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MRS. SARAH J. MILLER

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

REPORT

[To accompany H. R. 3471

The Committee on the Judiciary, to whom was referred the bill (H. R. 3471) for the relief of Mrs. Sarah J. Miller, having considered the same, report favorably thereon without amendment and recommend that the bill do pass.

The purpose of the proposed legislation is that the Comptroller General of the United States be, and he is hereby, authorized and directed to settle and adjust the claim or claims for payment of the amount due the estate of Marion Miller, private, first class, Army of the United States, deceased, incident to his service in the Canadian Army, which amount was paid to the United States by the Government of the Dominion of Canada, February 27, 1943, for his credit, but which was erroneously paid by a United States finance officer to another individual of a similar name, and to allow in full and final settlement of the claim or claims not to exceed $59.58. There is hereby appropriated, out of any moneys in the Treasury not otherwise appropriated, the sum of $59.58, or so much thereof as may be necessary, for the payment of such claim or claims.

STATEMENT OF FACTS

The proposed legislation was supplemented by the Assistant Comptroller General of the United States, who suggested the enactment of a statute, copy of which is attached, which would accomplish the purpose, and referred it to your committee for consideration. Your committee, having carefully considered the legislation proposed, recommends that favorable action be taken on it.

A letter from the Assistant Comptroller General of the United States is as follows: Assistant COMPTROLLER GENERAL OF THE UNITED STATES,

Washington, February 23, 1949. The SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES.

MY DEAR MR. SPEAKER: Pursuant to the act of April 10, 1928 (45 Stat. 413) I have the honor to transmit herewith my report and recommendation to the Congress concerning the claim against the United States of Mrs. Sarah J. Miller, 7048% Bennett Street, Pittsburgh, Pa., as mother of Marion Miller, deceased, on account of an amount due his estate, with the request that you lay the same before the House of Representatives.

A duplicate of this report is being transmitted by me to the President of the Senate. Respectfully,

FRANK L. YATES, Assistant Comptroller General of the United States.

ASSISTANT COMPTROLLER GENERAL OF THE UNITED STATES,

Washington, February 23, 1949. The CONGRESS:

Pursuant to the act of April 10, 1928 (45 Stat. 413), I have the honor to submit the following report and recommendation concerning the claim of Mrs. Sarah J. Miller, 70484 Bennett Street, Pittsburgh, Pa., as mother of Marion Miller, deceased, Army serial No. 10600851, private, first class, Army of the United States, for payment of an amount representing $66, Canadian currency, due the estate of the decedent incident to his service as an enlisted man in the Canadian Army, which amount was paid to this Government by the Government of the Dominion of Canada for his credit.

From the record before this office it appears that the amount in question, together with amounts due from the Canadian Government to certain other enlisted men in the United States Army for prior service in the Canadian Army, was paid to this Government by Dominion of Canada letter of credit No. A 8670, dated February 27, 1943, for the credit of the individuals concerned. Apparently without making positive identification of the person entitled to the amount in question, the Army finance officer handling such funds erroneously paid the amount involved to one Pvt. Milton Miller, Army serial No. 10600565, who now has been discharged from the Army. Private, first class. Marion Miller was killed in action on July 28, 1944. While it thus appears that the estate of the said Marion Miller is entitled to the amount in question, payment thereof may not be made since there is no appropriation or fund available therefor.

Action has been initiated toward effecting recoupment of the erroneous payment. However, since the rightful payee was not at fault it would appear inequitable to make payment to his estate contingent upon possible collection from the erroneous payee or to withhold payment until such time as the erroneous payment might be recouped. Furthermore, while it may be that the estate of the decedent technically has a valid claim against the Canadian Government for the amount due, if such claim were recognized the Canadian Government would have at least an equitable claim against the United States in view of the apparent negligence of the United States officers in making payment to the wrong individual. Accordingly, under the circumstances, I recommend to the Congress that an appropriation be made to permit payment of the amount in question. In this connection your attention is invited to my report to the Congress under date of November 26, 1947, B-67974, and Private Law 326, Eightieth Congress. second session, approved June 1, 1948.

The amount due Mr. Miller was $66, Canadian currency, and was paid to this Government in British pounds which at the then current conversion rate amounted to £14.15.4, which, converted into United States dollars, amounted to $59.58.

If the Congress should agree with my recommendations in this matter, it is suggested that the enactment of a statute in substantially the following terms will accomplish the purpose:

"Be it enacted by the Senate and the House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That the Comptroller General of the United States be, and he is hereby authorized and directed to settle and adjust the claim or claims for payment of the amount due the estate of Marion Miller, private,

first class, Army of the United States, deceased, incident to his service in the Canadian Army which amount was paid to the United States by the Government of the Dominion of Canada, February 27, 1943, for his credit but which was erroneously paid by a United States finance officer to another individual of a similar name, and to allow in full and final settlement of the claim or claims not to exceed $59.58. There is hereby appropriated out of any moneys in the Treasury, not otherwise appropriated, the sum of $59.58, or so much thereof as may be necessary, for the payment of such claim or claims.' Respectfully,

FRANK L. YATES, Assistant Comptroller General of the United States.

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ERWIN F. EARL

Mar 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

REPORT

ITn accompany H. R. 37201

The Committee on the Judiciary, to whom was referred the bill (H. R. 3720) for the relief of Erwin F. Earl, having considered the same, report favorably thereon with an amendment and recommend that the bill as amended do pass. The amendment is as follows:

Page 1, line 6, strike out "$10,509.21”, and insert in lieu thereof "$9,067.42".

The purpose of the proposed legislation is to pay the sum of $9,067.42 to Erwin F. Earl, of Honolulu, T. H., in full settlement of all claims against the United States on account of the total loss on December 19, 1941, of his 12-ton sampan, Eldora, Federal serial No. 32-B-534, which he suffered as a result of the activities of the armed forces of the United States.

It appears that on December 7, 1941, Erwin F. Earl, then residing and employed at Makaweli, Kauai, T. H., later a commissioned officer in the Army with the grade of major, was the owner of the 43-foot Diesel-powered fishing sampan Eldora, which vessel, operated by a captain and crew employed by the owner, was engaged in commercial fishing off the island of Hawaii. Full control of the fishing business and the operation of the boat was exercised by the captain, who was an American citizen of Japanese ancestry, as were the members of the crew.

Immediately after the outbreak of the war on December 7, 1941, the military authorities in Hawaii issued an order directing that all fishing boats, sampans, and motor-operated pleasure boats be returned to the anchorage nearest their fishing grounds to await further orders. Pursuant to such order the Eldora was impounded upon its return to Milolilii, Kona, Hawaii, on the afternoon of December 8, 1941.

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