United States v. Carver
278 U.S. 294 (1929)

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U.S. Supreme Court

United States v. Carver, 278 U.S. 294 (1929)

United States v. Carver

No. 78

Argued November 28, 1928

Decided January 2, 1929

278 U.S. 294

Syllabus

Respondents' vessel, while at Melbourne, Australia, during the war and under charter to pick up and transport a cargo of ore from New Caledonia, was denied clearance by Australian authorities at the request of the United States Shipping Board pending the Board's decision whether the vessel should be ordered to abandon the charter and return to the United States with a cargo of wheat. In this situation, the respondents accepted a charter offered by the United States Food Administration Grain Corporation to carry wheat from Melbourne to New York, having concluded, after negotiations with the Food Administration, that they would better sign the charter, rather than have the United States government take over the vessel. The freight received under the wheat charter was less than would have been received under the ore charter, and respondents sued for the difference in the Court of Claims.

Held:

1. Clause(b) of the Act of June 15, 1917, gave no authority to cancel the contract for the carriage of ore. P. 278 U. S. 298.

2. The Act did not provide for compensation to the ship owners for the cancellation of such a contract. Id.

3. The ship owners, by their acts, and not the Shipping Board, made it impossible to perform the ore charter. P. 278 U. S. 299.

4. There was no requisition or taking of the vessel. Id.

5. The Shipping Board did not requisition the ore charter under clause (e) of the Act. Id.

64 Ct.Cls. 1 reversed.

Certiorari, 277 U. S. 578, to a judgment of the Court of Claims allowing a recovery of damages against the United States.

Page 278 U. S. 295

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