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the travel agents, not only in furnishings service in the sale and delivery of tickets, arranging and operating itineraries, etc., but also in presenting to the public the advantages of travel and the attractiveness of various routes and localities. The money so spent redounds to the benefit of the transportation companies, particularly the steamship lines, since it awakens the desire of travel and provides passengers for cruises, intercoastal service, and voyages to foreign countries. Thus the money spent by travel agents increases the business of the steamship companies and at the same time reduces their promotion and sales expense.
Since the earnings of the travel agents depend, for the most part, on commissions received for the sale of tickets, travel agents will naturally exert their efforts in the promotion of services which pay the highest commissions.
Unfortunately, an analysis of the rate of commission paid by steamship companies reveals the fact that some American shipping companies are amongst those paying the lowest rate of commission. We refer, for instance, to the following:
Dollar Lines.—5 percent on around-the-world and intercoastal services. Grace Line.-5 percent on intercoastal and west coast of South America services. Panama Pacific Line.—5 percent on intercoastal service. Savannah Line.--5 percent to Savannah. Southern Pacific Line.—5 percent on services from New York to New Orleans. Matson Line.—5 percent on Pacific coast services to Honolulu and South Seas. Clyde-Mallory Lines.-5 percent New York to Florida service. The 5-percent commission paid by the above steamship companies has a twofold bearing: In the first place, the agents do not receive an adequate return for their services; in the second place, their ability to utilize to its full degree their capacity for attracting business for the steamship companies is impaired. In connection with cruises and travel to the east coast of South America, many of the steamship companies have recognized the inadequacy of commissions previously paid and are now paying 10-percent commission, while all Trans-Atlantic steamship lines (of which the United States Lines are members) have, about 2 years ago, made a slight increase in their rate of commission from 5 percent to 6 percent. The steamship companies above-mentioned, however, have failed to recognize the advantage which they would derive and still pay the lower commission.
Since these companies would be entitled to receive a direct subsidy from the Government, and since a factor in the amount of the subsidy, as well as the necessity for its being paid, is the ability of the steamship companies to earn a return upon their investment, we respectfully urge upon you that in the consideration of the ship-subsidy proposal, you also consider the fairness and practical advantage of requiring the payment of a minimum 10-percent commission on passenger travel by the beneficiaries of the Government subsidy.
There is, of course, the additional thought that the number of thousands of travel agents are citizens and residents of the United States. Increased earnings to them would mean increased buying power and increased revenue to the Government in the form of taxes.
Should you desire any additional information or supporting data in this matter, we shall be pleased to furnish it. Trusting that this will receive your consideration, we are Yours very truly,
J. V. BEHAR, Secretary.
NATIONAL AssociATION OF FOREIGN FREIGHT
FORWARDERS AND BROKERS,
New York, N. Y., May 10, 1935, Hon. SchuYLER Otis BLAND, Chairman House Committee on Merchant Marine and Fisheries,
Washington, D. C. Sir: May we refer to a bill (H. R. 7521) “to develop a strong American merchant marine, to promote the commerce of the United States, etc., which you introduced in the House, and which was referred to the committee of which you are chairman?
We shall appreciate it if you will give consideration to letter, as per copy attached, the original of which, as indicated, we have sent to Senator Copeland.
In the interest of brevity, we do not feel constrained to burden your committee with a further recitation, but we shall, of course, be glad to endeavor to furnish any further information you may desire. Yours respectfully,
G. K. BERKEY, President.
May 10, 1935. Hon. Royal S. COPELAND,
Senate Office Building, Washington, D. C. DEAR SENATOR: We are informed you introduced a bill (S. 2582) to develop & strong American merchant marine, to promote the commerce of the United States, etc.
Few persons not engaged in the business are aware of the extent steamship freight brokers and forwarders and tourist agencies assist steamship companies in the solicitation and development of freight and passenger traffic. It is true that some of the steamship lines have branch offices in a relatively few of the most important cities of the United States and that through those offices the traveling public is able to obtain information in respect to sailings, accommodations, rates of fare, etc., and it is also true, but to a more limited extent, that some of the steamship companies maintain freight department offices in half a dozen cities, but most of the information which the traveling and shipping public requires, not only to answer sepcific inquiries but also with a view to developing and stimulating business in which steamship companies are interested (freight and passenger), is furnished by tourist agencies, forwarders of foreign freight, and steamship freight brokers.
The tourist-agency business in respect to passenger traffic is better known to the average man in the street than is the case with the facilities offered by oceanfreight brokers and foreign-freight forwarders. We do not believe it is an exaggeration to say that probably 90 percent of all export freight traffic is booked with the steamship lines through forwarders and freight brokers. These forwarders of freight to points abroad, and freight brokers are established at every port in the United States as well as in all important centers throughout the country, especially in the industrial States such as New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin, Missouri, etc. The number of firms engaged in this business is conservatively estimated to be about 750, and possibly as many as 1,000 employing in the aggregate probably 5,000 persons.
Most of the inquiries of exporters and importers with regard to routing of foreign freight, sailing opportunities, rates, etc., are sent to one shipping agent or another with whom the shipper and/or the consignee is in touch, and they answer the inquiry most the time from their current knowledge of the situation without the necessity of taking the matter up with the steamship company until it comes to the point of booking the freight and/or actually effecting the shipment.
Îhe business we attempt to describe is well established and has been for several generations. Steamship lines in general recognize the useful service performed by foreign shipping agents and freight brokers. As we see it, from our standpoint the only danger to a bill such as you have proposed is that it may be subject to misinterpretation to the effect that under such a law the steamship companies, or some of them, may feel that it would either be illegal or improper to continue the payment of ocean-freight brokerage, which is an important portion of the income of most of the firms and individuals acting as forwarders and freight brokers.
With a view to removing any uncertainty on this point, may we suggest that in part IV (provisions applicable to financial aid generally), section 517, clause (a), be amplified by adding:
“The contractor is to make diligent efforts to attract business, enlisting the services of all recognized tourist agencies, freight brokers and forwarders to whom appropriate brokerage or commission is to be paid.”
Your good self and your conferees will undoubtedly know how best to protect the situation we have endeavored to describe, i.e., at what point in the bill and in what language the situation may best be covered, but the above will, we believe, make clear the point that the important business of the tourist agency in connection with passenger traffic and the freight broker and forwarder should not be jeopardized due to the fact that the business is not specifically recognized in a bill which apparently is designed to be the rule and guide of many aspects of overseas transportation of passengers and freight. Yours respectfully,
NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF FOREIGN
FREIGHT FORWARDERS AND BROKERS. G. K. BERKEY, President.
NEW YORK FREIGHT FORWARDERS AND BROKERS AssociaTION, Inc.,
New York, N. Y., May 4, 1935. Hon. SCHUYLER OTIS BLAND,
House Office Building, Washington, D. C. DEAR SIR: There has been introduced by you a bill (H. R. 7521) providing for ship subsidies and other matters.
While this bill is in the process of consideration, we believe that, among other things, arrangements should be made to provide the contractor with sufficient means to secure every assistance in the solicitation of business.
There is already available a large and efficient soliciting force through the medium of tourist agencies, freight brokers, and forwarders located throughout the entire country. The steamship lines could not very well undertake to duplicate the organizations which have been built up over a great period of time, such as are represented by forwarders and tourist agencies except at tremendous expense. The lines have available to them the services of many thousand people already engaged in this business.
Title 2, section 202, paragraph 4 decrees the authority to study means by which the revenue of contractors may be increased by advertising and solicitation and to this end we urge the insertion in paragraph 4, section 517, and following paragraph A, of the following clause:
“The contractor is to make diligent efforts to attract business enlisting the services of all recognized tourist agencies, freight brokers, and forwarders to whom appropriate brokerage or commission is to be paid.”
For very many years it has been the recognized practice of the steamship lines to pay brokerage or commission to tourist agencies, freight brokers, and forwarders for which these agencies have performed a very valuable service. And, to assist the lines in performing the proper functions as outlined in the bill, it would seem essential that provision should be made in the bill itself.
We urge your support of this provision and should be very glad to have some one call upon you at your request. Very truly yours,
John H. FAUNCE, President.
INLAND WATER CARRIERS
May 14, 1935.
Re Brief for amendment of H. R. 7521 (Committee print no. 2) proposed by
Mississippi River System Carriers Association
Washington, D. C. DEAR SIR: Confirming my conference with you in reference to the amendment of the ship-subsidy bill, /. Ř. 7521, proposed by me on behalf of the Mississippi River System Carriers Association excluding inland river carriers from the bill and your suggestion that I file a brief in support of the amendment, I submit herewith the proposed amendment and a short summary of the reasons which we present in its support.
We urge the amendment of title 7, “Regulatory Powers”, section 701, paragraph 2, page 42, line 19, by adding the words "except on inland rivers", so that the paragraph will read as follows:
“I “The term 'common carrier by water in interstate commerce' for the purposes of this act shall include every common or contract carrier by water, except on inland rivers, engaged in the transportation for hire of passengers o rproperty, between one State of the United States and any other State of the United States.' for the following reasons:
1. This bill was drafted for the purpose of providing a subsidy for the American merchant marine and to regulate its rates and operations, by amendment to the Shipping Act, the Merchant Marine Act, and the Inter-Coastal Shipping Act, the jurisdiction of which acts is confined to shipping on the high seas, intercoastal and great lakes. They do not cover inland-river carriers.
2. All of the provisions of the bill are inapplicable to river carriers.
3. The inland-river carriers have never received nor requested any subsidy and will not receive any under this act.
4. The paragraph which we seek to amend and which otherwise would include inland river operations, I am advised, was proposed by a representative of coastwise shipping who sought to include his operations under this bill and was not intended to include, as it does by implication, inland-river carriers. There has never been any demand by shippers or inland-river carriers for their inclusion in this act and it will certainly not serve the public interest to include them under its jurisdiction.
On the contrary, because of the wide contrast in equipment and operations between the river carriers and ocean and Great Lakes carriers and the fact that this act is obviously not designed to cover river operations, their inclusion under its jurisdiction would create confusion, difficulty in administration and great harm instead of help to the inland river carriers.
I respectfully urge that your committee by this or any other appropriate amendment exclude carriers operating on the Mississippi River and its tributaries from the operation of this act.
II I also urge our exclusion from the act in view of the proposed amendment of the ship subsidy bill to include the limitation of liability provided under the British law which distinctly applies only to ocean shipping.
We therefore concur in the request of the Tugboat Owners Association for the adoption of the following amendment to the bill in the event that the proposed amendment concerning limitation of liability is inserted therein:
“This Act shall not apply to tugs, or barges, ocean-going or otherwise, or to cargo vessels, including canal boats, tow boats, barges, lighters and other nondescript, nonpropelled vessels used principally on lakes or rivers or in inland navigation; nor shall anything in this Act contained be held to repeal or modify, as to such vessels or crafts, any Statute of the United States, dealing with ship owners liability.
In support of this request we submit that the present limitation of liability under existing statutes has operated without hardship upon and has been entirely satisfactory to passengers, shippers, and carriers on the Mississippi River System, and there has been no demand for this proposed legislation from that source. Respectfully submitted,
M188188IPPI RIVER SYSTEM CARRIERS' ASSOCIATION, By HERMAN A. BAYLESS, Counsel.
NORFOLK ASSOCIATION OF COMMERCE,
Norfolk, Va., April 4, 1935. The S.
House Office Building, Washington, D. C. DEAR MR. BLAND: Please find enclosed attested copy of a resolution adopted by the board of directors of this association on the second instant favoring the program of the President to provide for subsidies for American flag ships and for financing on reasonable and proper terms the contruction and reconstruction of vessels.
We earnestly hope that you may find it entirely consistent to lend your efforts accordingly. Yours very truly,
W. S. HARNEY, Manager.
RESOLUTION Whereas it is deemed imperative that the United States of America have a merchant marine adequate to meet its commercial and military needs; and
Whereas the President has recommended to Congress the enactment of legislation to provide subsidies, which are indispensable to the maintenance of such & merchant marine; and
Whereas in order to meet the capital requirements incident to the construction and reconstruction of vessels, it is deemed necessary that the Government be prepared to grant or provide mortgage loans on vessels on reasonable and proper terms, there being grave danger that such loans from private sources may be unavailable; now, therefore,
Be it Resolved, That the program of the President, providing for subsidies for American flag ships be, and the same is hereby heartily endorsed; and be it further
Resolved, That the legislation which carries said program into effect should make suitable provision for financing, on reasonable and proper terms, the construction and reconstruction of vessels; and be it further
Resolved, That copies of this resolution be forwarded to the Senators and Representatives of Virginia.
The foregoing resolution adopted by the board of directors of the Norfolk Association of Commerce this 2d day of April 1935.
A. B. SCHWARZKOPF, President. Attest: W. S. HARNEY,
DAUGHTERS OF THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION,
Washington, D. C., April 18, 1935. Hon. SCHUYLER OTIS BLAND, Chairman Merchant Marine and Fisheries Committee,
House of Representatives, Washington, D. C. DEAR MR. BLAND: It is my pleasure to transmit to you the following resolution which was adopted by the forty-fourth continental congress of the National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution:
"Whereas an adequate American merchant marine is an essential part of the national defense, to serve both as a naval and a military auxiliary in time of war and national emergency; and
“Whereas foreign subsidies and lower construction abroad compel the United States to provide money and other aids to its merchant marine; and
“Whereas legislation is being formulated in accordance with recommendations of the President of the United States to provide for a new merchant marine, privately owned and operated, built in the United States and manned by American citizens: Now, therefore, be it
“Resolved, That the National Society, Daughters of the American Revolution, endorse this program and urge upon Congress of the United States the passage of necessary legislation; and be it further
“Resolved, That a copy of this resolution be sent to Hon. Daniel C. Roper, Secretary of Commerce; Hon. Schuyler Otis Bland, chairman Merchant Marine and Fisheries Committee of the House; Hon. Royal Copeland, chairman of Commerce Committee of the Senate." Sincerely yours,
HELEN N. (MRS. H. BOURNE) Joy, Recording Secretary General National Society, D. A. R.
THE PROPELLER CLUB OF THE UNITED STATES,
PORT OF HAMPTON ROADS,
Norfolk, Va., May 2, 1935. Hon. S. OTIS BLAND,
House of Representatives, Washington. DEAR CONGRESSMAN: At a meeting of the Board of Governors of the Propeller Club, Port of Hampton Roads, the following resolution was unanimously adopted:
"That this club goes on record in favor of the Bland-Copeland bill recently introduced in Congress setting up a maritime authority, and providing legislation that controls shipping." This is for your information. Yours sincerely,
WM. GRAHAM, Secretary.
Mr. J. H. Graves, 44 Whitehall Street, New York, N. Y., is in entire sympathy with the President's program and the recommendations made by the Department of Commerce. He also states:
"I am fearful that shipbuilding will stagnate without some help from the Government in the way of loans or a sufficiently attractive subsidy to insure the safety and some return to private capital. And while it is true that all of the