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SUBCOMMITTEE OF THE COMMITTEE ON APPROPRIATIONS
DAVID A. REED, Pennsylvania, Chairman WESLEY L. JONES, Washington.
WILLIAM J. HARRIS, Georgia. HIRAM BINGHAM, Connecticut.
DUNCAN U. FLETCHER, Florida. OTIS F. GLENN, Illinois.
JOHN B. KENDRICK, Wyoming. FREDERICK STEIWER, Oregon.
KENNETH MCKELLAR, Tennessee. WILLIAM H. MCMASTER, South Dakota. ROYAL S. COPELAND, New York.
Ex OFFICIO MEMBERS FOR CONSIDERATION OF APPROPRIATIONS FOR RIVERS.
HIRAM W. JOHNSON, California.
DUNCAN U. FLETCHER, Florida. CHARLES L. McNARY, Oregon.
KENNEDY F. REA, Clerk
WAR DEPARTMENT APPROPRIATION BILL FOR 1932.
WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 21, 1931
UNITED STATES SENATE,
Washington, D.C. The subcommittee met, pursuant to call, at 2 o'clock p. m., in the committee room, Capitol, Hon. David A. Reed, presiding.
Present: Senators Jones (chairman), Bingham, Steiwer, Harris, Fletcher, Kendrick, McKellar, and Copeland.
The subcommittee thereupon proceeded to the consideration of the bill (H. R. 15593) making appropriation for the military and nonmilitary activities of the War Department for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1932, and for other purposes. STATEMENTS OF FREDERICK H. PAYNE, THE ASSISTANT SECRE
TARY OF WAR, AND MAJ. GEN. GEORGE VAN HORN MOSELEY, DEPUTY CHIEF OF STAFF, ACCOMPANIED BY MAJ. GEN. RODERICK L. CARMICHAEL, BUDGET OFFICER FOR THE WAR DEPARTMENT AND CHIEF OF FINANCE; MAJ. GEN. CHARLES H. BRIDGES, THE ADJUTANT GENERAL; MAJ. GEN. J. L. DE WITT, THE QUARTERMASTER GENERAL; MAJ. GEN. J. E. FECHET, CHIEF OF THE AIR CORPS; COL. A. T. SMITH, ASSISTANT CHIEF OF STAFF; AND OTHERS
Senator REED. The committee will come to order. We will hear first Mr. Payne.
Mr. PAYNE. Mr. Chairman, the Deputy Chief of Staff, with your permission, will discuss the bill, and make a few suggested changes. I will follow and discuss the House amendment relative to purchases being made in the United States.
Senator REED. General Moseley, we would like to hear from you first on the departmental language, if you please. General MOSELEY. General Carmichael, I think, will discuss that.
General CARMICHAEL. The first item, Mr. Chairman, is an increase of $50,000 on page 2, line 18, of the bill as reported to the House of Representatives. General Bridges, the Adjutant General, will give you information on that item.
Senator REED. In that case, the House appears to have reduced the amounts in the Budget from $250,000 down to $200,000.
General CARMICHAEL. The recommendation of the War Department was for that amount, but restored the $50,000. There is an item that comes under the Adjutant General's Department providing for the assembly of records in Washington with respect to the World War.
Senator FLETCHER. That is a $50.000 increase, confined to one particular item?
General CARMICHAEL. Yes, sir; it is one particular item. The Budget estimate is $250,000 for personnel and other expenditures necessary in getting these records in shape for such use as might be made of them in connection with the preparation of the history of the war, or for other purposes.
Senator Reed. There was no similar appropriation in last year's bill, was there?
General CARMICHAEL. No, sir; this is a new item under The Adjutant General, and General Bridges is here and can tell you what the item is for, the necessity for it, and what the full amount of money will be expended for.
Senator REED. We would like to hear General Bridges.
General Bridges. Mr. Chairman, for about 10 or 11 years, The Adjutant General has been trying to get a sum of money to perfect the World War records so that we can better and more efficiently answer inquiries from Members of Congress, the l'eterans' Bureau, and others interested, regarding claims made by the veterans of the World War. We have not been able to get those records in exactly the shape that they ought to be. But, this year the Director of the Bureau of the Budget agreed to a project which The Adjutant General proposed, of $1,011,000 to perfect these records, to assemble them properly, index them, separate the personnel records from the organization records, and put them in shape so that we can more efficiently and expeditiously do our work.
We asked for this next fiscal year $250,000 to start that project.
The next fiscal year we expect to ask for about $350,000 or $100,000, and we will go on until we finally complete the project, expending approximately $1,014,000.
The House, in considering this item of $250,000, thought that perhaps we could take some clerks from other divisions of the office of The Adjutant General and increase the force in the World War division, and thereby get along with $200,000 this year. But such is not the case, because, while the permanent force of employees of the World War division is 215, we have now stripped the other divisions of the office as much as we can, and we have now working in the World War division 230, so that we would like to have the $250,000 for the next fiscal year, if we can get it. But, we will start the project with $200,000 if that is the sense of Congress.
Senator Jones. In looking over the testimony before the House, General, I see that you gave them the number of records.
Senator ('OPELAND. Where are you reading from, Senator?
Senator Joxes. Beginning on page 13, but the detail commences on page 15. That shows the number of records and cards being in(lexed and studied.
You will see the tabulation on page 16, Senator, of the House hearings
General Bridges, for a long time I have been told that these records were not safely stored, that they are in damp cellars and places, where they are apt to go to pieces very fast. Has that condition been cured?
General BRIDGES. For a time we had some of these records in boxes and they were down in the basement. That has been corrected. We have gotten them out of the boxes and now have the records in steel filing cases, but they have never been properly assembled, indexed, and the duplicates taken out; the personnel records separated from the organization records, and when we get a case in regard to a veteran, instead of the clerk being able to go to one place and get all of the facts in regard to it, the particular clerk will have to wander all over the building, where these records are stored, before he or she can finally get the information.
Senator Jones. And you do not know that you have all of the facts even then?
General BRIDGES. That is what we want to do, assemble them, so that we can get them in proper condition, and whenever we get a request we can handle it more efficiently and expeditiously-lo our work better.
Senator Jones. You are not sure that you have all of the re ords when you look them up; that is, when a clerk goes through the records, as they are not indexed; and you do not know whether you have missed a paper or not?
General BRIDGES. Frequently we give a negative, when we might give an affirmative, if we had the records in better shape. That is true, Senator.
Senator REED. Where are they being kept; in the War Department Building?
General BRIDGES. No, sir; they are being kept in the building at Sixth and B Streets. They will have to be kept there. We have no room in the State, War, and Navy Building, for the records of veterans of the World War.
Senator COPELAND. You will see the immense number of them, on page 16.
Senator REED. Yes. I thought I saw in the basement of the State, War, and Navy Building about a month ago, several hundred boxes of these individual cards, of veterans of the World War.
General BRIDGES. No, sir; the World War records are all at Sixth and B; we have no World War records in the State, War, and Navy Building
Senator FLETCHER. If you get this new building, would that be used for the purpose of storing these records?
General BRIDGES. You mean the Archives Building?
General BRIDGES. Well, hardly. The records of the World War are probably the most active records of the War Department and will be for some years to come. You could hardly put them into an Archives Building at this time.
Senator COPELAND. Would this full amount which you have requested be a sufficient amount at the present?
General BRIDGES. Yes, sir. We only asked for $250,000 for the
Senator REED. How much did you ask of the Bureau of the Budget!
General BRIDGES. We asked for the entire project, $1,014,000.
Senator REED. How much did you ask for this year?
Senator REED. Yes; but was that all that you asked for from the Budget ; were you allowed all that you asked from the Budget?
General BRIDGES. Yes, sir; that is all that we asked for for this year.
Senator Reed. Any questions?
SALARIES, (HIEF OF BUREAU OF INSULAR AFFAIRS
Senator REED. All right. Thank you, General. General Carmichael
General CARMICHJEL. The next item is one for $380 for salaries in the office of the Chief of the Bureau of Insular Affairs. The House reduced the Budget estimate for the personnel salaries of this Bureau by $680; $300
Senator Jones. General, let me ask you: Is this on that one-third?
General CARMICHAEL. $300 of this $684) was due to 30 per cent included in the estimates by the Bureau of the Budget to increase the average pay of clerks, and $380 is required, because of the reclassitication of an employee.
Senator FLETCHER. What page and line!
This bureau has no appropriation from which, under the provisions of the annual appropriation act, it is able to make or take care of an increase due to reclassification.
Senator JONES. First, General, what line is that?
General CARMICHAEL. The next item is under contignent expenses, War Department. The estimate as submitted by the Budget is found on page 6, line 3. In the estimate by the War Department we asked the Bureau of the Budget for $157,000. It was reduced to $155,000 in the bill reported in the House, a reduction of $2,000.
The War Department recommends that this be restored. The amount is urgently needed, and it represents an amount to provide for the Judge Advocate General's Office some badly needed law books for his law library. Failure to restore that will mean that it will be necessary for him to go without these books, which are badly needed.