The Shipping Board Issue

October 12, 1925

Report Outline
Evolution of the Shipping Board
Government Shipping Activities Since 1920
Liquidation of Government Shipping
Laid-Up Government Shipping
Cargo Carrying by Shipping Board Vessels
Shipping Board Policies

The conflict between the United States Shipping Board and President Coolidge over Government shipping policy apparently has reached a stage requiring congressional action for its settlement. World trade and shipping activity meanwhile have so far recovered from the post-war depression as to permit the formulation of permanent policies for the Board and the vessels under its jurisdiction on a fairly normal basis. For these reasons the Shipping Board, both in its relation to the President and as a major factor in the general merchant marine problem, will be an outstanding subject for consideration during the coming session of Congress.

For five years the Shipping Board has functioned under the Merchant Marine Act of 1920. The conditions, which formed the basis for this legislation, underwent radical changes soon after it became a law and thus rendered much of its program inoperative. No changes in this program to meet the changed conditions have yet been made by Congress.

Since the Shipping Board controls 75 per cent or more of all American ocean-going tonnage, and operates overseas many more vessels than are privately operated under American registry, any legislation affecting the merchant marine as a whole must deal to a large extent with Shipping Board affairs. The Board still has in its possession Government property of an appraised value of more than $300,000,000 and its activities are costing about $30,000,000 a year in excess of operating revenues.

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
Water Transportation and Safety