Page images

booster and rheostat leads and terminals, $50,000; portable leads from outlet terminals to submarines that is, for charging submarine batteries-$25,000; electrical instruments consisting of six voltmeters and three ampere meters, $1,500; light and power outlet for submamarines at docks, 25 of them, $2,500; telephone, cable and telephone system, $6,000; miscellaneous electrical equipment, supplies, and spare parts, $25,000; contingencies, $30,000; making a total cost of $409,000; and then the canal overhead charge of 10 per cent, $40,900, making a grand total of $450,000.

The CHAIRMAN. Have you any estimate as to when the plant would be completed if the money was all made available at once?

Capt. McKEAN. I have no definite, official estimate from the engineers, but I have from Capt. Cone, who is the marine superintendent down there. He said that if we got the money that they would have some of these finger piers, etc., ready for use very early, and in a year he thought we would have the whole station in operating shape and the place ready for the whole business. Of course, if we had had the money before the rainy season we would have gotten it earlier, but they will be delayed by this rainy weather now on some of the work. Of course, on some of it they can go right ahead. On part of this work we are sharing the charges in connection with the communication system which goes out to Margarita. For instance, they had to increase the size of the water main, and they had to increase the size of their cables and telephones and electrical communication, and we are bearing our share of whatever the increased cost comes to. So that we get part of the burden of the full plant necessary to operate this whole section; but they only charge us on the item of railroad tracks for the spurs from the main track which we are going to use ourselves, and they have laid out the limits of the station. That was approved the other day, and it gives us a very satisfactory site.

This blue print shows the layout of the whole dock and basin and also the plans of the division. That would be a very satisfactory station. They have had a plan down there to go ahead with this stuff, and the organization to go ahead. They have not lost any time and are making good progress. As to Coco Solo Point, there is Margarita Island [indicating], and there is Margarita Bay. Our boundary is down there [indicating]. There [indicating] is a monument, and there [indicating] is another one. Here [indicating] is the submarine base. The air section is down on this end [indicating]. They have a spur running into the aviation station and a spur running to the submarine station, so that we can handle all the heavy weights. Here [indicating] is the breakwater. That comes down to Coco Solo Point. That track has been run out into the breakwater. The CHAIRMAN. Where is the dock to be?

Capt. MCKEAN. Here [indicating] is the water front on a large scale. This is Coco Solo up here [indicating]. Here [indicating] is Margarita Island. There [indicating] is the breakwater, which comes in here [indicating]. Here [indicating] is a submarine basin. The CHAIRMAN. Inside the breakwater?

Capt. MCKEAN. Yes, sir. Here [indicating] are the finger piers. Here is the boat house. There [indicating] is the landing. Here indicating] will be the aviation field and up here [indicating] is

the submarine station.


(See p. 273.)

The CHAIRMAN. The next item is "New London, Conn., submarine base: For the acquisition, by purchase or condemnation, of the tract of land, comprising approximately 26.88 acres, owned by the C. M. Shay Fertilizer Co., in the immediate vicinity of the property now owned and occupied by the United States as a submarine base at New London, Conn., including all easements, rights of way, riparian, and other rights appurtenant thereto, fiscal year 1918, $90,000."

Capt. MCKEAN. That was a fertilizer factory that adjoins the submarine base at New London.

The CHAIRMAN. Adjoins it?

Capt. MCKEAN. Yes, sir; and what we got from the New York, New Haven & Hartford Railroad Co., to connect up with that. The CHAIRMAN. How did you get that?

Capt. MCKEAN. For $1. They wanted $17,500, but they had had the use of the right of way through the station for a good many years. If they did not give us that, we would have had to insist on moving their right of way. They had the water front, which could be developed at very little expense.

The CHAIRMAN. How much did you get in acreage?

Capt. MCKEAN. It is about 1,200 feet long and at the widest part is about 250 or 300 feet, and at the narrowest point it runs down to nothing, but it is a fine water front. Here [indicating] is the property that we got from them. There [indicating] is the railroad track which runs along here [indicating] and there. It is water front all along here [indicating] until it runs down to nothing between the railroad track and the front, about 1,200 feet along there [indicating].

The CHAIRMAN. Where is this property?

Capt. MCKEAN. The Shay property is there [indicating].
The CHAIRMAN. Why did you want that?

Capt. MCKEAN. For mines, nets, and high explosives.

The CHAIRMAN. Why not put that down here [indicating].

Capt. MCKEAN. We have not the room. We are going to put the piers for the submarines there [indicating]. There will be the finger piers along here [indicating]. The big station is up here [indicating]. That field we need for building and repairing the nets. Some of them are 50 feet deep by a thousand yards long.

The CHAIRMAN. Are you familiar with the Shay property? Capt. MCKEAN. I do not know it from personal observation; I know it from the charts.

The CHAIRMAN. I mean are you familiar with the value of the improvements?

Capt. MCKEAN. Here [indicating] is the Shay property. It is 26 acres. It is right on this point [indicating]. It has a water supply. There are buildings here [indicating]. A group of citizens of the city of New London took this over as a nuisance. These buildings are insured for $50,000. The owner estimates the value of the buildings at $80,000.

The CHAIRMAN. On what basis are we paying?

Capt. MCKEAN. His estimate of the value of the property, etc., was $115,000. Mr. Shay estimates $35,000 for the land and $80,500 for the buildings, the spur of railroad that runs in, the sewers, the water tower, the pipe line, the pumps, the electric wiring, the switchboard. the freight elevator, etc., making a total of $115,500. On a final agreement this special committee of New London citizens got together, and they got the price down to $90,000. The buildings are in fair shape and will be used for mine storage and net storage. The Chief of the Bureau of Ordnance, Admiral Earle, has an appropriation for three large mine storehouses that he will be forced to put on Rose Island or some other site in Newport. They are very anxious to put the buildings there. If we got this property, he would immediately shift from Newport to the Shay property. All of the mines and nets to protect the eastern entrance to Long Island and the eastern protection of New York will be stored in time of peace in the buildings on the Shay property. If it is not purchased, it will be used for a fertilizer factory and is an awful nuisance.

The CHAIRMAN. Is not that the chief reason that you want to buy it?

Capt. MCKEAN. No; that was the original reason that called attention to it.

The CHAIRMAN. Is not that the chief reason? There was no proposition to get any additional land when the department estimated $1,250,000 for the development and improvement of this submarine base.

Capt. MCKEAN. No. At that time, Mr. Chairman, I personally did not think that we needed any other property.

The CHAIRMAN. Is not that the chief reason?

Capt. MCKEAN. That is one of the reasons.

The CHAIRMAN. Is not that the chief reason?

Capt. MCKEAN. No, sir; it is not. It is to meet a need that has developed.

The CHAIRMAN. How much land have we there now altogether? Capt. MCKEAN. I do not know what the area is. It is not a suitable area for the work that we want to do and is not suitably located. The CHAIRMAN. You have $1,250,000 to improve and develop this, and now you come along and want to buy this fertilizer plant. Do you know the assessed valuation of this property? Capt. MCKEAN. I think it is $17,000.

The CHAIRMAN. The assessed valuation?

Capt. MCKEAN. I think so.

The CHAIRMAN. And you ask us to pay $90,000?

Capt. MCKEAN. I do not know how their assessment goes. That is only a recollection, Mr. Chairman.

The CHAIRMAN. This plant is operating at the present time? Capt. MCKEAN. No, sir. The citizens of New London put up $8,000 of their good money and took a lease on it for a year to suppress the nuisance.

The CHAIRMAN. In order to give us a chance to buy it?

Capt. MCKEAN. No; to suppress a nuisance. Their lease will be up some time this fall. The Shay property is assessed on a value of $17,400.

Mr. GILLETT. And they paid $8,000 for one year's lease?

Capt. MCKEAN. Yes, sir. It is a going concern. Here is a statement from the citizens of New London: "The Shay property, including the buildings, is assessed on a value of $17,400." It appears impossible to get any definite statement as to the basis of the assessment. However, I can give you a general idea of property with which I am familiar. In New London we have a property assessed at $540,000, while the money spent on the property is about $3,000,000. There is one-sixth. "The residence of Mr. Morton Plant is assessed on a value of $500,000, while his house alone cost $2,000,000." This is from Mr. Scott, chairman of the committee of the Common Council of New London. We can not utilize that station with the fertilizer factory running. The stench is so bad that it nauseates husky sailor men.

The CHAIRMAN. It should be suppressed as a nuisance.

Capt. MCKEAN. We asked the people to have the State health board do so, but they forestalled us with this proposition-the private citizens went down into their pockets and paid this amount of money.

The CHAIRMAN. Do you not think that you should have taken that into consideration before you asked Congress to appropriate $1.250,000 to put up barracks and improve the station?

Capt. MCKEAN. I think it was taken into consideration. They thought it was done away with.

The CHAIRMAN. What kind of fertilizer do they manufacture? Capt. MCKEAN. I think it is a fish factory from the description that Admiral Grant has given.

The CHAIRMAN. Has anybody examined those buildings?

Capt. MCKEAN. Yes, sir. They say they are in very good shape, that they are sanitary and all right. Admiral Earle's people inspected them for the Bureau of Ordnance. They were looking for mine storage. One small end wall has a crack in it, but the rest of the buildings are all excellent. Everybody seems to consider that the estimate of $50,000, for which they have insured them, is a very reasonable valuation on the buildings.

MONDAY, JULY 30, 1917.


(See p. 90.)



(See p. 374.)

The CHAIRMAN. Mr. Secretary, do you wish to make a general statement about the estimates transmitted in House Document No. 290, and which aggregate $5.917.878.000, before we take them up in detail?

Secretary BAKER. The only general statement I desire to make, gentlemen, is first to tender you the services of Col. Pierce and Maj. Wells for supplying detailed information about the estimates sug

gested, and to say in explanation rather than excuse of these very large estimates that they are the result of very painstaking attempts on the part of the various bureaus of the department to estimate the needs of the Army in the war.

The CHAIRMAN. For what period?

Secretary BAKER. For the fiscal year ending July 1, 1918.


perhaps it might be well for me to read these figures into your record:

Balance, June 30, 1917, not including balances under appropria-
tions contained in the urgent deficiency act of June 15, 1917,
and other appropriations made immediately available for

Appropriations already made for the War Department:
Fiscal years 1917 and 1918_
Fiscal year 1918_.


$148, 360, 124. 36

$2, 384, 641, 822. 39
968, 833, 359.67

3, 353, 475, 182. 06

The CHAIRMAN. Do you include in that $3,000,000,000 the aviation appropriation?

Secretary BAKER. No; that does not include the $640,000,000 aviation appropriation. That comes in later. There are now pending here some estimates which were sent in from time to time aggregating $17,803,000, and there are a large number of items covering additional employees in the War Department, rent of buildings, certain repair items, and the sum of $9,500,000 for machinery for the manufacture of rifles, and those estimates aggregate $17,803,000, and have been sent down here from time to time and cover all the estimates sent from the time of your last appropriation up to the time that this large, compendious estimate was sent in.

Now, there were submitted in this compendius estimate by the Secretary of the Treasury items aggregating $5,917,000,000. That includes the $639,000,000 for aviation, so that exclusive of that the new estimates sent in by the Secretary of the Treasury amount to $5,278,000,000, and adding those to those that have already been appropriated brings the total appropriation up to $8,798,000,000.

Mr. SISSON. That is for the War Department alone?

Secretary BAKER. That is for the War Department alone; yes. I have tried to find out as nearly as it could be estimated how much of this would not be expended in the fiscal year which ends June 30, 1918. That information was chiefly necessary for the purpose of finding out what cash would have to be provided in the Treasury to meet disbursements, and the best estimate I am able to get-confessedly an estimate is that the estimated balance of appropriation not likely to be actually expended by June 30, 1918, is $840,000,000.

The CHAIRMAN. Mr. Secretary, the department submitted to Congress estimates based upon the needs of an army of 1,000,000 men in the field for one year, and Congress appropriated that money, excepting that for subsistence and pay in which it made some reductions upon the theory that you could not possibly have 1,000,000 men in the field and in training between now and the 30th of June, 1918. Now, you say that this additional $5,278,000,000 is for the needs of the Army during the present fiscal year based upon the same number of men. Is it based upon the same number of men?

Secretary BAKER. It is based upon a larger number of men; that is, it is based upon calling out the necessary recruit units and reserves

« PreviousContinue »