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THE SEAMEN'S BILL IN CONGRESS H. R. 23673 (Formerly H. R. 11372) [seal] 429
The bill should be enacted into law for the following reasons: FIRST: To benefit the traveling public: it will promote safety of life. SECOND: To benefit the sailor: It will give him freedom, an opportunity to secure justice, and greater safety of life. THIRD: To benefit the nation: It will tend to build up the American Merchant Marine and to bring into existence a greater body of native American seamen.
It will promote safety of life at sea and on the Great Lakes by providing that a percentage of the deck crew on all vessels must be able seamen of three years experience on deck. 40 per cent in the first year increasing 5 per cent each year until a maximum of 65 percent is reached. It provides that 75 per cent of the crew in each department must be able to understand the orders of the officers; and that passenger vessels must carry a crew sufficient to man each life boat with two men with a rating of able seamen or higher.
It will give freedom to the seamen, by repealing the laws and treaties under which American Seamen on American ships in ports in the foreign trade, who quit their jobs, are now treated as runaway slaves, captured and forced to work against their will, or sentenced to a foreign jail as though they were criminals; and whereby foreign seamen in American Ports are subjected to the same degrading treatment.
It will promote the upbuilding of the American Merchant Marine far more than any ship subsidy scheme ever can or will, and that without taxing the public. It will do this by recognizing the right of all seamen in American ports to ownership in their own bodies, giving them the right to quit their jobs when the vessel has arrived at a safe harbor. The economic effect of this will be to equalize the cost of operation as between American and foreign ships, in that it will create a condition under which foreign ships coming to American harbors will have to come up to American standard in order to keep their crews.
The bill has the indorsement of the International Seamen's Union of America, the American Federation of Labor and many State Federations of Labor and city central bodies.
REMEMBER! Remember the fire horror of the steamer General Slocum. Nearly a thousand lives sacrificed. Read what the United States commission of investigation said: "The inefficiency and poor quality of the deck crew of this vessel, doubtless typical of the majority of the crews on excursion steamers, is one of the essential facts that caused the loss of so many lives." (Report of the U. S. Commission of investigation upon the Disaster of the Steamer General Slocum, p. 24.) What did Congress do, then, to require efficient deck crews of experienced seamen? NOTHING
Remember the Titanic. Sixteen hundred lives sacrificed. Read what the committee of survivors said in their public statement. "The insufficiency of lifeboats, rafts, etc.; LACK OF TRAINED SEAMEN TO MAN SAME-- stokers, stewards, etc., are not efficient boat handlers; not enough officers to carry out emergency orders on the bridge to superintend the launching and control of lifeboats; absence of searchlights." --Statement of Titanic Survivors. What will Congress do, now, to require the proper manning of ships. ?
WRITE TO YOUR CONGRESSMEN AND SENATORS AT ONCE, urging the passage of the bill, H.R. 23673, without further delay. It has been before Congress many years. IT IS TIME CONGRESS ACTED. NOW! BEFORE THIS SESSION ADJOURNS.
INTERNATIONAL SEAMEN'S UNION OF AMERICA