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Washington, May 28, 1937. Hon. ELLISON D. SMITH, Chairman, Committee on Agriculture and Forestry,
United States Senate. MY DEAR SENATOR Smity: I have received your request for a report on S. 2221, providing for the purchase by the Secretary of Agriculture of the necessary privately owned lands within the boundaries of the Cache National Forest, in Utah, to secure erosion control and flood reduction, from the receipts from the sale of natural resources and occupancy of public lands within the portion of the national forest in that State. The national forest is situated in Idaho and Utah.
It is believed that the sales contemplated are of timber and such other natural resources as are disposed of by or on account of the Forest Service and credited mainly to miscellaneous receipts as provided in section 499 of title 16 of the United States Code. Under the bill the entire proceeds from such sales within the Utah portion of the national forest are authorized to be appropriated for the purpose, including the 25 percent paid under the act of May 23, 1908 (35 Stat. 260), to the counties in which the national forests are situated for roads and schools and the 10 percent expended under the act of March 4, 1913 (37 Stat. 843), for roads and trails in the national forests in the States from which such proceeds are derived. The language used is, however, sufficiently broad to be interpreted as including the receipts from the mineral resources of the public lands involved which are distributed as hereinafter indicated in accordance with existing law.
The net receipts from the sale of mineral-bearing lands under the mining laws are, with the exception of the 5 percent paid to the State in which the lands are located for educational or other purposes, paid into the reclamation fund created by the Reclamation Act of June 17, 1902 (32 Stat. 388). Under the mineral-leasing law of February 25, 1920 (41 Stat. 437), 3772 percent of the proceeds from sales, bonuses, royalties, and rentals is paid to the States wherein the lands are situated for roads or educational purposes and 5272 percent to the reclamation fund, the remaining 10 percent being credited to miscellaneous receipts.
In the opinion of this Department, the receipts from the mineral resources of the public lands within the Utah portion of the national forest should be expressly excepted from legislation of the character contemplated. I therefore recommend that should the Congress deem it wise to enact the legislation, the bill be amended by inserting the words “other than mineral” after "resources” in line 3 of page 2.
I am not informed as to the necessity of the legislation proposed in the bill which, if amended as above recommended, is primarily a measure for consideration by the Secretary of Agriculture.
In response to a request from this Department, the Bureau of the Budget advises that it has no objection to the presentation of this report. Sincerely yours,
CHARLES WEST, Acting Secretary of the Interior.
AUTHORIZING SECRETARY OF NAVY TO PROCEED WITH
CONSTRUCTION OF CERTAIN PUBLIC WORKS
APRIL 18, 1938.-Committed to the Committee of the Whole House on the state
of the Union and ordered to be printed
Mr. MAGNUSON, from the Committee on Naval Affairs, submitted
(To accompany S. 2338)
The Committee on Naval Affairs, to whom was referred the bill (S. 2338) to authorize the Secretary of the Navy to proceed with the construction of certain public works, and for other purposes, having considered the same, report it to the House with amendment with the recommendation that it do pass.
Amend as follows:
purpose of the bill is to authorize the Secretary of the Navy to proceed with the construction of the necessary public works projects to continue the orderly development of the naval shore establishment.
The bill was introduced at the request of the Navy Department. The Department states that the bill is in accord with the program of the President. The cost of the projects authorized in the bill as amended by the committee is estimated to be $3,992,057.
The public works program authorized by the bill includes only projects contemplated in the first year of an orderly continuing development of the naval shore establishment. The projects are those which have been given high priority by the Navy Department.
All items authorized by the bill are a part of a studied and necessary development of the naval shore establishment and are considered essential to support the forces afloat.
Previous bills authorizing public-works projects have carried for each item an estimate of cost in money figures contained in the text of the bill. In the present bill the items, except for purchase of land, are without a money figure. In lieu of a money figure the item is described by reference to a drawing which is identified in the text of the bill. The Navy Department has been led to this way of preparing its request for authorizations by the very rapid changes in cost of building construction during the past year and by the great uncertainty as to what such costs will be during the next few years.
Repeatedly during the past year the Bureau of Yards and Docks has advertised items of public works construction for contract and the opening of bids has shown the lowest bid materially in excess of the estimated cost. This upward trend in costs appears to be continuing. Index figures of building-construction costs compiled by a prominent engineering weekly periodical, having Nation-wide contacts and circulation, show a marked increase in costs. Index figures of the cost of building materials compiled by the United States Department of Labor show a similar increase. The Bureau of Yards and Docks is unable to predict costs for any considerable time ahead.
As the item for the Marine Barracks at Parris Island, S. C., does not, at this time, have the approval of the Budget, the committee recommend the deletion of this item from the bill.
NAVY YARD, PEARL HARBOR, HAWAI
Purchase of land, not to exceed $165,000.
The Pearl Harbor Navy Yard is the principal outlying naval base of the United States and is a most important activity for the repair, upkeep, and support of the United States Fleet in the Pacific. Thé area of the naval base is limited and there is not sufficient land for the development of housing areas for industrial civilian personnel and enlisted personnel.
The physical area of the Pearl Harbor Navy Yard has been developed to its maximum capacity and no space is available for any further development within the yard limits.
The housing situation adjacent to Pearl Harbor is extremely acute and efforts have been made through the Federal Housing Administration to secure low-priced housing for officer, enlisted, and civilian personnel.
To date no satisfactory solution has been reached, although the Federal Housing Administration has advised the Department that negotiations are under way toward the acquisition of sites upon which houses can be constructed. This will relieve the housing situation to a small extent, but still leaves the yard and district lacking in a ground area for the construction of habitations for enlisted and civilian personnel, the nature of whose duties make residence on or near the station desirable.
This project contemplates the acquisition of a tract of land not far from the navy yard, to be developed as funds become available, for housing of the various classes of personnel attached or assigned to the station in an emergency and will be developed to meet the immediate needs to relieve the present acute housing situation.
The area contemplated would be about 350 acres.
SUBMARINE BASE, NEW LONDON, CONN.
Submarine training school building and accessories, in accordance with Bureau of Yards and Docks Drawing No. Au-7, approved April 27, 1937.
The submarine base at New London is located on the east bank of the Thames River, about 3 miles north of Groton. This base is the Navy's training school for submarine personnel. Training of submarine crews in submarine escape and safety devices is conducted at this location. The submarines operate from this base for training the crews in the operation of latest submarine devices.
This project contemplates the construction of a two-story brick building about 200 feet long and 72 feet wide for a submarine training school, which is one of the major activities of this station, and includes a room for the new Roeder † apparatus now under order.
The present submar ne school buildings (Nos. 16 and 39) are of temporary wooden construction, in poor condition, and without adequate facilities to handle larger classes than are at present under instruction. If an emergency should occur, considerably greater facilities will be needed immediately and, if these additional facilities are not available, the first classes which would have to be rushed in overnight could not be properly trained within the time required. The present activities of the submarine school now carried on in buildings Nos. 16 and 39 should be concentrated under one roof.
The estimate cost of the building with all accessories and fittings is $212,000. As nearly as can be estimated in a period of rapidly changing prices, this estimate is good as of April 1937.
This project should be proceeded with at once. The cost of upkeep for the present buildings is comparatively enormous. The funds so expended are practically lost, as the present buildings will not last more than a year or more. Furthermore, there is much valuable material housed in these buildings which are flimsy firetraps.
Barracks building and accessories, in accordance with Yards and Docks Drawing Au-8, approved April 27, 1937.
This project contemplates the construction of a 3-story barracks building, 384 feet long and 123 feet wide, for the accommodation of 600 enlisted personnel. The building is to include all messing facilities, welfare, swimming pool, and ships' store.
The present barracks buildings for the enlisted personnel are of temporary wooden wartime construction, totally inadequate to meet the demands upon them; are cold and drafty, without suitable accommodations for sleeping, bathing, recreation, or study; are in bad state of repair and constitute a menace to the health and life of the personnel occupying them. This group of buildings, Nos. 14 A, B, C, D, E, F, G, and No. 49, constitute a grave fire hazard which is combated by constant and ever-watchful supervision and patrol. It is believed that should a fire get started in this group, it could not readily be brought under control and might be accompanied by loss of life. The average number of enlisted men attached to the base, attending the Submarine School, Submarine Division 4, and transients from submarines having overhaul work done at the base, is approximately 550. The limited accommodations do not permit of segregating these men entirely by units and exercising the proper unit control over them. Because of the limited space and the uncomfortable living accommodations, many enlisted men are now, by preference, living in shops and other places where they are employed. It is expected that these buildings will become wholly unlivable within the next few
years. The bad effect on health and morale of enlisted men living in the present barracks cannot be too strongly emphasized. It is