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United States. Office of Indian Affairs / Annual report of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs, for the year 1905, Part I

Report of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs,   pp. 1-155 PDF (58.6 MB)

Page 18

at a special letting for the purpose in San Francisco. In 1903 the 
beef, flour, etc., for the agencies theretofore excepted were included 
in the general call, and this year the subsistence articles heretofore 
bought in San Francisco were also included, so that bids for all sub- 
sistence were opened at one time and in one place. 
It is believed that this idea can be carried further with advantage. 
The ideal plan would be to have one letting at one time and in one 
place for everything. The chief difficulty in the way is the need of 
submitting samples, some of which, like agricultural implements, 
wagons, stoves, harness, furniture and other wooden ware are so 
bulky that it would be a hardship to compel bidders to send them 
from one extreme of the country to another with their bids. Still, a 
great majority of the samples are small, and it would be compara- 
tively inexpensive to send them anywhere. As it is now, excluding 
Washington, bids are opened at four different places on four different 
dates. These might with advantage be reduced to two-one in the 
eastern or central part of the country for most of the articles, and the
other in the extreme West for a few classes of goods, the samples of 
which it would be impracticable to send far. 
The method of receiving and shipping goods need not be greatly 
changed. Goods now are received and shipped from New York, 
Chicago, St. Louis, Omaha, Sioux City, Kansas City, St. Paul, San 
Francisco, and Los Angeles, and occasionally from other points. In 
many instances they are inspected and shipped direct from the 
To have a single letting for the same articles would save valuable 
time and avoid the making of some contracts. It would bring all 
bidders to the same level and bring all samples into just comparison. 
It would insure uniformity in the selection of goods, and it would un- 
doubtedly encourage wider competition. Under this plan, of course, 
bidders would have the same privileges of bidding and the same 
option of delivery at one or all of these points as they have now. 
So marked improvements have been made in recent years in the 
quality of goods bought under contract for schools and agency sup- 
plies in the Indian field service that it seems almost invidious to call
attention to any instituted during the current season; but one or two 
points seem to demand passing notice. 
It had been a cause of discouragement and complaint among the 
physicians at remote stations that the medical supplies furnished to 
them were not abreast of the times. Certain remedial preparations 
which had come into common use in private practice were not on the 
Indian Office list, whereas many antiquated forms of standard drugs 

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