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So I have asked for two more helpers and a readjustment of the wages there. The people come into our oflice and get a call from some other bureau, and leave us and we do not get any benefit from them, and keep constantly educating people and they go to some other bureau.
Then, I ask for seven instead of four laborers and four helpers instead of two, and three at $600 each, instead of two at $660 each and one at $600, and for one at $180 instead of one at $300. This is a reductionin pay, because the man is very old and has asked for it himself. We have cut him down to $180 at his own request, because he knows he can not do as much work.
That covers all the increases and amounts to $10,000. The men are all very deserving men and it is nothing more than fair to give them this increase, and I earnestly request that the committee may see their way clear to give these small increases in salaries to the men who have worked so long and faithfully in the office; and it is necessary for the benefit of the office and to carry on the work properly:
Mr. STAFFORD. How old is the gentleman who recognizes his inabilities and urged to be superannuated because he could not perfom the work?
Capt. SNOWDEN. He must be 80 years old. He is an old employee. Mr. STAFFORD. He is virtually being pensioned ?
Capt. Snowden. He was the Secretary's messenger for many years, and was transferred to this office.
Mr. STAFFORD. He is virtually being pensioned by the Government?
PURCHASE OF COPPER PLATES, STEEL PLATES, ETC.
The next item is the one for copper plates, and so on. I have asked for an increase of $4,000, and that, as the committee will understand, is due entihely to the rise in the cost of materials. Four thousand dollars is very small increase, and if the committee cares to I can show them how everything has practically doubled in cost. Our chart paper has gone up from 13 cents to 204 cents, our pilot-chart paper from 7 cents to 10 cents, and so on, with reference to all these different materials.
Mr. Byrns. You also want to provide for stationery, furniture, and miscellaneous supplies under this item. Where have you been getting those heretofore?
Capt. SNOWDEN. Unfortunately, we have been getting those things out of the main fund, and we can not well afford to do it, because our appropriation is so small. We have to send this material out from the office to the people in the field, and if we have to provide this out of that appropriation it handicaps us very much in the office.
Mr. Byrns. How much do you figure it would cost to provide the stationery, furniture, and miscellaneous supplies estimated for under this item?
Capt. Snowden. $4,000 is the increase we ask for the whole thing.
Mr. Byrys. That is the total increase. Is that increase asked for because you want to include stationery, furniture, and miscellaneous supplies?
Capt. SNOWDEN. No, sir; that is just because of the increased cost of the materials.
Mr. Byrns. What I was trying to get at is how much you figure it would cost out of this appropriation to provide stationery, furniture, and miscellaneous supplies estimated for here.
Mr. Bogte. That is inserted there really because we have no authority to buy furniture or stationery out of our appropriation. The only money we can get for furniture is from the Secretary.
Mr. Byrns. He has asked for an increase of $13,000 over and above what he had this year.
Mr. BOGUE. At times we have to go out and buy a chart case, which sometimes runs as high as $1,000, and it gets up to the disbursing clerk and he is afraid to pay it because our appropriation has no provision for buying furniture.
Mr. Byrxs. Can you not get an allotment from the department for that purpose!
Mr. BOGUE. We had $150 for the whole office. This year they raised it to $500, but they even include typewriters in that amount, and that does not provide for the chart cases and equipment we need.
Capt. SNOWDEN. Under the law we can repair furniture, but we can not buy any new furniture, and sometimes we want some little thing, like a chair replaced, and we can not do it under this language.
Mr. Bogue. The department has asked for that for several years.
Mr. Byrns. It has been the custom of the committee to provide for expenditures of that kind under a general head for the entire department. They have come in and asked the committee to give them $13,000 additional for next year, and you can readily see if we undertook to write into the appropriations for the various bureaus of the department authorizations for expenditure for certain things that are given to the department as a whole under a general fund then the committee and Congress would not know exactly how much they were appropriating for these specific purposes.
Mr. BOGUE. There is a little difference in our office, because our appropriation is for all general expenses, while no other bureau of the department has such a fund, and they are allotted funds by the Secretary out of the contingent fund; but our office has its own running expense fund, and the only items we can not buy are stationery and furniture. We do buy equipment, tools, etc.
Mr. STAFFORD. That is something which is specially needed by your bureau, whereas, stationery and furniture is general to the whole department.
Mr. BOGUE. We buy stationery out of this appropriation, really. Mr. STAFFORD. Under what authorization?
Mr. Bogue. It comes under printing materials for drawing, engraving, and printing, materials for mounting of charts, etc.; but the words - furniture” and “stationery” do not specifically appear.
Mr. STAFFORD. There is no authority, as I read it, for the buying of any stationery as such. Have you ever had the question up with the comptroller as to whether you are authorized out of this item to purchase office stationery?
Mr. Bogte. It has been up from time to time, yes, sir; and the department has had to squeeze some money out of its own appropriation, and even ask for extra funds.
Mr. STAFFORD. I am asking whether you have had the question of authorization up with the Comptroller of the Treasury as to the purchase of staticnery.
Mr. Bogte. He has ruled that furniture can not be bought.
Capt. Snowdex. I think that is passed by, but he rules against furniture.
Mr. STAFFORD. Has he ruled on the question of stationery, because I do not find any authorization here for the purchase of stationery.
Mr. BOGUE. Not on stationery, but he has on furniture.
Mr. Byrns. You are asking for an increase in the appropriation under the head of contingent expenses of branch offices.
Capt. SxowDEN. Yes, sir. We have no authority to buy books of reference for these offices, and we would very much like to have that put in, if possible. We can not even buy a dictionery for those offices under the present contingent expense appropriation. The other point there is an increase of $2,000 in the estimate for the contingent expenses, and as I said a moment ago that is due to the fact we have to pay out of our own main office fund for all the stationery, and those things, of course, have gone up in price and we need more money for that purpose. We are asking for $12,000 instead of $10,000. The amount is small, but it is a very important item to us, and it handicaps the office very much by having so little.
Mr. STAFFORD. In the administration of this item do you make allowances or do you purchase the materials here and forward them to the various branch offices?
Capt. SNOWDEN. They make requisition on us for these things, and they can buy them where they are.
Mr. STAFFORD. You make an allowance to them and do not make the purchases here and forward them?
Capt. Snowden. We make an allowance to them; yes, sir. But lately we have had to pay for things for them out of our own fund, and it handicaps the office here very much with the small appropriation we have ourselves.
Mr. BYRNs. Going back to the appropriation for the purchase of copperplates, etc., can you tell us how much has been spent out of that fund since July 1? Can you furnish that for the record ?
Capt. SNOWDEN. Yes, sir. Appropriation, “ Contingent and miscellaneous erponses, Hydrographic Office, Mr. Byrxs. Will you also furnish for the record a statement showing how much of this fund for contingent expenses of branch offices has been expended up to this time since July 1?
$26, 000,00 Sale of charts and publications to Dec. 1, 1916.
S, 737. 44
34, 73.5. 44
l'aid accounts Outstanding requisitions.
$13, 245, 77
6, 816. 48
20, 092. 25
Available balance Dec. 1, 1916.
14, 643. 19
Capt. SNOWDEN. Yes, sir.
Appropriation, “ Contingent and miscellaneous e.rpenses, Hydrographic Office,
1917." Branch offices.
$10, 000. 00 Payments
$2, 602. 43 Obligations to Dec. 1, 1916, including rent, telephone, etc., for the whole year.
6, 112. 23
8. 714. 64
Available balance Dec. 1, 1916.
1, 28.7. 36
EMPLOYEES AT BRANCH OFFICES.
Mr. Byrns. You are asking for an increase in the appropriation for services of necessary employees at branch offices!
Capt. Snowden. Yes, sir; that is a most deserving case, because we have so many people who receive very small salaries. We have in those offices 13 people at less than $800 a year. I am asking for a small amount, $3,980, for increases all along the line for those people. We are losing a great many of those people who are going to other places in civil life, and we are very much handicapped by it.
Mr. Byrns. Do you intend to increase the personnel?
Capt. Sxowdex. No, sir; just give a little increase over their present pay to some of those people who have been there nearly 30 years. We have a messenger at the Philadelphia office who has been in the office 29 years.
Mr. Byrns. What is the largest salary paid?
Capt. SNOWDEN. The largest salary is that of one nautical expert, at $1,600. The rest of them all get $1,200 except one who gets $1,400. The largest increase asked for is $300 for a messenger, and $80 is the least. We are losing those people all the time because they are going to the Post Office Department and every other department.
Mr. BYRNs. Some question has been raised as to whether or not you would be privileged to increase their salaries under the general law, which applies to employees to be paid out of lump-sum appropriations, passed, I tihnk, in 1913. The act passed March 4, 1913, provides:
That no part of any money contained herein or hereafter appropriated in lump sum shall be available for the payment of personal services at a rate of compensation in excess of that paid for the same or similar services during the preceding fiscal year.
And it provides further: That this section shall not apply to mechanics, artisans, their helpers and assistants, laborers, or any other employees whose duties are of similar character and required in carrying on the various manufacturing or constructing operations of the Government.
Capt. Snowdex. That had not occurred to me. To overcome that provision, which manifestly works an injustice in the present instance, I would suggest that after the amount $21,940 you add a proviso, in substance, somewhat as follows: “And the Secretary of the Navy is authorized to increase the pay of employees at branch hydrographic offices at any time during the fiscal year ending June 30, 1918, within the limits of this appropriation."
Mr. Byrns. I simply call that to your attention so that you can take it into consideration. That will be found in the Statutes at Large, volume 37, page 790, section 4. The act was passed March 4, 1913.
Mr. STAFFORD. It would not prevent you from increasing the salaries of laborers and mechanics?
Capt. SNOWDEN. No, sir.
Mr. Byrns. If their services are required in carrying on the various manufacturing and constructing operations of the Government.
Capt. SNOWDEN. These are mostly messengers. We have in charge at this branch office some technical men, men from the Naval Academy and some of them men in the Naval Militia. They are very able men, and I do not see why they should stay in those places. I am anxious to give them a lift if I can, and if there is any way under the law by which it can be done, I will do it.
Mr. BYRNs. I simply submit that provision for your consideration. Capt. SNOWDEN. Yes, sir.
FRIDAY, DECEMBER 1, 1916.
STATEMENT OF CAPT. J. A. HOOGEWERFF, SUPERINTENDENT.
Mr. BYRNS. Your estimates involve a net increase of four employees and $6,360 in money.
Capt. HOOGEWERFF. Mr. Byrns, up to the present time the higher astronomical positions in the Naval Observatory have been filled by the professors of mathematics in the Navy and by other naval officers in some cases. The last naval bill abolished the corps of professors of mathematics, and the most able people at the observatory who do the astronomical work, and who have done it in the past, have nearly always done that work with the expectation of becoming professors of mathematics in the Navy, in which position they would get higher pay. That has been all the advancement that has been before them, and during the past 20 years the number of professors of mathematics assigned to the Naval Observatory at any one time, and engaged in astronomical work, has varied from three to seven, the average being five. As I have said, the naval bill has abolished the corps of professors of mathematics.
I told the Secretary and the Assistant Secretary at the time, that while there was no great objection to that, so far as the Naval Observatory was concerned, unless they provided for some one to take their place at the observatory, it would simply go down. · You can not get good men unless you have some prospect of advancement before them, and, more than that, if you wait for a few years on this thing the men who are at the top there in the civil positions would go outside for better pay. This would go to one of the best men there, and I think that one of them would probably fill it. Of course, I would