« AnteriorContinuar »
lands in the vicinity of San Francisco, California, as in his judgment are required for the enlargement of existing national cemetery facilities, and the sum of $200,000, or so much thereof as may be necessary, is hereby authorized to be appropriated for this purpose from any funds in the Treasury not otherwise appropriated, which sum shall remain available until expended.
Approved, June 11, 1937.
Mr. WOODRUM. You say that $200,000 of this amount is for the purchase of land.
Colonel GREGORY. Yes, sir.
Colonel GREGORY. $125,000 is estimated for the preparation of the land for use as a cemetery. The present national cemetery at San Francisco is located at the Presidio of San Francisco, and it is practically filled. The rate of burials there now is about 1,000 interments a year, and there are less than 2,000 grave sites still remaining there; so it is expected that that cemetery will be filled in a little over a year from the present time.
Mr. TABER. Did we not appropriate a lot of money a few years ago for a new cemetery, or for an addition to the cemetery at San Francisco?
Colonel GREGORY. Several years ago some funds were appropriated to extend the cemetery in the Presidio grounds. As I remember, some $40,000 or $50,000 was appropriated to take some big trees away and to fill up the holes, to prepare a portion of the present cemetery for additional interments.
Mr. Ludlow. Where is this proposed location with relation to the Presidio?
Colonel GREGORY. The bill only provides funds, and leaves it to the discretion of the Secretary. A board was appointed to examine the site, and a proposed location has been recommended. Mr. WOODRUM. Approximately, how many acres would be acquired?
Colonel GREGORY. The land board recommended a site about 17 miles from the city of San Francisco, involving a tract of 186 acres. Now, the people who own that land have asked $279,000, or about $1,500 per acre. If they will come down in the price, or are willing to sell a smaller portion of the land, it can be purchased for $200,000.
Mr. Ludlow. Do you mean that land 17 miles from San Francisco, to be used for this purpose, would be worth $1,500 per acre?
Colonel GREGORY. It is not 17 miles from the city limits, but from the center of the city.
Mr. Ludlow. Is not that an exceedingly exorbitant price?
Colonel GREGORY. I am not prepared to say that. It is in a suburban district on a main highway where cemeteries have already been located.
Mr. Ludlow. Within 9 miles of Indianapolis you can buy all the land you want at from $200 to $250 per acre. It seems to me that this is an exceedingly high price.
Colonel GREGORY. The board recommended this site, and stated that they thought the price was reasonable in view of the land values in the areas surrounding this particular place.
Mr. WOODRUM. This sounds like a high price for land that far out.
Mr. TABER. Are there not some Government lands that could be used for this purpose, within a distance of 25 miles from the city?
Colonel GREGORY. That matter was specifically looked into, and all the Government reservations were surveyed with that idea, but they
said there was no such land available. This $1,500 is not the final price, but that is the asking price by the company that owns the land.
Mr. Ludlow. Here at the Capital of the Nation, if you go 17 miles outside of this city, you can get all the land you want, in any direction, for a few hundred dollars per acre.
Colonel GREGORY. By going across the bay into another county land can be obtained more cheaply, but it would be more difficult of access. Of course, it is within the power of the Government to condemn the land, take it into court, and have the court pass on it.
Mr. Ludlow. Has that been considered? Colonel GREGORY. Not that I know of. Mr. Ludlow. Do you know what other land in that vicinity is selling for?
Colonel GREGORY. I gather from the report of the Board that they consider this price equal to the price at which other lands in the vicinity have been sold for.
Mr. WOODRUM. What is the break-down of the remaining amount? You estimate $200,000 for the land.
Colonel GREGORY. $125,000 is estimated for the improvements. While that amount does not correspond exactly with the original submission, I would say that it would be about $40,000 for grading and landscaping; $25,000 for roads and walks; $15,000 for water and sewer development; $2,000 for electric distribution; $10,000 for the superintendent's lodge; $13,000 for a utility building to house tools, and so forth; and $20,000 for gate and fence for the cemetery. Mr. WOODRUM. We thank
WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 4, 1937.
CONSTRUCTION OF ORDNANCE DEPOT AT SAVANNA, ILL.
STATEMENTS OF HON. LEWIS M. LONG, A REPRESENTATIVE IN
CONGRESS FROM THE STATE OF ILLINOIS; HON. EVERETT M. DIRKSEN, A REPRESENTATIVE IN CONGRESS FROM THE STATE OF ILLINOIS; AND HON. EDWIN V. CHAMPION, A REPRESENTATIVE IN CONGRESS FROM THE STATE OF ILLINOIS
Mr. WOODRUM. Mr. Long, I believe you desire to make a statement to the committee in reference to an item concerning the ordnance depot at Savanna, Ill. We will be glad to hear you at this time.
Mr. Long. Mr. Chairman and gentlemen, I thank you for this opportunity to present this matter. Earlier in the spring there was an authorization which came through for the construction of an ordnance depot at Camp Stanley, Tex., in the amount of $1,014,000; and also an authorization for construction at the Savanna ordnance depot at Savanna, Ill. The amount for the Savanna depot was $1,364,000.
This authorization was not finally signed until May 14, so there was no item before the House Committee on Appropriations in connection with the Army appropriation bill at the time it was considered by the committee and by the House. The bill was passed by the House on April 30 and the authorization was not signed by the President until May 14. As a consequence, neither authorization was considered by the Committee on Appropriations.
But when the Army appropriation bill got to the Senate by that time the authorization had been signed, so the Senate Committee on Appropriations considered both items, and they included in the bill an item for Camp Stanley, Tex., amounting to $578,000, in round figures, and for Savanna, Îll., $861,000, upon a break-down furnished by the War Department.
Then when the matter went to conference the Camp Stanley project was left in the bill and has been appropriated for, but the Savanna project was taken out.
There is no Budget estimate for either one of these items for the reason that the authorization had not been passed when the War Department sent their recommendations to the Bureau of the Budget.
But I think that there is an emergency which exists at Savanna, and that is the main basis for my appearance before the committee this afternoon.
In the Army appropriation bill as it was passed there is a provision for procurement in the Ordnance Department of many and sundry items, including the one for aerial bombs, amounting to $1,178,440, and the order has been placed for these bombs and they will be delivered before the time when an appropriation bill could be handled in the next session of Congress.
There are only four storage places in the United States where ammunition of this kind can be stored-at the Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md., at the Delaware ordnance depot, at the ordnance depot at Ogden, Utah, and at the Savanna, Ill., ordnance depot.
There are strategic reasons which are apparent to everybody as to why there should be inland ordnance storage depots. The real consideration here, however, is that these bombs have been purchased and will be delivered, and unless there can be some work done on the Savanna depot to provide a place for storage there will be 3,000 of the 600-pound high-explosive bombs, 964 of the 1,100-pound highexplosive bombs and 260 of the 2,000-pound high-explosive bombs for which there will be no adequate place for storage other than in a warehouse above ground.
What the War Department wants is to construct what they term the igloo type of storage magazine, mostly underground, with the roof above ground.
If, by any chance, there should be an explosion, with the igloo type of storage, the full force of the explosion is directed upward and it has less effect on surrounding buildings or property, whereas if there is an explosion in a storage warehouse above ground, it will spread laterally to surrounding storage buildings, with disastrous results difficult to contemplate.
Mr. TABER. There is no storage there now for this type of ammunition?
Mr. Long. No, there is nothing for this type of ammunition.
Mr. Long. They have some frame buildings in which they have been storing powder and small-arms ammunition, but there is nothing there now for any such ammunition as this.
Mr. WOODRUM. Have you contacted the Budget Bureau in reference to this item? There is no reason why they should not send up the supplemental estimate after the authorization has gone through.
Mr. Long. I did contact them and they said that in view of the economy program they would rather not send up a budget estimate, although they approved the original authorization as proper so far as their part of the program is concerned.
But they did say that they would not want to approve a budget estimate at this time in the face of the latest Executive order; but that it would be considered in the next estimates prepared.
But if we are going to have on our hands all of this ammunition which has been bought under the original appropriation it seems to me we should by all means have an adequate place in which to store it, and we will not have that unless some work is done at Savanna this fall.
The Ordnance Depot at Savanna was, during the war, the proving ground for the testing of ordnance of various kinds.
It comprises 13,000 acres. It is in the neighborhood of my home and I know the physical conditions. It is an expanse of land along the Mississippi River far away from any surrounding communities at all, and an ideal place for the storage of ammunition, with plenty of room.
As I say, the original break-down sent up by the War Department was for $860,000. But I have talked it over with the War Department, and in the interest of the economy order the War Department say that they can make a start now and get along for this year
with $600,000, if such an appropriation can be made and they have furnished a break-down of that amount. That includes $20,000 for the initial railroad trackage from the main line to the magazine area and $580,000 for 48 igloo magazines at $12,017 each, or a total of $580,000, which would make a grand total of $600,000. So, if it would be possible to have an appropriation made at this session of Congress they could do with that amount this year, and for the additional necessary work they would come in next year.
The whole program includes 70 igloo magazines, and they say they could do now with 48.
The main consideration is that the appropriation has been authorized and the authorization is still good. It does not have the stigma of having been previously before the committee and decided adversely, because neither of these items were before the Committee on Appropriations of the House because the authorization had not been passed at that time. The thing that did happen to this item is that it was cut out by the conferees, but as to why they chose to cut it out I have no knowledge. But that is what has happened.
Mr. WOODRUM. We thank you for your statement.
Mr. Champion, you are here to concur in what Mr. Long has said, I take it.
Mr. CHAMPION. Yes, Mr. Chairman. I concur in the statement that Mr. Long has made.
Mr. WOODRUM. Mr. Dirksen, I take it that you also concur in Mr. Long's statement.
Mr. DIRKSEN. Mr. Chairman, I would like the record to show that I fully concur in what Mr. Long has said.
Mr. Long. Mr. Chairman, I have here a letter showing the breakdown of the $600,000, and also a letter showing the original breakdown.
Mr. WOODRUM. They may be inserted in the record.
(The letters referred to are as follows:)
OFFICE OF THE CHIEF OF ORDNANCE,
Washington, July 27, 1937. Memorandum to Col. A. R. Chaffee, 0. C. of S. Subject: Break-down of Ammunition Storage Requirements for Savanna Ord
1. In compliance with your telephone request this date, the following shows progressively the work that would be done in connection with the ammunition storage project at the Savanna Ordnance Depot for funds appropriated up to $600,000: (a) Initial railroad trackage from main line to magazine area.
$20, 000 (6) 48 igloo magazines at $12,017 each..
600, 000 2. The approximate cost of $12,017 per magazine includes the additional main line railroad track and sidings necessary to serve each magazine constructed. For the Chief of Ordnance:
W. E. LARNED, Lieutenant Colonel, Ordnance Department, Assistant.
Washington, July 28, 1937. Hon. LEWIS M. LONG,
House of Representatives, Washington, D. C. DEAR MR. Long: In accordance with your recent telephone request to the Chief of Ordnance for information on the project for improvement of ammunition storage facilities at the Savanna Ordnance Depot, Savanna, Ill., you are advised that hearings were held before the Military Affairs Committee on this subject along with the project for improvement of ammunition storage facilities at Camp Stanley, Tex. As a result of these hearings, an act, H. R. 3903, authorizing the appropriation for additional storage facilities was passed by the House of Representatives on April 19, 1937. This act authorized $1,014,286 for Camp Stanley and $1,364,550 for the Savanna Ordnance Depot.
In view of the enactment of the authorizing legislation for the construction at Ca rp Stanley and the Savanna Ordnance Depot before that of the appropriation act for the Military Establishment for the fiscal year 1938, provision was made by Congress in the latter act for construction at Camp Stanley to the extent of $578,050, but provision for the construction at the Sananna Ordnance Depot was omitted.
For your information an item of $861,190 included in the Senate bill for the Savanna Ordnance Depot was eliminated before the passage of the Military Appropriation Act, 1938. This amount was to be used for the following construction: 75 igloo magazines, at $6,800
$476, 000 78,400 feet (approximately) railroad tracks to service 70 igloo magazines -
365, 190 4,210 feet of railroad, at $4.75 per foot, required from main line to magazine area
861, 190 It is hoped the above information is what you desire in connection with this particluar project. Sincerely yours,
HARRY C. WOODRING,
Secretary of War.