« PreviousContinue »
9,020 requests for department bills of lading and requests on the Quartermaster General for the transportation of Government property, while about 158,100 letters were written or received in the ordinary transaction of business.
To carry on the work of the Department of Agriculture during the fiscal year ended June 30, 1911, Congress appropriated $13,487,636 for the ordinary expenses of the department, in addition to which permanent annual appropriations amounting to $6,329,000 and special appropriations amounting to $1,874,614 were available, making a total of $21,691,250.
The disbursements of the department for the fiscal year 1911 amounted to $17,188,339.27, and the greater part of the balance of $4,496,348.68 will be required for the settlement of outstanding liabilities.
The amount for rent of buildings in the District of Columbia for the several branches of the department was $70,481.86.
All accounts for the fiscal year 1909 having been settled, the unexpended balance of appropriations for that year, amounting to $306,333.71, was covered into the Treasury on June 30, 1911. The account for the fiscal year 1910 is still open.
The amount estimated for the fiscal year 1913 in the annual estimates for the regular appropriation bill is $17,233,452, which includes $1,440,000 for agricultural experiment stations; in addition to which there will be available permanent annual appropriations amounting to $5,706,000, making a total of $22,939,452. There is also an estimate in the sundry civil bill for printing and binding for this department amounting to $480,000, making a grand total of $23,419,452, which is an increase of $340,436 over the appropriations for the fiscal year 1912. This amount will be used for establishing new Weather Bureau stations in the fruit and horticultural sections; for extension of the dairy and animal husbandry work in the eradication of tuberculosis in domestic animals; for an extension of farm management investigations and demonstration work in the northern States, and an enlargement of the scope of pathological investigations; for additional range investigations and tree planting; for an extension of the work under the enforcement of the food and drugs act; for an extension of the soil survey work; for an extension of the work under enforcement of the insecticide act; and for an extension of the work on road management and experimental roads.
DIVISION OF PUBLICATIONS.
The number of different publications, circulars, and reports issued by the department during the year ended June 30, 1911, was 1,953, which is 29 less than during the previous year, but the number of copies printed for distribution to farmers and others interested in agriculture aggregated 27,594,877, which is 2,404,408, or nearly 10 per cent, more than during any previous year. This gratifying result was accomplished without any increase in the appropriation for printing and with a slight decrease both in the appropriation and in the force available for the division work,
Of the documents mentioned above, 27,250,250 were issued through the Division of Publications, and 344,627 were issued through the Weather Bureau; 18,468,277 copies were of publications issued during the year and 9,126,600 were reprints of publications which had been previously issued, but for which there was still a considerable demand. Of Farmers' Bulletins, 9,219,000 were secured with the appropriation available, 2,054,000 of which were copies of new bulletins and 7,165,000 were reprints. Many of the Farmers' Bulletins have long been in use by the farmers and a large demand still exists for them.
Inasmuch as the amount expended in acquiring the information appearing in the department's publications is more than $16,000,000, the appropriation of less than half a million dollars for printing and binding, of which only about $360,000 is available for printing reports, bulletins, and circulars for distribution among the people, in order that they may avail themselves of the results of this outlay and these investigations, is small and inadequate. If the available information could be placed in the hands of every farmer, a fuller measure of usefulness should be achieved by the department.
POPULAR DEMAND FOR PUBLICATIONS.
Even with the increased number of publications printed and distributed during the year, it was impossible to supply the popular demand, which came from every section of the United States and from many other parts of the world. The department would have required at least 5,000,000 bulletins more than were at its disposal to have met the demand fully, and it was found necessary to select and send a few bulletins likely to be most useful to those whose request had been for many more, and by this course make it possible to supply at least some bulletins to each applicant, instead of exhausting the department's supply in attempting to entirely satisfy a few. The distribution of this reading matter widely disseminates information along agricultural lines and is productive of a higher yield of better crops, better breeds of stock, new varieties of fruits, and improved conditions on the farm, the financial value of which alone amounts to millions of dollars annually, but the increase in comfort, contentment, and cheer can not be estimated.
With the present appropriation of $125,000, it was possible to make an allotment to each Senator, Representative, and Delegate of approximately 12,500 Farmers' Bulletins, which was admittedly insufficient in view of the increasing number of requests received from them. Therefore, the matter of securing a sufficient appropriation should be considered with the view to increasing the allotment. Under the law only one-fifth of the Farmers' Bulletins furnished were available for distribution by the department, and this is not sufficient to permit it to comply with one-half of the requests received, and makes it necessary to refer applicants to their Senators, Representatives, and Delegates, who themselves, in many cases, have already exhausted their supply. Hence it is obviously desirable that both the congressional and departmental allotments should be increased. An addition of $25,000 to the printing bill, available for printing Farmers' Bulletins, would increase the allotment to each Senator, Representative, and Delegate to 15,000, and would enable the department to more nearly comply with the demands made upon it.
AN ALLOTMENT OF EVERY PUBLICATION FOR SENATORS, REPRESENTATIVES,
AND DELEGATES IN CONGRESS.
There is a constantly increasing demand for publications other than Farmers' Bulletins from Senators, Representatives, and Delegates in Congress, which the department is unable to supply, very much to its regret. These publications contain the results of our scientific investigations and experiments acquired at considerable expense, and they should receive the widest possible distribution among the people for whom they are intended. This, however, is not possible under the present system and with the available funds. So satisfactory has been the distribution of Farmers' Bulletins that I am persuaded to recommend that an allotment of every publication issued by the department be made to Senators, Representatives, and Delegates in Congress. They are in close touch with the people and would be able to give the publications a wider and wiser distribution than they now receive. A considerable increase in the appropriation for printing would be necessary, but it is believed that the results would be so valuable and enduring to the people as to justify the additional expenditure. The subject is worthy of serious consideration.
SCIENTIFIC AND TECHNICAL PUBLICATIONS.
Our scientists are constantly conducting investigations and making important discoveries which are of great value to agriculture, but the published results are not always adapted to the present uses of the great mass of the department's correspondents. The information they contain is necessarily couched in more technical and scientific language than is desirable in popular pamphlets; hence the bulletins are printed in limited editions as permanent records of the achievements of the department in scientific research, and for distribution to libraries, collaborators, and scientists, both in this country and abroad, and to such persons as are likely to find them of special value. Publications of this class represent only about 2 per cent of the total output, but owing to their greater length, the use of more expensive illustrations, and the necessity for more expensive paper, they use up about 20 per cent of the appropriation for printing and binding. The advisability of securing additional funds for publishing larger editions of bulletins of this class should be seriously considered, as it is believed that the publications should have a wider distribution.
The channel through which the department distributes the results of its investigations and other information it desires to disseminate among the people, and especially the rural population, is its publications, the editing and distribution of which is the province of the Division of Publications. It is the function of that division to meet the department's requirements for printing and binding and to accomplish this with an almost always inadequate appropriation. Hence the economies of the division tend in the editorial work to the condensation of statement and improvement in form of the printed documents, and in the distribution work to closer organization and efficiency and expedition.
The extent of the work performed in the division is dependent upon the growth of the department and the activity of its various agencies, and this activity depends upon so many extraneous conditions that it is not possible to even approximate at the beginning of the year the amount of printing which will be required. Its operations, therefore, may be accepted as an accurate index of the department's work. The magnitude of the work devolving upon the editors is apparent when the large number of publications issued and the enormous amount of miscellaneous printing required by the department are taken into consideration.
Perhaps the most striking feature of this division's work was its success in promoting economy. Many manuscripts were reduced in size, illustrations were limited to those absolutely necessary to illustrate the text, and the tables were greatly condensed.
In many cases large savings were effected in the cost by reduction or other changes in the shape or size of blanks, eliminating waste in
cutting the paper and substituting a perfectly satisfactory paper, but of a cheaper grade, for a high-priced article no better fitted for the purpose. The economy effected in this kind of work, however, is not confined to the manuscript and illustrations after being submitted. The division's supervision has exercised a healthful influence throughout the department, tending to a more careful preparation of the manuscripts, a more critical selection and minimization of illustrations, and less change in proof of the authors. The use of a more durable paper for some of the publications of the department has been adopted, insuring the permanent preservation of its valuable publications and at the same time lessening the weight of the bulletins; while for the publications issued in large editions and of a more temporary value a lighter paper has been adopted, reducing both the cost to the department and the cost of transportation through the mails. To add to the value and completeness of the publications indexes are prepared for those which are of such size as to require it. The division also prepares and maintains a detailed card index of the contents of all publications of the department, perhaps the only one in existence.
During the year the division prepared 1,566 original drawings, produced 71,224 photographs, and filled 224 orders from outside departments for photographic work, which required the reproduction of 2,694 photographs, costing the purchasers $596.53. On the order of the department 1,252 duplicate electrotypes of illustrations were made for miscellaneous applicants by private firms, for which the applicants paid to the manufacturers a stipulated price per square inch. This growth in the photographic work has continued without increase in force. These facts do not convey an adequate idea of the constantly increasing demand upon that branch of the division from the other bureaus of the department, nor do they indicate the amount of labor and skill necessary to produce such technical and artistically correct illustrations as appear in the department's publications.
SALES OF DEPARTMENT PUBLICATIONS. As stated above, the department is often unable to furnish publications requested by applicants, either because the supply is exhausted, or because the publication is of such a character that it can not be widely and gratuitously distributed. To meet such cases Congress has wisely provided a relief through the Office of Superintendent of Documents of the Government Printing Office.
This official is authorized by law to sell Government publications at the nominal cost of printing and paper plus 10 per cent, and his