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Report of New England Shipbuilding Conference

Report of New England Shipbuilding Conference

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Excerpt from Report of New England Shipbuilding Conference: Under the Auspices of the Industrial Service Department, Division of Construction, Emergency Fleet Corporation at Chamber of Commerce Building, Boston, Mass, October 1, 1917

Admiral Bowles. Gentlemen, this conference of shipbuilders has been called by the Emergency Fleet Corporation; that is, the corporation created by the shipping act as a part of the Shipping Board activities, and it is that part which designs and contracts for new vessels, and which, as the agency of the President of the United States, has requisitioned all the ships building in the private yards of 2, 500 tons dead-weight and upward. Now, at the head of the Fleet Corporation as general manager, its executive head, is Admiral Capps, and he has asked me to read to you the statement that he would like to be here to make.

[Read statement as follows:]

This is the first gathering of representatives from the shipyards since the organization of the industrial service department under the Division of Construction.

The time is opportune, therefore, to say a few words as to the policies of the Emergency Fleet Corporation which underlie the purposes of this conference. There can be no difference of opinion as to the paramount national and world need for ships many ships. We must have ships for our safety; we must have ships for our sustenance and for that of our allies. These ships must be built without delay. Every rivet driven now is so much gain for the defense of our homes and our country.

Ships can be built, however, only through common action through cooperation among men. Everything which makes this cooperation prosper counts for the country's good; everything which retards it points the way of national disaster.

Now, this conference emphasizes the benefit of team play among shipbuilders and suggests that the problems common to the shipbuilding industry can be met to a substantial degree by the managers of this industry working to the sole end of responding to the Nations need with energy as well as industrial vision. Energy and vision are demanded from both manager and shipyard worker alike. Fortunately, the response in the sense of this demand is encouraging. This conference and others to be organized aim to make such response as durable and effective as possible.

It will be noticed that one feature of this conference concerns itself with the orderly recruiting of shipyard labor. Here a word is in place as to the value of the public employment-office scheme undertaken by the United States Department of Labor and by various States.

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