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MILITARY ACADEMY APPROPRIATION BILL.
May 14, 1900.-Committed to the Committee of the Whole House on the state
of the Union and ordered to be printed.
Mr. Hull, from the Committee on Military Affairs, submitted the
[To accompany H. R. 11538.]
The Committee on Military Affairs. to whom was referred the estimates for the support of the Military Academy for the fiscal year, ending June 30, 1901, submit the accompanying bill therefor and recommend the passage of the same.
The total amount appropriated by the bill is $614,164.49, which is $215,777.20 less than the estimates.
The estimates contained in the book of estimates, pages 136 to 146, and pages 235 to 244, are $702,292.99; these estimates are supplemented by additional estimates as follows: House Document No. 353, $1,685.50; House Document No. 416, $7,773.20.
Letter of the Secretary of Treasury of May 8, 1900, $148,190, which is herewith printed, and is as follows: TREASURY DEPARTMENT, OFFICE OF THE SECRETARY,
Washington, May 8, 1900. SIR: I have the honor to transmit herewith, for the consideration of Congress, copy of a communication from the Secretary of War, of this date, submitting an estimate of appropriation for buildings and grounds, Military Academy, for the fiscal year 1901, $148, 190. Respectfully,
· L. J. GAGE,
Secretary. The SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES.
Washington, May 8, 1900. Sir: I have the honor to forward herewith for transmission to Congress a supple mental estimate ($148,190) of appropriation for “Buildings and grounds, Military Academy,” required for the use of the War Department for the service of the fiscal year ending June 30, 1901. Very respectfully,
Secretary of War. The SECRETARY OF THE TREASURY.
Estimates of "ppropriations required for the sorrice of the fiscal year ending June 30, 1901,
by the War Department.
Buildings and grounds, Military Academy:
stone as seen from the plain, with three stories on the river front. For remodeling hotel: Building a west wing to correspond to the east
one, building up the north wing over dining room, removing Cold
69,200.00 Total ....
148, 190.00 Amount appropriated for the current fiscal year ending June 30, 1900
165, 688. 50 Note.—The enlargement contemplated is much needed in summer, when there are many visitors here. The Cold Spring wing is of wood and very Aimsy. Steam heat is essential to make the hotel comfortable in cold weather. The great majority of rooms are without heat or any means of providing it.
The hotel, on account of the situation of West Point, a necessary adjunct to the Military Academy, was erected from funds procured from the sale of timber on the military reservation seventyfive years ago. Since then it has been enlarged from time to time and kept in repair by the rental received from it. This is now no longer practicable, and the building is in such condition it should be either remodeled or replaced by a new one. From a careful examination made it is believed the former is practicable and will be much less costly than the latter. The interior of it is now so antiquated in design and so obsolete in its appointments it is impossible for those who are compelled to come to West Point to find in the hotel the ordinary conveniences and comforts which a building owned by the United States should furnish. As the primary purposes of the hotel are for the accommodation of the boards of visitors to the Academy and other officials of the Government, and for the accommodation of the parents and guardians of cadets, it is obvious the house should be remodeled and refitted. Especially is this so now, for there is no longer sufficient hotel accommodations within any reasonable or convenient distance of the military reservation. The renovation of the present building contemplates a three-story wing 40 by 62 feet on the west end of the present building, the reconstruction and enlargement of the present one-story north wing, the interior reconstruction of the present building, and fitting the whole with steam heat and modern plumbing.
A detailed statement of the appropriations for the Military Academy during the past five years is as follows:
Under the head of permanent establishment the item of pay of cadets is reduced from $200,340, as given in the estimates, to $185,000. This reduction was made for the reason that there are now only 336 cadets in the Academy, while the estimates are made on 371.
Under the head of extra pay of officers the bill carries the same amount as estimated for. Under the head of band and general army service there is apparently an increase over the estimates, in the item of pay of general army service, the item at top of page 5 of the bill for pay of 109 privates, $16,994.
The estimates called for only 104 privates, $16,224, which Colonel Mills testified was an error (page 24 of hearings), and the committee felt justified in raising the appropriation accordingly.
Under the same head on page 6 is appropriated for pay of artillery detachment several items amounting to $9,396.
The estimate for this item was for extra pay of 28 enlisted men of cavalry detachment employed on additional duty with the instruction battery of field artillery, United States Military Academy, at $20 each, $560.
Colonel Mills has fully explained the necessity for this artillery detachment in his hearings before the committee (see pages 24, 25, 26, 27, 28), and has explained fully that while this is seemingly an increase, yet it is practically no increase above the pay of the extra noncommissioned officers, which, in reality, would be no more than the estimate to have this work done as extra duty by the cavalry soldiers, and much better results would be obtained.
Page 9 of the bill contains a proviso for the purpose of giving extra pay to the enlisted men of the general army service. These men are enlisted with a special contract that they are to receive this extra-duty pay for services specially at the Military Academy. They do not perform the duties of a soldier in the ordinary sense, but are mechanics and laborers, and are enlisted especially for this service with the understanding that they are to receive this extra-duty pay. On account of the passage of the law increasing the pay of all soldiers 20 per cent during the time of war, and not allowing any extra-duty pay, they have not been paid this extra-duty pay for two years that their terms of enlistment clearly entitle them to. This proviso restores this extra-duty pay to them, less 20 per cent which they have already drawn.
Page 12, line 5, is an item for pay for one janitress for Memorial Hall, $600. This is in addition to the estimates, and was put into the bill upon the earnest request of Colonel Mills, superintendent of the Military Academy. The necessity of this iteṁ can be best shown by referring to Colonel Mills's hearings before the committee, on page 37.
On page 23 of the bill, lines 11 and 12, is an item of $3,000 for maintaining and improving the grounds at the post cemetery. The estimate on this item was only $1,000, but upon Colonel Mills's earnest request it was raised to $3,000. His reasons for this
be found on page 50 of his hearing before this committee, where he explains that it has been made necessary to enlarge the cemetery and take in quite a lot of rough ground at the west end within the last year, and since this estimate was submitted last September, and that the $1,000 named in the estimate was only sufficient to maintain the cemetery in proper order; and your committee believe that the increase in this estimate is necessary to properly clear and otherwise beautify the new addition to the cemetery.
The other items appropriated are all fully set forth in the estimate, and the reasons for the appropriations, other than given in the estimates, may be found in the hearing of Colonel Mills.