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and Docks. From the time of its creation which was too small to permit the entrance this office had been held by officers of of a battle-ship fitted with bilge-keels, and the line who possessed little expert knowl- which could be approached only at high edge in civil engineering. Knowledge tide ; and the third, also timber-built, at of this science is essential for the proper Bremerton, Washington, which was the planning of naval stations, the construc- best of its size belonging to the Governtion of dry docks, and erection of buildings. ment, but which had the disadvantage of A vacancy occurring, the President, upon being within striking distance of the Britmy recommendation, appointed as Chief ish naval station at Esquimault. The of thąt Bureau for the term of four years— prospect of war with Spain and the need the period fixed by law—Civil Engineer of a dock on the Atlantic coast available Mordecai T. Endicott, an officer of dis- for battle-ships in case of injury caused tinction in his profession and for a long the Department to take measures for puttime on duty in that Bureau, who had ting Dock No. 3, at New York, in conditheretofore given evidence of efficiency tion for service, and it has since been and skill. Congress, at last satisfied that practically in continuous service. A sig. an effective fleet must have bases, and nificant indication of our lack of sufficient be equipped with appliances for prompt docks was furnished in 1897 by the mortirepairs, authorized extensive navy-yard fying necessity of sending the battle-ship improvements. Five years ago the dock- Indiana to Halifax to have her bottom ing facilities of the country were totally scraped and cleaned. inadequate for the needs of the matériel. A board of officers was appointed in There were but three docks capable of 1897 to consider the docking requirereceiving battle-ships—one at New York, ments of the navy, and in the light of its known as Dock No. 3, a timber structure, report the Department recommended the which was defective on account of both construction of stone and concrete docks location and workmanship; one at Port at Boston, Portsmouth, N. H., and Mare Royal, built of timber, the cross-section of Island, a steel floating dock at Algiers, La.,




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and the enlargement of docks at New of $225,000, can be made ready for buildYork, League Island, and Norfolk. Con- ing vessels of this type. The improvegress investigated the relative merits of ments under way at Boston will, within timber and stone and concrete docks, and two years, fit that yard for this work. in 1898 provided for four timber docks The yards are to-day in condition to and one steel floating dock; but authority make repairs promptly, efficiently, and was afterwards given to the Department economically. The country should not to build these four docks of the more think, however, that their improvement solid material. The construction of these ought to cease. Much must be done to docks of masonry has definitely committed keep them in a state of efficiency. The the Government to this type, the advan- coaling facilities of the country have also tages of which are greater safety, longer largely increased since 1897. A man-oflife, and less repairs. Though these docks, war leaving San Francisco for China or which are now nearing completion, were Australia will now find coal piles distribat the time of their design the largest uted at convenient points along her route. ever built by the United States, three Coal is the food of a modern ship, and others, also of stone and concrete, which war will demonstrate the strategical imCongress subsequently authorized, will portance of the stations established, just be even deeper and wider, accommodat- as peace has shown their economic value. ing any of the immense battle-ships which In addition to coaling depots, the United are under construction and contemplated. States owns twenty-three navy-yards and The floating dock for Algiers is in suc- naval stations, the total value of which is cessful operation at the naval station at not far from $100,000,000. that point. During the five years of my The shore stations of the navy have terim Congress authorized the construc- been described at some length because tion of seven masonry docks, one steel knowledge of their condition is necessary floating dock, and the rebuilding of one to obtain an adequate idea of the respontimber dock in concrete. In addition, sibility which rests upon the shoulders of the Department purchased for the small those who administer their affairs. The sum of $250,000 the practically new steel several Bureaus, which have departments floating dock at Havana, which had cost at the various yards and stations, are Spain $600,000. In 1897 there were tenacious of their prerogatives and guard eleven Government docks, only three of them jealously, fearing, perhaps, that any which could accommodate battle-ships of innovation will be followed by diminution the first class. There are to-day, built or of their jurisdiction. The temptation to under construction, twenty-one Govern- step beyond the limits of a Bureau's aument docks, eight of which are designed thority as fixed by the Naval Regulations to receive the largest ships and three sometimes proves almost irresistible. The others ships of 10,000 tons displacement. Bureau affected sharply resents the enEven with this number, we are far behind croachment, and there immediately follows the maritime nations of Europe. In the au exchange of communications, sometimes single yard at Portsmoutin, England, there highly seasoned. The controversy is ul. are more dry-docks than we have to-day timately loaded upon the Secretary, who in our whole service. Germany, whose is expected to untangle the snarl in which navy is about the same strength as our his subordinates have wound themselves. own, has seventy docks, two of which The relations between the Bureaus are belong to private companies and are occasionally so strained that ordinary capable of receiving any of the Kaiser's courtesy is strained. I recall that one battle-ships.

Bureau Chief became highly incensed at Besides providing docking facilities, another because of the latter's recommenCongress also authorized improvements dations in connection with changes in the in navy-yard plants. The navy-yard at machinery of a cruiser. “Your recomNew York is now equipped to construct mendations," wrote the former, “ are as battle-ships. That at Portsmouth, with inconsistent with your ignoring of the an additional appropriation of $175,000, suggestion to withdraw the same as is and the yards at Norfolk and Mare your assumption of a 'best way to hanIsland, with an additional appropriation dle' these surveys antagonistic to simple

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Bureau duties. The ostentatious display lack of harmony between other Bureaus. of a banner marked 'despatch’ may The cause of the trouble anyone who obtain the confidence of the unversed, but investigates the matter will readily appreit is not the proof of ability to secure that ciate. Here are three or four Bureaus desideratum which is required to satisfy charged with the construction and fitting expert criticism.”

out of vessels, and while one, for example, This is one of the many instances of is held responsible for the care and the friction which sometimes exists, but repair of all auxiliary steam machinery, it which should by no means be regarded as has no voice either in the design or inthe rule. There has at times been like stallation of many of the auxiliaries. It frequently has happened that one Bureau Board of Visitors, whose criticisms have has brought its work to a point where already brought improvement in the work under the regulations, it would be taken of the institution. It was urgently recomover by another Bureau, but the latter was mended that legislation be enacted removnot ready for it. Each Bureau has a ing all limitations from the field from separate force of inspectors and corps of which the selection of a superintendent officers. As a ship is an integral work, it is may be made. The country is entitled evident that efficiency and economy could to its best astronomer for this great better be obtained by placing its construc- astronomical plant. This recommendation, as far as possible, under one head. tion, however, provoked strong opposition The construction and equipment of ships from some officers in the navy and their would thus be conducted under the system friends in Congress, which took the oppowhich is successfully employed in the site direction, and even directed that the private ship-yards of the country. Lead- superintendent should be, “ until further ing up to this step, the Department began legislation," a line officer not below the in 1897 the substitution of electrical for rank of captain, thus limiting the place steam power at navy-yards. Investigation to a favored few and ignoring entirely had disclosed the astonishing fact that the the question of their capacity to fill it. power for operating the machinery of the The phrase, “ until further legislation,” different departments of the yards, instead gives some hope that Congress may later of being supplied by a single plant, was take more reasonable action with respect furnished by boilers and engines scattered to the Observatory. Good management about the yard and operated by different and results commensurate with the exBureaus. Of course separate gangs of penditures made demand a competent men were required for each plant, and the head, and the agitation which has been amount of power obtained was relatively begun by the scientific bodies of the small for the coal used and the steam con- country should eventually bring about sumed. Rectification of this extravagance the organization of a personnel which will was partially effected by concentration un- make the institution the equal of any in der the authority vested in the Secretary of the world ; indeed, with its larger expendithe Navy. Legislation was, however, nec- tures, it should be superior. essary before consolidation of the Bureaus From the time the construction of the could be made. The Bureaus of Construc- old navy began, every Secretary of the tion and Repair, of Steam Engineering and Navy has felt the need of professional of Equipment, both as a matter of economy assistance. This want produced the and efficiency, should be under one head. Board of Navy Commissioners and then Congress failed to adopt the recommenda- the Bureau System of the Department. tion to this end, just as it had neglected But the Bureaus, working independently to act favorably upon recommendations of one another and not always in harcontemplating somewhat the same result mony, so appropriated the space of a ship submitted by Secretaries Chandler and as often to leave her defective in some Whitney. This change must occur, and important particular. This unfortunate with it will come a sound business system state of affairs was partially remedied by which will introduce cohesion and unity in Secretary Tracy, who in 1889 constituted naval administration. The Hydrographic a Board, called the Board on ConstrucOffice and the Naval Observatory should be tion, consisting of the Chiefs of the five placed directly under the Secretary of the Bureaus of Yards and Docks, Ordnance, Navy. The Observatory is decidedly Equipment, Construction and Repairs,

, behind institutions of like character in the and Steam Engineering, to which he gave United States and Europe. It always had as general supervision over the design, conits superintendent a line officer, who some struction, and equipment of ships. As times possessed thorough and sometimes the work of the Bureau of Yards and merely superficial knowledge of astron- Docks was confined to shore stations, and omy. The condition of the Observatory as a civil engineer had been placed at the for two or three years past has been head of this Bureau, it was withdrawn brought to the attention of Congress, from representation on the Board and which directed the appointment of a the Naval Intelligence officer substituted.


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