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tion proceedings and would have to come here to Congress to get authority.
Mr. ANTHONY. Why can you not ask the court to proceed with the condemnation proceedings whether you have money available for the purchase or not?
Capt. Bazira. Of course, the Government's side holds that position. I would like to explain that I am not an attorney, so that I can not give this to you in the exact legal phraseology. The courts might not uphold that contention of the Government.
Mr. Byrns. Captain, no court as yet has held that the plaintiff has to show they have the money in hand before the court will enter a decree. Those decrees usually provide that title shall pass upon payment of the money.
Capt. BAZIRE. Yes, sir; in most cases, but not in all cases. For instance, at Camp Custer, in Michigan, even before the money was paid the title passed and a decree was entered.
Mr. Byrns. There, I take it, the defendants were perfectly willing to trust the United States to meet its just obligations.
Capt. Bazire. No; the Code of Michigan happened to read that way.
Mr. Byrys. But in the usual condemnation case, of course, the plaintiff is never required, as I understand it, to pay the money in the court before the decree is actualy entered. The decree always provides that title shall pass when payment is made of the amount adjudicated by the court.
Capt. BAZIRE. That is true enough with individuals, but with the United States they take the ground or have tried to take the ground that we had no authority to take this land at all.
Gen. Carson. And the question has been raised in some of the courts that because there was no appropriation immediately available when the decision would be rendered, therefore the case had no standing in court. That effort has been made and some of the attorneys have taken that position and raised that plea.
Mr. Byrns. But that has never been passed upon by the court in any instance.
Capt. Bazire. It has been passed upon; yes, sir. There was a decision rendered by Judge Waddell in Virginia where the same defense was made in an endeavor to halt the proceedings, and he overruled it.
Mr. BYRNs. That is what I would expect under the circumstances.
Capt. BAZIRE. But a copy of Judge: Waddell's decision was referred to the court in the case of Camp Grant, but the court made them amend the petition just the same and state that they did have the money. Now, that has not come up yet. If we have not got the money and go there and say we have not got the money, Judge Landis is just as apt as not to throw us court.
That is what we are afraid of.
Mr. CANNON. Without having much knowledge of the matter, I am under the impression that most of these additional lands are to be sold, are they not?
Gen. Carson. In these cases it is not a question of acquiring additional land, it is a question of enabling us to complete contracts and agreements that were entered into by proper agents of the Govern
ment but which owing to statutory limitation the funds that were made available have passed out of our control, and to refuse to do this now would be essentially repudiation, and we feel that the Government should never be placed in that position. Many of these people who have accepted the edict of the courts and whom we could have paid off months ago, we have not been able to pay because of the statutory limitation I refer to covered the money into the Treasury on June 30.
Mr. Cannon. And it is that class of cases you are asking authority to settle? Gen. CARSON. Yes.
Mr. Cannon. You want either the authority or the appropriation?
Gen. Carson. The appropriation is all we need. We have the authority, but we need the money, and the people have had neither the money nor the land, and they are entitled to one or the other. We can not give them the land, for reasons already stated, and, therefore, they should have the money. It is a question of good faith' on the part of the Government largely.
PROVISION AUTHORIZING SECRETARY OF WAR TO MAKE AGREEMENTS FOR PURCHASE
The CHAIRMAN. If you will look at the item before us, you will notice that it provides:
That the Secretary of War is empowered to carry out agreements for the purchase of said real estate, with power to make, if necessary, new agreements for the purpose and to take such other steps as are or hereafter shall appear to be necessary.
What is the necessity for that?
Gen. Carson. That is in case we can make a settlement more satisfactory to the Government out of court, and when that is made, then we can withdraw the condemnation proceeding. We can not withdraw the condemnation proceeding as long as it is not settled. Otherwise if we did, as I said before, we would be trespassers and the owners of the land come automatically into possession of all improvements and the Government is open to heavy suits for damages. This is to protect the Government.
Mr. ANTHONY. And do you think in some of these cases you can make agreements that will be more advantageous to the Government outside of court!
Gen. Carson. We think so, with this legislation behind us.
NECESSITY FOR HAVING APPROPRIATION AVAILABLE UNTIL EXPENDED,
The CHAIRMAN. If you expect to get through with these condemnation proceedings this fall, as I understood the Captain to say you would, why do you want the language here "to remain available until expended”? If this appropriation is made, it will continue available until the 1st of next July, and if you are going to complete the proceedings this fall, then, of course, this language would not be necessary
Gen. Carson. That is only our expectation. We can not absolutely guarantee that the courts will finish all of these cases, and if only one case should be postponed or continued, due to the efforts on the part of the owners through their lawyers, we, of course, would be helpless to insist upon a settlement and one case might hold up the whole thing
MAINTENANCE OF CAMP SHERMAN--VETERANS' BUREAU.
Mr. KELLEY. General, take a camp like Camp Sherman at Chilli. cothe, about what does it cost to just keep it in a quiescent state for a year!
Gen. CARSON. In the first place, Camp Sherman has been turned over to the Veterans' Bureau and we have been relieved of all that overhead.
Mr. KELLEY. I understand that, but what will it cost to take care of that camp? Gen. Carson. That would depend on how many people are going to
i Mr. Kelley. I mean assuming it is unoccupied and you are simply going to keep up the camp?
Gen. Carson. To maintain the utilities so they could be used in case of necessity, such as the water and sewer systems!
Mr. KELLEY. Yes.
Gen. Carson. A good deal depends upon how much you want to maintain. If you simply wish to guard the land and buildings--
Mr. KELLEY. I mean to keep it in order so it would not be a rundown establishment and preserve the property that is now there and keep the sewers properly opened and the water mains protected, with the necessary heat to keep the water from freezing, and so on, and also with the necessary fire protection.
Gen. Carson. That is a very difficult question to answer because so many conditions enter into it.
The CHAIRMAN. Why would it not be a good suggestion, inasmuch as you know what Mr. Kelley's question is, to take that question back with you and prepare a complete answer to the question and put it in the record later?
Gen. Carson. Even then it would be very difficult unless Mr. Kelley would give me more information as to just what he has in mind.
Mr. KELLEY. I will put the question in this way: Suppose you were the Veterans Bureau taking this camp over; how much of an obligation would you think you would be taking over?
Gen. Carson. If I was going to use all the buildings as they stand and maintain those temporary buildings, I roughly estimate it would cost about $300,000 a year. Possibly I am a little low on that.
The CHAIRMAN. I should think it would cost about $1.000.000. Gen. CARSON. Oh, no.
Mr. ANTHONY. Camp Sherman is a camp which was erected for the purpose of arcommodating a maximum of about 10.000 men?
Gen. CARSON. Yes,
Mr. ANTHONY. Do you think it would be practicable to take that camp and utilize it for, say 3,000 veterans, and operate the utilities, like the heating plant and the water system and the sewers and the lighting plant, just for that number of men? Would that be an economical proposition?
Gen. Carson. It would cost between $20,000 and $24,000 a year just to maintain and operate and guard the utilities alone. For buildings for 3,000 men, using those now there, I should like to have about $150,000 a year for that item alone, because the buildings are deteriorating and each year the deterioration is greater.
Mr. ANTHONY. The statement was made here that there were about 1,200 bungalows or small buildings there; what are those buildings?
Gen. CARSON. I can not imagine what they are.
Mr. ANTHONY. Are not the buildings at this camp of the usual type of buildings constructed at the various cantonments?
Gen. CARSON. Yes, sir. No special buildings have been put up there except community buildings, Red Cross, Y. M. C. A., K. of C., etc., built by private funds. They must have referred to some buildings that were originally barracks or hospital wards that have been converted into officers' quarters, perhaps, by putting in partitions, etc.
The CHAIRMAN. General, let me ask you this question. If we were going into actual occupancy of the camp at Chillicothe to-day, if you know what the condition of the buildings are at present and all the equipment there, how much would it cost to put the institution in condition for occupancy before you could begin to occupy it with any degree of satisfaction?
Gen. CARSON. I really could not answer that offhand. I would have to look into it because I have not any recent figures on the condition of the buildings or about what has been done there.
The CHAIRMAX. What would be involved in your looking into it. Could you get that information from the records in your office?
Gen. Carson. Yes, sir; I think so.
NOTE.---To repair all of the buildings at ('amp Sherman, incluling such repairs as would be needed for water and sewer systems, roads, etc., an'l put it in shape for use to its max mum capacity of about 36,000 troops. would. roughly speaking, require about $800,000, This figure is based on current prices of material and labor, and use of civilian labor exclusively in the work The build ngs and their equipment have about outlived their usefulness, and the rate of deterioration, even with the best of care, increases each year very rapidly. The greater part of the interior plumbing would have to be replace:), and rery probably the wood stave water mains, originally installed when it was expected the camp would be required for two or three years only.
The CHAIRMAX. And would you be able to supply an answer to the question when the record comes up to you for revision!
Gen. Carson. I think so; yes, sir. The CHAIRMAN. For example, if you had to tear down 30 per cent of the buildings and establish a new system of construction for the other 70 per cent in order to utilize them, you might add to your answer to my previous question what that would cost?
Gen. CARSON. Yes.
VOTT.-To repair 70 per cent of the existing buildings and make them habitable for mobilization purposes, utilizing all material in the other 30 per cent as far as it would go, would, roughly speaking, require about $600,000 at present
prices for labor and material. As originally built, the camp could normally take care of about 36,000 troops, and I roughly estimate that the 70 per cent of the buildings that would be thus repaired would take care of between 20,000 and 25,000 troops. This estimate is based, of course, upon doing no more than is absolutely necessary to make the buildings habitable for a short period of time.
Mr. KELLEY. Of course, if the Veterans’ Bureau should take the camp over it would be necessary to keep the camp in a fair state of preservation in its entirety, would it not?
Gen. Carson. It depends on how many people they are going to put there.
Mr. KELLEY. I understand that; but you could not have, say, 2,000 or 3,000 men in a great wilderness of buildings which were not
Gen. Carson. Undoubtedly they would concentrate them in one section of the camp.
Mr. KELLEY. Would you not have to take care of all the rest of the camp, because otherwise it would become unsightly and unlivable in a very short time?
Gen. Carson. No; you would have to maintain the water service and the sewer service, naturally, but-this is just my opinion-you could concentrate in one section and keep those buildings in good shape and utilize the others for that purpose and tear them down.
Mr. KELLEY. I was over at Camp Humphreys the other day, and I think there is a place where you have concentrated and are using a portion of it.
Gen. CARSON. Yes, sir,
Mr. KELLEY. It seemed to me like the most desolate place in the world in every part of the camp except the part you were using, and it does not seem to me that young men could be kept there in civil life under civil conditions without having the rest of the camp kept up.
Gen."Carson. Camp Humphreys is in process of being salvaged, and we have not finished salvaging those buildings. I do not know when you were there, but all of the buildings which they do not need have been sold, but the purchaser has not yet completed the removal of the buildings. I know that only the other day a request came to me from the purchaser for an extension of time to complete his contract, and that is why I say I know the work has not been finished.
Mr. KELLEY. The camp at Chillicothe, as I understand, was built for 30,000 or 40,000 people?
Gen. Carson. That camp should be in fairly good condition, as good as a camp of that type can be maintained, because it was only recently occupied by what was left of a division of troops.
REMODELING BUILDINGS AT CAMPS.
Mr. ANTHOXY. In order to get these figures in the record I will ask you to state whether or not they are correct. In every one of these cantonment buildings that you have remodeled has it not cost you on an average $5,000 ?
Gen. CARSON. I could not say.