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removes from the Patent Office building I have authorized the Chief of the Classification Division to select one assistant examiner in each examining division to commence work on the classification of his own division, retaining his desk therein, but acting under the orders of the Chief of the Classification Division.
It is already patent that the work of the classification division will prove a great benefit to the office, increasing the accuracy and rapidity of searches, and that the public will experience corresponding benefits. It will also produce a corps of experts in classification who will become more familiar with all classes of the office than would be possible were their services confined to a single division, and those who operate in a single division will become more thoroughly acquainted with other classes than they would in working solely in making examinations. During the present fiscal year I expect to see great advances made in the work of classification. The Chief of the Classification Division deserves much credit for what has already been accomplished under bis direction, especially in view of the limitations that have necessarily been placed upon him.
This one word expresses the crying need of this bureau. With adequate room whereby our records and stock can be made accessible and the clerical divisions suitably rearranged, our present force can accomplish much more work in a given time and fill all orders with business promptitude.
I earnestly beg that when the General Land Office vacates the Patent Office building you will assign rooms, so far as possible, sufficient for the needs of this bureau. In view of the fact that millions of dollars of property would be jeopardized by the destruction of our assignment records-many of the original assignments having been lost by their owners, who depend upon duly certified copies—and in view of the fact that many of our other records are largely of a nature that money could not replace, I believe a fireproof structure should be provided in which to store them. The American Society of Mechanical Engineers, representing the leading manufacturing and engineering interests of the country, as well as other similar organizations, have forcefully urged the erection of such a building.
Some general legislation increasing the powers of the Commissioner of Patents, acting under the direction of the Secretary of the Interior, would be beneficial. I refer among others to a readjustment of salaries and a reclassification of the clerical force; authority to dispose of models of expired patents; and the exchange or sale of books in the scientific library not necessary for the use of the office, coupled with authority to replace them with modern scientific works. In submitting my estimates for the next fiscal year these and other matters requiring legislation will be referred to more in detail. Respectfully submitted.
0. H. DUELL,
Commissioner. The SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR.
The total number of pensioners, classified by wars and as pensioned under the several laws, compared with the years 1898 and 1897, are as follows:
widows (their mothers), 58,568 minors. At the close of the fiscal year 1898 there were 65,413, and for 1897 there were 65,869 minors.
It will be found on further classification that the pensioners on the rolls June 30, 1899, were divided as follows:
Army nurses, 653, are included in invalids under general laws. Also, dependent parents and relatives are carried under the heading of "widows" in all tables under the respective laws.
It will be noted that during the year 32,148 straight increases were allowed as compared with 26,760 for the year 1898.
Also, that there are now 98,704 more invalids pensioned under the act of June 27, 1890, than under the general laws on account of the civil war (and the general laws cover all pensioned on account of the Regular Army and Navy for services rendered since the civil war), and
that there are 37,376 correspondingly more widows pensioned under the act of June 27, 1890.
Your attention is invited to the fact that the annual value of the pension roll was greater on June 30, 1899, than it ever had been (see Table No. 28), being $649,496 more than it was on June 30, 1898, which was the largest up to that time. It will be noted that while the rolls contain the names of 2,195 less pensioners than the year preceding, the average annual value of each pension was greater on June 30, 1899, than it was on June 30, 1898. The average annual value of each pension (invalid and widows) under the general laws is greater than it ever has been, and while the average annual value of each pension under the act of June 27, 1890, gradually decreased from 1891 (first year), the table shows that there was an increase in the value during the past year, and this, too, while the number of widow pensioners was greater than ever before.
The total amount paid out in the fiscal year of 1898 for army and navy pensions was $144,651,879, while for the fiscal year of 1899 the amount was only $138,355,053, showing a decrease of $6,296,826. This decrease is due in part to the fact that there were 7,614 certificates (original and restorations, see page 3, report of 1898) issued in June, 1897, which were held in the Bureau and not sent to the agencies for payment until after July 1, 1897 (account fiscal year 1898), so as to avoid creating a deficiency; also the first payments were considerably larger in the year 1898 than in the year 1899, for the reason, as stated, that special efforts had been made to adjudicate and dispose of the claims of long standing during the year 1898, and there were less of them during the past year.
TABLE NO. 2
shows the number of pensioners dropped from the rolls by reason of death, remarriage of widows, minors attaining the age of 16, faimure to claim within statutory period, and for all other causes, and n comparison with previous years were as follows, viz: