Today in AFJ History

August 16, 2013  

1930: Belt-tightening, Depression style

The battleship USS Florida in 1930. She was decommissioned and scrapped the following year. (Navy)

The battleship USS Florida in 1930. She was decommissioned and scrapped the following year. (Navy)

From the archives: August 16, 1930

[Editor’s note: This dispatch from a year when the U.S. was sliding into the Great Depression may sound somewhat familiar today.]

Further Savings Seen By Navy Department

With the “voluntary” economies already inaugurated by the Navy Department providing a savings annually of more than five million dollars, departmental officials have under consideration further steps that will decrease still more the expenditures next year.

While no definite plans have been made for additional economies there is a plan being studied to dispose of more than a hundred of the de-commissioned destroyers and over a score of the old submarines. No final decision has been reached either as to whether the second dirigible will be built, though the probabilities are that it will.

Whatever other means are used to cut down expenditures, and the wisdom of some of the contemplated plans are justified only if the need for economy is imperative enough to force them, there will be no reduction in personnel.  Even with the enlisted men freed by the immediate withdrawal of the three battleships, there will be no surplus and with the new ships coming along the existing strength will hardly be sufficient.

Major steps to effect savings that have been taken are:

  • Taking the battleships Florida, Utah and Wyoming out of commission, $700,000.
  • Closing Naval Station at Key West, $200,000.
  • Reduction in annual fuel consumption, $400,000.
  • Change in replenishment system, $4,000,000.

These totals will be swelled by the department’s action in abandoning the session of the annual wage board and letting the present scale of pay for civilian employees continue for a very appreciable saving.