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Capt. KNAPP. Well, sir, that was brought out, as I understood, in previous testimony.
The CHAIRMAN. You are referring to previous questions?
Capt. KNAPP. Yes; but whatever is done and whether we have a new yard on a new site, we have got to use the present navy yard for a long time, and it should be a place whose approach is safe.
Now, as a naval officer handling a ship, if this [pointing to Buttermilk Channel] was a perfectly good channel I would prefer it, because it is a comparatively straight channel; but still, with Coenties Reef removed, the channel north of Governor's Island will be perhaps as straight as the other. At any rate, as I understand the scheme given by Col. Black, the removal of Coenties Reef will make a perfectly safe and practicable channel from the south to the navy yard.
There has been a very unfortunate side to the lack of depth and width of channel on the way to the navy yard in this fact-that two ships are about all that can go up on a tide. There are times, especially in the winter, when there is only one daylight tide a day, strange as it may seem. I have known it to be the case when it was most desirable to get a number of ships into the navy yard as quickly as possible, that owing to the fact that the ships had to go through within a limited time about slack water-and to the fact that there was only one daylight tide-only one, or perhaps two ships at most would get up to the navy yard in one day. We do sadly need an improved channel to the navy yard, one making approach possible at any time as far as depth and width of channel are concerned.
The CHAIRMAN. Anything else?
Capt. KNAPP. There is one thing that I may mention which has been recommended by the General Board of the Navy: That the depth from the sea to all of our naval stations should be 40 feet. That is a question of what should be, of course, and not of immediate action. That recommendation has been approved by the Navy Department as its policy. While 35 feet is better than anything we have now, it would not, I think, certainly take care of a wounded ship, as our battleships are now designed. A wounded dreadnaught might easily draw 37 or 38, perhaps 40, feet.
TENNESSEE RIVER, BETWEEN CHATTANOOGA AND BROWNS
COMMITTEE ON RIVERS AND HARBORS,
February 15, 1916.
The committee met at 10.30 o'clock a. m., the chairman, Mr. Sparkman, presiding.
The CHAIRMAN. Mr. Almon, we are ready to proceed with the hearing.
STATEMENT OF HON. EDWARD B. ALMON, A REPRESENTATIVE IN CONGRESS FROM ALABAMA.
Mr. ALMON. Mr. Chairman and gentlemen of the committee, the Tennessee River runs entirely through my district, a distance of almost 200 miles through the Tennessee Valley, in the north end of the State of Alabama. I am not only intensely interested in seeing that entire stretch of this great river made navigable every month in the year, but am also interested in seeing this river made navigable from Knoxville to Paducah. The people along this river feel very grateful for the good work that has been done by this committee and
Congress toward opening up this great waterway to the commerce of the world, and hope that nothing will be allowed to intervene and interfere with the improvements under way on this river. I take for granted that in the preparation of the bill which this committee will report to Congress will be provided all the appropriations recommended by the engineers of the War Department on the Tennessee River. The report of the engineers of the survey on the Muscle Shoals stretch of this river which has been made during the past year has not been completed and filed. I understand this committee will not take action on the proposed development at Muscle Shoals until that report is received. When this report is in we hope this committee, after due consideration, will make a report recommending the proposed development at Muscle Shoals. But, as that report is not yet in, I do not care to say anything further to this committee on that subject at this time.
I appear before the committee this morning for the purpose of especially calling attention to the improvement on the Tennessee River at Crow Creek. About one year ago this committee passed a resolution directing the Board of Engineers for Rivers and Harbors to review a part of the report on the Tennessee River as was printed in House Document No. 360, Sixty-second Congress, second session, with a view to further investigation and report as to the ad