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provement of ammunition handling facilities at Fort Mifflin and Iona Island; and the construction of a Naval Medical Center at or near Washington, D. C.
The work of the Bureau of Yards and Docks is carried on under the immediate supervision of ofhcers of the Corps of Civil Engineers—115 in number. Seventy of these officers were appointed from civil life and the remainder are graduates of the Naval Acadamy, having been given postgraduate courses at a civil technical school after they were selected for the Corps. Distribution of estimate for Public Works projects-Appropriation Act
Navy Yard, Pearl Harbor, Hawaii:
Additional improvement and harbor and
accessories for officers.. Naval radio station, Annapolis, Md.: Shore pro
tection.. Submarine base, Coco Solo, Canal Zone:
Quarters and accessories for chier petty officers.
Quarters and accessories for officers.
Extension of main wharf...
Replacement of pier and fire pump intake and
Barracks and messhall for enlisted men.
Roads, walks, and services.... Fleet Air Base, Coco Solo, Canal Zone:
Quarters for chief petty officers.
Extension of hangar No. 101.
Washington, D. C.: Acquisition of land and
NAVY YARD, PEARL HARBOR, HAWAII
IMPROVEMENT OF HARBOR AND CHANNEL
Mr. UMSTEAD. Admiral, will you take up now the items requested for the navy yard at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii?
Admiral MOREELL. Yes, sir. We ask for additional improvement of harbors and channels in the fourteenth naval district, which includes Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, $1,500,000.
The Pearl Harbor Navy Yard is located on the south shore of the island of Oahu, about 5 miles from the sea and 11 miles from Honolulu. The general strategic area includes all of the islands of the Hawaiian group and those to the westward, but not including Guam or Samoa. The navy yard is the Navy's principal outlying naval base and the harbor is the only adequate protected anchorage ground for concentrations of the fleet in Hawaiian waters. The yard is intended as a repair establishment for units of the fleet. With the passage of years since the station was first established it has become of increasing importance and is now one of the primary bases of thr fleet.
This project contemplates a continuation of the development of the harbor and channel by the dredging of the anchorage area oll the north side of the channel around Ford Island in East Loch, to provide a mooring area for the fleet. It is important that this ares be dredged to a depth sufficient to allow for the placing of mooringe to make best use of the areas so that the greatest number of shop practicable can be moored. Upon the completion of the anchorage areas mooring will be placed for berthing units of the fleet in postions where ingress and egress can be effected in the quickest possible time. The areas to be dredged are now from 16 feet to 24 feet deep and it is contemplated to dredge these areas to a minimum of 33 feet deep. The material dredged will be disposed of in locations where it will not interfere with naval or private interests.
Mr. UMSTEAD. Admiral, I believe that rather large sums of mo!" have been appropriated over a period of years for dredging Pear: Harbor?
Admiral MOREELL. Yes, sir.
Mr. C'MSTEAD. Is it your opinion that there will be annually curring appropriations for that purpose ?
Admiral MOREELL. It is, sir, but not for an indefinite period.
DREDGE “HELL GATE" Mr. UMSTEAD. If I recall correctly, in the 1937 appropriation bill Congress provided funds under this item for the purpose of pur chasing from the Army a dredge. This year, in February, as I recall, we were told, when considering the estimates for 193x, the the dredge had been purchased and that some effort had been made by the Department to put it in proper condition. Where is it now!
Admiral MOREELL. It is at Pearl Harbor, sir.
Admiral MOREELL. At the present time the Nary does not template dredging with it. But I think it is pertinent to state tist the Army has made a request for permission to use it at Want Island in connection with the development of that harbor. This work has been authorized by the Congress and it is understood fuii's are available for it.
Mr. UMSTEAD. How far is Wake Island from Hawaii!
Mr. UMSTEAD. I think it is fair to make the further statement the in addition to the probability of actually using the dredge in Peril Harbor, it was indicated that the ownership of the dreilge by the Navy Department and its location in Hawaii would have a tenden« to enable the Government and the Navy Department to obtain better contracts for dredging work in that area, that is to say, it woull tend to compel private companies to make lower bids. Ha: 1 achieved that result ?
Admiral MOREELL. The fact is, Mr. Chairman, that the prices of dredging under the last two contracts, made in 1936 and 1937, were lower than the price under the contract made in 1934. . Mr. UMSTEAD. Do you ascribe it to that cause?
Admiral MOREELL. If I did, sir, it would be tantamount to stating that the contractor at Pearl Harbor required this threat in order to cause him to give the Government a fair price, and I am not prepared to say that that is the case.
Mr. PLUMLEY. Mr. Chairman, might I ask right there if that dredge was moved to Wake Island and disappeared from Pearl Harbor, in view of your question, what effect would that have?
Admiral MORREELL. The use of the dredge at Wake Island would be only temporary, Mr. Plumley, over a period of not to exceed approximately a year. The proposal made by the Army provides for the return of the dredge to the Navy at Pearl Harbor on the completion of the work at Wake Island. Mr. PLUMLEY. That is what I wished to get on the record.
Mr. UMSTEAD. What is your opinion regarding the prospects of future bids for dredging, as compared with present prices ?
Admiral MOREELL. That is a very difficult thing to state, Mr. Chairman, because we know that construction costs in the United States are going up. On the contrary, dredging prices at Pearl Harbor seem to be going down. Now, whether that is due to the fact that the nature of the material is different and the difficulties of working in the inner harbor are not as great as those of working in the outer reaches of the channel, I am not prepared to state. Last year, in the discussion before this committee, the point was made that the lower price offered by the contractor might very well be attributed to the fact that the working conditions were safer in the inner harbor than on the outside.
Mr. PLUMLEY. Mr. Chairman, I should like to ask if it is not, nevertheless, a fact that the reduction in the price of dredging was noticed after this dredge appeared there?
Admiral MOREELL. No, sir. A difference in the price of dredging occurred in 1936. The change was from 65 cents a cubic yard under the 1934 contract to 51 cents a cubic yard under the 1936 contract. The bids on the latter contract were opened on August 5, 1936, and the dredge arrived at Pearl Harbor on June 21, 1937, about a year
Mr. PLUMLEY. Was that bid opened before there was any agitation with respect to the transfer of the dredge to Pearl Harbor ?
Admiral MOREELL. I do not recall, Mr. Plumley, that there was any agitation about the transfer of the dredge to Pearl Harbor. The dredge Hell Gate was actually delivered to the New York Navy Yard on June 15, 1936. The contractor's bid was dated at Honolulu July 24, 1936. Whether, at the time he made his bid, the contractor knew that the dredge had been acquired and would ultimately be sent to Pearl Harbor, I do not know. However, the hearings on the 1937 appropriation bill, which were published before the bids were solicited, indicate plainly that the Department was considering the purchase of dredging equipment.
Mr. PLUMLEY. I will just state that it seemed to be the consensus of opinion, that was communicated at least to me, and I think to some other members of the committee, that were it not for the fact that the dredge is there, you would be paying a lot more for dredg. ing than you are now—and that was by officials of the Navy Department. .
CONTINUANCE OF DREDGING PROGRAM ESSENTIAL AT PEARL HARBOR
Mr. UMSTEAD. Admiral, as I understand it, the continuation at present of the dredging program is essential to the security and accommodation of the fleet at Pearl Harbor ?
Admiral MOREELL. That is my understanding, Mr. Chairman.
However, it is not my function to determine the necessity for installing facilities for the fleet. The Chief of Naval Operations, who has a representative here today, is the official who decides on the necessity for the improvements.
Mr. UMSTEAD. Yes. But the necessity in this case is the justifyir, cause, I take it.
Admiral MOREELL. Yes, sir. Capt. C. M. Austin is here, and is prepared to state the justifying reasons for the work at Pearl Harbor.
Captain AUSTIN. The development of a deeper channel in the entrance to Pearl Harbor and in the harbor itself is necessary in ont : that the fleet may enter with all types of all ships. Part of the dredging program inside the harbor is necessary in order to have the required berthing space available. The needs for increased water in the harbor have been worked out as a result of a war plan studs. Detailed drawings and studies were made of how each and every vessel would be berthed, that we might expect to call into use in the case of an overseas campaign in the area. That berthing space is a part of the program essential to its accomplishment.
CONTRACTS FOR DREDGING IN HAWAIIAN ISLANDS
Mr. SchrUGHAM. Admiral, was the dredge recently brought over there the one named the Hell Gate?
Admiral MOREELL. Yes, sir.
Mr. SCRUGHAM. Have you had any disaster with that dredge since it was taken to Hawaii?
Admiral MOREELL. No, sir; we have not.
Mr. SCRUGHAM. Before you assumed your present post, Admiral Moreell, you were located in the Hawaiian Islands?
Admiral MOREELL. Yes, sir.
Mr. SCRUGHAM. And you occupied the position of public works officer out there?
Admiral MOREELL. Yes, sir. Mr. SCRUGHAM. You were connected with the matter of the maintenance of yards and docks in the Hawaiian Islands?
Admiral MOREELL. Yes, sir. Mr. SCRIGHAM. Who negotiates the contracts for the dredging in the Hawaiian Islands?
Admiral MOREELL. Those contracts are not negotiated, Governor The contracts are advertised, as is any other contract for public works, bids are received and opened in the usual manner, and the contract is let to the lowest responsible bidder, provided his bid is a price which appears to be attractive to the Navy Department.
Mr. SCRUGHAM. Who awards the contracts!
when I saylted in the that the pre
Admiral MOREELL. The Chief of the Bureau of Yards and Docks.
Mr. Thom. Is it not a fact that Admiral Smith heretofore has testified that by reason of the presence of the dredge in the Hawaiian Islands he was able to negotiate a cheaper contract with the dredging company?
Admiral MOREELL. I think if you will refer to the hearings held last year, Mr. Thom, you will see that Admiral Smith did not go on record as stating positively that the presence of the dredge Hell Gate in Hawaii resulted in the lower bids. I think my memory is correct when I say that Admiral Smith stated that the presence of the Hell Gate probably had an effect but that the difference in working conditions would also have an effect. I believe his statement was not positive.
Mr. Thom. Did you have anything to do with letting the contract for dredging in the Hawaiian Islands during your stay?
Admiral MOREELL. No, sir. I was only in Hawaii for a month and 2 days, sir.
Mr. Thom. You are not conversant with the history of the contracts for dredging in the Hawaiian Islands?
Admiral MOREELL. I am conversant with that history, sir, because I was in the Bureau of Yards and Docks before I went out there. However, all of the contracts had been let before I arrived at Pearl Harbor.
Mr. SCRUGHAM. You indicated that the difference in the difficulty. of dredging could have been responsible for the lower contract price. What could have been this difference?
Admiral MOREELL. The principal difference is that in the outer reaches of the channel the contractors' equipment was exposed to the hazards and difficult working conditions of severe wave action. This location is practically in the open sea, as you may recall. Then there was a difference in the character of the material. Under one of the current contracts, for which we have a price of 4812 cents a cubic yard, there is a larger proportion of soft material than under the previous contracts for work in the channel. Under the other current contract, the work is entirely in soft material and the price is 17440 cents per cubic yard. So it is plainly evident that the prices have a direct relation to the character of the material and the hazards.
Mr. Thom. Now, in the particular vicinity where the dredging is to take place under this appropriation for 1939, what do you expect in the way of bids?
Admiral MOREELL. Assuming that all of the dredging is done in the mooring areas, that material, as far as we know now, is very soft, and we expect to get that work accomplished for something less than 20 cents a cubic yard. That will be, probably, all hydraulic dredging.
Mr. Thom. That is all.
MOORING FACILITIES AND ACCESSORIES, NAVY YARD, PEARL HARBOR, HAWAII
Admiral MOREELL. At the Navy Yard, Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, we ask, for mooring facilities and accessories, $325,000.
The Navy Yard, Pearl Harbor, is the concentration point for the United States Fleet during maneuvers in the Pacific and adequate and safe anchorage acreas should be provided in the protected harbor to accommodate as much of the fleet as possible, in a manner such