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In presenting the claims of the Alameda site as to location, for a major base on San Francisco Bay, I wish first to call the attention of this commission to the fact that this site was not originally suggested by any community, nor by any private interest, but was in fact discovered by the official representatives of the Congress of the United States.
In the fall of 1916, a commission came to San Francisco Bay to investigate and report upon the naval necessities on this coast, and were shown a large number of sites by the various communities upon this bay and upon the waters contiguous thereto. After examining some 16 sites under the escort of the committees appointed by the various communities, the commission closed its hearings here and proceeded to the Puget Sound district. From Seattle, Admiral Helm wired to the Oakland Chamber of Commerce and asked us to secure data upon the Alameda site, which was not among those presented to the commission upon the occasion of its visit to this side of the bay, although I learned afterwards that the commission had visited the site in company with an officer of the Engineer Corps of the United States Navy.
In its original report, the Helm Commission named the Alameda site as one of seven sites to be reserved for further consideration and in its second report the Alameda site was designated as the first choice, but the Hunters Point as the second or alternate site, and all other sites were eliminated.
Our investigations disclosed the fact that the title to this site was in the State of California, and, at the suggestion of Admiral Helm, the Oakland and Alameda chambers of commerce secured the passage of legislation in the State legislature transferring this ground to the city of Alameda, with permission to turn it over to the national Government for naval and military purposes.
In the fall of 1919, the findings of the Helm Commission were reviewed by the McKean board, which concurred in the report of the Helm commission and placed still stronger emphasis upon the desirability of the Alameda site as a first choice.
On January 31 of the present year the people of Alameda, by a vote of 3,947 to 127, authorized the mayor of their city to convey this site to the United States Government for use as a naval base. Ten days later the mayor of Alameda arrived in Washington and in the presence of Admirals Helm, Coontz, Capps, Rousseau, and Parks, and other officers of the Navy, the deed to the site was formally presented to the Secretary of the Navy as a free gift from the people of the city of Alameda.
It will be clear to you from this statement that no real estate or other private interests have been concerned in any way with the offer of this site and, so far as we can learn, there is not a foot of land for sale anywhere in this immediate vicinity.
Mayor Otis has told you that the site, as presented to the Government, contains a total of 5,340 acres. The Helm commission in its report states that it can be still further extended to embrace some 8,000 acres, and I believe it is possible to extend the limits even beyond that. So that there is room for practically unlimited expansion of this site.
The location of the Alameda site is the exact center of a population of 822,000 people living around San Francisco Bay and lies in
a district which is the exact center of population on the Pacific coast. A local expet has just figured that, according to the new census, there are 5,566,000 people in the three Pacific Coast States; that one-half, or 2,783,000 of these, live north of a line drawn through the center of Oakland, and 2,783,000 live south of this line. The city of Oakland is one of the 10 fastest growing cities in the United States, the census of 1920 giving us a population of 216,261, or a growth of 44.1 per cent for the 10-year period, while Alameda County shows a population of 344,177.
Mr. PADGETT. May I ask you a question just there?
Mr. PADGETT. About the population, does the southern part of California, from here down, contain as much population as the northern half of California and the States of Oregon and Washington combined ?
Mr. Caine. Yes. That is, part of San Francisco would be included in this population. The line he drew was through the center of Oakland
Mr. PADGETT. The whole of the State of Washington and the State of Oregon and the northern portion of California is included ?
Mr. CAINE. Yes.
Mr. PADGETT. And that is only equal to the southern half of California ?
Mr. CAINE. Yes; that is, according to these figures, and I believe they are accurate; the man who made the estimate is a reliable man and he took his figures from the last census. But, as I say, that includes with southern California a part of the population of San Francisco and Oakland, as the line is drawn. And I repeat, the 1920 census gives us in Oakland a population of 216,261, showing a growth of 44.1 per cent for the 10-year period, while the entire county of Alameda has a population of 344,177.
The East Bay cities have all shown a vigorous industrial growth in the past few years, Oakland alone showing an increase of 400 per cent in industrial population since 1914.
Mr. Hicks. Would you allow an interruption?
Mr. Hicks. How many employees do you imagine are in the industrial plants of Oakland and Alameda ?
Mr. Caine. I am coming to that; it is in a later paragraph.
Mr. Caine. In other words, in what I have to say I have anticipated your question, Mr. Hicks.
The demands of the war brought about an enormous expansion in the shipbuilding plants on this side of San Francisco Bay and there has been ve y little decrease in the activity in this industry since the signing of the armistice. All of the plants are still working large forces of men. There is a total of 55,000 industrial workers on this side of the bay, which alone insures an excellent labor market, and this can be augmented at any time by drawing upon the large industrial population of San Francisco. Great numbers of workmen engaged in industrial plants in Alameda and Oakland now commute from San Francisco, taking advantage of available housing on that side of the bay.
Mr. BRITTEN. Are they included in the 55,000?
Mr. CAINE. This is industrial population---not included.
Mr. BRITTEN. What proportion of that 55,000 do you think would come from San Francisco for employment here?
Mr. ČAINE. I think there are probably 5,000 men commuting now.
Mr. HICKS. Does it not also work the other way, that some thousands living here work in San Francisco?
Mr. CAINE. Yes; that is true. But it does not include_common labor. The commuters from this side of the bay to San Francisco are mostly office help or wealthy people. We have a great many wealthy people living in Oakland whose business is in San Francisco, and a great many clerks, both in stores and in offices, commute from this side of the bay to the other side. But the labor commutation is from the San Francisco side to this side-I think there is practically no labor commutation from this side to the other side of the bay.
Housing and living conditions for workers: There are hundreds of acres of ground in Alameda and East Oakland where workingmen can acquire small homes surrounded by garden plots. Home-owning labor is contented labor, and this district offers the workmen every opportunity to acquire homes on easy terms. According to the census of 1910, Oakland stands first in the United States among cities of more than 125,000 population in percentage of home owners occupying their own homes.
Where large numbers of men are employed the accessibility of wholesome amusements is important. The nearess of the Alameda site to San Francisco, Alameda, Oakland, and Berkeley brings within easy access many moving picture theaters, amusement parks, baseball, football, and aviation fields. The site is close to the bathing beaches of Alameda shore, within easy reach of Lake Merritt, where all sorts of water sports are offered, and close to the Oakland Auditorium where entertainment of all kinds, from prize fights to grand opera may be enjoyed at popular prices.
The splendid school systems of the East Bay cities offer great advantages for the children, and the public night schools in Oakland furnish desirable courses for adults free of charge. In addition to this, extension courses of the University of California are available at nominal cost.
You all know where the University of California is. It is indicated by the tall building on this map, the Campanile, with the flag on top of it. That is the location of the largest university in the United States in point of attendance. This year Berkeley has gone ahead of Columbia.
The passenger transportation facilities for the Alameda site are ideal. It is reached by fast electric service from Alameda, Oakland, and Berkeley and by direct ferry from San Francisco. It is within 20 minutes of the Ferry Building in San Francisco, and within 15 or 20 minutes from the centers of Alameda and Oakland.
We told Secretary Daniels when he was here that one of the advantages of the Alameda site is that it is much nearer to San Francisco than is the San Francisco site, and that is an actual fact in the matter of transportation. The Alameda site is easily within 30 minutes from the heart of San Francisco, and the Hunters Point site is at least 45 minutes from the center of town by street car.
There is a 30-minute service in both directions between the Alameda pier and San Francisco Electric trains connect outward and inward
from each 30-minute steamer for both Alameda and Oakland. There are 72 electric trains daily between the station at Fourteenth and Franklin Streets in Oakland and the naval base site. There are 146 electric trains daily between the site and the city of Alameda. The equipment consists of General Electric steel motor cars 72 feet in length, seating 116 passengers each, and running in trains of from one to eight cars. The roadbed is a four-track system of solid fill with heavy railroad steel and rock ballast.
This ferry and train service can be multiplied to meet any demands that the requirements of the naval base may make upon it. It would also be possible to extend the lines of our local traction company to the naval base.
Freight train service at this terminal is adequate for all demands. This feature is so important that I am filing herewith as an addendum a detailed statement of this service. I shall not bother you with reading that, but will file it for the record.
(The addendum referred to is as follows:)
FREIGHT TRAIN SERVICE INTO THE OAKLAND INDUSTRIAL DISTRICT.
CARRIERS WITH OAKLAND TERMINALS.
First. Southern Pacific Co. Terminal, West Oakland.
B. Local throughout the State.
F. Trains: Twelve trains arriving and departing via Ogden route daily. Eight trains arriving and departing via Portland route daily. Ten trains arriving and departing via El Paso route daily. Ten local trains daily. Two boats via river service daily. Twenty barges to and from San Francisco daily. Six trains via Dumbarton daily.
G. Distribution of cars from breaking-up yard at West Oakland.
All trains arriving at West Oakland are broken up and distribution of cars destined to points in the Oakland industrial district is handled by switch engines (cannon-ball service). Six of these engines leave the yard daily for all points in the district, which include Berkeley (University Avenue), Berkeley proper, Emeryville, East Oakland, Fruitvale, Melrose, Elmhurst, Pacsteel, and all of Alameda; also all docks and wharves at Oakland.
The Southern Pacific Co. also has interchange connections with the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railroad, the Western Pacific Railroad, the San Francisco-Sacramento Railroad, and the San Francisco-Oakland Terminal Railways, and delivers freight to industries located within the above described district located on the Southern Pacific Co. via the daily switch engine service above described.
Switching charges on such shipments are usually absorbed by the road performing the line haul, the absorption being contingent upon the origin of the shipment—that is, if it is competitive business.
Second. Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railroad.
The Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railroad operates its through trains via Richmond and serves Oakland with a daily local service, in the form of swing trains between the two points. Its breaking-up yard is at Fortieth Street and San Pablo Avenue, Emeryville, where interchange connections with the Southern Pacific Co., the San Francisco-Sacramento Railroad, and the San Francisco-Cakland Terminal Railways. A switch engine at this point furnishes continuous service.
The Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railroad operates four through trains to and from Chicago each day and a local train each way for California business. A local freight station is also operated at First and Alice Streets, Ca'kland, which is served by a car ferry from Richmond, two ferries being operated each way daily.
Third. Western Pacific Railroad (o.
The Western Pacific Railroad Co. operates its through trains into Oakland. Two transcontinental trains and one local train are operated each way daily. Transfer
connections with the Southern Pacific Co. is at Oakland, and arrangements are in effect covering transfer to the other lines serving Oakland through the Southern Pacific Co.
Fourth. San Francisco-Sacramento Railroad.
This is an electric line operating from San Francisco to Oakland. It has traffic arrangements and interchange connection with the Southern Pacific Co. and the Western Pacific Railroad at Sacramento and an interchange with the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe and Southern Pacific Co. at Oakland. Transcontinental as well as local freight can be brought and delivered at any point in the district via this line without additional cost. It operates two through trains daily.
The Oakland industrial district has three transcontinental lines operating 80 trains daily into and out of Oakland and one auxiliary line from Sacramento operating two trains daily.
The traffic arrangements between the roads make it possible to deliver to any point in the Oakland industrial district without additional charge.
The switching service performed in the district is the best of its kind, for prompt and expeditious delivery.
The three transcontinental lines operate car ferries to San Francisco, all of which pass the proposed site of the Alameda naval base, so that a duplicate service can be maintained both via rail and water, if necessary.
Three steamship, lines operating from the Atlantic to Pacific ports make Oakland a port of call, naming the same rates as apply to San Francisco. The docks at which they land are served with rail connections and the regular switching service now maintained cares for water cargo delivery.
Mr. CAINE. Permit me to remind you that Oakland is the western terminus of five transcontinental lines: The Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe, the Western Pacific, and the three routes of the Southern Pacific Co. The Southern Pacific operates 30 transcontinental freight trains, a local freight service over these three routes via Ogden, Portland, or El Paso, as well as service by river steamers to Sacramento, barge service between Oakland and San Francisco, and local rail to San Francisco via the Dumbarton cut-off. The Santa Fe operates four through freight trains to and from Chicago each day and the Western Pacific Co. two.
These roads all have interchange connection, and also an arrangement with the Oakland-San Francisco Terminal Railways, and delivering freight to industries located within this district by daily switch-engine service. And this entire district, including thě naval base, is within the switching district. Switching charges on such shipments are usually absorbed by the road performing the line haul. It does not matter from which direction they come, while only the Southern Pacific roads at the present time reach this district, if we bring freight in over the Santa Fe or the Western Pacific or any of the lines of the Southern Pacific, it can be switched to the base without any switching charge whatever.
Briefly stated, the Oakland industrial district has five transcontinental lines operating 80 freight trains daily into and out of Oakland, and all of this service is available to the Alameda site through a model system of interchange switching.
Three steamship lines operating from the Atlantic to Pacific ports make Oakland a port of call, and have established for Oakland the same rates as apply to San Francisco.