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
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
|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
|How Immigrants Are Treated
|A Personal Investigation
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
|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
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
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 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
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
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
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 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
“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
“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
|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.
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
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
|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
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]
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
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
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.
“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
“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
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;
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
Vast Stores On The Paris
French Liner in Port, and Cedric, Caronia and Conte Verde due, will Meet Same
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
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
The Sunday Times suggests that a compromise should be possible
“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
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
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, New York To Cherbourg
5d. 8h. 56m.
9d. 1h. 15m.
8d. 3h. 0m.
City of Brussels
City of Berlin
7d. 8h. 11m.
6d. 9h. 12m.
6d. 5h. 31m.
6d. 4h. 12m.
6d. 1h. 55m.
City of Paris
City of Paris
5d. 7h. 23m.
|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
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