The conference was designed to require maritime safety measures, and had been called in the wake of the Titanic disaster .
The late 19th and early 20th centuries represented the golden age of passenger travel by sea: there were no aircraft, and both tourism and emigration, from Europe to the Americas and other parts of the world, was still taking place on a massive scale. Passenger ships were therefore much more common than...
The late 19th and early 20th centuries represented the golden age of passenger travel by sea: there were no aircraft, and both tourism and emigration, from Europe to the Americas and other parts of the world, was still taking place on a massive scale. Passenger ships were therefore much more common than they are today and accidents frequently led to heavy casualties. The incident that led to the convening of the 1914 International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea conference was the sinking of the White Star liner Titanic on her maiden voyage in April 1912. More than 1,500 passengers and crew died and the disaster raised so many questions about current standards that Britain proposed holding a conference to develop international regulations. The Conference was attended by representatives of 13 countries and the Convention that resulted was adopted in January 1914. It introduced new international requirements dealing with safety of navigation, such as the provision of watertight bulkheads, life-saving appliances, fire prevention and a requirement for carrying radiotelegraph equipment on passenger ships. The Convention was to take effect in July 1915, but by then World War I had broken out in Europe and it did not do so. A decade later proposals were made for another conference to finalize the work; this was held in London in 1929 and 18 countries attended. A new convention was adopted, it entered into force in 1933, and though modified, remains in effect today.
Wallace H. White, Jr. was a Republican leader in United States Congress from 1916 until 1949. He served in the U.S. House of Representatives starting from 1917-31, then entered the U.S. Senate, where he was Senate Minority Leader and later Majority Leader before his retirement.
Document Signed as President, 10 by 14 inches, Washington, February 16, 1929, appointing then-Congressman White to serve as a delegate to this, the International Conference for the Revision of the Convention of 1914 for the Safety of Life at Sea. The document is countersigned by Frank B. Kellog as Secretary of State, and has a large State Department seal.
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