Kings Point Alumni Opposes Committee Dismemberment
Milton G. Nottingham, spokesman for the 14,000-member Alumni Association of the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy at Kings Point, N.Y., has expressed his organization's opposition to the proposed dismemberment of the House Merchant Marine and Fisheries Committee. A House Select Committee on Committees has recently considered a recommendation for combining the functions of three standing committees of the House of Representatives for purposes of obtaining maximum efficiency and participation. One of the three is the Merchant Marine and Fisheries Committee, which bears prime responsibility for maritime training and ocean transportation, as well as for a number of other vital areas.
Two of the nation's five Federal academies fall within the cognizance of the Committee on Merchant Marine and Fisheries, the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy, and the U.S. Coast Guard Academy. Additionally, five state maritime academies and various maritime union training programs command the attention of the members of the Committee.
In a formal letter to Missouri Congressman Richard Boiling, Chairman of the Select Committee on Committees, Mr. Nottingham stated : "It has been said that the future of a nation depends upon its young. Granted that this is so, then the role of the Merchant Marine Committee is of tremendous importance in the education of the nation's future leadership in maritime affairs. On behalf of the 14,000 graduates of Kings Point, we ask that you as Chairman exert your influence to ensure that maritime matters are not relegated to functions of a subcommittee of another less specialized House Committee." Mr. Nottingham further expressed the Kings Point Alumni Association's desire to restore the American flag's paramount position in ocean commerce. "The responsibility for developing appropriate legislation toward that goal, Mr. Nottingham said, is too great to be placed in fragmented form in other standing committees of the House of Representatives. "The maritime affairs of the United States should be properly treated by one committee whose members develop expertise in this area. Based upon the record, the Committee on Merchant Marine and Fisheries has performed creditably in the past and given the opportunity to continue, the Kings Point Alumni Association is sure that it will perform equally well in the future."