Imatges de pÓgina

tageously accomplished, perhaps, by a law which should confer upon the first class a rate of retired pay, graduated from half-pay up to that allowed to leave of absence, according to the amount of seaservice they may have performed, and adding to this an honorary promotion of one degree in rank; and which should dispose of the second class by retiring them on half of leave-of-absence pay,

The details necessary to such a system may be easily regulated whenever Congress shall find occasion to take the subject into their deliberations.

I repeat, also, my concurrence in the views presented by my predecessor in his Report of November, 1850, on the propriety of "recognising by law the office of commodore, and the creation of at least two officers of the rank of rear-admiral." I can add nothing to the satisfactory arguments with which that recommendation is enforced, and therefore content myself with a reference to the Report, and an earnest invocation to Congress to give it a favourable consideration.


The Reports from the chiefs of the several bureaus of this Department will make Congress acquainted with the details of the naval service in each branch of its administration. I respectfully ask their attention to the many valuable suggestions these Reports contain for the better government of the navy. Among these, I select for a more special notice the recommendations of the Bureau of Provisions and Clothing, touching the mode of making contracts, in respect to which it is proposed that some discretion should be lodged in the Bureau, to authorize its rejection of a contract when offered by a bidder who has on any previous occasion failed to comply with his engagement.

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I particularly commend to the notice of Congress the representations of the Bureau of Yards and Docks in reference to the several navy yards under its care. The yard at New York requires early consideration. A large portion of the land belonging to it has not yet been placed under the exclusive jurisdiction of The United States, and is consequently subjected to onerous assessments for improvements by the city of Brooklyn, and exposed to the very inconvenient demands of that city in the opening of streets leading to the channel of the Wallabout, which, if opened, would seriously affect the security of the yard, and greatly incommode its operations. So important is it to the Government that this difficulty should be removed, that I think it would even be advisable to transfer the works of this yard to some other convenient location, unless the jurisdiction over the land be fully conceded to The United States. Efforts have been made, and are still making, to obtain this cession

from the Legislature, and I trust will now be successful. If they should not, there is reason to believe a better site may be obtained for the yard, free from the present inconveniences, and that the expense of the new establishment might be defrayed by the sale of the old.

The floating dry dock in California, contracted for in obedience to the several Acts of Congress heretofore passed, has been completed and delivered at San Francisco. No appropriation was made for the basin and railway, without which the dock cannot be safely or usefully employed. I submit it to the decision of Congress, whether these structures should not be made without delay.

The Naval Asylum at Philadelphia is well conducted, and is found a valuable refuge to the infirm and disabled seamen who have been admitted into it. I concur in the opinion expressed by the head of the Bureau of Yards and Docks, that its position is not the best adapted to its effective usefulness in the navy; and, as the property is believed to be very valuable, it may be worthy of consideration whether it would not be good policy to dispose of it, and re-establish this institution either at Annapolis or Norfolk where its inmates would be removed from the temptations to disorder which the proximity to a large city throws in their way.

The Naval Observatory continues to pursue its appropriate labours with its usual good results, and is found to contribute the most important facilities to the improvement of navigation. I cannot better commend it to the regard of Congress than by a reference to the letter of Lieutenant Maury which accompanies this Report.

The first volume of the Nautical Almanac, in charge of Lieutenant Davis, is now in press, and will be given to the public. His Report will explain the progress and condition of his work.

Lieutenant Gilliss, who for more than 3 years past has been employed, in pursuance of the directions of Congress, in conducting in Chili the observations recommended to be made by the American Philosophical Society and the Academy of Arts and Sciences, has recently returned to The United States, bringing with him a rich contribution to science, in a series of observations amounting to nearly forty thousand, and embracing a most extensive catalogue of stars. He deserves great praise for his assiduity in this labour, which, in conjunction with similar observations in other quarters of the globe, will supply important aid towards the determination of the solar parallax, a problem of great interest to navigation and science. Upon the conclusion of his work at Santiago, he was enabled to make a judicious sale of his observatory and its apparatus to the Chilian Government, which has manifested a most friendly interest in his service and afforded him much useful assistance.

His full report will be made to this department, and as soon as received, will be transmitted to Congress.

Professor Espy, during the past year, has been, as in the years before it, busy in the pursuit of his meteorological observations and his theory of storms, prosecuting his researches without abatement of zeal or assiduity. He promises soon to give the world another volume of facts and deductions, by which he hopes to bring the laws of the wind and the tempest into the category of an "exact science." His letter, appended to this report, will explain his progress and commend his industry to the friendly recognition of Congress.

By an enactment of the Naval Appropriation Bill of August 13, 1852, this department was authorized and directed "to select a site for a navy yard and naval depôt in the bay of San Francisco, in California, or neighbouring waters."

The board of officers who were despatched to make the necessary examinations for the selection of this site have performed the task intrusted to them, and have returned to this city. They have not yet entirely completed their report. It will be put in the possession of this department in a few days, when I shall make it the subject of a special communication to Congress.

I renew the recommendations heretofore made, and now again referred to in the report of the Bureau of Provisions and Clothing, in favour of such discretionary change in the navy ration as recent scientific research has proved to be useful, through the process by which vegetables may be preserved for consumption at sea. And I also adopt, and respectfully beg leave to urge upon the attention of the legislature, the suggestions of the head of that bureau in reference to a prescribed limit on the commutation for stopped rations in money.

Congress having, at its last session, made a retrospective provision for an increase of pay to the officers, petty officers, seamen, and marines of the navy, and to the officers and men of the revenue service who served in the Pacific ocean, on the coast of California and Mexico, since the 28th of September, 1850, it would seem to be but an equitable act, and strictly in accordance with the liberal design of this provision, to extend its operation so far back, in point of time, as to embrace the case of those who served on that coast from the origin of the war. Indeed, every consideration which could recommend the policy of the appropriation that was made, will be found to apply with increased cogency to those to whom I have alluded. Their service was more severe, their hazards greater, and the expenses to which they were subject in that quarter when the country was more unprovided than in the subsequent period, were still more onerous. An appropriation in their behalf, of a

similar character to that which was made in favour of their successors, would be an acceptable and just tribute to a corps which has proved itself worthy of the high appreciation of the Government.

The estimates for the support of the navy and the marine corps for the year ending on the 13th day of June, 1854, and the statement of appropriations required for all objects within the control of this department, present an aggregate of dollars 11,501,593 67 Deduct for special objects

4,031,921 98 Leaves for the support of the navy and marine corps 7,469,671 69

It is proper to remark that the large increase in some of the estimates made for the coming year, over the actual amounts appropriated for the service of the last 2 or 3 years, which it will be found are required for the improvements of yards and docks, construction, equipment, and repair of vessels, the expenses of ordnance and the encouragement and support of the mail service, has become necessary by the reduction which Congress has hitherto thought proper to make from the estimates submitted for the expenditures which were thought essential to the public service in most of these branches of the naval administration. The appropriations now asked for, may, therefore, be regarded as the necessary consequence of such a subtraction from what was deemed but an adequate annual provision for the completion of works of indispensable use and being viewed in the light of arrears due to the public wants, they furnish no index of what may be the future necessities of the department, if provided for as they arise.

The estimate for the mail service, also, being one with which the naval establishment has no proper connexion, should not be brought into the account of the expenditure of the navy. The total amount drawn from the Treasury during the fiscal year ending June 30, 1852, as shown by the statement of appropriations for the naval service, prepared by the Second Comptroller of the Treasury, is Deduct repayments


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Which shows the sum of


as the total expenditure on all objects under the control of the Navy Department; but of which amount there was expended for special objects the sum of

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Leaving as the true expenditure for the support of
the navy and marine corps, for the fiscal year
ending June 30, 1852

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9,726,251 42 813,132 70

8,913,118 72

2,656,066 84

6,257,051 88

The unexpended balances of appropriations for the naval service, marine corps, and special objects under the control of the Navy Department, was, on the 30th of June, 1852, 3,119,644 dollars; all of which will be required to meet the outstanding obligations due from the appropriations to complete the objects as provided for by the appropriations for that year, in addition to the estimates for the fiscal years ending 30th June, 1853 and 1854.

Accompanying the reports and documents will be found the abstract or compendium of the reports of the chiefs of the bureaus, required by the resolution of the Senate of the 26th August, 1852. I have, &c.


The President of The United States.

(ANNEX 1.)-VESSELS in Commission, belonging to the Navy.

October 12, 1852.

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