Home >> American-finance >> Appropriations to The National Banking System >> Navy Expenditures

Navy Expenditures

NAVY EXPENDITURES.

Many contend that millions have been saved in not build ing iron and steel vessels sooner, as our Government has utilized foreign experience in building our navy. Others say that, after all, this is a mean advantage, and that our Government ought to have expended a fair share to find out what kind of vessels, armor and ordnance were need ful for the National protection.

20. The bureau of supplies and accounts is one of the most important. Its accounts embrace every appropria tion for the navy and cover all expenditures. They are based on returns received from every ship in commis sion, from every navy yard and station, and from every manufacturing department.

21. Since placing the purchase and custody of sup plies for the navy under one bureau, in 1886, great econ omies have been effected. At the time of beginning the reform, stores and material were on hand amounting to $16,000,000. Large quantities of similar stores had been purchased by different bureaus. Each bureau had stores at its separate storehouses and its own storekeepers. Many of the supplies had become worthless; some had been left over since the Civil War; others had been bought at a later day, anticipating war with Spain. Many had been bought at prices far above the market rates. Surveys and examinations were ordered to rid the de partments of useless stores and to correct fictitious values. The deductions amounted to $1,781,865. Notwithstand ing the obvious economy of this system, many of the bureaus which have lost dominion over their supplies and accounts are trying to recover their authority.

22. In answering proposals for supplies, it was long the custom to require bidders to furnish bonds for the due performance of their contracts. Of late years certi fied checks have been substituted for bonds and guaran ties. This is a noteworthy improvement, as checks can be readily furnished and their worth can be more quickly determined.

23. The navy, at present, consists of 14,501 officers and men, including marines." It is contended by those who are acquainted with the service that the number ought to be increased to 20,000. With the growth of ships an increase must be authorized to some extent, otherwise they will not be properly manned unless more ships are kept in reserve. The need, however, of increas ing the number to provide sufficiently for home defence is less since the States began the creation of a naval militia, which is worthy of mention. At the present time the number of officers and men thus serving in the dif ferent States is 2,695. To promote the efficiency of the naval militia, Congress has authorized the Navy Depart ment to loan vessels, boats and equipments not required in the general service on the request of the Governors of States that have regularly organized naval militia—New York, Pennsylvania, Maryland, North Carolina and Cali fornia. The movement is in its infancy; the results are promising, though the. precise relations of the militia to the regular service and how the two shall co-operate in National defence have not been established." 24. For many years the Government annually appro priated a small sum—from one to three millions—to build forts along the seacoast. The improvements in modern ordnance have been so great as to render them almost worthless. So in 1886 an entirely new system of forts was devised. By this system forts were to be built at 27 ports, requiring 677 guns and 824 mortars of modern construction, at a cost of $97,782,000, not including $28, 595,000 for floating batteries. An immediate appropria tion of $21,5oo,000 was recommended and an annual one of $9,000,000 until the completion of the system. Besides different vessels, torpedo boats, cruisers and the like, the disappearing battery is one of the latest inventions for protecting the coast against foreign invasion.

25. One of the old ways of increasing naval expen diture was to keep more yards in operation than were needful and to divide work of the same kind among them. This proved a most wasteful course for the Government. There is usually a strong local demand wherever a navy yard exists to employ more men and increase its activity. Secretary Chandler first put the axe to the root of this overgrown tree. He showed clearly the wastefulness re sulting from dividing similar work among different shops representing different bureaus, and from having many dif ferent navy yards engaged in making repairs. At that time the Government had more navy yards and stations in operation than either Great Britain or France, though having only a small number of ships in commission. Sec retary Chandler closed some of the yards, and his succes sor, Secretary Whitney, consolidated the work in others. He gave all the ordnance work to the navy yard at Wash ington; the equipment work to the Boston yard; the work of construction and repair to the yards at Brook Norfolk and Mare Island. He was succeeded by ecretary Tracy, who adhered to the policy of his two predecessors. Nevertheless, the struggle has continued on the part of the friends of all the navy yards to get them open for general repair work. Not content with having more yards than are needed, the pressure is con stant on members of Congress to establish new ones.

26. Secretary Herbert has remarked that the multi plying of plants and diffusing the work is in direct defi ance of all business principles. Such a policy is not only extravagant and wasteful, but really ruinous to the navy.

27. The system of employing workmen at the navy yards through a board of labor, without reference to pol itics, and in the order of their applications, giving prefer ence to veterans and those of former navy-yard experi ence, means more efficient service. Efforts are constantly made to break the plan down and enthrone the old-fash ioned political-pull principle for securing positions. The tendency of the Government is to establish a permanent service, which will secure more efficiency at less cost. Secretary Herbert remarked in his report of 1894 that the labor at the navy yards had so increased in efficiency since the adoption of this plan of hiring and retaining men that many of the superintending officers were quite sure that the Government could now compete with pri vate concerns in the cost of constructing vessels and machinery.

28. Almost all the newer vessels have been built by contract with various parties. Two ships, however, the Maine and the Texas, were built at navy yards. As the bids were somewhat above the amounts appropriated, there was no other course for the Navy Department. The plans were made abroad, and after many delays the work was finished. Instead, however, of costing only the sum specified by law, $2,5oo,000 apiece, their cost was, re spectively, $3,685,797 and $3,227,085. It has been shown that the cost per ton for building the hull and machinery of the Maine and Texas was not much, if any, greater than for doing by contract similar work on other vessels. Yet the Government seemed to be so convinced of its in ability to compete with private contractors that no Secre tary of the Navy has ventured to repeat the experiment. We need waste no space in showing why the Government cannot build as cheaply as private concerns. Of course, a

contractor is supposed to make a profit on his contract. Why cannot the Government save this by constructing vessels ? France, England. Germany and other govern ments build most of theirs, though it is not maintained that the work is done as cheaply as it could be outside. The very trite truth is the Government is an expensive doer of all things, whether in building or repairing ships, or un dertaking any other service. And this fact should be con stantly kept in sight as a conclusive reason for narrowing the Government service until greater efficiency is at tained." aSee Foster's American Diplomacy, Ch. iv.

'For an elaborate description of the duties of the consular officers at their many places, and the needs and reorganization of the consular service, see reports of F. T. Frelinghuysen, Ex. Doc., 48 Cong., 1 Sess., No. 121, March 20, 1884, and 48 Cong., 2 Sess., No. 65, Jan. 6, 1885.

a "Evils to Be Remedied in Our Consular Service," W. H.

Rockhill, Assistant Secretary of State, 22 Forum 673. See excel lent articles in the "Atlantic Monthly" by George F. Parker, for merly Consul to Birmingham, England, on the Consular Service of the United States. This first appeared in the April number, 1900. Also "Early History of the United States Consular Service," by E. R. Johnson, 13 Polit. Science, Q. 19. A bill is now pending for the reorganization of the consular service, on which Rep. Adams has made a valuable report, setting forth the objects of the system and recommending the payment of salaries to all consular officers. 56 Cong., 1 Sess., No. 562.

'b. A good article on the Army by Archibald Forbes may be found in 135 N. Am. Rev., 127; Needs of Our Army and Navy, by T. A. Dodge, 12 Forum, 247; The Military Systems of Europe and America, by Lieut.-Col. W. Ludlow, 160 N. Am. Rev., 72. See also valuable report by Senator Hawley, chairman of Senate Committee on Military Affairs, 55 Cong., 3d Sess., No. 1671.

For a history of the organization and increase of the Army, see speech of C. Dick, 34 Cong. Record, 1927.

'Rep. of War Dep., 1895-96, vol. 1, p. 69.

'See statements by General Miles and others on Army Re organization before House Com. on Military Affairs, Dec. 12, 1898.

'See Rep. of Sec'y of War for 1899, and for an elaborate consideration of the relation of State governments to the Na tional Government with respect to the maintenance and use of State troops see the valuable works by Col. W. A. Powell and Gen. G. A. Wingate.

'The pay and cost of clothing and subsistence of the cavalry and infantry private soldier in the United States Army is prac tically the same; as the difference in clothing, allowance, amounts to less than $3 per annum.

Their average pay, including service pay, is $14.50 per month, or $174 per annum. Their average clothing allowance is $34.86 per annum, and the estimated cost of subsistence 30 cents per day, or $109.50 per annum, a total cost per annum of $318.36.

The pay and cost of clothing and subsistence of the infantry of the line, is ls. 2d. per day (28 cents), subject to a deduction for improving his fare and for his washing, of (11 cents). Other stoppages may also be deducted; but it is provided by law that there should be left for the soldier not less than 1 penny per day. He has no money allowance for clothing, and the cost of his subsistence cannot be stated.

A mounted private, French army, receives 30 centimes (6 cents) per day, and an unmounted private 28 centimes (5 3-5 cents) per day, subject to deductions for improvement of his rations, etc.; but, as in the English army, it is provided that the amount actually paid to the soldier shall not be less than 5 centimes (1 cent) per day.

In the Germany army the private of infantry receives, ac cording to corps, 10% to 12 marks ($2.47 to $2.80) per month, and the privates cavalry 13 marks ($3.05) per month, subject to deductions for rations, etc., as in the preceding, so that the actual amount received by the soldier is very small. His cost of subsistence is 115.63 marks ($27.17) per annum, or 7 62-100 cents per day. His cost of clothing is 49.89 marks, or $11.72 per annum.

For pay of officers by different countries see Senator Haw ley's report, 55 Cong., 3d Sess., No. 1671.

'To train officers for the National service a military acad emy exists at West Point. Cadets consist of one from each Congressional district, Territory, District of Columbia, appoint ed by the President on the recommendation of their respective representatives of the lower House of Congress. Besides these, the President appoints ten more without such recommendation. They are admitted between the ages of seventeen and twenty two. They are paid forty-five dollars per month, out of which they must pay for their subsistence, clothing, text-books, etc. The cost per day for subsistence during 1896 was fifty-three cents. The cost for supporting the Academy during 1896 was $183,173. See Ann. Rep. of Sup. of U. S. Military Acad., Appen dix L. 188; Ann. Rep. of Board of Visitors to the Acad. 1887. How the Pay of Cadets is drawn from the Treasury and Dis bursed, Id. 91-95.

TFor the principal expen,ses of the War Department for 1900 see Appendix A.

For sources of information on military professional subjects, see No. XVII., War Dept., Ad. Gen. Office, Military Inf. Div.

'See valuable article on the Navy, 3 U. S. Service Mag., 857.

'For the cost of the principal vessels see Appendix D, and for fuller details, Annual Rep. of Sec. of Navy, 1895, pp. 340-367; Naval Appropriation Bill, 54 Cong. 2 Sess. No. 3009.

Concerning the economy and efficiency of consolidating the bureaus, see Rep. of Sec. of Navy, 1899, and Rep. Wheeler's speech, 34 Cong. Record, 1544.

See also Annual Rep. of Secretary Long for 1899, and Rep. of Naval Corn., 56 Cong., 1st Sess., No. 930, and instructive speech of E. H. Driggs, April 16, 1900, 33 Cong. Record, 4623. This speech also makes a comparison between the cost of private and public construction, p. 4630.

"Officers are educated for the navy in the naval school at Annapolis. Eleven are annually appointed by the President, ten at large and one from the District of Columbia. One is an nually appointed by the Secretary of the Navy for each con gressional and territorial district on the recommendation of its representative. The annual compensation of a cadet is $500 and one ration, 30 cents per day.

"See Rep. on Operations of the Naval Militia, Navy Rep. 1895-6, p. 45; Annual Reports on the Operations of the Naval Militia made by direction of the Secretary of the Navy; Report of Officers of U. S. Navy in Ann. Rep, of Ad. General of N. Y. for 1894, p. 19, a Naval Militia and Naval Reserve, by J. W. Miller. 12 Forum 262.

"See E. Stewart's article, 7 Bull. of Dep. of Labor, 721, on the Rates of Wages paid under public and private contract,

service, government, rep, naval and yards