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is required in making the molds because the lettering has to be different for every single marker. This does increase the cost of labor.
Senator HAYDEN. And it must be accurate.
Senator HAYDEN. On the other hand, of course, somebody has to carve that same information on the stone, and that costs money, too.
Colonel MARTZ. The accuracy is required in both cases. There is no question about that.
Senator HAYDEN. What type of stone do you use mostly, marble or granite?
Colonel MARTZ. We use more granite, I believe, in recent years. The percentage has been going from marble, which was more popular in former years, to granite.
Senator HAYDEN. All of the markers that I saw in Europe were Carrara marble.
EUROPEAN CEMETERIES Colonel Martz. Yes, sir. I might explain, sir, the markers in the cemeteries in Europe are not represented in this budget. They are provided by the American Battle Monuments Commission, which operates the overseas United States military cemeteries and is not part of the request which we are presenting this morning.
COST OF MARKERS
Senator Young. Before you proceed, would you give us any new figures that you have on the cost of bronze markers as compared to others? Has not the cost of bronze markers gone down in the last year?
Colonel MARTz. Yes, sir. Our bronze markers dropped from a price of $23.21 last year to a price of $21.82 this year.
Senator Young. How does that compare with others?
Colonel Martz. The others have varied slightly. Most of them have increased slightly in the past year.
Senator YOUNG. What is the cost of them now?
Colonel Martz. The general type upright marble marker, which was the original type used and probably the most popular originally, went up from $16.38 to $18.65. The most popular type which we are now using, as far as orders are concerned, is the flat granite type used primarily in civilian cemeteries. That price has gone up from $14.09 to $15.95.
Senator Young. Is that a delivered price?
Colonel Martz. This is a price without transportation; the price at the contractor's plant.
Senator Young. Where are you shipping them from now, mostly?
Colonel Martz. We are shipping, sir, from a number of locations. We have eight different contractors. Most of our marble and granite is coming from 2 localities, the New England States, both Vermont and Massachusetts, and from 1 large contractor in Columbus, Miss. Most of our bronze markers are furnished by 3 contractors, 1 from Cleveland, Ohio, 1 from Maple, Ill., and another from San Francisco.
Senator Young. I have had many complaints from the makers of markers in Minnesota. They operate on a big scale and make a very good marker. They claim that they are not able to bid on the markers because of some technicalities you have in the requirements which almost eliminate their type of marker. If you change your specifications just a little bit, they could comply and furnish markers. It seems to me to be foolish to pay freight on markers clear from the New England States to Minnesota, where they make them, or to Mississippi from that area.
Colonel MARTZ. Our specifications, sir, we felt were broad enough to cover most of the producers. If there is some small technicality in regard to the Minnesota producers, I am not aware of it as of this moment. But we shall certainly look into that situation as far as specifications are concerned.
Senator Young. I wish you would, because they are sizable makers and they should be able to make these markers for that area at any rate.
Let me ask another question on the granite markers as compared to bronze. When freight is considered, how much higher would the bronze marker be than the granite?
Colonel Martz. The cost of shipping the bronze marker is slightly less than granite due to the fact that we are able to ship the bronze by parcel post. We changed the specifications several years ago to get the weight of the bronze marker within the 20-pound postal regulation, so they can be shipped by parcel post, thus
costing us about a dollar less for shipping charges for bronze than it does for the granite. The average cost of transportation this year is $3.60 compared to $3.92 paid last year. This reduction is attributable to an increase in carload lot shipments of stones and to greater percentage of bronze shipments at parcel-post rates.
May I mention one other point, Senator? On our contracts, we sent requests for bids to 129 contractors scattered throughout the United States. I believe they covered some 26 different States. In other words, we attempted to get as wide a distribution as possible of prospective bidders. Then of course the contracts were let at the lowest net cost to the Government.
General HASTINGS. The estimate of $530,000 included for construction represents a net increase of $330,000 over fiscal year 1954. This increase is required to develop additional grave sites in the Beverly, N. J., Fort Logan, Colo., and Willamette, Oreg., National Cemeteries which will be needed to meet burial requirements. The amount requested will also provide for extension of roads and drainage facilities in burial areas in the Long Island National Cemetery, N. Y., and will permit essential repairs to the water supply system in the Golden Gate, Calif., Cemetery. In addition, it will provide necessary repairs to the foundation walls of the cemetery lodge at San Francisco National Cemetery; and will provide for minimum essential engineering investigations, planning and cost estimates preliminary to future construction to meet increasing burial requirements.
MAINTENANCE AND OPERATIONS, NATIONAL CEMETERIES For maintenance and operation of the national cemeteries, amounting to $655,000, there is an increase of $65,000 over fiscal year 1954. This requirement provides for utilities services, contractual services, communication services, supplies and equipment, and transportation. The increase indicated will provide for the cost of operations incident to increased interment activity, for additional maintenance and operations incident to increased interment activity, for additional maintenance of operational equipment, and for replacement of deteriorated equipment not economically repairable.
The estimate of $1,836,000 for field personnel includes an increase of $136,000 over the amount for this purpose in the fiscal year 1954. This is expected to provide 36 man-years over the total of 500 manyears anticipated in 1954. This increase will provide labor for approximately 2,447 additional interments expected in the fiscal year 1955, an increase of 12 percent over the 20,363 interments provided for in the fiscal year 1954. It will also allow for the reestablishment of a maintenance level to approximately that attained in fiscal year 1953, which is not being attained in the current year due to lack of necessary funds.
CIVILIAN PERSONNEL AT SEAT OF GOVERNMENT
Salaries for civilian personnel at the seat of government amount to $490,000, which is the same amount as for the fiscal year 1954. These funds are to provide a staff in the Office of the Quartermaster General for coordination, technical and staff supervision of all activities involved in the establishment, development, maintenance, operation, and administration of the national cemetery installations under the jurisdiction of the Department of the Army; the determination of eligibility for interment; the maintenance of permanent records of approximately 650,000 interments in the cemeteries; and furnishing headstones and markers for the graves of former members of the Armed Forces and other authorized personnel.
I wish to assure you that every effort is being, and will continue to be, directed toward providing the best possible care and operation of our national cemeteries within the funds made available for this purpose. As I have earlier indicated, a higher standard of care and maintenance is desirable, but in the interest of economy the estimate provides only for the minimum essential maintenance and care of our cemeteries.
ELIGIBILITY OF SERVICE PERSONNEL
Senator HAYDEN. Occasionally I have had to take up with you folks where the grave of a former Union or Confederate soldier is located. My recollection is that all that is required is that some organization like an American Legion post or something of that kind agree to receive the marker and place it. What has to be done in a case of that kind ?
Colonel Martz. Your statement is correct, Senator. Our law permits us to furnish a marker for any unmarked grave of a former service member. The only requirement we make is that any individual or American Legion or Spanish American War veterans' organization, or any other service organization, submit an application to our office giving the information to the best of their knowledge. We will check it against the official records to insure that the service of the man was proper and that he was honorably discharged, and then we will order the marker and have it sent to that organization, or if they request, to a cemetery superintendent or other appropriate person who will be responsible for receiving it and effecting the erection.
Senator HAYDEN. The grave does not necessarily have to be in a cemetery
Colonel MARTZ. No, sir. Any unmarked grave of a former service member may be provided with a marker at Government expense.
Senator HAYDEN. The last instance of that kind I had was with respect to a veteran of the Civil War who became a famous Indian scout, and a marker was sent out there. I have heard of some other cases which I perhaps will have to take
INCREASE IN REQUEST
Senator DWORSHAK (presiding). Colonel, you have an overall increase of $528,000, is that right?
Colonel MARTz. Yes, sir, that is correct.
Senator DWORSHAK. What is primarily the increase? I see lands and structures are increased materially. It would seem to me that in view of the administration program for greater economy that every eff should be made to hold down the appropriations instead of increasing them.
Colonel Martz. These items for lands and structures, sir, have been studied very, very carefully with that specific object in view. The items in the specific cemeteries in which we have proposed to spend this particular sum are items where, in practically every case, it is absolutely necessary that we expand in order to have adequate grave space. We find that the constantly increasing rate of deaths of the veteran population is increasing our number of burials each year, as was indicated in the general's opening statement. We find that in several of these large cemeteries which have a large amount of business, we must continue to make new areas available in order to eliminate any possibility of having to turn anybody down.
Senator HAYDEN. The average age of Spanish American war veterans would be in the 70's.
Colonel MARTZ. That is about right.
Senator HAYDEN. There are not very many of them left. Of the World War I veterans, they are getting along in years, too.
Colonel Martz. That is where we are getting one of our biggest increases now, sir, from our World War I veterans. Of course, we have had a certain amount of increase from deaths attributable to the larger size Armed Forces which we have had in the last 3 years, over what we normally had prior to the Korean situation.
Senator HAYDEN. Of course, there are casualties and then there are men who have lost their health and came home and passed away.
Colonel MARTZ. And that contributed to a gradual increase.
Senator HAYDEN. That load should go down since we are not in active combat.
CASUALTY RATES Colonel Martz. That is right. Our casualty rates have stopped insofar as actual battle deaths are concerned. We are finding that our World War I veterans are getting older and we are having a larger increase in the number of deaths from that group. Thus, our burial rate is increasing even without considering the battle casualties from Korea.
Senator HAYDEN. It might be well, Mr. Chairman, to put in the record a statement for the last 5 years showing the number of deaths of the Spanish American War veterans, which I understand are declining, and the number of burials, and the number of burials of the World War I veterans which I understand are increasing. You can do that over a 5-year period to show the trend. Colonel MARTZ. Yes, sir. (The information referred to follows:)
1 Data from U.S. Veterans' Administration, based on mortality tables.
1 Not available.
Possible requirements for grave sites for World War II and Korean returnees have not been included in budget estimates for fiscal years 1954 or 1955.
SUPPORT OF BUDGET ESTIMATE Senator ROBERTSON. May I ask if the testimony of the Quartermaster General and his assistants is just in support of the budget estimate and in explanation of the needs that are covered by the budget estimates ?