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FEDERAL WORKS AGENCY,

Washington, February 3, 1944. Hon. CLARENCE F. LEA, Chairman, Committee on Interstate and Foreign Commerce,

House of Representatives. DEAR MR. LEA: Careful consideration has been given to the bill, H. R. 4054, transmitted with your letter of January 26 with request for a report thereon and such views relative thereto as this Agency might desire to communicate.

This bill would extend for 2 and 4 years, respectively, from June 22, 1944, the times for commencing and completing the construction of the bridge across the Calcasieu River at or near Lake Charles, authorized by act of June 22, 1943, to be built by the State of Louisiana.

The bill is without objection so far as this Agency is concerned.

This report has been referred to the Bureau of the Budget, and that Bureau has advised that there would be no objection to its submission to the committee. Sincerely yours,

Philip B. FLEMING,
Major General, United States Army,

Administrator.

(PUBLIC LAW 82—78TH CONGRESS)
(CHAPTER 1341st SESSION)

(H. R. 1731] AN ACT Granting the consent of Congress to the State of Louisiana to construct, maintain, and operate

a free highway bridge across the Calcasieu River at or near Lake Charles, Louisiana Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That the consent of Congress is hereby granted to the State of Louisiana to construct, maintain, and operate a free highway bridge and approaches thereto across the Calcasieu River at a point suitable to the interests of navigation, at or near Lake Charles, Louisiana, in accordance with the provisions of the Act entitled "An Act to regulate the construction of bridges over navigable waters," approved March 23, 1906, and subject to the conditions and limitations contained in this Act.

Sec. 2. The right to alter, amend, or repeal this Act is hereby expressly reserved. Approved June 22, 1943.

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APRIL 27, 1944.-Committed to the Committee of the Whole House on the state of

the Union and ordered to be printed

Mr. MCKENZIE, from the Committee on the Post Office and Post

Roads, submitted the following

REPORT

(To accompany H. R. 4687]

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The Committee on the Post Office and Post Roads, to whom was referred the bill (H. R. 4687) having considered the same, report favorably thereon with an amendment and recommend that the bill, as amended, do pass. The amendment is as follows: Strike out all after line 7, on page 1, and insert the following: SEC. 8. The Postmaster General may authorize postmasters at such offices as be shall designate, under such regulations as he shall prescribe, to issue and pay money orders not exceeding $10, to be known as postal notes at 5 cents each: Provided, however, That the Postmaster General is hereby authorized in order to promote the service to the public to increase or decrease the fees fixed by Congress for postal notes to an amount not less than 3 cents or more than 6 cents, whenever he shall find that such fees are too low to insure the receipt of revenues adequate to pay the cost of the postal note system or materially higher than necessary to pay the cost thereof. And provided further, That he shall be required to report to the Congress revision of any fee at least 60 days prior to its effective

Postal notes shall be valid for 2 calendar months from the date of their issue, but thereafter may be paid by the Postmaster General or refund may be made in case of loss, upon evidence satisfactory to him, under such regulations as he may prescribe. Postal notes shall not be negotiable or transferable through endorsement.

PURPOSE OF THE LEGISLATION H. R. 4687 provides for the establishment of a United States postal-note system. Its purpose is to place in operation an inexpensive and safe method for the transmission in the mails of small amounts of money up to $10.

The present United States postal money-order system provides for the transmission of amounts up to $100. These money orders when paid at an office other than on which drawn require considerable

date.

accounting, correspondence, and transfer of funds. Postal notes may be paid at any post office without complicated accounting procedure.

The necessary bookkeeping and accounting incident to the postal money-order system has brought about expenditures which cause a loss of at least 1 cent on each of the approximately 346,000,000 money orders now issued annually. The handling of postal money orders has placed a considerable burden upon our banking facilities and banks have requested relief of the Post Office Department.

The fees for postal money orders under the Revenue Act of 1943 are higher than the flat 5-cent fee that would be charged for postal notes. These money-order fees range from 10 cents to 19 cents for money orders up to $10. Approximately 70 percent of the postal money order business is for amounts of $10 and less.

The Post Office Department is the only organization that is able to provide a means for the transmission of money for all the people. Banks and other organizations supply only those who live in the larger towns and in places located on railways.

The establishment of a United States postal-note system will be advantageous for those persons who do not have banking and other convenient facilities to transmit money. It will eliminate to a large extent the necessity for transmitting postage stamps, currency, and coins in the mails.

Postal notes will be paid at any post office upon proper identification and the Post Office Department has developed a simple and inexpensive method of accounting for them. They may be sold at a flat fee of 5 cents for any amount up to and including $10. The notes will be issued in fixed denominations of 10 cents, 50 cents, $1, $1.50, and in multiples of 50 cents up to an including $10. Odd amounts will be cared for by the placing on the note of adhesive postal-note stamps in denominations of from 1 to 10 cents, 20 cents, 30 cents, and 40 cents.

Because of the fact that the fee is fixed at one rate, and the notes and stamps are in fixed denominations, they will be handled by postmasters on a fixed-credit basis with a minimum of accounting costs.

The bill provides that the Postmaster General may fix the fees for postal notes at an amount of not less than 3 nor more than 6 cents and re-form the fees within these amounts whenever he shall find that any

such fees are too low to insure the receipt of revenue adequate to pay the cost of the system, or materially higher than necessary to pay its cost, provided that any proposed change in fees by the Postmaster General from those fixed by Congress shall be first reported to the Congress 60 days before the proposed change is made effective.

In compliance with paragraph 2a of rule XIII of the Rules of the House of Representatives, changes in existing law made by the bill as introduced, are shown as follows (existing law proposed to be omitted is enclosed in black brackets; new matter is printed in italics):

(That the Postmaster General may authorize postmasters at such offices as he shall designate, under such regulations as he shall prescribe, to issue and pay money orders of fixed denominations, not exceeding $10, to be known as postal

That postal notes shall be valid for six calendar months from the last day of the month of their issue, but thereafter may be paid under such regulations as the Postmaster General may prescribe.

notes.

That postal notes shall not be negotiable or transferable through endorsement.

That if a postal note has been once paid, to whomsoever paid, the United States shall not be liable for any further claim for the amount thereof.]

The Postmaster General may authorize postmasters at such offices as he shall designate, under such regulations as he shall prescribe, to issue and pay money orders not exceeding $10, to be known as postal notes. Postal notes shall be valid for two calendar months from the date of their issue, but thereafter may be aid by the Postmaster General or refund may be made in case of loss, upon evidence satisfactory to him, under such regulations as he may prescribe. Postal notes shall not be negotiable or transferable through endorsement. The Postmaster General is hereby directed in order to promote the service to the public to fix the fees for postal notes at an amount of not less than 3 cents or more than 6 cents, and to reform them within these amounts whenever he shall find that any such fees are too low to insure receipt of revenues adequate to pay the cost of the system or materially higher than necessary to pay the cost thereof.

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