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FEBRUARY 11, 1931.-Ordered to be printed
CONSTRUCTION AT UNITED STATES MILITARY
[To accompany H. R. 8159]
Mr. JAMES of Michigan, from the committee of conference, submitted the following
The committee of conference on the disagreeing votes of the two Houses on the amendment of the Senate to the bill (H. R. 8159) having met, after full and free conference, have agreed to recommend and do recommend to their respective Houses as follows:
That the Senate recede from its amendment to said bill.
STATEMENT OF THE MANAGERS ON THE PART OF THE HOUSE
The managers on the part of the House at the conference on the disagreeing votes of the two Houses on the amendment of the Senate to the bill (H. R. 8159) to authorize appropriation for construction at the United States Military Academy, West Point, N. Y.; Fort Lewis, Wash.; Fort Benning, Ga.; and for other purposes, submit the following written statement explaining the effect of the action agreed on by the conference committee and submitted in the accompanying conference report:
The amendment of the Senate brought into the measure the language of another bill designed to give relief to individuals who had invested money in the hotel building at West Point. As this measure had not received consideration by the House committee or the House, and as the courts have acted in the matter, it was determined to strike out the language of the Senate amendment, and this has been done accordingly.
W. FRANK JAMES,
Managers on the part of the House.
STATE OF ALABAMA
FEBRUARY 11, 1931.-Committed to the Committee of the Whole House on the state of the Union and ordered to be printed
Mr. HILL of Alabama, from the Committee on Military Affairs, submitted the following
[To accompany S. 5649]
The Committee on Military Affairs, to which was referred the act (S. 5649) for the relief of the State of Alabama, having considered the same, report favorably thereon with the recommendation that it do pass with the following amendment:
Strike out all after the enacting clause and insert in lieu thereof the following:
That the State of Alabama be, and is hereby, relieved from all responsibility and accountability for certain quartermaster and ordnance property to the approximate value of $1,098.29 the property of the War Department, which was lost, destroyed, or used for flood-relief work incident to the Elba, Ala., flood of March, 1929, while in the possession of the Alabama National Guard; and the Secretary of War is hereby authorized and directed to terminate all further accountability for said property.
The purpose of the bill is to relieve the State of Alabama from accountability for certain property belonging to the United States of the value of $1,098.29, such sum representing the value of the property used or lost by Battery D and Battery F, One hundred and seventeenth Regiment Field Artillery, Alabama National Guard, while on duty in the Elba flood in March and April, 1929, and listed as property shortages in reports of survey under dates of April 22, 1929, and May 1, 1929.
The amendment is suggested by the War Department to meet certain requirements of the accounting office and the recommendation and approval of the bill by the War Department is given in letter hereinbelow set out. The section two of the bill as discussed in the letter was stricken out of the bill in the Senate, is not now a part of the bill and therefore this part of the letter is not germane to the bill. The letter is as follows:
Hon. W. FRANK JAMES,
Chairman Committee on Military Affairs,
House of Representatives.
FEBRUARY 2, 1931.
DEAR MR. JAMES: Careful consideration has been given to the bill H. R. 16074, designed for the relief of the State of Alabama and certain former officers of the Alabama National Guard, which you transmitted to the War Department under date of January 15, 1931, with a request for information and the views of the department relative thereto.
Section 1 of the bill pertains to certain property belonging to the United States and issued to the State of Alabama for use by its National Guard, which was loaned by the National Guard to flood refugees while rendering flood relief in the vicinity of Elba, Ala., from March 14, 1929, to April 1, 1929, of the property thus loaned, the National Guard was unable to recover certain articles pertaining to the Ordnance Department and the Quartermaster Corps. The property losses, amounting to $1,098.29, were duly surveyed and submitted for approval of the Secretary of War. There being no authority of law for the loan of Federal property issued for use by the National Guard, the survey reports were not approved. Such loans, however, are made occasionally by State authorities to meet some overruling demand of humanity to prevent suffering or loss of life. Section 87, of the national defense act, requires the State of Alabama to reimburse the Federal Government for the property lost as a result of the loans made to the flood sufferers, unless relief is granted by the Congress. It has been the uniform practice of the Congress to grant relief in cases of this kind in the past. In view of the fact that the property in question was lost as a result of rendering emergency relief during a period of public disaster, it is recommended that legislation looking to the relief of the State of Alabama be favorably considered. However, with a view to drafting a bill more adaptable to the requirements of the accounting departments of the Government, it is recommended that section 1 of the bill be modified by substituting the following therefor:
"Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That the State of Alabama be, and is hereby, relieved from all responsibility and accountability for certain quartermaster and ordnance property to the approximate value of $1,098.29, the property of the War Department, which was lost, destroyed, or used for flood relief work incident to the Elba, Ala., flood of March, 1929, while in the possession of the Alabama National Guard; and the Secretary of War is hereby authorized and directed to terminate all further accountability for said property.
Section 2 of the bill pertains to the relief of certain former officers of the National Guard of Alabama for the loss of Federal property issued the Alabama National Guard while performing strike duty for the State during the years of 1919, 1920, and 1921. The bill states the property so lost has been listed in survey reports under dates of January 3, 1930, and January 4, 1930. The survey reports referred to have not as yet been received by the War Department. Section 87, of the national defense act, requires that where property issued to the National Guard has been lost, survey reports thereon, setting forth the circumstances incident to the loss, shall be forwarded to the Secretary of War for determination on the merits of the case as to whether the State shall be relieved from accountability for the loss or held pecuniarily accountable therefor. Since survey reports covering the losses have not been received, the War Department is not in a position to express its views on the subject. Legislation looking to the relief of the State before the provisions of law enacted to cover such losses have been complied with, would, it is believed, be premature. Measures have been taken to expedite the forwarding of the survey reports to the War Department for final action. It is not believed, however, that the matter can be disposed of and the views of the War Department submitted thereon in time for consideration during the present session of Congress. It is recommended, therefore, that section 2 of the bill be deleted.
PATRICK J. HURLEY,
GRANTING JURISDICTION TO THE COMMISSIONERS OF LINCOLN PARK, OF ILLINOIS, OVER A SECTION OF BREAKWATER IN CHICAGO HARBOR AND CERTAIN NAVIGABLE WATERS OF LAKE MICHIGAN; ALSO THE RIGHT TO CONSTRUCT A BREAKWATER
FEBRUARY 11, 1931.-Referred to the House Calendar and ordered to be printed
Mr. WILLIAM E. HULL, from the Committee on Rivers and Harbors, submitted the following
[To accompany H. R. 16485]
The Committee on Rivers and Harbors, to whom was referred the bill H. R. 16485, having considered the same, report thereon with a recommendation that it pass.
The bill grants jurisdiction to the commissioners of Lincoln Park over a small area of the waters of Lake Michigan, about a mile long, and adjacent to the Lake Shore Drive, extending north from the mouth of the Chicago River. It also transfers jurisdiction over a section of breakwater, 2,250 feet long, to the said commissioners on condition that they shall forever maintain it in effective condition; and it permits the extension of this breakwater to the shore at local expense. It is the purpose of the said commissioners to improve this area for public purposes, such as the establishment of a park, a harbor for small boats, and a seaplane landing area.
The bill has the approval of the War Department, as will appear by the letter attached and the attention of the House is called to the statements in this report that a saving to the United States of over a quarter of a million of dollars in maintenance costs in the next two years will ensue as the result of the passage of this measure, and the abandonment of this area by the United States will in no way lessen the harbor area assigned to commercial shipping.
WAR DEPARTMENT, Washington, February 9, 1931.
Hon. S. WALLACE DEMPSEY,
Chairman Committee on Rivers and Harbors,
DEAR MR. DEMPSEY: I am in receipt of your letter of February 2, 1931, requesting my views on H. R. 16485, Seventy-first Congress, third session, grant