From War to Peace
How the Merchant Marine Council transitioned
from an emergency wartime board to
a permanent advisory body.
by MR. RYAN DAVID HATLEY
American University's Washington College of Law
W A R
Despite changing technology and modernization, the
U.S. Coast Guard Marine Safety and Security Council's (MSSC) mission has not changed much since the
council's founding as the Merchant Marine Council
(MMC) in 1942: to advise the Coast Guard Commandant regarding the safety and security of America's
mariners, vessels, and environment.
However, in the 70 years since the MMC's founding,
particular regulatory issues have risen to the top of
the council's agenda.
W O R L D
The Inspection and Navigation Regulations Board
Prior to World War II (WWII), the Department of
Commerce conducted many regulatory functions.
A similar advisory board already existed — the
Inspection and Navigation Regulations Board (INRB)
was constituted in 1936 when the Bureau of Navigation and the Bureau of Steamship Inspection merged
to form the Bureau of Marine Inspection and Navigation (BMIN).
The Merchant Marine Council's primary goal during the ¿rst half of WWII was
ensuring mariner safety in the event of enemy attacks. One of the measures
the MMC took was to require frequent lifeboat drills. All photos courtesy of
the Coast Guard Historian's Of¿ce.
Winter 2012 | Spring 2013
Mr. Joseph P. Weaver was the Bureau of Marine Inspection and Navigation's first director. His successor,
Mr. Robert Stockton Field, had a bigger impact on the
future Merchant Marine Council. Mr. Field, a retired
Navy commander and Department of Commerce
employee, directed the INRB in a number of projects
including legislation and regulations relating to the
1929 Safety of Life at Sea Convention.