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Some of these bills are routine while others are somewhat more complex and involve matters of policy. In order that we may concentrate our time on those bills that require more careful scrutiny, the Chair would suggest that we have a member of the professional staff present the highlights on all of these bills to the subcommittee. Departmental witnesses are standing by to provide additional information on those bills if the subcommittee members desire to explore them in greater detail. As each bill is presented, we will insert a copy of the bill in the record, in addition to the departmental prepared statements with respect to the bills. A few witnesses have requested permission to appear in connection with two other pending bills, and I believe it would be desirable for us to defer action on the bills on which there will be outside testimony until that part of the meeting when we have had an opportunity to discuss the others on which there is no desire to testify.
We will first take up S. 22. (S. 22 follows:)
[S. 22, 83d Cong., 1st sess.) A BILL To validate certain payments for accrued leave made to members of the Armed
Forces who accepted discharges for the purpose of immediate reenlistment for an indefinite period
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That (a), notwithstanding the provisions of section 4 (c) of the Armed Forces Leave Act of 1946, as amended (37 U. S. C. 33 (c)), any payments for accrued leave heretofore erroneously made to any member of the Armed Forces who was discharged after August 31, 1946, for the purpose of immediate reenlistment for an indefinite period are hereby validated.
(b) In any case in which any member or former member of the Armed Forces of the United States has received any erroneous payment which is validated by subsection (a) of this section and has been required to repay to the United States all or a portion of such erroneous payment, the Secretary of the Treasury is authorized and directed to pay, out of any money in the Treasury not otherwise appropriated, to such member or former member, or in the event he is deceased, to the person entitled to receive his arrears of pay in accordance with the Act of June 30, 1906, as amended (10 U. S. C. 868), a sum equal to any amount so repaid which has not been refunded to him.
(c) The Comptroller General of the United States is hereby authorized and directed to allow credit in the accounts of disbursing officers for any payment validated by this Act.
Senator DUFF. Mr. Darden, will you proceed?
Mr. DARDEN. Mr. Chairman, the first bill is S. 22 which appears on page 1 of the committee print. This bill was introduced by Senator McCarran in January of 1953 and is recommended by the Department of Defense and without objection from the Bureau of the Budget.
The bill proposes to validate certain payments for accrued leave that were erroneously made to members of the Army who were discharged for the purpose of entering into an indefinite enlistment.
Public Law 128 of the 80th Congress authorized indefinite enlistments by members of the Armed Forces and this bill placed members of the first three pay grades of the Army in a status comparable to that of officers, but in order to enter upon these indefinite enlistments they had to be discharged from the enlistments in which they were then serving
The Army erroneously paid them at the time of the discharge the leave that they had accrued. If it had not been paid, it could have been carried forward to the new enlistment, and the result was that even though the payments were erroneous as a matter of law, the persons to whom they were made were available for duty at later dates when they otherwise would have been on official leave.
A bill identical to this was favorably reported by this committee in the 82d Congress, but the Congress adjourned before there was an opportunity for its consideration by the House committee, and in reporting on that bill in the 82d Congress, the Comptroller General of the United States advised the committee chairman that there was no apparent loss to the Government involved in the enactment of this bill.
Senator SYMINGTON. How much money is involved? Mr. DARDEN. Şenator Symington, $10,772.70, of which some $2,437.86 has been collected from the persons to whom it was paid, $6,346.85 has not been collected, although erroneously paid, and notices of exceptions from the disbursing officers' accounts were made in payments involving $1,987.99.
Senator SYMINGTON. Would the money that has been paid have to be paid back?
Mr. Darden. This bill would authorize that to be paid back, and the ones that had not paid it back, to keep it.
Senator DUFF. Any other questions?
Mr. DARDEN. The next bill, sir, is S. 897 on page 4 of the committee print, which was introduced by Senator Johnson of Colorado. (S. 897 follows:)
[S. 897, 83d Cong., 1st sėss. ]
A BILL To extend the time for making application for terminal-leave pay under the Armed
Forces Leave Act of 1946, as amended
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That section 5 of the Armed Forces Leave Act of 1946, as amended, is amended by striking out “June 30, 1951” wherever it appears in such section and inserting in lieu thereof “June 30, 1954”.
Mr. DARDEN. The Navy Department reported on the bill for the Department of Defense and advised that it has no objection to the enactment of this bill. Its purpose is to extend the period of grace within which members of the Armed Forces may apply for payments in lieu of unused leave. The terminal leave concept was abolished at the end of World War II, and the Armed Forces Leave Act of 1946 authorized payments in lieu of the leave that normally would be taken in a terminal leave status.
The original authority for these payments was enacted in 1946 and had a cutoff of September 1, 1947. This cutoff date has twice been extended and the last terminal date was June 30, 1951.
Senator DUFF. This bill is an exact duplicate of the other bills that took care of the other cutoff dates?
Mr. DARDEN. Yes, sir; it is.
Senator SYMINGTON. I have no questions, Mr. Chairman.
Senator DUFF. All right, what is the next bill; unless you have some other comments?
Mr. DARDEN. There is one amendment that probably should be considered in executive session, Mr. Chairman.
This bill was introduced in 1953, and the date that it proposed to extend the period was June 30, 1954, and since almost a year has elapsed, if the committee desires to report the bill that probably should be amended so as to give the persons time to submit the new claims. Senator DUFF. All right.
S. 1754 Mr. DARDEN. The third bill, sir, is S. 1754, on page 6 of the committee print. (S. 1754 follows:)
[S. 1754, 83d Cong., 1st sess.) A BILL To amend the Dependents Assistance Act of 1950, as amended, so as to provide
punishment for fraudulent acceptance of benefits thereunder Be it enacted by the Senate, and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That the Dependents Assistance Act of 1950, as amended (64 Stat. 794 ; 67 Stat. 6), is amended by inserting the following two, sections after section 13:
“SEC. 13a. Whoever shall obtain or receive any money, check, allowance, or allotment under this Act, without being entitled thereto and with intent to defraud shall be punished by a fine of not more than $2,000 or by imprisonment for not more than one year, or both.
“SEC. 13b. Any person who has been entitled to payment of an allowance or allotment under this Act and whose entitlement to payment of such allowance or allotment has ceased shall, if he thereafter accepts payments of such allowance or allotment with the intent to defraud, be punished by a fine of not more than $2,000 or by imprisonment for not more than one year, or both."
Mr. DARDEN. This bill was introduced by Chairman Saltonstall at the request of the Department of Justice. The bill was prepared in the Department of Justice and recommended by them.
Its purpose is to amend the Dependents Assistance Act of 1950 so as to provide penal provisions for peresons who fraudently accept benefits under the act.
The World War II authority for allotments and payments to dependents of servicemen contained a penal provision, but in reenacting the authority following the outbreak of the Korean war in 1950, the penal provisions apparently were inadvertently omitted.
The language proposed to be added is substantially the same as that in effect during World War II. The effect of the absence of such a provision is to require the Department of Justice to prosecute frauds under this act under various sections of the penal code that are not specifically designed for this purpose, and they sometimes pose questions of venue and of proof that are difficult and would be obviated by this section. Senator DUFF. Any questions? Senator SYMINGTON. Only one, Mr. Chairman.
In looking this bill over, I was wondering why there wasn't anything in it about getting the money back, in other words, why there is no provision for penalty to cover the fraudulent amount. Is that out of the field normally?
Mr. DARDEN. Senator, I am going to have to defer on that to Mr. Baier of the Navy Department, if he happens to know.
Senator SYMINGTON. In other words, the garnisheeing of future wages, for example, which is customary in a fraud case.
Mr. BAIER. My name is William H. Baier, assistant professional assistant, Bureau of Supplies and Accounts, Navy Department.
We can recover under other statutes for fraudulent claims against the Government.
Senator DUFF. No statute of limitations runs against them?
Mr. DARDEN. Mr. Chairman, the next bill on the committee print, we think, is somewhat more complex than some of the others, and with the committee's permission we will skip that one for a moment and come back to it.
The next bill for consideration is S. 2076, which appears on page 13 of the print. (S. 2076 follows:)
[S. 2076, 83d Cong., 1st sess. ] A BILL To amend Public Law 472, Eighty-first Congress, approved April 11, 1950, entitled
“An Act to promote the national defense and to contribute to more effective aeronautical research by authorizing professional personnel of the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics to attend accredited graduate schools for research and study
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That section 6 of Public Law 472, Eighty-first Congress, is amended to read : “The total of the sums expended pursuant to this Act, including all sums expended for the payment of salaries or compensation to employees on leave, shall not exceed $100,000 in any fiscal year.”
Mr. DARDEN. This bill was introduced by Chairman Saltonstall at the request of the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics. The purpose of the bill is to increase from $50,000 to $100,000 the authorization available to the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics, for keeping its employees in a pay status while they attend graduate school in connection with the professional work for the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics.
The basic authority available to the NACA was reported by this committee in the 81st Congress and subsequently became Public Law 472 of the 81st Congress.
As introduced, the bill contained no limitation on the authorization available for this purpose, but this committee amended its order so as to provide a maximum of $50,000 annually.
The safeguards in connection with this authority are that apparently the study is carefully supervised by NACA officials, and they approve the courses of study in advance.
In addition to this, employees who receive such leave for periods less than 3 months must agree to return to NACA employment for 6 months, and those who receive leave with pay in excess of 3 months must agree to return to the NACA employment for at least 1 year, or to reimburse the Government for the time they were on leave with pay while attending school.
The purpose of the bill is to keep the NACA professional employees abreast of new developments in the aeronautical research field.
One point the staff has been advised in informal conferences is that an enactment of this authorization would not generate new appropriations requests against the increased authorization.
Senator DUFF. That is what I was going to ask you.
Mr. DARDEN. But that the new authorization would be utilized by absorbing appropriations already available for the purpose.
Senator DUFF. Any questions?
Senator SYMINGTON. Mr. Chairman, I don't quite understand the necessity for this bill. You would have budget control anyway, year to year, wouldn't you, through the budget? If you needed more money you would have to apply for it.
I see Mr. Victory back there, and I suppose he is interested in it. John, what is the angle on it? Why do you need this?
STATEMENT OF JOHN F. VICTORY, DIRECTOR, NATIONAL ADVISORY
COMMITTEE FOR AERONAUTICS
Mr. VICTORY. Senator, we have found this a very useful piece of legislation. The $50,000 limitation is merely a limitation on the amount of good we can get.
Senator ŠYMINGTON. What this is, is an increase of from fifty to a hundred; is that it?
Mr. VICTORY. That is all it is, sir. We have spread it very thinly over a period of years. Three hundred and forty-one employees have had only an aggregate of 28 man-years.
Senator DUFF. This is an increased amount to take care of this policy you have adopted ?
Mr. VICTORY. That is right.
Senator SYMINGTON. Which has to come out of your overall budget on any basis; is that right?
Mr. VICTORY. Yes, sir.
Mr. DARDEN. The next bill, sir, is S. 2247, on page 15 of the committee print. (S. 2247 is as follows:)
[S. 2247, 83d Cong., 1st sess.] A BILL To authorize certain members of the Armed Forces to accept and wear decorations
of certain foreign nations Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That, subject to such regulations as may be prescribed by the Secretaries of the Army, Navy, and Air Force, members and former members of the Armed Forces of the United States holding any office of profit or trust under the United States who have served, subsequent to June 26, 1950, in Korea and such of the waters or lands adjacent thereto as may be designated as combat zones or areas by the respective Secretaries, are authorized, during the period of hostilities in Korea in which the United States is engaged, and for one year thereafter, to accept from the governments of foreign nations whose personnel are participating with or under the United Nations Command in Korea such decorations, orders, and emblems as may be tendered