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Immigration Quotas, Ellis Island and Other Events of 1923

The following information has been extracted from a variety of newspaper sources including The New York Times ; The London Times ; The Toronto Globe ; The Express, Lock Haven, Pennsylvania

     Index | March 02 - June 26 | July 01 - August 16 | August 17 - December 28

New York Times, March 2, 1923
Plans Citizenship For 7,000,000 Aliens
Secretary Davis Tells of Program to Americanize All Foreigners Living Here
Tells Welshmen America “Must Hold Fast To Eternal Principles of Right and Justice.”
Pittsburgh, March 1.–Plans for the Americanization of 7,000,000 foreigners now in this country were outlined tonight by James J. Davis, Secretary of Labor, in an address before the St. David’s Society, a Welsh organization of Pittsburgh.

“We are confronted with a serious problem in our alien population,” said Mr. Davis, after detailing the part the Welsh had played in American history, and declaring that “nearly 75 per cent of the aliens in America who were born in Wales are today naturalized citizens.

“We have 14,000,000 foreigners in America,” continued Mr. Davis, “7,000,000 of whom are living among us without assuming the duties of American citizenship. We propose to enroll these aliens to take an annual census of them, in order to provide for them the opportunity to learn what America means and what the privileges and duties of American citizenship are.

“We propose to Americanize the alien before he alienizes America. We propose to make him a citizen if he proves worthy of citizenship, and to send him whence he came if he proves unworthy.

“Never was America more in need of the sturdy, homely Welsh virtues than it is today. Evils arise around us which will overwhelm and destroy us unless they are met by the stalwart heart of America in the spirit of honesty and honor.

“A blatant and cynical immorality is raising its head among us, and it must be conquered by that grave respect for the sanctity of the home, the inviolability of the marriage tie which is inborn in the Welsh character. We must drive home to all America that the honor of the individual is the honor of the family, and the honor of the family is the honor of the State. We must sanctify our family life, for no nation can long endure which is based on a foundation of broken families.

“From all the world there arises a miasma of foul political, economic and social doctrine which breeds a fever of revolt against all law and order, a plague of hate and destruction.

“In this new conflict America must hold fast to those eternal principles of right and justice laid down in our fundamental laws. American citizenship must have behind it honest patriotism, love of liberty and respect for law. We must stand firm on the principles enunciated in the birth of the republic and right of contract and the right of free labor. We must pledge ourselves that representative Government shall endure.”

London, Times, March 14, 1923
Ellis Island
How Immigrants Are Treated
A Personal Investigation

(From Our New York Correspondent)
Ten minutes by ferry from New York’s skyscrapers, at the gateway of the “Land of the Free,” and in the shadow of the Statue of Liberty, is a “Land of the Unfree”–the immigrant station of Ellis Island.

Seen across the lower harbour it has a forbidding look. Grey stone buildings rise four storeys from a ground so flat and rectangular in all its boundaries as to suggest that the land is no land at all, but only a foundation. Not a tree, not a shrub, and no grass, one suspects, under the snow. The buildings are all of one colour and one architecture–practical, severe, without a softening grace. The sole exception is the largest of them all, a sort of reminiscence of the Kremlin; but for all its show of domes and minarets it only accentuates the general sombreness.

Here immigrants and sometimes other travellers are taken for examination and passed through the main doorway of the United States or turned back to the far countries whence they came. For most of them it means only a delay of a few hours and then freedom to go where they please. But there are others who, for one reason or another, must stay here for days or even weeks, strangers in a strange land, yielding reluctantly to new customs, in the midst of alien tongues.

There have been many allegations of ill-treatment of helpless immigrants and others. The station has been described as “worse than the Black Hole of Calcutta.” In an endeavour to find out how much basis there was for these reports I journeyed to the island. An unexpected visit should, I felt, disclose something at least of whatever was wrong with its management.

Mr. Tod, a Scotsman by birth, received me cordially.

“Go anywhere you like,” he said; “see anything you want, talk to anybody you please. You’ll need a guide. Mr. Landis (Assistant Commissioner) will go, and I’ll ask the Chief Surgeon, Dr. Hettrick, to show you over the hospital. See everything, and if you haven’t time for it all, come down again as often as you will and whenever you want to.”

The Fight Against Dirt
I took his permission literally and for the next five hours I was engaged in an investigation as thoroughgoing as I knew how to make it. And here are my findings:–

The buildings are inadequate to deal with the burden often put upon them. They were meant to care for an annual influx of three hundred thousand or thereabouts, but in some recent years as many as a million persons have passed through them. But it was to me astonishing to see the patience with which the emigrants’ needs, large and small, were dealt with. None was under a disadvantage because of race or creed or language. Fifty-three languages struggled for intelligibility; there were interpreters for all. Polish, Finnish, Slovak, Italian, Turkish–it made no difference, there was always somebody to understand and explain; sometimes a welfare worker of one of the seventeen societies domiciled in the immigrants’ quarters, sometimes a doctor or a nurse, once–I heard him–a porter easily running the gamut of seven dialects.

The fight against vermin and dirt is, as might be expected, continuous, and it is this very fight that seems to be at the bottom of many of the complaints.

The immigrants are taken to Ellis Island in barges. One barge will carry all the sick, another all the well, but there is no other separation of them–none by classes. Once landed, they congregate in a waiting room, and then are separated, by sexes, only long enough for medical examination, which in the case of women is conducted by women physicians and attendants. Twenty per cent. of the steerage passengers from each vessel are stripped to detect possible vermin. Unless a group exhibits a considerable proportion of vermin-infected persons, the others have to submit only to a few superficial medical tests. Doubtful cases are held in primary detention to await the result of laboratory tests, and the vermin-infected are isolated until they and their clothes can be properly cleansed. Those who have passed the medical inspection successfully–almost invariably a great majority–next reassemble by families in a large hall, where they await their turn for the literacy tests.

Fault Of Immigration Laws
Persons with a clean sheet from the doctors who pass the literacy test–thirty to forty words from the Psalms printed in their own language–and who satisfy the legal qualifications, are at once sent on their way in groups accompanied by guides to the various railway stations. At all times welfare workers, Protestant, Catholic, Jewish, and others, circulate freely among them, offering advice and assistance. In the basement of the main building are adequate facilities for buying railroad and steamship tickets, changing money, checking and expressing luggage, sending telegrams, and securing food for use on a journey. The food, which I inspected, is sold much cheaper than in New York shops.

Immigrants and others who fail to pass the inspectors are held for examination by one of the boards of special inquiry, of which each consists of three experienced inspectors, aided by interpreters. From the decision of these board appeal may be taken to the Secretary of Labour. The only decisions made on the island that are final are in the case of mental defects and loathsome or dangerous contagious diseases.

The detained who are sick are sent to the hospital. Others are held to await the arrival of relatives or responsible friends, or until documentary evidence can be produced of their right to land or until the ship for their deportation is ready to sail. While they are on the island the steamship companies which brought them to the United States must pay all their necessary expenses, and if they are deported must return them to their own countries, pay back their passage money, and suffer a fine of from $25 to $200.

I took occasion to inquire into several of the complaints of the kind recently reported. Most of them seemed to be based on a failure of the officials to recognize differences in the social status of various immigrants and second-class passengers. Other complaints, arising out of deportations on moral grounds, are often less candidly expressed than they should be. Then there have been protests aroused by the temporary separation of families for necessary delousing–to state it plainly–or because some member of a family was suffering from a contagious disease. These, too, are numerous. Other criticisms of Ellis Island are trivial enough, and, as a rule when analysed , found to be misdirected. They should be directed not against Ellis Island but against the immigration laws.

Nearly every Commissioner has had occasion to find fault with these laws. They are unscientific and unintelligent, especially in their exclusion provisions, and the quota law is undoubtedly the cause of much hardship. Not until they get here can most immigrants from Southern Europe know whether their quotas for the month are filled or not: that is, whether they have a chance to get into the United States or must return to Europe. The steamship companies are gravely at fault in this respect (and in some others), for though they must return “mandatory excludable” persons to their own countries, pay back their passage money, and suffer a fine of $25 to $200 in each case, passage money is now so high with relation to the possible fine that they are all too ready to “take a chance.” It may be asked why the Government does not weed out prospective immigrants before they sail for this country. To that the answer is that it does to a degree, when they seek to have their passports visaed, but is prevented from taking really effective measures by existing law and treaties.

Toronto, Globe, March 22, 1923
Russians Face Death If Rejected By U.S.
Aristocrats of Czar’s Regime Held at Ellis Island for Deportation
May Yet Be Admitted

(Special Dispatch to The Globe.)
New York, March 21.–Word came from Washington today for Ellis Island authorities to stay deportations of all Russians and Polish immigrants now detained there in access of quota, and that the higher officials at Washington will hear further arguments upon the cases.

Of the 260 Russians of the former aristocracy of the Czar’s time who have been ordered deported none was more relieved by the staying order than attractive madame Marguertie Savichanko, once socially prominent in Petrograd. Her husband, a Czarist officer, was killed in Crimea. She escaped to Constantinople, sailing papers for two years there. She came here with many other distinguished Russians only to find the quota exhausted, and was ordered deported. To many of the Russians deportation will mean certain death.

It is understood that Princess Cantacutone, granddaughter of General Grant, and others of prominent American families, are bringing strong pressure to bear upon Washington authorities to save the Russians from being sent back.

New York Times, June 18, 1923
Liner Hansa Here With Beer Sealed
Hamburg-American Vessel Disappoints Some Thirsty Persons Awaiting Her Arrival
Brings 961 Passengers
Musician Tells of Communists Forcing the Dance Halls in Dresden to Close

The Hamburg-American liner Hansa arrived yesterday with 961 passengers, of whom 100 were citizens of the United States. She also carried 700 sacks of mail.

When she made fast at Pier 86, North River, the ship was beerless. The barrels had all been put under seal, much to the disappointment of some thirsty individuals on shore who were waiting for the gangway to be run out. Captain Graalfs, master of the Hansa, smiled when he was asked what his crew were going to do without their beer.

The captain said the new 22,000 ton liner Ballin was due to make trial trip on the Elbe and would sail on her first trip to New York on July 5. She will be an improvement on the liners of the Moltke and Bluecher class, he said, and have accommodation for 250 first in addition to the second and third class passengers, and was well equipped in every way. She will have an average speed of sixteen knots, and will make the voyage to New York from Hamburg in ten days. The Hansa, formerly the Deutschland, can still maintain a speed of seventeen and a half knots.

It was difficult to distinguish the cabin from the steerage passengers on the liner yesterday, as they were all equally well dressed. They came from the same classes on shore, the captain said, and the only difference was in the price of the steamship ticket.

Among the cabin passengers was Oscar John a New York musician, who returned from a visit to his parents at Haidor, Czechoslovakia. On his way back he spent some time in Germany, where, he said, living conditions for the masses of the people were very bad and thousands were starving slowly.

“When I was in Dresden, Saxony, eighteen days ago,” he said, “I went one night to the big dance hall near the Royal Palace, called the Angina Diele. About 11 o’clock, when the fun was at its height, a crowd of Communists entered the place carrying clubs and told the manager that they were not going to permit the wealthy classes to revel in luxury while thousands of the poorer people in the city and surrounding country were starving to death. The manager listened to the men and then ordered the waiters to clear all the tables. He stopped the music and told the dancers that they must go home and that the place would remain closed in definitely.

“Next day,” Mr. John continued, “the other dance palaces and music halls were closed by their managers, who were afraid of arousing the ire of the Communists. In Northern Germany and in Bavaria the people have monarchistic tendencies, but not in Saxony.”

Dr. Max Selfert, manager of the Bavarian Working Society for the Protection of Public Health at Munich, arrived on the Hansa. He is here to study American methods of financing relief organizations, how tuberculosis is handled, public hygiene and the workings of the Rockefeller Foundation. He will deliver addresses before various German societies.

New York Times, June 19, 1923
French Line Informed
Officials Here Told of New Wine Order by Ambassador Jusserand

Antoine Bordes, general representative of the French Line in the United States, announced yesterday that, with the permission of the United States Government, French vessels that sailed after June 10, the date of the new liquor regulation affecting foreign ships, would be permitted to bring into American ports a quantity of wine sufficient to meet the wine ration requirements of French merchant seamen on the homeward voyage. He explained that his information came from the French ambassador in Washington, Jules J. Jusserand.

Mr. Bordes said he understood that the agreement between the United States and French Governments was reached yesterday. Representatives of Italian and Spanish lines said they were not advised of any such regulation. They expect to hear from their respective diplomatic representatives in Washington if such an application of the recent liquor regulation is to be made in the case of foreign ships.

Dr. E.K. Sprague, Director of the Public Health Service in this district, said that he had received no instructions indicating that any modification had been made in the regulations recently put into effect by the Treasury Department. Dr. Sprague said he would be responsible for the inspection of wine and other medicinal liquor supplies on foreign ships arriving in this port, and would issue permits for ships to have stores of wine and liquors for medicinal purposes in accordance with the laws of the United States.

The first French Line ship to come in with a supply of liquor since the new dry regulation went into effect will be the Paris, which is due next Saturday, according to M. Bordes.

He understood that French ships, under the arrangement made between Ambassador Jusserand and the Government officials, may bring into port under seal wine sufficient to provide each member of a vessel’s crew with half a liter of wine a day on the return voyage. The wine will be served to the French seamen after their ships cross the three-mile limit on the homeward voyage, according to M. Bordes.

New York Times, June 20, 1923
Majestic In Port After Swift Run
Makes Crossing in 5 Days, 12 Hours, 18 Minutes, Beating Her Best Previous Mark...

The White Star liner Majestic arrived at her pier, at the foot of West Eighteenth Street at 9:30 A.M. yesterday, beating all her own previous records, having made the voyage from Cherbourg to the Ambrose Channel Lightship in 5 days, 12 hours and 18 minutes over the long southern track of 3,196 miles, at an average speed of 24.15 knots. For four days she made over 600 miles each twenty-five hours with the current against her. In the first cabin were seventy-four passengers who had started from Liverpool on the Baltic on June 9 and put back because the liner struck a piece of submerged wreckage leaving Queenstown harbor on June 10....

The liner brought 498 first, 216 second and 98 third class passengers and 7,000 sacks of mail.

New York Times, June 20, 1923
Cherbourg Records Still Mauretania’s
Both for a Day’s Run and for a Voyage Big Cunarder Is Still Queen of the Seas

The statement in yesterday’s TIMES that the Majestic in covering 609 miles in a day on her present voyage here had broken the record for a day’s run by any vessel on the Cherbourg route was incorrect. The Cunard Line drew attention to the fact that in June last year the Mauretania, westbound on the Cherbourg route, ran 629 knots in one day.

The Mauretania, still the fastest steamer crossing the Atlantic, made these records last year between New York and Cherbourg:

Voyage of April 25, average speed...25.14
Voyage of June 6, average speed......25.29
Voyage of June 27, average speed....25.29
Voyage of July 8, average speed.......25.26

So far, the highest day’s run on record is 676 knots attained by the Mauretania when on the New York-Liverpool route, after she was launched. The best average speed for any complete voyage across the Atlantic is 26.06 knots. This and the record 27.04 knots for average speed for one day, held by the Mauretania, have never yet been reached by any other steamer.

The record passage from Cherbourg to New York is 5 days 7 hours 33 minutes, made by the Mauretania in October, 1922.

Toronto, Globe, June 21, 1923g
Ellis Isle Officials Admit Imperfections
Confess That 150 Persons of Various Races Housed Together

(Associated From Despatch.)
New York, June 20.–Immigration officials at Ellis Island today frankly admitted statements made in the British House of Commons that 150 persons of various races had been housed in the same sleeping quarters, but said they know of no way of remedying the situation, unless a “gigantic” building could be erected.

If the immigrants were to be separated according to classes, it would be necessary to have a building with 200 rooms they said. Eight classifications, according to sex and status, are now in use at the Island.

Officials, who declined to be quoted, said that the policy at the Island was to treat all alike, but that the British appeared to expect special consideration. The officials said that there were many cases of Britons being detained because they failed to head warnings by United States Consuls regarding proper passports.

New York Times, June 21, 1923
Olympic Bringing Liquor Under Seal
Beverages for Return Trip Are Locked Up in Compartments by British Customs
Seizure Here Is Expected
American Government May Facilitate a Ruling on the Case by the Supreme Court

London, June 20.–The White Star liner Olympic sailed this morning from Southampton with a special supply of liquor for her home-bound voyage. There could be no doubt it was intended for that purpose for it was segregated from that provided for the New York passengers. It was, indeed, placed in a special compartment, sealed and padlocked in four separate places, each sealed with the imprint of the British Customs and Excise Department, and to prevent its getting damaged en route is enclosed in a locked sealed box.

No member of the Olympic’s crew will touch these seals on the voyage out, and they will not be broken, unless the United States Government intervenes, until the Olympic has safely passed the three mile limit homeward bound.

What this move on the part of the White Star Line means none of the officials would today explain. They would not even confirm officially that there was this liquor aboard, but it leaked out that a moderate allowance for eastward passengers had been shipped and that was not denied.

It has been suggested here that Secretary Mellon’s confidence in ship doctors has had a good deal to do with the matter. The White Star Directors may be reckoning on a “moderate supply” of liquor being considered to be medicinal stores, and it certainly appears that the determination to risk it was taken at the last moment. An invitation was sent to the Olympic’s passengers, as it was last week to the Majestic’s, to order the liquors they intended using before they reached New York, and it looks as though it was not till a few hours before sailing that it was decided to do anything for the returning passengers.

Steamship Lines Co-operating
On the other hand, the steamship company may have merely screwed up its courage to try a test case. The French Line is reported to be sending over the Paris in her usual wet condition, and the White Star Line may be merely joining it in making a protest. The Cunarder Aquitania sails on Saturday, but nothing has yet been announced as to her plans. It is known that there have been many consultations between the managements of the big steamship lines, and they have agreed to stand together in this matter. But they are completely reticent as to their plans.

On thing, however, is clear. Whatever the steamship people do, it is not a result of action of the British Government. It has left the liners to carry out whatever policy they please, and in political circles there is frank incredulity of the probability of the steamship companies accomplishing anything except a waste of a good deal of excellent liquor.

It is not believed that, with a Presidential election looming up in the not distant future, the Administration can afford to make loopholes in the recent Supreme Court decision, and there is the expectation that the Olympic’s seals will be broken and her store of drinks removed to whatever place of safety a “dry” country has for such things.

Calls Liberty “Sardonic Monument”
Commenting on New York reports that the passengers of the Majestic spent a busy time consuming alcohol aboard before she reached the three-mile limit, The Westminister Gazette says:

“Many of the passengers, if rumor does not lie, passed the last stage of the voyage in happy oblivion, thus missing the sight of the Statue of Liberty, just now the most sardonic monument in the world.

“The precise ethical distinction between carrying liquor in territorial waters, sealed under hatches, and carrying it inside passengers, who are apparently not unwilling to connive at the subterfuge, is a little hard to fathom and if entry to the New York harbor is always to be preceded by a crowded hour of virtuous life, prohibition seems to confront us with infinite minor terrors.

“When deep potations become a social duty, three miles from land, and total abstinence a legal obligation on shore, who of us is casuist enough to be able to steer a moderate course between the shoals?”

Washington Expects Seizure
Special to The New York Times
Washington, June 20.–The report from London that the White Star liner Olympic will enter American waters with beverage liquor under seal of the British Customs Service is regarded in Washington as a daring attempt to test the dry laws of this country. Officials here seemed united in the idea that such a step would be in direct contravention to the recent United States Supreme Court decision, which held that the three-mile bounded the territorial jurisdiction of this nation under the Voistead law, and that therefore liquor for beverage purposes could neither be imported nor exported inside that boundary.

The fact that the liquor on board the Olympic would be intended solely for use on the eastbound voyage and would not be opened within American waters would not enter into the question, it was said by legal experts. The whole point would be whether the ship would have the right to bring such liquors withing the territory of the United States.

State Department heads admitted they had received confirmation of the Olympic’s intention from Consul General Robert P. Skinner in London, but they refused to comment on the subject, saying it was a matter for the Treasury Department and Department of Justice to deal with.

Whether the Olympic will be seized if she makes the attempt to enter with liquor aboard could not be ascertained, for officials were loathe to discuss that aspect of the situation. It is a strong probability, however, that a technical seizure will be made, and in that event the action will be taken into the courts at once, with a desire on the part of both the United States and Great Britain to have the matter threshed out as quickly as possible. The American Government appears as anxious as are the foreign nations to have the vexatious points in the liquor laws decided, and it will be remembered that the cases brought by the foreign steamship lines were expedited to the United States Supreme Court by the Department of Justice itself.

An interesting point under discussion today was what immunity the seals of the British Customs Service would have, but the impression seemed to be that they could not be protected inside the territorial waters of this country, no matter how powerful they might be in British waters or on the high seas. From what can be learned here it is not believed the Olympic’s officers will endeavor to evade detection of the sealed liquors but will declare it together with everything else aboard. It will then be up to the American authorities to decide the course. If a seizure is ordered it is presumed it will be purely technical and the ship will be allowed to resume her return voyage as usual, whether she will be allowed to carry the liquor back is another matter.

Foreign Laws on Liquor Rations
Public Health Service officials said the liquor could not be brought in as a medical supply. When the ship is once inside the three-mile limit no passenger may secure a drink unless the ship’s surgeon prescribes it for him along the lines of Secretary Mellon’s ruling of June 18.

Inspection of foreign laws shows that they are explicit on the amount of wine and liquor rations that crews of their ships shall receive, the French and Italians going so far as to say their sailors shall have wine with 12 per cent alcohol, 42 per cent brandy and good quality beer. The laws of Italy state that there is no limit to the daily ration of officers and cadets, that petty officers shall have one liter per day of 12 per cent. Italian wine, that deckhands, cabin boys and youngsters under seventeen shall have half a liter and that all others shall have three-quarters of a liter. Firemen and greasers in the engine rooms shall have one-half pint extra per day while the ship is at sea.

Under the laws of Italy vessels cannot sail from the port of New York for an Italian port with more than fifty Italian citizens as third-class passengers unless the vessel has received a license from the Italian Consul, and such license cannot be issued until the supplies and wine on board the vessel have been tested by an inspector of immigration attached to the Italian Consulate. This license cannot be issued unless there is a sufficient quantity of wine containing not less than 12 per cent of alcohol on board the vessels, to furnish the third-class passengers during the voyage with the amount of wine required by the Italian law.

In conformance with a law of April, 1907, the Under Secretary of the French Navy instructed Superintendents of Maritime Districts that the daily ration should include 10 per cent wine or cider or beer. Each sailor receives one-half liter, each boy or apprentice under 17 one-third of a liter, and if there is no wine one and one-half liters of cider or beer are rationed to seamen and one liter to the youths. Men in the engine room, bunkers or boiler room are entitled to at least one-half pint every watch of four to six hours, and when the watch lasts six hours men who take up the work and men who leave it get an extra one-quarter pint. When extraordinary or particularly hard work is done on board the French ships, or when there are three extra hours in twenty-four, all persons then working receive an added half pint.

By way of exceptions, the daily ration may in some instances be one-tenth of a pint of rum or 42 per cent brandy, but this amount must never be exceeded and must be taken with a hot beverage–which means that it is grog.

The Italian immigration act and the ministerial decree of May 18, 1911, provide that to every immigrant traveling to foreign countries there must be given as food, among other things, one-half a liter of 12 per cent Italian wine, and for the use of the hospital on such vessels the regulations prescribe that there must be on board for use in the ship’s hospital, on the basis of 1,000 immigrants and for thirty days voyage, 24 bottles of Baroia wine, 24 bottles of Marsala wine and 12 bottles of cognac.

The British law, it is understood, stipulates five gallons of brandy for each 100 passengers and members of the crew inclusive.

There are also regulations issued by the Danish, Norwegian, Spanish and Dutch Governments, but these were not available today.

Officials Look to Washington
Foreign ships coming with stores of liquor under seal for their return trips will raise upon their arrival here a question which none of the Federal Prohibition or Customs authorities was prepared yesterday to answer. In shipping circles there was the keenest interest in news cables telling of the sailing of the Olympic.

Collector of the Port Philip Elting and Assistant Collector Henry C. Stuart declined to comment on the probable course they would take when the Olympic arrives. Both officials explained that the question of what to do with those ships was one for Washington to decide. As to what course the Government might take, the legal division of the Customs Service was unwilling to make any prediction. The belief was expressed that the foreign steamship companies were determined to bring their ships in with liquor supplies to launch a test case. The disturbing of foreign custom seals placed on ships liquor supplies will prove most embarrassing to local Customs officials it is understood.

A Customs official said it was his belief that the foreign steamship companies were about to make a test case with the cognizance of the State Department. Any seizures or arrests following the discovery of supplies of liquor sealed or otherwise stored on arriving here will in all likelihood be threshed out in the Federal District Court, as the court of original jurisdiction. Final decision would be sought in the United States Supreme Court, it was said.

As to the kind of punishment that might be inflicted upon a master of a foreign vessel found guilty of introducing liquor into port in defiance of the new regulations, the Legal Division of the Customs Service indicated one possibility by citing the law. It reads:

“If any person bringing merchandise into the United States, or assists in so doing, knows the same to be brought in the United States contrary to the law, such merchandise shall be forfeited and the offender shall be fined in a sum not exceeding $5,000 and not less than $50; or to be imprisoned for a term not exceeding two years, or both.”

New York Times, June 21, 1923
British Denounce Ellis Island ‘Cage’
Retaliation Demanded in Parliament if Detention Methods Are Continued
Crowding Admitted Here
But Tod Calls Curzon’s Reference to Treatment of Women False and Insulting

London, June 20 (Associated Press)
Ellis Island received another sound trouncing in the House of Commons today and the suggestion was advanced that Great Britain ought to retaliate if the American Government did not change its methods of detaining British subjects there.

The subject arose when Harry Becker, independent Conservative for Richmond Division of Newcastle-on-Tyne, asked the Under Secretary for Foreign Affairs, Ronald McNeill, how many English men and women were “incarcerated” on Ellis Island owing to the British quota of immigrants being filled.

Mr. Becker also asked if the Under Secretary’s “attention has been called to the fact that sometimes as many as 150 women and children of all nationalities and colors are placed in one room to sleep; will he make representations to the United States Government protesting against this prison-like treatment of English subjects, and in the event of continuance of this practice will he consider taking measures of retaliation?”

Mr. McNeill replied:
“I cannot say exactly how many British subjects are at present detained on Ellis Island. The attention of His Majesty’s Government has repeatedly been called to the conditions prevailing there, and no opportunity has been lost of prosing the United States to effect an improvement. It would be difficult to devise suitable means of retaliation, as very few citizens of the United States come to this country to settle.”

Sir Harry Brittain asked if the Under Secretary did not agree that no improvement had been made and that, within the last few days, English visitors to the United States with passports and visas absolutely in order had been subjected to these indignities, and “kept in a cage” with people of all nationalities.

Other members also made queries, including the Laborite, C.D. Hardie of Glasgow, who asked whether steps would not be taken to indicate to the industrial centres like Glasgow that the people should not emigrate. Mr. McNeill, making a general reply, said there were extraordinary difficulties in dealing with the subject.

“As far as I am aware,” he added, “the United States Government is very anxious to do anything they can to alleviate conditions. There are very great difficulties in the way.”

Replying to a statement issued by Robert P. Skinner, American Consul General here, in which he charged the steamship companies with giving to prospective emigrants misleading information as to the American quota, the companies complain that the United States authorities have refused to take any responsibility for controlling the movement of the emigrant traffic.

The lines seek to justify their action in a detailed reply to Consul Skinner’s pronouncement. Their statement contains the following paragraph:

“Unfortunately, the United States Line, which is closely identified with the United States Government, has decided not to continue to co-operate with the other lines in controlling the movement to emigrants, which stultifies to a great extent the action of the other lines and tends to break down the machinery, ultimately causing great hardship to people who have paid their passage.”

The statement made yesterday in the House of Commons that 150 immigrants of various races had been housed in one dormitory at Ellis Island was admitted by officials here to be correct. They know of no way of remedying the situation unless a gigantic building could be erected to provide separate quarters for the various races, they said.

They also referred to recent statements by Viscount Curzon, relating to the treatment accorded to two English women, Mrs. Lucy Beddoe and Mrs. Emily Ramsden, who were detained at the island.

The following statement was given out at the office of Commissioner Robert E. Tod:

“As to the two ladies, Mrs. Lucy Beddoe and Mrs. Emily Ramsden, being fed on bread and water, we deny this absolutely. We only feed on bread and water those who commit an assault on fellow immigrants. The only case we have on record recently is that of a colored man who assaulted another man two or three weeks ago.

“These women were only here one day and the bill of fare on that day was as follows: Breakfast, prunes, oatmeal with milk, bread and butter and coffee; dinner, lima bean soup, potted beef with vegetables and rice pudding; supper, macaroni with tomato sauce, blackberry jelly with tea, coffee or milk.

“The amount served is unlimited. In addition to the above bill of fare we serve three times a day graham crackers with milk to women and children. We brand Viscount Curzon’s statement that these women were treated as dogs as insulting and entirely false.

“The British are continually complaining that they are put in the rame [sic] apartment as the Continentals. We have eight divisions to make as it is, so you can see if we were to subdivide these nationalities, the place would look like a honeycomb. We can’t give the British separate quarters.

“Moreover, we are compelled by law to treat all nationalities alike.

“The women named came over on the Pittsburgh of the White Star Line on June 12. They were brought to Ellis Island on June 13 and given a hearing on June 14. They said they were coming to a relative–James Boddoe of Torrington, Conn. They testified that they were to stay here for the Summer and were going back after the vaudeville season began. We admitted them as visitors.”

On previous occasions when complaints have been made about British aliens having been treated roughly by the immigration officials at Ellis Island Commissioner Tod has stated emphatically that there was no prejudice there against the English and that all were treated impartially.

New York Times, June 21, 1923
Ellis Island Shortcomings

In the House of Commons a member has only to mention Ellis Island to put the Under Secretary of Foreign Affairs on the defensive. How many Englishmen and women are “incarcerated” there because the British quota of immigrants is filled? Does the Under Secretary know that as many as 150 women and children of all races and colors are huddled together in one room to sleep? Within the last few days have not English visitors with passports and visas been subjected to indignities and kept “in a cage”? Why are not industrial centres like Glasgow duly informed that the quota is full, to prevent futile voyages to New York and unpleasant experiences at Ellis Island? Such were the questions fired in volleys at the Under Secretary on Wednesday. Mr. McNeill could only say that his Majesty’s Government had protested against the conditions reported to it and had called upon the United States to mitigate them. “There are very great difficulties in the way,” he said.

Briefly, those difficulties are: A lack of co-operation between the United States Government and the steamship lines; inadequate facilities at Ellis Island, which accounts for crowding and unwelcome personal contacts; niggardly appropriations by Congress; red tape and delay in disposing of doubtful cases; interference by politicians with the Commissioner; conflict of authority between the local board of review and the Washington board; not enough officials and subordinates to do the day’s work–the staff is about the same in numbers as it was in 1914; arbitrary use of authority and failure to exercise discrimination in the case of persons classed as immigrants under a liberal interpretation of the law. “As far as I am aware,” said Under Secretary McNeill, “the United States Government are very anxious to do anything they can to alleviate conditions.”

The trouble is that the Government is handicapped by an antiquated system and embarrassed by the politicians, who connive at violations of the law to please their constituents. That the system needs overhauling is beyond doubt. The retiring Commissioner, Robert E. Tod, a man of means who took the office to render public service, worked twelve hours a day and gave himself no vacations, has never been indifferent to the humanities, but he has acted on the principle that it was his duty to enforce the law literally. Recently he was quoted as saying that “the politicians and attorneys are making a mockery of the immigration laws.” The cause of his retirement seems to be that he couldn’t endure his tormentors any longer.

If the British have protested against conditions at Ellis Island, it is because they give more attention to what they consider the fair treatment of their own people than other nations. Of what it considered some flagrant examples of official blundering at Ellis Island. The Daily News said the other day:

If means really cannot be devised to regulate properly the flow of immigration, unfortunate victims of the embargo can be treated with reasonable courtesy and consideration, America owes that much, if not to the excluded foreigner, at least to her own repute.

When British first-class passengers on steamships who have valid passports and visas are taken off and removed to cramped quarters at Ellis Island because they are classed as immigrants, and the quota is full, they have a right to complain that they should have been informed of their disability when they applied for passports. “If American women,” says the London Standard, “were held up here and sent to the Isle of Dogs while the Home Office considered their case, we should never hear the last of it.” Instead of railing at British critics of Ellis Island methods, it would become us to occupy ourselves in reforming them and in revising the immigration laws to insure just and courteous treatment for new arrivals under the shadow of the Statue of Liberty.

New York Times, June 22, 1923
30 Brides Delayed At Ellis Island
Arrive on Liner America and Are Permitted to Enter in Custody of Husbands
Berengaria Docks Today
Oxford-Cambridge Tennis Team Coming Here for Tour of Country

The Italian Generale Navigazione liner America, one of the last of the “wet” steamships to reach this port, arrived yesterday from Genoa and Naples. She brought thirty newly married couples. All the brides are wedded to American citizens, but they had to make the trip to Ellis Island because the Italian quota is filled. After being technically deported they were all allowed to depart in the custody of their husbands.

Dr. A.H. Putney, Professor of Constitution Law of the American University, Washington, D.C., was one of the America’s passengers....

The Cunarder Berengaria is expected to arrive this morning. Radio messages received yesterday stated that the liner was averaging more than 23 knots. She left Southampton last Saturday night.

The Earl and Countess of Castlestewart with their small son, the Viscount Castlestewart, will arrive today from England on the Berengaria, to be the guests of the Countess’s parents, Mr and Mrs. S.R. Guggenheim....

Tennis Team to Arrive
The combined Oxford-Cambridge tennis team, which is to tour the Untied States and Canada this Summer is on the big Cunarder. The team is composed of five Cambridge men, J.N. Lowry, M.D. Horn, C. Ramaswami, J.H. Van Alen, J.J. Lezard, and four Oxford players, L.F. Hepburn, C.H. Kingsley, A.N. Wilder and R.S. Watt. Of this number Van Alen and Wilder are Americans....

Other passengers include Mrs. Frederick Grant, Rev. and Mrs. Thacher, R. Kimball, Mr. and Mrs. F.W. Mortenson and Miss Betty Mortenson, Frank I. Packard, Thomas B. Paine and Miss Douglass Paine, Mr. and Mrs. E.G. Thorne, Mr. and Mrs. Emanuel Diaz, Miss Emily Trebor, Miss Isobel McClive, W.H. Sears, Miss Mary Nish, Mrs. Evelyn Hill, J.W. Bell, Miss Helen S. Pain, Miss Alice Sherburne, Alexander C. Barker.

There are 475 passengers on the Berengaria, of whom 363 are citizens and fifty-six from the United Kingdom. There are small numbers from 25 other nationalities, running from one to eight and totaling but sixty-seven passengers.

Reliance Docks Today
The steamship Reliance of the United American Lines, will arrive this morning and dock at Pier 86 North River. She brings 750 passengers, among whom are about twenty-five tourists who made the cruise around the world on the Resolute and remained in Europe for an extra period. Among the passengers on the Reliance are:

Mr. and Mrs. Frederick B. Adams and their son, Frederick Jr.; Efrem Zimbalist, violinist; J. Herbert Anderson, Mrs. Harriet H. Goodspeed, Raymond W. Jordan, Charles L. Nichols, David Brallowsky, Miss Matilda Reuter, Mrs. John B. Vell, Dr. and Mrs. Franz Wenk, Hugo Bondy, James McKendrick, Ludwig Schiff, Simon Schiff, Mr. and Mrs. Daniel T. Kieg, Mr. and Mrs. H. R. Lehrfeld, Miss Grace M. Martin, William H. McBride, Mrs. Christine K. Pomeroy, William Schlechter, Miss Anna E. Winslow, William F. Flint, James A. McGeachin, Miss Elizabeth Nichols, Mrs. L.W. Rand, William Siegel, Frank P. Freel, Miss Lydia Selby, Henry Nichols, Mr. and Mrs. John Tonningsen of San Francisco, Misses Mary and Elizabeth Fitz-William of Leavenworth, Kan.; Juan J. Angel and Ricardo Greiffenstein both of Bogota, Columbia.

Kroonland Delayed
The Red Star liner Kroonland was delayed two hours in sailing yesterday from Pier 69, North River, for Plymouth, Cherbourg and Hamburg, because of cylinder trouble in her refrigerating system. Among her passengers was the Rev. Bernard I. Bell, President of St. Stephen’s College, Annandale-on-Hudson....

Another passenger was Mrs. Augustine J. Koehler, who in the stage world is Miss Florence Shirley....

The French liner Rousillon departed yesterday from her West Fifteenth Street pier for Havre carrying a total of 265 passengers, among whom was a party of forty-five professors and students from various American universities, who will make a three months’ study of art, history and Spanish literature at the University of Madrid. They are under the leadership of Professor Joaquin Ortega of the University of Wisconsin.

The Rev. Charles A. Vernier, accompanied by his wife and four children, is returning to his home in Paris after an absence of thirteen years in Tahiti.

The new passenger liner Westphalia of the Hamburg-American Line sailed yesterday from Hamburg on her maiden voyage to New York. She is a steamer of the one-class cabin type, carrying 150 cabin passengers and 700 third-class. Like her sister ship, the Thuringia, which entered service last January, the Westphalia is a twin-screw oil burner of 11,600 tons gross. She is scheduled to sail from New York on her return voyage July 12.

New York Times, June 22, 1923
Would Shift Cost Of Alien Dentention
Commissioner Wants to Have Burden Placed on the Steamship Lines
Reply To British Attack
Proposes That Companies Care for immigrants in quarters Built on Ellis Island

Washington, June 21.–Spurred by the attack in the House of Commons yesterday on methods used at Ellis Island in detaining British born immigrants, Commissioner General Husband today sought legal opinion as to whether steamship companies could be required, under the existing law, to bear the entire expense of detaining aliens at immigration stations.

Mr. Husband’s move added another chapter to the controversy involving protests from some British authorities over the treatment their nationals received from American immigration officials. Sir Auckland Geddes, the British Ambassador, recently made an inspection of conditions at Ellis Island, and his report, which has never been made public, is said by officials here who have seen it in the British White Book, to have been favorable rather than otherwise.

Admittedly conditions at Ellis Island left much to be desired, Mr. Husband said, and it was understood that the Geddes report recognized the difficulties in the way of the American Government in its efforts to correct them. The outburst in Parliament yesterday, therefore caused surprise among American officials.

Mr. Husband outlined the situation to Robe Carl White, Acting Secretary of Labor, in the following memorandum which was at once forwarded to the department’s solicitor:

“It is estimated that the United States Government has expended a total of approximately $5,000,000 in building and equipping Ellis Island, and except for the fact that the station is used in part for Administration purposes and that a limited number of aliens taken an [sic] departmental warrants are detained there, the entire plant is operated solely for the benefit of transportation companies which bring aliens to the United States purely as a commercial venture, the only financial return to this Government being the actual cost of meals, and since February, 1922, an additional charge of 25 cents per day.

“It is very clear that such returns do not nearly cover the cost of detailing the aliens in question, and it has been estimated that the lose to the Government at Ellis Island alone is approximately $600,000 annually, and that the total loss at all stations is approximately $1,000,000 annually. In computing this total we have taken into account the cost and upkeep of plants, the cost of guarding aliens, and of all service which would be necessary provided transportation companies were required to be entirely responsible for aliens pending their admission or return.

“In view of the foregoing, the bureau feels that it is in effect being criticized for the character of a service which is furnished in large part as a gratuity to the transportation companies, and it is quite inclined to feel that the excess detention costs referred to are an unwarranted expense to this Government.

“In view of this I would be glad if the whole question could be submitted to the solicitor as to the rights and responsibilities of the Government in requiring the transportation companies involved to bear the entire expense of detaining aliens at all immigration ports; the cost to this Government being limited to the actual expense of administration and examination of aliens.”

If it could be done legally, Mr. Husband said, the steamship companies would be required to build quarters for detained immigrants and give in their the care British authorities desired for them. Under the plan he had in mind a part of Ellis Island would be leased to the companies for that purpose.

New York Times, June 23, 1923
Sealed Liquor On Two British Liners To Be Seized Today
Baltic and Berengaria Arrived With a Full Supply for Use on Outward Voyage
Regarded As Test Case
Ships’ Officers Told They Will Be Treated With Dignity, Not as Bootleggers
Are Surprised At Delay
Cunard Captain Held Ship at Quarantine Expecting Removal of Wet Cargo

The Cunarder Berengaria and the White Star liner Baltic arrived here yesterday with full supplies of liquor under the seal of the British customs for use on the outward voyage. The ships officers were informed that the liquor would be seized and removed early this morning in accordance with the orders of the Treasury Department.

The manifest of the Baltic was entered at the Custom House at Bowling Green by Captain John Roberts, the master, at 11:30 A.M., with the liquor listed on the back of the document as surplus stores under seal. Captain W.I.R.D. Irvine, R.N.R. of the Berengaria did not reach the Custom House until late in the afternoon, as he had to go with Purser Stanley Beynon and Surgeon J.H. Doherty to 25 Broadway to attend a conference with Sir Ashley Sparks, the Director of the Cunard Line in the United States.

When the British steamships arrived at their piers the captains and pursers were informed that the liquors brought in the ships would be seized, is at was [sic] a violation of the decision made by the United States Supreme Court. The officials added that it was quite understood by the Treasury Department in Washington that this was a test case and that the officers of the ships would be treated in a dignified manner and not as if they were bootleggers or pirates.

After standing by all day to be ready to check over the wet stores after the seals had been broken without any official appearing from the Customs Department, the barkeepers were told at 5 o’clock last night by inspectors on duty at the pier that the liquors on the Baltic would be seized at 9 o’clock today and those on the Berengaria a little later, as the manifest of the latter ship had arrived at the Custom House too late for examination.

Issues Order for Seizures
Upon receiving information from the Collector of the Port that there was a quantity of liquor in excess of the proper supply for medicinal purposes aboard the Baltic, Federal Prohibition Director Palmer Canfield instructed Divisional Chief R.Q. Merrick to detail sufficient men to remove the liquor from the vessel this morning at 9 o’clock. Under the Treasury ruling it becomes the duty of the Collector of the Port to seize the liquor and turn it over to the local Prohibition Director. It will be removed from the White Star pier, at the foot of West Eighteenth Street, to the Knickerbocker warehouse, at First Street and the Bowery, where the liquor will remain until the matter has been decided.

The Baltic was scheduled on the other side to be the first British steamship to arrive in New York with wet stores under seal, as she was the first to leave a British port after the decision had been made by the various steamship lines to make a test. The liner left Liverpool on June 9 and had to put back through striking a piece of submerged rock in Queenstown harbor. All her wet stores were taken off and she went into the graving dock to have the damage repaired that had been done to her plates.

Large Supply of Liquor
Shortly before the liner left the river Mersey late on June 13 the White Star Line officials sent on board 5,736 bottles of ale, stout and lager, 305 bottles of spirits, 119 bottles of wine and 38 bottles of liquers, and had it sealed by the customs officials at Liverpool. There were four large red seals on white tape bearing the imprint of the British crown and the words “Customs, Liverpool.” The liquor was stored in a latticed room and the bottles could easily be seen from the deck outside but could not be reached.

In addition the Baltic has seventy and a half bottles of spirts which were also under seal and marked on the manifest as surplus medical stores for use on the homeward voyage. It was understood that Dr. E.K. Sprague of the Marine Hospital has granted a permit for the medical supplies to remain on the Baltic.

 The liner also had a supply of liquor pub on board at Liverpool for the outward passage, but it was very small as there were only 83 passengers. They worked fast, Purser Robert Edwards said, and there was not a single drink of any kind of intoxicants left when the ship passed the three-mile limit at eleven o’clock on Thursday night.

The Majestic had sailed from Southampton on June 13 ten hours ahead of the Baltic but did not take any liquor under seal for the return passage from New York because the decision to make the test had not then been decided upon, it was stated yesterday.

When the Customs officials received the manifest on the Baltic from Captain John Roberts before he went to the Customs House it was pointed out to them that there were wet stores under seal on the ship and they were listed on the back of the document as surplus stores. The captain was quite ready to see the United States Customs Inspectors go down to the lower deck and break the British seals, but to his surprise they contented themselves by going and inspecting the door to the spirit room and remarking that it was a pleasant day. Captain Roberts was informed that he should go to the Custom House and enter his ship in the usual manner.

The Berengaria reached Quarantine at 10 o’clock, and Purser Stanley Beynon reported to the customs officials when they went on board that there was under seal on the “H” deck 101 3-5 gallons of wine, 101 1-6 gallons of spirits and 3,888 bottles of ale, stout and lager beer. In addition there was a surplus medical supply consisting of 47 1-6 gallons of wine, 29 5-6 gallons of spirits and 150 bottles of ale and stout for the voyage back to Southampton.

Captain W.I.R.D. Irvine, R.N.R., the master of the big Cunarder, stopped his ship twenty minutes in Quarantine after she had been cleared by the health officers, to see if the customs officials intended to take the liquor off before the liner proceeded to her pier at the foot of West Thirteenth Street. The liquor for the outward trip had all been consumed, the purser said, and the last bottle of champagne vanished at midnight when the Berengaria was approaching the American coast.

After he had made his ship fast and the Customs officials had looked at the six big red seals and one leaden seal on the wine room down on “H” deck, where they were placed by the British Customs Inspectors in charge of a surveyor at Southampton last Saturday, Captain Irvine drove in a taxicab with the purser and surgeon to the Cunard office, 25 Broadway. They had been summoned by telephone, to attend a conference with Sir Ashley Sparks as to what was best to be done with regard to the supply for medicinal purposes on the eastward voyage.

The officials of the White Star Line said late yesterday that no protest would be made by the company in New York. The matter would be left to the head office in London and would be made a diplomatic and not a court issue. Sir Ashley Sparks the director of the Cunard Line had no comment to make on the probable action that would be taken by the Customs officials today.

Colonel Hayward to Follow Orders
Colonel William Hayward, United States District Attorney in a statement issued at his office yesterday said:

“My office is prepared to carry out any suggestions from the Treasury Department or Department of Justice in connection with the foreign ships said to be coming to New York with the stocks of their bar rooms under some kind of seal, consular or otherwise. Having tried and won the Anchor Line case before Judge Julius M. Mayer and the Cunard case before Judge Learned Hand, the original ‘Ship Rum’ cases, both of which were afterwards affirmed by the Supreme Court of the United States, we feel that no new point of law is involved in the present situation for the use of so-called ‘seals’ is obviously resorted to, for an artificial purpose in an effort to evade our laws. These ‘seals’ can not be so sacrosanct as it is the clear intention to have the ship bartenders reach them at the three-mile limit on the eastbound voyage.

“As we view it, the same old question is presented, and that question is not who will run the foreign ships, but who will run our harbors. My opinion is that the United States can, should and will continue to do the latter.”

The Red Star liner Lapland arrived yesterday from Antwerp bone dry except for a small quantity of brandy under seal, which was reserved for medicinal purposes, the surgeon said.

Reliance Pours Whisky Into Sea
The United American liner Reliance was also dry when she arrived yesterday from Hamburg. Before reaching the three-mile limit on Thursday night the smoking room stewards were instructed to take six bottles of Scotch whisky that was left over and pour the contents into a bucket and then dump the liquor over the side, which was done, they say, while veteran sailors stood by and wiped their eyes.

New York Times, June 23, 1923
Trust Customs Discretion
Treasury Department Awaits Protest by Steamship Lines

Washington, June 22.–The procedure in the cases of the Baltic, Berengaria and other liners arriving inside the three-mile limit, will be left largely to discretion of the customs officers at New York, so long as they follow the intent of the ruling laid down by the Treasury Department with regard to the Berengaria, it was learned this afternoon.

Official advices concerning the Baltic had not reached Washington up to the time the Government departments closed. It was assumed, however, that liquor on board the White Star liner would be taken over and held under a receipt given to the captain of the ship, just as the case would be in the instance of the Cunard boat. The protest from the steamship lines is expected by the Treasury Department, but what the next step will be was not announced.

Whether there will be an exception in the case of the Baltic because she sailed once before, June 9, put back into port for repair and then sailed again after June 10, would not be discussed in the absence of official reports of her arrival. However, it is believed she will be treated as are all other vessels arriving inside American territorial waters with “contrabrand” [sic] liquors.

The arrival of the Baltic with the liquor stores came with as much a surprise to Ambassador Geddes as to American officials who thought the Berengaria would be in first. The Ambassador sails next Tuesday on board the Berengaria, and is expected to inform Downing Street at first hand of the attitude of the Washington Administration on the ship liquor question.

New York Times, June 23, 1923
British See Humor In Liquor Contest
Take Lighter View Now That Fear of Confiscation of Ships Is Dispelled
Government Still Aloof
“No Shred of Case for Lines,” Says International Authority Concerning Seizures Here

London, June 22.–Developments in the liquor test case provided by the sealed supplies for the return journey carried by the Berengaria and the Baltic are awaited here with great interest and some sense of amusement, the view being held that the American dry law legislation has reached a stage containing certain elements of humor–which, however, may not be appreciated by anti-dry passengers traveling eastward across the Atlantic.

At the same time the serious aspects of the problem are not overlooked. Apprehensions that the British liners, arriving in New York carrying Government sealed supplies of liquor for the return voyage might be dealt with as contraband carriers were allayed by the latest reports from New York that the American authorities would confine themselves to seizing the sealed stores and placing them in bond pending further action by the steamship companies.

Besides the Berengaria and the Baltic, other vessels starting for America or already on the way with sealed “home voyage” supplies, it is understood, include the Aquitania, the Olympic, the Albania, the Ohio, the Caronia, the Cedric and the Lapland. Some imaginative people had conjured up the picture of the cream of the British Atlantic passenger vessels being confiscated under the extreme penalties of the Volstead act, evidently overlooking the fact that were the Berengaria and Baltic treated in this fashion the seizure of the other vessels could be obviated by diverting them in another direction.

It is authoritatively stated that in providing this test case on the liquor issue the shipping lines in the North Atlantic Conference are acting strictly under the advice of their legal representatives in New York. The British Government departments concerned and the custom officials were notified of the intended procedure, but, it is added, the Government declined to enter into the matter and, in fact, is taking no official cognizance of it.

Intervention by the British Foreign Office is not likely, it is declared, unless a case is made out by advisers of the shipping companies, which has been confirmed after consideration by international jurists. The authority of the American officials to break the British customs seals is not challenged. An international authority quoted by The Evening Standard says:

Much ill-informed nonsense has been published about liquor having on it the seals of the British Government and that it would affront the British Government to break those seals. Nothing of the kind exists in practice. Customs seals on cargoes in foreign vessels entering our ports are broken almost every day by British officials.

“My information is that the British, French and Italian companies are acting in concert and that following what is understood to be the contemplated action of the American customs officials the seizure of all liquor supplied on board sealed or unsealed apart from certified medicinal stores. A case will be entered in the United States courts and decision will be a waited, but it is difficult to see under this test that British or any foreign vessels have a shred of a case from a legal standpoint.”

The Daily Chronicle editorially discusses the proposed extension of the territorial limit from three to twelve miles and declares that in no circumstances could this country afford to acquiesce. It says:

“Dependent solely upon sea power for our security, no other nation is so vitally concerned over this question as we are. It is no exaggeration, to say that some 50 per cent of the fish taken by British vessels is in fact taken in waters from where they would find themselves excluded by any considerable extension of territorial jurisdiction. That would ruin an industry which in normal times provides us with $12,000,000 worth of food and the capital investments of which have been estimated at as high as $200,000,000.

“Nor would the disastrous consequences end here. Not only does the navy and mercantile marine depend upon the fishing industry for recruitment, but in wartime our fleets could not keep to sea were it not for the auxiliary services rendered by deep-sea trawlers.

“Agitation for an increase in territorial limits is not a new one, but is it not of significance that those nations which today desire most an extension of authority should on other occasions be enthusiastic advocates of the freedom of the seas while none of them have fishing interests at all comparable in magnitude with those of Great Britain?”

States British Position
The Daily Mail says:
“Before the United States Government carries any further its attempt to force prohibition on British shipping it would do well to understand what the British position is. To us our shipping is our very existence. Without its earnings we cannot hope to pay the enormous amount which we borrowed from the United States in the war for the common cause of the Allies nor can we permit it to be arbitrarily attacked or harassed.

“If it were believed in this country that our ships were being so attacked, retaliatory legislation against the United States ships and goods would be certain and the inevitable scope of such legislation might be very wide indeed.

“We have always deprecated reprisals and shall continue to deprecate them, but if interference with our shipping persists, there may be no other choice where our existence and our solvency are at stake.”

The Daily Express says:
“It would seem that the British Government are standing evasively aside, leaving the shipping companies to fight their own battle in the American courts. We regret this inactivity which can hardly be described as masterly. We can conceive of no peril to Anglo-American friendship. Supposing that the British Government were to stand behind the Cunard and White Star companies in this test of prohibition pretensions.

“The gesture with which the British Government washes its hands of this test will strike public opinion in this country as an exhibition of weakness, more likely to damage than to enhance that Anglo-American friendship which all sane men value as the great hope of modern civilization.”

Thinks It Still a Joke
The Daily Graphic says:
“The people of this country will resent, and very properly resent, the attempt on the part of America to impose her will on British ships without having more than a specious reason for doing so. The chief effect of her action is to make her look ridiculous, though the secondary result may be that before long the only vessels leaving American ports with liquor stored away on board will be those flying the Stars and Stripes.”

The Daily Mirror says:
“It is fortunate that our people on this side of the Atlantic are unable to take the pussyfoot crisis very seriously. The sense of humor, still vigorous among us, has kept the dry ship drama from becoming an international complication. It is still a joke which grows more and more ludicrous as pussyfoot over there gets more and more excited about the wine and beer that may contaminate the atmosphere of New York, even if it is kept under seal in the Berengaria or the Olympic within three miles of the coast.

“Now, apparently, we are to have a formal challenge upon those seals. There is to be an elaborate test case between the shipping companies and the American Government, but what exactly will be tested? We should, perhaps, answer, it is the American Government’s sense of humor and of proportion, for it seems incredible that the influence of a fanatical clique should have brought a great country to this nonsensical interpretation of the freedom of seas, that while liquor abounds for rich Americans in America, the crews and passengers of British ships are not to provide a supply for themselves, that there is not enough common sense going among the drys to see that the whole ridiculous squabble could be set right by a stroke of the pen and a concession in favor of foreign vessels.

“It is not too much to say that the whole world is laughing at America (politely, of course, and low), but there are many who think it would be better to speak to her more frankly about the antics of her cranks.”

New York Times, June 23, 1923
Arrivials From Europe
Four Liners In With Travelers Returning From Foreign Tours

Among the passengers arriving yesterday from Southampton and Cherbourg on the Cunarder Berengaria was Mrs. Gifford Pinchot, who was met at Quarantine by the Governor of Pennsylvania and their son, Gifford Pinchot Jr. Another passenger was Norman Hapgood, magazine writer, who predicted that France soon would suffer a financial smash, as the Government is floating new loans instead of taxing the people.

The passenger list also included John L. Bruce, A.W.K. Billings, J.W. Brown, David Burton, Mr. and Mrs. Charles Hathaway, L.A. Harris, L.M. Jenkins, Ewart Lewis, Mr. and Mrs. A.R. Merrill, J.D. Rickard, Mr. and Mrs. A.H. Wood, Miss A.C. Simmons, J.H. Sergeant, Howard Seabury, J.E. Gerrick, Mr. and Mrs. William H. Sears, Mr. and Mrs. George S. Patterson, Miss Josephine Patterson, Miss Emily Trevor, Mr. and Mrs. Charles Seymour, Mr. and Mrs. Roland M. Hooler, Mr. and Mrs. Paul T. Mayo, the Rev. and Mrs. Thatcher R. Kimball, Leopold Albu and Miss Veronica Albu, Miss Ethel Bailey and Walter H. Beasley.

Some of the passengers on the White Star Line Baltic from Liverpool yesterday were Thomas Adamson, S. Cooke, David J. Paton, Ivor Lloyd, Mrs. Alice Hartley, Louis Reacroft and Mrs. Elizabeth Hickling.

The list of the United American liner Reliance from Hamburg, Southampton and Cherbourg included Mrs. M.E. Curtin, Hugo Bondy, Mr. and Mrs. F.B. Adams, F. Freel, George S. Jarrett, Mrs. S.G. Lawrence, Miss Grace M. Martin, Mr. and Mrs. Ludwig Mayer, Miss Lucy A. Rand, Mr. and Mrs. H.A. Salomon, Miss Lydia Selby and William Siegel.

Among the passengers who arrived from Bremen, Southampton on the United States liner President Roosevelt were A.F. Mack, R.E. Tipton, Major and Mrs. R.B. Cocroft, Harold Sewall of Maine, father-in-law of United States Senator Edge; Wood Cowan, Arnold Daly, Ray A. Gibson, Congressman and Mrs. Everett Sanders of Indiana, Professor and Mrs. Eugene Wambaugh of Harvard University.

New York Times, June 24, 1923
British Liners’ Liquor Stores Seized;
Health Officer’s Permit To Keep Them As Medicine Overruled By Treasury
British Seals Broken
Baltic Had 6,198 Bottles for Homeward Voyage and Berengaria 3,193
Allowance For Return
Baltic Keeps 124 Gallons of Spirits and Wines, Berengaria 146–Much Beer on Both
Vast Stores On The Paris
French Liner in Port, and Cedric, Caronia and Conte Verde due, will Meet Same Fate

After a delay of twenty-four hours to give the matter full consideration and talk by telephone with Treasury officials in Washington, the big red seals bearing the imprint of the British Crown and attached to white tape on the door of the wine room on the White Star liner Baltic were broken yesterday and the 6,198 bottles of liquor within were technically seized. A similar ceremony took place on the Cunarder Berengaria later in the afternoon and 3,193 bottles of spirits and beer were ordered seized by Thomas Whittle, the Surveyor of the Port of New York.

Itemized, the stores on the Baltic consisted of 5,736 bottles of beer, ale and stout, 325 gallons of spirits, 119 bottles of wine, 38 bottles of liqueurs and 70 bottles of brandy. The Berengaria had stored for the return trip 3,888 bottles of beer, ale and stout, 130 gallons of spirits and 47 gallons of wine.

Neither of the big ships will leaver port bone dry for the homeward voyage as Dr. E.K. Sprague of the Marine Hospital, after consulting with the Surveyor and Collector of the Port Elting, left on board a liberal allowance of wines, spirits and beer as medical stores for passengers and crew. The Baltic was allowed to keep fifty-two gallons of spirits, seventy-two gallons of wine and 576 bottles of stout and ale. The Berengaria, a larger ship, was allowed to retain ninety-nine gallons of spirits, 850 bottles of stout and ale and forty-seven and a half gallons of wine.

Rumors Delay Seizures
Although the Federal officials were on hand yesterday morning to seize the prohibited liquors brought in on the two British ships, much delay and confusion followed. After a few cases had been taken off the Baltic a rumor gained currency along the Chelsea piers that the State Department issued orders by telephone from Washington that no more liquors were to be taken off the Baltic and that the wines, spirits and beer were to be passed as medical supplies. Another report stated that Secretary of the treasury Mellon had telephoned the Collector from the Ritz-Carlton ordering the cases of liquors already on the pier to be put back on the ship.

Surveyor Whittle became impressed by these reports, and went to see Dr. E.K. Sprague at the marine Hospital, and it was not until 3 o’clock in the afternoon that the real work of taking the liquors off the Baltic began. The liquor was sent in motor trucks to the Knickerbocker Warehouse in First Street. The liquor stores from the Berengaria will be landed tomorrow.

Mellon Says Ruling Will Stand
Secretary Mellon appeared surprised when told of the report that the ships were to have the full amount of liquor stores passed as medical supplies and said that he had heard nothing that would indicate a change of heart on the part of the Government authorities. The ruling had been made by the Treasury Department ten days ago, he said, and the liquors brought into port in excess of the quantity deemed sufficient for the use of the ship’s surgeon would be seized.

Mr. Mellon declared that nothing could be done by the officials until the question came up before Congress in the Fall. He said that he was going to Europe for a rest.

The formal proceedings commenced at 9:25 A.M., when Surveyor Whittle Deputy Surveyor William K. Sanders and State Prohibition Director Palmer Canfield boarded the Baltic at Pier 86, North River. They were met by Captain John Roberts, R.N.R., Robert Edwards, the purser, and the other officers of the ship. The Captain led the way to the wine room, which was on the lower deck near the bunker hatch, and on arriving there he handed a typewritten protest to the Deputy Surveyor which read:

“I, J. Roberts, Master of the British steamship Baltic of Liverpool, protest against the breaking of the British customs seals and the seizure by the United States customs authorities of the ship’s stores of wine and liquor held under seal on board this ship for consumption exclusively outside of the territorial waters of the United States.”...

Dr. Sprague said:...With regard to the French and Italian steamships, the dietary laws of their Governments call for a daily ration of wine for the health of the passengers and crew, which will have to be taken into consideration in issuing the permit for the medical stores on the eastward voyage.”...

 While the Baltic seizure was going on, Captain W.I.R.D. Irvine and the officers of the Berengaria were waiting at the Cunard pier, foot of West Fourteenth Street for the Customs officials to break the seals. At 3:40 the six British Customs seals on the wine room of the big Cunarder were broken by orders of Surveyor Thomas Whittle and the liquor inside was declared seized....

The French liner Paris arrived yesterday morning with 700 bottles of red and white wine and twelve casks of crew wine for use in port and a large quantity of wines and spirits under the seal of the French customs for the homeward voyage. The list contained 8,000 bottles of red and white wine, 51 casks of crew wine, 900 bottles of fine wines, 200 bottles of brandy, 75 bottles of whisky, 85 bottles of gin, 17 bottles of rum, 700 quarts of champagne, 800 pints of champagne, 800 bottles of beer and 145 casks of beer and 400 bottles of liquors.

These were listed on the ship’s manifest, which Captain Maurras entered at the Custom House at 11 o’clock and will be dealt with on Monday, Collector Elting said, when Dr. Sprague decides the amount of liquor the Paris will be permitted to carry as medical stores.

The Holland-America liner Ryndam arrived yesterday from Rotterdam, Boulogne and Southampton with one hundred and six passengers and one bottle of brandy which was wired and had a lead seal on the cork and another one at the bottom so that the contents could not be extracted. The liquor was kept in the safe in the doctor’s cabin and will remain there unless the State prohibition authorities want to guard it until the Ryndam sails.

The liner left Rotterdam before the agreement was made between the steamship companies to test the dry ruling by the United States Supreme Court, and it is expected that the Nieuw Amsterdam due next Friday, will have a supply of liquors under the seal of the Royal Netherlands customs. The Ryndam left the Dutch port this voyage with a liberal supply of fine old gin, known as “Square Face” by sailors all over the world; “Half-Half,” “Advocat,” Schiedam schnapps and wines and beers, all of which were consumed on the voyage over, the passengers said. The last bottle of gin was drunk by a merry band of students on deck to toast Miss Liberty as the liner steamed to her pier in Hoboken yesterday.

New York Times, June 24, 1923
British Papers Ask Action On Seizure
Evening Standard Wants Liquor Row Settled by Diplomacy–Star for Hague Tribunal
Compromise Is Sought
Sunday Times Urges Government to Fight Battle of Lines and People and Convince America

London, June 23.–Following demands in the evening papers that the British Government take diplomatic measures to settle the ship liquor controversy with the United States, the Hague Tribunal being suggested as a court of resort, the Sunday morning papers made pleas that the Government shall step in and seek a compromise.

The Sunday Times appeals to the Government to take a hand in the question of the enforcement of prohibition on British ships.

“For our Foreign Office to proclaim its disinterestedness and to leave the companies to fight what is unquestionably a national battle alone and unassisted,” it says, “strikes us as a very feeble attitude. Depend upon it, this is not the way to win the American Government over to some care for the decencies of international intercourse.”

The newspaper expresses the belief that the common sense of the American people is against ramming their own sumptuary laws down the throats of other people and is convinced that “if our Foreign Office protests vigorously and publicly makes the case of shipping companies its own, then American opinion will insist that the American Government pay heed to the accepted decencies of international intercourse. But if we do nothing or, rather, go out of our way to advertise official indifference, which is certainly not shared by the average man, then we practically invite Washington to trample on British rights and the amenities of civilized existence.”

The Sunday Times suggests that a compromise should be possible and says:
“If British vessels, out of deference to American wishes, place their stores of liquor under lock and key the moment they enter the three-mile limit, what more can the most fanatical of American prohibitionist want? The British shipping companies certainly will not agree that the liquor thus sealed shall be confiscated. Still less will they agree, and here at least one may be sure they will have the steadfast support of the British Government, to any extension of the three-mile limit merely to facilitate America’s passion for a social experiment.”...

New York Times, June 24, 1923
Leviathan Breaks World Speed Record In 25-Hour Spurt
Travels 687 Nautical Miles, Surpassing Mauretania’s Mark by 11 Miles
Captain Cheered For Feat
Lasker Sends Message to Harding Acclaiming America as First on Seas
Liner Docks Here Today
Members of Congress on Board Agree That Test of Ship Was Necessary

On Board The Leviathan, June 23.–Cheers greeted Captain Herbert Hartley of the Leviathan today when it was announced to those on board the giant liner headed for New York, where it will dock tomorrow, that another speed record had been smashed in the trial run.

It was the world’s record for sustained speed which the Leviathan went after and surpassed. In the test dash of twenty-five hours, completed today, the liner averaged 27.48 knots an hour for a distance of 687 nautical miles. For six hours during this time the Leviathan sustained an average of 28 knots.

Nevertheless, it is contended on board that the liner’s maximum speed was not reached.

Making the run of 687 nautical miles from Jupiter Light, Florida, to Cape Henry in twenty-five hours, the Leviathan spanned the greatest distance ever traversed by a passenger liner in the same time. The Mauretania logged 676 miles on Jan. 25-26, 1911. The Leviathan’s sustained speed of 27.94 knots an hour is compared to the Maurentania’s record of 27.04.

Albert D. Lasker, Chairman of the Shipping Board, sent a message to President Harding, informing the President of the triumph of the Leviathan, in which he said he hoped it would be some “return” to the President for his “constant interest and enthusiasm for America on the sea.”

Gibbs Challenges Any Test
William Gibbs, reconditioning engineer of the Leviathan, declared the record was made under more arduous conditions than those to which any liner was ever subjected.

“If the Majestic, the world’s next largest liner, were here,” he said, “the Leviathan would pass her by a knot and a half every time.”

The Leviathan, however, he said will not seek a transatlantic record ‘unless the others start some fancy business. Then we will use our untouched reserves.”

Experts report the liner developed more than 85,000 horse power....

New York Times, June 24, 1923
Mauretania Held Record
Established the Best Day’s Run and Fastest Time Across Atlantic

The Mauretania’s fast time both to and from Cherbourg and her record voyage from Southampton to New York, set the records for steamship speed previous to the Leviathan’s dash.

As a flier the Mauretania of the Cunard Line is the “Queen of the Seas.” She holds the record for the spurt of several hours, for the best day’s run and for the voyage across the Atlantic, both from Queenstown and Cherbourg. In 1910 she crossed from Queenstown to New York in 4 days 10 hours and 41 minutes, her average speed being 26.05 knots for the voyage.

In April of 1922, after being reconditioned as an oil-burner, she established the world’s records both to and from Cherbourg, her eastward voyage being made in 5 days 8 hours and 56 minutes and her westward trip in 5 days 9 hours and 50 minutes. She arrived in New York early in the morning of June 2, just five days and 14 hours out from Southampton, including the call at Cherbourg. There is no record of faster time from Southampton.

The figures for the fastest spurts, day’s runs and entire voyages follow:

Short Distance Spurts




Knots per hour











White Star






Best Day’s Runs




Knots for day















White Star


Fastest Voyages, New York To Cherbourg








5d. 8h. 56m.



White Star

5d. 12h. 0m.




5d. 16h. 57m.




5d. 18h. 47m.

Earlier Transatlantic Records








11d. 4h. 0m.




10d. 0h. 0m.




9d. 21h. 0m.




9d. 20h. 26m.




9d. 17h. 15m.




9d. 13h. 0m.




9d. 1h. 15m.




8d. 3h. 0m.


City of Brussels


7d. 22h. 3m.



White Star

7d. 20h. 9m.


City of Berlin


7d. 15h. 28m.



White Star

7d. 13h. 11m.



White Star

7d. 11h. 37m.



White Star

7d. 10h. 53m.




7d. 8h. 11m.




6d. 22h. 0m.




6d. 14h. 8m.




6d. 9h. 12m.




6d. 5h. 31m.




6d. 4h. 12m.




6d. 1h. 55m.


City of Paris


5d. 19h. 18m.



White Star

5d. 18h. 8m.



White Star

5d. 16h. 31m.


City of Paris


5d. 14h. 24m.




5d. 12h. 7m.




5d. 7h. 23m.




4d. 15h. 0m.




4d. 10h. 41m.

Toronto, Globe, June 26, 1923
To Urge Reform At Ellis Island
British Officials to Consult U.S. Secretary of the Treasury on Subject
Outrages On Travellers

(Associated Press Cable.)
London, June 25.–Andrew W. Mellon, United States Secretary of the Treasury, will probably be consulted by British officials upon his arrival here with regard to alleged indignities forced upon British subjects landing at Ellis Island, the House of Commons was informed today by Ronald McNeill, Under-Secretary for Foreign Affairs.

The subject was brought up by Capt. Viscount Curzon, Conservative member for the South Division, Battersea, who called attention to the case of an unnamed British mercantile captain, who, he said, was made to land at Ellis Island on April 28 last, placed in a wire cage with 30 foreigners, and afterward forced to strip for examination, although his passport was in perfect order and he had been told by the United States Consul that there would be no difficulty. Under-Secretary McNeill, replying to the member, said he would gladly receive the Captain at the Foreign Office if the latter desired to tell of his case. He thought there was apparently ground for representations to the United States Government provided the captain allowed his name to be used.

Mr. McNeill added that, in the absence of any guarantee that innocent travellers would not be subjected to these indignities, he could only repeat that the real remedy was for British subjects to refrain from going to the United States.

Viscount Curzon suggested that the Government get in touch with Secretary Mellon upon his arrival to see if it was possible to avoid such treatment and Mr. McNeillsaid that would probably be done.

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