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SUBMITTED TO THE
SPECIAL JOINT COMMITTEE OF CONGRESS
ON PACIFIC COAST NAVAL BASES
RELATIVE TO MONTEREY, CALIF., AS A POSSIBLE
SITE FOR A NAVAL BASE
Printed for use of the Special Joint Committee
SPECIAL JOINT COMMITTEE.
[Appointed pursuant to a provision in the naval appropriation act approved June 4, 1920.)
Members of the committee on the part of the
Members of the committee on the part of the House
L. HEISLER BALL, Delaware.
FRED A. BRITTEN, Illinois. HENRY W. KEYES, New Hampshire.
FREDERICK C. HICKS, New York. MILES POINDEXTER, Washington.
A. E. B. STEPHENS, Ohio. KEY PITTMAN, Nevada.
LEMUEL P. PADGETT, Tennessee. THOMAS J. WALSH, Montana.
DANIEL J. RIORDAN, New York.
W. M. COFFIN,
acting as secretary of Special Joint Committee.
MONTEREY, CALIF., AS A NAVAL BASE SITE.
The Special Joint Committee of Congress on Pacific Coast Naval Bases visited Monterey, Calif., and its environs on November 21 and 22, 1920, and gave consideration to its possible usefulness as a naval base site, pursuant to the suggestion of the Secretary of the Navy contained in the following letter addressed by him to the chairman of the Committees on Naval Affairs of both the Senate and the House of Representatives:
WASHINGTON, June 15, 1920. MY DEAR MR. CHAIRMAN: Last year it was my pleasure as well as my duty, in company with a commission of able naval officers, to make some study of the naval sites on the Pacific, both those in operation and those that will be needed for the proper care of the increasing Pacific Fleet. The Congress postponed the consideration of the enlargements needed on the Pacific and named a committee of Senators and Representatives to visit the coast and in person make an examination and very thorough study. I am confident that when they have done so they will agree with me that the paramount duty of the next Congress will be to make the largest provision for bases on the Pacific, and in order to do this I am calling your attention to a visit I made with Admiral McKean and others to Monterey. After visiting that place I was favorably impressed with it, and directed Admiral Jayne, commandant of that naval district, to visit Monterey with a civil engineer and make a thorough study of it. His study and recommendations will be furnished you, and I trust that your committee will visit Monterey personally and examine the advantages and opportunities offered there. Sincerely, yours,
JOSEPHUS DANIELS. The Monterey Chamber of Commerce has submitted to the committee the following communication and statement concerning the advantages of Monterey from a naval viewpoint:
MONTEREY CHAMBER OF COMMERCE,
Monterey, Calif., November 30, 1920. From: Monterey Chamber of Commerce. To: Hon. Lewis Heisle Ball, United States Senator, chairman con
gressional Commission on Naval Bases, Washington, D. C. Subject: Proposed establishment of naval base, Monterey, Calif.
Find herewith copy of the presentation of the claims of central California for an auxiliary Navy base for submarines, destroyers, and mine sweepers, together with marine railways, seaplane hangars, and aeroplane fields, to be used at Monterey, Calif., as presented by Hon. Arthur E. Free, at the hearing held by the honorable congressional Commission on Naval Bases, at Monterey, on November 21 and 22, 1920.
A supplementary report, in the form of a transcript of the hearing held at Monterey, Calif., November 12, 1920, by the officer in charge of United States Army engineers, respecting the commercial necessity of central California for the construction of a breakwater and the improvement of Monterey Harbor facilities, will go forward as soon as copies may be obtained, all of which are hereby respectfully submitted for your consideration. Yours, very truly,
MONTEREY CHAMBER OF COMMERCE, By J. P. PRYOR, President.
Facts AND FIGURES AS SUBMITTED BY THE COUNTY CHAMBERS OF
COMMERCE OF STANISLAUS, MERCED, MADERA, FRESNO, TULARE, KINGS, KERN, SAN LUIS OBISPO, SAN BONITA, AND MONTEREY COUNTIES IN SUPPORT OF THEIR CLAIMS FOR A NAVY BASE TO BE ESTABLISHED AT MONTEREY, CALIF., RESPECTFULLY SUBMITTED THE 21ST AND 22D OF NOVEMBER, 1920, AT MONTEREY, TO THE JOINT CONGRESSIONAL COMMITTEE FOR INSPECTION OF PROPOSED NAVY BASE SITES.
Monterey Harbor is situated on the lower end of Monterey Bay, about 95 miles south of the Golden Gate and about 135 miles north of Port San Luis.
To the west, south, and east it is protected by mountains and hills, forming the peninsula of Monterey. On the north the winds are broken by the Santa Cruz Mountains. Pigeon Point, on the base's north end, extends farther to the west than the uttermost rock of the Monterey Peninsula.
The harbor is absolutely free from rocks and shoals, and its entrance is not made dangerous by sand bars.
Monterey Harbor is the only harbor on the Pacific coast that may be safely entered in time of storm stress.
The entrance to the harbor is approximately a mile deep between points, and approximately 20 miles in width, so that no pilot will ever be required to go in and out of the harbor. Vessels may find refuge in the safe harbor of Monterey during any storm conditions. The harbor has a depth of water approximately 120 feet, and deep water approaches close to shore, the 10-fathom line being approximately 1,500 feet offshore.
In support of these claims we refer to report of Col. John Biddle, Corps of Engineers, now brigadier general, United States Army, dated June 17 and December 16, 1909, on preliminary examination survey of Monterey Harbor and extracts from his supplemental report made to the Secretary of War on April 4, 1910:
Monterey already has a good harbor. It is well protected from all prevailing winds, deep, safe, has no rivers flowing into it, no shifting sand altering its bottom; in fact, it is practically without any of the obstacles that usually mar harbors.
One thing of vast importance to the Government in making harbor improvements is the ownership and control of water front. Monterey city owns and controls its harbor absolutely, except such portions as are used and held by the United States Government (1,200 feet frontage of United States Government reservation).
The board of supervisors of Monterey County offers the following statement of facts:
Monterey Bay is one of the largest on the Pacific coast, being 20 miles at the mouth and 10 miles inland, and in shape represents a horseshoe. The largest battleships of our Navy find shelter within 800 feet of the shore, and during heavy storms at sea it is not unusual to see ships of different nations anchored in the calm waters of Monterey Bay. Reports from the most noted navigators credit this bay as one of the safest on the Pacific coast.
Monterey is the nearest harbor for a part of California embracing 11,000,000 acres of arable land; the focal points in this area can be brought 40 to 160 miles nearer tidewater by connections with Monterey. North of the Tehachapi and San Luis Obispo passes it is the nearest port to the great oil belt of central California.
The region tributary to Monterey as a seaport is one-fifth of the total area of the State, and, although containing no large cities, has one-tenth of the assessed valuation and about the same proportion of California's population. The territory in the iinmediate vicinity, including three counties, according to the Monterey Chamber of Commerce, produces approximately 3,250,000 tons of commercial products annually.
As regards the desirability of establishing a submarine ana uestroyer base at Monterey, we submit the following testimonials from masters of several vessels who have frequented this harbor for years during all kinds of weather conditions:
After an experience of 30 years' sailing in and out of Monterey, in all kinds of weather conditions, I consider myself competent to pass judgment on the harbor.
Any vessel may enter and depart from the port at any time in perfect safety.
The one defect with Monterey's harbor as a shipping point is an occasional undertow which interferes with vessels lying alongside, and this can be remedied by the building of a breakwater.
With the harbor improved I deem it an ideal location for a submarine base.
In my opinion, the bar outside Golden Gate makes San Francisco unavailable for a submarine base.
I deem the improvement of Monterey Harbor a necessity. As a harbor of refuge, Monterey is the safest and most available one in California during any kind of weather. Respectfully submitted.
H. ENGALLS, Muster Steamship “W. S. Herrin.”
Upon request I am glad to give my opinion of the Monterey Harbor.
For 11 years I have been making Monterey during all kinds of weather, and do not hesitate to state that the port can be safely reached at any time unless prevented by fog.
The drawback which prevents Monterey from being a perfect shipping port is the
I have been sailing into Monterey Harbor as a master of different steamers for six years under every weather condition. But for the undertow the port of Monterey would be an ideal one for loading and discharging freight. To correct this defect it will be necessary to build a breakwater. This would also make the place more useful as a harbor of refuge in storms. It would make it a perfect location for a submarine base.
The port can be safely and easily made during any kind of weather and the anchorage is good. There is not the least danger to vessels anchoring close in from any storms. Respectfully, yours,
J. 0. FARIA, Master Steamship “Aurelia.”
By request, I hereby make a statement regarding Monterey Harbor. I speak from a knowledge of its condition derived from experience.
I have been sailing into the port of Monterey since 1904 and am familiar with the need of a breakwater, which would make this harbor the most available and the most useful on the coast of ('alifornia. In addition it would afford an ideal harbor of refuge which is greatly needed by shipping. The approach is so easy that any master from any place can put into the harbor with absolute safety without the aid of a pilot.
With an approved harbor Monterey would make the best and most accessible place for a submarine base on the coast. Yours, very truly,
CAPT. Gus HOLMES,
Commanding Steamship“ J. A. Chanslor." Monterey Harbor is located approximately 100 miles due west of Fresno, the center of the great San Joaquin Valley, and this harbor will be connected with the San Joaquin Valley by two direct stone