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on whom fall the primary responsibility to navigate the open waters, to navigate these waters.
Where such competency does not exist, the Commission would agree with the Coast Guard's recommendation that there should be in the service of the vessel a qualified pilot to insure its safe navigation on the open as well as the restricted waters. Conversely, however, where such competency does exist, the requirement that a special pilot be abroad while the vessel is on the open waters of the Great Lakes is unnecessarily severe and could result in unfair economic hardship.
With reference to the objection that H.R. 57 does not provide authority for the supervision and control which are required in the public interest, the Great Lakes Commission reiterates its suggestion that the bill be amended to authorize establishment of a joint United States and Canadian commission to regulate pilotage on the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence River. Only through such governmental regulation and supervision of pilotage can the Government fulfill its obligation, based on its investment and interest in the economic success of the seaway, to establish and maintain conditions which will facilitate commerce on the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence waterway and thus insure the seaway's success. Failure by the Government to institute such regulation and supervision could lead to chaotic conditions, unjustified exploitation of compulsory pilotage requirements and perindic disturbances which, at the minimum, would seriously impede maximum utilization of this waterway.
We hope that the committee will recognize the need for the regulation of pilotage in these waters by a joint commission of the United States and Canada such as we recommend and that H.R. 57 will be amended to authorize the estab lishment of such a joint agency. Should the committee, however, decide against such action, we strongly recommend as an alternative that H.R. 57 be amended to provide appropriate procedures, under governmental auspices, for the mediation and arbitration of disputes that may arise between vessel operators and the pilots.
While this alternative recommendation in our judgment is less satisfactory than the joint commission which is our first and primary recommendation, it would apply to the problem of pilotage in these waters governmental policies and procedures that have proved effective in other modes of transport. Consideration of these views by the committee is appreciated. Sincerely yours,
MARVIN FAST, Executive Director.
STATEMENT BY THE GREAT LAKES COMMISSION ON GREAT LAKES PILOTAGE
(Authorized June 3, 1958) The Great Lakes Commission recommends to the President, the Department of State, the Senate, and the House of Representatives, the negotiation of a treaty between the United States and Canada, and the enactment of implementing legislation, such treaty to provide for the appointment of an international joint commission to regulate pilotage on the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence River in the public interest.
In advancing this recommendation, the Commission emphasizes the public interest in the waterborne commerce on the Great Lakes and the St. Lawrence Waterway, and in the economic success of the seaway. We submit that the appropriate agencies of Government have an obligation, based on the public interest, to establish and maintain conditions which will facilitate this commerce and promote the success of the seaway. In the instance of pilotage on the Great Lakes and the St. Lawrence River, we submit the appropriate agency to execute this governmental obligation is an international joint commission of the United States and Canada which, by supervising a system of pilotage fair and equitable to both the pilots and the vessels, can guarantee the protection of the wider public interest. Our reasons in proposing an international joint commission of the United States and Canada are the obvious interests and rights of both nations in the waters of the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence River, and our duty to preserve cordial relations with our friendly neighbor to the north.
The Great Lakes Commission does not oppose enactment of legislation intended to effect high standards of marine safety on the Great Lakes and on the St. Lawrence River. We understand that to be the purpose of the bill now before
Congress developed by the Coast Guard and endorsed by the American- and Canadian-flag operators on the Great Lakes. We agree that action is needed in the interest of marine safety to extend pilotage requirements on the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence River to vessels presently not subject to such requirements. We agree further that such additional action should not apply to United States-flag vessels presently operating in the Great Lakes since existing law already requires these vessels to carry a master and other competent pilots and personnel licensed by the Coast Guard for the particular waters of the Great Lakes wherein the vessel trades. Finally the Commission, a joint agency of the States, concurs in the view that the special nature of the situation on the Great Lakes—which, apart from Canadian authority, involves eight Statesmakes action by the Federal Government preferable to State action.
The Commission respectfully directs attention, however, to an important feature of the system of pilotage prevailing on the Atlantic, gulf, and Pacific coasts. Pilotage on these coasts, except for vessels under enrollment, by consent of the Federal Government, is a State function. The statutes of the maritime States on these coasts provide for extensive supervision and control of pilotage by official governmental boards. State rules covering pilotage regulate numerous phases of pilotage, including the number of pilots, licensing and suspension, fees and rates, conduct of pilots, and their employees, and the settlement of differences between pilots and those dealing with them. This supervision and control appears to characterize the laws in all States with long experience in pilotage matters. It has been endorsed by the American Pilots' Association, the national organization representing State pilots, in the following words:
"American pilots in their daily work must bear heavy burdens of responsibility primarily supported by their native ability, the continuing discipline of their training, and their abiding realization of the importance and dignity of their traditional activities. The laws of the several maritime States wisely decree that official boards, by exercising an extensive supervision and control over the pilots of their States, shall assume a considerable portion of the pilots' responsibility."
The legislation now before Congress, S. 2096 and H.R. 7515, provides that no vessel shall navigate U.S. waters west of St. Regis on the St. Lawrence River and on the Great Lakes without a qualified pilot licensed either by the United States or Canada. The regulations which the Coast Guard is authorized to issue under the bill are restricted to designating certain waters in which the pilot or other qualified officer shall, subject to the customary authority of the master, direct the navigation of the vessel. Nowhere in the bill does there appear any authority for the supervision and control which so significantly and uniformly is a feature in pilotage regulations where these are a matter of State responsibility. The bill thus seems to lack entirely the regulatory features which in the public interest parallel and accompany the official status and legal monopoly conferred on pilots by comparable State statutes.
The Great Lakes Commission is confident that the Congress and the Executive recognize the importance of marine safety on the Great Lakes. We are hopeful that the Congress and the Executive also will recognize the benefits of the supervision and control characteristic of State pilotage systems, and the desirability of instituting comparable regulations, to be administered by a joint United States and Canadian Commission, in pilotage requirements for the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence River. By so doing the Federal Government will promote not only improved marine safety on a waterway of increasing importance and traffic. It also will insure that the system established will be fair and equitable to both the pilots and the shipping public.
Senator Scott. The next witness is Lyndon Spencer, president of the Lake Carriers' Association.
STATEMENT OF LYNDON SPENCER, PRESIDENT, LAKE CARRIERS'
ASSOCIATION, CLEVELAND, OHIO Mr. SPENCER. My name is Lyndon Spencer. I 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 overseas-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 overseasflag 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 overseas-flag vessels, 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 House Committee on Merchant Marine and Fisheries in connection with that legislation, I detailed at length the collisions and some of the near collisions that have occurred because of the disregard by overseasfiag 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 overseas-flag vessels during the navigation season of 1959 resulted in at least two major collisions, both of which took place in the open lake. Specifically, 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 S. 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 overseas-flag vessel did not have a qualified pilot on watch and was not following the prescribed open
lake 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 overseas-flag 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 can be navigated only by federally licensed pilots. For these reasons we feel the present bill, inasmuch as it requires registered pilots on overseas-flag vessels only in certain waters of the Great Lakes designated by the President, is not entirely adequate.
Our association is concerned with safety throughout the length and breadth of the lakes. S. 3019, 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 compromises safety and makes unprecedented concessions to overseas-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 overseas-flag 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 overseas-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. While it would be presumptive for me to attempt to tell the Congress of the United States what it should do in international affairs, I must express a deep personal opinion that the proposed concession to foreigners does chip away some of 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
ASSOCIATION AND THE LAKE CARRIERS' ASSOCIATION MEETING IN WASHINGTON, D.O., ON JANUARY 28, 1960
Whereas safety of navigation is a primary and continuing concern of all Great Lakes vessel owners, seamen, and Canadian and U.S. 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 U.S. 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 license 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 overseaflag vessels throughout U.S. waters of the Great Lakes. We realize, however, that this proposed legislation-S. 3019—was prepared jointly by the Departments of State and Commerce and the Coast Guard. If it is the sense of this committee and the Congress that designation of the waters of the Great Lakes wherein registered pilots are to be
required on oversea-flag vessels is to be left to the President, we will not oppose that view inasmuch as 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 S. 3019 will in some measure reduce the hazard which the overseaflag vessel has created on the Great Lakes, this association cannot oppose its adoption.
Senator SCOTT. Thank you.
Senator LAUSCHE. Has the conflict of opinion which existed a year or two ago been resolved, about the type of bill that ought to be adopted to insure safety of the ships?
Mr. SPENCER. The only conflict of opinion that I know of, Senator, was that between representatives of the foreign interests and representatives of the U.S. interests. I assume that inasmuch as this bill has been worked out by the State Department and has been worked over with Canada, that difference has been resolved.
Senator LAUSCHE. Either last year or 2 years ago there was testimony offered showing what the added costs would be in the operation of the ships and that except for certain narrow straits these added pilots would be unnecessary. Am I correct in that recollection? Mr. SPENCER. You are correct in that, yes, sir.
Senator LAUSCHE. I think they pointed out that in the major portion of the travel the extra pilot would have nothing to do. That is, after he got by certain narrow straits there would be no problem. That has been resolved; is that correct?
Mr. SPENCER. It has not been resolved to our satisfaction; no, sir. We are still of the opinion that fully qualified pilots should be on board these vessels at all times, just as they are required on U.S. vessels.
The Government of the United States makes no distinction between open waters and restricted waters as far as the pilots on our vessels are concerned, and we believe that is necessary for all vessels to have full safety. However, as I say in here, we realize that our chances of getting that are very light. If the State Department is going to accede to the wishes of the foreign governments, then we won't get it, and we might as well admit it and take what we can get.
Senator LAUSCHE. I have nothing further.
Mr. BOURBON. As Senator Lausche has pointed out, the real objection of all the foreign lines before was the added cost of keeping a man aboard 20 or 24 days, when he might be absolutely necessary for only 4 or 5 days. In line with that, your statement that:
Such arguments have no merit, for the economic cost of the present policy requirements for our own Great Lakes vessels far exceeds any added costs which the owners of oversea-flag vessels will incur as a result of the pilotage requirementswould you explain that high cost on the American vessels?
Mr. SPENCER. Yes, sir. We pay our officers from four to five times as much as the officers on foreign ships. We feel that part of that