Page images
PDF
EPUB

DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE,

Washington, D. C., May 22, 1930. Hon. GEORGE S. GRAHAM, Chairman Committee on the Judiciary,

House of Representatives. MY DEAR MR. CHAIRMAN: I inclose herewith a draft of bill to amend sections 109 and 113 of the Criminal Code and shall appreciate it if you will introduce it and lend your active support to its enactment.

In my last annual report to Congress (p. 1) I recommended legislation to modify said sections 109 and 113 so as to remove the disqualifications imposed by those sections on lawyers in private practice whom it is desirable, in the public interest, to employ as special counsel to represent the United States. Hardly any lawyer of experience in private practice can be found who does not represent some claim against the Government arising under the income tax laws or in other fields of Federal activity. Such men are, by said sections 109 and 113 of the Criminal Code, disqualified to accept employment to represent the United States in special cases, although their claims against the Government have no relation to the matter in which it would be desirable to employ them. This undue hampering of the Attorney General in effort to employ competent special counsel should be eliminated.

I have, therefore, after consultation with several other executive departments and independent offices, caused the inclosed bill to be drafted to amend sections 109 and 113, Criminal Code, so as to except from their provisions special attorneys or other assistants appointed by the President, the Attorney General, the Alien Property Custodian, or the Director of the United States Veterans' Bureau to serve only, in specified cases and not as continued employment; also United States commissioners, masters, referees, examiners, auditors, and similar officers appointed by any United States court or judge, members of the advisory council of the United States Veterans' Bureau, and members of the Board of Indian Commissioners; but expressly providing that the provisions of sections 109 and 113, Criminal Code, shall apply to special attorneys and assistants in respect to any matter to which their official appointments respectively relate or which has any connection with or bearing upon any such matter. Officers of the Army Reserve Corps and officers and men of the Naval Reserve and Marine Corps Reserves have not been included, as the War and Navy Departments prefer to provide for their exemption from the provisions of sections 109 and 113 in separate bills, which, I understand, have been introduced in Congress. Respectfully,

WILLIAM D. MITCHELL,

Attorney General. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE,

Washington, D. C., December 4, 1930. Hon. GEORGE S. GRAHAM, Chairman Committee on the Judiciary,

House of Representatives, Washington, D. C. DEAR MR. CHAIRMAN: At my request you introduced H. R. 12744, to amend section 109 of the Criminal Code so as to exempt certain officers and employees of the Government from the operation of sections 109 and 113 of said code and the bill is now pending before your committee.

You, no doubt, realize that there are few lawyers of experience in private practice who do not represent a claim of some nature or other against the United States and who are not, therefore, disqualified by these sections from accepting employment by the Government in special cases. I have experienced considerable difficulty in securing the services of lawyers having the desired qualifications for this reason.

The enactment of the measure in question is of great importance to the successful administration of this department and your assistance in securing its early enactment will be appreciated. Respectfully,

WILLIAM D. MITCHELL,

Attorney General. There is also attached a communication, addressed to the chairman of this committee, under date of December 8, 1930, from the chairman of the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics, inclosing a copy of an opinion from the Acting Attorney General, with reference to the proposed amendment affecting the status of members of the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics:

WASHINGTON, D. C., December 8, 1930. Hon. GEORGE S. GRAHAM, Chairman Committee on the Judiciary,

House of Representatives, Washington, D. C. DEAR MR. CHAIRMAN: Pursuant to resolution adopted by the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics, I have the honor to recommend the following amendment to the bill H. R. 12744, introduced by Mr. Graham June 3, 1930, and now pending before your committee:

Page 2, line 21, after “Indian Commissioners,” insert “Members of the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics appointed from private life.”

Members of the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics are appointed by the President under the act establishing the committee (U. S. C. title 50, sec. 151,) and serve without compensation as such. Seven are appointed from official life, representing other branches of the Government, and eight are appointed from private life.

The functions of the committee are to supervise and direct the scientific study of the problems of flying. It is believed that membership on the committee carries no duties or privileges that should interfere with a member's private practice of his profession before other agencies of the Government.

Attached hereto is a copy of an opinion of the Acting Attorney General, addressed to the President under date of August 12, 1930, in which the suggestion is made that the bill in question be amended to include members of the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics. Respectfully,

NATIONAL ADVISORY COMMITTEE FOR AERONAUTICS,
Joseph S. AMEs, Chairman.

DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE,

Washington, August 12, 1930. The PRESIDENT,

The White House, SIR: I have the honor to refer to your letter of July 9, 1930, inclosing a letter addressed to you under date of July 8, 1930, by the acting chairman of the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics, reqesting you to ask for the opinion of the Attorney, General upon the question whether a member of the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics appointed by the President from private life and serving without compensation under the act establishing the committee (sec. 151, title 50, U. S. C.) is within the provisions of section 109 of the Criminal Code (sec. 198, title 18, U. S. C.), penalizing officers of the United States and other classes of persons in the Government service for participating in any proceeding or claim against the Government.

When the opinion of the Attorney General was asked whether section 109 was applicable to the members of the Board of Indian Commissioners and of the Officers' Reserve Corps, it was considered preferable to secure the passage of legislation exempting these members from the operation of that section, and thus remove all question regarding their freedom from the prohibitions of the statute. There was accordingly introduced on June 3, 1930, bill H. R. 12744, amending that section. Congress, however, adjourned without taking any action other than to refer it to the House Committee on the Judiciary.

Your request for an opinion regarding the applicability of the same section to the members of the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics presents a similar situation. May I therefore suggest, in view of the course previously taken, that the same course be followed in this case and that the proposed bill be redrafted to include members of the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics. If this course is thought desirable, my opinion will, I assume, be Respectfully,

Acting Attorney General. There is also attached and made a part of this report a communication from the Secretary of Commerce, under date of October 30,

unnecessary.

1930, addressed to the chairman of this committee, with reference to the proposed amendment affecting the status of members of the visiting committee to the National Bureau of Standards:

DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE,

Washington, October 30, 1930. Hon. GEORGE S. GRAHAM, Chairman Judiciary Committee,

House of Representatives, Washington, D. C. MY DEAR CONGRESSMAN: In connection with H. R. 12744, “To amend section 109 of the act entitled 'An act to codify, revise, and amend the penal laws of the United States,' approved March 4, 1909, and for other purposes, now pending in your committee, this department would greatly appreciate the following amendment:

On page 2, line 20, after the word "bureau,” add the words, "members of the visiting committee to the National Bureau of Standards, authorized by act of Congress approved March 3, 1901 (ch. 872, 31 Stat. 1449; sec. 278, title 15, U. S. C.).

The members of the visiting committee to the National Bureau of Standards are appointed by the Secretary of Commerce from private life and serve without compensation, as authorized by the act establishing the Bureau of Standards. It would be manifestly unjust that these citizens serving without compensation should, under the provisions of section 109 of the Criminal Code, lose rights to which, as private citizens, they would be fully entitled. It is therefore deemed proper that the members of the visiting committee to the National Bureau of Standards be included in the exemption clause of the bill above referred to with respect to the provisions of section 109 of the Criminal Code. Very sincerely,

R. P. LAMONT, Secretary of Commerce. There follows, in compliance with the rule, a copy of the law, showing the new language in italics:

Whoever, being an officer of the United States, or a person holding any place of trust or profit, or discharging any official function under, or in connection with, any executive department of the Government of the United States, or under the Senate or House of Representatives of the United States, shall act as an agent or attorney for prosecuting any claim against the United States, or in any manner, or by any means, otherwise than in discharge of his proper official duties, shall aid or assist in the prosecution or support of any such claim, or receive any gratuity, or any share of or interest in any claim from any claimant against the United States, with intent to aid or assist, or in consideration of having aided or assisted, in the prosecution of such claim, shall be fined not more than $5,000 or imprisoned not more than one year, or both. The provisions of this section and of section 113 of said act of March 4, 1909 (U.S.C., title 18, sec. 203), shall not apply to members of the National Guard of the District of Columbia who receive compensation for their services as such, masters, referees, examiners, auditors, and similar officers appointed by any United States court or judge; members of the advisory council of the United States Veterans' Bureau; members of the Visiting Committee to the National Bureau of Standards, authorized by act of Congress approved March 3, 1901 (ch. 872, 31 siat. 1449; sec. 278, title 15, U. S. C.): members of the Board of Indian Commissioners; members of the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics appointed from private life; special attorneys or other assistants who are appointed by the President (whether with or without the advice and consent of the Senate), or by the Attorney General, or by the Alien Property Custodian, or by the Director of the United States Veterans' Bureau, to serve only in specified cases or matters, and not as a continuous employment: Provided, however, That the exemptions herein provided shall not apply to such persons in respect to any proceeding, contract, claim, controversy, charge, accusation, arrest, or other matter or thing to which their official appointments, respectively, relate or which has any connection with or any bearing upon any such proceeding, contract, claim, controversy, charge, accusation, arrest, or other matter or thing.

[ocr errors]

CONGRESS | HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES 3 No.

3d

ALTERATION AND REPAIR OF EASTERN DISPENSARY

AND CASUALTY HOSPITAL

FEBRUARY 19, 1931.—Committed to the Committee of the Whole House on the

state of the Union and ordered to be printed

Mr. Zihlman, from the Committee on the District of Columbia,

submitted the following

REPORT

[To accompany H. R. 14586]

The Committee on the District of Columbia, to whom was referred the bill (H. R. 14586) providing for an appropriation toward the alteration and repair of the buildings of Eastern Dispensary and Casualty Hospital, having considered the same, report back to the House with the recommendation that the legislation do pass with the following amendments:

Page 1, line 6, strike out the word “toward” and insert in lieu thereof the word “for");

Page 1, line 8, after the word “Hospital”, insert a comma and the following: “in the District of Columbia," ;

Page 1, line 8, after the word "and" and before the word “retiring”, insert the word "for;

Page 1, line 9, strike out the rest of the language on line 9 after the comma, following the word “buildings"; and

Strike out line 10 on page 1, and insert the following proviso: Provided, Not more than $20,000 of this appropriation may be used for the alterations and repairs under the supervision of the Municipal Architect.

This bill authorizes to be appropriated, out of the revenues of the District of Columbia and the Federal Government, in like manner as other appropriations of the District of Columbia, the sum of $50,000 toward the alteration and repair of the buildings referred to and the existing indebtedness on them.

On April 14, 1888, the Eastern Dispensary of the District of Columbia was incorporated by a few public spirited citizens of the eastern section of the city for a period of 10 years, and April 1, 1898, changed the name to Eastern Dispensary and Casualty Hospital and reincor

[ocr errors]

porated in perpetuity. These incorporations were made by and under the laws of the District of Columbia.

Some time later the institution came under the jurisdiction and control of Emergency Hospital, but in December, 1925, Emergency Hospital having suffered a loss of approximately $18,000 per year in cost of operation of Casualty Hospital, transferred the institution to the present board of directors upon the payment of $50,000 to Emergency Hospital to cover all indebtedness and outstanding obligations.

The institution was then housed in a badly run down 3-story brick building, originally a private residence. The furniture was scarce and in poor condition and the equipment obsolete and most meager, including an ambulance beyond repair.

Since December 1925, a modern 4-story stone and brick hospital has been built at a cost of $125,000 and $50,000 has been spent in furniture and equipment. This was made possible by public contributions of $60,000 in 1927, $15,000 in 1930, $30,000 from legacies, economies in operation, donation by the superintendent of his salary and the supply of bedding and linen by the board of lady managers who are very prominent citizens of the District of Columbia. All public contributions were used in the erection of the new building.

The total indebtedness of Casualty Hospital at present, the committee is advised, is $105,000—so that starting with a deficit of $50,000 the management has increased the assets of the hospital by $225,000—but has increased the indebtedness by only $55,000.

Casualty Hospital is operated without profit for the benefit of the citizens of the District of Columbia, and is purely an eleemosynary institution. It takes care of all emergency cases east of Seventh Street northwest and is frequently called to other sections of the city to provide ambulance service in emergency cases.

This hospital, like the Emergency Hospital, has a contract with the Commissioners of the District of Columbia to take care of indigent cases at the contract price of $2 per day, and $1 for ambulance service for each run made on a charity call. The records of both Emergency and Casualty Hospital, however, clearly show that the contract price mentioned, per day, per charity patient, including both medical and surgical care, is hardly equal to one-half the actual expense in caring for these patients.

This bill provides for the same sort of appropriation that Congress has twice given to Emergency Hospital—$50,000 being appropriated by an act of Congress on June 26, 1912, and again on March 3, 1915.

As early as 1900 Congress appropriated "for Eastern Dispensary, maintenance, $1,500”—and on March 3, 1905, appropriated $2,000 for emergency care and treatment of, and free dispensary service to indigent patients, under a contract of agreement to be made with the Eastern Dispensary--now known as Casualty Hospital. Thus for 30 years, Congress has recognized the importance of the service rendered by Casualty Hospital to the citizens of the District.

There is no distinction in law, equity, or morals between Emergency and Casualty Hospitals in their relationship to the District, and the committee feels that the relief sought by Casualty Hospital, whose work is increasing daily, as will be noted by the press, should be granted by the passage of this measure.

[ocr errors]
« PreviousContinue »