A look back at WorkBoat for November 1949

• At least a dozen witnesses didn’t get a chance to testify at a recent meeting of the Maritime Affairs Subcommittee of the House Merchant Marine and Fisheries Committee when hearings on the Hart bill to license deck officers on diesel driven or other internal combustion vessels were postponed indefinitely. The only witnesses heard were officers of the AFL Masters, Mates and Pilots Union who strongly endorsed the bill. The bill would give the Coast Guard authority to examine deck officers on internal combustion driven vessels of 100 tons and over, which would cover most inland waterways barges. Witnesses who didn’t testify represented barge operators, including Chester C. Thompson of the American Waterways Operators. Thompson was going to testify against the bill, arguing that barge companies have an excellent record and that licensing would be a hardship on deck officers with good boat sense but poor written exam skills.

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