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the reasons enumerated, on October 7, 1937, for the sum of $1,600, which was the best and highest price therefor that he could obtain; that he sustained serious and substantial damage at the hands of the Government because of the establishment of the camp, and that he has never received any compensation or remuneration for such damage.
The proposed legislation calls for no appropriation, but merely waives the statute of limitations so as to permit the claimant, as former owner of the property, to litigate his claim in the United States District Court.
Commencing with the Seventy-first Congress, several private relief bills have been passed, waiving the statute of limitations so as to permit certain owners of land in the vicinity of Camp Knox to bring suit in the United States district court for such damages as could be shown. These are referred to in the report of the War Department, attached hereto. The present bill is another one of these, and would merely give the claimant his day in court.
Your committee feel that the claimant is entitled to his day in court, and, therefore, recommend favorable consideration of the proposed legislation.
Appended hereto is the report of the War Department, together with other pertinent evidence, all of which is made a part of this report.
WAR DEPARTMENT, Washington, January 6, 1943.
Hon. DAN R. MCGEHEE,
House of Representatives.
DEAR MR. MCGEHEE: The War Department is opposed to the enactment of H. R. 7409, Seventy-seventh Congress, second session, a bill for the relief of Lorenzo H. Froman, which would authorize Froman, as former owner of a farm consisting of 165 acres of land near Fort Knox, in Hardin County, Ky., to bring suit against the United States to recover for such losses as he may have sustained by reason of the establishment, construction, or maintenance of Fort Knox, formerly known as Camp Knox, and would confer jurisdiction upon the United States District Court for the Western District of Kentucky to hear the case and render judgment thereon. The bill waives the statute of limitations and grants 1 year from the date the act may become effective within which suit may be filed, with the right of appeal as in other cases.
Fort Knox was established in January 1918. The records of the War Department show that, since 1927, various owners of farms and tracts of land east of the eastern boundary of Fort Knox have submitted claims to the War Department alleging that as a result of the establishment of this military post their lands have depreciated in value; that the usual road affording ingress and egress to their properties is inadequate; that they have been deprived of facilities of schools, medical attention, and mail service; and that the cost of shipment of their farm products to the proper markets has been increased.
Commencing with the Seventy-first Congress, several private relief acts have been passed, from a number introduced, three of which authorized certain owners of land in the vicinity of Fort Knox to bring suit in the United States district court for such damages as could be shown. Suit brought by reason of the act of June 8, 1932 (47 Stat. 1670), for the relief of Nancy H. Rouse, Clara H. Simmons, W. H. Hays, Hallie H. Hamilton, and Bradford Hays, resulted in judgment against the United States in the sum of $9,000 with cost. Similarly, suit authorized by the act of May 15, 1937 (50 Stat. 965), for the relief of Henry H. Carr, Robert E. Wise, Stanley Wise Ellis, Peyton L. Ellis, Hilory Wise, and Flora A. Wise, resulted in a judgment against the United States for damages in the amount of $9,240. Action brought under the permission granted by the act of March 29, 1939, H. R. 2079 (76th Cong., 1st sess.), for the relief of Charles Wise resulted in judgment against the United States in the sum of $5,000 (38 Fed. Supp. 130). The instant bill, H. R. 7409, is almost identical in language and purpose with the three acts cited above.
From an investigation of the files of the War Department, the following information has been ascertained. One Clara Froman acquired by inheritance from her mother, Louisa Cowley, who died in 1937, and who had inherited the land from her husband, Mathew C. Cowley (the date of whose death is not ascertainable at this time), property in the vicinity of Fort Knox. She sold this land to Will Brown in 1938. The records further disclose that on January 17, 1919, M. C. Cowley and Louisa Cowley, his wife, by deed recorded in Deed Book
No. 71, page 259, office of the clerk of county court in Hardin, Ky.; tract No. 124, conveyed to the United States of America certain property in Hardin County, Ky., and received therefor the sum of $2,780.
In reporting on previous bills authorizing other owners of land in the vicinity of Fort Knox to bring suits in the United States District Court for the Western District of Kentucky for recovery of damages to the land by reason of the establishment, construction, or maintenance of Fort Knox, the War Department has expressed the view that the injuries and losses complained of were of consequential character for which the Government was not responsible, and has also stated that the maintenance of roads and bridges in the community was a responsibility resting upon county and State authorities. The danger and far-reaching effect of establishing a legislative precedent by the enactment of measures of this type has repeatedly been raised for consideration. It is believed that the same objections are pertinent, and equally applicable, to H. R. 7409. The damages here complained of were in their nature indirect and consequential for the payment of which there is no obligation on the part of the United States. It has been uniformly held that the Government is not legally responsible to adjoining landowners for consequential damages due to the taking or proper use by the Government of private properties (Transportation Company v. Chicago, 99 U. S. 635; Sanguinetti v. United States, 264 U. S. 146).
Particular attention is invited to the fact that nothing appears in the file to identify Lorenzo H. Froman and his interest in the property.
The War Department accordingly is constrained to recommend against the enactment of the bill H. R. 7409. However, if, in view of the previous enactments of similar import, the Committee on Claims feels that relief should be granted to those similarly situated, it is urged that such relief be limited to those individuals who were owners of the land at the time of the establishment of the Fort Knox Military Reservation and, consequently, were the ones who might have been injured. Neither Clara Froman, Lorenzo H. Froman, nor Will Brown appear to be in that category.
The Bureau of the Budget advises that there is no objection to the submission of this report.
STATE OF MICHIGAN,
AFFIDAVIT IN SUPPORT OF BILL
County of Wayne, ss:
Lorenzo H. Froman, being duly sworn, deposes and says:
1. That he makes this affidavit in support of a bill entitled "For the relief of Lorenzo H. Froman.'
2. That for many years prior to 1918 deponent owned a farm in Hardin County, Ky., consisting of 165 acres of land, more or less, bordering on Salt River.
3. That on or about January 1, 1918, Camp Knox was established by the United States Government in the neighborhood of said farm.
4. That since that time the United States Government has constructed and maintained said camp for military purposes.
5. That as a result of the establishment, construction, and maintenance of said camp in the neighborhood of said farm the value of said farm and the business of farming have been damaged or destroyed because of the stopping of navigation on Salt River, and the stopping of the mail route and the telephone service, the complete destruction of the roadway to and from the markets, churches, schools, and doctors, and because of the loss of community life of every kind it was impossible to get labor or tenants to produce crops which made the said farm so unattractive that it became unmarketable and unprofitable to operate.
6. That by the operation of large trucks and artillery over the Porter River Road and Dowdell Road in wet weather the United States Government practically destroyed them.
7. That the firing of shells and the stoppage of traffic for hours by officers of the post during target practice interfered with the ingress and egress to the said farm. 8. That shortly before the camp was established deponent was offered $8,000 for the farm by one, Mr. Hornback.
9. That on or about October 7, 1937, this deponent sold the farm to D. E. Wooldridge and Pearl H. Wooldridge for $1,600, that being the best possible price obtainable.
10. That this deponent never has been reimbursed by the United States Government for the damages sustained and suffered by him because of the establishment, construction, and maintenance of the said camp.
LORENZO H. FROMAN.
Subscribed and sworn to before me this 30th day of June 1942. [SEAL] NORMAN J. RICE, Notary Public.
My commission expires November 26, 1943.
DONNA MAY MCNULTY
FEBRUARY 13, 1945.-Committed to the Committee of the Whole House and ordered to be printed
Mr. McGEHEE, from the Committee on Claims, submitted the
[To accompany H. R. 1230]
The Committee on Claims, to whom was referred the bill (H. R. 1230) for the relief of Donna May McNulty, 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. 1668, of the Seventy-eighth Congress, which is appended hereto and made a part of this report.
[H. Rept. No. 1668, 78th Cong., 1st sess.'
The purpose of the proposed legislation is to appropriate the sum of $1,000 to Donna May McNulty, of Yreka, Calif., wife of Dr. Stanley McNulty, now reported to be a prisoner of Japan. Such sum represents money due Dr. Stanley McNulty by the United States naval government of Guam or the Bank of Guam for dental services rendered by him to civilians on the island of Guam but collected and retained by the United States naval government of Guam. Such sum allowed under this payment shall be charged to the account of Dr. McNulty.
STATEMENT OF FACTS
It appears from the evidence that Dr. Stanley McNulty was formerly a contract dentist at Guam and rendered dental services to civilians of the island of Guam. Such fees for services were collected and retained by the United States naval government of Guam and credited to Dr. McNulty's account. Dr. McNulty is reported to be a prisoner of war, and due to the island of Guam being in the hands of enemies of the United States, the amount to the credit of Dr. McNulty in the Bank of Guam cannot be definitely ascertained.
However, the records do indicate that Dr. McNulty has to his credit the sum involved in the proposed bill. The Navy Department recommends the enactment of this legislation,
After considering all the facts presented, your committee recommend that the proposed bill be favorably considered. Appended hereto is the report of the Navy Department, together with other pertinent information.
Hon. DAN R. McGEHEE,
Chairman of the Committee on Claims,
House of Representatives, Washington, D. C.
MY DEAR MR. CHAIRMAN: The bill H. R. 3463, for the relief of Donna May McNulty was referred to the Navy Department by your committee with request for the opinion of the Navy Department as to its merits.
The purpose of the proposed legislation is to pay to Donna May McNulty, of Yreka, Calif., the wife of Dr. Stanley McNulty, formerly contract dentist at Guam and now reported to be a prisoner of Japan, the sum of $2,000.
Said sum is referred to in the bill as money due Dr. McNulty by the United States naval government of Guam or the Bank of Guam, for dental services rendered by him to civilians on the island of Guam but collected and retained by the United States naval government of Guam, with the further provision that in the subsequent settlement of the account of Dr. McNulty, the sum of $2,000 shall be charged to his account.
It appears that neither the amount due Dr. McNulty from the naval government of Guam, nor the amount to his personal credit in the Bank of Guam, can be definitely ascertained from any information that is now available. The records do indicate, however, that the amount of claims against the Bank of Guam will greatly exceed the bank's assets impounded in this country. It would appear, therefore, that legislation authorizing the payment to an individual of any amount representing a sum deposited in the Bank of Guam to his personal credit, would extend preferential treatment to such person and thus create a precedent for numerous cases, not only involving persons having interests in the assets of the Bank of Guam, but would also involve persons having interests in institutions in other areas captured by the enemy.
With respect to the amount claimed to have been collected by the naval government of Guam for services rendered by Dr. McNulty to civilians of the island of Guam and placed in the bank but not paid to Dr. McNulty, the Navy Department interposes no objection to the payment to his wife of a reasonable amount on this account. In the absence of any definite information as to the amount that may be involved, it is believed that payment of $2,000, as proposed in H. R. 3463, would not be justified. However, there is no objection to legislation providing relief on account in an amount not to exceed $1,000, which would furnish at least temporary relief to Mrs. McNulty.
The records of the Navy Department indicate that Mrs. McNulty has been receiving compensation at the rate of $90 a month under the provisions of the War Pay and Allowances Act of 1942, approved March 27, 1942 (56 Stat. 144), as amended by the act of December 24, 1942 (56 Stat. 1092; 50 U. S. C. secs. 1002-1006).
As Dr. McNulty, at the time of his alleged capture, was receiving $100 a month as a dentist in the United States Hospital at Guam, authority has been granted to the disbursing officer to increase the monthly allotment to Mrs. McNulty to $95, effective January 1, 1942, and continuing thereafter until further notice. This sum represents Dr. McNulty's gross pay of $100 per month less civil-service retirement deductions.
The cost of the proposed legislation is $2,000.
In view of the foregoing, the Navy Department recommends the enactment of the bill H. R. 3463 in the sum of $1,000.
The Navy Department has been advised by the Bureau of the Budget that there would be no objection to the submission of this recommendation.