Under the caption, San Francisco Shipowner
Hailed Great American Genius, The Call of San Francisco published on
November 29, 1921, the following- interview.
"Through the foresight and activities of
Captain Robert Dollar the United States today occupies a formidable
position as one of the great future commercial pivots of the world,"
according to Judge Joseph Buflington of Pittsburg, Pa., senior circuit
judge of the United States Court of Appeals, who registered at the Hotel
St. Francis following his return from the Orient.
Discussing his observations during his
tour of the Orient and particularly the part played by Captain Dollar,
Judge Buffington said:
"Hankow, the greatest potential
commercial center of China, in fact the greatest of the Orient of the
future, has been developed by Captain Robert Dollar of San Francisco,
who possessed the foresight to go into that uninviting territory when
conditions were most unfavorable, and launch a project that has won not
only the good wil! of the Chinese, but that has also won recognition
from all other nations interested in the straightening out of the tangle
in the Far East.
"Hankow possesses all of the advantages
of an inland city such as Chicago. Its facilities and natural location
make a natural distribution center for the most promising portion of
China, and it is through Hankow that a great bulk of the Siberian trade
will pass when this bolshevik nonsense is terminated.
"Hankow also possesses all of the
advantages of a seaside city such as our own San Francisco with its
wonderful harbor. During my visit there, 1 saw great trans-Pacific
liners along the waterfront in Hankow, nearly 600 miles inland.
"A visit to the Y. M. C. A. erected by
Captain Dollar clearly demonstrates that Captain Dollar has picked the
right man for the right place. The personnel of the staff in charge of
that institution are all live wires and awake to the situation
"The greatest regret I have suffered
during my entire trip is the fact that I was unable to talk with Captain
Dollar, who is a great American genius. He is one of the few Americans
who has realized that if we are in to gain our share of the trade with
the Orient we must go there exactly as the Germans did before the war
and exactly as the English are going there today. Americans must realize
that it is necessary to li\e among the Orientals and to understand them
thoroughly if we are to participate in their trade.
"The Germans today are getting back into
the Orient and they are going back after the trade that was cut off
during the war. When they get back into the Orient they are going to
remain there and build up their business just as rapidly as is possible.
The hope of America in the Ear East lies in the work we are doing in
Hankow to a very large extent.
"During my stay in the Orient I visited
the rural districts of China and Japan because I wanted to get closer to
the soul of these countries. I believe that I was at least partially
successful in this.
"Japan does not want to fight the United
States. The people of Japan are keenly interested and hopeful of the
outcome of the arms limitations conference at Washington and the entire
Orient is united in its prayers for an agreement among the various
nations which will reduce the excessive expenditures for armament.
"China and Japan both are staggering
under the burden of excessixe taxation due to the cost of the upkeep of
their armies and China especially feels the need of reducing 'ts
ridiculously large and ineffective army. What China needs most is a
centralized government which can have a small hut thoroughly disciplined
army for police purposes.
"Japan wants peace with the United States
because Japan realizes that she needs us far more than we need Japan.
California rice today is feeding
thousands of Japanese, and these people have an exceedingly kindly
feeling toward our country
"The Chinese people is a great people,
although I do not believe that we should drop the bars against
immigration which have been set up against them, because this probably
would result in some very serious difficulties in our own domestic life.
"Japan today is in a copying frame of
mind. This makes Japan keenly alive to the opinion of other
nations—inter national public opinion.
"This psychological attitude of Japan, I
believe, will influence Japan to eventually do the right thing by old
"Japan realizes that a war of a few
months' duration, especially a war against the United States, would
result fatally to Japan."
GOVERNMENT CARGO SHIPS
The United States Government has finally
come to the conclusion as to the utter hopelessness of its ability to
operate ships in competition with privately owned vessels of foreign
And, judging from the contents of a news
dispatch under date of Washington, D. C., December 12, 1921, the
Government has also come to view the suggestion made by me in my address
before the Los Angeles Chambers of Commerce in January 1919, as the only
logical and practical way in which to dispose of its ships. The dispatch
is as follows:
"Twenty-eight cargo vessels of various
types have been ordered sold by the United States Shipping Board,
effective December 28. The price of the vessels will be on a par with
world tonnage prices, according to information received in San Francisco
"Previously the Board had held that in
the sale of ships the replacement and initial cost must be considered.
"The change indicates that the Government
will accept the price at which vessels of corresponding type of
construction of foreign registry may be acquired,.
"Five of the steamers to be sold are the
Eastern Merchant, 12,500 deadweight tons, which was built in the Asano
shipyards io Japan; the steamers Oriental, Mandarin, Celestial and
Cathay. The last four named steamers are of 10,500 tons deadweight, and
were built at the Kiangnan Dock and Engine Works in China. The Cathay is
nearing completion in the Orient at present, but the other three vessels
have been delivered.
"The Mandarin has been tied up here since
last March and the Oriental is now at the Moore yards undergoing
repairs. These two vessels have never carried a pound of cargo. The
Celestial is in Europe for the Williams, Dimond Company.
"The other vessels offered for sale are
the South Bend, 12,000 deadweight tons, Easter Trade, East Indian,
Eastern Shore, Eastern Light, Chickamauga, Pinellas, Bethnor, Mason
City, Macomet, Maddequet, Tashmoo, Oronokc, Suzveid, Absecon, Tuckahoe,
Minooka and the Delifina."
DOLLAR STEAMSHIP COMPANY
Thirty years ago this December, 1921, our
entire fleet was the steamer "Newsboy," of 260 net registered tons. Now
it is composed of a fleet of thirteen steamers with a deadweight
capacity of 89,918 tons, and ten sailing vessels of 44,120 tons
capacity; a total of twenty-three vessels with a deadweight capacity of