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" While so far as we have been fortunate enough not to have any mishaps, but it is only conjectural as to when some vessel is likely to get into serious trouble, thereby greatly damaging the commerce of the port.”
From Tampa Association Masters, Mates, and Pilots, Tampa, Fla., February 7, 1922:
* This association wishes to call your attention to the fact that the temporary markers placed in Tampa Bay, after the hurricane of October 25 last, are not sufficient except on very clear days. As a matter of fact, these piling are low and can not be readily seen. We need large, permanent structures very badly, and we hope the lighthouse board will arrange for the erection of these as quickly as possible.”
From L. E. Knight, assistant general manager Tampa Dock Co., Tampa, Fla., February 8, 1922:
“ With reference to the destroyed lighthouse markings in Tampa and Hillsboro Bay, will say that the lack of these markings is causing a great hardship on the shipping to and from this port.”
Other similar letters have been received from the Tampa Board of Trade, Gulf Refining Co., and Philip Shore.
The CHAIRMAN. Were the small structures referred to placed there after the storm?
Mr. Putnam. Yes, sir. We have put in some small temporary structures, so that the shipping entering that harbor may not be entirely lacking in facilities. All of these letters are to the effect that those temporary structures are not sufficient protection to navigation.
The CHAIRMAN. Are you sure you need $120,000 for this purpose ? Mr. PUTNAM. Yes, sir; that estimate has been carefully prepared. The CHAIRMAN. Who prepared the estimate! Mr. PUTNAM. It was prepared by our superintendent at Key West and was reviewed by the engineering division in Washington.
The CHAIRMAN. Do you let this work out by contract or do it yourselves?
Mr. PUTNAM. It would probably be done both ways, part by contract, and part by hired labor, and our own construction force. In each case we do whatever seems to be most advantageous for any particular job.
The CHAIRMAN. You generally estimate all of these things at a good deal higher cost than they ought to bear, do you not?
Mr. PUTNAM. No, sir; we estimate as closely as we can and sometimes put in a small contingent item, but there is none included here.
The CHAIRMAN. For 1922 the appropriation for general expenses was $4,200,000 and provided for the repair and the establishment and restoration of aids to navigation. Why is it you come here for a deficiency appropriation?
Mr. PUTNAM. As I stated at the beginning, Mr. Chairman, our appropriation for maintaining the service is not sufficient to meet such an emergency as this, such a large item of storm damage, but small items of damage we do endeavor to take care of out of our appropriation for general expenses. We have taken care of these temporary repairs at Tampa Bay out of the general appropriation, temporary repairs which cost about $10,000. That has been done out of our general appropriation. Also a large number of aids which suffered minor damage by this storm have been repaired out of the general appropriation and are not included in this estimate.
The CHAIRMAN. But the appropriation provides for the establishment of aids to navigation and for new aids.
Mr. PUTNAM. That refers to the establishment of minor post lights and minor structures which we do from time to time, but any extensive work we could not do out of that general appropriation.
The CHAIRMAN. But it does not say so; it says, “the establishment and restoration of aids to navigation."
Mr. PUTNAM. It has long been understood between the department and Congress that we can not build a large lighthouse out of that general appropriation and that is never done. The only establishment we ever make out of that general appropriation is in the way of a minor light, or other aid.
The CHAIRMAN. You are not going to build a lighthouse out of this but you are going to build buoys?
Mr. PUTXAM. If the funds were sufficient this work could be done legally out of this appropriation but the funds are not sufficient; the appropriation available for repairs is practically eshausted and the year is not nearly completed. As a precedent for this matter of storm damage appropriation I wish to call attention to various appropriations that have been made in the last five years or so for taking care of unusual storm damages, nearly all on the Gulf coast, the last being in the act of March 6, 1920, for repairing and rebuilding aids to navigation on the Gulf coast.
The CHAIRMAX. You can find a precedent for anything, but we are going to stop the practice of allowing departments to come here for deficiency estimates just because they have the fancy that they like to supplement their annual appropriations. We must get you people out of the notion that you can come here and get deficiency appropriations whenever you feel like coming, on the theory that you can spend as much money as you like out of annual appropriations and then when they are exhausted come back and get some
That is ended. Mr. PUTXAM. We understand that, but I do not think we have been doing that.
The CHAIRMAX. You are doing it now.
Mr. PUTNAM. No, sir. It is impossible for any service to estimate on the possible repairs necessitated by damage from a West Indian hurricane. One year we may do a considerable amount and then it may run for several years without anything being required.
The CHAIRMAN. How much could you use out of your annual appropriation to supplement this amount and get along?
Mr. PUTNAM. I think we can not do any more than we have already done. We have used about $10,000 to put in these temporary structures which are now there, and I think it would be impracticable for us to undertake any of this work.
The CHAIRMAX. You are going to have a new appropriation after the 1st of July and you say you can not possibly use this money in less than eight months?
Mr. PUTNAM. We can not complete the work. We would begin this work immediately if funds were available.
The CHAIRMAX. You can use some money out of that which you have and then go on and finish it out of what you are going to have, can you not?
Mr. PUTNAM. It depends on how liberal the committee is in regard to our estimates for next year. We have not included in our esti
mates for next year any funds to take care of such storm 'damage as this.
The CHAIRMAN. You may not have included it for an emergency, but it seems to me that all of the departments get very liberal when they try to get their arms, up to their shoulders, into the Treasury, and our job is to see that they do not get any more out of the Treasury than is absolutely needed to meet the situation. Tell us frankly · how much you can use between now and the 1st of July in connection with this work. Be frank with us.
Mr. PUTNAM. I would say offhand that about half of this money could actually be expended between now and the 1st of July, but if any of it was done by contract we would have to obligate the whole amount of the contract.
The CHAIRMAN. You can get along with half of it, you say?
The CHAIRMAN. You can do the work that is required out of what you have in your annual appropriation and out of what you expect to spend for this class of work out of next year's appropriation, and not supplement the two appropriations by a large amount of money. We want to cooperate with you and we would like to have you cooperate with us, although we do not want you to cooperate with us merely on one side-get just what you can out of the Treasury and then have the taxpayer grumble because he has no money with which to pay his taxes. I concede that this storm damage has created more or less of an emergency; that there would not be any need for an expenditure if there had not been damage by reason of this storm. But you say you could not spend the money during the rest of this year if you had it; you have money left in your appropriation, some of which you can use, and you certainly will have money in the next appropriation, some of which you can use, and if we give you a little of this and you take a little of the 1922 appropriation and a little of the 1923 appropriation and add it to that amount you will have enough.
Mr. PUTNAM. We will do the best we can. The CHAIRMAN. What do you think about it? Be frank with us. The trouble with the departments is that they do not come up here and tell us all of the inside, so that we must guess more or less. We do not want to have any difficulty; we want to relieve all the difficulties of navigation we can and be fair about it.
Mr. PUTNAM. I would like to explain one general difficulty of our work on the Gulf coast as affected by these hurricanes. A great deal of the earlier work was not of a very permanent character, and that is why we have these heavy estimates after these storms. A great deal of this earlier work, which was of rather insecure construction, has been destroyed by those storms; and we are very anxious in the future, in repairing this damage, to put in construction that will stay.
The CHAIRMAN. You want permanent construction?
Mr. PUTNAM. Yes; and I think it will be economy in the end to do that; and that would be the reason why there should be no material reduction in an estimate like this, because if the estimate were cut down we would not be able to put in structures that will last and stand under the next hurricane that comes along. I would suggest, if you want my frank opinion, that the amount be reduced to,
say, $100,000, and if that were done we would make the very best endeavor we could to do the work in the best shape possible.
The CHAIRMAN. You could not use it anyway in the next four months ?
Mr. PUTNAM. But we have to plan the job.
The CHAIRMAN. You have annual appropriation bills for these things out of which you can plan such work, and it seems to me that we should not obligate the Treasury for things that can just as well be cared for out of annual appropriation bills.
Mr. PUTNAM. We have in our estimate for general expenses next year no amount included to take care of such an item as this.
The CHAIRMAX. Anyhow, you say that $60,000 is as much as you could spend in the next four months?
Mr. PUTNAM. Yes, sir; I doubt whether we could spend more than that.
The CHAIRMAN. I do not think you could spend that much, because it would take you that time to make your plans.
We will take up the next item, which is, “ To pay the claims adjusted and determined by the Department of Commerce under the provisions of section 4 of the act approved June 7, 1910, on account of damages occasioned to private property by collisions with vessels of the Lighthouse Service and for which vessels of the Lighthouse Service were responsible," and for that item you ask $736.25. Have these damage claims been adjusted ?
Mr. PUTNAM. These claims have been adjusted in accordance with the law which gives us authority to adjust claims under $500. They have been carefully examined.
The CHAIRMAN. And they are all right?
Mr. PUTNAM. One of these is for the payment of damages because of a collision between the lighthouse tender Myrtle and a dock belonging to the New England Steamship Co. at New Haven, Conn., on October 1, 1921.
The CHAIRMAN. What did they do-run into the dock and break its timbers?
Mr. PUTNAM. Yes, sir.
WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 15, 19:22
COAST AND GEODETIC SURVEY.
STATEMENT OF CAPT. R. L. FARIS, ASSISTANT DIRECTOR.
ALTERATIONS TO MINE SWEEPERS.
The CHAIRMAX. You have an item for alterations to mine sweepers. Coast and Geodetic Survey, “ For necessary alterations to l'.S.S. Auk and the U. S. S. Osprey to convert them from mine sweeper- to surveying vessels, $72,300, to be immediately available and continue available during the fiscal year 1923." Why do you come here with a deficiency for this, and what is the matter with the mine sweepers?
Capt. Faris. They were made, of course, for the Navy and for the purpose of mine sweeping.
The CHAIRMAN. Have we not a lot of mine sweepers that are in good order?
Capt. FARIS. I do not know what order they are in. I believe there are some 29 mine sweepers of this class, but they belong to the Navy.
The CHAIRMAN. But the Navy is not doing anything with them?
Capt. Faris. I do not know. May I gave a little history about this thing?
The CHAIRMAN. Yes.
Capt. FARIS. When we put in our original estimate, which has been discussed before the other subcommittee, or, rather, before it got to the committee but went to the Budget officer, we had in it $1,000,000 for two new ships, for which we have been asking for some years.
The CHAIRMAN. And you had those turned over from the Shipping Board, did you not!
Capt. Faris. No; they are these ships. But I was going to say that we first asked the Navy whether they could let us have some of these mine sweepers, and they said “no." Then we went ahead and put in our estimate of $1,000,000 for two new ships to replace some ships that were sold six years ago; we had to sell them because they were about 40 years old and the upkeep was more than they were worth. When that budget came up to Gen. Dawes, Col. Jones spoke to him about it, and then through Gen. Dawes' efforts the Navy concluded that they could spare two of these mine sweepers, and on that conclusion we told Gen. Dawes to cut the $1,000,000 out of the estimate. Of course, we told him also that those vessels, as they stood as mine sweepers, required certain structural changes in order to make them proper surveying vessels. The vessels themselves are all right, and the engines are all right; but they have no quarters for the number of officers carried in a sufficient surveying unit; they have no proper drafting room, and we must have a drafting room so that we can plot our work as we go along and know what we are doing.
The CHAIRMAN. Gen. Dawes made this statement: That when you asked for $1,000,000 for the two ships he conceived the idea that the Navy could just as well let you have them; then it was discovered, after they decided to let you have them, that it would require $10,000 or $15,000 to put them in running order, which the Navy did not want to spend, but which they were finally induced to spend and did spend, as I understand it, and that the ships were turned over to you in running order.
Capt. Faris. As mine sweepers.
Capt. Faris. No; we do not want them for mine sweeping; we want them for surveying, and as they are now they are mine sweepers. For instance, they have not the facilities which make them efficient surveying units; they lack proper drafting rooms, and they require more quarters for officers, so that we can carry more officers and have more surveying units on one ship.
The CHAIRMAN. What is the character of the quarters on these ships?