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WAR CLAIMS ACT AMENDMENTS OF 1954

MONDAY, JUNE 7, 1954

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES,
SUBCOMMITTEE ON WAR CLAIMS AND TRADING WITH
THE ENEMY ACTS OF THE COMMITTEE ON INTERSTATE

AND FOREIGN COMMERCE,

Washington, D.C. The subcommittee met at 10 a. m. in the caucus room, House Office Building, pursuant to call, Hon. Carl Hinshaw (chairman of the subcommittee) presiding.

Mr. HINSHAW. The committee will come to order.

This morning we are hearing bills 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.

A number of bills have been introduced on that subject, namely: H. R. 6923, by Mrs. Rogers of Massachusetts; H. R. 8076, by Mr. Fino, of New York; H. R. 9234, by Mr. Klein, of New York; H. R. 9094 and H. R. 9390 by myself, those being the bills presented by the administration.

We have reports from the Government departments concerned which will be inserted in the record at this point. (The bills and the reports above referred to are as follows:)

[H. R. 6923, 83d Cong., 2d sess.) A BILL To extend certain benefits of the War Claims Act of 1948 to Korean prisoners of

war

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That the War Claims Act of 1948 is hereby amended by inserting immediately after section 6 thereof the following new section :

"SEC. 6A. (a) As used in this section the term 'prisoner of war' means any regularly appointed, enrolled, enlisted, or inducted member of the military or naval forces of the United States wbo, as a result of participation in hostilities in Korea, was, for any period of time subsequent to June 27, 1950, in the hands of a hostile force or interned in a foreign country.

"(b) The Commission is authorized to receive, adjudicate according to law, and to provide for the payment of any claim filed by any prisoner of war for compensation

“(A) for the violations by the de facto government of the hostile force or foreign country by which he was held as a 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

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“(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 prisoner of war under the terms of the Geneva Convention of July 27, 1929. "(c) Compensation shall be allowed to any prisoner of war under this section at the rate of $2.50 per day for each day he was held as a prisoner of war on which he alleges and proves in a manner acceptable to the Commission

“(A) the violation by such government or its agents of the provisions of title III, section III, of the Geneva Convention of July 27, 1929 ;

“(B) any inhumane treatment as defined herein ; or

“(C) 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 pris

oner of war under the terms of the Geneva Convention of July 27, 1929. Any claim allowed under this section shall be certified to the Secretary of the Treasury for payment out of the War Claims Fund established by section 13 of this Act. In no event shall the compensation allowed to any prisoner of war under this section exceed the sum of $2.50 with respect to any one day.

“(d) Claims under this section shall be paid to the person entitled thereto, and shall, in the case of death of the persons who are entitled be payable only to or for the benefit of the following persons :

(A) widow if there is no child or children of the deceased ;

“(B) widow and child or children of the deceased, one-half to the widow and the other half to the child or children of the deceased in equal shares;

“(C) child or children of the deceased (in equal shares) if there is no widow; and

"(D) parents (in equal shares) if there is no widow or child. Where any person entitled to payment under this section is under any legal disability, payment may be made as payments are made under subsection (e) of section 5 for the benefit of persons under legal disability.

"(e) There is authorized to be appropriated to the War Claims Funds established by section 13 of this Act such sums as may be necessary to carry out this section."

(H. R. 8076, 83d Cong., 2d sess.) A BILL To make available to Korean prisoners of war certain benefits of the War Claims

Act of 1948

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That the War Claims Act of 1948 is amended by inserting immediately after section 6 thereof the following new section :

“SEC. 6A. (a) As used in this section the term 'Korean prisoner of war' means 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, as a result of participation in hostilities in Korea.

"(b) The Commission is authorized to receive, adjudicate according to law, and to provide for the payment of any claim filed by any Korean prisoner of war for compensation

“(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. "(c) Compensation shall be allowed to any Korean prisoner of war under this section at the rate of $3 per day for each day he was held as a Korean prisoner of war on which he alleges and proves in a manner acceptable to the Commission

“(A) the violation by such government or its agents of the provisions of title III, section III, of the Geneva Convention of July 27, 1929;

“(B) any inhumane treatment as defined herein; or

“(C) 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. Any claim allowed under this section shall be certified to the Secretary of the Treasury for payment out of the War Claims Fund established by section 13 of this Act. In no event shall the compensation allowed to any Korean prisoner of war under this section exceed the sum of $3 with respect to any one day,

"(d) Claims under this section shall be paid to the person entitled thereto, and shall, in the case of death of the persons who are entitled, be payable only to or for the benefit of the following persons :

“(A) widow if there is no child or children of the deceased ;

“(B) widow and child or children of the deceased, one-half to the widow and the other half to the child or children of the deceased in equal shares;

(C) child or children of the deceased (in equal shares) if there is no widow; and

"(D) parents (in equal shares) if there is no widow or child. Where any person entitled to payment under this section is under any legal disability, payment may be made as payments are made under subsection (e) of section 5 for the benefit of persons under legal disability.

“(e) There is authorized 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."

[H. R. 9094, 83d Cong., 2d sess.) 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 Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That the War Claims Act of 1948, as amended, is further amended by inserting after subsection (f) of section 5 thereof, a new subsection as follows:

"(g) (1) As used in this subsection, the term 'civilian American citizen' means any person who, being then a citizen of the United States, was captured on or after June 25, 1950, by any hostile force with which the Armed Forces of the United States was actually engaged in armed conflict, or who was forced to go into hiding in order to avoid capture or internment by any such hostile force; except (A) a person who at any time voluntarily and knowingly gave aid to, collaborated with, or in any manner served any such hostile force, or (B) a person who at the time of his capture or entrance into hiding was (i) a person within the purview of the Federal Employees' Compensation Act, or (ii) a person within the purview of the Missing Persons Act of March 7, 1942, as amended, or (iii) a regularly appointed, enrolled, enlisted, or inducted member of the Armed Forces of the United States, or (iv) a person within the purview of the Act entitled 'An Act to provide benefits for the injury, disability, death, or enemy detention of employees of contractors with the United States, and for other purposes', approved December 2, 1942, as amended.

“(2) The Commission is authorized to receive and to determine, according to law, the amount and validity, and provide for the payment of any claim filed by, or on behalf of, any civilian American citizen for detention benefits for any period of time subsequent to June 25, 1950, and prior to the enactment of this amendment, during which he was held by any hostile force or forces as a prisoner, internee, hostage, or in any other capacity, or remained in hiding to avoid being captured or interned by such hostile force or forces.

“(3) The detention benefits allowed to any person under the provisions of paragraph (2) hereof, shall be at the rate of $60 for each calendar month during which such person was at least eighteen years of age and at the rate of $25 per month for each calendar month during which such person was less than eighteen years of age.

(4) The detention benefits allowed under paragraph (2) hereof shall be allowed to the person entitled thereto, or, in the event of his death, only to the following persons:

"(A) Widow or dependent husband if there is no child or children of the deceased;

."(B) Widow or dependent husband and child or children of the deceased, one-half to the widow or dependent husband and the other half to the child or children in equal shares; and

(C) Child or children of the deceased (in equal shares) if there is no widow or dependent husband. “(5) Any claim allowed by the Commission under this subsection shall be certified to the Secretary of the Treasury for payment out of funds appropriated pursuant to this subsection, and shall be payable by the Secretary of the Treasury to the person entitled thereto; except that where the person entitled to payment is under any legal disability, any part of the amount payable may, in the discretion of the Commission, be paid, for the use of the claimant, to the natural or legal guardian, committee, conservator, or curator of the claimant or, if there is no such guardian, committee, conservator, or curator, then the Commission may, in its discretion, make payment to any other person, including the spouse of such claimant, whom the Commission may determine is vested with the care of the claimant or his estate for the use and benefit of such claimant or estate; and if such person is a minor, any part of the amount payable may, in the discretion of the Commission, be paid to such minor.

(6) Claims for benefits under this subsection shall be filed with the Commission within six months from the date of enactment of this subsection, and the Commission shall complete the adjudication of the claims authorized by this subsection at the earliest practicable date but in no event later than one year after the expiration of the time for filing such claims.

*(7) (A) There are hereby authorized to be appropriated such amounts as may be necessary to carry out the purposes of this subsection, including necessary administrative expenses.

“(B) The Commission shall determine, from time to time, the share of its administrative expenses attributable to the performance of its functions under this subsection and make the appropriate adjustments in its accounts, and determinations and adjustments made pursuant to this subsection shall be final and conclusive."

SEC. 2. The War Claims Act of 1948, as amended, is further amended by in. serting after subsection (d) of section 6 thereof, as added by Public Law 303, Eighty-second Congress (66 Stat. 47) a new subsection as follows:

“(e) (1) As used in this subsection the term 'prisoner of war' means any regularly appointed, enrolled, enlisted, or inducted member of the Armed Forces of the United States who was held as a prisoner of war for any period of time subsequent to June 25, 1950, by any hostile force with which the Armed Forces of the United States has actually engaged in armed conflict subsequent to such date and prior to the enactment of this subsection except any such member of the Armed Forces of the United States who, at any time, voluntarily and knowingly gave aid to, collaborated with, or in any manner served such hostile force.

“(2) The Commission is authorized to receive and to determine, according to law, the amount and validity, and provide for the payment of any claim filed by any prisoner of war for compensation for the failure of such hostile force by which he was held a prisoner of war, or its agents, to furnish him the quantity or quality of food prescribed for prisoners of war under the terms of the Geneva Convention of July 27, 1929. The compensation allowed to any prisoner of war under the provisions of this paragraph shall be at the rate of $1 for each day he was held as a prisoner of war on which such hostile force, or its agents, failed to furnish him such quantity or quality of food.

(3) The Commission is authorized to receive and to determine, according to law, the amount and validity and provide for the payment of any claim filed by any prisoner of war for compensation,

“(A) for the failure of such hostile force by which he was held as a prisoner of war, or its agents, to meet the conditions and requirements prescribed under title III, section III, of the Geneva Convention of July 27, 1929, relating to labor of prisoners of war; or

“(B) for inhumane treatment by such hostile force by which he was held, or its agents. The term 'inhuman treatment' as used herein shall include, but not be limited to, failure of such hostile force, or its agents, to meet the conditions and requiremnts 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. Compensation shall be allowed to any prisoner of war under this paragraph at the rate of $1.50 per day for each day he was held as a prisoner of war on

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