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and foundry facilities, increased facilities for the manufacture of mounts and optical instruments, and an increase in the brass and steel foundry equipment, the necessary cranes and yard facilities; powerplant extensions, and storehouse facilities to handle this work. Aside from the urgent military necessity of these things, the Government manufacture of this material has enabled us to get a pretty accurate idea of the total costs of materials, which is an important thing in showing what ought to be paid on contracts for similar articles. Furthermore, a Government-owned plant takes care of the experimental work, which is always extremely expensive if done on the outside. It is very difficult also to get outside people to take hold of experimental propositions.
Practically all ordnance of the Navy is designed at the yard, and a considerable portion of it is manufactured there. Now, as an instance of some of the savings. It is proposed by this extension to practically double the output of the foundry. It is almost impossible at present to get satisfactory contracts on steel, and particularly steel castings. It is very difficult also to get bronze castings. By doubling the present output, we will make an annual saving of, say, a million and a half dollars at the present prices. That is a conservative estimate. In the forge shop we propose to increase the output of heavy forgings about 100 per cent, or to practically double it.
Mr. GILLETT. How do you mean to do that-by putting in new buildings?
Capt. WiLLARD. It will be by an extension of the present forge shop, an extension of the building and additions to the equipment.
Drop forgings are almost impossible to contract for now at any price. We propose by this extension to increase our output of these about five times. The bronze drop forgings for torpedoes and parts of gun mounts and guns, we expect to increase to about four times our present output. On the basis of our present output that percentage of increase would show a saving based on contract prices and our present manufacturing prices at the gun factory-or, in round numbers, $1,094,000, or, we will say, $1,000,000.
The CHAIRMAN. A year?
Capt. WiLLARD. Yes, sir. I mean if we had this running to-day on the basis of what we propose to increase it to.
In gun mounts and sights, we would also increase our output very much.
Mr. GILLETT. I do not quite understand how you will do that. Do you mean to say that in each case you will increase the building? How will this money be spent--for the extension of buildings?
Capt. Willard. It will be spent for buildings and machinery and equipment. There will be power-plant extensions, a new machine shop, a new brass foundry, and pattern-shop extensions to the steel foundry and forge shops; an extension to two existing buildings by adding a floor to each; for the optical shop and administration building, an experimental tank for mines, a tower for testing optical instruments, which has to be on piles and separated, to make it free from vibration, and which must be of very special construction. All of those various things will go into the extension of the plant. This is a matter of plant extension.
Mr. GILLETT. All of this money goes for plant extension?
Capt. WiLLARD. A part into buildings, a part into power-plant extensions, a part into storage facilities, a part to railroad-track extensions, and a part for seamen's quarters for the accommodation of the enlisted force, and so forth. This expenditure is for these extensions which are permanent and which are to be valuable for all time.
Now, as to mounts and sights for the 3, 4, and 5 inch guns: With these extensions we can practically double our output of those three calibers of mounts and sights. Taking a concrete example here of one hundred 4-inch mounts, our total cost—and I mean by that with all the overhead-of those mounts would be $598,300. On the basis of an actual contract that now exists it would be for a similar number of mounts, $1,210,000, making a saving on those mounts of $611,000 alone, if we were in a position to make them. On these three types of mounts, with a double output, it is figured we could save $2,868,000, or, say, $2,000,000. On torpedo tubes, with this increase, we would expect to double the present output. On the basis of the present output and the present contract price for those tubes we would have a saving of $168,000, or double that amount for double
Mr. SHERLEY. By that, do you mean that you are paying extravagant prices for what you are getting?
Capt. WILLARD. I do not mean that they are extravagant prices, but those are the prices we have to pay. I am not prepared to say that those are extravagant prices
Mr. SHERLEY. You do not need to say it, because if your figures are accurate they say it. I say it, if you figures are accurate. Now, that brings me to another question, and that is why, under the power you now have to get material, you pay those prices? That is a matter of policy as to which you may not be able to answer, but if there is the difference that your figures indicate, then the Government has been charged more than it ought to have been charged for this material.
Capt. WILLARD. Of course, there are many things that enter into it. There are profits, insurance, cost of special equipment, fixed charges, and numerous other things that enter into it.
Mr. SHERLEY. That would not make this difference. Some of your figures, as I caught them, showed a difference of from 50 to 100 per
The CHAIRMAN. My recollection is that this plant has always been operated in such a way that the bureau cost has been much less than the contract price even in normal times.
Capt. WILLARD. It has been less, yes, sir, in normal times. The CHAIRMAN. In normal times has the unit cost of manufacture been less than the contract price? Capt. WILLARD. Yes, sir; in normal times that has been true.
So that, summing up, if we had this extended plant operating to-day at full time, you can see from these figures that at the present prices--some of which are based on people putting up special plants where they are contracting for ordnance material-there would be a saving of approximately $5,000,000 a year. But let us say that we would save only one-fifth of that. Even that would be sufficient to amortize the plant in seven and one-half years, and it would be a good investment.
The CHAIRMAN. If you had all of this money to-day, $7,500,000, how long would it be before your facilities would be ready to be utilized! How long would it take to erect those buildings and equip them for operation ?
Capt. WILLARD. We hope to have them going in a year.
Admiral Harris. None of them is very large, extensive, or difficult buildings. For instance, the machine shop is a six-story building
The CHAIRMAN (interposing). Of steel construction?
Capt. WILLARD. Yes, sir. That is an urgent necessity. At the beginning of the war, or before the war, most optical glasses and material of that kind, of course, came from Germany and this coun. try had gotten to be largely dependent on Germany for optical glasses. It is only recently that we have discovered ways throu the Bureau of Standards, or by the Bureau of Standards working in conjunction with the Ordnance Bureau, of manufacturing certain quantities of optical glasses in this country. Now, we believe that we can produce our glasses in this country, and that we can grind the lenses and make the optical instruments and supply all of those demanded by the Army and Navy. The optical industry of the country has been practically swamped, and we are in a very serious condition as to optical instruments, sights, telescopic sights, etc.
The CHAIRMAN. Assuming that you had this plant, would you be able to obtain employees of sufficient skill to operate it?
Capt. WiLLARD. Yes, sir. We now have operatives for such machinery as we have. We are grinding lenses and making repairs to optical instruments at the gun factory now. These men would come in more or less slowly, but we would have time while building these buildings to be getting up the organization. Since the war started we have taken on about 1,800 men, and we are building up the organization all the time.
The CHAIRMAN. Those machinists would be in a different category from the men employed in the manufacture of these optical instruments, would they not?
Capt. WILLARD. Yes, sir; but lens grinding, outside of a few experts, is a thing that the ordinary trained man can do if the machine is set for it. It does require a few, or relatively few, very highly skilled lens grinders, with a larger number of men not so highly skilled who can be taught to perform certain operations. Of course, we would have to work along this line and develop them. That is our only object in developing along these lines—that is, to utilize the expert services in teaching men less expert to do things that they can not now do.
The CHAIRMAN. Have you the details of these buildings, Admiral?
Admiral HARRIS. They are given in the Secretary's letter here. There is one six-story machine shop.
The CILAIRMAN. What does that cost? Just put in the record a detailed statement of the buildings, showing their character and cost.
Admiral HARRIS. I will do so. NOTE.—The following is a list of the improvements contemplated with the $5,000,000 for public-works features at the Washington Navy Yard : 1. Machine shop ---
$1,000,000 Five stories; steel, brick, and concrete, 120 by 50 feet. 2. Pattern and woodworking shop and pattern storage-
475, 000 Three stories, 170 by 300 feet, reinforced concrete. 3. Dry kiln for lumber
20, 000 One story, 40 by 100 feet, brick. 4. Power plant improvements, including distributing mains..
665, 000 Includes the necessary extension and boilers, generators and
distributing system to provide for the contemplated build-
400, 000 Five stories, 169 by 350 feet, reinforced concrete. 6. Administration building-
350,000 Five stories, steel and brick, 300 by 110 feet. 7. Brass foundry--
255, 000 Steel and brick, 107 by 300 feet. 8. Extension to steel foundry
175, 000 The proposed extension is 200 feet long, of steel and brick. 9. Forge-shop annex.
155, 000 260 by 72 feet, steel and brick. 10. Seamen gunners' quarters
150,000 Three stories, 60 by 130 feet, reinforced concrete. 11. Mine-experiment tank.
150,000 A steel tank 35 feet in diameter and 102 feet high is proposed. 12. Optical shop
184, 000 Two stories, brick and steel, 50 by 250 feet. 13. Range-finding tower--
56, 000 Steel, concrete, and iron, 60 by 34 feet, five stories. 14. Sewer, water, and paving
200, 000 Extensions necessary to serve proposed building. 15. Roofing quadrangle---
200,000 Steel, concrete, iron, and brick. 16. Water-front improvements--
160, 000 1,500 linear feet of sea wall, approximately, with necessary fill.
135, 000 18. Crane equipment-
17. Crane runways-
SUBMARINE BASE, NEW LONDON, CONN.
ACQUISITION OF LAND,
(See p. 325.) The CHAIRMAN. The next item is For the acquisition, by purchase or condemnation, of the tract of land, comprising approximately twenty-six and eighty-eight one-hundredths acres, owned by the C. M. Shay Fertilizer Company, in the immediate vicinity of the property now owned and occupied by the United States as a submarine base at New London, Connecticut, including all easements, rights of way, riparian and other rights appurtenant thereto, fiscal year nineteen hundred and eighteen, $90,000.
Admiral Harris. I think that is explained in the Secretary's letter of transmittal.
The CHAIRMAN. How near is it to the present submarine base! Admiral HARRIS. Right next to it, sir; adjoining. The CHAIRMAN. Are you sure it adjoins it? Mr. Suitur. It directly adjoins it on the south. The CHAIRMAN. What kind of a fertilizer plant is there now? Mr. Smith. I have just seen it in going by; it is a three-story brick structure, and they carry on a fertilizer business there.
The CHAIRMAN. Has anybody from the department examined the matter and put any estimate on its value?
Mr. Suth. Not that I know of, sir.
The CHAIRMAX. The statement here estimates the value of these improvements at $90,000?
Admiral HARRIS. That has been checked by Admiral Grant and Capt. Sterling. Capt. Sterling is in command of the base and Admiral Grant has been in general charge of submarines.
The CHAIRMAN. Is there anybody here who knows anything about the details of it?
Admiral HARRIS. I do not know of any further details than this report, sir.
WEDNESDAY, JULY 25, 1917.
STATEMENTS OF REAR ADMIRAL FREDERIC R. HARRIS, CHIEF,
BUREAU OF YARDS AND DOCKS, AND COMMANDER E. L. BENNETT, ASSISTANT CHIEF, BUREAU OF NAVIGATION, NAVY DEPARTMENT.
HANDLING APPLIANCES AT NAVY YARDS.
The CHAIRMAN. The next item is “for weight-handling appliances at navy yards, fiscal year 1918, $1,650,000.”
Admiral HARRIS. This is an item that ordinarily we would present in the regular estimates and would be content to take up slowly, but the Secretary has suggested that it would be well to bring it up so we could start on it immediately if you approved it.
The CHAIRMAN. What is the present necessity for it?
CRANES AT PHILADELPHIA, NORFOLK, AND NEW YORK.
Admiral Harris. It is for handling heavy turrets and heavy guns at the navy yard at Philadelphia, where we have no such plant, at Norfolk, and at New York, where we have one 50-ton modern crane, and where they want to duplicate it by putting in another crane of the same type.
The CHAIRMAN. This is a big cantilever crane?
Admiral HARRIS. Yes, sir; a cantilever crane. Also, we have a big hammer-head 350-ton crane, which is 100 tons larger than any ever built before. The reason for that is that in that way they can handle turrets without stripping them entirely. They could not handle a turret in its entirety, but they would have to take off the ordnance and the armor plate.
The CHAIRMAN. How many cranes do you expect to get?
Admiral HARRIS. Two large hammer-heads of 350 tons each and three 50-ton locomotive cranes. It would take at least a year to build them.
The CHAIRMAN. Where will they be located?
Admiral HARRIS. One at Norfolk and one at Philadelphia-that is, of the 350-ton cranes—and of the 50-ton cranes one will be at Norfolk and two at New York.