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Mr. BRADLEY of California. We have had an election since last all and we have a new committee.
Mr. LEVINE. I am merely trying to tell you what the language leans and what the interpretation of 25 Congressmen was. I am uggesting only that this is what the language states at the present me. I am suggesting as my authority for that statement that this inguage which is in the bill at the present time will cover the borderne cases is the report of Congress last year. Mr. BRADLEY of California. The point I am making, which we will ear up when you get through, is that I do not know if it is possible to over these border-line cases without a great deal more expense. Mr. TOLLEFSON. I think he makes a good point there. I am glad e brought it out. Mr. BRADLEY of California. Yes, Mr. TOLLEFSON. If we do report the bill out favorably we will have ) report it out with a report. I am glad to have that thought brought ito it because if 25 Congressmen felt it did take care of border-line ises, then we should dwell upon it in our report that we did not ant it to cover border-line cases. Mr. BRADLEY of California. Is it not true that it is well to have all pints brought out? Mr. BURKE. In border-line cases administrative procedure and iscretion takes care of that, is that not true? There will always be order-line cases which administrative discretion will have to take ire of. Mr. BRADLEY of California. The mere fact this particularly loose nguage is put in the bill indicates they consider they not only want to take care of what they call border-line cases but great groups irther than that. Mr. BURKE. Much of that comes down to administrative judgment, scretion, and fairness in order to get justice. Mr. LEVINE. The only real light I can shed on that is that this ose language is taken from the Veterans Statutes, these four or ve words, and the Veterans' Bureau administers all of their acts nder this basis. They do administer it on this basis. Mr. TOLLEFSON. You have had some experience in the Workmen's ompensation Act in the State and the huge amount of legislation hich has come about as a result of the language of those bills. Mr. LEVINE. Yes. Mr. TOLLEFSON. It is almost impossible to put down in hard and fast nguage a hard and fast rule. Mr. LEVINE. I am urging you do not. If you put in the straight Corkmen's Compensation concept you can practically forget the bill. does not add anything more except for the death because under 449, id you may want to correct that, the disability cases that are already wered have a continuation of the Compensation Act from that point l. We may want to amend Public Law 449 if you do not want to take this number of additional cases. I am suggesting that this number of additional cases, which in part will admit are cases which perhaps are very clear cases of just time incept of death during the period of service, I think you have some stinction there in previous maritime law and some distinction from
employment that the man is aboard ship and away from the United States all the while he was subject to more strain and more nervousness and more confinement, it is hard to make the same sort of case you would make for short-sight employment under the Workmen's Compensation Act. That has been taken care of by broadening that rule.
I have some few cases, and I would like to review last year's cases of types of records where men have not been covered, what their problems have been, and then you can make up your minds.
Mr. BRADLEY of California. You will not have time to go into it this afternoon.
Mr. LEVINE. I will put it in letters to you or something. I will try to bring it across to you.
Mr. BROPHY. I think it will take him more than 15 minutes to go through the explanation of the education provisions of this.
Mr. BRADLEY of California. We have reached quitting time already.
Mr. BROPHY. Let him take that up at some other meeting. I do not want to limit him to 15 minutes.
Mr. BRADLEY of California. We are not trying to rush you at all. We are just limited to just this time. I have taken this more or les as our own discussion. It will be necessary for us to adjourn at the present time until Monday morning at 10 o'clock.
(Whereupon, at 3:10 p. m., the meeting adjourned, to reconvene at 10 a. m., Monday, May 19, 1947.)
SEAMEN’S BILL OF RIGHTS
MONDAY, MAY 19, 1947
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES,
Washington, D. C. The subcommittee convened at 10 a. m., pursuant to adjournment, Hon. Willis W. Bradley of California (chairman) presiding.
Present: Messrs. Bradley of California (chairman), Tollefson, Allen, and Havenner.
Mr. BRADLEY of California. Gentlemen, the hearing will please ome to order.
I am sorry to have been a little late but on Monday morning it eems impossible to get the members together.
Mr. Haddock, you were going to give us some testimony this mornng so will you please take your place and proceed with your statement?
TATEMENT OF HOYT S. HADDOCK, EXECUTIVE SECRETARY, CIO
Mr. HADDOCK. My name is Hoyt S. Haddock, executive secretary, CIO Maritime Committee, 132 Third Street SE., Washington, D. Č.
It is nearly 4 years since legislation designed to aid in the readjustnent of war service seamen was first introduced into Congress. We lave had at least a dozen bills and lengthy hearings. The bill now before this committee (H. R. 476) was reported out favorably in he Seventy-ninth Congress but failed to get a rule before adjournnent.
Today is May 19. Congressional adjournment is only 212 months way. 'Whereas the Committee on Merchant Marine and Fisheries as already a long history in connection with this legislation, the ompanion Senate committee has little familiarity with the issue, ind time must be left for its consideration of the bill. Recognizing he priority of this committee the Senate Interstate and Foreign Comnerce Committee is delaying action on the seamen's readjustment bill introduced by Senator Wallace White.
It is our hope that these hearings will be concluded as soon as possible and the committee report out a bill which it considers fair. Accordingly, we have pared our testimony so as to cover only the most essential points trusting that the new Members will refer to House Report 2303, Seventy-ninth Congress, second session; to the 480 pages of hearings in the Seventy-ninth Congress; and to Congressman Bland's forceful argument in behalf of this measure in a speech before the House on August 2, 1946.
H. R. 476 does not grant veterans' status to war service seamen.
H. R. 476 does not grant to war service seamen benefits comparable to those received by veterans of the armed forces.
We wish to emphasize these two facts, since the opposition of the armed forces and of certain veterans' groups to this bill is based on the fictitious belief that war-service seamen are seeking veterans' rights.
Congressman Bland stressed these facts in his August 2, 1946, speech, saying:
It is a bill tailored to meet the problems raised by wartime service in the merchant marine. The benefits it would confer are essentially civilian in nature and limited in extent.
Before analyzing what H. R. 476 does do, let us review what H. R. 476 does not do.
H. R. 476 does not:
1. Establish for war-service seamen a pension system predicated on the conception of physical impairment such as is in existence for disabled veterans of the armed forces and for dependents of deceased veterans.
2. Grant war-service seamen preference in Government employment such as is granted to veterans of the armed forces.
3. Grant war-service seamen 52 weeks of uniform readjustment allowances, such as is allowed veterans of the armed forces.
4. Make low-cost loans available to war-service seamen.
8. Provide hospital care for non-service-connected disabilities of war-service seamen, such as is provided for veterans of the armed forces who are unable to defray the expenses.
H. R. 476 does provide certain readjustment aids for war-service seamen. They include:
1. Extension of the benefits of the United States Employees Compensation Act to protect disabled war-service seamen and the dependents of the war dead.
2. Extension of existing United States marine hospital medical care for active merchant seamen to cover for life war-disabled seamen in regard to their war-incurred disabilities.
3. Extension of educational benefits to war-service seamen.
The first two benefits enumerated above are merely extensions of existing rights of merchant seamen, and are civilian forms of welfare measures administered by civilian agencies. The third benefit admittedly is similar to educational rights available to veterans of the armed forces. We think there is good logic for this exception to the practice of not extending benefits available to veterans of the armed forces to other groups. We will elaborate on this point later in our statement.
An honest appraisal of H. R. 476 demonstrates that it is not a bill of rights for seamen, that it is not a veterans status bill.
We make no case that war service seamen were in a comparable position with members of the armed forces. The merchant marine was a civilian, volunteer service. There can be no doubt that service in the armed forces involved a greater degree of sacrifice. However, we do object strenously to comparisons of service in the wartime mer
chant marine with shoreside employment in war industries. Our objection is no reflection on the great contribution made by 58,000,000 shoreside war workers. It stems from the conviction that an added measure of sacrifice, of deprivation, of danger and of responsibility was involved in wartime merchant sea service. This the House Merchant Marine Committee recognized in its report last year when it abeled the service "quasimilitary.”
We do not believe it is necessary to inform this committee of the langers of wartime sea service and the heroism of merchant seamen in war zones throughout the world. The statements of the top military eaders reprinted on page 7 of last year's hearings, and the other evilence reprinted on pages 4 through 20 will bear us out.
We do think, however, that the new members of this committee hould know that sea service is inevitably confining, that merchant eamen are normally subject to discipline not prevalent in shoreside mployment. We do think the committee should know that probably n excess of 50,000 men over draft age were recruited to wartime sea ervice. The War Shipping Administration has pointed out that nany of these came at financial sacrifice to make a more direct conribution to the war effort. We do think that the committee should mow that merchant seamen as replacement and auxiliaries manned uns alongside of Navy gun crews. And incidently they were pretty ood shots being officially credited with 55 Japanese planes in the Philippines invasion alone.
We do not believe a comparison of the earnings of war service eamen with those of members of the armed forces is germane to the ssue now before the committee. We repeat that H. Ř. 476 is not a eterans' bill. Unfortunately the comparison has been injected into onsideration of H. R. 476 and all too frequently the comparison has een incorrect and unfair.
We should like to preface our analysis of the wage picture with everal general remarks.
First, we believe that the committee received adequate information n regard to earnings during the course of last year's hearings. You vill find the most useful data on pages 101 to 103 and 258 to 262 in the earings. Second, the only meaningful and fair comparison is an nalysis which takes into account all factors and surveys the usual or ypical situation. We feel it is manifestly unfair to compare monthly asic
wages of a boot seaman in the Navy with wages and bonuses of a herchant seaman at sea. If the comparison is to be properly made it ust be made between the annual earnings of, for instance, the naval un crews on merchant ships with their higher ratings, their sea pay, heir allotments, their regular earnings, their higher income tax reeductions and other emoluments against the annual earnings of erchant seamen aboard the same ship.
In the last Congress there were requests that payrolls be brought up com the ships. This was not done for the simple reason that the ay rolls are scattered throughout the country and that they are exedingly voluminous. Pay rolls for the different voyages are in he hands of the general agents who operated the vessels for the nited States. The seamen moved from ship to ship when, where ad how they were needed in the war effort. Their annual earnings re scattered on pay rolls in different cities and in different ports.