the judgment they have formed ?
Gen. Menoher. I do not believe that.
Mr. Frear. Do you say that that should be an element entering
into their judgment ?
Gen. Menoher. It would naturallv affect it to a certain extent.
Mr. Frear. Would you not think it would affect it to a lai^ge
extent? Take the case where certain men in the War Department
recommended an appropriation of $640,000,000 for an aircraft
Gen. Menoher. Yes, sir.
Mr. Frear. And then the aircraft program fell down.
Gen. Menoher. It did.
Mr. Frear. Yes; and it fell down not because of your parties
pation, let me say, and I am very pleased to say it, because 1 know
TOU had no part in that; but it lell down while^ in the hands of the
War Department, a department that has never functioned in the
matter of commercial business. Has it ?
Gen. Menoher. As I understand, it fell down while in the hands of
the War Department, but the War Department called into service
what it considered, and I guess what the country at lai^ considered,
the best judgment we had in the country in that respect. At least
the attempt was made to do that. Now,* if they had been called int4Â»
service in a separate department I believe the same results would
have been obtained : they would have called in the same men and the
same result would have been obtained, because from what I can
learn those that were called in to service were given unlimited funds,
Mr. Frear. And unUmited power.
Gen. Menoher. Would not the same thing have occurred if a
separate department had been created and these same gentlemen
had been called in for service in that department They were not
hampered by the War Department.
Mr. Frear. Your question addressed to me contained a proviaaon
that makes a distinction; if these same gentlemen were called iu,
undoubtedly that would be true.
Gen. Menoher. Yes.
Mr. Frear. If these same men were called in that woidd be true,
but was there any other department that fell down in an importent
branch of the service Uke tne Aircraft, where the entire power wa*
given by the officer in charge, Gen. Squier, to Deeds, and afterwards
to others who, whether for a personal interest or otherwise, failed to
meet the pledges and the promises that were made to the Govern-
ment, although Congress did its full share in providing the money;
is there any other department than the War Department that fell
down like that ?
Gen. Menoher. Not to the same extent. But the thing that has
been lost sight of is the element of time. The element of tune in the
production of aeroplanes is the most important one of all, I think.
T*o give you an idea as to how important it is, we invited bids for
200 of these Martin bombers to be produced. That was done about
April of this year, the planes to be delivered by the 1st of April, 1920.
That was a year and three montlis. At first the manufacturers said
they could not do it. They called Mr. Martin, the inventor of the
plane, and he was an engineer and a very high type of man, and he
said they could not do it; but we insisted.
Mr. Frear. What reason did he give ?
Gen. Menoher. Time. We insisted that it must be by that time.
We wanted to see what could be done; we wanted to test out this
matter. He went and figured and called in his best experts to figure
on the matter, and he finally said that by increasing his facilities to a
certain amount he might be able to do it; but he gave as an irreducible
minimum for the timing up of his plant, that is, getting the tools ready
to go into production, 34 weeks ; that is eight months. He said he could
not get ready under any circimistances to begin to produce a plane
in the quantify that was needed to fill that program until the expira-
tion of 34 weeks. You see, that is quite a time, and that is the
reason I asked the question yesterday in regard to this Spad contract,
that, they continue with the order in so far as planes have been
contracted for production, and there was a difference of only two
weeks' time elapsed between those two telegrams.
Mr. Frear. You mean on the 23d ?
Gen. Menoheii- Yes; so that I think as a rule the element of time
is lost sight of in this matter of the production of planes. The plane
is a very delicate machine. I know that the Martin bomber rates
about as simple in construction as any machine, and it contains
16,000 different pieces. It can not be produced in five minutes; it
requires a very high type of skilled workmen to produce it. During
the time they were producing in this country a gi-eat many we had
4,000,000 men taken out of production, an(f the wonder to me has
been that we got along in the matter of production as fast as we did.
There is no question that when the armistice was signed the airplane
program was coming along pretty fast.
\&. Frear. In what particulars, outside of the DH-4^s?
Gen. Menoher. I mean in regard to the DH-4. I am not trviiig
to defend it. I think that the DH-4 could be improved. I think
the Liberty engine was very good, but I am not aefendiiig the air
program at all; but I mean to invite attention to the element of time,
which must be considered in anything having to do with the produc-
tion of as complicated a piece of machinery as an aeroplane. I
learned last night that in the Browning gun alone it took 13 months
to get into quantity production.
478 WAR EXPENDITURES.
Mr. Frear. Some of these aeroplane factories had a large part of
theu- force idle, according to the testimony placed before the com-
mittee. In one case the promised testimony will show 90 per cent
of the full force in the Curtiss Plane Co. itself was idle a good share of
the time. The testimony before the Thomas committee is that over
60 per cent of these men were idle. Now, the suggestion of some one
was in answer to that that it was bcause they were waiting for
orders ; but the orders were not forthcoming and that was the diffi-
culty. A Spad would be ordered, and then tlie order would be coun-
termanded, and six months afterwards the order for the same Spad
was countermanded another order would be put in force. The diffi-
culty, contended in the Hughes report, as I gather, is that it was the
policy of vacillation, which may have been due to personal interests.
Here is the suggestion Mr. Hughes makes there : The Liberty motor
which went into quantity production required one ignition svstem.
It permitted none other. It is the only motor that requires that:
not a single motor used in any foreign plane requires that system.
That is true?
Gen. Menoher. Yes.
Mr. Frear. The Delco system came from Dayton, from Dee<i>.
who had charge and who was a side partner of Talbot t, and they were
the ones that were getting all the contracts for the ignition system for
this new motor that was oeing developed. Would it not seem prob-
able that that effort to concentrate upon that one hiachine instead
of manufactiuing other machines and other planes, which was the
safe course to pursue, would have the effect of delaying our program.
and that that was the prime cause ; it was not a question of waiting
for other parts that are needed in a machine. In France, in En^ancT
and Italy they manufactured planes and engines and sold them to us
constantly. We had to get them, because we made a pitiful showing:
we only had 213 American planes, and those of obsolete type, on the
front at the time of the armistice. So, is it not possible, and I say
it is, because the committee is very much interested in ascertaining
where we fell down so badly, is it not possible that the failure was
largely due to their not beginning the production of other machines,
such as were recommended by Gen. Foulois and Col. Clark and by the
Bowling Commission, instead of concentrating everything on the
Liberty motor? Gen. Squier himself said we cast the die for the
Liberty motor, and he said he thought he made a good move, but oor
boys had no protection in Europe, except with foreign planes.
Gen. Menoher. We felt on the other side â€” and I am speaking from
the standpoint of men of the line â€” we felt that there was some mistake
I being made, that our Government concentrated on one thing and did
' not take the best ships in use over there and absolutely repnxlucv
j them here. That was the feeling that existed, and I know it exi^teil
I in my division. While we felt that the people at home were behind
us and were doing the best they knew how to help us out, we hoped
I that the aeroplane program would permit us to have a little better
I protection on the front Ime. We used to take our glasses â€” and this ti
an actual fact- -and scan thesky for the sightof the oillion-doilar plane
i that wo hoped was coming.
j Mr. Frear. As Rickenbacher said when he looked at the l)H-4 it
I was clumsy â€” I suppose with the idea of maneuvering â€” it was impo^
sible to use for an}' fighting qualities.
Gen. Menoher. It is not a fighting plane.
Mr. Fkear. And of course his criticism and his judgment ought to
be as good as anybody's, and his criticisms were very severe as to it.
We have digressed a little, but it is very important to have your
view of the future of aircraft.
Gen. Mengherv I have many other side lights on the whole subject,
and I was prepared to go into it more fully later on, but I have a lot
of notes in my hand.
Mr. Frear. I believe the committee is open-minded on this subject,
and if you have anything you care to submit to the committee as a
whole, we would be glad to have you submit it.
Gen. Menoher. I expected when the regular committees had hear-
ings on this proposition for a separate Air Service that 1 would most
probably be called and that is the reason why I did not make fuller
notes at this time.
Mr, Frear. Undoubtedly when the policy is determined you will
be called. Of course ours ynll be a suggestion based on the testimony
that we get from various sources.
Mr. Lea. I do not believe we have any clear understandhig about
Mr. Frear. They may be handed in as exhibits.
Gen. Menouek. The whole correspondence should be on file,
because it all has a bearing on the matter of the sales.
Mr. Frear. Then that will bo filed as an exhibit.
(The papers above referred to were marked ^'Exhibit No. 107*
Gen. Menoher. I would like to take this set and put it hi j)roper
shape so that it will be submitted and arran<z:ed in proper order.
^Ir. Frear. If we are gone when you file it you can file it with
Chairman Graham of the general committee and the reporter will
note that it is to be filed as an exhibit when it is received.
Gen. Mexoher. I will put a memorandiun on of what the exhibit
consists. 1 will probablv be a])le to bring it here in the morning.
Mr. Freak. All right.'
Thank you, verv much, General.
Mai. FouLois. J only want to make one sugcro-tion and that is
that I gather your investigation will ultimately have a recommen-
dation attached to it.
Mr. Frear. We have not yet decided what we will do on that point.
It \vill depend on future action.
Maj. FouLOis. The j)oint that I wanted to ])ring up was this. I
was more than pleased to hear Gen. Menoher biing out his statement.
I have tried in the last 10 years hi the aviation service to get every-
body to express their o])inion on this matter, and endeavor to help the
flying men in solving the military problems, and I honestly ho]>e that
Gen. Menoher will call upon all the flying men to ex])ress their opin-
ions frankly. In France while I was still brigadier general 1 made
my expressions of opinion without fear of demotion or anything else.
Alter 21 years' service there is no human being in the Army to point
to one smgle instance where I have failed in loyalty to ni}' superior
officers, and as I say I l>rought the matter out over there fearlessly
without fear of demotion, and I am ]ierfectly ready to go on to-day
giving the benefit of the experience I have had, the oldest flying man
Â» Exhibit referred to not submitted.
480 WAB BXPBNDITX7BBS.
in the service in the Army to-day, with 21 years' experience of all
kinds in the United States Army. I am ready to put that service
to the benefit of the Government. That has been my attitude for
21 years in the United States Army, and there is no doubt that Gen.
Menoher's remarks did not apply to me, because I think he knows
now of my record, and his remarks as regards promotion, I think, he
did not mean to apply to me. There are a great many officers whiÂ»
think of nothing but promotion. I think 90 per cent of the officers
in the Regular Army put their personal ambitions ahead of their
duty to the Government, and that is why I have come before you.
and it is inmiaterial to me what the decision may be in regard to my
saying what I think. When I am under oath I will say what is thtÂ»
truth, and I honestly hope that when the question of a separate air
service comes up the flying men, who risked their lives for years and
years in this manner, will have a right to talk and have a right x**
get up and express their opinions.
I tnought this over for two or three years and I wish to say riplit
now that I am prepared to submit an argument, either before thi*^
committee or any committee that takes this question up, that in mv
opinion those men should not be held blameless who are responsihfe
for the Air Service, and for the last eight or nine years the blame ha-^
rested with the governing authorities of the United States Army: tl.*'
governing authorities of the War Department, and the governing
authorities of the United States Army are the Greneral Staff. I an;
prepared at any time to sit down and give my opinion as based ou
the results of 21 years' service in the Army and 11 years in the Avia-
tion Service, that the General StaflF in the last five or six years can
not point to one single instance of a Greneral Staff officer who has ha<l
anything constructive to do with the development of aviation to-dar.
I have insisted that they should rive aviation precedence. TTie (liif f
of Staff in his testimony before tne House Appropriations Committ*^-
said it was a fourth arm and should be put on a level with the other
branches of the service, and that is the first announcement of an
opinion that I have seen in 1 1 years of aviation duty, and I hope they
will keep it up. For 1 1 years they have done notmng while we have
been trying to get an Air Service poHcy, and that is the first announr*-
ment I have ever seen.
Mr. Frear. I will say this, General, that so far as that is concÂ«Tnt^i
I know the committee will be glad to get any information. What ii-
action may be, of course, is problematical. As to any recommenda-
tion regaraing the future, we do not care to assume jurisdiction we Â«â€¢â€¢
not possess, unless the information should be desired.
I will say, in addition to that, any man who has been in the servii â€¢â€¢
and who wears the gold chevrons no one who has not been in tr-
active service under similar conditions has a right to criticize him. an*'
we will accept his judgment as of great value. I believe we are a!i
inclined to do all we can for the benefit of the Air Service.
Maj. FouLOis. One more point is this, as I said before, there i> n â–
officer under whom I have served who can rightfully accuse rae â€¢â– :"
disloyalty or insubordiantion. While I have disagree<l cm man\
Foints, whatever thing I have been ordered to do in a certain manner
proceeded to do as directed; and I want Gen. Menoher to feel that
in all this work it is mv very earnest desire to assist him. and I knÂ«Â»^
how much he needs assistance over in that department^ and how
greatly he needs the loyalty and faithfulness of those under him.
Mr. Fbeab. We certainly need all the assistance we can get on this
problem, and we are glad to get it from every source, I am sure, and
will weigh it carefully.
Gen. Menoher. I just want to say this, that I had absolutely no
reference to Maj. Foulois or to any other officer when I made the
statement that perhaps a small element were in the service who were
perhaps looking for their futuer advancement, etc. That had nothing
to do with Gen. Foulois.
Mr. Fbeab. That carries out my statement, that the man with the
gold chevrons â€” and I speak of that because of the fact that a good
many people I know wear them, including both Gen. Foulois and
yourself â€” ^no one is in a position to question the judgment or the
laimess in such matters so far as sincerity and real value goes. We
can determine the weight after all parties have been heard and know
the full value of your own judgment in the matter.
Mr. Lea. Then the imderstanding is that Gen. Menoher and Maj.
Foulois will appear here at 10 o'clock in the morning.
Mr. Freak. Yes ; for a brief time.
Mr. Lea. I just wanted to complete my examination.
Mr. Frear. Yes; that will be our purpose. The committee will
now adjourn until 10 o'clock to-morrow morning.
(Thereupon, at 4.40 o'clock p. m. the committee adjourned to
meet to-morrow, Friday, August 8, 1919, at 10 o'clock a. m.)
Subcommittee No. 1 (Aviation) of the
Committee on War Expenditures,
House of Representatives,
Friday, August 8, 1919.
The subcommittee met at 10 o'clock a. m., Hon. James A. Frear
Mr. Frear. In view of the testimony of Gen. Menoher on yesterday
in regard to the Curtiss airplane contract I desire to enter into the
record a letter sent by the chairman of this subcommittee to-day to
Hon. Newton D. Baker, Secretary of War, which reads as follows:
August 8, 1919.
Hon. Newton D. Baker,
Secretary of War, Washingiony D. C,
Dear Mr. Secretary: At the hearing when you recently teetified before our sub-
committee, it is my recollection that you stated you had given orders or directions
for the sale of Government motors and airplanes to individual purchasers at the same
price that has been paid by the Curtiss Co., to wit: Four hundred dollars for the
Curtiss JN-4, $200 for the Standard J-1, and $400 for the OX-5 motors.
The matter was presented before our 'committee yeriteiday in the discussion with
Gen. Menoher, of the Curtiss airplane contract, wnere $20,000,000 of Government
material had been sold to the Curtiss Co. for $2,700,000. This was without adverr
tisement of sale as authorized l)y law either in small or large parcels, so far as the
testimony goes. Gen. Menoher stated he has received no orders or instructions, and
would be opjx)sed to individual sales on the ground that it might injure the lives of
pilots and others who might thus secure possession of a machine. His position was
stated frankly, and there is no uncertainty as to his own idea. His testimony further
discloses that he believed any sales in the future should be made to the Curtiss Co.
rather than to pilots and other would-be purchasers.
This is entirely different, as I understand, from vour own position. Gen. Menoher
admitted that under the provision which may declare further surplus in aircraft
contracts, the contract could be canceled by either of the i)artie8 upon such declara-
tion by the Government. This gives the Government the right to cancel the Curtiss
contracts, if the department chooses to declare any further Curtiss airplane material
surplus. I am calling your attention to the following offers received from would-be
purchasers, which I am informed are contained in the records of the Air Service
Seven hundred and fifty-six inquiries have been received ])y the Air Service for a
total of 1,102 Ciu-tiss and Standard planes. Requests came from 169 qualified flyers,
others may be included but did not so sign themselves. No public advertisements
were ever given for such sales, as authorized by law. The inquiries concerning offers
for Standard planes reached from $100 to $600 without motors. The Standard was
sold the Curtiss Co. in quantity for $200. The OX-5 motor also was sold to the Curtiss
Co. at from $200 to $3,000. The general average of offers for the Curtiss plane is $1 ,600.
Over 11 ,000 accredited flyers were shown to have qualified at the time of the armistice.
Among the bids offered were those received from transportation companies and aviation
schools, which organizations it has been urged would do much to advance aviation in
It is apparent that if any considerable sales can be made at the prices quoted, the
pilots wno have done their part duting the war should be given some recognition.
They are to-day obliged to buy from the Curtiss Co. for $5,000 or $3,500 for used mach-
ines, which were sold to the Curtiss Co. by the Government for less than 15 per cent
of that amount.
The point that the Government should be called upon to guarantee the lives of
men is of questionable merit, under all circumstances, in view of the fact that the
147155â€” 19â€” VOL 1 32 483
486 WAB EXPENDrrUBES.
Gen. Menoher. Yes, sir.
Mr. Lea. Some gentleman here the other day told me that a con-
siderable number of these planes purchased by the Curtiss Co. were
to be torn down and were not to be sold as completed planes. Do
you know anything about that ?
Gen. Menoher. I do not, but I should say that most probably, that
is almost certainly the case because our planes have to be overnauled
from time to time and planes in storage have to be examined and have
been cut into in the fabric to see that the woodwork is intact. There
is a great deal of glue in the construction and parts would be needed
for the repair of others.
Mr. Lea. I presume there are a good many diflFerent machines
represented in the total number disposed of.
Gen. Menoher. We even sent planes to Europe without engines
in order that the plane parts might be used as spares.
Mr. Lea. Day before yesterday I called for certain information.
Are you prepared to furnish that information.
Capt. Seaton. The information was delivered to Mr. Frear, and
his secretary took it over to his office.
Mr. Lea. I wanted to get that into the evidence before we left if I
could. In the first place I wanted the number of engines, airplane
engines, produced in the United States during the war.
Capt. Seaton. Unfortunately the only copy of that information
was delivered to Mr. Frear. We can get it for you in a few minutes.
Mr. Lea. Please give me the number of types and total number of
planes of American manufacture available to the A. E. F. on June 30,
1919, so arranged to show separately those in the zone of advance and
those in the rear.
Capt. Seaton. Do you wish those figures by word of mouth or
simply insert that statement in the record ?
Mr. Lea. If it is agreeable to you, I will just give this sheet to the
reporter. The reporter can insert this exhibit imder its proper
(The exhibit referred to is here printed in full, as follo\^-s) :
Number of types and total number of planes of American manufacture available
in the A. E. F. on June 30, 1919, so arranged to show separately those in the zone < i
advance and those in rear:
D. H.-4. , U Pew.
I, c.> o.*c.Â« I.C.^ o.c.Â«
Zone of advanc6
Grand total in A. Â£. F
> I.e., in com
Mr. Lea (continuing). Now, gentlemen, I presume this record of
machines available to the A. E. F. June 30, 1919, represents what
remains after the disposal or transfer of a good many machines.
Gen. Menoher. Yes; only the force on the Rhine was operating
on the 30th of Jime, 1919.
Mr. Lea. In other words, the Air Service had been largely demobil-
ized as well as other forces ?
Gen. Menoher. Yes; almost completelv demobilized.
Mr. Lea. Please state the nmnber ojf engines, planes, and air-
planes which have been received by the A. E. F. from the Allies
(showing source) at the time of the armistice and similar data show-
ing the total number of each contracted for at the time of the armis-
tice (with Allies).
Gen. Menoher. I have here a statement which covers the answer
to that question.
Mr. Lea. The reporter will place in the record this statement
under its appropriate exhibit nimiber.
(The statement referred to is here printed in full as follows:)