation thereof, under the laws relating thereto, so that every power and duty thereby conferred on the Controller shall, from and after the appointment of such Superintendent, be transferred to, and conferred upon, the said Superintendent. In addition to the requirements of the laws of eighteen hundred and fifty-three, relating to the annual reports relative to insurance, the Superintendent shall be required to report the names and compensation of the clerks employed by him, and the whole amount of expenses of the department during the year ; such report shall be made by or before the first day of March, and fifteen hundred copies for the use of the Superintendent, and the usual number of copies for the use of the Legislature, shall be printed by the printer employed to print legislative documents.
Sec. 4. The said Superintendent, with the approval of the Governor, shall devise a seal, with suitable inscriptions, for his office, a description of which, with a certificate of approval by the Governor, shall be filed in the office of the Secretary of State, with an impression thereof, which seal shall thereupon be and become the seal of office of the Superintendent of the Insurance Department, and the same may be renewed whenever necessary. Every certificate, assignment, or conveyance executed by said Superintendent, in pursuance of any authority conferred on him by law, and sealed with his said seal of office, shall be received as evidence, and may be recorded in the proper recording offices in the same manner, and with the like effect as a deed regularly acknowledged or proved before an officer authorized by law to take the proof or ackpowledgment of deeds; and all copies of papers in the office of the said Superintendent, certified by him, and authenticated by the said seal, sball, in all cases, be evidence equally, and in like mapper, as the original. An impression of said seal directly on paper, shall be as valid as if made on a wafer or wax.
Sec. 5. All books, papers and documents, securities, stocks, bonds and mortgages, and all other papers whatever in the Controller's office, and in the office of the Secretary of State, relating to the business of insurance, shall, on demand, be delivered and transferred to the Superintendent of the Insurance Department, and be and remain in his charge and custody.
Sec. 6. Tbere shall be assigned to the said Superintendent by the trustees of the State Hall, suitable rooms therein for conducting the business of said department, and the said Superintendent shall, from time to time, furnish the necessary furniture, stationery, fuel, lights, and other proper conveniences for the transaction of the said business, the expenses of which shall be paid on the certificate of the Superintendent, and the warrant of the Controller.
Sec. 7. There shall be paid by every company, association, person or persons, or agent, to whom this act shall apply, the following fees towards paying the expenses of executing this act :-For filing the declaration now required by law, or the certified copy of a charter also now required, the sum of thirty dollars; for filing the appual statement now required, twenty dollars; for every certificate of agency and copy of statement, three dollars ; for every copy of paper filed in his office, the sum of ten cents per folio ; and for affixing the seal of said office to such copy, and certifying the same, one dollar. In case the expenses of said department shall exceed the amount of fees collected under this act, and paid into the State treasury, (exclusive of the tax upon marine premi. ums,) the excess of such expenses shall be annually assessed by the Superintendent, pro rata, upon all the Stock Insurance Companies of this State ; and the said Superintendent is hereby empowered to collect such assessments and pay the same into the State treasury.
Sec. 8. All laws and parts of laws inconsistent with this act are hereby repealed. Sec. 9. This act shall take effect on the first day of January next.
STATE OF New York, Secretary's Office. I have compared the preceding with the original law on the file in this office, and do certify that the same is a correct transcript therefrom, and of the whole of said original.
GIDEON J. TUCKER, Secretary of State.
WAREHOUSING AND INSURANCE. The American Chamber of Commerce at Liverpool has lately had under consideration the state of the law as to the right of a shipowner to warehouse and insure goods not claimed in due course by the holder of the bill of lading, and to charge the latter with the rent, premium of fire insurance, and storage expenses, and also, with the ordinary mercantile commission.
Annexed is a summary of a case submitted by order of the chamber to Mr. Wilde, Q. C., a mercantile lawyer of the highest standing, with a full copy of his opinion, from which we perceive that the shipowner can easily recover the warehouse rent and expenses, but not insurance or commission, according to the English view of the case. Considering that cases of this kind are now of constant occurrence, and are likely to become still more frequent with the increase of the transit business, the Liverpool.chamber thinks it right to bring the subject, involving as it does the risk of loss by fire in consequence of the property being uninsured, before the mercantile bodies in the ports of the United States,
in order that the parties interested, shippers as well as shipowners, may adopt such measures for their protection as they may deem expedient :SUMMARY OF CASE SUBMITTED BY ORDER OF THE AMERICAN CHAMBER OF COM
MERCE AT LIVERPOOL, TO JUSTICE JAMES WILDE, Q. C., AS TO THE RIGHT OF SHIPOWNERS TO CHARGE WAREHOUSING AND STORAGE EXPENSES, INSURANCE AND COMMISSION, ON GOODS NOT CLAIMED IN DUE COURSE.
On the arrival at Liverpool of a ship with a general cargo, it sometimes happens that some of the goods are not claimed, and the shipowner is obliged to warehouse them. To protect his claim for freight, he insures them against fire. As goods are frequently insured aboard by the shipper for some period, say a month after arrival, it may thus happen that the goods are doubly insured. When eventually, the holder of the bill of lading claims delivery, questions arise as to the shipowner's right to be repaid the charges, warehouse rent, and insurance, and to receive a commission for the extra trouble thus incurred.
The holder of the bill of lading denies the shipowner's right on the following grounds :
1st. That under the bill of lading, which is the only contract, the shipowner is bound to deliver on being paid freight.
2d. That the shipowner has no authority to warehouse the goods.
3d. If under the circumstances the shipowner has authority to warehouse, he has no authority to insure.
4th. That the shipowner cannot claim commission for doing what he was not employed to do. On the other hand the shipowner contends
1st. That his contract is only to carry and deliver the goods in due course ; and there is an implied obligation on the part of the shipper or consignee to take delivery in due course, and if through his default it becomes necessary for the shipowner to warehouse the goods, he should not only pay the charges but compensate the shipowner for the trouble forced upon him for the benefit of the owner of the goods.
2d. That, though not pecessary, it is a proper precaution for the shipowner to ipsure against fire, as he cannot know whether the goods are already insured. Further, tbat it is unreasonable that by the default in not taking delivery the shipowner's lien should be jeoparded by the risk of fire.
QUERIES. Ist. Has the shipowner or his consignee a right, under the circumstances stated, to land and store goods not claimed, and to charge the shipper or his consignee, who may afterwards claim them, with the charges of storing and warehouse rent? Can he also effect fire insurance, and charge the premium ; and is he entitled also to charge commission ?
2d. Has be, or the warehouse keeper employed by him, a lien on the goods, and can he retain them for payment pot oply of the freight, but also of the charges above mentioned, or any, and which of them ?
OPINION. 1. I am of opinion that the shipowner is justified, both by law and usage, in protecting the goods by landing and storing them, under the circumstances suggested ; and that the holder of the bill of lading, or the shipper, would be bound to pay the charges so incurred; but as to fire insurance or commission, I think neither of them are chargeable. Any insurance made by the shipowner is, in truth, made to protect the subject of his own lien, and for his own benefit. It has been quite lately held in the Queen's Bench, that a man could not cbarge rent for keeping the subject of his lien, and insurance would be going a step farther ; so as to commission, there is no contract for it, and the storing and keeping of the goods is, in truth, done as a collateral duty arising out of the contract of carriage, and remunerated by the freight
2. I am of opinion that the warehouse keeper has a lien upon the goods for the warehouse rent, but not the other charges.
JAMES WILDE. LIVEEPOOL, Summer Assizes, 1859.
DEAD-LETTER OFFICE, The Washington Constitution makes the following remarks upon the singular contents of the Dead-letter Office :
We examined yesterday the catalogue of articles which have accumulated in the above named office since 1848. The department has used every effort to restore them to their proper owners, and, being unable to deliver them, they are now to be sold for the postage; the proceeds, if any, after paying charges, to be deposited in the United States Treasury, subject to order should the proper owners hereafter be found.
The catalogue embraces coats, hats, socks, drawers, gloves, scarfs, suspenders, patent inbaling tube, gold pens, pencils, and all kinds of small jewelry imaginable, undersleeves, fans, handkerchiefs, box of dissecting instruments, pocket bibles, children's dresses, lace collars, books, buttons, cloth, purses, slippers, chemises, bed-quilts, boots, shirts, gaffs for game fowls, corn-field hoe, black silk basque, hoods, shawls, gaiters, cigar case, snuff box, spectacles, false teeth, bigbt-caps, brogans, a prons, pantalettes, ear-trumpet, shoulder-braces, silk flag, razors, 100 catechisms, watch chrystals, pipple-glasses, demi-veils, edging, and a thousand other things too numerous to mention. No pawnbroker's shop ever excelled, in variety, the collection of the Dead-letter Office.
POSTAL ARRANGEMENTS BETWEEN THE UNITED STATES AND CANADA,
WASHINGTON, November 3, 1859. The Postmaster-General has concluded an arrangement with the Canadian Post-office Department by which the mails are to be transported for the sea postage, weekly, between Detroit and Liverpool, via Portland, in winter, and the River St. Lawrence in summer.
The service is to commence by the trip of the first steamer outward from Portland on the 26th inst. It is intended to have the mails, or such as may be thereby expected, for and from the Western, Northwestern, and probably some of the Southwestern States, sent in closed bags between Chicago and Detroit on the one side, and Liverpool and London on the other; and for this purpose, the British Post-office Department has been requested to constitute Chicago and Detroit exchange offices for the United States and British mails.
On the one side of Britain, Cork may also be constituted an exchange office, By the schedule, the time between Portland and Chicago is to be forty-eight hours, and when the service commences there will be an unbroken line of railroad the whole way. This will be a very direct line between the Far West and Euгоре.
HAVANA POST-OFFICE. The Consul-General Heim, says the New York Journal of Commerce of a late date, bas presented to the attention of General Concha the subject of a postal arrangement between the United States and Cuba, in which he has been met with equal intelligence and frank affirmation of his views—the details of which are not yet determined for oficial report and publication ; but it is settled that all mails for the United States shall be made up in the consulate of the United States, under the charge of the Consul-General, and be dispatched by him on board of the steamers of the United States or other vessels, from and after the first of November.
RATES OF POSTAGE BY FRENCH MAIL. We are requested to state, says the Washington Constitution, that letters addressed to Corsica, Japan, Java, Jerusalem, Majorca, Minorca, the Vepitian States, and Victoria, may be forwarded from the United States to destination in the French mail ; the rates of postage per quarter ounce being as follows, viz. :To Corsica.
15 cents, prepayment optional. Japan ............
optional. Majorca .......
required. Venitian States...
optional. Victoria ......
required. The postage on a letter over one-quarter but not exceeding half an ounce is double the above rates in each case; and so on, an additional rate being charged for each additional quarter ounce or under.
30 " 30 “ 30 " 21 " 21 "
COTTON AT NEW ORLEANS. At the meeting of cotton buyers and cotton brokers held on the 29th October last, and convened for the purpose of devising means to redress certain abuses and grievances existing in connection with the cotton trade of New Orleans, the following resolutions were adopted :
Ist. That the practice followed hitherto by factors of offering for sale dusty and sandy parcels of cotton along with other parcels free from such defects, be discountenanced by buyers ; and in order to do this the more effectually, dusty and sandy cottop are hereby declared unmerchantable, and factors are recommended to sell them separately on their own merits.
2d. That sellers of cotton shall be held responsible for any just reclamations for false packed cotton, the following clause to that effect being inserted in the broker's sale note and also on every invoice rendered to the buyer, “ subject to claims for false packed cotton."
30. That the practice of the presses of replacing lost bales of cotton without the consent of the owner be tantamount to a fraudulent substitution ; that it shall be treated as such and the fact reported to the committee to be hereby appointed for that and other purposes for such action, as the gravity of the case may require, and buyers and shippers of cotton engage themselves to uphold the action of the committee, even if it carry with it the necessity to discontinue receiving cotton at such delinquent press, or so long as it remain under the open or covered control of the offending party.
4th. That the charge of five cents per bale made by the presses on cotton not ordered for shipment the day it is received be no longer paid, provided the shipper gives the compressing order on the day the cotton is received and name the vessel the day following.
5th. That buyers agree not to pay the charge of fifteen cents per bale which the cotton presses attempt to exact from those buyers who wish to remove their cotton uncompressed on the day it is delivered.
6th. Tbat factors shall replace iron hoops with ropes unless a special contract is made to the contrary.
7th. That a standing committee, comprising fifteen cotton brokers, be appointed to take action on any violation of rules adopted at this meeting, and also