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4th Session. S
7 No. 308.
AMENDMENT OF WAR RISK INSURANCE ACT.
Mr. McCUMBER submitted the following
CONFERENCE REPORT ON THE BILL (H. R. 10003) TO FURTHER
AMEND AND MODIFY THE WAR RISK INSURANCE ACT.
FEBRUARY 19 (calendar day, FebruaRY 23), 1923.-Ordered to be printed.
The committee of conference on the disagreeing votes of the two Houses on the amendment of the Senate to the bill (H. R. 10003) to further amend and modify the war risk insurance act, having met, after full and free conference have agreed to recommend and do recommend to their respective Houses as follows:
That the House recede from its disagreement to the amendment of the Senate to the bill (H. R. 10003) to further amend and modify the war risk insurance act, and agree to the same with an amendment as follows:
In lieu of the matter inserted by the amendment of the Senate, insert the following:
Sec. 23. (1) That, except as provided in subdivision (2) of this section, when by the terms of the War Risk Insurance Act and any amendments thereto, any payment is to be made to a minor, other than a person in the military or naval forces of the United States, or to a person mentally incompetent, or under other legal disability adjudged by a court of competent jurisdiction, such payment shall be made to the person who is constituted guardian, curator, or conservator by the laws of the State or residence of claimant, or is otherwise legally vested with responsibility or care of the claimant or his estate: Provided, That prior to receipt of notice by the United States Veterans' Bureau that any such person is under such other legal disability adjudged by some court of competent jurisdiction, payment may be made to such person direct: Provided further, That for the purpose of payments of benefits under Article III of the War Risk Insurance Act, as amended, where no guardian, curator, or conservator, of the person under a legal disability has been appointed under the laws of the State or residence of the claimant, the director shall determine the person who is otherwise legally vested with responsibility or care of the claimant or his estate.
(2) If any person entitled to receive payments under this Act shall be an inmate of any asylum or hospital for the insane maintained by the United States, or by any of the several States or Territories of the United States, or any political subdivision thercof, and no guardian, curator, or conservator of the property of such person shall have been appointed by competent legal authority, the director, if satisfied after due investigation that any such person is mentally incompetent, may order that all moneys payable to him or her under this Act shall be held in the Treasury of the United States to the credit of such person. All funds so held shall be disbursed under the order of the director and subject to his discretion either to the chief executive officer of the asylum or hospital in which such person is an inmate, to be used by such officer for the maintenance and comfort of such inmate, subject to the duty to account to the United States Veterans Bureau and to repay any surplus at any time remaining in his hands in accordance with regulations to be prescribed by the director; or to the wife (or dependent husband if the inmate is a woman), minor children, and dependent parents of such inmate, in such amounts as the director shall find necessary for their support and maintenance in the order named; or, if at any time such inmate shall be found to be mentally competent, or shall die, or a guardian, curator, or conservator of his or her estate be appointed, any balance remaining to the credit of such inmate shall be paid to such inmate, if mentally competent, and otherwise to his or her guardian, curator, conservator, or personal representatives. And the Senate agree to the same.
P. J. McCUMBER,
JOHN SHARP WILLIAMS,
BURTON E. SWEET,
4th Session. S
THE PERMANENT COURT OF INTERNATIONAL JUSTICE.
PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES,
A LETTER FROM THE SECRETARY OF STATE AND ASKING THE CONSENT OF THE SENATE TO THE ADHESION OF THE UNITED STATES TO THE PROTOCOL UNDER WHICH THE PERMANENT COURT OF INTERNATIONAL JUSTICE HAS BEEN ERECTED AT THE HAGUE.
FEBRUARY 24, 1923.-Read; referred to the Committee on Foreign Relations and
ordered to be printed.
THE WHITE HOUSE,
Washington, February 24, 1923. To the Senate:
There has been established at The Hague a Permanent Court of International Justice for the trial and decision of international causes by judicial methods, now effective through the ratification by the signatory powers of a special protocol. It is organized and function, ing. The United States is a competent suitor in the court, through provision of the statute creating it, but that relation is not sufficient for a Nation long committed to the peaceful settlement of international controversies. Indeed, our Nation had a conspicuous place in the advocacy of such an agency of peace and international adjustment, and our deliberate public opinion of to-day is overwhelmingly in favor of our full participation, and the attending obligations of maintenance and the furtherance of its prestige. It is for this reason that I am now asking for the consent of the Senate to our adhesion to the protocol.
With this request I am sending to the Senate a copy of the letter addressed to me by the Secretary of State, in which he presents in detail the history of the establishment of the court, takes note of the objection to our adherence because of the court's organization under the auspices of the League of Nations, and its relation thereto, and indicates how, with certain reservations, we may fully adhere and participate, and remain wholly free from any legal relation to the league or assumption of obligation under the covenant of the league.
I forbear repeating the presentation made by the Secretary of State, but there is one phase of the matter not covered in his letter with which I choose frankly to acquaint the Senate. For a long period, indeed, ever since the International Conference on the Limitation of Armament, the consideration of plans under which we might adhere to the protocol has been under way. We were unwilling to adhere unless we could participate in the selection of judges; we could not hope to participate with an American accord if adherence involved any legal relation to the league. These conditions, there is good reason to believe, will be acceptable to the signatory powers, though nothing definitely can be done until the United States tenders adhesion with these reservations. Manifestly the Executive can not make this tender until the Senate has spoken its approval. Therefore, I most earnestly urge your favorable advice and consent. I would rejoice if some action could be taken, even in the short period which remains of the present session.
It is not a new problem in international relationship, it is wholly a question of accepting an established institution of high character, and making effective all the fine things which have been said by us in favor of such an agency of advanced civilization. It would be well worth the while of the Senate to make such special effort as is becoming to record its approval. Such action would add to our own consciousness of participation in the fortunate advancement of international relationship, and remind the world anew that we are ready for our proper part in furthering peace and adding to stability in world affairs.
WARREN G. HARDING.
Washington, February 17, 1923. MY DEAR MR. PRESIDENT: Referring to our interviews with respect to the advisability of action by this Government in order to give its adhesion, upon appropriate conditions, to the protocol establishing the Permanent Court of International Justice, I beg leave to submit the following considerations:
From its foundation this Government has taken a leading part in promoting the judicial settlement of international disputes. Prior to the first peace conference at The Hague in 1899 the United States had participated in 57 arbitrations, 20 of which were with Great Britain. The President of the United States had acted as arbitrator between other nations in five cases, and ministers of the United States, or other persons designated by this Government, had acted as arbitrator or umpire in seven cases. In 1890 the Congress adopted a concurrent resolution providing
That the President be, and is hereby, requested to invite, from time to time, as fit occasions may arise, negotiations with any Government with which the United States has or may have diplomatic relations, to the end that any differences or disputes arising between the two Governments which can not be adjusted by diplomatic agency may be referred to arbitration and be peaceably adjusted by such means. (Cang. Rec., 51st Cong., 1st sess., pt. 3, vol. 21, p. 2986.)
In his instructions to the delegates of this Government to the first peace conference at The Hague, Secretary Hay said:
Nothing can secure for human government and for the authority of law which it represents so deep a respect and so firm a loyalty as the spectacle of sovereign and independent States, whose duty it is to prescribe the rules of justice and impose penal. ties upon the lawless, bowing with reverence before the august supremacy of those principles of right which give to law its eternal foundation.
A plan for a permanent international tribunal accompanied these instructions.
At that conference there was adopted a "convention for the pacific settlement of international disputes" which provided for a Permanent Court of Arbitration. This organization, however, while called a permanent court, really consists of an eligible list of persons designated by the contracting parties, respectively, from whom tribunals may be constituted for the determination of such controversies as the parties concerned may agree to submit to them.
In 1908 and 1909 the United States concluded 19 general conventions of arbitration which, in accordance with The Hague conventions, provided for arbitration by special agreement of differences which are of a legal nature or which relate to the interpretation of treaties, and which it may not have been possible to settle by diplomacy, provided that the differences do not affect the vital interest, the independence, or the honor of the two contracting States and do not concern the interests of third parties. Moreover since the first peace conference at The Hague a number of conventions have been concluded by this Government submitting to arbitration questions of great importance.
It is believed that the preponderant opinion in this country has not only favored the policy of judicial settlement of justiciable international disputes through arbitral tribunals specially established, but it has also strongly desired that a permanent court of international justice should be established and maintained. In his instructions to the delegates of the United States to the second peace conference held at The Hague in 1907, Secretary Root emphasized the impor. tance of the establishment of such & tribunal in conformity with accepted judicial standards. He said:
It should be your effort to bring about in the second conference a development of The Hague tribunal into a permanent tribunal composed of judges who are judicial officers and nothing else, who are paid adequate salaries, who have no other occupation, and who will devote their entire time to the trial and decision of international causes by judicial methods and under a sense of judicial responsibility. These judges should be so selected from the different countries that the different systems of law and procedure and the principal languages shall be fairly represented. The court should be of such dignity, consideration, and rank that the best and ablest jurists will accept appointment to it, and that the whole world will have absolute confidence in its judgment.
The second peace conference discussed a plan looking to the attainment of this'object, but the project failed because an agreement could not be reached with respect to the method of selecting judges. The conference adopted the following recommendation:
The conference recommends to the signatory powers the adoption of the project hereto annexed of a convention for the establishment of a court of arbitral justice and its putting into effect as soon as an accord shall be reached upon the choice of the judges and the constitution of the court.
The covenant of the League of Nations provided, in article 14, that the council of the league should formulate and submit to the members