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The Bureau of the Budget advises that it has no objection to the submission of this report. Yours very truly,

MARTIN P. DURKIN,

Secretary of Labor.

GENERAL COUNSEL, TREASURY DEPARTMENT,

Washington, July 29, 1953. Hon. CHARLES A. WOLVERTON, Chairman, Committee on Interstate and Foreign Commerce,

House of Representatives, Washington, D. O. MY DEAR MR. CHAIRMAN: Reference is made to your request for the views of this Department on S. 541, to extend detention benefits under the War Clairns Act of 1948 to employees of contractors with the United States.

The proposed legislation would amend the War Claims Act of 1948 to authorize the Secretary of Labor to adjudicate and pay detention benefits to employees of contractors with the United States. The Department has no comments to make with respect to the bill. Yours very truly,

ELBERT P. TUTTLE, General Counsel.

WAR CLAIMS COMMISSION,

Washington 25, D. O., February 18, 1954. Hon. CHARLES A. WOLVERTON, Chairman, Committee on Interstate and Foreign Commerce,

House of Representatives, Washington 25, D.O. MY DEAR MR. WOLVERTON: Reference is made to your letter of February 6, 1954, requesting a report from the War Claims Commission on H, R. 4422, 83d Congress, a bill to extend detention benefits under the War Claims Act of 1948 to employees of contractors with the United States. The bill, H. R. 4422, is identical with S. 541, 83d Congress.

The purpose of the bill is to remove from section 5 (a) of the War Claims Act of 1948, as amended, the limitaton which prevents payment of detention benefits to persons 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, and to authorize adjudication by the Department of Labor of claims submitted by this class of persons.

Section 5 (a) through (e) of the War Claims Act of 1948, as amended, provided for the adjudication by the War Claims Commission and for the payment of detention benefits to certain civilian American citizens who were captured by the Imperial Japanese Government on or after December 1941, at Midway, Guam, Wake Island, the Philippine Islands or any Territory or possession of the United States attacked or invaded by such Government, or while in transit to or from any such place, or who went into hiding to avoid capture or internment by such Government. Adult persons eligible under this section of the act were entitled to receive detention benefits at the rate of $60 for each month, and minors at the rate of $25 per month. The final date for filing of claims under section 5 (a) through (e) was March 31, 1952.

The term "civilian American citizen" is defined in subsection (a) of section 5 of the War Claims Act of 1948, as amended, to exclude the following classes of persons:

“(1) a person who at any time voluntarily gave aid to, collaborated with, or in any manner served such government, or (2) a person who at the time of his capture or entrance into hiding was (A) a person within the purview of the act entitled 'an act to provide compensation for employees of the United States suffering injuries, while in the performance of their duties, and for other purposes,' approved September 7, 1916, as amended and as extended ; or (B) 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; or (C) a person within the purview of the Missing Persons Act of March 7, 1942 (56 Stat. 143), as amended; or (D) a regularly appointed, enrolled, enlisted, or inducted member of any military or naval force.”

As indicated above, the subject bill would remove persons within the abovequoted category (B) from those excluded by this definition from payment of the civilian American internee detention benefits.

The War Claims Commission, on January 9, 1953, submitted its supplementary report on war claims arising out of World War II, which was forwarded to the Congress on January 16, 1953, and which has been printed as House Document 67, 83d Congress. In the course of its administration of the War Claims Act and by reason of its study of all war claims arising out of World War II, the predecessor Commission noted several stated inequities and inequalities in the act which were not apparent at the time of its enactment. On page 98 of its report, there is a discussion of the question of authorization of compensation to certain persons now excluded from the provisions of the War Claims Act of 1948, as amended, including those within the purview of the act of December 2, 1942. It was the view of the predecessor Commission that these exclusions should be removed.

In one respect, at least, the group proposed to be benefited by H. R. 4422 has received benefits under the War Claims Act not enjoyed by other groups. Under section 4 (b) (1) and (2) of the act, provision has been made for the cancellation of debts to the United States incurred for cost of repatriation and for the repayment of sums paid to the United States as cost of repatriation by employees of contractors with the United States.

Moreover, the legislative history of the War Claims Act will disclose that the intent of the Congress in providing the benefits under section 5 (a) through (e) was to compensate eligible civilian American citizens essentially for the deprivation of their rights to barter their services in the open market. It should, then, be noted that the potential beneficiaries of the bill in question would in effect receive dual benefits in the event of its passage, in light of the fact that they have received their contract compensation in lieu of back salary for the period of their detention.

With reference to the cost of the bill, experience of the War Claims Commission in administering section 5 (a) through (e) demonstrates that payment under that section to adults averaged $2,108 and presumably only adults would become eligible under H. R. 4422, if enacted; the Secretary of Labor can very likely furnish accurate information as to the number of persons who would be eligible under this bill since the administration of section 4 (a) (b) (2) and (c) of the War Claims Act is a responsibility of the Bureau of Employees' Compensation, Department of Labor. The provisions relate to the employees of contractors who would benefit under the subject bill.

Further, as to cost, since the claims which would be recognized by the bill would be payable from the war claims fund, and since it is estimated that the administration of the claims presently compensable pursuant to the terms of the War Claims Act of 1948, as amended, will for the most part deplete the $210 million made available for that purpose, it is pertinent to suggest that the Department of Justice, which administers the vesting of enemy alien property pursuant to the Trading With the Enemy Act, might be requested to furnish information as to the availability of funds for deposit in the war claims fund. As may be recalled, the war claims fund is derived from the net proceeds remaining after the liquidation and administration of vested German and Japanese assets.

It should be pointed out that the proposed bill contains no provision for extension of the final date for filing claims under section 5 (a) through (e) of the War Claims Act, as amended. Removal of the disqualification by definition in section 5 would not allow receipt and adjudication of these claims at the present time, inasmuch as the final date provided in section 2 of the act, as amended, for submission of claims under section 5 was March 31, 1952. Accordingly, if consideration is given to enactment of the subject bill, provision should be made for the filing of claims authorized thereby.

Inasmuch as the bill, if enacted, would be administered by the Secretary of Labor, it is assumed comment will be invited from the Secretary.

It also appears from the legislative history of the War Claims Act of 1948 that it was the intention of the Congress that the war claims problem should be considered as a whole, insofar as possible rather than be approached on a piecemeal basis. In accordance with this congressional intention, it is also the recommendation of the War Claims Commission that further consideration of compensation of war claims, beyond those presently compensable, should be given at the same time.

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In this respect your attention is invited to the fact that the War Claims Commission is presently engaged in a series of conferences with the Bureau of the Budget and all other interested Government agencies concerning the recommendations relative to compensation of war claims contained in House Document 67, 83d Congress, 1st session, to which reference is above made. The object of these conferences is to evaluate the overall concept of the recommendations made in the report and to establish the executive branch position with respect to them. It is the present expectation that these conferences will have been concluded on or before February 19, 1954, and that the recommendations based thereon will be shortly forthcoming.

In view of the foregoing, the War Claims Commission would prefer to make no recommendation with reference to the subject bill at the present time.

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, War Claims Commission,

DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE,
OFFICE OF THE DEPUTY ATTORNEY GENERAL,

Washington, November 18, 1953.
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 bills (H. R. 4422 and S. 541) to extend detention benefits under the War Claims Act of 1948 to employees of contractors with the United States.

These bills would amend section 5 of the War Claims Act of 1948 (62 Stat. 1240, 1242–1243; 50 U. S. C. App., Supp. V 2004), to authorize payment of certain cash benefits to employees of contractors with the Government who were detained by Japanese armed forces during World War II or who went into hiding to avoid such detention. These cash benefits would be derived from the war claims fund and would be payable at the rate provided for in section 5 (c) of the War Claims Act, i. e., $60 per month for detention of individuals 18 years of age and over, and $25 per month for detention of individuals under 18 years

of age.

Whether the measure should be enacted constitutes a question of policy concerning which the Department of Justice prefers to make no recommendation. However, there are certain considerations to which the attention of the committee is invited.

It should be pointed out that pursuant to the act of December 2, 1942 (56 Stat. 1028; 42 U. S. C. 1701), and section 4 (a) of the War Claims Act, the employees in question have already received compensation for the periods of their detention, such compensation totaling the amounts they would have received for the same periods under their contracts of employment. The benefits authorized by these bills would be in addition to such compensation.

These measures, as would others which seek to broaden the benefits of the War Claims Act, would require additional disbursements from the war claims fund which, pursuant to sections 12 and 13 of the War Claims Act, consists of the net proceeds of German and Japanese property vested under the Trading With the Enemy Act, as amended, and not subject to return under that act. To date, a total of $210 million has been transferred to the war claims fund, including $60 million transferred pursuant to the directive in Public Law 211, 83d Congress, approved August 7, 1953 (67 Stat. 461). It is estimated that the transfer of the remaining $15 million authorized by Public Law 211 will leave a relatively small balance available for ultimate transfer to the war claims fund. Any appreciable increase in payments from the fund resulting from the enactment of the instant legislation or other measures to broaden or increase the benefits under the War Claims Act might require financing from sources other than vested German and Japanese assets.

The Bureau of the Budget has advised that there would be no objection to the submission of this report, but stated its belief to be that no action should be taken on this bill pending completion of a study of the issues raised by the recommendations contained in the "Supplementary Report of the War Claims Commission, Concerning War Claims Arising Out of World War II,” dated January 9, 1953, which study was undertaken at your request. Sincerely,

WILLIAM P. ROGERS,

Deputy Attorney General.
DEPARTMENT OF LABOR,
OFFICE OF THE SECRETARY,

Washington, May 19, 1953,
Hon. CHARLES A. WOLVERTON,
Chairman, Committee on Interstate and Foreign Commerce,

House of Representatives, Washington 25, D.C. DEAR CONGRESSMAN WOLVERTON: This is in further response to your recent request for my comments on H. R. 4422, a bill to extend detention benefits under the War Claims Act of 1948 to employees of contractors with the United States.

The proposal would amend section 5 of the War Claims Act (62 Stat. 1240, as amended). Section 5 of the act provides benefits of $60 a month for each month of detention for adult “civilian American citizens” captured by the Japanese Government or who went into hiding to avoid capture by such Government on or after December 7, 1941, at Midway, Guam, Wake Island, the Philippine Islands, or possessions of the United States attacked bs such Govern cient, with certain exceptions including employees of Government contractors, persons engaged by the United States under a personal service contract and civilian employees of post exchanges and ship service stores within the purview of the so-called War Hazards Act of December 2, 1942 (56 Stat. 1026, as amended).

The proposed measure would make the above-mentioned employees eligible for detention benefits, primarily employees of the Pacific base contractors, in addition to detention benefits previously received or which they are eligible to receive in the future under the War Claims Act.

The Bureau of Employees' Compensation administered section 4 (a) of the War Claims Act, which authorized the Federal Government to pay to the same persons who would receive benefits under the present proposal, amounts which they would have earned under their employment contracts had they not been detained by the enemy. In computing such pay, there were included all bonus allowances for length of service and the value of subsistence and quarters which were to be furnished. Payments made by the Bureau on account of the detention of individual employees ranged from $6,200 to $38,000, depending on the employees' contract wages. The total sum paid for detention amounted to more than $14,000,000. In addition, a sum of approximately $3,500,000 has been paid thus far for disability and death or injuries of such employees arising from war and detention causes. Additional benefits are being paid currently for continuing disability and to eligible dependents of deceased employees. Under H. R. 4422, approximately $2,600 more would be granted to each employee who survived internment, with somewhat lesser sums for certain dependents of those who died during internment.

There is a question as to whether the employees of the Government contractors concerned should receive additional detention benefits, which would not be available to other classes of citizens, such as civil employees of the United States or members of the Armed Forces, who were detained under like circumstances and presumably suffered similar deprivations. The question arises as to whether the bill would be discriminatory, in that it would confer unwarranted preferential treatment on a single class of persons.

I would not, however, oppose the bill if Congress determines that persuasive reasons exist for its enactment.

The Bureau of the Budget advises that while there is no objection to the submission of this report to the committee, there is no commitment as to the relationship of the bill to the program of the President. Yours very truly,

MARTIN P. DURKIN,

Secretary of Labor.

DEPARTMENT OF STATE,

Washington, July 28, 1953. Hon. CHARLES A. WOLVERTON, Chairman, Committee on Interstate and Foreign Commerce,

House of Representatives, Washington, D. C. MY DEAR MR. WOLVERTON: Further reference is made to your letter of April 6, 1953, transmitting for the Department's comments a copy of H. R. 4422, a bill to extend detention benefits under the War Claims Act of 1948 to employees of contractors with the United States.

Section 5 (b) of the War Claims Act of 1948, as amended, provides benefits to civilian American citizens who were detained in certain designated areas by authorities of the Japanese Government or who went into hiding at any such place to avoid capture and internment for any period of time subsequent to December 6, 1941. The term “civilian American citizen" is defined in section 5 (a) of that act to exclude any person within the purview of other legislation under which this Government provides similar benefits. The exclusion of such a person from benefits under section 5 (b) was presumably intended to prevent payment of detention benefits to employees of this Government who had already received, or were eligible to receive, from this Government full pay for the period of their internment.

The proposed bill would amend section 5 (a) of the War Claims Act so as to delete therefrom the exception with respect to persons 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. The proposed bill would also amend section 5 (b) of the War Claims Act by authorizing the Secretary of Labor to receive, adjudicate according to law, and provide for the payment of detention benefits to such persons.

It is believed that the proposed measure would have the effect of authorizing the payment of detention benefits to certain persons who have already received from this Government pay for the entire period of their internment. The Department perceives no justification for an amendment of the act which would authorize the payment of detention benefits and pay for a period of internment to the same person.

As you are aware, Congress in directing the War Claims Commission to prepare a report on the subject of claims arising out of World War II intended to provide a framework for dealing with such claims in a comprehensive manner, rather than on a piecemeal basis. The supplementary report of that Commission was submitted to the Congress on January 16, 1953, and was printed as House Document No. 67, 83d Congress, 1st session. It is understood that this report contains comprehensive recommendations for the disposition of War claims not authorized to be paid under existing legislation.

The Department has been advised by the Bureau of the Budget that while there is no objection to the submission of this report to the committee, there is no commitment as to the relationship of this bill to the program of the President. Sincerely yours,

THRUSTON B. MORTON,

Assistant Secretary (For the Secretary of State).

WAR CLAIMS COMMISSION,

Washington, D. C., February 18, 1954. Hon. CHARLES A. WOLVERTON, Chairman, Committee on Interstate and Foreign Commerce,

House of Representatives, Washington, D. C. MY DEAR MR. WOLVERTON: Further reference is made to your letter of February 6, 1954, requesting a report from the War Claims Commission on S. 541, 83d Congress, an act to extend detention benefits under the War Claims Act of 1948 to employees of contractors with the United States. The bill, S. 541, is identical with H. R. 4422, 83d Congress.

The purpose of the bill is to remove from section 5 (a) of the War Claims Act of 1948, as amended, the limitation which prevents payment of detention benefits to 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 wmended, and to authorize adjudication by the Department of Labor of claims submitted by this class of persons.

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