Memorandum by Mr. William R. Vallance of the Office of the Legal Adviser

Mr. Moffat6 telephoned me, I believe on March 15, that the Norwegian Minister had called to see him regarding his desire to have Mr. Charles S. Haight, Attorney for Norwegian tramp steamship owners, given an opportunity for a full hearing on the so-called Eastman Transportation Bill. Mr. Moffat suggested that, as I was following the legislation in Congress, he was passing on to me the request of the Norwegian Minister for such action as seemed appropriate under the circumstances.

I told Mr. Moffat that Mr. Haight had advised me of his fear that he would not be able to get a hearing before the Committee but that I believed the Committee would nevertheless find time to hear what he had to say before it adjourned.

Last evening Mr. Haight telephoned me at my residence and expressed his desire to be heard by the Committee at the hearing this morning. Under the circumstances I telephoned to the Clerk of the Committee and advised him of the request of the Norwegian Minister. I was assured that Mr. Haight’s name was on the list of witnesses for today.

Mr. Haight called this afternoon and stated that he had been on the stand for an hour this morning and that he believed he had fully presented the arguments against the adoption of shipping provisions in the Eastman Bill. He stated that Mr. Eastman7 had called Mr. Hewes of this Department on the ’phone and had assured him that he was not a shipping man and did not want to put anything in his bill that would embarrass the Department in connection with international shipping rights and obligations or policies. Mr. Haight understood that Mr. Hewes expressed the opinion that he might take steps with a view to having the Interdepartmental Committee on Shipping called together again to consider the questions raised by the foreign governments in respect to the provisions of the Eastman Bill relative to shipping. Mr. Haight said that he had promised to furnish Mr. Hewes a memorandum regarding the international obligations that would be affected by the proposed legislation and an argument against the adoption of these provisions from a shipping policy standpoint. No further action is required at the present time with regard to the matter. The Clerk of the Senate Committee considering the Eastman Bill is Mr. Robert Freer, an intimate friend of mine who was [Page 471] formerly an attorney with the Interstate Commerce Commission and who was detailed with Mr. Eastman to assist him in making the study of the transportation problem and in drafting legislation to deal with it.

W[illiam] R. V[allance]
  1. J. Pierrepont Moffat, Chief of the Division of Western European Affairs.
  2. Joseph B. Eastman, Federal Coordinator of Transportation.