Cawley v. United States

Decision Date23 November 1959
Docket NumberNo. 18,Docket 25243.,18
Citation272 F.2d 443
PartiesPatrick CAWLEY, Appellant, v. UNITED STATES of America, Appellee.
CourtU.S. Court of Appeals — Second Circuit

George L. Spector, New York City, Sachs & Spector, New York City. Sam Panish, New York City, of counsel, for petitioner-appellant.

Cornelius W. Wickersham, Jr., New York City, Frances Thaddeus Wolff, Asst. U. S. Atty., Brooklyn, N. Y., of counsel, for appellee.

Before HAND, WATERMAN and FRIENDLY, Circuit Judges.

HAND, Circuit Judge.

The petitioner, Cawley, appeals from an order denying his petition for naturalization, filed under § 1441(a) (2) of Title 8 of the U. S. Code. He was born in the Philippine Islands, but at the time of filing his petition he had served as a seaman on six American ships, between December 20, 1944 and June 9, 1949, for an aggregate of four years, two months and three days. He had also previously served for over four years upon a ship, owned by a foreign corporation whose "home port" was Manila. On this showing the "Naturalization Examiner" appointed for the purpose, held that he had not brought himself within § 1441(a) (2) and "recommended" that his petition be denied. Judge Rayfiel accepted the "recommendation," and denied the petition, but granted him a rehearing in which he supplemented his original evidence by proving that, in addition to his service on the ship whose "home port" was in Manila, he had served on the American motor vessel, Chant, on an "inbound" voyage from Manila, P. I. to San Francisco, California, from August 5, 1941 to October 6, 1941 — a period of two months and one day — which gave him an aggregate of four years, four months and four days, but still left a deficit of seven months and twenty-six days. However, shortly before the ship reached San Francisco on this voyage he was taken ill, and became unable any longer to discharge his duties as junior engineer. Upon her arrival he was taken from the ship and sent to a hospital in San Francisco from which he was transferred to a United States Marine Hospital in New Mexico, where he remained until he was discharged on November 7, 1944. It does not appear what was his illness, but the appellee argues that it was tuberculosis, already latent when he signed on at Manila. Arguendo we shall so assume, although, as has just appeared, he was able to discharge his duties until shortly before the ship reached San Francisco. At any rate, there is no evidence that, when he signed on at Manila, he supposed that he would be disabled on the "inbound voyage," or, for that matter, that he did not mean to help work the ship back to Manila. Although it is true that a seaman is not entitled to "maintenance and cure," if he knows when he signs on that he will not be able to perform his duties during the voyage, he does not warrant his physical soundness. In Ahmed v. United States, 2 Cir., 177 F.2d 898, 899, we held in favor of a seaman under much more provocative circumstances than those at bar; for he had been previously treated for tuberculosis and had disregarded medical caution "not to work for several months and then to do only light work for some time."

The appeal therefore turns upon whether under § 1441(a) (2) of Title 8, if a seaman has become incapacitated by illness during the voyage and is entitled to maintenance and cure, he may add the time of his detention in hospitals as part of the aggregate of five years during which he has "served honorably or with good conduct." It must be owned that at first blush this appears to be an untenable gloss upon the section. On the other hand, unless they explicitly forbid it, the purpose of a statutory provision is the best test of the meaning of the words chosen. We are to put ourselves so far as we can in the position of the legislature that uttered them, and decide whether or not it would declare that the situation that has arisen is within what it wished to cover. Indeed, at times the purpose may be so manifest as to override even the explicit words used. Markham v. Cabell, 326 U.S. 404, 66 S.Ct. 193, 90 L.Ed. 165. We do not have to go so far in the case at bar, but we did resort to the purpose of this section in United States v. Camean, 2 Cir., 174 F.2d 151, 152, and decided that the term, "vessels of the United States," in § 1441(a) (2), which literally meant vessels owned by American corporations, should be construed to include a vessel whose title was in a foreign corporation all of whose shares were owned by an American corporation. In so deciding we relied upon the fact that one of the two purposes of Congress was "that the alien's service shall expose him to a scrutiny which is the measurable equivalent of actual residence."

It appears to us that a seaman retained in a United States hospital is "expose(d)" to a "scrutiny" as likely to disclose whether he "is a person of good moral character, attached to the principles of the Constitution of the United States and well disposed to the good order and happiness of the United States," § 1427(a) of Title 8, as though he were on shipboard for the same period; and no one would maintain, we believe, that a sick seaman while on board is not "serving," though he cannot literally do so. Does it make any difference if the voyage ends before the cure is completed? The privilege is of very ancient origin; apparently it goes back to the Twelfth Century (Norris, The Law of Seamen, § 537); and so far as we have found, such part of the "cure" that may extend beyond the...

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