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Capt. WINTERHALTER. They all do, more or less. They take regular cruises on vessels in the fleet in addition to short cruises on their own vessels.
Mr. BUTLER. Is she safe and all right?
Capt. WINTERHALTER. She will be in the inland waters. We have to look forward, of course, to her trip from Mare Island Navy Yard to Puget Sound, but in Puget Sound she will be comparatively safe.
Then, for the cruising we will put them on board regular ships and give them an attractive cruise. Some of them, you know, were enlisted for and served with the Navy in the naval review, and then afterwards went out with the reserve battleships on a steaming trial. It will interest the committee if I insert a table of performances of these reserve ships, some of which were partly manned by Naval Militia. The table should show the ready condition of the ships.
Summary of results in speed and endurance runs, October, 1912, after fleet
(Vessels arranged by class according to speed in class during the two-hour speed and
Mr. Foss. I think it would help the committee if there was given from year to year, in connection with these ships, giving an actual case of one ship, when it went into commission, then the amount of repairs made on her, and then the repairs made on her up to the present time, and the cost of the ship.
Capt. WINTERHALTER. The first cost of the ship?
Mr. ROBERTS. Just give us the year the ship went into commission and the repairs put on her and the cost when she went into commission.
The CHAIRMAN. At that point, can you take each one of these ships, when you revise your hearing, and insert that information with reference to each one of the ships enumerated in this letter?
Capt. WINTERHALTER. Yes; with pleasure. I can give you some of these facts now. I am not prepared to give you what all of the repairs cost, but I can give you a good many of them right now. The table appears below, entitled “ Costs of ships.”
Mr. Foss. We have to judge, of course, in passing upon these appropriations, whether, in our judgment—of course we do not know very much about it—whether it would be worth that much for repairs.
Capt. WINTERHALTER. Yes; but in the end you have to trust us to spend the money properly. I assure you that repairs and alterations get more careful scrutiny that I have ever seen before, and I think that everybody in the Nary Department is imbued with the idea of economizing to the greatest possible extent. These estimates are not absolute, but tentative, yet as close as the terms of the law will permit. However, the final estimates before repairs are undertaken will have been subjected, first, to the scrutiny of the board of inspection; second, to the scrutiny of the board of estimates; third, to the scrutiny of the various bureaus; fourth, to the scrutiny of the aid for material, before a recommendation is made to the Secretary.
The CHAIRMAN. What we want to get is this: There are 400 Members on the floor of the House that do not have any information except what we have put in here in a general way, and if we can get a synopsis of these costs of repairs and date of commission, age, and work of the ship we will have it available for them. The hearings will be sent up to you for revision, and in your hearings you can insert that information with reference to each one of the ships.
Capt. WINTERHALTER. I will have that tabulated for you. [See table below, entitled “ Costs of ships.”]
Now, about the military value of the Minnesota and North Dakota, I suppose there is no question. They are new battleships in active service, and whatever is done is to make them more efficient?
Mr. BUTLER. These boards are composed of naval officers, are they? Capt. WINTERHALTER. Yes, sir.
Mr. BUTLER. Is the Engineering Department represented on the board.
Capt. WINTERHALTER. Yes, sir.
Capt. WINTERHALTER. Yes; the steam engineering department is the line, you know.
Mr. BUTLER. And Construction and Repair is not, yet?
Mr. Foss. Now, take the Board of Survey, how many officers are there on that board?
Capt. WINTERHALTER. If you have a copy of the Naval Register or the Naval Directory, that will give it. The aid for inspections is Admiral Fiske, and the president of the board of inspectors for ships is Capt. Fechteler. There are at present five officers on this board—the usual number is six. Now, I have those costs, and I have taken, for instance, the Hannibal, Leonidas—I have the prices of these
Mr. ROBERTS (interposing). What is the Hannibal?
Capt. WINTERHALTER. She was a collier. She was bought at the outbreak of the War with Spain.
Mr. ROBERTS. Have you got her age !
Capt. WINTERHALTER. The dates of completion are given as folws by the Department of Commerce and Labor: Justin, 1891; 'anshan, 1896; Leonidas and Hannibal, 1898. Mr. Foss. Do you have a little history of every ship?
Capt. WINTERHALTER. Yes; there is a Ship’s Data Book, published by the Navy Department. Every member of the committee, it seems to me, ought to have that book. That gives a lot of necessary information about all our ships.
Mr. Foss. Doesn't the Bureau of Supplies and Accounts open an account with every ship and keep a statement of all the repairs and every dollar that has gone into it?
Mr. ROBERTS. They do that, but they might not have her age.
Capt. WINTERHALTER. No, but the accounts show when she was bought and what has been spent on her. The Hannibal, Leonidas, Justin, and Nanshan were bought at the outbreak of the War with Spain. The CHAIRMAN. For what purpose are they used now?
Capt. WINTERHALTER. The Hannibal is engaged in the survey of the coast of Nicaragua. It is intended to increase the survey force by the addition of the Leonidas. The Hannibal has been put at work as a survey ship without affecting her possible usefulness as a collier. These vessels can, whenever necessary, be returned to service as colliers. On this coast we need larger colliers; these old colliers are of small carrying capacity. The Hannibal, for instance, would only carry 2,300 tons of coal. As you know, our colliers now carry 12,500 tons of coal. The Leonidas carries only 2,200 tons, the Justin 2,900, and the Nanshan 2,900. The Justin and the Nanshan are in active service—that is, the Nanshan is in the Asiatic Fleet, and the Justin is the Pacific Fleet. They are very useful for carrying coal to the smaller vessels that need little coal; as, for instance, the Nanshan out on the China coast is very useful there because our gunboats carry as low as 30 tons of coal. Those are the Spanish gunboats.
Mr. ROBERTS. Those are river gunboats?
Capt. WINTERHALTER. Yes. There the small collier saves the expense of a large collier. In a similar way the Justin can readily coal a destroyer flotilla. On the Pacific the destroyers carry no more than 170 tons each. I think I should remark that it redounds to the credit of the Navy for having kept these vessels going so long.
Mr. BUTLER. You have recently used the Justin for transportation purposes from Panama to Nicaragua, haven't you?
Capt. WINTERHALTER. Yes; she is available for that, but I am explaining what she is particularly useful for in time of peace. In an emergency we have to transport men on whatever class of vessel is available, even though that vessel be a collier with no accommodations.
Mr. ROBERTS. You said the Hannibal had been fixed over for survey, but you are still asking for $75,000 to fix her some more!
Capt. WINTERHALTER. No. We will have to provide new boilers for this vessel.
Mr. ROBERTS. How much has been spent on her to change her from a collier to a survey ship?
Capt. WINTERHALTER. I would have to analyze the figures for that. In the fiscal year 1913 we spent $34,000 on her. I should say that
$15,000 would represent the amount spent on changes and installations at that time.
Mr. ROBERTS. Was that to transform her from a collier to a survey ship?
Capt. WINTERHALTER. Yes; and for structural repairs. She would have required these repairs in the ordinary course, but some of this money was used to fit her for surveying. We have had to defer certain work that is urgently required until Congress authorizes the necessary expenditures. This deferred work is included in our present estimate of $75,000 for the Hannibal. Now, take the case of the Leonidas. We are asking for $100,000, but it is not conclusive that we will spend $100,000. The opening of the canal will mean an increase of commerce on both the Atlantic and Pacific coasts of Central America. The Navy Department is charged with making the surveys of these waters and we must provide a vessel for this most important duty. The expenditure is small considering the value of the work.
Mr. Foss. That is just your estimate?
Capt. WINTERHALTER. Yes. Not only that, but when we face this expenditure we must make up our minds that that is the proper use for her. All these things are subject to revision and we do not offer this proposition now except for the purposes of Congress—for the purpose of legislation.
Mr. ROBERTS. All these transactions are more or less tentative?
Mr. ROBERTS. And if Congress allows the expenditure of that amount of money you may conclude that the ship is not worth it?
Capt. WINTERHALTER. Exactly.
Mr. ROBERTS. And after you got the authorization you would not do it she was not worth it?
Capt. WINTERHALTER. Yes; that is correct. I mentioned the case of the tug Chickasaw. If I remember rightly, I said she was built in 1882, but I have a correction of that statement, and it is really 1888, instead of 1882. She was purchased from John H. Dialogue, of Camden, in 1898. A report has been received since our letter to the committee that further repairs are needed on this vessel. We can not burden the department's appropriation with the repairs of such vessels unless we can make them available for some reasonable amount of service. In the case of the Leslie, at Mare Island, we are asking authority to expend $10,000. Out of that $10,000 'the Bureau of Construction and Repair wants $7,000 for repairs and $3,000 is to go to Steam Engineering. The Leslie was built under the act of March, 1901, when you appropriated $25,000 for her. As a matter of fact she only cost $15,261. When you authorize the expenditure of money it does not necessarily follow that we are going to spend all of it. It may be of interest to state that in 1901 we were able to build this 75-foot wooden vessel for $15,261; and that it is now costing the Treasury Department $30,000 for a 67-foot wooden vessel building at the same yard.
Mr. Foss. That is your basis of cost right now?
Capt. WINTERHALTER. Yes; that is the basis of cost now, taking into consideration the increased cost of labor and material, having in view the fact that some of the repairs can not come in for a year. In fact, we can not reprive the navy yards of the services of these tugs all at once.
Mr. ROBERTS. Which of these tugs are at New York!
Capt. WINTERHALTER. The Pawnee, Pontiac, and Chickasaw. That is New York is the home yard of these tugs; they repair there. The Chickasaw is on duty at Newport.
Mr. ROBERTS. Have you the data as to the age of those tugs, and the cost
Capt. WINTERHALTER. Yes. The keel of the Accomac was laid in 1891; she was bought in 1898 for $40,000. The keel of the Chickasaw was laid in 1888; she was bought in 1898 for $15,000. The keel of the Pawnee was laid in 1896; she was bought in 1898 for $25,000. The keel of the Pontiac was laid in 1891; she was bought in 1898 for $30,000. The Leslie was built at the navy yard, Mare Island, in 1902 and cost $15,261.
Mr. ROBERTS. What speed do they make?
The CHAIRMAN. Those ships are practically all around 20 years of age?
Mr. ROBERTS. More than that; two of them are 23 and one 25
Capt. WINTERHALTER. Yes; the Chickasaw would bet 25 years old
The CHAIRMAN. Now, then, what would you consider the age of an iron tug? You mentioned that several of those were iron tugs. What is the approximate or reasonable expectation of life?
Capt. WINTERHALTER. I could not tell that, Mr. Padgett. The service is so peculiar, and in some ways the work is so different, that I do not think we can calculate on any particular age for these tugs. I think we have done very well to keep them in the service and repair them the way we have done, and get all this life out of them. I can give you, perhaps, an estimate of what the probable life of the tugs Sonoma and Ontario will be, if that will interest you.
The CHAIRMAN. I suppose they would have the same information in the naval service that they would have in commercial life, an estimate of the usual wear and tear and repair work, and what would be the life?
Capt. WINTERHALTER. You could, I suppose, lay down a rule in commercial practice, but I doubt whether you could do it with us. If we could fix the life of all units of the feet I think we would be doing very well, but that is really a pretty hard thing to do, except for the battleships, which are about 20 years. The Bureau of Navigation of the Department of Commerce and Labor fixes the life of a tug under usual service conditions in the merchant marine at 20 years.
Mr. ROBERTS. What did these tugs cost originally?
Capt. WINTERHALTER. We bought all except the Leslie. The Accomac cost $40,000, the Pawnee $25,000, and the Pontiac $30,000.
Mr. ROBERTS. These are all purchased tugs?
Mr. ROBERTS. What would it cost us to buy new tugs or build new tugs capable of doing the work that these tugs are capable of doing?
Capt. WINTERHALTER. The cost price of a new ship of the same size and of like material--that is, what we have to estimate on under