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COMMITTEE ON COMMERCE
ROYAL S. COPELAND, New York, Chairman MORRIS SHEPPARD, Texas
CHARLES L. McNARY, Oregon JOSIAH WILLIAM BAILEY, North Carolina HIRAM W. JOHNSON, California HATTIE W. CARAWAY, Arkansas
GERALD P. NYE, North Dakota BENNETT CHAMP CLARK, Missouri ARTHUR H. VANDENBERG, Michigan JOHN H. OVERTON, Louisiana
WALLACE H. WHITE, JR., Maine
ERXEST W. GIBSON, Vermont
GRACE McELDOWNEY, Clerk
COMMITTEE ON EDUCATION AND LABOR
ELBERT D. THOMAS, Utah, Chairman ROYAL S. COPELAND, New York
WILLIAM E. BORAH, Idaho DAVID I. WALSH, Massachusetts
ROBERT M. LA FOLLETTE, JR., Wisconsin JAMES E. MURRAY, Montana
JAMES J. DAVIS, Pennsylvania
EARL WIXCEY, Clerk
KENNETH C. ROBERTSOx, Assistant Clerk
LIBRARY OF CONGRESS
JAN 25 1938
DIVISION OF DOCUMENTS
Rear Admiral H. A. Wiley, member of U. S. Maritime Commission,
Washington, D. C...
Watertenders, and Wipers Association, San Francisco, Calif-
Maritime Union, New York.
Hood River Valley...
AMENDING THE MERCHANT MARINE ACT OF 1936
SATURDAY, JANUARY 15, 1938
UNITED STATES SENATE,
Washington, D. C. The committees met in executive session at 10:30 a. m., pursuant to adjournment, in the committee room of the Senate Committee on Commerce, in the Capitol, Senator Royal S. Copeland (chairman of the Senate Committee on Commerce) presiding.
STATEMENT OF REAR ADMIRAL H. A. WILEY, MEMBER OF THE
UNITED STATES MARITIME COMMISSION, WASHINGTON, D. C.
The CHAIRMAN. We have before us a matter in connection with the training of seamen. We have several plans proposed. We have had the plan proposed, as spoken of in the report of the Maritime Commission; we have had the plan which is provided for in the pending bill; we have a plan which was presented to us by the Coast Guard. And I know that Admiral Wiley has given more study to this problem of training seamen than anybody else in the Government; it seems to me that he has. Admiral, we would appreciate it if, in your own way, you would present any matters that you have in mind, that might be of interest.
Rear Admiral Wiley. Where shall I begin, sir? The CHAIRMAN. Anywhere you like. I know that you have a plan which you have had in mind for a long time. And it is very important to this committee, not only in connection with this bili, but also in relation to our other duties, to do what we can to promote the proper training of seamen.
Rear Admiral Wiley. Mr. Chairman, I have had brought here, for the information of the members of the committee, a very complete plan which you might study at your leisure, if you desire. I think there are six copies of it, as contained in this very complete folder, which I shall leave with you.
The CHAIRMAN. Yes.
The plan consists of two parts. One is the training of recruits for 1 year, beginning with a training station. And, of course, a training station is necessary for the proper training of recruits; because they are drawn from all classes, and the first essential for training is to teach young men to take care of themselves and to take care of their outfits. It was proposed that we should use Hoffman Island, in New York Harbor.
The CHAIRMAN. Perhaps not all the members of the committee are familiar with Hoffman Island. Will you state for the record where Hoffman Island is, and its size, and so forth?
Rear Admiral WILEY. It is a small island south of the Quarantine Station, off Staten Island. The island was formerly used as a quarantine station, and is very complete for our purpose, because it has 15 buildings, I believe.
The CHAIRMAN. Do you have a blueprint showing the general lay-out?
Rear Admiral WILEY. Yes; that is contained in that folder I am Jeaving with you.
The CHAIRMAX. Do you have an aerial photograph of it, as well? Rear Admiral Wiley. Yes. I will leave this with you, too.
This property is being held by the Procurement Division of the Treasury Department, to be turned over to us—that is to say, turned over to the Maritime Commission if and when the Maritime Commission indicates that it desires it or requests it to be turned over. And of course that depends entirely upon whether the Congress authorizes this training, or not.
This training under consideration is divided into 3 months at the training stations where, as I say, young men will be taught to take care of themselves, and be set up properly and get general training along that line. The other 9 months would be on board ship. Our idea is that there are only two agencies in the United States that are properly equipped to train seamen: One is the Navy, and the other is the Coast Guard.
I am speaking for myself, but I am quite justified in saying that there is a unanimity in the Commission in regard to this question of the Coast Guard's being the proper agency for the training. I think that the reason the Coast Guard is the better agency is because the Coast Guard's duties are such that it is brought into intimate contact with the merchant marine. I might say that I am the Commissioner who has given the most attention to this problem, this being a part of my job.
As I say, the Coast Guard is in intimate contact with the merchant marine, and is working very closely with the merchant marine all the time. The nature of the duties of the men in the Coast Guard, at sea, is such that they certainly make hardy sailors. They have this ice patrol, they rescue the sailors of wrecked ships, they blow up derelicts, they engage in lifesaving. Certainly no duties at sea can be more conducive to making hardy sailors than those.
On the other hand, the Navy is entirely a military institution. When the Navy goes to sea, it goes to sea for the purpose of military drill. The ships of the Navy usually go in formation; it is the Navy's job to work along such lines as military drill and tactics. They have to be constantly maneuvering, when they go to sea. The Coast Guard does not stress so much the military part of their training; their military training is incidental, whereas in the Navy it is the principal thing. The Navy could not be efficient otherwise.
I think it will be conceded that either the Navy or the Coast Guard is eminently fitted to carry out this training for seamen, because