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EXPENDITURES FOR FIRST EIGHT MONTHS.
The CHAIRMAX. How much money have you on hand now?
The CHAIRMAN. Then it is fair to assume you do not need $5,300 for the next four months.
Mr. TANNER. No, sir. The expenditures, including the next four months, will be, to carry us through the second half of the year, approximately $5,100. I had on the 1st of January $3,300, leaving a deficiency of $1,800, and that is for six months and not four months.
The CHAIRMAN. That was on the 1st of January. I asked you how much you had on hand now and you answered that question by saying you had spent $1,700.
Mr. TANNER. That was for the six months ending December 31 and not for the eight months ending February 28.
The ('HAIRMAN. If you have only spent $1,700 during the first six months and have $3,300 to spend during the next six months you have almost twice as much as you had for the first six months. Why do you want any more?
Mr. TaxxER. My balance in the Treasury to-day is $2,446.7+.
Mr. TaxxER. The 15th of February. There are outstanding bills of $650.53, which will give me a balance on the 1st of March of $1,796.21.
The CHAIRMAN. That will be for four months?
Mr. TANNER. Yes, sir. The disbursements last year for these four months were about $3,400, and the disbursement this year will not be any less, because our business is increasing every year. We will require $3,600 to take us to the end of the year and we now have approximately $1,800, so that there is the need of this deficiency appropriation of $1,800.
The cost of conducting the court this vear is almost exactly the same as last year. On March 1 last year our balance with the Treasurer was only $1,516.42, as against $1,796.21, which it will be, probably, this year; but at that time last year we had paid out $351.37 more for coal than we have this year. This year we have yet to pay for almost our entire coal supply for the second six months of the fiscal year. Last year the absolutely necessary disbursements from March 1 to the end of the fiscal year were $3,316.42, and, as I have said, we had already paid out $351.37 more for coal than we have this year, so that it will be seen that it will be necessary for us to have $3,500 and upward to carry us through this year, and we will then not spend a dollar more than we did last year. As we will have on March' 1 about $1,700 balance with the Treasurer, it is apparent that this deficiency appropriation of $1,800 is absolutely necessary to carry us through to June 30. We will then have spent no more than we did last year, although we are disposing of a largely increased amount of litigation, especially of the avalanche of war claims to which the Attorney General has directed the attention of Congress in his annual reports for 1920 and 1921.
l'pon these claims, as pointed out by the Attorney General, actions involving approximately $300,000,000 have already been commenced in the Court of Claims, upon which the court is now at work, in addition to the usual volume of current litigation, and the ultimate aggregate of the war claims which the Court of Claims will be called upon to determine the Attorney General in his report for 1921 says " can be conservatively estimated at between $2,000,000,000 and $3,000,000,000." If the court is to properly perform its duty under these circumstances, it is apparent that Congress must make financial provision for it to at least the same amount as was made last year.
The CHAIRMAN. You mean to say you have not tried to live within the appropriation?
Mr. TANNER. Yes, sir; we certainly have tried to live within the appropriation. I would like the committee to understand
The CHAIRMAN (interposing). Then why do you not live within the appropriation if you try to do so?
Mr. TANNER. Because it can not be done. We must have stationery, we must have fuel, we must have light, and we must have telephone service; we must have all of those and other things or we must stop functioning.
Mr. Byrxs. I notice that the greatest proportion of this appropriation is for repairs and maintenance.
Mr. TANNER. Well, maintenance, of course, is one of the largest items.
Mr. BYRNS. What do you include in that-coal?
Mr. TANNER. Fuel, which is the largest item we have, and the expenditure for fuel last year was $2,000: repairs to building, furnishings and equipment, light, power, material for the running of the building, such as soap, mops, buckets, ice, and the innumerable things necessary in running the building and the court.
Mr. Byrns. How much of it represents repairs? My recollection is that you were given an appropriation for certain special repairs.
Mr. TaxxER. Yes, sir; they were special repairs, while the repairs included in our estimates are just the ordinary repairs. We have to have repairs as the years go along, current repairs from time to time, just to keep the building in oder. The appropriation which you gentlemen gave me a couple of months ago was for special matters of emergency. We had to have a new furnace, and we had to make some changes.
Mr. Byrns. My recollection is that you were going to save a lot of money by having that new furnace.
Mr. TANNER. We are, and if we do not I am going to be very much disappointed.
Mr. Byrxs. You mean you have not yet installed the new furnace!
Mr. TANNER No, sir; the court has been too busy to adjourn for 10 days to allow its installation.
REPAIRS TO BICYCLES.
Mr. GALLIVAN. How many bicycles have you?
Mr. TAXXER. I think we have about four; I am not positive as to the exact number.
Mr. GALLIVAN. For what purpose do you use them?
Mr. GALLIVAN. From what point to what point ?
Mr. TANNER. Everywhere the judges send them. We have to send packages every day to the Printing Office and send things to various parts of the city.
Mr. GALLIVAN. I do not know that it is of importance, but it is a peculiar item to see in a bill-repairs to bicycles.
Mr. TANNER. That bicycle item is a very economical item for us, because it saves us car fare.
Mr. GALLIVAN. You might have automobiles if you did not have bicycles. I want to ask another question. Did you get the full amount of your appropriation in the original bill?
Mr. TANNER. No, sir.
Mr. TANNER. But coal has dropped off some, so that $6,800 would be correct, and we only got $5,000. When those estimates were made coal was at a higher price, but coal has now dropped off some.
NECESSITY FOR DEFICIENCY APPROPRIATION.
The CHAIRMAX. The funny thing about it is that not a single activity in any department of the Government ever undertakes to live within the appropriations made; they take it as a religious duty to ignore the appropriations and to come back here for deficiencies, and to insist upon the original estimate as the amount of the deficiency.
Mr. TANNER In this case it is because I knew, and we all knew, at the beginning of the year that it would take $6,800. We have come back to you because we have go to have it or we can not go on.
Mr. Byrns. It would appear, beginning with March 1, that you have for the remaining four months the proportionate part of the original appropriation; in other words, slightly over $400 a month to expend. Of course, during the next four months you will not have the need for fuel, and things of that sort, that you have had for December, January, and February, and if you could get along at the rate of $400 a month for those months, why is it not possible to get along during the warmer months of the spring and the first summer months?
Mr. TANNER. Our fire usually runs into or through the month of April, and most of our coal bills are paid in the second half of the year. It very often happens—I know it mostly happens that we pay for all our coal in the second half of the year. Last year we paid $1.985 and some cents for coal in the second half of the year and did not pay a dollar in the first half. I have already stated that the same condition exists this year.
Mr. Byrns. But, as I understand, when you pay the outstanding obligations you will have $1,700 for four months, which is your proportionate part of the original appropriation.
Mr. TANNER. Certainly, if you divide the appropriation by months, but that can not be done; it can not be done. Our disbursements will run nearly four times as much in the second half, and particularly in the last quarter, as in the first half. For instance, in July, August, and September we have practically no electric light, we have not so much power, we have no fuel, and we do not need anything like as much stationery and office supplies, because that part is very much
lighter than it is during the rest of the year. I have already explained that last year we paid about $2,000 for fuel in the second half of the year and this year we have yet to pay our big bills. That is what part of this deficiency is for. I have tried to figure out some method of dividing it up at so much per month, but it simply can not be done in the work of a court. For instance, take our printing appropriation; that will run exactly the same way, and last year we just barely got through with our printing appropriation, but there was three or four times as much in the second half of the year as in the first half. You see, we can not control the way business is brought into our court.
The CHAIRMAN. We find a uniform system on the part of every ac. tivity of the Government. I do not say they have held a meeting and agreed upon a plan of invasion here, but it amounts to the same thing, because they always come here exactly alike.
Mr. TANNER. I want to say with all the emphasis I can that the court of claims is an independent establishment and we are not here in pursuance of any relations whatever with any other department of the Government, or upon any plan of invasion, or for anything except the legitimate and necessary needs of the court.
The CHAIRMAN. I know, but notwithstanding that, they all come alike, and it looks as though there had been a meeting held some place, and that these fellows have passed the word along the line, “We will go and all make the same claims, and we will just say we have got to have what we originally estimated, and that if we do not get it we can not run the job.”
Mr. TANNER. Is not that perfectly logical and natural where the original estimate is the proper amount?
The CHAIRMAN. We do not know about that.
Mr. TANNER. Of course, I can see perfectly well that the business of the Department of Justice would run very similar to ours, because it is dependent upon the volume of litigation, and the same condition exists in the Department of Justice as exists in our court, but there is no collusion between the two.
The CHAIRMAN. I do not think there is anything else you care to add to this.
Mr. TANNER. Unless you want to know some of the things I have got to do in addition to the $1,800 which is necessary to carry us through the year with the ordinary run of things.
The CHAIRMAN. We would like to have you enumerate what you use the money for.
Mr. TANNER. I propose, for one thing, to do away with the oll towels and laundering and to put in paper towel outfits, and I can save $75 a year by doing that.
The CHAIRMAX: How much will the original investment cost?
Mr. TANNER. I am asking $50 to install it. Then, of course, we have to pay for the paper towels, but that is a small item, because we can buy them by the case. It will be far cheaper than buying towels and having the towels laundered, and in addition we would
have the benefit of the sanitary feature of it. The same thing applies in regard to liquid
soap containers. The CHAIRMAN. The work of the court does not have anything to do with these things, does it?
Mr. TANNER. No, sir. The things I am telling you about now are just the ordinary running expenses of the court. We have got to have six new water coolers. We have 12 of them, and they are over 15 years old.
The CHAIRMAN. Are they not as good when they are 15 years old as when they are 1 year old ?
Mr. TANNER. No, sir; they have gone to pieces. We can take parts of six and fix them up with parts of six others and make six good ones, but we must have six new ones. We have only one electric fan in the place, and one of the judges refused to stay in the place last summer unless he had an electric fan, and I had to scrape $40 together and get him one.
The CHAIRMAN. Why did you not let him retire?
Mr. TANNER. Well, I had some idea that the court ought to be doing its work.
The C'HAIRMAN. If he was as independent as that, he ought not to have his job.
Mr. TANNER. Well, I do not know about that. If you walk across the square to the city post office any evening, you will find beautiful American flags flying in each one of those windows; I have not counted the windows, but I think there are 10 or 12 on one side, and each one of those flags is blown by an electric fan. I think if the city post office can do that sort of thing we ought to be entitled to have a little comfort.
The C'HAIRMAN. If that is the basis upon which you want to create an extravagance, it is all right; but two extravagances do not make it any better.
Mr. TANNER. I agree with you, sir; if you consider an electric fan, to enable a man to do his work properly in hot weather in the summer time, an extravagance
The CHAIRMAN (interposing). I live without an electric fan.
Mr. TANNER. I have got to have 10 awnings to cover the west sunny side of the court. That will cost $125.
The CHAIRMAN. I do not have any awnings on my house.
Mr. TANNER, No; the items I am discussing now are not items of deficiency; they are things we need in addition to the $1,800 which is necessary to carry us through the year with the ordinary run of expenses.
Mr. Sisson. Then, they are not deficiencies?
Mr. TANNER. These I have been speaking of are not strictly deficiencies. I explained the deficiencies before you came in.
The CHAIRMAN. I think that is all we want to hear about it. I am not in favor of allowing this money under those circumstances.
Mr. CANNON. What court is this?