The Norwegian Legation to the Department of State
Norwegian Shipowners interested in the shipping trade on the ports of the United States have expressed their great concern to the Norwegian Government about a Bill (Senate Bill 717), introduced in the United States Senate by Senator King and providing for the deportation of certain alien seamen. The said Norwegian Shipowners are of opinion that the Bill, if passed, undoubtedly will cause many difficulties and great expenses to their ships.
1) In the first place the provisions of the Bill excluding all seamen not falling under the strict category of “bona fide” seamen would, in case of shortage of the crew brought about say by sickness, death or desertion in foreign ports and when, as frequently happens in certain countries ordinary professional seamen not are available, prevent captains from completing the crew, thus exposing their ships to risks and perils from being undermanned. 2) The necessity for ships, under section 6 of the Bill, when departing from the United States, to carry a crew of at least equal number as when entering the port will often cause great difficulties. 3) According to sections 3 and 7 alien seamen found inadmissible from the reasons therein stated shall be deported on a vessel other than that on which they were brought, at the expense of the vessel by which brought. These provisions will in frequent cases result in extraordinarily heavy expenses to the ships as well as in inconveniences to ships, captains and often to the seamen themselves.