« PreviousContinue »
The CHAIRMAN. The chief of the Bureau of Navigation, in his re. port, which I have before me, says, “ Both the Naval Observatory and the Hydrographic Office are employed in supplying the fleet with navigational equipment, both are concerned in the instruction of navigators,” and it has occured to me from that statement that there was a duplication of work; an overlapping.
Capt. COOPER. I had overlooked that statement by the Chief of the Bureau of Navigation. But I do not think he means that the work of the two overlaps or duplicates.
The CHAIRMAN. To what extent do they overlap?
Capt. COOPER. He means that the charts, nautical books, and the instruments are both used in the instruction of the navigators; that is true. The Naval Observatory has the astromomical instruments and compasses; and the work of furnishing charts and books is done by the Hydrographic Office.
The CHAIRMAN. And both instrumentalities are for accomplishing a common purpose ?
Capt. COOPER. Yes, sir; I suppose that must be what he refers to. When you asked the question I thought you meant in the actual work done.
The CHAIRMAN. The Naval Observatory and the Hydrographic Office are not both engaged in supplying the same articles of equipment ?
Capt. COOPER. No, sir; that is it exactly. They supply entirely different articles of equipment; but the articles supplied by each are all used in navigation.
The CHAIRMAN. They are not engaged in imparting the same instruction?
Capt. COOPER. No, sir.
The CHAIRMAN. They are both simply interested in doing the same general work?
Capt. COOPER. Yes, sir. Each now has its own different articles necessary in navigation.
The CHAIRMAN. What is the relation of the work of your office with the work of the Weather Bureau under the Department of Agriculture? I would like to have a full statement with reference to what duplication, if any, there is between those two bureaus.
Capt. COOPER. The duplication there, sir, is the publication by the Weather Bureau, which was begun in 1909, I think, of what they call a meteorological chart of the oceans, particularly the North Atlantic.
The CHAIRMAN. Do you publish meteorological charts also ?
Capt. COOPER. We do not call them meteorological charts. I was going to explain that. This chart is practically a duplication of what we call our pilot chart, which was begun and published, I think, in 1883, and it has on it, of course, the coast lines, the oceans, and the wind that may be expected at certain times, the currents, and the lanes or lines usually taken by steamers in traversing the distance from one port to another. Up to 1904 all the data on those charts was collected by the Hydrographic Office, and had been for many years. During that year the Weather Bureau wished to continue administration of the coast wireless stations. The Navy Department thought it was better to have the coast wireless stations in the hands of the Navy for administration, and what was called an
interdepartmental board was organized, composed of the Chief of the Weather Bureau, an officer from the War Department, and two or three officers from the Navy Department, and that board made certain recommendations, that the coast wireless should all be turned over to the administration of the Navy Department; but the ocean meteorology—that is, things to do with the weather at sea—that data should be collected by the Weather Bureau, but that the Weather Bureau should furnish to the Hydrographic Office, or other office of the Navy Department, such of that data as they required for the purposes of their charts and sailing directions. That has been done always, but a few years ago the Chief of the Weather Bureau decided that he would publish his own meteorological charts. That began, I think, in 1909, and they are practically duplications of the pilot charts that we had been publishing since 1883.
Mr. GREGG. A duplication of your work?
Up to a year or two ago the British charts which we are now producing by this new zinc process, were reproduced by engraving; the original chart was taken and engraved on copper. Of course, as I said before, the hydrographic engineer claims-I am not prepared to say that he is right or wrong, because I have not sufficiently experimented-but he says, and he has had a great deal of experience, that to produce a chart from an original survey, without it having been engraved, by the zinc process will cost for the labor of drafting probably just as much as engraving would, but I am not prepared to say one way or the other, because we have not experimented sufficiently yet.
Thereupon the committee adjourned to meet to-morrow, Saturday, January 11, 1913, at 10.30 o'clock a. m.