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COMMITTEE ON INTERSTATE AND FOREIGN COMMERCE.
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES.
THETUS W. SIMS, Tennessee, Chairman. FRANK E. DOREMUS, Michigan.
JOHN J. ESCH, Wisconsin. DAN V. STEPHENS, Nebraska.
EDWARD L. HAMILTON, Michigan. ALBEN W. BARKLEY, Kentucky.
RICHARD WAYNE PARKER, New Jersey. SAM RAYBURN, Texas.
SAMUEL E. WINSLOW, Massachusetts. ANDREW J. MONTAGUE, Virginia.
JAMES S. PARKER, New York. PERL D. DECKER, Missouri.
CHARLES H. DILLON, South Dakota. CHARLES P. COADY, Maryland.
BURTON E. SWEET, Iowa.
JOHN G. COOPER, Ohio.
V. L. ALMOND, Clerk.
COAST GUARD SERVICE.
COMMITTEE ON INTERSTATE AND FOREIGN COMMERCE,
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES,
Monday, January 13, 1919. The committee met at 10.30 o'clock a. m., Hon. Thetus W. Sims (chairman) presiding.
The CHAIRMAN, Mr. Campbell, this meeting of the committee has been called for a hearing on the bill introduced by you, known as H. R. 13392. The committee will be glad to hear you, or to have you control the time we can give to the hearing.
(The bill is as follows:)
(H. R. 13392, 65th Congress, 3d Session.)
A BILL To permanently transfer the United States Coast Guard from the Treasury
Department to the Navy Department, and for other purposes.
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatires of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That on and after the passage of this: act the United States Coast Guard, created by the act of Congress approved January twenty-eighth, nineteen hundred and fifteen, entitled "An act to create the Coast Guard by combining therein the existing Life-Saving Service and Revenue-Cutter Service," shall cease to exist as a separate and distinct organization: Provided, That the personnel and matériel of the Coast Guard, except such harbor vessels as may be necessary for the proper performance of customs duties, shall become permanently a part of the United States Navy: Prorided further, that the duties heretofore performed by the Coast Guarł shall hereafter be performed by the Navy under regulations prescribed by the Secretary of the Navy, except the duties of protection of the customs revenue and enforcement of the navigation laws and other laws pertaining to motor boats: And provided further. That such duties of the Coast Guard as require the services of officers of the customs shall not be performed by the Navy hy reason of the passage of this act.
SEC. 2. That the commissioned officers of the Coast Guard on the active list shall hereby become a part of the commissioned personnel of the Navy and shall be commissionell in ranks or grades in the regular permanent Navy as follows: Senior captains shall be commissioned as commanders; all other commissioned officers of the Coast Guard shall be commissioned in such ranks or grades, not above that of lieutenant commander, as have been attained, on the cate of this act, by line officers of the regular permanent Navy of the same length of total service: Prorided, That the officers commissioned as provided! herein shall take precelence with other officers in the various ranks or grades in accordance with the length of total service: Provided further, That nothing contained in this paragraph shall operates to give any oflicer precedence or promotion over an officer who was his senior in the Coast Guard on the date of this act: And provided further, That one constructor shall be commissionell as lieutenant commander and one as lieutenant commander, construction corps.
SEC. 3. That there shall be in the organization of the Navy the office of Coast Guard superintendent. District superintendents of the Coast Guard shall herehy become a part of the personnel of the Navy and shall be coininissioned as Coast Guard superintendents. ('oast Guaril superintendents shall
perform such duties, consistent with their experience, as may be assigned them under regulations prescribed by the Secretary of the Navy: Provided, That the office of Coast Guard superintendent shall remain in existence during the tenure of office, in accordance with existing law, of the present district superintendents, but thereafter shall cease to exist, and no further appointments shall be made to said office.
SEC. 4. That cadets, warrant officers, petty officers, and enlisted men of the Coast Guard shall hereby become a part of the personnel of the Navy and shall be transferred to corresponding grades or ratings in the Navy, as follows: Cadets and cadet engineers as midshipmen; master's mates, keepers, and boatswains as boatswains; gunners as gunners; machinists as machinists; carpenters as carpenters; wheelmen as chief quartermasters; number one surfmen as coxswains; surfmen as seamen; the incumbents of all other grades or ratings in the Coast Guard shall be transferred to such grades or ratings in the Navy as are declared to be corresponding grades or ratings in Navy Department general order number three hundred and twenty-nine of October tenth, nineteen hundred and seventeen: Provided, That nothing contained in this paragraph shall operate to reduce the pay of any enlisted man during the continuance of any enlistment contract in force on the date of this Act.
SEC. 5. That the captain commandant and engineer in chief of the Coast Guard shall hereby become a part of the commissioned personnel of the Navy. When, in the opinion of the Secretary of the Navy, the transfer of the Coast Guard to the Navy has been perfected, the offices of captain commandant and engineer in chief shall cease to exist and the present incumbents shall be commissioned in the Navy as captain and commander, respectively, and shall take precedence with officers in those grades in accordance with the length of total service: Provided, That no further appointments or appropriations shall be made for the Coast Guard under the Treasury Department.
SEC. 6. That all of the commissioned offices transferred from the Coast Guard to the Navy as provided in this Act who are forty years of age or over on the date of this Act shall, at any time during the five years next succeeding such transfer, be eligible for selection to higher grades as provided by law for promotion selection in the Navy, at all times during the period of active duty of such officers, they shall be subject to the same laws regarding retirement that are in force in the Coast Guard on the date of this Act. All officers so transferred who are less than forty years of age on the date of this Act shall be subject to the same laws in regard to promotion as are now or may hereafter become applicable to commissioned officers in the Navy: Provided, That all persons who are hereby transferred to the Navy shall immediately upon the passage of this Act become and thereafter be entitled to the pay and allowances that pertain to their respective ranks, grades, or ratings and to the benefits provided by law relative to retirement in the Navy: Provided further, That all persons so transferred shall hereafter be subject to the articles for the government of the Navy and such regulations, general orders, and instructions as may be issued to the Navy.
SEC. 7. That in computing the total service of any officer or man for the purpose of longevity all previous creditable service in the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard shall be included.
SEC. 8. That all persons on the retired list of the Coast Guard shall hereby become a part of the retired list of the Navy and shall be transferred thereto in the grades, rates, or offices they hold at the date of this Act. During the remainder of their careers they shall be subject to the same laws as are in force in regard to them on the date of this Act: Provided, That any officer on the retired list of the Coast Guard who failed in his physical examination for promotion was found incapacitated for service by reason of physical disability contracted in the line of duty shall be promoted on the retired list to the rank or grade to which his seniority entitled him to be promoted : Provided further, That any future legislation affecting retired officers in the Navy shall be held to apply equally to officers of the corresponding grades who are transferred to the Navy by this Act.
SEC. 9. That enlisted men of the Coast Guard, who are transferred to the Navy by this Act, shall be retained under the terms of their present enlistment contract. When these men are discharged they shall be given an opportunity to reenlist under the regular Navy enlistment contract: Provided, That in computing the continuous service of these men continuous service in the Coast Guard shall be held to be the same as if such service had been in the Navy.