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AUTHORIZING POSTMASTERS IN ALASKA TO ADMINISTER

OATHS AND AFFIRMATIONS

FEBRUARY 8, 1945.-Referred to the House Calendar and ordered to be printed

Mr. BURCH, from the Committee on the Post Office and Post Roads,

submitted the following

REPORT

[To accompany H. R. 304)

The Committee on the Post Office and Post Roads, to whom was referred the bill (H. R. 304) to amend the act authorizing postmasters in Alaska to administer oaths and affirmations, having considered the same, report favorably thereon without amendment and recommend that the bill do pass.

A similar bill" (H. R. 4919) was reported favorably by your committee and passed unanimously by the House in the Seventy-eighth Congress but did not reach the floor of the Senate for consideration.

PURPOSE OF LEGISLATION

The purpose of the bill is stated in the title. All the bill is existing law except the words “or of the Legislature of the Territory of Alaska,” appearing on page 2, line 3.

By reason of unique conditions existing in Alaska, vast in area and sparse in population, numbers of the citizens of the Territory live in small villages or in isolated camps remote from centers of population so that many of them are required to travel long distances when it becomes necessary for them to take oaths or make acknowledgments required by law. In 1939, by act approved August 5 of that year (53 Stat. 1219), Congress gave relief by providing that oaths, affirmations, or acknowledgments might be taken where "authorized, permitted, or required by any act or acts of Congress."

Now under actual experience it has been found that the relief thus created is not sufficient because oaths to birth certificates and other papers are required under acts of the Legislature of Alaska. The convenience of many residents of the Territory would be greatly served by permitting those residents to take oaths or affirmations whether required by acts of Congress or by the Territorial legislature before the nearest postmaster. Alaska is fairly well supplied with mail service, and postmasters may be found in practically every community and settlement in the Territory.

The passage of this legislation will not impose any financial burden whatever upon the Federal Government or the Territorial government.

The enactment of this legislation was recommended by the Post Office Department in a letter dated September 1, 1944, addressed to the chairman of the committee by the Postmaster General which also indicates that the Bureau of the Budget has no objection to the measure. The Postmaster General's letter follows:

Post OFFICE DEPARTMENT,

Washington, D. C., September 1, 1944. Hon. THOMAS G. BURCH, Chairman, Committee on the Post Office and Post Roads,

House of Representatives. MY DEAR MR. BURCH: Reference is made to your request for a report upon H. R. 4919, a bill to amend the act authorizing postmasters in Alaska to administer oaths and affirmations.

The only difference between existing law and H. R. 4919 is the addition of the final clause "or of the Legislature of the Territory of Alaska.”

No doubt this proposed amendment would be beneficial to the residents of Alaska, and this Department has no objection to the enactment of the measure.

It has been ascertained from the Bureau of the Budget that this report is in accord with the program of the President. Sincerely yours,

FRANK C. WALKER,

Postmaster General. In compliance with paragraph 2a of rule XIII of the Rules of the House of Representatives, changes in existing law made by the bill, as introduced, are shown as follows (new matter is printed in italics, existing law in which no change is proposed is shown in roman):

ACT OF August 5, 1939 (53 Stat. 1219) Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That each postmaster within the Territory of Alaska is hereby authorized and directed to administer oaths and affirmations and to take acknowledgments, and to make and execute certificates thereof, and to perform all other functions of a notary public within said Territory, whenever an oath, affirmation, or acknowledgment or a certificate thereof is authorized, permitted, or required by any Act or Acts of Congress, or of the Legislature of The Territory of Alaska.

79TH CONGRESS | HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES 1st Session

AUTHORIZING PAYMENTS OF REWARDS TO POSTAL

EMPLOYEES FOR INVENTIONS

FEBRUARY 8, 1945.-Committed to the Committee of the Whole House on the

state of the Union and ordered to be printed

Mr. McKENZIE, from the Committee on the Post Office and Post

Roads, submitted the following

REPORT

[To accompany H. R. 744)

The Committee on the Post Office and Post Roads, to whom was referred the bill (H. R. 744) authorizing payments of rewards to postal employees for inventions, having considered the same, report favorably thereon without amendment and recommend that the bill do pass.

A similar bill (H. R. 3998) was reported favorably by your committee and passed unanimously by the House in the Seventy-eighth Congress, but failed to reach the floor of the Senate for consideration.

The purpose of this proposed legislation is to encourage inventions and suggestions by employees which result in improvements and economies in the Postal Service, and to provide for the payment of suitable rewards for same.

There is quoted below a letter addressed to the Speaker of the House by the Postmaster General under date of January 4, 1944, recommending this legislation and explaining its desirability, as follows:

Post OFFICE DEPARTMENT,

Washington, D. C., January 4, 1944. Hon. Sau RAYBURN,

Speaker, House of Representatives. MY DEAR MR. RAYBURN: On April 14, 1943, there was appointed at each of the 15 division headquarters for the States within such divisions, a "committee on suggestions and experiments for the Postal Service" with a central com. mittee in Washington. The purpose was to interest postal personnel in suggesting improvements in the service.

Many of our best suggestions have been presented by postal workers and placed in effect without any thought of recognition, or hope of reward. However, believing that outstanding contributions to efficient postal service should be recognized, and rewarded in a financial way, legislation to that end is recommended,

H. Repts., 79-1, vol. 1-15

There is submitted herewith a draft of a proposed bill authorizing payment of rewards to postal employees for inventions or suggestions in a sum not exceeding $25,000 in any one fiscal year, or $1,000 for anyone invention, suggestion, or series of suggestions, to be paid from appropriations for postal activities benefiting, as the Postmaster General may determine. The suggestion program idea has been successful in practically all large industries. The Post Office Department, as the result of a Bulletin notice to officers and personnel, now has on hand some 2,500 suggestions, a number of which will produce economies in operation and improved service beyond the cost of any rewards that may be given.

It has been ascertained from the Bureau of the Budget that this recommendation for legislation is in accord with the program of the President. Very truly yours,

FRANK C. WALKER,

Postmaster General. O

RIVER AND HARBOR OMNIBUS BILL

FEBRUARY 8, 1945.-Committed to the Committee of the Whole House on the

state of the Union and ordered to be printed

Mr. MANSFIELD of Texas, from the Committee on Rivers and Harbors,

submitted the following

REPORT

[To accompany S. 35)

The Committee on Rivers and Harbors, to whom was referred the bill (S. 35) authorizing the construction, repair, and preservation of certain public works on rivers and harbors, and for other purposes, having considered the same; report favorably thereon without amend ment and recommend that the bill do pass.

The bill contains 291 projects for improvement, estimated to cost $381,968,332. These projects were all approved by both Senate and House in the preceding Congress in the bill (H. R. 3961), which died on the calendar at the end of the Seventy-eighth Congress last December.

Ten projects in the bill, involving an expenditure of $13,259,600, are recommended by the Army or naval authorities as being urgent in the war. Twelve other projects in the bill were considered of such urgency that they have already been completed out of the war funds appropriated for the Army or the Navy. Some of these projects are now in need of repairs, and the President has recommended that they be approved by Congress in order to be eligible for maintenance expenditures. Projects in the bill other than those necessary in the war effort are not to be eligible for appropriation until peace is established, when their construction will afford at least partial relief from an acute employment situation.

The bill is the successor of H. R. 3961 in the last Congress, which passed the House March 22, and passed the Senate December 12, 1944. That bill died in conference at the end of the Seventy-eighth Congress. Every project now embraced in the pending bill was agreed to by the conferees on H. R. 3961, and approved by both Senate and House. The only point in disagreement was the provision amending the reclamation law pertaining to the Central Valley project in

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