10 SEPTEMBER 1921, Page 16


[To THE EDITOR or THE " SPECTATOR."] SIR,—The United States during the war made great efforts to increase her number of merchant ships, and helped the Allies in so doing. She is now trying to continue the use of such vessels in commerce, but by her peace with Germany she will soon be faced with the unpleasant situation that her crews (among the best paid in the world) will find themselves along- side of vessels in American ports manned by German crews, who, owing to their exchange, would now be among the worst paid in the world. I have consulted a well-known publicist in New York on this question, and he writes to me as follows i-

" Vessels sailing under the American flag cannot, of course, have German crews, but there is nothing to prevent Americans investing in German companies sailing under the German flag. These German companies operate entirely under the German law, and would have German personnel, and would be con- trolled by German capital. The American minority interest would in no way affect their status when trading to American ports. Our sailors' associations would almost surely have something to say about it. but I am afraid this something would be entirely without effect."

It is not a pleasing outlook for American sailors.—I am, Sir,