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The committee has been furnished a break-down showing the use the Navy Department plans to make of the tonnage that will be provided by the enactment of this bill
. Although it is not possible to list in detail the number and types of vessels and craft to be covered by the bill, it can be stated that a substantial part of the authorization will be immediately obligated for the following types, involving a total of approximately 337,000 tons: Landing ship, medium (LSM), landing craft, mechanized (LCM (3) and LCM (6)), landing craft control (LCC), landing craft, support (LCS (S)), landing craft vehicle and personnel (LCVP), landing vehicle, tracked (LVT), and landing craft, rubber (LCR (L) and (S)).
In addition to the foregoing, directives are now being formulated by the Chief of Naval Operations covering approximately 120,000 tons of district craft which are badly needed for servicing the fleet in the new harbors which are being captured and for use at advance bases. The total tonnage embraced by these pending landing craft and district craft directives is therefore somewhat in excess of 450,000 tons.
Requirements for additional numbers of the larger types of landing craft-LST's, LCI (L)'s, and LCT (6)'s--are now under study and while the required numbers and categories have not yet been determined, it is necessary that provision be made to cover a continuing building program of these larger types until it can definitely be determined that there will not be need for such a program later in the war.
To this extent, the present tonnage request involves a substantial working balance to meet future needs as they may develop out of the vast amphibious operations which lie immediately ahead. While it is hoped that losses in these operations may be kept down to a minimum, it is likely that they will be much heavier than have been experienced to date, and the Navy must be armed with necessary authority of sufficient flexibility to meet whatever contingencies may arise. In this connection it should be noted that, unlike losses of combatant vessels, losses of landing craft are not automatically replaceable, but new tonnage authorization must be provided to cover them.
In this same connection it should also be noted that the Navy is the principal source of supply of amphibious craft for the Army and the Marine Corps and is also a partial source of supply thereof for our allies.
Representatives of the Navy Department have stated to the committee that it is the present intention to utilize this additional tonnage authorization only in such amounts as may be necessary to meet requirements in an uninterrupted flow of production, although not necessarily at the present high level of production. Most of the yards building landing craft have no other work and hence it is obvious that once any hiatus in production should occur, the working forces of these shipyards and plants would become dissipated to other fields of endeavor, or the facilities for manufacturing components would be preempted by other lines of production, so that it would be exceedingly difficult, if not impossible, ever to get them back into landing craft production to meet such needs as the future may develop.
The landing-craft orders which are now outstanding are scheduled to keep the facilities presently engaged on the program occupied to about the end of the year. Some of the types carry over into the
first quarter of 1945, but all, with the exception of one type, will be exhausted before the end of that first quarter. Owing to the operation of the controlled materials plan, an interval of from 6 to 7 months is required to obtain the necessary materials and components involved in landing craft construction. In order to take care of this interval, which is referred to as lead time, it is necessary to place orders for materials and components some 6 to 7 months in advance of the time when they will actually be needed in the building of the vessels.
In order, therefore, to maintain the flow of production in the shipyards and manufacturing plants which are presently engaged on various aspects of the landing-craft program beyond the first quarter of 1945, it is necessary that orders be placed not later than the end of June 1944. It is anticipated that orders calling for the construction of approximately 300,000 tons of landing craft, is placed before the 1st of next July, will be sufficient to avoid any serious hiatus in the flow of production after the first quarter in 1945. Similar allocations will have to be made in September in order to meet the production needs for the third quarter in 1945, and so on. Between the spacing of these orders, the Navy will have gained the benefit of the experiences in the amphibious operations which have taken place in the meantime, and only such additional orders will be placed as may be found necessary to meet the needs foreseen as the result of future military plans.
The estimated cost of the 1,000,000 tons of landing craft authorized by H. R. 4710 is $1,800,000,000, inclusive of ordnance. This compares with the figure of $1,820,000,000, inclusive of ordnance, which was quoted as the estimated cost of the 1,000,000 tons of landing craft and district craft authorized by the act of December 17, 1943. Representatives of the Navy Department have stated that substantial reductions in contract prices have been effectuated in those phases of the landing-craft program which have been in full-scale production for some time. Thus contract prices for the landing ship, tank (LST) have been generally reduced from approximately $1,375,000 per ship in 1942 to approximately $1,100,000 at the present time. The contract prices for the landing craft, infantry, large (LCI (L)), have been generally reduced from approximately $250,000 in 1942 to approximately $187,000 at the present time. Similar reductions have been achieved in the contract prices for the landing craft, tank (LCT (5) and (6)), from approximately $101,000 in 1942 to $80,000 at present, the landing craft, mechanized (LCM (3)), from $25,000 in 1942 to $18,000 at present, and for other types of landing craft as well. A greater reduction in the estimated cost of the program covered by H. R. 4710, as compared with the estimated cost of the program covered by the act of December 17, 1943, has not been possible owing to the increased cost of additional ordnance equipment, and the fact that present plans call for the utilization of a greater portion of the present authorization for the smaller types of craft, which carry a higher cost per ton, than was the case with the previous authorization, which has been utilized principally for the larger types of ship, carrying a comparatively lower cost per ton.
The committee has given this bill most careful consideration and strongly recommends its enactment in order that there will be no delay in obtaining the necessary tonnage which is considered vitally necessary in the successful prosecution of the war.
The following letter from the Acting Secretary of the Navy, addressed to the Speaker of the House of Representatives, and transmitted by him to the chairman of the Committee on Naval Affairs of the House of Representatives, sets forth the views and recommendations of the Navy Department on this bill. This letter is hereby made a part of this report.
Washington, D. C., April 28, 1944. Hon. Sam RAYBURN,
Speaker of the House of Representatives. MY DEAR MR. SPEAKER: There is transmitted herewith a draft of a proposed bill authorizing the acquisition and conversion or construction of certain landing craft and district craft for the United States Navy, and for other purposes.
The general purpose of the proposed legislation is as stated in the title of the bill.
Previous legislation authorizing the acquisition and conversion or construction of landing craft and district craft was provided by the act of May 26, 1943 (57 Stat. 92), and the act of December 17, 1943 (57 Stat. 604), each of which authorized the acquisition and conversion or construction of 1,000,000 tons of such craft. Of this total authorization of 2,000,000 tons, a balance of slightly less than 50,000 tons was still remaining as of April 1, 1944. Firm directives have been formulated by the Commander in Chief, United States Fleet, and the Chief of Naval Operations, calling for the construction of approximately 450,000 tons of landing craft and district craft in addition to those already on hand or under contract. Action placing these directives into effect can not be initiated until additional legislative authorization has been obtained.
Further landing-craft and district-craft requirements are now under study, and it is anticipated that on the basis of experiences to date a total authorization of 1,000,000 additional tons of such craft will be required to meet the Navy's future needs. A more exact appraisal of these needs must, of course, await the outcome of the vast amphibious operations which lie ahead. The extent to which replacements will be required to cover losses experienced in those operations cannot be safely predicted." Since landing craft and district craft are not automatically replaceable when lost, additional tonnage authorization must be obtained to enable such replacements to be made. In order to safeguard against any slackening in the rapidly accelerating tempo of the Allied attack, it is imperative that sufficient authorization be made available to permit the Navy to meet without delay whatever contingencies may develop.
The cost of the additional tonnage provided for by the proposed legislation is estimated at a total of $1,800,000,000, including ordnance.
The Navy Department strongly recommends enactment of the proposed legislation at the earliest possible date.
The Navy Department has been advised by the Bureau of the Budget that there would be no objection to the submission of the proposed legislation to the Congress. Sincerely yours,
James FORRESTAL, Acting. O
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
REPORT No. 1414
AMENDING THE ACT TO FIX THE HOURS OF DUTY OF
MAY 4, 1944.-Ordered to be printed
Mr. BURCH, from the committee of conference, submitted the following
(To accompany H. R. 2928)
The committee of conference on the disagreeing votes of the two Houses on the amendments of the Senate to the bill (H. R. 2928) to amend the act entitled "An act to fix the hours of duty of postal employees, and for other purposes," approved August 14, 1935, as amended, having met, after full and free conference, have agreed to recommend and do recommend to their respective Houses as follows:
That the Senate recede from its amendments numbered 1, 2, and 4. That the House recede from its disagreement to the amendment of the Senate numbered 3; and agree to the same.
Amendment numbered 5:
That the House recede from its disagreement to the amendment of the Senate numbered 5, and agree to the same with an amendment as follows:
At the end of said amendment, insert a colon and the following: Provided, That postmasters of the first, second, and third classes, and post-office inspectors, shall be on duty not less than forty-eight hours per week, and shall be paid for the additional eight hours, as additional pay for working such additional time, as follows:
Those whose salaries are over $5,000 and not over $7,999, 5 per centum of their regular peacetime salaries; those whose salaries are over $4,000 and not over $5,000, 10 per centum of their regular peacetime salaries, those whose salaries are over $2,000 and not over $4,000, 15 per centum of their peacetime salaries; those whose salaries are $2,000, or under, 20 per centum of their peacetime salaries: Provided, further, That no post
master whose peacetime compensation is $8,000, or over, shall receive
T. G. BURCH,
N. M. MASON,
JOSIAH W. BAILEY, Managers on the part of the Senate