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Modernization and Line Promotion

Bills

HEARING

BEFORE THE

COMMITTEE ON RULES
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

SEVENTY-FIRST CONGRESS

THIRD SESSION

ON

S. 4750
ALTERATIONS AND REPAIRS TO CERTAIN

NAVAL VESSELS

AND

S. 550
TO REGULATE THE DISTRIBUTION AND PROMOTION
OF COMMISSIONED OFFICERS OF THE

LINE OF THE NAVY

FEBRUARY 5 AND 10, 1931

UNITED STATES
GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE

WASHINGTON ; 1931

39272

COMMITTEE ON RULES
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

SEVENTY-FIRST CONGRESS, THIRD SESSION

BERTRAND H. SNELL, New York, Chairman FRED S. PURNELL, Indiana.

EDWARD W. POU, North Carolina. EARL C. MICHENER, Michigan.

WILLIAM B. BANKHEAD, Alabama. HARRY C. RANSLEY, Pennsylvania.

JOHN J. O'CONNOR, New York.
FRANKLIN W. FORT, New Jersey.

ADOLPH J. SABATH, Illinois.
JOSEPH W. MARTIN, JR., Massachusetts.
LLOYD THURSTON, Iowa.
ELLIOTT W. SPROUL, Illinois.

MAUD A. REED, Clerk

MODERNIZATION AND LINE PROMOTION BILLS

THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 5, 1931

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES,

COMMITTEE ON RULES,

Washington, D. C. The committee met at 10.30 a. m.; The Hon. Bertrand H. Snell, chairman, presiding :

The CHAIRMAN. The committee will be in order. I will hear first the members of the Naval Affairs Committee as they have a hearing of their own this morning. Mr. Britten, chairman of the committee, we will be glad to hear from you now in regard to the matters you desire to present to this committee.

STATEMENT OF THE HON. FRED A. BRITTEN, REPRESENTATIVE

IN CONGRESS FROM ILLINOIS

Mr. BRITTEN. There are two bills, Mr. Chairman, and two resolutions pending before your honorable committee right now, both bills having been passed by the Senate, and one of the bills having been passed by the House and the Senate, in different Congresses, in their present form, without a change of a word in the bill.

Only last week Secretary Adams called on Speaker Longworth, to tell him the two most important bills for the Navy now pending before Congress, were the modernization bill and the line promotion bill, which is very necessary, owing to conditions of which I will tell you later. The President and the Secretary believe that the most important bill now pending before Congress is this bill for the modernization of three battleships.

The CHAIRMAN. You mean this bill S. 4750, a bill to authorize alterations and repairs to certain naval vessels?

[H. Res. 349, Seventy-first Congress, third session] Resowed, That upon the adoption of this resolution it shall be in order to move that the House resolve itself into the Committee of the Whole House on the state of the Union for the consideration of S. 4750, a bill to authorize alterations and repairs to certain naval vessels. That after general debate, which shall be contined to the bill and shall continue not to exceed one hour, to be equally divided and controlled by those favoring and opposing the bill, the bill shall be read for amendment under the five-minute rule. At the conclusion of the reading of the bill for amendment the committee shall rise and report the bill to the House with such amendments as may have been adopted, and the previous question shall be considered as ordered on the bill and the amendments thereto to final passage without intervening motion except one motion to recommit.

[S. 4750, Seventy-first Congress, third session] AN ACT To authorize alterations and repairs to certain naval vessels Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That for the purpose of modernizing the United States ships New Mexico, Mississippi, and Idaho alterations and repairs to such vessels are hereby authorized at a total cost not to exceed the sum of $30,000,000 in all. The alterations to the capital ships herein authorized shall be subject to the limitations prescribed in the treaty limiting naval armaments, ratified August 17, 1923.

House Report No. 2362, Seventy-first Congress, third session ] The Committee on Naval Affairs of the House of Representatives, to whom was referred the bill (S. 4750) to authorize alterations and repairs to certain naval vessels, having had the same under consideration, report favorably thereon without amendment and with the recommendation that the bill do pass.

The purpose of the bill is to authorize major alterations and repairs to the battleships Near Jerico, Mississippi, and Idaho, at the total cost not to exceed $30,000,000 in all; said alterations to be subject to the limitations prescribed by the Washington Treaty for the Limitation of Naval Armament.

Major alterations to the Florida, Utah, Arkansas, Wyoming, Ver York, and Texas were authorized by the act approved December 18, 1924, and some additional work was authorized by the act approved May 27, 1926. The first appropriation for work on these vessels was included in the deficiency appropriation act approved March 4, 1925. The balance of funds made available for work on these vessels was included in the appropriation acts approred May 21, 1926, and March 2, 1927. The Florida, dikansas, and Teras were sent to the Boston, Philadelphia, and Norfolk Navy Yards, respectively, in the fall of 1925 for the accomplishment of the work authorized. These three vessels were returned to active service after completion of their overhauls in November, 1926. The Utah, Wyoming, and New York were sent to the Boston, Philadelphia, and Norfolk Navy Yards, respectively, and placed in reduced commission preliminary to undertaking the modernization work in September, 1926. They were returned to active service after completion of this work in November, 1927.

The act approved March 2, 1927, supplemented by the act approved January 19, 1929, authorized the modernization of the Oklahoma and Nevada. Funds were appropriated for starting work on these vessels in the deficiency appropriation act approved December 22, 1927. The Oklahoma and Nevada were sent to the Philadelphia and Norfolk Navy Yards, respectively, and placed in reduced commission in September, 1927, but work was not actively undertaken on them until the latter part of December, after the appropriation of the necessary funds. The balance of the funds appropriated for work on these two vessels was included in the appropriation acts approved May 21, 1928, and March 2, 1929. The Oklahoma and Nevada were returned to active service after completion of their modernization overhauls in August, 1929.

The modernization of the Pennsylvania and Arizona was authorized by the act approved February 5, 1929. Funds were appropriated for starting work on these vessels in the appropriation act of March 2, 1929. The Pennsylvania and Arizona were sent to the Philadelphia and Norfolk Navy Yards, respectively, and placed in reduced commission in May, 1929. Work on the vessels started in July, 1929. The balance of funds appropriated for work on these two vessels was included in the appropriation act approved June 11, 1930. It is estimated that the modernization of these vessels will be completed March 1, 1931.

The Navy Department is now asking for authority for the modernization of the New Merico, Mississippi, and Idaho, with a view to taking up the work on two vessels was included in the appropriation act approved June 11, 1930. It the Pennsylvania and Arizona.

The major alterations to the Florida, Utah, Arkansas, Wyoming, Texas, and New York, included the installation of additional protection against submarine attack, the installation of air-attack deck protection, the conversion of the vessels to oil burning, and the installation of improved airplane handling appliances. In addition, the installation of new fire-control systems was undertaken on the Texas and New York. At the time the vessels were laid up for

the major alterations, miscellaneous repairs and minor alterations were undertaken, chargeable to the current appropriations for such work, amounting to approximately $300,000 for each vessel, the statutory limit for vessels of this class.

The work authorized on the Oklahoma, Nevada, Pennsylvania, and Arizona includes the installation of additional protection against submarine attack; the installation of air attack deck protection ; the reboilering of the vessels, but not conversion from coal to oil burning, as these vessels are already oil burning; the installation of new fire-control systems, of improvell airplane handling arrangements, and of a 5-inch antiaircraft battery; the raising of certain secondary battery guns from the second to the main deck; and an increase in the elevation of the turret guns. The authorization also includes an allowance for miscellaneous repairs and minor alterations, as experience with the preceding vessels had shown that all miscellaneous repairs and minor alterations that should be accomplished at the time the vessels are laid up for the major alterations could not be provided for under the statutory limit. In addition there is being installed on the Pennsylvania a protected flag battle station similar to the one installed on the California.

The work proposed by the Navy Department on the New Merico, Mississippi, and Idaho is substantially the same as the work undertaken on the Oklahoma and Yerada and the work being undertaken on the Pennsylvania and Arizona, subject to such variat ons as are necessitated by the differences in design of the several vessels. The estimates for the several items of work proposed on the New Jerico, llississippi, and Idaho are as follows:

Summary of revised estimates for modernization, New Jerico, Mississippi, and

Idalo

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The total authorization for major alterations on the Florida, l’tah, Il' yoming, Arkansas, Xeir York, and Terus was $19,710,000, to which should be added approximately $300.000 per vessel for work accomplished from the current appropriations during the period of the major overhaul. The authorization for modernization of the Oklahoma and Nevada was $13,600,000, total for both vessels. The authorization for work on the Pennsylrania and Arizona is $14,800,000, total for both vessels.

The following initiatory letter from the Secretary of the Navy and one containing the recommendation of the Bureau of the Budget, addressed to the chairman of the Committee on Naval Affairs of the House of Representatives, on House bills identical to S. 4750 are hereby made a part of this report.

NAVY DEPARTMENT,

Washington, June 17, 19.30. The CHAIRMAN COMMITTEE ON NAVAL AFFAIRS,

House of Representatives, Washington, D. (. MY DEAR MR. CHAIRMAN : Replying further to the committee's letter of June 36, 1930, transmitting the bills (H. R. 12964 and H, R. 12965) to authorize alterations and repairs to certain naval vessels, and requesting the views and recommendations of the Navy Department thereon, I have the honor to inform the committee as follows:

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