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MRS. GLADYS STOUT

.

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

ordered to be printed

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

following

REPORT

(To accompany H. R. 980)

The Committee on Claims, to whom was referred the bill (H. R. 980) for the relief of Mrs. Gladys Stout, having considered the same, report favorably thereon without amendment and recommend that the bill do pass.

The purpose of the proposed legislation is to aathorize the Comptroller General of the United States to remove from the records of his office the debt which has been raised therein against Mrs. Gladys Stout, cashier-bookkeeper for the Baltimore defense housing project, Middle River, Md., in the sum of $264, together with interest due thereon from date of loss of the public funds for which she is accountable and which were stolen from the safe in the defense housing project office, Middle River, Md., without her fault, sometime between Saturday, March 28, 1942, and Monday, March 30, 1942.

Section 2 of the bill provides for an appropriation of $85 to Mrs. Stout, which she was required to refund to the Treasury Department under her agent-cashier fidelity bond.

The War Food Administration submitted a letter to the Speaker of the House of Representatives recommending the proposed legislation. Therefore, your committee recommends favorable consideration to the proposed legislation.

WAR FOOD ADMINISTRATION,

Washington, June 5, 1944. The Honorable the SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES.

DEAR MR. RAYBURN: There is enclosed, for consideration of the Congress, a draft of a private bill which the War Food Administration recommends for the relief of Mrs. Gladys Stout, cashier-bookkeeper of the defense housing project,

Farm Security Administration, Middle River, Md. The proposal is predicated upon the following facts:

On Saturday, March 28, 1942, at approximately 1:30 p. m., immediately prior to leaving the office at the close of business, Mrs. Gladys Stout placed in the inner locked compartment of the safe rental collections from clients of the Middle River defense housing project totaling $264, and $85 of a cash fund obtained by advance from the U. s. Treasury under her agent-cashier bond. Upon returning to the office Monday morning. March 30, 1942, at approximately 10 a. m., Mrs. Stout opened the safe and discovered that the $349 had been stolen. The records of the War Food Administration reveal that Mrs. Stout had at all times been very diligent in the handling and depositing of collections from clients in accordance with the established procedure.

Investigation revealed that some unknown person or persons apparently had duplicate keys with which to enter the office and the safe. The investigating agent of the United States Secret Service expressed himself as being very favorably impressed by the reactions on the part of Mrs. Stout during the interrogation and does not suspicion her in any way nor doubt her word that she put the money in the cashier's compartment of the safe and locked it. The investigating agent learned that on April 19, 1942, just 19 days after the occurrence of the missing funds at this project, the United States organization office at Middle River, which is only a short distance from the housing project, had a similar safe larceny.

Efforts by the Farm Security Administration and by the civil authorities in Baltimore County, Md., to identify and apprehend the person or persons responsible for the theft have failed.

Since there is an absolute liability on the part of a Federal employee to account for public money, it appears that Mrs. Gladys Stout will be obligated to the Government for the sum of $264 unless the Comptroller General is authorized and directed to remove from the records of his office the debt which has been raised against her. Since Mrs. Stout is a bonded employee, it appears certain that a satisfactory settlement could be obtained from her surety, but if settlement were to be made through the surety, injury would probably revert to her in a like amount. Mrs. Stout was also required to refund to the Treasury Department, under her agerit-cashier fidelity bond, the sum of $85. Section 2 of the proposed bill provides for an appropriation of $85 to be paid to Mrs. Stout.

The request for relief in this case will not be used by the War Food Administration as a precedent, since each case submitted will be considered on the basis of the facts and circumstances appearing therein, and not on the action that has been taken in previous cases under similar circumstances. It is our opinion that due diligence was exercised and that the introduction and passage of a relief bill would be equitable and proper.

The Director of the Bureau of the Budget advises that there is no objection to the submission of this proposed legislation to the Congress. Sincerely,

MARVIN JONES, Administrator. O

SIDNEY B. WALTON

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

ordered to be printed

Mr. Case of New Jersey, from the Committee on Claims, submitted

the following

REPORT

[To accompany H. R. 1069)

The Committee on Claims, to whom was referred the bill (H. R. 1069) for the relief of Sidney B. Walton, having considered the same, report favorably thereon with an amendment and recommend that the bill, as amended, do pass.

The amendment is as follows:

Line 5, strike out the figures "$9,835.50” and insert in lieu thereof the figures "$4,000”.

The purpose of the proposed legislation is to appropriate the sum of $4,000 to Sidney B. Walton, of Irrigon, Oreg., in full settlement of all claims against the United States for personal injuries and damages sustained by him when he was struck by an Army vehicle at the Umatilla ordnance depot, Hermiston, Oreg., on November 23, 1942.

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STATEMENT OF FACTS

It appears that on November 23, 1942, at about 11:55 a. m., a Government station wagon, operated by a civilian employee of the War Department on official business, was standing, facing east at the north curb of South Street, a one-way street, near the intersection of South Street with Cedar Street at the Umatilla ordnance depot, Hermiston, Oreg. It was raining and visibility through the side windows of the station wagon was poor. At the same time Sidney B. Walton, of Irrigon, Oreg., an employee of Paul N. Odegard & Associates, a private contractor, was off duty and was walking across Cedar Street from east to west on the cross walk at the same intersection. The Government driver suddenly started his vehicle and, without giving a signal of any kind, made a sharp left turn from South Street into Cedar Street. Mr. Walton was approximately three-fourths of the way across Cedar Street when the left front wheel of the Government station wagon struck his left leg, throwing him to the pavement.

As a result of the accident Mr. Walton sustained a compound fracture of his left leg. He was taken from the scene of the accident to the station hospital, Umatilla ordnance depot, where first aid was administered, and he was thereafter removed to St. Anthony's Hospital, Pendleton, Oreg., where he remained under treatment for a period of 93 days.

Dr. G. L. McBee, Mr. Walton's physician, made the following statement on June 1, 1944, concerning his condition:

Examination showed him to have a compound fracture of the left leg just below the knee. He was brought in to St. Anthony's Hospital in a Thomas splint and since the position of the fracture was good, sulfathiazole powder was applied to the wound and the leg enclosed in a plaster of paris cast.

At the time of the accident Mr. Walton was 61 years of age. He was employed as a carpenter at the Umatilla ordnance depot by Paul N. Odegard and Associates at an average wage of $69.35 per week. In a sworn statement dated June 29, 1944, Mr. Walton states that he was unable to do any work from the date of the accident until December 15, 1943, a period of about 13 months, and he sustained a loss in earnings in the amount of $3,814.25.

The War Department in its report of January 9, 1945, states:

The evidence fairly establishes that the accident and resulting injuries sustained by Mr. Walton were not caused by any fault or negligence on his part but were caused solely by the negligence of the Government driver in making a left turn without giving a signal and in failing to maintain a proper lookout so that he could see and avoid striking a pedestrian lawfully crossing the street on an authorized cross walk. It is, therefore, the view of the War Department that Mr. Walton should be reasonably compensated for the personal njuries sustained by him.

In view of the fact that the expenses incurred by Mr. Walton will be settled administratively, your committee concurs in the recommendation of the War Department that an award of $4,000 would be a fair and reasonable settlement. Therefore, your committee recommends favorable consideration to the proposed legislation, as amended.

Appended hereto is the report of the War Department, together with other pertinent information.

WAR DEPARTMENT,

Washington, January 9, 1945.
Hon. Dan R. McGEHEE,
Chairman, Committee on Claims,

House of Representatives, Washington, D. C.
DEAR Mr. McGEHEE. The War Department is opposed to the enactment of
H. R. 5510, Seventy-eighth Congress, à bill for the relief of Sidney B. Walton,
in its present form.

This bill would authorize and direct the Secretary of the Treasury to pay the sum of $9,835.50, to Sidney B. Walton, of Irrigon, Oreg., in full settlement of all claims against the United States for personal injuries and damages sustained by him when he was struck by an Army vehicle at the Umatilla ordnance depot, Hermiston, Oreg., on November 23, 1942.

The Department, however, would not oppose the enactment of the bill if it should be so amended as to provide for an award to Mr. Walton in the amount of $4,000.

On November 23, 1942, at about 11:55 a. m., a Government station wagon, operated by a civilian employee of the War Department on official business, was standing, facing east at the north curb of South Street, a one-way street, near the intersection of South Street with Cedar Street at the Umatilla ordnance depot, Hermiston, Oreg. It was raining and visibility through the side windows of the station wagon was poor.

At the same time Sidney B. Walton, Rural Free Delivery No. 2, Irrigon, Oreg., an employee of Paul N. Odegard & Associates, private contractor, was off duty and was walking across Cedar Street from east to west on the cross walk at that same intersection. The Government driver

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