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(c) Desirability of accumulation of reserve supplies and inability to turn over articles by issue at periods sufficiently short to prevent deterioration.
Upon the representations of these facts to the Secretary of War approval was given a plan whereby these supplies could be issued to States which so desired them, such supplies, however, to be stored in depots of the Quartermaster Corps.
The following instructions have been issued governing the subject:
(a) States are granted authority to store any article of clothing, including overcoats and except ponchos and slickers, they may so desire in a designated depot of the Quartermaster Corps, same to be covered by requisition, issued, reimbursement being made as at present, i. e., by the exchange of invoices and receipts with the State authorities; the States then become accountable for the property.
(6) The property so stored to be at all times actually availablo for issue to the States in the quantities and sizes originally requisitioned, but to be available for current issue by the Quartermaster Corps in order to permit the turning over of the stores to prevent deterioration; issues of this character to be made only when identical quantities and sizes are available to replenish the militia stock, it being understood that while the supplies so stored are available for current issue by the Quartermaster Corps, should any particular garment become obsolete on account of change in pattern any of such articles that may be on hand among those held for storage by any particular State will be accepted by such State. It was necessary that this be definitely understood at this time. The fact that the supplies have been placed in storage for the militia and the appropriation of the Quartermaster Corps reimbursed for the value of the same operates to place them in practically the same category as supplies officially shipped to the State with the exception that to prevent deterioration as long as they are in storage they can be replaced from time to time.
(c) Stores to be turned over to the State authorities on written requests through the office of the Chief, Division of Militia Affairs.
(d) The depot quartermasters concerned to render a memorandum stock report to the Quartermaster General on June 30 and December 31 of each year of the quantities of supplies so stored by States, a copy of this stock report to be furnished to the Chief, Division of Militia Affairs, for transmission to the States concerned.
(e) These supplies to be stored in the following depots:
Philadelphia depot.—States of Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Ilampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Rhodo Island, South Carolina, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia, Georgia, Alabama, Kentucky, Mississippi, Tennessee.
St. Louis de pot.States of Arkansas, Illinois, Louisiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas, Wisconsin, Colorado, Iowa, Kansas, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, Wyoming, Indiana, Ohio, Arizona.
San Francisco depot.States of California, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Utah, Washington, Territory of Hawaii.
These instructions have been in effect only since April 30, 1915, and a few States have already taken advantage of this authority for the storage of overcoats, blankets, and woolen clothing.
Definite progress has been made during the year in the organization of new machine-gun units. Having in mind the extraordinary extent to which the European War has emphasized the importance of the machine gun as an agency for the delivery of fire in action, the policy during the year has been to encourage the promotion of new units in all cases where a reasonable prospect was afforded of successful maintenance, although corresponding units in the Regular Army which must serve as a model have only a provisional organization not yet sanctioned by Federal law. The influence of the lessons of the war now in progress on machine-gun organization in the United States Army can not be foretold with certainty, but it may safely be assumed that the number of guns will not be less than is called for by the existing provisional organization and that whatever may be gained at this time in the way of organization and practical knowledge will not be completely undone or lost as a result of the developments of the future.
In response to the efforts that have been made to improve the organization of the militia in this respect 35 machine-gun units have been organized and fully supplied with equipment, and several other units are about to be formed. Twenty-one of these attended special camps of instruction for machine-gun units during the current season under the supervision of officers and noncommissioned officers of corresponding units of the Regular Army, the principal feature of the instruction being target practice. Complete units were not sent to these joint camps, but only the company officers and noncommissioned officers, the attendance of 2 of the former and 14 of the latter from each company being authorized. Reports of these camps of instruction show that great interest was exhibited and gratifying progress made.
Efficiency in firing being a fundamental requirement, target practice and subjects relating thereto must occupy the chief place in the scheme of instruction for machine-gun units of the Organized Militia.
In accordance with this idea it is proposed to institute a system of joint camps with like units of the Regular Army at points where facilities exist for machine-gun firing, the main feature of the program to be firing exercises with ball cartridges to the extent of not less than one-half the annual Regular Army allowance of ammunition for each machine gun.
In view of the opportunities for practice that are to be provided and the facilities for maintenance that will be afforded it is intended to require that each machine-gun unit shall participate in target practice annually as a condition of continued Federal recognition.
The present type of machine gun is to be superseded, it is understood, by a superior arm recently adopted, known as the improved Maxim, but it is not expected that the new arm can be supplied to the Regular Army before the expiration of about two years. In order that the terms of section 3 of the amended militia law, requiring identity in armament may be complied with, the change in armament in the Regular Army, as soon as accomplished, should be followed by a similar change for the corresponding units of the Organized Militia. Under the present arrangement, as machine-gun units are formed and are reported to be up to the standard, the equipment
is issued as a charge against the $400,000 annually set aside by the Secretary of War under section 13 of the militia law for the purpose of equipping new organizations. Rapid progress in organization is desirable and to meet the cost due to increase in the number of machine-gun units expected in the next two years as well as to provide for the extraordinary expense due to the coming change in armament, for which purposes the usual amount of unallotted funds would be entirely insufficient, a special appropriation of $1,890,000 is needed. This estimate is based on increases in machine-gun units expected in the next two years and cost of issuing new armament to the full number of machine-gun units called for in the complete divisional organization. The availability of such a fund will serve as a great encouragement to progress in machine-gun development.
In the matter of instruction every possible effort will be made through joint service with the Regular Army and actual firing practice to attain the proficiency in the use of the machine guns which modern conditions seem to demand.
NATIONAL MILITIA BOARD,
The annual meeting of the board was held January 15, 1915. The proceedings and the action of the War Department thereon were published in Circular No. 5, Division of Militia Affairs, 1915. Since the meeting of the board, the term of Maj. Harry S. Berry, Organized Militia of Tennessee, expired, and Brig. Gen. Walter A. Harris, Organized Militia of Georgia, was appointed to succeed him.
The board considered at length several important subjects submitted to it by the Secretary of War and a number of others initiated by members of the board. While a full discussion of the proceedings may be seen in Circular No. 5, Division of Militia Affairs, 1915, the recommendation of the board as to the distribution of the appropriation under the act of May 27, 1908, is deserving of especial notice. It has been urged by the States as a reason for not including the special arms in their militia that the cost of maintenance was excessive while the allotments from Federal appropriations were the same for all arms. The result imposed a hardship upon States that supported special troops, which were chiefly valuable for the purposes of the Federal Government. The justice of this contention has been recognized and in order to remove this obstacle to the organization of the much-needed special troops, the board recommended that allowance be made for the cost of maintenance of the several arms by the introduction of factors as follows:
(a) For infantry, coast artillery, hospital corps detachments (attached to organizations), quartermaster corps, ordnance department, and all others not hereinafter enumerated, multiply the number of enlisted men present by 1.
(6) For field hospitals and ambulance companies, multiply the number of enlisted men present by 2. (c) For field artillery, cavalry, signal corps, engineer corps,
multiply the number of enlisted men by 3.
In order to secure a more equitable basis of distribution of this appropriation the board further recommended that the apportionment be based upon the enlisted attendance at the annual inspection under section 14 of the militia law. These recommendations were
approved by the Secretary of War and were published in a circular letter dated January 26, 1915.
The recommendations of the board as to medical officers of the Organized Militia, who are also medical reserve officers, have been put into effect by the War Department with a view to having a medical officer occupy one st: us only.
It is hoped that the recommendations on other important subjects, including encampments and maneuvers and chiefs of staff for militia divisions, may soon be put into operation.
Among the recommendations of the board to which approval could not be given was one permitting men to attend camps and to participate in Federal funds with less than 60 days' prior service, and permitting organizations to attend camps when all of the authorized minimum strength did not have the required previous service. The reasons for requiring previous service as a condition for attendance at camps have been set forth in the reports of the Chief, Division of Militia Affairs, for the years 1913 and 1914. Should this policy bo discontinued it is believed that the Organized Militia would become a skeleton force without sufficient numbers for proper training or for expansion to war strength. The difficulty of obtaining enlisted men is probably the greatest obstacle to the development of the militia. In some cases, all efforts have failed and States have resorted to the transfer of men from the infantry to batteries of field artillery for the encampments. Such men, by reason of having no technical instruction are unprepared to enter upon the field training, and their lack of interest and permanency in the batteries render their presence a mere waste of money. In other cases, men transferred from one organization to another in camp for the purpose of securing the required organizational strength, performed no duty with the organization to which they were transferred. It will be seen, therefore, that instead of diminishing the requirements for camp service, it will be necessary to impose further restrictions in order to secure the presence of men who are prepared by the armory drills to enter upon the field training:
This division is duly sensible of the earnest and laborious efforts made by the board to cooperate with it in promoting the efficiency of the militia, and while it is regretted that the division could not concur in all of its recommendations, many helpful ideas have been derived from its proceedings.
THE MILITIA PAY BILL AS INTRODUCED IN CONGRESS UNDER THE
TITLE S. 6217.
In January, 1914, a conference of War Department and Organized Militia representatives was held in Washington, with the approval of the Secretary of War, for the purpose of putting in concrete form the proposition to grant adequate Federal pay for home-station service rendered by militiamen. The War Department and Organized Militia were each represented by committees, the former's from the War College Division and the Division of Militia Affairs, the latter's from the National Guard Association of the United States, the Association of Adjutants General, and the National Militia Board. The conferees formulated, for submission to the Secretary of War with a view to possible introduction in Congress, a bill looking to
the revision of the Federal militia laws, and this bill, though essentially a compromise, was unanimously approved by the conferees except as regards certain provisions which designated the particular governmental agency authorized to prescribe the course of armory training constituting service for pay. The representatives of the War Department favored payment under such regulations as the Secretary of War, after conference with the National Militia Board, shall prescribe," and the other conferees had no objection to this wording. An alternate form was, however, drawn up providing for payment "under such regulations made by the military authorities of such State, Territory, and the Distruct of Columbia as may be deemed most effective to promote and increase the efficiency of the Organized Militia thereof and preserve the military property of the United States.” The latter wording is that used in the militia pay bill as introduced in the Sixty-third Congress, third session, under the title S. 6217.
The militia pay bill proposes that the Federal Government shall pay
the militiaman for the time and labor he devotes to military training, and it aims to give a just return for the money expended by providing that the training shall be adequate, and by giving the Federal Government such control over the Organized Militia as will make the latter available with certainty for proper Federal military use.
In order to give the Federal Government suitable control over the Organized Militia in return for money expended, the pay bill proposes to make the Organized Militia a branch of the United States Army, subject to call into the active military service of the United States as a part of the Army thereof, and, when so called, available for any duty for which the Regular Army. may be employed. The militiaman is therefore seen to be invested with the status of Federal soldier in addition to his status as member of the Organized Militia. In this way the bill frankly proposes to make the Organized Militia available for purposes other than those contemplateď by the framers of the Constitution. Grave constitutional questions are involved and these are not here passed upon. Suffice it to say that the conferees representing the War Department gave their approval to the pay bill as a whole on the understanding that the method proposed for insuring proper Federal control will hold good in law.
A. L. MILLS,
Chief, Division of Militia Äffairs.
REPORT OF THE GOVERNOR OF THE PANAMA CANAL.
THE PANAMA CANAL,
OFFICE OF THE GOVERNOR,
Balboa Heights, Canal Zone, August 2, 1915. Sır: I have the honor to submit the annual report covering the construction, operation, maintenance, sanitation, and protection of The Panama Canal for the fiscal year ended June 30 1915.