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But they did have the Coast Guard's reasons for passing the bill and I think that is, perhaps, what pushed the bill through. It went through in the last few days of that Senate session when the pressure for measures going through was quite great.
Mr. GRAHAM. Was that in the special session or the last regular session?
Mr. HADDOCK. The last regular session.
I sent this memorandum out to the unions and I have checked what they did about it in the last two weeks. The only thing done was that a story was run in the "Pilot”, the official organ of the National Maritime Union. I was in New York this last week end and checked to see what steps had been taken and found none had been taken. I then went into the question and made it a point to contact as many officers as I could on this point of discipline. I am told by them that since the Coast Guard has had no authority to conduct these proceedings that discipline aboard ship has improved materially. I am not trying to assign any reasons for it. I am telling you what I have learned.
I should think that the Coast Guard records would show whether there have been fewer or more cases of discipline per ship and I would be inclined to think they would deserve more consideration than the word of mouth I have received from people because that is all it was.
Mr. GRAHAM. May I interrupt. How many members do you have in your maritime union?
Mr. HADDOCK. The CIO Maritime Committee has approximately 250,000 maritime workers represented. However, we represent shipyards and fishermen also. I think the National Maritime Union's last per capita payments were on 72,000, as I recall. That is the largest organization we represent, of course, in the group.
Captain Jewell referred to repeated cases of drunkenness and admonitions which the Coast Guard gave these people. While again, this is not to the point of the bill, there are many, many cases of a minor nature which the Coast Guard takes up which, in my own candid opinion, it should not be concerned with–I am not referring to drunkenness on watch or anything else—I would like to point out to the committee when I am referring to drunkenness, that I am a teetotaller. I am not trying to protect seamen who get drunk. I think it is their own business so long as it does not affect the man next to him.
But the master of a ship has considerable power with regard to enforcement of discipline—with regard to ļevying fines and other punishment. I do not think the Coast Guard ought to get into a lot of minor cases that they do get into.
On shore side-if a man comes to work late after being drunk—what happens to him in that case? We think the same approach should be made with regard to merchant seamen. If a ship is in port and a man does not show up because he is drunk, we think he should be treated as a shore-side workman. When he is at sea and his actions may lead to incidents or would affect other men, you have an entirely different situation. But when these ships are in port, I personally feel very strongly about the matter, that the same sort of personal management should be carried on that is carried on with regard to the men who work on shore.
Mr. GRAHAM. Do they allow liquor on board ships?
Mr. HADDOCK. No one but the captain is supposed to have liquor on board ship.
Mr. GRAHAM. So, if a seaman possesses liquor aboard ship he is violating some rule there!
Mr. HADDOCK. He is, indeed. I think examination would indicate that there are very few cases of drunkenness on shipboard usually. Seamen are rather temperate with regard to their job but intemperate with regard to-
Mr. ĞRAHAM. Recreation ?
Mr. HADDOCK. Recreation. Yes. That is the word I wanted, Mr. Chairman, thank you. There are many reasons for that. There are very good reasons which I am sure you will all understand.
Another point I want to refer to that had to do with Coast Guard testimony was their inference that they could not, even if they had the money, get qualified examiners.
I just cannot give any credence to that sort of an inference myself. I am sure that myself or any other person as competent as myselfand I do not consider myself particularly competent-could establish civil service examinations for this job and get the people without too much trouble.
I personally know of several people who would be very competent to handle this sort of thing. I don't think there would be much trouble and I have not the facilities of the Civil Service Commission at my disposal. But it is just begging the point. If the Coast Guard makes up its mind that it is going to conduct these hearings with civil examiners they can get the examiners. But if they cannot, and want the offer of my services, I will be glad to furnish them with 22 men within a month who in my opinion would be competent. That is no problem at all and it is no reason for trying to get these things put into the Coast Guard's regular officer system.
I was particularly interested in a statement made by Congressman Latham in his testimony. I quote
Mr. Keating has asked what has happened since failure to pass the original bill. My answer is more people are being killed at sea, more American lives are being jeopardized on the high seas, because you are permitting incompetent officers and men to sail the ships. My interpretation of that was that this judicial committee was permitting more incompetent men to sail the seas. It seems to me quite obvious that this matter is a matter for the whole Congress and particularly for the Coast Guard. I do not know what experience the Coast Guard had before the Appropriations Committee. I have talked to a couple of members of the Appropriations Committee that handled this matter, however, and I am impressed with the thought that if that committee had understood that the Coast Guard was not going to get to conduct these hearings with military officers that they could have gotten their money. Only the Appropriations Committee and Congress can answer that question. But the Coast Guard is giving impressions here that they ought not to give, that it is this committee's bill. I think, if the Appropriations Committee is apprized of all the facts, it will take the appropriate action.
Whether or not there are more people being killed now than before the Coast Guard failed to get this money, Mr. Latham did not go into. Whether these are peoples' lives being jeopardized as a result of their not having this authority, or whether they are over and above the lives being jeopardized when they did have the authority are all questions that are pertinent.
If more people's lives are being jeopardized than previously I think it is something of real concern which the Coast Guard should call to the attention of the Appropriations Committee with a view to getting their appropriations so they can proceed to enforce these rules and regulations as they are required to do by the act.
Mr. Latham goes on further and says he can give 700 instances involving death and collision at sea. This seems to me to make a real point700 cases since the Coast Guard stopped enforcing these rules-all deaths and collisions at sea. I cannot believe that, and if the committee got that impression I think Mr. Latham ought to be called back and asked to explain whether there have been 700 cases of death and collision at sea as a result of incompetence and lack of discipline aboard ship because if that is the point he is making, we should do something about it.
Mr. KEATING. We are still waiting on that !
Mr. HADDOCK. I think you will wait a long time for submitting the evidence on that. I feel quite positive that there have not been 700 cases of the sort he suggested.
One other point. · When Congressman Hand testified before you he stated he doubted whether the Coast Guard seeks the authority to continue these functions with these officers.
I was quite amazed at that because I believe the Coast Guard has been very frank in admitting it was seeking this authority because it thought it was the most proper way to do it. If there is any doubt in the minds of the members of the subcommittee I think they ought to get Congressman Hand and the Coast Guard to specifically state what the position of the Coast Guard is with regard to it.
Congressman Buck also discussed this. But I think his discussion fitted into the two points I made first. First, that there is necessity for better discipline; and, second, his testimony should have been directed to H. R. 3972.
Mr. GRAHAM. Have you finished Mr. Haddock?
Mr. HADDOCK. We submitted a statement on these questions last year and I would commend the reading of that to the members of the committee if it is not fresh in their minds.
Mr. GRAHAM. Are there any other witnesses who desire to be heard at this time?
Any witnesses in rebuttal on behalf of the Coast Guard !
STATEMENT OF CAPT. A. C. RICHMOND
Captain RICHMOND. This committee has been very patient and I have prepared a brief statement. I find I go right to the same point. as Mr. Harolds and Mr. Haddock and agree that much of the discussion has not been directly to the point. I am going to stick very closely in my statement to the point.
At the outset, let me state that the passage or nonpassage of this bill will neither add to nor detract from the responsibility now vested by law in the Coast Guard or the Commandant thereof. The passage or non passage of S. 1077 will in no respect alter the disiplinary requirements of R. S. 4450, as amended-change the rule with respect to admission of log book entries, as evidence-amend the appeal procedure in any manner—nor eliminate double jeopardy if there were any.
The only thing that a decision on this legislation will ever solve, is to which of two possible mediums or agents, the Commandant may delegate the responsibility of hearing those disciplinary cases involving merchant seamen which he, as a practical matter, is unable to hear in person. On the choice between these two agents, civil examiners or commissioned officers, there may be an honest difference of opinion but the issue should be confined to this choice.
Mr. KEATING. Let me ask you in clarification of that under the laws which exist now, if the Commandant now had the time, he could hear all these cases?
Captain RICHMOND. He could hear every single case and be in complete conformity with the Administrative Procedure Act. He is the agency described in that act, sir.
Mr. KEATING. And if he saw fit to, even if we were to take no action here, he could still refer a particular case to a member of the Coast Guard rather than to a civilian agency?
Captain RICHMOND. No, sir. You mean he could delegate his authority? No. That is the very reason we require the bill. He cannot delegate that under a ruling by the Department of Justice, other than as required by the Administrative Procedure Act, which specifies members of the board or examiners appointed under the terms of the act.
Mr. KEATING. I see.
Captain RICHMOND. Let me repeat, the Coast Guard gets not one iota of increased power or responsibility out of this bill. If the bill should be rejected by this committee or Congress, the civil examiners who would be employed would be employees of the Coast Guard, just as the examiners of ČAB or Interstate Commerce Commission, or the Federal Power Commission are employees of their respective agencies.
As civil examiners sitting on these cases, which would be still investigated and presented by Coast Guard officers, they would, in those cases where no witnesses were available be forced to render their decisions on the basis of log entries, just as the commissioned officer did in the case presented to you the other day by Mr. Harolds. The case of the seaman who stood mute in the face of a series of allegations culminating in one that he deserted his ship in a foreign port. And I think that we can safely assume that even with civil examiners charges will be proved on the basis of log entries alone, because you will recall it was explained that log entries when properly made are acceptable as evidence. To prove that the Coast Guard is not unfamiliar with this rule of evidence, I would, with the permission of the chairman, like to place in the record a decision on appeal in which the action of the hearing officer was reversed by the Commandant because there was no showing that certain log entries upon which two specifications were based had been made in compliance with law.
If that is permissible, I would like to put this decision in the record. Mr. GRAHAM. Yes. It will be made part of the record.
Captain RICHMOND. The question of double jeopardy has been raised on several occasions. It is not believed there is any more double jeopardy involved in these “In Rem” proceedings against the licenses
or certificates of merchant seamen than there is in the case of the traffic violator who not only may be fined in a traffic court, but may have his license suspended or revoked by the director of traffic. There is another fact which makes the double jeopardy allegation even more unreasonable. On no subject are our courts more alert than on the matter of double jeopardy. Yet in spite of this and in spite of the fact that in many cases the seamen have been represented by able and competent counsel, not once has an appeal been taken to the courts on the basis of double jeopardy. But even if there were double jeopardy, civil examiners would in no way cure the matter so that this bill passed or rejected does not effect that point.
Mr. KEATING. I may be entirely wrong. I understood they did not use double jeopardy in the technical sense. I did not interpret the testimony as being an argument about what we lawyers call double jeopardy, but that they were using the phrase in a non-technical sense to show that merchant seamen had a rather tough time with these five or six ways in which they could be punished.
Captain RICHMOND. Yes. I mainly referred to what was said by Mr. Harolds that they were opposed to this bill because of the double jeopardy. I may be wrong and if the testimony does not bear me out I would like to correct that. As far as possible authorities under which individual seamen might be punished, I agree with the list Mr. Harolds gave and I could add two more. I think he overlooked punishment in a foreign port by a foreign sovereign, and in wartime WSA which like the owner could impose a form of punishment by employment or nonemployment of a seaman.
On the question of appeals much has been said, but here again it is difficult to see where s. 1077 has a direct bearing. Of course, it could be assumed that irrespective of the decision rendered by civil examiners their decision would be accepted and no appeal would be filed, but that is far fetched. On the contrary, it is anticipated that the number of appeals filed will remain about the same irrespective of who hears the cases. That number is approximately 10 percent of the decisions rendered. And although the opinion has been stated that it is useless to appeal a case to the Commandant because the decision of the hearing officer will always be upheld, I suspect that the statistics in this con
lect will not vary a great deal. In the past, of the cases appealed, the action of the Commandant modified 37 percent and 15 percent of the cases appealed were completely reversed in favor of the appellant.
Mr. KEATING. Of that number, how many were officers and how many were seamen?
Captain RICHMOND. Sir, I have a letter here I would like to read.
Mr. GRAHAM. May I suggest if it takes too long you can submit the letter.
Captain RICHMOND. I think it is a very vital point and I would like very much to read one paragraph because it was a letter to Mr. Curran of the National Maritime Union on the point in question.
UNITED STATES SENATE,
March 5, 1948.
House Office Building, Washington, D. C. MY DEAR CONGRESSMAN: Mr. Bruce Macnamee has asked me to express to you direct my views with respect to the question of whether the language of