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Mr. NOTTINGHAM. We say that if a tool is needed, we think none better than that could be found.
Mr. KEITH. Yes. It's a little vague to me exactly what you mean by this:
These commissions are subject to revocation if the recipient fails to remain at sea for at least 3 years in the Merchant Marine or to serve on active duty in the Navy.
Do you mean by that that the commission is subject to revocation if the recipient fails to remain at sea for at least 3 years in the merchant marine or fails to serve for a 3-year period within the Navy?
Mr. NOTTINGHAM. No, sir. The active duty period would be determined by the Navy. Therefore, the Navy has not stipulated that they will revoke the commission if a man is not retained on active duty for 3 years because they may not want him for 3 years.
Mr. KEITH. “These commissions are subject to revocation if the recipient fails to remain at sea for at least 3 years in the merchant marine or to serve on active duty in the Navy."
Mr. NOTTINGHAM. Yes, sir; or alternatively to remain in the Navy because he could volunteer for active duty in the Navy, and the Navy would accept that. Obviously they are training him.
Mr. KEITH. So he, in effect, can expect to be called to involuntary servitude in the Navy for a 3-year period?
Mr. NOTTINGHAM. No, sir, If he failed to serve on active duty in the merchant marine for 3 years, the Navy could, if they wished, revoke his commission.
On the other hand, perhaps the young man involved would volunteer for active duty in the Navy. This is not meant that he would be called up involuntarily but would have the option of requesting active duty in the Navy as an officer or sailing in the merchant marine as a deck or engineer officer.
Mr. KEITH. You say:
"In the event the commission is revoked, the individual then becomes subject to induction in the Armed Forces."
Mr. NOTTINGHAM. Under the selective service provisions of the law, yes.
In other words, this young man would have been trained for 3 or 4 years to be an officer. Without the commission he would be subject to induction as an enlisted man in the armed services. He certainly couldn't make any plans based on the 19 year age group requirements because nobody knew a few years ago what that would be, and he has been matriculated in the school for 3 or 4 years.
So they didn't know what the administration would have in mind as far as the draft call was concerned, what age group would be called for, how many men would be in the call.
Mr. Keith. This is what you call a moral obligation?
Mr. NOTTINGHAM. No. In addition, Congressman, to the Naval Reserve obligation which is a very tangible and a very real one, each young man going to Kings Point signs an agreement to remain at sea for a minimum of 3 years after graduation. He accepts his appointment with that understanding, that he will. That is the moral obligation.
Mr. KEITH. I see. That is a quite different thing than at the State academies.
Mr. NOTTINGHAM. That is the moral obligation. The other is the very real obligation of the Naval Reserve.
Mr. KEITH. That is a moral obligation where I would think in the recruiting process as you review a man's qualifications for the maritime academy you would try to get the kind of guy who would live up to the moral obligation.
Mr. NOTTINGHAM. Yes, sir. But it is very difficult when you are recruiting a young man of 17 years of age to talk to him about what he might do some 7 or 8 years later because he is 4 years in the institution, 3 years of his obligation, and that is about half of his life up to
3 that point.
Mr. KEITH. What we are concerned about in this bill is, the 3 years in the State of Massachusetts, or the 4 years in the case of some of the other State maritime academies, you say after ? or 8 years it is difficult. We are only concerned about 6 years in the State of Massachusetts.
Mr. NOTTINGHAM. Well, yes. I understand your point. We have 1 years at Kings Point and then we have an obligation of 3 years, active service in the merchant marine afterward.
Mr. KEITH. All we want in Massachusetts is a 3 years' obligation insofar only as the repayment of the grant is concerned if they don't serve at least 3 years at sea and then only if there are jobs available.
Mr. NOTTINGHAM. I understand the purpose of your bill. Mr. Keithi. We have tried to show that as far as our men are concerned, we don't consider that that is a necessary tool. Our men are performing, maybe because of the moral obligation. We think it is basically that. Perhaps equally important is the Naval Reserve obligation, but for whatever reason they are serving and therefore we don't think any further obligation is needed.
Mr. Keith. Do they have a greater moral obligation because they don't pay anything? What do they pay to go to your academy?
Mr. NOTTINGHAM. They do not pay tuition at the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy. The students there are required to meet certain ontof-pocket expenses which would be less than they would have in a State maritime academy. The other costs of their education are provided in full by the Federal Government. I can't give you an actual figure as to what it costs the young man involved.
Mr. Keith. Roughly it would cost as we have heard from the testimony here today anywhere from $6,000 at the New York Academy to $4,000 more or less at some of the other academies.
Mr. NOTTINGHAM. Yes.
Mr. KEITH. And that is what we are interested in. They get everything for free at your place and they do go to sea because of a moral obligation, but they don't feel that they have as much of a moral obligation.
Mr. NOTTINGHAM. Mr. Keith, I think somehow or other we are off the track. These young men are being trained by our country for a specific purpose and we think they are fulfilling it. They are also a very important mobilization potential for the Nation both from the standpoint of the merchant marine and the Naval Reserve. I doubt that there are any other programs in this Nation that return as much
to this country as the young men who are the products of the State and Federal academies, and I don't know any others who are pointed to as they are, as if they were an example of those people who don't repay the Government for their education.
These people are a classic example where the Government is getting a great deal in return. The man has a dual purpose when he is training in the first place. He is training to be both a Reserve officer in the Navy and a merchant marine officer. The merchant marine is a very integral part of the defense posture of this Nation.
These men are then paying Uncle Sam back when they sail; first, by their sailing; second, by the leadership they provide the industry; and third, by the potential that they provide the country both as reserve officers in the Navy and being ready to sail in the merchant marine in time of need.
I think this country is getting a lot back for a very small investment.
Mr. KEITH. I will buy that. I support that philosophy, but I don't see what is wrong in requiring the fellow who changes his mind and doesn't have the strong moral obligation and doesn't have the legal obligation as they have at the military academies from having some obligation to repay. We do it in other fields.
It would seem to me that this is a pretty good education and we are not asking too much.
Mr. NOTTINGHAM. If the man does not repay his country for the purpose for which he received Federal assistance for his education, there should be, it seems to me, some way to obtain compensation in turn or recompense in turn from that individual. I don't believe, sir, in the testimony that has been given by the witnesses before the committee as I am familiar with it that any lack of performance has been proven. To the contrary, I think the record of the young men of the State and Federal academies reflects a return to the Government for their education by service in the merchant marine or the Armed Forces of the United States, as has been conclusively shown. From the testimony that I have heard of the other superintendents of the State academies and Admiral O'Donnell who testified today, it seems the performance record of these men on the whole is good.
Mr. Keith. Well, I think it is on the whole. However, I thought we heard some testimony this morning and certainly Admiral Limouze testified at least in favor of the bill which I filed, and I am sure he didn't do it just as an exercise in futility. I think he really felt that it would serve a useful purpose to him and his academy.
Mr. NOTTINGHAM. Sir, I know Dr. Limouze very well, and he is a man of great integrity, and I am sure what he said he is convinced of. I can't speak for Dr. Limouze. I can only give you the statement of the alumni of the Merchant Marine Academy, representing 13,000 graduates, and tell you that we don't feel that we need this kind of thing.
Mr. KEITH. I don't believe you do. Suppose that the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy were eliminated from the provisions of the bill and we included only the other schools not having the moral obligation that you do and so the other schools requiring the students to pay tuition, which
do not require, would you feel that the bill was better than it is in its present form?
Mr. NOTTINGHAM. I have no direct connection with the State maritime academies. Therefore, I would like to limit my remarks to the position of the alumni of the Federal academy. We do not believe we should be in the bill. The bill serves to amend the Maritime Academies Act of 1958, and we are not even mentioned in the Maritime Academies Act of 1958. We function under separate legislation altogether so that we would like to be out of your bill, sir, if we might, but I don't want to say anything about the other States and their positions. I have no knowledge of that.
Mr. KEITH. I can understand how you might feel that you should be left out. The students are not required to pay. Why should they be required to pay back something which they have not received. I think you have made a good case in that respect, and I think the situation is different at the other academies than yours because of the outstanding record that you have shown here and the fact that you do have this very strong moral obligation. The man signs a statement. Maybe he could win in court, but I would hate to have to go into court to prove that I wanted out of something that I had agreed to, even if I could win.
Do the parents join in that statement !
Mr. NOTTINGHAM. To the best of my knowledge they do not. They must be made aware of it, but I don't think that they sign it. Again, Mr. Keith, I would like to say this to you because I think it is very germane to the whole subject that we are talking about here today. I don't feel that the graduate of the State and Federal maritime academies should be evaluated merely on the number of men and the number of years they stand on the floorplates as engineer officers or on the bridge as deck officers. Your college and the college of each of your colleagues is judged by the men who go into leadership positions. So should these academies be judged by the men they produce who lead and direct in Government and industry the maritime progress of our country. This is the role of the college, to train leaders, not merely to train juniors. I think sometimes we lose sight of that. It is very important, I believe, for us to realize that these academies are contributing to the leadership of the Nation in maritime affairs. This is the role of the institutions of higher education as I understand.
Mr. KEITH. We have a number of people who are educated and assuming positions of leadership with certain voids in their backgrounds. I know if you had a graduate of a military academy who had never served in a line unit as a company commander, but through some circunstance got more schooling at the command and staff school between those years and then he gets to be a battalion commander without having been a company commander, you have a problem on your hands for a while.
Now, the fellow who is going to be a real leader in the Merchant Marine I think profits tremendously by having 3 years at sea under
3 his belt.
Mr. NOTTINGHAM. So do we. Consequently, sir, that is why we, the alumni, fought for the restoration of the midshipman status for the students at the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy and actively advocated the provision that the Reserve commission be revoked in the event the man did not go to sea. So that we believe that there should be a tool, some way to insure beyond the moral obligation that the man does go.
I hope this isn't being inconsistent, but we don't feel that we need an additional one of a monetary nature over and above the one required by the Navy.
Mr. KEITH. He and I are vying to see who gets the last word. I am going to let him have it.
Mr. DoWNING. He is a very compelling witness.
You made a very fine statement. Thank you again for appearing before the committee.
Mr. NOTTINGHAM. Thank you very much for the opportunity. (The attached chart follows:)