Page images
PDF
EPUB

language which was conveyed to us, and very difficult to get because of numerous charges of insubordination among the unlicensed personnel of the vessels and lack of control as reported.

I am not concerned with these details other than to indicate to this committee that if this situation does exist—and I am sure your committee will know before it finishes its job whether the conditions are or are not as represented—you cannot expect, nor can anyone expect, private capital to invest millions of dollars in new tonnage regardless of Government aid if the cost of operating ships, through whatever cause, makes it unattractive economically.

It was testified here recently that the increased cost of operating the American tonnage was inconsequential. We went to one of the biggest steamship companies in America, of American tonnage, and asked them to supply us with a record of the costs of their operations for the years 1933 to 1937. I should like to invite attention to the fact that, in connection with vessel expenses to that company, wages in 1933 amounted to $598.244.44; in 1937, $1,307,811.99, an increase of $709,637.55, or 118.62 percent.

Senator VANDENBERG. That does not mean anything unless we know whether the tonnage increased in a corresponding degree.

Mr. HARTMAN. The revenue

Senator VANDEBERG. No; the operation. Perhaps they operated twice as many ships.

Mr. HARTMAN. This contemplates the total cost of operating all of their ships. It is their fleet cost. In other words, the totals indicate the operation of their fleet. The costs are broken down into various items, such as wages, subsistence, stores, fuel, insurance, repairs, wharfage and dockage, canal tolls, stevedoring and other cargo expenses including terminal costs, and general expenses.

Senator VANDENBERG. Is this the same fleet operating each time?
Mr. HARTMAN. Yes.
Senator VANDENBERG. The same ships?
Mr. HARTMAN. Yes.
Senator VANDEBERG. So the figures are comparable.

Mr. HARTMAN. They are comparable, Senator. So that where you have an increase of 118.62 percent for wages, 76.98 percent for repairs, 10.66 percent for wharfage and dockage, and so forth, the total increase for operating the same number of ships in 1937 over 1933 was 42.93 percent. I offer that statement for the record.

The CHAIRMAN. It will be received for the record. (The statement referred to is as follows:)

Percent

Vessel expense

Year 1933

Year 1937

Increase

age of

increase

Wages
Subsistence
Stores (deck, engine and stewards').
Fuel..
Insurance (marine, protection, and indemnity).
Repairs
Wharfage and dockage.
Canal tolls.
Stevedoring and other cargo expenses (including

terminal costs).
Administrative and general expenses

$598, 244. 14 $1,307, 881. 99

120, 813. 18 239, 415, 48

301, 785, 85 334, 228. 16
1, 129, 681.93 1, 607, 876. 29

608, 173. 81 531, 501. 87
433, 696. 74 767, 556. 49
290, 613. 38 321, 502.77
989, 989. 21 968, 506. 44

$709, 637. 55
119, 612.30

29, 442. 31
478, 194. 36

76.971.94 333, 859,75 30, 979.39 21, 482.77

118. 62 98. 17

9. 66 42. 33 1 12. 65 76. 98 10.66 12.17

3, 223, 131.95
1, 232, 886.71

4, 748, 317.98
1,762, 164. 96

1,525, 186.03

529, 278. 25

47.32 42. 93

1 Decrease.

Senator THOMAS of Utah. Have you included all the factors there, so that those figures are honest comparisons?

Mr. HARTMAN. They are broken down.

The CHAIRMAN. The thing that makes me think that the figures are correct, in addition to the statement made, is the fact that the Canal tolls are almost identical. The Canal tolls in 1933 were $989,989.21, and in 1937 they were $968,506.44.

Senator Thomas of Utah. For the same number of boats and the same number of trips!

Mr. HARTMAN. There may be a very slight deviation, but it happens to be a company that maintains a schedule, and its performances year in and year out are practically the same. No steamship operation year after year is exactly identical. There are always deviations caused by one reason or another.

Senator Thomas of Utah. This labor cost went up during the time of the strike?

Mr. HARTMAX. I have used the years 1933 and 1937. There was no strike in 1933.

Senator THOMAS of Utah. Was there a strike in 1934 ?
Mr. HARTMAN. Yes; and this is 1937.
Senator Thomas of Utah. Just the 2 years?
Mr. HARTMAN. Yes.
Senator THOMAS of Utah. There was no strike in 1937 ?

Mr. HARTMAX. There may have been minor strikes, but there was no major strike, as I understand it, in 1937.

Senator THOMAS of Utah. Was there no increase at all in the number of intercoastal boats that did not go through the Canal ?

Mr. Hartman. Not with this company. They operated the same number of ships in 1933 that they operated in 1937.

The ('HAIRMAN. This statement will appear in the record.

Mr. HARTMAN. I received in the mail this morning a resolution which I have been asked to file with this committee, and I should like to offer it. It reads as follows:

RESOLUTION

Whereas development of the American merchant marine is impeded by the inadequacies of the Merchant Marine Act of 1936; and

Whereas House bill 8532 and Senate bill 3078 effectively amend the Merchant Marine Act to allow normal development of America's merchant fleet; and

Whereas the Pacific Northwest, its industries, agriculture, and employee personnel in shops, mills, farms, and factories have suffered iubearable and unnecessary economic reverses because unsettled labor conditions in the marine industry have rendered ocean transportation irregular and undependable; and

Whereas Senate bill 3078 would, by placing marine employment under jurisdiction of the Railway Labor Act. stabilize marine employment and permit normal and uninterrupted marketing of Northwest products: Now, therefore; be it

Resolved, That the Board of Director's of the Portland Chamber of Commerce express, on behalf of an injured port and its people, the request that the Congress of the United States pass in toto the amendments to the Merchant Marine Act of 1936 contained in House bill 8532 and Senate bill 3078, and that the Congress be requested particularly to recognize the fairness of and pass that amendment which applies the Railway Labor Act, which has operated so successfully in the interests of employer, employee, and the public in the railway industry, to all marine employees and employers of the United States. Resolution proposed by maritime commerce committee of Portland Chamber of Commerce.

Resolution approved January 14, 1938, by the board of directors of the Portland Chamber of Commerce.

In conclusion, gentlemen, I should like to invite your attention to this fact. We are definitely alarmed. We feel that unless the Government of the United States undertakes to effect continuous operation of the American merchant marine, howsoever they may accomplish it, at least our communities in the northwestern part of the United States will have to be given adequate insurance that such service will be continued.

Senator THOMAS of Utah. Would the repeal of the law which makes it necessary for only American boats to carry coastwise traffic solve your problem in Portland ?

Mr. HARTMAN. The repeal of the act limiting American tonnage

Senator Thomas of Utah. Limiting American shipping to American tonnage.

Mr. HARTMAN. No. We enjoy that now.

Senator THOMAS of Utah. Yes. I say, if you repeal it, then any ship under the sun can come in a port between San Francisco and Portland.

Mr. HARTMAN. Certainly; it would invite foreign competition.
Senator THOMAS of Utah. Would that settle your problem?

Mr. HARTMAN. It probably would, but as Americans—at least speaking for myself—I should hate to see that day come. We would not be helping our American sailors by inviting competition from foreigners. We certainly have enough of it at the present moment.

Senator Thomas of Utah. But you are speaking of the utter dependence of the city of Portland, for example, on maritime shipments.

Mr. HARTMAN. That is right.

Senator THOMAS of Utah. Surely all the people in Portland are more important than either the sailors or the shipowners, are they not?

Mr. HARTMAN. That is right.
Senator THOMAS of Utah. And all the Oregon industries?
Mr. HARTMAN. That is right.

Senator THOMAS of Utah. It is assumed, when you pass a coastwise shipping act, that American coastwise shipowners will live up to their responsibilities, and that the men who work for them will live up to their responsibilities.

Mr. HARTMAN. That is right.

Senator THOMAS of Utah. If they do not, would it be wise to repeal that act and allow all the foreign ships to come in that would want to?

Mr. HARTMAX. It would solve the problem, but it would not be wise. I cannot divorce the economic aspect of it, insofar as our own community is concerned, from the soundness of favoring American seamen when and if it can be done. Your question presupposes, I assume, that if we became desperate and could not hope for an American merchant marine under restricted protection, we would have to resort to other means. Of course, we have proved that in the past, in two ways—first, by losing a tremendous percentage of our business, as I testified here yesterday in connection with another aspect, to our Canadian neighbors to the north. Our lumber business in the Northwest is our major industry. We have seen it go by the door, until we now enjoy only a very small percentage of the lumber business to the east coast of the United States. We are interested in that from the standpoint of our producers and manufacturers of lumber, as well as from the transportation standpoint.

Senator THOMAS of Utah. Is your interest one of pride, or is it one of real economics?

Mr. HARTMAN. Sound economics, insofar as it may be limited to that. In other words, we do not want—at least I do not want to see Portland benefit at the expense of the elimination of the American merchant marine. I have no authority to speak for the port of Portland on that phase.

Senator THOMAS of Utah. Even though the American merchant marine is a costly proposition.

Mr. HARTMAN. Even though the American merchant marine is a costly proposition.

Senator THOMAS of Utah. You would not base your argument then, on economics, would you?

Mr. HARTMAN. Not that phase of it, unless it may be considered that in defending the American merchant marine there is an aspect of economics, namely, the welfare of the men involved, which reflects itself in our general economic picture in the country. In other words, if every seaman afloat were thrown out of work, there would be that many more men out of work and competing for shore jobs, thus affecting our general economic structure to that extent.

The CHAIRMAN. Thank you very much.

The CHAIRMAN. Mr. Fitzgerald is here from the west coast. On January 11, 1938, Mr. Emerson placed a telegram in the record at the request of Mr. Fitzgerald, saying:

Meeting on record' condemning Copeland for lying statements that Hoover crew drunk and abused passengers. Request you enter protest on behalf of marine firemen, and demand retraction from Copeland.

Senator Thomas, will you be good enough to conduct the examination of Mr. Fitzgerald?

STATEMENT OF ROBERT J. FITZGERALD, SECRETARY, PACIFIC

COAST MARINE FIREMEN, OILERS, WATERTENDERS, AND
WIPERS ASSOCIATION, SAN FRANCISCO
Senator Thomas of Utah. Please give your full name and your
address.

Mr. FITZGERALD. My name is Robert J. Fitzgerald.
Senator THOMAS of Utah. Your address, please?

Mr. FITZGERALD. Secretary of the Pacific Coast Marine Firemen, Oilers, Watertenders, and Wipers Association, 58 Commercial Street, San Fancisco.

Mr. Chairman and gentlemen of the committee, I have been subpenaed from San Francisco by the Senate Committee on Commerce to explain what I know relative to a telegram I sent upon instructions from my membership, the substance of which is a condemnation of Senator Copeland for statements attributed to him in the press.

I wish at this time, Mr. Chairman, to read into the record a clipping from the San Francisco Call-Bulletin, dated December 17, 1937,

if I may.

Senator THOMAS of Utah. Proceed.

Mr. FITZGERALD. It has a large headline here "Hoover crew denies drunk charges.” [Reading:]

San Francisco became the center of a lively controversy today with Harry Lundeberg, secretary of the Sailors' Union of the Pacific, intermediary for hot denials from the crew of the Dollar liner President Hoover, to charges of drunkenness.

Several telegrams came as an aftermath to the grounding of the Hoover off the Formosan coast last week and Senator Royal S. Copeland's charges of crew drunkenness and abuse of passengers made in Washington, D. C.

DEMAND RETRACTION

Hot denials were sent from the crew to Lundeberg and to R. J. Fitzgerald, secretary of the Marine Firemen, Oilers, and Wipers' Association.

Lundeberg and Fitzgerald received the following from the Dollar crew:

“We, the remaining crew of the President Hoover in all departments deny drunkenness or abuse of passengers as charged in Washington. We remained aboard throughout trouble and performed duties at all times, which is confirmed by ships' officers.

"We demand a retraction of Copeland's accusations."

WIRES KENNEDY

Lundeberg immediately dispatched a telegram to Joseph Kennedy, chairman of the United States Maritime Commission, in Washington. It said :

“Received cable from crew of President Hoover denying all charges of drunkenness or abuse of passengers as charged by Senator Copeland. Crew's denial supported by ship's officers. In fairness to American sailors, we demand you, as head of the Maritime Commission, publicize his denial."

Copeland, commentating on Lundeberg's telegram, told the Associated Press :

“If crew members conducted themselves decorously, I am eager to know it. How does Lundeberg know what the facts are? If he can prove charges I discussed in committee are untrue, I would be the first to offer a retraction. We are interested in getting the facts."

Copeland's charges were said to be found on stories of passengers who were taken to Manila by the President McKinley.

I have here a radiogram, Mr. Chairman, sent by the joint delegates of the personnel aboard the vessel, which I should like to read into the record.

Senator THOMAS of Utah. What do you mean by "joint delegates" ?

Mr. FITZGERALD. The joint delegates representing the unlicensed personnel of the engine division; the unlicensed personnel representing the Sailors' Union of the Pacific; the personnel representing the Marine Cooks and Stewards; and the personnel representing the American Radio Telegraphers Association.

Senator THOMAS of Utah. How many men would that mean?

Mr. FITZGERALD. That would involve all the unlicensed personnel aboard the vessel.

Senator THOMAS of Utah. No; I do not mean that. I mean the committee. The joint delegation would be how many men?

Mr. FITZGERALD. This would be the telegram of the four delegates representing the four departments aboard the vessel, which I just specified.

Senator THOMAS of Utah. That would be just four delegates, then, who are the signers of this telegram?

« PreviousContinue »