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Washington, D. C., May 1, 1914.

The committee met at 10 o'clock a. m., Hon. William C. Adamson (chairman) presiding.


Mr. TALCOTT. I will ask you in regard to the service; if this change were made, would it make increased efficiency in the service?

Mr. KIMBALL. Yes, sir; a very great increase in the efficiency of the service.

The CHAIRMAN. The Secretary says you are having great difficulty in getting new men unless you do pass this bill; is that true?

Mr. KIMBALL. We have great difficulty in getting competent men. Mr. HAMILTON. How would it improve the efficiency of the service? Will you go into details somewhat?

Mr. KIMBALL. It would enable the service to make a better selection of men and to fill the ranks of the service with competent men, which is not possible now. In some of the districts we have no names on the eligible list from which to make certifications.

Mr. HAMILTON. Why is the service less attractive now than it would be then?

Mr. KIMBALL. As the matter stands now, the men grow old in the service at a rate of pay that barely supports them and their families, if, indeed, it does that at all times, and when these men become disabled in the line of duty or by age they have to leave the service with nothing to live upon.

The CHAIRMAN. I suppose the reason you do not get them is that they can get better employment elsewhere?

Mr. KIMBALL. Yes, sir; that is the reason we do not have a better class of men.

Mr. O'SHAUNESSY. Do the life-saving men get a full year's pay or do they get just 10 months' pay?

Mr. KIMBALL. On the Atlantic coast they get 10 months' pay. Under the law the stations on the Atlantic and Gulf coasts are opened on the 1st of August and remain open until the 1st of June. During June and July the stations are closed.

Mr. O'SHAUNESSY. Then it practically amounts to a man doing a year's work for 10 months' pay? By that I mean he can not get profitable employment for those other two months?

Mr. KIMBALL. On those coasts. On the lake coasts the law provides they should be open from the opening to the close of navigation. Navigation closes at different places on the Lakes at different times.


The CHAIRMAN. That is on account of the cold and the ice?

Mr. KIMBALL. Yes, sir; on account of the ice, frozen harbors, etc. The CHAIRMAN. What is the reason they stop the two months on the Atlantic and Gulf coasts?

Mr. KIMBALL. Simply because the law never has provided for keeping the stations open during the months of June and July. When the Life-Saving Service under the present system was startedThe CHAIRMAN. I suppose it is on account of the law. But why does the law make that difference?

Mr. KIMBALL. When the life-saving stations were first manned under the present system, Congress allowed us to employ crews only during the three winter months-December, January, and February-but upon the recommendation of the department the period of their employment has, from time to time, been extended.

The CHAIRMAN. Is there any reason why your services would not be valuable during the months of June and July?

Mr. KIMBALL. We do not have so many shipwrecks during those mild months and they are not complicated with bad, freezing weather. The storms which cause the wrecks are not so violent as in the other months and the shipwrecked do not suffer so much and are more easily taken care of.

Mr. O'SHAUNESSY. So that at the time when the life-savers would have a little respite from their labors, or they would not be working so hard, the Government takes advantage of that and lays them off and does not pay them? That is what it amounts to?

Mr. KIMBALL. That is what it amounts to, practically.

Mr. SIMS. Are they paid an annual salary or a per month salary? Mr. KIMBALL. Per month; for a month's actual service.

The CHAIRMAN. And for two months they are not paid?

Mr. KIMBALL. For two months they are not paid.

The CHAIRMAN. I suppose they would be perfectly willing to have an annual salary, would they not?

Mr. KIMBALL. An annual salary?


Mr. KIMBALL. I presume they would.

Mr. BARKLEY. What do they receive by the month?

Mr. KIMBALL. I am speaking now of the crews.

The CHAIRMAN. I understand. The clerical force and the managing force get pay all the time?

Mr. KIMBALL. Yes; and the keepers of the stations get pay the year around. That is an annual salary, but the surfmen are paid by the month.

Mr. SIMS. How much of this $400,000 increase goes to the LifeSaving Service?

The CHAIRMAN. It nearly all goes.

Mr. BARKLEY. What do these men in the crews receive by the month, the men who do the real work?

Mr. KIMBALL. The No. 1 man receives $70 a month and a ration, one ration a day at the rate of 30 cents, which would make about $9 more - $79 a month each No. 1 man receives. The other surfmen

get $65 a month and a ration of 30 cents a day. I will add that the keepers also do "the real work," commanding every expedition of relief, and in boat service they are in command and steer the boats, which is the most difficult and responsible work of all.

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