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NEW YORK, June 13, 1906.
SIRS: As an owner of vessels over 700 tons register I earnestly request that you seriously consider the repeal of the law compelling them to have licensed officers. These vessels carry no passengers and the licensed officers are of no possible benefit either to the ship or her cargo.
I have had vessels detained in this port at considerable loss of time and money while waiting to procure them from other adjacent ports, as there are not enough of them, and many of those holding licenses have but little practical knowledge of the coast, while I might have procured a practical man who was unable to pass the examination in order to obtain his license.
I can see no possible reason for the law and hope it may be repealed. Failing in this, I would respectfully suggest that the law be amended so that if the captain or agent of a vessel sailing coastwise be unable to procure a licensed officer, he be permitted to procure an unlicensed officer, and by taking an oath at the nearest customhouse at port of sailing, or arrival at destination, be free from any penalty or fine. Very respectfully,
The COMMITTEE ON COMMERCE,
United States Senate, Washington, D. C.
The following letters have been received during the present session:
THE MARITIME ASSOCIATION OF THE PORT OF NEW YORK, New York, December 18, 1906. DEAR SIR: The members of the Maritime Association of the Port of New York are deeply interested in the enactment of Senate bill 6898, which provides for the amendment of section 4438 of the Revised Statutes relating to the licensing of mates of sailing vessels of over 700 tons, and it is earnestly hoped that the bill may become a law at this session. This is a matter which was a subject of investigation by a special committee of our association about three years ago, and our committee favorably reported upon the inclosed resolutions to our board of directors, and they were subsequently adopted as expressing the desires of the Maritime Association of the Port of New York upon this important subject, so vital to a large number of our members. The resolutions, as you will note, advocate the repeal of the law requiring an annual inspection of sailing vessels of over 700 tons by the steam-inspection service, and this Congress has very wisely done. But the provision requiring the licensing of mates of sailing vessels of over 700 tons still remains upon our statute books and is a source of great annoyance and frequent loss to our sailing-vessel interests, which are, as you know, not in a position at the present time to stand unnecessary exactions. Commending this matter to your early consideration, I beg to remain,
Very respectfully, yours,
C. R. NORMAN, President.
Hon. WILLIAM P. FRYE,
A. J. NEWBURY,
United States Senator, Washington, D. C.
NEW YORK, December 16, 1906.
MY DEAR SENATOR: As a master of sailing vessels for over thirty years, a native of St. George, Me., and at present master of the schooner Woodward Abrahams, of Waldoboro, Me., I write to ask if you can not do something to stop our vessels from being hauled up in port waiting to secure a licensed mate when none are obtainable. I have been laving in New York for the past ten days, my vessel being chartered from Newport News for Key West with coal.
My regular demurrage rate under contract is $70 per day, consequently my owners and myself have lost waiting here in this port $700 and I have not secured one yet. I have written Boston, Philadelphia, and Baltimore, but so far have not secured one. There are quite a number of other vessels here that are waiting for licensed ⚫fficers. What can an owner or master do? Even after I secure one and get South he may leave (there is no law to compel him to perform his contract to complete the voyage). In an event that he leaves, I must go over the same trouble and have the expense of sending North and the detention that accrues waiting for him.
In October last, at Philadelphia, bound to Savannah, I was detained nine days waiting to secure a licensed mate; wrote and telephoned all over the coast; finally secured one that was released from the marine hospital. On these two voyages my
vessel and owners have suffered over $1,300 in detention. It is such obnoxious and annoying laws as these that are driving what few American shipowners and shipmasters that we have left out of the business. There is no need of such a law.
Who ever heard it stated that Americans did not navigate and officer their ships properly before 1898? There is not a man living that knows anything about the business that can give a good reason why the law should not be repealed.
Trusting you will be able to do something to remedy this condition, for which the American ahipowners will be forever grateful, I beg to remain,
ALVANO MARSHALL, Master of Schooner Woodward Abrah ms. (Care C. W. Chadwick & Co., 30 South Street, New York.) Hon. WILLIAM P. FRYE,
Chairman of Committee on Commerce, Washington, D. C.
BOSTON, January 8, 1907.
DEAR SIR: We understand that a bill is now before Congress to abolish a law requiring licenses for mates of sailing vessels, and that such a law was passed by both Houses just before the closing of the last session of Congress, but failed to get the signature of the President on account of being so late. As large owners in sailing vessels we most earnestly ask you to do what you can to have this law repealed. You have no idea, perhaps, of the hardships entailed upon masters and owners of vessels by reason of this law, and besides this, we get no better men by reason of their having licenses, and in fact we are obliged to take men who hold licenses that are intemperate and useless, while if allowed to take competent young men, lots of which we get from Maine, we would feel much safer with our vessels. Many times within the last year we have had vessels detained for want of licensed mates, and sometimes we have to make short coasting trips without any mates at all. No doubt this has been stated to you by other shipowners, but we wish to add our testimony, and earnestly request that you try to help us out.
În several cases we have had vessels detained a long time at Galveston, New Orleans, and other Gulf ports, and have to send mates out from the North.
Yours, very truly,
Hon. WILLIAM P. FRYE,
United States Senate, Washington, D. C.
H R-59-2-Vol 1-19
JOHN S. EMERY & CO., INC.,
DANL. S. EMERY,
JANUARY 16, 1907.-Referred to the House Calendar and ordered to be printed.
Mr. WILLIAMS, from the Committee on Ways and Means, submitted the following
[To accompany H. R. 21197.]
Your committee having had under consideration the foregoing bill recommend that the same be passed without amendment. The port of Brunswick, Ga., is growing in importance as a distributing point and is entitled to all the advantages of similar ports in the matter of the prompt forwarding of dutiable goods there received. Practically all of the ports above and below Brunswick on the south Atlantic coast now enjoy the privilege of immediate transportation of dutiable goods, and your committee knows of no reason why Brunswick should not enjoy a like privilege. According to the report of the Chief of Engineers of the United States Army, the total value of all freight received and shipped at the port of Brunswick during 1905 was $43,832,200, being an increase of almost $14,000,000 over the preceding year. These figures are cited as showing the growing importance of the port. Of the commerce handled in 1905, about $12,000,000 of the same consisted of imports.
Recent railway development and the putting into actual operation this month of a steamship line between Brunswick, Ga., and Habana, Cuba, renders it very desirable that Brunswick be made a port for the immediate transportation of dutiable goods; for the prompt handling of imports from Cuba, bound for the city of Atlanta, Ga., and other inland ports through the port of Brunswick requires that there should be as little detention as possible at the port of Brunswick.
The Secretary of the Treasury has advised your committee that there is no objection to the passage of the bill.