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FOREIGN MERCHANT VESSELS

FOR NATIONAL DEFENSE

BEFORE THE

HEARINGS
21.5. Congress, Serate.

COMMITTEE ON COMMERCE
UNITED STATES SENATE

1

SEVENTY-SEVENTH CONGRESS

FIRST SESSION

ON

S. J. Res. 67
A JOINT RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING THE PURCHASE OF
FOREIGN MERCHANT VESSELS FOR NATIONAL
DEFENSE, AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES

AND

H. R. 4466
AN ACT TO AUTHORIZE THE ACQUISITION BY THE
UNITED STATES OF TITLE TO OR THE USE OF DO-
MESTIC OR FOREIGN MERCHANT VESSELS FOR
URGENT NEEDS OF COMMERCE AND
NATIONAL DEFENSE, AND FOR

OTHER PURPOSES

MAY 1, 7, 8, AND 12, 1941

Printed for the use of the Committee on Commerce

UNITED STATES
GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE

WASHINGTON : 1941

516404

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
GEORGE L. RADCLIFFE, Maryland

HAROLD H. BURTON, Ohio
CLAUDE PEPPER, Florida
JOSH LEE, Oklahoma
LISTER HILL, Alabama
JAMES M. MEAD, New York
PRENTISS M. BROWN, Michigan
MON C. WALLGREN, Washington

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PURCHASE AND CHARTER OF FOREIGN MERCHANT

VESSELS FOR NATIONAL DEFENSE

THURSDAY, MAY 1, 1941

UNITED STATES SENATE,
COMMITTEE ON COMMERCE,

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.
The CHAIRMAN. The committee will be in order.

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

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