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in 1936 when it strengthened that section that some terrible marine disasters had taken place and they wanted competent and responsible personnel in the merchant marine.

Mr. KEATING. That was passed when?

Mr. SPINGARN. The original statute was passed in 1871, but in its present form it was amended by the Merchant Marine Act of 1936.

May I also point out further that any agency that runs this, whether the Department of Commerce, or the Coast Guard, is going to come in for criticism. At any rate the Department of Commerce was severely criticized and now we are.

Mr. KEATING. Except we have here, and set me straight if I am wrong, the testimony of officers and men of the merchant marine that they prefer to have this handled under the provisions of the existing Administrative Procedure Act by civilians rather than by officers of the Coast Guard.

Is there any testimony from the merchant marine to the contrary?

Mr. SPINGARN. There has been none yet, but I have seen Mr. Haddock's statement, which I believe he will file here, and his statement is extremely critical of the Department of Commerce when it performed these functions.

I think Mr. Haddock would indicate-I cannot speak for him, but he has so told us informally that the Coast Guard has actually improved the handling of the functions previously exercised in this field by the Department of Commerce.

Mr. GORSKI. The merchant marine was administered by the Commerce Department !

Mr. SPINGARN. From 1903 until 1942. Prior to that it was administered by the Treasury.

Mr. KEATING. It is not feasible in your opinion to have the merchant marine handle its own discipline. That is not sufficient !

Mr. SPINGARN. No, sir. I suppose you could say up until 1936 that was essentially the situation with respect to the seamen, and it was that unsatisfactory situation apparently that led the Congress to strengthen the act at that time.

Mr. GRAHAM. Is that all, Mr. Spingarn?
Mr. SPINGARN. That is all, sir.

I simply want to say in conclusion this bill does not present as wide issues as have been aired here and we hope that without regard to those considerations we can get a prompt decision on the bill. It is most urgent from our standpoint.

Mr. GRAHAM. Is Mr. Haddock present? He is the gentleman who requested we meet early.

Mr. REEVES. Who is Mr. Haddock?
Mr. GRAHAM. He is the CIO representative.
Mr. REEVES. Does he know about this session?
Mr. GRAIIAM. Yes, sir. Here is Mr. Haddock now.



Mr. HADDOCK. Mr. Chairman, I wonder if all the members present have had a chance to read the prepared statement I made.

Mr. GRAHAM. I have. I do not know about the others.
Mr. HADDOCK. Well, I had better go into it then.

My name is Hoyt S. Haddock. I am executive secretary of the CIO maritime committee.

The CIO maritime committee is composed of 6 unions whose membership totals over 200,000. Our unions represent licensed officers, merchant seamen, radio-operators, longshoremen, and allied maritime workers.

We appear today in opposition to H. R. 2966, a bill amending the Administrative Procedure Act to enable Coast Guard officers to preside in place of civilians at the taking of evidence in proceedings under R. S. 4450, as amended, inquiring into the misconduct of seamen.

HISTORICAL BACKGROUND OF R. S. 4450 R. S. 4450 (46 U. S. C. 239) was enacted in 1871, and amended in 1896. At that time it only dealt with the power to suspend or revoke licenses of licensed officers, for acts of incompetence or misconduct. More recently, on May 27, 1936, this section was amended and completely revamped. That action was taken by Congress following the Morro Castle and Mohawk diseasters, to remedy a condition which, it was felt, was responsible for those disasters. As amended, the section also became applicable to unlicensed merchant seamen.

On November 10, 1936, Secretary of Commerce Roper stated in setting up the various marine investigating boards:

Pursuant to the authority conferred upon me by the act of May 27, 1936 (Public, No. 622, 74th Cong.), amending section 4450 R. S., entitled, “An act to provide for a change in the designation of the Bureau of Navigation and Steamboat Inspection, to create a Marine Casualty Board and increase efficiency in administration of the steamboat inspection laws, and for other purposes,” I hereby promulgate the following rules and regulations for the investigation of marine casualties and accidents, or acts of incompetency or misconduct in connection therewith committed by licensed officers and holders of certificates of service or efficiency, as provided under section 4 of the act of May 27, 1936.

It will thus be noted that the boards were set up to investigate acts of incompetency or misconduct in connection with investigations of marine casualties and accidents solely. Nevertheless the board was soon utilized to suspend and revoke the certificates of unlicensed crew members, based upon incidents which were in no way related to marine casualties and accidents.

The reason for this was, that the board, in the main, was composed of retired captains, chief mates, chief engineers and first engineers; and they seized upon this occasion to employ R. S. 4450 as a means for upholding the steamship companies, and the officers of vessels, in their disputes with unlicensed crew members, in the miscellaneous and varied situations which arose.

Dr. Paul Maxwell Zeis, in a book entitled "American Shipping Policy,” published by the Princeton University Press in 1938, said of the Bureau of Marine Inspection and Navigation:

A portion of the blame for the unsafe conditions of American ships was directed at the Department of Commerce, which through its Bureau of Navigation, was supposed to see that vessels and crews complied with the navigation laws. The activities of the Bureau fell into such disrepute that no commercial underwriter could accept its findings as a basis for insurance.

Mr. KEATING. May I inquire who Dr. Zeis is?

Mr. HADDOCK. I know very little about his background, except he wrote this book. He is presently employed in the Department of Commerce as a shipping expert.

Not only did they seem to favor ship operators in the inspection of hulls but they also began to favor them by using R. S. 4450 as a weapon to be applied against merchant seamen when labor disputes arose.

Thus, when seamen would walk off vessels on strike, exercising their rights under the Wagner Act, they frequently found themselves faced with misconduct proceedings under R. S. 4450, under which their certificates might be revoked or suspended; that is, the exercise of the right to strike became fraught with the possibility that it might, and frequently did, mean depriving seamen of their right to earn a livelihood in the future, regardless of the merits of the dispute.

Mr. KEATING. But that did not happen many times?
Mr. HADDOCK. Yes; many times.
Mr. KEATING. Did it happen prior to the war?

Mr. HADDOCK. Yes; it did happen prior to the war. I would like to state one of the primary reasons for the enactment of the Administrative Procedure A was the bias which existed with regard to conducting these hearings against merchant seamen.

The Attorney General's Committee on Administrative Procedure, in its pamphlet Bureau of Marine Inspection and Navigation, 91940, had the following to state, at pages 10 and 11:

The Bureau has given instructions to assistant inspectors that they are to act as counsel for an accused person whenever requested so to do, but in no case has an accused person ever been known to request an assistant inspector to serve as his counsel. The reason for this, it is said, is that seamen consistently regard inspectors as prejudiced against them. That most inspectors are former captains or engineers of vessels is said to give them a point of view at variance with that of seamen and especially antagonistic to the interests of labor unions.

The Attorney General's Committee on Administrative Procedure also stated as follows:

The A boards, the chairmen of which are lawyers, adequately develop records, but the B and C boards, who are without legal talent, sometimes act in rather markedly unconventional ways in conducting proceedings. In one trial in which one of the defendants was not present the board merely "noted” his counsel's objection to proceeding in his absence and went on. Boards are sometimes apparently at a loss to know what ruling to make on motions and objections. For example, when a witness began to explain the workings of his mind to state his beliefs, counsel for the defense objected and a long colloquy between counsel and the board members ensued, but no ruling was made and the witness proceeded with his testimony, not knowing whether he could expound his opinions or not.

One wonders whether those primarily trained to be inspectors of hulls and boilers are necessarily well qualified to adjudicate cases of this kind. Cases of collisions, grounding, foundering, and stranding call for understanding of navigation rather than for minute knowledge of ship construction. A single able magistrate having some understanding of maritime experience and some familiarity with legal forms could no doubt perform the C board's task with greater expedition.

The process of proof: Both investigation proceedings and trial proceedings follow the same judicial pattern. All witnesses are under oath and subject to cross-examination. It is said that the rules of evidence are substantially followed, but it is obvious that the members of the B and C boards cannot be expected to apply technical rules, One individual in the Bureau says that the rules of evidence are followed, but "such rules are not permitted to defeat the objects for which such boards are convened”.

The cavalier attitude with which formerly the boards, and now the Coast Guard examiners, approach the rules of evidence, may be seen by their prevailing practice of accepting log books in evidence in misconduct cases, as evidence against an accused seaman. This, even




though the person making the entry is not produced, even though the person making the entry might have had no personal knowledge whatsoever concerning the occurrence, and may have based his information solely upon hearsay or rumor. There are also instances wherein the accused may have good reason to feel that the officer making the entry was one who was unduly judiced against him. How can one crossexamine a log book? Yet there have been many, many cases in which this has been the only evidence against an accused, and on the basis of which a seaman has had his certificate of service revoked or suspended.

Mr. KEATING. When that log book is put in evidence, do they not require the officer who made the original entry to be there for crossexamination?

Mr. HADDOCK. No; they do not. Not only do they not require him to be there, but he is very frequently not there.

Another example of the unskilled approach formerly used by the boards, and now frequently employed by the Coast Guard examiners, is the following: In a case involving the S. S. Henry Hadley, during hearings held in New York in March and April 1947, the examiner ruled that a certain surveyor's nonofficial report, containing only conclusions but no specific facts, was improper evidence, where the surveyor himself was not present to be cross-examined concerning his qualifications, and the details of his survey, et cetera. Nevertheless, when subsequently this identical surveyor's report was annexed to a report of a consul, made in a foreign port, the same examiner ruled that the survey thereby became admissible.

Furthermore, despite the fact that the particular consul's report contained a great many allusions and references concerning which the consul himself, were he on the stand, would have been barred from testifying, nevertheless, when the consul placed those same statements in a report, the examiner ruled that the entire report was admissible. If untrained minds are to pass on rules of evidence which were adopted for the protection of innocent persons and for the safeguarding of their rights, then constitutional processes become a mockery.

During World War II the duties of the board were taken over by the United States Coast Guard. While new blood was suffused, many of the old personnel were retained, and they continued in the same capacities as formerly, being blanketed into the Coast Guard as commissioned officers. Thus, there were frequently situations in which the same inspectors who had sat on the old local Bureau of Marine Inspection and Navigation, and who subsequently operated under the system of A, B, and C boards, now function under the United States Coast Chuard.

Under those circumstances it was perhaps inevitable that many of the old viewpoints should be carried over. Thus we find that on November 30, 1946, Admiral J. F. Farley found it necessary to promulgate Navigation and Inspection Circular No. 71. That circular recognizes that labor disputes have frequently resulted in the filing of charges of misconduct against seamen pursuant to R. S. 1450, as amended, under circular No. 71. The Commandant required that specially qualified persons should be called in whenever a charge against seamen was rooted in a labor dispute. The issuance of this directive is an admission by the Coast Guard that generally their own personnel lacks the qualification to deal with some aspects of misconduct cases. Subdivision (3) of the circular provides as follows:

Whenever the basis of a complaint is refusal or failure to obey an order, charges will not be preferred unless the evidence reflects that it was clearly an order and was not in the nature of a request, that it was lawfully and directly connected with the operation or safety of the vessel.

Despite this specific instruction the individual Coast Guard examiners, as they are now called, still continue to intervene in labor disputes despite a complete lack of justification therefor.

For example, on April 2, 1947, a merchant marine hearing unit in New York City found the entire unlicensed personnel of the S. S. Henry Hadley guilty of misconduct under S. R. 4450, as amended. In that proceeding, witness after witness, including officers, took the stand to testify concerning a deviation in the articles, and concerning the serious shortages in the food provisions carried aboard the vessel in direct contravention of the express requirements set forth in the shipping articles, and in 46 U. S. Č. 713. Despite the fact that every single officer, including the master, admitted that at no time was there a refusal to obey a direct order, despite the fact that the entire matter involved the terms and conditions of the men's contract of employment, the examiner was able to evade circular No. 71 by the simple expedient of ruling that this was not a labor dispute.

On the other hand, charges which the crew had filed against the master of the S. S. Henry Hadley, based on his failure to properly provision the vessel as required by law, and based upon his inattention to duty, resulting in the vessel's running aground, were completely whitewashed, with the Coast Guard even refusing to file formal charges.

I would like to point out while the master was involved in an accident in which R. S. 4450 claerly covered, no action was brought against him, and yet the charges brought against the crew were not in connection with the accident at all.

At about the same time a United States Coast Guard merchant marine hearing united, also in New York City, exonerated the master of the S. S. Edwin L. Drake, based on charges of intoxication, of assault on the chief mate and other members of the crew, although here again, witness after witness took the stand to testify against the master.

By a strange coincidence the examiner who exonerated the master of the S. S. Edwin L. Drake was the same person who found the unlicensed personnel of the S. S. Henry Hadley guilty of misconduct, and by a strange coincidence that same examiner is a person whose experience dates back to the days of the old local Bureau of Marine Inspection and Navigation.

Mr. KEATING. Is he an officer?

Mr. HADDOCK. I do not know whether he holds a commission in the Coast Guard or not. I assume he does, though.


The Administrative Procedure Act would authorize the hiring of civilian examiners by the Coast Guard. Presumably, these civilian examiners would be trained persons, better equipped to pass on the rules of evidence, and selected impartially without regard to former ties.

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