Letter to the Speaker of the House Requesting Appropriations for the United States Maritime Commission.
I have the honor to transmit herewith for the consideration of Congress a supplemental estimate of appropriation for the United States Maritime Commission amounting to $10,000,000, and in addition thereto authority to contract for additional construction amounting to $150,000,000.
The details of the estimate, the necessity therefor, and the reason for its submission at this time are set forth in the letter of the Acting Director of the Bureau of the Budget, transmitted herewith, with whose comments and observations thereon I concur.
The Speaker of the House of Representatives,
Washington, D. C.
The letter from the Acting Director of the Budget is as follows:
I have the honor to transmit herewith for your consideration a supplemental estimate of appropriation for the United States Maritime Commission amounting to $10,000,000, and in addition authority to contract for additional construction amounting to $150,000,000, as follows:
UNITED STATES MARITIME COMMISSION
Construction Fund, United States Maritime Commission, Act of June 29, 1936, Revolving Fund—
For an additional amount to be added to the construction .fund (revolving fund) established and made available to the United States Maritime Commission by Section 206 of the Merchant Marine Act, 1936(49 Stat. 1987) to carry out the provisions of said Act, $10,000,000, of which amount not to exceed $75,000 may be expended for the employment on a contract or fee basis of persons, firms and corporations for the performance of special services, including legal services, deemed necessary by the Commission, without regard to section 3709 of the Revised Statutes (41. U.S.C. 5), and the Commission is authorized to enter into contract or contracts for the purpose of carrying out the provisions of said Act in an additional amount not to exceed $150,000,000. (Act of June 29, 1936, 49 Stat., 1985-2017).
On April 15, 1937, the Senate confirmed the appointment of the members of the United States Maritime Commission. Immediately thereafter, the Commission made a survey of all available information relative to the present condition of the American Merchant Marine as required by Section 210 of the Merchant Marine Act of June 29, 1936. This survey, according to information submitted by the Commission, shows the need of constructing a considerable number of ships, some to replace those which have been kept in service beyond their useful life and others for operations essential to a well rounded merchant marine.
The program adopted by the Commission will require an expenditure of $79,000,000 for construction in the fiscal year 1938, of which amount $69,000,000 will be available from funds now in the construction fund or to be collected and credited to the fund during the fiscal year. An appropriation of $10,000,000 will therefore be needed to meet the expenditure requirements for 1938. In order to provide for an orderly construction program, the Commission should be permitted to incur additional contract authorizations of $150,000,000.
Authority should also be provided for an expenditure of not to exceed $75,000 for the employment of persons, firms, and others to perform special services, without regard to the provisions of current laws applicable to the employment and compensation of officers and employees of the United States. This will enable the Commission to employ persons with special qualifications needed to advise and assist in the inauguration of new policies and to obtain a current audit and appraisal of all property under its jurisdiction.
This estimate is required to meet a contingency which has arisen since the transmission of the Budget for the fiscal year 1938, and its approval is recommended.
D. W. BELL Acting Director of the Bureau of the Budget
The President, The White House
Franklin D. Roosevelt, Letter to the Speaker of the House Requesting Appropriations for the United States Maritime Commission. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/208511