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In urging a relaxation of the requirement for renewal of bonds, the Postmaster General in a letter to the Comptroller General dated June 16, 1927, invited attention to the large amount of effort and expense incident thereto and the fact that little or nothing was accomplished in protecting the Government's financial interests by having a new document executed every 4 years. These arguments would apply with equal or greater force to the situation now prevailing in the Navy.
The proposed legislation, if enacted into law, would involve no additional expense to the Government.
The Navy Department recommends enactment of the proposed legislation.
The Navy Department has been advised by the Bureau of the Budget that there would be no objection to the submission of the proposed legislation to the Congress. Sincerely yours,
AUTHORIZING APPROPRIATIONS FOR THE UNITED STATES NAVY FOR ADDITIONAL SHIP REPAIR FACILITIES, AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES (H. R. 4061). MR. VINSON OF GEORGIA
Washington, January 22, 1944. Hon. SAM RAYBURN,
Speaker of the House of Representatives. MY DEAR MR. SPEAKER: There is transmitted herewith a draft of a proposed bill authorizing appropriations for the United States Navy for additional ship repair facilities, and for other purposes.
The purpose of the proposed legislation is to authorize the appropriation of $130,000,000 for the construction of ship repair facilities to meet the rising requirements of ship repair, chiefly on the west coast of the continental United States.
By agreement with other interested Government agencies, the Navy provides the necessary facilities for all ship repairs for both merchant and naval vessels for the Army, the Maritime Commission, and for our allies as may be required within the United States and at our outlying bases. This single responsibility for providing facilities permits and is essential to coherent planning and promotes maximum utilization of facilities at all times.
As in the past, the Navy Department, in seeking authorizations for ship-repair facilities, adheres to the policy of requesting only those facilities required by immediate needs, deferring predicted requirements until the expansion of the naval and merchant fleets and the prosecution of the war make their needs certain and immediate.
The present peak rate of accomplishment of shipbuilding programs for all types of vessels but particularly merchant vessels is expanding the repair requirements beyond the capacity of the available or authorized facilities. A study, recently completed, of the drydock and support repair facilities requirement in the east and west coast areas, on the basis of the total vessels subject to repair as of January 1, 1945, and their anticipated deployment, indicates that the repair facilities in the Atlantic and Gulf areas will be sufficient to maintain and repair the vessels expected to be operating in those areas, except for minor rounding out of existing facilities or for contingencies resulting from strategic changes. The study disclosed that in the Pacific area substantial deficiencies in repair facilities will be encountered, unless steps are taken now to provide additional facilities.
The program for which authorization is sought contemplates the following projects at the estimated cost shown: (C) Four floating drydocks suitable for large commercial vessels.
The drydocks will be approximately 15,000 tons capacity - $16, 000, 000 (6) Conversion of 3 existing west coast shipbuilding basins for use as drydocks. These basins can be made available for conversion by transferring ship construction to existing yards less critically situated ...
(c) Installation of and supporting facilities for the 4 floating dry. docks, item (a) above. It is proposed to install these docks at established repair or shipbuilding yards which will require a minimum use of critical materials and manpower, to provide supporting facilities, including berthing piers, dredging, temporary shop buildings, tools, weight-handling equipment, power, and other services
$8,000,000 (d) Submarine overhaul facilities for the simultaneous overhaul of 10 submarines in the west-coast area which is considered essential.. 10,000,000 (e) Additional development of the United States Naval Drydocks, Hunters Point, Calif., and United States Naval Drydocks, Terminal Island, Calif. As these facilities are manned and experience is obtained in the operation of them, it will, unquestionably be necessary to round out such faeilities to permit the establishments to undertake their ultimate workloads. For example, it is now apparent that provisions must be made for regunning battleships and cruisers at Hunters Point; a plant breakwater is contemplated for Terminal Island ; and at both establishments more berthing will be required.--
10,000,000 V Replacement of mobile floating repair units by installation of equivalent tools and equipment ashore. By providing these tools and equipment ashore, mobile units costing substantially more than the equivalent shore based facilities will be made available to advanced bases or other locations where mobility is essential...
1, 500,000 (9) Additional repair facilities for continental amphibious craft
activities. Because of the increase in amphibious training with the consequent increase in the number of amphibious craft requiring repairs, the facilities at amphibious training centers have become inadequate.-
1,500,000 (h) Authorization for additional appropriations to be made available
for the following purposes: (1) To complete floating drydocks previously authorized which have exceeded original estimates of cost ($23,000,000), and (2) To furnish supporting facilities for drydocks previously authorized to the extent to which it has been necessary to divert funds originally requested for this purpose to other repair facility projects more urgently needed at the time ($30,000,000)..
53, 000, 000 The act of February 19, 1943 (Public Law No. 1, 78th Cong., 1st sess.), was intended to cover the construction of a total of 48 drydocks at a total estimated cost of $133,000,000, plus necessary supporting facilities having a total estimated cost of $77,000,000. In ases in the cost of labor and materials, and important design changes (principally in the way of expanding the size of the docks) have increased the cost of the construction of the 48 drydocks to a total of approximately $165,000,000. Of this total increase of $32,000,000 over the original estimate, $9,000,000 has been charged against existing authorizations to the extent available, leaving a balance of $23,000,000 for which additional authorization must be obtained if the program is to be completed.
While the $133,000,000 authorized for the construction of the 48 drydocks was immediately allocated to such construction, the $77,000,000 set up to cover the cost of the supporting facilities was not simultaneously allocated for this purpose since the supporting facilities were not to be required until some later date. In the interim period other more urgently needed repair facility items arose for which the $77,000,000 authorization was the only one available. Use of the $77,000,000 fund to meet these items now makes it necessary to obtain additional authorization in the amount of $30,000,000 to cover the cost of the supporting facilities for which no existing authorization is now available.
Estimated cost (1) Reserve for contingencies consisting of 10 percent for possible
increased costs and 15 percent for unforeseen requirements. Experience has demonstrated the necessity for providing a reserve for use in meeting items that cannot be anticipated under the changing conditions of war. For example, it may be necessary to provide additional emergency or replacement docks, or specific facilities may become essential for specific localities to service deployments of vessels concentrated to meet new strategic situations. Although the cost estimates used are the best obtainable, it is by no means certain that they are adequate---
$26, 000, 000 Total estimated cost of program..
130,000,000 The Navy Department recommends enactment of the ptoposed legislation.
The Navy Department has been advised by the Bureau of the
Ralph A. BARD, Acting.