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(The following letter was submitted by Mr. Walter:)
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES,
Washington, D. C., May 4, 1935. Hon. SCHUYLER O. BLAND,
House of Representatives, Washington, D. C. MY DEAR COLLEAGUE: In compliance with your suggestion, I respectfully submit the following amendments to H. R. 7521 (committee print): Line 22, section 802, after the comma substitute "and the holder of such certificate shall be entitled to apply for a certificate as an able seaman as now provided by law." The reasons for the suggested change in the language of the committee print of the bill were stated by myself and Captain Hines at a recent hearing of your committee.
I respectfully suggest that section 803 be amended to read as follows: “The President is authorized to use for the establishment and maintenance of such schools or for the enlargement and/or increase of the facilities of any nautical schools or schoolships maintained by any of the several States any funds hereafter appropriated by Congress or which have heretofore been made available to him for use in the maintenance of the Federal Civil Works Administration." This amendment to section 803 is suggested for the reason that the expenditure of comparatively small amounts by the States of Massachusetts, New York, Pennsylvania, and California in enlarging the facilities for training seamen would enable these States to increase the number of students immediately.
Thanking you for your consideration in this matter, and with kindest personal regards, I am, Sincerely yours,
FRANCIS E. WALTER. The CHAIRMAN. Now, are there any shipowners here who desire to be heard? I want to say to them they will have to appear tomorrow in the Senate, and if you are here now, do not come back here after we have given you an opportunity today and say we would not give you an opportunity to be heard, because we are giving it to you now.
STATEMENT OF JOHN EGAN, PHILADELPHIA MARITIME
Mr. EGAN. I was very much impressed with the remarks from the members regarding the encouraging of the school ships rather than doing anything that might impair or restrict their activities.
The question was asked about the number of boys that we are capable of taking care of. We had 25 vacancies last fall and there were over 200 applicants to take that examination, of the finest type of boy that you might like to look upon who desired to make the sea his career.
Mr. SIROVICH. What are the qualifications for admission?
Mr. EGAN. A high-school education. Now, Pennsylvania has been in many respects a trail blazer in respect to educating young men for our merchant marine. We have not been exactly a pioneer, but have run all along with New York and Massachusetts.
Mr. WELCH. And California.
Mr. Egan. Yes, sir. We are pleased with the possibility that the Government might become more concerned, and we feel the proper way to do it is through these school ships that are set up now, and not to discourage the enthusiasm of the States that have done so much over a long period of years, but rather to encourage them. Pennsylvania has a law passed by her new legislature making provision for boys from outside of the State to become students on our school ship; but, unfortunatly, our school ship is not large enough to take care of more than 90 comfortably.
Now, if the Government would say to the State of Pennsylvania, as a reward for its interest, “Here is an appropriation to build a modern ship to take 200 to 300 boys and fill it up with these appli. cants, the young men who desire to become students with the aid of the Government”, that opportunity would be a mighty fine contribution and would perhaps be the best and quickest method to build up a fine, able seamanship in this country.
Mr. SIROVICH. Do the boys have to compensate the institution in any way for their training?
Mr. ÉGAN. They pay $125 for the equipment and uniform. Pennsylvania dresses them up in a cadet uníform—a nice, double breasted, blue uniform.
Mr. SIROVICH. How long does the course last?
Mr. Egan. Well, Mr. Chairman, when they are finished we strive to place them.
The CHAIRMAN. You try to place them in the merchant marine! Mr. EGAN. Yes, sir. The CHAIRMAN. Is there any central agency of the Government which could cooperate with you in getting them properly placed in the merchant marine ?
Mr. Egan. Yes; through our Government shipping commissioners at the various ports.
The CHAIRMAN. But you are dependent upon them.
The CHAIRMAN. At one time there was the Sea Service Section in the Bureau here in Washington, and I think there is some personnel section under the Bureau of Shipping: Have you made application to them, or
Mr. Egan. Well, Mr. Chairman, I will tell you: We make it a point to keep in contact with all of the American-flag-ship lines and we today have our students aboard 14 different lines,
and a graduate from our school was the first commander of the Leviathan when she was taken over by the Government; Commander Hartley was a graduate of our school ship.
The CHAIRMAN. It strikes me that is an excellent agency and you ought to receive the cooperation of some central agency of the Government, because we have to watch more closely than we have ever done in the past the personnel on these ships.
Mr. Egan. Precisely.
The CHAIRMAN. And not let them be putting people on there who do not know how to row a boat.
Mr. WELCH. May I state for the benefit of the witness and the committee in that in California every graduate of our training ship has been placed in the merchant marine.
The CHAIRMAN. That is an excellent record. My questions were directed toward help in getting them placed and getting efficient men in the merchant marine.
Mr. Egan. Oh, yes.
The CHAIRMAN. If they are not efficient, they do not belong; if they are efficient, we want them.
Mr. EGAN. Our Congressman has just called my attention to the fact that by reason of the world-wide depression in shipping, the students that get through now do not go aboard as officers but simply go aboard as cadets and are sometimes obliged to take quartermaster posts. That is simply because of the lack of business in shipping, and just as soon as that is corrected, as I am quite certain it will be corrected, we will be able to place them.
The CHAIRMAN. And if they perform the duties there, they will be taken care of? Mr. EGAN. Yes, sir. Mr. SIROVICH. What is the minimum salary they receive when they
Mr. Egan. That is covered by your various Federal laws. I do not think the ship operator can deviate from those laws. For example, there is a provision in our present laws
Mr. SIROVICH. There is a provision in this bill, if I am not mistaken, which makes it mandatory for ships under a certain tonnage and over a certain tonnage to carry two or three cadets. Mr. Egan. Yes. Mr. SIROVICH. Would that encourage your men?
Mr. Egan. Oh, my, yes; yes, indeed. Our cadets could go in there immediately as cadets.
Mr. SIROVICH. Then your organization ought to be able to function with what this bill establishes, and some central agency and agency in some central department that would cooperate with you and tell you where vacancies were and help you to find a way in which all of these men who graduate from the various schools could have employment, through an agency which could locate work for them, which you could not accomplish.
Mr. Egan. Pennsylvania and Philadelphia would be glad to cooperate in that way. The CHAIRMAN. Are there any further questions!
Mr. O'LEARY. What do these boys qualify as when they graduate from your school?
Mr. Egan. When they come out of there, they are generally regarded by the ship operator as cadets; and after they go through a period of preliminary training aboard a modern liner they qualify as third officers, and their promotion is then very rapid. They are really junior officers when they get through the school ship.
The CHAIRMAN. Are there any members of the Ship Owners' Association here who want to be heard?
Mr. BAKER. The association does not want to be heard at this time.
The CHAIRMAN. Well, you cannot select the time you want to be heard.
Mr. BAKER. I am sorry, but we will appear tomorrow before the Senate committee
The CHAIRMAN. There is no reason you could not go on today, except just for the reason you bring up something that you cannot be heard at this time. You cannot select your own time; we are giving you an opportunity to be heard now and we expect you to be ready.
Mr. BAKER. We have been working ever since the announcement of this hearing was made and would like very much to be heard on Thursday, if we may.
The CHAIRMAN. I can give you no promise of any particular time. I am giving you an opportunity today, and if you are not ready to go on, we cannot make any promises as to when you can be heard.
Mr. Haight. Mr. Chairman, I should like to speak for operators and owners of tramp tonnage at some stage.
The CHAIRMAN. We may be able to hear you this afternoon, if we go on, but we cannot permit the witnesses to conduct the hearings and will have to take those who come at a time that is convenient for the committee to have them appear.
Mr. Haight. I am ready, sir, at any time the committee will hear
STATEMENT OF CAPT. JOHN HINES, UNITED STATES NAVY,
Captain Hines. For the last 7 years I have been in command of the Pennsylvania Nautical School ship Annapolis. I only wish to say, Mr. Chairman, that Congressman Walter and Mr. Egan have covered the situation very satisfactorily and completely so far as the Nautical School of Pennsylvania is concerned.
The CHAIRMAN. Is there anything else you want to add to that?
Mr. RAMSPECK. I would like to ask the captain a question. Do not you think the seamen ought to be in the Naval Reserve, if we are going to finance the merchant marine?
Captain Hines. We encourage them to go in the Naval Reserveour graduates—but under the present laws they must serve 1 year at sea on a merchant ship before they are eligible to become officers in the Naval Reserve.
Mr. RAMSPECK. As a matter of governmental policy, do not you think we ought to provide in this legislation that the crews and men who work on these ships—that the Government is going to finance and where we are going to give a subsidy to the operators ought to be part of the Naval Reserve ?
Captain HINES. There is no objection to it, but until they have been thoroughly well trained at sea there is not much advantage in it. But the senior men of the crew and the officers of the ship should be members of the Naval Reserve.
Mr. RAMSPECK. You are familiar with the fact, when we took over the merchant vessels during the war, that we had to change crews?
Captain HINES. Yes. I think the men should be members of the Naval Reserve.
Mr. RAMSPECK. Should you not train all of them?
The CHAIRMAN, Captain, there is a constant reference to the word “cadet", and we have used it in this bill. I have been asked questions sometimes if they were cadets from the academy. Of course, they could not be from Annapolis, because they are midshipmen; and they could not be from the Military Academy. Can you tell us just what these cadets are, what class of vessels they go on, and what they do?
Úr. SIROVICH. Let me read you section 512 (a), on page 24. It says: Every vessel operating under a contract in force under this part of less than 10,000 gross tons shall be required to carry two cadets, and every vessel of 10,000 gross tons and over shall be required to carry three cadets. Such cadets shall be compensated by the contractor in the amount of not less than $30 per month; shall be provided with quarters separate from those occupied by unlicensed members of the crew, and shall be afforded every opportunity to serve an apprenticeship in, and be instructed concerning, the navigation and operation of the vessel. Now what is the meaning of “cadet" here? Captain Hines. The term cadet, as I understand it, sir, is a very broad and indefinite term. He is a learned pigeon in a way. Mr. SIROVICH. He is a what?
Captain Hines. A learned pigeon, an amateur, junior officer. I think "junior officer" would express the idea just as well and probably a little bit more definitely than the term “cadet.” At present you will find cadets aboardship who have had no previous training. They are there for that training. You will also find cadets who have their licenses already as third officers.
The CHAIRMAN. They are more like apprentices, are they?
Mr. SIROVICH. Do not you think we ought to define what the word "cadet" means?
The CHAIRMAN. It seems to have a generally accepted definition. Mr. SIROVICH. I still do not know what the meaning is. Captain HINES. I do not believe it has a recognized meaning. Mr. O'LEARY. Is that equivalent to an ensign in the Navy? Captain HINES. No. The CHAIRMAN. Captain, if you cannot very clearly explain that, I am going to ask Mr. Tyrer, who seems to be a general authority on all of these marine matters, and perhaps he can tell us what this means.
Mr. TYRER. Mr. Chairman, that is a question which I am unable to answer.
Mr. PETERSEN. Mr. Chairman, I do not like to set myself up as an authority here, but I know what the “cadets” are on board ship. There is no trouble about it; anybody can understand it. All there is in relation to the cadet aboard ship is some young man who is eligible, who wants to learn the business of going to sea, and for either a licensed engineer officer or a licensed deck officer he receives an appointment by a member of the operating companies, and then he goes on board ship and is taught by the officers on board ship to learn the business of a licensed deck or engineer officer.
And while I am on my feet right now, I do not want the chairman of this committee to believe that the shipowners of the Pacific coast are not entirely alive to the conditions before this committee. We are not here in any way trying to avoid our responsibility in consid