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age, unlimited chance for expansion, fine climate, cheap power, and the best environs are among the many advantages offered by this site.

Value of land to be acquired is not over $250 per acre and all of it is held in very few large holdings and can be very quickly acquired.

A naval base located at this point will develop San Francisco Bay for commercial purposes without extra cost to either. This development is needed and is as essential in time of war as a naval base itself.

A. W. LASHER, Engineer. Mr. McCURDY. Mr. Chairman, we have with us Congressman Arthur M. Free, Congressman elect from the eighth district, and we would like to have you listen to a few words from him in closing San Mateo's



Mr. ARTHUR M. FREE. Gentlemen, I realize that your time is limited here and I do not want to take more than a moment in closing for San Mateo. I simply want to thank you for your consideration of this site, and I would like to bring to your mind one thing I have not heard brought out in any of these hearings, and that is, that at times, owing to the condition of the soil, over which the Southern Pacific passes, the freight coming from the North is unable to pass and has

, to be diverted by way of Stockton and comes over the Dumbarton cut-off, just below San Mateo, and really makes this end of the bay a rail terminal in times of bad weather and times when the conditions are such as I have described, so that the freight from the East has to come that way.

I would ask this consideration of this committee for San Mateo and for myself, that on Sunday, as you are going to take a trip to Senator Phelan's, and then on to Monterey, and hence will go down through the beautiful Santa Clara Valley, the richest valley in the world, you stop off at the San Mateo site. I have just been thrown into this congressional turmoil, not as an aspirant myself, but put into it and elected, not, however, to take office until the 4th of March. But there are some big commercial institutions in the southern end of this bay requiring commercial development that will have to be presented to Congress. The site that you have had presented to you here to-day is about five minutes off the main line, down which you will go on Sunday, and, I repeat, I ask that you give that five minutes and ride down to the site so that you may see that right and that I may point out to you some of the features of the southern end of the bay in order that you may have that in mind when you are considering the whole subject. I thank


for your consideration and will take up no more of your time, hoping that I may see you on Sunday morning as suggested.

Mr. McCURDY. That completes San Mateo's case, and we wish to thank the committee as a whole for your kindness in listening to these points.

Senator BALL. We have with us this morning Admiral Hugh Rodman, upon whom I intended calling after all of the hearings, my preference being that his statement should come last in the record. He informs me he has other engagements and will have to leave shortly, and therefore I am going to ask the admiral to make his statement now, if he will kindly do so.

Admiral Hugh RODMAN. Mr. Chairman and gentlemen, I have not prepared a statement, as I would have done had I known previously that you would prefer to have me submit a written state


ment. I have only some very rough notes, and what I have to say may therefore be somewhat disconnected. So I will be very much pleased to have any of you ask any questions which occur to you that may possibly throw more light on certain of these subjects than can be done by the few words that I have to say.

First of all, in all of the arguments that I have heard presented to this committee there has been the matter of cost. We have not had what has been termed the military side, I call it the naval side, presented to this committee. I would disclaim absolutely having any partisan interest of any kind, class, or description in the location of the site. That is not for me to say in any discussion I may make of this subject. But I believe it is essentially requisite and necessary that the Navy have not only a war base but a navy yard in San Francisco Bay, and, bounded by these limitations, I believe the site for the yard should be chosen primarily for naval needs. The naval needs are a harbor that is accessible, and a harbor that affords an abundance of anchorage room.

If I may take a minute of your time to speak technically of bases. We speak of a war base, and I believe I can say here that San Francisco Harbor, to my mind, offers the only war base on this coast, and that in time of war there will be anchored in San Francisco Bay from 400 to 500 vessels whose mission will be to take part in the war. Now, what is more logical under those circumstances than that we should have our repair shops, navy yards, docks, and all that go to make up such a plan, in the immediate vicinity of the vessels ?

Some of you gentlemen, I believe in fact, I know-Mr. Padgett, Mr. Britten, and others, and I believe Mr. Riordan, came across when we were at war with Germany, and doubtless we can picture in our minds the two bases that the British Fleet used, of which the American squadron later formed a part._One was Scapa Flow, and one was Rosyth, in the mouth of the Firth of Forth. Scapa Flow was what you might call a defense base. It was not a repair base. It had no bearing on that subject. It would have been of very material advantage to us if we could have had certain vessels in Scapa Flow, but the reason we used it was because it was spacious, fairly easy of entrance, the only available site, and we were there to prevent the Germans from getting into the North Sea and not to undergo repairs. Could our fleet have remained there at the mouth of the Firth of Forth, where during the war the British were compelled to establish their very largest naval base, and remember that they had numbers of them all over their coast, yet they found that in time of war they had to build their biggest plant there at Rosyth, where the fleet had real strategic reasons for it. That is why I

I advocate unqualifiedly that, when we are considering the question, we should all study economy as applied to all of the elements of such a base, and so I say that this base should be on San Francisco Bay, for the reasons I have stated.

I have observed in my attendance at these hearings, which was only natural, that each municipality or locality has set forth its claims. And you gentlemen must determine as between those claims. I am sorry to say that, personally, I would excluse San Mateo absolutely, for no other reason than that navigation conditions are prohibitive. If I remember correctly, without referring to

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the chart, the anchorage room for a fleet is well to the northward of San Mateo.

I would like to speak of another thing that applies to all of these sites in general. We have heard a great many of the advocates of these proposed sites speak of weather conditions. Gentlemen, the weather conditions that pertain to the Golden Gate pertain to them all. If the Golden Gate is foggy, we don't come in or go out. Once inside the bay and at anchor, we wait for better conditions. The slight differences of climatic conditions, whether of fog or of rain or of currents, or what not, have very little effect in general on the necessity of having the war base down here. And we may exclude the weather conditions, that is, so far as I am concerned as a seafaring man.

Yesterday we were at Mare Island. We heard a very excellent statement made there, advocating the advisability of locating the naval base there. It was based on cost. If you will remember, each engineer who has come before this committee has sidestepped the main reasons for establishing a base; that is, for naval purposes. My conception of any naval base in San Fancisco Bay is this: Don't fix our minds on the engineering difficulties of building a dry dock. I will guarantee that there is not an engineer who considers himself an engineer, but what, if you put him on the rack and ask him if he can build a dock here or there or anywhere else, but what he will say, “I can do it.” I don't believe we should stumble over engineering difficulties. I believe we should select that site that will cost the Government the least amount of money that is most advantageously situated. I believe that those sites lie primarily in this part of the bay, about here. I believe that whether it be Hunters Point or whether it be Alameda is a matter for the engineers to decide, because the anchorage room in front of either is just as good to one side as it is to the other-absolutely.

Now, in times of war, don't let us think for a moment that we must have all of our ships in dry docks. A ship stays in dry dock on an average of three days in a year. That is only one of a number of jobs or duties that pertain to a navy yard. My conception is that if there were a base located in this part of the bay, where there is ample rooni and ample anchorage, that the ships would lie as closely as possible to the yard, that as many as possible would use their dry docks and more particularly their piers, for this reason: I believe that each morning there would be thousands of workmen on board the ships themselves sent out from the yard. A large majority of repairs for maintenance and upkeep during war, and a great many during times of peace, are done on board ship, away from the shops. Therefore, the closer that we can have those ships to the shops and to the ordinary vessels, the greater the advantage the yard will be for the Navy, and that is what the yards are built for—for the Navy.

In the case of Mare Island, should we improve that part of the island (indicating], it would cost some $28,000,000, I believe, is the estimate, and the closest distance of the ships and piers to the dry dock that they think of establishing there is 24 miles--say from 2 to 2} miles. If the ships were anchored in there indicating),

[ a rough measurement would show that a great many of those ships would be at a greater distance than 5 miles from their present established shops. That means that, in making repairs on


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shipboard, and laying out their repairs, there is a constant traffic back and forth between the shops and the ships, whereas the most advantageous conditions that could obtain in the navy yard would be one where all of the ships could, if possible, lie alongside the piers, which is a physical impossibility, where the work could be conducted more economically and intelligently and to better advantage. Yet, while that is an ideal condition and a physical impossibility, this condition here, where the ships can anchor closer to the shore than at Mare Island, offers the very best conditions that I know of for a naval establishment.

I am not going to discuss the old and hackneyed phrase, “In time of

peace prepare for war." But that is what we have always done. A naval ship is not built in a day. Their maintenance up to going standards is a very difficult thing, and when war comes it is all the

Now, as to the probable cost of the yard on the bay, which has been roughly estimated at $50,000,000, you gentlemen of course know more than I how much a day you spend for war purposes. We are asking for preparation in times of peace that will prevent such tremendous expenditure in times of war. It is economy for the Government to consider that. When I came to the coast, one of the missions, among other things, assigned to me, was to prospect this coast, both for strategic reasons and from the view of maintaining our fleet. Heretofore we have had every reason to believe, and correctly so, that the naval machine would find itself at work in the Atlantic. It did. In fact, up to this point, nearly all of our development has been on the east coast. To-day we have on the Pacific coast two yards, one at Bremerton and one at Mare Island. You all know the number on the Atlantic. Of those two yerds, Mare Island is prohibitive to our capital ships, and we are building larger ones. It is prohibitive to them, 1 say, and every capital ship that we have must go to Bremerton as conditions obtain_to-day. We have, roughly, I believe, 186 ships in this fleet now. But we are way, way

, behind in our plans for maintenance, upkeep, and docking, because we haven't the facilities here for the nucleus of the United States fleet that would come to this coast in time of threatened danger. If the Atlantic Fleet were to come to this coast to-day, it would be swamped, and ships would have to go out of commission, a great many of them, because they could not be maintained.

I am not a prophet of war. I believe, from what we may read in the public press, not being a statesman, that our next cause of war may be with some other than a European power. And if so, and it were in the Pacific, and with a trans-Pacific power, we would require in this ocean, for naval purposes, in my estimation, and I am not exaggerating it by one ship, from 400 to 700 ships, of which 400 will be fighting ships. And that is why I say, for the good of our country,

I we should have a proper naval establishment. My conception is, that in time of war with any trans-Pacific power we will do what we did in the Atlantic, every shipyard, every manufacturing plant, will be subordinated to the Government's use, and you know what difficulties we had with the establishments on the Atlantic coast.

There are several little points that have been brought up in advocating the relative advantages of the various sites around this bay, and not the least of them was that this bay inside here, if were anchored there, would be subject to gunfire from the outside..

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Just dismiss that from your thoughts. It is ridiculous. It is silly. There is nothing in it. I have the word of Gen. Liggett, three days ago, in talking to him (and I believe he is as good a soldier as there is in the United States, and I put that question to him), and when I asked him, “Could an enemy ship come on the outside coast in the vicinity of San Francisco and shell the inner bay?" And he poohpoohed the idea and laughed at it. He explained to me that the entrance is fortified-possibly the guns will have to be increased in number and size--and there are already projects on hand that will more entirely safeguard the matter. I know from the small experience I have had in war times that the thing would be absolutely impossible--no foreign ship could lie outside there and shell the inner bay. And I want to say this: If the American fleet is to be bottled up in San Francisco and if we are to allow a foreign ship or fleet to stand on the outside and shell the inner bay, just scrap the Navy to-day and you will do the most economical thing you could possibly do. We will never be bottled up in San Francisco Bay.

So it seems to me that we should have the best site, regardless of cost. And I hope that site will be selected in the vicinity of deep water of San Francisco Bay that will give us the most economical and most efficient base in operation.

Mr. BRITTEN. Admiral, may I ask you one question, please? In reply to a question by yourself on yesterday, Capt. Beach, the commandant at Mare Island yard, said, as to the ability to take into the Carquinez Straits one or two divisions of battleships, and I am looking at the map now, it could readily be done. Suppose you take a division or two divisions of battleships and put them in Carquinez Straits. Would you not destroy the commercial traffic in the bay?

Admiral RODMAN. Yes and no. Let me say, in the beginning, that there is no more difficulty to-day in taking a single dreadnaught into Carquinez Straits--I am speaking of one and anchor it there than there is to take it into any of the other well-established harbors, provided the channel across San Pablo Bay, which is a mud flat except for the immediate channel-if there were an adequate channel of sufficient width and depth, there would be no more trouble to take our largest ship into Carquinez Straits than there is to bring it into San Francisco. There would be the same navigational troubles. There is no navigation without trouble. We speak of the fog and currents, and what not. They appertain all over the world. But you may dismiss those navigational troubles. But I have taken the trouble, since I have been on board, and since I saw you gentlemen yesterday, to very roughly lay down what I would consider a plan for taking care of the number of ships that would be in the vard, and Carquinez Straits is absolutely inadequate. Academically, theoretically, you may pack ships like sardines in a tin. But when you allow for the maneuvering space that must obtain to all ships, I would not want to take more than four ships there, nor could I maneuver them. And, so far as maneuvering them is concerned, I will once more call attention, to explain myself, to Scapa Flow. A signal was given there for some 300 ships to get under way, and they allowed something like an hour and thirty minutes for us to clear the entrance, which was a narrow entrance, possibly 150 yards wide. That means that we must have maneuvering room to form into column and get going. We could not maneuver a division of battleships there in Carquinez

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