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AMENDING PUBLIC LAW NO. 626, SEVENTY-FOURTH

CONGRESS

May 12, 1937.-Referred to the House Calendar and ordered to be printed

Mr. CROWE, from the Committee on the Territories, submitted

the following

REPORT

[To accompany H. R. 1502]

The Committee on the Territories, to whom was referred the bill (H. R. 1502) to amend Public Law No. 626, Seventy-fourth Congress, having considered the same, report favorably thereon and recommend that the bill do pass.

Public Law No. 626, Seventy-fourth Congress, authorizes municipal corporations in the Territory of Alaska to incur bonded indebtedness in order to obtain funds with which to undertake the construction of public works of a permanent character (49 Stat. 1388).

It is now evident that in drafting the law an inadvertent error was made in providing the procedure for approval of any proposed bond issue by the taxpayers of an Alaskan city. Provision was made that the proposed bond issue must be first submitted to and approved by not less than 65 percent of the qualified electors of the city whose names appeared on the last assessment roll or record, instead of 65 percent of the qualified electors who might vote on the question as was evidently intended.

Prior to the enactment of Public Law 626, Seventy-fourth Congress, if any municipal corporation of the Territory desired to incur bonded indebtedness it was first necessary to secure the passage of a special act of Congress granting the necessary authority. În past years Congress has enacted a number of such special acts, and in each of such laws Congress has required the approval of a majority or some other proportion, but never more than 65 percent, of the voters at an election held to pass upon the proposed bond issue, the voting being limited to the listed or enrolled taxpayers of the city. The majority or other percentage or proportion of the taxpaying voters required to authorize the bond issue was always confined to those who should vote on the question, and not to the entire body of the taxpayers

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who were eligible to vote. The following quoted provision embraced in Public Law No. 79, Seventy-fourth Congress, is an example of the language used in such acts:

said bonds shall be issued for the purpose herein authorized only upon condition that not less than a majority of the votes cast at such election in said municipality shall be in favor of the issuance of said bonds for such purpose.

Such an unbroken course of legislation is convincing evidence that, in the enactment of Public Law, 626, Congress did not intend to require the virtually impossible condition that 65 percent of all of the qualified electors of the city whose names appeared on the last assessment roll or record must first approve a proposed bond issue.

The bill was submitted to the Department of the Interior for the customary report and that report, which favors the enactment of the bill, is as follows:

INTERIOR DEPARTMENT,

Washington, April 28, 1937.
Hon. Lex GREEN,
Chairman, Committee on the Territories,

House of Representatives.
My Dear MR. GREEN: I have received your letter of January 27 requesting a
report on H. R. 1502, a bill to amend Public Law No. 626, Seventy-fourth Congress.

The first sentence of section 2 of an act to authorize municipal corporations in the Territory of Alaska to incur bonded indebtedness, and for other purposes, which the proposed legislation would amend, requires that “No bonded indebtedness shall be incurred by any municipal corporation in the Territory of Alaska unless the proposal to incur such indebtedness be first submitted to and approved by not less than 65 per centum of the qualified electors of such municipal corporation whose names appear on the last tax assessment roll or record of such municipality for purposes of municipal taxation.”

The act as it is now would require the affirmative vote of 65 percent of those qualified to vote. The suggested amendment would require approval of 65 percent of those actually voting. Clearly, in the case of Alaskan municipalities, the latter is more workable, for only in rare cases would it be possible to muster a sufficient poll to provide approval by 65 percent of the total eligibles.

The basis of decision supplied by the proposed amendment would permit as free an expression of opinion as that provided in the act and would be a more effective means of gaging the public will. It is believed that this was the procedure intended and that section 2 as it now stands is an inadvertent error in language the correction of which is important to Alaskan municipalities. Further, it is in line with the method provided heretofore in acts authorizing individual cities of Alaska to incur bonded indebtedness.

I therefore recommend that H. R. 1502 be enacted as written.

The Bureau of the Budget advises that this report is not in conflict with the
legislative and financial policies of the President.
Sincerely yours,

CHARLES WEST,
Acting Secretary of the Interior.
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NATIONAL AVIATION DAY

May 12, 1937.-Referred to the House Calendar and ordered to be printed

Mr. CITRON, from the Committee on the Judiciary, submitted

the following

REPORT

[To accompany H. J. Res. 348]

The Committee on Judiciary, to whom was referred the joint resolution (H. J. Res. 348) making May 28, 1937, National Aviation Day, having considered the same, report it back to the House with amendments and recommend that the bill as amended do pass.

The committee amendments are as follows:

First, strike out all after the enacting clause and insert in lieu thereof the following:

That the President of the United States is authorized to designate May 28, 1937 as National Aviation Day, and to issue a proclamation calling upon officials of the Government to display the flag of the United States on all Government buildings on that day, and inviting the people of the United States to observe the day with appropriate exercises to further and stimulate interest in aviation in the United States.

Second, amend the title so as to read: “Designating May 28, 1937, National Aviation Day.

GENERAL INFORMATION

Your committee believe that the issuance of a proclamation by the President, designating May 28, 1937, as National Aviation Day, and inviting the people of the United States to observe this day with appropriate exercises, will stimulate an interest in aviation from the viewpoint of national defense and of transportation in peacetimes. Aviation has made great strides since its inception. The steps taken from time to time, to make our people air-minded, will help in the advancement of the science of aviation.

Congress has ample precedent for the passage of this resolution. By resolution Congress has designated Army Day and Navy Day, patriotically dedicated to these branches of the national defense. Congress has also designated a National Maritime Day, devoted to the merchant marine.

The passage of this resolution will place aviation in a position of equal importance. Your committee decided upon May 28 for this observance because of the information that weather conditions on that date are approximately the most favorable in all parts of the United States for flying purposes.

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CONGRESS

TO PREVENT PROFITEERING IN TIME OF WAR AND TO EQUALIZE THE BURDENS OF WAR AND THUS PROVIDE FOR THE NATIONAL DEFENSE, AND PROMOTE PEACE

May 12, 1937.—Committed to the Committee of the Whole House on the

state of the Union and ordered to be printed

Mr. Hill of Alabama, from the Committee on Military Affairs,

submitted the following

REPORT

[To accompany H. R. 6704]

The Committee on Military Affairs, to whom was referred the bill (H. R. 6704) to prevent profiteering in time of war and to equalize the burdens of war and thus provide for the national defense, and promote peace and for other purposes, having considered the same, report favorably thereon with the recommendation that the bili

do pass.

SPONSORED BY THE AMERICAN LEGION AND WORLD WAR VETERANS

The bill is sponsored by the American Legion with its 11,000 posts, which is the great organization of the veterans of the World War.

When the veterans came back home they learned that while they had left behind them many of their comrades sleeping in France beneath the white crosses, row upon row, and while many thousands of their comrades were confined to hospitals or asylums shattered and blasted in mind and body, many people who never even smelled gun powder had profiteered and profited tremendously during the war. The veterans learned that while they were fighting some twenty-two thousand individuals at home stepped from the shadow of financial obscurity into the millionaire class, that hundreds of persons already millionaires saw their fortunes mount higher and higher, that other thousands entered the luxury class, and that nearly every person at home at work, and there was a job for everybody who wanted one, made more in one hour than the man at the battle front received per day. The veterans found upon their return the great shadow of the deflation period stretching across the land, closing factories, mills, stores and business houses, and bankrupting the farmers. They found that the war had cost the country and its unborn children at least

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