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(Witnesses: Burleson, Scott.)
Mr. BURLESON. I feel sure of my statements about the bills I aided to prepare, because in the Fifty-sixth Congress I was assigned to the Committee on Foreign Affairs, in the Fifty-seventh Congress I was assigned to Foreign Affairs and Census, in the Fifty-eighth Congress I was assigned to Foreign Affairs, Census, and Agriculture, and in this Congress I was assigned to Appropriations. I acquired my knowledge of what was done with reference to the Mount Weather project while I was on the Committee on Agriculture.
STATEMENT OF HON. CHARLES F. SCOTT.
(The witness was duly sworn by the chairman.)
The CHAIRMAN. Mr. Scott, how long have you been on the Agricultural Committee?
Mr. Scott. I went on the Agricultural Committee with the Fiftyseventh Congress, giving my first service in the preparation of the bill in the fiscal year ending in 1902. It was the custom in the Agricultural Committee to have quite extensive hearings during the first or long session of each Congress, and to have very much shorter hearings during the second session, so that during the first session of the Fifty-seventh Congress the hearings were very extensive. They were not so extensive in the second session, and they were long again in the first session of the Fifty-eighth and Fifty-ninth Congresses.
I should not be able, as a matter of independent recollection, to say what Professor Moore stated to us in connection with his Bureau in the first session of the Fifty-seventh Congress; but the fact that you were inquiring into this matter was brought to my attention some days ago, and I looked up the printed hearings, and find that there he refers very briefly to the fact that he had been unable to make arrangements for the construction of a station in the Yellowstone Park, as the committee, by its bill of the year previous, had directed to be done, and instead of doing that he had built one on the Blue Ridge down here at what is now known as Mount Weather.
The CHAIRMAN. That was in 1902?
Mr. Scott. That was in 1902. That testimony was given probably in January of 1903; and his reference to it was very brief, conveying no other idea to my mind than that it was a regular Weather Bureau station such as we were building then at an expense of eight to ten thousand dollars completing and equipping.
It must have been at least two years after that before I recall his making any detailed statement in regard to the institution at Mount Weather. I do remember that he went into it then in great detail, and I was deeply interested in it, because it seemed to me an eminently appropriate subject for appropriation.
The CHAIRMAN. Is this statement you refer to now one that appears in the printed hearing?
Mr. Scott. I think part of it appears in the printed hearing, although I have not looked at the hearings. It is from my recollection that I am now speaking.
The CHAIRMAN. It is the hearing of 1906 in which the extended statement appears.
Mr. SCOTT. It might have been as late as that; but, at any rate, at one of the subsequent hearings Professor Moore did go into the sub(Witness: Scott.)
ject in great detail, so that we all understood exactly what he proposed to do there and approximately the amount of money he expected to expend there.
Referring to the questions which you asked Mr. Burleson, I am obliged to say that I never did know where he got the money that was going into the institution at Mount Weather. It was not specifically named in any of our appropriation bills, and it was a matter of news and of great surprise to me to be told, as I was a few days ago, that most of this money came from appropriations that were made for the construction of weather bureau stations. It was certainly my understanding that when we made an appropriation for "not less than four" or “not more than five” weather bureau stations we meant that separate and complete stations were to be erected at different places over the country.
The CHAIRMAN. Within that limit?
Mr. Scott. Within the limit of the appropriation. It never dawned on me that any of the money appropriated by such an item could be diverted for any other purpose than the construction of a station.
The CHAIRMAN. And a completed station?
Mr. SCOTT. And a completed station. I am very clear in the recollection that the question of the construction of that item, as to whether or not it would admit of the diversion of a part of the funds to the institution at Mount Weather, was never broached at a meeting of the committee at which I was present, because, in a vague way, I wondered sometimes where Professor Moore was getting the money to put into that institution, and satisfied myself with the reflection that it must be drawn from some other appropriation bill, just as the funds for the construction of the departmental building now under erection are carried in a bill with which we do not have anything to do.
I think, Mr. Chairman, that about covers the ground as far as my recollection of it goes.
The CHAIRMAN. Then the statement made about the building in the hearing in 1902, or early in 1903, as the case may be, is the first knowledge of any kind you had about the station?
Mr. SCOTT. Exactly; and that, of course, did not
The CHAIRMAN. That did not indicate anything as to its being a continuing project?
Mr. SCOTT. It did not indicate to me that it was anything out of the ordinary run of weather bureau stations.
The CHAIRMAN. That is, your idea is that there was nothing about that statement that contraindicated the idea that it was to be a completed and fully equipped station?
Mr. SCOTT. Nothing about that statement; no.
Of course in anything that I have said I do not wish to be understood as impeaching or attempting to impeach the testimony of Professor Moore. I have the highest regard for Professor Moore, and have no doubt that whatever statement he may have made before your committee was made in entire good faith.
STATEMENT OF HON. E. STEVENS HENRY, REPRESENTATIVE
(The witness was duly sworn by the chairman.)
The CHAIRMAN. How long have you been on the Committee on Agriculture ? Mr. HENRY. Oh, a dozen years.
The CHAIRMAN. When did you first hear about the Mount Weather research institution or observatory?
Mr. HENRY. I should say possibly four years ago. Mr. Moore was before the committee to make his annual explanation, and he was asked in regard to the expenditure of money that had been given him for establishing new stations the preceding year, and he explained that one station that he had in mind I think it was in the Yellowstone Park-- was abandoned for certain reasons he gave at that time: I do not just recall the reasons now, but for good and sufficient reasons; and that he had expended that appropriation up in the Blue Ridge Mountains. I do not know that he called the place Mount Weather, but he stated that he had used that money to establish a station there. That was the first that I heard about Mount Weather.
The CHAIRMAN. And then, as you understood, the station had already been constructed in whole or in part?
Mr. HENRY. Well, yes; to a certain extent. The money had been expended there that he had thought of expending elsewhere.
The CHAIRMAN. Was anything said at that time, so far as you remember, with reference to the construction of the appropriation, and as to whether that particular appropriation authorized the beginning of a plant that should be developed from time to time, costing anywhere from two hundred to two hundred and fifty thousand dollars?
Mr. HENRY. I do not recall that there was anything said about that. Of course that was four years ago. What I gathered from it was that it was one of the regular stations he was establishing.
The CHAIRMAN. Did you gather the idea that it was a completed station, like the other stations?
Mr. HENRY. Why, yes; I think so-yes; an observation station of the same character that he had been establishing and had proposed to establish in the other places. By the way, he had a perfect righthe had latitude in locating these stations. While in a general way he indicated where he wanted to establish them, there was a certain latitude allowed him in determining where he should establish them.
The CHAIRMAN. According to your recollection, was anything said to the committee before he began the construction of the institution on Mount Weather?
Mr. HENRY. Why, no; I do not think it was necessary. He had a right to establish these stations, as I have said. The CHAIRMAN. Like other stations? Mr. HENRY. Like other stations; yes.
The CHAIRMAN. At that time, when the matter was referred to, was anything said to the committee about this being the foundation for a large plant?
Mr. HENRY. I do not think the matter was alluded to. I must say that I have not any further recollection in regard to any statement
from Mr. Moore in connection with that station until a year ago, when he came before the committee and explained what he had done and proposed to do.
The CHAIRMAN. He then made quite an elaborate explanation?
The CHAIRMAN. So that whatever statement was made in 1902, if that is when it was
Mr. HENRY. If that was the year, 1902.
The CHAIRMAN (continuing). Yes; whatever statement was made in 1902 and the statement in 1906 are all the statements that you remember of having been made about it at any time?
Mr. HENRY. I do not recall that the matter was ever brought up in any hearing that we had.
The CHAIRMAN. Or at any other time?
Mr. HENRY. Or at any other time at all. Now, I may be at fault in that matter; but my memory does not
The CHAIRMAN. It is a fact that Professor Moore, in a report made in 1903 to the Secretary of Agriculture, devoted some little time to the elaboration of the Mount Weather project.
Mr. Henry. Very likely-very likely. That would not necessarily come to the attention of the committee, however.
The CHAIRMAN. That you have no special recollection about. Then until 1906, so far as your recollection goes, the committee had no idea that an extensive plant, that might ultimately cost $250,000 and, say, $25,000 a year to maintain, was being constructed under any of those appropriations?
Mr. HENRY. Why, no. The explanation, quite a full explanation, that was made a year ago came to me somewhat as a surprise.
The CHAIRMAN. Do you want to make any further statement, Mr. Henry?
Mr. HENRY. No. A man's memory is at fault sometimes. I would not want to say that Mr. Moore had not alluded to that matter at the hearings.
The CHAIRMAN. You are only giving your best recollection?
(The committee thereupon adjourned until Saturday, February 2, 1907, at 2 o'clock p. m.)
COMMITTEE ON EXPENDITURES IN THE
DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE,
Washington, D. C., Saturday, February 2, 1907. The committee met at 2 o'clock p. m.
Present: Representatives Littlefield (chairman) and Samuel of the committee.
Present, also, Representative Lamb, of Virginia ; A. Zappone, esq., Chief of the Division of Accounts and Disbursements, Agricultural
Department; Gifford Pinchot, esq., Chief Forester, Argicultural Department, and Overton W. Price, esq., Associate Forester, Agricultural Department.
STATEMENT OF HON. JOHN LAMB.
(The witness was duly sworn by the chairman.)
The CHAIRMAN. You are now a member of the Committee on Agriculture, are you, Mr. Lamb?
Mr. LAMB. Yes, sir; I am.
The CHAIRMAN. Some question has arisen before the committee with reference to the construction of the research institution, now located at Mount Weather, and the committee would like to have you state anything that you care to state in relation to that. First, when did you first learn that there was such an institution being constructed ?
Mr. LAMB. I think it was year before last, when some question was asked the Chief of the Weather Bureau about these weather stations that were being built, and a question was asked by one member of the subcommittee, I think, touching the building in Yellowstone Park.
The CHAIRMAN. I will state right there that I think you have in your mind an examination that took place in December, 1902, because in order to properly refresh your recollection I will say that the printed report of the hearings before your committee shows that at that time, in December, 1902, this Yellowstone Park matter was referred to, and I presume that is the date you have in your mind.
Mr. LAMB. Yes, that is my recollection about that date. Of course I have not looked at the reports of the hearings at all, but I just give you my recollections now. The CHAIRMAN. Now you may proceed.
Mr. LAMB. When that question was asked, the Chief of the Weather Bureau stated that they could not get out the bids so late in the season and could not work in that particular place, and he had used the fund to build an observatory at Mount Weather. That is my recollection about it.
The CHAIRMAN. Is that the first that you remember of hearing about the Mount Weather project?
Mr. LAMB. About the first, I think.
The CHAIRMAN. Do you remember whether at that time there was any discussion on the part of Mr. Moore or the committee as to whether or not the appropriation authorizing the creation of at least, say five stations, within a limit of $50,000 did or did not authorize the beginning of that enterprise? Was there any discussion about that, do you remember?
Mr. LAMB. It seems to me that there was. That is my recollection, and there was some statement to the effect that these stations had been heretofore named in the bill.
The CHAIRMAN. That was true.