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Dr. C'REEL. Yes, sir.
Dr. CREEL. No, sir.
Dr. CREEL. Shortly before the beginning of the fiscal year the decision of the comptroller was rendered. It really applied to New York alone; but we felt, of course, that the principle applied to any other station and felt that it would only be the proper thing to take it up with this committee.
NEW YORK QUARANTINE STATION,
The CHAIRMAX. When did you take over the New York quarantine station?
Dr. CREEL. The 1st of March.
The CHAIRMAN. We really had nothing to do with the cost of operating the quarantine station?
Dr. CREEL. Not before the 1st of March.
Dr. CREEL. New York was the last quarantine station to be taken over; all the others had previously been transferred to Federal control.
The CHAIRMAN. How much does the New York quarantine station add to the cost; what is the percentage of arrivals at New York?
Dr. CREEL. I would have to give that by simply estimating on a basis of averages. For the last four months of the past fiscal year the operations cost $250,000; that would be a million dollars per annum.
The CHAIRMAN. That is the cost? Dr. CREEL. That would have been the cost of operation, but it included salaries. It will not run on that basis during the entire year, but on that basis it would be about a million dollars. The quarantine operations are much heavier in the winter months, because we get more diseases at quarantine stations and there are more infected vessels coming in during the winter.
The CHAIRMAN. Have there been any economies effected since the Government took control?
Dr. CREEL. Yes, sir. We have reduced the number of employees from 300 to 230 and expect to continue the reduction as soon as we get the system adjusted. Of course, there are some practices which have been in vogue which will have to be gradually adjusted. I think within the next year probably we will be able to reduce to 200 from the original 300 employees.
The CHAIRMAN. That is, 200 will do what the 300 did?
The CHAIRMAN. Has there been any increase or decrease in the compensation of the men?
Dr. CREEL. We took the employees over at the same rate of pay they received from the State. There has been some readjustment in the fumigation crew in order to provide for an incentive for efficiency and promotion. We have created position of first and second class fumigators. That is rather hazardous work, because they use cyanide gas, which is highly poisonous. So we have adjusted the compensation, and there may be a 20 per cent increase in pay with some reductions in the lower grades. Outside of that there has been no change in compensation, except that the officer in charge now receives $4,000 per annum instead of $12,500 previously paid under State control.
The CHAIRMAX. Is the quarantine service more effective under Government control than under State control?
Dr. CREEL. We think so, Mr. Chairman. It is a difference of opinion. Under Federal control quarantine administration is a profession of the quarantine officer and they follow it as a life-long calling, and under State control they change with the administration.
The CHAIRJAN. Under State control did the Federal Government pay the cost ?
Dr. CREEL. Under State control they paid the cost and collected the fees.
The CHAIRMAX. Now we pay all the expenses and take the fees? Dr. CREEL. Yes, sir.
The ('HAIRBAN. And you say that the fees are more than sufficient to reimburse the cost ?
Dr. CREEL. I say that in the first four months which the Government operated the station there resulted a profit of $100,000 over and above expenses.
Mr. Byrns. You are speaking of this particular station?
Mr. Bynes. There was a provision inserted in a deficiency bill, I think, which required fees at the other stations?
Dr. CREEL. Yes, sir. Mr. Bynns. What about the increase of revenue derived from those stations?
Dr. CREEL. They will not be as profitable. For instance, a port like Savannah will never be profitable on the basis of the same fees as New York, because you have a continuous overhead charge, and the number of vessels is much smaller. At New York there is a smaller margin between the overhead and fees.
Mr. Byrds. Do you think that the fees at that port will ever be as profitable ?
Dr. CREEL. I do not know; I doubt it.
Dr. (CREEL. They are uniform as far as inspection and uniform in every way that you can make them uniform. Possibly the fumigation fees will vary. The fumigation charge at Cape Charles quarantine station will be smaller, because the charges are based on the cost to the Government, and their operating expenses are smaller because the vessels are fumigated at the roadstead, right off the quarantine wharf, and by the employment of smaller fumigating vessels. In New York they have some distance to travel, and they use tugs. So proportionately the cost will be higher in New York than at Cape
I do "The Feni for
Charles, but the cost of the chemicals is the same. We charge so much for the chemicals and so much for labor—$1 an hour for labor.
The transportation charges will vary according to the distance of travel.
The CHAIRMAN. Have you given any thought to the wisdom of making the charges vary according to the cost of the overhead?
Dr. CREEL. The transportation is based on that. Do I understand, Mr. Chairman, that you mean the entire cost of the operation of the station?
The CHAIRMAN. Yes, sir. The cost of the overhead in a place where there are not many vessels would be, of course, greater than the cost of the overhead where there are a great many vessels ? Dr. CREEL. We have not given any serious thought to that.
The CHAIRMAN. Would it not be a good idea to work that out, so as to make it as near self-sustaining as possible?
Dr. CREEL. We might be able to do that.
The ('HAIRMAX. It seems to me that the overhead should bear the same relation to the total cost in each case.
Mr. KELLEY. Would not that have a tendency to drive the ships away?
Dr. CREEL. It would, undoubtedly. .
Dr. CREEL. It would result in very many protests, because we would have to make a discrimination as to the inspection fee. The inspection of a vessel in New York might be $10 and at Savannah $100 or $150.
The CHAIRMAX. Be kind enough to tell us how you arrive at $389,000 as the correct figure.
Dr. CREEL. It was simply a question of a verages for the cost of operation for the six months, the last three months of the past fiscal year and the first three months of the current fiscal year.
The CHAIRMAN. Assuming a certain number of vessels?
Dr. CREEL. Yes, sir; and assuming the same operating expenses. The estimate 'for the last three months of the past fiscal year undoubtedly will be too high, and the estimate for the first three months of the present fiscal year will undoubtedly be too low, because the heavy'operating expenses comes in the winter months. The average monthly operating expenses at the New York quarantine station, from March 1 to September 30, was $27.000 a month, an annual rate of $324,000. The expenditures of the quarantine system, which includes about 89 stations, all the stations in the United States and the insular possessions, other than New York, for the six months' period referred to, will be at the anual rate of $420,000.
The CHAIRMAN. That includes all-New York and all!
Dr. CREEL. The $420,000 is exclusive of New York. That is in contrast with $500,000 last year. In other words, we estimate that we will probably spend $80.000 less for the quarantine system, exclusive of New York.
Mr. KELLEY. You do not have any stations except on the seaboard or the frontier; no interior stations like at Chicago or Detroit ?
Dr. CREEL. No, sir; they are all on the seaboard and at the international boundaries. Those two sums will total $744.000, with an available appropriation of $350,000.
appropriat the time allot:
· The CHAIRMAN. How much did you allot of this $350,000 appropriated to New York?
Dr. CREEL. The allotment was not made by stations, but the allotment for the first quarter-Mr. Chairman, you mean of the new appropriation ?
The CHAIRMAN. Yes, sir. Dr. CREEL. It was not allotted by stations. We allotted for the entire quarantine system $128,000 for the first quarter. Mr. KELLEY. About what part of that would go to New York?
Dr. CREEL. We have estimated that New York for the entire fiscal year will probably expend $27,000 a month. Mr. KELLEY. How much did you allot for the quarter? Dr. CREEL. $128,000.
The CHAIRMAN. That would be $324,000 for the year, $27,000 a month?
Dr. CREEL. That is for New York alone.
Dr. CREEL. It may be that we will spend more and it may be we will spend less. It all depends on the number of vessels at New York. One vessel alone at New York with typhus last March cost us $54,000 before we got rid of her. .
Mr. KELLEY. Something more than half would go to New York?.
Mr. Byrxs. Going back to the subject of fees, it was provided in a deficiency bill that the Secretary of the Treasury should fix such fees as would be fair and reasonable for services rendered by each station. As I understand, you do not construe that to mean that the fees shall be sufficient at each of the stations to take care of itself?
Dr. (REEL. No, sir. We construe another law in connection with that: that there shall be no discrimination in administration which would tend to drive commerce from one port to another.
Mr. Byrns. I can appreciate that. You referred to Savannah, which is a small station?
Dr. CREEL. Yes, sir.
Mr. Bynns. I was wondering if the large stations like Boston, Philadelphia, Baltimore, or Norfolk would ever pay for themselves under the fees?
Dr. CREEL. I think that stations like New York, Philadelphia, Boston, San Francisco, and Portland, Oreg., will take care of themselves, and Baltimore also if the commerce picks up, but at present the latter will not.
Mr. Byrys. You spoke of there being a greater revenue and outgo at the New York station. Will this excess of revenue derived from some of these large stations serve to pay the expenses of the whole service?
Dr. CREEL. That is a question. On the basis of the expenditures and income of the last quarter of the fiscal year 1921 the entire quarantine system would be self-supporting. When there is a lessening in the number of vessels to be fumigated and a lessening in the number of ships to be inspected the revenue drops without any commensurate reduction in the overhead charge. I doubt it very much-it is merely an impression,if year in and year out the fees will cover all the cost of the quarantine system.
Mr. Bynxs. I appreciate what you say and the reason why there should be no discrimination so far as ports are concerned, but is it not possible to promulgate fees which will pay for the service?
Dr. CREEL. Of course, on the one hand the law provides for seryice rendered, and the inspection of a vessel is a service rendered, but no greater service at Savannah or New Orleans than it would be at New York, and if you increased the fee you would charge more for rendering the same service.
Mr. KELLEY. If you made the fee high enough to take care of Savannah it would be too high in New York.
Mr. Byrns. That would not be necessary if you made the fees general enough over all the stations to pay for the service. Of course, that might entail raising the fees at New York and Boston.
Dr. CREEL. Say 20 per cent; something like that.
Mr. Byens. Is there any reason why that should not be done so the fees would be made sufficient to pay for the service?
Dr. ("REEL. No; I see no reason why it should not be done. Of course, all of these vessels pay tonnage dues, and my impression is that originally the tonnage dues was to cover all the service rendered at the port. Mr. ANTHONY. What is the fee for inspection? Dr. CREEL, $10 a vessel. Mr. ANTHONY. Irrespective of size? .
Dr. CREEL. No; over 500 tons, $10, and under 500 tons, $5; the latter refers to schooners and small vessels.
The CHAIRMAN. When the tonnage dues were fixed there was no scientific treatment similar to that given the ships now?
Dr. CREEL. There was rather an expensive quarantine system.
AMOUNT PAID FOR STATIONS TAKEN OVER,
The CHAIRMAN. Have you any record in your office of what was paid for each of these stations when we took them over?
Dr. CREEL. I have, Mr. Chairman. The annual report of the sery. ice for the fiscal year 1920 had in it a list, and I can supply that very easily.