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Appendix B: Section One of Passenger Act As Amended, 1908

In section 42 of the immigration act of February 20, 1907, an attempt was made to improve steerage conditions by increasing the air space allowed to each passenger. By its terms this provision was to have taken effect January 1, 1909, but it was superseded by public act No. 1S3 of the Sixtieth Congress, which repealed it This act, which became effective January 1, 1909, amends only section 1 of the passenger act of 1882, and is as follows;

[Public—No. 183.]

AN ACT To amend section one of the passenger act of eighteen hundred and eighty-two.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That section one of the passenger act of eighteen hundred and eighty-two be, and is hereby, amended so as to read:

“It shall not be lawful for the master of any vessel whereon steerage passengers have been taken at any port or place in a foreign country or dominion (ports and places in foreign territory contiguous to the United States excepted) to bring such vessel and passengers to or take from any port or place in the United States unless the compartments, spaces, and accommodations hereinafter mentioned have been provided, allotted, maintained, and used for and by such passengers during the entire voyage, unobstructed by cargo, stores, or goods. The master of a vessel coming to a port or place in the United States In violation of any of the provisions of this section shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor; and if the number of steerage passengers carried or brought in the vessel, or in any compartment, space, poop, or deck house thereof, is greater than the number allowed to be carried or brought therein, respectively, as hereinafter prescribed, the said master shall be fined fifty dollars for each and every such passenger In excess of the proper number, and may also be imprisoned not exceeding six months.

“ In computing the number of passengers carried or brought in any vessel, children under one year of age shall not be included, and two children between one and eight years of age shall be counted as one passenger; and any person brought In such vessel who shall have been, during the voyage, taken from any other vessel wrecked or in distress on the high seas, or have been picked up at sea from any boat, raft, or otherwise, shall not be included in such computation.

“ Second. The expression ‘ steerage passenger’ means all passengers except cabin passengers, and persons shall not be deemed cabin passengers unless the space allotted to their exclusive use is in the proportion of at least thirty-six clear superficial feet to each passenger.

“ Third. The expression ‘lowest passenger deck’ means the deck next below the water line; and the expression ‘ passenger deck * includes every deck or portion of a deck which is above the lowest passenger deck, and is appropriated for passengers.

“ Fourth. A vessel shall not carry passengers, whether cabin or steerage passengers, on more than one deck below the water line.

“ Fifth. The height between that part of any deck on which steerage passengers are carried and the deck immediately above it shall not be less than six feet.

“ Sixth. No steerage passengers shall be carried on the lowest passenger deck unless it Is efficiently lighted by side scuttles and otherwise to the satisfaction of the inspector.

“ Seventh. No greater number of steerage passengers shall be carried on the lowest passenger deck than In the proportion of one steerage passenger to every twenty-one clear superficial feet allotted to their use. If, however, the height between the lowest passenger deck and the deck immediately above it is less than seven feet, and the apertures, exclusive of side scuttles, through which light and air are admitted are less in size than in the proportion of three square feet to every one hundred superficial feet of that deck, no greater number of steerage passengers shall be carried on that deck than in the proportion of one steerage passenger to every thirty clear superficial feet thereof, subject to the allowance for measurement of public rooms, lavatories, and bath rooms, if any, provided for by paragraph ten.

“ Eighth. No greater number of steerage passengers may be carried on a passenger deck than in the proportion of one steerage passenger to every eighteen clear superficial feet of deck allotted to their use, subject to the allowance for measurement of public rooms, lavatories, and bath rooms, if any, provided for by paragraph ten. If, however, the height between any passenger deck and the deck immediately above it be less than seven feet, no greater number of steerage passengers may be carried on that deck than in the proportion of one steerage passenger to every twenty-one clear superficial feet thereof, subject to the allowance for measurement of public rooms, lavatories, and bath rooms, if any, provided for by paragraph ten.

“Ninth. A vessel, whatever be the superficial space of the passenger decks and of the lowest passenger deck, shall not carry a greater number of steerage passengers on the whole than in the proportion of one steerage passenger to every five superficial feet of air or promenade space provided on a deck so open as not to be included in the tonnage and approved by the inspector, and this space shall not be counted or included in the area available for any other passengers, or in other areas for steerage passengers described by this section.

“Tenth. In the measurement of the passenger decks and of the lowest passenger deck, the space occupied by that part of the personal baggage of the steerage passengers which the inspector permits to be carried there shall be included, and also, on whatever deck located, commodious and suitable dining rooms, lounging rooms, smoking rooms, lavatories, toilet rooms, and bath rooms:

Provided, That—

“(a) The space in any place appropriated to the use of steerage passengers In which they sleep shall not be less than eighteen superficial feet in the case of the lowest passenger deck and fifteen superficial feet in the case of a passenger deck.

“(b) Each space so included In the measurement must be clearly marked to the satisfaction of the inspector as being exclusively appropriated for the use of the steerage passengers.

“ Eleventh. Each separate compartment in which steerage passengers are berthed shall be conspicuously marked, showing the total area of such compartments.”

Sec. 2. That section forty-two and so much of sections forty-three and forty-four of the act approved February twentieth, nineteen hundred and seven, entitled “An act to regulate the immigration of aliens into the United States,” as provides for the repeal of section one of the passenger act of eighteen hundred and eighty-two are hereby repealed.

Sec. 3. That this act shall take effect on January first, nineteen hundred and nine.

Approved, December 19, 1908.

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