« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »
merchant marine, to reorganize the steamboat inspection service, and safeguard life and property at sea. A deep interest in the proceedings is manifested by the shipowners, the Steamboat Inspection Service, and the officers and crews of the ships. As a member of the last group, I herewith submit my views on the subject.
H. R. 6038, by Mr. Bland, provides for changing the title of the Steamboat Inspection Service to the “Bureau of Marine Inspection and Navigation.” Comment: The title should be changed to allow motor ships to be inspected with the steamships.
H. R. 6035, by Mr. Bland, provides for a technical staff in the Inspection Service to design and supervise the construction of vessels propelled by machinery. Comment: A technical staff would be an innovation that may bring practical benefits.
H. R. 6042, by Mr. Bland, provides for 10 traveling inspectors to gradually supersede the present Board of Supervising Inspectors. Comment: Traveling inspectors will not assure any more safety than the present Board of Stationary Inspectors.
H. R. 6036, by Mr. Bland, provides for a safe load line for American vessels. Comment: Great Britain, the leading maritime nation, imposes a safe load line on her ships, and American lives should be as valuable as foreign lives.
H. R. 6043, by Mr. Bland, provides for more safeguards for vessels engaged in the transportation of inflammable or dangerous cargoes. Comment: Practical safeguards should be approved in all cases.
H. R. 6037, by Mr. Bland, provides for the inspection of all vessels other than steam, by the Bureau of Marine Inspection and Navigation. Comment: Motor vessels are not more safe than steam vessels at sea, and should be inspected by the Bureau.
H. R. 6203, by Mr. Sweeney, provides that all motor vessels over 15 gross tons, be compelled to conform to the laws of the Steamboat Inspection Service. Comment: All motor vessels should be inspected by the Steamboat Inspection Service.
H. R. 6189, by Mr. Sweeney, provides that all steam vessels shall employ a licensed engineer while the boiler is generating steam. Comment: Economical shipowners are in the habit of laying off the engineers, when the vessel is laying at the dock for a short period, and leaving the live boilers under the care of unlicensed men. The practice is fraught with danger.
H. R. 6039, by Mr. Bland, to provide all seamen on American vessels with a continuous discharge book, from a shipping commissioner. Comment: Some shipowners register their seamen at present for ulterior purposes, and it would be a progressive move to persuade the Government to register the seamen on American vessels.
H. R. 6040, 6041, and 6044, by Mr. Bland, provides a change in the language of the act of March 4, 1915, the Seamen's Act. Comment: These bills provide amendments to the Seamen's Act, or the La Follette Act to grant a certificate of competency to able seamen, to install an 8-hour day for seamen, and to provide healthy and comfortable quarters for seamen in American steam and motor ships. They should be enacted into law.
8. 1933, by Mr. La Follette, provides for the installation of shipping commissioners in ocean and Great Lakes ports where they are required. Comment: Government shipping commissioners are func
tioning now in the ocean ports, and should be installed on the Great Lakes for the protection of lake seamen.
H. R. 6202, by Mr. Sweeney, provides for the 8-hour day for licensed officers on all American-inspected vessels. Comment: This is most important bill before the committee. Safety of life and property at sea depends more on the ability and qualifications of the licensed officers than on any other factor in the navigation and operation of ships. To secure the best men for the service it must be made inviting. The 12-hour day is out of date.
Forty years ago licensed officers on towboats worked 24 hours per day, catching a nap during a lull in the operation. After a series of strikes the 12-hour day was gained. Last year the towboat men on the Great Lakes went on strike for the 8-hour day. They arbitrated and a Government arbitrator made this strange decision.
These towboats are on call, and are not operated continuously. The 12-hour day stands.
Thirty years ago lake steamers of 4,500 gross tons and 2,300 horsepower engines were operated by 2 engineers and 2 oilers working 12 hours per day. Through a strike, they secured a third engineer, but the shipowners forbid them to install the 8-hour day. Last year, the licensed officers tried to secure the 8-hour day by legislation. This committee referred us to the shipping code. The code failed us. We are here again to request the 8-hour day through H. R. 6202. Do we get it? Even the shipowners granted the 8-hour day on lake vessels above 4,000 gross tons last year.
The Chairmán. That would really form a part of the hearings on those bills, Mr. Kelly. I do not see where it comes right in on this hearing we are having now. Mr. KELLY. Well,
the notice for us to come here said it was hearings on the merchant marine.
The CHAIRMAN. Yes; but these hearings on the seamen's legislation, some of them, are still pending Some of those bills we have concluded the hearngs on, and there are others that we have not taken up. If you will leave your name with the clerk you will notified when we get to the hearings on those other bills. I would put your statement in now in those hearings, but those hearngs have been already sent to the printer, those that have been concluded. But one of the bills you referred to we have no had hearings on. Mr. Brown testified on the other bills that we had here, so I think that the points were covered by Mr. Brown, on the bills on which we have had hearings, and the others we will be glad to hear you on.
Mr. KELLY. I just want to make a further note here. I noticed during the hearing today that we discussed generally the subsidy bill, and I would just like to state our position on it. It says the subsidy bill should be enacted into law to enable American ships to compete with foreign ships and to provide a permanent merchant marine. However, the subsidy is a special privilege, and the firm so favored should not enter into collective bargaining with their marine employees. No ocean ship firm should participate in the subsidy. "The Shipping Board fleet officially ended collective bargaining with all its employees.
Mr. Culkin. What do you mean? You say there should be collective bargaining?
Mr. KELLY. Yes, sir; on all ships that are granted a subsidy.
Mr. KELLY. Yes.
Mr. Culkin. I did not catch whom you represent. I was not here, of course, Mr. Chairman, at the beginning of his statement.
Mr. KELLY. The Marine Engineers Association.
The CHAIRMAN. Mr. Culkin, he read a statement that really had reference to the other bills, some of which we have had hearings on and some of which we have not had hearings on. His remarks are really a pertinent part of these hearings so far as they are concerned about the subsidy.
Mr. Culkin. You believe that the question of manpower should be definitely considered in connection with the awarding of the subsidy?
Mr. KELLY. I think it is the most important factor.
Mr. Culkin. And should be contingent upon the awarding of the subsidy-that is, proper wages and proper conditions? Mr. KELLY. Yes, sir; the 8-hour day.
Mr. CULKIN. And you believe that is one of the things that would make for a permanent merchant marine in America?
Mr. KELLY. Yes, sir.
Mr. CULKIN. Did you hear the statement here that during the war the English took their men to man the merchant marine off the actual merchant marine; that is, those converted boats of the merchant marine that were used in the war by the English were manned by the men of the merchant marine?
Mr. KELLY. Yes.
Mr. Kelly. Why, the reverse is the truth, sir.
Mr. Culkin. They are, of course, more or less technical men, are
Mr. Culkin. You think they have a right to a place in the sun in connection with the granting of these subsidies?
Mr. Kelly. Yes, sir.
Mr. Kelly. No. I do not know much about that; never gave much study to that.
Mr. CULKIN. You do not get enthusiastic about that?
Mr. KELLY. No; but what I want is collective bargaining, the same as what our labor union stands for.
Mr. CULKIN. What you stand for is 7 (a), of course?
Mr. CULKIN. The principles of 7 (a)?
The CHAIRMAN. Yes; those who wish to be heard and are here may proceed.
STATEMENT OF R. H. HORTON, MANAGER PORT OF PHILADEL
PHIA OCEAN TRAFFIC BUREAU
The CHAIRMAN. Just give your name and connection to the reporter, please.
Mr. HORTON. R. H. Horton, manager Port of Philadelphia Ocean Traffic Bureau.
The CHAIRMAN. You asked me to hear you tomorrow. It is just as agreeable to hear you now.
Mr. HORTON. That is all right. Thank you.
Mr. Horton. I am not going into the figures on the necessity for subsidy or the benefits of it, but to ask you gentlemen in your consideration of this to attempt to find some ways and means that there may be a more equitable distribution of the routes among the various ports.
I have before me United States Shipping Board publication “Data relating to postal contracts under the Merchant Marine Act." I find there are 54 routes covered in 44 contracts. New York has 17 of them, Baltimore 2, Boston 2, and various others, including Galveston, Mobile, Savannab, Los Angeles. Philadelphia has none. Philadelphia is the second port in the United States.
Mr. CULKIN. In point of tonnage?
The Chairman. Is that not very largely a question of the ports organizing and getting persons interested in developing a shipping line?
Mr. Horton. Well, we attempted to do that at one time, with rather a sad experience.
The CHAIRMAN. That was just before the investigation?
Mr. Horton. But we have had very little encouragement, and I think it is important in the whole scheme of things that it be not concentrated all at one locality, be spread out, and the various ports will develop themselves if it is made possible for the services to go through these ports, and these various companies that are anxious
to operate ships will take those routes up if they are laid open to them.
Another feature that should deserve your consideration: The Shipping Act at present has a paragraph against discrimination between ports in respect to rates, and I think that you should be informed that that discrimination is being carried on at the present time by subsidized lines, particularly in respect to the ports of Philadelphia, Boston, and Baltimore as against New York. You will find in the Mediterranean trade and some of the South American trades, or the West Indies trade more particularly, that higher rates are charged to the out ports than to New York. They are exceptional, but they do exist. We have a great deal of difficulty with it.
The Senate bill 1362 will help to some extent, because in many cases the West Coast of Italy Conference, for example, we cannot even get a copy of the tariff. I have seen a copy, but I had to hold it in my hands under a subterfuge.
Mr. CULKIN. Who files those tariffs?
Mr. Horton. But they do not file the tariff as part of the agreement, and this west coast of Italy tariff, for example, has a clause in it by which surcharges to Philadelphia and Baltimore are to be added.
Mr. Culkin. Does this Senate bill correct that? Mr. HORTON. I think it will correct that, and we are hopeful that it will.
The CHAIRMAN. Does not one of the present acts, either the 1916 act or the 1920 act, authorize hearings before the Shipping Board?
Mr. HORTON. Yes. The CHAIRMAN. To give the port an opportunity to file their complaints and have their complaints heard as to any discriminations against them?
Mr. Horton. That complaint will be filed within the next few days, but you do not appreciate the difficulty in obtaining the evidence. As a matter of fact, we do not know just what commodities they discriminate against, and it is very difficult for us to find out.
Mr. Culkin. Can you not get that information through the consular officers?
Mr. Horton. I doubt it, sir.
Mr. Culkin. My understanding, Mr. Chairman, is that the character of those tonnages is available at the consular office.
The CHAIRMAN. That is true, but I think the point is that the tariffs are not published and they cannot find wherein the discrimination exists.
Mr. Horton. And they change from day to day, as a matter of fact. Mr. Culkin. I understood him to say that he did not know what the character of tonnage was.
Mr. Horton. No; I mean I do not know just which articles have the surcharge applied to them. I know some of them. I do not know whether I know all of them or not, and in those hearings you
not orts go Ous