Page images
PDF
EPUB

designated period of time the Congress did not pass a concurrent resolution stating in substance that the Congress did not favor the suspension of deportation, the suspension was final and the status of the alien involved was adjusted to that of a permanent resident,

Since July 1, 1948, under the provisions of Public Law 863, Eightieth Congress (62 Stat. 1206, 8 U. S. C. 155 (c)), affirmative congressional action in each individual case is required before the suspension of deportation granted by the Attorney General could become final and the status of the alien could be adjusted to that of a permanent resident.

It is the view of the Department of Justice that all cases which were pending before the Congress during the second session of the Eightieth Congress should be handled under the new procedure (affirmative action) prescribed in Public Law 863 of the Eightieth Congress.

Included in the concurrent resolution (S. Con. Res. 32) are 96 cases: 24 of these cases were among 25 cases referred to the Congress on May 15, 1948; 28 of these cases were referred to the Congress on June 1, 1948; 10 of these cases were referred to the Congress on June 15, 1948; and 34 of these cases were among 35 cases referred to the Congress on August 2, 1948. One case out of the twenty-five cases referred to the Congress on May 15, 1948, was subsequently withdrawn by the Attorney General after additional evidence had been discovered which did not warrant the suspension of deportation. One case out of the thirty-five cases referred to the Congress on August 2, 1948, has been previously approved and appears on Senate Concurrent Resolution 25, reported to the House on June 28, 1949.

In each case which is recommended for approval, a check has been made to determine whether or not the alien (a) has met the requirements of the law, (b) is of good moral character, and (c) is possessed of strong equities which would warrant the suspension of deportation.

The committee, after consideration of all the facts in each case referred to in the concurrent resolution (S. Con. Res. 21) recommends that the concurrent resolution do pass.

[ocr errors][merged small]

818T CONGRESS , HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES 18t Session

AMENDING RESERVE RETIREMENT PROVISIONS OF

PUBLIC LAW 810, EIGHTIETH CONGRESS

JULY 12, 1949.—Committed to the Committee of the Whole House on the State

of the Union and ordered to be printed

Mr. CLEMENTE, from the Committee on Armed Services, submitted

the following

REPORT

[To accompany H. R. 5508)

The Committee on Armed Services, to whom was referred the bill (H. R. 5508) to amend the Army and Air Force Vitalization and Retirement Equalization Act of 1948, having considered the same, report favorably thereon without amendment and recommend that the bill do pass.

The purpose of this bill is to amend certain provisions of title III of Public Law 810, Eightieth Congress, which title established a system of retirement benefits for

personnel of the reserve components of all of the Armed Services. The purpose of these amendments is to provide relief to those reserve personnel who may have suffered because of their failure, through no fault of their own, to receive timely notice of the obligations imposed upon them by this title with respect to the number of credits which must be earned annually through the performance of reserve duties.

Title III of Public Law 810 provides that any reserve officer or enlisted man who has performed "satisfactory Federal service," that term is defined in this title, for a period of 20 years or more, shall be entitled to retirement benefits upon reaching the age of 60 years.

A "year of satisfactory Federal service" is defined as follows in section 302 of title III:

(b) Subsequent to the enactment of this Act, a year of satisfactory Federal service, for the purposes of this section only, shall consist of any year in which a person is credited with a minimum of fifty points, which points shall be credited on the following basis:

(1) One point for each day of active Federal service;

(2) One point for each drill or period of equivalent instruction, such drills and periods of equivalent instruction to be restricted to those prescribed and authorized by the Secretary of the respective service for the year concerned, and to conform to the requirements prescribed by other provisions of law;

(3) Fifteen points for membership in a reserve component for each year of Federal service other than active Federal service. (c) Each year of service as a member of a reserve component prior to the enactment of this Act shall be deemed to be a year of satisfactory Federal service for the purposes of this section, subject to the provisions of subsection (e) of section 306 of this Act.

It will be noted that under the foregoing language reserve personnel are obliged to earn 50 points in any one year on and after the date of enactment of this title in order that that year may count as a year of satisfactory Federal service. Of this total all but the 15 points which accrue through membership in a reserve component must actually be earned by the individual through performance of reserve duties such as drills, summer encampments, cruises, or extended active duty. On the other hand, it will be seen that each year of service prior to the enactment of title III is to be deemed a year of satisfactory Federal service without any retroactive requirement as to the duties which must have been performed, provided that this service has not been performed in certain inactive components excluded by subsection 306 (e). Thus the effect of these subsections is to require energetic participation by reserve personnel in the reserve program on and after the date of enactment of title III in order that they may earn the required 50 points annually in each year thereafter.

The language contained in the above sections of title III was that which appeared in H. R. 2744 as originally introduced in the House of Representatives during the first session of the Eightieth Congress. The phrases "subsequent to the enactment of this Act” and “prior to the anactment of this Act” remained unchanged throughout the legislative history of this bill. During consideration of the bill by the Senate after its passage by the House, however, a new section was added reading as follows:

Sec. 312. The provisions of this title shall become effective for each of the services concerned when directed by the cognizant Secretary, but not later than the first day of the seventh month following the date of enactment.

This section was added by the Senate Committee on Armed Services in recognition of the fact that it would be necessary to afford the services a reasonable time within which to draw up regulations and procedures in implementation of the provisions of title III. This section was adopted by the Senate and the Senate amendment was. in turn, accepted by the House.

From the foregoing, it is clear that section 312 expresses the intent of Congress that each service Secretary shall be empowered to determine the effective date of the provisions of title III provided that this date shall not be later than the first day of the seventh month following the date of enactment.

Public Law 810 was approved by the President on June 29, 1948, and with this action that date automatically became fixed as "the date of enactment.”

Subsequent to the passage of this legislation the Comptroller General ruled that under the language of section 302 (b), quoted above, the requirement that 50 points actually be earned through participation in reserve activities became operative as of June 29, 1948. This ruling was made notwithstanding the fact that regulations had not been issued by the services, nor were they required to be issued, under the terms of section 312, until January 1, 1949. Such regula

tions in fact were issued by the services at some time after the latter date.

The effect of the Comptroller General's ruling has been to require that all reserve personnel who have been members of a reserve component since the date of enactment of title III, namely, June 29, 1948, must have earned 50 points credit during the year commencing June 29, 1948, and ending June 28, 1949, in order that that year may count as a year of satisfactory Federal service. The majority of reserve personnel in the country have been unable to fulfill this requirement for the obvious reason that the regulations setting forth the means of obtaining the point credits required were not made available to them until after the beginning of the present calendar year, thus permitting them only 6 months or less within which to earn the number of credits normally required over a period of a full year.

The effect of the Comptroller General's ruling, assuming that no change in title III were made by the Congress at this time, would be to deprive most reserve personnel of 1 year of satisfactory Federal service. For those who are not now too advanced in years, it will be possible to make up this deficiency by serving in the reserve for an additional year. On the other hand, many older reserve personnel may be precluded through the loss of this i year from obtaining the required total of 20 years prior to their becoming too advanced in age for further participation in the reserve program. Irrespective, howevər, of whether an individual may fall into either of these two categories, it is the sense of the committee that the present situation works a serious hardship on all reserve personnel and tends to defeat the very objectives which title III was intended to accomplish.

Title III was enacted by the Congress in order to provide an incentive for continuous and energetic participation in reserve activities during peacetime, to the end that our military potential might be substantially strengthened as an insurance against any future emergency. As a means to this end, title III provides a modest system of reserve retirement benefits. It is particularly noteworthy that during the consideration of this legislation by the Congress recognition was given to the fact that the benefits provided would be most attractive to that large body of reserve personnel who have seen service in World War II. This arose from the fact that these individuals would be in & position to receive very substantial credits for their active-duty service during wartime which would considerably increase the amounts of retirement pay which they might expect to receive upon reaching age 60. It was hoped by the Congress that this would serve as a substantial inducement to the personnel falling in this group to participate in reserve activities and thus keep alive the invaluable experience which they had received as a result of active service in wartime. It is the sense of this committee, therefore, that failure to amend title III at this time would not only result in a seriously adverse psychological effect upon present and potential members of the reserve components but that it would thereby tend to defeat the very objectives which were sought through the passage of the basic legislation.

The enactment of the bill now under consideration will result in no cost to the Government which was not contemplated by the Congress during the consideration of Public Law 810. It may possibly result in some slight additional cost over that which might

H. Repts., 81-1, vol. 5—26

be incurred if no change were made in the law at this time. If there be such additional cost, however, it will arise only because the Congress has preserved the rights of those persons to whom the promise of retirement benefits was held out but who will be unable to accumulate a total of 20 years of satisfactory Federal service merely because of their failure to obtain credit for the year of June 29, 1948, to June 28, 1949, as a "year of satisfactory Federal service” within the meaning of title III.

The committee feels that this legislation will serve to promote and strengthen the reserve program and, therefore, urgently recommends its enactment. This legislation meets with the approval of the National Military Establishment and no objection thereto has been interposed by the Bureau of the Budget as is indicated in the following letter from the Judge Advocate General of the Navy, which refers to the bills H. R. 3912 and H. R. 3039, predecessors to the present bill which were designed to accomplish the same purpose.

Navy DEPARTMENT,
OFFICE OF THE JUDGE ADVOCATE GENERAL,

Washington 25, D. C., June 22, 1949.
The Honorable CARL VINSON,
Chairman of the Committee on Armed Services,

House of Representatives. DEAR MR. CHAIRMAN: Your requests for comments on the bills, H. R. 3912 and H. R. 3039, both entitled “to amend section 302 (c) of the Army and Air Force Vitalization and Retirement Equalization Act of 1948," have been assigned to this Department by the Secretary of Defense for the preparation of a report thereon expressing the views of the National Military Establishment.

The purpose of both bills is to amend subsection (c) of section 302 of the Army and Air Force Vitalization and Retirement Equalization Act of 1948 (Public Law 810, 80th Cong.) so as to make certain provisions of title III thereof which became effective on the date of enactment (June 29, 1948), effective as of January 1, 1949, in the case of H. R. 3912, and July 1, 1949, in the case of H. R. 3039.

Title III of the afore-mentioned Army and Air Force Vitalization and Retirement Equalization Act requires that points toward a year of satisfactory service be earned subsequent to the date of enactment (June 29, 1948). Instructions implementing this title were issued early in January of 1949, and the effective date of title III was established as January 1, 1949. Practically no authoritative information was available to most members of the reserve components prior to the issuance of instructions early in 1949 as to the requirements for earning credits for a year of satisfactory service subsequent to June 29, 1948. Accordingly, only those members of the organized and volunteer reserve units meeting in a weekly or semimonthly basis were accruing points sufficient to make the current year a year of satisfactory service.

During the first 6 months following enactment of Public Law 810, the only medium through which the majority of Reservists could obtain the necessary points was by taking correspondence courses which until recently have been very limited. Although the enactment of said Public Law 810 has given impetus to the preparation of training material for volunteer units, the issuance of such material in sufficient volume to give all members opportunity to acquire necessary points will not occur for several months.

Inasmuch as a considerable portion of the members of the reserve components was not completely informed of the provisions of title III of Public Law 810 until early in 1949, and, even if informed, opportunity to earn the necessary points would have been denied a great many of them because of the lack of training material, it is considered desirable that the effective date be changed as proposed by the subject bills.

From a psychological standpoint, it would seem that the Armed Services would be in a much better position to make use of title III of Public Law 810 as an encouragement for reservists to take a more active interest in reserve matters if the starting date for the earning of points were advanced to July 1, 1949. Such an advancement of the effective date would allow all the services ample opportunity for publicity on information concerning the act and the issuance of training materials to be used by individuals for the earning of point credits.

« PreviousContinue »