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The CHAIRMAN. Does this come within the provisions of the statute? You have made a lease of this building, have you not?
Col. FISHER. Yes, sir.
The CHAIRMAN. For how long?
Col. FISHER. For the rest of the year.
Capt. DALY. A lease has been made for six years, and the amount asked for here is to cover the rental from October 1 to June 30, at $4,000 per month.
The CHAIRMAN. How many feet have you here?
Col. FISHER. One hundred and ninety-two thousand feet.
The CHAIRMAN. That is in the neighborhood of 25 cents per foot? Col. FISHER. Yes, sir.
The CHAIRMAN. They offered to rent this building at $40,000 a
Capt. DALY. They agreed to lease it under a long-term lease for $40.000.
The CHAIRMAN. You paid the limit for rental.
Col. FISHER. The first proposition was a six-year lease, and they had to come down to a three-year lease. They felt that they could not make quite as advantageous terms for three years as for a sixyear lease.
The CHAIRMAN. The Secretary of War asked me to put a provision in the bill authorizing the department to make a lease for additional storage space for the Army medical supply depot in the District of Columbia at $40,000, and he asked for authority to make it for 10 years. I then called his attention to the statute which authorizes contracts for the lease for periods not exceeding six years, of modern fireproof storage accommodations, within the District of Columbia, at a rate not exceeding 25 cents per square foot. Then they immediately make a contract in excess of the price offered, and at the price fixed in the statute.
Capt. DAY. It seems that on May 2, Mr. F. B. Poe, who seems to be the agent or owner of the property, amended his offer of April 12. His offer of April 12 was for $10,000 a year for 10 years. He amended it on May 2, making it $48,000 a year for a period of six
The CHAIRMAN. That was after he got this information that under the statute the Secretary could make a lease for six years at the rate of 25 cents per square foot. What was the department doing in a thing like that to let them jump the price from $40,000 to $48,000? Col. FISHER. It was the proposition of a longer lease. They could not make as advantageous a lease for a shorter period. The CHAIRMAN. Yes; you could get it for six years. make a six-year lease. He makes this offer on the 12th of April, and the Secretary wrote to me on the 14th of April. In about 10 davs I sent him a reference to the statute. When did this man modify the offer?
Capt. DAY. On May 2.
The CHAIRMAN. That was just about the time I sent the letter to the Secretary. I wrote to the Secretary on April 26. Then, when they found that they could make a contract for six years per foot, they agreed to give $48,000 for this building. worst piece of business management I have seen yet. building arrangement, is it not?
at 25 cents That is the This is a
Col. FISHER. It is under way now; yes, sir.
The CHAIRMAN. There was not even a building there at the time.
The CHAIRMAN. How many stories are to be in the building?
The CHAIRMAN. They offered to make it three stories with elevators, at a rental of approximately 20 cents per square foot. Then, when I sent the Secretary this letter calling attention to the fact that they could make a six years' lease at not exceeding 25 cents per square foot, they made this contract. I will put these letters in the record.
(The letters referred to are as follows:)
Hon. JOHN J. FITZGERALD,
Chairman Committee on Appropriations,
WAR DEPARTMENT, Washington, April 14, 1917.
House of Representatives.
MY DEAR MR. FITZGERALD: The accumulation of field medical equipments for the military force which is immediately in prospect will require a very great enlargement of the capacity of the depot for field medical supplies now located at 21 M Street NE., this city.
The rented buildings at present occupied by the depot are satisfactory in character and admirably located for access to railroads. The only difficulty with them is their inadequacy to meet the new conditions.
A representative of the owners of the adjacent unimproved property lying to the east of the present depot indicates their willingness to build thereon a concrete fireproof warehouse two stories high, giving a floor space of about 192,000 feet, on the basis of a 10-year lease, at $40,000 a year. This approximates a rate of near 25 cents a square foot, comparing very favorably, it is understood, with space rates paid by other branches of the Government in this city. I inclose herewith the agent's offer. The same is conditioned, it will be observed, upon acceptance on or before the 10th proximo, and upon the procurement by the Government of the right, franchise, and right of way to construct a spur railroad from the neighboring lines to the site of the proposed building. It seems to me the proposal is in every way adapted to the needs of the Government. Whether this particular proposal be accepted or not, some provision is urgently needed in that line. I earnestly recommend, therefore, that an item be inserted in one of the pending appropriation bills (preferably the sundry civil bill, under the heading "Medical Department," or in one of the deficiency bills now approaching enactment) to the following effect:
"Army medical supply depot: For rental of additional storage space for the Army medical supply depot in the District of Columbia, $40,000.
"The Secretary of War is hereby authorized to enter into a contract for the leasing of a modern, concrete, fireproof building in the District of Columbia for the use of the Medical Department, United States Army, as a medical supply depot for a period not to exceed 10 years, renewable at the option of the Government, for an additional period not exceeding 5 years, at an annual rental not exceeding $40,000, and at a rate per annum per square foot of available floor space not to exceed 25 cents.
"The Secretary of War is hereby further authorized to enter into an agreement or agreements with such railroad company or companies as he may deem proper for the purpose of establishing, maintaining, and operating a sufficient and satisfactory track connection or connections with said medical supply depot as said depot now exists or may be hereafter established: Provided, That so much of said track connection or connections with appurtenant turnouts and sidings as can not be constructed over any right of way or property now or hereafter owned or occupied by such railroad companies or companies may be located and constructed in, upon, over, and through public grounds, space, and streets of the United States as the same are now or may be hereafter ascertained and established."
An identical letter is this day sent to the Hon. Thomas S. Martin, United States Senate.
Very truly, yours,
NEWTON D. BAKER,
WASHINGTON, D. C., April 12, 1917. DEAR SIR: As agent for the owners of lots 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, and 23, in square 673, in the city of Washington, D. C., I can make the following proposal to lease to the United States Government for the period of 10 years the abovementioned property and to erect thereon a warehouse suitable for the purposes as outlined by you for the use of your branch of the service and to generally conform with the plans and specifications accompanying this letter.
This proposal is made provided the Government is willing to enter into this agreement not later than the 10th day of May, 1917, and also with the understanding that the Government will procure the right and franchise, and right of way to construct a railroad in said property connected with a main line of some railroad company. The above proposition is also conditioned upon the accomplishment of satisfactory arrangement with the owners of lots 18 and 19 entering into this contract (the owners of these lots have expressed their willingness to do this, but owing to some legal complication it will be necessary to delay several days before their signature can be had to a contract, and it is therefore necessary for us to make this condition in this proposal, which is in reality merely technical). The proposition is also subject to strikes, earthquakes, bombardments, fire, flood, or any unusual or unforeseen conditions beyond control. The said building is to be completed within 20 weeks from the date of signing a contract for the erection of same, or to have one story ready for occupancy in 14 weeks from said date.
The annual rental for this building will be $40,000, which is based upon a figure slightly in excess of 20 cents per square foot of floor space.
If your department would so desire, I believe it would be possible to make this building a three-story building, with elevator facilities with capacity to carry large trucks, at a rental approximating 20 cents per square foot of floor
DEAR MR. SECRETARY: Your favor of recent date relative to authority to make 10-year contracts for a warehouse depot for the field medical uspplies is at hand.
In reply I beg to call your attention to the provision found in Statutes at Large, volume 37, page 718, which authorizes contracts for the lease for periods not exceeding six years of all modern fireproof storage accommodations within the District of Columbia at rates per square foot of available space not exceeding 25 cents.
I am inclined to believe that it might be possible for you to make satisfactory arrangements under that statute without further legislaion.
JOHN J. FITZGERALD.
RAILROAD CONNECTION WITH ARMY MEDICAL SUPPLY DEPOT.
The CHAIRMAN. Are you interested in having a railroad connection with the storehouse of the field medical supply depot?
Col. FISHER. Yes, sir; I am anxious to speak to you about that. The CHAIRMAN. We have not the estimate here, but we have a letter on the subject. Where is this building?
Col. FISHER. At 21 M Street NE., just east of North Capitol Street.
The CHAIRMAN. You are asking for this authority:
That the Secretary of War is hereby authorized to enter into an agreement or agreements with such railroad or terminal company or companies that he may
deem proper for the purpose of establishing, maintaining, and operating a sufficient and satisfactory track connection or connections with the medical supply depot, United States Army, in the city of Washington, D. C., as said depot now exists or may hereafter be established: Provided further, That so much of said track connection or connections with appurtenant turnouts and sidings as can not be constructed over any right of way or property now or hereafter owned or occupied by such railroad or terminad company or companies as may be located and constructed in, upon, over, and through public grounds, space and streets of the United States, as the same are now or may be hereafter ascertained and established.
We will want a good deal of information about this. Have you a map showing the location of this railroad and where it would be built?
Col. FISHER. This railroad is just across the street from the building they are putting up now. It would simply run across the street and be elevated to enter the building. That is all that would be
The CHAIRMAN. Who would pay for that?
Capt. DALY. The railroad company would pay for it. All they are after is the authority to make the extension. There would be no charge to the Government.
The CHAIRMAN. Of course no private party is permitted to have a railroad connection across a public street to a warehouse in Washington under such circumstances, and at the end of six years this right would be of extraordinary value to the owner of this property. Capt. DALY. Yes; I expect that is so. It would save a great deal of expense in the way of trucking on the part of the Quartermaster Department if the cars could be run into the warehouse.
The CHAIRMAN. Why do you not make this connection with the building you have now instead of the building you are going to lease? Col. FISHER. The building they are going to lease is between the railroad and the old building.
Capt. DALY. And we lease the building that is now used.
Col. FISHER. At present it is quite difficult to get enough trucks. We are sending out stuff in such enormous quantities that the quartermaster Department has had trouble in finding enough trucks for us. We are sending out stuff in carload lots, and it would not only save the expense of trucking, which is not the most interesting thing just now, but it would facilitate the delivery of medical supplies if we could run this railroad right into the warehouse.
CLAIMS FOR DAMAGES TO AND LOSS OF PRIVATE PROPERTY.
(See p. 554.)
The CHAIRMAN. Have you this next item, "Claims for damages to and loss of private property, $5,000 "?
Capt. DALY. Yes, sir. There is $5,000 appropriated for this purpose in the appropriation act for the fiscal year 1918, and that has already been obligated by the claims that are on hand.
The CHAIRMAN. Where have these damages been sustained? Capt. DALY. There are a few cases of damages due to heavy gunfire, and a great many of the cases are due to damages down on the Mexican border. In addition to that, Mr. Fitzgerald, we have damages amounting to a little over $4,000 on account of Camp Willis, the
National Guard camp at Springfield, Ohio. There are approved claims amounting to $4,000 that are now awaiting this appropriation. We have $2.97 left out of the 1918 appropriation. Since the submission of this estimate the Camp Willis approved claims have come in, and they amount to nearly $4,000.
Mr. SISSON. When did these damages accrue?
Capt. DALY. The damages at Camp Willis accrued during the period that they were mobilizing the Ohio National Guard troops at that camp.
Mr. SISSON. Last year?
Capt. DALY. Yes, sir; but the papers have only recently reached us approved. They were acted upon and investigated by a board of officers, and have finally been determined and accepted by the claimants. There are a great many other smaller claims at various places along the Texas border.
Mr. SISSON. What was the nature of the $4,000 claims?
Capt. DALY. Damages to crops, damages to land and improvements. I do not remember all the details.
Mr. SISSON. Due to the carelessness of the troops?
Capt. DALY. Yes, sir.
The CHAIRMAN. And the department can not adjudicate any claim in excess of $1,000?
Capt. DALY. No; and all these claims have to go to the auditor for settlement after we get this appropriation.
The CHAIRMAN. But you are limited to the payment of claims that do not exceed $1,000?
Capt. DALY. Yes, sir.
DISPOSITION OF REMAINS OF OFFICERS, SOLDIERS, AND CIVIL EMPLOYEES.
The CHAIRMAN. For disposition of remains of officers, soldiers, and civil employees you are asking $536,000.
Capt. DALY. This is an estimate based on existing war conditions. It is arrived at based on the percentage of mortality in the National Guard and Regular Army during the fiscal year 1917. That is the basis. I am simply giving you this to show how we arrived at the $536,000. This $536,000 is based on the normal death rate, and we have not included any casualties due to combat. The normal death rate is estimated at one-third per cent, based on the strength of the Regular Army and the National Guard on duty along the Texas and Mexican border for one year.
Mr. SISSON. That is 1 in 300?
Capt. DALY. Well, the total strength was 294,488 men and the normal deaths were 504. The regulations provide $50 for each enlisted man, exclusive of transportation, and $75 for each officer, exclusive of transportation, for the casket and all other expenses incident to the interment. We have based this estimate on $100 per man. The CHAIRMAN. Why?
Capt. DALY. Because of the European situation. We expect most of the details over there, and the transportation cost in handling them will be much larger than it would be here.
The CHAIRMAN. Based on an army of how many men?
Capt. DALY. Based on an army of 1,072,000 men. It is presumed that the normal death rate per year in a force of 1,072,000 men would