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The patriotic societies tried to get the Bland bill passed before the last session
Mr. McVAY. I shall not discuss it, but simply say that we did not succeed in passing it.
I am just as game a loser as anyone; but I am going to stay with it until I get one of the pens that the President uses when he signs the Bland bill.
We go out on the corner, and talk about these things, and are accused of being a bunch of Bolsheviks and we are told to “go before the Senate and House committees."
We went before the House committee, and tried to correct the situation that exists under 405. But we could not get the law passed-which is most unfortunate.
So, during the course of the Black investigation, I, personally, went to some of the members of the shipping industry and made a personal appeal. I said, *Gentlemen, haven't you any patriotism at all?"
Some of them said, Yes; we are patriotic. What do you mean?"
The law says that you only have to employ two-thirds American citizens. Will you step that up a little, and give jobs to competent, well-trained American citizens?
And some of them said-during the Black investigation : “ Is this a plea?”
So, they said they would do their best to increase the percentage of American citizens employed on their ships. I asked them if they could prove they would do that and said, frankly, that I am going to check up on them to see whether they keep their promises.
And I am delighted to say that some of them have kept their promises most magnificently.
I have tried to secure information on letterheads from some of the shipping concerns, to show what they have done in the way of increasing the American citizenship status of crews.
The CHAIRMAN. You have a very much stronger leverage, now, do you not, than you had before?
Mr. McVAY, Oh, yes.
The CHAIRMAN. If this bill passes, and a subsidy is provided for, you will have a much stronger position, will you not?
Mr. MoVay. Yes, sir. The CHAIRMAN. The shipowner cannot say that he cannot afford to employ these people, then?
Mr. McVAY. Oh, no. But they cannot say that, here, under the present bill. The present bill takes care of the differential. The differential is there, to pay the difference between the cost of the alien crew and the cost of the American
If we have two ships, one British, and one American, with the British ship going to one port, and the American ship going to another port, we find that these factors apply: The British ship can be built for less, in a British yard; and the British ship costs less to equip, as well as to build. The costs of building are more, in the American yard.
But I say, build that ship in the American yard, or do not give them a subsidy. And equip it with American merchandise, or do not give them a subsidy. And, I say, employ a reasonable number of American citizens.
In the consideration of the 1928 act, the same argument was put up by the members of the shipping industry. So Congress said, “We shall pay you a differential, to take care of the difference in the costs and the maintenance and the manning of the ships."
The same principle applies here. Of course, on account of the Black investigation and the post-office investigation, the shipping interests have been "spanked, a little, and, I guess, are going to see the light, and get better-if they were bad.
However, in 1928 the contention was made that it was impossible to go higher than 50 percent; and for 4 years the contention has been made that it is impossible to go higher than 66 percent, as applied to the number of
American citizens in the crews of our merchant marine. And the thought occurred to me that some might say that we cannot reach 75 percent, that it could not be done.
Well, I say that the man who says, “ It can't be done " misses all the fun.
I have here a letter signed by A. J. McCarthy, general manager of the International Mercantile Marine Co. I should like to read his letter. It is on the letterhead of the International Meercantile Marine Co., office of the general manager, no. 1 Broadway, New York, and is dated April 19, 1935.
His letter is addressed to me, J. H. McVay, Lindbergh Apartments, Washington, D. C.:
“ DEAR SIR: As requested by Mr. Nolan, our Washington representative, we are attaching hereto a statement showing the percentage of American citizens in the crew of our various capital ships and trust that this is the information you desire. If not, and there is any further information we can give you, if you will kindly let me know, I shall be very glad to comply with your request. The statement covers the last sailing of each vessel from this port. * Very truly yours,
"A. J. McCarthy, General Manager. " And Mr. McCarthy encloses the following statement as to the citizenship of the crews of the ships of his company :
“ On the steamship Washington, on the last trip, 83 percent of the crew were full citizens; and when those men having 3-year certificates were included. the percentage was increased to 91 percent.
“On the steamship Manhattan, on the last trip, 78 percent of the crew were full citizens; and including the 3-year certificate men, the percentage was $8.
“On the steamship California, 85 percent of the crew were full citizens of the United States and including the 3-year certificate men, the percentage was 94.
“ On the steamship Virginia, 83 percent of the crew were fall citizens of this country. And the figure for the crew, including the men with 3-year certificates, was 93 percent.
“And on the steamship Pennsylvania, the percentage of the crew that were full citizens--and this figure is for the last trip—was 81 percent. And when the members of the crew holding 3-year certificates were included, that percentage was 87 percent."
The statement in full, is as follows:
I think these figures are especially interesting. Our opponents have said that it could not be done; and yet, it has been done.
Now, this is only one illustration. This increase in citizenship was not brought about by the Merchant Marine Act of 1928, or by any other law. There is no law today making it mandatory that this steamship company, or the export company, shall have 84 percent of the crews of its ships full American citizens. There is no law making those gentlemen bring that percentage higher than 6633 percent; but they have brought it higher than 75 percent.
So I think that if my proposal of 75 percent of the crew being full-fledged American citizens, either by birth or by naturalization, and the other 25 percent being aliens legally in the United States, and eligible to citizenship, and in the possession of valid first papers, and so on their way to full citizenship, is. carried on for a full 5 years, then we are going to have a 100-percent Americanowned and 100-percent American-manned merchant marine.
With reference to the training academy, I heartily approve of the idea. At the present time we have four training ships. We are appropriating $110,000 for these four training ships. One of the ships is in California, 1 is in Massachusetts, 1 is in Pennsylvania, and 1 is in New York; and it is for these ships that we are appropriating this $110,000.
The purpose of those ships, as I understand it, is to train officers for the merchant marine.
Those ships are manned by retired naval officers, principally. This $110,000 is, at the present time, in the naval appropriation bill; the ships are owned by the Navy. They are loaned to the different States for the purpose of trainiing officers for the merchant marine.
The United States naval appropriation takes care of half of the cost of operation, and the four States take care of the other half. And the navy yards maintain and repair the ships. That makes this matter a State matter for training merchant-marine officers. However, I believe that, rather than have it a State matter, it should be a Federal matter. I believe that we should have a merchant-marine training academy.
The CHAIRMAN. Have you any choice between having that administered by the Department of Commerce or by the Navy?
Mr. MoVay. I prefer the Department of Commerce; I am a business man. I am an ex-Army man, but I do not rattle the saber any more.
No; I do not wish to see the academy under the administration of the Navy, and I shall tell you why.
I am not a Navy man; I am an Army man. The Navy took us over and brought us back. I went over on the Leviathan, and I am certainly thankful for that.
However, I do not believe that this merchant marine training academy should be put in the hands of the Navy. For 6 years I worked as an immigration inspector, and I know what I am talking about. While I was employed as immigration inspector down at Charleston, S. C., one of these training ships came in, entering that port; and I was sent down to check the ship. That was the ship from Pennsylvania, the Annapolis. I found that the naval officers in charge were, so far as discipline was concerned, 100 percent strong; and so far as navigating the vessel was concerned, they knew their business. But so far as merchant marine laws were concerned, they did not know how to bring that ship into quarantine.
Now, naval officers get training along naval lines, preparing them to handle fighting ships. But the merchant marine officers must know the merchant marine laws. Consequently, if you are going to train merchant marine officers, Fou are not only going to train them for discipline—which, of course, is very fine, in itself; and you are not only going to train them in navigation, which is also important; but you must train them to understand the merchant marine law's.
Consequently, I would say that if, at the training academy, we were to have nural officers as some of the instructors, and also have merchant marine officers, who know how to bring a ship into quarantine, and how to pass a ship through the customs and through the immigration, then I would say that the merchant marine training academy should be placed under the administration of the Department of Commerce, with the cooperation of the Navy Department.
I might go on and tell about the thousands of boys, who today are roaming
We have thousands of boys, today, roaming the streets, looking for jobs; and it is up to us older people to see that opportunities are created for these boys.
So, I am here, pleading and begging that opportunities for jobs shall be created. It is all very well to talk of patriotism. However, I have an American flag in my pocket-I do not wave it. My patriotism is based upon results, and doing something constructive. If we can create jobs for boys, we are going to prevent the boys from being grabbed up by Communists. If we create these jobs for aliens, as this bill will do, our American boys are going to go over to the Communist Party, and become criminals and thugs, and are going to despise the flag that we want them to respect.
So, I am going to fight "like nobody's business ", to see that the money spent under this act, for employment, will be spent, within reason, to employ competent, efficient, American citizens at least to the extent of 75 percent of the crews of the ships, with perhaps 25 percent, aliens.
Ships subsidized during fiscal year 1933-34
1 Added in preceding column.
NOTE.—Under Section 801 of proposed measure of the total crew, deck and engine, 14,013 would be citizens of the United States who now are not ; total crew, stwardpurser, 8,952 would be aliens, gangsters, criminals. Total crew, 282 ships, 22,965 men. (Subsidized during fiscal year 1933–34.)" Under my plan 75 percent of total crew to be American citizens and 25 percent aliens; 75 percent of 22,965 would be 17.224, who would be citizens of the United States ; 25 percent of 22.965 would be 5,741, who would be aliens, but eligible to become citizens of the United States; a total of 22,005. (All figures are unofficial.)
Under the present law, section 405, paragraph C, Merchant Marine Act 1928, we are supposed to have two-thirds of the crew citizens of the United States, but due to a ruling by the former Attorney General the steamship companies may employ (and do now employ) aliens in the two-thirds portion of the crew.
J. H. McVAY. "An American merchant marine, 100 percent American-owned and Americanmanned."-Secretary Roper, Washington Star, September 16, 1934,
"America needs a merchant marine manned by able American citizens."J. H. McVay, Washington Star, June 14, 1935. Two statements, one before and one after the Morro Castle disaster,
The CHAIRMAN. I called the hearing primarily this morning, gentlemen, to hear Mr. Haag on what has been called the "Haag amendment.” As a matter of fact, the amendment embraces suggestions that have come from different sources to me, and Mr. Haag happens to be the draftsman who has reduced those to legislative form. He does not claim it is the Haag amendment, because it is an amendment coming from various sources.
Mr. Wearin. Mr. Chairman, before Mr. Haag begins his testimony, I should like to know if he is representing his own personal views before the committee, or if he represents the Secretary of Commerce and his views!
The CHAIRMAN. This, as I understand, is his own personal views; he is not representing anybody. But he can answer for himself.
Mr. WEARIN. Is that correct, Mr. Haag?
STATEMENT OF ALFRED H. HAAG, CHIEF DIVISION OF SHIPPING
RESEARCH, UNITED STATES SHIPPING BOARD BUREAU
Mr. Haag. That is correct. I might say that Mr. Peacock, Director of the Bureau, said to me that when I testify, and the question of this plan is discussed, I should say that it had been considered by some of the officials of the Department and had received sympathetic consideration, but that no one had committed themselves on the plan.
Mr. Wearin. It does not necessarily represent the opinion of the Department of Commerce?
Nr. HAAG. It does not.
Mr. WEARIN. Do you know, Mr. Haag, whether or not Mr. Peacock's views represented those of the Department of Commerce or whether he, too, was testifying from his own personal viewpoint?
Mr. Haag. That I am not in a position to say. Although he is Director of the United States Shipping Board Bureau, which comes under the Secretary of Commerce, I do not know how he expressed himself, or whom he was representing at the time.
The CHAIRMAN. I think he was simply giving his views as Director on the bill as submitted. The Department has not submitted any bill. There has been considerable criticism of the departments drafting legislation, and for that reason we tried to get away from it.
Mr. Haag. Mr. Chairman, would it save time for me to read the redraft?
Mr. LEHLBACH. I might suggest that Mr. Haag read the redraft and then comment on it or interpolate explanations as he reads.
The CHAIRMAN. Yes; that will be entirely satisfactory.
Mr. Haag. Now this redraft was worked up for the specific purpose of rearrangement and clarifying some of the parts in Committee Print No. 3.
Mr. WEARIN. Committee Print No. 3—that is the Senate bill?
Mr. Haag. So that what I read now will replace from pages 13 to 31, including the last part of the paragraph on page 30, which carries over on to page 31. That is as far as it goes and it begins on page 13 with the title “Financial Aid to the Merchant Marine."
The CHAIRMAN. You are familiar I take it, Mr. Haag, from your knowledge of marine matters and interest in marine matters, with the message of the President which was sent to Congress; and do you think that this draft of yours meets with those views!