Изображения страниц


Statement of

Joseph Curran, New York Maritime Council, Acting President of the
National Maritime Union_..






J. Warren Madden, Chairman, National Labor Relations Board..
Edgar F. Luckenbach, Luckenbach Steamship Co., New York City..
Otis N. Shepard, Shepard Steamship Co., New York City..






Washington, D. C.

The committees met, pursuant to call, at 10 a. m., in the Caucus Room, Senate Office Building, Senator Royal S. Copeland, chairman of the Commerce Committee, presiding.

Present: Senators Copeland (chairman of the Commerce Committee, presiding), Thomas, Sheppard, Mrs. Caraway, Biblo, Guffey, Maloney, Ellender, Vandenberg, and Gibson.

The CHAIRMAN. The committees will come to order.

Mr. Luckenbach, we will begin with you. We are going to take up the labor section.


Mr. Luckenbach, we are glad to see an old friend here this morning. I mean a friend of long-time standing. What do you wish to talk about?

Mr. LUCKENBACH. I should like to talk about the bill, S. 3078.

The CHAIRMAN. Very well. Proceed. What part of the bill do you wish to discuss? Section 15?

Mr. LUCKENBACH. I wish to discuss section 507 of the Merchant Marine Act, 1936.

The CHAIRMAN. That is section 16 of the bill.

Mr. LUCKENBACH. And then I will make some suggestions which I hope the committee will take into consideration.

The CHAIRMAN. We will be glad to hear your suggestions, and they will of course be given consideration.

Mr. LUCKENBACH. When we have a toothache we go to experts, you know.

The CHAIRMAN. I am not quite sure why you came here then, Mr. Luckenbach.

Mr. LUCKENBACH. When we want advice we go to experts. And I wish you would follow some of the advice we have given and what I am going to give you.

Mr. Chairman and ladies and gentlemen of the committee. It is to be assumed that vessels now receiving operating-differential subsidies cannot engage in the intercoastal service unless so authorized by the Commission at the time of the adjustment of the ocean-mail


If no such authorization has been made it is reasonable further to assume that vessels now engaged in intercoastal service shall not be subject to competition of subsidized vessels, except as provided for under section 506 of the present Merchant Marine Act, 1936, or as proposed under the amendments to that section under the bill S. 3078.

Under section 506 of the Merchant Marine Act, 1936, as it now is, and also the proposed amendment of that section under the bill S. 3078, vessels for which a construction differential subsidy has been paid may upon paying certain portions of such subsidy to the commission and/or waiving of the operating-differential subsidy, engage in the intercoastal service.

I vigorously objected to this section of the present bill as it now is before it was passed and wish also to do so in respect of the proposed amendment as it is a discrimination against the nonsubsidized vessels which in time would restrict the service to subsidized vessels carrying high rate cargo and nonsubsidized vessels carrying bulk cargo.

Under the present act and also the proposed amendment certain owners with the assistance of construction and operating-differential 'subsidies would be able to construct and operate superior types of vessels at comparatively lower costs in intercoastal service. This would enable subsidized vessels by reason of their speed to take the bulk of the high-rate cargo relegating other vessels to low-rate cargo. Furthermore, if the bill S. 3038, introduced by Senator McAdoo, providing for a subsidy for vessels up to 20 years of age when engaged in the intercoastal service, were passed vessels operating in that trade under the present act and/or the proposed amendment would receive the subsidy to the exclusion of practically all other vessels except the present passenger vessels engaged in the service.

This condition would restrict replacement of vessels and the building up and development of a merchant marine.

It is therefore my opinion that in the interest of the intercoastal service as a whole section 506 of the bill S. 3078 should be deleted from the bill and an amendment substituted prohibiting subsidized vessels and vessels which have at any time been subsidized, from the intercoastal service.

Also that each company now operating in the intercoastal service through the Panama Canal should be exempt from the payment of tolls to the extent of the total Panama Canal net tonnage of vessels actually operated by each company in that trade as of November 1,


The CHAIRMAN. Mr. Luckenbach, how much would that reduce the Canal tolls-the total? Have you the figures?

Mr. LUCKENBACH. No; I have not. Such tolls to be deposited by each company in a special fund, such money to be free of taxation of any character whatsoever and to be used exclusively for the purpose of replacing vessel tonnage of the respective company concerned. Construction of the first vessel to start within the year following the effective date of the bill.

I believe in a law for the establishment of a merchant marine and the necessary replacements to maintain same in the interest of our industries, commerce, and as an auxiliary to our Navy, but I do not think that can be accomplished by the present Merchant Marine Act of 1936, the proposed amendments under the bill S. 3078, and other pending legislation such as Mr. McAdoo's bill, S. 3038.

I want to suggest that the Panama Canal be operated 24 hours per day when possible.

It is my opinion that any legislation should embrace vessels employed in domestic, as well as in foreign services, and should be indiscriminatory, extending assistance to all owners alike and not to certain services and owners only.

Concerning the amendment to the Intercoastal Shipping Act of 1933, as proposed on page 30, section 43, I think it will go a long way in the stabilization of that service, except the limiting of the act to "common carrier" only would probably frustrate the purpose of the amendment and therefore suggest that the proposed amendment be amended to read as follows:

SEC. 5. The provisions of this act are extended and shall apply to every common and contract carrier by water in interstate commerce, as defined in section 1 of the Shipping Act, 1916.

Since 1934 seagoing and shore personnel through strikes, inefficiency, lack of discipline, interunion friction, and numerous other causes have cost shipowners and the public millions of dollars and loss of cargo tonnage which may never be regained.

This condition is disastrous to the shipowner and costly and unsatisfactory to the public concerned.

The provisions of title X would set up the necessary organization and would go a long way toward taking care of the labor situation in the interest of all concerned and would seem to be entitled to the support of all including labor.

I was glad to hear the statement of Congressman Bland, chairman of the congressional committee who had similar hearings last week, to the effect that no legislation for the relief of the American Merchant Marine-mentioning the intercoastal lines in particular-would be beneficial unless the Pettengill bill, i. e., the repeal of the Fourth Section Act should be defeated in the Senate.

The CHAIRMAN. Thank you, Mr. Luckenbach.

Are all the matters in which you are interested and are advocating this morning, Mr. Luckenbach, included in the McAdoo bill? Mr. LUCKENBACH. Is that S. 3078?

The CHAIRMAN. No; the bill Senator McAdoo proposed to give greater favors to intercoastal lines.

Mr. LUCKENBACH. That is what I object to giving greater favors to some of our competitors.

The CHAIRMAN. Yes; I understand. But he does not do that. You would not expect Senator McAdoo to go back on any American institutions?

Mr. LUCKENBACH. Well, in the bill as I read it, that is what he does, practically.

The CHAIRMAN. I am surprised. We will have to bring him in as a witness.

Mr. LUCKENBACH. That is, vessels will receive a subsidy if they are under 20 years of age. All the war constructed vessels are practically 20 years old, and those are the ships that are in the intercoastal trade, with the exception of the Grace, United Fruit, and PanamaPacific.

The CHAIRMAN. If that rule were applied to all our ships, foreign as well as domestic, we would not be paying any subsidies in 2 or 3 years, would we?

« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »