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WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 9, 1921.

SMITHSONIAN INSTITUTION.

NATIONAL MUSEUM."

STATEMENT OF MR. W. DE C. RAVENEL, ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANT IN CHARGE OF NATIONAL MUSEUM, SMITHSONIAN INSTITUTION.

FOR HEATING, LIGHTING, ELECTRICAL, TELEGRAPHIC, AND TELEPHONIC SERVICE.

The CHAIRMAN. For heating, lighting, electrical, telegraphic and telephonic service, $2,300; please tell us why you want this money.

Mr. RAVENEL. The appropriation for this year as it has been for several years is $70,000, and for the last three years, owing to the high cost of coal, we have been obliged to ask for an additional appropriation. The history of this appropriation is as follows: In 1918 our total appropriation was only $46,000. That was before the Freer Building was constructed. During that year the Museum got a deficiency of $5,674, due to the fact that coal went up from $3.43 to $5.75. In 1921, when coal reached $10.05, and later on $10.60, we asked for a deficiency of $7,000. The winter turned out to be a very mild one and we got the deficiency late in the year and we decided that $4,000 would carry us through. So that we had a total of $74,000. In our statement of expenditures you will see that the total expenditures under that appropriation for last year were $73,936.02. On the 1st of October, receiving a notice from the Budget Bureau on the subject of deficiency appropriations, I called upon the engineer for an estimate, and he advised me that we would require 3,900 tons of coal, approximately, from the 1st of October to the end of the year, provided it was an ordinary season. If it was a very cold season, we would require a little more. On that basis we figured out it would take about $2,300 to carry us through the year.

The CHAIRMAN. What is the price of coal now?

Mr. RAVENEL. $7.72. I wrote to Mr. Pope, the engineer of the Interior Department who buys the coal for the Government, and asked him before submitting the deficiency item if there was any possibility of a reduction, because if coal should go down to $6.50 or $5 we could get through without a deficiency. He wrote to say that there was not the remotest possibility, so far as he could see, of a decrease in price, and in case of a strike or anything of that sort the price would go up, and that I had better act on that basis.

The CHAIRMAN. How many tons do you say you will need ?
Mr. RAVENEL. About 3,900 tons.

The CHAIRMAN. And you said that the price of coal when you got your deficiency of $4,000, if I recall, was $10.05? Mr. RAVENEL. Yes; and later on $10.60.

The CHAIRMAN. If the price of coal is now $7.72, I should not think you would need a deficiency.

Mr. RAVENEL. If you will figure it out, you will see that at $10 a ton this would only buy about three hundred and some odd tons of coal. The reduction is in proportion to the reduction in the cost price. Last year, I suppose, was the mildest winter ever known in

Washington, and it is not believed that that condition will be duplicated. Of course, if it is, so much the better for us. On this basis I think $2,300 will be ample. We may get through with $2,200 or $2,100, or something of that kind, but $2,300 is a fair estimate.

The CHAIRMAN. And without this appropriation you think you will not be able to heat the building?

Mr. RAVENEL. Without this appropriation we will run short in May without doubt, under ordinary conditions.

The CHAIRMAN. After May you do not need any coal ?

Mr. RAVENEL. We have to have electricity for lights, for the running of the elevator, shops, and everything of that kind.

The CHAIRMAN. Do you make your own electricity ?

Mr. RAVENEL. We manufacture our own electricity. As a rule, in order to save money, we shut down our plant on the 1st of July for the months of July and August and buy electricity which we get from the electric company at 24 cents a kilowatt-hour..

The CHAIRMAN. If by any chance you did not get this appropriation, and what you have now would only carry you until May, there would not be anything to prevent you from contracting for your electricity ?

Mr. RAVENEL. But we have to pay it from the coal appropriation, and it is just the same as buying coal.

The CHAIRMAN. You would not have to pay it that day?

Mr. RAVENEL. No; but we would have to pay it out of this year's appropriation or else I am subject to a fine or imprisonment or both.

The CHAIRMAN. And you are certain you will not be able to function without this appropriation ?

Mr. RAVENEL. Mr. Chairman, so far as human knowledge goes I am absolutely sure of it. Mr. Denmark, our engineer, who was Prof. Woodbridge's assistant, who designed this plant and who has been our engineer ever since, having come to us as a young man, is of this opinion. The first appropriation ever given us to run that plant for two buildings was $60,000. Out of that appropriation we built a tunnel connecting all the buildings with the original building and have been heating all the buildings under the institution in the park, which contain about 17 acres of floor space and something like 12,000,000 cubic feet.

The CHAIRMAN. And it was the addition of the Frear Building that made it necessary to increase this appropriation ?

Mr. RAVENEL. We got $14,715 for that.

The CHAIRMAN. And now instead of spending $70,000 your expenses run up to $73,936 ?

Mr. RAVENEL. Yes; for last year, but if coal, for instance, went down to what it was when the appropriation was originally made, our coal bill should not be over $22,000 or $23,000. In 1917 our coal cost $3.43.

The CHAIRMAN. And then went up to $5.75 ?

Mr. RAVENEL. Yes; and from that to $10.05, and then as high as $10.50.

The CHAIRMAN. And the price is now $7.72 ?
Mr. RAVENEL. Yes; with no possibility of a reduction.
The CHAIRMAN. Do you contract in advance for coal ?

[graphic]

PAT DIUTE FOREST SERVICE.
111
! FIGHTING AND PREVENTING FOREST FIRES. M i t

10 The CHAIRMAN. We have before us the item, Fighting and preventing forest fires: For fighting and preventing forest fires endangering the national forests, $341,000." You had an appropriation of $250,000. Please tell us what you have done with it and how much of an unexpended balance you have.

Col. GREELEY. The appropriation of $250,000 is for emergency expenditures in suppressing forest fires which can not be extinguished with the regular force provided on the national forests. Our fire protective organization is maintained primarily by the regular appropriations for the employment of supervisors, rangers, and forest guards. The purpose of our organization is to reach and extinguish as many forest fires as possible with this regular organization. Tha

The CHAIRMAN. How large is your organization ?

Col. GREELEY. It embraces approximately 3,500 men during the main fire season, who are required to protect 156,000,000 acres. The special appropriation for the extinguishment of forest fires is provided to take care of emergencies where the regular force is inadequate, and that sum is expended very largely for temporary labor employed for fire-fighting crews when the situation gets beyond the power of the regular rangers and guards to handle.

The $250,000 was entirely expended in fighting forest fires last July and August, and in addition to that an actual deficiency has been incurred to date for expenditures that had to be made of $191,000. That is, the deficieney which we have actually incurred to date under this item is $191,000, as far as all of the bills and liabilities have been ascertained. Our fire season is still in progress in certain sections of the country, although in not most of them, and we must also be prepared to handle a fire season in May and June, which has invariably required certain emergency expenditures. To carry us through the present fall period it is estimated that $25,000 will be required, and to carry us through the spring period of May and June, when there is an active fire season on most of the national forests, it is estimated, on the basis of past experience, that $125,000 will be required. This deficiency item of $341,000 is made up of those three items.

The CHAIRMAN. The items of $191,000, $25,000, and $125,000 ?
Col. GREELEY. Yes, sir.

I presume the committee is familiar with the policy which Congress has followed in providing for these emergencies and in extinguishing fires on the national forests. The attitude of the Appropriation Committee has been that it is not desired to appropriate in the regular budget for the national forests an amount sufficient to meet the probable or possible emergency expenditures. The extent of these emergency expenditures it is always impossible to estimate with exactness in advance, because they depend, to a considerable degree, on the character of the season, upon climatic conditions. If we have an exceptionally favorable summer period, with welldistributed precipitation, we do not have to incur any emergency expenditure. On the other hand, at the other extreme, occasional years with extreme drought accompanied by periods of high winds and electrical storms, with little or no rain, we have been compelled during one or two years to incur a very large emergency expenditure. During the fiscal year 1920, for example, when we were confronted with a very serious situation, we were compelled, in the protection of the public property on these national forests, to expend over $3,000,000 in fire fighting and to request a deficiency appropriation of $2,950,000. That was the worst experience of that character we have ever had.

The CHAIRMAN. That was in 1920 ?
Col. GREELEY. That was in the fiscal year 1920.

During the 7 out of the past 11 fiscal years it has been necessary to request a deficiency appropriation, although in one year, 1919, the deficiency was made good from the President's fund for the natonal defense and a special appropriation was not required, but during 7 out of the past 11 years the regular appropriations for emergency expenditures in fighting fires have proved inadequate and a deficiency has been necessary. The average deficiency during these seven years

has been $592,000. I cite that simply to show that the policy of Con· gress in handling our regular budget has compelled the Forest Service

to handle its fire expenditures on an emergency basis. There is certain justification for that policy on the ground that these expenditures can not be accurately forecast. . ,

The CHAIRMAN. You consider then that you have authority, under the law, to incur deficiencies, because it is for the protection of Government property?

Col. GREELEY. We have always considered it that way, sir. We have been sustained in that construction by the solicitor for the department. The actual procedure is this: When the $250,000, as in the past year, was exhausted and the public property was still in danger, we secured the Secretary's authorization to draw upon other appropriations for the Forest Service to meet the emergency. That is a sort of situation which you have to meet. Forest fires in progress not only endanger the Government property, but in many cases endanger western communities and even endanger human lives, and we have construed it as our duty to meet the situation, and to use any. resources at our disposal.

The CHAIRMAN. Do you keep the 3,500 men, the regular force, on the pay roll all the time?

Col. GREELEY. No, sir. The great bulk of these men are employed only during the months of fire danger, from two to five months is the normal period of employment. There are times when they are put off, the time being determined by the character of the fire season.

The CHAIRMAN. What rate of pay do they get ?

Col. GREELEY. They are paid at varying rates, dependent upon the labor conditions in the region, but the monthly rate of pay would average around $100. The average expenditure during the past 12 years for the extinguishment of forest fires has been $716,000.

The CHAIRMAN. Have you ever made any calculation on the per acte cost of this fire protection as compared with the acre cost of similar protection in the case of individuals ?

Col. GREELEY. The per acre cost of our protection this year, aside from the deficiency that we now request, has been 12.5 mills, and with the deficiency item asked for, which we believe will carry us through the rest of the year, the total acreage cost of all expenditures, regular and emergency, will be a little over 16 mills per acre.

The CHAIRMAN. You can not have those figures right. You say that the $250,000 appropriation expended makes 12.5 mills per acre ?

Col. GREELEY. No, sir. That $250,000 does not include the other items in our regular budget, which are used for fire protection.

The CHAIRMAN. How much are they?

Col. GREELEY. They amount to a little over $2,000,000. That is the appropriation which maintains the organization, supervisors, rangers, and guards, and equips them.

The CHAIRMAN: What is this $250,000 used for?
Col. GREELEY. That is for emergency expenditures.

The CHAIRMAN. I understood you to say that that was what you paid the force with?

Col. GREELEY. No, sir. I did not make myself clear. .
The CHAIRMAN. You certainly did not.

Col. GREELEY. The force of supervisors, rangers, and guards that constitutes our permanent force, like the permanent police force in the city, is maintained from the appropriation items in the regular budget for the various national forests.

The CHAIRMAN. Each forest separately?

Col. GREELEY. Yes, sir. In the present appropriation act there are some 140 items making appropriations for specific national

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