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tected or permitted to sail. That is not the issue. The issue is, who shall determine whether a man has violated S. 4450. For that, we want an impartial, qualified civilian agency which we say is not the Coast Guard.
Captain Preble has testified representing a master mariners' guild. This may be a very large organization, but frankly, I have never heard of it. I don't think that Mr. Haddock who has been on the scene representing maritime labor has ever heard of it. It did not appear from Mr. Preble's testimony what experience he has had with the type of justice handed out by the Coast Guard.
Mr. Hayden, on behalf of the American Legion urges that discipline is necessary at sea. We do not deny that. But we think he has completely avoided the issue. Mr. Hayden says there are quite a few Communists among the seamen. If that is so, that would be no reason for having an unqualified and partial tribunal sitting on seamen's cases under S. 4450.
All this testimony has been avoiding the issue. I sincerely hope that the Coast Guard, when they appear, will bring themselves to the issue itself rather than to avoidance of it. Mr. GRAHAM. Any questions by members of the committee? (No response.) Mr. Haddock represents the CIO. We will be glad to hear you, Mr. Haddock.
STATEMENT OF HOYT HADDOCK, EXECUTIVE SECRETARY, CIO,
Mr. HADDOCK. I am executive secretary of the CIO Maritime Committee and I am appearing, as I did last session, in opposition to the enactment of this measure.
At the outset, I want to raise in essence and emphasis just what Mr. Harolds has emphasized. Practically all of the witnesses that have been before the committee—that is, the people in favor of the billhave dealt with two issues.
First, they have constantly made the point that discipline is necessary aboard ship. With that, the organizations that I represent heartily agree. I think they can take credit for a considerable improvement in discipline that has taken place since their inception.
Second, the proponents of the bill have emphasized that the Coast Guard is the agency which should be in charge of discipline aboard ship.
The second point is not the issue. Their testimony on that point should be directed to H. R. 3972, a bill before the Expenditures Committee, introduced by Congressman Francis Walter, who would remove all of these maritime functions from the Coast Guard, and arguments should be directed to that bill.
Mr. KEATING. I don't know about that bill. How does it differ in effect from that before us?
Mr. HADDOCK. S. 1077 raises the question as to whether the Coast Guard shall, through its officers, discipline seamen aboard merchant ships as opposed to the Administrative Procedures Act which requires civilian officers. That is all there is in this bill. S. 1077 simply decides that issue and that is all. The other bill H. R. 3972 decides the issue as to whether or not the Coast Guard should in any way have
Now, the representative of the Legion here referred to the discipline in the Navy and the discipline in the merchant marine. I think it would be very interesting if this committee had before it a comparison of the cases of discipline in the Navy as compared to discipline in the merchant marine during the war years. I think it would be very interesting although it does not go to the point of the bill. It would be interesting when H. R. 3972 is up. That would, perhaps, be a very pertinent question and would be very revealing, I think.
He also referred, or stated in effect, that the only way to have discipline on merchant vessels is through the exercise of control of the men through their certificates and licenses. While again this is not to the point of this bill, I would categorically state that our organizations disagree 100 percent with that theory. Discipline aboard ship has never been enforced as a result of fear and in our opinion can never be so enforced.
I also want to state that the Coast Guard can not enforce discipline on board ship. Certainly, the Coast Guard can take disciplinary against merchant seamen for violation of existing regulations. But I think the history of the Coast Guard function in this field, if they will analyze it for you, will show that the Coast Guard has not enforced discipline. They have disciplined people who have not been acting properly on the vessel. Discipline on board ship is going to come in the right way. This is a matter which will be up before the Merchant Marine and Fisheries Committee in the very near future. And when it does come up, I intend to go into the present procedures which are necessary in our opinion.
If discipline is enforced on board ship it will come, not as a result of fear, but of understanding and respect which occurs right on the ship and is the result of relations between officers and unlicensed seamen; and as a result of their own relations—but that again, I submit, is not the question involved in this bill. People alluded to them and that is why I mention it.
We are prepared to give extensive testimony on the question of discipline. We think it needs a great deal of study by all concerned.
The American Legion representative also referred to a recent incident where a pronouncement was made by a member of the crew of the SS. America—that she was not going to sail the next trip. I do not know how many members of the committee are familiar with that. The ship sailed the next trip.
Mr. KEATING. The man that made that statement was disciplined by the head of the Union and was told in no uncertain terms that it was entirely out of order.
Mr. HADDOCK. The President, Joseph Curran, has specific authority to enforce contracts with Steamship Companies. As soon as the papers quoted this statement President Curran announced that the America would sail as scheduled-Why such a statement was reported I don't know, unless some very capable reporter was in desperate need of a story. You can get this kind of statement on any ship you want and write stories on it. But as soon as it became a matter of public concern, Curran stated that he, not the fellow that made the statement, had the responsibility of enforcing the contracts and that the ship would sail. Further that any difficulties involving the operation of the ship would be taken up as outlined in the contract.
Mr. KEATING. When I read the statement it struck me as a very fine example of discipline in the Union itself.
Mr. HADDOCK. I don't think you can go on any ship but what you find “beefs.” It is general. Men on board ship gripe a lot as in the armed services. There are many reasons for it. Any reporter can go aboard any ship and get a statement from any member of the crew if he hunting for a story.
Mr. KEATING. The man who made the statement was a subordinate member of the Union ?
Mr. HADDOCK. I understand he was a member of the Union on the ship, and a ships delegate.
Mr. KEATING. As I read the story, and I always regard it as dangerous to draw conclusions from newspaper articles, the head of the Union in pretty clear terms told him where he got off and said, “I am running this thing and the ship will sail. We have a contract with the owners and we will live up to our contract and the ship will sail.”
Mr. HADDOCK. That is in essence what was said and what happened.
Mr. HOBBS. What happened to the man who made the statement ? Did he sail with the ship?
Mr. HADDOCK. I do not know. There was no report made to me on it. Mr. KEATING. Or to the Coast Guard ?
Mr. HADDOCK. I don't know. There may have been some kind of action taken with regard to the particular person who made the statement involved. I do not know.
Mr. GORSKI. That statement was made but was anything done about it?
Mr. HADDOCK. Something was done about it. Yes. Mr. GORSKI. But so far as he said the ship would not sail, the ship did sail?
Mr. GRAJAM. I think the question was directed to the individual who made the statement.
Mr. HADDOCK. He wanted to know whether the threat of the individual was carried out. It was not carried out. The ship did sail.
Mr. GRAHAM. Go ahead, Mr. Haddock.
Mr. HADDOCK. One question I want to raise is this whole trend in this country to turn things over to the military. I personally, and I know a lot of Congressmen have been much concerned over the whole trend of our civilian government being put in the hands of the military at this particular period. That is always of grave concern to me because I think that is one of the wisest things our forefathers did when they drafted the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution we live under. It is a fearful trend to me. I think it is a trend we need to get away from in all our civilian life.
And insofar as merchant seamen are concerned, there is a tremendous dislike of the military aspects of the Coast Guard hearings. While I am no authority on the question, it is my impression that that is one of the main reasons why such at hatred of coast guard proceedings has grown up among merchant seamen.
Mr. GRAHAM. But do you recognize that when a ship is in distress the Coast Guard comes to the rescue? Why should there be such hatred toward them?
Mr. HADDOCK. The only way I can reconcile it is that they conduct these hearings in a military manner instead of in a civilan manner. I am not any authority.
Mr. KEATING. That feeling of animosity existed before the Coast Guard conducted these hearings.
Mr. HADDOCK. No. As a matter of fact, it did not. But there was a feeling of animosity toward the Navy. That has existed with merchant seamen for some time, probably not as strong as the attitude of the Coast Guard toward the Navy. There was no animosity in my opinion to the Coast Guard prior to the taking over of these functions. It has grown out of their handling of these procedures of merchant seamen.
Mr. KEATING. When did that start?
Mr. HADDOCK. Either 1939 or 1940. I don't recall. The Coast Guard would have the information. It is the star chamber proceeding method that the seamen have disliked. I personally have not attended any of these hearings and have not represented any seamen before them. But in talking to merchant seamen I know there is a real hatred for the Coast Guard there.
In the early days when the Coast Guard staff took over these functions, our organization asked for an amendment to the procedures that had been followed in these hearings. At that time it was suggested that on appeals and in big ports a tripartite board should hear these cases—one member to represent the steamship company, one the union and the Coast Guard officer. We wanted that because we feared the very thing that did happen—the building up of this animosity. We were hopeful that a tripartite board such as that would avoid the building up of animosity and, at the same time, make the men feel they were getting fair representation. Whether or not the boards would have worked out better, I think only experience could show.
Congressman Keating asked several of the witnesses questions trying to determine if the situation has become any worse since the Coast Guard had this matter before the subcommittee last year. When your committee failed to act on this matter last year, I wrote a memorandum to all our unions pointing out that the
Mr. KEATING. I don't think that should stay in the record that way. The committee rejected this bill last year. It was rejected by the full committee.
Mr. HADDOCK. I am referring to the full committee now, not the subcommittee.
Mr. GRAHAM. The subcommittee reported in favor.
Mr. HADDOCK. I wrote a memo to the unions pointing out to them that the Coast Guard could no longer hold these hearings until they got a supplementary appropriation or an appropriation and suggested it might be well if attention was given this whole question of discipline to see that the number of cases did not increase, and to avoid any complications which might arise later. This because we foresaw that the Coast Guard would not seek the remedy indicated by the full committee but would come back again and try to get this thing through.
My reason for that was I was following this in the Senate and we asked for permission to come before the full committee and appear on the bill. That permission was not given. There was considerable lobbying for the bill, but no hearings. Mr. GRAHAM. Did the Senate conduct any hearings? Mr. HADDOCK. None whatsoever.