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CANAL ZONE POSTAL SERVICE

FEBRUARY 21, 1931.-Committed to the Committee of the Whole House on the state of the Union and ordered to be printed

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

REPORT

[To accompany H. R. 14082]

The Committee on Interstate and Foreign Commerce, to whom was referred the bill (H. R. 14082) in relation to the Canal Zone postal service, having considered the same, report thereon with a recommendation that it pass.

The bill has the approval of the President, the Secretary of War, and the Postmaster General, as will appear by the letters attached. WAR DEPARTMENT, Washington, December 22, 1980.

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. 14082, entitled "A bill in relation to the Canal Zone postal service," 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 317 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.

POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT, Washington, D. C., December 13, 1980.

Hon. JAMES S. PARKER,

Chairman Committee on Interstate and Foreign Commerce, House of Representatives, Washington, D. C. MY DEAR MR. PARKER: The receipt is acknowledged of your letter of December 3, submitting for report a copy of H. R. 14082, a bill which would make the laws, rules, and regulations of the United States Postal Service applicable, so far as local conditions permit, to the postal service of the Canal Zone.

There is, of course, no objection to the bill on the part of the Post Office Department, but it seems to me that if there is to be any legislation on this subject at the present time it would be well for the Committee to consider the feasibility of the consolidation of the Canal Zone Postal Service with the United States Postal Service. As you know, the Federal Postal Service now extends to Porto Rico, Hawaii, and Alaska, and I am aware of no reason why it should not be similarly extended to the Canal Zone.

Yours very truly,

WALTER F. BROWN.

This is another of the bills that have been approved and recommended by the Secretary of War and the President in pursuance of the act of May 17, 1928, providing for the revision and codification of the laws of the Canal Zone.

On June 24, 1904, President Taft issued an Executive order establishing a postal service in the Canal Zone, which is as follows:

WAR DEPARTMENT, Washington, June 24, 1904.

To the CHAIRMAN OF THE ISTHMIAN CANAL COMMISSION:

SIR: The necessities of the inhabitants and the due administration of the affairs of government in the Canal Zone at Panama require the establishment of post offices and postal service in that territory.

It is therefore ordered: That a post office be established in each of the following-named towns of the Canal Zone, to wit: Cristobal, Gatun, Bohio, Gorgona, Bas Obispo, Empire, Culebra, La Boca, and Ancon.

The post offices at Cristobal and Ancon shall be money-order offices.

The Governor of the Canal Zone is hereby authorized to appoint postmasters for the post offices herein established and fix the compensation therefor, subject to the approval of the Isthmian Canal Commission.

The Governor of the Canal Zone is directed to formulate a plan for a practical and efficient postal service in said Canal Zone, and including such measures and provisions of the postal service of the United States as are not inapplicable to the conditions of law and fact existing in the Canal Zone, and to report said plan to the chairman of the Isthmian Canal Commission for such action as the discretion of the commission shall approve.

Pending the establishment of the postal service by act of the commission or other competent authority, the Governor of the Canal Zone is hereby authorized to establish post offices at such additional places in the Canal Zone as in his judgment the interests of the public require, and to appoint postmasters therefor and fix their compensation, subject to the approval or other action thereon by the Isthmian Canal Commission.

The Governor of the Canal Zone is also authorized to adopt and enforce such temporary rules, regulations, provisions, and requirements as may be necessary to secure a practical and efficient postal service in said Canal Zone; and to employ such temporary assistants and employees as the exigencies of the service require. By direction of the President:

WM. H. TAFT, Secretary of War.

Act No. 8 of the Isthmian Canal Commission enacted the second day of September, 1904 provided in detail for the Postal Service on the Canal Zone, and section 42 of that act pertaining to the Postal Service is as follows:

SEC. 42. By Executive order dated June 24, 1904, provision was made as follows:

"That a post office be established in each of the following-named towns of the Canal Zone, to wit: Cristobal, Gatun, Bohio, Gorgona, Bas Obispo, Empire

Culebra, La Boca, and Ancon. The post offices at Cristobal and Ancon shall be money-order offices."

The post office at Bas Obispo is discontinued, and post offices are hereby established at San Pablo and Matachin.

There is hereby created and established a postal service for the Canal Zone, Isthmus of Panama.

It shall be the duty of the Postal Service to administer the affairs of the post offices and the postal affairs of the zone.

The Postal Service of the Canal Zone shall be conducted, regulated, and controlled by such of the laws, rules, and regulations of the Postal Service of the United States as are not inapplicable to the conditions of law and fact existing in the Canal Zone, and the laws enacted and the rules and regulations adopted by the Isthmian Canal Commission.

The postmasters of the Canal Zone shall be appointed by the governor, and shall give bond for the faithful performance of the duties of their office in such sum and with such surety or sureties as shall be approved by the governor.

The governor of the zone is hereby authorized to establish new post offices or discontinue those already established at such places and at such times as, in his judgment, the public service requires.

The annual salaries of the postmasters, payable monthly, shall be as follows: San Pablo, ninety dollars; Gatun, ninety dollars; La Boca, one hundred and twenty dollars; Culebra, one hundred and twenty dollars; Empire, one hundred and twenty dollars; Matachin, one hundred and twenty dollars; Bohio, one hundred and twenty dollars; Gorgona, ninety dollars; Cristobal, twelve hundred dollars, and Ancon, nine hundred dollars.

SEC. 43. There is hereby created and established the office of director of posts of the Canal Zone, Isthmus of Panama.

The director of posts is charged with direct conduct and control of the affairs of the Postal Service, inspection of post offices, and accounts of postmasters, the approval of requisitions for supplies for post offices and postmasters and the distribution of such supplies.

Postage stamps for the payment of postage in the Canal Zone shall be the postage stamps of the United States, surcharged with the words "Canal Zone, Panama." Requisitions for said stamps shall be drawn by the director of posts, approved by the governor of the zone and delivered to the treasurer of the zone, who shall forward the same to the treasurer of the Isthmian Canal Commission; the stamps, when received, shall be deposited with the treasurer of the Canal Zone for distribution to the postmasters of the zone, who shall make requisition therefor as required by the necessities of their offices and forward such requisitions to the director of posts for his approval, and upon approval by him, the treasurer of the zone is authorized to honor the same.

SEC. 44. All moneys collected or received by the director of posts by virtue of his office shall be deposited forthwith with the treasurer of the Canal Zone, and a receipt in duplicate therefor issued by the treasurer to the director of posts, who shall attach the original thereof to his monthly account.

Between the first and fifth day of each calendar month the director of posts shall forward his accounts and the accounts of the Postal Service to the auditor of the Canal Zone for audit.

On September 8, 1911, the President put into effect by Executive order a Postal Savings System on the Canal Zone; that Executive order was repealed by subsequent Executive order bearing date of September 5, 1914, and provision was made for the deposit of savings in post offices in the Canal Zone and the issuance of money orders therefore for which no fees should be charged. The order of September 5, 1914, was as follows:

To repeal the Executive order of September 8, 1911, establishing the Postal Savings System in the Canal Zone:

By virtue of the authority vested in me, I hereby establish the following order for the Canal Zone:

SECTION 1. The Executive order of September 8, 1911, establishing the Postal Savings System in the Conal Zone, is hereby repealed: Provided, That accounts opened in accordance with that order, and the regulations established thereunder, shall continue as prescribed in said order and regulations until they are finally closed by the withdrawal of the deposits.

SEC. 2. For the accommodation of persons desiring to deposit their savings in the post offices of the Canal Zone, money orders may be issued in the Canal Zone payable to the purchaser at the office of issue, for which no fee shall be charged.

SEC. 3. This order shall take effect from and after October 1, 1914.

WOODROW WILSON.

THE WHITE HOUSE, September 5, 1914.

By the act of Congress approved August 21, 1916, it was provided that interest should be paid on deposit money orders issued by the Canal Zone post offices at a rate not to exceed 2 per cent per annum. Sections 5, 6, and 7 of that act are as follows:

That any person who commits any act or who carries on any business, trade, or occupation in the Canal Zone without complying with the rules and regulations established by the President for the levying, assessing, and collecting of taxes, or who violates any rules or regulations for the use of the public roads and highways, or who violates any rules and regulations touching the licensing, taxes, operation, and use of self-propelled vehicles, or who violates any of the police regulations authorized hereunder, shall be punished by fine not to exceed $25 or by imprisonment in jail not to exceed thirty days, or by both such fine and imprisonment, in the court's discretion.

SEC. 6. That deposit money orders issued in the Canal Zone in lieu of postal savings certificates in accordance with the rules and regulations heretofore established by the President, or that may hereafter be established by him, shall bear interest at a rate not exceeding two per centum per annum.

SEC. 7. That the interest received from the Canal Zone money-order funds deposited in banks under Canal Zone regulations shall be available to pay the interest on deposit money orders authorized by the preceding section. Such interest shall also be available to pay any losses which are chargeable to the Canal Zone postal service.

By the act of September 21, 1922, Congress raised the rate of interest to be paid on such deposit money orders from 2 to 3 per cent. Section 6 of that act is as follows:

SEC. 6. That deposit money orders issued in the Canal Zone in lieu of postal savings certificates in accordance with the rules and regulations heretofore established by the President, or that may hereafter be established by him, shall bear interest at a rate not exceeding 3 per centum per annum.

This bill (H. R. 14082) repeals all existing laws of the Canal Zone with reference to the Postal Service and provides new legislation upon that subject. The act retains only so much of the existing law as is considered necessary for the maintenance and operation of the Postal Service under the existing policy. This new act makes the revenues derived from the deposit money order funds a part of the general postal revenues and provides that the expenses of operating the Canal Zone Postal Service shall be defrayed, so far as possible, from the revenues derived therefrom. During the last five years, since the discontinuance of use of the Panama postage stamps, for which a 40 per cent subsidy was paid under the provisions of an agreement entered into by President Taft with the Republic of Panama, the Canal Zone Postal Service has been operating without a deficit, excepting one year when there was a slight loss. The administrative authorities of the zone feel that it is highly desirable to make the Postal Service in the zone self-supporting as far as is possible, so that it will not be necessary to come to Congress for an appropriation to cover deficits in postal operations.

The first paragraph of the bill makes no new provisions with respect to the personnel of the service or the use of postage stamps. It merely continues the present methods which have been in effect for many years.

The applicable parts of existing law, with the parts added and omitted indicated by brackets and italics, as provided in the bill, are inserted herewith and are as follows:

[Matter stricken out inclosed in black brackets and new matter in italic]

That the postal service of the Canal Zone shall be [conducted, regulated, and controlled governed by such of the laws, rules, and regulations of the Postal Service of the United States as are not inapplicable to the conditions [of law and fact] existing in the Canal Zone [and the laws enacted and the rules and regulations adopted by the Isthmian Canal Commission.], and the Governor of the [Zone] Panama Canal is [hereby] authorized to establish new post offices, or discontinue those already established, [at such places and at such times as, in his judgment, the public service requires], to provide such rules and regulations as are necessary for the operation of the service, [The postmasters of the Canal Zone shall be appointed by the Governor] to appoint the personnel thereof, [Postage stamps for the payment of postage in the Canal Zone shall be the postage stamps of the United States, surcharged with the words, "Canal ZonePanama." and to prescribe the postage stamps and other stamped paper which shall be used in such service: Frovided, however, That the expenses of operating the Canal Zone postal service shall be defrayed, so far as possible, from the revenues derived therefrom, the use of which for that purpose is hereby authorized.

SEC. 2. That deposit money orders issued in the Canal Zone in lieu of postal savings certificates in accordance with [the] rules and regulations heretofore established by the President or that may hereafter be established by him shall bear interest at a rate not exceeding 3 per centum per annum.

SEC. 3. That the interest received from the Canal Zone money-order funds deposited in banks under Canal Zone regulations shall be available to pay the interest on deposit money orders authorized by the preceding section. Such interest which shall from a part of the postal revenues shall also be available to pay [any] the losses which are chargeable to the Canal Zone postal service.

Sec. 4. That all other laws for the operation of the Canal Zone postal service excepting Section 43a of the Penal Code of the Canal Zone are hereby repealed. (NOTE.-Section 43a referred to as contained in H. R. 14062 reads as follows:) "SEC. 43a. The Postal Laws and Regulations of the United States not locally inapplicable which defines crimes against the Postal Service and prescribe punishments therefor are hereby extended to the Canal Zone and shall be enforceable in the courts of the Canal Zone in the manner and form prescribed for other criminal cases by the Canal Zone laws.

""

This bill has been prepared and recommended by the various authorities charged with the duty of recommending proposed changes in the Canal Zone laws, and has been submitted to and approved by the Secretary of War and the Department of Justice, and its enactment is recommended by the President.

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