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STATEMENT OF COMMANDER V. R. MURPHY, UNITED STATES
NAVY, REPRESENTING THE CHIEF OF NAVAL OPERATIONS
The CHAIRMAN. Commander, what have you to say about the general subject of the merchant marine and the proposals which have been made here today? Are you officially representing the Chief of Naval Operations?
Commander MURPHY. Yes, sir; the Chief of Naval Operations. The CHAIRMAN. Yes.
Commander MURPHY. The Chief of Naval Operations has no formal statement to make on the subject of the Merchant Marine Act. We are in substantial agreement with the Maritime Commission's proposals.
However, we should like to add to the proposed amendment to section 215, which is that section dealing with the Maritime Commission's taking over the aircraft engaged in foreign commerce. That section as it now stands reads:
The provisions of this act, insofar as they are practically or appropriately applicable, are extended to the construction and operation of aircraft used in transportation for hire of passengers and property in overseas trade
And so forth.
We should like to have that extend to the requisition of aircraft, as it now exists regarding the requisition of ships in time of national emergency. That apparently is intended; but the restriction to "construction and operation” might seem to eliminate that.
The CHAIRMAN. Do you have a substitute amendment including the wording you suggest?
Commander Murphy. No, sir. I think the words "and requisition" would cover it.
The CHAIRMAN. Very well; we shall make note of that.
Commander MURPHY. Also, in connection with section 901 of the act, which deals with the requisition of ships during a national emergency, we have a suggestion to make, sir.
The CHAIRMAN. Are you speaking of the act itself or of the proposed amendments?
Commander MURPHY. The act itself, sir. The CHAIRMAN. Yes. Commander MURPHY. I do have the suggested wording for that. The CHAIRMAN. Did you say section 901 ? Commander MURPHY. I beg your pardon; section 902. The CHAIRMAN. Yes; section 902 (a). What is it you propose ? Commander MURPHY. We should like to have the language: Whenever the President shall deem that the security of the national defense makes it advisable, or during a national emergency.
In other words, the present wording of the act seems to restrict that to "during a national emergency," whereas it may be advantageous to have that authority when a national emergency is imminent. In other words, we may have to act before a national emergency occurs.
The CHAIRMAN. Then, you make your second suggestion, that section 902 be amended as you stated ?
Commander MURPHY. Yes, sir.
The CHAIRMAN. What was the other section about which you spoke?
Commander MURPHY. In the new bill, it is section 215. That is the proposal to include aircraft.
Those are all the suggestions I have. The CHAIRMAN. Thank you very much. Are there questions from the members of the committee?
(No response.) The CHAIRMAN. We are very much obliged to you, Commander.
The CHAIRMAN. Are there other witnesses here from any Government body?
Lt. H. W. CHANDLER. Yes, sir, Mr. Chairman.
STATEMENT OF LT. H. W. CHANDLER, UNITED STATES NAVY, ON BEHALF OF THE BUREAU OF NAVIGATION, NAVY DEPARTMENT
The CHAIRMAN. Lieutenant, you are from the Bureau of Navigation?
Lieutenant CHANDLER. The Bureau of Navigation of the Navy Department; yes, sir.
The CHAIRMAN. And have you a statement to make?
Lieutenant CHANDLER. Only in regard to the interest which the Bureau of Navigation has in the training of the Reserves. In that connection we should like to have clarified the statements made in section 216 of the proposed amendment, concerning the training of the merchant marine. The Bureau of Navigation is primarily interested in the maintenance of the present status of the Merchant Marine Reserve and the development of it. But section 216 does not say anything about that. I was told to come down and ask if the committee had any definite suggestions.
The CHAIRMAN. We should be glad to hear your suggestions, Lieutenant.
Lieutenant CHANDLER. Very well, sir. Then, in that connection, may I make these observations:
Under the provisions of an act of Congress entitled “An Act to encourage the establishment of public marine schools
and for other purposes," and amendments thereto, four States maintain and operate nautical schools—Massachusetts, New York, Pennsylvania, and California.
These schools bear a particular relationship to the Navy Departinent which, under the provisions of the act referred to, gives an annual cash grant of $25,000 and the loan of a vessel with all of its equipment and furnishings to each of these States. In addition, the Navy Department makes all of the necessary repairs on each vessel so loaned, and these repairs are chargeable to regular naval appropriations.
These four schools are at present the only source of supply for merchant-marine officers especially trained with a view toward their usefulness as potential Naval Reserye officers. The commanding officers of the training vessels are retired captains of the Navy.
In view of the very special and important personnel and material interest the Navy Department has in the school ships and the State school-ship system, information is desired as to the intent of the
proposed amendment to the Maritime Act of 1936 contained in section 216 (a) and (c), pages 31 and 32 of the committee print of the Copeland bill, December 2, 1937, as related to school ships and the State nautical schools.
Senator Gibson. Those are State institutions to which you refer? Lieutenant CHANDLER. Yes, sir.
Senator GIBSON. But maintained largely by Federal appropriations?
Lieutenant CHANDLER. The subsidies from the Government to all four of these schools amount to $25,000 apiece, annually? Is that so?
Lieutenant CHANDLER. Yes, sir.
Lieutenant CHANDLER. They go to sea in the lower ratings, although when they graduate they are given third-assistant engineer's licenses or third-mate's licenses. But when they go to sea, they seek employment with whatever company they can. And as soon as they can work their way up, they are given licensed positions in merchant ships.
Senator Gibson. Do they have any trouble in obtaining employment under present conditions?
Lieutenant CHANDLER. I do not believe so; no, sir—not the graduates of those schools.
Senator GIBSON. There is no opposition from the unions or from other sources?
Lieutenant CHANDLER. I should like Captain Copeland to answer that question.
STATEMENT OF CAPT. H. G. COPELAND, UNITED STATES NAVY,
ON BEHALF OF THE BUREAU OF NAVIGATION, NAVY DEPART-
Captain COPELAND. Capt. H. G. Copeland, appearing on behalf of the Bureau of Navigation, Navy Department, sir.
The CHAIRMAN. Very well.
Captain COPELAND. There has been some opposition in New York as regards the graduates of the New York school, in getting membership in the union. I understand that membership in the union has been denied them; therefore the graduates of that particular school, in some cases, if not in all cases, have been unable to get jobs, because they are unable to join the union.
The CHAIRMAN. Have you any further statement that you would like to make, Lieutenant Chandler?
Lieutenant CHANDLER. Captain Copeland has a further statement, I believe.
The CHAIRMAN. Very well, sir.
Captain COPELAND. T'he Navy Department's interest in the training program reflects an attitude that it very much favors the present set-up of training licensed personnel under the State schoolship system, under Navy auspices. And it is only interested in whether or not, under the Commission, it is intended to set up a training system for licensed officers that will replace that system or interfere with it, or whether the training system for licensed officers will be additional, or what the case may be.
The CHAIRMAN. What is the use of training these men if they cannot get on the ships!
Captain COPELAND. Ordinarily they can get on the ships; that is just a transient situation, at the present time.
There has been no real difficulty in the past. These men all have opportunities to go to sea. Furthermore, they are very successful in reaching the high places, not only in the operation of ships but in the operation and administration of shipping generally.
The CHAIRMAN. Captain, I am glad you have such optimism. But I still think they will have some trouble for awhile.
Have you any further statement, sir?
Captain COPELAND. The Navy Department, I think, is in agreement with any training system under the auspices of any agency designated by Congress that is agreeable to the Navy Department, but feels that anything that tends toward a naval reserve is primarily a function of the Navy Department itself.
The CHAIRMAX. We had that out, did we not, in a hearing before the Commerce Committee?
Captain COPELAND. I think that was rather generally settled, sir.
The CHAIRMAN. For the benefit of the committee, may I ask if there are any steamship men who are eager to testify in connection with this biil, at some future time—not today? Does anyone know of any steamship operators or others who wish to appear in that connection?
Mr. REGINALD G. NARELLE. Mr. Chairman, I shall file an appearance here for the Canal Carriers' Association of New York, who have an interest in this bill, operating from the North Atlantic to and from the Great Lakes.
Senator GIBSON. In other words, what is commonly known as the barge canal!
Mr. NARELLE. Yes, sir.
The CHAIRMAN. Are there others who will testify at some time? Are there representatives of labor here!
Mr. MORTON Borow. Mr. Chairman, some of the representatives are here now, but we have not had sufficient time to prepare our argument.
The CHAIRMAN. Whom do you represent?
The CHAIRMAN. Then, will you state when you will be able to be here?
Mr. Borow. I should like to ask this question, Mr. Chairman: How long will this committee meeting continue?
The CHAIRMAN. Well, long enough to hear those who will be interested. But, of course, we do not want these hearings to continue all winter.
Mr. Borow. May I ask what was the normal contemplated time that you would give to us?
The CHAIRMAN. Could you testify within 10 days, say?
The CHAIRMAN. Do you think that is true of other representatives of labor?
Mr. Borow. Yes, sir—that is, giving us the full period of 10 days.
The CHAIRMAN. Will you talk with the clerk of the committee and see if you can agree upon a date?
Mr. Borow. Yes, sir.
Mr. Ira L. EWERS. Mr. Chairman, my name is Ira L. Ewers, and I am an attorney. When these measures were introduced, they were submitted to a number of steamship companies who have an interest in this problem, some of whom are on the west coast, but from whom we have not heard as to whether or not they will desire to attend.
So I am unable to say whether they will or will not desire to testify. The understanding we obtained was that the hearings would be continued for witnesses other than Government witnesses about December 13. Before that time, undoubtedly we shall be informed as to whether any of those people desire to testify.
The CHAIRMAN. Very well; if you will keep in touch with us, then we shall try to agree upon a time. Does anyone else care to speak? (No response.) The CHAIRMAN. Then, I am very much obliged to you; and that will be all this morning, unless the members of the committee have anything to say.
(No response.) The CHAIRMAN. Very well; then we shall adjourn at this time.
(Whereupon, at 11:45 a. m. an adjournment was taken, subject to call.)