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Estimated requirements at various yards, etc.-Continued.
Training camps, section bases, section offices, supply depots, etc.,
Naval district No. 1 --
$150,000 100, 000) 300, 000 200, 000 250, 000 150,000 100, 000 100, 000 300,000 160, 000 150,000 100, 000
Repairs and preservation, yards and docks.
Esitmated probable amount required at yards and stations:
Naval District No. 1.
150,000 110,000 90,000 50, 000 50, 000 60,000 200, 000 75, 000 30,000 75, 000 310, 000 200, 000 75, 000 50, 000 175, 000 100,000 120, 000 20, 000 25, 000 50, 000 100.000 35,000
40, 000 20, 000 70.000 70,000 70,000 40, 000 15, 000 15, 000 70,000 15, 000 15, 000 10,000
Contingent, yards and docks.
Balance available July 1.
$100,000 2, 700, 000
Specific items contemplated :
Cold storage, Hampton Roads -
90, 000 175,000 185, 000
Estimated probable amount required for contin ncies
Naval district No. 1.-
60, 000 45,000 100, 000
80,000 100, 000 35,000 50,000 50, 000 25,000 60, 000 60,000 25,000
WEDNESDAY, JULY 18, 1917.
STATEMENTS OF REAR ADMIRAL ROBERT S. GRIFFIN, CHIEF
BUREAU OF STEAM ENGINEERING, AND REAR ADMIRAL FREDERIC R. HARRIS, CHIEF BUREAU OF YARDS AND DOCKS.
PORTO RICO-HIGH-POWER RADIO STATION.
The CHAIRMAN. The next item is, on page 52, “ For additional amounts for the establishment of a high-power radio station on the island of Porto Rico, $200,000, to be available until expended.” Four hundred thousand dollars was appropriated for this purpose. You were given everything you asked for.
Admiral GRIFFIN. Yes, sir; but when we got the bids in we found that the work would cost nearly $600,000. I want to go ahead with the construction of the towers, anyhow.
The CHAIRMAN. How long would it take to build it?
Admiral GRIFFIN. About six or eight months. The CHAIRMAN. Is it an important thing to be done at this time? Admiral GRIFFIN. We want the connection with the Isthmus and with the fleet wherever it is operating. Operations considers it a very important adjunct to the operation of the fleet.
The CHAIRMAN. They can communicate with the Isthmus without it now.
Admiral GRIFFIN. Not well in weather like this. In weather like this Arlington can not get the Isthmus as well as we would like.
The CHAIRMAN. But you do.
Admiral GRIFFIN. Sometimes we do not get them at all. From Porto Rico's location we could get the fleet at almost any place in the Atlantic.
The CHAIRMAN. What were the bids?
Admiral GRIFFIN. The lowest bid for the towers was $240,000. The identical towers erected at Cavite cost $100,000.
The CHAIRMAN. To what was that due—to the increased cost of material?
Admiral GRIFFIN. To the increased cost of material and labor. The labor situation is a big thing in every bid we get. All these people are afraid of the labor situation, as they do not know what they will be up against. They do not know what prices they will have to pay, and I think they put in a covering amount.
The CHAIRMAN. Don't you think they are putting in too big a margin?
Admiral GRIFFIN. There were three bids, and $240,000 was the lowest of the three. The highest one was about $267,000.
Mr. Sisson. Did they know about the other bidding?
Admiral TAYLOR. That is the reason we make cost-plus contracts on so many things. These people say that on lump-sum bids they must put in excessive prices to protect themselves against possible labor developments.
THURSDAY, JULY 26, 1917. The CHAIRMAN. For additional amount for the establishment of a high-power radio station on the island of Porto Rico, $200,000, to be available until expended.
Admiral HARRIS. The amount appropriated for the fiscal year 1918 for the station at Porto Rico was $400,000. Two hundred thousand dollars additional is required to construct the station. The bureau advertised for three 600-foot towers and foundations. The low bidder under this specification was the Pittsburgh-Des Moines Steel Co., whose total bid, modified by purchase of steel at the Government base price, was $239,523. The bureau's estimate of the cost of this work was $160,000. Under another specification the bureau advertised for four radio buildings and received only one bid—that of the Hamilton & Chambers Co., for $86,000. The amount allowed was $36,000. It is not believed that any more satisfactory bid will be received on the towers being readvertised. It is estimated the cost of this project will be $600,000 instead of $400,000, so that it is impossible to go ahead with this project of the radio station at Porto Rico unless the additional funds are provided.
The CHAIRMAX. Did you take up the question of doing this by cost account?
Admiral HARRIS. It would be very difficult to control and supervise it down there in Porto Rico. In the Navy we have not resorted to cost account except in a very few cases where we could not in advance prepare plans and advertise the work. Cost account means a large expense in organization which does not appear in the cost of the work; that is, it comes out of maintenance. It means time keepers, bookkeepers, material clerks. After talking with the Secretary of the Navy, the Secretary of the Navy does not approve of cost-account work if it can possibly be avoided in the Navy.
The CHAIRMAN. Do you believe it is more advantageous to do this work by contract?
Admiral HARRIS. I am always in favor of contract, sir, where it possibly can be done, and not cost account.
The CHAIRMAN. These bids show that you are $165,000 in excess of the estimated cost. How about the other $35,000?
Admiral HARRIS. The amount allowed for the buildings was $36,000, which should be deducted from that, making it $130,000. The addition of $70,000 is for the equipment that the Bureau of Steam Engineering furnishes. You see this is only for the public work, the erection of the buildings and towers, and the installation and purchase of machinery comes under the Bureau of Steam Engineering
The CHAIRMAN. Does it take $130,000 to equip one of these stations?
Admiral GRIFFIN. It depends on the size of the station. This is the high-power radio station at Porto Rico? I understood that was covered when I was here the other day.
The CHAIRMAN. Yes; but we are getting some more information about it. How much does your equopment cost?
Admiral GRIFFIN. I think it runs about $175,000, but I am not positive now without seeing the figures.
The CHAIRMAN. Put in the record what the equipment down there costs. Admiral GRIFFIN. I will put it in the record. [The cost is about $225,000.]
REPAIR, MAINTENANCE, AND OUTFIT OF TRANSPORTS.
(See pp. 305, 438, 486.) The CHAIRMAN. For repairs, preservation, and renewal of machinery, etc., you are asking $12,044,697, and you have had already $17,000,000.
Admiral GRIFFIN. We had $34,960,500, and then the current appropriation of $12,270,000. The CHAIRMAN. What is the necessity for $12,000,000 additional?
Admiral GRIFFIN. That is an error. It should be $10,210,000. There was a figure included there which was covered in the other appropriation. The CHAIRMAN. What is the necessity for this?
Admiral GRIFFIN. $2,160,000 of that is for the repair, outfit, and maintenance of transports. We have recently taken over trans
ports for the Navy, numbering altogether 44 ships for transport service, 16 of them being the larger German ships intended for the transport of troops, and 28 others for the transport of material principally; and there is one merchant ship to be taken over for hospital purposes, which has to be converted.
RENTAL OF RADIO STATIONS.
Five hundred thousand dollars is the estimate for the rental of radio stations which we have taken over from the Marconi and other companies, some of which we are operating and all of which we will have to pay a rental for. It will be something less than $500,000.
Mr. SHERLEY. Why do you have to pay a rental, if you are not using them!
Admiral GrIFFIN. Because we have taken over the property of these people which they were using, and they claim a rental for the stations that they are deprived the use of.
Mr. SHERLEY. They claim it, but it does not follow because they claim it that they are entitled to it.
Admiral GRIFFIN. No; but it is a question of whether we can take a man's property without giving his some compensation for it.
Mr. SHERLEY. If you are taking it and using it, but if you are simply denying them the use of it on account of war conditions, then it is a question which I have no opinion about, but it would seem to be a question as to whether they should then be paid.
Admiral GRIFFIN. I know the Navy Department contemplates paying them for the stations that are taken over. Act approved August 13, 1912, provides that “just compensation ” shall be paid the owners of such stations.
The CHAIRMAN. Are we using the stations?
Admiral GRIFFIN. Some of them we are using and some of them we have closed.
The CHAIRMAN. Have you paid them for the ones you have closed?
Admiral GRIFFIN. We have not paid them anything yet.
Admiral GRIFFIN. About $1,800 a year for the small stations that we operate and $1,200 for those that are closed. As to the large stations, no agreement has yet been reached.
The CHAIRMAN. How many of the small stations were there?
Admiral GRIFFIN. The greater number of small stations, I suppose 35 or 40.
The CHAIRMAN. How many large ones?
Admiral GRIFFIN. We are using them and we are also using some of the intermediate ones.
The CHAIRMAN. Do you know what has been proposed to be paid to them?
Admiral GRIFFIN. Only on the small ones. It has been proposed that we pay $1,800 a year rental for the small stations that are op