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From the very beginning of this bill it has been opposed by the shipowners because it interferes with their privileges and with their practices. They claim that the bill, if passed into law, will disturb ancient regulations and ancient usages, cause trouble, and the like. That has been the argument against all the seamen's legislation that has ever been passed in the last 50 years. As far as the State Department is concerned, they opposed the seaman's act. As far as the Immigration Act is concerned, the State Department opposed the Immigration Act. Why? Out of friendship for foreign nations. But the United States did not come into the comity of nations to agree to everything. Sovereignty was at the top and is at the top in Europe. Sovereignty is at the bottom, by the Constitution of the United States. We came into the nations for the purpose
of developing a new idea with reference to human affairs. So that might be remembered.
Just one word more, and that is this: This proposition of changing the bill and amending it has been before the departments for 10 years, and here they submit to this committee a bill now which nobody has ever had a chance to examine. What for? I leave you gentlemen to consider what for.
Senator COPELAND. Had you not seen the bill until this morning? Mr. FURUSETH. Never, never.
Senator COPELAND. Would not this be a good idea : Senator King has made a very intimate study of this matter for years; why do we not refer this new bill to Senator King, because I should prize what he determines about it after a study? It is very apparent that Mr. Furuseth is at present dissatisfied with it, as the daddy of all the seamen, so I do not see how we could take
action now. Senator King. I was going to make this suggestion: I would not be ready, with the very limited opportunity to study the bill which has been offered by the Department, to accept it or to reject it. I do not think that would be quite considerate of the Labor Department. It seems to me that the committee ought to take a recess until tomorrow, or in the immediate future, because I want this bill disposed of one way or the other this week, or at the earliest possible moment, to get it on the calendar. I was about to suggest that the committee take a recess and give Mr. Furuseth and the rest of us an opportunity to study this measure, confer with Mr. MacCormack and his assistant, Mr. Shaughnessy, and see if there is any opportunity to reconcile any differences and, if not, then to determine just exactly what course the committee will take.
Senator COPELAND. What you mean, Senator, is that after we have finished our business this morning
Senator KING. Yes.
Senator COPELAND. That then we would adjourn to some day this week?
Senator King. Certainly this week. I want to get this finished. Senator COPELAND. Day after tomorrow?
The CHAIRMAN. Whatever suits your convenience, if the Senators will set the time in conformity with your own committees.
Senator King. How would it do to come here, say, Saturday morning at 10 o'clock and just stay until we have this thing finished up, so that we can have it ready to report on Monday morning ?
Senator COPELAND. You are moving this matter be made a special order for Saturday morning!
Senator King. Saturday morning. We will then meet here and dispose of it.
Nr. MacCORMACK. May I say one word before you close on this matter?
Mr. FURUSETH. May I ask one question of you before you make your statement ?
Mr. MacCORMACK. All right; go ahead. Mr. FURUSETH. Why was not I permitted to see this bill, and why was I not called in? You and the Secretary both promised me I was going to be called in on your study of this thing. Why wasn't I?
Mr. MacCORMACK. That is precisely what I am going to speak about. Mr. Furuseth has mentioned once or twice the interest of shipowners in this bill, the opposition to his bill which has gone on for many years. I went over the bill myself shortly after I came here. An attorney representing the shipowners came to my office and made a complaint about certain features of the bill. I knew nothing about it at that time but told him I would look into it. I have not seen or discussed the bill with him or with anyone else since.
I have found out that these hearings were coming along, and that the attitude of the Department would be what it has been for years on the bill; that is, that they were opposed to certain features of it, and would announce before the committee they were opposed to these features, the general assumption being that objections would remain about as they had in the past, and the bill would die a natural death. I felt that the situation was not being taken care of by such negative action, and insisted that we find some solution. No solution was forthcoming. I found my own solution, and that is this matter of leaving commerce free, but putting stiff fines in the bill to assure that the steamship owners would have a real interest in seeing that our law was observed. Our men have been working over that for the last week or 10 days. I have gotten to it as occasion permitted. Yesterday afternoon Mr Shaughnessy came up to my house, and we gave the whole afternoon to whipping this thing into final shape, and we went down to the office last night and had the drafts made, which explains why it comes to the committee at this point.
Senator COPELAND. The point is, Mr. MacCormack, that you have had no desire to avoid discussing the matter with those interested?
Mr. MacCORMACK. Absolutely not. That, I think, ought to be brought out. No one outside of this committee and Mr. Carr knows of this bill at all.
Mr. CARR. I. may say, Senator, that I saw it only this morning here in the committee.
Senator COPELAND. Yes; we will have ample opportunity after the study made by Senator King at the hearing on Saturday to pass judgment on it.
Senator King. I have suggested to Senator Reed that in view of the fact that this new bill has just been brought to our attention by the Department of Labor, that even if we shall conclude that it lacks merit, we certainly owe it to a proper regard for the departments of the Government, especially the Department of Labor, that we give ourselves a chance to examine that proposal, and give Mr. Furuseth an opportunity to confer with them; and I suggest we meet Saturday morning and make this a special order.
(Discussion off the record.) The CHAIRMAN. Mr. Hushing, do you want to make any statement about this bill?
Mr. HUSHING (representing the American Federation of Labor). I wish to say that I hope definite action will be taken on the bill on Saturday.
(Further discussion off the record.) The CHAIRMAN. We will recess until next Saturday at 10 o'clock. (The committee then adjourned until Saturday, Apr. 14, 1934.)
(No quorum being present Saturday, Apr. 14, 1934, meeting was postponed until Tuesday, Apr. 17, 1934.)
DEPORTATION OF CERTAIN ALIEN SEAMEN
TUESDAY, APRIL 17, 1934
UNITED STATES SENATE,
Washington, D.C. The committee met, pursuant to call, at 10 a.m., in the committee room in the Senate Office Building, Senator Marcus A. Coolidge, presiding.
Present: Senators Coolidge (chairman), King, Stephens, and Reed.
Present also: Wilbur J. Carr, Assistant Secretary of State; Edward J. Shaughnessy, Deputy Commissioner of Immigration and Naturalization; and L. P. Winings, Legal Division, Bureau of Immigration and Naturalization.
The CHAIRMAN. The meeting will come to order. We have a quorum present, according to the rules of this committee; and we have heard some testimony at a previous meeting. However, anyone who is here today will be heard further, if they would like to be. And perhaps we might call, if that is satisfactory to Senator King, Mr. Petersen, representing the Pacific-American Steamship Owners' Association.
STATEMENT OF WALTER J. PETERSEN, REPRESENTING PACIFIC
AMERICAN STEAMSHIP OWNERS' ASSOCIATION
Senator King. I would like to ask Mr. Petersen one question. Mr. Petersen, you have testified a number of times in regard to this particular bill; that is, it is textually the same as the bills offered in preceding Congresses?
Mr. PETERSEN. Yes, sir.
you will pardon me if I do not remember distinctly—that each time you have testified it has been a repetition of what you had said upon former occasions. Mr. PETERSEN. Yes.
Senator King. And if it is the same testimony, it seems to me that the committee is not very much concerned about it.
Mr. PETERSEN. Well, of course, whatever the committee rules, that is a matter that I have nothing to say about. But, I think, Senator, when you take into consideration the large number of shipping people that are interested in this bill, and how vital it is to them to have the Senate itself, and particularly this Senate committee, properly informed about this bill, it seems to me that on the part of the industry we should be given an opportunity to be heard, even if we have to repeat ourselves, so that the committee itself might know our attitude about it. If you will remember
Senator King. All right; I suggest that we let him proceed, Mr. Chairman.
The CHAIRMAN. Very well, you may proceed.
Mr. PETERSEN. There have been no printed hearings in the House committee at all for a long time; and the Members of the House are not informed on this bill, if I may say so. So that I think that it is only the part of fairness and of wisdom that we be permitted to express our views, even at the expense of, possibly, some repetition.
The CHAIRMAN. At the suggestion of Senator King, I think it might be particularly interesting if you would take up some particular section of the bill (H.R. 3842; S. 868) in which you are interested.
Senator King. How much time do you think it will take you to present your views?
Mr. PETERSEN. It will not take very long.
Senator KING. I suggest, if there is no objection, that he be allowed to proceed for half an hour.
Mr. PETERSEN. As to the suggestion that we say what particular sections of the bill we are opposed to, I will say that we are opposed to the entire bill, with the exception of the sections relating to the Public Health Service; those are the only sections we are not opposing. Of course, we have no opinion in relation to the sections which relate to the Public Health Service. It might be well to say at the outset, gentlemen, that the shipowners are not alone in their opposition to this bill. If they were, perhaps we might be in a position of being biased in our conclusions. But when you take into consideration that the State Department has opposed the bill, the Labor Department has opposed the bill, the United States Shipping Board has opposed the bill; and that every foreign embassy in this country representing a country which operates ships has opposed the bill, it would seem that there was some force in the opposition. And Mr. Bland, Chairman of the House Committee on Merchant Marine, Radio, and Fisheries, a man who is splendidly informed on our merchant marine, was emphatically opposed to the bill, and so stated on the floor of the House. Now, with all these Government agencies in accord with the private shipowners all over the United States, both foreign and domestic, in opposition to this bill, and continuously and consistently in opposition to this bill, it seems that the shipowners of the country are very well backed up by natonal authority in opposition.
Now, taking the bill very briefly, section 2 of the bill—and I am reading from the King bill (S. 868)—reads as follows:
SEC. 2. Every alien employed on board of any vessel arriving in the United States from any place outside thereof shall be examined in quarantine by an immigration inspector to determine whether or not he (1) is a bona fide seaman, and (2) is an alien of the class described in section 7 of this act; and by a surgeon of the United States Public Health Service. and so on.