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of purchase price of vessels under this section shall bear interest at the rate of not less than 512 per centum per annum, payable semiannually.

SEC. 7. That the board is authorized and directed to investigate and determine as promptly as possible after the enactment of this Act and from time to time thereafter what steamship lines should be established and put in operation from ports in the United States or any Territory, District, or possession thereof to such world and domestic markets as in its judgment are desirable for the promotion, development, expansion, and maintenance of the foreign and coastwise trade of the United States and an adequate postal service, and to determine the type, size, speed, and other requirements of the vessels to be employed upon such lines and the frequency and regularity of their sailings, with a view to furnishing adequate, regular, certain, and permanent service. The board is authorized to sell, and if a satisfactory sale can not be made, to charter such of the vessels referred to in section 4 of this Act or otherwise acquired by the board, as will meet these requirements to responsible persons who are citizens of the United States who agree to establish and maintain such lines upon such terms of payment and other conditions as the board may deem just and necessary to secure and maintain the service desired; and if any such steamship line is deemed desirable and necessary, and if no such citizen can be secured to supply such service by the purchase or charter of vessels on terms satisfactory to the board, the board shall operate vessels on such line until the business is developed so that such vessels may be sold on satisfactory terms and the service maintained, or unless it shall appear within a reasonable time that such line can not be made selfsustaining. The Postmaster General is authorized, notwithstanding the Act entitled "An Act to provide for ocean mail service between the United States and foreign ports, and to promote commerce," approved March 3, 1891, to contract for the carrying of the mails over such lines at such price as may be agreed upon by the board and the Postmaster General: Pio. vided, That preference in the sale or assignment of vessels for operation on such steamship lines shall be given to persous who are citizens of the United States who have the support, financial and otherwise, of the domestic communities primarily

interested in such lines if the board is satisfied of the ability of such persons to maintain the service desired and proposed to be maintained, or to persons who are citizens of the United States who may then be maintaining a service from the port of the United States to or in the general direction of the world market port to which the board has determined that such service should be established: Provided further, That where steamship lines and regular service have been established and are being maintained by ships of the board at the time of the enactment of this Act, such lines and service shall be maintained by the board until, in the opinion of the board, the maintenance thereof is unbusinesslike and against the public interests: And provided further, That whenever the board shall determine, os provided in this Act, that trade conditions warrant the establishment of a service or additional service under Government administration where a service is already being given by persons, citizens of the United States, the rates and charges for such Government service shall not be less than the cost thereof, including a proper interest and depreciation charge on the value of Government vessels and equipment employed therein.

SEC. 8. That it shall be the duty of the board, in cooperation with the Secretary of War, with the object of promoting, encouraging, and developing ports and transportation facilities in connection with water commerce over which it has jurisdiction, to investigate territorial regions and zones tributáry to such ports, taking into consideration the economies of trausportation by rail, water and highway and the natural direction of the flow of commerce; to investigate the causes of the congestion of commerce at ports and the remedies applicable there to; to investigate the subject of water terminals, including the necessary docks, warehouses, apparatus, equipment, and appliances in connection therewith, with a view to devising and suggesting the types most appropriate for different locations and for the most expeditious and economical transfer or interchange of passengers or property between carriers by water and carriers by rail; to advise with communities regarding the appropriate location and plan of construction of wharves, piers, and water terminals; to investigate the practicability and advantages of harbor, river, and port improvements in connection with foreign and coastwise trade; and to investigate any other matter that may tend to promote and encourage the use by vessels of ports adequate to care for the freight which would naturally pass through such ports: Provided, That if after such investigation the board shall be of the opinion that rates, charges, rules, or regulations of common carriers by rail subject to the jurisdiction of the Interstate Commerce Commission are detrimental to the declared object of this section, or that new rates, charges, rules, or regulations, new or additional port terminal facilities, or affirmative action on the part of such common carriers by rail is necessary to promote the objects of this section, the board may submit its findings to the Interstate Commerce Commission for such action as such commission may consider proper under existing law.

SEC. 9. That if the terms and conditions of any sale of a vessel made under the provisions of this Act include deferred payments of the purchase price, the board shall require, as part of such terms and conditions, that the purchaser of the vessel shall keep the same insured (a) against loss or damage by fire, and against marine risks and disasters, and war and other risks if the board so specifies, with such insurance companies, associations or underwriters, and under such forms of policies, and to such an amount, as the board may prescribe or approve; and (b) by protection and indemnity insurance with such insurance companies, associations, or underwriters and under such forms of policies, and to such an amount as the board may prescribe or approve. The insurance required to be carried under this section shall be made payable to the board and/or to the parties as interest may appear. The board is authorized to enter into any agreement that it deems wise in respect to the payment and/or the guarantee of premiums of insurance.

SEC. 10. That the board may create out of net revenue from operations and sales, and maintain and administer, a separate insurance fund, which it may use to insure in whole or in part, against all hazards commonly covered by insurance policies in such cases, any interest of the United States (1) in any vessel, either constructed or in process of construction and (2) in any plants or materials heretofore or hereafter acquired by the board or hereby transferred to the board.

SEC. 11. That during a period of five years from the enactment of this Act the board may annually set aside out of the revenues from sales and operations a sum not exceeding $25,000,000, to be known as its construction loan fund, to be used in aid of the construction of vessels of the best and most efficient type for the establishment and maintenance of service on steamship lines deemed desirable and necessary by the board, and such vessels shall be equipped with the most modern, the most efficient, and the most economical machinery and commercial appliances. The board shall use such fund to the extent required upon such terms as the board may prescribe to aid persons, citizens, of the United States, in the construction by them in private shipyards in the United States of the foregoing class of vessels. No aid shall be for a greater sum than two-thirds of the cost of the vessel or vessels to be constructed, and the board shall require such security, including a first lien upon the entire interest in the vessel or vessels so constructed as it shall deem necessary to insure the repayment of such sum with interest thereon and the maintenance of the service for which such vessel or vessels are built.

Sec. 12. That all vessels may be reconditioned and kept in suitable repair and until sold shall be managed and operated by the board or chartered or leased by it on such terms and conditions as the board shall deem wise for the promotion and maintenance of an efficient merchant marine, pursuant to the policy and purposes declared in sections 1 and 5 of this Act; and the United States Shipping Board Emergency Fleet Corporation shall continue in existence and have authority to operate vessels, unless otherwise directed by law, until all vessels are sold in accordance with the provisions of this Act, the provision in section 11 of the “Shipping Act, 1916," to the contrary notwithstanding.

SEC. 13. That the board is further authorized to sell all property other than vessels transferred to it under section 4 upon such terms and conditions as the board may determine and prescribe.

Sec. 14. That the net proceeds derived by the board prior to July 1, 1921, from any activities authorized by this Act, or by the Shipping Act, 1916,'' or by the Acti specified in section 2 of this Act, except such an amount as the board shall deem necessary to withhold as operating capital, for the purposes of section 12 hereof, and for the insurance fund authorized in section 10 hereof, and for the construction loan fund authorized in section 11 hereof, shall be covered into the Treasury of the United States to the credit of the board and may be expended by it, within the limits of the amounts heretofore or hereafter authorized, for the construction, requisitioning, or purchasing of vessels. After July 1, 1921, such net proceeds, less such an amount as may be authorized annually by Congress to be withheld is operating capital, and less such sums as may be needed for such insurance and construction loan funds, shall be covered into the Treasury of the United States as miscellaneous receipts. The board shall, as rapidly as it deems advisable, withdraw investment of Government funds made during the emergency under the authority conferred by the Acts or parts of Acts repealed by Section 2 of this Act and cover the net proceeds thereof into the Treasury of the United States as miscellaneous receipts.

SEC. 15. That the board shall not require payment from the War Department for the charter hire of vessels owned by the United States Government furnished by the board from July 1, 1918, to June 30, 1919, inclusive, for the use of such department.

Sec. 16. That all authorization to purchase, build, requisition, lease, exchange, or otherwise acquire houses, buildings or land under the Act entitled “An Act to authorize and empower the United States Shipping Board Emergency Fleet Corporation to purchase, lease, requisition, or otherwise acquire, and to sell or otherwise dispose of improved or unimproved lands, houses, buildings, and for other purposes," approved March 1, 1918, is hereby terminated: Provided, however, That expenditures may be made under said Act for the repair of houses and buildings already constructed, and the completion of such houses or buildings as have heretofore been contracted for or are under construction, if considered advisable, and the board is authorized and directed to dispose of all such properties or the interests of the United States in all such properties at as early a date as practicable, consistent with good business and the best interests of the United States.

Sec. 17. That the board is authorized and directed to take over on January 1, 1921, the possession and control of, and

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