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agencies of our Government that were interested in the Great Lakes pilotage problem have had numerous meetings with representatives of the Canadian Goyernment. We do not understand that any so-called outsiders attended these meetings, and the bill as now presented is the combined thinking of Government agencies.
As we anticipate the Department of State will submit an analysis of a draft of this bill, it is not necessary for us to make an analysis of each section, but we would appreciate a few minutes of the committee's time to discuss the few points that we have always been interested in having enacted into law.
At previous hearings both in the Senate and before your committee, our association was of the opinion that prior legislative proposals had weaknesses from a safety standpoint and should be adequately reinforced by granting regulatory powers to some agency or commission to make qualifications sufficiently rigid to obtain competent and experienced pilots. We had pointed out at other times that an inexperienced young man who had just obtained his first pilot's license, or an older man who had never progressed to a point where he was eligible to obtain an unlimited master's license, could qualify as a pilot for ocean vessels in restricted waters. Under the previous bills it was our contention that, in addition to having a license, he should have experience in the handling of vessels on the Great Lakes in these restricted waters. This glaring weakness has been remedied by the requirement that a person seeking a job as a pilot must have an unlimited master's license, whether it be restricted or open waters. Under the Coast Guard regulations, no one is eligible for this type of license until he has actually served abroad ship for a substantial period of time, acting as mate and first-class pilot of Great Lakes vessels. The bill also requires that a Canadian pilot must hold a master's certificate, or an equivalent license issued by the appropriate agency of Canada, in order to pilot ocean vessels in U.S. waters.
While at other hearings we suggested that a joint pilotage commission consisting of Canadian and American representatives be formed, apparently the Government representatives of both countries found that such an idea was impractical and unworkable. However, they have written provisions into H.R. 10593 which, we believe, will perform the same function as a joint commission; namely, the Secretary of Commerce with an advisory committee is given the same powers that a pilotage commission would have had and all pilotage regulations would be coordinated with Canada.
Another objection we had to previous legislation was the failure to give any assurance to our American Great Lakes licensed officers that an opportunity would be afforded them to obtain employment as pilots of ocean vessels and to be come part of any pilots association. H.R. 10593 specifically provides that our Government representatives shall work with Canada to secure an equitable division of pilotage work between Americans and Canadians. This could not have been done under the old bill. It must be remembered that ships coming into the seaway first enter at a Canadian port and pilots are put aboard at that time for their trip into the seaway. Pilots are again necessary at the Welland Canal, which is also Canadian territory. To give American pilots an equitable share of the work under the former proposed bills, it would have been necessary for them to enter Canada at the Canadian border in the vicinity of the Welland Canal and board the ship that they were to pilot at the easterly end of the Welland Canal. Canadian Government officials would not permit American pilots to enter the country under Canadian laws and regulations about which we are not fully informed.
In an effort to rectify this situation, foreign ocean vessel owners arranged for American pilots to perform all of the pilotage work in the St. Marys River. They went abroad and left these vessels at De Tour, Mich., an Whitefish Bay in American waters. This gave some American pilots work, but whether it was a fair division with Canadian pilots we are unable to state. H.R. 10593 should rectify these inequities.
We now come to a question that every businessman, legislator, and taxpayer must consider; namely, the economic feature. The cost of the seaway is to be paid by tolls. Tolls can be obtained only from the ships that use the seaway. Whether or not sufficient ships will come into the seaway and pay the tolls, thereby paying off the debt that all the taxpayers of the Untied States have taken on, depends upon the cost of ship operation and the profits obtained by the ships making the voyage.
No successful or intelligent businessman is going to operate ships in the seaway and on the Great Lakes or anywhere else unless there is some profit. The cost
of pilotage is a part of the operating costs of the ship. This bill now provides for the fixing of pilots' fees in U.S. waters by the Secretary of Commerce and we assume this will be accomplished by giving all interested parties an op portunity to be heard. The same procedure has been used by State pilotage authorities with great success and has been in effect since colonial days in many of our Atlantic coast ports. We understand a similar procedure is in effect in Canada. Under the provisions of H.R. 10593 the Secretary of Commerce would be empowered to coordinate all regulations and rates with the proper authori. ties of Canada to keep the pilotage fees in both countries on a comparable basis. If the pilots in one country were paid fees considerably higher than the pilots in the other country, the shipowner would naturally attempt to secure the pilots receiving the lesser fee. Every State in the United States that has a pilots' commission fixes the fee and without objection so far as we know. While this bill does not provide for public hearings, it is our opinion that hearings would be required under the Federal Administrative Procedures Act and needs no mention in this bill. Allowing the Secretary of Commerce to be the final word on fees after hearing interested parties and conferring with Canadian officials would eliminate a chaotic condition which could occur if a pilot or group of pilots must contract with individual shipowners because there would be a large number of shipowners and many of their vessels make only an occasional trip into the Great Lakes.
In conclusion, our association desires to endorse this bill which has been so ably put together by the various Government agencies, and respectfully asks that this committee recommend its prompt passage and enactment into law.
We wish to thank the chairman of this committee and all of its members for giving us an opportunity to be heard, for we realize you have taken time from tasks and duties that might be more urgent and affect many more people and interests.
SUPPLEMENTAL STATEMENT OF THE CHICAGO OVERSEAS SHIPPING ASSOCIATION IN
SUPPORT OF H.R. 10593
During the hearings on March 9, 10, and 11, 1960, regarding H.R. 10593 before the Subcommittee on Coast Guard, Coast and Geodetic Survey and Navigation, a representative of the American Merchant Marine Institute advocated an amendment to the bill specifically designating the restricted waters of the Great Lakes in which compulsory pilotage would be required. Thereafter, there were varied expressions of opinion from many of the witnesses in response to questioning by members of the subcommittee. However, we do not believe that all of the problems which have a bearing upon this issue were brought to the attention of the subcommittee and, for that reason, we are submitting this supplemental statement urging the retention of the present language in the bill, which would authorize the designation of the restricted waters by the President.
In our opinion, it would be impractical to attempt to designate specific areas of U.S. waters of the Great Lakes as compulsory pilotage districts by any statutory language. Most of the waters involved are international in character and any attempt to designate specific areas will be nullified unless Canadian authorities designate areas on their side of the international boundary line which are contiguous. Furthermore, some of the restricted waters which were mentioned by witnesses lie entirely in Canadian territory.
No one advised the subcommittee that in the western end of Lake Erie, which was proposed by the representative of the American Merchant Marine Institute as a restricted area west of longitude 82°20' W., the customary route for vessels in the restricted waters is almost entirely in Canadian territory. Attached hereto is a reproduction of the lake survey chart for that area. Referring to the chart, Pelee Passage, Southeast Shoal Light, Grubb Reef, and Colchester Reef Light are well inside Canadian waters. This is the area in which traffic congestion develops because the courses to and from major ports on Lake Erie (except Toledo) meet at Southeast Shoal. Therefore, it is quite obvious that designation of the American waters west of the longitude mentioned would not touch upon the area concerned. As a matter of fact, American waters west of the longitude in question are broad, open waters to about longitude 82°35' W. At that point, the western end of Lake Erie becomes impassable to the westward for vessels of the type covered by the proposed act, due to shoal water and islands. Hence, any effective pilot regulations for the western end of Lake Erie must be established by Canadian authorities up to the approaches to the Detroit River. The channels through the Detroit River, Lake St. Clair, and the St. Clair River, which are the waterways connecting Lake Erie and Lake Huron, lie alternately on both sides of the international boundary. A similar situation exists in the St. Marys River. Hence, it would be impossible to effectively and efficiently regulate these areas without identical designations by Canada and the United States.
The Welland Canal lies entirely in Canadian waters and forms the connecting link between Lake Ontario and Lake Erie. This area of restricted waters must be entirely regulated by the Canadian Government which has territorial jurisdiction. Nevertheless, we believe it is quite important to have uniformity in the regulations which are promulgated by both of the countries and this could not be done without close coordination in all aspects of the pilotage regulations.
During previous hearings, we suggested the possibility of a joint commission of the two nations to handle the entire pilotage problem. It is now our understanding that detailed studies by Government agencies indicated that such a joint commission would be so cumbersome and unwieldy that it would be better to have comparable agencies in each country to handle the problem on a coordinated basis. This is the system which has proved so successful in the construction and operation of the St. Lawrence Seaway where our St. Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation works together with the St. Lawrence Seaway Authority of Canada. Nevertheless, the coordinated efforts of the separate agencies of the two nations impinge upon the foreign relations of the United States. The waters concerned are international in character. Therefore, we believe it would be unwise to arbitrarily designate certain waters as compulsory pilotage areas in the bill under consideration when Canada desires to handle this same problem by means of regulations on a coordinated basis. In this connection, it is our understanding that Canada has told our Government representatives that this procedure would be more in keeping with Canada's method of handling such matters.
There are operational problems which should be fully considered. The pilotage areas to be designated certainly should take cognizance of the practical problem of supplying pilots and taking them off in the areas which are to be served. For convenience and economy, it will undoubtedly be necessary to have pilotage districts which are international in character in that they encompass waters of both nations. For example, the western end of Lake Erie and the Detroit River system would be a case in point. Everyone seemingly agrees that for the waters from Southeast Shoal on Lake Erie to Port Huron or Sarnia on Lake Huron, compulsory pilotage should be required. As we have already pointed out, the western end of Lake Erie from Southeast Shoal to the Detroit River, in the waters where vessels navigate, is entirely in Canadian territory. Nevertheless, we would anticipate that a pilotage district would be created from Southeast Shoal to Port Huron with American pilots and Canadian pilots serving together and interchangeably within this district since it would seem desirable from the practical standpoint to retain the whole area as one district as has been done in the past.
The creation of pilotage districts in other waters, such as St. Mary's River, the St. Lawrence Seaway, and St. Lawrence River, will have similar operating problems. It is our understanding that Snell lock lies in American waters about 3 miles from the international boundary. To cut off pilotage districts 3 miles from the lock would obviously impose practical operating problems in that pilot boat service of some kind would have to be provided for that stretch in order to embark and disembark pilots. On the other hand, if the pilotage districts created in that area terminated and began at the lock itself, then it would be a simple problem to take off and put on pilots. Therefore, we submit that the practicalities and operational problems must be carefully studied in designating the various compulsory pilotage areas in coordination with Canada.
We also believe that there must be considerable flexibility in the legislation now being considered in order to meet changing conditions. The new St. Lawrence Seaway is only about 1 year old. There was a large influx of ocean vessels during the past year but it is too early to determine what traffic patterns will finally emerge. It may become necessary to create new traffic routes, depending upon the increase in the number of vessels, to avoid excessive congestion. For example, at Southeast Shoal in Lake Erie it may be possible in the future to dredge new channels which would provide for a separation of the courses of eastbound and westbound vessels. If that were done, it