§ 783. Cross libel, set-off, or counterclaim

In the event of the United States filing a libel in rem or in personam in admiralty for damages caused by a privately owned vessel, the owner of such vessel, or his successors in interest, may file a cross libel in personam or claim a set-off or counterclaim against the United States in such suit for and on account of any damages arising out of the same subject matter or cause of action: Provided, That whenever a cross libel is filed for any cause of action for which the original libel is filed by authority of this chapter, the respondent in the cross libel shall give security in the usual amount and form to respond to the claim set forth in said cross libel unless the court, for cause shown, shall otherwise direct; and all proceedings on the original libel shall be stayed until such security shall be given.