« ÎnapoiContinuați »
driven to extreme measures in many cases because of a complete lack of cooperation--a refusal to cooperate on the part of ship owners and others who knew the conditions the men lived under and worked under were deplorable; but those owners operated on a dollars-andcents basis. We believe the report is not clear. We believe that it should have reported on every one of those particular points and not try to place the blame completely upon the seamen.
I will go further and say that you are not going to get a better or finer type of seaman today, no matter how much you train him. You cannot get a better type than you have today. You may have a few here and there, the same as you have in every industry, who are not of the best, but on the whole, being a seaman myself, I will argue with anybody that our seamen are the best type of Americans we have in this country, and they are the most able seamen.
The CHAIRMAN. Are you not at all disturbed that conditions as they are will prevent the building of new ships?
Mr. CURRAN. No, I am not; except so far as the ship owner is concerned in not having the money with which to build them; but so far as the seamen are concerned, I am satisfied that they have a union of their own choosing, that they have their representatives, and that they are ready to go along and to cooperate 100 percent to build a merchant marine.
The CHAIRMAN. Is it not important that that should be made so definite and so well understood that that element can not enter into the decision of whether we are to build any ships or not?
Mr. CURRAN. Frankly, I think it should be made definite, yes; and I think it is made definite in our contracts. I think this legislation will do more to disorganize the industry and antagonize the seamen, because we must agree that you are not going to do away with all the seamen and place new seamen in their field. That is impossible. Legislation of this type would just antagonize the seamen who have come through this period, and you would have more difficulties than you have had before. I do not believe that the seamen can be subjugated into a position where they have no right to collective bargaining and no right to apply to the National Labor Relations Board, as such, and no right to exercise their constitutional rights. That is what this legislation would, in fact, be doing.
Senator Thomas. If mediation would be made effective only after organization had been completed, then your statement would not hold.
Mr. CURRAN. I said before, and I say again, that after the industry is completely organized, it would then be time to discuss mediation, if it were necessary. If we had proved by that time that we could not mediate our disputes through our machinery, created in the contracts, but not before we have had the opportunity to try that machinery out.
Senator Thomas. In the light of that answer, we should use what you have today, and your answer to the question of Senator Copeland, I take it, is that Chairman Kennedy's criticism refers to a given time rather than to a probable later condition?
Mr. CURRAN. I would say, and I believe I am safe in saying, that the report made by the Maritime Commission gives a complete survey of the maritime industry, with respect to no particular time but is over a period of years, let us say.
At this time I do not think there is any point in the report covering this particular time at all. I think it goes back a year or six months. I just want to point out that of these eleven contracts that we have signed with the steamship operators, nine of them were signed quite a time back, and we have not had any dispute of any nature whatsoever to even adjudicate on those lines, and there are 56 ships covered on those lines. We have not had any trouble of any description whatsoever on those lines.
The CHAIRMAN. Are there any other questions?
Mr. CURRAN. I do not think I am prepared to say. It depends on what you refer to. Is it for seamen?
Senator SHEPPARD. It is evidently above $70 a month? Mr. CURRAN. You are referring to seamen? Senator SHEPPARD. Yes. Mr. CURRAN. I think that a seaman should be entitled to the same minimum wage that may apply to work ashore, with the exception of that taken out for his board and room. I think he should be paid a hundred dollars a month at least, because I believe he is a skilled worker. All seamen are.
Senator GIBSON. What is he now paid?
The CHAIRMAN. If there are no other questions, we shall adjourn until 10:30 o'clock tomorrow morning.
(At 11:15 a. m. an adjournment was taken until tomorrow, Tuesday, December 14, 1937, at 10:30 a. m.)
MARINE ACT OF 1936
COMMITTEE ON COMMERCE
COMMITTEE ON EDUCATION AND LABOR
UNITED STATES SENATE
A BILL TO AMEND THE MERCHANT MARINE ACT OF 1936
AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES
DECEMBER 14, 1937
Printed for the use of the Committee on
COMMITTEE ON COMMERCE
ROYAL S. COPELAND, New York, Chair man MORRIS SHEPPARD, Texas
CHARLES L. McNARY, Oregon JOSIAH WILLIAM BAILEY, North Carolina HIRAM W.JOHNSON, California HLATTIE W. CARAWAY, Arkansas
GERALD P. NYE, North Dakota BENNETT CHAMP CLARK, Missouri
ARTHUR H. VAŅDENBERG, Michigan JOHN H. OVERTON, Louisiana
WALLACE H. WHITE, JR., Maine
ERNEST W. GIBSON, Vermont
Grace McÉLDOWNEY, Clerk
COMMITTEE ON EDUCATION AND LABOR
ELBERT D. THOMAS, Utah, Chairman
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