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and I am glad that I am not involved in this question from the standpoint of personal self-interest of the people in my district. I remember reading the debate in the Senate and the Senator who proposed this amendment and carried it there said this: “I will state frankly that one of these battleships is being modernized at the Norfolk Navy Yard. I hope, though I have no assurance to that effect, that another one will go through."
I do not want to dwell too much on that. On the other hand, as we look at this question, remember this, that the personal self-interest of those whom we represent unconsciously modifies our sound judgment upon many of the matters that are brought to our attention.
Mr. FORT. Was that item covered in the Budget estimates for this year!
Mr. FRENCH. No; it was not authorized. The question has been going around whether or not we are caring for that in the appropriation bill. We are not. For one reason we could not consider it because it is not authorized.
(Thereupon, the committee proceeded to the consideration of other
MODERNIZATION AND LINE PROMOTION BILLS
TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 10, 1931
COMMITTEE ON RULES,
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES. The committee met at 10.30 o'clock a. m., Hon. Bertrand H. Snell (chairman) presiding.
The CHAIRMAN. The committee will come to order. We will hear Mr. French first, in regard to the naval remodeling bill, the $30,000,000.
Mr. PURNELL. Is this the blister bill?
STATEMENT OF HON. BURTON L. FRENCH, A REPRESENTATIVE IN
CONGRESS FROM THE STATE OF IDAHO
Mr. FRENCH. I wanted to speak upon this bill and also upon the other bill from the Naval Affairs Legislative Committee, providing for promotions.
The CHAIRMAN. Both of them!
[H, Res. 350, Seventy-first Congress, third session] Resolved, That upon the adoption of this resolution it shall be in order to move that the House resolve itself into the Committee of the Whole House on the state of the Union for the consideration of S. 550, a bill to regulate the distribution and promotion of commissioned officers of the line of the Navy, and for other purposes. That after general debate, which shall be confirred to the bill and shall continue not to exceed one hour, to be equally divided and controlled by those favoring and opposing the bill, the bill shall be read for amendment under the 5-minute rule. At the conclusion of the reading of the bill for amendment the committee shall rise and report the bill to the House with such amendments as may have been adopted, and the previous question shall be considered as ordered on the bill and the amendments thereto to final passage without intervening motion except one motion to recommit.
[8. 550, Seventy-first Congress, first session] A BILL To regulate the distribution and promotion of commissioned officers of the line
of the Navy, and for other purposes Be it enacted by the Senate anal House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That so much of the naval appropriation act approved August 29, 1916 (Stat. L., vol. 39, p. 576; U. s. C., title 34, see. 4), as provides : “ That the total number of commissioned line officers on the active list at any one time, exclusive of commissioned warrant officers, shall be distributed in the proportion of one of the grade of rear admiral to four in the grade of captain, to seven in the grade of commander, to fourteen in the grade of lieutenant commander, to thirty-two and one-half in the grade 39272—31-3
of lieutenant, to forty-one and one-half in the grades of lieutenant (junior grade) and ensign, inclusive:" is hereby amended to read as follows: “ That the total number of commissioned line officers on the active list at any one time, exclusive of commissioned warrant officers, shall be distributed in the proportion of one in the grade of rear admiral, to four in the grade of captain, to eight in the grade of commander, to fifteen in the grade of lieutenant commander, to thirty in the grade of lieutenant, to forty-two in the grades of lieutenant (junior grade) and ensign, inclusive: Provided, That no officer shall be reduced in rank or pay or separated from the active list of the Navy as the result of any computation made to determine the authorized number of officers in the various grades of the line: ".
SEC. 2. The selection board established by the act of August 29, 1916, shall be convened at least once each year and at such times as the Secretary of the Navy may direct. The Secretary of the Navy shall furnish the selection board with the names of all officers who are eligible by law for consideration by said board for selection for promotion as herein authorized, together with the record of each officer. Each board shall recommend for promotion from among those officers who are eligible such number as may be directed by the Secretary of the Navy, which number shall be 10 per centum of the authorized number of officers in the grades to which promotions are to be made as determined by the existing computation, and in addition thereto the number, if any, of vacancies then existing and which may occur on or before June 30 in said grade in excess of the number of officers in the next lower grade on the promotion list provided for in section 4: Provided, That if the number of officers in any grade on the promotion list is in excess of the number of vacancies then existing and which may occur in the next higher grade on or before June 30, as aforesaid, and said excess shall equal or exceed 10 per centum of the authorized number of officers in said next higher grade as above determined, the number to be furnished the board for recommendation for promotion to said next higher grade shall be reduced to 8 per centum of said authorized number: Provided further, That if the number of officers in any grade on the promotion list shall at any time be insufficient to fill vacancies then existing and which may occur in the next higher grade prior to the convening of the selection board next ensuing, the Secretary of the Navy may, in his discretion, convene a selection board to recommend for promotion such additional number of officers as may be necessary to fill said vacancies.
Sec. 3. Except as provided in section 7, captains, commanders, and lieutenant commanders, who shall not have been recommended for promotion to the President prior to the completion of thirty-five, twenty-eight, or twenty-one years, respectively, of commissioned service in the Navy, shall be ineligible for consideration by a line-selection board, and any officer in said grades shall likewise be ineligible for consideration who on June 30 of the calendar year of the convening of the board shall have had less than four years' service in his grade: Provided, that the commissioned service of Naval Academy graduates, for the purpose of this section only, shall be computed from June 30 of the calendar year in which the class in which they graduated completed its academic course, or, if its academic course was more or less than four years, from June 30 of the calendar year in which it would have completed an academic course of four years: Provided further, That except as provided in section 7, officers of any grade commissioned in the line of the Navy from sources other than the Naval Academy, shall become ineligible for consideration by a selection board when the members of the Naval Academy class next junior to them at the date of their original permanent commission as ensign or above become ineligible for consideration under the provisions of this section.
SEC. 4. The names of all officers recommended for promotion to the next higher grade by the report of a line-selection board as approved by the President shall be placed on a promotion list and, except as otherwise provided in this section, shall not be considered again for the next higher grade by any subsequent selection board. Promotions to fill vacancies in the grades of commander and above shall be made from officers of the next lower grade whose names appear on said promotion list. Officers so promoted pursuant to the recommendations of the same report shall take rank with one another in accordance with their seniority in the grade from which promoted, and officers recommended in an earlier report shall, when promoted. have precedence of officers recommended in a later report: Provided, That the Secretary of the Navy, may, in his discretion, with the approval of the President, remove the
name of any officer from said promotion list and submit it to the next ensuing selection board for consideration and recommendation. If recommended for promotion by said bard and approved by the President, the name of such officer shall be replaced on the promotion list in the position from which removed, without prejudice, by reason of its having been temporarily removed therefrom, and when promoted such officer shall take rank in accordance with his seniority on the promotion list at the time his name was removed there. from. If not recommended by said board, such officer shall be subject to involuntary retirement, as provided later herein, under the same conditions in all respects as though his name had not previously been placed on the promotion list. If the name of any officer shall be removed from the promotion list of officers in any grade and submitted to another board as herein provided, the number furnished said board by the Secretary of the Navy to be recommended for promotion to the next higher grade shall be increased accordingly.
SEC. 5. All officers who are not on the promotion list and who, after completion of the designated periods of service as prescribed for their respective grades, become ineligible for consideration by a line-selection board in accordance with this act, or who, if on said promotion list, undergo the required examinations for promotion and are found not professionally qualified, shall be transferred to the retired list of the Navy. All lieutenants who are forty-five or more years of age, or who have completed twenty or more years of service, counting all service for which they would be entitled to credit for voluntary retirement, and who undergo the required examination for promotion to lieutenant commander and are found not professionally qualified, shall be transferred to the retired list of the Navy: Provided, That if such lieutenants were permanently appointed as ensign or above in the permanent line of the Navy while holding permanent warrant or permanent commissioned warrant rank in the Navy they shall have the option of reverting to such permanent warrant or permanent commissioned warrant status in the lineal position to which their seniority would have entitled them had their service subsequent to such appointment been rendered in the status to which they revert.
SEO. 6. Officers retired pursuant to any section of this act shall receive pay at the rate of 242 per centum of their active-duty pay multiplied by the number of years of service for which they were entitled to credit in computation of their longevity pay on the active list, not to exceed a total of 75 per centum of said active-duty pay: Provided, That because of variations in the date of entry into the Naval Academy of members of the classes of 1906 to 1916, inclusive, ranging from June to September, a fractional year of nine months or more shall be considered a full year in computing the number of years of service of members of those classes by which the rate of 242 per centum is multiplied.
SEC. 7. When the number of involuntary transfers in any fiscal year from any grade to the retired list pursuant to this act would otherwise exceed one-seventh of the authorized number of officers in said grade, less one-seventh of the authorized number in the grade next above, as determined by existing computations, the selection board concerned shall designate by name such excess of officers for retention on the active list until the end of the next fiscal year. Officers so designated shall retain their eligibility for selection and promotion during said year. If not recommended for promotion or again desig. nated for retention on the active list, they shall be transferred to the retired list in accordance with the provisions of this act: Provided, That the selection board may in any fiscal year designate for retention on the active list until the end of the next fiscal year any officer who has lost numbers or precedence and has been promoted after suffering such loss: Provided further, That all transfers to the retired list pursuant to this act shall be made as of June 30 of the current calendar year and the resulting vacancies shall be regarded as occurring on that date: And provided further, That such number of the graduating class of the Naval Academy may be commissioned as ensigns in excess of the total authorized number of commissioned line officers of the Navy as in the opinion of the Secretary of the Navy may be necessary to fill vacancies which will occur prior to July 1 of the current calendar year, and thereafter no further appointments shall be made in the grade of ensign until the total number of commissioned line officers has been reduced below that authorized by law,
Sko. 8. In making any computation required or authorized by or pursuant to this act there shall be excluded from considerat on those officers carried by law as additional numbers, and whenever a final fraction of one-half or