Изображения страниц


New York City, April 29, 1935.
The Hon. S. O. BLAND,
Chairman Committee on Merchant Marine and Fisheries,

House of Representatives, Washington, D. C. DEAR SIR: Regarding the bill, H. R. 7521, I had hoped to be in Washington when the hearings before your committee reach title VIII. As this now seems unlikely, I would like to give you a reaction on one detail which I consider of importance. On page 40, line 9, I would like to add after the word “attached”, the following: “together with the name and address of his next of kin”, so that the sentence reads: "Such book shall have a distinguishing number, description, fingerprint, and photograph of the seaman firmly attached, together with the naine and address of his next of kin, and shall contain," etc.

I have been connected with the emergency relief of seamen since October 1931. In the next 2 years nearly 12,000 different seamen were interviewed and given food and lodging. In November 1933 this work was transferred to the transient division of the F. E. R. A. which operates in New York City through the New York State T. E. R. A. We have given service to several thousand more seamen in this latter period, so that our experience covers about 18,000 different men.

From this experience we have learned that when an emergency arises, the fact * that our system of identification includes the name of the next of kin enables us

to give this information to authorized persons, which is most helpful. In addition, we are sure that the most disadvantageous factor in a seaman's life is that he drifts away from his home ties and that within a few years these ties may be absolutely lost. When a seaman is 40 years old or more, he can seldom give an address where any relative can be reached. He will be greatly helped to keep in touch with his family and friends if this information is kept up to date.

It is not efficient that the central record mentioned in section B on page 42 should contain the address of the next of kin, because, in case of emergency, it is not accessible. Yours faithfully,

REGINALD L. MCALL, Consultant.


Norfolk, Va., April 25, 1935. Hon. S. Otis. BLAND, Representative in Congress from Virginia,

Washington, D. C. DEAR Mr. BLAND: I am writing you another letter today, advising that the executive committee of this organization has gone on record as approving H. R. 7521, and companion Senate bill (ship subsidy bills) in principle.

At the same time it was suggested that you might desire to give consideration to changing line 12, page 26, section 512 (b), so as to read “Naval officers of the United States on active or inactive lists may volunteer for service":

The question was also raised as to whether or not provisions of section 802, page 38, lines 3-9, inclusive, with respect to the issuance of able seamen's certificates, was conditioned wholly upon certificate showing training in schools or whether this was one condition, and the present plan of issuing such A. B. certificates upon the completion of 1 year's service at sea, would continue to be recogpized. Yours very truly,


Executive Manager.

Sailors' HAVEN,

Charlestown, Mass., April 24, 1935. MR. CHAIRMAN AND GENTLEMEN OF THE COMMITTEE: We oppose the passage of H. R. 7521, because we feel very strongly that no legislation should be enacted making it possible for the shipbuilder and shipowner to receive Federal money in any form until provision has been made to develop American crews, efficient, well disciplined, thoroughly competent to meet war-time conditions, crews having

[ocr errors]

loyalty to their country and to their profession, living and working under such conditions that that most important factor known as morale" will be very high.

The provisions of H. R. 7521 are such that once again we attempt to build a merchant marine by constructing ships, giving the owner and the builder every consideration. Ships are worthless and helpless without crews. Our first aim must be to create living and working conditions aboard ships which are American in fact and will attract Americans to the sea. Respectfully submitted,

PHILIP F. KING, Assistant Superintendent.



New York City, March 19, 1935. Hon. SCHUYLER Otis BLAND, Chairman Committee on Merchant Marine and Fisheries,

House of Representatives, Washington, D. C. MY DEAR MR. BLAND: Mr. H. H. Brown, editor of Marine Engineering aad Shipping Age, in a letter to you dated March 14, 1935, referred to the writing of this letter which accompanies “A Proposal for a North Atlantic Fleet Under the American Flag", containing some facts and recommendations which I am offering for your consideration.

Mr. Brown's letter to you dated February 21, 1935, has referred to the proposition in general and which was presented by the writer in an article in the January (1935) issue of Marine Engineering and Shipping Age, and amplified by editorial comment, in the same issue. A copy of the magazine was sent to you with that letter.

It has seemed well to include in this presentation some of the contents of the letter of February 21 and of the above-mentioned magazine article, yet all in the above references are quite relevant to the case.

Summarizing the subject we find:

1. The present service on the Atlantic includes only two modern American ships which alone cannot maintain a complete regular service but which ships are acknowledged to be successful.

2. When America has had representative ships on the Atlantic they have been well patronized.

3. The present tendency in first-class travel is definitely to speeds of about 30 knots and in this class of ships, which will carry a large part of the trade, the United States has none, while each of the European maritime countries is represented by ships of nearly if not fully that speed. Such ships are considered extremely desirable and important as naval auxiliaries.

4. To meet the needs of this country for prestige, adequate service, and representation on the premiere trade route of the world, and much needed units for national defense there are proposed two 31-knot ships of moderate passenger. carrying capacity for a weekly express service to Channel ports in England and France and one cabin ship to supplement the Manhattan and Washington which might perhaps need some modification to increase their speed so the three could adequately maintain a weekly cabin service to Channel ports and Germany.

Such a fleet would doubtless be the best on the Atlantic and would positively attract much travel. Nothing comparable to it has existed under the American flag since the days of the old American Line around 1895.

5. The carrying capacity of the first-class ships of today is more than that of what we may consider the first-class ships existing in 1939, the two proposed ships included.

6. Engineering advances place the United States in an ideal position to build new fast ships which will be superior and more efficient than the fast ships now coming out which latter are built as per the engineering of 7 years ago. This country is amply able to construct such ships for it has demonstrated its ability to design, build, and operate successful ships in other services.

7. The cost of this project will be a good investment not only in peace time but specially so if we ever needed such ships in an emergency. American travel money should be spent in this country till the traveler gets on foreign soil and

the advent of this fleet would retain here large sums now going to foreign countries before the passenger gets there.

8. The building of such a fleet of three ships which might cost around $75,000,000, would incidentally give employment to many craftsmen in varied lines of industry all over this country,

Therefore it seems desirable that the forthcoming ship subsidy bill include provision with adequate Government aid for the building and operating by a private company of at least the three ships proposed in no. 4 for the completion of a minimum adequate American-flag fleet for the North Atlantic service. The importance of this proposition seems to deserve the most careful constructive thought. While I know the time may be short before you may have to introduce the prospective bill in Congress I believe the thought of a committee as proposed could help to quickly crystallize the ideas into à definite form that would be acceptable to you for inclusion in the proposed legislation.

There may be many thoughts arise in regard to this project and if you think further good can be accomplished by a discussion I shall be glad to have such with you at any time you may think well to designate. Very sincerely,


PROPOSAL FOR A NORTH ATLANTIC FLEET UNDER THE AMERICAN FLAG It is well first to consider certain facts which lead up to this proposal and that will help set forth the desirability of definite action at this time.

1. HIGH SPOTS IN TRANS-ATLANTIC HISTORY IN THE PAST 40 YEARS In 1893 President Harrison attended the important ceremony of raising the American flag on the City of New York when that ship and the City of Paris, formerly belonging to the Inman Line and under the English flag, were transferred to the old American Line. This transfer to United States registry was made possible by a special act of Congress on condition that two new ships of at least equal tonnage and speed be built in this country. As a result in 1895 Cramps built the St. Louis and the St. Paul and America had four ships of about 21 knots speed, the average top speed of their time, a condition that for a period of 40 years has not occurred again.

At about this time England built the Lucania and Campania and these two with the St. Louis and St. Paul vied for the supremacy of the Atlantic.

In the early years of this century Germany started her more important Atlantic fleet with the Deutschland, Kronprinz Wilhelm, Kaiser Wilhelm II, and Kronprinzessin Cecilie all of about 22 knots speed.

In 1907 England made what is perhaps the biggest advance in trans-Atlantic navigation when the Lusitania and Mauretania of 26 knots speed were brought out. These were the first large liners to be propelled by turbine, the first quadruple screw liners, and they had a power double that of any previous liner. Furthermore, the decision to use turbines was made as a result of tests on the Turbinia, a ship only about 125 feet long. To make the building of these epochmaking ships possible England loaned the Cunard Line, their owners, about $13,000,000 at 24-percent interest, and agreed to an annual subsidy of about $750,000. The Mauretania maintained her supremacy on the Atlantic for over 20 years and was not retired until last year, after 27 years of consistent service.

Germany in 1913 made the entry into the Atlantic service of the first of the monster ships, the Imperator (now the Berengaria), about 910 feet long, and of about 24 knots speed. The Aquitania of about the same size and speed also entered service that year.

The second German “big ship”, Vaterland, now the Leviathan came out in 1914 and is now over 20 years old.

During the World War of course nothing was done and for some years afterward this type of Atlantic service was not modernized. The German steamer Bismarck practically a sister ship to the Vaterland, was completed, turned over to England, and was allocated to the White Star Line as the Majestic.

In 1923 the Leviathian, which was our greatest and most valuable transport during the war, was returned to the Atlantic passenger service of the then newly organized United States Lines and America was glad to acclaim her the “Queen of the Atlantic”. Americans freely patronized this ship flying their own flagtheir first “big ship” since the days of the St. Louis and St. Paul over 20 years before. But while the United States Lines had a fleet it consisted of old ships, reconditioned, and no two alike. No homogeneous service could be maintained. The Leviathan was a “lone star" even though one of the best patronized ships on the Atlantic.

In 1929 Germany sent across the Atlantic the Bremen of about 2744-knot speed which immediately took the speed record and this was followed in 1930 by the Europa which ships, built by money said to have been borrowed in the United States, were slightly smaller than the “big ships" of 1913 and 1914 but about 3 knots faster and they promptly took the cream of the trade. They represented a great engineering advance over the Mauretania which had for over 20 years carried the famous “blue ribbon".

The Bremen and Europa, while not being able to make weekly sailings on on account of their natural inclusion of a German terminal port, a day'a'run frem the Channel ports, have nevertheless been successful ships and doubtless their speed has been the most important factor in this.

The year 1932 saw the advent of the Italian liner Rer, which in 1933 made a record run on the Atlantic and is now the holder of that coveted blue ribbon.

The French liner Normandie to come out this year and the Cunard-White Star liner Queen Mary to enter the service in 1935 will again advance the Atlantic time table, but each will have done it at a great increase in size that is a decidedly questionable feature. These two ships were designed in 1928 and 1929 and their construction was held up or proceeded at a reduced rate during part of the depression period. While just coming out, they represent the engineering achievement of about 6 or 7 years ago.

In 1932 the United States Lines which were taken over by the International Mercantile Marine brought out the Manhattan and in 1933 the Washington. These are noteworthy American ships of the cabin class and are well patronized and are understood to be financially successful. They were widely heralded in this country as the first outstanding American ships for many years.

Prestige on the Atlantic has always been with the countries that had the fast ships and those ships have attracted to their line much patronage that would doubtless have gone elsewhere. Prestige is a national advertisement.

The outstanding conclusion is that at the times when the United States had representative ships in the Atlantic they were well patronized by Americans. We had the semblance of a fleet in 1895 in the old American Line and we had a successful "solitaire" in the Leviathan in 1923 to 1929, but with the advent in each case of faster ships by other nations we lost our prestige. The brief reviews show that we made no effort to keep up our Atlantic fleet while other nations, well subsidized, did that thing.


With the exception of the Red Star Line steamers Finland and Kroonland built by Cramps in 1902 no American ships for trans-Atlantic service were built between 1925 (St. Louis and St. Paul) and 1932 (Manhattan). During this time we had made great strides in other lines of engineering and industrial effort and the facilities for shipbuilding in this country were, in the early part of that period, directed toward the upbuilding of a Navy which contained outstanding ships. In the latter period after the passage of the Jones-White bill there were some excellent ocean-going ships built but not for the trans-Atlantic service.

In 1915 Cramps turned out two ships, Great Northern (now H. P. Alexander) and Northern Pacific, the first ocean-going ships 500 feet long and capable of 23 knots sustained sea speed. These ships performed excellent transport service during the war and one made a record round trip to Brest, France, which is believed to have been unbroken till the advent of the Bremen in 1929.

In 1928 there was considerable activity over the establishment of a fleet of ships capable of making the crossing in 4 days but the plan was abandoned.

When the United States Lines were transferred to private ownership in 1929 it was with the understanding that they would build two so-called "superliners." Mr. Theodore E. Ferris, of New York City, was appointed the naval architect to design these ships. At that time the writer became associated with Mr. Ferris. About 18 months was devoted to the development of a pair of ships that for safety would have surpassed anything now on the Atlantic-being able to float with any four compartments open to the sea, a condition never before imposed on any prospective ship designed for merchant service. This was a requirement of the Navy who examined the final plans and gave an unconditional approval of them for safety, weight, strength, and power, the features that were of special interest to them if the ships were to be available for auxiliary Naval use. The proposed ships were 945 feet long and would have been capable of a sea speed of about 30 knots. The work done in preparing all necessary plans, making the extensive calculations required by the design work, and a most complete set of specifications form an excellent basis for any future design of this type of ship. About $200,000 was spent in the development of this design.

On account of business conditions the building of these ships was deferred.


This is performed by two fleets. That under the United States Lines is done by four ships, Manhattan, Washington, President Harding, and President Roosevelt. The two former, as before mentioned, are excellent new cabin ships of about 22 knots speed but the two latter are about 15 years old and slower. The Leviathan, now laid up, is a liability and should without doubt be definitely withdrawn from the service except as an emergency might arise. On account of age and obsolescence she is too costly to operate.

The second American service is by the American Merchant Line which operates five similar ships of about 1492 knots speed and each having capacity for about 100 passengers. Incidentally this line probably only trans-Atlanti that has a strictly homogeneous fleet, that is, all ships alike. These ships make regular weekly sailings and it is understood that they are successful.

While about three-quarters of the Atlantic travel originates on this side, only a small part of the tonnage used by those travelers is under the American flag, & condition that economically should not exist.


As our railroads perform their first-class limited service by similarly equipped trains by which travelers can get the same class of accommodations and the same high-speed motive power whatever day they start, it would seem that Americans would welcome such on the Atlantic.

To this end the following fleet is proposed to be established on the Atlantic:

(a) Two ships of about 900-foot length, of at least 31 knots speed, with accommodations for 1,500 passengers and of adequate tonnage, thus able to easily pass through the Panama Canal. These ships would each make a round trip between New York and two Channel ports as Cherbourg and Southampton in 2 weeks. Sailings might be from New York every Saturday at 1 p. m. and arrival at Cherbourg at 5 a. m. on Thursdays, so passengers could have lunch in Paris. The arrival at Southampton in the afternoon would be in time for passengers to have dinner in London.

(6) Three ships of the Manhattan and Washington class (these two included). These ships would each make a round trip to the above Channel ports and a German port, as Hamburg, in 3 weeks. Sailings from New York might be every Thursday at 12:01 a. m., and the passengers could reach the Channel ports on the following Wednesday in time for lunch in Paris or dinner in London. Arrival in Hamburg would be early on a Friday morning. These ships would be capable of carrying 3,000 to 5,000 tons of freight.

The above fleet of five ships, if making two sailings per week, would have an annual carrying capacity of about 294,000 passengers, of which 156,000 would be by the two express steamers.

Two sailings every week would be possible except for the usual annual overhaul period.

Such a definitely planned fleet would, with the exception of the American Merchant Line, be the most homogeneous in the North Atlantic service between the United States and England, France, Italy, or Germany. Such would be the premier fleet of the world and operating in the world's most competitive service would give the United States great prestige. No comparable fleet exists and yet that proposed consists of only five ships. Their schedule can be so arranged that no two ships are in the same port at the same time. They can be made to have a quick turn around at terminals, for ships are earning money at sea and not when at a dock. Their speed makes possible the service to be given. While the Queen Mary and Normandie will each be able to make the round trip in 2 weeks they are each but half a pair and, being under different flags, cannot, for their respective owners, maintain a complete national service.

« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »