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We come at once to the question as to the interpretation as to what is a bona fide seaman. We are unable to determine from this bill, or from any legislation, what is a bona fide seaman. It would appear from the terms of this bill that, not alone is the national status of a seaman called into questionbecause, as a matter of fact, this is an immigration bill, and it is the province of the immigration authorities to examine a seaman and determine as to his national status.

But this bill goes further than that. In an effort to determine whether he is a bona fide seaman or not, it goes into his occupational status. In other words, the immigration inspector must determine not only the immigration qualifications and the national qualifications of the seaman, but it is permitted to examine the occupational status of what is called the bona fide seaman. Remember this, gentlemen, that every seaman on board a ship-every man employed on board a ship is a seaman under the law, no matter whether he is chief mate of the vessel, or is the last man working in the scullery department; he is a seaman, no matter how he is employed.

Now, if every immigration inspector is going to be given authority to determine the occupational status of a seaman, every such immigration inspector would be required to know what a sailor should do on board of a ship, or an oiler, or a wiper should do, or an engineer, or a person employed in the steward's department.

And I want to impress upon you, gentlemen, that the Immigration Department was never intended to have the duty imposed upon it to determine the occupation of a seaman; as under the law every person who signs the articles of the ship is a seaman under the law. And if the necessity of performing this duty is devolved upon the inspectors of the Immigration Department, you would have to have more immigration inspectors than you have at the present time. You would have to increase your force greatly, merely in order to go into the mechanics of this investigation of a seaman. And I contend that immigration inspectors are not qualified to determine the occupational status of a seaman on board of a ship. And I understand that the Department of State, in considering this matter, has come to the conclusion that if this bill were enacted into law, it would mean a vast increase in the number of inspectors required, and, of course, a large increase in the cost to the Government of the United States to carry it out.

Now, section 3 of the bill provides that,

Unless such alien was shipped in a port in continental United States, then if it is found that such alien is not a bona-fide seaman, he shall be regarded as an immigrant and immediately be ordered removed from the vessel to an immigration station ; and the various provisions of this act and of the immigration laws applicable to immigrants shall be enforced in his case.

What does this do? It takes the seaman out of the nonimmigration classes and puts him into the immigrant class and gives him all the rights and privileges of an immigrant. It is impossible to do that under existing statutes, because under the law the seaman is not an immigrant. He is not required to have a visa; and he is not permitted to take an appeal to the Department of Labor. He is simply a seaman on board of a vessel, nonimmigrant in character; and he can be held on board there pending any investigation to determine his national status. If this bill were enacted into law immigration

inspectors would not alone determine his national status but also determine his occupational status.

Now, you can see what the effect of that would be. To make a seaman an immigrant would give him all the rights and privileges, and all the delays of an immigrant, and he would be entitled to go before a board of inquiry to determine his status in that case--and the effect would be to greatly enlarge the duties of the Department of Labor to consider the right of every individual seaman, if you declare him to be an immigrant. He is not so declared under the existing statute.

Now, going along to section 4 of the bill (H.R. 3842 and S. 868), that section provides:

If it is found that such alien is subject to exclusion under section 7 of this act, the inspector shall give immediate order to the master to remove such alien, together with his effects and wages, if any, to an immigration station, and such alien shall then be deported in accordance with the provisions of section 7.

You gentlemen are very well informed as to the fact that, in many ports of entry of the United States there are no immigration stations. At many places where the vessel enters there is no immigration station. Where are you going to detain these men where there is no immigration station? Under existing statutes, if the seaman is taken off a vessel where there is no immigration station, that man is confined in the city prison or the common jail—which, of course, is in violation of law, and which makes the police department of a municipality, over and over again, liable to a suit for false imprisonment or false arrest; and they are sent there because there is no place where these men can be confined—because there is no immigration station at that place. That shows how impracticable and impossible this law would be—to put a seaman in jail; and yet cases have arisen over and over again where they have put the men in jail, in violation of the immigration act. And yet this seaman would be required to be put in jail if there was no immigration staton at the port the man was taken off the vessel.

Of course, secton 5 of the bill is a section relating to the Public Health Service, with which we are not concerned; and all the statutes in relation to the Public Health Service, I think, are very fine; so that we have no objection to section 5.

Section 6 provides that,

All vessels entering ports of the United States manned with craws the majority of which, exclusive of licensed officers, have been engaged and taken on at foreign ports, shall, when departing from the United States port, carry a crew of at least equal number, and any such vessel which fails to comply with this requirement shall be refused clearance.

Now, this bill is intended to do what? To prevent aliens, bona fide or mala fide aliens, coming into the United States. Now, this would not require them to take out the aliens. It would not help the immigration situation. So far as the taking out of an equal number of alien seamen if it were enacted into law, is concerned, under that law you would have just as many aliens in the United States as you have now. Because it does not require them to take out aliens. You could take out any seamen you see fit under this section. It is often impossible to determine, in the busy season, and in the slack season, how many men are required to operate a vessel. And in the slack season if a ship takes a lower number of seamen on board,

it is common economic sense not to take any more than they need. But under this section, they would be required during the slack season to take as many as they brought in, regardless of whether they need them or not.

Section 7 is the great bone of contention. It provides that,

No vessel shall, unless such vessel is in distress, be granted entry into a port of the United States if such a vessel has as a member of her crew any alien who if he were employed for admission to the United States was an immigrant, and would be subject to exclusion under subdivision (c) of section 13 of the Immigration Act of 1924.

Senator King (interposing). You use the word “employed ” as to the alien. You meant “ applying ”, did you not?

Mr. PETERSEN. Well, if he was employed as a member of the crew.

Senator King. Yes; but you said employed " instead of "apply. ing", in reading section 7 of the bill.

Mr. PETERSEN. Well, in this particular case it may be “applying";

it says:

No vessel shall, unless such vessel is in distress, be granted into a port of the United States if such vessel has as a member of her crew any alien who, if he were applying for admission to the United States as an immigrant would be subject to exclusion, and so on.

Of course, if he was not a member of the crew, he would not be employed, and vice versa, I think.

So what would we do with this proposition? If a vessel is in distress, the vessel may come in with those aliens on board who are eligible to be citizens of the United States. But if a vessel is not in distress, that vessel cannot come into the United States with aliens on board, except for certain nationals, like the Japanese; a Japanese ship could come in with an all-Japanese crew on board; she could be loaded down with them. But you take the case of an English ship, and if she had only one Japanese on board she could not come into the United States, and if an American ship had one Japanese or one Chinese on board she could not come in. And yet you would permit, under this section, a Japanese ship, or a Chinese ship, to come in loaded down with her own aliens; and you would give those men a status so that they could become a part of the population of the United States. Is there any sense in that provision, by which you say that a Japanese or a Chinese ship could come in with such aliens, and yet that if a British ship had one Lascar sailor on board, they could not come in, and that a vessel of Holland coming in with some of her own nationals who are not eligible could not come in unless she was in distress. Do you not see what an unfair disadvantage you place your American ships under by such a provision permitting a thing like that to be done, particularly in the Pacific trade.

So it seems to me that, whatever this bill tries to do, it does not relieve the situation, insofar as keeping out mala fide alien seamen is concerned.

Now, there is a great deal of talk about the Chinese situation. I want to read you from a report of the Commissioner of Immigration on that question. In relation to the Chinese situation, there is a statement of the Immigration Bureau that its inspectors boarded 24,000 vessels during the year 1933, and only 30 Chinese seamen had deserted. Out of 24,000 vessels examined, only 30 Chinamen

deserted all over the United States. Is that an important matter for us to take into consideration-30 Chinamen out of all of those ? The year before that 70 deserted.

So that this insignificant matter is not worthy of consideration by your committee, or of investigation, in my judgment. It

may be said that carelessness existed on the part of the masters of these vessels and that more Chinamen deserted than the figures show. However, when it is remembered that inspectors in the Immigration Service board every foreign ship in quarantine, and that every alien on these ships must be examined, and that our law forbids landing, and that the shipowners are fined $1,000 for every one that escapes, and that there is an obligation on the part of the service to see that every Chinaman that comes in goes out, I think those figures can be accepted as fairly accurate.

Senator King. Is that 13 or 30 ?
Mr. PETERSEN. Only 30 in the whole of the United States deserted.
Senator King. May I ask you a question there?

Senator KING. Does the information which you have obtained from the Labor Department, or from any other source, indicate whether those 30 who deserted deserted from Chinese ships, or from ships of other countries?

Nr. PETERSEN. It does not. It says that 30 is the sum total; of every ship boarded-out of 24,000 ships boarded-only 30 Chinese deserted.

Senator King. You do not know whether they deserted from Chinese ships, or from American ships, or English ships, or from Dutch ships?

Mr. PETERSEN. No; it does not show the nationality of the ships from which they deserted.

Now, how does it happen that the Immigration Department has been enabled to meet these conditions and have a steady reduction in the desertions from the ships of the United States and foreign vessels during the past 14 or 15 years? When the 1924 act was passed, it provided, among other things, a section known as section 20 of the act of 1924. That section provides that an immigration inspector may go on board a ship and examine the crew, as well as the passengers, and any alien seaman on board that ship-anyone that the immigration inspector has any suspicion of whatever-may be detained on board, by written notice, and if he escapes there is a fine of $1,000 for every escape.

Now, that section 20 is the one arm that the Immigration Department has to prevent so-called "mala fide” alien seamen from coming into the United States. This bill would repeal that. They would no longer have section 20 available.

Now, what would happen in that case! Without your section 20 orders, every alien seaman arriving in the United States under our present laws, would be permitted to go on shore and to remain on shore for a period of 60 days, even though the ship had gone. There would be no barrier set up by the authority of the United States in the Immigration Department to stop these alien seamen from leaving the ship. There is nothing in our laws that would require them to keep the alien seaman on board after he had made his round

trip; and if he is signed in a foreign ship, he could not be prevented from going ashore and remaining there. And section 20 of the immigration laws is the only thing that the Immigration Department has to prevent these mala fide alien seamen from coming into the United States. And I think the authorities of the Labor Department will tell you that is true; and that without it they would be ineffective in their efforts to keep these alien seamen out.

Now, gentlemen, I do not want to detain this committee any longer than to say this: It would seem from the foregoing that there is little need of such legislation, in the first place; that the intent of the proponents of the bill, no matter how laudable their purpose may be— by this bill that would be effective in any sense of the word, that would stop mala fide seamen from coming into the United States; but, on the other hand, if you pass this bill, you open the door a great deal wider than it is open at the present time; because, as I said before, you take away the only effective means of preventing alien seamen from coming into the United States; and that is section 20 of the Immigration Act of 1924.

I think that is all I have to say about this, Mr. Chairman.
The CHAIRMAN. Thank you, Mr. Petersen.
We will now hear Mr. Ewers.



Mr. Ewers. Mr. Chairman and gentlemen, I represent the American Steamship Owners' Association.

The CHAIRMAN. How long do you think your statement will take?

Mr. EWERS. I do not think I will take any longer than Captain Petersen, and I will try not to cover the same ground.

Senator KING. What steamship companies are members of the association you represent?

Mr. EWERS. About 80 percent of all American-owned vessels in the foreign and coastwise trade.

The CHAIRMAN. In foreign and coastwise trade?
Mr. EWERS. Yes.
Senator King. Eighty percent of American vessels?

Mr. EWERS. About 80 percent of American tonnage, of all tonnage under the American flag. Some of the members of our association are also members of Captain Petersen's association, the Pacific-American Steamship Owners' Association.

Senator King. In your association are there any foreign ships? Mr. Ewers. No; in our association there are no foreign ships.

Senator King. How many vessels are there in your association; and how many of them are ocean or trans-Atlantic vessels and how many are coastwise?

Mr. EWERS. We have the total here for May 25, 1932. I have not had them checked since then. We had a total of 51 companies operating 719 vessels, with a tonnage of more than 4,000,000. I have not broken down the employment of the tonnage, except by companies; but I have a little statement here showing that, if you care to insert it in the record.

Senator KING. What I wanted to get at was, how many of those vessels were coastwise and how many were ocean vessels?

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