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REPORT No. 891
LEGALIZING A PIER AT ANNAPOLIS ROADS, MD., AND
TO LEGALIZE AN INTAKE PIPE, PLYMOUTH, MASS.
JUNE 9 (calendar day, JUNE 11), 1930_Ordered to be printed
Mr. COPELAND, from the Committee on Commerce, submitted the
[To accompany S. 4400)
The Committee on Commerce, to whom was referred the bill (S. 4400) to legalize a pier constructed in Chesapeake Bay at Annapolis Roads, Md., having considered the same, report favorably thereon, and recommend that the bill do pass with amendments.
The bill and amendments have the approval of the Department of War as will appear by the annexed communications, which are made a part of this report.
WAR DEPARTMENT, May 15, 1930. Respectfully returned to the chairman Committee on Commerce, United States Senate.
So far as the interests committed to this department are concerned, I know of no objection to the favorable consideration of the accompanying bill (S. 4400, 71st Cong., 2d sess.), to legalize a pier constructed in Chesapeake Bay at Annapolis Roads, Md.
F. TRUBEE DAVISON,
Acting Secretary of War.
War DEPARTMENT, May 24, 1930. Respectfully returned to the chairman Committee on Rivers and Harbors, House of Representatives.
So far as the interests committed to this department are concerned, I know of no objection to the favorable consideration of the accompanying biil (H. R. 12168, 71st Cong., 2d sess.), to legalize an intake pipe in Warren Cove, at Plymouth, Mass.
F. TRUBEE DAVISON,
Acting Secretary of War. O
AUTHORIZING APPOINTMENT OF EMPLOYEES IN THE
EXECUTIVE BRANCH OF THE GOVERNMENT
JUNE 9 (calendar day, JUNE 12), 1930.-Ordered to be printed
Mr. DALE, from the Committee on Civil Service, submitted the
[To accompany H. R. 11978]
The Committee on Civil Service, to whom was referred the bill (H. R. 11978) to authorize the appointment of employees in the executive branch of the Government and of the District of Columbia, having considered the same, report thereon with a recommendation that it do pass.
The following statement is taken from the House report:
NECESSITY FOR THE LEGISLATION
For many years it has been the practice of the heads of the executive departments to delegate to subordinates the power to employ persons for duty in the field service under such rules and regulations as would properly safeguard the interests of the Government.
In recent rulings the Comptroller General has held that no authority exists (with certain exceptions where special authority has been granted) in department heads to delegate authority to subordinates in the field to employ the personnel necessary to carry on the activities of the departments. Such ruling seems to be based upon sound reasoning and is not challenged by your committee, notwithstanding the fact that the delegation of such power has been the practice of most of the Cabinet heads for many years.
That the power to delegate such authority is indispensable to the efficient operation of the field service becomes apparent when it is remembered that such services extend to the remotest part of the earth. To require that all such appointments must have the direct sanction of the head of the department before they can be effective or the employees be paid, is to bring disaster to such operative services as are carried on by the War, Navy, and other departments.
Under the comptroller's ruling, it is not possible to employ even a temporary day laborer without the prior approval of the department head. The fatal results of such a ruling will readily be appreciated by an examination of the records of the office of the Chief of Engineers of the Army which show that the turnover in the permanent or overhead force of the Engineer Department at large, is in the neighborhood of 25 per cent annually, and in the force engaged in actual construction work in the field in the neighborhood of 225 per cent yearly. It is obvious that any attempt upon the part of the Secretary of War to issue certificates of employment and discharge covering the enormous number of additions and separations would completely break down the proper functioning of his office. Such discharges and additions must necessarily be left to subordinates on the ground, otherwise the interminable delay and expense would become intolerable.
What is true of the War Department is true in a considerable degree in a large number of other services, such as the Public Health, Customs, and Public Buildings in the Treasury Department, the Forest and other field services in the Department of Agriculture, the Coast and Geodetic Survey, Bureau of Mines, and Bureau of Navigation in the Department of Commerce, and many other field services which will readily suggest themselves to Members.
It is frequently necessary to employ temporary and other employees in the Philippines, Guam, Porto Rico, Panama, and elsewhere. It needs no argument to demonstrate that unless the power of department heads to delegate to subordinates authority to employ persons in such remote parts exist, our services there will be greatly impaired, if not destroyed.
For the above reasons and many more, which it will serve no useful purpose to enumerate here, your committee would most respectfully urge the speedy enactment of the above bill.
The bill has the approval of all department heads and is satisfactory to the Comptroller General,
JUNE 9 (calendar day, JUNE 13), 1930.-Ordered to be printed
Mr. KEYES, from the Committee on Public Buildings and Grounds,
submitted the following
[To accompany H. R. 7997]
The Committee on Public Buildings and Grounds, to whom was referred the bill (H. R. 7997) authorizing the purchase by the Secretary of Commerce of additional land for the Bureau of Standards of the Department of Commerce, having considered the same, report favorably thereon with the recommendation that the bill do pass with the following amendment:
Page 2, line 15, after the word "site" strike out the period, insert a colon, and add the words:
Provided, That no portion of Van Ness Street, Tilden Street, or Reno Road shall be closed under the provisions of this act.
This legislation was suggested by the Acting Secretary of Commerce, with the approval of the President, as is explained in the following letter to the chairman of the Committee on Public Buildings and Grounds of the House of Representatives:
DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE,
January 6, 1930. DEAR CONGRESSMAN: With the approval of the President, I transmit herewith a draft of a bill to authorize the Secretary of Commerce to acquire additional land to enlarge the present site of the Bureau of Standards of this department.
The specific tracts to be acquired may properly be selected later, but the aim is to acquire not to exceed 17 acres of land as soon as practicable to prevent encroachment of private building operations too near the laboratories of the bureau and to acquire the property needed for the normal expansion of the Bureau of Standards before such property becomes too costly by reason of improvements on the property or in the vicinity.
The present location of the Bureau of Standards was selected in 1901, in a then sparsely settled district, to allow for future expansion. The need for expansion has exceeded expectations. The additions were by detached purchases. It was hoped that these would provide for many years' growth. Expansion is now cut off on the east by Connecticut Avenue, on the south by Tilden Street, on the north by the high price of the Connecticut Avenue frontage involved. Contiguous land can only be had on the west and northwest, so that in these directions the logical opportunity is present for the necessary enlargement of the bureau site.
Prompt action is required by reason of the actual encroachment of private buildings, grading of near-by land, with the danger that projected streets may cut through property required by the bureau, and because costly buildings, if erected on such property, may make the purchase price prohibitive, however definite the need. The land needed would best be acquired while prices are still moderate and before buildings are erected thereon.
Land prices in the vicinity of the Bureau of Standards are mounting rapidly and already exceed current assessment valuations. The bureau's present site, acquired at an average cost of 21 cents a square foot, is now estimated as being worth $1 a square foot. The present market value of Connecticut Avenue frontage for which the bureau paid 50 cents a square foot four years ago is now worth six times this figure.
The wisdom of prompt purchase as a matter of foresight is evidently a matter of good business. "Reasonable provision for the future should be made before it is too late or too costly. Bureau buildings already crowd too close to the bureau's boundaries on the south, west, and north. Private building operations have reached all bounding and near-by streets. Tilden Hall, Tilden Gardens, and the block of houses north of Upton Street are examples. Costly projects for apartment buildings are pending, and it is reported that actual options may be negotiated. The land which the bureau is considering, however, is largely back property and its selection is in harmony with the suggestion of the Office of Public Buildings and Public Parks of the National Capital.
It is submitted as good administration and sound business enterprise to take a reasonably long-range view of the Government's basic need for an adequate site. The proposed addition of 17 acres or less, as may be found feasible will be a reasonable provision for future needs and insurance against the objectionable encroachment of private buildings too near the bureau laboratories.
The proposed bill is intended merely to provide advance authorization and would call for specific estimate and appropriation later. Very truly yours,
E. F. MORGAN,
Acting Secretary of Commerce. This legislation would not be in conflict with the financial program of the President, as is shown by the following letter from the Secretary of Commerce to the chairman of the Committee on Public Buildings and Grounds of the House of Representatives:
DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE,
January 14, 1930. MY DEAR CONGRESSMAN: I am pleased to advise you that the Director of the Bureau of the Budget, in approving the project for additional land at the Bureau of Standards, states that the proposed legislation would not be in conflict with the financial program of the President if authorized for “the acquisition of not to exceed 17 acres of land at a cost not to exceed $400,000."
The department is strongly in favor of provision being made for addition to the Bureau of Standards site at this time as explained in my letter of recent date. Yours sincerely,
R. P. LAMONT. The following is an explanation of the desire of the Bureau of Standards for the passage of this proposed legislation, and is an excerpt from the testimony given before the Committee on Public Buildings and Grounds of the Senate by Dr. G. K. Burgess, Director of the Bureau of Standards of the Department of Commerce:
In a talk with the Secretary of Commerce and the Director of the Bureau of the Budget, it seemed wise to make provisions for future expansion of the Bureau of Standards site.
We are rapidly filling up the land we now own there with buildings, our permanent buildings being of what you might call the university type, so that we have,