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The amendments recommended by your committee were submitted to the Secretary of War, who, having examined the same, submitted the following report thereon:
Washington, August 5, 1911. The SECRETARY OF WAR.
Sir: I have the honor to return herewith letter dated August 5, 1911, from the House Committee on Rivers and Harbors, inclosing for the views of the department thereon a bill to improve navigation on the Black Warrior River in the State of Alabama, as revised to August 4, 1911.
This bill is apparently intended as an amendment or substitution for Senate bill No. 943, Sixty-second Congress, first session, which has already been reported on by this office under date of June 15, 1911, the same having been printed in Senate report No. 80, Sixty-second Congress, first session, a copy of which is herewith inclosed.
The bill in its present form appears to safeguard all essential interests of navigation and to remove all essential objections heretofore made by this department; so that there seems to remain no obiection to its passage as now drafted. Very respectfully.
Wm. H. BIXBY, Chief of Engineers, United States Army. O
AUGUST 8, 1911.-Committed to the Committee of the Whole House on the state of
the Union and ordered to be printed.
Mr. SHEPPARD, from the Committee on Public Buildings and Grounds,
submitted the following
[To accompany H. R. 13367.]
The Committee on Public Buildings and Grounds, to which was referred the bill (H. R. 13367) modifying the existing law for a new building for the Bureau of Engraving and Printing, beg leave to report the same with the recommendation that the bill do pass.
The erection of the new building was authorized by an act approved May 27, 1908. That act authorized a building of the approximate dimensions of 300 by 500 feet with basement and four stories, with interior courts, and of fireproof construction, the limit of cost, including site, being fixed at $2,150,000. After the acquisition of the site and the preparation of final plans it was found that the building could not be constructed of suitable material within the original limit of cost. The first designs contemplated a plain factory building of brick with limestone trimmings, and this type of structure could have been completed within the established limit of cost. It became evident, however, that this building was to be one of a group of monumental department buildings and would therefore require a better and more dignified material. The location of the building on the secondary axis of the Mall also provided an additional reason for more monumental treatment.
The Committee on Public Buildings and Grounds has given the matter careful study and concurs with the Treasury Department that a material more in consonance with the location should be employed. We believe with the department that granite is the most desirable material.
By striking out the words with interior courts" in the act authorizing the new building for the Bureau of Engraving and Printing, a building may be constructed of granite within the original limit of cost approximately two-thirds the size of the building originally con
templated and in such manner that extensions may be made at a later date. About $1,750,000 is available for construction after deducting the amount expended in acquiring the site.
The bill reported favorably by the committee modifies the original act by striking out the words "with interior courts." As the building originally contemplated was to contain 450,000 square feet of floor space, more than twice the floor space of the present buildings occupied by the bureau, a liberal allowance being made for future growth, it is evident that the modified structure made possible by the bill now under consideration will, in connection with the present buildings, afford the bureau the relief it so justly and so urgently demands.
It is hardly possible to overstate the necessity of new and larger quarters for the Bureau of Engraving and Printing:
The present buildings of the Bureau of Engraving and Printing, consisting of the main building, completed in 1880, and a number of additions erected from time to time, as necessities required, became inadequate for the purposes to which they were devoted several years ago. Secretary of the Treasury Shaw, in his annual report for 1906 (p. 24), directed the attention of Congress to the need of a new structure, and in a letter transmitting to the Speaker of the House of Representatives a report of Thomas J. Sullivan, at that time Director of the Bureau of Engraving and Printing, commented on the structure as follows:
The present facilities are entirely inadequate. I doubt if a worse sweatshop exists on the earth than the factory in which the Government manufactures its money, its bonds, its internal-revenue and post-office stamps. The condition of the employees, especially in summer, is well-nigh unbearable, and every consideration pleads for improvement.
Secretary of the Treasury Cortelyou, in his annual report for 1907 (p. 27), had the following to say, after describing conditions in the bureau:
I was painfully impressed with the inadequacy of the rooms available for the number of people employed and the volume of work executed. I found the most de plorable overcrowding of men and women in every part of the building. In addition to the overcrowding of the employees, I found that it was necessary to work a part of the force beyond the regular hours, and a considerable number of men and women at night. That part of the force engaged on overtime is required to work from 8 a. m. to 5 p. m., and the night force to work from 3.30 p. m. until 11.30 p. m. daily. The working of any portion of the force of the bureau beyond the regular hours and at night is objectionable. The long hours involred in the overtime are exhausting to the men and women engaged in this laborious work, and it is obviously undesirable in many other ways. Arrangements have been made to the end that'hereafter no lortion of the operative force shall be required to work overtime. The only relief that can be afforded the men and women working at night is to provide adequate facilities for the execution of their work during the regular hours of business in the department.
Speaker Cannon made a personal investigation of conditions in the bureau on March 6, 1908, and condemned them in most forcible terms.
Since the beginning of the present session of Congress on April 4, 1911, a subcommittee of the Committee on Public Buildings and Grounds has made a personal inspection of the buildings of this bureau in the course of a general investigation of all Federal buildings recently instituted by the committee. The subcommittee found the conditions so strongly condemned in 1906, 1907, and 1908 by competent authorities to have grown more intolerable with the years." In 1907 there were about 3,700 employees in the bureau; in the present year, 1911, there are 3,920. While an outbuilding has been added since 1907 for the stamp department, the total floor space of 214,000 feet available in all buildings to-day is entirely inadequate to the proper and efficient housing of the nearly 4,000 employees.
The director states that not only does the present floor space fail to accommodate the ordinary growth of the bureau, but that he is prevented absolutely from inaugurating highly beneficial improvements in machinery and in management. The operation of hundreds of machines in such proximity that barely sufficient space is left to move between them, the unavoidable overcrowding of men and women in almost every part of the present floor space, the necessity of working portions of the force at night on account of limited floor space, the keeping of hundreds of millions of securities, such as bonds, circulating notes, internal-revenue and post-office stamps in vaults not absolutely fireproof, are some of the conditions which make the demand for an adequate building imperative.
While Director Ralph has taken every precaution possible under present conditions and is guarding the situation with a watchfulness deserving of the highest praise, the loss in property and life which might result from fire in the present buildings is practically beyond measure.
It is therefore the unanimous conclusiou of the committee that the highest considerations both of humanity and expediency demand that the construction of a new building immediately begin. The committee therefore recommends the passage of the bill under consideration.