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that they believed to be desirable and the President has forwarded these proposed changes in the law to Congress with a message recommending that they be approved. The President's message has been printed as House Document No. 460, Seventy-first Congress, second session, and the recommendations of the President with reference to this bill will be found on page 43 of that document.
This bill presents a new civil code, and is a complete restatement of the substantive law of the Canal Zone. The Civil Code now in force in the Canal Zone is the Civil Code of Panama and Amendatory Laws, which was continued in force upon the acquisition of the zone from Panama, by the Executive order of the President of May 9, 1904. When we took over the Canal Zone from the Republic of Panama it was inhabited by natives of that country. Jurisdiction passed at once to the United States and it was necessary for our Government to put into effect laws to govern it. The President, by proclamation, put into effect the laws of the country with which the inhabitatns were familiar and by the executive order of May 9, 1904, he put into effect the Civil Code of the Republic of Panama, and that Code of Civil Laws is still in effect; it is based upon the continental civil law as distinguished from the common law; for that reason alone it seems particularly unsuitable to be embodied in a codification of the laws of the Canal Zone, the remainder of which were derived from a common law source.
The Canal Zone is now upon a permanent footing; the laws are being revised and codified and it is believed that the civil law code of Panama ought to be entirely discarded in favor of a civil law code drawn from a common-law jurisdiction.
The native population who resided in the zone at the time we acquired it have all been moved out and the zone is now occupied only by the employees of the Government. The Civil Code of Panama has never proven adaptable or satisfactory to the changed conditions and population of the zone, and the adoption of a new Civil Code has long been advocated.
Section 1732 of this proposed code repeals the Civil Code of Panama and Amendatory Laws, the Commercial Code of Panama, which has never been completely translated, and all other laws not heretofore repealed which were continued in force in the Canal Zone by the Executive order of May 9, 1904. The effect of the repealing section, therefore, is to place the zone under a completely American system of jurisprudence, to which the bar of the zone and the present inhabitants thereof are generally accustomed.
The Civil Code of California has been made the basis of this proposed code of the zone by reason of its completeness and suitability, and for the further reason that the two criminal codes and the code of civil procedure of the zone were derived from the California codes. Most of the California Civil Code provisions have been in force in that State for many years, which will afford the zone the benefit of the construction of these provisions by the California courts over a long period of time. The considerable length of the proposed code is due to the fact that it defines in an orderly manner all of the various personal and property relations to the exclusion of the unwritten common law, which applies only in the construction and interpretation of the various sections. It is believed that the fact that this code will be complete and explicit will be a distinct benefit to the people of the zone. It may be said, however, that this pro
posed code is much less voluminous than the present Panama Code; it contains only 1,732 sections, while the Panama Code contains 2,684 sections.
Existing acts of Congress and Executive orders on subjects which are properly a part of the civil code are, with modifications in some instances, made a part of this proposed code. A complete list of these acts and Executive orders is inserted as a part of this report.
It has, of course, been impossible for the Committee on Interstate and Foreign Commerce to enter into an extended hearing or make a critical examination and analysis of all the various provisions of this proposed code of civil laws. In the very nature of things it will be impossible for Congress to do so. It is most desirable that the laws of the Canal Zone be codified and that important revisions of some of them be prepared; and a revision of the Civil Code is one of the revisions most necessary. This proposed new code has been given the most careful study in the State of California and has for many years been enforced in that State with complete satisfaction. It is considered by many of the best students of law as one of the finest civil codes in the United States. It has been given careful study by the administrative officials, the district judge, the district attorney, and the members of the bar of the Canal Zone, and they all unite in recommending the repeal of their existing Civil Code and the enactment of this one instead. The Governor of the Canal Zone, the Secretary of War, and the President recommend its enactment, and the committee believes that it should receive the immediate approval of the House.
Acts of Congress in proposed Civil Code
BRIDGE ACROSS ALLEGHENY RIVER AT OR NEAR
FEBRUARY 23, 1931.-Referred to the House Calendar and ordered to be printed
Mr. WYANT, from the Committee on Interstate and Foreign Commerce, submitted the following
[To accompany H. R. 17196]
The Committee on Interstate and Foreign Commerce, to whom was referred the bill (H. R. 17196) granting the consent of Congress to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania to construct, maintain, and operate a free highway bridge across the Allegheny River at or near President, Venango County, Pa., having considered the same, report thereon with a recommendation that it pass.
The bill has the approval of the War and Agriculture Departments, as will appear by the letters attached.
WAR DEPARTMENT, February 21, 1981.
Respectfully returned to the chairman Committee on Interstate and Foreign Commerce, House of Representatives.
So far as the interests committed to this department are concerned, I know of no objection to the favorable consideration of the accompanying bill, H. R. 17196, Seventy-first Congress, third session, granting the consent of Congress to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania to construct a free highway bridge across the Allegheny River at or near President, Venango County, Pa.
F. H. PAYNE,
Acting Secretary of War.
DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE,
Hon. JAMES S. PARKER,
Chairman Committee on Interstate and Foreign Commerce,
House of Representatives.
DEAR MR. PARKER: Careful consideration has been given to the bill H. R. 17196, transmitted with your letter of February 21, 1931, with request for a report thereon and such views relative thereto as the department might desire to communicate.
This bill would authorize the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania to construct, maintain, and operate a free highway bridge and approaches thereto across the Allegheny River at or near President, Venango County, Pa. Favorable action on the bill is recommended.
C. F. MARVIN, Acting Secretary.
FEBRUARY 24, 1931.-Ordered to be printed
DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA TRAFFIC ACTS
[To accompany H. R. 14922]
Mr. ZIHLMAN, from the committee of conference, submitted the following
The committee of conference on the disagreeing votes of the two Houses on the amendments of the Senate to the bill (H. R. 14922) to amend the acts approved March 3, 1925, and July 3, 1926, known as the District of Columbia traffic acts, and so forth, having met, after full and free conference, have agreed to recommend and do recommend to their respective Houses as follows:
That the House recede from its disagreement to the amendments of the Senate numbered 3 and 4, and agree to the same.
Amendment numbered 1:
That the House recede from its disagreement to the amendment of the Senate numbered 1, and agree to the same with an amendment as follows:
In lieu of the matter proposed to be stricken out by the Senate amendment, insert the following:
Provided, That hereafter, congressional tags shall be issued by the commissioners under consecutive numbers, one to each Senator and Representative in Congress for their official use, which when used by them individually while on official business, shall authorize them to park their automobiles in any available curb space in the District of Columbia, except within fire plug, fire house, loading station, and loading platform limitations, and such congressional tags shall not be assigned to or used by others.
And the Senate agree to the same.