« PreviousContinue »
adopted, and it has not been revised or adjusted to meet the changes in the immigration laws.
On the full-crew provision, it is unnecessary, perhaps, to repeat what Mr. Ewers has said, that it does not provide for the taking out of alien seamen; so that the presumption is you are likely to take back American seamen, which means that you might take an alien or you might take an American; but that will not enable you to keep the status quo, insofar as the number of alien seamen illegally in the United States is concerned. Now, what is the practical situation under this full-crew provision? We get our clearance papers about 24 hours before the sailing of the vessel. You have sailed abroad. You know the confusion on the dock just before the steamer sails. You know stewards are running up and down bringing the passengers' baggage on board. What is to prevent a steward from deserting half an hour before the ship sails? Does the master of the ship know that he has not deserted just before the ship sails? The assumption then is, in order to enforce the bill as drafted, that the ship will go out to the middle of the river, or to quarantine, and will be followed by the revenue cutter, and Mr. Shaughnessy's inspectors will then go on board the ship and count all members of the crew; and if any seaman is missing or has deserted without the knowledge of the master-I suppose you would withdraw the ship's clearance papers; I do not know what else you could do about it.
There is no positive way of determining whether every member of the crew is on board that ship at the moment that ship casts off from its dock.
The members of the crew may come on board at the last moment. Now, there are stand-bys; and for essential members of the crew_I mean the real seamen—the particular officers in charge of the various groups would probably know whether certain members were missing or not, and they would employ the stand-bys to replace anyone who might have deserted at the last moment. But you certainly cannot operate similarly when you think of the passenger liner, with, perhaps, half of the crew consisting of stewards and service men who are not seamen in the true sense of the word.
As to the provisions of section 7, I think Mr. Carr, of the State Department, has previously told you of the serious international difficulties that are likely to be caused. The scope of the section 7, as you now have it, is so broad and arbitrary and so discriminatory against certain European countries that the mere mention of it should be sufficient to show its irritating effect. You say that a Japanese ship may bring in Japanese members of the crew; and under the law they can be given shore leave.
Now, why a British ship, which has a British Empire relationship with India, for example—why a British ship may not bring in a Lascar is beyond me; why a Dutch ship may not bring in a seaman from the Dutch East Indies is beyond the Dutch ship owners.
You might expect, in retaliation for such a provision, that a foreign country may very well provide that certain types of Americans—because of color, race, creed, or whatever it may be—shall not be allowed to enter its ports on board a vessel flying the American flag. The absurd lengths to which such a policy is likely to lead us are so obvious that the bill as drafted is one that cannot in good conscience be adopted.
The CHAIRMAN. I would like to ask you what was the peak business year of the shipping business, that is, the trans-Atlantic business? Was it the year 1929 ?
Mr. MAYPER. The year 1929? Yes, sir; I believe so.
The CHAIRMAN. Now, how much business was there, for instance, the first part of this year, as compared with the peak business, in trans-Atlantic travel, in 1929 ? Was it 75 percent?
Mr. MAYPER. It has dropped so tremendously, Mr. Chairman, that all lines are now "in the red." Probably the passenger carryings have dropped about 50 percent. I can give you the exact figures later, Mr. Chairman, if you desire them.
The CHAIRMAN. What I was getting at, in regard to this “ King bill ", so called, is this: When we strike a peak world business again—which we will strike soon, when there will be plenty of jobs here for everybody, and these aliens want to go off these ships and stay here, what are our laws now in regard to sending those aliens that come in here from ships and want to stay here and get a job?
Mr. SHAUGHNESSY. Well, Mr. Chairman, unless we hold them aboard the ship as mala fide seamen, or, rather, as not being bona fide seamen, they are entitled to this shore leave of 60 days; and you might say we are at their mercy; because, while we can deport them if we get them, we cannot get them, except, perhaps, incidentally or accidentally.
The CHAIRMAN. All right. Now, I suppose, Mr. Mayper, that every man is looking out for his own business; everyone will do that. Now, I am wondering if you three men representing shipping interests—you must be pretty much in accord; and would it not be well for you to draw up a very short memorandum of the things that you feel ought to be incorporated in the bill that we are talking about here, the King bill. And you should not ask for anything in that bill, or attempt to ask for anything here, that you know would not be thoroughly satisfactory, possibly, to the committee, or the immigration authorities, or the Secretary of Labor.
Mr. MAYPER. With your permission, Mr. Chairman, for myself, and I presume also that Captain Petersen and Mr. Ewers will join me, I would like to take the Department of Labor bill as the basis for that; because the King bill is impossible; I mean that you cannot amend it; you have got to substitute something else for it. If, however, you take the Department of Labor draft, I think that, with the revision of the full crew provisions, something might be brought out that we could all work with you on, to carry out the alleged purposes of the King bill.
Mr. PETERSEN. May I say, Mr. Chairman, that our peak year was 1929, and out of our offices in San Francisco we shipped that year over 27,000 seamen; and at the bottom of the depression, in 1932, we had gone down to 8.200. So that you can get some idea of the number of seamen who are ashore in the United States at the present time. I have prepared a statement on that, and I will be glad to submit it to you if you desire.
And so far as the Department of Labor bill is concerned, we believe that that bill can be made the vehicle to carry out the ideas of the committee, and we should be glad to cooperate by making any such suggestions with regard to it as might meet the ideas of the Department of Labor and the committee also.
Senator King. I might say on that subject that, speaking for myself, I prefer the bill as it passed the House; but that is a matter for the determination of the committee, after the hearings are over.
We cannot conclude at this time, Mr. Chairman, because I want Mr. Furuseth to have full opportunity to present his views, and to add, if he cares to do so, to the suggestions which have been made here today. And I see representatives of the State Department here, and representatives of the Labor Department; and I suppose, in fairness, they ought to be permitted to express such views as they desire.
I regret the delay. I was very anxious to have this hearing closed,
so that we could take a vote on this bill and decide what we are going to do. But the Senate meets at 12 o'clock, and it is nearly 12 o'clock now. I suggest that we take a recess, Mr. Chairman, until 10 o'clock tomorrow morning:
The CHAIRMAN. Very well; we will adjourn until tomorrow morning.
(Thereupon, at 11:45 a.m., the committee adjourned until Wednesday, Apr. 18, 1934, at 10 a.m.)
DEPORTATION OF CERTAIN ALIEN SEAMEN
WEDNESDAY, APRIL 18, 1934
UNITED STATES SENATE,
Washington, D.C. The committee met, pursuant to adjournment, at 10 a.m., Senator Marcus A. Coolidge (chairman) presiding.
The CHAIRMAN. Let us come to order. You may proceed, Mr. Shaughnessy. STATEMENT OF E. J. SHAUGHNESSY, DEPUTY COMMISSIONER OF
IMMIGRATION AND NATURALIZATION, DEPARTMENT OF LABOR
Mr. SHAUGHNESSY. I do not have very much to say for our Department, gentlemen. We have on file the letter of the Commissioner, which he addressed to Senator King, and a copy of which the Chair has, setting forth our objection. As I see it, the bill before us, your bill, may be treated as follows: There are only three objections left.
Section 7 is the first section to which we object, which the State Department handles, and in whose objections we concur; section 3 of the bill, which requires us to take off those seamen, mala fide seamen, off of ships and send them back on vessels of other lines. I might just read a little brief, hasty comment which I wrote the other day for my own reference purposes.
Section 3 provides in substance that if an immigrant inspector finds that an alien is not a bona fide seamen he shall be regarded as
mmigrant (although such seaman had no intention of his own to apply for admission to the United States) ; he shall then be removed from the vessel to an immigration station. He then goes through the same procedure as an applicant for admission, being given a hearing by a board of special inquiry, and being allowed an appeal to the Department.
If found inadmissible, he shall be deported as a passenger on a vessel other than that which brought him. A number of objections to this section have arisen. For instance, it requires a seaman who has been found to be not a bona fide seaman to be considered as an immigrant and given the privilege of hearing by board of special inquiry and appeal to the Department, when it is a foregone conclusion that the alien can have no hope of being admitted as an immigrant, for the reason in practically no instance will such a man have an immigration visa.
There are only a few detention stations in the entire United States. At all other places where aliens are considered not to be bona fide seamen, they will be taken off the vessel and lodged in jail until their cases have been considered by the Department. An absurd situation would result where the immigrant inspector would consider the alien not to be a bona fide seaman, but the board of special inquiry or the Department would disagree with the inspector and hold that he was a bona fide seaman. In the meantime, this man, an innocent victim of such a law, would have lost his ship, which would have sailed in practically every instance where an appeal is forwarded to Washington, would have been detained in jai], and would then find himself at large in a strange country, without a job, and where he had no desire to be. Following the thing through to its logical conclusion, the man then, if he could not get a ship within 60 days, would be technically subject to deportation.
That is the principal objection to the procedure defined in section 3. In section 2 of the bill we object to the examination of seamen in quarantine. In that particular respect I wish you would listen for about 2 minutes to Mr. Montgomery, who is here, and who is inspector in charge of our Boarding Division in New York, our biggest station, who has been active in boarding ships for some 20 years, and handling this work. I would like to have him tell the committee, in just a few words, the confusion that would arise from requiring the examination of seamen in quarantine as distinguished from the way we do it now.
If the committee please, Mr. Montgomery would like to say a word.
STATEMENT OF JOHN R. MONTGOMERY, INSPECTOR IN CHARGE
OF THE BOARDING DIVISION AT NEW YORK, DEPARTMENT OF LABOR
Senator King. Give your name and address to the reporter.
Mr. MONTGOMERY. John R. Montgomery, Ellis Island, New York Harbor.
The arrival of a ship in quarantine and the passing of the passengers and the crew in connection with quarantinable diseases takes on the average about 1 hour of the ship's time. Generally speaking, they anchor there for about 1 hour for that purpose.
The examination of seamen, members of crew, on passenger vessels, averages about 3 hours, in some instances 4 hours. So that a considerable delay to the traveling public would be occasioned by the examination of crew at that place.
Now, when passengers arrive in this country and get a glance at the New York skyline, they seem to be filled with a great desire to leave the vessel, and anything that delays that purpose, anything that serves to delay them getting to the dock quicker and getting to their homes, creates plenty of excitement, plenty of complaint, plenty of criticism against the Government machinery that operates in connection with this work.
We have a very limited force. We have about 20 men boarding ships at quarantine now.
Senator King. You mean at New York?
Mr. MONTGOMERY. At New York. Some mornings there are as many as 10, 12, or 15 vessels in the harbor, and it is a very, very difficult thing to cover them all at quarantine. Under the present conditions we are able to send men over land to do 2 and 3 ships.