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Capt. WILLARD. A part into buildings, a part into power-plant extensions, a part into storage facilities, a part to railroad-track extensions, and a part for seamen's quarters for the accommodation of the enlisted force, and so forth. This expenditure is for these extensions which are permanent and which are to be valuable for all time.
Now, as to mounts and sights for the 3, 4, and 5 inch guns: With these extensions we can practically double our output of those three calibers of mounts and sights. Taking a concrete example here of one hundred 4-inch mounts, our total cost—and I mean by that with all the overhead-of those mounts would be $598,300. On the basis of an actual contract that now exists it would be for a similar number of mounts, $1,210,000, making a saving on those mounts of $611,000 alone, if we were in a position to make them. On these three types of mounts, with a double output, it is figured we could save $2,868,000, or, say, $2,000,000. On torpedo tubes, with this increase, we would expect to double the present output. On the basis of the present output and the present contract price for those tubes we would have a saving of $168,000, or double that amount for double the output.
Mr. SHERLEY. By that, do you mean that you are paying extravagant prices for what you are getting?
Capt. WILLARD. I do not mean that they are extravagant prices, but those are the prices we have to pay. I am not prepared to say that those are extravagant prices--
Mr. SHERLEY. You do not need to say it, because if your figures are accurate they say it. I say it, if you figures are accurate. Now, that brings me to another question, and that is why, under the power you now have to get material, you pay these prices? That is a matter of policy as to which you may not be able to answer, but if there is the difference that your figures indicate, then the Government has been charged more than it ought to have been charged for this material.
Capt. WILLARD. Of course, there are many things that enter into it. There are profits, insurance, cost of special equipment, fixed charges, and numerous other things that enter into it.
Mr. SHERLEY. That would not make this difference. Some of your figures, as I caught them, showed a difference of from 50 to 100 per cent.
The CHAIRMAN. My recollection is that this plant has always been operated in such a way that the bureau cost has been much less than the contract price even in normal times.
Capt. WILLARD. It has been less, yes, sir, in normal times.
The CHAIRMAX. In normal times has the unit cost of manufacture been less than the contract price?
Capt. WILLARD. Yes, sir; in normal times that has been true.
So that, summing up, if we had this extended plant operating to-day at full time, you can see from these figures that at the present prices—some of which are based on people putting up special plants where they are contracting for ordnance material there would be a saving of approximately $5,000,000 a year. But let us say that we would save only one-fifth of that. Even that would be sufficient to amortize the plant in seven and one-half years, and it would be a good investment.
The CHAIRMAN. If you had all of this money to-day, $7,500,000, how long would it be before your facilities would be ready to be utilized? How long would it take to erect those buildings and equip them for operation?
Capt. WILLARD. We hope to have them going in a year.
Admiral HARRIS. None of them is very large, extensive, or difficult buildings. For instance, the machine shop is a six-story building
The CHAIRMAN (interposing). Of steel construction?
Capt. WILLARD. Yes, sir. That is an urgent necessity. At the beginning of the war, or before the war, most optical glasses and material of that kind, of course, came from Germany and this country had gotten to be largely dependent on Germany for optical glasses. It is only recently that we have discovered ways through the Bureau of Standards, or by the Bureau of Standards working in conjunction with the Ordnance Bureau, of manufacturing certain quantities of optical glasses in this country. Now, we believe that we can produce our glasses in this country, and that we can grind the lenses and make the optical instruments and supply all of those demanded by the Army and Navy. The optical industry of the country has been practically swamped, and we are in a very serious condition as to optical instruments, sights, telescopic sights, etc.
The CHAIRMAN. Assuming that you had this plant, would you be able to obtain employees of sufficient skill to operate it!
Capt. WILLARD. Yes, sir. We now have operatives for such machinery as we have. We are grinding lenses and making repairs to optical instruments at the gun factory now. These men would come in more or less slowly, but we would
have time while building these buildings to be getting up the organization. Since the war started we have taken on about 1,800 men, and we are building up the organization all the time.
The CHAIRMAN. Those machinists would be in a different category from the men employed in the manufacture of these optical instruments, would they not?
Capt. WILLARD. Yes, sir; but lens grinding, outside of a few experts, is a thing that the ordinary trained man can do if the machine is set for it. It does require a few, or relatively few, very highly skilled lens grinders, with a larger number of men not so highly skilled who can be taught to perform certain operations. Of course, we would have to work along this line and develop them. That is our only object in developing along these lines—that is, to utilize the expert services in teaching men less expert to do things that they can not now do.
The CHAIRMAN. Have you the details of these buildings, Admiral?
Admiral Harris. They are given in the Secretary's letter here. There is one six-story machine shop.
The CHAIRMAN. What does that cost? Just put in the record a detailed statement of the buildings, showing their character and cost.
Admiral HARRIS. I will do so. NOTE.—The following is a list of the improvements contemplated with the $5,000,000 for public-works features at the Washington Navy Yard : 1. Machine shop ----
$1,000,000 Five stories ; steel, brick, and concrete, 120 by 50 feet. 2. Pattern and woodworking shop and pattern storage.-
475,000 Three stories, 170 by 300 feet, reinforced concrete. 3. Dry kiln for lumber--
20, 000 One story, 40 by 100 feet, brick. 4. Power plant improvements, including distributing mains.
665, 000 Includes the necessary extension and boilers, generators and
distributing system to provide for the contemplated build-
400,000 Five stories, 169 by 350 feet, reinforced concrete. 6. Administration building-
350, 000 Five stories, steel and brick, 300 by 110 feet. 7. Brass foundry---
255, 000 Steel and brick, 107 by 300 feet. 8. Extension to steel foundry-
175, 000 The proposed extension is 200 feet long, of steel and brick, 9. Forge-shop annex..
155, 000 260 by 72 feet, steel and brick. 10. Seamen gunners' quarters
150, 000 Three stories, 60 by 130 feet, reinforced concrete. 11. Mine-experiment tank
150,000 A steel tank 35 feet in diameter and 102 feet high is proposed. 12. Optical shop
184, 000 Two stories, brick and steel, 50 by 250 feet. 13. Range-finding tower-
56, 000 Steel, concrete, and iron, 60 by 34 feet, five stories. 14. Sewer, water, and paving--
200,000 Extensions necessary to serve proposed building. 15. Roofing quadrangle--
200, 000 Steel, concrete, iron, and brick. 16. Water-front improvements -
160,000 1,500 linear feet of sea wall, approximately, with necessary fill. 17. Crane runways---
135, 000 18. Crane equipment
SUBMARINE BASE, NEW LONDON, CONN.
ACQUISITION OF LAND.
(See p. 325.) The CHAIRMAN. The next item is For the acquisition, by purchase or condemnation, of the tract of land, comprising approximately twenty-six and eighty-eight one-hundredths acres, owned by the C. M. Shay Fertilizer Company, in the immediate vicinity of the property now owned and occupied by the United States as a submarine base at New London, Connecticut, including all easements, rights of way, riparian and other rights appurtenant thereto, fiscal year nineteen hundred and eighteen, $90,000.
Admiral HARRIS. I think that is explained in the Secretary's letter of transmittal.
The CHAIRMAN. How near is it to the present submarine base ?
Mr. Smith. I have just seen it in going by; it is a three-story brick structure, and they carry on a fertilizer business there.
The CHAIRMAN. Has anybody from the department examined the matter and put any estimate on its value!
Mr. SMITH. Not that I know of, sir.
The CHAIRMAN. The statement here estimates the value of these improvements at $90,000?
Admiral HARRIS. That has been checked by Admiral Grant and Capt. Sterling. Capt. Sterling is in command of the base and Admiral Grant has been in general charge of submarines.
The CHAIRMAN. Is there anybody here who knows anything about the details of it?
Admiral HARRIS. I do not know of any further details than this report, sir.
WEDNESDAY, JULY 25, 1917.
STATEMENTS OF REAR ADMIRAL FREDERIC R. HARRIS, CHIEF,
BUREAU OF YARDS AND DOCKS, AND COMMANDER E. L. BENNETT, ASSISTANT CHIEF, BUREAU OF NAVIGATION, NAVY DEPARTMENT.
HANDLING APPLIANCES AT NAVY YARDS.
The CHAIRMAN. The next item is “for weight-handling appliances at navy yards, fiscal year 1918, $1,650,000."
Admiral Harris. This is an item that ordinarily we would present in the regular estimates and would be content to take up slowly, but the Secretary has suggested that it would be well to bring it up so we could start on it immediately if you approved it.
The CHAIRMAN. What is the present necessity for it?
CRANES AT PHILADELPHIA, NORFOLK, AND NEW YORK.
Admiral Harris. It is for handling heavy turrets and heavy guns at the navy yard at Philadelphia, where we have no such plant, at Norfolk, and at New York, where we have one 50-ton modern crane, and where they want to duplicate it by putting in another crane of the same type.
The CHAIRMAN. This is a big cantilever crane!
Admiral HARRIS. Yes, sir; a cantilever crane. Also, we have a big hammer-head 350-ton crane, which is 100 tons larger than any ever built before. The reason for that is that in that way they can handle turrets without stripping them entirely. They could not handle a turret in its entirety, but they would have to take off the ordnance and the armor plate.
The CHAIRMAN. How many cranes do you expect to get?
Admiral HARRIS. Two large hammer-heads of 350 tons each and three 50-ton locomotive cranes. It would take at least a year to build them.
The CHAIRMAN. Where will they be located ?
Admiral HARRIS. One at Norfolk and one at Philadelphia—that is, of the 350-ton cranes—and of the 50-ton cranes one will be at Norfolk and two at New York.
The CHAIRMAN. There will be five all told !
Admiral HARRIS. Under the most favorable conditions, I think we would get them in a year. We might get the 50-ton cranes a little sooner, but I think the 350-ton cranes would take at least a year.
Mr. SHERLEY. A tremendous demand is being made on the manufacturing capacity of this country along many lines. Have you gentlemen, in considering these estimates, had in mind that fact, and the further fact that the doing of one thing must necessarily delay er postpone or prevent the doing of something else? Admiral HARRIS. Yes, sir.
Mr. SHERLEY. The reason I asked that is right in connection with this item. I do not know who makes these cranes or whether the making of them would interfere with any other more important work, but I think the committee will want to feel assured that that condition or question has been considered.
Admiral HARRIS. It has been carefully considered.
ADMIRAL HARRIS. If anything came along that interfered with something that was of more importance, we would do then as we have done in other cases, and hold it back, but, after consultation with the crane builders, we do not think that this would interfere with anything in hand. The 50-ton cranes themselves are absolutely essential. For instance, in New York they have two older cranes, of 35 and 40 tons, which are not in good condition. They have a 50-ton crané which was provided three years ago, and in case of a breakdown of that single crane that they use all the time, they would be seriously hampered in the work of repairing and building there. In ordinary times, they would have to wait on repairs, but with this condition, we think that as soon as possible they should have two duplicate cranes in that yard.
The CHAIRMAN. How much would the cranes cost?
Admiral HARRIS. The 50-ton cranes would cost about $150,000 apiece, and the 350-ton cranes would cost about $600,000 apiece.
Mr. SHERLEY. Now, in the case of these latter cranes, do you think the need is great?
Admiral HARRIS. We will not be able to place the turrets on the battleship and battle cruiser that we are building in the Philadelphia yard without these cranes.
The CHAIRMAN. You will have to have them anyway to finish the ships?
Admiral Harris. Normally we might have made some other arrangement.
CONSTRUCTION AND EQUIPMENT OF TRAINING CAMPS.
(See pp. 246, 282.)
The CHAIRMAN. The next item is “For construction and equipment of training camps, including the rental of land, fiscal year 1918, $12,600,000."
Admiral HARRIS. We have gone ahead with most of those camps on instructions from the Secretary. When you were holding your