[USC02] 46 USC App 861: Purpose and policy of United States
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46 USC App 861: Purpose and policy of United States Text contains those laws in effect on January 2, 2001
From Title 46-AppendixCHAPTER 24-MERCHANT MARINE ACT, 1920

§861. Purpose and policy of United States

It is necessary for the national defense and for the proper growth of its foreign and domestic commerce that the United States shall have a merchant marine of the best equipped and most suitable types of vessels sufficient to carry the greater portion of its commerce and serve as a naval or military auxiliary in time of war or national emergency, ultimately to be owned and operated privately by citizens of the United States; and it is declared to be the policy of the United States to do whatever may be necessary to develop and encourage the maintenance of such a merchant marine, and, insofar as may not be inconsistent with the express provisions of this Act, the Secretary of Transportation shall, in the disposition of vessels and shipping property as hereinafter provided, in the making of rules and regulations, and in the administration of the shipping laws keep always in view this purpose and object as the primary end to be attained.

(June 5, 1920, ch. 250, §1, 41 Stat. 988 ; Ex. Ord. No. 6166, §12, eff. June 10, 1933; June 29, 1936, ch. 858, title II, §204, title IX, §904, 49 Stat. 1987 , 2016; Pub. L. 97–31, §12(33), Aug. 6, 1981, 95 Stat. 156 .)

References in Text

This Act, referred to in text, means act June 5, 1920, ch. 250, 41 Stat. 988 , as amended, known as the Merchant Marine Act, 1920, which (except for sections repealed or reenacted in Title 46, Shipping) is classified principally to this chapter. For complete classification of this Act to the Code, see section 889 of this Appendix and Tables.

The shipping laws, referred to in text, are classified generally to Title 46, Shipping, and this Appendix.


1981-Pub. L. 97–31 substituted "Secretary of Transportation" for "United States Maritime Commission". For prior transfer of functions, see Transfer of Functions note below.

Transfer of Functions

"United States Maritime Commission" substituted in text for "United States Shipping Board". For dissolution of Board and transfer of functions to Commission, see Ex. Ord. No. 6166 and act June 29, 1936. Ex. Ord. No. 6166 is set out as a note under section 901 of Title 5, Government Organization and Employees. For subsequent transfers of functions, see Reorg. Plan No. 6 of 1949, Reorg. Plan No. 21 of 1950, and Reorg. Plan No. 7 of 1961, set out under section 1111 of this Appendix.

Section Referred to in Other Sections

This section is referred to in sections 871, 891 of this Appendix.