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BUREAU OF FISHERIES.
ALASKA, GENERAL SERVICE PROTECTING SEAL FISHERIES.
The CHAIRMAN. You are asking $35,000 for an additional amount for protecting the seal fisheries of Alaska, including the same objects specified under this head in the sundry civil appropriation act for the fiscal year 1918.
Secretary REDFIELD. Yes, sir; we want $10,000 additional; the $25,000 that you did not give us and $10,000 additional, making $35,000. Reference is made to House Document No. 163 and to the facts on pages 72 and 73 of the bill. A summary of them is this: That out of 150 tenders for proposals, advertised from Chicago to the Pacific coast, the lowest bid for food supplies and general supplies for the Pribilof Islands amounts to $72,000.
The CHAIRMAN. Are those supplies similar to those you have been getting?
Secretary REDFIELD. Yes; and the bids were very carefully scrutinized.
The CHAIRMAN. How much did the supplies cost the prev year?
Mr. BOWER. $14,000.
The CHAIRMAN. Did you buy the stuff?
Mr. Smith. We have bought some of it, and it is now on its to the islands. We have not purchased all.
The CHAIRMAX. If you have not bought it all you will not g there, will you?
Mr. Smith. Yes; we expect to make several other shipments.
Secretary REDFIELD. You provided the Roosevelt for us and now have means at our own disposal, so that we can send supi there whenever we please.
Mr. Smith. The requisitions have been very carefully scrutin and we cut out everything that could be possibly dispensed w The lowest bid is $72,000, and the total appropriation for the en Alaska service is $75,000.
Secretary REDFIELD. I would like to say that if you wish to examine them, here are the copies of the accepted proposals for the last three years, simply that you may know that we are ready to have the fullest light thrown on the transactions. They are here at your disposal. I want also to say that after Dr. Smith had pared these estimates, without his knowledge, I caused Mr. Sweet to personally examine the whole thing with great care, because we feared this thing would come. That is why we asked $100,000 instead of $75,000.
The CHAIRMAX. What other increase was there besides the increase in the cost of supplies?
Mr. Smith. We are expecting to do what is incumbent on us in the matter of a more adequate patrol of the fisheries and of the hunting of fur-bearing animals in Alaska. You have given us additional facilities in the way of boats and personnel, but we have not the givestional funds with which to meet the expenses. he does CHAIRMAX. What additional boats have you over those you that there is. - ?
Mr. Smith. We have two excellent patrol boats which have now been put in service and are in southeastern Alaska at this moment. They were built to order from the appropriation of $10,000 which you gave us last year; they cost $9,350; that is, the two of them.
Secretary REDFIELD. I think we could sell them now for $16,000 and make a profit on them.
Mr. Smith. They are seaworthy and yet can be run very economically with a temporary crew of three men.
The CHAIRMAN. Are these boats now in commission?
The CHAIRMAN. Is one of the additional items the cost of maintaining these boats!
Mr. SMITH. Yes; that is one of the additional items.
Mr. Smith. Everything is set forth in this document. One of the things we want to do, but have been unable to do heretofore, is to improre some of the streams up which the salmon go in small numbers and which might go in very much larger numbers, for spawning purposes, if the natural barriers were removed, usually rocky piles which can be blown out and the streams made passable for spawning fish. There are lakes or other spawning grounds at the head of these streams, and under the conditions which have heretofore existed only a small proportion of the run of salmon into those streams every year has ever been able to get to the spawning grounds, the remaining fish dying without ever having propagated.
Secretary REDFIELD. Other than that, is it not a fact that there is no increase in the items, but that they remain the ordinary and usual items of the service!
Mr. SMITH. That is correct.
Secretary REDFIELD. So that there is no increase other than that which Dr. Smith has stated. The whole amount arises from the increase in the cost of the supplies, from the new boats, and from removing the barriers in the salmon streams; and then the others show no increase whatever, but are the usual items.
The CHAIRMAX. Those three items make up the increase?
Mr. Suth. Yes. We have not been able to perform the duties that Congress has imposed on us in the way of enforcing the laws in Alaska. The funds have not been sufficient to keep our wardens and agents in the field; we have had to lay them off for longer or shorter periods every year. We want to be able to keep in the fisheries protection service 10 men in the field actively employed during the fishing season, which is short, and then during the winter, when the fur-bearing animals are being killed all over that vast Territory, we want to keep seven agents and wardens actively at work. We have not been able to do that up to this time.
Secretary REDFIELD. Mr. Chairman, we are now able to speak with certainty of a matter which was mentioned here before and which is a new offset to the outlay. As we show on page 72, the islands, even under existing conditions, pay a very large profit to the Government, but the deposits of bones, of which I have spoken before here, and which were alleged by certain people not to exist, have now been so far developed that the Roosevelt on her return trip will bring back as many as she can carry, which we have sold at $30 a ton, delivered at Seattle. She will bring back at a minimum, I think, 200 tons. She has to come anyhow, and the bringing of them back costs nothing so far as transportation is concerned, the only expense being that of picking them up and bagging them; we already own the bags, the coal bags that we send up there. So you may, I think, reasonably expect that each trip of that vessel, if we can maintain that price, will bring a minimum in cash to the Government of $6,000 a trip, and she ought to make three trips this year. That will go very far toward offsetting the additional cost of our supplies. We have sent up a small bone crusher to the islands.
COAST AND GEODETIC SURVEY.
AUTOMATIC SPRINKLER SYSTEM.
The CHAIRMAX. You are asking $12,000 for the installation of a complete automatic sprinkler and alarm system for fire prevention in the buildings of the Coast and Geodetic Survey in Washington, D. C., fiscal year 1918.
Secretary REDFIELD. We have heretofore, Mr. Chairman, brought to the attention of the committee the fact that original drawings and data of priceless value, which can never be replaced, because the conditions which created them have forever passed away, are exposed to fire in a building which is not and can not be made safe from fire. To illustrate, the entire land titles around the harbor of New York, around the harbor of Boston, along the Delaware Bay, and along the Chesapeake Bay depend, or may depend, upon the existence of a map made in colonial times, or in early times, showing the harbor lines at that time. Those maps destroyed can never be replaced. A recent case is one in the State of New York where it was necessary to determine the exact boundaries of the land which that State purposed to turn over to the United States Government for the battery at Rockaway Beach. That beach has so changed within the last 50 years that there is no possible present means on the spot of determining what the boundaries were, and recourse had to be made to the archives of which I speak. Now, a single case would many times more than represent the cost of the fire protection here desired. We can not get a new building; we can not build in that building a vault; and we deem it our duty to call it to your attention and ask for the only known means of protection against these losses.
The CLAIRMAN. Last year you asked for $1,000 for the installation of a system against fire?
Secretary REDFIELD. Not a sprinkler system at all, because we have never asked for this system.
The CHAIRMAX. You asked for $1,000.
Mr. Joxes. We have nothing except in some parts of the building hand fire extinguishers and several short hose hydrants. The suggested sprinkler system would be placed in half of the rooms of the buildings where our records are. In other words, 80 of the rooms. The great value of it is that if there should be a fire at night the heat would automatically release the water and sprinkle it on the fire Wherever it might break out, and probably save the building, as it is far from being fireproof. The estimate which we submit is based on figures that we have gotten from several companies, and the specific figure we submit has been submitted by the Globe Automatic Sprinkler Co. and the Automatic Sprinkler Co. of America.
PURCHASE OF ADDITIONAL SURVEYING INSTRUMENTS.
The CHAIRMAX. You are asking $10,000 for the purchase of necessary additional surveying instruments required in order to meet the extraordinary demands for greatly increased field work incident to war conditions and to replenish the stock, fiscal year 1918.
Mr. Joxes. Mr. Chairman, we have felt the lack of proper and sufficient instruments for a number of years. With an increase of the number of parties we not only actually felt the need of new instruments, but the fact that our force in the instrument section has not increased has prevented us from doing any more with our force than actual repairing the old instruments, and not making the new instruments, as we have often done in the past. That is due to the increase in the parties and the demands on us at this particular time by the War Department, which make it impossible for us to furnish our parties with the necessary up-to-date instruments. For example, two 12-inch theodolites that are needed very much by two of our parties we had to borrow from the Columbia University. They may want them back at any time. They may not. We hope they will not. However, we have not one to replace them in case they do. Another fact is, that we should keep a reserve supply of at least 25 per cent in some cases and 50 per cent in others, for the reason that if an instrument breaks or is injured or is being transported from Alaska or the western coast or the Southern States to the Washington office, and some other party may want a similar instrument, and not having one in stock, in other words, having no reserve stock, it is impossible for us to furnish it at the time needed.
The War Department at the present time is calling upon us and pressing is for the work in connection with their topographic maps. We are doing work for no other department and are doing no routine work, all the work being done is at the request of the War Department. For instance, we are asking for two levels in the detail which is inentioned in this estimate (p. 75). We have, in some cases, been forced to send out the old type level, and where we can only make 60 miles with the old type level we can make 120 miles with a modern one. That is an illustration of where it is economy, and at the same time saving money by not having to repair the old type instruments, if we have something that is modern and in every way up to date.
Mr. Chairman, I brought with me Mr. Fisher, our mechanical engineer. in case you wanted to ask anything specific regarding the individual items as enumerated in the estimate a copy of which we have
The CHAIRMAN. How much of this is for the reserve equipment?
Mr. FISCHER. Inasmuch as we have not more than just barely enough of instruments to supply the present field parties, all of it can be regarded as reserve. Of all the important instruments, we have no reserve.
The CHAIRMAN. If it is al for reserve, it is not to meet the current demand.
Mr. Jones. All of the $10,000 is to outfit our parties to do the work now being undertaken.
The CHAIRMAN. That does not mean anything. You said that a part of this is to furnish you with the equipment needed and a part of it is to provide a reserve capacity. How much is for the reserve!
Mr. Jones. That is quite hard to say for this reason: We count on using all the instruments asked for. We send out an instrument, and we are erpairing another one, and while that instrument is being repaired, some other party may, for some reason, injure their instrument and the one which we have in stock goes right out again. It is a little difficult to divide the line exactly at any time. I should say ordinarily 25 per cent.
The CHAIRMAX, For reserve?
Mr. Jones. No, sir. The theodolites will have to be ordered in England. You will please notice one item--- Two theodolites, primary triangulation, $2,000.” We have made those in times past, when the number of parties were not so great and when the demand was far less than at present, but now it will be necessary to buy the theodolites complete. Our force is busy on other matters that require their attention continuously.
Secretary REDFIELD. Tell the chairman how many additional parties you have in the field and what they are doing.
Mr. Jones. Ten years ago we had approximately 25 parties in the field. Last year we had 50 parties, an increase of 100 per cent, This year we will have in the neighborhood of 60 parties. They are doing work practically entirely in connection with the war, giving the connections and joining the topography in the South and Southeast where, as will be noticed by the hearings early in the year, it is lacking.
The CHAIRMAN. Is there anybody left in your bureau?
Mr. Jones. The engineers are in the field; that is where they belong
The CHAIRMAX. I know.
Mr. Jones. They are not under the War Department: they are just doing this work for the War Department.
The CHAIRMAN. I understood that 40 of your men had gone into the Army.
Mr. Jones. No, sir: that was the Geological Survey. None of our men have left, except two or three occupying minor positions. They happened to be already with military organizations--and one naval reservist.
Secretary REDFIELD. This work that the superintendent speaks of is work upon missing topographic maps in the South and Southeast,