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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 me-he 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.
Mr. BRITTEN. Has he so expressed himself?

Capt. SEE. He always maintained that same position when he was here.

Mr. BRITTEN. The same position that Capt. Beach has ?
Capt. SEE. Yes; he was always in favor of this yard.

Mr. BRITTEN. In favor of this yard as compared with Hunters Point?

Capt. SEE. Any point on the bay.
Mr. BRITTEN. Was any other point under consideration ?
Capt. SEE. So far as it was discussed at all at that time.
Mr. BRITTEN. What points were discussed ?

Capt. SEE. Well, Admiral Mayo left here in 1915, which is a little bit early for these recent developments.

Mr. BRITTEN. That is what I wanted to bring out. Capt. SEE. But I think he would maintain the same position now. That is what I mean.

Mr. BRITTEN. Then one question about the dike. In your proposition for further construction, did you expect to lengthen the dike, if so, how much?

Capt. BEACH. Mr. Britten, I have talked on that subject with Commander Cox, who has made a study of it. I don't know much about it and he knows all about it.

Mr. BRITTEN. Just at this point in the record

Capt. BEACH (interrupting and continuing). He will answer your question. Mr. BRITTEN. Yes.

Capt. BEACH. I haven't much opinion of my own on that dike, but what we have talked about is extending the dike from the present 8,000 feet to 20,000 feet.

Mr. BRITTEN. Extending it 12,000 feet?
Capt. BEACH. Yes.
Mr. BRITTEN. Do you think that is necessary?

Capt. BEACH. I say we have talked about it. I think as an ultimate development, it is, yes.

Mr. BRITTEN. You do?
Capt. BEACH. But I am not talking about that part of it now.

Mr. BRITTEN. I am just wondering why that would be necessary if the channel has already made its own bottom and no appreciable amount of silting comes in along there. Why would it be necessary to extend the dike 12,000 feet? Capt. BEACH. Because, if you wanted to do that, you could, if

you needed it, make a good deal of additional ground. If you run the dikes out there the silt backs up behind them and deposits and makes ground.

Mr. BRITTEN. Would you need that ground, and does your scheme contemplate the development of the ground ?

Capt. BEACH. Not this scheme.
Mr. BRITTEN. Your development is all up in the Carquinez Straits !

Capt. BEACH Yes; that is a possible ultimate development. It is possible 50 years from now, or some other time.

Mr. BRITTEN. That is all, thank you.

Senator BALL. Does any other member of the committee desire to ask any questions?

Mr. PADGETT. I have thought of a question, Mr. Chairman. I recall that many years ago when I first went upon the committee the channel was 24 feet at mean low tide over the straits down here.

Capt. BEACH. Through the shoals ?

Mr. PADGETT. Yes, through the shoals, and I have been informed that since then was not less than 31 feet, and since we have authorized the construction of those dikes, that the current instead of depositing silt has deen washing the silt out, and that it has been gradually deepening. Can you tell me whether that is true or correct, or is it incorrect ?

Capt. BEACH. I think the channel was originally 28 or 29 feet, and that during the hydraulic mining it went down to 24 feet, and that then they put these dikes up and it has been getting deeper there constantly

see if

Mr. PADGETT. Only 28 or 29 feet? I have been told that many years ago, when this yard was established, in the fifties and before the hydraulic and the placer mining up the river, that you had a 40foot depth throughout here, and that it filled up to about 24 feet. But what I was asking about was, that since the construction of these dykes by the joint action of the Army and the Navy, and dredging, that there has been a tendency to wash itself out instead of accumulating—that is, the natural channel has been washing out itself. I want to know if you have any information on that.

Capt. BEACH. I have no information on that point. Commander Cox may have. Mr. PADGETT. All right, we will see about that. I just wanted to you

knew. Capt. BEACH. I think that is true, but Commander Cox can answer that better than I. He has the information on that.

Mr. CURRY. I think that is true, Mr. Chairman.

Senator Ball. Captain, who do you desire to have testify before the committee next?

Capt. BEACH. Senator Ball, I do not desire anybody.

Senator BALL. The committee desires all the information it can get.

Mr. CURRY. I suggest that Commander Cox is chief engineer of the yard, and his information will be valuable to the committee.

Senator BALL. Then will Commander Cox come up here, please?

Capt. BEACH. Mr. Chairman, I haven't given out this statement that I have just made to you here to anybody. The newspaper men have asked if they could have it. I am quite willing to let them have it, but of course will not do so unless the committee says so.

Senator Ball. What is the feeling about it, gentlemen ?

Mr. PADGETT. I don't see any objection to the newspaper men having it.

Senator Ball. I should not think there could be any objectioi. This is a public hearing,

Mr. PADGETT. No objection in the world.

Senator BALL. Any statements before the committee may be made public, in my judgment, unless some member of the committee objects.

Capt. BEACH. I would ask Admiral Coontz to give me instruction on that.

Admiral Coontz. How is that?

Capt. BEACH. I have been requested to give the statement out to the newspapers. Up to this time the statement is not in the possession of anybody except the congressional committee.

Admiral Coont. It is entirely up to the chairman of the congressional committee, as this is now evidence before the committee

Mr. PADGETT. I can see no objection to it.
Mr. Hicks. It is public property.
Mr. BRITTEN. This is not an executive session.

Mr. PADGETT. There is no reason that I can see that we should keep anything from the press.

Senator BALL. The committee seems to be unanimous that it is perfectly proper to give it to the papers.

Capt. BEACH. I simply desired the permission of the committee, as I would not give it without the permission of the committee and of the Chief of Operations.

Senator Ball. So far as the committee is concerned, it is public property.

Mr. BRITTEN. The statement is a very good one, Captain, and it ought to be published.

Commander L. M. Cox. Gentlemen of the commission, the commandant has submitted a very able presentation of the merits of the present location of the Mare Island Navy Yard as the site for a new and enlarged Pacific coast naval base. My function is merely to place at your disposal the results of such technical studies as I have made during my tour of duty in this district, and in particular to give you •my reasons as an engineer for recommending the socalled Carquinez Straits Site. Considering the limited time at the commission's disposal for personal investigationat the various sites, I am of the opinion that I could best present that part of the subject falling within my sphere through the medium of questions and answers. Since, however, it appears desirable to present a more general statement of the technical side of the question, I will endeavor to touch only upon the more important features, leaving all questions of details to be brought out by examination, should the commission desire more specific information.

Assuming that Congress is convinced of the necessity for an ade.quate docking, repair, and supply base on the Pacific coast for the maintenance of the Pacific Fleet, it follows that, before giving the necessary authority for the construction of such a base and before appropriating the large sums necessary for its execution, a definite decision must be reached regarding its location. There are two governing factors in the problem of locating a naval base-military requirements and engineering features.

Obviously, I could not well have spent 20 years of my life in the naval service without giving first place in any discussion of a naval public work to the question of military needs, and possibly, too, some more or less positive ideas as to what such needs


be for any specific problem. My knowledge is not that of a specialist, however, and, since the commission has at its disposal the best expert talent in the service, it is my desire to avoid this topic altogether, both in my preliminary statement and in my examination. .

The factor of engineering” I assume as including practicability of construction, practicability of operation, and all engineering questions having to do with the economics, both of construction and operation; and I will start with the hypothesis that, if it be established to the commission's satisfaction that the Carquinez Straits location reasonably fulfills all military requirements which can now be foreseen, the commission's choice of site will be that which can be operated at the least annual expense and which will conserve the maximum of existing Government investments.

The act creating this commission specifically mentions for consideration three proposed sites known as the Alameda site, the Hunters Point site, and the Carquinez Straits site. I will discuss briefly the general characteristics of the three sites in the orde mentioned.

The Alameda site consists of a tract of water-covered land with a bay frontage of approximately 8 miles and an area of approximately 5,400 acres. The present surface elevation of this tract is from zero at the tide land to minus 12 feet, or, say, an average of 6 feet below mean lower low water. Of this tract it is proposed by the

Helm Board to develop immediately for dock-yard construction a quadrangle containing approximately 473 acres, or about 9 per cent of the entire tract. This development plot will require an average fill of about 20 feet in order to bring it to a yard level of 12 feet above mean lower low water, the material for this fill to be obtained from dredging: Exploratory work has been in progerss for some months with a view to ascertaining the character of the underlying materials for foundation purposes.

The results of the borings taken in the course of this work have been submitted to the commission, and will be interpreted by the commission's technical advisers. For purposes of this statement they may be interpreted as indicating exceedingly treacherous conditions for the construction of such structures as dry docks. We have penetrated in places to a depth of 150 feet, and in every boring we have encountered clays and sands of different mixtures, with waterbearing strata well within the bottom depths of a modern dry dock carrying 40 feet of water over the sill. This means difficult, hazardous, and expensive construction work, and I believe that I am war ranted in expressing the opinion that it would be unwise to attempt such constructions at this site without resorting to radical measures, such as were adopted in the construction of the Pearl Harbor dry dock; and I would not consider it safe to estimate the cost of such a dock at less than $5,700,000.

Mr. Hicks. Will you please repeat that figure, Commander Cox?

Commander Cox. $5,700,000. After a study of local labor and material markets extending over a period of a year and a quarter, I have prepared what I believe to be a fairly reliable estimate of the cost of executing the Helm Board layout on the Alameda site, and find that the total, including reclamation, dredging, quay walls, piers, buildings, dry docks, breakwaters, machine equipment, and public utilities, could not be proved for less than $50,427,000, and that, assuming the usual procedure on Government works and the usual contract methods, the time required to complete the entire work, with the maximum rate of progress to be expected, is six years, with a strong, probability of exceeding this period. (Of course, this information has come to me second hand, because I have not been here long enough to actually know.) When constructed, the maintenance and operating costs should be reasonable. Silt drops rapidly in this locality, and I am informed that the rate of deposit sometimes amounts to as much as 3 inches per month, or 3 feet per year, when the bank is once disturbed and the current paths deflected by wing walls. This will mean periodical dredging for the maintenance of slips and approach, but the cost of this work should not be given weight as an important site objection, since the disadvantage is more or less common to all sites on the bay.

The railroad service may be marked excellent, sources of supply excellent, labor conditions ample as regards supply, but unsatisfactory in other respects.

At the Hunters Point site it is proposed to reclaim an area of approximately 291 acres of submerged land, a considerable portion of which is at an average depth of 5 feet below mean low water, and to excavate a portion of the rock bluff in order to permit of the construction of dry docks, as indicated on the Helm Board's layout. From the result of recent borings it would seem highly desirable to ncrease the rock excavation quantities as estimated by the Helm

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