Harper’s Ferry. — It will be seen, from the following special dispatch to the Baltimore Sea, that the House Committee on Military affairs has reported against the re-establishment of the National Armory at Harper’s Ferry.
We are sincerely sorry at this result— sorry for the people of our entire county, all of whom are interested in having the magnificent water power at Harper’s Ferry utilized for manufacturing purposes, and especially sorry are we for our credulous and long suffering friends at the Ferry, whose expectations have been so unduly excited upon this subject and whose disappointment may be imagined in realizing the unwelcome fact, that “Hope told a flattering tale.”
WASHINGTON.— The House committee on military affairs has decided adversely as to the expediency of re-establishing a national Armory at Harper’s Ferry. The committee say that they have felt a strong inclination to favor the re-establishment of the armory at Harper’s Ferry, not only because it was selected for that purpose by Washington, but on account of its healthy and delightful location, its vicinity to the capital, its magnificent water-power, and the intelligence, skill and inventive powers which distinguished its mechanics during the time it was in operation. They say every feeling would prompt them to restore the place to its original use if imperative consideration of economy did not now forbid it. Had the application been made immediately after the close of the war it would have been more favorably considered than it can be at this time. But extensive buildings have been erected at Rock Island, Ill., and a national armory established there as a substitute for the public works destroyed at Harper’s Ferry.
The committee allude to the fact that within the last two years eight or nine of the arsenals of construction east of the Mississippi have been discontinued, and are now used simply as depots for the care, preservation and issue of war-like stores. They say that the opinion of many is that all the national armories might with propriety be dispensed with, and reliance hereafter placed upon supplies furnished from the extensive private manufactories of the country. They do not undertake to coucur in such a policy, but say that it presents a consideration worthy of attention against incurring the expense of an additional armory or arsenal of construction. In reference to the expediency of authorizing the Secretary of War to repurchase the property at Harper’s Ferry when sold under the decree of the court to satisfy the United States for a debt due for the purchase money, the committee are of the opinion that it is not necessary to vest any such power in the Secretary of War, as the existing law gives such a power to the solicitor of the treasury, should he deem it for the interest of the government to exercise that power in this particular case.
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