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PROHIBIT GAMBLING IN CANAL ZONE

February 21, 1931.—Referred to the House Calendar and ordered to be printed

Mr. DENISON, from the Committee on Interstate and Foreign Commerce, submitted the following

REPORT

[To accompany H. R. 14063]

The Committee on Interstate and Foreign Commerce, to whom was referred the bill (H. R. 14063) to amend act No. 4 of the Isthmian Canal Commission entitled "An act to prohibit gambling in the Canal Zone, Isthmus of Panama, and to provide for the punishment of viloations thereof, and for other purposes," enacted August 22, 1904, having considered the same, report thereon with a recommendation that it pass.

The bill has the approval of the President and the Secretary of War, as will appear by the letter attached.

WAR DEPARTMENT,

Washington, December 22, 1930.

Hon. JAMES S. PARKER,

Chairman Committee on Interstate and Foreign Commerce,
House of Representatives, Washington, D. C.

DEAR MR. PARKER: The receipt is acknowledged of your letter of December 3, 1930, inclosing and requesting a report and comment upon bill H. R. 14063, entitled "A bill to amend act No. 4 of the Isthmian Canal Commission entitled 'An act to prohibit gambling in the Canal Zone, Isthmus of Panama, and to provide for the punishment of violations thereof, and for other purposes,' enacted August 22, 1904," which was introduced by Mr. Denison.

This is one of the proposals made for the revision of the laws of the Canal Zone recommended by me in letter to the President dated June 5, 1930, and, in conformity with the provisions of the act of May 17, 1928 (45 Stat. 596), entitled "An act to revise and codify the laws of the Canal Zone," forwarded by him to the Congress with his message of June 9, 1930.

The message and report submitted therewith were printed as House Document No. 460, Seventy-first Congress, second session. The reasons given for the submission of this bill will be found on page 33 of that document.

The early consideration and passage of the legislation proposed for the Canal Zone are recommended.

Sincerely yours,

PATRICK J. HURLEY,
Secretary of War.

During the Seventieth Congress, Congress passed an act to provide for the revision and codification of the laws of the Canal Zone. That act was as follows:

[PUBLIC NO. 413-70тH CONGRESS]

[H. R. 11475]

AN ACT To revise and codify the laws of the Canal Zone

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That the President be, and is hereby, authorized to have all of the laws now in force in the Canal Zone revised and codified, and when such revision and codification has been completed to report the same to Congress for its approval.

SEC. 2. In order to carry out the purpose of this act as early as practicable, the President is authorized to employ such persons skilled in the codification of laws as he may deem necessary and to fix their compensation; he may call upon the judge of the district court of the Canal Zone and the district attorney thereof for such assistance as they can render, and the said judge and district attorney are hereby authorized to render such assistance as they can in the performance of such duties. The President is also further authorized to employ such members of the district bar of the Canal Zone and such clerks, stenographers, and other assistants as he may deem necessary for the proper and early completion of such work and to fix their compensation.

SEC. 3. As soon as a proper code of all the laws now in force in the Canal Zone shall have been prepared, the President is authorized to report the same to Congress with his recommendation; and the President is further authorized to report with such code such changes in the laws now in force in the Canal Zone as he deems necessary or wise for the proper administration of justice therein and the proper maintenance and operation of the Panama Canal.

SEC. 4. There is hereby authorized to be appropriated, out of any funds in the Treasury not otherwise appropriated, the sum of not more than $25,000 to be used by the President for the payment of salaries of persons employed, for necessary travel and other expenses of such employees, going to and from the Canal Zone, and while in the Canal Zone, engaged in the performance of such duties, and for necessary printing, books, stationery, and other expenditures incidental to the performance of such work.

Approved, May 17, 1928.

In accordance with the act, the President employed an expert codifier from the West Publishing Co. who went to the Canal Zone and has spent about two years in the work of codifying the laws of the zone. The Code of Laws has now been practically completed and is awaiting the enactment by Congress of certain changes in the laws of the zone which have been found to be necessary or desirable by those charged with the administration of the laws of the

zone.

In accordance with the act of May 17, 1928, the President instructed the judge of the District Court of the Canal Zone, the district attorney thereof, and the Governor of the Canal Zone to cooperate with the codifier in recommending such changes in the laws as ought to be made. A revision committee of the employees and of the Canal Zone Bar was formed, and very careful consideration was given to all of the proposed changes in the laws. Finally the proposed changes or revisions of the laws of the zone were agreed upon and forwarded to the President, who submitted them to the Department of Justice and the Secretary of War. After receiving the careful consideration and approval of those departments, the President transmitted all of the proposed changes to Congress with the recommendation that they be enacted into law. The President's message, with the recommended revisions of the laws of the Canal Zone, was printed as

House Document No. 460 of the Seventy-first Congress and referred to the Committee on Interstate and Foreign Commerce. The reasons for each of the proposed changes in the laws are fully set out in that document, and those pertaining to this bill will be found on page 33 of that document.

The laws applicable to the Canal Zone are found in numerous Executive orders issued from time to time by the President which have or were supposed to have the force and effect of law; also in various volumes of ordinances enacted by the Isthmian Canal Commission during the period of construction from 1904 to 1914, and in various acts of Congress that have been passed from time to time since 1904.

The judges of the District Court of the Canal Zone, the members of the bar, and the administrative officials of the zone have been desirous for a number of years of having the laws of the zone codified. Everyone recognizes, of course, that it is most desirable to have the laws of any country codified so that they will be more readily accessible to the courts, the bar, and the administrative officials, as well as to the people who are subject to them. For that reason Congress passed the act of May 17, 1928, to provide for the codification of the laws of the zone. In the administration of the laws, the Canal Zone authorities and particularly the district courts have found a number of changes that ought to be made in some of the laws in order to remove doubts that have arisen with reference to their meaning, to repeal such as are obsolete, and to validate such as have been thought to be invalid because of lack of proper authority in those who enacted them. It was believed that these desired changes or revisions in existing law should be first considered and approved by Congress before the code of complete laws of the zone is presented to Congress for its approval.

Accordingly the code has been completed and is ready for the inclusion of the proposed revisions of the laws as soon as Congress shall have approved them. When Congress has acted upon the proposed revisions, the completed code will then be forwarded by the President to Congress for its approval, and when presented to Congress the proposed code will represent a complete codification of all of the then-existing laws of the Canal Zone without any new legislation included in it.

The bill H. R. 14063 is an amendment to Act No. 4 of the Isthmian Canal Commission, which was enacted on August 22, 1904. That act, with the proposed revision, is as follows:

[Matter striken out inclosed in black brackets and new matter in italics]

[SECTION 1. PARTIES ENGAGED IN GAMBLING.-Every person who, within the limits of the Canal Zone, Isthmus of Panama, shall play at any game whatever for any sum of money or other property of value or shall bet any money or property upon any gaming table, bank, or device, or at or upon any other gambling device, or who shall bet upon any game played at or by means of any such gaming table or gambling device, shall, upon conviction, be fined in any sum not exceeding $500, or be imprisoned not more than one year, or both, at the discretion of the court, and upon a second or any subsequent conviction shall be fined in any sum not less than $100 and not exceeding $1,000, or be imprisoned not more than two years, or both, at the discretion of the court.

[SEC. 2. THE PROPRIETOR OF GAMBLING DEVICES.-Every person who, within the Canal Zone, Isthmus of Panama, shall set up or keep any gaming table, faro bank, keno, or any kind of gambling table or gambling device, or gambling ma

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chine of any kind or description, under any denomination or name whatever, adapted, devised, and designed for the purpose of playing any game of chance for money or property, except billiard tables, or who shall keep any billiard table for the purpose of betting or gambling, or shall allow the same to be used for such purpose, shall, upon conviction, be punished by a fine of not less than $100 and not exceeding $500, or be imprisoned not exceeding one year, or both, at the discretion of the court.

[SEC. 3. PROPRIETOR OR OCCUPANT OF PRIVATE PREMISES ON WHICH GAMBLING IS PERMITTED.-If any person or persons, within the Canal Zone, Isthmus of Panama, shall suffer any game or games whatsoever to be played for gain upon or by means of any gaming device or machine of any denomination or name in his or their house, or any outhouse, booth, arbor, or erection of which he, she, or they are the owners, or have the care or possession, the person or persons so offending shall, upon conviction, be punished by a fine of not less than $100 nor more than $500, or imprisonment not to exceed two years, or both, at the discretion of the court.

[SEC. 4. THE PROPRIETOR OR OCCUPANT OF PUBLIC HOUSES.-If any keeper or keepers within the Canal Zone, Isthmus of Panama, of any tavern, boarding house, ordinary, or other house of public resort, shall suffer any game or games whatever to be played for money or other property or token of value at or within such tavern, boarding house, ordinary, or other house of public resort, or in any outhouse, building, or erection appending thereto, every such keeper or keepers shall, upon conviction, be punished by a fine of not less than $100 nor more than $500, or be imprisoned not to exceed two years, or both, at the discretion of the court.

[SEC. 5. THE KEEPERS OF GAMBLING ROOMS.-If any person within the Canal Zone, Isthmus of Panama, shall keep a room, building, arbor, booth, shed, or tenement, canal boat, or other water craft to be used or occupied for gambling, or if any person being the owner of any room, building, arbor, booth, shed, or tenement, canal boat, or other water craft shall rent the same to be used or occupied for gambling, the person so offending shall, upon conviction thereof, be punished by a fine of not less than $100 nor more than $500 for the first offense, and upon a second or any subsequent conviction shall be fined in any sum not less than $500 nor more than $1,000, or be imprisoned not less than one year nor more than two years, or both, at the discretion of the court. And if the owner of any room, building, arbor, booth, shed, or tenement, canal boat, or other water craft shall know that any gaming table, gambling apparatus, or establishment is kept or used in such room, building, arbor, booth, shed, or tenement, canal boat, or other water craft for gambling, winning, betting, or gaining money or other property, and shall not forthwith cause complaint to be made against the person so keeping any such room, building, arbor, booth, shed, or tenement, canal boat, or other water craft, he shall be taken, held, and considered to have knowingly permitted the same to be used and occupied for gambling.

[SEC. 6. COMMON GAMBLER. If any person within the Canal Zone, Isthmus of Panama, shall keep or exhibit any gaming table, establishment, device, or apparatus to win or gain money or other property of value, or shall aid, or assist, or permit others to do the same, or if any person shall engage in gambling for a livelihood, or shall be without any fixed residence, and in the habit or practice of gambling, he shall be deemed and taken to be a common gambler, and shall be imprisoned not less than one nor more than six months and be fined in any sum not exceeding $1,000.

[SEC. 7. The court shall have authority to commit the party or parties found guilty of violating any provision or provisions of this act in default of payment of any fine or costs imposed therefor, and any person so committed shall be allowed a credit on said fine or costs of $1 for each day of actual imprisonment inflicted on him, Provided, That in the event of a sentence to imprisonment in addition to a fine, the time allowance herein provided shall not commence or be counted until the expiration of the time of imprisonment fixed and inflicted as a punishment for the offense.

[SEC. 8. RECOVERY OF PROPERTY OR VALUE.-Any person or persons who shall lose any property or money in a gambling house or other place at either cards or by means of any other gambling device, or game or device of any kind, such person, the wife or guardian of such person, his heirs, legal representatives or creditors, shall have the right to recover the money or amount thereof, or the property or the value thereof, in a civil action, and may sue each or all persons participating in the game, and may join the keeper of the gambling establishment

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