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Would the increase have any effect on that? Mr. BLACKWELL. I think all the schools are all at $75,000, Mr. Chairman. So, it would not have any effect.
But what we would have is that the Government would pay $175,000 to each school, each of the five schools, in addition to the $75,000 it is paying now.
Öne would think that the Maritime Administration's obligations to the State schools are rather firmly and permanently fixed because of the $600 subsistence allowance as well as the fixed commitment of $75,000, and the only variable would be the increase in enrollment at the Maritime Academies.
That, however, is not the case. As you know, Mr. Chairman, the Maritime Administration makes available to each of the five schools a vessel that the Government owns, and which the Maritime Administration and the Department of Commerce support directly through maintenance and repair expenditures.
These are rather old ships. I believe they were all either World War II built, or in the case of the Excambion and I believe it is the Cristobol that was purchased from the Panama Canal Company, I believe that was built in 1939.
In the beginning, each year there was a slight increase in the Gov. ernment's cost of maintaining these ships. As the years have affected the ships, in terms of rust and poor preservation-simply because they are so old the Government's costs have increased sharply, and they are continuing to increase.
We believe that in the next fiscal year, the Government's cost for maintaining the school ships alone would be in excess of $1 million. This is the maintenance of five relatively old ships. Some of them are quite unsatisfactory.
We are also working with one of the State maritime academies directly to see if we can find a vessel suitable to the needs of that school and one which can be utilized without the incurring of substantial expenses to the Government or, indeed, to the school.
Mr. MURPHY. We had testimony before the committee last year that the Excambion had to go through some very expensive repair work. I think the Cristobol, which is still in active use by the Canal Company, had a similar breakdown, and the question is, are there available suitable school type ships of, let's say, a newer vintage which would be available?
Mr. BLACKWELL. Well, I don't know whether they are of newer vintage. There are vessels in both the maritime reserve fleet as well as the Vavy reserve fleet, over which the Maritime Administration acts as custodian, which might meet some of the needs of the schools.
In California, we have been working with the State maritime academy to see if we could find a suitable replacement for their vessel, the California Bear.
We have had a number of meetings in the last several months in which they have looked at ships in the maritime fleet as well as ships that have been recently turned over to us by the Navy. Several of the vessels have been rejected as being unsuitable. We think that there are still three or four other vessels that are under consideration, and we might be able to make a mutual fix on one of these ships.
Incidentally, that cost is also a fairly substantial cost to the Government to bring a ship out of custodial status in the reserve fleet, of
course, again, depending on its condition. It can cost as much as $:2 million.
I make these points, Mr. Chairman, to indicate that the Maritime Administration takes its obligation to support and assist the State schools in a very serious manner, despite the essentially negative testimony that I have given here today on the two bills.
Mr. MURPHY. Who controls the Federal Maritime Academy at King's Point?
Mr. BLACKWELL. Well, the Maritime Administration. However the Merchant Marine, since the Maritime Administration is housed within the Department of Commerce, most of the references to authority, as they are in Mr. Keith's bill, are to the Secretary. That has been delegated from the Secretary to the Maritime Administrator and in this case particularly to me, a good deal of the responsibility for King's Point.
Mr. MURPHY. To what extent are the operations of King's Point controlled by the Bureau of the Budget? Mr. BLACKWELL. To every extent, Mr. Chairman. I guess you would
I have to say that every expenditure of Federal funds is in one way or another controlled by the Bureau of the Budget.
We have, quite frankly, we have been increasing over recent years, and intend to do so in the future, the expenditures for King's Point. It is an attractive campus. However, it needs upgrading in its capital plant, in its teaching facilities, and in many other areas, and we intend to do that.
Mr. MURPIIY. Section 216(b)4 provides that King's Point cadets shall receive allowances for uniforms, textbooks, and so forth.
How much is this allowance?
Mr. BLACKWELL. The King's Point cadets receive free room, board, and medical attention. They receive $475 per year during the first, third, and fourth years to help defray costs of uniforms and books. It is something like the subsistence allowance.
They receive $193.20 per month for approximately 10 months of their sea year. This is paid by the lines that the men are employed by while they are employed on those vessels as trainees.
The King's Point curriculum is essentially 3 years of academic and book learning, and those young men take 1 year of kind of on-the-job training, where they are for 10 months of the year employed by a vessel in the U.S. Vierchant Marine, or a company, and they are stationed on a vessel of the U.S. Merchant Marine.
Mr. MURPHY. Does this come out to $600?
Wr. BLACKWELL. It would come out somewhat in excess of $600 in those years. Well, it does not come out to $600.
During the 3 years they are actually attending classes, they obtain $175 a month-per year. I am sorry. While they are at school, and while they are at sea school working on ships, they obtain $1,930 per year.
I take it, to be quite candid, if you factored out room. board, and medical care, you might consider that to be a payment in excess of $600, but the actual transfer of funds to these young men are somewhat less than $600.
There is 1,791 plus board and such other allowances.
Mr. MURPHY. Are job opportunities available in the Merchant Marine ?
Mr. BLACKWELL. They are now, and they have been for a number of years.
As you know, Chairman Murphy, there has been a critical shortage since the Vietnam sea lift demands were incurred some years ago. There appears to be every evidence that those demands are peaking, from several factors. One, the Navy has released a significant number of general agency ships, over 90 have been released by the Navy.
At the same time, there has been a dramatic downward shift in the movement of AID cargoes and so forth. A number of ships that were fruitfully occupied even 6 months ago are no longer occupied. With what appears to be a substantial reduction in troop commitments in Vietnam, one can anticipate the further withdrawal of ships, so, I would expect a downward trend of employment.
How precipitous this will be, I simply do not have the understanding to make that judgment.
We are hopeful, if the administration's maritime program is announced shortly and passed by Congress and signed by the President, that the new ships that will be built as a result of that program, will create new jobs for sea-going personnel.
Mr. MURPHY. If there is a substantial reduction of jobs for graduates, what would happen to the service obligation plans?
In other words, there is a 3-year service requirement according to your testimony, either in the Merchant Marine as a line officer, or in the U.S. Navy. Suppose there is no demand?
Mr. BLACKWELL. I would think quite obviously the high percentages of King's Point men and the State academy men going to sea will decline.
However, I think that even under more average, or normal circumstances than today that a very significant number of these young men do find their way into sea-going jobs.
Before the tremendous demanrls of sea lift capability to Vietnam, say prior to 1965, the figures from King's Point of men going to sea were in the area of 60 and 50 percent, and in that range, and I believe the same percentages would hold true for the graduates of the State maritime schools.
This is a problem. I think that it would be prudent for the Maritimo Wdministration, King's Point, and the State maritime academies to sit down and discuss with each other some type of rationalization system-if you will accept that term-whereby we can try to do some reasonably accurate forecasting of need for seamen.
Howover, you know, this is a mercurial industry. It reacts very sharply to emergencies, international emergencies especially. We can plan something today, and even 2 months from now our planning is shot.
I think the single most important fact is that if the men graduating from King's Point and the State maritime schools are unable, despite their diligence, to obtain jobs at sea, it is still an asset to the United States to have this trained reservoir of skilled, trained, and motivated voung men available to serve when the country needs them, particularly in a defense emergency situation.
Mr. MURPHY. On page 2 of your testimony, you said that more than 96 percent of the students who graduated from King's Point in 1966,
1967, and 1968, had gone to sea as merchant marine officers when jobs were available.
We have had testimony at King's Point over a long period of time that perhaps 25 percent of the graduates stay in the service as merchant marine officers.
Mr. BLACKWELL. I think that is the critical problem. I believe that most of the men that receive the type of training that they do at all the maritime schools, the majority of them spend perhaps 4 years or so at sea, and then the attractions of marriage, a job ashore, bring thein away from the ships.
You know, these are rather unusual young men. First of all, they are men that are motivated by the life at sea. They are also men quite willing to accept, as many of our young men are not willing to accept today, a paramilitary, or quasi-military existence for 3 or 4 years.
In addition to that, they are not going to school for 8 or 9 months as many of our college students do. Many of them go to school for as long as 10 or 11 months.
So, these are men that are dedicated by and large to making their life at sea.
I think it behooves the Maritime Administration and all of us who are interested in this problem to probably do some behavioral studies to see if we can establish the proper type of seagoing environment that will keep these men on the ships for longer periods of time.
I see that in some of the testimony that you will hear one of the witnesses has indicated the possibility of taking families on some of the ships.
Now, 10 or 15 years ago, or even before that, this was something that would not have been mentioned. I sailed for a short period of time as a seaman, and I remember the master of that vessel taking his wife and children on a coastwise cruise from Boston to Baltimore. It didn't affect the crew. The family seemed to have a good time, and the master was delighted to have his family with him at a time when he wouldn't ordinarily have been with his family. I think this is one of the things, that it behooves us all to look into this thing.
The tanker people seem to have done quite a good job. Their masters and licensed officers are away for a goodly period of time. They have a
a fairly rapid turnover at the ports, and yet, I think the reports of the American tankers will indicate that by and large they have a longer commitment from their licensed personnel, and indeed their unlicensed personnel, than do the conventional cargo ships, or the container ships today.
I think this is induced by profit-sharing plans and backing arrangements they can make, where the longer a man is committed the more difficult it is to break away from a good financial situation.
I think this and several other social aspects have to be looked at before we can come up with the solution of keeping the men on the ships longer who are trained to the jobs.
Mr. MURPHY. Are there any projections in Maritime Administration policy and planning that addresses itself to the containerization changes, the larger tanker developments, and the overall graduate picture for the future as far as maintaining and retaining people in the service?
Mr. BLACKWELL. No, there is not at present, Mr. Chairman. We have just undertaken a massive study of containerization which is essentially a response to a mandate of a bill from Congress that we do this, and it was associated with the controversy that existed up on the Hill about 18 months ago on standard sizes for containers.
Both the House and the Senate instructed, literally instructed the Maritime Administration to undertake a massive study of containerization.
Mr. MURPHY. That is when you were prohibited from entering any conference or study on a national-international basis on sizes?
Mr. BLACKWELL. That is true.
Mr BLACKWELL We have responded to that and we think a contract will be let shortly. However, that is a hardware-economic study. In terms of behaviorial aspects, we haven't done anything. I have been talking with a firm in California which has made an interesting proposal to do what you suggest.
If the proposal makes sense and is rational and reasonable I think it will find favorable response at the Maritime Administration. I think it has to be done.
Mr. MURPHY. I think it is heartening that of the total output of all the academies, and, let's call it the telescoping of the need for qualified personnel because of technological advances
Mr. BLACKWELL. I agree with that.
Mr. MURPHY. The committee will now hear Rear Adm. F. T. Williamson of the California Maritime Academy.
STATEMENT OF REAR ADM. F. T. WILLIAMSON, CALIFORNIA
Admiral WILLIAMSON. Good morning, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. Murphy. I understand you had quite a trip getting here, but we are certainly happy to have you.
Admiral WILLIAMSON. Thank you. I am happy to be here.
In my presentation, Mr. Chairman, I have covered what we are doing at the California Maritime Academy, and the support the State has been putting into it, particularly from 1958 to the present time, and what the Federal Government has done, and also the need for our officers.
I would like to read my statement now.
Admiral WILLIAMSON. Gentlemen, I am Rear Adm. F. T. Williamson, USN (retired), superintendent of the California Maritime Academy at Vallejo, Calif. I have served in my present capacity for the last 4 years.
The mission of the California Maritime Academy is "to give instruction in the science and practice of navigation, seamanship, steam, diesel, and electrical engineering to male students who have the good