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than any remote predatory desire on the part of foreign steamship lines to exact unreasonable freight charges for the transportation of American foreign trade.
Our interest as well as public interest demands a policy of "noninterference” with the activities of nonconference or tramp steamship operators, regardless of the flag which they represent, or the foreign trade they carry. We well realize that world shipping is confronted with many serious problems, but we are also convinced that a sound solution can not spring from dangerous and discriminatory legislation, The crux of the problem is represented in the nationalistic tendencies of many maritime nations engaged in a race for commercial shipping supremacy on the seas, irrespective of the volume of commerce to be transported. As stated by our President
Free competition among the nations in the building of modern shipping facilities is a manifestation of wholly desirable and wholesome national ambition
If free competition in the building of ships is wholly desirable and wholesome, free competition in operation is even more desirable and augurs most for the future of international commerce. A fair allocation of foreign trade cannot be assured to the vessels of any nation through the medium of regulatory legislation not concurred in by other interested nations.
The CHAIRMAN. Are there any questions? If not, the next witness is Mr. Stebbins.
STATEMENT OF A. D. STEBBINS, BALTIMORE, MD., PRESIDENT
MERCHANTS & MINERS TRANSPORTATION CO.
Mr. STEBBINS. Mr. Chairman and gentlemen: In addition to representing the Merchants & Miners Transportation Co., I am also authorized to speak in behalf of the following steamship lines: Eastern Steamship Lines, Inc.; Clyde-Mallory Lines; American-Hawaiian Steamship Co.; Luckenbach Steamship Co.; Luckenbach Gulf Steamship Co.; Grace Line; Philadelphia & Norfolk Steamship Co.; my own company, the Merchants & Miners Transportation Co.; and the Williams Steamship Corporation, operating approximately 200 ships with a total gross merchant tonnage of over 1 billion tons.
The CHAIRMAN. Do you desire your testimony considered also in connection with the water carrier bill, or will you be here next week?
Mr. STEBBINS. Well, I do not know that I understand you, Mr. Chairman.
The CHAIRMAN. The water carrier bill is the bill that deals with placing all water carriers under the Interstate Commerce Commission,
Mr. STEBBINS. Yes; we will probably appear if we have an opportunity, next week.
The CHAIRMAN. Well you have notice now that we expect to hold the hearings on that bill next week. The notices have already gone out, and you should have received your notice before this time.
Mr. STEBBINS. In presenting our views to your committee with respect to title VII of the pending bill, we wish first to explain that we are making no objection to the main features of the bill, but are in sympathy with the major purposes therein sought to be accomplished. Nor do we object to the regulation of our port-to-port rates, the only rates not now governed by the Interstate Commerce Commission. However, it is our view that the regulatory powers should not rest with a body whose principal duties are of an administrative character and we therefore favor the elimination of title VII from this bill.
We call your attention to the fact that the Interstate Commerce Commission already has control over all interstate rates by rail
Mr. Sirovich. Why are you opposed to title VII?
Mr. STEBBINS. The Interstate Commerce Commission already has control over all interstate rates by rail, as well as all interstate rates of a number of steamship lines, notably the New England Steamship Co., the Southern Pacific Steamship Co., the Ocean Steamship Co. of Savannah, the Baltimore Steam Packet Co., the Chesapeake Steamship Co., and others. They also have control of all of our through rail-and-water rates. This leaves only our port-to-port rates, which are now not under the jurisdiction of the Interstate Commerce Commission, but will by this bill, if not amended, be included in title VII.
We are of the opinion, from years of experience, that if all port-toport rates were included under the jurisdiction of the Interstate Commerce Commission, and especially if they are given jurisdiction over the bus and truck rates, that the one regulatory body can more effectively and more comprehensively coordinate all forms of transportation which we feel will be in the interest of the public as well as the carriers themselves.
We have for years experienced the control of part of our rates by one body and part by another, and, while we have no criticism to make of the fairness and equitable manner in which we have been treated by either body, nevertheless we have felt the weakness of our position in having a dual regulation, with neither party in a position to accept the full responsibility that should go with authority.
It is for these reasons that we believe that one regulatory body for all modes of transportation is the most logical method of regulation and will enable a more harmonious coordination of the various forms of transportation, each in its own fields, as best serves the public and without unnecessary duplication of facilities or services, and will avoid ruinous competition and stabilize the entire transportation industry. I thank you.
The CHAIRMAN. Are there any questions.
Mr. LEHLBACH. Mr. Stebbins, you simply advocate that the portto-port rates in interstate commerce and other regulations ancillary to the making of rates, and so forth, be put in the Interstate Commerce Commission?
Mr. STEBBINS. Yes, sir.
The CHAIRMAN. Now Mr. Furuseth wants to be heard on the provisions of the bill.
STATEMENT OF ANDREW FURUSETH, PRESIDENT INTERNA- .
TIONAL SEAMEN'S UNION OF AMERICA
Mr. FURUSETH. Mr. Chairman and gentlemen of the committee: In what I have to say on behalf of the seamen
Mr. Sirovich. Mr. Furuseth, would you be kind enough, for the benefit of the new members, to tell whom you represent?
Mr. FURUSETH. I represent the International Seamen's Union of America; that is to say, the entire personnel of the merchant marine, exclusive of the licensed officers.
Mr. SIROVICH. About how many members do you represent?
Mr. FURUSETH. In what I have to say on behalf of the seamen, I beg that you will be patient with me. I want to assure this committee that in criticizing this bill I have no intention, by implication or otherwise, to question either the patriotism or the honesty of the proponents of this bill, which in some respects, so far as we seamen can see, is good and in other respects unnecessary and, therefore, vicious. We ascribe to those who support this bill an honesty of purpose which we think is mistaken. We also ascribe to them patriotic motives which we think are based on a misunderstanding of historical facts.
When the United States came into the family of nations it brought back with it a revival of sovereignty based upon the free citizen, basing sovereignty on the electorate. This is an idea so old that in the struggles of a thousand years it had been forgotten by Europe which had shifted the sovereignty from the free citizens expressing themselves through meetings at stated periods and stated places in which the collectivity of free men exercised the legislative powers, the executive powers, and the judicial powers now acepted as the basis of the Constitution of the United States. This creates a gulf between Europe and America which can only be bridged by the surrender of the ideas held by one of the two opposing parties.
In the old Nordic religion and the society based thereon there was originally no hereditary bondage or slavery. They held slaves taken as prisoners in war, but the bondage was not hereditary either in the female or male line. The child being born on free soil was born to freedom. This principle was based on the idea in the religion that man was created in the image of God. We find that in no other religion except the Christian religion; and it came back into the world through Jesus the Nazarene, and it came into society around the Mediterranean Basin in which there was at that time nine slaves to each free man. Slavery had the sanction of the religion as it was then taught.
The idea of the Fatherhood of God and the brotherhood of man as taught by the Nazarene had first to be fought out on the religious field so as to establish at least officially the idea of equality before God. Having been there established it went to the political field, there to establish equality before the law and in the state and that being acknowledged it went out to the industrial field, there to establish the same principles, thus again making society á complete whole. On the religious field the struggle was fought out through suffering that cannot be described by religious organizations based upon religious discontent. On the political field, it was fought by political organizations based upon political discontent and necessarily, in extending this idea to the industrial field, the struggle must of necessity be carried on by industrial organizations base upon industrial discontent.
This bill is the phase of an age-long struggle between the house of have and the house of need. The British Colonies here in North
America were denied justice as administered in England under the Magna Carta. Thoughtful men in the Colonies saw the danger and they organized voluntary associations of free men for the purpose of mutual aid and protection. Representatives of this organization in the different States met and adopted the Declaration of Independence which for the first time in 2,000 years was officially accepted as a fundamental truth of the old Nordic and Christian idea of equal freedom on the religious field, equal freedom on the political field, and the right to pursue happiness or equal freedom on the industrial field.
It goes on to say that a State in which these things are denied, it is the right and duty of the people to abolish such government-to establish anew, in such form as shall be likely to make these truths which in the bitterest hour of need of the people of the Colonies they solemnly covenanted with themselves and with their God to obey.
The purpose of this bill is to develop a strong American merchant marine, to promote the commerce of the United States, to aid national defense, and for other purposes. We are in favor of each and every one of these things and have been in favor of them and have been striving to bring them about for many years. It is not the ideas as expressed in the titles that we undertake to criticize. It is the method proposed to accomplish the purposes and again, gentlemen, I beg of you to be patient with us.
Title I, section 1, defines (1) the policy to which Congress pledges the United States, describing the merchant marine to be developed, to be able to carry at least one-half of our foreign commerce; (2) to be capable of serving as a naval or military auxiliary; (3) to be owned and operated by citizens of the United States, and consist of Americanbuilt ships; (4) to be composed of the best equipped, safest and more suitable types of vessels, and manned with a trained and efficient citizens' personnel.
Title II creates a United States Maritime Authority, afterwards to be mentioned as the Authority, which is to be composed of five members appointed by the President, by and with the consent of the Senate. Those appointed shall continue in office for the terms of 3, 4, 5, 6, and 7 years, respectively. The whole of the title deals with the organization of this Authority and with the powers to be exercised by it.
In section 202, the Authority is authorized and directed (1) to study all national maritime problems, and their proper relationship to trade and commerce; (2) to analyze and edit pertinent data and develop plans for construction and efficient operation of vessels, taking into consideration the benefits accruing from standardized production where practicable; (3) to determine, under rules and regulations, to be prescribed by the Authority, the amounts of direct financial aid to be paid under contracts awarded pursuant to titles III and V of this act; (4) to study means by which the revenue of contractors may be increased by advertising and solicitation on the part of operators, and wherein economies may be effected; and (5) to establish and maintain liaison with such other departments and boards of the Federal Government, and with representative trade organizations throughout the United States, as may be concerned, directly or indirectly, with any movement of commodities in foreign commerce, for the purpose of securing preference to vessels of United States register in such shipments.
This gives to the Authority the power to investigate every phase of the maritime problems, to edit information gathered and gives to them the further power to determine to what extent there is need of Federal assistance, to make contracts running up to 20 years (the accepted age of a vessel) for such assistance as the Authority shall determine. In other words, it delegates to the Authority the power over the purse of the Nation and the right to pledge it in contracts which under the decisions of the United States are enforceable through the Court of Claims. This “Authority" comes from the autocratic form of government under which governments by commission are developed. It is distinctly contrary to the fundamental idea of the American Constitution as we understand it. At the best, it poisons our system of government and points the way for its destruction; because the fundamental principle upon which our Government is based is that it shall be a government by law and not by men.
Under section 203 the Authority shall make studies of and make a report to Congress as soon as practicable on (1) the scrapping of old or obsolete tonnage owned by the United States or in use in the merchant marine; (2) tramp shipping service and the advisability of participating in such service with vessels under United States register; (3) the contruction by or with the aid of the United States of superliners, especially with a view to their use in national emergency; (4) the relative cost of construction of comparable ocean vessels in the various coastal districts of the United States, together with recommendations as to how such differentials may be equalized.
As we understand it, this investigation is to guide Congress for further legislation but does in no way interfere with the powers granted to the Authority. It may be seriously questioned whether Congress under the interstate commerce clause can delegate to this or any other Authority the power to legislate under the commerce clause. When the commerce clause was adopted, it was adopted upon a condition that Congress was to be the sole authority to legislate under that clause. I hope it is not offensive to any member of this committee to be reminded of the fact that Congress has been attacked and ridiculed in the public press as selfish and inefficient because it was unwilling to delegate its constitutional authority to some proposed commission for the benefit of what is historically known as the "third estate" and in the United States known as “big business." Would it not be well in this instance to exercise caution and to remember what happened to King Lear when he had delegated his royal authority to his two fawning daughters and their husbands? It will be remembered that he was put out of the castle and stood helpless and alone on the Scottish moor. The third daughter, the real loyal one, brought him back to resume his actual power and proper authority.
Having in mind what seems to be the constitutional road in dealing with instrumentalities of interstate and foreign commerce and what sometimes happens to those who are too ready to give and while we bring to your attention the question of the wisdom of such delegation of the tools of commerce, we must emphatically protest against such delegation of the rights and duties of the personnel to this Authority, For something more than 2,000 years the seamen have been governed by law insofar as the conditions permitted; at sea the seaman was and is under the law of common hazard. He with others jointly under