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the vessels because they felt that they were not bona fide seamen. On one vessel they held five. Just to visualize the thing, at New York, the biggest port, the freight vessels, that do not carry passengers, are boarded at quarantine.
Senator King. Before they get to the shore?
Mr. SHAUGHNESSY. Before they get to the shore. The inspector does the work and goes off. We have a force of three men that do nothing but inspect seamen on freight vessels. The passenger vessels are boarded at quarantine. The passengers are inspected first, and after that the crew is mustered, and every man is accounted for, and every man individually investigated. Otherwise they could not have kept close to 10,000 seamen aboard the ships last year as mala fide seamen or because not on visaed crew lists.
Mr. MacCORMACK. I think we must remember that it is not only the mala fide seamen that jump ships, it is bona fide seamen.
Senator KING. Yes.
Mr. MacCORMACK. In some of the cases I have been working up to present to Congress in connection with our legislation, there is one case where a woman traveling on one of these vessels fell in love with an officer, and she dashed on to the next port and got him to jump his ship and come ashore. He came ashore there.
We found hundreds of cases like that. Therefore, our bill is intended to take care not only of the mala fide but the bona fide seamen who jump ship, and to make his vessel responsible for him, so that they will be very careful about the crews that they sign on.
Senator NYE. Just what check is there that lets your inspectors know who on an outgoing ship were among those who were on that ship when it came into port.
Mr. SHAUGHNESSY. As we have so often testified before these committees, these figures necessarily are not accurate for the reason that because of lack of force we do not check departures except on vessels where we have ordered these mala fide seamen detained aboard. Those ships are checked at the last minute to determine that these men ordered detained are actually aboard when the ship sails. We also check those ships on which we have deportees going out. Other than that we do not check departures. But under the law the master is required, with a penalty of $10 for each name he does not submit, to furnish what we call a form 689, giving all changes of alien members of the crew. In other words, any alien members that come in but do not go out are on this list, and all those who are signed on that did not come in are on there, too. That is largely taking the master's word for it, because, as I say, of lack of force, but it can not make a tremendous difference.
Senator Nye. Is there much abuse by the masters of that privilege?
Mr. SHAUGHNESSY. The masters always file their forms, because there is a penalty if they do not.
Senator COPELAND. I would like to know what Mr. Furuseth thinks about that.
Senator King. I would like to hear the State Department first. Have you any objection, Senator?
Senator COPELAND. Not at all.
STATEMENT OF HON. WILBUR J. CARR, ASSISTANT SECRETARY,
DEPARTMENT OF STATE
Mr. Carr. It seems to me that this proposed bill of Colonel MacCormack's eliminates the principal objections we had to Senator King's bill. The new section 3 (b) has several .very desirable things. In the first place, it puts all bona fide seamen ineligible to admission to the Ünited States as immigrants on substantially the same basis, whereas the other bill discriminated in favor of the Japanese and Chinese seamen, and against the seamen from the colonies of the Netherlands, Great Britain, and so forth, which we thought was bad.
Senator King. That is to say, a bona fide seaman on a Japanese boat, and who was a Japanese, could come in?
Mr. CARR. Under your bill he could come into the county, or could be landed.
Senator KING. But a bona fide Hindu could not be?
Mr. CARR. A bona fide Hindu could not be. Any bona fide Dutch or East Indian on a British or Dutch boat could not be brought into the port. The Department has felt all along that that was a very objectionable feature of the bill. This substitute bill puts . them all on the same basis.
As drawn up, it seems to me adequately to protect the country.
STATEMENT OF ANDREW FURUSETH, PRESIDENT INTERNATIONAL
SEAMEN'S UNION OF AMERICA
The CHAIRMAN. Mr. Furuseth, you have been very much interested in the seaman's bill. Would you like to ask either Mr. MacCormack or Mr. Carr any questions?
Mr. FURUSETH. I have been following the explanation of the two departments with such care as I am able to bestow, and it is my deliberate judgment, based upon investigations here in the United States for the last 15 years and upon investigations in Europe, where I was three times in dealing with this question before the consulates, and I have come to the conclusion, in listening here, that the bill proposed by the departments is nothing at all except what the shipowners really would want. It is nothing that would prevent them from continuing the conditions that have been carried on all these years. There is one thing new here, and that is, the most astonishing thing has come in from the two departments; they put the bona fide seaman in a position in which he is held on board the ship, unable to escape the investigation that would find who is a bona fide or who is a mala fide seaman-something that no nation ever does in time of peace, something that is a cruelty that ought not to even be considered. You know men and you know the conditions. To hold a man on board a ship makes the ship a prison. The United States Court of Appeals in New York said in a case of that description that the vessel was not a prison, and could not be made a prison.
The bill itself as proposed here does not apply the exclusion law to the seamen. It does not stop the influx of Chinese. It does not
stop the influx of men who cannot get on the quota from Europe, or who cannot get a visa. They will come notwithstanding this proposed legislation, and having come into the ports of the United States with the ship, are then within the jurisdiction of the United States, and the thirteenth amendment to the Constitution applies to them. That was tested out shortly after the passage of the seaman's act. They tried to hold men on board a ship, and the court said no. There has never been a break in that kind of position. Of course, if a Chinaman comes here in a foreign ship and pays $1,100 to be landed here, he is not going to tell you or the imigration officers what he is or what he is going to do. He is going to say, “ I am going to stay by the vessel.” That is all the investigation that they indulge in.
The power was given to the Department in 1924 by the insertion of the word “bona fide” to make rules under which they would hold them and deal with them, to distinguish the bona fide from the mala fide men. They did not do it. They have never done it. They do not want to do it. That bill deliberately seeks to avoid any such label being put upon them now.
The bill that they propose, which is given to this committee at the last minute, is simply a paraphrase of something that they gave Senator Copeland during the last Congress. It shows plainly what they wanted. These big companies come here with a big passenger list, 100 percent filled. They must have the full crew.
Then they go out with a 15 or 20 percent passenger list, and they dismiss 50 percent of them, at least. So they wanted it changed around so that they could send them out in a year instead of at once.
That would apply to the big passenger list. How could you control it? You could not control that. On the smaller vessels, the tramps, freight vessels, they come here once and they may not come here for 10 years again. What are you going to do about them? Nothing
Senator King. Mr. Furuseth, Chinese may come now on Chinese ships, and Japanese may come on Japanese ships, so that persons who are racially ineligible to citizenship may come in under my bill.
Mr. FURUSETH. Yes; that is right.
Senator King. The only difference that I see—of course, I am speaking without sufficient information, because I just followed Mr. MacCormack-the only important difference between the bill submitted and the bill before us, as I see it, is that under the bill which I offer, to come back to that concrete case, Great Britain could not bring to our shores a bona fide seaman who was an East Indian, but under the bill which has been offered now, that could be done but it would have to be a bona fide seaman. If he were not he would be excluded.
Mr. FURUSETH. On the question of treaties, Secretary Hughes disposed of that question. On the question of comity, he made suggestions which were included in the bill, and it was disposed of. Mr. Kellogg, when he came in, was asked the question, and he did not disturb the position taken by Secretary Hughes. But somebody in the State Department listened to what the shipowners had to say.
Mr. Carr. I think I must deny that. I think I must say to the committee, if the chairman will permit me to do it
Mr. FURUSETH. I do not think they did it dishonestly or anything of the kind. I said that they naturally would listen to a representa
tive, a distinguished representative of a foreign shipowners' company, such as the Cunarders, or the White Stars, or any other big shipping company. They would naturally send their attorney, who would not say anything that would sound harsh.
Mr. CARR. Let me interrupt for just one moment. The officials of the State Department in the consideration of this matter listened to you, to the shipowners, to the Department of Labor, and to any other interested person, with the sincere desire to get at the facts and reach a sensible judgment on what ought to be done. The Secretary of State is just as much interested as you are in the protection of the wage earner in this country, in the protection of the seaman, and in preventing illegal admission of aliens into this country. It is merely a question, in the State Department's opinion, of how this can be done without bringing upon us retaliation of other nations, and without provoking irritation in the relations between this country and other countries.
We are for keeping out of this country every alien who ought not to be here. We are for preventing any alien landing in the country, if he is not admissible to the country and should not stay here. But we feel there must be a way to accomplish all that without unnecessarily irritating other nations and bringing, perhaps, upon our own merchant marine retaliatory legislation.
The CHAIRMAN. This meeting is a semi-executive meeting. We asked Mr. Furuseth and other men to come in here this morning in order to get at all the facts and have them feel that they are represented, representing organizations in which they are interested. I would like to ask if there is anyone else outside of the members of the committee and the State and Labor Departments who would like to be heard.
Senator King. I would like Mr. Furuseth to be permitted to finish all he has to say.
The CHAIRMAN. Oh, yes. Now?
Mr. FURUSETH. The representative of the American Federation of Labor is here. He might say a few words, if permitted.
But let me get back to this proposition as to who is going to be hurt here. What is the trouble with this bill? It is a bill, this Dies-King bill, which if properly amended so as to apply to foreign ships, as has been suggested, will hurt no shipowner who respects and is willing to obey our laws. It will not hurt the United States because it will save the United States all the expense of arresting, detaining, trying, and deporting. That will be put on the ship that offends.
Speaking about the shipowners as being reliable, they can be relied on to do this and that and the other thing. You can cooperate with them, so the Department says. Yes? On their terms, sure. They are not responsible, in the Department's idea, for what has taken place. Eleven hundred dollars from China, and up to $400 from Europe-millions of dollars collected by somebody. If the shipowners do not get their share of it in some way it is the only thing laying around loose that they do not get a share of.
It is not very long ago since a French ship landed in Hampton Roads and put ashore six men. Six men got ashore. On the way from Hampton Roads, coming this way, they were arrested, and they were examined, and they were found to have come from this ship. There was a trial in which the mate spoke the truth. A jury was responsible for the captain, the mate, and the engineer being sent to prison. The captain after a while was released.
Senator COPELAND. You mean the captain of the French ship was sent to prison?
Mr. FURUSETH. Yes.
Mr. FURUSETH. Yes. He was pardoned out and went back to France and got a ship from the same company. The mate, who had spoken the truth, went back to France, too, but he has not been to sea since. He could not get a ship any more.
That would indicate somewhat the disposition that the shipowners have in the matter.
With reference to the number of deserters in the last 4 years, of course, in the last 4 years there has been no inducement for the actual seamen to desert. The real seaman, the bona fide seaman, knows what the conditions are; if he leaves at all, he leaves to go into the bread line, or to hunt the soup houses, and be pulled out of there because he is not a resident. They know it and they stay with the ships. The men who come here now, in the last few years, from Europe, they are the men who are paying the money, two to four and five hundred dollars. They want to come in here and they pay the money.
As far as putting bonds on the vessel is concerned, they put up the bonds to hold the men on board the ship. Of course, that is part of our shipowners' general policy. He wants that opportunity to keep the men on board the ship, absolutely, as prisoners, if he can, but he wants an opportunity to let them go if he wants to, too. That is the shipowners' aspect of it.
Now, take the national aspect of it. The United States wants seamen of its own. They want to get a navy for the sea.
Yet we are afraid to take the necessary steps to do that, because of retaliation. Retaliation in what? What do they do with an American seaman in England today? They go on board the vessel, and they get man after man, and they say, “ You cannot go ashore, you cannot go ashore, you cannot go ashore, you can go ashore.” They select the men that they will give permission to land, and then if any of them are sick and are sent to a hospital, the alien officers have a report from the hospital every day or every other day, and when the convalescent seaman gets out of the hospital he must report to the alien officer every other day. That is England. England can do that because in England freedom was always a question of grace. The United States cannot do it, because here freedom is a fundamental privilege.
This argument that the men are kept on board the ships after examination, well, I don't dispute that. They have no right to keep them. If it comes to a question of habeas corpus, they could not keep them. I want to say to the two departments and the gentlemen here that if the seamen were not as beastly poor as they are now, we would get lawyers, and we would deal with that question, and we would show up the whole story. There is not a trace of real fact behind that argument. There is not a decision that will sustain it as it stands now.