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Mr. SCRUGHAM. Doctor, do you not recall going before the committee for a deficiency appropriation for services in the District of Columbia within the last year or two?
Dr. MENDENHALL. That was in last year's deficiency appropriation, for small increases in the limitations for services in the District of Columbia. One of those items was the Alaskan item and the other the geologic item, because in each of those cases the Senate had increased the total appropriation but had not made any corresponding increase in the amount available for use in the District. But we did not ask for any in this item, Governor.
ATTITUDE OF DIRECTOR OF GEOLOGIC SURVEY ON TRANSFER OF MAPPING
ACTIVITIES TO COAST AND GEODETIC SURVEY
Mr. SCRUGHAM. Would you care to make a statement at this time, Doctor, commenting on the recommendation on behalf of the National Resources Board, I think, made something over a year ago, that all mapping agencies of the Government be placed under the supervision of a central mapping board? In other words, would there be any advantage in placing this organization under the jurisdiction of such a central organization!
Dr. MENDEN HALL. You brought out discussion last year, Governor, that gave you a pretty good record in your hearings at that time. Would
like me to summarize it again? Mr. ŠCRUGHAM. If you wish to make a very brief statement on it, I shall be glad to hear you, because this subject is going to come before us for discussion.
Dr. MENDENHALL. Does the committee care to refer to the testimony in the hearings of last year, and, perhaps, reintroduce that testimony this year?
Will that be satisfactory to this committee? Mr. FITZPATRICK. That will be satisfactory if you do not desire to take up
the time to make a statement now. Dr. MENDEN HALL. The testimony referred to is as follows:
ATTITUDE OF DIRECTOR OF GEOLOGICAL SURVEY ON TRANSFER OF MAP-MAKING ACTIVI
TIES TO COAST AND GEODETIC SURVEY
Mr. SCRUGHAM. Dr. Mendenhall, have you any recommendations to make on the comments of the Science Advisory Board, particularly with reference to mapping?
Mr. TAYLOR. We would like to have your reaction to that, if you have studied it.
Dr. MENDENHALL The recommendation in that volume
Dr. MENDENHALL. This volume is the second report of the Science Advisory Board, September 1, 1934, to August 31, 1935.
The recommendation is that the Coast and Geodetic Survey be made the nucleus for a governmental mapping unit. The first preference is that this new mapping bureau be given the rank of a commission and report directly to the President. The second recommendation is that it be placed in the Department of the Interior. The third recommendation is that it be placed in the Department of Commerce.
Mr. SCRUGHAM. Just a moment. How do you account for these paradoxical recommendations?
Dr. MENDENHALL. Governor, I must be excused from attempting to account for the contents of that report.
Mr. SORUGHAM. Very well. Go ahead.
Dr. MENDENHALL. The Coast and Geodetic Survey is, as I said, to be made the nucleus of this new unit and is to be transferred to it intact.
In addition, there is to be transferred to it the topographic branch of the United States Geological Survey, our map-making unit, and the Division of Engraving and Printing, as we call it in the Geological Survey, our great map reproducing plant.
As I told you earlier, the ('ost Survey is essentially a chart-making organization. Its primary responsibilities now are the mapping of the coasts and harbors of the I'nited States and its dependencies. The equipment of the Coast Survey primarily is a series of 12 or 15 seagoing vessels, surveying vessels, that are used in this chart-making work. The Coast Survey is not now a map inaking unit in the sense that it makes land maps. It does make it does curry on this control work that has been mentioned here, the exact levels across the continent and the triangulation across the continent, which fixes the position of points within the interior of the country by latitude and longitude.
I can see no advantage in transferring the official map-making unit of the Government to a splendid organization, to be sure, but one that is not a mapmaking unit.
Other earlier recommendations--because this question has been a controversial question for many years and it has occupied the attention of many administrations-other recommendations that have been made appeal to me as being more likely to result in economies, if any economies can come out of these reor. ganizations and to my mind that is doubtful--they provide for the transfer of the geodetic work of the Coast and Geodetic Survey to the Geological Survey. These two types of work are closely related, and they are coordinated very effectively now. There is no overlapping at present and, to my mind, no special advantage in combination in one unit. But, if combination is to be effected, it seems to me it should be a transfer of the minor activity-that is, the ('oast Survey activity to the major activity--that is, the Geological Survey activity.
Moreover, I can see no possibility of-well, first, I do not think that our great mechanical map-reproducing plant should be transferred from the Geological Survey to some other unit and thns taken out of the control of the Geological Survey. It is the pioneer map-reproducing plant of the Government. It includes a fine equipment of personnel, printing presses, and cameras-many of the latter designed right there in our own shop-and, while somewhat less than half of its activity at the present time is the reproduction of topographic maps, it also reproduces our geologic maps and it does a great deal of miscellaneous work for the Department of the Interior. It makes many of the maps for the General Land Office. Indeed, it prints maps for other units of the Government, the Department of Agriculture among ot bers. To have it taken from ns and out of our control would result in a rery great loss to us a loss to our efficiency-and I do not see any compensating gain, myself.
The Coast and Geodetic Survey-- you will remember that its staff consists about half of commissioned officers, officers with ranks like, and based on, those of the Navy.
The fact that it has a commissioned personnel means that special appropriations are made for that personnel, and it is very difficult to find out precisely what the costs of its work are. The report of the Science Advisory Board implies that the costs would be lower under the Cast Survey than under the Geological Survey. I know the vigilance that we exercise in the way of keeping costs down, and I feel confident myself that we are making these maps, considering the quality, at much less cost than any other unit in the Government can make them. I do not believe that they can be made elsewhere at less expense than we can make them.
REPORT OF SCIENCE ADVISORY BOARD ON BI'RVEYING AND MAPPING AOTIVITIES Mr. SCRICHAM. For the benefit of the record, I will read the report of the Science Advisory Board, dated September 1, 1135, which states:
*The present investigation found Federal surveying and mapping activities to be enormous in rolume, of confusing variety, and to have developed independently and to have been without correlation among different executire agentes. As an inevitable result, duplication of effort and waste of funds have sometimes resulted. Certain subsidiary services hare large mapping units that operate with ineffciency and waste.
The report recommends consolidating into a central surveying and mapping agency the (Coast and Geodetic Survey, the Topographic Branch and the Division of Engraving and Printing of the l'nited States Geological Survey, the C'nited States Lake Survey, and the International Boundary Commission. The
central mapping agency thus constituted should have exclusive control of all primary surveying and mapping activities properly contributing to the standard map of the country and its adjacent waters.”
Mr. ZIONCHECK. To make that record a little more complete, I think we ought to put in the name of the personnel that recommended this. This body included :
Dr. Isaiah Bowman, director of the American Geographical Society, New York City; now president of the John Hopkins University;
C. K. Leith, professor of geology and head of the department, University of Wisconsin, Madison, Wis.;
W. L. G. Joerg, research editor, American Geographical Society, New York City;
Robert H. Randall, president and chief engineer of R. H. Randall & Co., Inc., Toledo, Ohio;
C. C. Williams, dean of the College of Engineering, University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa-experienced on railroad surveys, 1906;
F. W. DeWolf, professor of geology and head of department, University of Illinois, Urbana, Ill.
Douglas Johnson, chairman of the committee, professor of physiography, Columbia University, New York City.
LETTER OF SECRETARY ICKES IN RE REPORT OF SCIENCE ADVISORY BOARD
Dr. MENDENHALL. With the approval of Secretary Ickes, and for the information of the appropriations committee in considering the Science Advisory Board report now before it, I am placing in the record at this point the Secretary's letter of December 10, 1934, to Budget Director Bell. In this letter the Science Advisory Board report is discussed briefly and the Secretary's attitude toward the recommendations made in it is set forth.
THE SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR,
Washington, December 10, 1934. Hon. D. W. BELL,
Acting Director, Bureau of the Budget. MY DEAR MR. BELL: I have your note of November 28, 1934, transmitting a copy of the President's memorandum to you dated November 23 regarding mapping activities of the Federal Government, together with a copy of the report of a committee of the Science Advisory Board. You inquire whether I have any objection to the issuance of the proposed Executive order.
Three alternative drafts of Executive orders are submitted with the report of the Science Advisory Board Committee. Each proposes to change the name of the present Coast and Geodetic Survey to the Coast and Interior Survey; to retain as Director of the Coast and Interior Survey the present Director of the Coast and Geodetic Survey, and to add to the proposed Coast and Interior Survey certain Government establishments and functions not now a part of the Coast and Geodetic Survey. Among the establishments to be added, the most important and the ones with which this Department is directly concerned are the Topographic Branch and the Division of Engraving and Printing of the United States Geological Survey.
The functions of the Topographic Branch are the making of the standard topographic maps of the United States. It is not merely by far the largest, but is the only Government agency systematically engaged in preparing and publishing a contour map of the surface of the entire United States. The functions of the Division of Engraving and Printing are the engraving and printing of these maps and of the geologic atlas of the United States, and many other geologic maps that are products of the geologic work of the Geological Survey. It also prints miscellaneous maps of many kinds for the Department of the Interior and for other Government establishments.
One form of Executive order submitted will, if approved, make of the proposed Coast and Interior Survey, an independent establishment reporting directly to the President, another will make of it a Bureau in the Department of the Interior, and a third, a Bureau in the Department of Commerce.
I am opposed to each of these actions in the forms proposed for reasons presently to be set forth, but if any one is to be adopted, the second, in my judgment, is the only one that should be seriously considered.
The making of maps and charts by the United States falls into two great natural groups-mapping of the lands and charting of the waters and the coasts
The general mapping of the lands long has been, and in my opinion properly bas been, a function of the Department of the Interior. The charting of the oceans, the harbors, and the coast lines is done by the Hydrographic Office of the Nary Department and by the Coast and Geodetic Survey. The two types of work are noncompetitive, nonoverlapping, require different methods, different equipment, and differently trained staffs. The one is done by civilian engineers under civilian direction working or or over the land, the other by commissioned staffs of the Navy type working largely from ships.
As the historical land department of the Government, the Department of the Interior includes a group of important bureaus concerned with land matters Among these is the General Land Office, which has administered that great body of law dealing with the public domain, and as an incident in that administra tion has executed the cadastral surrers on which land titles rest throughout two-thirds of the Nation. Others are the Bureau of Reclamation, the National Park Service, the Bureau of Indian Affairs, the Bureau of Mines, and now the closely affiliated Public Works Administration. All of these organizations deal with problems arising in the interior of the country and all require base maps in their work. Associated with them is the United States Geological Survey which. among its functions, has that of producing the great mother map of the Crited States. It has developed the engineering art of contour mapping until its map products not only are in great demand by all the engineering and planning seri. ices of the Department of the Interior but by the Government services gener ally, and by citizens ererywhere. The modern contour maps produced by this organization are recognized as standards of excellence throughont the world. Practically from the beginning, the making of land maps, naturally and rightly. has been an Interior Department responsibiilty. Now, as in the past, this fun tion is most closely affiliated with other Interior Department functions. Its evolution in this Department to its present high state of technical excellence is due in no small part to the fact that its environment here is a natural ole. Proper coordination of Government functions requires that it remain here.
Therefore if choice must be made from the three proposals submitted through you to the President by the Science Advisory Board, the second, involving the retention of mapping work in the Department of the Interior, seems to me to be the only one that can logically be given consideration. But I do not believe that transferring the Topographic Branch and the Division of Engraving and Printing of the Geological Survey to the Coast and Geodetic Survey under another name, which essentially is what the committee purposes, will foster either economy or efficiency in Government.
I have already indicated that the mapping activities of the Government fall naturally into two great groups covering distinct fields, requiring different kinds of training and experience, and now performed by distinct types of personnel One is a landsman's job, the other is essentially a seaman's job. One of the great weaknesses of the Science Advisory Board's report is its failure to rect nize this natural distinction. No one has proposed to place the Army under the Navy just because they are both fighting groups. Neither is it sensible nor will it contribute to economy or efficiency to place our land mapping activities under a coast, harbor, and sea surveying organization because both involve some form of engineering.
The fact that the Coast Survey with its commissioned personnel is essentially a coast and marine surveying organization, with a dozen or more seagoing vessels as a major part of its equipment, is likewise not sufficiently recognized by the Science Advisory Board Committee. Indeed, by repeatedly referring to the Coast Survey as a great "mapping” agency, the committee doubtless unciusciously, but none the less definitely, misleads the reader. “Maps" in common understanding and in the sense in which there is now so widespread a demand for speeding up map production, mean maps of the land, and the Coast Survey is not a land mapping agency. Its principal products are not land "maps", but coastal and hydrographie" "charts." Its relations to the sea are, perhare unconsciously, indicated by the committee, in that the effect of approval of one of its recommendations would be to put ensigns and commanders and captains in charge of surveying the plains of Kansas or the Mojave Desert.
The Coast Survey has no staff of skilled topographers because its functions on not include topographic mapping. Hence, of course, it has not developed the high type of accurate, but light and easily portable instruments needed in land mapping, that have been developed by the United States Geological Survey staff. It has no such close and constructive relations with the development of airplane mapping methods as has the Geological Survey, which was early in this
field-developing one of the first of the multiple lens airplane cameras and now makes use of air photographs in its work wherever that use is practical, economical, and efficient.
Perhaps the principal argument advanced by the committee for its program, is one that I believe to be unsound. It is that by bringing these distinct services together better public support for a mapping program will be secured. The idea seems to be to establish a lusty unit that can vocalize the need for large appropriations. I do not believe that the administration environment will influence this matter. The topographic maps tell their own story. They have long been recognized by engineers and technical groups as well-nigh indispensable for many purposes. That recognition has spread as more of them have become available. The demand for them is now widespread and insistent and public support in some form will be forthcoming regardless of where the work is done.
I am personally heartily in sympathy with an expanded mapping program and l'ublic Works funds have been allocated during the past year as a start toward such an expansion. The Department and the Geological Survey are prepared to proceed with the work efficiently and economically and with whatever speed the funds provided permit. The amount of work that can be done will not be increased merely by merging the Interior Department mapping organization with the Coast Survey; it can be increased only by the provision of funds. The Coast Survey can make no immediate material contribution to the land-mapping program that it is not making now through its geodetic work. As I have already stated and as the committee realizes, it has no engineers trained in topographic mapping. The Geological Survey staff constitutes the nucleus around which the building for an expanded program will have to be done. I know of no reason why it should do this building under another environment than the present.
In reading the report of the committee one is given the impression that the Coast and Geodetic Survey is almost too perfect an institution. Its costs are not analyzed and no faintest suggestion of criticism has been permitted to fall upon it anywhere, whereas the Geological Survey, admitted to be a great scientific organization, seems always to have been just a little bit wrong in much that it has done. The scales of its larger scale maps appear to have been chosen badly although the engineer users of these maps strangely have not yet discovered that fact. Its cooperation with the States by which mapping has been materially speeded up seems to involve potential ill effects. Its engraving methods, despite the fact that no other Government plant produces results of such high quality, appear not to be up to date and so everywhere, according to this report, it falls just short of desirable goals of attainment. The argument is overdone. I am confident that a comparison of comparable products would indicate lower unit costs in the Geological Survey than in the Coast Survey. Such an analysis has not been made by the committee. Yet it ventures to predict large savings by placing the Geological Survey unit under Coast Survey administration. The discussion is so weighted in favor of the thesis which the writer is supporting as inevitably to raise a question as to its impartial character.
Part of the effect of aggrandizement of the Coast Survey is produced by the way in which facts are discussed in the report or omitted from discussion. For example, the committee mentions with satisfaction the fact that the reproduction plant of the Coast Survey contains seven presses of various types and a large modern camera for chart work. It does not mention the comparable fact that the Geological Survey map-printing plants contains eight presses, one of them the largest multicolor press in any Government establishment. Nor that the large Coast Survey camera is based on one earlier designed by the Geological Survey and installed as a part of its map-publishing equipment. The committee states that annually some 300,000 copies of charts and airway maps are printed hy the Coast Survey, but fails to mention the parallel fact that the Geological Survey prints annually 600,000 or 700,000 copies of maps. From a review of this character, only a few of the obvious weaknesses of which I have touched upon, the curious conclusion is reached "that the United States Coast and Geodetic Survey is the Nation's major mapping institution", a phrase constantly repeated in various forms throughout the report.
Nor am I able to understand the logical process by which it is proposed to endow the suggested new organization with two of the principal printing and engraving establishments of Government, those at present in the Coast Survey and the Geological Survey, leaving none in the latter organization, whose geologic water resources, Alaskan, and land-classification work requires the reproduction of many maps.