« PreviousContinue »
REPORT OF THE. QUARTERMASTER-GENERAL.
Washington, July 1, 1907. SIR: I have the honor to submit the annual report of the operations of the Quartermaster's Department for the fiscal year ended June 30, 1907, which period was entirely under the administration of my predecessor, Maj. Gen. C. F. Humphrey, who had planned and outlined in memoranda the scope of the report, and his ideas have been followed as closely as possible. It was desired and deemed proper that General Humphrey sign this report, but his absence from the city and the impossibility of delaying its submission prohibited.
DUTIES OF THE DEPARTMENT.
There is seldom anything spectacular in the work of the Quartermaster's Department, and the labor of its administration, the multiplicity, complexity, and ramification of its functions and vital importance of its duties are little understood by those not in actual close contact with it or concerned in its operations. Briefly, the duties which by law and regulations devolve upon the department begin with supplying the recruit with his first army clothing and extend to providing and caring for the soldier's last resting place. Between these two extremes there is included all that is necessary to properly clothe, equip, shelter, and transport, by land and water, the entire army and its supplies of every class and kind—all its constituent parts.
By law (23 Stat. L., 110) the department may be called upon to receive, transport, and be responsible for property turned over for shipment by other departments of the Government, and this provision is largely taken advantage of, payments coming from their own appropriations. In a business way it is in constant contact with manufacturers of cloth, clothing, shoes, wagons, machinery, heating and lighting apparatus, railroad and water transportation companies, shipbuilders, dealers in horses and mules, and forage, contractors for building, and manufacturers and dealers in all supplies relating to building, water and plumbing systems, grading, etc., the enumeration of which would require pages. The operations of the department extend all over the vast territory of the United States, to Hawaii, Alaska, Japan, the Philippine Islands, Cuba, and Porto Rico. Tó perform its manifold duties and handle its varied and constantly
increasing business over this diversified area, extending over halfway around the world, reaching from the arctic to the tropic regions, and involving all kinds of climate, widely differing business practices and economic conditions, the strength of the corps consisted of but 96 commissioned officers and 200 post quartermaster-sergeants, in addition to which 76 officers of the line were detailed as acting quartermasters in connection with the work of the department.
The inadequacy in numbers of the regular corps for the work to be performed is apparent, hence this heavy drait upon the line of the Army is absolutely necessary. There is urgent need for such increase in the number of commissioned officers of the corps as will relieve the department from the necessity of eallipġ upon line officers to perform its duties; also for an increase in the number of post quartermastersergeants and the creation of i general-service corps for the work of the department, : These matters will be more fully discussed below.
In time of poacá the department must be always busy and alert, in time of war or emergency it must act promptly and with the greatest energy; for its paramount duty is to place troops and supplies where needed, and the importance of doing this with celerity, to anticipate emergency, or forestall an enemy, is too well established to need more than reference. Perhaps no better idea can be gained of the magnitude of this department's work than by simply considering that it had at its disposal during the fiscal year appropriations aggregating $33,551,769.17. The chief uses for which these were expended will be touched upon with some detail hereinafter.
By acts of Congress June 12 and 30, 1906, and March 4, 1907, there was appropriated for the regular service of the Quartermaster's
Department for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1907, including allotments
from special appropriations, the sum of .......... $31, 402, 685.06 During the fiscal year there was deposited to the
credit of appropriations from various sources as shown, the sum of.
2, 149, 084. 11 Making a total of...
$33, 551, 769. 17 Of this there was remitted to disbursing officers...... 28, 223, 749. 15 There was paid on account of settlements made at the Treasury...
28, 397, 768.22 Leaving a balance on July 1, 1907, available for payment of outstanding obligations
5, 154, 000.95 On July 1, 1906, there was on hand from the regular
appropriations for the service of the Quartermaster's Department pertaining to the fiscal year 1906 the sum of
5,366, 780.03 From appropriations of other years, including all indefinite appropriations...
4, 730, 428. 87 For special purposes there was appropriated and
allotted during the fiscal year ending June 30, 1907, the sum of..
4,099, 982.91 During the fiscal year there was deposited to all
appropriations (other than those of 1907, as shown above) from various sources the sum of....
1, 699, 308. 15
15, 896, 499.96
Of this there was remitted to disbursing officers..... $8,985, 738. 77
564, 571.06 Carried to the surplus fund...
1, 258, 147.64
$10, 808, 457.47 Leaving a balance on hand July 1, 1907, of..
5,088, 042. 49
Expenditures from funds of the fiscal year 1907, additional to those which would have been necessary if the force comprising the army of Cuban pacification were employed in their ordinary places of duty, have been made from appropriations of the Quartermaster's Department, approximately, as follows: Regular supplies..
$288, 012.77 Incidental expenses..
103, 250. 86 Barracks and quarters.
24, 399.01 Army transportation..
1,915, 383. 31 Clothing and equipage.
85, 799.32 Horses for cavalry, artillery, and engineers.
32,500.00 Emergency fund, War Department.
105, 625.00 Total.......
2,554, 970.27 Reference to the work of the department in connection with the movement will be found in following pages, particularly that part of this report dealing with the army transport service.
In his annual reports for the fiscal years 1905 and 1906 the Quartermaster-General discussed the needs of this Department for increased appropriations, and as the arguments then submitted still hold good it is thought best to reproduce in part the language then used.
Speaking of the appropriations "Transportation of the Army" and “Regular supplies" he said, referring to reductions from the amounts appropriated during and immediately following the Spanish war and Philippines insurrection, that they were then (fiscal year