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Dr. CREEL. Those estimates were prepared by the representative of the Supervising Architect's Office to provide the necessary equipment and accommodations.
Mr. SHERLEY. You furnish specifications?
Dr. CREEL. We only tell them what we want the capacity of the plant to be.
HOSPITAL BUILDING AND EQUIPMENT.
Mr. SHERLEY. I notice "Hospital building and equipment." That is separate from the barracks building?
Dr. CREEL. Yes, sir.
Mr. SHERLEY. How many beds will that have?
Dr. CREEL. It will also include the equipment. I can not say offhand, but I think it included 50 beds.
DISINFECTING AND BOARDING VESSEL.
Mr. SHERLEY. You have "Disinfecting and boarding vessel, $40,000"?
Dr. CREEL. Yes, sir. That will provide a boarding and disinfecting vessel for Cape Charles of about the same size as the one at Boston, the one at Philadelphia, the one at San Francisco, and the other larger ports.
Mr. SHERLEY. Have you not a vessel there now?
Dr. CREEL. Yes, sir; a vessel which is wholly inadequate. We can do hardly any disinfecting at all.
Dr. BLUE. On account of the roughness of the weather, it is very necessary that a larger boat be provided. At certain times a man takes his life in his hand when he tries to board a vessel.
Dr. CREEL. In rough weather the officer has authority to rent a vessel, and sometimes for the rental of a vessel alone we pay $150 a month.
Mr. SHERLEY. Is this price figured on present prices?
Dr. CREEL. Yes, sir.
Mr. SHERLEY. What did the vessel cost before?
Dr. CREEL. Probably $25,000.
Mr. SHERLEY. Have you in mind building this vessel?
Dr. CREEL. Either building or buying it; we need it at once.
Mr. SHERLEY. Have you made any inquiries whether you can get a vessel at this figure?
Dr. CREEL. We have not gone into any detailed investigation, but I understand from officers of the Coast Guard Service that smaller vessels can be obtained quite readily; that they are getting such vessels without any trouble.
SAVANNAH, GA., QUARANTINE.
Mr. SHERLEY. The next station is the Savannah Station, and you are asking there for $98,644. What is the situation there?
Dr. CREEL. At Savannah we practically have no detention facilities, or small facilities. I think the figures are given in statement submitted.
Mr. SHERLEY. It states here that there are detention facilities for 40.
Dr. CREEL. And hospital facilities in addition, I believe.
Mr. SHERLEY. Hospital accommodations for from 12 to 15 patients. Dr. CREEL. It is very small. The difficulty there is when we get an infected vessel. Ordinarily, there is very little passenger traffic up the Savannah River, but if a vessel arrives there with any number of troops aboard there would be difficulty. During the Spanish-American War vessels had to be held up in order to accommodate the troops. Mr. SHERLEY. Is it contemplated that this will likely be a port where the troops will be received or embarked from?
Dr. CREEL. Í do not know. I can not say whether they have definitely selected any particular port for the return of the troops.
Mr. SHERLEY. Are you contemplating providing facilities at all of the Atlantic ports to take care of any emergency that might grow out of this war?
Dr. CREEL. Not all of the ports, but Savannah would cover the entire South Atlantic, including Charleston and on down to Florida. All such ships would be sent there.
Mr. SHERLEY. Savannah was chosen to cover a certain area?
Dr. CREEL. Yes, sir.
Mr. SHERLEY. What area?
Dr. CREEL. From Charleston on south.
Mr. SHERLEY. And Norfolk will take care of the ships down to Charleston?
Dr. CREEL. Yes, sir; and around through the Chesapeake Bay, and Boston will take care of the ships on the North Atlantic.
Mr. SHERLEY. Have you a sufficient area now for this enlarged station at Savannah?
Dr. CREEL. Yes, sir; we have sufficient ground there.
Mr. SHERLEY. How much ground have you?
Dr. CREEL. Several acres; I can not answer that question.
Dr. BLUE. I remember the station very well. We have sufficient ground there.
Dr. CREEL. I have been there. Area of station, 131 acres; 50 acres firm ground.
Mr. SHERLEY. Have you a station at Charleston?
Mr. CREEL. Yes, sir; but the capacity is only 90, and the reservation is somewhat restricted in area.
Mr. SHERLEY. Savannah was considered a more desirable place for an enlarged quarantine station?
Dr. CREEL. Yes, sir.
Mr. SHERLEY. And the buildings are to be of the type mentioned? Dr. CREEL. The cheapest type of frame building.
Mr. SHERLEY. Have you a vessel there?
Dr. CREEL. We have a vessel there which is sufficient.
BOSTON, MASS., QUARANTINE STATION.
Mr. SHERLEY. You are asking at the Boston Quarantine Station $187,800, the plan being to increase the capacity of that station so as to accommodate a total of 2,400 people?
Dr. CREEL. Yes, sir.
Mr. SHERLEY. At the present time you can accommodate about 600? Dr. CREEL. Yes, sir.
Mr. SHERLEY. You are planning to build there a building of the same type as these you have just mentioned?
Dr. CREEL. Yes, sir.
Mr. SHERLEY. What is the character of the buildings now there? Dr. CREEL. Frame construction, single walls, tongued and grooved, probably more substantial (although of frame) than those we will put up.
Mr. SHERLEY. Will the officers' quarters be a frame building?
Dr. CREEL. Yes, sir. I will state that the construction of the quarantine station, on account of the difficulties of transportation, is considerably higher than it would be if it were in the city.
Mr. SHERLEY. You are asking for a vessel here? You have a vessel there now?
Dr. CREEL. We have a vessel there that was purchased from the city of Boston two years ago. It was built in 1888. In the summer of 1916 it was condemned by the local boiler inspectors. We patched her up, and she is still doing duty. With another vessel in use, we can still get four or five years more service out of that vessel, probably. If that vessel alone has to do the work of transporting supplies from the city of Boston and fumigating ships in all parts of the port, it is bound to break down again. We have already received three years' use of the vessel, and it can probably be of considerable use for three or four years more, supplementing another vessel.
ARGUMENT IN SUPPORT OF ITEM FOR INCREASED QUARANTINE FACILITIES ON THE ATLANTIC SEABOARD, IN AMOUNT $559,270.
It is contemplated to use this amount for providing increased capacity and equipment of the quarantine stations at Boston, Reedy Island, Cape Charles (Norfolk), and Savannah.
It is apprehended that during the course of the war there will inevitably arrive transports with returning troops that have developed infection of a quarantinable nature en route. It is desirable that at least some of the stations on the Atlantic seaboard be so equipped and have such capacity as to make it possible to remove the troops from transports, thus releasing the vessel after proper disinfection. If a transport were required to be held at quarantine merely for the purpose of troop accommodation, it would work a material injury to the transport service. Aside from this feature, the inability to properly segregate or isolate infected persons or contacts on a crowded troopship would seriously interfere with efficient quarantine treatment.
It is especially desirable that there shall be during the present war no repetition of the experiences in the Spanish-American war, at which time there were a large number of transports detained in quarantine for days at a time, solely because there was no other means of isolating the troops.
Reliable reports as to the sanitary conditions prevailing in Europe are not available. It may be stated in general, however, that during the past year there has been a wider spread of plague infection in the English ports than has heretofore been reported (within the past 30 years), plague-infected rats having been reported from Liverpool, London, Bristol, and Hull. Typhus has caused great ravages, not only in the Balkans but even in Germany and on the western battle front. Cholera, although it has chiefly prevailed in southwestern Europe, has, nevertheless, been reported on the western battle front.
The present detention capacity at Reedy Island is 865 in barracks and 10 in the hospital. Whereas there are 2 officers on duty there is only 1 set of quarters, junior officer occupying one of the station buildings. By providing an additional set of quarters this will release the building at present occupied by the junior officer for use in the increased hospital facilities and will provide about 20 more beds.
There is no laundry at Reedy Island and all laundry has to be sent across to Delaware City. When a considerable number of persons are detained an adequately equipped laundry is imperatively needed at a quarantine station.
At present the attendants are partly housed in one room of the executive building, some of them being quartered in the cabin-passengers barracks. Adequate quarters for the attendants will release additional detention space for persons in quarantine. If a large number of persons were held in quarantine, especially a large number of sick or wounded troops, the number of attendants would have to be materially increased. Recently, when the battleship Connecticut was remanded to Reedy Island by the Navy for treatment, a number of nurses from Philadelphia were temporarily employed and had to be quartered in part of the cabin-barracks building. The $7,000 requested for blankets, pillows, and sheets is required because the quarantine appropriation for maintenance is inadequate for such unusual expenditure.
CAPE CHARLES QUARANTINE (NORFOLK, VA.)
The appropriation requested for the establishment of a properly equipped quarantine station at Norfolk is $225,826, in detail as follows:
7 barracks buildings, capacity 300 each...
$31,500 12,000 10, 000 4,000 20, 000 12, 006 16,000
The present detention facilities at Cape Charles quarantine consist only of eight beds on a hulk anchored in the stream. Fisherman's Island, about 20 miles from Cape Charles quarantine, was acquired by the Government in 1884 for use as a quarantine station. It was selected at that time chiefly because of its isolation and as a yellow fever detention camp. It is surrounded by shoal water and can not be used in connection with the treatment of large vessels. At the time it was selected it probably served its purpose, as infected vessels (yellow fever) were probably of light draft, and for the most part sailing vessels from the West Indies. At the outbreak of the war the War Department requested the use of this reservation, as it was a desirable location for the
placement of fortifications. Consequently, on account of the fact that it was impracticable of use for quarantine purposes, it was temporarily turned over to the War Department. A force of Coast Artillery is now stationed there. The Government owns Craney Island, an admirably situated location for a quarantine station, midway between Cape Charles and Norfolk, and it is desired to erect an adequate quarantine station at that place. The plans of the Navy to make a very large naval station at Norfolk materially emphasizes the necessity for adequate quarantine facilities.
Aside from the present emergency, it may be stated that such station is necessary on account of the increased importance of Norfolk as a shipping center. Whereas in the year 1914, 574 vessels were inspected, for the fiscal year ended June 30, 1917, there were inspected 1,939 vessels, the amount of quarantine work during the past few years being increased more than threefold.
It is desired to place at Norfolk a boarding and disinfecting vessel similar to those now on duty at Reedy Island, Boston, San Francisco, and other larger stations of the service. There is no disinfecting vessel at present at Norfolk, boarding being done from a small gasoline launch,
SAVANNAH QUARANTINE STATION.
The increased quarantine facilities at Savannah will amount to $98,644, in detail as follows:
The present facilities at Savannah quarantine station are wholly inadequate to take care of any considerable number of persons in quarantine. There are hospital accommodations for 12 to 15 patients, and detention facilities only 40 persons. The quarters for the attendants are cramped, and some of them are housed in the hospital building. There is no laundry equipment at present, and it is desirable that the station capacity be increased to take care of not less than 1,200 persons. During the Spanish-American War there was considerable embarrassment to the movement of troops because of the inadequate quarantine facilities at this place.
BOSTON QUARANTINE STATION.
The appropriation requested for increased quarantine facilities at Boston amounts to $187,800, in detail as follows:
6 barracks buildings, capacity 300 each_
2 mess halls__
1 officers' quarters_
1 attendants' quarters.
Heating and plumbing.
Sewage, drainage, and water works.
Cooking utensils, dishes, and miscellaneous equipment_
600 Standee bunks, $18 each__