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GRANTING PENSIONS AND INCREASE OF PENSIONS TO CERTAIN SOLDIERS, SAILORS, AND NURSES OF THE WAR WITH SPAIN, ETC., AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES

FEBRUARY 9, 1931.-Committed to the Committee of the Whole House on the state of the Union and ordered to be printed

Mr. MOUSER, from the Committee on Pensions, submitted the following

REPORT

[To accompany H. R. 16867]

The Committee on Pensions, to whom was referred the bills H. R. 12872, H. R. 16586, H. R. 16867, and many other similar bills proposing to grant pensions and increase of pensions, and amendments to the present pension laws pertaining to certain soldiers, sailors, and nurses of the war with Spain, the Philippine insurrection, or the China relief expedition, and for other purposes, having heard the several bills under consideration and having heard the members who introduced the bills and many other persons representing those who would become beneficiaries thereunder, respectfully submit the following report with the recommendation that the bill H. R. 16867 do pass without amendment.

[PUBLIC NO. 299-71ST CONGRESS]
[8. 476)

This bill is an amendment to the new Spanish war pension act of June 2, 1930, Public-No. 299-Seventy-first Congress, which reads as follows:

AN ACT Granting pensions and increase of pensions to certain soldiers, sailors, and nurses of the war with Spain, the Philippine insurrection, or the China relief expedition, and for other purposes

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That all persons who served ninety days or more in the military or naval service of the United States during the war with Spain, the Philippine insurrection, or the China relief expedition, and who have been honorably discharged therefrom, or who, having served less than ninety days, were discharged for disability incurred in the service in line of duty, and who are now or who may hereafter be suffering from any mental or physical disability or disabilities of a permanent character which so incapacitates them for the performance of manual labor as to render them unable to earn a support, shall, upon making due proof of the fact, according to such rules and regulations as the Secretary of the Interior may provide, be placed upon the list of invalid pensions

of the United States and be entitled to receive a pension not exceeding $60 a month and not less than $20 a month, proportioned to the degree of inability to earn a support, and in determining such inability each and every infirmity shall be duly considered and the aggregate of the disabilities shown shall be rated. These rates to be fixed as follows: $20 a month for one-tenth disability; $25 a month for one-fourth disability; $35 a month for one-half disability; $50 a month for three-fourths disability; and $60 a month for total: Provided, That any such person who has reached the age of sixty-two years shall, upon making proof of such fact, be placed upon the pension roll and entitled to receive a pension of $30 a month; in case such person has reached the age of sixty-eight years, $40 a month; in case such person has reached the age of seventy-two years, $50 a month; and in case such person has reached the age of seventy-five years, $60 a month: Provided further, That all leaves of absence and furloughs under General Orders, Numbered 130, August 29, 1898, War Department, shall be included in determining the period of pensionable service: Provided further, That the provisions, limitations, and benefits of this section be, and hereby are, extended to and shall include any woman who served honorably as a nurse, chief nurse, or superintendent of the Nurse Corps under contract for ninety days or more between April 21, 1898, and February 2, 1901, inclusive, and to any such nurse, regardless of length of service, who was released from service before the expiration of the ninety days because of disability contracted by her while in the service in line of duty.

SEC. 2. Any soldier, sailor, or marine or nurse now on the pension roll or who may be hereafter entitled to a pension under the act of June 5, 1920, or under that act as amended by the act of September 1, 1922, or under the act of May 1, 1926, or under this act on account of his service during the war with Spain, the Philippine insurrection, or China relief expedition, who is now or hereafter may become, on account of age or physical or mental disabilities, helpless or blind, or so nearly helpless or blind as to need or require the regular aid and attendance of another person, shall be given a rate of $72 a month: Provided, That no one while an inmate of the United States Soldiers' Home or of any National or State soldiers' home shall be paid more than $50 per month under this act.

SEC. 3. That all persons who served seventy days or more in the military or naval service of the United States during the war with Spain, the Philippine insurrection, or the China relief expedition, and who have been honorably discharged therefrom, and who are now or who may hereafter be suffering for any mental or physical disability or disabilities of a permanent character which so incapacitates them for the performance of manual labor as to render them unable to earn a support, shall, upon making due proof of the fact, according to such rules and regulations as the Secretary of the Interior may provide, be placed upon the list of invalid pensioners of the United States and be entitled to receive a pension not exceeding $30 a month and not less than $12 a month, proportioned to the degree of inability to earn a support, and in determining such inability each and every infirmity shall be duly considered and the aggregate of the disabilities shown shall be rated. These rates to be fixed as follows: $12 a month for one-tenth disability, $15 a month for one-fourth disability, $18 a month for one-half disability, $24 a month, for three-fourths disability, and $30 a month for total: Provided, That any person who has reached the age of sixty-two years shall, upon making proof of such fact, be placed upon the pension roll and entitled to receive a pension of $12 a month; in case such person has reached the age of sixty-eight years, $18 a month; in case such person has reached the age of seventy-two years, $24 a month; and in case such person has reached the age of seventy-five years, $30 a month: Provided further, That all leaves of absence and furloughs under General Orders, Numbered 130, War Department, August 29, 1898, shall be included in determining the period of pensionable service: Provided further, That the provisions, limitations, and benefits of this section be, and hereby are, extended to and shall include any woman who served honorably as a nurse, chief nurse, or superintendent of the Nurse Corps under contract for seventy days or more between April 21, 1898, and February 2, 1901, inclusive.

SEC. 4. Any soldier, sailor, marine, or nurse who may be entitled to a pension under section 3 of this act on account of his service during the war with Spain, the Philippine insurrection, or China relief expedition, who may become, on account of age or physical or mental disabilities, helpless or blind, or so nearly helpless or blind as to need or require the regular aid and attendance of another person, shall be given a rate of $50 a month: Provided, That no one while an inmate of the United States Soldiers' Home or of any National or State soldiers' home shall be paid more than $50 per month under this act.

SEC. 5. That the pension or increased rate of pension herein provided for shall commence from the date of filing application therefor in the Bureau of Pensions after the approval of this act in such form as may be prescribed by the Secretary of the Interior, provided they are entitled to a pension under the provisions of this act, and the issue of a check in payment of a pension for which the execution and submission of a voucher was not required shall constitute payment in the event of the death of the pensioner on or after the last day of the period covered by such check, and it shall not be canceled, but shall become an asset of the estate of the deceased pensioner.

SEC. 6. Nothing contained in this act shall be held to affect or diminish the additional pension to those on the roll designated as the Army and Navy medal of honor roll, as provided by the act of April 27, 1916, but any pension or increase of pension herein provided for shall be in addition thereto, and no pension heretofore granted under any act, public or private, shall be reduced by anything in this act.

SEC. 7. No claim agent, attorney, or other person engaged in preparing, presenting, or prosecuting any claim under the provisions of this act shall, directly or indirectly, contract for, demand, receive, or retain any fee for such services in preparing, presenting, or prosecuting claims when claimant is already on the pension rolls under the act of May 1, 1926, or any other prior pensions acts: Provided, That no claim agent, attorney, or other person engaged in preparing, presenting, or prosecuting any original pension claim under the provisions of this act shall, directly or indirectly, contract for, demand, receive, or retain for such services in preparing, presenting, or prosecuting such original pension claim, a sum in excess of $10, which sum shall be payable upon the order of the Commissioner of Pensions under such rules and regulations as he may deem proper to make; and no claim agent, attorney, or other person shall contract for, demand, receive, or retain a fee for services in preparing, presenting, or prosecuting claims for increase of pension under the provisions of this act; and any person who shall, directly or indirectly, otherwise, contract for, demand, or retain a fee for services in preparing, presenting, or prosecuting any claim under this act, or shall wrongfully withhold from the pensioner or claimant the whole or any part of the pension allowed or due to such pensioner or claimant under this act, shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor, and upon conviction thereof shall, for each and every offense, be fined not exceeding $500 or be imprisoned not exceeding one year, or both, in the discretion of the court.

SEC. 8. That nothing contained in the provisions of this act shall be construed to diminish or reduce any pension heretofore granted under the prior acts of June 5, 1920; September 1, 1922; or May 1, 1926.

SEC. 9. That all acts and parts of acts in conflict with or inconsistent with the provisions of this act are hereby modified and amended only so far and to the extent as herein specifically provided and stated.

NICHOLAS LONGWORTH,
Speaker of the House of Representatives.
CHARLES CURTIS,

Vice President of the United States and
President of the Senate.

IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES, Legislative Day, May 29, 1930, Calendar Day, June 2, 1930.

The Senate having proceeded, in pursuance of the Constitution, to reconsider the bill (S. 476) entitled "An act granting pensions and increase of pensions to certain soldiers, sailors, and nurses of the war with Spain, the Philippine insurrection, or the China relief expedition, and for other purposes," returned by the President of the United States, with his objections, to the Senate, in which it originated, it was

Resolved, That the bill pass, two-thirds of the Senate agreeing to the same. Attest:

EDWIN P. THAYER, Secretary.

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES OF THE UNITED STATES, June 2, 1930. The House of Representatives having proceeded to reconsider the bill (S. 476) entitled "An act granting pensions and increase of pensions to certain soldiers,

sailors, and nurses of the war with Spain, the Philippine insurrection, or the China relief expedition, and for other purposes," returned by the President of the United States with his objections, to the Senate, in which it originated, and passed by the Senate on reconsideration of the same, it was—

Resolved, That the said bill pass, two-thirds of the House of Representatives agreeing to pass the same.

Attest:

WM. TYLER PAGE, Clerk.

I certify that this act originated in the Senate.

EDWIN P. THAYER, Secretary. Section 2 of the act of June 2, 1930, as amended by this bill, will read as follows:

Any soldier, sailor, or marine or nurse now on the pension roll or who may be hereafter entitled to a pension under the act of June 5, 1920, or under that act as amended by the act of September 1, 1922, or under the act of May 1, 1926, or under this act on account of his service during the war with Spain, the Philippine insurrection, or China relief expedition, who is now or hereafter may become, on account of age or physical or mental disabilities, helpless or blind, or so nearly helpless or blind as to need or require the regular aid and attendance of another person, shall be given a rate of $100 a month: Provided, That no one while an inmate of the United States Soldiers' Home or of any national or State soldiers' home shall be paid more than $50 per month under this act.

Section 4 of the act of June 2, 1930, as amended by this bill, will read as follows:

Any soldier, sailor, marine or nurse who may be entitled to a pension under section 3 of this act on account of his service during the war with Spain, the Philippine insurrection, or China relief expedition, who may become, on account of age or physical or mental disabilities, helpless or blind, or so nearly helpless or blind as to need or require the regular aid and attendance of another person, shall be given a rate of $72 a month: Provided, That no one while an inmate of the United States Soldiers' Home or of any national or State soldiers' home shall be paid more than $50 per month under this act.

This amendment to section 2 of the act of June 2, 1930, will increase the rate of pension from $72 to $100 per month for those who require the regular aid and attendance of another person. This class of pensioners must have 90 days' service with an honorable discharge.

The amendment to section 4 of the act of June 2, 1930, will increase the rate of pension from $50 to $72 per month for those who require the regular aid and attendance of another person. This rate is provided for those who rendered 70 days' service and were honorably discharged and now require the regular aid and attendance of another

person.

A further provision in this bill limits the amount of money to $50 per month to any beneficiary under this act while an inmate of the soldiers' home.

Under the provisions of section 2 of this bill the language contained therein is a departure from the language in the act of June 2, 1930, and reverts back to the language contained in the act of May 1, 1926, inasmuch as it permits the beneficiaries under this amendment to receive the benefits of the increased rate automatically and it will not be necessary for those already on the pension rolls to file application for this pension. It further provides that those who are not now on the pension roll, but later may have title to the rates under this act, that the increased rate will commence from the date when the requisite condition is shown.

Section 3 of this bill is a new feature to be written into the Spanish war legislation. However, a similar provision was included in the

Civil War pension act, which is section 4 of the act of June 9, 1930, Public-No. 323-Seventy-first Congress, which permits the Commissioner of Pensions to waive recovery of erroneous payments in deserving cases.

The Comptroller General rules with reference to a similar provision, which appeared in the World War veterans' act, prior to the amendment of the act of May 29, 1928, that disbursing officers would not be relieved from liability on their bonds for payments made through error, even though recovery of overpayment was waived. In view of this ruling by the Comptroller General, it was deemed necessary that this section be included in this legislation, so as to follow more closely the text of section 28, World War veterans' act. The language in section 3 of this bill adds no additional cost and equalizes the recovery rights for the World War, Civil War, and Spanish war veterans, in so far as erroneous payments in deserving cases are concerned.

A report from the Administrator of Veterans' Affairs, shows that the amendment to section 2 of the act of June 2, 1930, will benefit approximately 2,300 pensioners, who are now receiving a rate of $72 per months and under the terms of this bill will be given an increase of pension to $100 per month. The annual rate of increase would be $336 per capita. Applying this increase to the 2,300 who would be entitled, it is seen that the annual cost would be $772,800. It is estimated that approximately 100 of these pensioners, because of their residence in the Soldiers' Homes, the rate would be reduced to $50 per month. This would reduce the aggregate cost of this amendment to section 2 by about $60,000, so that the net annual cost of this particular amendment would be in the neighborhood of $712,800.

It has been further estimated that by amending section 4 of the act of June 2, 1930, as proposed in this bill it would affect approximately 100 pensioners, who are now receiving a rate of $50 per month and under the terms of this bill will be given an increase of pension to $72 per month. The annual rate of increase would be $264 per capita. Applying this increase to the 100 who would be entitled, it is seen that the annual cost for this amendment would be $26,400.

The aggregate cost of these two particular amendments would be approximately $739,200 per year, which in fact, is the total cost of this bill.

The Administrator of Veterans' Affairs called upon the Director of the Bureau of the Budget for a report on this legislation and was advised that any legislation along the line of this bill would be in conflict with the financial program of the President.

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