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to have good pay. Now, the principal clerk in the Office of Naval Intelligence is getting $1,800; I think he ought to have as much pay as the chief clerk in any one of the bureaus. Whatever you gentlemen determine as the proper pay for a chief clerk I think you ought to give to my principal clerk.
Now, as to the second one, the registrar, he is a very important man, and he has the very important duty of registering and keeping and filing away very confidential matter. He is a very faithful man and he has been there for many years. Those are the two that I would particularly like to raise in pay. The draftsman has been given added duties of late; he does the work for the General Board and he does a lot of extra work with the photostat, and all that sort of thing. We make a great many copies of important things that have to be distributed, and an increase of $200 for him would be thoroughly deserved. But I think I have not asked you for enough in the other hearings for the principal clerk and the registrar. I feel that they ought to be given an increase. I now ask that you will regard the principal clerk of the Office of Naval Intelligence as deserving of the pay that you think proper to give a chief clerk in a bureau. I should also like to raise the pay of the registrar to $2,000. These are old and faithful men and their services are important. I was given a translator, but I have not been able to fill that position. It is very hard to fill that place. I want him to know difficult languages, especially Chinese and Japanese, and it is very hard to get a person suitable in every way who knows those languages and who is willing to pull up stakes and come to Washington. So that position is vacant, and I do not know how long it is going to remain vacant. You gave me one clerk at $1,400, but I would have preferred to have another one at $1,000 and to have added that $100 to the pay of the two that I was telling you about.
Mr. Byrns. I do not suppose you want to drop anyone in your office?
Capt. OLIVER. Oh, no, sir; we do not want to go backward at all. Now, gentlemen, to show you my attitude, not long ago I had one of the brightest young clerks I have ever seen. He did just what they all do, these bright, ambitious young fellows. He was getting $1,000 a year, and what did he do? He took up a night course and studied law, and when he talked to me about a raise of pay I told him I thought the very worst service I could render him would be to get his pay raised $400 or $500, just enough to serve as an attraction to keep him pinned there. I told him I thought it very much better for him to allow his pay to stay as low as it was, so that he would have some reason for clearing out and getting a chance in life. That is true of the great majority of the clerks, certainly in my office, and I think it is so in other offices of the department. But two or three of the highest ones, those who continue the work of the office, who know so much and who become more valuable as time goes on, ought to have more pay. Save it on the younger ones, because the ambitious young men only come there to study and prepare themselves for a profession, when they clear out. It is best for them that that should be so—that is, that the pay should be low, so that they may not be tempted to stay on indefinitely.
Mr. Byrns. Do you find that it results in having inefficient work done in your office where these clerks who come in at $1,000 and stay for only four or five years, fitting themselves for some other position in life. leave you frequently, thus necessitating the taking on of new clerks?
Capt. OLIVER. No; not if you have there the higher ones who can guide them and straighten them out. The very fact that they come in to stay a little while means that they come in because they want to take up a special course in law, electricity, or something of the kind, and prepare themselves for a profession. It does not matter if you get such young persons if you have a few older clerks there who stay on and keep the routine going. I think in that way you get the very best sort of work, and I think it is best for the office and for the young men, and you save money for the Government, but do give good pay to the faithful ones who have really made it a life work. I ask specifically that you treat my principal clerk just as you do a chief clerk of any one of the bureaus. As to the registrar, he is next to him in place, but is hardly second in responsibility. It is personal, of course, to tell you about their private affairs, but as people grow older they do have greater expenses and have to pay doctors' bills and for one thing and another. They ought to have more pay.
STATEMENT OF CAPT. THOMAS SNOWDEN, HYDROGRAPHER,
ACCOMPANIED BY MR. A. F. BOGUE, CHIEF CLERK.
Mr. Byrås. For the Hydrographic Office you are asking for a larger appropriation for the fiscal year 1918, involving a net increase of five in your force and an increase of $10,000 in the appropriation.
Capt. SNOWDEN. I would like to make a brief statement before I start in on the estimates. Before beginning my explanation I would like to say that last summer-in August I think it was—the Secretary of the Navy sent in estimates for an increased force of clerks for the department and the different bureaus and for certain increases in pay for certain clerks. The Hydrographic Office and the Naval Observatory were, by an unfortunate clerical error, omitted from those estimates, and when appeal was made later on—that is, I found it out after two or three months—it was then decided it was inadvisable to reopen the matter by the Secretary. It is acknowledged by the department that the claim for increase in force and in the pay of certain employees is just, but it was decided that it was not expedient to send in an additional request. When the present estimates were made out this fall the increase was again asked for, but it was cut by the Assistant Secretary of the Navy to what is here shown, as you have it there, sir. In addition to those, there are five other special and meritorious cases which I would like the committee to consider, if they will go outside of these requests.
Mr. Byrxs. We would not be able to consider them if they are not in the estimates.
Capt. SNOWDEN. Yes; I just wanted to find out your attitude in regard to those. Out of very many meritorious cases I have selected a few which appeared to be the most meritorious and which required attention. I was limited to ask for no increase over $2,000 a year. The first case is that of one nautical expert at $2,000 instead of $1,800. That is a man who has been in the service a long while—about 18 years and has had no promotion for several years. I would like to say here that none of my employees have had any promotion for the last four years and some have had no promotion for a much longer time, and we have had no increase of force or increase of pay in that time. The man I speak of now is a very deserving man and a very able man, and a man upon whom the office relies a great deal for help. We ask for him an increase from $1,800 to $2,000. These men are very hard to get. Just this morning came a request from one of our nautical experts for a transfer to the Bureau of Commerce, where he has a better chance of promotion. I earnestly request the committee will consider this request very carefully.
Next is the case of my chief clerk, who is now getting $1,800 and I request very earnestly he may have $2,000, an increase of $200, which is the largest increase I have asked for. The man is a very able man and a very faithful and efficient clerk.
The next is the case of three nautical experts for whom I have asked an increase of $200. They are now getting $1,400 and $1,200. They have been there very many years without any increase, and they have been in the service a long while. They are very able and very deserving men. One of these men has asked for a transfer and I would like to hold him if I can.
The next on your list is the increase for the clerks. I am asking for two of class 3 instead of one of class 2 and a compiler. There are certain titles like compiler and editor of Notice to Mariners and also the title of custodian of archives, and I would like to have those titles scratched out if I may, because it handicaps the office in promoting these people. They have no chance of promotion with these titles fastened to them.
Mr. BYRNS. They would perform the same duties?
Capt. Snowden. Yes; but it gives them a chance later on, perhaps, for a promotion. These two clerks are very earnest, hard-working, desirable people to have, and I am afraid I will lose them if I do not get some little increase for them. It is only an increase of $200 in each case.
Mr. BYRNS. One of them is a clerk of class 2.
Capt. Snowden. One of class 2 and the other is the compiler, just below.
Mr. Byrns, That would give him an increase of $400 ?
Capt. Snowden. I beg your pardon, the compiler is the one, just below there.
Mr. Byrns. He is now getting $1,400 and you want to give him $1,600.
Capt. SXOWDEN. Yes, sir.
Mr. STAFFORD. What are you going to do with the custodian of archives?
Capt. SNOWDEN. I did want to get an increase for him and the title changed, but the estimates only provide for a change in title to clerk of class 1.
Mr. STAFFORD. How much increase are you recommending?
Capt. SNOWDEN. I have not got that here. You see, the department limited me to an increase of $10,000, so I had to cut that out, but I ask that his title be changed to clerk, class 1.
Mr. Byrns. And you will leave him at the same salary?
The next case is three copyists at $900 each, one at $810, and two at $720. These people get such small pay we can not keep them in the office. Therefore I want to help them, if I can, by eliminating one at $720 and providing for a clerk at $1,000.
Mr. Byrns. Who is it that is going to be raised to $1,000 under these estimates one of the copvists?
Capt. SNOWDEN. Yes, sir; at $720. We can not keep a man in that place. Every few days we lose a man and have to educate another
Mr. STAFFORD. Would you promote the $810 man or the one getting $720?
Capt. SNOWDEN. Promote the $900 one. It is just an increase of $100 a year.
The next case is a change of title which I do not think the committee will object to, because it is a matter of no great importance.
The next case is that of draftsmen. I have asked for three additional draftsmen, and I would like to have three, if I can, at $2,000 each, promoted from $1,800. These three men are the leading men of the draftsman branch of the oflice, and they are very efficient men. They are men who have been there many years. One man has been there 37 years. He was there when I was a youngster and an ensign in the service, and he has been there ever since doing this work. He is a very able and efficient man. I have no doubt he has had many chances to improve himself elsewhere, but he has stuck to the office, and I earnestly request they may be given an increase of $200 each. They have had no promotion, some of them since 1906-10 years age--and some 4 years ago received a slight increase. I would like very much, if the committee can see its way clear to do so, to get this increase for them. My estimates have already been cut down to less than half.
The next would be one new draftsman at $1,800. I have asked an increase of three draftsmen because the office is very short, and this will give us five draftsmen at $1,400 and five at $1,200.
Mr. STAFFORD. Are you able to secure draftsmen at $1,200?
Capt. SNOWDEN. Yes, sir; we have draftsmen receiving much smaller pay than that, but we call them apprentice draftsmen, and they do not stay with us very long because the pay is so small.
The next case would be three apprentice draftsmen at $700 each. That is taken out and made four at $900 each. These men we can not hold at this price. A man of that qualification gets on the outside a very much larger salary. It is almost folly to try to get them at $900, but we can get them at that price, with the prospect of promotion.
The next item is an increase of just one engraver in the whole list of engravers, and that is for the purpose of taking out one apprentice engraver at $720 and providing for an engraver at $1,400. That is simply because we can not get an engraver for that price. It is practically impossible to do it, and a man does not stay in that position very long. There are no other increases asked for the engravers nor the plate printers.
The next case is that of the chief lithographer. He has been there for the last 30 years, 14 years at a salary of $1,800. He is a very able man and a very technical man, and a man I would like very much to see get a raise of $200 a year. This is a very deserving case.
Mr. STAFFORD. What do lithographers performing the same character of work receive in private employment?
Capt. SnowDEN. They receive a much higher salary. They get $2,400, and perhaps more than that, on the outside. He is a very capable man, an inventor, and all that sort of thing.
Mr. STAFFORD. What do lithographers doing the same grade of work receive in private employment?
Capt. SXOWDEN. From $2,500 to $3,000. If he was not attached to the office he would not stay there, because he can get much higher wages on the outside, but he has been there, as I say, for 30 years.
The next case is that of two feeders, at $180. I would like to have that changed and have you give me laborers, because I can not use feeders for any other purposes, and laborers I can use for any work that they are called upon to do.
Just below that I have asked for two more helpers. We are very much behind in that branch of the service, and it is impossible to keep up with the work. We have a great many complaints all the time, and we can not handle the work necessary with the present force.