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people do not find it necessary to dredge at the Alameda Mole, where they take ferry boats where we took the train this morning. They have found no necessity for dredging there.
Mr. BRITTEN. How much water do they draw?
Mr. CAINE. They don't draw very much water, but I think there is about 30 feet of water in that slip.
Mr. BRITTEN. I thought possibly if they didn't draw very much water, it wouldn't be necessary.
Mr. CAINE. There is about 30 feet of water there-it would be necessary if there was continuous silting, certainly.
Mr. BRITTEN. Do you agree, Mr. Caine, that there is considerable silting north of that long pier? Mr. CAINE. North of the Key Route Pier, yes, there is.
Mr. BRITTEN. So that a certain amount of silt does come down the San Francisco Bay from the north?
Mr. CAINE. Yes.
Mr. BRITTEN. Some of it, of course, must come this side of that pier.
Mr. CAINE. That pier is really a fence to this side of the Bay. The Golden Gate is about six miles directly out in the direction of well, practically that direction (pointing] from this side. The currents come down the Sacramento River, between the Key Route Pier right there and Oakland just beyond—there is a current goes through there [indicating]. But that current is out toward the Golden Gate, and it is not bent
Mr. CAINE. It is bent west-southwest. It is bent to the Golden Gate.
Mr. BRITTEN. Isn't it bent a little more south than west?
Mr. CAINE. No, I think not. The currents all bend to flow toward the Golden Gate.
Mr. PADGETT. This is a north and south line here.
Mr. BRITTEN. Then, in order to get out through the Golden Gate it is going northwest.
Mr. CAINE. There is a very strong current- one of the strongest currents in this Bay is right around the corner of that island and out to the Golden Gate. I came by there in a ferry boat the other morning when the waves were washing over, right here and around there [indicating]. There is no current in this direction, but a current out of the estuary which turns the other corner and goes out here.
Mr. BRITTEN. This map, this official chart, would indicate that the silt came south in great volume and had been deposited for many years, passed right down through here. Your chart shows that.
Mr. CAINE. That is merely the shore line.
Mr. HEWES. The United States Geodetic Survey shows that there has been no silting there.
Mr. CAINE. In fact, the ground is
Mr: HEWES (interrupting). If you will look at the map of 1853 and the map of to-day, you will find that it is very similar in the old map to what it is to-day.
Mr. BRITTEN. You figure that the silt goes down there? Mr. HEWES. It goes around Goat Island, out to the ocean. Mr. CAINE. Practically all, yes. It is carried out by the current. Mr. COLE. That is a matter that could be determined by your Coast and Geodetic Survey now.
Mr. CAINE. This is really a technical matter that I am not competent to discuss.
Mr. COLE. There were maps made 50 years ago, and the difference between conditions as shown by those maps and those existing to-day would show the difference in this respect.
Mr. PADGETT. The information could be obtained.
Mr. COLE. It strikes me, Mr. Padgett, that there is a very easy way of determining it.
Mr. CAINE. Yes, I think so.
Senator WALSH. Gentlemen, there are some of us who are not getting very much of this.
Mr. COLE. Would you mind making that assertion again. Senator Walsh did not hear you, Mr. McMurray.
Mr. MCMURRAY. In the last dredging in front of the Estuary, the San Pablo deposited the dredgings south of Goat Island, and they were washed out there—that is the deepest part of the bay.
Mr. CALE. I think, gentlemen, this question of silt is covered in the Hel m report, and that will be sufficient. Our theory is that the currents
go out of the Golden Gate, and none of it is brought so as to reach the Alameda shore. To proceed.
Senator Walsh. Before you pass that. I am very deeply interested in the question of silting, where the dredging would take place in front of the docks here. What is the depth of water at the extremity of these 2 miles, or on the front of the proposed docks?
Mr. CAINE. I don't know just how they show there, but they would be extended out to the 40-foot level.
Senator Walsh. I understand, but what is the depth now at the extremity of the docks?
Mr. Hicks. Twenty-eight feet. Senator Walsh. So that if you got a 40-foot depth of water there, you would have an excavation there of at least 12 feet on the inner
Mr. CAINE. These moles would be extended out to protect that area against silt.
Senator Walsh. But I understand that the fact that the mole is there rather induces the silt.
Mr. CAINE. On the side toward the current, it naturally catches the silt, but it would not necessarily go inside of that area. Senator WALSH. How far do the moles extend out ?
extend those moles out to the 40-foot contour.
Senator Walsu. I understand. You figure, then, that instead of the moles silting, the silting would be prevented by the existence of
Mr. PADGETT. These breakwaters come out here and would protect the docks.
Mr. CAINE. Well, the Helm commission has suggested that the general layout of the yard and location of the dry docks can, of course, be changed to meet foundation conditions, and wherever the docks and piers are placed it will be possible to locate the shops and supply depots on ground immediately contiguous thereto. We are not limited by any existing conditions. You can put your docks where you please and you can put your shops contiguous to them.
Within a short distance of the site are located the great yards of the Bethlehem Shipbuilding Co., and the Moore Shipbuilding Co., and just beyond the yards of the Hanlon Dry Dock & Shipbuilding Co., and of the Union Construction Co. In time of war all of these plants could be commandeered by the Government, and, in connection with gas-engine plants and many machine shops located on or near the Oakland estuary, would form a most valuable auxiliary to the naval base.
Before quoting from the reports of the naval experts, it is important that you gentlemen should know the attitude of the people of California and of the Pacific coast toward the investigation and report of the Helm commission. Before the Helm commission came to California a conference of all the chambers of commerce around San Francisco Bay was called and after careful deliberation it was decided that we would all work for the establishment of necessary naval facilities in these waters, but that mere local interest should be waived in favor of the national need. We then entered into a compact commonly called “the gentlemen's agreement,” which permitted all the organizations represented to present and urge their respective claims and also bound them all to stand behind the recommendations of the Helm commission whatever they might be.
This agreement was afterwards confirmed by the Chambers of Commerce of San Francisco, Alameda, Oakland, Berkeley, Richmond, Benicia, the Contra Costa Chamber of Commerce at Martinez, the Marin County Chamber of Commerce at San Rafael, and the Chamber of Commerce at Redwood City, and has been repeatedly confirmed since that time both before and after we learned of the Helm commission's recommendations. We are proud to say that the “gentlemen's agreement” has been scrupulously observed by all parties thereto.
In April of 1918, after the report of the Helm commission had been submitted and published, the Associated Chambers of Commerce of the Pacific Coast adopted resolutions approving the report in its entirety. These resolutions were concurred in by the chambers of commerce of all the large cities of the Pacific coast, including the Chambers of Commerce of Seattle, Portland, San Francisco, Oakland, Los Angeles, and San Diego. It is worthy of note that the resolution so adopted was prepared by the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce, and submitted by letter from Mr. F. J. Koster, who was then president of the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce and also of the Associated Chambers of Commerce of the Pacific Coast.
The findings of the Helm commission were also indorsed by the State councils of defense in Washington, Oregon, and California.
Briefly, I want to call attention to just a few paragraphs in the Helm report. I know you gentlemen may not have read all of the
report and I am going to save you a lot of work by taking out one or two cogent paragraphs.
In the second report of the Helm commission an exhaustive study of the advantages of the sites then under consideration lead to the conclusion contained in these words:
The choice of the most suitable location then narrows down to site No. 1, Hunters Point, and site No. 7, Alameda. Then after balancing the claims of these two sites, the paragraph
, concludes in these words:
At Alameda the submerged land south of site No. 7 is held in public ownership. Site No. 7 has the advantage of being able to secure direct railroad terminals on the east side of the Bay, and in being able to obtain an unlimited supply of fuel oil by direct pipe-line connection. Employees would be able to take advantage of the reasonable rents in the Alameda district. Site No. 7 in common with the east bay shore, claims a slightly milder and more pleasant climate over some portions of the west bay shore. Alameda, site No. 7, is within range of indirect fire, as also is Hunters Point, site No. 1; but the former has the advantage of being about 10 miles from the open sea, whereas the latter is only about seven miles therefrom.
While we are nearer to the Gate, we are farther from the sea. For the reasons stated hereinabove, however, the commission finds that site No. 7 offers the greater advantages, and therefore designates Alameda, site No. 7, as the most suitable site for the additional navy yard in the Pacific coast,” and recommends that same be acquired and developed as such in general accordance with plan R-24, 'Appendix E, part 9, and the cost estimate given in Appendix E, part 8.
In September, 1919, the McKean board visited the bay district and after an extended study of the various sites, rendered a report to the Secretary of the Navy in which the advantages of the Alameda site were summarized in the following paragraphs:
The board is in agreement with the recommendations of the Helm commission, but can not make final recommendation until further borings have been taken to completely determine underlying soil conditions.
The board is impressed with the many advantages of this site, especially with the area available for future expansion, should such expansion be found necessary.
The board was very favorably impressed with the living conditions available for the necessary employees, and believes that a higher class and more permanent labor force will be available than at any other site. The board is also impressed with the much more favorable location of this site for the delivery and storage of fuel, both coal and oil, and of all ship’s stores and industrial supplies delivered by rail.
It is worthy of note in that connection, and this is my own interpolation, that the Bethlehem Shipbuilding Corporation, which already had a plant on the other side of the bay, and wanted to build a much larger and more modern plant, came over here to build it.
This feature makes this site by far the most desirable one on which to locate the complete fleet supply base, so essential to support the activities of the fleet in the Pacific, as well as for transshipment to Pearl Harbor, Guam, and the Philippines for the fleet when operating therefrom.
The board invites the attention to the large development of new shipyards in this immediate vicinity, which indicates that local commercial interests, familiar with all the conditions surrounding San Francisco Bay, now apparently prefer this area for these activities to those previously most in favor.
This concentration of shipbuilding and ship repair plants will undoubtedly bring with it a large permanent local labor supply of the types needed at the base.
Should the borings to be taken prove, as the board expects from the data so far obtained, the board's final recommendation will fully agree with the Helm commission in its decision in favor of this site as against all others.
In summing up, the Alameda site is on the continental side of San Francisco Bay at the termini of all the transcontinental lines entering California. The transportation facilities for delivery of supplies, the convenient delivery of fuel and power, an inexhaustible labor market with rapid passenger transportation, the desirable social conditions offered to workmen, and to sailors on shore leave, and the location of the site with reference to the Golden Gate and deep water anchorage, backed up by the shipbuilding and industrial plants on this side of the bay, sets it apart as a site ready-made to meet all the demands of a major base.
Now, gentlemen, in conclusion, I want to remind you that the arguments we have presented are backed up by the best informed men in the United States Navy. Two naval commissions made up of distinguished men whose experience enable them to speak with authority declared that a new base for major ships on San Francisco Bay is an absolute necessity for the protection of the Pacific coast. These same men have said that Alameda site is the best site and this tract of over 5,000 acres will become the property of the United States in fee simple whenever Congress, by its wise decision, shall so decree.
Let us remind you that the problem which confronts you is a new one, and can not be solved with any make-shift arrangement for the next few years. Men who located naval bases 50 years ago did not look ahead far enough to visualize the demands of the Navy to-day, and who can say what developments the next 50 years will bring. When the Brooklyn Bridge was completed some 30 years ago, it was declared to be high enough to clear any ship that could ever be built, but a few months ago that same bridge clipped a wireless mast off one of our superdreadnaughts.
So it has been with the growth of ships. The fleet which Admiral Evans brought around the Horn in 1908 was made up of ships that would look like toys if placed alongside of the New Mexico. The fleet which came to this coast last year with its half million tons displacement represents a cost to our Government of $423,000,000, and this is soon to be augmented by another hundred million worth of ships. The time will come, in peace and in war, when the entire fleet of the United States, representing a value of more than $1,000,000,000, will be found in these waters. You, gentlemen, are charged with the duty of locating a proper home for this great armada upon the Pacific coast.
So we urge you to look into the future and remember that you are laying the foundation for the greatest structure that man has yet conceived for these Pacific shores. We are told that in course of time from fifty to one hundred millions will be expended upon this project. Place it upon this magnificent site of equal value, that has been presented to the Government as the free gift of a generous and patriotic people, and you will have here a home that is in every way adequate to the demands of the fleet, a base for supply and repair that will make our Navy invincible against any foe that ever dare attack these shores.
I thank you. Mayor Otis. The meeting will be thrown open for any questions which the commission may desire to ask, and put questions, whether it be on hydroelectric power or transportation or anything else, and