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CONGRESS,

{ 1st Session

SCHOOLHOUSE IN KETCHIKAN, ALASKA.

SEPTEMBER 10, 1919.-Referred to the House Calendar and ordered to be printed.

Mr. STRONG of Kansas, from the Committee on the Territories, sub

mitted the following

REPORT.

[To accompany H. R. 8953.)

The Committee on the Territories, to whom was referred the bill (H. R. 8953) to authorize the incorporated town of Ketchikan, Alaska, to issue bonds in any sum not exceeding $100,000, for the purpose of constructing a schoolhouse in said town and equipping the same, having considered the same, report thereon with a recommendation that the bill pass.

Ketchikan is a town of about 3,500 to 4,000 inhabitants, which population is steadily increasing from year to year. It is the most southerly situated town in Alaska; is the first port of entry and the last port of call for all vessels engaged in commerce in the first and third divisions of Alaska, which comprises the bulk of the commerce of the Territory. Ketchikan is the market and distributing center for a surrounding territory of about 250 miles radius. It has two daily newspapers, a public library, water system, volunteer fire department, an electric light plant, schools, churches, United States customhouse, Forest Service, Lighthouse Service headquarters. The Immigration Service has an office here; also here is located the United States courthouse for the southern portion of the first division. It has plank-paved as well as macadamed streets, a bank, a coldstorage plant, and substantial business buildings (many of them concrete), one in process of erection which alone will cost over $100,000. There has been appropriated by the Government $90,000 for a Government dock. The principal industries are mining and fishing. The town is about 30 years old, and has been incorporated for about 20 years, and it has steadily increased in permanency, population, and prosperity. The assessed valuation of its property is $2,000,000, being about 60 per cent of the actual valuation, and increasing rapidly. Practically all of the people own their own homes, and beyond any doubt a large part of the issue of these bonds, if authorized, will be taken up by residents of the town.

The organic act of the Territory of Alaska prohibits municipalities levying a tax in excess of 2 per cent on the assessed valuation of property within the town, and also prevents the incurring of any indebtedness in excess of the annual revenue, consequently it is impossible for the town to provide sufficient funds for constructing this school and equipping it, without Congressional action authorizing a bond issue.

The town has one school building, which is totally inadequate and should be replaced; the growing school needs have been met by purchasing residences in addition to the school building and using them for school purposes, which has caused great inconvenience, besides rendering it absolutely impossible to properly care for the children, and the town is now beyond the point where such makeshifts can further be made available. Last year the entire schoolroom space was overcrowded, and this year conditions are very much worse. It is imperative that a new and adequate school building be provided and furnished.

Your committee unanimously recommend that the authority requested in this bill be granted by Congress.

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CONGRESS

OFFICIAL STENOGRAPHERS, UNITED STATES DISTRICT

COURTS.

SEPTEMBER 11, 1919.-Committed to the Committee of the Whole House on the state

of the Union and ordered to be printed.

Mr. STEELE, from the Committee on the Judiciary, submitted the

following

REPORT.

[To accompany H. R. 1187.]

The Committee on the Judiciary, to which was referred the hill (H. R. 1187) authorizing the several district courts of the United States to appoint official stenographers and prescribing their duties and compensation, having had the same under consideration, report it back to the House with a recommendation that the bill do pass,

The provisions of this bill are the same as those contained in a similar bill introduced in the Sixty-fifth Congress and unanimously reported to the House by the Committee on the Judiciary of that Congress with the recommendation that the bill pass.

NECESSITY FOR THIS LEGISLATION,

This legislation is necessary in order to relieve litigants of a heavy burden of expense, facilitate the trial of causes, and modernize judicial methods in the Federal courts.

For more than 30 years perfection in the art of stenography and the typewriting machine have completely revolutionized commercial methods. Stenography has been made so practical as to enable the ordinary stenographer to keep pace with human utterance and to reproduce the notes thus speedily taken in legible characters by the typewriting machine. In fact, the stenographer and the typewriting machine are now regarded as an essential part of the equipment of every business and professional office. They are now in use throughout the civilized world, in the various departments of the Federal Government, and are included among the examination subjects for the civil service. For many years they have been in use in the courts of the various States, but, strange as it may seem, they have never been officially introduced in the Federal courts. The nea rest ap proach to an official stenographer is contained in rule 50 of the new Equity Rules effective in 1913, authorizing the court in equity proceedings to appoint a stenographer, fix his compensation, and tax such fees as part of the costs of the case. In all other proceedings, civil or criminal, in the Federal courts, transcripts of the proceedings can only be obtained by the parties to the proceedings employing a stenographer at their own expense. Under such circumstances an enormous expense is frequently placed upon litigants, and in many cases becomes their heaviest burden. When stenographers are not so privately employed, judges and counsel are compelled to take notes of testimony by slow, longhand methods, which are but memoranda and greatly prolong the time and expense of the trial. It is believed that the time has come when it is absolutely necessary for the Federal courts to have the assistance of these modern methods in order that their business may be conducted with greater dispatch, and thus reduce the pressure and cost of litigation. Much of the expense of a stenographer will be saved to the Government in the decreased time necessary to dispose of the court's business. It is further provided in the bill that exceptions may be taken to any ruling, remark, or charge of the court, which exceptions shall be noted by the stenographer and have all the effect of exceptions duly written out, signed and sealed by the trial judge at the time of trial. This will greatly facilitate the trial and save unnecessary labor by counsel and court.

The proposed bill is divided into 11 sections and provides for the appointment of stenographers by the judges of the several district courts and that they shall take full stenographic notes of the testimony in any trial, civil, criminal, or in equity. It shall be his duty to transcribe the notes of the evidence (a) when directed by the court so to do; (6) when an appeal, writ of error, or certiorari shall have been taken or issued; or (c) when he shall be paid for a copy thereof by a person requesting him to transcribe it. When the notes shall be transcribed and duly certified, they shall be filed of record in the case and treated as official and part of the record. Stenographers may be paid

a per diem compensation or an annual compensation not exceeding $2,000, and 10 cents for each hundred words of every copy of stenographic notes. By agreement of the parties to any suit or proceedings the official stenographer may be directed by the court to take full stenographic notes of the proceedings before any examiner, master in chancery, special master, or other like officer appointed by the court, compensation for such services to be paid either as agreed upon between the parties or as directed by the court.

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