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FORTIFICATION APPROPRIATION BILL
JANUARY 9, 1907.-Committed to the Committee of the Whole House on the state
of the Union and ordered to be printed.
Mr. Smith, of Iowa, from the Committee on Appropriations, submitted
[To accompany H. R. 23821.]
The Committee on Appropriations, in presenting the accompanying bill making appropriations for fortifications and other works of defense, and for the armament thereof, for the procurement of heavy ordnance for trial and service, and for other purposes, submit the following in explanation thereof:
The estimates on which the bill is based will be found in the Book of Estimates for the fiscal year 1908, pages 267–274, inclusive, and aggregate $15,068,559, of which sum there is recommended in the accompanying bill appropriations amounting to $5,411,883, which sum is $357,890 more than was appropriated for the same purposes at the last session of Congress.
During the Forty-ninth Congress (fiscal years 1887 and 1888) no appropriations were made on account of fortifications, their maintenance and armament, and for the twelve fiscal years 1875 to 1886, inclusive, the appropriation by Congress on this account averaged only $540,750 per annum, and only $463,500 per annum for the fourteen years, including 1887 and 1888, for which latter two fiscal years no specific appropriations were made, as stated.
The bill reported herewith contains appropriations in continuance of the policy adopted by the Fiftieth Congress in the passage of the acts approved September 22, 1888, and March 2, 1889, and by the Fiftyfirst, Fifty-second, Fifty-third, Fifty-fourth, Fifty-fifth, Fifty-sixth, Fifty-seventh, and Fifty-eighth Congresses, and by the present Congress, in acts approved August 18, 1890, February 24, 1891, July 23, 1892, February 18, 1893, August 1, 1894, March 2, 1895, June 6, 1896, March 3, 1897, May 7, 1898, March 3, 1899, May 25, 1900, March 1, 1901, June 6, 1902, March 3, 1903, April 21, 1904, March 3, 1905, and June 25, 1906.
The appropriations by said acts for the nineteen fiscal years 1889– 1907 aggregate $102,615,737.72, or an average of $5,400,828.30 per annum.
Of the whole sum, $102,615,737.72, appropriated by the fortification acts covering the nineteen fiscal years 1889-1907, the sum of $80,126,513.22 was appropriated in the eleven fortification acts enacted by this and the last five Congresses.
The fortification appropriation acts enacted during the Fifty-fifth Congress appropriated $14,287,396, in addition to which amount sums aggregating $8,674,898 were provided in deficiency appropriation acts for fortifications and the armament thereof, and the further sum of $12,865,840.60 was allotted for the same objects from the general appropriation of $50,000,000 made for the national defense in the act of March 9, 1898, making in all $35,828,134.60 available for fortifications and the armament thereof under appropriations made during the Fifty-fifth Congress.
The total appropriations made for fortifications and other works of defense since 1888, and since the recommendations of the Endicott board of 1885, including the appropriations made in deficiency acts and allotments made from the national-defense fund, amount to $124,156,476.32.
The scheme of seacoast fortifications contemplated by the Endicott board, and which has been followed by Congress in the appropriations made since 1888, it is now estimated will cost in the aggregate $99,392,222, of which sum there has been already provided $64,301,042.24, the Engineer Department having received $28,693,434.02 and the Ordnance Department $35,607,608.22.
The difference between the sum, $64,301,042.24, already provided toward the scheme of the Endicott board and the sum total of appropriations, $124,156,476.32, for fortifications since 1888 is represented in expenditures for erecting and equipping the gun factory at Watervliet, the gun carriage factory at Watertown, the Ordnance and Fortification Board, purchase of land for fortification sites, torpedoes for harbor defense, providing ammunition for service and for tests, manufacture of field guns, fortifications in the insular possessions, and for sundry other objects incident to providing and maintaining a system of seacoast defenses.
Limitations with reference to appropriations made in the bill not heretofore imposed, or changes in existing law, are recommended as follows: On page – the following:
The Chief of Ordnance, in conducting manufacturing or similar operations, is authorized to charge any indirect or general expense for labor or material therefor against any of the appropriations authorizing these operations in such manner as is most economical and efficient, provided that the methods adopted shall show that each of such appropria tions bears its ratable share of the total amount of these expenses.
With reference to the foregoing Gen. William Crozier, Chief of Ordnance, states:
In all operations in arsenal shops involving manufacture, repair, or alteration of ordnance and ordnance stores, there arise expenses of a general character for both labor and material, such as the services of superintendents, engineers, firemen, tool. makers, watchmen, sweepers, etc.; the purchase of coal, oil, cotton waste, tool steel, wheelbarrows, brooms, etc. These expenses are just as necessary in these operations as are the direct expenses for labor employed directly in manufacturing articles of ordnance stores, or for material which enters into the manufactured articles. No difficulty arises in charging direct labor and material to the proper appropriation. In paying, however, for general expenses of the character above enumerated, the method followed at the arsenals is to charge a certain per cent of the amount of the direct labor on all work, the proceeds to constitute a fund out of which to pay these general expenses. For example: If the amount of direct labor expended in any month on the manufacture of rapid-fire guns is $1,000, about 40 per cent of this would be charged against the appropriation for these guns to pay the general expenses; and similarly for work authorized by other appropriations, so that there would be available varying amounts under each and every appropriation authorizing the operations. In charging these general expenses against these several amounts the Comptroller of the Treasury holds that each and every appropriation must bear its share of each and every separate item of expense, and a certificate is required of each orunance disbursing officer on a pay roll to the effect that every appropriation authorizing work in arsenal shops must bear its share of the expenses of indirect labor. By means of the proposed legislation any item of general expense may be charged against any of the appropriations authorizing the operations, provided that when all the general expenses have been paid the various amounts charged against each appropriation shall be the same as if all these appropriations bore the cost of each and every item of expenditure. In the end the result would be the same, whether the method held by the Comptroller is followed or that indicated by the proposed legislation; and these methods would be exactly alike should all the general expenses be covered by one voucher; which, however, is never the case.
On page — the following:
Section two of Act of Congress approved March nineteenth, eighteen hundred and ninety-two, authorizing the Secretary of War to issue, on the requisition of the governor of a State bordering on the sea or Gulf coast, and having a permanent camping ground for the encampment of the militia not less than six days annually, two heavy guns and four mortars, with carriages and platforms, for their instruction, and for the construction of a suitable battery for the cannon so issued, and appropriating five thousand dollars for each State to carry out the above-mentioned objects, is hereby repealed.
With reference to the foregoing Gen. William Crozier, Chief of Ordnance, states:
Since the passage of this law twenty-four years ago, only seven States have taken advantage of the appropriation, and gun and mortar batteries have been erected for the instruction of the militia of these States. This leaves twenty States which have not availed themselves of the provisions of this act. During the past eleven years no State has made application for the issue of the guns and the construction of the necessary batteries for them. Under the militia act of January 21, 1903, the militia of the several States is authorized to utilize for instruction purposes the modern seacoast batteries, and therefore there would seem to be no necessity for the further application of the appropriation made by the provision of law recommended to be repealed. When the law was passed the only cannon and mortars in the service
were muzzle loading and the sum of $5,000 was adequate for the purpose of constructing the batteries. If the Department had on hand any modern breech-loading guns and mortars for issue, the $5,000 appropriated would be wholly inadequate.
The following shows, by items, the appropriations made in the last fortification act, the amounts submitted at this session in the annual estimates, and the amounts recommended in the accompanying bill:
Recapitulation of fortification appropriation act for 1907, and amounts recommended for 1908.
Fortifications and other works of defense:
Modernizing older emplacements..
and position finders
Total, fortifications and other works of defense
Machine and automatic guns and equipment...
Proving ground. Sandy Hook, N. J.