U. A. Lines Two Years Old (1922)
On August 18, 1920, the United American Lines, which was organized for the purpose of operating the fleets of the American Hawaiian Steamship Company, the American Ship and Commerce Corporation and their subsidiaries, dispatched its first steamer out of New York—the Oregonian bound for Europe. Despite the fact that the two years, which have since elapsed, have been anything but prosperous ones for shipping generally, the United American Lines in the face of adverse conditions, has continued to develop and round out its services.
In the early months of its career, the United American Lines’ fleet consisted solely of cargo ships. On Christmas Day, 1920, a third class passenger service between New York and Hamburg was inaugurated with the steamers Mount Clay, Mount Clinton and Mount Carroll. This service, which has since been augmented with the addition of three boats of the Hamburg American Line, has proven very popular.
In the spring of this year, the United American Lines began a service for first, second and third class passengers between New York and Hamburg with calls at the channel ports with the fine steamers Resolute and Reliance purchased from the Royal Holland Lloyd Line. The company is today operating 32 vessels of approximately 250,000 gross tons and is one of the largest operating units of privately owned tonnage under the American flag.
W. A. Harriman, who is chairman of the United American Lines, believes that an American merchant marine is a national need. With regard to the future outlook, Mr. Harriman says: "The position of American shipping today is precarious.
"World trade is badly depressed; ocean rates are low and operating expenses high. Foreign shipping suffers from this condition, but American shipping suffers more because it costs more to run boats under the American flag, and because we have had less experience in world trade. "
"The next five or ten years will be highly competitive ones and will test the strength of the shipping organizations of the various countries. Those, which cannot compete, will be forced to quit. Under these circumstances, I consider the ship subsidy question a vital one for this country. If Congress sees fit to pass the subsidy bill thus giving American ship-owners assistance which is needed to see them through this critical period, I will then feel confident of the future.”
The Nautical Gazette, "U. A. Lines Two Years Old," Volume 103, No. 9, Whole No. 2662, New York, Saturday, August 26, 1922, P. 267