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We thought that, if we were going to do so, this engineering talent should be brought to bear in the very early stages of the design.
As a result of this thinking, we recommended to the Chief of Engineers that we be allowed to let some contracts on overall studies to outside industry. We did not feel we should depend on one contractor only, and we recommended that we be allowed to let more than one contract. This recommendation was approved.
As a result of that approval we let the two contracts under discussion, that is, to Food Machinery & Chemical Corp., and Jered Industries.
In setting out the scope of this work we tried to list everything that we could think of that we wanted these people to investigate. In other words, these were specific things that they must look into, and we emphasized to these people many times that the sky was the limit so so far as their investigation was concerned, that anything that they could design or invent would be satisfactory with us so long as it was practical and could be used.
We made it very plain to them that we did not want a lot of socalled harebrained ideas which would be of no practical value to us and which we could not incorporate in our final design.
After these contracts were let, we decided that it would not be a good idea for these contractors to go home and work for 4 months, which was the period the contracts were to run, and come back with the same layout we had worked out here.
We had been working on this job for some months now, and had many drawings quite well along. So we decided to show the contractors everything that we had done so they would know as much as possible about the job before starting their work.
We emphasized to them that they were acting as consulting engineers to us and we expected them to come up with recommendations at the end of these studies as to exactly the type of structures we should use, the arrangement of the machinery, the type of drive line, the type of suspension, the type of water propulsion system, and every other item involved.
Now, that, sir. I think is the statement which will give you the reason why we thought we should let contracts to outside firms to make sure that we had not missed the boat, because this is to be an extremely costly job, and I suppose that we might assume that when completed and adopted that based on military bridges we have bought in the past that we can expect a minimum of probably $100 million will be involved in procurement of such equipment.
Mr. HARDY. Well, you gave them all the design work that you had done; you made that available to them.
Mr. MULLINS. We showed them everything that we had worked out.
Mr. HARDY. And they came back and said, OK, boys, you did a good job, that is what you ought to go ahead with.
Mr. MULLINS. Not exactly. We got very extensive reports and also this is the type of report, Mr. Hardy, that we got.
Mr. HARDY. Which one is that, Food Machinery?
Mr. MULLINS. Yes.
Mr. HARDY. You said $116,000 for that.
Mr. MULLINS. No, sir. We paid $51,000 for that. At the same time that we let these study contracts, the question came up: Should this vehicle have installed as the drive system a mechanical drive line, an electric drive line, or a hydraulic drive line?
Now, that is a very difficult problem to determine.
Mr. HARDY. What had you already recommended?
Mr. MULLINS. I had not recommended either yet, and that was the particular thing that we wanted these people to investigate, was all of those drive lines. And, of course, if they could come up with a scheme that was better than ours we would set ours aside and adopt theirs.
Mr. HARDY. It would be a whole lot easier for them to use what you had, though, wouldn't it?
Mr. MULLINS. Sir, I am quite sure that they would not have dared come back on that basis, because they were told:
If you come back and recommend anything other than this, we will want to adopt it, but it has to be proven better than what we have worked out here. Mr. HARDY. Well, you sure did tell them, if you have to prove it better than what we have got, you better take what we have got. Mr. MULLINS. We told them that we were not interested in just coming back and handing us a report, Sir.
Mr. HARDY. Well, I don't know. I would like to know what you got for this money. You say fifty-some-thousand dollars-what is this $116,000 shown?
Mr. MULLINS. That was for the design of an electrical drive line. Now, when this firm came back with
Mr. HARDY. That is in addition to the $51,000?
Mr. MULLINS. That is right.
Mr. HARDY. So in total, you paid Food Machinery $167,000 for this? Mr. MULLINS. No, no.
Mr. HARDY. How much?
Mr. MULLINS. The contract with Food Machinery was for the design of an electric drive line and an overall study. They were given 4 months to complete the overall study, and when they came in with the overall study they recommended that the mechanical drive line be used. As a result, we closed the contract for the electric drive line and paid them off.
Mr. HARDY. You mean because they didn't recommend what you wanted?
Mr. MULLINS. No; they were supposed to recommend what they thought was best. They already had a contract to make the complete drawings and design for an electric drive line for us, but they recommended in their overall study that the mechanical drive line was best; that we were not quite to the state of the art where we could use an electric drive line.
As a result, we closed out the electric drive line.
Mr. HARDY. And used a mechanical line which they did recommend?
Mr. MULLINS Used a mechanical drive line which they recommended.
Mr. HARDY. I was interested in trying to find out just exactly what we got for all this money.
How much money did you pay Food Machinery altogether on this? Mr. MULLINS. The total, we paid $93,260.
Mr. HARDY. That included a drive line business which we have just been talking about, plus a design study?
Mr. MULLINS. That is right, a design study plus what work they had done to the time we closed it out on the electric drive line.
Mr. HARDY. Then this $116,705 figure we have is a wrong figure. Mr. MULLINS. That is not just for the overall study.
Mr. HARDY. Well, what is it for?
Mr. MULLINS. It is for the overall study plus the design of the electric drive line.
Mr. HARDY. But that finally didn't come up to about $95,000.
Mr. HARDY. Please.
Mr. NEW. The original contract price was set at this figure you have before you, $116,000. That called for two items of work, as just explained, one for the overall study, one for the electric drive system. When the first study was made, the 4-month study, it was determined that the mechanical drive should be adopted, so all work was ordered stopped on the electric drive. Therefore the original amount of the contract was reduced from the $116,000 to the figure just quoted, $93,000, which is the total amount paid or to be paid to Food Machinery. Mr. HARDY. In other words, you amended their contract and stopped what they were doing on the electric drive line?
Mr. NEW. Yes, sir. And had they recommended the electric drive, we probably would have gone on through with the contract, but they said "We think the mechanical drive is better," so we stopped work on the electric drive.
Mr. HARDY. And so instead of $116,000 you had $90-some thousand that you actually paid them?
Mr. NEW. Yes, sir.
Mr. MULLINS. That is right.
Mr. SANDWEG. Well, then the figure we have is incorrect.
Mr. New. It is not incorrect, sir, for the contract as a whole. The contract was a combination; it covered two items.
Mr. HARDY. It was amended.
Mr. SANDWEG. It was my assumption that the figures in here were what was paid.
Mr. MULLINS. No, that is the original figures on the contract. Mr. HARDY. Now did they also carry a recommendation that the contract for the production of this vehicle be negotiated with Food Machinery?
Mr. MULLINS. No, Sir.
Mr. HARDY. They didn't include that recommendation?
Mr. MULLINS. No, sir.
Mr. HÉBERT. That is strange. That is the exception from the rule. Mr. COURTNEY. Mr. New.
Mr. MULLINS. We are still waiting for that.
Mr. HÉBERT. You will get it, don't worry.
Mr. SANDWEG. Have either of these companies ever built assault ferries before? Has anyone built them, of the nature you are speaking of here?
General TRUDEAU. Yes, there was one built and tested in 1958 and thrown out as being unsatisfactory, and the U.S. Army today is using the French assault bridge and ferry because we have not been able to build as good a one, and that is what we are trying to do here.
Mr. SANDWEG. Well, in effect, General, would it be right in saying for the amounts of money spent here, you verified your own feeling that what you were designing was the best that could be designed as of right now?
General TRUDEAU. I think that is right.
Mr. NEW. General, if I may, we did verify that, but we also obtained considerable information on equipment layout and details of some of the components, and I think Mr. Mullins should speak on this point because we didn't get a report that merely said we think you have the ultimate in design, you should go ahead.
Mr. HARDY. You are a fine fellow, you did a good job.
Mr. NEW. We obtained a lot more than that, and I think Mr. Mullins should speak to that point.
Mr. HÉBERT. Well, they did give recommendations?
Mr. MULLINS. That is correct.
Mr. HÉBERT. That is sufficient.
Mr. HARDY. Could I ask just one more question; now what did you get for the $64,000 that you paid Jared Industries? You got a book from them, too.
Mr. MULLINS. Well, sir, we had another study of everything in there and they came back and recommended a slight variation in the end of the boat, which we did not adopt. They recommended a combination mechanical and hydraulic drive back to the propeller, which you saw folding up there, which we did not adopt, because we didn't think that that was the way to do it.
Mr. HARDY. Don't take anything that folds up.
Mr. HÉBERT. Thank you very much. Thank you, General, very much, for your appearance. And thank your colleagues who appeared with you.
We appreciate your cooperation. The committee will stand recessed until 10 o'clock, Wednesday morning.
(Whereupon, at 4:04 p.m., the subcommittee recessed to 10 a.m., Wednesday, August 16, 1961.)