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Great Britain, they are expected to see that those men get back into Great Britain. They are not supposed to get back with a crew depleted.
Senator WILLIS. Is there anything in that law to interfere with this practice! They would load up with 300 men and discharge 100 of them over here and still go back with a full crew under the British law. Is that prevented under the British law? Mr. FURUSETH. No. The foreign laws of all countries give a
. minimum number, and then it leaves the owners to take as many more as they want to; so they load up to beat the immigration law and then go back with a lesser number.
Senator KING. Do you know if there is any provision here that violates any treaty that we have ?
Mr. PARKER. No; I was very careful about that. I do not think there is. Of course, as Mr. Furuseth said a while ago, as far as these
a provisions about confining crews to vessels of their own nationalities is concerned, so that a British boat could not bring a Chinese seainan, etc., it is just a question of whether you want to exclude these orientals from getting in under this seamen's proposition. Congress has seen fit to single out these people with a gentleman's agreement with Japan, with the Chinese exclusion laws, and with the Asiatic zone clause of the general immigration act. All of that oriental crowd is kept out of here. You want to make it more difficult for people of that kind to get here--and you have not only the Japanese but the Lascars and the Hindus and all of that crowd and here is the way to stop all of them from coming in.
Senator KING. There is no question but what a Japanese vessel could come in with Japanese sailors. Under what flag would Hindus sail in order to come into the United States?
Mr. PARKER. That proposition gave us more trouble than any other phase of this matter. Of course, we started out with the idea of using some such word as nationals," and we found that it would not work. Under the British regulations, any British vessel can. register in any of the British colonies and take men aboard a British vessel. That is the reason in this amendment that we adopted the proposition of making use of the words " foreign merchant marine. Of course, Great Britain has a merchant marine, but her colonies do not have. Japan has its own merchant marine. Nobody wants to interfere with a country having a merchant marine manned with its own people. We claim that right, and we respect the claims of others to the same right. As soon as the Chinese have a merchant marine they can bring as many Chinese as they want to.
Senator King. Does this bill prevent a ship which is owned by people living in Hindustan, who are Indians, from engaging in merchant-marine shipping and coming to America with nationals of that country?
Mr. PARKER. Absolutely, because that ship would have to sail under the British flag.
Senator King. Then they could not land?
Senator KING. Is there any other violation of the La Follette Act or any of the amendments to it in this amendment than the one that you directed attention to in answer to a question by Senator Reed?
Mr. PARKER. No, sir.
STATEMENT OF MR. G. F. RAVENEL, ASSISTANT TO THE PRESI
DENT INTERNATIONAL MERCANTILE MARINE CO., NEW YORK, N. Y.
Mr. RAVENEL. I am speaking for the Atlantic transit lines. The only section in this bilî here which is objected to in one way or another is section (e), requiring steamship companies to take the same number of people out that they bring in. The question of bona fide seamen that Mr. Furuseth has referred to so much does not interest us, because we do not bring in any considerable number.
Senator REED of Pennsylvania. You do not represent the Pacific, Mail, do you?
Mr. RAVENEL. No, sir.
Senator Reed of Pennsylvania. They might be interested in section (f).
Mr. RAVENEL. They might. They undoubtedly will be interested.
I am not familiar with any such condition as has been described here of hundreds of people being brought here to evade the immigration law. We know nothing about it.
Senator REED of Pennsylvania. There were 14,000 desertions in the port of New York.
Mr. RAVENEL. Yes, sir; but they were desertions of what will pass as qualified seamen and firemen and every other grade that you put on your ship. We are in favor of this landing card. We are in favor of everything which will hold the seamen and the firemen on our ships, because desertions cost us money and inconvenience us in every possible way. You are not going to stop desertions with your landing card or with this particular section (e) here. That is not going to do it. They are going to come in here and desert us, and we will have to hire a certain number of men. But our real difficulty with the situation is this, that very often we can not get those men.
I submited here a week ago a letter which dealt with one section which Senator Reed had, which required the immigration inspectors to check up, and showed you that under the La Follette seamen's act we can not stop these desertions. Ten minutes before a ship is scheduled to sail 12 men may walk out, 50 men may walk out, and we can not stop it. Our ship is ready to go, our passengers are all there, and we have got to go out and get additional men.
Now, this act would make possible the greatest blackjacking proposition in the world, so far as the steamship companies are concerned, that ever happened. Why? One seaman could stop the sailing of any big ship for a day, for two days. Now, mind you, we are speaking hereof safety. This British law that Mr. Furuseth brought out here does require a certain minimum. We can not sail our ships unless we have certain requirements as to able seamen and engineers, but when we get into the position that we were in last spring—I think this will interest you, Senator Willis, because you come from a section of the country that is affected by this law-when the lake season opens, the lake people make a drive for our people, for our firemen, for everybody. They come down and recruit them right there. We had 17 deserters last Saturday on the Celtic. Those men, as far as not being qualified seamen, had probably made four or five voyages on this ship this winter. They were not tramps. They will go to the Lakes because they will get higher wages there, and when Now,
the lake season is over they will come back to the seaboard. you are not going to correct that situation.
Now, our difficulty in this thing has been this: At the present time we are giving to the immigration authorities an actual list, giving the name, age, and nationality of every man who deserts us, and we wish very much that the immigration authorities would pick up those people and send them back; but they do not do it.
Senator REED of Pennsylvania. What is the difference in identification value between what you now furnish and the landing-card method, except the finger prints?
Mr. RAVENEL. Senator, the identification is simple. They can identify them. We can go out and spot them, and tell them where they are working. It is not lack of knowledge.
Senator REED of Pennsylvania. It is lack of means?
Mr. RAVENEL. Lack of means and desire. Now, Senator King a minute ago asked whether this thing will handicap American ships. It will to a certain extent, but I do not believe that you gentlemen want to do anything deliberately which will be effective for your purposes which is going to very seriously interfere with the orderly and proper movement of the big passenger service backward and forward from Europe. This will be a very serious things for 'us—exceedingly serious.
Senator WILLIS. Now, you stated that there was a minimum law, that you
had to have at least so many before you could sail your ship. Have you had any trouble of ships being tied up because at the last minute one man will walk out?
Mr. RAVENEL. No, sir; because we do not sail with that minimum. We see that our margin of safety is so great that that will not happen. We represent the bigger lines here that depend on good service for their existence. The shipping business is a very competitive business. We can not run a half-baked, dirty and ill-kept up proposition and expect patronage. We try to run a really high-grade service. We can not do that by skimping everything to the limit.
We had desertions last spring and last summer when we could not sail our ships on schedule. We were held up, one, two, or three hours, because we could not get the men. The thing we did do was shut down a number of boilers and reduce speed. Now, of course, if we got so badly hung up that we could not move at all, we would just stop. Suppose we went out and got 25 more men to fill up the desertions, and 5 more walked out. They have us where they want
5 us. Bear in mind that New York is not the only port in the United States. There is generally some surplus labor there. But do not forget that this thing would apply equally to New Orleans, Savannah, Galveston, Charleston, Philadelphia, and Boston. The ships get in there to discharge their cargo. It is not an unusual thing for use to shift crews to Norfolk.
The CHAIRMAN. I regret you left out Providence. [Laughter.]
Mr. RAVENEL. I should have included Providence and New Bedford. Right up in that district, the labor market is such that you can not go out and pick up capable seamen, the way you would pick up sticks of wood.
Senator King. What proportion of the crews of seamen on the vessels which you represent are Americans?
Mr. RAVENEL. On our American ships, a very large percentage. We had a comparison about two years ago with the Shipping Board, and our particular line, the American Line, had actually a higher average of American seamen than the Shipping Board. "I think it amounted to 85 per cent in some of them. In the Hamburg trade, we have got to get German-speaking stewards. They have got to speak both languages. I represent principally the foreign lines, and there are practically no orientals.
Senator KING. You do not represent the Shipping Board nor the American merchant marine?
Mr. RAVENAL. No, sir.
Mr. RAVENAL. No; as far as I know, we have not got an oriental on a single ship.
Senator King. Do you pay as high wages as are paid American sailors?
Mr. RAVENAL. We pay the British scale of wages on the British ships and the Belgian scale on the Belgian ships. This is not going to affect the wage scale.
Senator KING. As I understand you, your only objection to this bill is paragraph (e) requiring you to carry as many members of your crew when you depart from a United States port as you had on board when the vessel entered?
Mr. RAVENAL. That is the principal thing. As I said before, I would rather—the other things do not make any difference--I would rather not see any seamen's sections in this immigration bill, because if you are going into this seamen's proposition you ought to go into it thoroughly.
Senator KING. By and large, do you sail with fewer seamen away from the United States than you bring to the United States?
Mr. RAVENAL. No, sir.
Senator KING. Then, what objection do you have to the bill if it does not affect you?
Mr. RAVENAL. Because there are specific cases or times when the thing becomes very important.
Senator King. What number, generally speaking, do you bring to the ports of the United States in excess of the number which you ought to have for efficient and proper conduct of your ship?
Mr. RAVENAL. Well, I would not like to go into that. We carry a full complement, what we think we need. How far that is above the minimum requirements in connection with a particular ship, I can not say:
Senator King. Generally speaking, have you ships that sail with fewer than you brought into the United States ?
Mr. RAVENAL. In the spring we do, and we have to because we have these desertions. Let me give you the figures of last May and June with respect to individual ships—I refer to the number of deseritions:
Lapland, May 2, 21; Homerio, May 5, 28; Celtic, May 19, 31; Jamaica, May 19, 14; Baltic, May 26, 24; Homeric, May 26, 31; Majestic, June 2, 35; Cedric, June 2, 23; Jamaica, June 9, 19. That does not sound like thousands of people are brought in here to evade the immigration law.
STATEMENT OF EDWIN H. DUFF, ATTORNEY FOR THE AMERICAN
STEAMSHIP OWNERS' ASSOCIATION AND THE PACIFIC STEAMSHIP ASSOCIATION
Mr. DUFF. Mr. Chairman, I am not here this morning to go into the practical side of this bill, because, in the first place, I have not had an opportunity to study it carefully, but merely to voice the objections of the American Steamship Owners' Association and the Pacific Steamship Association to the consideration of a bill which in effect amends the seamen's act. The practical men representing the association have not had full opportunity to discuss the practical problems involved. Now, I believe the distinguished Senator from Ohio yesterday, when I happened to be here on another matter, made the suggestion or asked whether there should be anything contained in this bill which in any wise repealed any provision of the so-called seamen's act. We are entirely agreed that there should not be anything in this bill that repeals any portion of the seamen's bill, but by the same token we urge that there should not be anything put in this bill that modifies in any particular the LaFollette seamen's bill, but we are perfectly willing to have these propositions dealt wth in an individual bill, and to come here and discuss it fairly across the table, and then to leave it to the wise judgment of this committee as to what shall be done.
Now, speaking from the standpoint
Senator WILLIS (interposing). You agree with Mr. Furuseth's statement that as the bill was amended yesterday, that as it now stands with that amendment, it does not in any way affect the seamen's act?
Mr. DUFF. Senator, that is my understanding; but I have not examined it with great care, because I knew nothing of this amendment until yesterday; but a reading of it suggests to me that with this modification referred to by Senator Reed that it does not take a way any of the provisions of the La Follette bill. I can well understand how the Pacific-American steamship members would be vitally concerned with paragraph (f)
The CHAIRMAN (interposing). You will be perfectly willing to take Mr. Furuseth's judgment on that question ?
Mr. DUFF. Entirely so. Therefore I merely wanted to urge that no provisions of this bill affect in any wise the La Follette seamen's act until the steamship interests have had an opportunity to be heard.
Senator King. Wherein do you think it modifies or repeals the La Follette bill?
Mr. DUFF. Oh, I think section (f) of this bill very materially changes or involves section 13 of the seamen's act.
Senator WILLIS. You mean that the King amendment does?
sir. Senator King. Is there any other provision of the bill which, in your opinion, would affect or modify the seamen's act?
Mr. Duff. Paragraphs (e) and (f) are the only ones which occur to me that do in anywise alter or deal with subjects which are covered by the La Follette act.
The CHAIRMAN. What, then, is your main objection to this King amendment that we have?