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CONGRESS

ADDITIONAL APPROPRIATION FOR THE UNITED STATES

CONSTITUTION SESQUICENTENNIAL COMMISSION

May 25, 1937.—Committed to the Committee of the Whole House on the state

of the Union and ordered to be printed

Mr. KELLER, from the Committee on the Library, submitted the

following

REPORT

[To accompany H. J Res. 363]

The Committee on the Library, to whom was referred the bill (H. J. Res. 363) to authorize an additional appropriation to further the work of the United States Constitution Sesquicentennial Commission, report the bill favorably to the House of Representatives and recommend that it do pass.

House Joint Resolution 525, Seventy-fourth Congress, was reported from this committee on April 3, 1936, authorizing $350,000 for the creation and continuance of the Constitution Commission for a period of 2 years. In conformity with the general policy of limiting appropriations to the amount which was to be used during the ensuing year from that time, the appropriation was reduced to $200,000 when the proposed legislation reached the floor of the House, as this amount would suffice for the operation of the Commission for 1 year, ending June 30, 1937. Such are the provisions of Public Resolution 97, under which the Constitution Commission is operating at the present time.

The purpose of H. J. Res. 363 is to authorize the appropriation of the additional $150,000 originally included in H. J. Res. 525, Seventyfourth Congress, and reported favorably by this committee. This sum will provide the money for the second year of operation of the Constitution Commission, and is entirely in accordance with the ideas of the committee when making its report to the Seventy-fourth Congress.

The most important phases of the work of the Constitution Commission in carrying out its approved plans will occur during the period for which the appropriation now desired provides. The Nation-wide celebration of the one hundred and fiftieth anniversary of the signing of the Constitution occurs on September 17, 1937. This important date is followed by celebrations of the ratification of the Constitution by the various States, the most notable of which is the anniversary June 21, 1938, of the ninth State, New Hampshire, which made the Constitution binding upon those States which had ratified.

This resolution also provides for the appropriation of sums received by the Treasurer of the United States from the sale of publications and other materials of the Constitution Commission as a revolving fund for the further acquisition of such publications and material. As all moneys received in this connection are received directly by the Treasurer of the United States, the purpose of this provision is to make it possible for the Commission to continue its work of publishing and selling its publications and other material which make up an essential part of its approved plans. This provision does not provide for the expenditure of any additional sums by the Commission beyond those actually received by the Treasurer of the United States.

We therefore report H. J. Res. 363 favorably and urge its passage.

CHANGES IN EXISTING LAW

In compliance with paragraph 2a of rule XIII of the Rules of the House of Representatives, changes in existing law made by the bill are shown as follows (existing law proposed to be omitted is enclosed in black brackets, new matter is printed in italics, existing law in which no change is proposed is shown in roman):

Sec. 8. There is hereby authorized to be appropriated, out of any money in the Treasury not otherwise appropriated, the sum of ($200,000] $350,000 for the purpose of carrying out the provisions of this joint resolution and such sum when appropriated shall remain available until expended.

Sec. 9. Sums heretofore or hereafter received from the sale of publications and other material of such Commission are hereby authorized to be appropriated as a revolving fund for the further acquisition of such publications and material.

С

1st Session

No. 890

AUTHORIZING THE SECRETARY OF WAR TO LEASE OLD

FORT NIAGARA

May 26, 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, sub

mitted the following

REPORT

[To accompany H. R. 3123]

The Committee on Military Affairs, to whom was referred the bill (H. R. 3123) to authorize the Secretary of War to lease to Old Fort Niagara Association, Inc., portions of the Fort Niagara Military Reservation, N. Y., having considered the same, submit the following report thereon with the recommendation that it do now pass with amendments as outlined.

Old Fort Niagara is a part of the Military Reservation at Fort Niagara, Youngstown, N. Y., at the mouth of the Niagara River on Lake Ontario. The original fort dates back to the days of La Salle and is one of the oldest historical fortifications in the United States. For the past 30 years civic minded and historically informed citizens, together with civic and patriotic organizations have been interested in the preservation of Old Fort Niagara. To this end the Old Fort Niagara Association was incorporated under the laws of the State of New York in 1927, and through appropriations from the Federal Government and the State of New York and county of Niagara, together with substantial private contributions, the association has now completed the restoration from the old ruins. The association is a nonprofit organization and maintains the premises. Membership in the association is representative of all patriotic associations and organizations in western New York. The association at the present time maintains the old fort under a 5-year lease from the War Department expiring in 1939, and the passage of this measure authorizes the Secretary of War to negotiate a new lease which would be revokable at will. A favorable report from the Secretary of War, including Approval of the Budget, is submitted herewith.

APRIL 28, 1937. Hon. LISTER HILL, Chairman, Committee on Military Affairs,

House of Representatives. DEAR MR. Hill: Careful consideration has been given to H. R. 3123, a bill to authorize the Secretary of War to lease to Old Fort Niagara Association, Inc., portions of the Fort Niagara Military Reservation, N. Y., which was transmitted to the War Department under date of January 25, 1937, with a request for a report thereon.

There is no existing law authorizing the Secretary of War to lease property as proposed in this bill. Section 321, act of June 30, 1932 (47 Stat. 412), provides as follows:

“Hereafter, except as otherwise specifically provided by law, the leasing of buildings and properties of the United States shall be for a money consideration only, and there shall not be included in the lease any provision for the alteration, repair, or improvement of such buildings or properties as a part of the consideration for the rental to be paid for the use and occupation of the same. The moneys derived from such rentals shall be deposited into the Treasury as miscellaneous receipts."

The legal effect of the measure would authorize the Secretary of War to lease to the Old Fort Niagara Association certain property on the Fort Niagara Military Reservation, N. Y. The consideration for such lease would be the maintenance of the property involved. The measure also provides for a repossession of the property for emergency purposes.

The Old Fort Niagara Association, Inc., is a nonprofit organization which undertook a number of years ago the restoration and preservation of Old Fort Niagara. It was assisted in this project by an appropriation of Federal funds. The association operates an historical museum on the property under a revocable lease from the War Department. The annual rental involved is $200. The purpose

of this proposed legislation is to relieve the lessee from the payment of a cash rental so that such funds will be available for the maintenance of the property. In view of the nature of the project no objection is seen to such a proposal. Furthermore, it is doubtful whether sufficient funds can be made available by the War Department from time to time for maintaining the property as desired. However, the War Department does not view with favor the bill as at present worded, because the grant made might be construed as a permanent one and because the patent under which New York quitclaimed Fort Niagara to the United States provides that the title shall revert to the State of New York when the United States "shall cease to occupy the said land or any part thereof for the purposes”

"of erecting, establishing, and maintaining a fort, battery, barracks, parade ground, and military post.”

It is therefore recommended that H. R. 3123 be changed as follows:

Lines 2 to 4, page 2: Strike out the clause "for the purposes of maintaining and operating there an international patriotic shrine and historical institute”.

Line 6, page 2: Strike out the words, "for such purposes".

Lines 13 to 17, page 2: Strike out the clause "reserve to the United States of America the right to resume possession and occupy said premises or any portion thereof whenever in the judgment of the President an emegency exists that requires the use and appropriation of the same for public defense”, and substitute therefor the clause "be revocable at will by the Secretary of War”.

Subject to the above changes, there is no objection on the part of the War Department to the enactment of H. R. 3123 into law.

This proposed legislation was submitted to the Bureau of the Budget, which reports that there is no objection to the submission to Congress of the above report thereon. Sincerely yours,

HARRY H. WOODRING,

Secretary of War. O

*

!

COINAGE OF 50-CENT PIECES IN COMMEMORATION OF

THE BATTLE OF ANTIETAM

May 26, 1937.-Committed to the Committee of the Whole House on the state

of the Union and ordered to be printed

Mr. PARSONS, from the Committee on Coinage, Weights, and Meas

ures, submitted the following

REPORT

(To accompany S. 102]

The Committee on Coinage, Weights and Measures, to whom was referred the bill (S. 102) to authorize the coinage of 50-cent pieces in commemoration of the seventy-fifth anniversary of the Battle of Antietam, having considered the same, report favorably thereon and recommend that the bill as amended do pass.

On May 19, 1936, Mr. Lewis of Maryland obtained unanimous consent in the House for the immediate consideration of H. R. 12168. It passed the House on May 19, 1936, and was subsequently referred to the Senate Committee on Banking and Currency, and on May 27, it was favorably reported to the Senate with an amendment fixing the number of coins at 50,000. On June 1, as so amended, it passed the Senate. However, through an apparent oversight, the House failed to pass on the Senate amendment before the House adjourned on June 20, with the result that the bill did not become law, although the two Houses were in substantial agreement with respect to its provisions. It is assumed that the House would have concurred in the Senate amendment if it had the opportunity to act, as there is no indication that there was any controversy concerning the amendment.

The bill (S. 102) which is now being reported is identical with H. R. 12168 as it passed the Senate last year, the amendments added this year are those adopted pursuant to the policy of your committee at this session. In view of the fact that the legislation failed of enactment then, solely because of the final formality of concurring in the Senate amendment in the closing rush of the session, your committee feel that in making this favorable report it is merely helping to correct an unfortunate oversight and that it is in accord with the expressed desire of the House.

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