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FOREIGN MERCHANT VESSELS
FOR NATIONAL DEFENSE
COMMITTEE ON COMMERCE
S. J. Res. 67
H. R. 4466
MAY 1, 7, 8, AND 12, 1941
Printed for the use of the Committee on Commerce
WASHINGTON : 1941
COMMITTEE ON COMMERCE
JOSIAH W. BAILEY, North Carolina, Chairman HATTIE W. CARAWAY, Arkansas
CHARLES L. McNARY, Oregon BENNETT CHAMP CLARK, Missouri
HIRAM W. JOHNSON, California JOHN H. OVERTON, Louisiana
ARTHUR H. VANDENBERG, Michigan THEODORE G. BILBO, Mississippi
W. WARREN BARBOUR, New Jersey FRANCIS MALONEY, Connecticut
RALPH O. BREWSTER, Maine
HAROLD H. BURTON, Ohio
PURCHASE AND CHARTER OF FOREIGN MERCHANT
VESSELS FOR NATIONAL DEFENSE
THURSDAY, MAY 1, 1941
UNITED STATES SENATE,
Washington, D. C. The committee met, pursuant to call, at 10:30 o'clock a. m., in the Commerce Committee room, Capitol, Senator Josiah W. Bailey (chairman) presiding.
Present: Senators Bailey (chairman), Brown, Burton, Brewster, Bilbo, Caraway, Johnson, McNary, Lee, Pepper, Overton, Meade, Wallgren, Maloney, and Vandenberg.
Also present: Senator George.
We have under consideration this morning Senate Joint Resolution 67, authorizing the purchase of foreign merchant vessels for national defense, and for other purposes.
COMMUNICATION FROM THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES TRANSMITTING A
DRAFT OF A PROPOSED JOINT RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING THE PURCHASE OR REQUISITION OF ANY FOREIGN MERCHANT VESSEL LYING IDLE IN WATERS WITHIN THE JURISDICTION OF THE UNITED STATES WHICH IS NECESSARY TO THE NATIONAL DEFENSE
To the Congress of the United States:
There are now in our ports a large number of foreign merchant vessels which have been here for considerable periods of time and which because of war conditions have not seen fit to depart.
Section 902 of the Merchant Marine Act of 1936, as amended by the act of August 7, 1939, authorizes the Maritime Commission, whenever the President shall proclaim that the security of the national defense makes it advisable or during any national emergency declared by proclamation to requisition or purchase any vessel or other watercraft owned by citizens of the United States, or under construction within the United States, or to requisition or charter the use of any such property, and provides that the owner thereof shall be paid just compensation for the property taken or for its use. The same section provides a method by which compensation shall be determined. There does not appear to be any comparable provision with respect to foreign-owned vessels lying idle in our ports.
In view of the growing shortage of available tonnage suited to our national veeds, I am satisfied, after consultation with the heads of the interested departments and agencies of the Government, that we should have statutory authority to take over any such vessels as our needs may require, subject, of course, to the payment of just compensation.
It is obvious that our own ultimate defense will be rendered futile if the growing shortage of shipping facilities is not arrested. It is also obvious that inability to remove accumulating materials from our ports can only