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It will be observed that the cost of the ocean service has steadily increased from 1880 to 1884, as follows, viz: 1981 over 1880.
$39,918 03 1882 over 1881.
43, 561 87 1883 over 1882.
36, 194 17 1881 over 1883.
15, 863 06 In comparing the cost of the ocean service for the year 1885 with that of 1884 there is, however, a decrease of $317.88 which may be accounted for (1) by the fact that a large portion of the mail that has heretofore been dispatched to Mexico by sea, is now conveyed overland by rail; (2) from a general depression of business and a decrease in immigration to this country.
If the Cuban service is transferred from this Bureau to a Bureau of the Second Assistant Postmaster-General, the estimate will be further decreased by about $8,000; but if we have a revival of business and an influx in immigration you may anticipate, judging from the past, that the ocean service will fully reach a cost of $350,000.
In estimating the cost of the “intermediary service," and the amount due the International Bureau of the Universal Postal Union, and the subscription of this Department for the montbly journal ("L'Union Postale”) of that Bureau during the fiscal year to end June 30, 1887, the usual percentage of increase for the past five years bas been taken as a basis of calculation, and it is confidently believed that the sum of $100,000 will be required to defray the cost of said intermediary service on tbat basis.
If it is the will of Congress that the entire sea and inland postage shall be given to vessels of United States register for the mails transported by them, the estimate of $350,000 must be increased $75,000, as you will observe by reterence to the table herewith transmitted, which gives the weight of the mails conveyed by vessels of United States reg. ister for the fiscal year of 1885, and shows the total sea and inland postage thereon to be $81,679.67. Deducting the amount of sea postage that was actually paid to said vessels, viz, $32,294.97, we bave a balance of $49,384.70 that would have been paid if said vessels had been allowed both the sea and inland postage.
Under the same percentage of increase in the weights of mails as is estimated in this statement, it will require $75,000 in addition to the appropriation of $350,000, making a grand total of $525,000 needed by the foreign mail service of this Department for the fiscal year to end June 30, 1887. I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
NICHOLAS M. BELL,
Superintendent Foreign Mails. Hon. Wu. F. VILAS,
Washington, D. C., October 12, 1885, SIR: In compliance with the request made in your letter of the 14th ultimo, I have the honor to inform you that the gross revenue to be de; rived from the money-order business for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1887, (not including such expenses as would under existing law be paid during that year out of appropriations), will, in my opinion, amount to about four hundred thousand dollars. I am; respectfully, &c.,
C. F. MACDONALD,
Superintendent. The Hon. POSTMASTER-GENERAL.
Washington, D. C., October 21, 1885. SIR: I have the honor to submit estimate of the amount required for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1887, for the miscellaneous expenses of the Topographer's office in the preparation and publication of the post-route maps.
The wording of this item, as usually inserted in the appropriation bill (the legislative, executive, and judicial), has been as follows:
For miscellaneous expenses of the Topographer's office in the preparation and publication of the post-route maps, dollars. And the Postmaster-General may authorize the sale of post-route maps to the public at cost, the proceeds of such sales to be used as a further appropriation for the preparation and publication of post-route maps.
The appropriation allowed for the present fiscal year is $20,000, and I now respectfully submit that for next fiscal year this be $18,000-a reduction of $2,000.
It is true that the contract lately made, under your administration, for the production (correcting and printing) of the bimonthly editions of the post-route maps—which forms much the greater part of the “miscellaneous expenses” of this office-has been effected at a reduc. tion of $3,250 per aunum from the amount of the preceding year under another contractor. The result of another year's proposals for printing, however, is as yet an uncertain quantity, the present contract price being generally regarded as a very moderate one considering the amount of work to be done in proper style, and there being only a very few lithographic printing houses in the country adequate for its production.
As we have, inoreover, to keep in view the bringing up, revising, and replacing some of the existing maps, as referred to in my report accompanying, and also to provide for the possible expenditure in furnishing working diagrams for the use of the Railway Mail Service, I would submit that a sufficient margin be left for these purposes.
Also, that the proviso for the sale of maps, at cost, to the public, the proceeds to be used as a further appropriation, be retained in the appropriation bill. This will allow these sales being made without lessening the amount available for the work proper of the office, and will thereby carry out the intention of the committee of Congress in originally inserting the proviso in the bill. Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
W. L. NICHOLSON,
Topographer, Post Office Department. Hon. WILLIAM F. VILAS,