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The contractor also respectfully calls your attention to the fact that he has suffered on account of these unforeseen and undetermined delays a loss of $41,805 in actual money value and for which he feels he has a justified claim against the project but for which he has not asked or filed a claim of any description, and therefore feels that the abatement or forgiveness of liquidated damages and penalties would, in a measure, alleviate some of the unduly and unwarranted expenses that the contractor has incurred in prosecuting the above project to its conclusion.

We respectfully ask your consideration of the difficulties encountered and that you take into consideration the urgency of the project, the manner in which it was negotiated, the critical labor situation as designated in the Anniston area, and prayerfully ask that any and all liquidated damages be abated or forgiven.

SOUTHERN BITUMEN Co.

C. E. EDGE, President. (Enclosures.)

O

1st Session

No. 199

REIMBURSING CERTAIN NAVY PERSONNEL FOR PERSONAL PROP

ERTY LOST OR DAMAGED AS THE RESULT OF A FIRE AT THE NAVAL AUXILIARY AIR FACILITY, ASTORIA, OREG., ON APRIL 2, 1944

FEBRUARY 22, 1945.—Committed to the Committee of the Whole House and

ordered to be printed

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

following

REPORT

[To accompany H. R. 778)

do pass.

The Committee on Claims, to whom was referred the bill (H. R. 778) to reimburse certain Navy personnel for personal property lost or damaged as the result of a fire at the naval auxiliary air facility, Astoria, Oreg., on April 2, 1944, having considered the same, report favorably thereon without amendment and recommend that the bill

The purpose of the proposed legislation is to appropriate the sum of not to exceed $780 to certain naval personnel for the loss of personal property as the result of a fire at the naval auxiliary air facility at Astoria, Oreg., on April 2, 1944. Payment under this act is to be made under the regulations set up by the Secretary of the Navy.

The proposed legislation was submitted to the Speaker of the House of Representatives by the Secretary of the Navy. Your committee has carefully considered this bill and recommend favorable consideration. Appended hereto is a letter from the Secretary of the Navy.

Navy DEPARTMENT,
OFFICE OF THE SECRETARY,

Washington, September 20, 1944. Hon. Sam RAYBURN,

Speaker of the House of Representatives. MY DEAR MR. SPEAKER: There is transmitted herewith a draft of a proposed bill to reimburse certain Navy personnel for personal property lost or damaged as the result of a fire at the naval auxiliary air facility, Astoria, Oreg., on April 2, 1944.

The purpose of this proposed bill is to authorize and direct the Secretary of the Treasury to pay out of any money in the Treasury not otherwise appropriated, the sum of $780, or such portion thereof as may be necessary to reimburse certain Navy personnel for the value of personal property lost or damaged as the result of a fire at the naval auxiliary air facility, Astoria, Oreg., on April 2, 1944.

The fire originated in the southwest corner of hangar No. 2, which was being used as a store room. The cause of the fire has not been definitely determined, although of accidental origin.

A number of officers and enlisted men were required by their official orders to sleep in the hangar and the articles of clothing and other personal property were stored in lockers in said hangar, which articles were destroyed in the fire in question.

The Navy Department is of the opinion that provision should be made for the payment of these claims as the claimants were occupying the building under orders of the Navy Department and the loss of and damage to their property occurred without fault or negligence on their part.

The claims were examined by the Navy Department Claims Board, which board has found the value of the property lost and damaged to be $780. The claimants and the amounts of their claims are shown on the enclosed list, marked "Exhibit A.'

There is no other authority of law by virtue of which the claims may be adjusted.

The additional cost to the Government should this proposed legislation be enacted would not exceed $780.

The Navy Department recommends that the proposed legislation be enacted.

The Navy Department has been advised by the Bureau of the Budget that there would be no objection to the submission of this legislation to the Congress. Respectfully,

RALPH A. BARD, Acting Secretary of the Navy,

16

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MURRAY B. LATIMER

FEBRUARY 22, 1945.-Committed to the Committee of the Whole House and

ordered to be printed

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

following

REPORT

(To accompany H, R. 787)

The Committee on Claims, to whom was referred the bill (H. R. 787) for the relief of Murray B. Latimer, 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 the 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 purpose of the proposed legislation is to appropriate the sum of $884.91 to Murray B. Latimer, of Hobbs, N. Mex., in full settlement of all claims against the United States on account of the destruction by fire of household goods, clothing, and other personal property while in transit from Roswell, N. Mex., to Fort Sumner, N. Mex. The said Murray B. Latimer, an aircraft sheet-metal worker employed by the War Department, was transferred on September 24, 1942, from the Roswell Army Flying School to the Fort Sumner subdepot.

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STATEMENT OF FACTS

It appears that on September 28, 1942, Murray B. Latimer, of Hobbs, N. Mex., a civilian employee of the War Department, was moving, pursuant to an official change of station, from the Roswell Army Air Field, Roswell, N. Mex., to Fort Sumner, N. Mex. Mr. Latimer's household goods were turned over to the quartermaster

H. Repts., 79-1, vol. 1---74

at the Roswell Army Air Field, who arranged for their shipment by the Tucumcari Truck Lines, a private carrier. At the time the quartermaster bill of lading was issued the minimum valuation of 10 cents per pound was placed on the shipment by quartermaster personnel

When the truck carrying Mr. Latimer's household goods reached a point 18 milies north of Roswell, a fire of unknown origin was discovered in the cargo, and the truck, together with its contents except for a few articles, was completely destroyed. Mr. Latimer filed a claim with the insurance carrier of the Tucumcari Truck Lines and recovered the sum of $162.60, the full amount of the 10-cents-perpound valuation.

Mr. Latimer filed a claim with the War Department on July 11, 1943, in the amount of $884.91 (property damage not covered by insurance). The base claims officer at Roswell Army Air Field, who carefully investigated the claim, found that the claimant's estimate of the value of the property destroyed in the fire in the amouut of $1,047.51 was fair and reasonable. He recommended that the claim be approved in the amount of $884.91 should special relief legislation be introduced. Mr. Latimer's claim, however, was necessarily disapproved by the Department, for the reason that there was no statute or appropriation available to the Department under which a claim of this character could be administratively settled.

The War Department states that as the loss was incident to Mr. Latimer's change of station for the convenience of the Government, and occurred without fault or negligence on his part, while the goods were in the constructive custody of the United States, it is the view of the Department that the claimant should be compensated for the damage which he has sustained. The amount of the proposed award of $884.91 appears to be fair and reasonable, and the War Department has no objection to the enactment of the proposed legislation.

Therefore, your committee recommends favorable consideration to the proposed legislation. Appended hereto is the report of the War Department, together with other pertinent information.

*

WAR DEPARTMENT,

Washington, D. C., September 13, 1944. Hon. Dan R. McGEHEE,

Chairman, Committee on Claims, House of Representatives. DEAR MR. McGEHEE: The War Department has no objection to the enactment of H. R. 3723, Seventy-eighth Congress, a bill for the relief of Murray B. Latimer.

This bill would authorize and direct the Secretary of the Treasury to pay "to Murray B. Latimer, Hobbs, N. Mex., the sum of $884.91

in full settlement of all claims of the said Murray B. Latimer against the United States on account of the destruction by fire of household goods, clothing, and other personal property while in transit from Roswell, N. Mex., to Fort Sumner, N. Mex." The bill further states that "the said Murray B. Latimer, an aircraft sheet-metal worker employed by the War Department, was transferred on September 24, 1942, from the Roswell Army Flying School to the Fort Sumner subdepot," and that “the War Department, which arranged for the shipping of such property, placed such a low valuation thereon that the said Murray B. Latimer sustained such loss of $884.91."

On September 28, 1942, Murray B. Latimer, 421 East Roxana Street, Hobbs, N. Mex., a civilian employee of the War Department, was moving, pursuant to an official change of station, from the Roswell Army Air Field, Roswell, N. Mex., to Fort Sumner, N. Mex. Mr. Latimer's household goods were turned over to

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