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with them, but send them back to Japan very simply. I not only have worked on it a good deal, but I have talked to several men in this International Commission that has been appointed, and I can testify that it is a very simple thing to get rid of the Japanese competition. They are sitting there 4 or 5 or 10 miles off the coast and fishing. All you have to do is to put American ships out there doing exactly the same thing. They not only do it with salmon, but with
The CHAIRMAN. Those little fish that you make the meal of? Mr. HILLER. Herring and pilchards. There are no Japanese in the pilchard business today. They have talked about it, but they are not there. They cannot compete with us. They may, now, because there are no fishing ships off the Pacific coast today in that business. There were actually nine ships last year, but today they are all off the ocean on account of labor conditions. That makes it easy for the Japanese to operate, because there is nobody to compete with them.
The CHAIRMAN. Your idea is that they are complaining about the encroachment of the Japanese, but are absolutely encouraging a system which makes it impossible to drive them off through economic competition?
Mr. HILLER. Yes, sir.
Senator Overton. I would like to ask you something about the authority of the captain of a ship. Do I understand that your ship captain has been divested of practically all of his authority?
Mr. HILLER. Officially, no.
Senator OVERTON. Who directs labor? He tells them what to do and when to do it and how to do it?
Mr. HiLLER. The representative of the union, or each craft on the ship.
Senator OVERTON. They have a representative of each craft?
Mr. Hiller. Yes. There are about seven on our ships. I think there are several different unions represented. Each one has a steward and his business is to see that his men are taken care of according to his judgment.
Senator OVERTON. And his men obey implicitly his orders?
Senator OVERTON. Suppose there is a conflict between the representative of the union and the captain; whose authority prevails?
Mr. Hiller. The authority of the captain may prevail until they get to shore, if it is enforced. As soon as it is enforced the ship is tied up and it does not go to sea. Any one man in that crew can start a picket line and they will all stop.
Senator (VERTON. Is the situation such that the captain is afraid to fire a man if he thinks he ought to be discharged?
Mr. Hiller. He cannot fire him; no sir. The union will order us to put him back, or they will tie up the ship. We have had many cases of that.
The CHAIRMAN. And if the captain does not give in to these men, I suppose the owners would get rid of the captain for having the ship tied up?
Mr. HILLER. As a general rule the captain is a very good man; but he is in a position where he will come to us and say, “If I give into
them the ship will go to sea, but I have lost control of them and they will not work; they just lay down on the job."
The CHAIRMAN. These things you have spoken of are very serious. Have you taken up any of these charges in the Department of Labor?
Mr. HILLER. From our experience with the Labor Department we would rather stop business, take our loss and do something else.
The CHAIRMAN. Would you mind telling us why?
Mr. HillER. I have sat in some labor conferences, and they have been most unsatisfactory.
The CHAIRMAN. In what manner?
Mr. HillER. I will give you an instance. Several years ago we were called in to a conference with the Labor Board in San Francisco, and there were some seven ship owners represented, I being one. We worked for several weeks, working up an agreement. The Board called us in and said, "If you will do such and such a thing and pay certain wages
and establish certain conditions, we have got assurances that the labor unions will agree; and if the labor unions do not agree we will publish it, because you are giving a fair deal to the unions.
We then had to work night and day for several days to get every one of these corporations represented, the heads of them, to accede to these demands. After we got the acceptance of each one of the companies—I was on that committee myself—and arrived at the office of the mediator, he said, "Are you settled? Have you agreed?” We said, "Yes; we have agreed.” He said, “About 30 minutes ago one of the heads of the union was in here and said that even though you did accept all of this, it is not satisfactory to the union. Therefore we cannot do anything."
We said that we would appreciate it if he would let us talk it over a few minutes; and we did, and said that we just would not stand for it. We said, "We will put in operation all the conditions that we outlined. Even if the Labor Board is not living up to its promise, we are going to do it anyway."
And we put them into effect, but it caused one dynamiting, a number of people being killed, and there was a great deal of hardship. That is our experience with one labor board. The CHAIRMAN. A year
was that? Mr. HILLER. About 3 years ago. It was in 1934. The CHAIRMAN. It was the 1934 strike, at that time? Mr. HILLER. Yes, sir. The CHAIRMAN. We are much obliged to you for coming here to add to our troubles.
Mr. HILLER. It was just a circumstance that I was here. Somebody asked me to give some of my views, because we are looking for other places to go.
The CHAIRMAN. It is now 4:15. We have been in session since 10:30 this morning. We will adjourn now until 10:30 tomorrow morning.
(Whereupon, at 4:15 p. m., the committee adjourned until tomorrow, Thursday, February 10, 1938, at 10:30 a. m.)
AMENDING THE MERCHANT MARINE ACT OF 1936
THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 10, 1938
UNITED STATES SENATE,
Washington, D. C. The committees met in executive session at 10:30 a. m., pursuant to adjournment on Monday, February 7, 1938, in the committee room of the Senate Committee on Commerce, the Capitol, Senator Royal S. Copeland (chairman of the Senate Committee on Commerce) presiding
Present: Senators Copeland (Chairman of the Commerce Committee), Caraway, Clark, Overton, Bilbo, Donahey, Guffey, Berry, Vandenberg, Gibson, Ellender, and La Follette.
Present also: Rear Admiral H. G. Hamlet, United States Coast Guard, retired.
The ChaiRMAN. The committee will come to order.
We have Mr. Reilly, of the Labor Department, here; but before asking him any question, I shall read a letter I found, that Mr. Reilly pointed out to me, that was in the file he left here. I did not see it. It is from Sydney, Australia. I was anxious to see what it says. This is a letter written to W. J. Quinn, esquire, chief of police, San Francisco, signed by William J. Mackay, commissioner of police, Sydney, New South Wales.
(The chairman read the letter referred to.)
STATEMENT OF GERARD D. REILLY, SOLICITOR, DEPARTMENT
OF LABOR, WASHINGTON, D. C.
The CHAIRMAN. Mr. Reilly, you had had no photostatic copy of Dorgan's Communist book until Senator Vandenberg gave it to you?
Mr. Reilly. No, sir. There was one in the files, which was attached to the
affidavit. The CHAIRMAN. You had not seen that?
Mr. REILLY. I noticed one after I had Senator Vandenberg's photostatic copy; it was very much the same.
The CHAIRMAN. Yes.
Senator VANDENBERG. I wanted to ask you, Mr. Reilly, about a sentence in the report from District Director Bonham, requesting a warrant for Mr. Bridges' arrest. I read from Mr. Bonham's complaint and communication (reading]:
I believe it proper that I acquaint the central office with the fact that when I interviewed Mr. Bridges some time ago on another matter he boasted that he
had seen the central office file relating to himself, and also that “they” had an excellent "intelligence” organization of their own that kept them well informed of what was going on.
Have you any idea how Mr. Bridges might have come in contact with the central office file respecting himself?
Mr. Reilly. We inquired about that; and I am unable to discover how he might have seen it. And the general opinion was that he had not seen it.
Senator VANDENBERG. Do you know, Mr. Reilly, a lawyer in Los Angeles and New York by the name of A. L. Wirin?
Mr. REILLY. Yes.
Senator VANDENBERG. Is he counsel for the American Civil Liberties Union?
Mr. REILLY. I believe he is kind of a regional counsel, now, in Los Angeles.
Senator VANDENBERG. Did he ask you at any time to see the Bridges file?
Mr. REILLY. No; he did not. I have not seen him since this investigation has begun.
Senator VANDENBERG. And you know of no effort that Mr. Wirin made to see the file in the Department of Labor?
Mr. Reilly. Not with respect to Bridges; no. He has appeared in other immigration cases, and has asked to see files.
The CHAIRMAN. Did he talk with you about Bridges, at any time? Mr. REILLY. No; he did not, Senator.
Senator VANDENBERG. Would he, in the nature of his relationships, be interested in the Bridges matter, on a basis that might be friendly to Mr. Bridges?
Mr. REILLY. Well, I have not heard of the Civil Liberties Union taking any interest in this case, with the exception of the Maryland chapter which wrote a letter to the Department, the other day, protesting these proceedings.
Senator VANDENBERG. Well, a statement that Mr. Wirin communicated with you and sought to inspect the file, and that you permitted that, would be untrue?
Mr. REILLY. Yes; it would be.
Senator VANDENBERG. How long does it ordinarily take for the Department of Labor to act upon a request from a district director for a warrant in a deportation case? What is the average experience?
Mr. REILLY. Ordinarily the warrant issues on the application, unless there is some question about it in the Commissioner's mind, and he submits it to the Solicitor, for study.
The CHAIRMAN. Is this the only case since you have been in the Department, where such a question has arisen?
Mr. REILLY. Well, I would not have known of situations until I became Solicitor, sir, which was just about last July.
The CHAIRMAN. Have there been any deportation proceedings since you became Solicitor?
Mr. REILLY. Oh, yes; there have been numerous deportation proceedings.
The CHAIRMAN. Was there any delay in action, when that letter came from the regional officer? Was there any delay in action, until this case?
Mr. REILLY. Well, I do not know of any, Senator; no.