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The Kinsley graphic. [volume] (Kinsley, Kan.) 1890-1940, September 09, 1898, Supplement, Image 9

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- lH"fau, muf l filling Willard I Rev. Smith, of Huteirwon, a co!cr
-T- X T A T
implement to The Kinsley Graphic.
.?.-k -wav-v. kw. -
Those Tin Ships. I
What Congressman Simpson Said About The IVavy His Speech In Full
Taken Verbatim From The Congressional Record of Feb. 15. 1895
'HE Republican press of the state '
(2) has been amusing itself, for the
past ninety day s,over a little card
gotten out, and which claimed to con
tain an extract from a speech made by
Congiessman Simpson.
Every postoffice sheet in the district
took the matter up, und there has been
a continual how) going op that Jerry is
against the navy, etc. The Congres
sional Record of February 15, 1895 con
tains a speech made before the House
committee of the whole which had und
er discussion the Naval appropriation,
in which Mr. Simpson jives his views
on the Navy, and is here reproduced
word for word:
Mr. Simpson. Mr. Chairman, I wish
to occupy the attention of the commit
tee for a short time in relation to this
bill. I shall direct my remarks more
particularly to the provision making
appropriation for the "Increase of the
That for the purpose of further increasing
the naval establishment of the United States
the President is hereby authorized to have
constructed by contract three seagoing eoast
line battle ships designed to carry the heavi
est armor and most powerful ordnance upon
u displacement of about 10,000 tons to have
the higheet practicable speed for vessels of
their class, and to cost, exclusive of armanent,
not exceeding $4,000,000 each; and nine tor
pedo boats of from lOO to 300 tons each, at
the discretion of the Secretary of the Navy, at
a cost not to exceed an average of $170,000.
Now, I wish to direct the attention
of the committee to the increased cost
that this bill necessarily involves.
These three battle ships will cost the
country when completed, with their
armor, $-21,126,000.
Mr. Talbert of South Carolina. Is
this an entirely new contract discon
nected with any other contract?
Mr. Simpson. Yes; it is a provision
for the construction of three new battle
ships; . '
Mr. Loud. I should like to know the
basis of the gentleman's estimates of
$7,000,000 and more for each of these
war vessels.
Mr. Simpson. I will come to that
The niue torpedo boats will cost $1,
530,000; and the. three additional tor
pedo boats, mentioned further on in
this same paragraph, will cost $510,000.
So that we have carried in this bill a
total increased expenditure, in addition
to the regular appropriation bill, of
$23, 126,000.
Mr. Talbott of Maryland. Will the
gentleman let us have the items of that
computation if he can.
Mr. Simpson; The items are, first
the three battle ship?, costing four
millions apiece
Mr. Loud. Not exceeding $4,000,000.
Mr. Simpson. Well, the expenditure
on matters of this kind always run up
to the limit.
Mr. Loud. The gentleman, if he
knows anything about the Navy, knows
that none of these vessels have cost
over $3,000,000.
Mr. Simpson. 1 say that these three
war vessels, including the armor, will
involve an increased expenditure of
Mr. Talbott of Maryland. The arm
or is included in the cost of construc
tion. Mr. Simpson. No; it is not.
Mr. Sayers. If the gentleman from
Kansas will yield a moment I will have
read at the desk a letter of the Secre
tary of the Navy, which, I think, sus
tains the statement the gentleman has
just made.
Mr. Simpson. I gladly yield for that
The Clerk read as follows:
Navy Department, Washington Feb. 8, '95.
Sib: In reply to your telephone messages
of January 29 and 30, requesting information
in regard to the appropriation "Increase of
the Navy." I have the honor to reply as fol
lows: 1. Estimated cost of the armanent of the
three new battle ships referred to in the
naval appropriation bill now pending in the
House of Representatives is 17,215,000.
2. Of the $5,287,670 appropriated under
the head of "Armor and armanent" in said
bill,"' there will be used upon the new vessels
authorized in said bill, the sum of $50,000.
3. The amount of the appropriation "In
crease of the Navy, armor and armanent,"
that will be absolutely necessary to meet the
expenditures which will be incurred np to
Jnlv 1, 1896. upon vessels already authorized
is $5,237,670.
4. Of the $8,342,422 appropriated in the
naval aoDroDriation bill now vending in the
House of Representatives under the head of
-Construction ana machinery.
the sum of
fc63.200 will be used for the new vessels
authorized in said mil; aiso, tnat tne sum 01
S7.879.222 is the estimated amount that
will be necessary to meet expenditures that
;.: - s...-;.'t- f.-.-.v.-
will be incurred under the head of "Increase
of the Navy" to July 1st. 1896. for construc
tion and machinery upon vessels already
5. On February 2, 1895, the records show
8890 enlisted men in the Navy. Men are be
ing enlisted each day; more than the HO short
of the quota are needed to supply a full crew
to the Olympia, commissioned on the 5th in
stant. In your message you only ask for the esti
mated cost of the armanent of the three new
battle ships, and in consequence I have not
included in the above estimate anything for
the hull armor of the vessels in question.
The estimate for armanent (7,215,OOo) does
include, however, the sum of $3,015,000 for
armor known as "gun protection," which,
according to a decision of the Attorney Gen
eral, comes under the term "armanent and
as the estimate for the hull armor for the
three battle ships is $1,911,000. the total es
timated cost for armor and armanent for the
three vessels is 9,126,000.
Very Respectfully,
Hon. Joseph SAyers,
Chairman Committee on Appropriations.
House of Representatives,
Mr. Simpson. Now, Mr. Chairman,
this bill provides that these battle
ships shall not cost, "exclusive of arm
anent," more than $4,000,000 each. The
letter just read discloses the fact that
the cost of the armor will be $9,000,000
and more, making, as I have stated, an
increased cost eventually for the con
struction of these ships and the torpedo
biatsof more than $23,1)00,000.
Now, Mr. Chairman, it is worth
while, per naps, to consider whether it
is absolutely necessary to have these
battle ships constructed. Does the
history of naval warfare warrant us in
going on and constructing these enor
mous ironclad battle ships? It is a very
grave question among those who are
best informed on naval affairs whether
the battle ships have come up to the
expectations of the people as a means
of defense.
The history of recent years, and es
pecially the last year, has developed
the fact that they have not. proved
equal to the fast cruisers. In the late
contest between China and Japan the
fact has been developed, at the battle
of Yulu River,- that the unarmored
cruiser of Japan was more than equal
to the two great battle ships that China
had in line during that contest. The
vessels of China had the superior arm
anent both in regard to the thickness of
armor plate and weight of artillery ,yet
the swift unarmored cruiser of Japan,
with rapid-firing guns, proved to be
more than a match for the great batMe
ships. Mr. Herbert, the honorable
Secretary of the Navy, in an article in
the North American Review of last
-November, says: 1
Judging from what we see in the news
papers, the figbt off the Yulu River seems to
have created a somewhat widespread impres
sion that they are, and that the naval battles
of the future are to be, won by swift, unarm
ored cruisers, armed with powerful guns and
fighting at long range.
Recent events have developed the
fact that this was a correct prophecy.
I quote from the Scientific American
of this morning an account of the sink
ing of those two remaining battle ships
belonging to China by torpedo boats,
proving that such war vessels are not a
match either for the cruisers or for the
torpedo boats.
It reads as follows:
The majorpart of the Chinese navy, includ
ing the two principal ironclads, the Ting
Yuen and Chen-Yuen, has almost been des
troyed. They were both engaged in the great
battle at the moutft of the Yulu River, from
which they escaped only to be sunk at Wei-Hai-Wei,
after about ten days' almost contin
uous fighting, by the torpedos sent against
them by the Japanese. They were sister ships,
and the most powerful vessels in either the
Japanese or Chinese service, each having a
displacement of over 7,000 tons and belted
14-inch steel compound armor. It is reported
that the Chinese torpedo fleet subsequently
attempted to escape from the harbor on Feb
ruary 7, bnt that they were pursued by a fly
ing squadron of Japanese vessels and twelve
of them either sunk or driven ashore.
That, Mr. Chairman, proves beyond
dispute, I think, that they have not
come up to the expectations which
were indulged in as a means of defense.
The little tordedo boats and swift arm
ored cruisers are more than a match
for these enormous battle ships, with
their unwieldy bulk and enormous
Mr. Cannon of Illinois. If the gentle
man will permit me does he consider
the instance given there as a fair test,
when he recalls at the same time the
extent of the Chinese Empire and the
great population they have as com
pared with little Japan? Is tbere not
something in the human animal after
all In the Japanese army, and fome
thing in the same animal as displayed
in the Chinese army, that perhaps has
much more to do with victory or defeat
than the torpedo loat or the armored
battle ship?
Mr. Simpson. I think perhaps the
gentleman is right; and it shows the
superiority and the wisdom of the Jap
anese in selt-cting the swift armored
cruisers aud torpedo b-mts instead of
spending enormous sums of money in
the construction of unwieldy battle
ships. Japan has nn battle ships wiih
armor to excee i nine ii.ches. Tnat we
would call a light armored vessel. But
you propose here in this bill to cou-su-uct
big line-of-battle ships with
these enormously thick steel armor
pates. .
Besides that, Mr. Chairman, such
vessels are not seagoing vseels. They
are not intended for such purposes, and
are fit only lor cuast defense. Few na
tions avail themselves of the battle
ships ;o send to foreign ports. Great
Britain is the only exception of any of
the maritime nations that sends any
number -f her 51 heavy battle ships to
foreign ports. They are used mainly
for coast defense.
Mr. Money. If the gentleman will
pardou mi interruption, I did uot catch
his statement accurately. Did I under
stand the gentleman to say that the
armored ba;tle ships were not seagoing
Mr. Simpson. Not considered as
Mr. Money. Not considered by
Mr. Simpson (continuing). Because
the heavy armor pla'es make them top
heavy in addition to the immense arm
anent they carry; and what I have just
stated, with reference to the use of these
battle ships is true of every nation ex
cept Great Britain, who sends a few of
them to foreign ports.
Mr. Sayers. The geutleman is speak
ing now of the heaviest class of battle
Mr. Simpson. Yes, sir; the heaviest
armored ships?
Now, the only reason why we want
these ships is t be enabled (o use them
for coast defense. Let us see how prac
tical that is. This class of ships, of the
displacement mentioned in the bili, is
in the neighborhood of 10,000 tons; and
they will draw probably not less than
20 feet. How many ports in the United
States can vessels enter -with such a
heavy draft, and be utilized as a means
of coast defense? I venture to say that
there is not a half dozen ports in the
United States in which they can safely
enter; and so, as a means of coast de
fense, they will be useless. For the
protection of our long line of coast and
the numerous small bays and harbors
that indent it we want light-draft ves
sels, quick, active, speedy, and which
can defend the coast by being able to
enter the smaller ports, or those hav
ing less depth of water, with facility.
So, I repeat, as a means of coast defense,
vessels of this class, light-draft vessels
and swift cruisers are invaluable.
But, sir, there is another phase of
this question to be considered; that is
whether the battle ship when built will
not be useless on account of the rapid
development and discovery in the shape
of inventions increasing - the already
powerful ordnance we have already in
this country. We go to work now and
construct a battle ship at an immense
cost, sheathe it with enormous steel
plates, and then at once, produce a gun
that will shoot a ball right through
her. We have today ordnance that
will shoot through the most powerful
ironclad that has been built.
1 cut from the daily press the other
day a paragraph which throws light on
the subject. It says:
The Golden Gate is to be protected by three
of the biggest guns in use in the United States.
They will be pointed seaward from vantage
positions on either side of the gate, and they
are calculated to furnish a complete defense
against any craft that might escape the shells
which the new mortar batteries will send out
to sea for the distance of six miles. These guns
are as long as seven average-sized guns, and
two men might easily crawl into the bore of
one of the wonders.
Mr. Loud. When is that to be?
Mr. Simpson. Right away.
Mr. Loud. Well, we have heard the
same thing for many years, and it has
not come yet
Mr. Simpson. Every man who has
witnessed the tests of ordnance at the
Ii.dian Head proving grounds within
the last year realizes the utter help
lessness that the ironclads would ex
hibit against the modern guns now b-
ing produced at our gun factories. You
have seen there a 10-inch gun knock
into Binders the strongest and heaviest
plate that is at present produced.
All of the recent naval engagements
prove that the very bet armor and the
heaviest armor upon the battle ships of
this day cannot resist the tremendous
power of the guns we now hav in our
So after this very larre expenditure
we shall probably find, with the inven
tions with regard to dynamite and tor
pedos as.d different explosives, that the
Government will have expended a large
amount of money for a useless pile nf
iron and steel, that will not meet mod
ern requirements. I think it is a very
dangerous course to pursue, in the light
of what is transpiring, to tax t he peo
ple of the United States for what I con
sicer so yery large and useless an ex
penditure of the public funds.
Mr. Ray. If the gentleman will pr
mit me, following the line of his argu
ment, it would be just as well not to
have any ironcladf at all, would it not,
according to the gentleman's view?
Mr. Simpson. I said, ihat in the be
ginning, recent events have developed
the fact ibat the light-armored cruiser
has proven more than a match for the
battle ship, and that under our peculiar
conditions, with such a loi.g coast line
to defend, I think if we need anything
at all we neee more of the light, swift
cru'sers thai can enter ports where
ships of light d. aft can obtain entrance
Mr.- biay. Following out your argu
ment that you make, what is the use of
any armor at all?
Mr. Simpson. I do not see that there
is very much use in if
Mr. Ray. The way that it struck me
was that your argument tended to show
that armor of any kind on the vessols
was useless.
Mr. Simpson. I read an account of
the battle between the Chinese and
Japanese at the Yalu River, and there
was one Japanese gunboat which was
unarmored which stayed in the fight
throughout. There were more than
forty holes shot clear through her, and
yet she remained in action. The men
on board plugged up the holes as fatt
as they were shot through her, and she
continued in taction all through the
Mr. Talbott of Maryland. Does the
gentleman know that one of the Chin
ese battle ships received over four
hundred shots, and none penetrated?
Mr. Simpson. Yes;! and a torpedo
boat came along and struck her and
sunk her, and the account said that she
turned over and went down with her
propeller wheel sticking up in the air.
I And that is about all they are good for.
Mr. Ray. As the penetiating power
of our guns is increased, 8' ou d we not
also proportionately, as far as we can,
increase the power of resistance from
the ships themselves?
Mr. Simpson. There seems to be no
limit to the increase ia the force of
propelling projectiles from rifled can
non. We have gone on increasing the
thickness of armor, until today it
seems that we have about reached the
limit. There is a limit to the carrying
capacity of ships. All the armor is
placed above the water line, or very
nearly so. It projects but very little
below the water line, and therefore the
enormous weight must necessarily
rest upon the top of the ship. Any man
who is familar with vessels and the
things pertaining thereto knows that
a ship must have a part of the weight
she carries down below the water line.
Any thing else makes her top-heavy
and unseawortby.
, We have, as I say, apparently reached
the limit. We have gone on increasing
the thickness of this armor so that it
makes such an enormous weight that
these ships seem now to be unable to
bear it. The history of the Finking of the
British ship of war Victoria shows that
she was top-heavy, .and when a hole
was cut in her and some water got in
which ran over to one side it gave her
a list which capsized, her.
Mr. Geissenbainer. How much
Mr. Simpson. It did not take much
to tip her over, on account of the
enormous weight on the top of the ship.
Even though the bulkheads were
closed, the water coming in at one side
gave her a list which threw the addi
tional weight on that side, and she tip
ped over very quickly. It proves that
we have apparently reached the limit
of the capacity of the ship to carry
any thicker armor plate, while we are
goii:on increariug the piercing ca
pacity of our ordnance. Therefore 1
think, a& I have said before, that, in
view of these facte, it is extradordinary
that we at this day. should go ou ap
propriating to complete these ships of
more than $23,000,0C0.
Mr. Loud. You approve of torpedo
boats, uo you not?
Mr. Simpson. If they aro necessary.
Mr. Loud. Then you don't know
whether they are necessary or not?
Mr. Simpson. I do not know. I will
direct my attention now to these hat
tie ships.
Mr. Loud. Now, I would like to ask
the gentleman one question, and have
a fair answer. I would like to ask th
gentleman if his objection is not to the
amount of the impropriation, rather
than an objection to the construction of
a navv, or rather than to the class of
vessels carried in this bill?
Mr. Simpson. Mr. Ch-iirm-in, I wil
give this gentleman a fair answer, as
he wants a fair answer. I always tr
to giye a fair and honest answer to any
question that is asked me, as I see it.
I am opposed both to the appropria
tion and to the ships, because, of course,
the ships carry the appropriation.
Mr. Loud. Which do you oppose
the strongest?
Mr. Simpson. I oppose them both
equally, because I do not see how
any sensible man can separate the two;
and I do not see any necess ty for an
increase of the Navy.
Mr. Loud. That is a fair answer.
Mr. Simpson. I think we have a
sufficient navy to protect our interests,
both at home and abroad. Now, what
do we want an increased Navy for? Do
you apprehend a foreign war; aud if so,
who with? There is no nation on all
the face of the globe that would have
any pretext or could have any interest
I in anaeKing i.ne greatest, nation in the
world, and if we deal fairly, with other
nations we need not fear any war.
There in but one country with whom a
war might be had, and that is Great
Britain, which is the greatest naval
power on the earth. Her naval power
exceeds that of any navy ever built.
She must necessarily have a navy, lie
cause her commerce goes to every port
in the world. She, by the. system or
travel she his adopted, has intercourse
with all the world, and so her ships
enier into every port. Then-fore she
has been compelled by circumstances
tobnilJupa very large navy to pro
tect her great ocean carrying trade.
We are in different circumstances. We
have no ocean marine worth speaking
of. Why, the gentleman from Iowa
Mr. Hepburn the other day, in a
Seech here, showed beyond question
that we have to p;y many hundreds of
millions every year to foreign ships;
and I think he made the statement that
we paid the Germans also an enormous
sum, and that it wivs a rare thing to see
the American Hag iu any foreign port.
Then why do you need an increase of
the navy?
Mr. Loud. When your party comes
into power, in 1896, when you will have
this free trade which you have been
speaking of, will it not be well to an
ticipate it, as it will take longer to
build ships than to pass your free trade
Mr. Simpson. Mr. Chairman, we
are discussing an appropriation bill
which carries an increase of expendi
tures of $23,000,000, aud does the gen
tleman want to divert the discussion
from that to party politics?
Mr. Loud. You were referring to
England and her freetradp.
Mr. Simpson. It is so, because of the
different conditions of that country
from those of this country, which I
think is a perfectly legitimate argu
ment in this question. England i- con
fined to a small territory. Her people
have been compelled to take to the
ocean and to trade with all the nations
of the earth; and therefore she, of
course, has built up a large navy to
protect her commerce from the navies
of the other nations of the world who
are engaged in the same kind of trade.
England is also engaged in a system of
gobbling up territory in foreign coun
tries, and therefore she has been ooru
relled, to protect her interests, to build
this enormous navy.
I have been drawing a comparison
between uations that are entirely dif-

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