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The CHAIRMAN. This is the Court of Claims.
Mr. TANNER. I have stated this—and I want to preface it by saying that there is not one dollar wasted in the Court of Claims; we buy at the very lowest prices and we buy only the things that it is absolutely necessary for us to have, but we can not run the Court of Claims on an appropriation of $5,000 a year. We had $6,800 last year, and every dollar of it was expended with the greatest care and with the utmost economy, and it just carried us through the year. My estimates for this year were a trifle over $6,800.
Mr. CANNON. I do not want to go into it fully, but how much do you want? Mr. TANNER. I ask for $1,800, and we need it absolutely. Mr. CANNON. How much have you now? Mr. TANNER. I have in bank now practically $1,796. Mr. Cannon. That is for use during the balance of this fiscal
Mr. TANNER. Yes, sir; it will take $3,600, and we have practically $1,800.
Mr. Cannon. So you think you will need an additional $1,800 for the balance of the year?
Mr. TANNER. Yes, sir.
Mr. CANNON. You were talking about electric fans. I think the Court of Claims is entitled to electric fans.
Mr. TANNER. I spoke about the electric fans as being outside of the ordinary running expenses. What I was discussing when you came in were matters we ought to have which are not within the ordinary running expenses of the court; we can not have them because our running expenses do not allow us to purchase them; we have not enough money; the money I am now asking for is for the ordinary expenses of the court, and it is merely for stationery, fuel, light, heat, power, and things of that kind that we must actually have to live.
Mr. CANNON. There is no question about your getting it if that is correct. Is it a deficiency for the balance of this year?
Mr. TANNER. Yes, sir; it is.
Mr. CANNON. Then the hearings will show, and I will not take up any further time of the subcommittee, because I can read the facts in the record. We had better abolish the Court of Claims unless we give it what is necessary to heat it in the winter and make it comfortable in the summer.
Mr. TANNER. Well, sir, we are at your mercy.
Mr. Canxon. I am in favor of giving the Court of Claims what is necessary for it to function and function with comfort.
TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 14, 1922. POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT. STATEMENT OF MR. THOMAS J. HOWELL, ASSISTANT CHIEF CLERK.
FUEL, REPAIRS TO HEATING, LIGHTING, ICE, AND POWER PLANT, ETC. The CHAIRMAN. For contingent expenses, fuel, repairs, etc., you are asking $10,000.
Mr. HOWELL. This additional amount is necessary on account of the increased cost of fuel, due to the fact that it is necessary for the department to burn anthracite coal in order to avoid violating the smoke law of the District of Columbia and to enable the department to make certain needed repairs and improvements to the present equipment which will permit the burning of bituminous coal 24 hours a day and also decrease the amount of coal consumed in a given period.
The CHAIRMAN. When did you commence using anthracite coal ?
Mr. HOWELL. Since the war; we commenced using anthracite coal. about May, 1921.
The CHAIRMAN. Did you have any trouble before that? Mr. HOWELL. That was after the war. I will go back a little bit. During President Roosevelt's administration, the President wrote a letter to the Postmaster General about violation of the smoke law
The CHAIRMAN (interposing). I know all about that. It will not be necessary to go into that.
Mr. HOWELL. We have been burning anthracite coal ever since that time, or up until the late war. During the war we had to go back to burning soft coal, because we were fortunate to get any kind of coal. The health officer realized the condition and did not vigorously enforce the law; but since the war the health officer has got into the saddle again and is now vigorously enforcing this smoke law. With our equipment we can not burn bituminous coal without making a smoke but we can burn anthracite coal without making smoke at a much greater expense to the Government.
The CHAIRMAN. You asked $65,000 for 1923 for this purpose and why should you want $70,000 for 1922?
Mr. HOWELL. We asked for $65,000 because we figured the price of coal would probably go down at least $1 per ton.
The CHAIRMAN. You can get along on the $60,000 that you have, can you not? Mr. HOWELL. No, sir; we can not. The CHAIRMAN. Why not? Mr. HOWELL. It is due to the increased cost of fuel. The CHAIRMAN. How much of this is for the removal of ashes? Mr. HOWELL. About $1,500 per annum. The CHAIRMAN. How much of it is for electrical supplies ? Mr. HOWELL. We estimated on spending $5,800. The CHAIRMAN. Out of the $10,000?
an. How muc per annum.
Mr. HOWELL. No, sir; out of the total appropriation.
Mr. HOWELL. Our average price for 4,412 tons of bituminous coal was $9.34 per ton; for 982 tons of anthracite pea coal the average price was $10.03 per ton; for 6 tons anthracite chestnut, $12.83 per ton.
The CHAIRMAN. How much does that amount to?
The CHAIRMAN. How many tons of coal do you contemplate burning under this estimate?
Mr. HOWELL. We expect to burn the same amount or tonnage, escept that the ratio of hard and soft coal will be different. For the first five months of the fiscal year it ran about 50-50 hard and soft, but now the ratio is 66 per cent soft and 34 per cent hard. This ratio will vary. We are paying now for hard coal $10.55 per ton.
The CHAIRMAN. That is for hard coal ?
Mr. HOWELL. Yes, sir; pea coal, as against, during January, $7.54 per ton for soft coal.
The CHAIRMAN. Where do you get your coal?
The CHAIRMAN. A man was here a few moments ago who said that
Mr. HOWELL. During the first five months of this year we burned hard coal during the daytime. That is the time the heaviest load is imposed upon the power plant. After 5 o'clock at night we are able to burn soft coal without violating the law, because we are not carrying any load to speak of. During the first five months of the fiscal year we ran about 50-50, but after I appeared before the committee on the regular appropriations for 1923 we started to experiment a little further. During the daytime we tried a mixture of 50-50 anthracite and bituminous coal. We are business men down at the Post Office Department and do not like the idea of paying $10.55 for coal when we can get the same, if not better, results with soft coal at $7.54 per ton-
The CHAIRMAN. I am glad to learn that you are business men down there.
Mr. HOWELL. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. As I stated, we carrier) our experiments further, and were running on a 50–50 mixture basis The result was that we were arrested by the health officer,
The CHAIRMAN. Who was arrested ? Mr. HOWELL. The chief clerk. The CHAIRMAX. What happened to him? Mr. HOWELL. The case has not been taken up yet. I understand that the health officer also arrested the Director of the Bureau of Engraving and Printing and the chief clerk of the Department of Agriculture. It is my understanding that they are going to make a test case.
The CHAIRMAN. Tell us about this coal.' How much coal will you have to have?
Mr. HOWELL. Our estimate for 1922 was $14,000 for coal, but we will need, based on our present records, about $52.000 for coal. We figure that we will use out of this $10,000 between four and five thousand dollars for coal, and the balance we want to use for equipment that will enable us to burn soft coal 24 hours per day and at the same time decrease our net tonnage.
The CHAIRMAN. You want $5,000 for equipment? Mr. HOWELL. We want $5,000 for equipment, or between fire and six thousand dollars for equipment, and $4,000 for coal.
The CHAIRMAX. Suppose you do not get the equipment, what will happen to you?
Mr. HOWELL. We will just have to get through the best we can. If we could get the new equipment, we would be able to effect a saving of between $10,000 and $15,000 annually.
The CHAIRMAN. It will be summer time before you could get the equipment in, and you will not need much coal then.
Mr. HOWELL. We could save in our total tonnage anywhere from 10 to 25 per cent, or between 500 and 1,000 tons of coal annually.
The CHAIRMAN. I have heard a lot of talk about that, but never saw the results.
Mr. HOWELL. There are two or three plants here in Washington now doing it. It is a business proposition, and we figure that we can save the cost of the equipment in one year. .
REIMBURSEMENT OF GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE FOR HEAT, LIGHT,
AND POWER FURNISHED TO CITY POST OFFICE.
The CHAIRMAN. For reimbursement of the Government Printing Office for the cost of furnishing steam for heating and electric current for lighting and power to the Post Office Building at Massachusetts Avenue and North Capitol Street you are asking $12,000. What is that for?
Mr. HOWELL. This amount is required in order to enable the department to reimburse the Government Printing Office for the cost of furnishing heat, light, and power to the new City Post Office Building at Massachusetts Avenue and North Capitol Street, Washington, D. C. The original estimate of 1922—$15,000 --- was based upon the amount expended in the fiscal year 1920, namely, $17,337.73. This estimate was prepared and submitted to the Secretary of the Treasury in October, 1920, and was enacted into law on March 3, 1921. The amount expended during the fiscal year 1921, however, amounted to $55,522.85, but these figures, of course, were not available until long after the estimate had been submitted and enacted into law.
The CHAIRMAN. How much was allowed for this purpose in the present Post Office appropriation bill?
Mr. HOWELL. $50,000.
The CHAIRMAN. You do not need this much money for the balance of the year?
Mr. HOWELL. Yes, sir; we need $12,000 more for the balance of the year.
The CHAIRMAN. Why?
Mr. HowELL. We buy all of our heat, light, and power from the Government Printing Office, and this simply covers the cost of the heat, light, and power that they furnish us. The terminal railway post office is located in the subbasement, 25 feet below the street level, and operates 24 hours per day. The city post office also operates 24 hours per day. We have effected every possible economy, by installing chain-pull sockets for individual lights, by means of which individual lights are controlled, instead of turning on and off long chains of lights, frequent daily inspections, etc.
Mr. Byrns. What is the status of this fund now, or what expenditures are to be made?
Mr. HOWELL. During the first six months, or up to date, including January, we have expended $34,106.71.
The CHAIRMAN. You will not need so much after this, because the days are getting longer and you will not need so much light.
Mr. HOWELL. It will figure about $58,000. Our appropriation for the last fiscal year was $57,000. The original appropriation was $40,000, and we came up here and secured a deficiency of $17,000, which was granted, and of that total amount we expended $55,522.85.
The CHAIRMAN. The appropriation for 1921 was $40,000. Mr. HOWELL. We had a deficiency appropriation of $17,000. The CHAIRMAN. And you have expended so far this yearMr. HOWELL (interposing). $34,106.71. We are not asking for more money than we had during the last fiscal year. The economies we are effecting enable us to keep it down.
The CHAIRMAN. The Public Printer makes the current and supplies it to you?
Mr. HOWELL. Yes, sir; he supplies us and bills us for it.
Mr. Byrns. Certainly for the next six months you will not need so much heat?
Mr. HOWELL. I can give you some figures on that. During January, 1921, the expenditure for heat was $4,048.55; for February, $3,793.36; for March, $2,187.76; for April, $1,266.80; for Mar. $1.479.41, and for June, $178.75.
Mr. BYRNs. There is a rapid reduction there, and you will not need the same amount for heat.
Mr. HOWELL. Our current runs practically on an even load all the time. For July, 1921, we had a bill of $2,800.20; for Angust, $3,010.15; for January, $3,025.28; for March, $2,841.61; and for May, $2,461.20. It runs along pretty evenly there. We have averaged this up from the figures that we now have available for the previous year.
Mr. Byrns. You expended $55,000 last year?
The ('HAIRMAX. What about this item of not exceeding $3,000 additional for telephone service?
Mr. HOWELL. That is not an appropriation, but it is simply authority to allow us to expend that much out of an appropriatior that you have already made us.