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This webpage reproduces part of
One Man's Fight
for a Better Navy

by
Holden A. Evans
[Former Naval Constructor, U. S. N.]


published by
Dodd, Mead & Company
New York
1940

The text is in the public domain.

This page has been carefully proofread
and I believe it to be free of errors.
If you find a mistake though,
please let me know!

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This site is not affiliated with the US Naval Academy.

 p375  Appendix B

The appeal to the President follows:—

"1. In accordance with Article 1501, paragraph 4, of the regulations for the government of the Navy, I have the honor to appeal to you from the decision of the Secretary of the Navy in disapproving a request for me for a year's leave of absence without pay.

"2. There is enclosed herewith, marked 'A,', a copy of my letter to the Secretary of the Navy requesting leave, in which I give in detail the reasons for the request. There is also enclosed, marked 'B,' a copy of the letter from the Secretary disapproving the request.

"3. While the reasons for the request are given in some detail in my letter to the Secretary, I desire, in appealing to you, to go into this subject in greater detail. If this were a personal question, if the Navy Department's disapproval of my request resulted only in my obtaining a leave of absence, I should not presume to appeal to you. This is not a personal question, but is a subject of importance to the Navy and the country. It is merely an accident that I am afforded an opportunity to be of considerable service to the Navy and the country, and I appeal to you to allow me to take advantage of this opportunity to better serve the country.

"4. The expenditures in the navy yards of the country are approximately $40,000,000 a year. If thirty per cent of this vast expenditure can be saved by more economical methods in navy yards, an additional battleship can be built each year at no additional expense to the country. There is today a demand on the part of the country for a reduction in Government expenditures, and on the other hand there is a growing demand for a greater Navy. If this demand for an adequate Navy can be met without additional cost to the country, the means by which this can be accomplished is a national question. It is this question which I wish to bring to your attention.

"5. The navy yards of the country are not efficient. There is not the slightest doubt that thirty per cent of the present expenditures can be saved. It will be an easy matter for a man skilled in industrial methods and industrial management to devise a system of management and devise methods whereby $12,000,000 a year can be saved in the navy  p376 yards. It has been known for some years to many engineers that enormous reduction can be made in costs by scientific management. This is true of civil industrial plants, and the savings which can be effected in navy yards are even greater, for the standards of efficiency in these are much lower than in similar civil industrial plants.

"6. The attention of the whole country has recently been called to the important subject by the hearings in the rate cases before the Interstate Commerce Commission. In these hearings Mr. Fred W. Taylor of Philadelphia has been given the credit for the development of scientific management. Engineers who know of Mr. Taylor's work have long given him credit for his great achievements, but it is only in the last few weeks that the country at large has known of his work.

"7. The Navy is now offered the benefit of this great man's services. Mr. Taylor offers to teach me the principles of scientific management and to give me practical experience in this work, at no cost to the Government.

"Mr. Taylor knows that I have interested myself in this work and that for the last five or six years I have studied the principles of management; he believes that I can succeed in this work. Mr. Taylor's offer is best given in his own words, and I take the liberty of quoting the following extracts from a personal letter which I have received from him:—

" 'It has occurred to me, however, that it might be possible for you to obtain leave of absence from the Navy Department, say for a year or more, without pay, during which time you might come east and make a further study of scientific management and also the best steps to take in introducing it, etc. When the time comes for your leave of absence to expire, you might do one of two things; go back into the Construction Corps even better equipped than you are now to introduce scientific management in the navy yards when the proper opportunity comes; or, if you prefer it, there would very likely be an excellent opportunity for you to take up the introduction of scientific management as a profession.

" 'I know of no one who would seem to me to start with a better equipment than you have for this work, and there appears to be a large demand for men who are able to do this. I am of the opinion, also, that the demand for competent men in this field will increase in the next few years, rather than diminish.

 p377  " 'Now as to the financial side of this. As you know, my dear old father died this summer, and this gives me quite a considerable addition to my income. I propose devoting all of this money to forwarding the cause of scientific management, and I know of no way in which I can do more for it than by helping to give competent men like yourself practical experience in this field. I therefore will make you the offer to pay you the same salary that you are receiving in the Navy, during the time that you are making your necessary studies and having your experience in this line. I do not know, of course, whether any such project as this is a practical one, but hope that it may be so, and also that the idea may seem to you to be a good one.

" 'I only heard a few days ago that Admiral Capps was stationed in Philadelphia, and I shall take the opportunity of seeing him as soon as possible, and will talk with him over the proposition which I am making to you. I feel that whether you go back into the Navy or not, the additional experience you get in this way will be of far more value to the country than the experience which you are now having at Seattle.'

"8. With the instruction which I shall receive from Mr. Taylor I shall be able to earn a large income in civil life, but in order that this shall not be a personal question, I agree to bind myself not to resign from the Navy, for at least two years (or longer if necessary) after I complete my studies under Mr. Taylor. After I have completed the work with Mr. Taylor I shall return to my naval work well equipped to introduce scientific methods in the navy yards, and I shall no doubt have the assistance of Mr. Taylor and his associates in this work.

"9. I appeal to you, Sir, to permit me to undertake this work. I believe that I shall succeed, and if you will permit me I shall enter the work with enthusiasm, which together with unremitting labor must bring success.

"10. I beg to invite your attention to my professional reputation both in the Navy and out of the Navy. I invite your attention to my record on file in the Navy Department. I enclose herewith copies of commendatory letters which I have received from the Secretary of the Navy as follows:—

(a) Letter from the Secretary of the Navy, dated November 15, 1907, commending action taken in regard to strike of riveters.

(b) Letter from the Secretary of the Navy, in regard to work done  p378 on the Army Transport Sheridan.

(c) Letter from the Secretary of the Navy, regarding services rendered during the San Francisco fire.

Very respectfully,
H. A. Evans,
Naval Constructor,
U. S. Navy.

The President.


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Page updated: 9 Feb 15