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1928 to provide appropriate storage without hazard to adjacent private property for the high explosive stores of the Army and Navy, is now ready to receive explosives and the Budget includes an item of $350,000 for the necessary handling and transportation expenses, $200,000 of which sum it proposes be made available immediately. The committee recommends the estimate. The project, as explained in the hearings, is as follows:
Approximately 1,400 tons of the explosives are at the naval ammunition depots, Mare Island, Calif., and Puget Sound, Wash., and the remainder at east coast points. The first shipments will be made from Puget Sound and Mare Island and the transportation from the east coast to the west coast will be made via the U. S. S. Nitro to Mare Island and thence by rail to Hawthorne. It is estimated that about 2,000 tons can be shipped annually from the east coast beginning in 1931 and that a period of about two and one-half years or three years will be required to complete the shipment.
The estimated cost of the entire movement, approximately 10,142 tons, is $525,975.06. This material will move from Mare Island, Calif., Puget Sound, Wash., Hingham, Mass., Iona Island, N. Y., Fort Mifflin, Pa., St. Juliens Creek, Va., and Yorktown, Va., to Hawthorne, Nev.; from Hingham, Mass., Iona Island, N. Y., Lake Denmark, N. J., Fort Mifflin, Pa., and St. Juliens Creek, Va., to Yorktown, Va.; and from Fort Mifflin, Pa., and Íona Island, N. Y., to Lake Denmark, N. J. The estimated cost is based upon an expenditure of $286,505.66 for rail transportation and $239,470 for expenses of handling at present points of storage, loading and unloading on vessels, transshipment expenses at Mare Island and unloading and storage at ultimate destination.
The estimate for 1932 of $350,000 covers the estimated cost of shipping and stowing at Hawthorne, Nev., of explosives now at Mare Island, Calif., and Puget Sound, Wash.; the movement of 4,000 tons of high explosives from east coast points to Hawthorne, Nev., and the movement of loaded and fused projectiles from Fort Mifflin, Pa., and Island, N. Y., to Lake Denmark, N.
FUEL AND TRANSPORTATION
The smaller operating force program accounts for the estimate being $735,000 less than the current appropriation of $9,600,000, which latter amount will show a substantial saving because of the fewer number of vessels that will operate this year than the appropriation contemplated. The estimate as to fuel oil is based upon an average price of 0.9209 cents per barrel. At the instance of the committee, a restudy has resulted in a revised estimate of 87 cents per barrel, which is approximately the average price now being paid. This revision permits of a reduction of $351,829 in the Budget estimate. The amount carried in the bill is $8,513,171.
There has been inserted by the committee in connection with this appropriation a limitation directed against the purchase of fuel oil of foreign production except by or for vessels in a foreign port.
BUREAU OF YARDS AND DOCKS
This appropriation provides for certain operating and administrative expenses at various navy yards and stations and for the repair and maintenance of $400,000,000 worth of public works. For the present fiscal year $8,000,000 originally was appropriated under this head. The first deficiency bill, 1931, as finally agreed to, makes an additional $500,000 available. The estimate for 1932 calls for $9,436,316, which, if approved, would make available a larger sum by $936,316. This difference approximates the estimated cost of certain
projects it is proposed to handle out of this appropriation which heretofore have been provided for specifically under the head of "Public works." These include all items of maintenance dredging, and numerous items of repairs, or improvements in the nature of repairs. The amounts tentatively allocated to maintenance dredging are as follows:
Navy yard, Philadelphia.
$100,000 40, 000 110,000 100, 000 50, 000
The committee proposes an appropriation of $9,014,816. This represents a reduction of $261,500 and a transfer to "Public Works" of $160,000. The reduction should be more than compensated for by savings accruing from lower prices than obtained when the estimates were prepared. A readjustment by the committee of the proposed passenger-automobile procurement program accounts for $11,500 of the reduction.
The public-works projects are set out in the bill commencing on page 33. The original estimate comprises projects calling for a total expenditure of $11,147,500, but on account of which only $10,000,000 would be required for expenditure during 1932. In the list are items estimated to cost $2,449,000, for which estimates later were submitted as a part of the unemployment-relief program and became a part of the naval public works projects provided for in the first deficiency bill, 1931. The amount included in the original estimates for 1932 for initiating such projects was $1,500,000. The committee has approved the Budget estimate, less these transferred items. In other words, it is proposing an appropriation of $8,500,000 for such items as have not been provided for in the first deficiency bill, 1931, plus $160,000 on account of certain projects for the navy yard, Portsmouth, N. H., transferred from "Maintenance, Bureau of Yards and Docks," under which head they had been estimated for. It will be necessary either in this bill or in a deficiency bill to provide for carrying forward during the fiscal year 1932 work on the projects included in the first deficiency bill, 1931, to the extent that such bill does not provide the full amount necessary to complete such projects.
The current naval appropriation act carries an appropriation of $3,194,000 toward certain public-works projects authorized in the act of May 14, 1930, to cost in all $10,057,500. The public-works estimates for 1932 include not to exceed $3,903,500 for carrying these projects forward, all of which may be placed under contract and toward which, including the amount in the estimates and accompanying bill, a total of not exceeding $6,097,500 will be available for progress payments. The status of these projects is indicated on pages 627 and 628 of the hearings.
BUREAU OF AERONAUTICS
The following table compares by general objects the current appropriations, the estimates for 1932, original and supplemental, and the amounts proposed in the accompanying bill:
1 The $13,033,800 includes $10,000,000 to pay 1930 bills and a further sum of $707,700 for planes for the Naval Reserve. In addition to the net $2,326,100 remaining, contracts to value of $8,000,000 will be entered into to be paid for from 1932 funds.
The $11,800,000 includes $8,000,000 to pay 1931 bills and a further sum of $807,400 for planes for the Naval Reserve. In addition to the net $2,992,600 remaining, it is proposed, during 1932, to enter into contracts of the value of $7,700,000 to be paid for from 1933 funds.
In no essential respect has the committee modified the estimate. Eight thousand dollars for the repair of helium containers, etc., have been deducted from the amount that may be expended for helium procurement.
The entire expense of naval aviation is not chargeable to the aviation appropriation. The appropriations of other bureaus are involved to an appreciable extent, as will be seen from the tables on pages 470 and 480 of the hearings.
The fiscal year 1932 will see the Navy practically in possession of the full number of 1,000 useful airplanes authorized by the act of June 24, 1926. The number on hand on December 1 last was 930, and deliveries during the remainder of the fiscal year or shortly after next June will complete the program. The folder facing page 527 of the hearings gives detailed information with respect to planes on hand, on order, and to be ordered with relation to the 5-year program. It will be of interest to note that the authorized cost of the 5-year program, including spare parts and equipment, was fixed at $85,078,750, while the program will be realized for approximately $20,000,000 less. Furthermore, that instead of 333 replacement planes, the number authorized by the Act of June 24, 1926, to be purchased annually upon the completion of the 5-year program, the Navy will be able to meet its replacement requirements for 1932 with approximately 253 planes at a cost of $10,296,600, instead of $17,476,250, as provided in the authorization act for 333 planes.
The committee has given some study to the matter of the relative performance of planes of our air forces with those of foreign governments. With the same factor of safety employed and relative performance for mission considered, it does not appear that we are at any disadvantage so far as relates to planes in service. Participation in international competitions has been suggested as of mutual advantage in the development of speedier and sturdier motors and planes. Such a course would impose a heavy draft upon experimental funds, of which the bill provides $2,000,000. It would seem that the expenditure of more of the $2,000,000 for experimental work for the development of high-powered high-speed motors and high-speed planes would be more to the advantage of the United States than the expenditure of a large sum of money to participate in international races, and which we could not qualify for short of three years at the earliest.
The Navy's lighter-than-air equipment is tabulated on pages 533 and 534 of the hearings. The accompanying bill in agreement with the Budget carries $675,000 for completing the airship ZRS-4 under construction at the works of the Goodyear-Zepplin Corporation at Akron, Ohio. It appears that this ship will be completed during the coming summer. The contract price is $5,375,000. The Budget and bill also carry $1,000,000 on account of the construction of the ZRS-5 by the same concern, at a total cost of $2,450,000. The current appropriation act carries an initial appropriation of $100,000 toward the second ship. The contract for the second ship, pursuant to the provisions of the naval appropriation act for the fiscal year 1929, reserves "to the Government the right of cancellation if changed circumstances, in the judgment of the Secretary of the Navy, shall suggest that course as being in the best interests of the Government, such right of cancellation to continue until the first airship shall have been tested in flight and accepted." The House on the 2d instant passed H. R. 6810, authorizing the Secretary of the Navy to accept a site for a lighter-than-air base in California and to construct necessary improvements thereon. As the building of the second airship, the ZRS-5, alone makes necessary the provision of additional housing and other facilities, action on the bill referred to would seem to indicate the thought of the House that both ships should be built.
The bill provides $192,000 for the procurement of helium from the Bureau of Mines, to which the funds are to be advanced at the beginning of the fiscal year, in order that such bureau may be free to shape its production program in the most economical way. Provision also is included for the purchase of two additional tank cars for transporting helium. These two will bring the number of such cars to 10, which it is expected will meet requirements as now seen.
A table with respect to aviation personnel appears on pages 483, 484 of the hearings.
The Budget estimates for all Marine Corps activities aggregate $25,608,700. This sum exceeds the total of the current appropriations by $82,362.74.
The estimates provide for the same number of commissioned officers and warrant officers, 1,030 and 154, respectively, as do the current appropriations, and for an approximate average of 17,500 enlisted men as against 18,000 for the current fiscal year. The saving from the smaller number of men, with practically no change in the amount of money that will be available, will be employed to offset automatic increases on account of longevity, change of pay grades, and change of status with respect to dependents.
Of the enlisted force of the Marine Corps on September 30 last consisting of 17,455 men, all save 1,137 classed as sick, in transit, etc., were on duty afloat or ashore at stations in the United States and its possessions, except 1,085 on duty in Nicaragua, 851 on duty in Haiti, and 1,701 on duty in China.
The committee has changed the estimates in the following respects: Pay, Marine Corps.-The estimate of $16,421,125 has been increased by $50,000 exclusively for the purpose of enabling the Marine Corps to have more men in the aviation branch in higher pay
grades than is now permissible. Inability to rate its competent men up results in an exceptionally large turnover, which is neither in the interest of efficiency nor economy. With a proper grade distribution for its aviation enlisted personnel, the committee is advised that the Marine Corps could reduce its quota of such personnel about 17 or 18 per cent. Of course, a larger amount than the committee has added would need to be provided to permit of such a reduction. Attention in this connection is invited to the comparisons on page 657 of the hearings between the Navy and Marine Corps distributions of men attached to aviation.
Pay of civil employees, Marine Corps.-The reduction here is all traceable to the plan to promote employees who are under the average of their pay grades. On account of reallocations that have occurred in the office of the paymaster since the estimates were built, $540 has been added to the estimate for such office. No additional employments are contemplated. The committee has restored to the bill language carried prior to the current fiscal year permitting the employment of civilians in the place of enlisted men at Marine Corps headquarters whose services may be terminated for any cause.
Provisions, Marine Corps.-The estimate is on the basis of a ration costing 522 cents. A restudy made at the suggestion of the committee results in a modified estimate of 48 cents, which permits of a reduction of $350,000.
Clothing, Marine Corps. Here, again, a reduction of $33,980 is permissible by reason of price changes since the estimates were prepared.
Contingent, Marine Corps.-A change by the committee in the proposed passenger-automobile procurement program is responsible for the reduction of $7,950 under this head.
Marine Corps Reserve aviation.-Owing to lack of funds or possibly to a leaning toward other reserve activities, or possibly both, Marine Corps Reserve aviation, apart from training units on active duty, practically is at a standstill. The committee feels that some encouragement should be given to this branch within the funds carried in the bill, which show no change over the current year. Until some disposition to do this is manifested, the committee would be disposed to oppose any increase in Marine Corps reserve funds. Assigned men afford a reservoir of the best sort for an emergency and as their number expands less need would seem to exist for a reserve force, other than of officers, except in aviation.
INCREASE OF THE NAVY
The Budget and the bill propose appropriations of $28,550,000 for proceeding with ship construction now authorized. This sum is $21,415,000 less than the sum of the current appropriations. However, by reason of balances that will be carried forward into 1932 it is estimated that there will be available for expenditure in that year a total of $53,033,258. The details of the estimate appear on page 556 of the hearings.
Under the terms of the London treaty but 10 of the 8-inch-gun cruisers authorized by the act of February 13, 1929, may be built, and as to three of these one may not be commenced before 1933, one before 1934, and one before 1935. Funds have been provided heretofore for initiating work on all of the seven that may be proceeded with