|Strong Merchant Marine Is Needed, Says City Youth|
|NEW ORLEANS, February 22. (Special) óRaymond Forcier, young
Merchant Marine Seaman from Eau Claire, Wisconsin, who is at the United
Seaman's Service Hotel Senator here, while awaiting a new assignment,
appealed to his home state to be on the alert to the importance of
postwar foreign trade and the need for the United States to keep all
her fast merchant ships for this purpose.
Forcier is one of five children of Mr. and Mrs. Raymond H. Forcier. He has a young brother, Roger, and three sisters, Donna, Betty, and Mary. He attended St. Patrick's Grammar School and Eau Claire High and has been in the Merchant Marine two years, during which time he has made numerous crossings of the Atlantic to deliver the sinews of war to fighting men in Europe.
The young merchant seaman hopes "that foreign propaganda will not influence this country to sell our fast, new merchant ships and scrap the slower ones after the war."
"I've been hearing a lot about doubling our foreign trade in the postwar period," he said, "and if we're going to carry out these plans, we should ignore all the foolish talk going around about how much it costs to operate our ships because of American living standards."
Actually, Forcier explained, the difference in wage and food costs between U.S. ships and foreign competitors is met by a maritime parity which, measured over a five-year period before the war, amounted to slightly more than four million dollars a year. This parity, he added, is solely for officers and men.
From conversation he has with men on the ships on which he has sailed, many plan to go back to sea when normal trade routes are again open, he said.