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training is to teach young men to take care of themselves and to take care of their outfits. It was proposed that we should use Hoffman Island, in New York Harbor.
The CHAIRMAN. Perhaps not all the members of the committee ere familiar with Hoffman Island. Will you state for the record where Hoffman Island is, and its size, and so forth?
Rear Admiral WILEY. It is a small island south of the Quarantine Station, off Staten Island. The island was formerly used as a quarantine station, and is very complete for our purpose, because it has 15 buildings, I believe.
The CHAIRMAN. Do you have a blueprint showing the general lay-out?
Rear Admiral WILEY. Yes; that is contained in that folder I am Jeaving with you.
The CHAIRMAN. Do you have an aerial photograph of it, as well? Rear Admiral Wiley. Yes. I will leave this with you, too.
This property is being held by the Procurement Division of the Treasury Department, to be turned over to us—that is to say, turned over to the Maritime Commission if and when the Maritime Commission indicates that it desires it or requests it to be turned over. And of course that depends entirely upon whether the Congress authorizes this training, or not.
This training under consideration is divided into 3 months at the training stations where, as I say, young men will be taught to take care of themselves, and be set up properly and get general training along that line. The other 9 months would be on board ship. Our idea is that there are only two agencies in the United States that are properly equipped to train seamen: One is the Navy, and the other is the Coast Guard.
I am speaking for myself, but I am quite justified in saying that there is a unanimity in the Commission in regard to this question of the Coast Guard's being the proper agency for the training. I think that the reason the Coast Guard is the better agency is because the Coast Guard's duties are such that it is brought into intimate contact with the merchant marine. I might say that I am the Commissioner who has given the most attention to this problem, this being a part of my job.
As I say, the Coast Guard is in intimate contact with the merchant marine, and is working very closely with the merchant marine all the time. The nature of the duties of the men in the Coast Guard, at sea, is such that they certainly make hardy sailors. They have this ice patrol, they rescue the sailors of wrecked ships, they blow up derelicts, they engage in lifesaving. Certainly no duties at sea can be more conducive to making hardy sailors than those.
On the other hand, the Navy is entirely a military institution. When the Navy goes to sea, it goes to sea for the purpose of military drill. The ships of the Navy usually go in formation; it is the Navy's job to work along such lines as military drill and tactics. They have to be constantly maneuvering, when they go to sea. The Coast Guard does not stress so much the military part of their training; their military training is incidental, whereas in the Navy it is the principal thing. The Navy could not be efficient otherwise.
I think it will be conceded that either the Navy or the Coast Guard is eminently fitted to carry out this training for seamen, because they are doing it constantly, with rather marked success; their whole personnel is practically built from the ground up.
The CHAIRMAN. Are there men in the faculty of the Coast Guard who are experienced merchantmen and men who have sailed vessels?
Rear Admiral WILEY. I understand that approximately 9 percent of their warrant officers and chief petty officers are ex-merchantmen.
Of course, being a Navy man, I am not trying to say that the Navy is not fitted for this task, because unquestionably it is eminently fitted for it. But I know there is opposition to the military training.
In addition to this training of recruits for 1 year, our plan contemplates training of the presently engaged merchant marine personnel for 30 days a year for such of them who enroll. They have to be regarded as fit for enrollment; and they get a bonus of 1 month's pay each year for 3 years, if they take the training for 1 month.
Senator CLARK. That would mean a month off and 13 months' pay during each year of those 3?
Rear Admiral WILEY. Well, they would get their pay as seamen. And when I say "seamen," that includes all the various departments and ratings; that term is used generally, in that connection, as all inclusive. They get their pay as merchant seamen, and then get the pay of the rating to which they are assigned as enrolled men in the Coast Guard. So that is a bonus of 1 month's pay for each of the 30-day periods for each of the 3 years.
The CHAIRMAN. That would necessitate cooperation on the part of the operators of the merchant ships, would it not? They would pay that month's wages, while the men were undergoing this train
Rear Admiral Wiley. I think there is no difficulty about cooperaion in that respect, sir,
Now, I do not consider the question of whether the unions are good unions or bad unions; that is immaterial so far as this particular point is concerned. I think we all acknowledge that training is essential. It is certainly considered very essential to make seamen in the Navy, and certainly they could not have good seamen in the Coast Guard unless some preliminary training is provided. The whole idea of the training is just this: That in time, you are going to raise the standards of skill, so that seamen know their jobs thoroughly; and then we are going to have these men in the enrolled service, which we call the United States Maritime Service. Of course, in time that will also furnish a large number of trained men, and a larger number than can possibly be furnished by simply a training system which undertakes to train 500 young men a year. It is admitted that there are large numbers of men at present engaged in the maritime service who need training. They are not sea
And I say that with no reflection upon them as such. If we are going to have a real, up-to-date merchant marine, then the personnel problem, to my mind, is the paramount issue.' You can get all the ships that you need; if there is not money from i rivate enterprise to build them, then the Government is authorized to build them. But you cannot buy talent unless you train it yourself. That is the whole idea of the training.
The CHAIRMAN. Does this plan contemplate doing away with the State schoolships?
Rear Admiral Wiley. No, sir.
Rear Admiral Wiley. That is the principal source of the officer material; we regard it so.
Oh, no; we have no thought of doing away with the State schoolships. Of course this is all in the formative stage; in the future, it may be considered desirable to introduce a National Marine Academy, which might take the place of the State schoolships. But we are not advocating that at this time.
Now, that is the outline of the requirements, as I think the training should be handled. I have read the bill that is introduced here, sir; and if I may take the liberty of saying so, I would suggest a change of section 216.
The CHAIRMAN. Is that the Treasury bill?
The CHAIRMAN. That was sent down to me by the Coast Guard, was it not?
Rear Admiral WILEY. No: by the Commission.
The CHAIRMAN. What is the effect of the suggestion which you have?
Rear Admiral Wiley. I make the suggestion that if training is to be undertaken, then the Coast Guard should be named as the proper agency for doing the training.
The CHAIRMAN. And you suggest naming it in that section?
The CHAIRMAN. This would be on page 31, and would be a new section 216 ?
Rear Admiral Wiley. No; that is just substituting certain language for some of the language as it is here, sir.
The CHAIRMAN. Yes.
Rear Admiral WILEY. The idea is this: While the bill as drawn says that any Government agencies may be used for this purpose, if I were in charge of the Coast Guard, I certainly would not want the responsibility, under the direction of the Maritime Commission, of doing this training, or starting out to do this training unless it were specifically stated in the act of Congress that this was the agency to be employed. I take it for granted that this Maritime Commission is a continuing agency, but the personnel is not; the personnel will be changing.
The C'HAIRMAN. And the policies might change?
Rear Admiral WILEY. The policies will change, with the changing personnel. While the Coast Guard might start out and do a good job--and I am sure they always would do a good job, myselfwhy, new commissioners in there might say, "Well, now, why should we not set up an agency or bureau within this Commission, to do this job?"
And it would not be very successful; these agencies within agencies, you know, are not a very good idea, it seems to me.
Certainly the Coast Guard is the logical choice; it is logical to use something that has been successful, rather than to go to work to
set up something new, and perhaps change your methods and throw something out. You know as well as I do, that you cannot avoid politics coming into this sort of thing. I do not use that expression in any deprecatory sense at all; I mean that so many people have their own particular friends that I should imagine you gentlemen would be annoyed to death.
That is about all I have to say, Mr. Chairman.
The CHAIRMAX. Admiral, did you read the Treasury bill, that they sent down here?
Rear Admiral Wiley. That is the bill that we worked out, sir.
The CHAIRMAN. The impression I got about that bill was that it was too specific; it went into too much detail, it seemed to me, and I thought that it did not leave enough imagination to the faculty. What did you think of that?
Rear Admiral Wiley. Insofar as my experience goes, I am not versed in framing legislation. Personally, I think that the fewer details contained in any legislative act, the better.
Of course, Senator, a good deal of that bill, as submitted to you, deals with a bill that was introduced by Senator Gibson, but simply proposes a little different language.
It has reference to Senator Gibson's bill in regard to putting Coast Guard officers on board of our merchant ships whenever deemed desirable by the Secretary of the Treasury.
The point I desire to make, sir, is that if you are going to recommend this training, in the first place I do not think that just the training of 500 young men would suffice. For when you take 500 men to a training school, perhaps 400 or 350 of them will finish the year's course, because they drop out for various reasons, as you know, with casualties of different kinds. And in my opinion, the training of 500 young men each year will not accomplish your pur-. pose; you have to couple up that training with maritime service.
I should like to read to you these changes that I have suggested in section 216.
The CHAIRMAN. Yes, sir.
Rear Admiral WILEY. Those suggested changes are as follows [reading]:
SEC. 216. (a) The Commission is hereby authorized and directed to establish a system for the training of citizens of the United States to serve as licensed and unlicensed personnel on American merchant vessels to be administered by the United States Coast Guard which may employ as instructors, on a contract or fee basis, such qualified licensed and unlicensed personnel of the merchant marine as the United States Coast Guard may deem necessary to effectuate the purpose of this section.
(b) The Commission is hereby authorized and directed, under such rules and regulations as it may prescribe, to establish the United States Maritime Service which shall be administered by the United States Coast Guard and consist of such licensed and unlicensed personnel of the United States merchant marine as may be enrolled under the provisions of this section.
Then there is introduced here the ranks, grades, ratings--which is contained in your bill—and pay during training periods for the personnel of the Merchant Marine Service, and the statement that these ranks, grades, ratings, pay, and so forth, “shall be the same as are now or shall hereafter be prescribed for the personnel of the Coast Guard.”
The whole object of these changes that I have suggested, here, is to make it a part of the legislation that the Coast Guard, acting under
the direction of the Commission and for the Commission, shall be the agency to do this training, and that the Maritime Commission shall be the agency to pay the bills. That is the whole idea.
I understand there has been no opposition; in fact there has been marked approval by certain unions or the spokesmen for certain unions, with regard to a system of training.
The CHAIRMAN. Yes. They propose that the Maritime Commission and the representatives of the unions, I take it, or at least the representatives of seamen, should be brought together to organize a school.
Rear Admiral WILEY. In that letter to you, in answer to a request by you, I have said that I did not think a set-up like that would work. And here are the reasons why I think such a set-up will not work:
First, it is highly improbable that such a board or commission, as proposed for the service, would be at all harmonious.
The CHAIRMAN. Before you make your statement, let us put in the record what the recommendation was, so that one who read this record of today may know what it is you are discussing. That matter is contained on page 133 of the testimony of Mr. Emerson.
(The matter referred to is as follows:)
(a) The Commission is hereby authorized and directed to appoint a board of 10 members, 5 persons to be representatives of the Commission and 5 persons to be representatives of the labor organizations involved, which board shall establish, under such rules and regulations as it may prescribe, a system for the training of citizens of the United States to serve as licensed and unlicensed personnel on American merchant vessels, and shall employ as instructors such qualified licensed and unlicensed personnel from the merchant marine as the board may deem necessary to effectuate the purposes of this section.
(0) The board is authorized and directed to determine the number of persons to be enrolled for such training, to fix the rates of pay of such persons, and to prescribe such courses and periods of training, as in its discretion is necessary to maintain a trained and efficient merchant marine personnel ; provided, however:
(1) That in the enrollment for such training, preference shall be given to those persons who have been employed in the merchant marine as seamen and who do not meet the standards required by the present laws or who desire further training ;
(2) The rates of pay for the persons enrolled for training and for the practical instructors shall be at least equal to the prevailing wages for similar class of work in the merchant marine and for theoretical instructors, the rates of pay may be on a contract or fee basis.
Rear Admiral Wiley. Yes; his recommendation was for the appointment of a board of 10 members, with five of them to be representatives of the Commission and five to be representatives of the labor organizations involved, and that this board would establish the system of training for licensed and unlicensed personnel on American merchant vessels, and so on.
The CHAIRMAN. Yes; that was his recommendation. I take it that you are going to present to us your objections to that?
Rear Admiral Wiley. I consider that such a set-up will not work, for the following reasons:
First, it is highly improbable that such a board or commission, as proposed, for the supervision of this training would be at all harmonious.
Second, even if harmonious, it would have to set up a large staff to carry on the actual training and this staff would be composed of