Page:U.S. Department of the Interior Annual Report 1880.djvu/70

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68
REPORT OF THE SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR.

were $30,516.01. The appropriation was $32,400. Balance to be returned to the Treasury, $1,883.99.

The expenditures on account of the Capitol grounds were $60,000, the amount of the appropriation.

The expenditures during the year on account of the extension of the Government Printing Office, which is now finished, were $29,039.24. The amount expended during the previous year was $14,244.57. Of the appropriation ($43,800), $516.19 remain to be returned to the Treasury.


NEW PUBLIC BUILDINGS.


The Interior Department has in the course of time grown to be so large an institution that the Patent-Office building is altogether too small to accommodate more than one-half of its records and its clerical force. The inconveniences suffered on account of the insufficiency of room are a constant source of complaint. Only four of the eight bureaus of the Interior Department are accommodated in the building, namely, the Patent Office, the Land Office, the Indian Bureau, and the Bureau of Railroad Accounts. And even these four are so cramped for room that the halls and corridors must be used for the storing of valuable records, some of which are in daily use, and that the crowding together of the clerical force is such as not only to cause very serious discomfort but also to interfere with the transaction of the public business. Four bureaus of the Interior Department, namely, the Pension Office, the Census Office, the Bureau of Education, and the Office of the Geological Survey are located in different parts of the city, in buildings rented for that purpose. The Interior Department, inclusive of the Census Office, pays this year $44,900 in rents. The scattering of the different bureaus constituting this department in widely separated locations causes much delay and circumstance in the correspondence between the bureau chiefs and the head of the department, which should always be easy and rapid. A large correspondence and valuable papers have to be carried to and fro for signature and inspection, and are in their transit liable to be lost or damaged. The crowding together of a large number of clerks in small rooms is dangerous to health, and sometimes seriously interferes with the performance of duty. The file rooms are so packed that we find it sometimes difficult to get at documents necessary for the prosecution of business. Almost every foot of space, not only in the halls and corridors, but under stairs and arches, and in nooks and corners from the basement to the roof of the building has had to be used for storing papers and records. We have been obliged to use even one of the new model halls recently restored for the accommodation of the copying force, putting in wooden partitions and covering the room destined for the exhibition of models with desks and office furniture. It is evident that the erection of a new edifice for the accommodation of the Interior Department will soon be recognized as an