« PreviousContinue »
held in custody at the Supply Depot at Norfolk, Va., where it is now.
It is a very valuable silver service, worth about $25,000.
The Navy has no objection whatever to returning it to the State of Arkansas for custody until such time, perhaps, as the Navy may have further use for it, in the event there is another U. S. S. Arkansas built or commissioned.
In the event there is a new battleship Arkansas, we would like to have the silver service of the old, predecessor U. S. S. Arkansas for the new U. S. S. Arkansas.
We did that with reference to the U.S. S. Wisconsin,
The CHAIRMAN. You will have no further use for that service nor for the U.S.S. Arkansas either?
Commander Nash. This old silver service from the old Arkansas will not be needed. We are using the U.S.S. Arkansas in the atomicbomb test. The Navy Department would be glad to send the service to the State of Arkansas, retaining title to it, however, in the Government, so that it may be returned to the Navy if there is further use for it in the future.
The CHAIRMAN. You have done that in other cases?
Commander Nash. Yes, sir; with reference to the U. S. S. Wisconsin.
Senator BREWSTER. We don't think we ought to find out the effect of the atomic bomb on the old silverware! [Laughter.]
The CHAIRMAN. Without objection, it will be reported.
First, bring it to the attention of Senator McClellan. He is from Arkansas.
The CHAIRMAN. The next bill is Docket No. 176, S. 1812, a bill to provide reimbursement for personal property lost, damaged or destroyed as the result of explosions at the naval ammunition depot, Hastings, Nebr., on April 6, 1944, and September 15, 1944.
(S. 1812 is as follows:)
(S. 1812, 79th Cong., 2d sess.) A BILL To provide reimbursement for personal property lost, damaged, or destroyed as the
result of explosions at the naval ammunition depot, Hastings, Nebraska, on April 6, 1944, and September 15, 1944
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That the Secretary of the Treasury be, and he is hereby, authorized and directed to pay, out of any money in the Treasury not otherwise appropriated, such sum or sums, amounting in the aggregate not to exceed $25,000, as may be required by the Secretary of the Navy to pay claims, including those of naval and civilian personnel of the Naval Establishment, for privately owned property lost, damaged, or destroyed as the result of explosions at the naval ammunition depot, Hastings, Nebraska, on April 6, 1944, and September 15, 1944: Provided, That no part of the amount appropriated in this Act in excess of 10 per centum thereof shall be paid or delivered to or received by any agent or attorney on account of services rendered in connection with this claim, and the same shall be unlawful, any contract to the contrary notwithstanding. Any person violating the provisions of this Act shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor and upon conviction thereof shall be fined in any sum not exceeding $1,000.
The CHAIRMAN. The witness with reference to S. 1812 is Capt. C. J. Whiting.
Will you come forward, Captain?
STATEMENT OF CAPT. C. J: WHITING, CHIEF OF GENERAL LAW
DIVISIÓN, OFFICE OF THE JUDGE ADVOCATE GENERAL, NAVY DEPARTMENT
Captain WHITING. Mr. Chairman, this is a bill to pay the claims, primarily, of seven rail companies for damage to railroad cars, resulting from a couple of explosions in the naval ammunition depot, Hastings, Nebr., on April 6, 1944, and September 15, 1944.
The CHAIRMAN. What is the amount?
Captai WHITING. The claims aggregate $24,084.62, for the railroad (ars.
Each of these claims is in excess of $1,000, so it could not be paid under the Naval Appropriations Act which paid most of the claims.
In addition, there are claims aggregating $366.71 of civilian employees of the Navy Department, for losses suffered during the same explosions. Although these latter claims could now be settled under our new Claims Act, at the time this bill was submitted we did not have the authority to settle those claims.
So, if it all right with the committee, we would still like these to go through, to have the claims all together.
The claims have all been processed and investigated by a Navy investigator, an officer. They have been found just and in accordance with the schedule-I am speaking of the railroad claims-of the Association of American Railroad Companies.
The claims for the civilian employees' property have been found just by our board that investigate civilian employee claims.
The CHAIRMAN. What caused these explosions!
Captain WHITING. They were caused, sir, by a new type ammunition which exploded at this naval ammunition depot on these two dates.
The CHAIRMAN. Was the ammunition in railroad cars?
Captain WHITING. No, sir, the ammunition—some of it was not in the railroad cars; some of it was. They were railroad cars that were at the station being employed in the shipment of the ammunition.
The CHAIRMAN. That was two explosions at the same station; were they different types, different kinds of explosions?
Captain WHITING. They were, sir. If you will remember, about that time we were having considerable difficulty with explosions of ammunition; our safety precautions relating to this ammunition were not perfected.
This, of course-off the record.
The CHAIRMAN. The Navy Department thinks it is obligated to pay these claims?
Captain WHITING. Yes, sir; there is no question about it; we are obligated to pay them.
The CHAIRMAN. And the amount fixed is reasonable?
Captain WHITING. The amount is reasonable and the claims have been scaled down and approved through the regular channels; yes, sir.
Senator GERRY. Can I ask a question?
Senator GERRY. As I understand, you now have legislation covering this whole thing but you have already reviewed these claims, and you do not want to go over them again; is that it?
Captain WHITING. That is partially correct, Senator. Exhibit No. 1 here contains the claims of the seven railroad companies, and each one of the claims is in excess of $1,000. We cannot settle those claims under the present law.
However, the second part lists the claims of about 15 civil employees, whose claims are very small, from $19 to $20, most of them. We could pay those claims, but since they are tied in with the railroad claims, we are asking that we do not have to untie them.
The CHAIRMAN. They all relate to the same accidents?
H. R. 4896
The CHAIRMAN. Admiral Hopwood, remain in your chair. You are the witness or one of the witnesses with regard to Docket No. 173, H. R. 4896. We have two other witnesses, one from the General Accounting Office and one from the Comptroller General.
H. R. 4896, Docket No. 173, is a bill to provide for payment of travel allowances and transportation and for transportation of dependents of members of the naval forces, and for other purposes. (H. R. 4896 is as follows:)
[H. R. 4896, 79th Cong., 2d sess.) AN ACT To provide for payment of travel allowances and transportation and for transpor
tation of dependents of members of the naval forces, and for other purposes Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That any member of the naval forces who is hereafter separated, from active service under conditions other than honorable may be furnished transportation in kind at Government expense from the place of separation from active service to the place at which he entered upon active service or home of record: Provided, That no transportation will be furnished under this section to any person who is in confinement pursuant to sentence of a civil court at the time of separation from active service.
SEC. 2. In lieu of transportation for dependents of personnel of the Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard, or of any of the components thereof authorized under any provision of law, payment in advance or otherwise at the rate of 4 cents per mile for dependents twelve years of age and over, and 2 cents per mile for dependents under twelve years of age to include dependents five years of age and over, may be made for land travel. No payment will be made for dependents less than five years of age. Reimbursement is authorized in the manner prescribed in this section, for travel performed, in any case where payment for such travel has not theretofore been made.
SEC. 3. The Secretary of the Navy is authorized to delegate authority to determine the availability of Government transportation for dependents of naval personnel to or from stations beyond the continental limits of the United States under any provision of law and such determinations heretofore made by administrative officers shall be deemed sufficient to support payments for transportation of dependents.
SEC. 4. The Secretary of the Navy is authorized to prescribe regulations for carrying out the provisions of this Act. Determinations of dependency, distances, and the places between which transportation or travel is authorizedl, made by the Secretary of the Nary, or such persons as he may designate, shall be conclusive for accounting purposes.
Passed the House of Representatives February 4, 1946.
SOUTH TRIMBLE, Clerk, The CHAIRMAN. All right, Admiral, will you go ahead; what is the purpose of this bill?
STATEMENT OF REAR ADM. HERBERT G. HOPWOOD, ASSISTANT
CHIEF OF NAVAL OPERATIONS FOR PERSONNEL, NAVY DEPARTMENT
Admiral HoPWOOD. Mr. Chairman, the purpose of this bill is to facilitate the administrative procedure for the payment of transportation and travel allowances for dependents. The bill does not create any new rights or benefits but merely authorizes a change in procedure which will permit a settlement of travel claims on the basis of 4 cents per mile for dependents over 12 years of age and 2 cents per mile for dependents between 5 and 12 years of age. Under existing provisions of law the procedure is to pay these claims on a commercial cost basis, which is the price charged to the general public by the railroad as published in the Official Tariffs. This involves a determination of distance, routes, and rates as shown in these tariffs. This procedure requires the services of trained rate clerks, the number of which is limited. The result is that claims for dependents travel take undue time in processing using the complicated procedure necessary and has resulted in a backlog of unprocessed claims running into the tens of thousands, which backlog continues to increase.
A section by section analysis of the bill follows:
Section 1: There is now no provision in law whereby personnel who are separated from active duty under conditions other than honorable may be furnished transportation from the place of discharge. Personnel so discharged are transported to a port in the United States where such discharge is executed. Numerous complaints have been received from the communities in which separation under these conditions take place. This section provides transportation in kind at Government expense from the place of separation from active duty to the place at which he entered upon active service or home of record in the case of any member of the naval forces separated from active duty under conditions other than honorable. This provision is similar to recent legislation provided in the case of personnel who enlist under age.
The CHAIRMAN. Does this section seek to do for persons who were discharged other than honorably, as far as transportation is concerned, of course, what we did in the bill where we provided transportation for boys under 18 years of age?
Admiral Hopwoon. That is correct. We give them a ticket and send them back home to get them away from the community in which they are discharged?
The CHAIRMAN. Are there many of those ?
Admiral HoPWCOD. Our experience in the prewar period runs about one-half of 1 percent of the enlisted strength per year. If we go on the assumption of 500,000, it would run about 3,100 men per vear.
Section 2: Authorizes transportation for dependents, in advance of travel or on completion of such travel at the rate of 4 cents per mile for dependents 12 years of age and over, and 2 cents per mile for dependents under 12 years of age to include dependents 5 years of age and over, for land travel. No payment will be made for dependents less than 5 years of age.
The CHJIRMAN. That is, persons honorably discharged ?
Admiral Hopwood. These are dependents of personnel of the active service, from one duty station to another.
The CHAIRMAN. I see. Under the present law, what do these dependents get for travel ?
Admiral HoPWOOD. They get the commercial cost basis, or a ticket.
The CHAIRMAN. Yes. Is this change recommended at the request of the Comptroller General's Office ?
Admiral HOPWOOD. The Comptroller General partially objects,
The CHAIRMAN. The Comptroller General's representative will make a statement later?
Mr. WEITZEL. Yes, sir.
Admiral Hopwood. There is one provision in this which authorizes payment in advance or otherwise. The War Department has had the same situation, where people are authorized to travel and do travel. It applies when they do not have the cash to start out on, They have to wait until the completion of the travel until they can be reimbursed.
Therefore, the War Department included a general provision in the recision bill which was just approved a couple of days ago, February 18, 1946, with the exact language, which gives the very thing to the War Department which we seek to do in this bill. It was approved for the War Department, “in advance or otherwise,” which is what we are seeking
Senator SALTON STALL. Admiral Hopwod, may I ask a question? Admiral HOPWOOD. Yes, sir. Senator SALTONSTALL. With respect to that first sentence. Admiral HOPWOOD. Yes, sir. Senator SALTONSTALL. This first section deals with the dishonorable discharges, men with dishonorable discharges or other than honorable discharges. Is that tied in with the second sentence?
Admiral Hopwood. No, sir; that is by itself. We discharge a man, for instance, in San Francisco, even if his home is in New York; he must remain in San Francisco.
Senator SalToNSTALL. And this would authorize transporting him to New York ?
Admiral Hopwood. It would give him a ticket to his home.
Senator SALTONSTALL. And you do not want him to come under section 2?
Admiral HOPWOOD. No, sir; they do not relate at all.
Senator SALTONSTALL. Well, where will you get the money to send him?
Admiral Hopwood. The same as any other enlisted man who is sent home for discharge, whatever the cost of the travel is or the railroad ticket.
Senator SALTONSTALL. All I am trying to bring out is: Have you made that clear? Does it determine in this act; does it make that clear, this language? You say: ** may be furnished transportation in kind at Government expense,” and so on. Now, does that mean + cents a mile?
Admiral Hopwood. "Transportation in kind” means that we give him the ticket, we do not give him the funds.
Senator SaLTONSTALL. I see.