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[No. 182]

FOR THE RELIEF OF MICHAEL J. BATES (H. R. 6065). MR.

SULLIVAN

NAVY DEPARTMENT,

Washington, January 2, 1942. The CHAIRMAN, COMMITTEE ON NAVAL AFFAIRS,

House of Representatives, Washington, D.C. MY DEAR MR. CHAIRMAN: The bill (H. R. 6065) for the relief of Michael J. Bates, was referred to the Navy Department by your committee with request for report thereon.

The purpose of the bill H. R. 6065 is to authorize the appointment of Ensign Michael J. Bates, A-V (N), United States Naval Reserve, to the rank of lieutenant (junior grade) United States Naval Reserve, and to place him on the retired list with three-fourths of the active duty pay of that grade, provided a naval retiring board finds him physically incapacitated, and provided he does not elect to receive the benefits provided under the act of June 23, 1937 (50 Stat. 305), and section 304 of the Naval Reserve Act of 1938 (52 Stat. 1181).

Under the act of June 23, 1937, Ensign Bates is eligible for consideration for a pension from the Veterans' Administration. In addition, section 304 of the Naval Reserve Act of 1938 provides benefits from the United States Employees' Compensation Commission to disabled members of the Naval Reserve who submit claims within 1 year after the date of the injury and who elect to receive these benefits rather than the pension from the Veterans' Administration.

On September 5, 1938, Ensign Bates, then an aviation cadet, was injured in an airplane crash; he has been hospitalized continuously since that date. His case is very similar to that of Raymond J. McMahon. The bill H. R. 3731, for the relief of Raymond J. McMahon was returned by the President, without his approval, on November 28, 1941, on the ground that McMahon was already entitled to the benefits of the Employees' Compensation Act.

In view of this action by the President the Navy Department recommends against enactment of the bill H. R. 6065.

The enactment of the bill H. R. 6065 would result in a cost to the Government of $1,575 per annum, less any pension benefits to which Ensign Bates might otherwise become entitled. Sincerely yours,

JAMES FORRESTAL, Acting. 66266-42-No. 182

(2275)

[No. 183]

TO AMEND THE ACT APPROVED OCTOBER 24, 1941, TO AUTHORIZE THE SECRETARY OF THE NAVY TO PROVIDE SALVAGE FACILITIES, AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES (PUBLIC LAW NO. 280, 77th CONG.), SO AS TO REMOVE THE LIMITATION ON THE SUM AUTHORIZED TO BE APPROPRIATED ANNUALLY TO EFFECTU. ATE THE PURPOSES OF THE ACT

NAVY DEPARTMENT,

Washington, January 10, 1942. The SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES,

Washington, D. C. MY DEAR MR. SPEAKER: There is transmitted herewith the draft of a proposed bill to amend the act approved October 24, 1941, to authorize the Secretary of the Navy to provide salvage facilities, and for other purposes (Public Law No. 280, 77th Cong.), so as to remove the limitation on the sum authorized to be appropriated annually to effectuate the purposes of the act.

The purpose of the bill is as stated in its title.

The House Naval Affairs Committee in its action on the bill S. 1731 which became Public Law 280, seventy-seventh Congress, amended it to provide a limitation of $3,000,000 on the amount which was authorized to be expended annually in order to effectuate the purposes of the act. In the light of the conditions obtaining at the time this matter was under consideration, it appeared that this limitation would be satisfactory.

Since hostilities have broken out, the amount of salvage work now necessary is considerably more than was anticipated at the time of the hearings before the House Naval Affairs Committee. It appears quite probable that in order to accomplish the objective contemplated by the above law it will be necessary to make expenditures in excess of $3,000,000 annually.

Removal of the existing ceiling of $3,000,000 would also permit the Navy Department indemnifying contractors for liabilities incurred in operations performed pursuant to their contracts. This would obviate the necessity of contractors carrying liability insurance, the cost of which is ultimately borne by the Government.

The proposed legislation is considered urgent and the Navy Department recommends its early enactment.

The Navy Department has been advised by the Bureau of the Budget that there would be no objection to the submission of this recommendation. Sincerely yours,

FORRESTAL, Acting. 66266-42-No. 183

(2277)

[No. 184]

PROVIDING FOR THE ISSUANCE OF A SAILOR'S MEDAL (H. R.

5626). MR. KING

NAVY DEPARTMENT,

Washington, January 20, 1942. The CHAIRMAN, COMMITTEE ON NAVAL AFFAIRS,

House of Representatives, Washington, D. C. MY DEAR MR. CHAIRMAN: The bill (H. R. 5626) providing for the issuance of a sailor's medal, was referred to the Navy Department by your committee with request for report thereon.

The purpose of the bill H. R. 5626 is to authorize the President to present a medal to be known as the sailor's medal to any person who, while serving with the Navy, shall hereafter distinguish himself by heroism not involving actual conflict with an enemy, or to whom the Secretary of the Navy has heretofore awarded a letter of commendation.

The retroactive feature of the bill would cause administrative difficulties and would make eligible for the medal persons who had been awarded letters of commendation by the Secretary of the Navy for other than deeds of heroism.

It is believed that eligibility to receive the medal should be extended to personnel of the Marine Corps and Marine Corps Reserve; if the bill is amended to include the Marine Corps and Marine Corps Reserve in its provisions, "Navy and Marine Corps Medal” would be more appropriate than"sailor's medal” as a name for the decoration.

It is, therefore, suggested that the bill H. R. 5626 be amended as follows:

In the title and in line 5 of subsection (a), strike out the word "Sailor's" and substitute the words "Navy and Marine Corps". Change line 9 of subsection (a) to read: "States Navy and Marine Corps, including the Naval Reserve and Marine Corps Reserve, shall hereafter". În line 11 of subsection (a), strike out the comma and substitute a period, and strike out the remainder of subsection (a).

If the proposed bill is amended as suggested, the Navy Department recommends its enactment,

The Navy Department has been advised by the Bureau of the Budget that there would be no objection to the submission of this recommendation. Sincerely yours,

FRANK Knox. 66266-42-No. 184

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