« PreviousContinue »
Additional clerks, etc., estimated for as follows:
Mr. BUTLER. The marines are paid by you, are they not?
Paymaster-General ROGERS. No, sir; they are paid by the pay. master of the Marine Corps, except when on ships, when they are paid by navy paymasters.
The CHAIRMAN. The next is “ Contingent, Bureau of Supplies and Accounts." I see that in the item for fuel, books and blanks, stationery, etc., that you cut out “advertising" and " furniture.”
Paymaster-General Rogers. The furniture amounts to $10,790, or $11,000. This change is consequent upon an order of the Secretary of the Navy that furniture shall be cut out of the estimates of the various bureaus for 1910 and incorporated in those of the Bureau of Yards and Docks, which bureau it is his intention shall hereafter supply all furniture for navy-yards. If this plan is approved by Congress, I will endeavor to supply the committee, before the hearings are through, the total amount of all sums paid for furniture out of the several appropriations, so that it may be debited to them and added to the yards and docks appropriation, presumably “ Maintenance, Yards and Docks."
The CHAIRMAN. The idea is
Paymaster-General ROGERS. To have one appropriation pay for all furniture at navy-yards. I can only give you the Bureau of Supplies and Accounts, which is stated there at $11,000. In other respects the contingent of Supplies and Accounts is the same as last year. Here is an itemized statement of the expenditures under "Contingent, Supplies and Accounts," for 1908.
NAVY DEPARTMENT, BUREAU OF SUPPLIES AND ACCOUNTS.
Statement showing expenditures under appropriation “ Contingent, supplies and
accounts," for the fiscal yrar 1908. Expressage
$2, 378. 49 Fuel
1,085. 26 Books, blanks, and stationery
$31, 787. 47 Rooks, blanks, and stationery ordered from the Public Printer
49, 229. 57
81, 017. 04 Advertising
Furniture and interior fittings in general storehouses and pay offices in navy-yards---
$14, 895. 80 Naval clothing factory, expenses and machinery
1, 162.94 Postage, telephones, and telegrams.
7, 775. 91 Tolls and ferriage..
260.00 Yeoman's stores.
3, 422. 57 Safes
2, 038. 20 Newspapers
128. 46 Ice
2, 250. 38 Coffee mills
7, 292, 20 Miscellaneous: Packing and crating--
$28, 236, 95
nance of storehouses, chemists' materials, laun-
58, 457. 87
Total expenditures Balance
182, 731. 12
2, 268. 88
Appropriated for fiscal year 1908_
185, 000.00 The CHAIRMAX. Now, in the next item, “ Freight," there is an increase of $35,000.
Paymaster-General Rogers. This increase of $3.5.000 is due to the increasing activities of the navy, and especially to the fact that while we made shipments to Cavite via the Suez Canal at an average of about $5 to $6 per ton under foreign flags, we are now shipping over the Southern Pacific Railroad at $10 per ton and thence across the Pacific by the Pacific Mail Steamship Company to Cavite, in accordance with the act of Congress, which provides that navy freight should be shipped in steamers under the American fag where the rate was determined by the President to be not excessive, and in this case the President has so determined. It is doubtful whether the $35,000 will cover the increase necessary, but it is all that I would at present ask for. There is a deficiency in freight for 1908 of $15,994.80.
The CHAIRMAN. Now, we come to the civil establishment, which is wiped out, as you will see, under the new arrangement.
ÑIr. Pabgetr. What arrangement is substituted instead of the civil establishment?
The CHAIRMAN. That proviso on page 114, speaking for his bureau.
Paymaster-General Rogers. You had better turn to the “ Pay, miscellaneous." on page 13, for the main provision.
The CHAIRMAN. "Provided, That sum to be paid out of this appropriation, under the direction of the Secretary of the Navy, for clerical, inspection, and messenger service in navy-yards, naval stations, and purchasing pay offices for the fiscal year ending June thirtieth, nineteen hundred and ten, shall not exceed one hundred and seventy-two thousand and twenty dollars: Provided further, That hereafter the rates of pay of the clerical, drafting, inspection and messenger force at navy-yards and naval stations shall be paid from lump appropriations, and shall be fixed by the Secretary of the Navy on a per annum or per diem basis, as he may elect; that the number may be increased or decreased at his option, and shall be distributed at the various navy-yards and naval stations by the Secretary of the Navy to meet the needs of the naval service, and that all such employees shall be allowed leave with pay in accordance with the provisions of section seven of the act approved March fifteenth, eighteen hundred and ninety-eight; that the total amount expended annually for pay for such clerical, drafting, and messenger force shall not exceed the amounts specifically allowed by Congress under the several lump appropriations; that section fifteen hundred and forty-five, Revised Statutes, is hereby repealed.”
Mr. PADGETT. Now, let we ask you a question right there: Suppose that all goes out on a point of order, then where will the civil establishment be?
Paymaster-General Rogers. It will have to go back in the same way as it is now.
Mr. BUTLER. There will be the provision of the old law.
Mr. ROBERTS. We can insert a paragraph wherever they strike it out.
Paymaster-General Rogers. I hope the way may be paved before the bill goes into the Committee of the Whole, so that it will not go out under a point of order. I will make an effort to have it understood, so that it will not.
Mr. PADGETT. The provision of the act of March 15, 1898, that is, that they shall have leave under that act and repeal section 1545— is not the effect of that that section 1545 allows fifteen days leave?
Paymaster-General ROGERS. No, sir. The act of 1898 does. The two are different. The act of 1898 allows thirty days to the annual men and those in civil establishments and fifteen days to the per diem men.
Mr. PADGETT. This gives the per diem men thirty days?
Paymaster-General Rogers. It puts them on the same ground exactly.
Mr. PADGETT. And repeals the fifteen days to the per diem employees?
Paymaster-General Rogers. No, sir. Section 1515 refers to a provision which is peculiar, whereby the Secretary of the Navy is forbidden from paying anyone employed in the navy-yard an annual compensation. He must give him a per diem pay.
Mr. ROBERTS. Here is section 1545, which it is proposed to repeal: Salaries shall not be paid to any of the employees in any of the navy-yards except those who are designated in the estimates. All other persons shall receive a per diem compensation for the time during which they may be actually employed.” That simply prevents a salary being paid a man unless he is designated in the estimates
. Now, if you are going to change over to a lump appropriation and give the Secretary discretion as to how many he shall employ and how much he shall pay them, you must repeal that.
Mr. PADGETT. What do you think of the general policy of lump appropriations in lieu of specific appropriations?
Paymaster-General Rogers. I think the specific appropriations may continue in such a way as to make it very difficult to carry on the business of the Navy Department, and if the string is drawn any tighter and in the way that the general provisions on this subject are introduced into the general deficiency bill and urgent deficiency bill by the Committee on Appropriations of the House, that will prove to be so. There are certain things that even Congress, no matter how earnest its desire to limit these matters, must leave in the discretion of the Secretary of the Navy. If the Secretary of the
Navy abuses that discretion, it is always competent for Congress, as it has frequently done, to pass some limiting provision. Why not do that in this case, letting the Secretary have a certain specified sum instead of an unlimited sum, as he has had heretofore? For instance, take the appropriation for “ Provisions, navy.” From year to year since 1894 you have provided for labor in general storehouses. You have never said what that labor shall be. It has always been prudently and economically administered, and yet the amount of it may easily have been the whole appropriation, and the law not be disobeyed. Now, the Secretary of the Navy has recommended a provision by which he asks authority to use his best discretion for the best interests of the service, reporting annually to Congress how he has used that discretion, reporting, what clerks he has had and how many. On the other hand, the objections of Congress are stipulated when it says, “ You can do this, but you must not spend more than such and such a sum of money." Therefore it is stated in this appropriation that Congress has authorized the Secretary may do this, but that he shall not spend more than $458,346 under “Provisions, navy.” That is the whole thing in a nutshell.
Mr. PadGETT. What is the experience of the department in the matter of economy as between a lump-sum appropriation and the payment of per diems and general salaries?
Paymaster-General ROGERS. I do not think there is any question, sir, that it is absolutely necessary for the conduct of a great business establishment like the Navy Department that a matter of that kind should be left to the discretion of the Secretary and should be flexible, permitting him to pay an annual salary when he wishes to, and a per diem when he desires. As it is now, when Congress says this man shall be paid $1,200, he must be paid $1,200 or his place left vacant as the Secretary may do by law, although he may not be worth more than $3.04 a day. Suppose a shipping clerk is provided at $1.200. We might be able to get that man for $900.
Mr. PADGETT. Another thought that occurred to me in that connection was this, and I want to get this matter clearly in the record : Under the annual salary you keep him all the year, whereas under per diem you may use him three months or six months, and not the entire year?
Paymaster-General ROGERS. That is undoubtedly true. This seems to me to be a fair compromise between the necessities of the Navy Department, as we there know them, and the objections by Congress, as we also know them.
The CHAIRMAN. Now, let the Paymaster-General go ahead and explain this in his own way, and then afterwards we can ask questions. I wish you would take this up in your own way, Admiral.
Paymaster-General Rogers. The clerks in the navy-yards have been the lowest-paid employees in the government service, and I think that is very easily demonstrated. There is unquestionably an intentionand it is frankly shown in these figures, which I shall leave to be printed in the hearing-an effort to raise the salaries of some of these men, varying from 8 to 10 per cent. Those figures were all given last year. Take, for instance, the navy-yard in New York, in the general storehouse; they are doing the business of one of the biggest department stores in the United States, almost $30,000,000 a year. They are shipping annually over 30.000 tons of supplies, comprising over 400,000 packages. The highest-paid men in that office are at $1,577.52 a year under the per diem plan and $1,400 per annum under civil establishment, and there is but one of each. This is not adequate pay for an office with 100 clerks in it, and with such a volume of business.
That is a single sample. Mr. BUTLER. If he were in civil life he would be drawing $2,500 or more.
Paymaster-General Rogers. The Secretary asked the chiefs of bureaus last October if there was sufficient money to make certain increases during this year. His order was to the navy-yard officers under the Bureau of Supplies and Accounts that a general increase of 10 per cent might be allowed, but that no salary should be increased by more than $200. That is a very moderate increase. My own estimate covered a little over 13 per cent average increase, and the highest paid man would have received about $1,860. Mr. ROBERTS. He would have been in New York? Paymaster-General ROGERS. Yes, sir.
Mr. PADGETT. Under this provision, as given here, will it enable you, say, to have fewer men and better-paid men?
Paymaster-General ROGERS. I do not know about there being fewer men, sir. If you get a clerk, it is very hard sometimes to get rid of him; but I think it will enable us to get a better spirit among the men, and I can recognize that in the Bureau of Supplies and Accounts in the Navy Department, where I got very sympathetic and kindly help from Mr. Tawney last spring. Only four additional clerks were allowed of the eight asked for, but they were all at the higher rates of pay, and it resulted in 32 promotions from the $900 men up to the $1,800 men; and whereas in previous years I had lost 19 clerks by transfer, since that time I have lost only one, and I think the Government has made a good investment in allowing me to keep in my bureau trained men instead of their going to the better-paid departments, as they do, most of them going to the Department of Commerce and Labor and the Department of Agriculture, which, being the later established departments, are better paid.
The CHAIRMAN. Now, Mr. Paymaster-General, I wish you would explain this provision.
Paymaster-General Rogers. Well, I think I have gone over most of that provision. It is, as I say, first to give the Secretary of the Navy a flexible pay table, or the opportunity, rather, of making a flexible pay table, and trusting to his discretion to exercise that to the best interests of the Government, as every Secretary has done as far back as Mr. Long, and I can not go back beyond that, although I assume Mr. Herbert did, too. Mr. Newberry, before the importance of these matters came to be recognized, as Assistant Secretary of the Navy, has been most careful, and where it did not appeal to him he has not hesitated to turn down any recommendation from any yard or any chief of bureau, and he has made them substantiate their recommendations where they have asked for clerks, and where they have not been able to substantiate them, the clerks were not granted. He has made very few promotions, and his idea is mine, too, that the clerical service of the Navy Department certainly needs help from Congress. In this table which I have before me I have shown all the increases it is proposed to make, the new clerks it is proposed to appoint, and