The Merchant Marine and World Frontiers

The Merchant Marine and World Frontiers

The Merchant Marine and World Frontiers

The Merchant Marine and World Frontiers

Excerpt

Throughout our country, inland as well as on the seaboard, there is a new interest in our American Merchant Marine. Perhaps this grows out of a justifiable pride in the achievements of our shipbuilders. Perhaps it is due to a realization of what our merchant ships have been doing to make victory possible. Perhaps it reflects an increasing appreciation among all classes of people, in all kinds of activities, of the importance of our foreign trade and its relation to our own peacetime prosperity. Interest in the Merchant Marine has also been broadened by the fact that thousands of men from all over the land, who perhaps never before saw salt water, have gone to sea in our war-built ships and have become accomplished seamen.

But to be interested in our merchant ships, and to understand the possible results of our becoming the world's greatest shipowner, are two very different things. There are many questions to which answers must be found if democracy is to solve intelligently the problem of its shipping.

Some of these questions are basic. Have the ships we have built as part of the war effort a place in our postwar national economy? Will they help build business--help employment? Or would our foreign commerce be better served by letting other maritime nations carry our goods? Is the idea sound that a dollar paid to a foreign ship operator helps build up our exports? Or is it more consistent with American business experience for us to operate our own overseas delivery system? What were we doing about our merchant shipping before the war? And what about World War I; did it teach us any lessons about our shipping, and did we heed those lessons? Why do we need a shipbuilding industry? Why should we subsidize our shipping, and what does it cost us to do so? What part have our merchant ships been playing in winning the war, and what is the general relation between our merchant ships and national defense? Should we keep all of our war-built ships? Or should we sell them to foreigners? Or should we give them away? Do the other allied nations need the ships that we have built? And if we refuse to let them have ships, what then?

These are some of the questions that are troubling the public mind. This volume is offered in the hope that it will serve to bring together into a comprehensive picture the various elements of the problem growing out of our . . .

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