Lapas attēli

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. MICHEN ER,,

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.

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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,


Able Seaman.
I. W. KEATING, Oiler.

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.

This post has members in practically all branches of the merchant marine and marine industries. The members are intimately connected with ships and with the knowledge of conditions aboard ships.

Since June of last year, there has been no law, order and discipline aboard vessels of the American Merchant Marine due to the fact that the United States Coast Guard was deprived of that function at that time.

From a careful study of the situation, we are convinced that the only practical solution to the problem is for the passage of S. 1077, a bill to restore to the United States Coast Guard certain rights in conducting hearings, examinations and in the administration of discipline for offenses.

The Communists and radical elements are united in opposition to this bill. Apparently, they want chaos, confusion, and lack of discipline to continue in effect aboard American merchant vessels.

This post has therefore unanimously voted in favor of the passage of S. 1077. Will you kindly advise the members of your Judiciary Committee accordingly and state that we ask their support for this bill. Now is the time for good Americans to stand up and be counted. Very truly yours, ROBERT L. HAGUE MERCHANT MARINE INDUSTRIES Post, No. 1242,



New York, N. Y., January 17, 1948. THE CHAIRMAN, Committee on the Judiciary,

House of Representatives, Washington, D. C., U. S. A. SIR:I have the honor to advise that I have been directed by the Council of American Master Mariners to appeal to you and your committee for favorable action on S. 1077, the bill to restore to the Coast Guard the power to administer discipline in the American Merchant Marine.

The Council of American Master Mariners is composed of men who have commanded, or now command, the finest merchant ships under the American flag. Those not serving at sea in command are in executive positions or in an expert capacity concerning merchant marine problems.

Today our merchant marine is disrupted due to demoralized discipline. Safety to life and property under the American flag and the very existence of our merchant marine depend upon the restoration of discipline. Passage of S. 1077 will effect this desirable result.

It is therefore respectfully requested that you act favorably on this bill to save the American Merchant Marine.

With assurance of our deep appreciation of your gracious consideration in this matter, I am, Yours truly,


Secretary Treasurer.


Pittsburgh 22, Pa., May 9, 1947. Hon. EARL C. MICHENER,

U. S. Congressman, Washington, D. C. DEAR CONGRESSMAN: This organization heartily endorses the provisions of H. R. 2966, now before your Judiciary Committee, and urges that the bill be passed at an early date.

The Pittsburgh Coal Exchange membership controls virtually all of the 35,000,-
000 tons of waterways shipping in the Pittsburgh district annually and this
legislation is important to us.
Respectfully yours,

DAVID MATHEWS, JR., Secretary.


Cleveland 1, Ohio, May 9, 1947. Re: H. R. 2966 and S. 1077. Hon. EARL C. MICHENER, Chairman of Judiciary,

House of Representatives, Washington, D. C. DEAR SIR: It has come to our attention that hearings on H. R. 2966 have been held and that hearings on S. 1077 have not as yet taken place, but possibly will be acted upon in the very near future.

Our company operates five tankers on the Great Lakes and we are naturally interested in bills of this type which deal with trials of seamen, both licensed and unlicensed. We feel that nothing should be done which would in any way lessen the authority of the master of the vessel or the discipline as a whole aboard ship.

For this reason we strongly favor the bill as introduced and hope that it will receive favorable report without delay. Very truly yours,

L. M. JONASSEN, Manager.

BROOKLYN, N. Y., March 22, 1948. To the House of Representatives, Committee on the Judiciary:

GENTLEMEN: In support of S. 1077, legislation to give the United States Coast Guard the power to act in disciplinary matters concerning misconduct among seamen of the American merchant marine, I would like to say a few things in behalf of why I believe this bill should have support, and be passed.

During the early years of the war, the Government trained me for the duties of a purser, and pharmacist-mate for service in the merchant marine. I appreciated the training and all of the benefits of the American merchant marine, and I had hoped to remain in this service, and as many other young officers had hoped to take advantage of their training, after the shipping returned to commercial trade.

However, since the discontinuance of the Coast Guard hearing units it has been impossible for most young men with training and education to live with the intolerable conditions aboard our vessels today. On every voyage that I have made during the past year, I can safely say that 5 percent of the crew should never be allowed to sail on any vessel. Having formerly been associated with personnel work, and trained in hospital assistance, I have, I feel, a little judgment of some of the personnel. Vessels remain in port for such a short stay and very often leave for a foreign voyage within a few days after signingon, that it is almost impossible to acquaint yourself with the personnel. During the voyage, invariably, you find you have at least one or two psycho cases, and upon reaching the first foreign port, no small number of inveterate alcoholics. These men create a great deal of disturbance with the foreign citizenry and officials, and a nonenviable reputation in most of the foreign ports. I refer to these things in general for I know such conditions exist on every, or on the greater percentage of our ships today. The bad actors know they can get away with it. The master may log and fine them, it means absolutely nothing to any of them considering that they are the highest paid working men in the country now.

I wish that I had time to recruit among hundreds of young officers of the merchant marine men who were trained by our Government at great cost, who have been forced to give up sailing because of unhealthy and unsafe conditions, simply because our vessels are not manned by efficient crews. I would like to return to this service, and hope to if S. 1077 put into legislation. I am a union member in good standing, and cannot understand the unions' attitude toward this bill when it is so obvious that putting it into order can only restore good relations among crew members and officers, and discipline certainly never hurt any worthwhile individual.


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