« PreviousContinue »
have been ready on February 27. Actually the last workman left the work on February 11, and the total saving was seventeen days made in her repairs. Reports under the old system were made to everybody when things were going all right. Now it is only necessary to make reports when something is going wrong.
The CHAIRMAN. Do you find any disposition on the part of officers, or perhaps men, particularly, to hold a ship in a yard as long as possible in order to increase the work?
Secretary NEWBERRY. It is to be expected from a general knowledge of human nature that it is never desirable to complete a job unless they can see continuous work ahead, and for that reason there is always a temptation to find more work to do than is absolutely required for the time being. Under this new plan, however, the commandant wants to keep his yard up to date and as clean of work as he can keep it, and will hurry things to completion, with a saving of time and expense.
One case under the old system may be mentioned. It was at Pensacola, I think, with the Castine, which was down there for repairs. First, the woodwork was all repaired, and then they started, after that, to repair her boilers and machinery, and by the time her boilers and machinery were repaired the climatic conditions were such that her woodwork had deteriorated and it all had to be done over again.
Mr. Olcott. That sounds like the proverbial conspiracy between the carpenter and the plumber.
Secretary NEWBERRY. These records of the various yards, as taken from the reports, state that at Portsmouth no trouble whatever is encountered in the transfer; no obstacle has been encountered that has not been easily overcome, and the commandant expresses the opinion that the new system will create more energy and ambition among the mechanics and other employees, and that they will have to do their best in order to make progress and proceed out in their various trades to positions of higher responsibility and greater pay.
In Boston the commandant reports that the additional storehouse room secured will make it unnecessary to make other requests for additional facilities for storehouses.
Mr. Dawson. Have you found it to be an effect of this consolidation that it will give considerable building space?
Secretary NEWBERRY. Yes. Building No. 33 will probably be available for stores in the near future. The commandant states that the scheme now in operation will reduce expenses in many respects. First, the waste of effort in moving men and materials from one place to another in the yards and shops and from the principal centers of work to the ships at the piers and in the drydocks; and, second, a saving of time in the payment of employees. and the more prompt payment after the end of the periods of work for which pay is due. The result will be due to improvement in the method of keeping the time records and the consolidation of the pay roll with, consequently, more rapid preparation of it, which is also affected by the changes in the method of keeping time and the reduction in the time necessary for the payment of the employees, due to their concentration. In fact, they will establish one pay rolí for the entire yard, instead of half a dozen. Third, the elimination of one or more heating plants by the introduction of short connections, with a consequent reduction of expenses. In one case this results in a saving of about one and one-half tons of coal per day and the transfer of the fireman there employed to other duties. Fourth, the consolidation of teaming and yard transportation under one supervision and that the supervision of the foreman, who has charge of all labor. This results in systematic supervision of all outside teams, with a material reduction in the number of them whose employment is necessary.
At New York I told you about the Chester. The commandant verbally told me that he will reduce the cost of the production of power in that yard by over 25 and possibly 50 per cent. They are saving some 14 tons of coal a day now over what they did under the old system. I think he said he would be happy to retire on one-tenth of 1 per cent of the saving that General Order No. 9 would effect.
The CHAIRMAN. I want to say to the Secretary that we have officially visited those yards and have seen this condition existing. We have called the matter to the attention of the department under a previous administration, and we are very glad it is being taken up now, and this committee is in hearty sympathy with your work, every bit of it. Gentlemen, do I not speak' for all of you?
Mr. OLCOTT. Exactly.
Mr. Dawson. Yes. These results are those we saw the need of when we made that trip on the Dolphin two years ago.
Secretary NEWBERRY. At the Philadelphia navy-yard the commandant says he sees no reason why it should not be successful; and he adds that things are going along well.
The Norfolk commandant states that the various methods for carrying on the work have been to a large degree made uniform by the establishment of the new manufacturing department, and that the number of pay rolls for navy-yard work has been reduced from five to two, and the clerical force can be consolidated in the near future, as soon as the building can be prepared for it. This telegram has just been handed to me:
MARE ISLAND, CAL., February 18, 1909. Consolidation of shops previously reported to be undertaken has been effected. Entire equipment, ordnance, yards and docks departments have been transferred to consolidated department. Steam engineering will be transferred on the 24th. Scheme of consolidation is working extremely well.
PHELPS. I think probably the greatest unintentional compliment that I have had paid to the consolidation was a statement made to me yesterday by a gentleman who said that he had lost his place in consequence of my Order No. 9. I said, "I am sorry to hear that from you. What is the reason for it? How did it affect you." He said, I represent So-and-so, a machine-tool company, and now that the consolidation has gone into effect they have decided to close their offices here; and if you are going to save the Government all this duplication of tools that has been going on heretofore there is no occasion for me to remain here any longer."
Mr. ÖLCOTT. I suppose all of the gentlemen who live near a navyyard will have applications from discharged people to be retained or reinstated.
Secretary NEWBERRY. The forces in the yards were nearly all down to the lowest point. Never before has there been, since I have known anything about the navy, and probably not for many years to come, would there be a moment so propitious as the 1st of February, when all the yards were substantially free from ships in commission and would remain free for a period of four weeks; and it was at that period that we put this into effect, when the yard force was at its lowest. The saving will not be effected by the reduction of that force, but by taking on fewer numbers when the ships come into the yard.
Mr. Loud. How are the accommodations as to the Bureau of Yards and Docks?
Secretary NEWBERRY. I have heard no complaint from anybody connected with it, although there are people outside who misunderstand the situation. I have seen references in the papers to the civil engineers being put under constructors, all of which would be incorrect, and would be nonsensical even if it were true.
Mr. LOUD. I do not see how it would make much difference, because there is just so much civil engineering to do and so many men there to do it.
Secretary NEWBERRY. It is not correct. The policy of the department will be, and should be, to have all public work done by contract after competition, and a civil engineer will inspect that work just as a civil engineer does work connected with any other enterprise. A railroad is a conspicuous case. The civil engineer plans the work and draws the specifications, and makes his recommendations when the contract bids come in, and when the contract is let he sees that the work is performed in accordance therewith. That is the function of a civil engineer, and the idea that he is or is not under somebody else has no weight greater than the weight that would be given to a statement that a civil engineer of the Pennsylvania Railroad, for example, could not work under a president of the road because he had been a lawyer, or a doctor, or something else.
Mr. Dawson. This civil-engineer corps, then, is to be under the direct control of the Secretary?
Secretary NEWBERRY. Exactly. The civil engineers are to be sent to the navy-yards as inspectors of public works, under the commandant, to see that the public works there are erected and maintained in accordance with the contracts for their erection, and to do all the work that is necessary that a civil engineer should do for the navy.
Mir. Dawson. There is absolutely no foundation for the fear that the corps is to be extinguished?
Secretary NEWBERRY. None whatever. No such step is in contemplation as their being extinguished. We could not get along without them, but we could do without a bureau of yards and docks, and if we did not have them in the navy we would have to ave civilian engineers. Of course there are a great many civil engineers in the navy acting as subinspectors.
Mr. Dawson. This diagram can be printed in the hearing, can it not?
Secretary NEWBERRY. Yes, sir.
The CHAIRMAN. Everything here in the diagram radiates from the commandant ?
Secretary NEWBERRY. Yes; and he gets orders from the Secretary of the Navy. When I first came before you on this subject I anticipated a great many difficulties and a great many questions to answer, fearing a misunderstanding on the part of some; but the spirit in which the matter has been taken hold of and the help that has
TO AVOID COMPLEXITY, THIS SIMPLE DIAGRAM REPRESENTS THE NEW GENERAL
SCHEME OF WORK WITH PARTICULAR REFERENCE TO ITS DISTRIBUTION UNDER THE PRINCIPAL TECHNICAL ASSISTANT. IT MUST BE UNDERSTOOD THAT IN EXECUTING ORDERS EVERY OFFICE IS IN DIRECT TOUCH WITH EVERY OTHER OFFICE CONCERNED.
Key to symbols:
Division B. All work formerly performed under the Department of Steam Engineering.
Division D. All work in connection with the building of the Florida and work in connection with such other craft as may specifically be authorized.
Division E. Preparation of requisitions requiring for supplies of a technical nature inspection of supplies, miscellaneous tests; ship’s allowance list, Title 2: inanufacturing orders.
been given by various commandants and all the officers in the yards, and in the department here, who have explained it to their subordinates—and by these means the air has been cleared, and the memoranda that I have put into this hearing and into the other hearings have explained to the commandants and others what it is proposed to do. We have found no objection. Nobody has done anything but help make it a success. It has been most gratifying to see the effort that everybody is making to show that this is a proper simplification of the expenditure of public money, and greatly to the advantage of the Navy Department and everybody connected with it.
The CHAIRMAN. I want to ask you about this diagram. “Principal technical assistant.” Who is he?
Secretary NEWBERRY. A naval constructor. As a matter of fact, he is going to be called “manager of the manufacturing department." so that he will be in fact manager of the manufacturing department.
The CHAIRMAN. Will he have charge of the labor in the yard? Secretary NEWBERRY. Practically; yes.
The CHAIRMAN. Everything comes under him-ordnance and equipment and engineering?
Secretary NEWBERRY. The work only.
The CHAIRMAX. But the naval officers connected with those departments will do the inspection?
Secretary NEWBERRY. Yes. They are all inspectors over him, you see, to see to it that the work is done by the laboring force on the pay roll in accordance with the best practice and knowledge concerning the various branches of effort that we have in the yard. They have exactly the same relation, as I explained before, to the work going on in that yard as they have to the work going on in any other big manufacturing establishment, with the essential difference that they know the orders that are given to do the work, and the cost of the work, and they have free run of all the shops and information in the yard, so that they can get all the knowledge they had before and a great deal more knowledge than they get in private plants, and they report to the commandant when anything is not being made in a sailor-like manner or in a manner proper to the technical work which they are there to inspect.
The CHAIRMAN. Is there anything more, Mr. Secretary, to be added to what you have there? We would like very much to have that go into the hearing.
Secretary NEWBERRY. I would like to call the committee's attention to the naval bill as it passed the Senate, with reference particularly to the amendment of the Senate on page 6, line 9, where they have added the words, "excepting the regular forces in the Navy Department and navy-yards and stations, which are now under the civil-service regulations." That applies to the lump-sum appropriation.
Those forces are now under the civil-service regulations. That nullifies every one of those lump-sum amendments. They did not seem to realize that that absolutely nullified everything. They wanted to protect the civil-serviceemployees, but they are already protected; and in view of the fact that this provision about the lump-sum appropriation had passed through the fire of this committee and through the fire of the Senate naval committee, and met with the approval of both committees, I sincerely hope you will not agree.
The CHAIRMAN. You want that stricken out?
Secretary NEWBERRY. Yes. I very much hope it will be strickel out. It is of the utmost importance, because with the proviso in there it nullifies all those lump-sum appropriations after all the time