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The subcommittee asked for a rough breakdown of this total estimate, indicating the creditors paid off by the bank who were individuals and those which were corporations, with some indication, if possible, as to where the corporations were organized. The basic records of the bank, unfortunately, are not presently available in the United States, and counsel for the bank has only summary statements concerning the names and addresses of the creditors involved. It is somewhat difficult, therefore, to give with accuracy the breakdown requested. The following is the best estimate which can now be made. If further detail is desired by the subcommittee, an effort will be made to have such information supplied from the Philippines.
The China Banking Corp., after World War II, paid in full all of the credits standing on the books of the bank at the time of the Japanese invasion of the Philippines in the names of Americans, even though such credits had been seized from the bank by the Japanese. All, or substantially all, of the payments were made in United States dollars. The payments represented a 100 percent loss to the China Banking Corp. which had been completely liquidated as “enemy” by the Japanese. The total amount of the payments made was in the neighborhood of $700,000.
Upon the basis of information now available to the writer of this memorandum, it appears that the number of American nationals paid by the China Banking Corp., as aforesaid, was approximately 143. Of this number approximately 139 apparently were corporations or limited companies organized under the laws of one of the States of the United States and doing business in the Philippines through branches or agents, 2 apparently were individuals, and 2 apparently partnerships. These figures are only approximations since full information is not now available here.
At the hearing, in an effort to indicate the justice of the claims of the business firms, banks, and civilian individuals covered by H. R. 6407, the very close and unusual relationship between the United States and the Philippines was described. Particular reference was made to the fact that the United States Government, in its desire to carry out an enlightened colonial administration and to better the lot of the Philippine people who had come under its jurisdiction, induced many of its best citizens in all fields of endeavor to undergo the hardships of life in a primitive country far away from home and to serve in this outpost of American democracy. These men and women, including missionaries, teachers, civil servants, businessmen, and others were, in a real sense, representing the United States in the Philippines in the same way as did the military. It is thoroughly fitting and proper, therefore, that the losses of these civilians should be compensated.
Finally, it seems worth pointing out that this unusual relationship between the two countries has not only been recognized but very eloquently described by the Supreme Court of the United States. In the case of Cincinnati Soap Co. v. United States (301 U. S. 308), the Supreme Court upheld the validity of the United States tax on domestic processing of coconut oil, the proceeds of the tax in the case of Philippine copra being appropriated directly to the Philippine Treasury. Even though the question arose as to the validity of this law after the Philippine Independence Act of 1934 had been passed, the Court concluded that it was a completely valid exercise of the United States Government's power. In this connection, the Court stated (301 U. S. 313, 314):
"The Philippine Islands and their inhabitants, from the beginning of our occupation, have borne a peculiar relation to the United States. The islands constitute a dependency over which the United States, for more than a generation, has had and exercised supreme power of legislation and administration, Posadas v. National City Bank (296 U. S. 497, 502, 80 L ed. 351, 354, 56 S. Ct. 349), a power limited only by the terms of the treaty of cession and those principles of the Constitution which by their nature are inherently inviolable. The possession of this well-nigh absolute power over a dependent people carries with it great obligations, as was pointed out by Mr. Root as Secretary of War in 1899. After referring to the practically unlimited power which we had over the Philippines, he said: 'I assume, also, that the obligations correlative to this great power are of the highest character, and that it is our unquestioned duty to make the interests of the people over whom we assert sovereignty the first and controlling consideration in all legislation and administration which concerns them, and to give them, to the greatest possible extent, individual freedom, self-government in accordance with their capacity, just and equal laws, an opportunity for education, for profitable industry, and for development in civilization' (Military and Colonial Policy of the United States, 161, 162).
"Among those correlative duties is the moral obligation to protect, defend, and provide for the general welfare of, the inhabitants. And such an obligation well may require the appropriation and expenditure of money from the national purse-in which case the obligation fairly comes within the term 'debits' as used in the taxing clause.” Respectfully submitted.
JOSEPH B. FRIEDMAN. (Whereupon, at 4:05 p. m., the committee was recessed, subject to the call of the Chair.)
WAR CLAIMS ACT AMENDMENTS OF 1954
WEDNESDAY, JUNE 16, 1954
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES,
This morning we have Mrs. Mary H. Ward, president of the Workers of Wake, Guam, and Cavite, who was here the other day to be heard on S. 541 and H. R. 4422, but was unable to present her testimony. Mrs. Ward, we will be very happy to hear you now, and let you go as soon as you
STATEMENT OF MARY H. WARD, PRESIDENT, WORKERS OF WAKE,
GUAM, AND CAVITE Mrs. WARD. Thank you, sir. Mr. Chairman and members of the committee, I want to thank you for the opportunity of being allowed to appear this morning. Last week I was quit ill. I am reaching that middle age where it disturbs us ladies to work very much and I do appreciate the privilege of being allowed to appear for my group:
I represent the group of employees who were employees of the contractors of Pacific naval air bases. These civilians were building and preparing bases on the islands of Wake, Guam, and Cavite, and also in the Philippines at the time war was declared. They were indirect employees of the Navy but direct employees of this group of contractors of seven companies.
They were judged by the Japanese as civilian prisoners of war because they fought on the islands and at the time they were captured they were caught with arms. I have prepared just a short statement here and if you will allow me to read this I think it will explain matters a little better.
Under the War Claims Act of 1948, Public Law No. 896, 80th Congress, civilian internees captured in the South Pacific were recipients of $2 a day for each day they were interned and the military prisoner of war received $1 a day. A second bill was passed for the military prisoner of war and they received an additional amount of $1.50 a day, giving them a total of $2.50 a day for each day they were interned by the Japanese. This was granted to them by Congress from impounded funds of the Japanese and German Governments.
The persons to which H. R. 4422 applies are former employees of the Navy contractors who were building airbases for the United States on the islands of Wake, Guam, and Cavite. The majority of this group were on Wake Island, where they fought with a smail group of Marines and held that island for 16 days. When the Japanese captured the island and saw many of these workmen with arms, all were lined up and sentenced to die.
After the Japanese found that bombings had caused so much damage to the airport, they decided to let these workmen live in order to rebuild the installations, but all, regardless of the fact that they were civilians, were held as prisoners of war just as the military forces were. This point is proven by referring you to the confessions of the Japanese commander of the island and his officers.
The confessions are printed in enemy property Commission hearings before the Committee on Interstate and Foreign Commerce, House of Representatives, 80th Congress, 1st session on H. R. 873, H. R. 1823, H. R. 1000, and H. R. 2823, on pages 402-405. These confessions tell of the murder of 97 workmen the Japanese had kept on the island for maintenance as follows:
October 7, 1943, execute by firing squad all prisoners of war. One escaped and found on October 21 and executed by cutting his head off and buried on the spot.
The contractor's employees were excluded from receiving the $2 a day paid civilians, and the $2.50 a day paid the military prisoner of war. Since these workmen are unpaid for compulsory labor and inhumane treatment and other enemy violations of the Geneva Convention respecting prisoners of war and civilian internees, it is felt a grave injustice has been done to them, and payment should be made from the war claims fund.
Payment for labor of Japanese prisoners held by our Government was provided for by this Government. The United States War Claims Commission showed widespread failure on the part of the Japanese Government to observe the Geneva Convention requirements relative to humane treatment of prisoners.
The War Claims Commission reportsThe persons who are the subject matter of this legislation number approximately 1,500 employees of certain contractors who were engaged in the construction of airfields, fortifications, and ship facilities on Pacific Ocean Islands prior to the commencement of World War II.
When war broke out these men were captured by the Japanese forces while taking part in the defense of Wake Island, Guam, and the Philippines in late 1941 and early 1942. After their capture they spent the remainder of the war in Japanese prison camps throughout the Orient.
These employees of contractors were confined in prisoner-of-war camps and were considered by the Japanese authorities as civilian prisoners of war and as such were treated in the same manner as the military prisoners with whom they were captured and imprisoned.
It should be pointed out at this juncture that the people or persons that this type of compensation for forced labor and inhumane treatment as has been awarded both the military prisoners of war and those classed as internees.
The persons dealt with here have received their pay and allowance for the period of their capture and have been provided with certain medical privileges and compensation for permanent injury benefits as provided by the Longshoremen's Act. Payments which will be