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Gen. SHARPE. Yes, sir.
Mr. SHERLEY. He has then written and asked them for a price and has then exercised his judgment as to whether to award a contract or not, and for what quantity and at what price?
Gen. SHARPE. Yes, sir.
Mr. SHERLEY. In an instance of that kind does that matter come to or in any way pass through the Council of National Defense? Gen. SHARPE. Not at all.
Mr. SHERLEY. In what particulars have they acted?
Gen. SHARPE. I think in none of the regular supplies, except fuel, and now they are having a conference on the subject of forage.
Mr. SHERLEY. Soap, candles, and matches-I remember being struck last time when the estimate was $850,000, which, on the surface, seemed a tremendous amount for supplies of that character. Those you buy through the regular quartermaster's organization? Gen. SHARPE. Yes, sir.
Mr. SHERLEY. As a result of tenders that are made, but not as the result of advertised request for bids?
Gen. SHARPE. Yes, sir. What we call circular advertisements. Mr. SHERLEY. That applies to paulins, buckets, etc.?
Gen. SHARPE. Yes, sir. Everything in the way of paulins and cotton goods is bought through the Council of National Defense. Mr. SHERLEY. And to appliances for cooking?
Gen. SHARPE. That is bought by the quartermaster at Jeffersonville.
Mr. SHERLEY. That is one of your depots?
Gen. SHARPE. Yes, sir.
Mr. SHERLEY. They are bought from various parties?
Gen. SHARPE. Yes, sir. Jeffersonville is the central point for cooking stoves and cooking appliances.
Mr. SHERLEY. Ice?
Gen. SHARPE. Contracts are usually made at the post for ice.
Gen. SHARPE. They are bought through our different purchasing offices.
Mr. SHERLEY. Tableware, stationery, typewriters?
Gen. SHARPE. Tableware is bought at Philadelphia.
Mr. SHERLEY. I am not asking as to where so much as the method. Gen. SHARPE. By circular advertisement chiefly now.
Mr. SHERLEY. As to forage, you have recently submitted a request to the Council of National Defense for help in the purchase of forage?
Gen. SHARPE. Yes, sir; on account of the number of horses we are having.
Mr. SHERLEY. In the procurement of the material at these various plants and various camps, is that done through the Quartermaster? Gen. SHARPE. Yes, sir.
Mr. SHERLEY. In the case of a power plant, how would you buy the boilers, plumbing fixtures, and things of that kind?
Col. LITTELL. We would get bids. We would call on the different dealers for prices.
Mr. SHERLEY. You say that you get bids by calling on the dealers; you do not advertise?
. Col. LITTELL. No, sir. We get the dealers together and get the dealers' prices. For instance, we get the best refrigerating assistance in the country; we have all the experts to come together and we call for bids for about a week, and they furnish us with the bids in that way.
Mr. SHERLEY. And the contracts are let to the lowest responsible bidder?
Col. LITTELL. Yes, sir.
Mr. SHERLEY. You are actually having competition in the purchase of all the materials, except fuel and forage?
Gen. SHARPE. Yes, sir.
Mr. SHERLEY. Is that your understanding, Colonel?
Col. LITTELL. We do not buy fuel.
Mr. SHERLEY. Except fuel and forage?
Col. LITTELL. Yes, sir.
Mr. SHERLEY. Is that true in the case of food?
Gen. SHARPE. Yes, sir. The camp is always supplied from some depot and that depot will advertise, what we call circular advertise
Mr. SHERLEY. Perhaps it has been made sufficiently plain, but I wold like to ascertain how far the old system that existed in peace time of supplying the Army with this same character of material is being followed now. If I understand you aright, you are following the same plan, excluding fuel and forage, except, having to get the various things quickly, you do not have the regular and lengthy period of advertisement for bids, but by virtue of the knowledge that you have acquired touching the people likely to be able to supply the articles, you send them a statement inviting them to bid? Gen. SHARPE. Yes, sir.
Mr. SHERLEY. Is that accurate?
Gen. SHARPE. Yes, sir; I should like to explain a little bit further. The law requires public advertisement for bids. When the quantities are large we always, in time of peace, advertise, giving about 30 days' notice. Under the ruling of the comptroller which has been in existence for a number of years he has held that if you can not advertise for 30 days you must advertise for as long a time as you can, but that when the quantities are comparatively small he has allowed us to issue what is known as a circular advertisement, giving 10 days' notice for quantities which were not large. That would be sent around to the dealers that we knew were engaged in the manufacture or the supply of the articles. When the war commenced we omitted the public advertisement for bids, putting it in the paper, so as to avoid the possibility of anyone getting the notice and securing a corner on the market, but we have made use of the circular advertisement, sending it around to people whom we knew were in the business and getting bids from them and opening them in that way. We have made use of that even when the quantities were larger than were usual in peace times, but in all cases an abstract is made.
Mr. SHERLEY. Speaking by and large, what has been your experience are you having competitive bidding under this system?
Gen. SHARPE. Yes, sir. The people are bidding just the same as before.
Mr. SHERLEY. So that you are apparently getting competition in the prices that are submitted?
Gen. SHARPE. I think so, sir. On certain articles that I spoke about we buy through the Council of National Defense. Of course, in that case we do not advertise. They indicate where we shall place the orders and the price, but even then, when you come down to buying things, the Council of National Defense indicates the parties where they are placed. For instance, on shoes they control the price of leather, the leather that goes into the shoes. Then they announce that it will be sold for so much per square foot and ascertain how much they will bid to furnish the shoes. Prices have gone down very much on this last opening. I think some seventy-odd manufacturers bid. They make an abstract of the bids, the same as we do, and then make the awards to the lowest bidder.
Mr. SHERLEY. Take the matter of field kitchens. Of course the manufacturer of them must buy his steel, and the cost of manufacture is dependent somewhat upon the price he must pay for his raw material. Has there been any aid extended by the Council of National Defense in undertaking to supply those people with their raw material, like the leather they have arranged to supply to shoemakers for making shoes?
Gen. SHARPE. Iron and steel were the items about which we were first to consult the council, but after looking into the matter of the manufacture of these stoves for bakeries they said that the quantity required was comparatively so small, as compared to the large quantities being used elsewhere, that that matter would not have to go through them. We only go to them in case some manufacturer finds there is difficulty in getting his supply of the raw material from the steel plant. We either go to them or the Secretary himself writes direct, or we write by the Secretary's authority and say that this is intended for the use of the Army, and we request immediate delivery of this contract; and in all of those cases they have given our orders preference over other orders.
Mr. SHERLEY. In point of fact, with the exception of fuel and forage
Gen. SHARPE (interposing). And cotton and woolen goods.
Mr. SHERLEY. You have bought through your own organization, without the help of the Council of National Defense.
Gen. SHARPE. Yes; with the exception of wagons; we have had the Council of National Defense at work on wagons for us, but that comes under another item. However, we have advertised for automobiles ourselves.
Mr. SHERLEY. But the things I have been reading out of this itemized statement of $95,000,000, heretofore appropriated, you have been buying through your usual organization, except as indicated? Gen. SHARPE. Yes, sir.
Mr. SHERLEY. The only change being that you have not had the 30-day advertised solicitations for bids?
Gen. SHARPE. That is all; yes.
Mr. CANNON. Do you think you have real competition?
MILITARY POST EXCHANGES.
(See p. 338.)
The CHAIRMAN. Do you disburse the money for military exchanges?
Gen. SHARPE. Yes, sir; for the construction of the buildings. The CHAIRMAN. I mean, do you disburse the money to operate them?
Gen. SHARPE. No; that is done by the organizations at the posts. We provide the heat and light for the maintenance of these exchanges, but the operation of the exchanges is carried on by the posts themselves.
The CHAIRMAN. The magazines and newspapers go to these exchanges?
Gen. SHARPE. Not to these exchanges, as I understand it, but they go to the companies.
The CHAIRMAN. They do not go into the exchanges?
Gen. SHARPE. I do not understand that they do.
The CHAIRMAN. Are you familiar with any arrangements that have been made by a committee on training-camp activities?
Gen. SHARPE. No.
The CHAIRMAN. Have you ever heard of it?
Gen. SHARPE. No, sir.
The CHAIRMAN. Do you know about any such organization?
Gen. SHARPE. I have not heard of any such organization. The only thing that I have heard about is a committee of ladies who have joined together to give these entertainments.
The CHAIRMAN. This is a committee of which Mr. Fosdick is the head?
Gen. SHARPE. No; I do not know anything about that.
The CHAIRMAN. My understanding is that that committee has arranged to furnish libraries at each of these training camps and cantonments for the different organizations that will be there? Gen. SHARPE. I have not heard of that at all, sir.
INCIDENTAL EXPENSES, QUARTERMASTER CORPS.
The CHAIRMAN. The next item is "Incidental expenses, Quartermaster Corps." You had $10,000,000 and you are asking for $11,010,799?
Capt. DALY. That is for postage, $50,000; telegrams and telephones. $625,000; laborers at depots, camps, etc.. $880,854; clerks. $300,000 other employees, $1.550,000: recruiting, $1,540,000; apprehension of deserters, $350.000: donations of $5 to discharged prisoners, $75,000; picket ropes, $15,000; issue outfits and commissary chests, $53.270; lime, disinfectants, crude oil, flagstaffs, etc., $620,000; horse and mule shoes and horseshoe nails, $1,620,000: towels and laundering of same, $158,550; and office equipment, $573,188; a total of $8.410.799, to which is to be added six months' reserve stock. $2.600.000.
The CHAIRMAN. What does this reserve stock consist of?
Capt. DALY. Horseshoes, lime and disinfectants, office furniture and office equipment.
The CHAIRMAN. What postage do you pay?
Capt. DALY. We pay registry, parcel post, etc. We have to pay parcel post on all packages over 4 pounds; a great many packages are shipped in that way by the depots, wherever it is cheaper than express. We have to pay postage on communications to foreign countries to our military attachés.
The CHAIRMAN. How much was allotted for that purpose before? Capt. DALY. I think it was $40,000 in the last appropriation.
TELEGRAMS AND TELEPHONES,
The CHAIRMAN. For telegrams and telephones, $625,000? Capt. DALY. That is a big item at this time because we have to rent direct trunk lines; we have a direct line between the quartermaster general's office and the port of embarkation at New York, the depot at New York, and the depot at Philadelphia; we must have a direct communication in order to facilitate the business.
The CHAIRMAN. What does a trunk line from Washington to New York cost?
Capt. DALY. $350 a month.
The CHAIRMAN. How much was allotted out of the last appropriation for this item?
Capt. DALY. I think practically the same amount; I am not certain about that, but I think about that amount. This estmiate is based on practically the previous estimates.
LABORERS AT DEPOTS.
The CHAIRMAN. For laborers at depots, etc., $880,854?
Capt. DALY. That is less than the previous estimate for the same purpose. That word "depots" means, of course, camps as well, and we contemplate employing labor at auxiliary remount depots.
The CHAIRMAN. Clerks, $300,000?
Capt. DALY. Those are additional clerks required at the divisional camps and cantonments. In order to prepare ourselves and train the clerks we have had to employ, since about the middle of May, an additional force of about 403 clerks; we had not a sufficient number of clerks to do the work. We engaged those clerks at $1,000 a year, and when they finish their course of training and are assigned to provisional camps-that is, those who are nominated by the officer under whom they have been trained-they are sent out to the divisional camps at $1,200.
The CHAIRMAN. Is that the maximum pay?
Capt. DALY. Yes.
The CHAIRMAN. You say you are training a force?
Capt. DALY. Yes; we have them at all of the depots and department headquarters. There are 44 clerks in training at the New York depot, 32 at Governors Island, 30 at Boston, 30 at Atlanta, 30 at St. Louis, 15 at Chicago, 20 at Omaha, I do not recall how many at San Francisco, and we have them at Portland and Seattle.