There is pathos and real tragedy in the pall that hangs over our Merchant Marine. Discontent, distrust, and dissatisfaction permeate the atmosphere of the water front and to all outward appearances the outlook for the future seems bleak indeed.
To a large extent the men have lost confidence in their employers while in all too many instances the owners have lost interest in their men. The merchant officer, caught in the bight, has lost caste. Meanwhile all hands and the cook complain unceasingly of any stand taken by any government agency concerned with shipping.
Why such a condition should exist, or long be permitted to exist, is a mystery. Here we have a country whose ingenuity from a creative standpoint has never proved inadequate. A country whose very gospel is that “nothing succeeds like success.” A country peopled with intelligent humans successful in every undertaking save one—the building of a merchant marine that will endure, serve our commercial needs and enhance our national prestige, and be an asset to our naval forces in the event of war.