Public Law 523                                                         CHAPTER 565

AN ACT

To provide for the restoration and maintenance of the United States ship Constitution and to authorize the disposition of the United States ship Constellation, United States ship Hartford, United States ship Olympia, and United States ship Oregon, and for other purposes.

July 23, 1954
[H. R. 8247]

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That the Secretary of the Navy is authorized to repair, equip, and restore the United States ship Constitution, as far as may be practicable, to her original condition, but not for active service, and thereafter to maintain the United States ship Constitution at Boston, Massachusetts.

Sec. 2. The Secretary of the Navy is authorized—

(a) to make minimum repairs to the United States ship Constellation so as to enable that vessel to be safely transported, by towing or otherwise, from its present berth to the harbor of Baltimore, Maryland ;

(b) to transport, by towing or otherwise, the United States ship Constellation from its present berth to the harbor of Baltimore, Maryland; and

(c) to transfer by gift the United States ship Constellation to the State of Maryland, the city of Baltimore, or to a corporation or association located in Baltimore whose charter or articles of agreement denies it the right to operate for profit, for restoration as a public memorial at Baltimore, Maryland.

Sec. 3. The Secretary of the Navy is authorized—

(a) to make minimum repairs to the United States ship Hartford so as to enable that vessel to be safely transported, by towing or otherwise, from its present berth to the harbor of Mobile, Alabama;

(b) to transport, by towing or otherwise, the United States ship Hartford, from its present berth to the harbor of Mobile, Alabama ; and

(c) to transfer by gift the United States ship Hartford to the State of Alabama, the city of Mobile, or to a corporation or association located in Mobile whose charter or articles of agreement denies it the right to operate for profit, for restoration as a public memorial at Mobile, Alabama.

Sec. 4. The Secretary of the Navy is authorized to make the transfers authorized in subsections 2 (c) and 3 (c) under such terms and conditions as he shall prescribe, such terms and conditions to include but not be limited to the following:

(a) Application for transfer hereunder will not be considered unless received within one year of the enactment of this Act;

(b) Each transferee shall take delivery of the vessel within one year of enactment of this Act;

(c) On failure to take delivery within one year of enactment of this Act, the transferor having been willing and ready to make delivery and having offered delivery, the transferee shall lose all rights and interest in the vessel;

(d) Each transferee shall agree to maintain the vessel in a condition satisfactory to the Department of the Navy; and

(e) After delivery, the transferor shall make no further expenditures for maintenance of the vessel transferred.

Sec. 5. The Secretary of the Navy is directed to retain title and custody of, and to maintain the United States ships Olympia and Oregon for a period of six months after enactment of this Act, during which period any of the several States, Territories, or possessions of the United States and political subdivisions, or municipal corporations thereof, the District of Columbia, Canal Zone, or corporations or associations whose charter or articles of agreement denies them the right to operate for profit, may apply for donation of either or both of these vessels for restoration as a public memorial or memorials. The Secretary is authorized to transfer such vessel or vessels to the aforementioned applicants under such terms and conditions as he shall prescribe. If within one year from the enactment of this Act any transferee has not taken delivery of the vessel or vessels named in this section for which his application for donation has been approved, the transferor having been willing and ready to make delivery and having offered delivery, then said transferee shall lose all rights and interest in said vessel or vessels and the Secretary of the Navy may dispose of it in the manner he would if the application had not been received. Each transfer agreement shall include a stipulation that the transferee shall maintain the vessel in a condition satisfactory to the Navy Department and that no expense shall result to the United States as a consequence of such transfer or as a consequence of such terms and conditions prescribed by the Secretary of the Navy.

Sec. 6. Upon expiration of the one year period specified in section 5 of this Act, the Secretary of the Navy is authorized to dispose of each of the vessels specified in section 5 hereof, for which an application for donation has not been approved by the Secretary. Any such vessel may be disposed of by sale or by scrapping, in the discretion of the Secretary. Any parts of historical interest may be removed from these ships prior to sale or scrapping and retained by the Department of the Navy, or, in the discretion of the Secretary of the Navy, loaned or donated to such nonprofit historical or educational institutions as he may select.

Sec. 7. The Secretary of the Navy is further authorized, prior to any sale or scrapping of the United States ships Olympia and Oregon, to sell, under such regulations as he may prescribe, such parts or pieces of these vessels as may be suitable for use as relics, souvenirs, or mementos. Any amounts collected as the result of sales authorized by this section shall be deposited and covered into the Treasury as miscellaneous receipts.

Sec. 8. The Act of March 13,1948 (62 Stat. 79), is hereby repealed. Amounts received by the Department of the Navy as donations or contributions under that Act shall be returned to the donors except that in any cases where donations or contributions cannot be returned such amounts will be deposited and covered into the Treasury as miscellaneous receipts.

Approved July 23, 1954.