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Washington, October 4, 1948. Hon. Joan H. TOLAN,
House of Representatives, Washington, D. C. My DEAR MR. Tolan: I have reference to the letter of the Secretary of the Navy addressed to you on September 14, 1943, in connection with the claim for the relief of Mrs. Donna May McNulty, Yreka, Calif., wife of Dr Stanley C. McNulty.
I am personally interested in this case by reason of my being Governor of Guam when Dr. McNulty served there.
At the request of the office of the Secretary of the Navy, I was consulted in establishing the background of this case. I take the liberty of enclosing a memorandum which I prepared, hoping it may serve you in this matter. The memorandum is complete as to detail but I shall be glad to be of service to you in an unofficial capacity should you have occasion to clear up any matters not covered in my background. Sincerely yours,
J. T. ALEXANDER, Captain, United States Navy.
STATE OF CALIFORNIA,
County of Siskiyou, 88:
That she is the wife of Dr. Stanley McNulty now a prisoner of war of the Japanese; that she and the said Dr. Stanley McNulty have three children, Stanley, Jr., age 7, Don, and Jon, age 5.
That the following statements are made upon information and belief in that affiant had no particular knowledge of her husband's financial affairs and the information contained herein is based upon statements made by Dr. McNulty to affiant and the data gathered from various individuals who had knowledge of Dr. McNulty's financial arrangement with the Navy Department:
That Dr. Stanley McNulty was a civilian employee of the Navy Department stationed upon Guam; that his compensation came from the following sources: $100 monthly from the leper and special funds, and $200 monthly to be paid from a fund built up by Dr. McNulty from fees received for dental services, the arrangement being that any sum in excess of $200 a month was to be deposited in the Bank of Guam and was to be paid to Dr. McNulty, after deducting certain expenses, upon the 1st day of January 1943; that affiant believes that this sum was in excess of $3,000 upon December 8, 1942;
That affiant's information and belief is further based upon the fact that upon the two communications received from Dr. McNulty since his imprisonment by the Japanese, he has inquired regarding the funds due him from the naval government at Guam.
DONNA MAE McNULTY. Subscribed and sworn to before me this 3d day of November 1943. (SEAL)
Notary Public in and for the County of Siskiyou, State of California.
8. Repts., 79-1, vol. 1-38
FEBRUARY 13, 1945.—Committed to the Committee of the Whole House and
ordered to be printed with an illustration
Mr. McGEHEE, from the Committee on Claims, submitted the
[To accompany H. R. 1263]
The Committee on Claims, to whom was referred the bill (H. R. 1263) for the relief of E. E. Armstrong, 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 House Report No. 1823, of the Seventy-eighth Congress, which is appended hereto and made a part of this report.
(H. Rept. No. 1823, 78th Cong., 2d sess. The purpose of the proposed legislation is to authorize and direct payment of the sum of $750 to E. E. Armstrong, of Gardner, Kans., in full settlement of all claims against the United States for erosion and other damages to farm land owned by him as a result of the diversion of drainage waters by the Bureau of Air Commerce (now the Civil Aeronautics Authority), in the construction on adjoining land of the intermediate landing field near Gardner, Kans.
STATEMENTS OF FACTS
In June 1929 the Bureau of Air Commerce purchased a site for an emergency landing field on the air route between Kansas City, Mo., and Amarillo, Tex. The site chosen was about 25 miles southwest of Kansas City and about 3 miles from Gardner, Kans. Subsequently, the Bureau graded the site and the ditches along the west and east sides.
However, the "southwest drain" was not installed until 1938.
Mr. Armstrong's claim was based on damages caused during the period 1931-38, approximately 7 years.
On April 19, 1936, Mr. Armstrong addressed a letter to the author of the bill, Congressman Guyer, about the results produced by the leveling of the land and the construction of the ditches as they then existed. He stated in his letter that he was the owner of a farm of 160 acres adjoining the field purchased by the Government, and that in the leveling off of the Government property and draining of same with ditches, tiling, etc., a fast flow of water was being caused to result from each heavy rainfall, and that his land had been badly washed.
He further pointed out that the land which he owned had been in his family for over 50 years and had always been well taken care of, with no ditches that could not be readily crossed with any kind of a farm implement. At that time, however, due to the rapidity of the flow of the water, his land was so badly cut up with ditches that they could not even be crossed on horseback, and the condition was getting worse each year. He also pointed out that there had been 40 acres or more of land that drained in the opposite direction, and the natural watershed was changed and at that time was draining across his land. He contended that the damage was permanent and would continue to increase each year.
This complaint was referred to the Bureaų of Air Commerce, and the district manager of the Bureau, Mr. Elliott, reported that the civil engineer of his office had recently investigated the damage reported by Mr. Armstrong and by another neighbor. In his report, Mr. Elliott confirmed a number of Mr. Armstrong's statements. As a result of Mr. Elliott's report, the Bureau of Air Commerce subsequently made plans for installing the "southwest drain," above referred to. This drain was completed sometime in the summer of 1938.
The Civil Aeronautics Authority in its report to your committee dated August 1, 1939, stated, in part, as follows:
“Although the fault of which Mr. Armstrong complained by his letter of April 19, 1936, has now been corrected, there was a period of approximately 7 years (1931 to 1938) when our predecessor agency was wrongfully diverting the water from 45 acres of land from its natural course of drainage and causing it to flow down the Armstrong ravine. It will be difficult, however, to estimate the amount of damages which Mr. Armstrong is entitled to recover for that 7 years of excess flow."
Also contained in the Civil Aeronautics Authority's report is information to the effect that Mr. Armstrong at one time was willing to make an agreement with a representative of that agency to accept $175 per year as an estimate of a fair annual compensation for the damages he was suffering, which would aggregate compensation for the 7-year period amounting to $1,225.
In a subsequent report, however, the Civil Aeronautics Authority submitted certain additional information and evidence, and concluded by expressing the opinion that Mr. Armstrong has no valid claim against the United States for damages to his property, and stating further that if it should be decided by the Committee on Claims that Mr. Armstrong has a valid claim for damages, it is the opinion of the Authority that $3,000, as asked for in the original bill, is extremely excessive. Both reports of the Authority are appended hereafter, and your committee will not, therefore, go into any further detail regarding the opinion expressed therein.
Your committee have very carefully gone into this matter and are of the opinion that Mr. Armstrong suffered certain damages over the 7-year period from 1931 to 1938 and recommend that the Government pay Mr. Armstrong the sum of $750 as an equity settlement for his damages. Legally, of course, your committee concur in the opinion of the Civil Aeronautics Authority that the Government does not owe Mr. Armstrong anything.
Appended hereto are the reports of the Civil Aeronautics Authority, together with other pertinent evidence, including statements of neighbors of Mr. Armstrong, confirming his claims.
Civil AERONAUTICS AUTHORITY,
Washington, August 1, 1939. The Honorable AMBROSE J. KENNEDY, Chairman, Committee on Claims, House of Representatives,
Washington, D. C. MY DEAR CONGRESSMAN: I have your letter of June 21, 1939, enclosing a copy of H. R. 6637, which would direct the Secretary of the Treasury to pay the sum of $3,000 to E. E. Armstrong in full settlement for erosion and other damages to his farm lands as a result of the diversion of drainage waters by the Bureau of Air Commerce of the Department of Commerce in the construction on adjoining land of the intermediate landing field near Gardner, Kans.
Examination of our records discloses that in June 1939 (1929) our predecessor, the Bureau of Air Commerce, purchased a site for an emergency landing field on the air route between Kansas City, Mo., and Amarillo, Tex. The site chosen was about 25 miles southwest of Kansas City and about 3 miles from Gardner, Kans. Subsequently, the Bureau graded the site and put ditches along the west and east sides. The landing field now presents the appearance shown on the plat inserted as page 2 of this report. However, the drain marked "southeast drain" was not installed until last year, after Mr. Armstrong had complained about the drainage.
Before the installation of this "southeast drain" all of the waters gathered by the ditches discharged through a culvert under the road that runs along the north side of the landing area. That culvert in turn discharges into a natural draw or ravine which runs through the farm of Mr. Armstrong, for whose benefit the present bill has been introduced.
On April 19, 1936, Mr. Armstrong addressed a letter to Congressman Guyer about the results produced by the leveling of the landing field and the construction of the ditches as they then existed. His letter in full was as follows:
“I am writing, thinking that possibly you are in a position to be of assistance to me in a proposition that has developed here which I will explain as follows:
“A few years ago the Government purchased land just west of Gardner for the purpose of building an airport or landing field, which they proceeded to do.
"Now I own a farm of 160 acres adjoining this field just north of same, with roadway between. In leveling off this land and draining of same with ditches, tile, etc., it has caused, with each heavy rainfall, such a fast flow of water that my land has been badly washed.
“This land has been in my family for over 50 years and has always been well taken care of with no ditches that could not readily be crossed with any kind of a farm implement. At present, due to the rapidity of the flow of the water, the land