Memorandum by the Assistant Chief of the Division of Trade Agreements (Deimel)

A revised ship subsidy measure has been introduced into the Senate by Senator Copeland, “by request” (S. 3376, July 29, calendar day, August 6, 193519) in place of the bill which he withdrew following the passage of Congressman Bland’s Bill by the House.20

This new bill differs in a number of important points not only from Senator Copeland’s earlier bill, but also from the Bland Bill. It provides for subsidies (a) for ship building to meet the difference between foreign and domestic construction costs, and (b) for operation [Page 480] to meet the difference between foreign and domestic operating costs, but contains no provision for the third, “trade penetration” or “fighting ships” subsidy. Likewise, the earlier proposals to give specific authorization to the maritime authority for the fixing of rates in foreign commerce are omitted.

Accordingly, aside from the inclusion in the declaration of policies that the United States should have:

“… a merchant marine sufficient to carry its domestic water borne commerce and at least one-half of the water borne export and import foreign commerce of the United States,”

The principal features in the earlier subsidy bills to which the Department might have serious objections have been eliminated from this bill.

  1. Congressional Record, vol. 79, pt. 12, p. 12534.
  2. The Bland Bill, H. R. 8555, known as the Merchant Marine Act of 1936, was passed by Congress and approved June 29, 1936; 49 Stat. 1985.