« PreviousContinue »
were not ready for it, and she turned around under her own steam right here inside the straits and went out again.
Mr. BRITTEN. You have been here quite some time. know of any ship, any first-class ship, that has turned around under her own power without the assistance of the tide to turn her around after she was buoyed ?
Capt. BEACH. I don't know of any, unless you accept the Mount Vernon.
Mr. BRITTEN. Yes, I know about that.
Capt. BEACH. We were very much scared when we saw her steaming up here, because we were not ready for her. I thought her captain did a fine piece of seamanship in bringing her up here, drawing 32 feet and 9 inches, right through Carquinez Straits.
Mr. BRITTEN. Yes. About your water supply, Capt. Beach. You said in your statement that your water supply was to be improved.
Capt. BEACH. Yes, sir.
Mr. BRITTEN. Was that included in your $26,000,000 estimate, and just
how are you getting your water now? Capt. BEACH. You see, we don't pay for that. We simply pay 18 cents a thousand gallons for our water,
Mr. BRITTEN. Eighteen cents a thousand ?
Capt. BEACH. Yes. The water supply is furnished entirely by Vallejo.
Mr. BRITTEN. And how do you get your electric power ?
Capt. BEACH. No, sir. We are conne ed up with and can use the Pacific Gas & Electric Co.'s power. We have a connection with them and use their
power sometimes. Mr. BRITTEN. But generally you do not?
Capt. BEACH. We have given them power out of our power plant sometimes.
Mr. BRITTEN. What do you pay for power when you get it from them?
Capt. BEACH. It is a little over a cent.
Mr. BRITTEN. Is it 1.7 cents? We have heard that it is 1.7 cents per kilowatt-hour.
Capt. BEACH. It varies a little. Do you know what it is, Commander Cox?
Commander Cox. The average consumption of power on this yard for all purposes is around 4,000 kilowatts per day, or 32,000 kilowatt hours per day: Our maximum generating capacity per eight-hour day is approximately 5,000 kilowatts. We maintain a break-down connection with the Pacific Gas & Electric Co. under an arrangement by which we are able to get as much as 1,500 kilowatts per day. The average amount which we do take from the Pacific Gas & Electric Co. is about this amount. According to the Navy system of accounting, power which the yard generates costs about a cent per kilowatt hour. The power taken from the Pacific Gas & Electric Co. costs6,000 kilowatt maximum demand, 1,000,000 kilowatt hours consumption per month—$0.00985. Í have just received a telephone from Mr. Casper, manager of the Vallejo Electric Light & Power Co., who was to have been present at the conference, but was prevented by illness, to the effect that after the State Railroad Commission's
ruling, were we to take all of our power from the commercial concern we would be entitled to a rate of $0.009 per kilowatt hour.
Mr. BRITTEN. It was suggested day before yesterday, at the City Hall in San Francisco, that the Hunters Point location could be supplied with power at 1 cent a kilowatt hour, and that is the reason I wanted to make that comparison.
Commander Cox. Yes: I noticed it.
Mr. BRITTEN. Capt. Beach, you suggested that 494,334 tons of naval vessels had been repaired in your yard during the year 1919, and a total number of 201 ships. That would average about 2,575 tons per ship,
Capt. BEACH. Yes.
Captain BEACH. Yes—the Vermont and the Georgia and ships of that class.
Mr. BRITTEN. I think that is all I have to ask, Mr. Chairman. The report is very accurate and I think covers practically everything.
Mr. Hicks. Captain, I would like to ask you this: When we were here a year and a half ago, we understood you were finding difficulty in getting a fresh-water supply, and that the city of Vallejo was willing to and was going to do something to help remedy the situation. Has that been accomplished as yet?
Capt. BEACH. Not yet.
Capt. Beach. We have been short, because it has been a very dry season. During the last four years there has not been much rain here. But now.of course the rains have come and we are expecting to have a better season.
Mr. Hicks. Assume that we were to make an improvement of the kind contemplated, would there be any difficulty in getting all the fresh water you need for your purposes here?
Capt. BEACH. Not the slightest.
Mr. PADGETT. Capt. Beach stated that Vallejo had voted bonds for water system.
Mr. BRITTEN. Yes; $1,250,000.
Capt. BEACH. We know they will. It has been a matter of exhaustive study. Admiral Parks visited the site, and I was with him.
Mr. HICKS. Captain, I would like to ask you this.: On this question of fog in this part of the bay and the lower part of the bay there seems to be some discussion. You are convinced, are you, from your experience as a naval man, that the amount of fog up in the northern part of the bay is materially less than the amount of fog in the southern part of the bav?
Capt. BEACH. I am told that is the fact, of record; but I go to San Francisco so seldom that I am not an expert on San Francisco fog. I go there only when I have to.
Mr. Hicks. Captain, this channel coming up here is, of course, a matter of great consideration. The report that you have made, based on Commander Cox's investigation, convinces you that we could easily maintain a 40-foot channel of the proper length and keep it open?
you need ?
Capt. BEACH. Yes, sir.
Mr. Hicks. Now, from reports made, it would seem to me there is a conflict of opinion here as to what that channel would cost. I have seen it estimated all the way from a million and a half up to six or seven millions of dollars, and I noticed in your report you speak of the maintenance cost of $65,000 a year to keep it open. I have heard it stated as high as $140,000.
Capt. BEACH. I quoted there verbatim from the official report of Col. Rees, who was the Army engineer here. My knowledge of the channel has come more from discussing the channel with Army engineers than with Commander Cox, although I have discussed it with him too. I have repeatedly discussed that channel with the Army engineer who has charge of dredging here, and he told me this, that four years ago, at the time the Helm Board made its investigation, just about the time Congress passed a law for the benefit of commerce, they dug that channel to 30 feet, and the Army engineer said they had expected with the San Pablo dredge to dig it to 30 feet, but the thing went to 35 feet without any intention on their part. In other words, the channel that was dug to 35 feet was intended to be 30 feet, but they went ahead, and instead of using the dredge the whole year they only used it four months to dig to 35 feet. That is what Col. Winslow told me.
Mr. Hicks. There is no question in your mind but what there is a very large amount of silting in that channel at all times?
Capt. BEACH. I suppose there is. Mr. Hicks. Isn't it the fact that there is? Capt. BEACH. I don't know. I must take his report. That is what he told me, that there was much less silting than what they had expected. He said to me, "Beach, they expected that channel to constantly fill up, but the banks have formed a permanent shape; it is now a permanent channel;” and he told me they had found much less silt than they had expected, and because there was much less silt it went down to 35 feet. That is Col. Winslow's report, the United States Army engineer.
Mr. HICKS. That is rather a different version than we have got before about the silting of the channel. I would like to ask this, and then I will be through, Captain. You said bere that Commander Cox stated that a dry dock could be built here in about 24 months' time.
Capt. BEACH. Yes, sir.
Mr. Hicks. What does Commander Cox estimate the cost of that dry dock?
Capt. BEACH. It would depend upon the nature of the foundationwhere it was put.
Mr. Hicks. Suppose we put it according to that plan there.
Capt. BEACH. According to that plan there, I would rather you would ask him yourself, but he has told me he thinks about $5,000,000.
Mr. Hicks. That is rock foundation along there?
Commander Cox. No. I estimate $3,800,000 for a dry dock in rock lined with concrete, at Carquinez Straits, and I have used the same estimate for the dock at Hunters Point, if the same foundation conditions are found. Now, if we locate the dock outboard of the rock it will cost about $5,000,000. The point is this, in laying out a general project we do not, of course, expect to definitely locate the structures. The final location must depend upon exhaustive
study and explorative work. Somewhere between the tentative inboard and outboard dock 'sites I have shown there will be plenty of room to shift from rock foundation to all earth or pile support.
Mr. Hicks. Captain, I don't know whether you are familiar with this matter about which I am going to ask you, but perhaps some of these civilians will be able to answer it. It is a question of cost of shipment, which is a very important item in a yard like shis, because most of your stuff comes from the East. Your railroad facilities, of course, we recognize. In regard to shipment by water in vessels bound from the east coast here, would this station here get the same rate for ocean shipments on a cargo, the major part of which is destined for San Francisco and the minor part up here? Would the final part, destined for this yard, get the same ocean rate as the San Francisco part would get ?
Capt. BEACH. I don't know, Mr. Hicks.
Mr. Hicks. That is a question that we have had a number of times down at the other hearings, and it is quite a vital point.
Capt. REED. I suggest that a large portion of that material of that kind from the East is brought out here on colliers that are coming directly here.
Mr. 'Hicks. That is undoubtedly true with a great deal of your stuff. But there is a great deal that will be shipped here in other vessels, vessels other than Government vessels, and that is a point that we would like to have answered. Perhaps if you could get some of your chamber of commerce people here they would be in a position to answer it.
Capt. BEACH, Capt. Conard, will you answer that?
Capt. CONARD. The water-borne freight that comes here is very small, I mean in commercial vessels—it comes mostly in Government vessels, if it comes by water. We have very few shipments in commercial vessels, and most of our freight comes by rail at the present time.
Mr. Hicks. But if it should come by ocean traffic, and the freight was mostly consigned to San Francisco, there would undoubtedly be a larger freight rate up here for a split cargo than would be paid at San Francisco for a split cargo, would there not?
Capt. CONARD. I don't know. If we had the facilities to berth the vessel up here, I imagine she could bring part of the cargo here and discharge and discharge the rest at San Francisco, all at the same rate. But the matter has never actually come up, and has never been settled.
Mr. PADGETT. I would like to ask you about what percentage of freight through a number of years past, say, 10 years, has come by ocean freight and not by rail, and not by our own naval ships.
Capt. CONARD. I could not tell you that.
Capt. CONARD. I think it could not be more than 10 per cent or 15 per cent, at the most, that has come by water. It has been almost entirely railroad shipments.
Mr. PADGETT. You say 10 per cent or 15 per cent by water?
Mr. PADGETT. What part of that 10 per cent or 15 per cent comes in naval vessels, and what part comes in commercial vessels ?
Capt. CONARD. Only a small per cent has come in naval vessels, because we have only recently instituted a naval transport system. We haven't had that very long.
Mr. PADGETT. You have just started that within the last year or so? Capt. CONARD. Yes.
Mr. Hicks. But you concede that there will be a good deal of material, Captain, sent to this yard in other ships rather than in public ships, do you not?
Capt. CONARD. That is not the purpose of the Navy Department. The intention is to confine water shipments to naval vessels almost exclusively. That is our hope.
Capt. BEACH. That is what the Secretary has stated.
Mr. BRITTEN. May I ask just one further question ? But pardon me---are you through, Mr. Padgett?
Mr. PADGETT. I had a question I wanted to ask the captain, but I was diverted. Go ahead and ask your question and I may think of it. I don't know whether I will ask any more.
Senator Ball. I would rather one person would ask his questions as we go along.
Mr. PADGETT. I don't believe I have anything else to ask now.
Mr. BRITTEN. Capt. Beach, do you know of any other flag officer in the Navy who shares your opinion regarding this proposed base site here?
Capt. BEACH. Admiral Fullam has so expressed himself to mehe was here at one time. I never talked it over with any other flag officer.
Capt. SEE. Admiral Mayo, with whom I served, always maintained the same thing, the same opinion, I know.
Mr. BRITTEN. That this was a superior site to Alameda or Hunters Point?
Capt. SEE. I know that our commandants all_along have consistently maintained the same opinion that Capt. Beach has.
Mr. BRITTEN. That is, in comparison with the other sites that were then in mind ?
Capt. SEE. Yes; their opinion all along bas been the same.
Mr. BRITTEN. Did I understand you to say the condition all along has been the same? Just how long have these sites been under observation and under consideration, and who do you know who feels the same about it as a flag officer or line officer as does Capt. Beach.
Capt. SEE. I think Admiral Mayo would be a good authority.
Capt. SEE. He always maintained that same position when he was here.
Mr. BRITTEN. The same position that Capt. Beach has?
Mr. BRITTEN. In favor of this yard as compared with Hunters Point?
Capt. SEE. Any point on the bay.
Capt. SEE. Well, Admiral Mayo left here in 1915, which is a little bit early for these recent developments.