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"The experience since the opening of seaway indicates that much of the "trouble" in connection with the transit of "salt water" ships, has been in the locks.
I would like to quote Mr. Miles F. York, president of American Institute of Marine Underwriters, who discussed the problems of marine insurance on the 46th National Foreign Trade Convention :
"Nevertheless, as the first season of operation (St. Lawrence Seaway) comes to a close, marine underwriters are nursing many wounds.” He cited a recent experience extracted from the underwriter's daily casualty bulletin.
"A ship on voyage from Hamilton to South American ports via Montreal struck her port side entering Iroquois lock, doing slight damage to shell plating; subsequently on the same date, her starboard side came in contact with the Snell lock causing slight damage ; and on the same date, on departure from Beauharnois lower lock, her port quarter struck the lock sustaining further damage.”
“The same daily bulletin recorded casualties to 10 other ships in the Great Lakes, the seaway, and the St. Lawrence River," he continued.
I am quoting Mr. York in order to show that ability of ship handling or maneuvering in confined waters is of paramount importance. This ability of handling a ship comes with the experience, not only on one ship or any one type of ship, but on many of different construction, power, tonnage, and draft .conditions. A master of an ocean ship generally brings her from "pilot to pilot," and leaves the handling in restricted waters and docking to a pilot. This is a prevailing practice in the majority of world ports and major international waterways.
My own experience as a pilot in the Suez Canal, and Port Said docking pilot, is large and diversified. I acquired it by piloting literally hundreds of ships of all description, up to 18,000 tons gross and 33 feet draft.
However, the wording of the bill H.R. 10593, if enacted in the present form, would eliminate one of the very few American pilots in the seaway, who has had this kind of experience, which certainly is not the intention of this bill.
I hope that someone of the committee members will sponsor this small amendment. It would save the right to work of a deserving individual, and at the same time contribute in a small way towards efficient operation of the seaway.
I would like to point out that the present Canadian minimum requirement for St. Lawrence River is chief mate's license, and many such pilots are employed on St. Regis Cape Vincent section as registered pilots under full approval of Canadian Ministry of Transport.
LICENSED TUGMEN'S AND Pilots'
Chicago, Illi., March 9, 1960.
DEAR CONGRESSMAN BONNER: The Licensed Tugmen's and Pilots' Protective Association of America, affiliated with the International Longshoremen's Association, AFL-C10, strongly opposes passage of H.R. 10593 and S. 3019. These bills are contrary to the best interests of this Nation, and needlessly sacrifice the rights and interests of American seamen.
We respectfully urge that these bills be defeated. We would support a bill, however, if these minimum safeguards are incorporated :
1. Preserving the rights of States and municipalities to enact local legislation or ordinances to regulate pilotage in local waters.
2. Prohibiting pilotage on the Great Lakes by any persons other than American or Canadian pilots.
3. Safeguarding and guaranteeing the right of pilots to form or select unions of their own choosing, and to bargain collectively with employers or employer associations concerning rates of pay and all conditions of employment. In this .connection, the Government and any Government agencies should be forbidden from interfering with the establishment of rates of pay and conditions of employment of pilots.
4. Excluding Canadian pilots, except on Canadian vessels, from pilotage on Lake Michigan, which is an entirely American body of water, unless fully reciprocal rights are extended to American pilots on Canadian waters from St. Regis, N.Y., to Montreal, Quebec, and from Montreal to Seven Islands, Quebec. At the present time Canadian law forbids pilotage by American pilots in these waters. In addition, Canadian immigration authorities make it difficult or impossible for Americans to enter Canada to serve as pilots even on Canadian waters where Americans have nominal rights to act as pilots.
5. All areas in which pilotage will be compulsory should be specified within the bill and not left for determination by any other agency than the Congress.
6. Pilots shall be deemed qualified if they hold a master's license from the U.S. Coast Guard of sufficient tonnage to cover the particular vessel.
This union respectfully urges you to insist upon the foregoing minimum safe guards in any Great Lakes pilotage laws. Very truly yours,
PATRICK J. CULLNAN, Jr., President.
STATEMENT OF LYNDON SPENCER, PRESIDENT, LAKE CARRIERS' ASSOCIATION My name is Lyndon Spencer. I appreciate the opportunity to appear before this committee on behalf of Lake Carriers' Association, an organization consisting of some 32 vessel companies which own or operate in the aggregate 316 American-flag Great Lakes bulk cargo vessels.
Over the years we on the Great Lakes have been particularly proud of the remarkable record of safety of navigation which our vessels have achieved. These are the busiest waterways of the world and they have been the safest. They were made safe by the continued observance of sound navigation practices and the enactment of intelligent navigation laws. Now that record is being jeopardized by numerous oversea-flag vessels which, in their navigation, all too frequently disregard established Great Lakes practices and applicable laws. That is why Lake Carriers' Association has long advocated the imposition of appropriate pilotage requirements on oversea-flag vessels while navigating within the confines of the Great Lakes.
Since its inception in 1892, our association has been charged by its member companies with the duty of advancing safety of navigation on the Great Lakes. To that end we earnestly supported S. 2096 and H.R. 7515 relating to pilotage requirements for oversea-flag vesels, when those measures were pending before the 85th Congress. Last year we strongly advocated the adoption of H.R. 57, a similar bill.
In each of my appearances before this committee and the Senate Committee on Interstate and Foreign Commerce in connection with pilotage legislation, I detailed at some length the collisions and some of the near collisions that have occurred because of the disregard by oversea-flag vessels of Great Lakes laws, practices, and procedures. There should be no need to repeat that story now. The record of those hearings is available.
What needs to be said now is that the lack of any pilotage requirement for oversea-flag vessels during the navigation season of 1959 resulted in at least two major collisions, both of which took place in the open lake. I refer to the collision which occurred in the open waters of Lake Huron between the Liberian vessel Monrovia and the Canadian-owned Royalton, and the collision in Lake Erie between the Swedish vessel Signeborg and the American-owned Charles 8. Hubbard. It is my earnest belief that had the pilotage requirement of H.R. 57 been in effect last year, these collisions would not have occurred. In each instance, the oversea-flag vessel did not have a qualified pilot on watch and was not following the prescribed open lake course.
As is well known, Lake Carriers' Association for many years has advocated the necessity, solely in the interest of safety, of having the navigation of overseaflag vessels while on the Great Lakes under the direction and control of persons holding an unqualified license for those waters. This is the requirement under present law for U.S. Great Lakes vessels which cannot be navigated anywhere on the lakes except by federally licensed pilots. For this reason we feel the present bill, inasmuch as it requires registered pilots on oversea-flag vessels only in certain waters of the Great Lakes, is not adequate.
Our association is concerned with safety throughout the length and breadth of the lakes. H.R. 10593, while proposing reasonable standards in some areas, would, in others, permit foreigners to pilot vessels in the waters of the United States on the basis of some as yet undefined, unstated, and presumably lesser standard. Thus the bill comprises safety and makes unprecedented concessions to oversea-flag vessels.
Undoubtedly it will be argued that some such concession is necessary because of the economic burden which legislation like H.R. 57 would place on overseaflag vessels. Such arguments have no merit, for the economic cost of the present pilotage requirements for our own Great Lakes vessels far exceeds any added cost which the owners of oversea-flag vessels would incur as a result of the pilotage requirements which this association has so long advocated.
To my knowledge, no other sovereign nation in the world licenses foreigners as pilots in its territorial waters. I hope I will not be considered presumptive if I express a personal opinion that the proposed concession to foreigners does lessen to some extent the value of U.S. citizenship.
During a joint meeting held in January 1959, Lake Carriers' Association and Dominion Marine Association adopted a resolution favoring H.R. 57, which was under consideration at that time. The position of the two associations on the matter of pilotage on the Great Lakes was reaffirmed at another joint meeting held in January 1960. These two associations represent at least 95 percent of the commercial vessels operating solely on the Great Lakes under the flag of either Canada or the United States. With the chairman's permission, I shall read the resolution of January 28, 1960, which is as follows:
“JOINT RESOLUTION CONCERNING PILOTAGE ADOPTED BY THE DOMINION MARINE ASSO
CIATION AND THE LAKE CARRIERS' ASSOCIATION MEETING IN WASHINGTON, D.C., ON JANUARY 28, 1960
"Whereas safety of navigation is a primary and continuing concern of all Great Lakes vessel owners, seamen, and Canadian and United States authorities; and
“Whereas it is essential in the interest of marine safety that all vessels navigating the waters of the Great Lakes and the river St. Lawrence have on board personnel who possess, to the satisfaction of either Canadian or United States authorities, such familiarity with local conditions affecting navigation on those waters and the pilot rules applicable thereto, as is now required of navigating officers for Great Lakes vessels of the United States and Canada; and
"Whereas it would appear unreasonable to assume that the Government of Canada or of the United States can guarantee that masters and officers of ocean vessels will observe Great Lakes rules and regulations without requiring the presence of a pilot or sailing master on board : Now, therefore, be it
“Resolved, That Dominion Marine Association and Lake Carriers' Association, in joint meeting assembled at Washington, D.C., this 28th day of January 1960, do hereby urge the Governments of Canada and the United States to take prompt action to require that all merchant vessels of 300 gross tons or over navigating the Great Lakes and the river St. Lawrence have on board and available for duty as required by the regulations of either Government, navigating personnel whose competency for such navigation has been certified by either Government; and be it further
“Resolved, That the two associations make known to the Governments of Canada and the United States their opposition to the payment of compulsory pilotage dues by vessels already having on board qualified navigating officers licensed either by Canada or the United States for the waters of the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence River."
As expressed by the foregoing resolution, Lake Carriers' Association prefers that the Congress require registered pilots on oversea-flag vessels throughout U.S. waters of the Great Lakes. This condition would obtain if H.R. 10593 were to be amended by eliminating section 2(e), which defines "other officer," and by deleting the words “or other officer" from section 3(b). We recommend that these changes be considered by this committee.
Being somewhat realistic, we realize that the Departments of State and Commerce and the Coast Guard have participated in the preparation of this proposed legislation. We know, also, that the Government of Canada was consulted. With this background, we feel that, even though we cannot give this bill our unqualified approval, we cannot vigorously oppose it because the need for some pilotage requirement is indeed urgent.
I cannot emphasize too strongly the urgency of the situation which is upon us. Something must be done promptly or surely there will be more costly accidents and probably loss of life. The matter of pilotage legislation for the Great Lakes has been under study for several years. While the problem is being pondered, collisions continue. If H.R. 10593 will in some measure reduce the hazard which the oversea-flag vessel has created on the Great Lakes, this association cannot oppose its adoption.