American Shipping Policy

American Shipping Policy

American Shipping Policy

American Shipping Policy

Excerpt

Although the merchant marine question has been one of the most persistent issues in American politics no comprehensive study of shipping legislation has ever been attempted. Hundreds of books and thousands of magazine articles have appeared dealing with some phase of the shipping industry. The major portion of this literature, however, is propaganda published by the various interests desirous of securing Government aid for the merchant fleet. There have been few serious studies of the shipping question and even these more scholarly attempts have in every case dealt with but one phase of the subject.

There have been a number of histories of the merchant marine of which the best is perhaps that of John R. Spears. There have been several studies of the economic effects of ship subsidies. In this field Royal Meeker's History of Shipping Subsidiesis probably the standard work despite the fact that it was written in 1905. Finally, there have been several accounts of the Government aid which has been extended to the shipping industry. The most recent and best of these studies is that of J. E. Saugstad on Shipping and Shipbuilding Subsidies issued by the Department of Commerce. This work has the defect, however, of merely relating what was done with no analysis of the reasons for Congressional action and no appraisal of the value of the legislation which was secured.

While endeavoring to present a complete factual record of what was done, I have been concerned primarily with the motives and forces which guided Congressional action. To discover why Congress acted or failed to act on the shipping question appeared more significant than merely to relate what actually was done. This book, originally written as a doctoral dissertation for the Department of Politics of Princeton University, is, I believe, the first thoroughgoing analysis of the Congressional action on the shipping question with a view to determining . . .

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