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Mr. ANTHONY. You have remodeled a number of them at the different camps, put partitions in them and made them habitable for the officers? Gen. Carson. Yes; some of them.
Mr. ANTHONY. You have remodeled none of them for less than $5,000?
Gen. Carson. I think we have, but I would have to go to my records.
Mr. ANTHONY. If I recollect correctly, out at Camp Humphreys, where they used the materials out of some of these old buildings for the purpose of constructing bungalows, the cost to the Government was about $7,000 for each bungalow.
Gen. Carsox. No; I think they have run about $3,500, those we built recently.
Mr. ANTHONY. That is, $3,500 of actual money? Gen. CARSON, Yes, sir; of course, they have used the labor on the post and the enlisted men have helped out, and that had to be done in order to give them the necessary accommodations.
CONDITION OF CAMPS.
Mr. KELLEY, Let me ask about a question of psychology. Do you think the average young men who have been injured in the war would be content to remain at one of these cantonments under civil conditions?
Gen. Carsox. I think they would if conditions were made satisfactory.
Mr. KELLEY. Of course, when they were getting ready for war there was the incentive of getting ready for it and the hope of participating in it, but will they be content under civil conditions, not as soldiers but as civilians, to go to one of these camps and stay for 12 months, 18 months, 2 years, or whatever time is necessary for their training for civil employment ? Gen. Carsox. I should think they would, Mr. Kelley.
Mr. ANTHOXY. Does the Army consider these camps habitable for quarters at the present time?
Gen. Carson. Well, they are habitable, and that is all you could say about them.
Mr. ANTHONY. But they do not enjoy being stationed there?
HOSPITAL BUILDINGS AT CAMPS.
Mr. Canxox. You are not building hospitals at these camps, are you?
Gen. Carson. No, sir.
Gen. CARSON. There are hospitals of a temporary character that were built during the war.
Mr. CANNON. You do not propose to reconstruct these hospitals? Gen. Carson. No, sir, we can not; we have no money to do it with.
USE OF CAMPS BY VETERANS' BUREAU.
Mr. Caxson. Are you recommending the retention of these posts with the view of reconstructing any of the buildings or hospitals for the purpose of taking care of people who are diseased, injured, or wounded?
Gen. Carson. In these particular places we are merely asking for the necessary funds to complete the contracts, bargains or court clecisions already in effect, in other words, to carry out the Government's bargains. What use will be made of them later on I am not in a position to say, and whether the Veterans' Bureau will acquire any of them or not I do not know.
Mr. Canxox. The question that was asked by the chairman led me to ask the questions I have just asked.
The CHAIRMAx. The reason I asked that question, Mr. Cannon, was this: A few days ago Mr. Forbes, the head of the Veterans Bureau, was here. While he was here he said that he had in contemplation the taking over of six of these camps for vocational education purposes. Among that number was this camp at Chillicothe, and he said this: That he could do the rehabilitation work and the construction necessary to remodel for $20,000. Of course, I knew he could not, and everybody else knew he could not, and I wanted to get the viewpoint of somebody who had some knowledge of the situation, and hence the question I asked.
Gen. Carson. Mr. Forbes may be right and I may be wrong, but I think we are looking at it from different angles.
The CHAIRMAN, We are not trying to embarrass anybody, but we think we are entitled to all the information we can get from every angle.
Gen. CARSON. Mr. Forbes may have contemplated a certain number of men, while I thought you were talking about the whole camp.
The CHAIRMAN. He made this statement: That he contemplated the destruction of 30 per cent of the camp, if I recall correctly, and the reemployment of the materials taken from that part of the camp destroyed in the reconstruction of buildings, and that all of this could be done for $20,000. Of course, he could spend the $20,000 in 15 minutes and he would not have completed 1 per cent of the work he undertook, in my judgment. .
Gen. Carson. But probably he was going to get a great deal of the labor from the men who were undergoing training...
IVOTE.-On inquiry. I was informed that Mr. Forbes's estimate was based on repairing a small number of buildings known as community houses for the accommodation of the few men that he would start with. utilizing material in a portion of the old buildings as far as it would go, the labor of the men under the vocational training as far as poss;ble, and $20,000 in addition. These community houses were built from private funds, were of more durable construction than the cantonment buildings, and hence could be repaired for less than the buildings erected by the Government for training purposes.-Gen. Carson.)
The CHAIRMAX. Of course I do not know, but I do not see how he could use men in the construction of buildings who were sent there to learn the trade of shoemaker, blacksmith, tailor, or to study typewriting, shorthand, barbering, and all the other activities.
Mr. KELLEY. He might use them in tearing down the buildings and taking out the nails.
Gen. CARSON. That would be very good training for them. The CHAIRMAN. For a barber? Gen. Carson. No; but for men who went there to learn to be carpenters or blacksmiths, and then they could be shaved by those men learning the barbering business.
The CHAIRMAN. I think we will pass on. Mr. Cannon. I want to say that my question was asked without reference to anything the director stated; in fact, I do not recollect that question, but I may have been absent.
The CHAIRMAN. The reason I asked the question was to get the other side of the information.
OFFICE OF CHIEF SIGNAL OFFICER.
WASHINGTON-ALASKA MILITARY CABLE AND TELEGRAPH SYSTEM.
SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 12, 1921.
STATEMENTS OF LIEUT. COL. FRANK J. GRIFFIN, SIGNAL CORPS, UNITED STATES ARMY, AND LIEUT. COL. C. A. SEOANE, OFFICER IN CHARGE, WASHINGTON-ALASKA CABLE SYSTEM.
FOR REPLACING WORN-OUT PORTIONS OF TELEGRAPH AND CABLE SYSTEM.
The CHAIRMAN. Colonel, we have a request for the appropriation of $1,500,000 for replacing the worn-out portions of the WashingtonAlaska military cable and telegraph system, to remain available until expended. Tell us where the terminals of this cable system are.
LENGTH AND USE OF SYSTEM. Col. GRIFFIN. The Washington-Alaska military cable and telegraph system includes 2,675 miles of submarine cable, having its United States terminal in the city of Seattle, State of Washington, and its Alaska terminals at Seward, Valdez, Cordova, Skagway, Sitka, and Ketchikan, where, by means of various telegraph, telephone, and radio stations it serves as practically the only communi. cation outlet for the entire Territory of Alaska.
The CHAIRMAN. What does the entire Territory of Alaska involve? What is the importance of the service, how many people are in Alaska, and how many of them use this cable service?
Col. GRIFFIN. Col. Seoane, who is the gentleman that is particularly in charge of this service, has all of the details. He has come on from Seattle on other duties; he is not primarily here for this purpose, but he happens to be in Washington and is prepared to give all of the territorial and technical conditions of the situation.
COST AND RECEIPTS OF SYSTEM,
The CHAIRMAN. I will ask you a few other questions, and if they are not within your knowledge you can let him answer. Tell us what the original cost of this cable system was, if you know, including the cost of operation and repairs, for the past 10 years.
Col. GRIFFIN. The original cable system was built 19 years ago; it was installed just about the time of the boundary difficulties and was erected at the urgent request of the Secretary of State and turned over to the Signal Corps as part of the War Department for immediate construction. I have not at the present instant the original cost of the cable, but Col. Seoane has that.
The CHAIRMAN. If he has it, let him answer. Have you the cost of operation and repairs for the past 10 years also?
Col. GRIFFIN. One hundred and forty thousand dollars a year has been our maximum appropriation.
The CHAIRMAN. So that would be $1,400,000 for 10 years?
The CHAIRMAN. What have been the receipts over a period of 10 years?
Col. GRIFFIN. In money terms it is estimated that this system nets the Government as follows
The CHAIRMAN (interposing). What do you mean by “nets? ”
Col. GRIFFIN. I will give the figures and then the basic computation. The value of the Government's business is $219,000.
The CHAIRMAN. For 10 years?
Col. GRIFFix. Per year. The receipts deposited in the United States Treasury are $184,000 per year.
Mr. ANTHONY. That is for commercial work?
Col. GRIFFIN. Yes, sir; and the subsidy to the press, as represented by the Government's commercial rates, that is, the difference is $62,000 per year.
PRESS AND COMMERCIAL RATES.
Mr. ANTHONY. What do you mean by subsidy to the press?
Mr. ANTHONY. You would not call that a subsidy, would you, Colonel, because all of the telegraph companies make a lower press rate than they do a commercial rate.
Col. GRIFFIN. That is true; yes.
Col. SEOANE. In money totals we figure that we could make from $65,000 to $75,000 more a year if we maintained the commercial rate, but by maintaining lower rates the Government is virtually giving a bonus or a subsidy toward the development of Alaska to the extent of about $75,000, if you wish to construe it that way.
The CHAIRMAN. You mean to the press ?
Col. SEOANE. Well, call it the press or call it the general development of Alaska.
Mr. ANTHONY. When you speak of a subsidy to the press you mean a lower newspaper rate?
Col. SEOANE. A lower newspaper rate; yes. Mr. ANTHONY. Is your newspaper rate lower than the press rate on other systems?
Col. SEOANE. Their rate is between 3 and 4, and we are charging 11.
Col. SEOANE. Our commercial rate to Alaska, to southeastern Alaska, is $1 on a night message of 50 words.
Mr. ANTHONY. What is the press rate?
Col. GRIFFIN (interposing). As against 2 cents a word for a night message and 10 cents a word for a day message.
The CHAIRMAN. Who authorizes these rates! Is that a matter of law or a matter of regulation?
Col. SEOANE. They are a matter of regulation; the Secretary of War approves them. The Chief Signal Officer of the Army and those in his office make up the rates, in conjunction with their operations with the Western Union and the other companies that the system operates with, and thus come to an established rate which the Secretary of War finally approves.
The CHAIRMAN. Were the rates increased during the war?
CONDITION OF CABLE.
The CHAIRMAN. What is the present condition of the cable?
Col. SEOANE. The present condition of the cable is one in which nineteen-twentieths of the electrical current escapes into the ground, and it is in such a worn-out condition that unless something is done very quickly the cable will probably go out completely, and all the examinations we have made indicate that something must be done about it. The cable is in such a state of deterioration that last winter in one part of the cable, where we were trying to raise it from 2,000 fathoms, it broke 34 times before we could get it up, and it is rapidly becoming junk.
REPLACEMENT OF CABLE.
The CHAIRMAN. How long will it take to replace it?
Col. SEOANE. We are asking in a very economical way for the replacement of a section only 1,000 miles in length—from Seattle to Sitka. There are 2,500 miles in the cable all told. If this is granted, we expect that it will take from six to eight months to make the new cable and take some three months to put it down, and then we will commence the work of taking up the old cable, revising it, taking bad sections of it out and using the better sections to rehabilitate the remainder of the cable without cost to the Government.
The CHAIRMAN. There are 1,000 miles involved in this?
Col. SEOANE. The cable will cost practically $1,500 a mile, and that was arrived at as a result of a board of officers, headed by Gen. Russel, in the office of the Chief Signal Officer, and supported by our engineers who have made investigations, and then we have had conferences with the cable companies. Mr. Leroy Clark, who is the President of the Safety Insulated Wire & Cable Co., in New York, came here and held a conference in the office of the Chief Signal