« PreviousContinue »
SEC. 4. No loan may be extended under this Act unless the Secretary of De fense, after consultation with the Joint Chiefs of Staff, determines that such extension is in the best interests of the United States. The Secretary of De fense shall keep the Congress currently advised of all extensions made under authority of this Act.
Mr. WINSTEAD. I move that the bill be reported favorably to the full committee.
Mr. RIVERS. Any other questions? A quorum being present, with out objection, the bill is favorably reported to the full committee.
Thank you, Admiral Rittenhouse. Admiral RITTENHOUSE. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman. (Whereupon, at 2:25 p.m., the subcommittee was adjourned.)
FULL COMMITTEE CONSIDERATION OF H.R. 3322, H.R. 3320, H.R. 4068,
AND H.R. 3366
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES,
COMMITTEE ON ARMED SERVICES,
Washington, D.C., Monday, March 2, 1959. The committee met at 10 a.m., Hon. Carl Vinson, chairman, presiding.
The CHAIRMAN. Mr. Durham, anything from your subcommittee?
The CHAIRMAN. Mr. Kilday, have you anything to report from your subcommittees?
Mr. KILDAY. I thought we were going to hear from the Secretary.
The CHAIRMAN. We have a quorum here now and I don't want to lose the quorum.
Mr. KILDAY. First I will report on H.R. 3322. The purpose of the proposed legislation as amended is to authorize the payment of travel and transportation allowances to any person who, under competent orders, acts as an escort to accompany dependents of a member of the uniformed services if the member is dead, missing in action, or otherwise incapable to accompany his dependents and the dependents are incapable of traveling alone.
The proposed legislation is retroactive to January 1, 1950, and validates payments that were made and thereafter questioned by the Comptroller General, and also authorizes the payment of allowances that have not been made even though authorized by competent authority, because of the Comptroller General's decisions.
The subcommittee amended the bill by requiring that the Secretary of Defense shall first approve the regulations issued by the military departments to insure uniformity.
Mr. Chairman, there have been several cases in which a service member overseas and a wife and children, has been killed or is missing and it is necessary for the wife and small children to be returned to their homes. And officers have in the past been ordered to escort them and then they have had claims made against them for a refund of the money paid.
This is to make clear the authority to order them to accompany dependents and to validate payments heretofore made and authorize the payment of those where the duty has been performed and payment not been made.
The CHAIRMAN. Any questions from any members of the committee? I think all of you can see the wisdom and justification of the bill. Without objectionMr. COHELAN. Mr. Chairman, how much is involved ?
The CHAIRMAN. You can't tell.
Mr. BLANDFORD. Approximately $1,600 will come out of present appropriations.
Mr. KILDAY. It is very small. These cases are rare but when they happen they are very importan
The CHAIRMAN. Without objection, the bill will be favorably reported. Mr. Kilday, will you take the necessary steps to report the bill.
Mr. KILDAY. The next one is H.R. 3320. The purpose of the proposed legislation is to authorize the head of the department having jurisdiction of the hospital where a member of the uniformed services is a patient, to appoint the required medical board in order to determine, in appropriate cases, the mental capacity of such a patient.
Under existing law, the Secretary of the Department to which a member of the uniformed services belongs may designato a person to receive active duty pay and allowances or any other amounts due for accumulated or accrued leave or retired or retainer pay, if in the opinion of competent medical authority that member is incapable of managing his own affairs.
Also under existing law, competent medical authority is defined asa board of not less than three qualified medical officers one of whom shall be specially qualified in the treatment of mental disorders, appointed by the Secretary of the department concerned * * * from available medical officers.
That law was passed in 1950. Since then, however, as a result of an Executive order, the responsibility for the hospitalization of many service personnel, including former members, has been assigned to the Veterans Administration as well as to hospitals which are under the control of a department of which the serviceman is not a member.
The proposed legislation, therefore, would permit a board to be appointed not only by the department head of the member concerned, but also by the head of any one of the five departments who may have jurisdiction over the hospital in which the serviceman is hospitalized. These departments would be the Departments of the Army, Navy, Air Force, Health, Education, and Welfare, and the Veterans' Administration.
There is no cost involved to the Government, and actually the enactment of the proposed legislation should result in some savings.
The CHAIRMAN. Without objection, the bill will be favorably reported.
Mr. Kilday, take the necessary steps to enact the bill into law. Mr. KILDAY. I will next report on H.R. 4068. The purpose of the proposed legislation is to repeal section 7475 of title 10, United States Code, which provides that no increase may be made in the force at a naval activity within 60 days before a national election unless the Secretary of the Navy certifies that the needs of the service require the increase at that time.
The genesis of this law is the Naval Appropriation Act for fiscal 1877 which referred to "navy yards” and which was later codified in
title 10 when the words "navy yard” were deleted and the words "naval activity" were substituted.
It would appear that the reason for the original law was due to the fact that many unneeded employees were hired at navy yards before national elections and then were discharged after the elections were held. (Laughter.]
There were no Democratic administrations in those days, you know. (Further laughter.]
At the time the law was written there were only a few naval shipyards and each year a certification would be issued by the Secretary of the Navy certifying that the needs of the public service made an increase necessary if such were the case. It is also indicated that these certificates have been issued each election since 1934. When the words "Navy yard" were deleted and the words "naval activity” were substituted, the certification requirements have required action on the part of the Secretary in over 770 naval activities.
The Department of Defense recommends that the present law be repealed on the grounds that it is now obsolete since there are far more effective means of controlling the hiring of personnel in naval activities, including budgetary limitations, civil service regulations, and the Hatch Act. Of course, this law was passed prior to civil service. Mr. HUDDLESTON. Mr. ChairmanMr. Kilday. I would like to point out in connection with this, it reflects a very important thing here.
You see this old law referred to Navy yards, and in the supposed codification by the Committee on the Judiciary, they made what appeared to be an innocuous change. They changed it from “naval yards" to "naval activities." And instead of covering 11 installations of the Navy in the United States, it covered every activity of the Navy Department.
This just points up what happens frequently in codification, where they necessarily change language and, as we know from previous experience, even going into the law implementing regulations of the departments.
I think this is an excellent place to inform the House of it.
Mr. HUDDLESTON. Mr. Chairman, I would like to point out that there is no similar statute on the books covering the air and Air Force and this relates entirely to the Navy.
The CHAIRMAN. Without objection, the bill will be favorably reported. Mr. Kilday, take the necessary steps to have it properly considered by the House.
Now the next bill is a bill from Mr. Rivers' committee, H.R. 3366, which Mr. Kelleher of the staff will please present.
Mr. KELLEHER. All right, sir.
Mr. KELLEHER. Mr. Chairman, Subcommittee No. 3 met on last Wednesday, February 25, for the consideration of H.R. 3366, a bill which would authorize the extension of the loan of two submarines to the Government of Italy and the extension of the loan of two submarines to the Government of Turkey.
The original loans will expire in December of 1959 and January 1960, respectively.
The extension in each instance will be for not to exceed 5 years and no authority is provided for any extension beyond that date.
Formal agreements similar to the original agreements will be entered into with the Governments and will contain all of the normal limitations and restrictions placed in such agreements.
For example, the agreement will provide for the return of these ships at an earlier date than the normal expiration date of the loan if such return is necessitated by the defense requirements of the United States.
The subcommittee amended the bill to include the extension of the loan of two destroyers to the Republic of China. The requirement for this amendment raised an interesting legal question. The situation with respect to China is as follows:
In the same legislation which authorized the loan of the destroyers to China, authority was also granted for the loan of destroyers to Japan and Korea. In the case of Japan and Korea, the loan agreements were drafted in such form as to permit an original 5-year loan and a 5-year extension. In the case of China, however, through what was apparently a drafting error, the agreement was made for 5 years and without any language relating to the loan being renewed.
The authority of the President to make the actual transfer-the original transfer of these ships expired on December 31, 1956. The question, therefore, arose as to whether the President's authority to lend the ships had been exhausted.
Since it was the intention of the Navy to lend these ships for 5 years and to be able to renew the loan for an additional 5 years, the amendment to the bill is merely making legally certain an authority which is somewhat doubtful.
So, in summary, the bill authorizes the extension of three loanstwo of them involve two submarines each and the other, two destroyers. The CHAIRMAN. Any questions from any members of the committee! (No response.)
The CHAIRMAN. I examined this bill and I examined the report. I think the facts and circumstances and history behind it warrants favorable consideration. Without objection, the bill will be favorably reported as amended. Mr. Rivers will take such necessary steps to properly present the bill to the House.
Anything else from Mr. Rivers' subcommittee?
The CHAIRMAN. Now, I want to call Mr. Kilday's and Mr. Durham's and Mr. Rivers' attention to the fact that I understand the Rules Committee has agreed to accord them a hearing tomorrow morning at 10:30, and Mr. Arends and Mr. Gavin—someone from the minority should be there when Mr. Kilday and Mr. Durham and Mr. Rivers present these bills.
Now that disposes, Mr. Smart, of all the bills finished by the subcommittees?
Mr. SMART. That is correct, sir.
The CHAIRMAN. What is the total number of bills this committee has acted favorably on during this session ?