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ran across a number of people there, some of them orientals and some of them from the Near East, that seemed to him probably to have no business being there, and he commenced to examine them.
Practically all of them stood out on the proposition that they had been here for a number of years, and finally in one or two cases he developed the fact that the men had been seamen and that they had come in during a certain year before these cards had been abolished. He immediately send down to Ellis Island and had the cards examined, and he found the records of these men. By that means, he broke down the whole crowd of these fellows, and they were deported. They had no right in the country at all. They had come as seamen deserters and had gone up there to work in some industry. That illustrates the use of that card, and it also illustrates what a man is up against if he has not the card. If he has not the card, he has nothing to go by. If a man stands up and says he came into the United States five and one-half years ago you have no way of successfully disputing that.
Senator REED of Pennsylvania. I notice that one of the sections of this amendment provides that no ships may enter one of our ports except in distress carrying Chinese seamen. Under the La Follette law, it could come in with 40 per cent of its crew Chinese, could it not?
Mr. PARKER. Yes, sir.
Senator REED of Pennsylvania. So that to that extent this would amend the La Follette law?
Mr. PARKER. To that extent it changes the operation of the La Follette law.
Senator REED of Pennsylvania. Under the La Follette law, you could come in with a crew that was 100 per cent Lascar if they could all understand the English language?
Mr. PARKER. Yes.
Senator REED of Pennsylvania. And to that extent that would amend the La Follette law?
Mr. PARKER. Yes.
Senator WILLIS. Suppose that is a Chinese ship. Then they could come in with all Chinamen?
Senator REED of Pennsylvania. So far as this provision is concerned, a Chinese ship could come in with a Chinese crew, but a Japanese ship could not bring a Chinese crew.
Senator Willis. What I am getting at is this: Would not section (f) discriminate very seriously as against American ships?
Mr. PARKER. The discrimination would be general. The discrimination there would not be against American ships. It would be against British and Scandanavian ships and, of course, to some extent theoretically against American ships, but not nearly to the extent that it would against other ships.
Senator REED of Pennsylvania. Let us put it this way: The Japanese Pacific liners would have to dismiss all of these Chinese seamen?
Mr. PARKER. Yes, sir.
Senator REED of Pennsylvania. And they carry a considerable number now?
Mr. PARKER. They do.
Senator REED of Pennsylvania. The British ships on the Pacific would have to drop all their Lascars, would they not?
Mr. PARKER. Yes, sir.
Mr. PARKER. I do not know whether they are using so many now.
Senator REED of Pennsylvania. Almost all of the boats that go to India and the Straits Settlements carry them?
Mr. FURUSET. The majority of them have white men now.
Senator WILLIS. I can not see why section (e) does not accomplish the thing you want to accomplish.
Senator REED of Pennsylvania. It occurs to me that this is a rather comprehensive provision of the provisions of the La Follette bill. I do not feel competent to pass on it.
Mr. FURUSETH. It does not change the law at all. It stops the violations of it.
Senator REED of Pennsylvania. Oh, no. At present it is no violation of law for an American ship to come to a Pacific port with 40 per cent of its crew non-English speaking Chinese, is it?
Mr. FURUSETH. No; that is to say, all of the men who are not officers. They can come with anybody if they can understand the English language. As a matter of fact, here is what takes place
. when it comes to examining them on the language clause. In one examination the man said he would “coil the smokestack into the engineroom," and yet he was passed as knowing enough to be on board the ship. Now, the language clause of the seamen's act is as dead as Cæsar as it stands to-day. It was intended not to deal with the question of raises, but the question of safety. Notoriously, a man who can not understand the language of the officers is of no use on board a ship in case of disaster.
Senator REED of Pennsylvania. Section (f) would resurrect Cæsar, so to speak?
Mr. FURUSETH. It will help too, to some extent; however, that is not the purpose of it here. The question here is, do you want to exclude them? If you want to exclude them, that is the way to do it.
The CHAIRMAN. Mr. Parker, could you not explain in a general way the necessity for the provisions contained in the King amendment? I mean, what the provisions are, generally, and the necessity for passing them.
Mr. PARKER. Well, Senator, I think I have pretty well covered the card proposition. I expect every one will agree with that, that a card, for identification purposes, if you are going to have a law that deals with seamen, is a useful thing.
The CHAIRMAN. Is there not the power now to provide regulations as to a card ?
Mr. PARKER. Yes; I think there is, Senator.
T'he CHAIRMAN. What is the necessity for legislating on it, if you have all the power now under the present law?
Mr. PARKER. Of course, I no longer have anything to do with the passage of the regulations.
The CHAIRMAN. If the department already has this power of requiring a card, under the law of 1917, why are you asking us to do that?
Mr. FURUSETH. May I answer that question? I have appealed to the department for three years, in every way that it was possible for me to appeal to anybody, and they refused to do it. The CHAIRMAN. Now, you have answered it exactly.
Senator REED of Pennsylvania. The present law says they can; this says they must. That is the difference.
Mr. PARKER. That is the difference. There is some difference of opinion, I imagine, among the officers in the department. Some of them might say to me, “ Parker, of course there is chance for a difference of opinion there." But I think they have the power now to do it, but the law does not say they must do it. This provision would make it obligatory upon them, and would lay the foundation for them to say to the appropriation committees of the two Houses that they must have the money to do it. That is the advantage of that. That is the reason we put it here, to round this thing out.
Senator King. Now, passing to the other provisions of the bill, state what they are and how they would interfere, if at all, with the rights of seamen of other countries.
Mr. PARKER. You asked a question a while ago with regard to paragraph (e) [reading):
All vessels entering ports of the United States manned with crews engaged and taken on at foreign ports shall when departing from the United States ports carry a crew of at least equal number, and any such vessel which falls to comply with this requirement shall be refused clearance.
Now, the object there is simply to keep this seamen business froin increasing the alien population of the country.
Senator REED of Pennsylvania. This does not require them to take out alien seamen. If they take out Americans they are all right.
Mr. Furuseth, we did not consider that we could require them to take out alien seamen. As a practical proposition, however, it would work out that the vast majority that they would take out would be alien seamen. There would be some Americans, but the number of them would be negligible.
Mr. FURUSETH. The number of Americans that sail on foreign ships is so insignificant that you could count them on your fingers. The number of Americans who used to sail on British ships prior to the La Follette Act was a large number. Those who sailed there came back to their own country. As a result of this, if it is adopted, the shipowners are going to fill up their vessels with the cheapest men they can get, and they are going to take some of the rubbish that they brought in.
Mr. PARKER. In discussing this with Mr. Furuseth, I repeatedly asked him the question as to how this would operate internationally; that is, as to whether this thing would be inequitable and wrong from the international point of view; in other words, as to what other countries were doing along the same lines. He brought me this volume of the marine act and I looked into the question quite a bit. I was surprised to find that practically all of the foreign countries in effect require that their vessels shall bring back to those countries the men they carried away; so that as far as any inequity on that score is concerned, I satisfied myself that there was none. When a ship sails out of Great Britain, under the regulations of
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 provisions about confining crews to vessels of their own nationalities is concerned, so that a British boat could not bring a Chinese seaman, 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 saisors. Under what flag would Hindus sail in order to come into the United States? Mr. PARKER. That proposition gave us more trouble than
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 bill 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.
NEL. 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