« PreviousContinue »
Amend the title so as to read as follows:
A bill to authorize the Secretary of the Army, the Secretary of the Navy, and the Secretary of the Air Force to lend certain property to national veterans' organizations, and for other purposes
PURPOSE OF THE BILL
The purpose of the bill is to authorize the Secretary of the Army to lend certain property to recognized national veterans' organizations for use at national youth athletic or recreation tournaments.
Existing law (Public Law 411, 79th Cong.) authorizes the lending of such property for use at National or State conventions of national veterans' organizations, all expense incurred in the delivery and return thereof to be borne by the organization. The proposed bill extends this authority to youth athletic or recreation tournaments sponsored by such recognized national veterans' organizations. Under the present law, although there are 19 veterans' organizations eligible to borrow such property, only two, the American Legion and Veterans of Foreign Wars, have availed themselves of the law to any material extent. Army testimony was that the cost incurred has been negligible.
The Department of the Army testified in opposition to this bill; the Veterans of Foreign Wars appeared in support thereof. After full consideration of the position of the Army, which is predicated upon (1) shortage of stocks, (2) administrative difficulties in administration of the act, (3) costs the legislation would impose upon the Government, the committee adopted an amendment which is designed to meet Army objections and which, at the same time, permits the attainment of the very desirable objectives of the Veterans of Foreign Wars and other veterans' organizations.
The committee amendment effects these changes in existing law (Public Law 411, 79th Cong.): The Secretaries of the Navy and the Air Force are granted the same authority as is now given the Secretary of the Army to lend cots, blankets, pillows, mattresses, bed sacks, unoccupied barracks, and other available articles or equipment to veterans' organizations, thereby permitting a more efficient administration of existing law which pertains to the Army only. Second, the amendment adds "national youth athletic or recreation tournaments" to events sponsored by veterans' organizations for which such property may be lent. Third, it provides that "any expense incurred by the United States, as determined by the Secretary concerned, in the delivery, return, rehabilitation, or replacement of any such property shall be defrayed by the veterans' organization," thereby protecting the services against an abuse of the authority contained in the proposed bill and insuring that all costs incurred by the Government will be defrayed by the veterans' organization. It will be noted that the amendment continues the existing statutory requirement whereby the veterans' organizations are required to give bond for the return of the property in good condition, so that the bill as amended gives full protection to the public interest while at the same time permitting, when the Secretary of the Department finds it advisable, the lending of such property for worth-while events sponsored by veterans' organizations.
The following letter to the chairman of the Committee on Armed Services from the Under Secretary of the Army sets forth the objec
tions of the Army to the originally proposed bill. The committee takes the view that each of the objections raised in the following letter is adequately provided for in the amendment adopted by the committee, and accordingly urges the enactment of the amended bill.
JUNE 1, 1949.
Hon. CARL VINSON,
Chairman, Committee on Armed Services,
House of Representatives.
DEAR MR. VINSON: Reference is made to your recent request to the Secretary of Defense for the views of the National Military Establishment with respect to H. R. 4646, Eighty-first Congress, a bill to authorize the Secretary of the Army to lend certain property of the Department of the Army to national veterans' organizations for use at national youth tournaments. The Secretary of Defense has delegated to this Department the responsibility for expressing the views of the National Military Establishment
The Department of the Army is opposed to the above-mentioned bill.
The purpose of H R. 4646 is to extend the provisions of Public Law 411, Seventy-ninth Congress, in order to authorize the Secretary of the Army to lend certain property to recognized national veterans' organizations for use at national youth athletic or recreation tournaments
Public Law 411, Seventy-ninth Congress, authorizes the Secretary of the Army at his discretion to lend various articles and equipment to any recognized national veterans' organization for use at National or State conventions While the Department of the Army has permitted the use of equipment to the organizations authorized such use by Public Law 411, the extension of that law to include additional activities cannot be favorably considered as the items commonly requested are not in plentiful supply and would necessarily have to be withdrawn from operating stocks
Articles and equipment such as cots, blankets, mattresses, and other items normally required for the activities authorized by Public Law 411, generally require rehabilitation when returned to Army stocks and in some instances complete replacement must be made. The budgetary limitations placed upon Department of the Army activities prohibit the expenditure of funds for other than strictly military functions.
In view of the foregoing, the Department of the Army is constrained to recommend that H. R. 4646 be not favorably considered.
The Department of the Army is unable to estimate the fiscal effects of this legislation. However, its enactment into law would result in additional expense to the Government.
This report has been coordinated among the departments and boards in the National Military Establishment in accordance with procedures prescribed by the Secretary of Defense.
Inasmuch as the committee has requested that this report be expedited, it is submitted without a determination by the Bureau of the Budget as to whether it conforms to the program of the President. However, as soon as such advice is received it will be forwarded to your committee.
GORDON GRAY, Under Secretary of the Army.
In compliance with paragraph 2 (a) of rule XIII of the Rules of the House of Representatives, changes in existing law made by the originally introduced bill are shown as follows (existing law in which no change is made is in roman: new language is in italics):
THE ACT OF JUNE 11, 1946 (60 Stat. 256, сн. 379), PUBLIC LAW 411, SEVENTYNINTH CONGRESS
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That the Secretary of War is authorized to lend, at his discretion and under conditions which he may prescribe, to any recognized national veterans organization such cots, blankets, pillows, mattresses, bed sacks, unoccupied barracks of the Armv. and other available articles or equipment
H. Repts., 81-1, vol. 4- -20
under his jurisdiction as may be needed by such veterans organization for use at any of its national or State conventions. or national youth athletic or recreation
SEC. 2. Such property may be delivered upon such terms and at such time prior to any such convention or national youth athletic or recreation tournaments as may be agreed upon by the Secretary of War and the representatives of such veterans' organization, except that no expense shall be incurred by the United States in the delivery and return of any such property
SEC. 3. The Secretary of War shall take from each veterans organization to which property is lent pursuant to the provisions of this Act, a good and sufficient bord for the return of such property in good condition.
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
VALIDATING RECALL TO ACTIVE DUTY OF CERTAIN OFFICERS FOR MEDICAL TREATMENT
JUNE 7, 1949.-Committed to the Committee of the Whole House on the State of the Union and ordered to be printed
Mr. DEGRAFFENRIED, from the Committee on Armed Services, submitted the following
[To accompany H. R. 4767]
The Committee on Armed Services, to whom was referred the bill CH. R. 4767) to clarify the active-duty status of certain officers of the Army of the United States and the Air Force of the United States, and for other purposes, having considered the same, report favorably thereon with an amendment and recommend that the bill as amended do pass.
The amendment is as follows:
On page 2, after line 5, add the following new section:
SEC. 2. Any officer of the Army of the United States or the Air Force of the United States who was admitted into a service hospital while on terminal leave prior to October 1, 1947, who reverted to inactive status prior to release from such hospitalization, and who has not subsequently been retired or certified to the Veterans' Administration for retirement benefits, shall be deemed to have been on active duty for all purposes, until the date of the release from such hospitalization: Provided, That such an officer or his estate apply for the benefits of this section within two years from the date of enactment of this Act, and such application is approved by the cognizant Secretary: And provided further, That in the case person whose application for the benefits of this Act is approved, the amount any monetary benefits received by him or his estate for any period prior to ease from such hospitalization under any provisions of law providing benefits disability of death incident to the service, shall be deducted from the monetary nefits provided for herein.
PURPOSE OF THE BILL
Section 1 of the proposed bill validates orders issued by the Department of the Army between April 1, 1944, and May 1, 1948, whereby some 4,000 Army of the United States officers were recalled to active duty for medical examination or treatment to determine their eligibility for disability retirement benefits. This action is necessitated by a
Comptroller General ruling on March 3, 1948, which held that the Army orders had not placed these officers on active duty because existing law does not contemplate the recall of officers to active duty for any purpose other than the actual performance of military duty. The effect of this ruling is to require the recovery of the active-duty pay and allowances granted the 4,000 officers, unless the proposed bill is enacted.
The recall of these officers was an effort by the Army to correct possible errors in the consideration of some 80,000 cases of officers considered for physical disability retirement. It is now impracticable, and certainly undesirable, in the view of the committee, for the Army now to recover the active duty pay and allowances paid to those who were recalled to active duty in good faith and who received such pay and allowances in good faith.
The amendment to the bill corrects a situation which produced great resentment and, in many instances, severe financial hardship among officers whose terminal leave expired while they were undergoing hospital care. Upon expiration of their terminal leave, such officers were no longer entitled to receive active duty pay and allowances, although they were unable to leave the hospitals until they had attained maximum improvement.
The amendment authorizes such officers or their estates, for 2 years after the bill is enacted, to apply for and to receive the pay and allowances to which they would have been entitled while hospitalized had their terminal leave not expired. It is further provided that the officer have been admitted to a service hospital while on terminal leave prior to October 1, 1947 (the effective date of the Terminal Leave Act providing a lump-sum payment for accumulated leave); that the officer must not have been subsequently retired or certified to the Veterans' Administration for retirement benefits, and that any monetary benefits received by any such officer or his estate pursuant to law for disability or death shall be deducted from the active duty pay and allowances the officer would otherwise receive pursuant to the bill.
The bill as originally introduced is endorsed by the Bureau of the Budget and the National Military Establishment. The National Military Establishment likewise concurs in the committee amendment. The committee is unanimous in this report of the bill to the House of Representatives.
There is hereby made a part of this report a letter in support of the bill, addressed to the Speaker of the House of Representatives by the Acting Secretary of the Army, which letter represents the position of the National Military Establishment as well as the views of the Department of the Army:
Hon. SAM RAYBURN,
Speaker of the House of Representatives.
DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY,
DEAR MR. SPEAKER: There is enclosed herewith draft of a bill to clarify the active-duty status of certain off cers of the Army of the United States and the Air Force of the United States, and for other purposes, which the Department of the Army recommends be enacted into law. The Secretary of Defense has assigned responsibility for the preparation and submission of this measure, on behalf of the National Military Establishment, to this Department.
The purpose of the proposed legislation is to legalize orders issued after April 1, 1944, and prior to May 1, 1948, recalling to active duty officers of the Army of the United States and the Air Force of the United States, for medical observa