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So, without attempting to go into the details I thank the committee for their attention.
The CHAIRMAN. It is your idea that the maintenance of a proper number of yards on the Pacific coast is essential for national defense as well as relief?
Mr. LEA. That is my belief and I think, from the standpoint of the economic balance of the commerce and business affairs of the Nation, and in relation to international commerce over the Pacific, the great sea of the world, with undoubtedly an increasing commerce for many decades to come, and certainly considering the problem from the standpoint of balancing our economic system, we should not ignore the Pacific coast as an important part of the problem of ship construction and repair.
I thank you.
Mr. CROWE. And a merchant marine operating in the business of the Western coast is not any more a menace to the nations in the Pacific Ocean than the same thing is on the Atlantic coast?
Mr. LEA. That is very true. No nation has the right to find fault with another nation for taking the means it deems necessary for its own protection. That is an elemental purpose of government.
STATEMENT OF HON. CHARLES J. COLDEN, A REPRESENTATIVE
IN CONGRESS FROM THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA
Mr. COLDEN. Mr. Chairman and gentlemen of the committee: My home is at San Pedro, at Los Angeles Harbor, in California, and we are very deeply interested in the building of ships. We have two yards at San Pedro, one of which is said to be the largest and best equipped shipyard on the Pacific.
I am here to supplement the efforts of Mr. Welch in his amendment to the bill that is under consideration in your committee. I want to call your attention to the fact that during the World War we had two shipbuilding plants at San Pedro of about six ways each, and they were noted for their expedition in the construction of ships, due largely to climatic conditions and their ability to work night and day through the entire period. The construction of those ships brought a large supply of shipbuilding labor to our territory and that labor has been practically idle all these years, doing odd jobs, and we have a great reservoir of shipbuilding laborers that ought to be taken care of in some way in our relief program. I know this is not strictly a relief measure, but I think in consideration of all our bills in this Congress we are taking into account, at least incidentally, the matter of employment.
The CHAIRMAN. I may say to you, Mr. Colden, that the evidence adduced before this committee very clearly demonstrates, I think, that from 85 to 90 percent of the work on ships is labor.
Mr. COLDEN. Yes.
The CHAIRMAN. Not necessarily labor in the yard, but labor in industries, which extends throughout the whole United States.
Mr. COLDEN. Yes. As the chairman of the committee so well knows, the construction of a ship on the Pacific coast will draw materials from every other part of the country and it is a very wide spread of labor. So that we cannot say it is specifically for the
I also want to reemphasize the position that Mr. Welch has taken, that we are not asking to compete with the Atlantic yards on Atlantic Ocean business; we are only asking that we may participate in the buildings of ships on the Pacific coast that are engaged in the coastwise and intercoastal and Pacific Ocean traffic.
I also want to call the attention of your committee to the fact something that you know just as well as I do--that the future commercial development of the world will probably be on the Pacific Ocean with the Orient and Latin America, and it is very important that we build up a merchant marine on the Pacific. I suppose it is hardly necessary for me to repeat the statements of the value of a merchant marine as an arm of the national defense in case of emergency, but I do feel very earnestly about this amendment offered by Mr. Welch and I want to appeal to you gentlemen to give it your very careful and thoughtful consideration-because it means a great deal to the Pacific coast.
I thank you for your consideration,
STATEMENT OF HON. JOHN J. MCGRATH, A REPRESENTATIVE
IN CONGRESS FROM THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA
Mr. McGrath. Mr. Chairman, my district in California joins that of Congressman Welch, so that we are in common thought almost on every development in San Franisco Bay.
I am a member of the Naval Affairs Committee and, being from the west coast and from the San Francisco Bay area, I have been exceedingly interested in the ship-building possibilities of the Pacific coast. I introduced two resolutions which were referred to the Naval Affairs Committee, to give added ship construction to the Pacific coast, and I found this to be the fact-that outside of the two navy yards on the coast, namely, the Mare Island Navy Yard, which is on upper San Francisco Bay, and the Bremerton Yard, in the State of Washington, no naval construction has gone to the Pacific coast since the World War. One private yard on the Pacific coast, the Bethlehem Shipbulding Co. of Philadelphia, bid successfully for the construction of six ships, and is now constructing these ships for the Navy. The Bethlehem Shipbuilding Co. owns the Union Iron Works in San Francisco. The Union Iron Works built the old battleship Oregon, and the Olympia; but the Bethlehem Shipbuilding Co. believes it is cheaper to build on the Atlantic coast than on the Pacific and, for that reason, there is no private shipbuilding construction on the Pacific coast.
I cannot say that the Bethelhem Shipbuilding Co. is wrong. I have taken it up with the Navy Department here, and they tell me that, of course, every yard has an opportunity to bid, but they cannot compel construction of ships on the west coast over the Atlantic coast. I am very pleased Congressman Welch has brought this to your attention, because the buildng of a merchant marine is exceedingly important and the Pacific coast should take its part in that construction, the same as the Atlantic coast.
I believe that a merchant marine is a very important part of the national defense. It is the auxiliary Navy and, Mr. Chairman, at the present time and for past years the entire Navy has been housed in the Pacific. To my mind, it is just as important to have a ship
eli w mechanic on the west coast as it is to have a sailor on a battleship.
I know this country is not looking for any trouble with anybody; tape but when it comes, it comes pretty fast, and we have very few ship
mechanics on the west coast, outside of the mechanics that work in
the two navy yards, and I hold that the building of ships is a very to tur important item in national defense. Mr. Welch can tell you that
we had thousands of ship mechanics on the Pacific coast 25 and 30
I am very anxious and I do entreat your committee to give the he ha most serious consideration to Mr. Welch's suggestion and his amend
ment. I do think that national defense enters into this thing per-
I thank you.
STATEMENT OF HON. WILLIAM A. EKWALL, A REPRESENTATIVE
IN CONGRESS FROM THE STATE OF OREGON
Mr. EKWALL. Mr. Chairman, I come from the Third Oregon
CONGRESS FROM THE STATE OF WASHINGTON
I want to go on record here as favoring Mr. Welch's amendment
We on the Pacific coast are beginning to make it the great bread basket of the United States and of the world. Through the development of our water power on our rivers we are going to have so much Water power that we are going to build up factories in the West. We are going to irrigate and are going to make that the great bread basket and make homes for people who are leaving the droughtstricken regions of the Middle West. I think people today do not
know enough about our Pacific coast, the same as in the time of Webster, and I think we ought to talk as much as possible about it before our committees and Congress, and I am heartily in favor of this amendment to bring our share, at least, of the building of ships to the Pacific coast.
I am more interested in building up our merchant marine, of course, than I am the Navy, as those of you who have been on the floor of the House know. I believe in having a friendly relationship with China, Japan, and the Orient, and with our southern neighbors. I look upon the Orient and the West--we call it the East--as the future markets for our world products, our exports. I think we ought to build those up, and this would help us to do it.
The CHAIRMAN. You have competition with a very cheap class of labor in operating the Japanese ships?
Mr. Hill. Yes, we have. On the other hand, I think if we use our heads and operate our machinery, and so forth, we can compete with them even in the world markets and I think we ought to build up our own great West by just such means as Mr. Welch has introduced here, and I am heartily in favor of it.
The Chairman. Now we will hear Mrs. Kahn.
STATEMENT OF HON. FLORENCE P. KAHN, A REPRESENTATIVE
IN CONGRESS FROM THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA Mrs. Kahn. Mr. Chairman and gentlemen, there is no part of the United States, I believe, that has maintained as steady and unvarying an interest in the merchant marine as has the Pacific coast. We have stood solidly behind a merchant marine since we have had representation in Congress, because we have realized its great importance to the Pacific coast. Before the war our shipbuilding plants on the coast ranked second to none. It did not make any difference whether we were building merchant ships or warships, we always brought forth fine, first-class work. We had skilled workmen and many of them. Since the war, with the absolute transfer of the shipbuilding interests entirely to the Atlantic coast, the Pacific coast has been left practically without shipbuilding. Whatever work has been done there has been practically limited to repairs.
Now, with the transfer of world activities to the Pacific Ocean, with our eyes on the Orient as a possibility of replacing the markets that we have lost in Europe, it seems to me that here is an opportunity to rebuild and rejuvenate a tremendously important industry on the Pacific coast. Our climate lends itself most efficiently to the building of ships. They can build every day in the year and there is no allowance that has to be made for the difference in temperature. On account of an even temperature, the whole Pacific coast from the Canadian border to the Mexican border is an ideal place for shipbuilding
I notice Mr. McGrath referred to the building of the Oregon and, if I recall, I have heard that there was a differential given at that time to the building of warships on the Pacific coast in order to encourage the shipbuilding industry. If we have the shipbuilding industry rejuvenated on the coast, it will, of course, take the place of an infant industry. It will have to be built up carefully, with encouragement, and to me it is most discouraging when we think
of the marvelous ships in the American merchant marine that ply between New York and San Francisco, the ships of the Matson Line, the ships of the Dollar Line, and the ships of the Panama-American Line, all of which were built on the East coast to do Pacific trading, when we have every opportunity for shipbuilding there. I believe if Mr. Welch's amendment is put into law it won't be long before our shipbuilding yards on the Pacific coast will take their place in workmanship and in everything with the finest shipbuilding yards in the world.
I feel we are entitled to this encouragement and we are not requiring too much when we ask that this differential be given to us, because we have no steel supplies on the coast; they have to be brought from the East, and there is this extra freight or carriage charge that makes shipbuilding there a little more expensive, but this almost infinitesimal difference of three-quarters of 1 percent would cover all of the extra charges, freight, and things of that kind, which would give us at least. an even chance to compete with the shipyards in the East.
Mr. EXWALL. Mr. Chairman, Mrs. Kahn has just given me a thought and which I would like to leave with the committee: The battleship Oregon is now berthed permanently in my district, in the harbor of Portland, Oreg., and it just occurs to me that on the 26th of this month it will have been 37 years since the Oregon made her historic trip from San Francisco Bay through the Straits of Magellan to Key West, Fla., in 71 days. I think it was hailed as the greatest feat of a naval vessel up to that time. . It seems to me that that speaks volumes for the ability of the west-coast shipbuilding ways and that this ought to be a propitious time to recognize that great ability of particularly the San Francisco district in shipbuilding and to help us with this legislation so that we can rehabilitate our shipbuilding interests on the Pacific coast and probably at some future time build some other ships that will duplicate or outstrip, even, the very glorious record of the battleship Oregon.
The CHAIRMAN. May I ask just there, Mr. Ekwall, for the record:
Mr. EKWALL. The length of the coastline is about 1,800 miles.
Mr. EKWALL. Nine hundred for California, roughly 350 in Oregon, and with Washington it is pretty close to 1,800 miles.
The CHAIRMAN. That is exclusive of Alaska?
Mrs. Kain. That is from the Canadian border to the Mexican : border.
Mr. Ekwall. From the Canal, of course, it would be considerably farther than that.
The CHAIRMAN. I know; I just had reference from the Canadian border to the Mexican line.
Mr. Ekwall. I would say, roughly speaking, around 1,800 miles.
The CHAIRMAN. Then, from the Mexican line to the Panama Canal is about how far?
Mr. Ekwall. I am not familiar with that-about 2,500 miles from the Canal to Canada.
The CHAIRMAN. Then from Alaska to the Canadian line is about how far?