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Mr. ASHLEY. I talked with Captain Curtiss, of the Bureau of Public Roads, about that statement when it was made, and we both decided that that was due to the fact that the witness had assumed a lower rate of depreciation than we felt would be a fair rate for the department, as a whole, although it might be entirely applicable under the conditions of operation in a particular bureau.
Mr. BUCHANAN. I understand you, then, to say that you can operate your cars, if Government owned, at 4 cents å mile?
Mr. Ashley. If Government owned; yes, sir.
AVERAGE MILEAGE AND AVERAGE SAVINGS ESTIMATED FOR GOVERNMENT OWNED
Mr. BUCHANAN. Have you any estimate of how many miles, on the average, each car will travel in the department in a year? I want to get at what the saving would be. If you can operate at 4 cents a mile and you have to pay for the cheapest transportation you get 5 cents & mile to employees in your department who own cars, then the saving would be a cent a mile.
Mr. Ashley. We would save a cent a mile.
Mr. BUCHANAN. If you do not have them now, put them in the record when you get your testimony.
Mr. Ashley. I can give you the figures now. If you will recall, last year Congress asked the Bureau of Efficiency to collect and submit to Congress & report on passenger-carrying vehicles for the entire Government service.
As that report was compiled in my office for our department and sent forward to the Bureau of Efficiency, I took off some figures from which I was able to make the following computations: For cars which we operated during the entire fiscal year 1932—this report was made as of June 30, 1932—614 in number, a total mileage of 8,017,271 was accumulated. In other words, each of those vehicles averaged 13,057 miles.
Mr. BUCHANAN. For that year?
Mr. Ashley. For that year. That is a fair average, because we are talking about 614 units scattered throughout all sections of the United States and all of the branches of the Department. I have the figures also for the several bureaus of the Department. Bureau of Biological Survey, for example, with 10 cars operating the entire year, the average mileage per car was 19,394 miles. There is not a single bureau which shows an average mileage per car of less than 10,000 miles, with the single exception of the Bureau of Dairy Industry. It has one car out at Beltsville which is running back and forth around there and, of course, does not pile up much mileage. But even that car covered 6,493 miles during the year. The other 613 cars averaged over 10,000 miles a year.
Mr. BUCHANAN. Well, that would make an average saving per car, at 1 cent per mile, of how much?
Mr. Ashley. On every replacement of personally-owned cars at five cents a mile by Government-owned cars, one cent a mile on this average figure of 13,057 miles would save $130.57 per year per car.
Mr. BUCHANAN. That is taking into consideration or adding in the purchase price of the car?
Mr. Ashley. Everything; the purchase price of the car and all of the operating expenses-repairs, as well as ordinary operating expenses--and giving final credit for what we call the “turn-in, that is, the allowance which the dealer grants on the old car when we buy a new one.
Mr. BUCHANAN. How much did you say that saving was?
Mr. Ashley. $130.57; because the average mileage, as shown by this report in 1932, was 13,057 miles.
Mr. BUCHANAN. What would be your aggregate saving on that, based on the supposition you have to pay your employees 5 cents a mile?
Mr. Ashley. On the assumption that we have replaced 5-cents-amile transportation with Government-owned transportation?
Mr. BUCHANAN. At 4 cents a mile.
Mr. Ashley. I think probably the better way to state that would be this
Mr. BUCHANAN. You have your total mileage there.
Mr. Ashley. Answering that question, then, it can be said that had we been required, during 1932, to secure that transportation by purchasing it from our employees at 5 cents a mile, instead of getting it, as actually we did, by using Government-owned cars, we would have spent, in addition to what we did spend, $80,172.71.
Mr. BUCHANAN. In other words, Government-owned cars, ACcording to your research and investigation, can be operated at a saving of $80,000 by the Government operating its own cars instead of hiring the transportation?
Mr. ASHLEY. Over the cost of the same transportation hired from our employees.
Mr. BUCHANAN. Which is the cheapest transportation you can get.
Mr. ASHLEY. Which is the cheapest transportation we can get otherwise.
Mr. JUMP. That is the general picture. Off on both sides of that comes the shading of every conceivable type and condition of travel, character of use, average mileage per year, and the rates you have to pay employees, ranging from very low rates up to above 5 cents in certain special cases. But it is the best general statement you can make.
AVERAGE MILEAGE ON EXCHANGED AUTOMOBILE
Mr. BUCHANAN. What is the average mileage per car traveled before it is necessary to exchange it?
Mr. Ashley. The cars in the lowest price class would probably run from 30,000 to 40,000 miles on the average. Thirty-five thousand miles would probably be a fair average.
Mr. BUCHANAN. I think some fellow said between 50,000 to 60,000 miles.
Mr. JUMP. Yes, I recall that. If it is correct it is not typical.
Mr. BUCHANAN. I want you to tell what you mean by “higherprice cars" and "lowest-price cars."
Mr. Ashley. When I say "lowest-price cars," I mean the Ford, Chevrolet, Plymouth, and other cars in that price group. They are cars which, if you wrote a specification for them, about all you would have to say would be “one 5-passenger automobile.” The cheapest standard car on the market would be the lowest-price car.
Mr. BUCHANAN. I do not know why these cars wear out so soon in the Government service. I know a number of those Chevrolets and Fords that have gone fifty and sixty thousand miles and are still running
Mr. Ashley. That is true, but they run at a larger expense per mile.
Mr. BUCHANAN. I notice in this hearing where pretty nearly all of these cars you propose to exchange for new ones have run 50,000 miles.
Mr. JUMP. Where did you see that?
Mr. JUMP. That may have been the testimony in some individual case.
Mr. BUCHANAN. It might have been just in one bureau.
Mr. Jump. Yes; but I do not believe everybody gets that average mileage out of their cars, even private individuals, except where mounting costs are paid during the latter part of the cars operation. Here and there you find one who gets unusual total mileage but for every one who talks about it there will be a dozen who turn their cars in when they have done 30,000 or 40,000 miles, and do not say a word about it.
Mr. BUCHANAN. Even the average life of a car in the Government service is from three to four years.
Mr. Ashley. Yes; from three to four years, but by that time the cost of maintenance and the cost of operation become excessive and it pays us, in the long run, to replace at reasonable intervals; it reduces the price per mile of transportation, which is really what we are concerned with. It reduces that to the lowest point by getting rid of the car before it costs too much to operate it.
Mr. BUCHANAN. Well, about what amount per year is the cost of maintenance before you deem it necessary to exchange a car?
Mr. Ashley. I would say the moment a car began to cost us over 4 cents a mile to operate, taking into account the depreciation and everything else, we ought to get rid of it and get a car that would keep our figure down to that 4 cents. Now that would depend, of course, on the locality in which the car is used, and the use to which it is put there. You can not abuse a car, as you may have to abuse it in some cases, without shortening its life. But I am speaking, of course, always in terms of general averages, based on the records of the entire number of cars operated by the department.
Mr. JUMP. We have uses ranging from cases where a brand-new set of heavy-duty tires will be worn out in a few weeks all the way to the usual type of transportation most of us are familiar with, in and around cities, where a set of tires will be used for two years or more: But in some of the forest road-building projects for example, where it is necessary to drive before even the roads are built, it knocks the cars to pieces, and a brand-new set of tires will sometimes be worn out in five or six weeks.
Mr. BUCHANAN. I understand that.
Mr. Ashley. A sandy country seems to be hard on cars and tires, too.
Mr. Buchanan. Have you any cost-repair record, per year, showing where it gradually increases as a car gets older? Mr. Jump. I think we can get that from the Bureau of Public Roads.
Mr. Ashley. We can get that record for you very easily; but that seems to be a matter of common experience; any man who drives & car knows after he has driven it for a certain number of miles that his car has to go to the shop oftener and he has more repairs to make.
Mr. JUMP. After he has it for two years he faces the question of tire replacements, battery, paint deterioration, loss of engine compression, and a host of other expenses which usually do not appear until about that time.
Mr. Ashley. For example, the oil does not stay in the car, and he is constantly using more oil; parts are continually breaking; more frequent adjustments are required. This means interruption of important work.
Mr. BUCHANAN. Do you keep a record of each car in order to find out when it exceeds 4 cents a mile?
Mr. Ashley. We keep a record on every car, covering its performance and what it costs from day to day and from month to month.
Mr. Jump. Mr. Ashley does not keep that
Mr. Ashley. I do not keep that, but that is kept in all of the bureaus where they operate these cars. I would like to show you a summary of the Bureau of Public Roads, for example, on its passenger cars and on its trucks; even in this summary form you can see how much of a record is kept (exhibiting). These summaries are the accumulated totals on each car based on the monthly reports which the men who operate the cars send in to the bureau, and the bureau keeps adding the monthly figures in to the totals and, at the end of each six months, prepares a statement of this sort.
I think Mr. Ashley has done the best he could on the passengercarrying vehicle business, but every time I hear the subject discussed en masse, I am impressed by the fact that the best you can do is to take the total figures and divide them and work out the averages. The conditions of use are so different, taking into account the highly varied activities of the department, that I am almost hopeless of dealing with the figures in any conclusive way, except by discussing them as we consider each bureau separately. To-day, when you had the Bureau of Food and Drugs before you, you put their representatives through a pretty thorough examination, car by car, and they had the facts, city by city. If the committee desires to go into that much detail, that is the way in the future that the bureaus will be prepared to give it and the committee can interrogate them and get the specific facts in each case. Mr. Ashley is keeping informed as best he can, but he is our purchasing officer; he does not know personally what these bureaus are doing from day to day in an operating detail like this and the only one you can get that from is the bureau itself, because it is an operation that you can not divorce from the daily routine operations of the bureau.
MONDAY, DECEMBER 5, 1932. . COLLECTION OF SEED-GRAIN LOANS
STATEMENT OF G. L. HOFFMAN
Mr. BUCHANAN. We will take up the item, “Collection of seedgrain loans." The item is as follows:
To enable the Secretary of Agriculture to collect moneys due the United States on account of loans made under the provisions of the acts of March 3, 1921 (41 Stat., p. 1347), March 20, 1922 (42 Stat., p. 467), April 26, 1924 (43 Stat., p. 110), February 28, 1927 (44 Stat., p. 1251), February 25, 1929 (45 Stat., p. 1306), as amended May 17, 1929 (46 Stat., p. 3), March 3, 1930 (46 Stat., pp. 78, 79), December 20, 1930 (46 Stat., p. 1032), February 14, 1931 (46 Stat., p. 1160), and February 23, 1931 (46 Stat., p. 1276), not to exceed $500,000 of the repayments made during the fiscal year 1933 to the appropriations contained in Public Resolution Numbered 114, approved January 15, 1931, and in the Interior Department Appropriation Act for the fiscal year 1932, approved February 14, 1931, to carry out the provisions of Public Resolution Numbered 112, approved December 20, 1930, as amended (46 Stat., pp. 1032, 1160, 1167) is hereby made available, of which amount not to exceed $60,000 may be expended for departmental personal services in the District of Columbia.
Mr. HOFFMAN. The following statement is presented in connection with this item:
The estimate contemplates making available for collection purposes $500,000 from repayments trade during the fiscal year 1933. This amount is needed for collection expenses during 1934 on the uncollected loans estimated on July 1, 1933, to be in excess of $20,000,000.
The necessity for this amount lies in the fact that during the fiscal years 1931 and 1932 loans were made in 31 States affected by drought and stora s totaling $57,223,775. Included in this amount was $1,453,024 loaned to agricultural and livestock credit associations. In addition, $8,829,555, included in the above amount was loaned since July 1, 1931, in several of the Northwestern States affected by drought for the purpose of feeding livestock, which loans a atured on September 30, 1932. Effort is also being made to collect outstanding loans made prior to 1931.
It is estimated that a larger percentage of the seed loans made in the spring of 1931 and the livestock loans made in the fall of 1931 and the spring of 1932 will remain unpaid at the end of the fiscal year 1933 to be collected during the fiscal year 1934 than in the case of any of the preceding loans. Statement of condition as of June 30, 1932, of the various seed loans is shown in the following tabulation:
Act of Mar. 5, 1921,
Northwestern States, $2,000,000
$1, 957, 407. 20 $1, 377, 939. 78 Act of Mar. 20, 1922,
Northwestern States, $1,500,000
1, 480, 106.69 1, 154, 081.27 Act of Apr. 26, 1924, New Mexico, $1,000,000
413, 983. 15 284, 781. 41 Act of Feb. 28, 1927, Flor. ida, $250,000..
244, 204. 68 108, 347.50 Act of Feb. 25, 1929, South
eastern States, $6,000,000. 5, 758, 650. 34 4, 679, 177. 72 Act of Mar. 3, 1930, Northwestern, Central, Southeastern States and New Mexico, $6,000,000. 5, 340, 727.38 3, 376, 337.33