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Medicines given to James Whitebull, November 3, 1945, to March 15, 1946:
$84. 00 Alcohol: 13 pints—50 cents per pint (error in original bill, no correction made in this bill)..
1. 00 Lobana lotion: 2 pints at 50 cents per pint.
1. 00 Tetanus antitoxin; 1,500 units..
1. 00 Acetlycholine bromide: 9 ampules at 30 cents each.
2. 70 Doryl: 15 ampules at 50 cents each..
7. 50 Calcium mandelate: 6 dozen tablets.
2. 00 Oil of cloves: 2 drams..
. 15 S. T. 37, 12-ounce bottle.
1. 25 Nupercainal ointment: 2 ounces at 75 cents per tube.
1. 50 Prostigmin: 442 dozen, 15 mg. at $1.25 each.
5. 50 Vitamin E: 5 dozen, 50 mg. at 50 cents per dozen.
2. 50 Rx No. 3791.
2. 00 Rx No. 3792
3. 50 2-4-6 Enemas: 9 at 30 cents each.
2. 70 Hypos: 46 morphine 12 gr. at 10 cents each.
4. 60 Nembutal: 35 capsules, 14. gr. at 5 cents each..
1. 75 Imbicall with vitamin B: 2 ounces at 20 cents per ounce. Yellow oxide of mercury: 48 ounce..
I, the undersigned, do hereby certify that I was the attending physician of James Whitebul, Canadian Indian. A serious gunshot wound necessitated surgery and hospitalization. Dr. Thomas A. Angland was called as consultant and surgeon, and Emily Pursell, anesthetist, for the administration of a gas anesthetic.
My fee for the laminectomy and removal of bullet was quoted at $200 and for post-operative care at $50. The total charge of $250 is just, correct, and due, and agrees with the bill filed with the Yakima Indian .Agency, Toppenish, Wash. To date, no part of the total sum has been received.
Guy E. MARCY, M. D. Subscribed and sworn to before me this 27th day of March A. D. 1948. (SEAL)
HELEN E. NEILSEN, Notary Public in and for the State of Washington.
AFFIDAVIT I, the undersigned, do hereby certify that I was called by Dr. Guy Marcy as consultant and surgeon on the James Whitebull case, November 3, 1945, at which time a bullet was removed between the second and third dorsal vertebrae, and in order to accomplish this, a laminectomy was necessary.
The charge for this service was quoted at $100 and is on file in the Yakima Indian Agency office at Toppenish. It is a true, just, and correct charge, no part of which has been received.
THOMAS A. ANGLAND, M. D. Subscribed and sworn to before me this 30th day of March, A. D., 1948, (SEAL)
KATHERINE GORDON, Notary Public in and for the State of Washington.
I, the undersigned, do hereby certify that I administered a gas anesthetic to James Whitebull, Canadian Indian, at St. Elizabeth Hospital, by request of Dr. Guy Marcy, November 3, 1945, at which time a bullet was removed and a laminectomy performed.
The charge for the gas anesthetic was quoted at $15, and agrees with the original charge sent to the Yakima Indian Agency, Toppenish. The charge is true and correct and no part of the same has been paid.
EMILY S. PURSELL, R. N. Subscribed and sworn to before me this 25th day of March A. D. 1948. (SEAL)
T. J. CORKERY, Notary Public in and for the State of Washington.
AFFIDAVIT I, the undersigned, being duly authorized to act for Brown's Pharmacy, do hereby certify that James Whitebull purchased an enema bag and tube, April 4, 1946, charging the cost for same, $1.52, to the Yakima Indian Agency, Toppenish, Wash. This is correct, just, and still due.
EDITH L. BROWN, Owner. Subscribed and sworn to before me this 9th day of April A. D. 1948. (SEAL)
MRS. L. H. YOUNGS, Notary Public in and for the State of Washington.
ROBERT E. BRIDGE AND LESLIE E. ENSIGN
May 5, 1949.—Committed to the Committee of the Whole House and ordered
to be printed
Mr. BYRNE of New York, from the Committee on the Judiciary,
submitted the following
(To accompany H. R. 16201
The Committee on the Judiciary, to whom was referred the bill (H. R. 1620) for the relief of Robert E. Bridge and Leslie E. Ensign, having considered the same, report favorably thereon without amendment and recommend that the bill do pass.
The purpose of the proposed legislation is to pay the sum of $308.08 to Robert E. Bridge and to pay the sum of $272.56 to Leslie E. Ensign, both of Hamilton, Wash. The payment of such sums shall be in settlement of all claims against the United States for reimbursement for property lost when the boat they were using in the course of their duties as employees of the Fish and Wildlife Service capsized in Alaska on August 22, 1947, without fault on their part.
STATEMENT OF FACTS
The Secretary of the Interior rendered a report dated March 18, 1949, and recommends favorable consideration and the committee, after careful consideration, recommends the enactment of the bill. The facts are set forth in detail by the Department of the Interior, as follows:
DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR,
OFFICE OF THE SECRETARY,
Washington, March 18, 1949, Hon. EMANUEL CELLER, Chairman, Committee on the Judiciary,
House of Representatives. MY DEAR MR. CELLER: You have requested a report from this Department on H. R. 1620 a bill for the relief of Robert E. Bridge and Leslie E. Ensign.
I recommend that the bill be enacted. The bill would authorize the payment of $308.08 to Robert E. Bridge and $272.56 to Leslie E. Engsign in full settlement of their claims against the United States for reimbursement because of the loss of their personal property as a result of the accidental capsizing of a Government-owned outboard motorboat in the
Coleville River, Alaska, on August 22, 1947, while Messrs. Bridge and Ensign were on official duty for the Fish and Wildlife Service. No fault was attributable to Messrs. Bridge and Ensign in connection with the accident.
On April 12, 1918, this Department considered the claims under the Federal Tort Claims Act (28 U. S. C., 1946 ed., sec. 921 et seq). As there apparently was no element of negligence on the part of any Government personnel to which the capsizing of the boat could be attributed, the Department was compelled to deny the claims. The Secretary of the Interior has no authority comparable to that vested in the Secretary of the Army by the Military Personnel Claims Act of 1945 (31 U. S. C., 1946 ed., sec. 222c), under which the Secretary of the Army may pay property-loss claims of civilian employees and of military personnel of the Depart ment of the Army.
From time to time, personal property belonging to employees of this Department is lost or damaged as an incident to their service and without fault on their part. Such incidents most frequently occur in connection with field work performed in isolated areas. National Park Service rangers, survey partics of the Bureau of Land Management, and working parties of the Alaska Road Commission, for example, perform their duties under such conditions. Mr. Bridge and Mr. Ensign, the claimants under H. R. 1620, were in a remote section of Alaska when their boat capsized. It is impracticable for such employees to carry insurance on their personal property, and, while losses of such property incident to service and not frequent, they do impose a severe burden on the employees concerned. Because such losses are attributable to the conditions under which the employees perform their duties or to the hazards of their occupations, I believe that such losses should be borne by the Government.
There are enclosed photostatic copies of statements made by the employees in respect to the incident covered by H. R. 1620 and copies of lists of the property lost. The items of property for which claims are made appear to be those which men engaged on such an assignment ordinarily would carry, and the value attributed to the items seems to be reasonable.
Several other employees of the Department have lost personal property in situations similar to that out of which the claims covered by H. R. 1620 arose, and I would like to bring them to the attention of the committee at this time. They are as follows:
(1) Walter Brooks, Lawrence A. Hatchett, Deloss H. Johanson, Oliver Onkka, Tom Popovich, and Ralph Soberg, employees of the Alaska Road Commission, lost personal tools and other personal property in June 1945 as the result of a forest fire which destroyed a camp maintained in connection with road maintenance work on the Kenai Peninsula, Alaska. Their claims are in the amounts of $101.70, $462.10, $47.90, $34.79, $50, and $454.60, respectively. The cause of the fire was not determined. There was no evidence of negligence on the part of these employees or any other Government personnel.
(2) Chester W. Diess, Wilbern E. Lossing, and John Zinowske, employees of the Alaska Road Commission, lost their tools in a fire on May 23, 1947, in the blacksmith shop of the Alaska Road Commission at Mount McKinley National Park, Alaska. Their claims are in the amounts of $105.12, $62.55, and $20.86, respectively. The cause of the fire was undetermined. There was no evidence of negligence on the part of Government personnel.
(3) Cleo C. Reeves, Floyd L. Murphy, and Fabian P. Durand, employees of the Alaska Road Commission, lost their personal effects as the result of the capsizing of a ferryboat operated by a licensed ferry man while they were being transported to their work across the Susitna River in Alaska on August 12, 1945. Their claims are in the amounts of $150, $410.10, and $160, respectively. There was no evidence of negligence on the part of any Government employee. The ferryman was an independent contractor and was not acting in an official capacity in the service of the United States.
None of the claims described in the numbered paragraphs above could be allowed under the Federal Tort Claims Act, because there was no evidence that the loss was caused by the negligence of an employee of the Government. In all instances, however, the circumstances under which the employees' property was lost were such that this Department believes the Government should reimburse the employees for their losses. If the committee wishes to consider these claims, the Department will transmit to the committee copies of the pertinent papers.
The Bureau of the Budget has advised this Department that it has no objection to the presentation of this report to your committee. Sincerely yours,
Oscar L. CHAPXAN, Acting Secretary of the Interior.
HAMILTON, Wash., May 10, 1948. Congressman HENRY M. Jackson,
House Office Building, Washington, D. C. My Dear CONGRESSMAN: During August 1947 while we were employed by the United States Fish & Wildlife Service in the Bristol Bay region of Alaska we had the misfortune of losing our entire outfit of personal property valued at $308.08 and $272.56, respectively. Details of the accident will be found in the enclosed letters.
All our efforts to gain reimbursement for our losses have so far been unsuccessful.
Enclosed is all correspondence which we have sent the Fish and Wildlife Service concerning the loss, and all the replies wh have received from them.
In the letter of April 12, 1948, from the Solicitor he states that he believes our claims are meritorious, but under present laws he is unable to pay our claims. He further states that there is (or was) pending before the Senate Judiciary Committee a bill which would authorize the head of a department to determine meritorious claims for compensation because of damage to, or loss of, property occurring in connection with their service for the Government. He states further that if the bill were enacted he would be glad to recommend favorable consideration of our claims.
What information can you give us concerning the proposed legislation referred to by the Solicitor? If it has not passed Congress, is there any other way by which Fre might gain reimbursement for our losses? In the past I have heard of special bills being sent to Congress to gain compensation for just claims which were not covered explicitly by some law. Do you think that this would apply in our case? Any information you can give us in this matter will be greatly appreciated. Very truly yours,
ROBERT E. BRIDGE.
LESLIE E. ENSIGN P. S.-Any correspondence concerning this matter should be sent to the above address, the home address of Mr. Bridge.
SEATTLE 5, WASA., February 2, 1948. Mr. G. B. KELEZ,
Chief, Alaska Investigations, Seattle 2, Wash. DEAR MR. KELEZ: This is in reply to your request for more information concerning the loss of property due to an accidentally overturned skiff in the Bristol Bay region of Alaska last summer while I was in the employment of the United States Fish and Wildlife Service.
Robert Bridge and I were assigned the Colville-Grosvenor Lakes stream survey territory, the same area we had had the previous year.
Since the trip was to be of a possible 30 days duration in uninhabited country where help is unobtainable in case of accident, preparations were started well in advance of the departure date. Also, the check-off list, which included such items as life preservers, first aid kits, etc., was followed explicitly. The boat we chose for the trip was new last spring and, of course, in excellent condition.
We left Brooks Lake, our base camp, on August 14, 1947. During the next 6 days we had traveled up to the forks of Colville River, a distance of approximately 100 miles by boat and outboard motor.
Having finished our duties on Colville River by the morning of August 22 we packed our gear in the boat and started downstream. For about 3 miles below the forks, the river has a very fast current and follows a very crooked course. On the outside of every turn the current has undermined the bank until the trees closest to the bank have fallen out over the river. In such a river it is impossible to use the outboard going downstream because one has too much speed and too little control to make the turns; so we started drifting down, stern first, with one man at the oars—the accepted method of descending streams of this type.
Before starting out we had checked the oars and all other equipment and had stowed everything aboard in such a fashion that the man at the oars would not be hampered by anything being in his way, because we were aware of the consequences if the boat should get out of control at any time.
We had not anticipated any particular difficulty in the trip down the river. We had had no trouble the year before and the weather was suitable for travel; also the river was not exceptionally high for that time of the year.
About 11 a. m, we approached one of the more abrupt turns in the river. Mr. Bridge was rowing and I was sitting in the stern, watching for submerged logs