Page images

Mr. Byrns. Why did he not then submit an estimate sufficient to cover that item when he sent the estimates in here?

Mr. Allen. I do not know. His estimates were submitted some time before ours came in. Our estimate was a special one which came along on July 20.

Mr. Byrns. I may say that the current bill carries for this purpose $14,000, and then the Treasury Department is asking for an increase of 100 per cent, making it $28,000, and then you are asking for another $17,500, which would make a total of $43,500 for the same purpose for the current fiscal year.

Mr. ALLEN. Yes, sir.

[merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small]

Mr. SHERLEY. “ For the purchase or construction, including necessary labor, of filing cases for photolithographic copies of township plats, for the General Land Office, $10,600.

We will be glad to hear you touching this item.

Mr. TALLMAN. There are extra copies of all township plats. Ther are situated at present in the old post-office building which we recently vacated. They are stored in old built-in cases on the main floor just back of the front rooms next to the heating plant. These old cases are built in and they can not be taken out. They were very unsatisfactory for years, and I find that recommendations and estimates were made several times to replace these old cases with steel cases, but they were never granted and we got along with the old cases. Now, however, we have moved down to the new building, and we have got everything practically moved down there except these plats. and we can not very well move them until we have some sort of case in which to put them. There are 50,000 sets of these plats, originally 20 copies to the set. We keep these on file for official use and for public use. We sell them to the public at 25 cents each and furnish them free for official use. During the last year we disposed of over 12,000 at that rate, which brought in something over $3,000, and we gave away for oflicial use over 5,000 copies. You understand that in making our public-land surveys we have to make an official plat of the survey and we make three oflicial copies, one of which goes to the local land office, another one to the Surveyor General, and another one to our office. We draw the first copy, and then we photolithograph 22 copies, two of which are on a better grade of paper, to make the other two oflicial copies. Now, those official copies we have to make any way, and we print off on a thinner paper these extra copies for public use.

Mr. SHERLEY. You received in the general deficiency bill $100,000 for labor, equipment, and materials for the laboratory of the Geological Survey and the Bureau of Mines, and for steel and wooden filing furniture, including bookcases, storage boxes, card indexes.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

steel and wooden furniture, including map cases, specimen cases; Trafting tables, office furniture, etc. Then authority was granted the Secretary of the Interior to expend-such additional sum, not exceeding $50,000, as, in his judgment, might be necessary for the purchase of furniture and laboratory equipment that may be required by the Geclogical Survey, the Bureau of Mines, General Land Office, Office of Indian Affairs, etc. That money and those sums were given to take care of just such cases as this.

Mr. TALLMAN. That is true, and we get as much as we could for our bureau out of those funds. We have purchased out of the funds that were allotted to us out of those appropriations 1,800 steel storage boxes for other files. We have money for about 1,300 more, and this will still leave us in need of 4.000 additional storage boxes. We have purchased 312 steel book sections for our tract books, and we have ordered 813 book units for our patent records. Now, that is all the filing equipment we have been able to get out of those appropriations.

You will recall that these appropriations did not begin to equal what the estimates called for, and there was not enough of it to go around. The Secretary apportioned it according to his best judgment, and we purchased as much as we could of the things we actually needed out of our portion of it. Notwithstanding that $10,600 estimate for cases for phctolithographic plates, this, as above stated, is short $7,000 worth of steel storage boxes to complete a place for the old files which when we moved down from the old building were stored in the basement and stored in such a way that the cases could not be used down in the new building. Besides we are short about 5,000 linear feet of steel shelving.

Mr. SHERLEY. Has any attempt been made to condense these files?

Mr. TALLMAN. We are making every effort. The files of the General Land Office have been accumulating for 100 years and they are

Mr. SHERLEY. Which would probably indicate that a great deal of it could be dispensed with.

Mr. TallMax. You would naturally think so, but we have 1,000 letters waiting right to-day which can not be answered until we can get these files in shape to look into the old records. Any southern Congressman or Senater, particularly, will know from his correspondence that in the States of Mississippi, Louisiana, and Arkansas, especially, we are having continual calls for certified copies and for correction of old records and the perfecting of titles.

Mr. SHERLEY. What is it costing you to get these files?

Mr. TALLMAN. I will show you about that. Here is a photograph of our old basement files, which were built in solid in the old basement rooms, so they could not be taken out and used again very well. These old papers were always folded. The modern system of filing is a flat file box. These old papers were folded and they were packed away in wooden cases, and our old basement was packed full of those cases back to back, with just an alleyway so one could get through and pick out the papers. We are taking all of those up to the new building and we are buying the simplest form of steel storage box. It is an ordinary file box, which costs us $2.95 a piece without the bases.

Mr. SHERLEY. What did it formerly cost?


[blocks in formation]

We get

Mr. TALLMAN. I do not know what the former price was. them off the schedule of the General Supply Committee.

Mr. SHERLEY. That is a rather important thing to know in order to determine whether we want to be buying $10,000 worth of steel cases in this present market.

Mr. Î ALLMAN. These are not steel cases that I am estimating for here.

Mr. SHERLEY. They are to be filing cases, and I suppose they are going to be steel filing cases.

Mr. TALLMAN. No, sir. The estimates for these cases have been submitted here for several years. I find that a former estimate was made for these steel cases as high as $25,000, and then there was another estimate of $19,000. I objected to the cost of all that and

I have made every effort to see if we could not get these things cheaper, and finally I decided on the wooden case, the total of which will cost $10,000. I realize that this looks like a lot of money to put into one big room, but after diligent effort it has been the very cheapest thing we can get that seems to be practical and which we can build in units. so we can use hereafter and move around. This is a sketch of the cases we propose to get in this instance, and this photograph shows how they are filed to-day in the old building. These old cases are 2 feet higher than our ceiling in the new building and can not be moved down there successfully. They are built in and they are insufficiently stable to move. I would be glad to move them down there if possible and save making this estimate, but this $10,600 for this stuff is just the cheapest price I have been able to find anywhere and contemplates making them of wood.

Mr. SHERLEY. What are you doing now?

Mr. TALLMAN. We are sending a man up to the other building every day to pick out those we need and bring them back to us. If we should move them, we would have to put them in such shape to store them that they would be so inaccessible as to make it impracticable, and therefore I deemed it better to send a man down there every day and to keep a man there a portion of the day rather than to move them in their present shape.


Mr. SHERLEY. Mr. Tallman, there has been a bill introduced known as H. R. 5131, as follows:

That the Secretary of the Interior be, and he is hereby, authorized an! directed to use such part of the sum of $25,000 appropriated in said aet for the protection of the lands formerly granted to the Oregon and Californi: Railroad, and to which title has been resumed by the United States under an act of June ninth, nineteen hundred and sixteen (Thirty-ninth Statutes, page two hundred and sixteen), as may be necessary for the protection of the lands known as the Coos Bay wagon-road lands involverl in the case of the Southern Oregon Company against the United States (Numbered Twenty-seven hundrell and eleven in the Circuit Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit).

An appropriation was carried in the sundry civil bill “ for the protection of lands involved in Oregon & California Railroad forfeiture suit: To enable the Secretary of the Interior, with the cooperation of the Secretary of Agriculture or otherwise, as in his judg. sent may be most advisable, to establish and maintain a patrol to

prevent trespass and to guard against and check fires upon the lands involved in the case of the United States v. Oregon & California Railroad Co. and others, suit numbered 3340 in the District Court for the District of Oregon, now pending on appeal in the Supreme Court of the United States, $25,000.”

In a letter from the Secretary of the Interior to the chairman of the committee, dated May 14, 1917, the Secretary suggests the following legislation:

For the protection of the so-called Oregon & California Railroad land and Coos Bay wagon-road land: To enable the Secretary of the Interior, with the cooperation of the Secretary of Agriculture or otherwise, as in his judgment may be most advisable, to establish and maintain a patrol to prevent trespass, and to guard against and check fires upon the lands revested in the United States by the act of June 9, 1916 (39 Stats., p. 218), and the lands known as the Coos Bay wagon-road lands involved in the case of Southern Oregon Co. 1. United States (No. 2711 in the circuit court of appeals in the ninth circuit), $25,000. What have you to say about that?

? Mr. TALLMÄN. That makes no additional appropriation. It simply authorizes the use of the $25,000 appropriated for fire protection on the Oregon and California grant lands, on the Coose Bay grant lands as well. The lands are situated in the same general section and overlap very largely, and the United States District Court and the Circuit Court of Appeals have now both decided in the case of the Coos Bay land, embracing about 90,000 acres, in favor of the Government. We are not advised as yet whether appeal has been taken or will be taken to the Supreme Court. We want to protect these lands as well as the Oregon and California lands, and they very largely overlap and are in the same general area.

Mr. SHERLEY. And you think the sum of $25,000 which is now available for the one is sufficient to take care of both? Mr. Tallman. I think so. There are 2,300,000 acres of the Oregon

TALLMAN and California land, and only 90,000 acres of the Coos Bay lands situated largely among the Oregon and California lands, and I think that is sufficient to handle it all.

Monday, August 13, 1917. PATENT OFFICE.




Mr. SHERLEY. There has been submitted in House Document No. 308 the following item:

General Land Office Building: For dismantling and rebuilding wooden shelving for the storage of patents, including necessary labor and material, $5,000, to continue available during the fiscal year 1918. It

appears by the statement of the Commissioner of Patents that his appropriation will not be used by reason of the fact that the Gentral Land Office Building is specified, which building has been assigned to the use of the War Department, and he requests, therefore,

that Congress be asked to authorize the expenditure in the Patent Office Building of the money thus appropriated.

Mr. WOOLARD. Mr. Sherley, Mr. Ewing, the commissioner, will retire from his office within a very few days and he asked me, as the chief clerk of the office, to come up and present this matter to the committee.

When the appropriation was asked for our plans for the occupation of the Land Office Building had been arranged. Since that time the outbreak of the war has deprived us of the use of that building, by reason of its having been assigned to the use of the War Department. The copies of patents are scattered everywhere through the Patent Office and it is very difficult to secure any systematic arrangement of them, because we have to put them wherever we can find the space. There will be some rooms in the basement of the Patent Office Building vacated in a little while, and our proposition is to bring these copies from the galleries, the corridors, the rooms, and wherever they may be and place them in the basements, where they can be easily accessible.

Mr. SHERLEY. You are not expecting to stay there!

Mr. Wool! Rp. We are in the Patent Office Building and expect to remain there.

Mr. SHERLEY. Permanently?
Mr. WOOLARD. Yes, sir.

Mr. SHERLEY. You are not going to move over to the General Land Office Building!

Mr. WOOLARD. We can not tell when; we do not know when we will have access to that building.

Mr. SHERLEY. At present you are getting along just as you did previously?

Mr. WOOLARD. Yes, sir; in a very much congested condition, with great handicap to the work by reason of the fact that we have no good arrangement of these copies. If we could build the shelves in the basement rooms and arrange the copies in the order in which they should be and in the order in which we intended to arrange them in the Land Office Building, the work would be facilitated very much.

Mr. SHERLEY. Subsequently you will want to move them again when you move over to that building?

Mr. WOOLARD. If the time ever comes when we can move into that building

Mr. SHERLEY. What sort of storage do you propose to have there!

Mr. WOOLARD, Just to construct cases in the rooms which will become vacant.

Mr. SHERLEY. Can you use the same material?

Mr. WOOLARD. We can use the material, much of it—the material which is in the cases which are now scattered all through the building, on every floor and in every corner. It will be a great economy if the copies can be arranged so that they can be drawn without the loss of time which we now suffer.

Mr. BYRNS. I should like to ask whether or not it was originally contemplated that the Patent Office should use both buildings, or whether you were going to move across the street altogether?

Mr. WOOLARD, Our plans locked to the cccupation of part of the building across the street; that is, the Land Office Building. Some

« PreviousContinue »