United States Maritime Commission

Department of Commerce Building, Fourteenth and E. Streets NW.
EXecutive 3340, Branch 400

Chairman Vice Admiral Emory S. Land (U.S.N. retired)
Vice Chairman Vice Admiral Howard L. Vickery
     John M. Carmody      Capt. Edward Macauley (U.S.N. retired)
     Thomas M. Woodward  
Executive Director S. Duval Schell
General Counsel Wade H. Skinner
Secretary A.J. Williams
Budget Officer William U. Kirsch
Director, Technical Division J.L. Bates
Director, Production Division Allen D. MacLean
Chairman, Price Adjustment Board Thomas M. Woodward
Director, Division of Finance R.E. Anderson
Chief Examiner, Examining Division John J. Miller
Director, Division of Operations and Traffic Gerald H. Helmbold
Director, Division of Maintenance and Repairs D.S. Brierley
Director, Division of Insurance B.K. Ogden
Director, Division of Public Relations Robert W. Horton
Director, Division of Regulation Ralph H. Hallett
Director, Division of Economics and Statistics Col. Hugh D. Butler
Director, Division of Shipyard Labor Relations D.S. Ring
Director, Contract Settlement and Surplus Materials Division Burton L. Hunter
Director, Division of Large Vessels Disposal Commo. E.J. Moran (U.S.N.R.)
Director, Division of Personnel Supervision and Management John H. Ashman
Director of Procurement Division O.H. Simmons, Acting

Creation and Authority.--The United States Maritime Commission was created by the Merchant Marine Act, 1936, approved June 29, 1936 (498 Stat. 1985; 46 U.S.C. 1111). The act vested in the Commission the functions, powers, and duties hereinafter described and, in addition, those of the former United States Shipping Board under the Shipping Act, 1916 (39 Stat. 728; 46 U.S.C. 801-42), the Merchant Marine Act, 1920 (41 Stat. 988; 46 U.S.C. 13, 597-), the Merchant Marine ACt, 1928(45 Stat. 689; 46 U.S.C. 891-91x), the Intercoastal Shipping Sct, 1933 (47 Stat. 1425; 46 U.S.C. 843-48), and amendments to those act (as modified by the 1936 act), and transferred to it all property owned by the United States and theretofore controlled by the Department of Commerce as the successor to the powers and functions of the former United States Shipping Board by virtue of Executive Order 6166, dated June 10, 1933. The act also dissolved the United States Shipping Board Merchant Fleet


Corporation and transferred all its property to the Commission, its contractual obligations being assumed by the United States. The 1936 act, as well as the other acts referred to, has been amended in a number of respects.

Executive Order 9054, dated February 7, 1942, transferred to the War Shipping Administration the functions, duties and powers of the United States Maritime Commission with respect to the operation, purchase, charter, insurance, repair, maintenance, and requisition of vessels and the issuance of warrants with respect to them, and assigned to the Administrator such part of the personnel of the Maritime Commission, together with such records and public property, as he may deem necessary to the full exercise of his functions and duties.

Purpose.--The policy declared in the Merchant Marine Act, 1936, follows: "It is necessary for the national defense and development of its foreign and domestic commerce that the United States shall have a merchant marine (a) sufficient to carry its domestic water-borne commerce and a substantial portion of the water-borne export and import foreign commerce of the United States and to provide shipping service on all routes essential for maintaining the flow of such domestic and foreign water-borne commerce at all times, (b) capable of serving as a naval and military auxiliary in time of war or national emergency, 9c) owned and operated under the United States flag by citizens of the United States insofar as may be practicable, and (d) composed of the best-equipped, safest, and most suitable types of vessels, constructed in the United States and manned with a trained and efficient citizen personnel. It is hereby declared to be the policy of the United States to foster the development and encourage the maintenance of such a merchant marine."

Organization.--The act provides that the Commission shall be composed of five members, to be appointed by the President with the advice and consent of the Senate, with not more than three of its members from the same political party. The terms of office of the members first appointed are fixed at 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6 years, respectively, and thereafter each is appointed for a term of 6 years.

The commissioners took office on April 16, 1937, succeeding a temporary Commission which served from September 26, 1936, until the permanent commissioners took the oath of office. The employees of the United States Shipping Board Bureau and the United States Shipping Board Merchant Fleet Corporation were authorized to be transferred to the Commission.


The duties of the Commission include the investigation and determination of the ocean services, routes, and lines from points in the United States to foreign markets essential for the development and maintenance of the foreign commerce of the United States and the determination of what additions and replacements of the American merchant marine are required to create an adequate and well-balanced merchant fleet to provide shipping service on all routes essential for the flow of the foreign commerce of the United States, and investigation of other maritime problems arising under the act.


Ship Construction.--Under the 1936 act the Commission adopted, prior to the outbreak of the European war, and has been carrying out the long-range ship-construction program of 600 ships in 10 years. This program was accelerated at the outbreak of the European war and has been further accelerated in order to met national defense and war requirements for the standard type vessels designed in accordance with the requirements and purpose of the 1936 act.

Under emergency and wartime legislation and appropriations, the Commission is carrying out a program for the construction of a large number of merchant ships and others of special types.

The great bulk of the shipyard facilities being utilized in the merchant shipbuilding program have been constructed under the jurisdiction of and are owned by the Maritime Commission. These Government-owned plants are operated by private concerns under contract with the Commission.

The Commission's program in 1942, 1943, and 1944 resulted in the completion of approximately 43,600,000 tons, deadweight, of ships. These vessels, with the exception of those acquired by the military broaches of the Government, are operated under the jurisdiction of the War Shipping Administration.

Construction-Differential Subsidy.--To aid a citizen of the united States in the construction of a new vessel to be used on a service, route, or line in the foreign commerce of the United States determined to be essential, the Commission is empowered to have the vessel constructed in a shipyard in the United States. to pay such construction cost, and to sell the vessel to the applicant for an amount equal to the estimated cost of the construction of the vessel if it were constructed in a foreign shipyard. The difference between the cost of constructing the vessel in the United States and the estimated cost of constructing the vessel in a foreign shipyard is termed a construction-differential subsidy, but in no case may such subsidy exceed 50 percent of the cost of the vessel. Under temporary emergency legislation the Commission is authorized to make the determinations of estimated foreign costs on the basis of the conditions existing during the period prior to September 3, 1939.

Aid may be extended to any citizen of the United States in the construction of a new vessel to be operated in the foreign or domestic trade (excepting vessels engaged solely in the transportation of property on inland rivers and canals exclusively) in cases where no construction-differential subsidy is to be allowed.

If it is found that the national policy declared in the act and the building program contemplated by the act cannot be realized within a reasonable time, after approval by the President, the Commission may have new vessels constructed and old ones reconditioned.

Vessels constructed through the aid of subsidies must be operated exclusively in foreign trade, or on a round-the-world voyage or a round voyage from the west coast of the United States to European ports or a round voyage from the Atlantic coast to the Orient which includes intercoastal ports of the United States, or on a voyage in foreign trade where the vessel may stop at an island possession or Territory of the United States. Temporary transfer of the vessel to domestic trade may be made only with written consent of the Commission, and upon the making of certain payments. In an emergency


the Commission may, under certain conditions, permit the temporary transfer of the vessel to the domestic trade.

Operating-Differential Subsidy.--The Commission is empowered to grant an operating-differential subsidy to aid a citizen of the United States in the operation of a vessel to be used in an essential service, route, or line in the foreign commerce of the United States. This operating-differential subsidy, which is intended to place the proposed operations of such vessels on a parity with those of foreign competitors, is the excess of the cost of items of operating expense in which it is found the applicant is at a substantial disadvantage in competition with foreign vessels over the estimated cost of the same items of expense if the vessel were operated under registry of a foreign country whose vessels are substantial competitors of the vessels covered by the contract. The operating-differential subsidy payments were reduced by mutual agreement during 1941 and the subsidy program was virtually suspended in May 1942 because of the general requisition of merchant vessels owned by citizens of the United States.

Acquisition of Obsolete Vessels.--The Commission is authorized to acquire any obsolete vessel or vessels not less than 17 years old, which have been owned by citizens of the United States for at least 3 years prior to the date of such acquisition, in exchange for credit on the purchase of a new vessel or vessels from the Commission or on a new vessel or vessels constructed in a domestic shipyard and documented under the laws of the United States. The general requisition of merchant tonnage has brought about virtual cessation of this activity for the duration of the war.

Construction Reserve Funds (Section 511).--Under regulations jointly issued by the Maritime Commission and the Bureau of Internal Revenue, the two agencies administer the provisions of section 511 relating to construction reserve funds in which American ship owners may deposit proceeds from the sale or loss of vessels and earnings from operation of vessels, for use in the construction or acquisition of new vessels.

Transfer of Vessels to Aliens.--The Commission regulates the sales to aliens, and the transfer to foreign registry, of vessels owned in whole or in part by citizens of the United States and documented under the laws of the United States, and, in time of war or national emergency proclaimed by the President, of vessels so owned without regard to documentation.

Insurance.--Under authority conferred by title XI of the Merchant marine Act, 1936, the Commission may, upon application of a mortgagee, insure mortgages on all types of passenger and cargo vessels, tugs, towboats, barges, dredges, and fishing vessels owned by citizens of the United States To be eligible for such insurance, the mortgage must be to secure a new loan or advance to aid in the construction, reconstruction, or reconditioning of a craft, and the amount of the mortgage insured may not exceed 75 percent of the cost of such new construction, reconstruction, or reconditioning.

Regulatory Powers.--The regulatory powers possessed by the Commission extend to all common carriers by water engaged in foreign commerce of the United States and to all person carrying on the


business of forwarding or furnishing wharfage, dock, warehouse, or other terminal facilities in connection with common carriers by water. These powers are principally in relation to rates, fares, charges, regulations, and practices. The Commission possesses quasi-judicial authority to receive and determine complaints of shippers, passengers, and others alleging unreasonableness or unjust discrimination by common carriers by water and others subject to its regulatory authority and the method for the enforcement of orders of the Commission, including orders directing the payment of money in reparation for violation of statutory provisions, as prescribed in the shipping acts. An important regulatory power vested in the Commission is the approval, disapproval, or modification of agreements entered nto between common carriers by water subject to its jurisdiction respecting cooperative working arrangements. The Commission's approval of such agreements, commonly referred to as conference agreements, excepts the parties thereto from the operation of the Sherman Antitrust Act, Wilson Tariff Act, Clayton Act, and supplementary acts and amendments directed at monopolies in restraint of trade.

Field Offices--United States Maritime Commission
Area Person in Charge Address
Atlantic Coast District: Including all U.S. Atlantic Coast ports from Maine through Georgia and Jacksonville, Fla., and including the activities of the U.S. Maritime Commission in Canadian and Newfoundland ports. Capt Granville Conway, Atlantic Coast Director 45 Broadway, New York 6, N.Y.
John F. Doyle, District Manager Pier 98 South, Philadelphia 48, Pa.
Julius A. Bouslog, District Manager 22 Light Street, Baltimore 2, Md.
J. Victor Bahorich, District Manager Halifax, Nova Scotia
Malcolm H. McGann, District Manager Boston, Mass.
George F. Blair, District Manager Twelfth Street and Monticello Avenue, Norfolk 10, Va.
John Morel, District Manager Savannah Bank and Trust Co., Savannah, Ga.
Gulf Coast District: Including all U.S. Gulf ports in the Gulf of Mexico and all ports in Florida, except Jacksonville Chester H. Marshall, Gulf Coast Director Canal Building, Nw Orleans 12, La.
J.J. Fitzpatrick, District Manager Canal Building, New Orleans 12, La.
Pacific Coast District: Including all Pacific Coast ports Lt. Comdr. W.C. Peet, Jr., Acting District Manager
European District: Including British Isles and Continental Europe W.A. Spencer, European Representative 2, Harewood Place, London, W. 1, England
Construction Offices  
East Coast; Covering all shipyards on the Atlantic coast, exclusive of the coast of Florida J.F. McInnis, Regional Director of Construction Jefferson Building, 1015 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia 7, Pa.
Gulf-Great Lakes: Covering all shipyards on the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic coast of Florida L.R. Sanford, Regional Director of Construction Stern Building, 348 Baronne Street, New Orleans 12, La.


Field Offices--United States Maritime Commission--Continued
Area Person in Charge Address
West Coast: Covering all shipyards on the West Coast C.W. Flesher, Regional Director of Construction Financial Center Building, Fourteenth and Franklin Streets, Oakland 12, Calif.
Gulf-Great Lakes: Covering all shipyards on the Great Lakes L.R. Sanford, Regional Director of Construction 310 S. Michigan Avenue, Chicago 4, Ill.


Emory S. Land


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