Lumbard, Chief Judge, and Waterman, Moore, Friendly, Smith, Kaufman, Hays, Anderson and Feinberg, Circuit Judges. Moore, Circuit Judge (concurring in the result).
This appeal from orders of the District Court for the Southern District of New York declining jurisdiction in favor of the courts of Norway in a United States consignee's in rem libel against a Norwegian ship raises questions of the applicability and the soundness of this court's decision in William H. Muller & Co. v. Swedish American Line, Ltd., 224 F.2d 806 (2 Cir.), cert. denied, 350 U.S. 903, 76 S. Ct. 182, 100 L. Ed. 793 (1955). The panel that initially heard the appeal, consisting of Circuit Judges Anderson, Feinberg and the writer, concluded that Muller, on which the District Court based its rulings, was wrongly decided and should be overruled. We, therefore, asked our colleagues to consider the appeal in banc on the briefs of the parties, they so voted, and this opinion represents the views of the full court.
Indussa Corporation, a New York corporation, was the consignee of nails and barbed wire shipped by a Belgian agency from Antwerp, Belgium, to San Francisco, California, in May 1963. The bills of lading for shipment "on board the good vessel called the 'Ranborg'" were signed by the master and were captioned:
LINEAS NAVIERAS DE CENTRO
LOS ANGELES 13, CALIFORNIA
A "Paramount Clause" declared the applicability of "the Hague Rules contained in the International Convention for the Unification of certain rules relating to Bills of Lading, dated Brussels the 25th August 1924, as enacted in the country of shipment," but a "U.S. Trade" clause stated:
"C.U.S. Trade. Period of Responsibility.
In case the Contract evidenced by this Bill of Lading is subject to the U.S. Carriage of Goods by Sea Act then the provisions stated in said Act shall govern before loading and after discharge and throughout ...