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Mr. JoHNson. However, that will be some little time in the future. Mr. THOMSON. That is not immediate, of course. I think unCloubtedly we ought to have a little more money.
RENT OF STABLES.
Mr. Joh Nso N. The next item is for rent of stables, for which you had $500, and you are now asking for $750. It seems to me if we are going to buy automobiles and trucks we ought to need fewer stables.
Mr. THOMSON. I think if we get a motor truck we do not need as much stable room, because the motor truck will be kept at the Post Office Department and stored with electricity at night.
OFFICIAL POST-OFFICE GUIDE.
Mr. Joh Nso N. “For the publication of copies of the Official PostOffice Guide, $25,000.” The appropriation for this year is $24,000. Is there any indication of a deficiency? Mr. THOMso N. No; but we have pretty hard work to keep our heads above water on that appropriation. There is a condition existing there which I think is more or less deplorable. We let the printing of the guide out at contract, and the contractor is given the privilege of selling guides to the public. In consideration of that privilege or benefit he gives us a low price, which is just a little bit under the appropriation, and then turns around and sells the guide to the public at $3 a piece, whereas they ought to cost the public about 50 cents. Mr. Jo HNSON. How many copies of the guide are you furnished under this contract? Mr. Trio Miso N. Something like 100,000. Mr. Joh NSON. Is it published quarterly 2 Mr. THOMSON. Annually, with a supplement once a month. Mr. JoHNsoN. However, that is included in this contract? Mr. THOMSON. Yes, sir. Mr. JoHNSON. Then you get the guide for about 25 cents a copy? Mr. THOMSON. They charge us by the page, and it amounts to about 25 cents a copy. I would like to submit as a suggestion in connection with this matter that the desirable thing to do would be to arrange the matter in such way that we could get it done at the Government Printing Office. I am a great believer in using the facilities at hand in the Government service for the publication of books or anything else we need, and if we have those facilities we ought to use them. Mr. JoHNsoN. Have you made any effort to find out what it would cost the Government Printing Office to print these guides? Mr. THOMSON. Yes, sir; I secured an estimate from the Public Printer about eight months ago. Mr. JoHNSON. Do you remember the figures? Mr. THOMSON. Something less than 75 cents.
Mr. JoHNSON. On page 267, you are asking for some entirely new items—for repairs to the Post Office Department Building. $7,000. What have you to say in regard to that?
Mr. THOMSON. These figures are submitted with a view to the upkeep of the department building. There are a lot of things that ought to be done down there in order to place the building in a safe and sanitary condition.
Mr. JoHNSON. I suppose it is safe, but what about the sanitary part of it?
Mr. THOMSON. On the gound floor of the building, where the post office is now located, we have a very inadequate method of ventilating the building. In fact, there is no real ventilation to it on the first floor, and it has been urged by the postmaster on numerous occasions that some sort of ventilating system be installed there in order to provide the fresh air necessary to make the conditions sanitary. We estimate that with $7,000 we can put in a ventilating system.
Mr. Johnson. Has any calculation been made by an architect or anybody to show that this amount is required?
Mr. THOMSON. Yes, sir; these figures are based on a careful calculation.
REMODELING ELECTRIC LIFTS.
Mr. JoHNSON. I notice you have an item for the remodeling of electric lifts.
Mr. THOMSON. Those are small elevators that run from the eighth floor of the building to the ninth floor, where we store a good many files. These little electric elevators are out of commission now because they need some remodeling. They are quite convenient and they are time savers.
Mr. Johnson. Then, you want a new switchboard in the Post Office Department? Mr. THOMSON. Yes, sir; the switchboard we have was installed when we first went into that building, some years ago, and in recent years it has not been large enough to accommodate all of the current passing through it. We have frequent blowouts, and we want to remodel the whole business so as to provide for a general system of electric lighting throughout the building. That estimate of $8,500 is based upon a careful inspection made by the Supervising Architect’s Office. Mr. Joh NsoN. How many drops are there on that board? Mr. THOMsoN. I can not tell you. If you would like to have a description of it, I would be glad to get it. Mr. Johnson. I do not want that; I thought perhaps you knew. Mr. THOMSON. I do not know exactly.
REMOVAL OF CITY POST OFFICE.
Mr. Joh NSON. Do you know what they contemplate doing with so much of the building as is now used for the city post office when that is moved into the new building’
Mr. THOMSON. We will be able to move some of our divisions now upstairs down on the main floor, I suppose. Although I have not heard it stated definitely, I think there will be a station of the Washington city post office in there. We are going to move the post
Office itself over near the Union Station, and certainly it would be
Clesirable to have a large station down town for the benefit of the public.
DISTRIBUTION OF PUBLIC DOCUMENTS.
Mr. JoHNSON. I want to ask you a question with respect to the legislation in the last legislative bill, which provides that public documents shall be mailed from the Government Printing Office. What has been the experience of the Post Office Department under the operation of that law Ż Mr. THOMSON. Of course we are the poorest department of the entire lot to give you any opinion on that subject, for the simple reason that we have very few documents to be mailed out. We }. ured it out at the time and found that only a very small, in fact an almost infinitesimal, part of one man's time in the department was consumed in mailing the documents that the Post Office Department had. It really has had no appreciable effect one way or the other. Mr. JoHNsoN. So it did not affect you very materially? d Mr. THOMSON. No, sir; the effect is so small that we can not etect it.
Mr. Johnson. What effect has the provision in the last legislative bill, requiring that the departments should live up to the Dockery law, had on the Post Office Department—I mean the provision relating to the administrative audit? Mr. THOMsoN. You ask me what effect it has had 7 Mr. JoHNSON. Yes, sir. Are you living up to the Dockery law in the Post Office Department in the matter of administrative audit? I Mr. THOMSON. Yes, sir; we are endeavoring to live up to every aW. Mr. JoHNSON. What has been your experience in operating under that? Have you been embarrassed or handicapped in any way because of our reenacting in that bill what has been the law all the time? Mr. THOMSON. I should think not; no, sir. Mr. Johnson. Is your disbursing clerk here? Mr. THOMSON. No, sir. Mr. Courts. The Auditor for the Post Office Department, I think, takes over the bookkeeping for the postal service, and their accounts. are really not audited by the administrative officers of the Post Office Department at all. Mr. THOMSON. We have a rather anomalous situation there now. The Auditor for the Post Office Department keeps the books for the Post Office Department and then audits them, so far as the postal service is concerned. So far as the Post Office Department is concerned, the disbursing clerk simply expends money for salaries and for the contingent expenses of the department. Mr. JoHNson. You have a most efficient auditor for your department. Mr. THOMSON. Yes, sir; Mr. Kram. Mr. Johnson. Now, is there anything else you desire to say?
DIVISION OF TOPOGRAPHY.
Mr. THOMSON. Just one thing, Mr. Chairman. I have submitted a small increase here in an item, on page 262, for miscellaneous expenses in the Division of Topography. The amount is $2,000. This increase was requested in order to purchase additional supplies and materials which undoubtedly will be necessary to properly conduct that portion of the parcel-post work which will come under the jurisdiction of the topographer's office. Mr. Joh NSON. What will he have to do by reason of the parcelpost law that he does not have to do now ! Mr. THOMSON. The entire parcel-post system is based upon a map. The whole thing rests upon a map showing units of area and zones into which the country is divided, and the work incident to that map will have to be done in the topographer's office. Mr. Joh NSON. Have any of these maps been prepared up to this time? Mr. THOMSON. Yes, sir; we are very busy in the preparation of that now. They are being turned out at the rate of six or seven thousand a day. Mr. Joh Nso N. Then, you will be ready, so far as your department is concerned, when the law goes into effect? Mr. THOMSON. Yes, sir; we expect to be ready with all the essential supplies and equipment.
Mr. Joh NSON. Is there anything else? You have a lump-sum appropriation for that parcel-post work? Mr. THOMSON. Yes, sir. Mr. Johnson. Carried in the Post Office bill? Mr. THOMsoN. Yes, sir; an appropriation of $750,000. It is entirely inadequate, however. Mr. Johnson. How many people have been employed out of that lump-sum appropriation in the department here? Mr. THOMsoN. We have not employed anybody. Mr. Joh Nso N. Then, you are doing all that work, so far as the department is concerned, with the regular statutory force? Mr. THOMSON. There have been no salaries or compensation paid to persons, except in the matter of furnishing supplies and for some few services like the preparation of the map and the engraving of the map, which have been paid out of that lump-sum appropriation. There have been no salaries paid out of it. Mr. Joh Nso N. In other words, the force provided for in this bill is doing the work of the Post Office Department, including that parcel-post work, just as it is conducting the other work of the department? Mr. THOMsoN. Yes, sir; but it is fair to say, however, that the parcel-post work done so far has been preliminary. The service does not go into effect at all until January 1, so that what work has been done up to this time has been of a preliminary character, and has been done by the officers and employees of the Post Office Department. Mr. Joh Nso N. And you have already anticipated the increase that will be necessary in these estimates here. The parcel-post work, you state, is the reason for most of these increases.
Mr. THOMSON. Yes, sir. So far as we have been able to figure it, these estimates are very reasonable.
DIVISION OF ASSISTANT ATTORNEY GENERAL–MESSENGER.
There is an item on page 252 relating to the Division of the Assist. ant Attorney General. Judge Goodwin, the Assistant Attorney . General, submitted an increase which is designed to take care of an assistant messenger in his office who receives $720 a year. Judge Goodwin wants him made into a full-fledged messenger at $840 a year. DIVISION OF POST-OFFICE INSPECTORS.
STATEMENT OF MR. JOHN W. JOHNSTON, CHIEF CLERK.
Mr. JoHNSTON. I suppose I ought to be modest in discussing that increase for the chief clerk, as I occupy that position. Mr. JoHNSON. Well, however modest you may feel about it, you feel very much interested, nevertheless, do you not Mr. JoHNSTON. Yes, sir. Mr. Sharpe thinks the position ought to pay $2,500, regardless of who holds it. In the absence of the chief inspector the chief clerk is required to act, and he has the responsibility of the bureau and the field force upon him. Mr. Johnson. How long have you been there? Mr. Johnston. I have been in that office over 10 years. Mr. JoHNsoN. How long have you been chief clerk? Mr. JohnstoN. A little over two years.
Mr. JoHNSON. How many inspectors are under you? How many inspectors are there in the service?
Mr. Johnston. There are 390 all told.
Mr. JoHNSON. They do work on the rural routes and in post offices and everywhere else under that one designation of post-office inspectors, do they not?
Mr. JoHNSTON. Yes, sir.
Mr. JoHNSON. They have merged the forces that used to be separate?
Mr. JoHNSTON. Yes, sir.
Mr. JoHNSON. Every petition for a rural route or a change of any kind in a route goes through your office, does it not?
Mr. JoHNSTON. After coming from the Fourth Assistant Postmaster General's Office.
Mr. JoHNSON. Of course it is addressed to the Fourth Assistant Postmaster General, but it is referred by his office to the chief inspector, is it not?
Mr. JoHNSTON. Yes, sir.
Mr. JoHNSON. And the chief inspector then examines it with a view to determining whether he will send an inspector out to investigate it?