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The supervisory powers conferred upon the Comptroller over institutions of this kind by the act of June 25, 1906, are insufficient, as they only give him authority to require them to make and publish sworn reports of condition, to cause an examination to be made into their affairs whenever he may deem it necessary, and to take possession of and appoint a receiver for any such institution for the same reasons that he is authorized to take possession of and appoint a receiver for a national bank.

If the capital stock of any such bank becomes impaired by losses or otherwise, he has the power to require the impairment to be made good within a stated time under the alternative penalty of liquidation or receivership. If an examination discloses a condition of insolvency, he may close the bank's doors, take possession of the institution, and appoint a receiver to wind up its affairs; but there is no law, Federal or District, regulating the conduct of the bank's business or empowering the Comptroller to correct abuses or dangerous practices which jeopardize the safety of the institution and ultimately result in insolvency and irreparable loss to depositors.

The provisions of the national banking laws covering crimes and misdemeanors do not apply to these banks, and no adequate laws of this nature are provided by the District Code.

The remedy recommended for this condition of affairs is the enactment of a law requiring banks and banking companies of this class to incorporate in the District of Columbia, instead of permitting them in the absence of such a statute to operate under charters obtained from neighboriag States, which do not appear to retain any control or to exercise any supervision over them. All institutions of this kind in operation in the District of Columbia at the time of the approval of the proposed act should be required to reincorporate under its provisions within a stated time or to cease doing business in the District.

CONGRESS, | HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES.} No.

2d Session

SUPREME LODGE OF THE KNIGHTS OF PYTHIAS.

JANUARY 25, 1907.-Referred to the House Calendar and ordered to be printed.

Mr. TAYLOR, of Ohio, from the Committee on the District of Colum

bia, submitted the following

REPORT.

[To accompany H. R. 17212.]

The Committee on the District of Columbia, to whom was referred the bill (H. R. 17212), to amend an act to incorporate the Supreme Lodge of the Knights of Pythias, report the same back to the House with the recommendation that it do

pass. Section 2 of the act approved June 29, 1894, reads as follows: That the said corporation shall have the power to take and hold real and personal estate, not exceeding in value one hundred thousand dollars, which shall not be divided among the members of the corporation, but shall descend to their successors for the promotion of the fraternal and benevolent purposes of said corporation.

The purpose of the proposed legislation is to remove the restriction from the above section, which limits the corporation from taking and holding real and personal estate in excess of $100,000, so that they will be empowered to take and hold such an amount as will be necessary for the proper conduct of the corporation. Your committee has been informed that the large and steady growth of this order since its incorporation by Congress, in 1894, thirteen years ago, makes the removal of the restriction absolutely necessary. As this corporation exists by virtue of an act of Congress, any change in its charter can only be had by Congressional action, and as the purposes of the organization are fraternal and benevolent, your committee believe that the legislation herein reported should be enacted into law.

This measure was referred to the Commissioners of the District of Columbia, whose report is as follows:

OFFICE COMMISSIONERS OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA,

Washington, June 27, 1906. DEAR SIR: The Commissioners of the District of Columbia have the honor to state with reference to H. R. 17212 of the present session, “To amend an act to incorporate the Supreme Lodge of the Knights of Pythias," which was referred to them at your instance for their examination and report, that they have repeatedly written to representatives of the organization mentioned for a statement of the special

HR-59-2-Vol 1-35

reasons for the desired legislation, but have received no information from them on the subject. They also referred the matter to the corporation counsel and received an opinion from that official, a copy of which is herewith transmitted. In view of the fact that they have not been advised as to the circumstances which led to the introduction of the bill, they are not prepared to make any recommendation in the premises. Very respectfully,

HENRY B. F. MACFARLAND,

President Board of Commissioners, District of Columbia. Hon. J. W. BABCOCK,

Chairman Committee on the District of Columbia, House of Representatives.

APRIL 6, 1906. GENTLEMEN: I have the honor to return to you H. R. 17202, entitled "A bill to amend an act to incorporate the Supreme Lodge of the Knights of Pythias."

Section 2 of the act approved June 29, 1894, incorporating this body provides "That the said corporation shall have the power to take and hold real and personal estate, not exceeding in value one hundred thousand dollars, which shall not be divided among the members of the corporation, but shall descend to their successors for the promotion of the fraternal and benevolent purposes of said corporation."

The purpose of the bill intends to strike out the words “not exceeding in value one hundred thousand dollars," thus giving the corporation power to take and hold real and personal estate of unlimited value for the purposes of the corporation.

The general policy of the law as indicated in the Code of the District of Columbia applicable to institutions of learning, manufacturing, agriculture, mining, mechanical, insurance, mercantile, transportation, market, savings bank corporations, and building associations restricts the quantity of land such corporations shall hold to what is necessary for their purposes, and in the case of manufacturing and other corporations of like character, the personal estate as well as the real estate which is necessary.

Reference to sections 580, 607, and 700 of the Code of the District of Columbia will give fuller information on this subject. Religious societies may acquire an acre of land. . (Sec. 587 of the Code, District of Columbia.)

Boards of trade, one city lot and building in the District. (Sec. 703, Code, District of Columbia.)

Benevolent, charitable, educational, literary, musical, scientific, religious, or missionary societies may hold real and personal estate necessary for their purposes and their real and personal property the clear annual income from which shall not exceed in value $25,000. (Sec. 600, Code, District of Columbia.)

Trust loan, safe deposit, title insurance and mortgage companies may hold and convey real estate not exceeding in value $500,000, and such in addition as may be acquired in satisfaction of debts. (Sec. 726, Code, District of Columbia.)

Whether in view of the policy indicated in the legislation above set forth, it is the opinion of the Commissioners that this bill should contain no restriction in value of the real and personal property such corporation may hold and acquire is a matter respectfully submitted for consideration. Very respectfully,

E. H. THOMAS,

Corporation Counsel. The COMMISSIONERS OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA.

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59TH CONGRESS, HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES. I REPORT 21 Session.

RETENT ON CONTRACTS WITH THE DISTRICT OF

COLUMBIA.

JANUARY 25, 1907.-Referred to the House Calendar and ordered to be printed.

Mr. Taylor, of Ohio, from the Committee on the District of Colum

bia, submitted the following

REPORT.

[To accompany H. R. 21684.]

The Committee on the District of Columbia, to whom was referred the bill (H. R. 21684) to amend section 2 of the act entitled "An act regulating the retent on contracts with the District of Columbia,” approved March 31, 1906, report the same back to the House with the recommendation that it do pass.

Section 2 of the act approved March 31, 1906, reads as follows: SEC. 2. That this act shall cover and comprehend all contracts for the construction of bridges and sewers as herein specified, which are now completed by the contractors according to their contracts and accepted by the Board of Commissioners of the District of Columbia.

The act approved March 31, 1906, failed to provide for the retent on contracts which were pending at the date of the passage of the act and not completed, and consequently worked inequitably against certain contractors who had not finished their work and were carrying it on at the date of the passage of the above-mentioned act. The bill herewith reported amends the law so as to allow such contractors, who have since completed their contracts, to share in the provisions of the act.

This measure has received the approval of the Commissioners of the District of Columbia, as will be seen by their following letter on this subject: OFFICE COMMISSIONERS OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA,

Washington, December 14, 1906. SIR: The Commissioners of the District of Columbia have the honor to submit the following on H. R. 21684, Fifty-ninth Congress, second session, “to amend section two of the act entitled 'An act regulating the retent on contracts with the District of Columbia,' approved March thirty-first, nineteen hundred and six,” which you referred to them for examination and report.

The act which it is the purpose of this bill to amend was passed at the request of the Commissioners of the District of Columbia. The object of the bill was to change existing law by the reducing in the case of certain contracts the period within which the retent was held to guarantee repairs and maintenance. Previous to the passage of the act a retent of 10 per cent of the amount of each contract was held generally on all construction contracts as a guarantee fund to keep the work in repair.

The Commissioners, believing that this period was excessive in the case of contracts for bridges, sewers, buildings, etc., recommended a change in the law by which the retent on contracts for pavements should be held for five years, and on bridges and sewers for one year from the date of the completion of the contract, and on contracts for buildings and other contracts for construction work only until the completion of the work.

The intention of the Commissioners, as stated in their letter recommending the bill, was to save the extra cost of work which was involved in with holding a portion of the contract price for this long period of years when there was no necessity for the same, and it was their intention that the law should operate only from the date of the passage of the act. The bill as drafted by them, however, was amended by Congress so as to provide that the act should cover and comprehend all contracts for the construction of bridges and sewers which were completed by contractors according to their contracts and accepted by the Board of Commissioners at the date of the passage of the act.

The law, however, failed to provide for contracts which were pending at the date of the passage of the act and not completed, and as a consequence the bill worked inequitably against certain contractors who had not finished their work at the date of the passage of the act, but who were carrying on work at that date.

The present bill is to amend the law so as to allow such contractors who have since completed their contracts to share in the provisions of the act, and the purpose of the bill seems to the Commissioners to be equitable and just. The Commissioners therefore recommend the passage of the bill. Very respectfully,

HENRY B. F. MACFARLAND,

President Board of Commissioners, District of Columbia Hon. J. W. BABCOCK,

Chairman Committee on the District of Columbia

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