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April 1913   FLY MAGAZINE   7

Just enough clouds of Experience have filled the heavens of our Imagination to make a glorious sunrise for the day of Aerial Navigation. We hover, as it were, between the realms of Theory and the empires of Practicability. 

In any field where Progress has laid its giant hand to the plow, Science following down the furrows has bared the secrets that were hidden in the virgin soil.

Science has given us the wonderful civilization that we enjoy today. And if we are to scale the battlements of the air we must demand, and support the demand by actual individual effort, for a National Aeronautical Laboratory.

Proposed Bill to Establish National Laboratory

OWING to the rush in Congress at the closing hours of the last session the bill legalizing the Commission appointed by former President Taft, was not passed, so that this body cannot make its report to the President and to Congress, or give publicity to it. There is a strong sentiment in Congress in favor of a bill which embodies the views of the Commission, and there is no opposition save from one lone technical institution.

The Smithsonian Institution is under the control of the United States Government and is a non-partisan organization. Its aid the Langley, to science in all its branches and its contributions to public knowledge are well known. It has funds which can be applied at once to the equipment of a laboratory once the project is legally launched.

The bill for the establishment of such a laboratory will probably come up in the first session of the new Congress and its provisions are as follows:

A Bill to Establish a National Aeronautical Laboratory.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That a National Aeronautical Laboratory is hereby established under the direction of the Board of Regents of the Smithsonian Institution.

Section 2. That the functions of the laboratory shall be the study of the problems of aeronautics, with such research and experimentation as may be necessary to increase the safety and effectiveness of aerial navigation for the purposes of commerce and national defence.

Section 3. That the laboratory shall, under regulations to be established and fees to be fixed by the director, approved by the Regents and reported to Congress, exercise its functions for the military and civil departments of the government of the United States, and also for any individual, firm, association, or corporation within the United States; Provided, however, that such individual, firm, association, or corporation shall also defray the cost of material and all labor of per diem employees in connection with such exercise of the functions of the said laboratory.

Section 4. That there shall be a director of the laboratory, who shall be appointed by the President, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, who shall receive an annual salary of $5000. All assistants, clerks and other necessary employees appointed during the first year shall be reported to Congress.

Section 5. That the director shall have general supervision of the laboratory. He shall make an annual report, which shall be transmitted through the secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, to Congress. The said report, among other things, shall report upon the work done for any individual, firm, association, or corporation, and the amounts paid by them to defray the cost of material and labor as herein provided. He shall issue bulletins for public distribution, containing such information as may be valuable to the government or the public.

Section 6. That said regents may rent such temporary quarters and obtain such permanent quarters as may be provided for by private contributions or authorized by Congress, and such books and periodicals may be purchased and subscribed for, and such sums expended for furniture, equipment, heating and lighting, stationery, and for such other contingent, incidental, and miscellaneous expenses as may be appropriated for by Congress.

Section 7. That the said regents shall have power and authority to receive money or other property by gift, bequest, or devise, and to hold and dispose of the same in promotion for the purposes of the laboratory.

Section 8. That there shall be an aeronautical committee, to be composed of the director of the laboratory, the chief of the bureau of the War Department in charge of military aeronautics, an officer of the Navy Department in charge of naval aeronautics, to be designated by the Secretary of the Navy, the secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, the chief of the Weather Bureau, the chief of the United States Bureau of Standards, together with not more than seven additional persons who shall be acquainted with the needs of aeronautical science, both civil and military, or skilled in aeronautical engineering or its allied sciences, who shall be appointed by the President, three of whom shall be residents of the District of Columbia, and the other four shall be inhabitants of some state. The aeronautical committee shall advise in relation to work of the laboratory and the co-ordination of its activities with those of other governmental and private laboratories in which questions concerned with the study of the problems of aeronautics can be experimentally investigated. The members of the aeronautical committee shall serve without compensation, but shall be paid their actual expenses in going to and returning from Washington to attend the meetings of the committee and while attending the same. The period of service of the seven additional members of the aeronautical committee who are to be appointed by the President shall be so arranged that one member shall retire each year. Appointments thereafter shall be for a period of seven years each, and appointments made to fill vacancies occurring other than in the regular manner shall be made for the remainder of the period for which the vacancy exists.
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