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More recently the Department has been asked to comment on certain bills which would authorize a partial or a total return of vested enemy assets. Inasmuch as these proposals would involve a different use of the proceeds of enemy assets from that contemplated in the bills before your committee, the Department is of the opinion that any decision involving further use of such proceeds should be deferred until there has been a consideration of whether and to what extent there should be a return of such assets to the former owners. The Department is also definitely opposed to any further use of the proceeds of German assets to pay claims against Japan, which appears to be involved in at least some of the bills.

In view of the urgency of the situation, it has not been possible to clear this reply with the Bureau of the Budget. Sincerely yours,

THRUSTON B. MORTON,

Assistant Secretary. WAR CLAIMS COMMISSION,

Washington 25, D. C., April 19, 1954. Hon. CHARLES A. WOLVERTON, Chairman, Committee on Interstate and Foreign Commerce,

House of Representatives, Washington, D. C. MY DEAR MR. WOLVERTON: Reference is made to your letter of March 1, 1954, requesting a report by the War Claims Commission on H. R. 8076, a bill to make available to Korean prisoners of war certain benefits of the War Claims Act of 1948.

The purpose is clearly stated in the title. The benefit provisions are identical with those contained in the bill, H. R. 6923, except for the level of benefits proposed. It would authorize a payment of $3 per diem to an eligible claimant for each day he was a prisoner of war in the Korean action and for which he alleges and proves, in a manner acceptable to the War Claims Commission, that he suffered any inhumane treatment, as defined in the bill, or was not furnished with the quantity and quality of food required by the Geneva Convention of 1929. H. R. 6923 provides a payment of $2.50 per diem under the same circumstances.

On April 9, 1954, the War Claims Commission, pursuant to your request, submitted a full report on H. R. 6923 recommending favorable consideration subject to certain proposed modifications, principally in the language of the bill. The Commission has also reported favorably on another similar biil, S. 2224, also subject to certain proposed modifications. The modifications proposed in reporting on H, R. 6923, will apply without significant change, to the subject bill.

Favorable action by the committee on H. R. 6923, subject to the suggested modifications, would achieve the principal objectives of the subject bill. It is therefore recommended for committee consideration.

Informal advice has been received from the Bureau of the Budget that there would be no objection to the presentation of this report to your committee. Sincerely yours,

WHITNEY GILLILLAND, Chairman.

DEARTMENT OF THE NAVY,
OFFICE OF THE JUDGE ADVOCATE GENERAL,

Washington, D. C., June 7, 1954.
Hon. CHARLES A. WOLVERTON,
Chairman, Committee on Interstate and Foreign Commerce,

House of Representatives, Washington, D.C. MY DEAR MR. CHAIRMAN : Your request for comment on the bill H. R. 8076, to make a ilable to Korean prisoners of war certain benefits of the War Claims Act of 1948, has been assigned to this Department by the Secretary of Defense for the preparation of a report thereon expressing the views of the Department of Defense.

The purpose of this measure is stated generally in its title. The bill would amend section 6 of the War Claims Act of 1948 by adding thereto a new section 6A which would authorize payment of compensation at the rate of $3 per day to members of the military or naval forces of the United States who were taken prisoner during the Korean conflict, or their survivors, for each day of enforced labor, inhumane treatment, or insufficient quantity or quality of food in violation of the Geneva Convention of July 27, 1929. Payment would be from the war

claims fund and the bill would authorize appropriations to the fund for the purpose of paying these newly authorized claims.

Under existing provisions of the War Claims Act of 1948, as amended, World War II prisoners of war, or their survivors, were eligible for payment of compensation from the war claims fund at the rate of $1 per day for each day they were not provided the quantity or quality of food prescribed by the Geneva Convention, and to compensation of $1.50 per day for each day of enforced labor or inhumane treatment in violation of the Geneva Convention. The war claims fund consists of funds of Germany, Japan, and their nationals covered into the Treasury under the Trading With the Enemy Act.

H. R. 8076 is a departure from existing laws with respect to compensation for prisoners of war and is considered objectionable in the following respects :

(a) It would provide greater benefits for prisoners of war during the Korean conflict than were provided for World War II prisoners by raising the maximum entitlement $0.50 per day. Furthermore, it would permit payment of maximum compensation of $3 per day upon proof of either enforced labor, inhumane treatment, or insufficient quantity or quality of food whereas World War II prisoners of war were only entitled to maximum compensation upon proof of receiving insufficient food and being subjected to enforced labor or inhumane treatment.

(6) The bill contains no terminal date for the filing of claims for compensation.

While it is recognized that no monetary reward can adequately compensate former prisoners of war for suffering experienced while in a prisoner-of-war status, no evidence is available to justify the proposed increase and change in standards as provided in H. R. 8076 as compared with those used for World War II prisoners of war.

In view of the foregoing, the Department of the Navy, on behalf of the Department of Defense, is opposed to the enactment of H. R. 8076. There would be no objection, however, to the enactment of this bill if it were amended to extend to prisoners of war during the Korean conflict the same benefits to which World War II prisoners of war were entitled.

This report has been coordinated within the Department of Defense in accordance with procedures prescribed by the Secretary of Defense.

There has been insufficient time to obtain advice from the Bureau of the Budget as to the relationship of this report to the program of the President. For the Secretary of the Navy. Sincerely yours,

IRA H. NUNN,

Rear Admiral, USN, Judge Advocate General of the Navy.

DEPARTMENT OF STATE,

Washington, May 13, 1954. Hon. CHARLES A. WOLVERTON, Chairman, Committee on Interstate and Foreign Commerce,

House of Representatives. My DEAR Mr. WOLVERTON: Further reference is made to your letter of March 1, 1954, transmitting for the Department's comments two copies of H. R. 8076, a bill to make available to Korean prisoners of war certain benefits of the War Claims Act of 1948.

The proposed legislation would add a new section to the War Claims Act of 1948, as amended, which would extend the authority of the War Claims Commission to receive, adjudicate, and provide for the payment of certain claims of prisoners of war as a result of their participation in hostilities in Korea. The term “Korean prisoner of war" is defined in the bill to mean any regularly appointed, enrolled, enlisted, or inducted member of the military or naval forces of the United States who was in the hands of a hostile force or interned in a foreign country for any period of time subsequent to June 27, 1950. The claims comprehended under H. R. 8076 are:

(A) for the violations by the de facto government of the hostile force or foreign country by which he was held as a Korean prisoner of war, or its agents, of such government's obligations under title III, section III, of the Geneva Convention of July 27, 1929, relating to labor of prisoners of war;

“(B) for inhumane treatment by such government, or its agents. The term 'inhumane treatment as used herein shall include, but not be limited to, violation by such government, or its agents, of one or more of the provisions of articles 2, 3, 7, 10, 12, 13, 21, 22, 54, 56, or 57 of the Geneva Convention of July 27, 1929; or

“(C) for violation by such government or its agents, of its obligation to furnish him the quantity or quality of food to which he was entitled as a Korean prisoner of war under the terms of the Geneva Convention of July 27, 1929.”

It is further proposed to allow compensation at the rate of $3 a day for each day's detention to such prisoners of war who establish in a manner acceptable to the Commission the above-mentioned violations on the part of the governments concerned. Claims would be paid to the person entitled thereto, and, in case of the death of the person so entitled, to or for the benefit of certain other beneficiaries mentioned in the bill. Where any person entitled to payment is under any legal disability, it is proposed that payment be made in the manner provided under subsection (e) of section 5 of the War Claims Act of 1948, as amended.

The proposed measure would authorize the payment of the claims in question out of the War Claims Fund established by section 13 of the War Claims Act of 1948, as amended; and would further authorize general fund appropriations to the war claims fund as may be necessary to carry out the purposes of H. R. 8076.

It is the view of the Department that the question whether Korean prisoners of war, as defined in the proposed bill, should be accorded the benefits comprehended in H. R. 8076 is one of legislative policy for the determination by the Congress. The Department is not in possession of sufficient information to enable it to express an opinion respecting the necessity or desirability at this time of dealing with claims arising out of the Korean conflict. In the event the Congress is favorably disposed to enact the proposed bill, the Department desires to offer the following comments.

Various references are made in the bill to violations by the Communist Parties to the Korean conflict of provisions of the Geneva Prisoners of War Convention of 1929, and to obligations of such parties under the convention. In this connection, it is pointed out that neither North Korea nor Communist China are parties to the convention, although at the beginning of the Korean conflict they notified the Secretary General of the United Nations of their intention to carry out the provisions of “the Geneva Conventions.” Although the provisions of the Geneva Conventions may, in general, be regarded as expressive of international law, it may be doubted that this is so with respect to some of the detailed provisions of the conventions. In these circumstances, it is suggested that the provisions of subparagraphs A, B, and C of section 6 A (b) of the proposed amendment to the War Claims Act of 1948 might be changed to read as follows:

"(A) for failure of the de facto government of the hostile force or foreign country by which he was held as a Korean prisoner of war, or its agents, to carry out the provisions of title III, section III, of the Geneva Convention of July 27, 1929, relating to labor of prisoners of war;

"(B) for inhumane treatment by such government, or its agents. The term 'inhumane treatment as used herein shall include, but not be limited to, failure of such government, or its agents to carry out one or more of the provisions of articles 2, 3, 7, 10, 12, 13, 21, 22, 54, 56, or 57 of the Geneva Convention of July 27, 1929; or

“(C) for failure of such government or its agents, to furnish him the quantity or quality of food provided for prisoners of war under the terms of the Geneva Convention of July 27, 1929."

It is not entirely clear to the Department whether the payment of compensation under H. R. 8076 would be made solely from public funds appropriated pursuant to subparagraph (e) of the new section 6 A, or whether it is intended that such payments might also be made, at least in part from funds realized from the liquidation of German and Japanese assets which have been or may in the future be transferred to the war claims fund. The Department does not believe that any funds realized from the liquidation of German or Japanese assets seized during World War II should be made available for the payment of claims arising out of the Korean conflict, which are, of course, not claims against Germany or Japan. It would not be opposed, however, to the payment of such claims from moneys appropriated out of general funds in the Treasury, on the same basis as similar claims are presently authorized to be paid under the War Claims Act, as amended.

The Department has been informed by the Bureau of the Budget that there is no objection to the submission of this report. Sincerely yours,

THRUSTON B. MORTON,

Assistant Secretary (For the Secretary of State).

EXECUTIVE OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENT,

BUREAU OF THE BUDGET,

Washington D. C., April 19, 1954. Hon. CHARLES A. WOLVERTON, Chairman, Committee on Interstate and Foreign Commerce,

House Office Building, Washington, D.C. MY DEAR MR. CHAIRMAN. This will acknowledge your letter of March 1, 1954, inviting the Bureau of the Budget to comment on H. R. 8076, to make available to Korean prisoners of war certain benefits of the War Claims Act of 1948.

The purpose of this bill is as indicated in its title. It is similar to H. R. 6923 except that instead of a per diem rate of $2.50 for enemy violations relating to inadequate food provided prisoners of war or acts involving inhumane treatment or forced labor, the subject bill would provide $3.

In its report to your committee on H. R. 6923, the War Claims Commission is recommending its enactment subject to certain suggested modifications. Inasmuch as the Bureau of the Budget has endorsed and is in complete agreement with the report of the War Claims Commission on H. R. 6923, it is recommended that, in lieu of H. R. 8076, your committee give favorable considera. tion to H. R. 6923. Sincerely yours,

PAUL L. MORRISON, Assistant Director.

DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE,
OFFICE OF THE DEPUTY ATTORNEY GENERAL,

Washington, May 13, 1954.
Hon. CHARLES A. WOLVERTON,
Chairman, Committee on Interstate and Foreign Commerce,

House of Representatives, Washington, D. C. DEAR MR. CHAIRMAN : This is in response to your request for the views of the Department of Justice relative to the bill (H. R. 8076) to make available to Korean prisoners of war certain benefits of the War Claims Act of 1948.

The bill would add a new section 6A to the War Claims Act of 1948, as amended (50 U. S. C. App. 2001 et seq.), for the purpose of authorizing the payment of compensation to members of the United States military and naval forces who were captured by hostile forces in Korea. The benefits under this bill would be similar to those paid to military and naval personnel captured by enemy forces during World War II. Compensation would be paid at the rate of $3 for each day a prisoner of war underwent forced uncompensated labor, suffered inhumane treatment, or received substandard food contrary to provisions of the Geneva Convention of 1929. No more than $3 could be paid to one prisoner of war with respect to any one day. In the event of the death of a person entitled to compensation, payment would be made to or for the benefit of certain specified survivors.

The bill directs that claims allowed under its provisions should be paid out of the War Claims Fund and by subsection (e) authorizes “to be appropriated to the war claims fund established by section 13 of this act such sums as may be necessary to carry out this section [6A].” The war claims fund at present consists of the net proceeds of German and Japanese property vested during and after World War II under the Trading With the Enemy Act, as amended, and not subject to return under that act.

Whether the claims and benefits provided by the bill should be authorized involve questions of policy on which the Department of Justice prefers to make no recommendation. However, it is noted that although the bill would authorize the payment of benefits thereunder from specially appropriated funds it does not specifically provide for the payment of administrative expenses. If the bill is to be given favorable consideration it should be amended so as to make certain that not only the benefits payable to claimants thereunder would be financed by appropriated funds rather than from vested German and Japanese assets, but also that the portion of administrative expenses of the War Claims Commission attributable to the performance of its functions in carrying out the provisions of the bill would be financed in the same manner.

The Bureau of the Budget has advised that there is no objection to the submission of this report. Sincerely,

WILLIAM P. ROGERS, Deputy Attorney General.

VETERANS' ADMINISTRATION,

Washington, D. C., May 11, 1954. Hon. CHARLES A. WOLVERTON, Chairman, Committee on Interstate and Foreign Commerce,

House of Representatives, Washington, D. C. DEAR MR. WOLVERTON: Further reference is made to your letter of March 1, 1954, requesting a report by the Veterans' Administration relative to H. R. 8076, 83d Congress, a bill to make available to Korean prisoners of war certain benefits of the War Claims Act of 1948.

The bill proposes to authorize the War Claims Commission to receive, adjudicate, and provide for the payment of claims for compensation filed by a Korean prisoner of war, as therein defined, for violations by the de facto government of the hostile force or foreign country by which he was held as a Korean prisoner of war, or its agents, of such government's obligations under the Geneva Convention of July 27, 1929, relating to labor of prisoners of war, inhumane treatment, or the furnishing of food. The bill would accomplish this by adding a new section 6A to the War Claims Act of 1948 (62 Stat. 1240), as amended (50 U. S. C. App. 2001, et seq.). Under this section, a Korean prisoner of war is defined as any regularly appointed, enrolled, enlisted, or inducted member of the military or naval ces of the United States who was in the hands of a hostile force or interned in a foreign country for any period of time subsequent to June 27, 1950, as a result of participation in hostilities in Korea. Compensation would be at the rate of $3 for each day the Korean prisoner of war was subjected to any of the foregoing violations, and payment thereof would be made from the War Claims Fund established by section 13 of the War Claims Act. Provision is also made for payment to or for the benefit of certain enumerated survivors, in the event the person entitled is deceased.

H. R. 8076 is similar in purpose to H. R. 6923, 83d Congress, with respect to which the Veterans' Administration submitted a report to your committee under date of March 1, 1954. It is also similar in purpose to H. R. 1659 and H. R. 4117, 82d Congress, and H. R. 9263, 81st Congress, in that all of the mentioned bills are designed to provide certain monetary benefits to persons who were taken prisoner incident to the Korean hostilities. All of the earlier bills were pending before your committee at the close of the respective Congresses, and the Veterans' Administration was not requested by the committee to furnish a report on any of them.

The bill, if enacted, would be administered by the War Claims Commission and not by the Veterans' Administration. Your committee will undoubtedly secure a report from the War Claims Commission which will contain detailed information relative to the provisions and effect of the proposed legislation. Accordingly, no comment on the merits of the proposal by the Veterans' Administration is believed indicated.

Advice was received from the Bureau of the Budget with respect to a similar report on a comparable bill (H. R. 6923) that there would be no objection to the submission of the report to the committee. Sincerely yours,

H. V. HIGLEY, Administrator.

WAR CLAIMS COMMISSION,

Washington, D. C., May 24, 1951. Hon. CHARLES A. WOLVERTON, Chairman, Committee on Interstate and Foreign Commerce,

House of Representatives, Washington, D. C. DEAR MR. WOLVERTON: Further reference is made to your request of May 15, 1954, for the views of the War Claims Commission on H. R. 9094, 83d Congress, a bill to extend certain civilian internee and prisoner-of-war benefits under the War Claims Act of 1948, as amended, to civilian internees and American prisoners of war captured and held during the hostilities in Korea.

The purpose of this bill is clearly stated in its title. In providing benefits for both civilian American citizens interned and American prisoners of war detained in Korea, its objectives are identical with the bill, S. 2224, currently pending before the Senater Committee on the Judiciary. H. R. 9094 is in two sections. Section 1 relates to detention benefits for civilian American citizens. Section 2 provides for prisoner-of-war compensation. In providing for prisoner benefits, the subject bill is also identical in purpose with S. 2605, H. R. 69233, and H. R. 8076.

Generally, the language of H. R. 9094 is derived from sections 5 (a) through (e) and 6 of the War Claims Act of 1948, as amended, which providle, respec

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