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CEMENT TESTING WORK.
On July 1, 1917, the cement testing work for the Reclamation Service was turned over to the Bureau of Standards of the Department of Commerce. Prior to that date this work was handled by a cement expert employed by the Service, and laboratories were maintained for this purpose at Denver and San Francisco.
The following table shows by years the number of barrels for which tests were made and the amount and per cent accepted since January 1, 1904, when the testing laboratory was established, to June 30, 1917, when the work was turned over to the Bureau of Standards. The amount accepted during the fiscal year 1918 is also given, but the per cent accepted can not be stated, as the testing was included in similar work handled for other departments and segregation is impracticable.
Regular sets of long-time tests have been continued. In the appendix will be found a table giving the average results of all tests on accepted cement from January 1, 1904, to June 30, 1918.
PURCHASE OF MATERIAL AND SUPPLIES.
Most of the important purchases for the service are made by the Denver office, where a purchasing department is maintained. The project offices purchase direct perishable foods, forage, and such other commodities as can be purchased locally to best advantage. By purchasing through the Denver office all projects get the benefits inherent in large-scale purchases, and in the purchase of materials of construction the purchasing department of that office has the advantage of advice of the several engineers and technical departments.
Purchasing during the past year has been handicapped by very adverse market and transportation conditions. Deliveries have been slow, jobbers' stocks depleted, and factory deliveries without definite date.
During the fiscal year 1918 the total number of purchases was 6,215, with a total value of $1,809,580.84. The cash discounts earned by prompt payments of bills amounted to $17,876.29, which considerably more than offsets the total pay roll for the year, of $14,324.68.
Government bills of lading, numbering 5,858, were issued, covering the movement of freight, and 4,666 transportation requests issued for travel of employees in the service.
The following comparative tabulation shows a summary of data covering purchases made by the central purchasing office:
On July 1, 1917, the unsettled freight and express transportation charges amounted to $59,743.60. There were received during the fiscal year for administrative examination new bills filed for $341,795.68.
Bills filed for $347,533.60 were examined, the amount due found to be $324,562.28, and settlement arranged with claimants on that basis, leaving outstanding on June 30, 1918, bills amounting to $54,005.68.
The commercial charges on freight and express bills settled during the year would have amounted to $600,630.79.
Passenger transportation bills to the amount of $52,347 were also given administrative examination and transmitted to the Treasury Department for payment.
During the fiscal year there were filed with the various transportation companies, in accordance with freight contracts, refund claims on contractors' shipments amounting to $10,370.28, which, as paid, are covered into the reclamation fund.
The following table gives general data regarding freight and express transportation charges since 1906:
LEGAL DIVISION. The chief counsel is the legal adviser of the Secretary in matters relating to the work of the Reclamation Service and is the head of the legal division of the service. Under him are certain attorneys known as counsel, as well as various clerks and stenographers.
In the Washington office, within the year, the land and general section of the legal division has been incorporated with the law section under the latter name. The work now being done by this consolidated section covers not only the consideration of all of the many legal questions which are constantly arising in connection with the operations of the service, but extends to questions of administration and policy as well. The work includes the consideration of litigation, irrigation district organization, laws and legislation, departmental decisions and regulations, manual amendments, public notices, abstracts of title, contracts, withdrawals and restoration of public lands and water appropriations; also much general correspondence is handled.
In addition to the Washington office, there are nine field offices of the legal division, located respectively at Denver, Colo.; Montrose, Colo.; Scottsbluff, Nebr.; Helena, Mont.; Boise, Idaho; Yakima, Wash.; Portland, Oreg.; Los Angeles, Cal.; and El Paso, Tex. The attorneys in charge of these offices are known as district counsel.
In the central Denver office is located a district counsel who is the legal adviser to the chief of construction. Also at Denver is located a district counsel in general charge of irrigation district organization. In each of the other field offices the district counsel is the legal adviser to various project managers. One of the district counsel has special charge of the work of passing on titles to land.
The Reclamation Service is directly interested in a considerable amount of litigation involving several million dollars. The immediate supervision of litigated cases is in the Department of Justice, but the legal division of the service takes an active part in preparing and trying all such suits.
The legal report in connection with our investigation of the waterright situation in Colorado River Basin, including a digest of laws and decisions, a study of international and interstate questions, tabulations of all water-right filings, permits, and decrees, and a compilation of acreage irrigated, has been completed and filed.
In contemplation of Federal legislation providing for an investigation of unproductive swamp and cut-over timber lands, a study of the various State laws affecting this question is now being made by the legal division.
LITIGATION. The following statement shows the general progress of litigation during the fiscal year: Number of cases pending at beginning of year.......... Number of cases initiated during the year. ......
Number of cases disposed of during the year...........
Lincoln Land Co......
Apr. 17, 19171 Dawson County Irrigation Co....
................................................ Feb. 26, 1918
BELLE FOURCHE PROJECT, SOUTH DAKOTA.
Beyer Aune and Bessie Hull Aune........................................... May 2, 1918
Prosser Irrigation District.................................................... Dec. 1, 1917
* Approved Aug. 27, 1917.
2 Sufficient for 36.8 acres.
Not over 3 acre-feet per acre.
LEGISLATION. Copies of acts of Congress, passed during the fiscal year, affecting the Reclamation Service, will be found in the appendix.
LAW DECISIONS. A digest of law decisions affecting the Reclamation Service, which have been rendered during the fiscal year, will be found in the appendix.
PUBLIC NOTICES AND ORDERS. Copies of the public notices and orders issued by the Secretary in regard to reclamation payments, etc., during the fiscal year will be found in connection with the text relating to the respective projects.
PURCHASES OF RIGHTS AND PROPERTY. A statement of the transactions for the acquisition of rights and property is given in the appendix.
On June 30, 1918, the force of the Reclamation Service comprised 5,288 persons, subdivided as follows: Educational, 507; noneducational,' 1,301; laborers, 3,480. In addition, the employees of contractors working on reclamation projects numbered 301. A more detailed statement, giving the administrative personnel of the Service and the number of employees by projects, classified as above, will be found in the appendix.
Wages of labor.–A table in the appendix shows; by projects, the average daily wages paid for common labor in June and December for the past four years, and for June, 1918. This table shows that the average daily wages for such labor have increased from approximately $2 in June, 1914, to $3 in June, 1918, an increase of 50 per cent in the four years.
Injuries to employees.—Under the terms of the employees' compensation act of September 7, 1916, there have been 643 injuries reported from the date of the passage of the act to June 30, 1918. Claims to the number of 307 have been allowed, and a total of $20,700.53 has been paid to the claimants. A detailed statement, by projects, will be found in the appendix.
Inoculation with typhoid prophylactic.—During the fiscal year the service continued, in cooperation with the War Department, the use of typhoid prophylactic among the field force. Four hundred and fifty complete treatments were sent to the field, making a total since July, 1912, of 3,550.
Employees in military or naval service.-On November 1, 1918, the employees of the service who had joined the colors numbered 779, or approximately one-third of the total number from the Department of the Interior. Each project flies a service flag, and the Washington office a flag with a large central star containing the figures 779, and 25 small stars representing the employees from the Washington office alone, who have enlisted. The flag also contains one gold star, in honor of Eugene Snyder of the storage unit of the Yakima project, who was lost when the Tuscania was torpedoed by a German submarine.
Liberty loans.—The employees of the Reclamation Service have responded generously and willingly to the call of the Government for subscriptions to the Liberty loans, the subscription of the entire service to the second loan amounting to $175,800, to the third to $192,200, and to the fourth to $269,900. In addition, the employees are purchasing War Savings Stamps and have contributed freely to the funds raised for the benefit of the Red Cross, the Y. M. C. A., the Knights of Columbus, the Interior Department War Work Association, and other worthy organizations.