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Association of Mutual Insurance Agents, the National Board of Fire Underwriters,

Insurance Executives Association, National Association of Insurance Brokers, Inc., the National Association of Casualty and Surety Agents, the Surety Association of America, the National Fraternal Congress of America, and the Health and Accident Underwriters Conference. Opportunity is granted to the State legislatures during their present and forthcoming sessions for 1945, 1946, and 1947 to consider the welfare of policyholders.

Enactment of this bill will (1) remove existing doubts as to the right of the States to regulate and tax the business of insurance, and

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FEBRUARY 9, 1945.—Committed to the Committee of the Whole House and

ordered to be printed

Mr. McGEHEE, from the Committee on Claims, submitted the

following

REPORT

[To accompany S. 76]

The Committee on Claims, to whom was referred the bill (S. 76) for the relief of John T. Cooper, having considered the same, report favorably thereon without amendment and recommend that the bill

do pass.

A similar bill was favorably reported by this committee in the Seventy-eighth Congress.

The facts will be found fully set forth in Senate Report No. 2, Seventy-eighth Congress, which is appended hereto and made a part

of this report.

Your committee concur in the recommendation of th

enate.

(8. Rept. No. 2, 79th Cong., 1st sess.) The Committee on Claims, to whom was referred the bill (S. 2002) for the relief of John T. Cooper, having considered the same, report favorably thereon and recommended that the bill do pass.

The purpose of the proposed legislation is to authorize and direct the Comptroller General to credit the account of John T. Cooper, postmaster at Hartselle, Ala., in the sum of $179. Such sum represents a shortage in such account caused by the loss of such sum from the money-order cash drawer at such post office during the night of Oc ber 24, 1940.

The committee recommend favorable consideration of this bill. The facts are fully set forth in the attached letter from the Office of the Postmaster General. Post OFFICE DEPARTMENT,

Washington, D. C., September 2, 1944. Hon, ALLEN J. ELLENDER,

Chairman, Committee on Claims, United States Senate. MY DEAR SENATOR ELLENDER: The receipt is acknowledged of your recent request for a report upon 8. 2002, a bill for the relief of John T. Cooper.

This case, involving the disappearance of $179 from the lock drawer of a substitute clerk of the Hartselle, Ala., post office, has been the subject of an extensive investigation by several post-office inspectors, and from the reports submitted it has not been possible to place the blame for the actual disappearance of the money.

The cash was taken from the lock drawer provided for the use of the substitute clerk who, upon leaving the office at the close of business, inserted the drawer in the chest within the vault but failed to lock it, thus making it possible for anyone entering the vault later on that day or before he removed it on the next day to have access to the drawer which contained bond and money-order funds accumulated after the time for the daily deposit. The clerk, therefore, although no evidence was produced to show that he actually took the money, is believed to have been guilty of contributory negligence. He definitely refused to make good the amount.

The inspectors found that John T. Cooper, the postmaster at Hartselle, Ala., was negligent in that he had failed to place in operation a system of safeguarding Government funds that would fix individual responsibility at all times, and for that reason held the postmaster responsible on the ground of inadequate supervision and collected the $179 from him.

As no evidence has been submitted to show that the postmaster in any way benefited from the transaction or was personally implicated in the loss other than failure to provide a system of fixing individual responsibility covering the employees of his office, this Department would interpose no objection to the enactment of this measure.

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

K. P. ALDRICH,

Acting Postmaster General. O

T9TH CONGRESS , HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES 1st Session

SIGURDUR JONSSON AND THOROLINA THORDARDOTTIR

FEBRUARY 9, 1945.-Committed to the Committee of the Whole House and

ordered to be printed

Mr. McGEHEE, from the Committee on Claims, submitted the

following

REPORT

(To accompany S. 314)

The Committee on Claims, to whom was referred the bill (S. 314) for the relief of Sigurdur Jonsson and Thorolina Thordardottir, having considered the same, report favorably thereon with an amendment and recommend that the bill as amended do pass.

The amendment is as follows:

At the end of bill strike out the period and insert: : 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 facts will be found fully set forth in Senate Report No. 21, Seventy-ninth Congress, first session, which is appended hereto and made a part of this report.

Your committee concur in the recommendation of the Senate.

(8. Ropt. No. 21, 79th Cong., 1st sess.) The Committee on Claims, to whom was referred the bill (S. 1935) for the relief of Sigurdur Jonsson and Thorolina Thordardottir, having considered the same, report favorably thereon and recommend that the bill do pass.

The purpose of the proposed legislation is to pay to Jon Sigurdsson as attorney in fact for his parents, Sigurdur Jonsson and Thorolina Thordardottir, of Hafnarfjordur, Iceland, for and on their behalf, the sum of $4,070.85, in full settlement of all claims against the United States for the death of their son, Thordur Sigurdsson, who was fatally injured when shot by an enlisted soldier in the Army of the United States on November 8, 1941, at Hafnarfjordur, Iceland.

STATEMENT OF FACTS

The Secretary of War transmitted a request (together with draft of a bill) to the chairman of the Senate Committee on Military Affairs for the introduction of this legislation. The facts will be found fully set forth in the following letter:

WAR DEPARTMENT,

Washington, D. C., May 16, 1944. Hon. ROBERT R. REYNOLDS,

Chairman, Committee on Military Affairs, United States Senate. DEAR SENATOR REYNOLDS: There is enclosed draft of a bill to authorize the payment of the sum of $4,070.85 to Jon Sigurdsson as attorney in fact for his parents

, Sigurdur Jonsson and Thorolina Thordardottir, of Hafnarfjordur, Iceland, for damages caused them by an enlisted soldier in the military forces of the United States Army, which the War Department presents for the consideration of the Congress with a view to its enactment into law.

The facts relating to the incident resulting in the injury and subsequent death of Thordur Sigurdsson are substantially as found by Foreign Claims Commission No. 16, Iceland Base Command, and are herewith set forth: On November 8, 1941, at approximately 8 p. m., Pvts. Charles H. Cox and Everett L. Farmer left their station at Camp Clayton, Iceland, and proceeded to the town of Hafnarfjordur. These soldiers were absent without leave at that time and were armed with service pistols, in violation of orders which had been conveyed to their organization and posted on the camp bulletin board to the effect that they should not leave the camp armed. They were accompanied at the time by Privates McGinnis and Johnson, all four of the soldiers having taken a taxi to town. When they arrived at the town of Hafnarfjordur, the soldiers went to a hotel where a dance was being held and were advised that the hotel was closed. They then went across the street to a cafe where a number of local citizens were present. The soldiers ordered beer and were in the act of drinking it when the deceased. Thordur Sigurdsson, either accidentally or intentionally, stepped on the foot of Private Cox, who was sitting at a table. There ensued an argument, in the course of which the soldier told Sigurdsson to get off his foot and the Icelander stated that they did not like American soldiers there and in effect told the soldiers to leave. There is also evidence that Sigurdsson had a beer bottle in his hand with which he pounded the table and made threatening gestures directed at the American soldiers. At this time Private Cox, who had a loaded pistol in his possession, took it out and showed it to the deceased. The record does not disclose that any of the 8 or 10 Icelanders who were in the cafe had firearms in their possession.

The evidence is in conflict as to whether the soldiers requested Sigurdsson to follow them out of the cafe. However, the soldiers left and the deceased followed them. There is some evidence that at the time the soldiers left the cafe Private Cox motioned to the deceased to follow. All the natives of Iceland in the cafe followed the deceased out of the cafe and a number of the natives who were coming out of a nearby theater joined the crowd. The number of Icelanders in the crowd at that time is estimated at between 20 and 50. There is evidence to the effect that this crowd was closing in on the soldiers and acting in a threatening manner. Privates McGinnis and Johnson circumvented the crowd, left the scene of the occurrence and were not involved in any of the incidents that took place thereafter. Privates Cox and Farmer continued up the street, and as the crowd came closer and acted more threateningly both soldiers took out their pistols and between them fired some 5 or 6 shots. The evidence is to the effect that the first shots were fired at the ground, and that probably some were fired in the air, for the purpose of frightening the local citizens. However, the shots did not have the desired effect and the Icelanders continued to follow the soldiers. At that time both soldiers fired into the crowd, with the result that the deceased, who was then at a distance of about 9 feet, received a wound in the abdomen from which he died a few days later. There were powder burns about the wound of entry. Sigurdun Larus Eiriksson received a superficial abrasion of the left foot and Sigurgeir Gislason sustained a slight scratch on the finger or thumb' of his hand. The evidence as to whether the deceased still had the beer bottle in his hand at the time of the shooting and whether at that time he was attempting to use it as a weapon is in conflict.

After the shots had been fired, Private Cox was caught by members of the crowd, who were manhandling him when two British military police stopped the fight and took the American soldiers to the civilian police station. In the meantime Private Farmer got away but was later apprehended and brought to the police station. Privates Cox and Farmer were tried by general court martial,

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