International Organizations in Which the United States Participates

By Laurence F. Schmeckebier | Go to book overview
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INTERNATIONAL HYDROGRAPHIC BUREAU
For many years the principal maritime nations have maintained organizations for making surveys of navigable waters, the issuance of charts, and the publication of data for the benefit of mariners, but an international organization is a comparatively recent development.Prior to 1884, E. R. Knorr of the Hydrographic Office of the United States Navy prepared an unpublished memoir urging international action for the improvement of the hydrographic work of various governments. In 1884, after his proposal had been rejected and he had retired from the Hydrographic Office, Knorr published privately a pamphlet outlining the main features of his plan.1 The four main features were as follows: International co-operation in surveys of non-national waters, establishment of an international board to have charge of surveys of common interest, conferences of hydrographers at regular periods, and exchange of electrotype altos of original copper plate engravings.The details to be undertaken by the proposed permanent bureau were as follows:
1. To exchange statements of what had been done by each of the hydrographic institutes in the period preceding the convention and what they intended to take in hand in the period succeeding it;
2. To discuss what hydrographic labors, inclusive of the erection of lights and planting of sea marks, are desirable and most pressing in the parts of the globe where there is a common interest, especially in the common domain, and where the home governments are not prepared for such work;
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1
E. R. Knorr, A Few Words on International Co-operation in Maritime Hydrography, 1884. 24. pp.

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