Page images
PDF
EPUB

There would be great difficulty in getting labor down at the navy yard, the same kind we get now. We employ a large force of women as operatives in this depot, and they live in the vicinity. I do not believe that we could get the same class of labor to go way down to the navy yard. I think it would be a great mistake to abandon the depot at this location.

Mr. ROBERTS. Is this depot more advantageously located for receiving the raw material and for shipping ?

Col. McCawley. Yes, sir; much more advantageously located, as it is right opposite the railroad terminal, and we run the cars from the tracks into the depot yard and unload. Our present method of purchasing has eliminated the delivery by out-of-town contractors at the depot almost entirely. We make contracts for stores delivered on the cars and transport from the cars to the depot by our own transportation.

Mr. ROBERTS. It would increase the cost very much to move the depot to the navy yard ?

Col. McCAWLEY. Yes, sir.
Mr. Foss. Did we not buy a piece of land a few years ago?

Col. MoCAWLEY. Yes, sir. We have bought three parcels of land there at different times, extending the building as the necessities of the service demanded. This final extension will complete it entirely and we will not ask for anything further.

Mr. Foss. Why is it necessary, so long as we are not materially enlarging the Marine Corps, to be extending the buildings all the time; if we can get along as we are going now, why should we not continues

Col. MCCAWLEY. But the corps is being enlarged, and, besides, we have greatly enlarged our manufacturing operations, and that is the reason why the extension is a desirable thing to have. We now manufacture at this depot a vast variety of articles of clothing and equipage formerly procured under contract at a material saving in cost. The CHAIRMAN. Are you reducing the expenditures?

Col. MOCAWLEY. Yes, sir. We have effected a saving to such an extent that I am recommending that $40,000 be taken off the estimate for clothing for the next fiscal year, and I expect to still further reduce the amount.

The CHAIRMAN. Admiral, what have you to say about this public work?

Admiral STANFORD. It would undoubtedly be conducive to the work at the Philadelphia factory to have extended facilities in that immediate vicinity, but it is also true that in case it were desired to put the factory at the Philadelphia Navy Yard there are 923 acres in that yard, a large part of which are not yet improved, which would afford ample space and yard facilities for the construction and operation of such building.

Col. McCAWLEY. This is not a storehouse which we are proposing, it is extending the manufacturing establishment; it is not just the storehouse facilities that we want there.

Admiral STANFORD. The railroad service to the yard is excellent, permitting of cars being moved directly into the yard, and by means of the yard-track system placed conveniently to any structure within the yard.

Col. M CAWLEY. I can not possibly see the advisability of abandoning the plant that we have there and which Congress has built up and we all look upon with so much pride, just for the sake of moving it to unimproved ground in that navy yard, a long distance from all of our facilities and at an increased expense, and you would have to duplicate that building by giving us six or seven hundred thousand dollars more. The navy yard is no place for a manufacturing establishment of this kind, with its hundreds of women operatives.

The CHAIRMAN. You are asking for $175,000 more, and I was asking for information if the property in the city could not be sold for more than enough money to replace it on our own grounds in the navy yard and have a surplus left.

Col. McCAWLEY. I do not believe so. What would be obtained by the sale of property of that kind would go into the Treasury, and the naval bill would be charged with so much additional money in providing for the necessary buildings you would have to erect in place of this depot.

This depot is essentially a manufacturing and distributing establishment. The greater proportion of supplies distributed therefrom are shipped by rail and water transportation routes emanating from Philadelphia. Only a small proportion of these supplies are used at the navy yard, Philadelphia, or shipped by Government transportation from that yard. To locate this manufacturing and supply depot at the navy yard would not only incur the extra expense involved in moving supplies from the navy yard to the transportation companies in Philadelphia for shipment, but the element of delay in transporting supplies to the transportation companies must be considered. Figures presented by the depot quartermaster in regard to this matter show this to be a very considerable item.

The greater number of operatives employed in the manufacturing departments are women, and if these operatives were forced to make the trip to the navy yard and return in crowded cars at early and late hours, mingling with the navy-yard workmen, a hardship would be enforced which would soon lose to the Marine Corps a well-trained force of skillful employees. Many of these women are widows, daughters, and other relatives of deceased soldiers, of much respectability, who support families on the pay received from the Government, and it would be a misfortune if the Marine Corps should lose their services, besides the hardship on them. In any event, higher wages would be demanded and paid to any operatives obliged to travel to the navy yard daily, as their car fare must be considered, as well as the time lost in coming and going. The depot is now showing a saving of about 25 per cent in its manufacturing departments over that previously paid for supplies procured under contract, and it is believed that a better showing can be made with increased facilities. Much of this would be lost by the suggested change from present conditions.

The CHAIRMAN. That would depend upon the language of the bill; not if it were directed that this particular money should be used for the new purposes.

Col. MCCAWLEY. The property would not be of any great value to anybody else than the Marine Corps, and the Government would get little for it.

[blocks in formation]

Mr. ROBERTS. How much of the $175,000 is it contemplated to use for the additional land?

Col. MoCAWLEY. That will not be a large sum; about $42,000 for what we require, or about $2.50 a square foot.

Mr. ROBERTS. The land is not very valuable ?

Col. McCAWLEY. No, sir; not where we purpose purchasing, as it is a side street in rear of our present building. We own now the only valuable land which is on the front, or on Broad Street. You can see the whole proposition, past and proposed, by the sketch I have here and will append to this hearing.

The CHAIRMAN. Admiral Stanford, there is an item on page 74, “Repairs and preservation at navy yards and stations,” and you are asking for $1,000,000 instead of $800,000 appropriated last year. Why the increase of $200,000?

Admiral STANFORD. I have here a copy of a letter which was addressed to the Secretary of the Navy fully covering that increase which can be inserted in the record. The letter referred to by Admiral Stanford follows:

SEPTEMBER 18, 1912. From: Chief of bureau. To: Secretary of the Navy. Subject: Increase recommended in estimate for appropriation “Repairs and preserva

tion, navy yards and stations, 1914."

1. The attention of the department is invited to the great need for an increase in the appropriation "Repairs and preservation" by the sum of at least $200,000 (this being in addition to the amount estimated for minor improvements). The appropriation for the fiscal years 1912 and 1913 has remained at the same figure, $800,000, whereas the public works of the Navy are being added to each year by new constructions increasing the total valuation of the property by at least $5,000,000 a year. It is manifestly impossible to keep the public works in a proper state of repair for the efficient conduct of naval operations if the repair appropriation is not increased to correspond with the increase in the amount of property and the greater expense due to increased deterioration of the old property,

2. The total value of the public works which the appropriation “Repairs and preservation" is intended to keep in repair is now over $100,000,000. Comparing the appropriation of $800,000 with the value of the property, it is seen that this appropriation provides only 0.8 of 1 cent to be applied to every dollar's worth of property. It is a matter of experience in the conduct of both private and public plants that to keep certain classes of property in repair requires the application of a much larger percentage of the cost of such works for repairs. Temporary structures will require from 14 to 5 per cent a year, timber wharves from 3 to 8 per cent a year, steel floating docks from 3 to 4 per cent a year, and the machinery portions of structures exposed to the action of salt air from 5 to 10 per cent a year. It is only by reason of the relative low percentage needed for repairs to masonry dry docks, from 1 to } of 1 per cent a year, that it has been at all possible to make this repair appropriation go so far as it does in the repair of the naval stations. Based upon the experience of the bureau in attempting to meet the need for proper repair of public works, it is believed that the appropriation "Repairs and preservation ” at the present time should not be less than $1,000,000.

3. Following the Spanish war a great many new buildings and other improvements were constructed, a considerable portion of them of a temporary character, with the result that the time has now arrived when to defer their needed repairs will result in a more rapid rate of deterioration, and, in the end, the cost of repairs will be many times what would have been required if repairs could have been effected in time. Another factor which makes the need for sufficient repair money most imperative is the fact that it is not possible to remove old buildings that have outlived their economic life and replace them by entirely new structures on account of the serious interference that such procedure would occasion in the operation of the shops and the repair of the fleet. Consequently such structures have to be kept going by making such repairs as are possible without seriously interfering with the shop operations. In large private industrial concerns buildings that have been in use, say 20 years, have paid for themselves by being charged into the cost of the manufacturer's product,

« PreviousContinue »