Lapas attēli

walked out on any kind of a contract with the contractors. He has done his utmost to meet his obligations but he is fighting the battle of his life to hold control of the union from this radical group who have taken over the majority of the minor offices. He has put out a public list of the officers he charges as Communists. I don't know the men involved. He says they are and says he is fighting against communistic control. That is the trouble right now when an element within the union can cause that trouble.

Mr. KEATING. Well, counselor, do you think it would be helping to uphold the hand of Mr. Curran—he is making this fight-if we were to act contrary to his wishes? If he is anxious to weed out the Communists and, as you say, he is sincere in that, why isn't it the very strongest thing we can do to assist him, not to turn this all over to the Coast Guard when he is so vigorously fighting against that?

Mr. MALONEY. Sir, I do not say that nothing should be done. I do not need to speak for the National Maritime Union. I am not asking you to do anything in an effort to strengthen Joseph Curran. I am not in that internal fight at all.

Mr. KEATING. You feel it represents the better element in the union?

Mr. MALONEY. We have made contacts in the court.

Mr. KEATING. You would not want us to strengthen the hands of the Communists?

Mr. MALONEY. We are against that, but we say, the fact that the lack of authority in any society to discipline people like that is a weakness. Where does the merchant marine have any standing with the public when a member of the crew can give a statement like that to the press and return to sea with the ship?

That ship has missed her sailing six times because of incidents like this. We have negotiated contracts with the National Maritime Union, with the officials, the elected officers, but they could not be sustained because the other side in the union on a vote was able to muster enough strength. We have been in a very difficult position in negotiations because of trouble making with the radical elements which Curran is trying to weed out.

But the continuance of incidents like the America is undermining discipline on the ship and the whole status of the merchant marine in the eyes of the owners and the public.

That ship sailed on schedule but that is merely one incident in a very bad situation which we ask you to correct as soon as can be done.

Mr. GRAHAM. It is understood that if anyone wishes to introduce a statement or letters, he may do so; but we will now declare this hearing closed.

(The following document was introduced by Captain Richmond :)






This case comes to me on appeal from an order entered by a United States Coast Guard examiner in Mobile, Ala., on February 5, 1947, suspending appellant's Merchant Mariners Document No. Z112613-D1 and all other valid documents held by him for a period of 12 months upon finding him guilty of a charge of misconduct, based upon the following specifications:

1. In that he, while serving under authority of his duly issued certificate as chief electrician aboard the American MV Span Splice, did, on or about November 10, 1946, while said vessel was in a foreign part, commit assault and battery upon the person of F. E. Swain, chief officer of the American S. S. Alcoa Pilgrim, this offense occurring on board the latter vessel.

2. In that he, while serving as above, did, on or about November 27, 1946, while said vessel was in a foreign port, make derogatory and threatening statements to the master.

3. In that he, having been duly ordered by proper authority to appear before the NMIU, Mobile, Ala., February 3, 1947, for hearing on a charge of misconduct, did fail to appear as directed.

The hearing was originally set for January 27, 1947, but was postponed until February 3, 1947, at appellant's request. Appellant failed to appear on February 3. On February 3, the hearing commenced in absentia, and the third specification, listed above, was added at that time. A United States Coast Guard officer was appointed to act as appellant's counsel and a plea of “not guilty” was entered to each specification. The investigating officer, over counsel's objections, was then allowed to introduce into evidence entries from the official log of the S. S. Span Splice, in which full details of the offenses charged were set forth. There was no indication that these entries had been made in accordance with the requirements of R. S. 4507 (46 U. S. C. 702), i. e., that the entries had been read to the appellant or that he had been afforded an opportunity to comment thereon; or that he was furnished a copy thereof. In support of the third specification, the investigating officer introduced a copy of the subpena directing appellant to appear on January 27, endorsed by proper authority to show the date had been extended to February 3 in accordance with appellant's telephonic request of January 20. On this evidence the examiner found all specifications proved and entered the aforementioned order.

On March 19, 1947, appellant appeared before the hearing unit in Mobile, stated that he had been unable to attend the hearing because of illness, and received a transcript of the record and a copy of the findings and order. Thereafter appellant contacted the Mobile unit on several occasions requesting information concerning his appeal which he stated was filed through his union. Through a misunderstanding, no appeal was made by the union. By the time this misunderstanding came to light, appellant's 30-day limitation period had expired. However, in view of the circumstances and the fact that appellant's counsel had announced an appeal would be taken at the conclusion of the hearing, appellant's appeal is now considered.

Appellant's chief points of appeal are (1) that there was no legal evidence to support the findings on the first two specifications, since the log entries had not been made in compliance with statutory requirements, and (2) that the addition of the third specification at the time of the hearing without notification to the appellant, was improper and constituted prejudicial error.

Upon due consideration of the afore stated facts of this case, and of appellant's appeal, I do now conclude that the findings on all specifications must be reversed. The log entries, introduced in support of the first two specifications, although properly admissible in evidence under the act of June 20, 1936 (28 U. S. C. 695), as entries made in the regular course of business, fail to establish a prima facie case in support of these specifications because of their lack of compliance with R. S. 4597 (46 U. S. C. 702). The courts have ruled that unless the requirements of this statute are complied with fully in regard to such log entries, a prima facie case for the purpose of forfeitures set forth for the various offenses in R. S. 4596 (46 U. S. C. 701) does not result. It logically follows that, to establish a prima facie case without further evidence for suspension or revocation of mariner's documents under R. S. 4130 (46 U. S. C. 239) the character and efficacy of the entries in the official log should be no less.

The addition of the third specification without the appellant's knowledge while the proceedings were in progress was manifestly improper aud constituted prejudicial error.

It is therefore

Ordered and directed that the order of the examiner dated February 5, 1947, be, and it is, vacated, set aside, and reversed. The charge is dismissed.


Admiral, U. 8. Coast Guard, Commandant. Dated at Washington, D. C., this 11th day of December 1947.

Whereupon at 12:10 p. m. Monday, March 15, 1948, the hearing was closed.



Washington, D. C., March 20, 1948. Hon. LOUIS E. GRAHAM,

House of Representatives, Washington, D. C. DEAR JUDGE GRAHAM: I writing you in the interest of S. 1077. I studied the matter very seriously before discipline was placed in the Coast Guard and in my opinion, and from my long experience with the Coast Guard and the Maritime Commission, I believe that the Coast Guard is the proper agency. I am in full accord with the views of Congressman Hand, and I hope they will be followed. With best wishes, I am Yours very sincerely,



New York 5, N. Y., February 25, 1948. Hon. EARL C. MICHENER,,

Chairman, House Judiciary Committee, Washington, D. C. DEAR MR. CHAIRMAN: The Master Mariners' Guild has been informed that S. 1077, a bill to amend the provisions of R. S. 4450 to specifically authorize commissioned personnel of the United States Coast Guard to conduct hearings in connection with marine casualties and disciplinary matters in our merchant marine, is before your committee for consideration.

The guild is vitally interested in favorable action by your committee on the bill and its enactment at the earliest possible date. This organization represents the oceangoing active shipmasters in their professional capacity. No group in the Nation is more intimately acquainted with, nor more vitally concerned with, the problems arising in the maintenance of safe and orderly conditions in our merchant marine. The guild has instructed me to inform you that in its opinion the unfortunate and grave situation existing today can only be adequately corrected by the enactment of this bill.

It is requested that a representative of the guild be permittted to testify before your committee. It is believed that a full hearing will clearly demonstrate the pressing need for this legislation. If no hearing is to be held, it is requested that this letter be included in the record of your committee.


General Counsel.



At Sea, March 30, 1948. Representative EARL MICHENER, Chairman, House Judiciary Committee,

House of Representatives, Washington, D. C. DEAR MR. MICHENER : The unlicensed personnel of this vessel request that you extend every effort to prevent the passage of pending legislation (S. 1077) which would restore to the United States Coast Guard the power to suspend and revoke seamen's certificates and officer's licenses. In this instance the Coast Guard is asking for a special privilege which the Administrative Procedure Act has denied to all other Government agencies.

Our experience under such Coast Guard jurisdiction, even in the emergency period of war, has shown that this branch of the Armed services lacks the experience necessary to properly sit in judgment in matters which are basically of a civilian nature. Sincerely yours,



Second Cook. H. H. SHIPP, Able Seaman. Ship's Committee, s. S. Albert E. Watts."


Mobile, Ala., May 9, 1947. Mr. EARL C. MICHENER, Chairman of the Judiciary Committee, House of Representatives, House Office Building,

Washington 25, D. C. DEAR SIR: The National Organization Masters, Mates and Pilots of America, strenuously opposes the enactment of H. R. 2966, to amend the Administrative Procedure Act to authorize commissioned officers of the Coast Guard to preside at the taking of evidence in the proceedings under section 4450 of the Revised Statutes, as amended, and for other purposes.

The organization feels that this bill is no more or less than to promote the welfare of a military organization by keeping such organization from being topheavy and perpetuating their personnel.

The mariners who appear before this committee are mindful of the maritime law and the criminal law of the United States, applicable to his occupation and rebels at the idea of being prosecuted and tried by a military organization, and of these mariners about 10 percent of them are members of our organization. Thanking you in advance for your support against this bill, I am, Yours very truly,

E. W. HIGGINBOTHAM, President.


Mobile, Ala., May 9, 1947. Mr. EARL C. MICHENER, Chairman of the Judiciary Committee, House of Representatives, House Office Building,

Washington 25, D. C. Dear Sir: At a regular meeting held May 7, 1947, H. R. 2966, to amend the Administrative Procedure Act to authorize commissioned officers of the Coast Guard to preside at the taking of evidence in the proceedings under section 4450 of the Revised Statutes, as amended, and for other purposes, was discussed at length and the membership of this local wishes to be placed on record as being opposed to the enactment of this legislation, as they feel that they are mindful of the maritime and criminal laws of the United States applicable to their occupation and rebel against the idea of being prosecuted and tried by a military group. Thanking you in advance for your support against this legislation, I am, Yours very truly,

W. C. KENOPKE, President.

Robert L. Hague-Merchant Marine Industries' Post, No. 1242,

New York 7, N. Y., February 42, 1948. Hon. Earl C. Michener,

Chairman, Committee on the Judiciary,

House of Representatives. Washington, D. C. DEAR CONGRESSMAN MICHENER: I wish to thank you for your letter of February 11, 1948, and for the information contained therein.

I read your letter at our post meeting of members on February 17. I was directed by our members to write you again and ask that you have the bill removed from the table and resubmitted for action during this session of Congress.

We do not wish to impugn on the integrity of the subcommittee which adversely reported the bill in question, H. R. 2966, companion bill to S. 1077, but it is felt that if the record is reviewed that the principal opponents of the bill will be found to be Communists, their supporters, or fellow travelers.

It is hoped that your committee will take judicial notice of the fact that the U. S. Government has remanded the vice president of the National Maritime Union to the Federal detention prison to await deportation for being a Communist and an alien. It is believed that he or his henchmen were the most vigorous opponents of the bill. I would remind you that we are not antiunion. In fact, may good Legionnaires are active unionists.

However, an issue is involved here which affects the national security. Even the president of the National Maritime Union publicly admits that our ships are filled with Communists in the crews. These “commies” are admittedly trained in the latest commie technique of disorder, confusion, and sabotage, the latter element to be used in case of difficulties with Russia and Comrade Stalin, as they call him.

Only today, another country in Europe "went by the board" due to communistic infiltration by men who are quislings and members of the Soviet system for undermining governments.

The Attorney General of the United States has duly warned all Americans of the serious inroads being made in this country by the Communists.

Everyone knows of the deplorable and dangerous conditions existing in our merchant marine due to Communistic infiltration and ruthless practices.

Conditions today are such that good Americans will not go to sea if possible to avoid. In any event, officers of vessels have their career and livelihood at stake. As of the men, no decent young American will put up with the rakings and scrapings of the water fronts of the world who frequent our ships. Furthermore, the union books, in some cases, are closed against good Americans.

There is no law, order, and discipline aboard American ships today.

The Congress of the United States and especially the committee on the judiciary are to a large measure responsible for these conditions through failure to take action on H. R. 2966 in a favorable manner.

We warn you that if this country went to war with the Soviets tomorrow, you would witness widespread sabotage of our American vessels by the fifth columns now aboard.

No master or ship's officer has any control over the crew today.

We feel confident that the committee on judiciary are not fully aware of this serious aspect of the situation which affects our national security and national defense.

We must condemn as most undemocratic any committee of Congress which will table a bill and thereby refuse to permit the committee and Congress to pass on its merits, especially after the Senate has approved the measure, as in this case.

Speaker Martin implores our people not to subject members of Congress to ridicule, but can anyone think of a more ridiculous situation than your committee sitting tight on a potential keg of dynamite which is so explosive as to blow our merchant marine right off the seas?

You may say “It can't happen here". It has happened here.

Witness Henry Wallace and his tribe who have the blessing of the Commies and their ilk.

Let us get down to earth before it is too late.
This is all strong language, but it seems to be necessary.

We have faith and confidence in our Government and in its Congressmen. May that trust not be betrayed by inaction as in this case.

May we count on your support to dig the bill H. R. 2966 out of its graveyard and resurrect it very soon?

You will have the blessing of every master, officer and right thinking man who goes to sea, if you will do so.

We love our merchant marine and our marine industry, we cannot see it submerged in the red seas of hate and disloyalty without raising our voice.

Hoping that we may receive your loyal support of the bill—and that it may receive the same treatment in your committee and in the House of Representatives as it did in the Senate of the United States, I am Sincerely,


Post Chairman.


New York 7, N. Y., August 5, 1948. Hon. EARL C. MICHENER, Chairman, House Judiciary Committee.

House of Representatives, Washington, D. C. DEAR CONGRESSMAN MICHENER: The Robert L. Hague Merchant Marine Industries' Post No. 1242, American Legion, Department of New York, has a membership of 550 paid-up members.

« iepriekšējāTurpināt »