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GRANTING 6 MONTHS SALARY AND $250 FUNERAL EX

PENSES TO ELEANOR FISHER, SISTER OF FLORA L. SHELTON, LATE AN EMPLOYEE OF THE HOUSE

FEBRUARY 13, 1945.-Referred to the House Calendar and ordered to be printed

Mr. Cochran, from the Committee on Accounts, submitted the

following

REPORT

(To accompany H. Res. 131)

The Committee on Accounts, to whom was referred the resolution (H. Res. 131) granting 6 months' salary and $250 funeral expenses to Eleanor Fisher, sister of Flora L. Shelton, late an employee of the House, having considered the same, report favorably thereon without amendment and recommend that the resolution do pass.

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HARRIET B. RICKARDS

FEBRUARY 13, 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. 312)

The Committee on Claims, to whom was referred the bill (S. 312) for the relief of Harriet B. Rickards, 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. 14, Seventy-ninth Congress, which is appended hereto and made a part of this report.

18. Rept. No. 14, 79th Cong., 1st sess.) The Committee on Claims, to whom was referred the bill (S. 346) for the relief of Harriet B. Rickards, having considered the same, report favorably thereon with the recommendation that the bill do pass without amendment.

An identical bill, S. 2536, for the relief of Harriet B. Rickards, passed the Senate on May 23, 1941. The facts are fully set forth in Senate Report No. 314, Seventy-seventh Congress, first session, which is appended hereto and made a part of this report, and your committee concur in the recommendations of the Senate.

18. Rept. No. 314, 77th Co 1st sess.) The Committee on Claims, to whom was referred the bill (S. 1027) for the relief of Harriet B. Rickards, having considered the same, report favorably thereon with the recommendation that the bill do pass without amendment.

This claim grew out of adjusted-service credits due to Mary Ellen Butler, mother of Guy P. Butler, World War veteran, killed in action, November 5, 1918.

The amount of $543 representing the total amount of adjusted credit to the veteran was approved in favor of Mary Ellen Butler, mother of the veteran. Mrs. Butler, the beneficiary, died August 28, 1939. Checks covering the first

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four installments and the sixth and seventh installments on the award and check No. 313612 dated July 6, 1936, for the $60 were not cashed by Mrs. Butler prior to her death.

Section 601 of the World War Adjusted Compensation Act provides:

"(2) If the veteran has died before making application under section 302, or, if entitled to receive adjusted-service pay, has died after making application but before he has received payment under title IV, then the amount of his adjustedservice credit shall (as soon as practicable after receipt of an application in accordance with the provisions of section 604, but not before March 1, 1925) be paid to his dependents, in the following order of preference:

The beneficiaries do not include the sister of a deceased veteran. At the date of the death of Mrs. Butler she had living a daughter, Harriet B. Rickards. Under the law, Harriet B. Rickards does not have payments made to her from the adjusted-service checks. However, the indebtedness herein mentioned was due, and checks were sent to Mary Ellen Butler. At the time of her death, this money was lying in the Treasury of the United States, but belonging to Mary Ellen Butler, she having failed to present them for payment.

The bill in question permits the payment of the amount due on those checks to her surviving daughter, Harriet B. Rickards.

The following letter from General Hines is appended hereto and made a part of this report:

VETERANS ADMINISTRATION,

Washington, April 3, 1941. Hon. PRENTISS M. BROWN, Chairman, Committee on Claims,

United States Senate, Washington, D. C. MY DEAR SENATOR BROwn: This is in further response to your request of March 6, 1941, for a report on S. 1027, Seventy-seventh Congress, a bill for the relief of Harriet B. Rickards, which provides:

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That the Administrator of Veterans' Affairs be, and he is hereby, authorized and directed to pay, out of any funds available for payments of adjusted-service credits and the installments due to dependents of deceased veterans, as provided in the Act of May 19, 1924, as amended, the sum of $385.80, to Harriet B. Rickards, of Seattle, Washington, in full satisfaction of her claim against the United States for the proceeds of seven checks drawn during the fiscal years 1937 and 1938 to the order of Mary Ellen Butler, the deceased mother of the said Harriet B. Rickards, such checks not having been presented for payment by the said Mary Ellen Butler prior to her death on August 28, 1939: 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 records of the Veterans Administration show that Guy P, Butler (XC72415) a World War veteran, was killed in action on November 5, 1918. An award of $543 representing the total amount of adjusted-service credit to the veteran, under A-1376820, was approved in favor of Mrs. Mary Ellen Butler, mother and preferred dependent of the veteran. This amount was payable in 10 equal quarterly installments as provided by section 603 of the World War Adjusted Compensation Act as amended, hereinafter quoted, and ehccks each in the amount of $54.30 were mailed to her in settlement of the award:

Check No.

Date

Check No.

Date

318744. 1408782. 1415756. 1424253. 1434455.

July 13, 1936
Oct. 1, 1936
Jan. 1, 1937
Apr. 1. 1937
July

1, 1937

1445116.
1455729.
1466073.
1476798.
1486072

Oct. 1, 1937
Jan. 1, 1938
Apr. 1, 1938
July 1, 1938
Oct. 1, 1938

The sum of $60 was also payable under above act and check No. 313612, dated July 6, 1936, was mailed to Mrs. Butler in payment thereof,

Mrs. Butler died August 28, 1939. Checks covering the first four installments and the sixth and seventh installments on the award and check No. 313612, dated July 6, 1936, for the $60 were not cashed by her prior to her death. Section 601 of the World War Adjusted Compensation Act provides:

“(2) If the veteran has died before making application under section 302, or, if entitled to receive adjusted-service pay, has died after making application but before he has received payment under title IV, then the amount of his adjustedservice credit shall (as soon as practicable after receipt of an application in accordance with the provisions of section 604, but not before March 1, 1925) be paid to his dependents, in the following order of preference:

“(1) To the widow;

“(2) If no widow entitled to payment, then to the children, share and share alike;

“(3) If no widow or children entitled to payment, then to the mother; "(4) If no widow, children, or mother, entitled to payment, then to the father." Section 603 of the World War Adjusted Compensation Act provides:

“The payments authorized by section 601 shall be made in 10 equal quarterly installments, unless the total amount of the payment is less than $50, in which case it shall be paid on the first installment date. No payments under the provisions of this title shall be made to the heirs or legal representatives of any dependents entitled thereto who die before receiving all the installment payments, but the remainder of such payments shall be made to the dependent or dependents in the next order of preference under section 601. All payments under this title shall be made by the Director."

This section was manifestly intended to restrict the payment of adjusted-service credit to the enumerated relatives and to prohibit payment of any benefits to the estates of deceased persons. It appears from the hearings and reports of the Congress prior to enactment of the Adjusted Compensation Act and subsequent amendments that payment of adjusted-service credit is intended for those dependents within the group and in the manner stated. The provisions of law recognizing certain dependents of World War veterans for death compensation purposes have never included dependent brothers and sisters as such. The group has never extended beyond widows, children, and dependent parents.

In connection with the sum of $60 above referred to, reference is made to section 608 of the World War Adjusted Compensation Act, which provides:

If the veteran died while in the service and before July 1, 1919, and if an adjusted-service credit has been or is, after this section takes effect, certified to the Director, then the sum of $60 shall be paid in a lump sum to the dependents of such veteran in the same manner as is provided in sections 601 and 602 of this Act."

The bill, if enacted, would grant benefits to Harriet B. Rickards which are denied in other cases where the facts are similar and where the claims must be denied under existing law.

In view of the foregoing, the Veterans Administration is unable to recommend favorable consideration of the proposed measure by your committee. Very truly yours,

FRANK T. HINES, Administrator. O

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