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Peacock, J. C., Director United States Shipping Board Bureau.
Ryons, Lt. Col. Fred B., Military Order of the World War.
TO DEVELOP AN AMERICAN MERCHANT MARINE
PART I. MERCHANT MARINE POLICY
TUESDAY, MARCH 19, 1935
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, COMMITTEE ON THE MERCHANT MARINE AND FISHERIES,
Washington, D.C. The committee met at 10 a. m., Hon. Schuyler 0. Bland (chairman) presiding.
The Chairman. Gentlemen, the purpose of the hearing this morning is to secure information which will be necessary later in considering merchant marine legislation which in all probability will be introduced.
I have attended several of the interdepartmental committee hearings and there is also a lot of information that comes in as to the general character of the merchant marine, and different suggestions es to the needs, so that really the matter directed at a particular bill is comparatively limited in scope. In order to secure as much expedition of time as possible, we are going ahead with these hearings before introducing any bill, in order to obtain the benefit of such suggestions 85 may come out and, in addition to that, to find out just what may be in the minds of those who held the interdepartmental hearings and who have suggested changes.
A bill is being prepared and will be considered, although necessarily the time for its consideration must be limited; for, under the provisions of the Independent Offices Appropriations Act of 1934, approved June 16, 1933, the time within which the President is authorized, in his discretion, to modify or cancel ocean mail contracts expires on April 30, 1935, and this matter is dumped into our laps right here at the very last minute and we are going to try to get more information than the message or the reports give us, in order to frame a policy. It is desired that legislation shall be on the statute books by that time, The President's message and accompanying papers have been available for only about 15 days, really less than that time has expired Since the printing of the message but the views of the President, and the Post Office Department and the Interdepartmental Committee are known, and this should enable interested parties, as well as Government officials to express such views as they may have formed, and those may be helpful to the committee.
I have submitted a questionnaire to the Post Office and Commerce Departments and
the answers may help to show the present status of the American Merchant Marine.
The answers of the Post Department to this questionnaire are as
follows: QUESTIONNAIRE SUBMITTED BY THE CHAIRMAN OF THE COMMITTEE ON MERCHANT
MARINE AND FISHERIES TO THE DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE AND THE Post OFFICE DEPARTMENT
1. What are the number and gross tonnage of documented vessels of the United States?
2. What sizes of vessels are included in the documented tonnage? 3. How many officers and seamen are required to navigate these vessels? 4. Of the documented vessels, how many are registered, enrolled, and licensed? 5. How do these figures compare with those of 1914?
6. Of the documented vessels of the United States today, how many are ocean going sizes of 2,000 gross tons and upward?
7. Can you segregate the ocean-going tonnage under the American flag as to its employment?
8. Of the ocean going vessels registered for the foreign trade, how many are certified for operation on ocean-mail routes?
9. How much ocean mail pay did these ships receive for, say, the fiscal year 1934?
10. How much of the tonnage receiving mail pay was purchased from the United States Government?
11. What was the purchase price of this tonnage?
14. How much of the tonnage receiving mail pay was built under the construction loan provisions of the 1928 act and what was the cost of these vessels?
15. What percentage of the tonnage certified to operate on ocean mail routes is over 10 years old?
16. What are the ages of vessels purchased from the United States Government which are certified for operation on ocean mail routes?
17. Are these vessels as economical to operate as those built during the last ten years?
18. Do you know the fuel consumption of the Leviathan as compared with the Bremen and other large modern trans-Atlantic liners?
19. Do you know what the volume of ship tonnage is in the world today? 20. How does this compare with the year 1914-before the outbreak of the World War? Can you define the tonnage in existence at the present time as to the types of vessels this tonnage includes?
21. Can you segregate this tonnage further to show what comprises oceangoing vessels of the larger sizes?
22. Have you any idea what part of such ocean-going vessels participate in the international carrying trade?
23. How much of such tonnage is registered under the flags of the six principal maritime countries?
24. How does the United States rank in tonnage among these six countries?
25. How does the United States rank in tonnage of vessels with speed of 12 knots and upward?
26. How does the United States rank in tonnage of vessels 10 years of age or less?
27. What percentage of the water-borne foreign trade of the United States was carried in American ships during the past year?
28. What percentage of this trade was carried in American ships during the past 10 years? (Value.)
29. How does this compare with the decade preceding the World War?
30. When we speak of the percentage of the commerce carried in American ships, does this include every kind of cargo and does it include traffic on the Great Lakes?
31. Can you give figures showing the percentage of our foreign trade carried in American ships segregated to distinguish between the Lakes and ocean traffic?
32. Can you segregate this further to separate that carried by tankers from that transported by cargo vessels and passenger vessels?
33. What was the size of our merchant marine operating in regular services in 1914?
34. What is the size of our merchant marine operating in regular services today?