« PreviousContinue »
Admiral Cowie. It is much better to pay for the materials to be used in a certain year from that year's appropriation.
Mr. ROBERTS. It is a question of bookkeeping, so that you will know how much of the material used in that year is to be charged up to that appropriation ?
Admiral CoWIE. Yes, sir. The object is to pay for the material used in the fiscal year from that fiscal year's appropriation.
Mr. ROBERTS. Ănd not from a prior year's appropriation?
Mr. ROBERTS. Under the present system, it is difficult to tell the exact cost in any fiscal year of this particular item that should be charged to the appropriation ?
Admiral Cowie. Yes, sir. It would be a great convenience and put the accounting in much better shape, as well as enable us to have better information as to what has been done with the money.
The CHAIRMAN. The appropriation for 1912 is charged with so many hundred thousand pounds of butter which it did not use and which the appropriation of 1913 gets the benefit of?
Admiral Cowie. Exactly. If we have the appropriation cover two years, proper vouchers under 1914 and 1915 would be prepared and cover all deliveries promptly paid for.
Mr. BUTLER. And you have to have an extra appropriation to pay for the commodity ?
Admiral COWIE. Yes, sir; in order to avoid that.
Mr. BUTLER. Suppose you make a contract for a commodity which cost the appropriation for 1912 $300,000; that can not be paid for under your statement before the next fiscal year, beginning July 1, 1912 ?
The CHAIRMAN. He pays for it in 1912, but does not use it until 1913.
Mr. BUTLER. I understand; but you do not pay for those materials until they are delivered ?
Admiral Cowie. But they are delivered prior to June 30.
Admiral Cowie. Yes, sir. We have to take the deliveries as they get the butter out and put it in cold storage.
Mr. BUTLER. If you purchase and pay for it in the fiscal year for which the appropriation is available, why do you wish to extend it to the next year!
Admiral CoWIE. Simply because it is not consumed until the next year. I want to pay for it out of the year's appropriation in which consumed.
The CHAIRMAN. In other words, the appropriation for 1912 pays for butter used in 1913 ?
Admiral CoWIE. Yes, sir. The butter I use in 1913 I want to pay for out of the 1913 appropriation.
Mr. ROBERTS. Suppose in 1912 you pay 35 cents a pound and that butter is used in 1913, but in 1913 butter is 30 cents a pound, the appropriation for 1913 is getting the benefit of that 5 cents a pound that accrued from purchasing the butter in 1912?
Admiral Cowie. It would be very much better to have the appropriation cover two years, as this would avoid the adjustments I have referred to.
Mr. LEE. What is the contract price of butter at the present time?
Admiral Cowie. Usually about a year. In some cases a year and a half to two years. Purchases are made only once a year, and it is necessary to have a certain quantity on hand at all times.
Mr. BUCHANAN. What condition is it in!
Admiral CoWIE. It is in very good condition. We keep it in cold storage. Mr. BUCHANAN. Is it fresh?
. Admiral COWIE. Yes, sir.
Mr. LEE. Has the department ever considered trying oleomargarine for the purpose of reducing the high cost of living
Admiral COWIE. I think that was talked of some years ago, but was reported against by the surgeons or some one. I know it was not authorized by the department. Besides, they could not do it very well under the law which calls for butter.
Oleomargarine has not been purchased in the naval service for the reason that its use would cause widespread criticism and opposition in the service and from butter-manufacturing interests, and also for the reason that the manufacturers of oleomargarine have not offered their product to the department for consideration until recently, when representatives of the oleomargarine manufacturers have inquired of the bureau relative to the prospective use of this article.
They have been furnished with copies of the Navy Department's specifications for butter and have been informed that if they can produce an article which will compare favorably in quality, favor, etc., to butter under these specifications, that the bureau would be pleased to conduct tests in order to determine the suitability of oleomargarine as a substitute for butter. With the exception of one or two small samples, no response to this request has yet been made.
The bureau understands, however, that the science of manufacturing oleomargarine has not yet reached a point where this product can be substituted for tinned butter and kept for any considerable length of time as is now the case with butter packed in tins for use aboard naval vessels. It is the understanding of the bureau that oleomargarine is a product which must be used very soon after manufacture, within probably a month to six weeks. This point alone would be sufficient to make the purchase of oleomargarine impracticable for the Navy, as it is necessary to supply a butter product in tins which can keep for long periods of time under storeroom conditions aboard naval vessels in all climates.
Mr. BUCHANAN. Is 37 cents the price?
Admiral Cows. That is the price for 1913, but in 1912 it was 32.60 cents. Mr. BUCHANAN. That would be about an average retail price.
Admiral COWIE. Of course, this butter is the very best quality and has to pass the examination of the Agricultural Department.
Mr. LEE. When is it bought, in June ?
Admiral Cowie. No, sir. It is contracted for in February or March, and in the springtime as it comes in they are ready to make deliveries.
Mr. BUCHANAN. Do you get a wholesale price on the large amount
Admiral CoWIE. Yes, sir; after advertising in the papers for a month in order to secure all the bids we can. Of course, the butter has to come up to certain specifications, which are very strict. I have a list showing the different articles of the ration and the cost for the past three or four years.
The CHAIRMAN. Please insert it in the record.
Admiral CoWIE. Yes, sir; I will. Prices of provisions, provisions and clothing depot, fiscal years 1910, 1911, 1912, and 1913
to Dec. 1, 1912.
tinned. Bacon, tinned. Beans:
Do.. Flour, wheat. Ham:
Tinnod. Pears, tinned. Peas:
1495 .05595 061 1598
175 .3056 .1159 .0563 0632 . 1518
Purchases of ham, tinned and smoked, have been discontinued, on account of the excessive cost of these items. In the case of the items left blank under 1913, no purchases have so far been made, these items being purchased usually after Dec. 1.
Comparative cost of fresh provisions, second quarter, fiscal years 1910, 1911, 1912, and
Tinned and boxed.
.095 . 1847 . 2443 . 15
.10 .12 .093 . 18 .14 .10 .14
.07 .08 .06 .07 .042
. 103 .08 .11 .055
PORT OF SAN FRANCISCO, CAL.
.025 .0084 .015 .0115 .0325 .035 .045 .03 .0375 .11
. 16 . 13
. 105 . 1125 .16 .1325 . 1075 225 .30 175 235
. 105 . 125
. 1275 .0975 . 19 . 165
Comparative cost of fresh provisions, second quarter, fiscal years 1910, 1911, 1912, and
The CHAIRMAN. The next item is on page 87,"Contingent, Bureau of Supplies and Accounts.” I notice that the language is the same, except that you have added "modernizing laboratory equipment and bringing same up to date." Please explain that.
Admiral COWIE. Yes, sir. The demands upon the laboratories for analyses of rubber and metals are constantly increasing, and in order to handle the work it is essential that more modern equipment should be furnished.
The CHAIRMAN. Where are the laboratories located ? Admiral Cowie. In New York, Philadelphia, Boston, Norfolk, Mare Island, and Puget Sound, at most of the large navy yards. The demand has become so great that they have fallen behind in the work, and it really would be economical to have more modern equipment.
The CHAIRMAN. Please state in a general way what work they do.
Admiral Cowie. In making purchases for the Navy we require samples of many articles to be submitted. The laboratories test these samples to see that they come up to specifications chemically as well as physically and that they meet Government requirements.
The CHAIRMAN. In other words, they test the materials and articles which are purchased for the use of the Navy to verify and see that they meet the contract requirements?
Admiral CoWIE. Yes, sir.
The CHAIRMAN. You said that the additional demands grew out of the tests of rubber and steel?
Admiral Cowie. Metals, fuel oil, and all other materials. We have been falling behind to such an extent with these analyses that we put in some additional chemists to try to catch up. The Bureau of Steam Engineering and the Bureau of Construction and Repair have been urging us to get out the tests sooner, and for that reason we have been obliged to put in some additional chemists. More modern equipment would very materially increase the efficiency of the laboratories and expedite the work.
The CHAIRMAN. How much is it estimated that this modern laboratory equipment and bringing same up to date will cost ?