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H. L. Petterson, representing the Sailors' Union of the Pacific, 2218 North Thirtieth Street, Tacoma, Wash.

D. W. Paul, representing the Sailors' Union of the Pacific, 51 Union Avenue, Portland, Oreg.

George Hansen, representing the Lake Seamen's Union, 55 Main Street, Buffalo, N. Y.

Charles F. Hammarin, representing the Alaska Fishermen's Union, 93 Steuart Street, San Francisco, Cal.

W. L. Smith, representing the Lake Seamen's Union, 152 North Main Street, Tonawanda, N. Y.

J. Clark, representing the Marine Firemen, Oilers, and Water-Tenders' Union of the Pacific, 91 Steuart Street, San Francisco, Cal.

Mr. FURUSETH. I also have here that part of the proceedings of our convention, now meeting in Baltimore, that has reference to this bill (H. R. 11372).

The CHAIRMAN. What convention is it that is now meeting in Baltimore?

Mr. FURUSETH. The convention of the International Seamen's Union of America. The report that I am about to file contains the entire action of the convention. There is a majority report of the committee, a minority report, and the action taken on both. Dealing with the minority report, I want to state that it comes from New York City, and that it has reference mainly to the efficiency and language test provided in the bill. By an overwhelming vote the convention adopted the report of the committee, which is in favor of the bill as you have it before you. I ask permission to file that. The CHAIRMAN. If there be no objection it may be filed and become part of the record.

(The paper referred to is as follows:)


[Page 2, sixth day's proceedings.]


DECEMBER 8, 1911.

The convention was called to order at 2 p. m. by President Furuseth. Roll call: All present with the exception of Delegate Cotter, who has left the city.

Chair announced the special order was the report of the committee on legislation.

Delegate Macarthur reported for the committee as follows:

"We recommend that the seamen's bill (H. R. 11372) be indorsed and that every possible effort be made to secure its passage by the present Congress.

"We recommend that efforts be made to have included in the bill provisions for the improvement of the sleeping quarters of cooks and stewards, so as to obviate all unnecessary danger to their lives in case of accident at sea.

"We concur in the suggestions of the president and secretary-treasurer that the delegates to this convention proceed to Washington for the purpose of appearing before the committees and giving testimony in favor of the bill, and we recommend that the president be requested to make such arrangements as may be necessary to this end.

66 'Resolution No. 11.

"Whereas there are two certain bills now pending before Congress known as the Spight-Wilson bill and the La Follette bill; and

"Whereas both of said bills provide for the punishment of seamen by imprisonment for from one to three months for disobedience of orders at sea in

the coastwise trade, while under the existing law to-day such disobedience is punishable by a small forfeiture of wages only; and

"Whereas there are other objectionable features to both of said bills: Now, therefore, be it

"Resolved by the International Seamen's Union of America in convention assembled, That it condemns both of said bills in their present form: And be it further

"Resolved, That the International Seamen's Union of America particularly opposes and uses its best endeavors to prevent the passage and enactment into law of the following parts of these bills:

"The proposed amendment to section 4596, subsection 4; section 4596, subsection 5; section 26 of both bills; section 13 of both bills; section 14 of the Spight-Wilson bill; section 15 of the Spight-Wilson bill; and so much of the La Follette bill as requires that able seaman before obtaining employment must show at least three years' sea experience, at least one of which must have been on a sailing vessel: And be it further

"Resolved, That the International Seamen's Union of America favors an amendment to section 4596 of the Revised Statutes which will permit seamen to get the whole of their wages in any port of loading or discharge. "Offered by


"Atlantic Coast Seamen's Union. "H. P. GRIFFIN,

"Marine Cooks and Stewards' Association of the Atlantic.


"Marine Firemen, Oilers, and Water-Tenders' Union of the Atlantic and Gulf.

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"Committee recommends that, the subject matter having been dealt with in the foregoing part of this report, the resolution be not adopted.

"Resolution No. 39.

"Whereas there is now pending before the Congress of the United States a certain proposed bill, commonly known as the Spight-Wilson bill, which contains various provisions for the benefit of seafaring men: Now, therefore, be it "Resolved by the International Seamen's Union of America, That every effort be made to procure the enactment into law of said bill, and that every possible concentration of the resources of the International Seamen's Union of America be effected for such purpose.

"December 6, 1911.

"Offered by



"Committee recommends that resolution be adopted. "By the committee,

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Delegate Sassen submitted a minority report, as follows:

"To the Sixteenth Annual Convention, I. S. U. of A.: "We, the undersigned members of your committee on legislation, herewith submit the following minority report on the Wilson bill (H. R. 11372) :

“After a careful study not only of this proposed bill, but also of the preceding acts on the same subject, and bearing in mind the instructions that we have received from the sailors of the Atlantic, we submit to this convention that— "On March 3, 1835, an act was regularly passed by the United States Congress and went into effect providing a penalty of not more than $1,000 fine or imprisonment for not more than five years, or both, for the offense of inciting, soliciting, or stirring up on board of any American vessel, by any one of the crew, any mutiny or revolt or soliciting, inciting or stirring up any of the crew to disobey or resist the lawful orders of the master or other officer of such vessel, etc.

"By act of June 7, 1872, United States Revised Statutes 890, section 4596, subdivisions 4 and 5, the following penalties were enacted for willful and continued willful disobedience of lawful commands at sea or in port and in any trade, coastwise or foreign; for willful disobedience by imprisonment for not more than two months and also at the discretion of the court by forfeiture of not more than four days' pay; for continued willful disobedience by impris onment for not more than six months and also, etc.


By act of December 21, 1898, 30 Statutes at Large, page 760, this last act of 1872 was amended through the efforts of the International Seamen's Union of America, so as to cut the imprisonment for disobedience of orders and for continued disobedience of orders in half, making it one and three months instead of two and six months, and was further amended to make the penalty apply only when the disobedience was committed at sea instead of also in port as formerly, and was further amended so as to wipe out all imprisonment for the disobedience if the vessel came into a port of the United States and leave the penalty in such case a nominal fine only of from 4 to 12 days' pay.

"The Wilson bill on which this committee reports proposes to again bring back imprisonment for disobedience of orders at sea when the vessel arrives in any port, United States as well as foreign ports, coastwise trade as well as foreign, of from one to three months.

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"Your committee therefore recommends that this bill be amended by striking out from section 6 of the bill everything after the word "pay in the proposed amendment to subdivision 4 of section 4596, Revised Statutes, and by striking out everything after the word pay in the proposed amendment to subdivision 5 of section 4596, United States Revised Statutes.



"Your committee recommends that section 26 of the proposed bill be amended by striking out everything after the word exempted." To-day yacht sailors are entitled to the beneficial provisions of the maritime law while fishermen and sea workers sharing in the profits of the cruise are not, The Wilson bill proposes to bring fishermen under the beneficial features of the bill and deprive yacht sailors of them. Your committee believes in benefitting the fishermen but disapproves of doing so at the expense of another class of sea workers, The proposed amendment suggested above will bring both fishermen and yacht sailors under the beneficial features of this bill. "Your committee recommends that sections 13 and 14 of the Wilson bill be stricken out and that the committee on legislation be directed to draw up and submit to this convention new proposed sections in place thereof. Your committee makes this recommendation on the grounds that as the sections read in the proposed bill, they are extremely indefinite, capable of many and varied constructions and detrimental to the freedom of the seaman as contended for by our international movement, in that among other things they require all seamen to carry the additional load of a Government brand, and the load to be placed on them by United States inspectors, who, according to resolution No. 40, introduced at this convention by the delegates from the Marine Firemen, Oilers and Watertenders' Union of the Pacific, have already taken advantage of their authority by reducing the number of firemen carried in steam vessels in the Pacific trade and thereby lengthened the hours of work.

DECEMBER 9, 1911.


Moved by Delegate Griffin that the minority report be adopted.
Discussed by Delegates Griffin, Flynn, Vidal, and Gill.

Chair requested Delegate Chambers to address the convention on this matter, giving especially his experience on the question of the language test and efficiency in the British Parliament. Delegate Chambers complied and addressed the convention with the understanding that he did not want to sway the convention either one way or the other.

Minority reported further by Delegate Sassen.

Chair requested Comrade Bodine to give his opinion on this matter. Comrade Bodine thanked the convention for the privilege and addressed the convention, outlining the maritime legislation relative to seamen as found through his investigation. He favored the minority report.

Further discussed by Delegate Olander,

Delegate Chambers in the chair.

President Furuseth in the chair.

Time allowance extended to Delegate Olander.

Moved by Macarthur that we suspend the rules and we stay in session until the question is settled.

Amended by Delegate Griffin that it be not longer than 7 o'clock.

Amendment defeated.

Motion adopted.

Vice President Hansen in the chair.

Question further discussed by Delegate Furuseth.

President Furuseth in the chair.

Question further discussed by Delegate Macarthur.

Roll call demanded.

Roll call:

Yes: Delegates Sassen, Vidal, Pazderka, Carlson, Morgan, Jensen, Filgueira, Griffin, Cartledge, Grange, Raney-70.

No: Delegates Furuseth, Pettersen, Macarthur, Gill, Paul, Flynn, Clark, McHale, Barry, Hylen, Hammerin, Swanson, Olander, Smith, George Hansen, T. A. Hansen, Conway, Johnson-172.

Minority report defeated.

Moved and seconded the majority report be adopted.

Roll call demanded.

Roll call:

Yes: Furuseth, Pettersen, Macarthur, Gill, Paul, Flynn, Clark, McHale, Barry, Hylen, Hammerin, Swanson, Olander, Smith, George Hansen, T. A. Hansen, Conway, Johnson-172.

No: Sassin, Vidal, Pazderka, Carlson, Morgan, Jensen, Filgueira, Griffin, Cartledge, Grange, Raney-70.

Majority report adopted.


Mr. FURUSETH. The bill itself has three main features. The first is to improve the condition of the seaman in all the branches of the service so as to further induce the American boy to go to sea, and the American man to remain at sea when he once has gone there condition which does not now exist. The second feature of the bill is with a view of improving safety of life and property at sea. We hold that the most important means to that end is an efficient crew. Thirdly, it deals with a kind of competition which the American shipowner is up against, more especially so in the last two or three years. I refer to foreign vessels coming here with Asiatic crews and taking away cargo from the United States with those crews, who do not understand the language of the officers, and who are shipped in foreign ports at a wage much below that which they would have to pay if they shipped their crew in American ports, or that an American shipowner would have to pay if he were in the same trade. They ship them in Asia, say at Hongkong, at $7 a month.

Having said this, giving the three main features of the bill, I now ask permission to introduce for 15 minutes Victor A. Olander, second vice president of the International Seamen's Union and secretary of the Lake Seamen's Union.


Mr. OLANDER. Mr. Chairman, the people that I represent favor the bill in its entirety. I want to confine my talk to one particular section of it, which, more than any other, perhaps, directly affects the people I represent on the Lakes. I refer to section 13 of the bill. which has reference to the efficiency of seamen, and the matter of their being able to understand orders given in the English language. On the Great Lakes the vessels are undermanned to a greater extent

than anywhere else in the world. On 600-foot freighters, carrying from 10,000 to 12,000 tons of cargo, they have an actual deck crew, for practical purposes, of only six men. According to their inspection certificates, they may appear to have 10. They consist of four able seamen, called wheelsmen and watchmen, and six deck hands. But as soon as the boats leave port four of the deck hands have turned into coal passers, and never again appear on deck until the vessel enters port. The other two deck hands, as a rule, are worked during the day-in the summertime generally from sunrise until sunset and sleep all night, leaving the actual deck crew of the vessel under way at night just two men, besides the licensed officer in charge. Those two men are the wheelsman, inside of the pilot house, and the watchman, who is supposed to keep a lookout, but who, besides keeping that lookout, has to watch over the 600-foot stretch of deck, keep track of whether any damage is being done to some 36 hatches, sound the vessel, look after the lights, go aft to take the log, and perform the various duties necessary at night. You can imagine the condition in bad weather. The plain truth of the matter is that a lot of those things are not looked after at all when the weather is really rough.

In the case of the four able seamen, only two of whom are on watch at a time, of course we find that quite a percentage of them are men who are entirely lacking in experience. While they are supposed to be men who have had experience, there are a great many of them (and the number varies from time to time) who know little or nothing of their duties. Usually, however, there are one or two who are able to give the other fellows some information, so that they can carry on the work. In addition to that situation among the four able seamen there have been many cases where none of the six deck hands were able to understand the language, although that is not so prevalent up on the Lakes as it is on the coast.

As I understand, the bill provides for the issuance of certificates by the United States local inspectors to seamen who have proved their qualifications as such. There are many things up on the Lakes that will go to prove the necessity of that. I know shipowners have objected to that phase of the bill; yet they themselves, in their dealings up on the Lakes, have, in more than one way, confessed that some system of the kind is absolutely necessary. Taking the case of the Lake Carriers' Association, which practically controls the transportation of iron ore on the Lakes (and I use the word "control" advisedly) they used to do business with our organizations, and had trade agreements providing for wages and working conditions. At that time we determined the qualifications of the four able seamen on board of the ships by an examination when they were admitted to the union.

There was never any question raised as to the advisability of that, even by the shipowners themselves. It was generally considered to be a good thing, although in the very nature of things we could not be particularly strict with them. We were up against the fact that there were captains-and in many cases owners and friends of theirs that wanted to have relatives put in those positions, and in order to avoid trouble we had to accept them. But, at any rate, it was recognized that that system or some system of the kind was necessary. Then, when we no longer did business through the trade

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