« PreviousContinue »
Mr. Coles. No, I tried to get him at lunch and was unable to do so.
Mr. GILES. Would you have any objection if Continental representatives could call him and have him send in a wire?
Mr. COLES. No. What sort of wire?
Mr. GILES. A wire as to whether he is interested in having the Defender used.
Mr. COLES. Unless he is kidding me he is. Other than that I will be glad to call him myself.
Mr. GILES. Will you do that, please?
Mr. GILES. Captain Goodman, do you have any comments on the points he raised! I am not familiar with the details.
Mr. GOODMAN. For record purposes in relation to all of the large vessels in the deep draft, we have gone to as many sources as we could to develop information in relation to draft in Russia-particularly the Black Sea ports. We have gotten quite a bit of information through the Canadians in relation to the ships that they loaded. Up to this point and that includes most of the ships that have been quoted in news accounts and so forth, we have been unable to find any ship that arrived in the Black Sea with more than a 32-foot draft.
I think some of the reasons for the confusion, there were ships that left Canada with drafts as much as 35 feet. Certain parts of it, I am not sure about the fresh water but that enters into it, too. But we have found in checking those ships through that most of them went in and offloaded a partial cargo at Hamburg and some other port and then continued on to Odessa. I think that is the reason for some of the erroneous interpretation. I must admit that I have been unable to find any ship that has arrived in the Black Sea with a draft in excess of 32 feet.
Mr. GILES. Do you have any comments on these last points that Mr. Stovall made about the scheduled dates!
Mr. GOODMAN. No. That was covered before. The same discussion.
Mr. GILES. We will set this one aside. I will, subject to further checking on your part, Mr. Coles. I want to consider our total situation with you and with Continental's representative to see if he would be sensible from your point of view to have an actual visit in an effort to work this out on the other side.
We will further define and redefine, Mr. Stovall, where we stand on these other points that you raised. If we conclude that the situation would be resolved on the basis of the dates offered or the position of the vessel, then we will so inform Mr. Coles. If that settles the issue, then regardless of his thoughts on the other, he would not want to take a trip that would not do him any good. It seems to me there are so many dangling facts that we can not resolve them at this point, we will open the record on this matter. I will be available later today and we will decide at the conclusion of this meeting what we will do and what schedule we will follow on all of these items that we have left open.
Thank you very much, Mr. Coles.
At this time I would like to recognize Mr. Thomas Gleason, who is president of the Longshoremen's Association.
We appreciate Mr. Gleason's being here today. As is generally known, I received a telegram here yesterday signed jointly by Mr. Paul
Hall, Mr. Gleason, and Mr. Calhoon. In response to that, I sent an answer giving my point of view and inviting them to be present here today. We will put Mr. Gleason on, assuming you have no objection, and put a copy of your telegram and my answer into the record at this point.
In the interest of time, I am not going to comment specifically on those wires, although I may have some general comments later on. (The material referred to follow :)
February 5, 1964.
This acknowledges your telegram of this date regarding shipping waiver application by Continental. I do not know whether this waiver should be granted and we cannot possibly know until shipowners have had the full time to file their specific offers with the Maritime Administration in accordance with our waiver notice issued last Friday. Shipowners should have filed with Maritime Administration their offers on Continental shipments in compliance with terms and conditions published by Maritime Administration.
To extent American shipowners offer ships in compliance with terms and conditions of last Friday's notice, no waiver will be granted. To extent American shipowners do not offer American-flag tonnage to cover shipments in question, the Maritime Administration will have no choice but to grant waiver. Am sure you understand we will have to follow our published procedure, which was fully circulated among the shipping industry representatives that it was a proper and reasonable procedure for us to adopt. For purposes of informing all interested groups concerning our action on Continental waiver application, I am setting meeting at this agency Thursday morning, 11:30 a.m., room 4519, GAO Building. Am asking that Continental Grain Co. representatives and shipowners or their representatives who have specific offers in issue be present at that meeting. Am also asking that representatives of AMA, AMMI, CASL and PASSA be present. Am inviting interested representatives of maritime labor to attend this meeting and will greatly appreciate if you or your designated representative will be there. This meeting will be held before any final decision is made on waiver application and every effort will be made to explain fully any specific case in issue between shipowners and Continental and to explain fully the basis of Maritime Administration's decision on those specific cases if we are called upon to decide them. I can appreciate the fact that on an issue of this sort difficulties and misunderstandings can often occur because of misinformation or lack of information as to what the facts are. You have the cooperation of this agency in every respect in getting information and being fully informed as to what the basis of our decisions will be.
In turn, I would appreciate your cooperation in helping all of us to focus on specific cases and endeavor to decide specific cases on the merits rather than deal in unsupported generalities. Will you please let me know if you or your designated representatives will be at 11:30 a.m. meeting tomorrow.
ROBERT E. GILES, Acting Maritime Administrator.
Hon. ROBERT GILES,
The expressed policy of our Government with respect to the shipment of American wheat to the Soviet Union is that at least 50 percent of the shipments are to be carried in U.S.-flag vessels. We have repeatedly been assured by various Government agencies that this shipping requirement would be observed in the interests of the American merchant marine and American maritime workers. Despite these assurances, we are now confronted with the threat that our Government will once again waive the 50-percent requirement by allowing Continental Grain Co. to select foreign-flag shipping over available American tonnage. We vigorously protest the manipulation of shipping requirements in order to produce greater profits for Continental at the expense of our Nation and the maritime industry.
If the Government permits this waiver it will deal a devastating blow to American shipping and will defeat the very purpose which gave rise to the requirement in the course of the wheat sales negotiations that American shipping carry at least 50 percent of the shipments. In the event of a waiver, we will be forced to take immediate action in the interest of the industry, the workers involved, and the American taxpayer. We will also call upon the Maritime Trades Department of the AFL-CIO to take steps for appropriate action by the American labor movement that would effectively call to the attention of the American public the disastrous effects of our Government's actions in repudiating the 50-50 policy with regard to the wheat shipments to the Soviet Union.
THOMAS W. GLEASON,
JESSE M. CALHOON, President, Marine Engineers Beneficial Association, AFL-CIO.
STATEMENT OF THOMAS W. GLEASON, PRESIDENT, INTERNATIONAL
Mr. GLEASON. My name is Thomas Gleason, representing the International Longshoremen's Association. I heard a lot here this morning about the ground rules being set by Continental and the other gentlemen here. I thought the ground rules were set some time ago by President Kennedy and followed up by President Johnson. As you know, the International Longshoremen did not want to handle this wheat in the first place. There was not any restrictions put on the number of American ships that would handle this grain. There was a minimum of at least 50 percent. From what I have seen here this morning, no matter what President Kennedy said or President Johnson said, it is very obvious that very many American men are not going to get a job out of this shipment of grain to Russia. The position of the ILA has been very clear over a period of years. We have been boycotting all Russian cargo and are ready to take a boycott position on the wheat shipments. However, because of the interest President Kennedy had shown, his desire to sell this wheat to Russia and after meeting with Mr. Jim Reynolds of the Labor Department and Mr. Franklin D. Roosevelt, Jr., they claimed it was in the best interest of the American Government to carry through this transaction.
I called the meeting of my executive board from all parts of the United States and Canada with the exception of the west coast which we don't represent and recommended that President Kennedy's recommendation to carry out this shipment of grain to Russia be carried through. It was not a unanimous decision. Nevertheless we gave our word to the President, Mr. Reynolds who is here now, and to Mr.
Roosevelt, that we would carry this on, only on the grounds that the majority of this wheat would be carried in American bottoms and would create jobs for our people. There was not any ground rules whether it was 32-foot-draft ships or whether Russia's had lighters to take them in, partially to discharge the ships and then take the grain in by lighter and be able to handle these larger American ships. We were instructed that American ships would get the preference of this work. On this basis we decided to handle it.
Now, lo and behold, the American ships are being pushed aside and the foreign-flag ships who have been dealing with the enemy, with Cuba, whom we are also boycotting, are now being taken off the blacklist and being put in here at the expense of the American ships. Now we have boycotted and we will boycott every single ship that comes off that Cuban blacklist. We will boycott them. We think there are enough American ships around here and regardless of the Russians we should make the rules. They are the hungry ones, we are not. Listening to this gentleman today that we may be in the position 4 or 5 years from now about grain, I assure you if we are the Russians won't help us, we will go hungry.
Now if this agreement is not lived up to by our Government, I will call my executive board back into session and make a recommendation that our longshoremen refuse to load this grain on any ships regardless of the flag she flies. You see, with the longshoremen it does not make any difference. We load all ships whether they are flags of convenience, foreign ships or American ships, we load them all
. But we believe as American trade unionists here that we should help our brothers. In the last 5 or 6 years the American merchant marine has gone down now to where they carrry 8 percent of the cargo. It is a crime to see one man who was operating out of London at the present time send this Tulsa Hill into Baltimore for a cargo of this grain and he still has 24 ships chartered in that run, still going to take those buses that we are condemning the British for—taking that cargo to our avowed enemy. And then we are going to put some of this money in his pocket, all this crying about the balance of pay. ments, this $500 million in grain is going to help out balance of payments, help our gold situation, but still no consideration is given to the money we give these foreign operators to bring back and put in those banks in these different countries, they are American dollars, they are being paid in American dollars, and American seamen not getting 5 cents of this business at all.
It is a crime that the American shipowner is being bypassed in the situation and ships that have been trading with the enemy, Cuba, are being taken off the blacklist and are being given preference in carrying this cargo. The ILA has already taken a stand against one of these blacklisted ships; namely, the Tulsa Hill, and will continue to take a stand in favor of our American sailors so that some of this money that we pay to the foreign shipowners will not continue to hurt our balance of payments.
I sincerely hope that this matter of 50 percent moving in American ships will be lived up to. Now this was only the minimum. There was not any deal that said that we must only move 50 percent of the wheat in American ships. I will be glad to say that we move 65 or 80 percent in American ships and let the Russians go to hell. I am
for boycotting them and give them nothing. Don't move a ton of grain. Let them starve. Let the Canadians give it to them. They would not have.
New Zealand has not got the grain; Australia does not have the grain to sell them at the present time. I think it is about time the Americans got their back up and told these guys: "We make the rules. If you want the grain take them at our price, take it the way we send it to you or not at all.” This is the way the longshoremen feel about it.
Mr. GILES. Thank you, Mr. Gleason.
Mr. Giles. In your joint telegram that was sent here, first let me say that with respect to the Cuban shipping matter I understand your general situation on that. That is a separate matter, not in the province of the Maritime Administration. So I am not in a position to pursue that.
Mr. GLEASON. Those ships are coming off that run, sir, and they are coming back and put in this Russian run.
Mr. Giles. So far as Continental is concerned that is the application or waiver that we have got. What is the position of Continental on using foreign ships that have been in this Cuban business?
Mr. STOVALL. To my knowledge Continental has chartered no vessels which have traded with Cuba. We have taken a firm stand since January 1, 1962, that any vessel trading with Cuba would not be chartered for any commodity irrespective of the destination. As of present time we include, and have for the past year and a half, a clause in every charter wherein the owner stipulates he has not traded with Cuba since January 1, 1963, and has no commitment on the vessel to trade with Cuba subsequent to the charter party.
Mr. GILEs. So far as Government policy, Mr. Gleason, the Government policy with regard with Cuban shipping has been a blacklist or restriction on Government cargo, Government-aid cargo. Now I know there are a lot of differences of opinion as to that policy whether it should not be extended to all, commercial and otherwise. The fact remains as far as my Maritime Administration's abilities and responsibilities, the fact remains that the President of the United States has not seen fit to adopt a policy to go that far. So long as I am here I am going to have to administer the laws and the decisions and basic policies that the President of the United States decides upon regardless of my personal feelings or regardless of anyone else's personal feelings. But the point that concerns me
Mr. GLEASON. Can I follow up a little more on that Cuban situation?
Mr. GILES. All right.
Mr. GLEASON. I realize that none of us want to break the laws. We must have a head and we must respect our country and the people who run it. I realize that people like President Johnson and President Kennedy, God rest his soul, if he were here he possibly could not take the stand that some of our trade unionists would take because Congress would not possibly back it up.
I believe that the stand we have taken is a popular stand. I believe you cannot give an enemy a little bit and believe he will be eventually