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HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
REPORT No. 1412
AUTHORIZING RETURN TO PRIVATE OWNERSHIP OF GREAT LAKES VESSELS AND VESSELS OF 1,000 GROSS TONS OR LESS
May 2, 1944.-Orded to be printed
Mr. BLAND, from the committee of conference, submitted the following
To accompany H. R. 3261
The committee of conference on the disagreeing, votes of the two Houses on the amendments of the Senate to the bill (H. R. 3261) to amend the act of April 29, 1943, to authorize the return to private ownership of Great Lakes vessels and vessels of 1,000 gross tons or less, and for other purposes, having met, after full and free conference, have agreed to recommend and do recommend to their respective Houses as follows: That the Senate recede from its amendments numbered 1, 2, and 3.
S. O. BLAND,
(By S. O. Bland),
Managers on the part of the House.
(Per George L. Radcliffe), Managers on the part of the Senate.
STATEMENT OF THE MANAGERS ON THE PART OF THE HOUSE
The managers on the part of the House at the conference on the disagreeing votes of the two Houses on the amendments of the Senate to the bill (H. R. 3261) to amend the act of April 29, 1943, to authorize the return to private ownership of Great Lakes vessels and vessels of 1,000 gross tons or less, and for other purposes, submit the following statement in explanation of the effect of the action agreed upon and recommended in the accompanying conference report as to each of such amendments, namely:
Amendment numbered 1: The House bill in prescribing the procedure for the return of vessels to the former owner provides for return upon conditions, including repayment of the compensation paid the former owner less such allowances as the Administrator, War Shipping Administration, may deem reasonable to cover cost of reconditioning and to compensate for use of the vessel by the United States. The Senate amendment substitutes for the word "compensate" the term “pay just compensation to”. The Senate recedes. This leaves the matter of determining compensation for use of the vessel when title is restored to the owner to preliminary negotiation and the setting of amounts by the Administrator which he deems reasonable to cover settlement for use. The existing law relating to return of fishing vessels is designed and intended to operate in the interest of expeditious restoration of vessels to their former owners when this can be accomplished on a reasonable financial basis, particularly in the economic interest of restoring vessels to their peacetime employment when no longer needed by the Government. Such restorations should take place without hindrance by reason of any technicalities which may be involved in any reference to just compensation under these particular circumstances.
Amendinent numbered 2: The Senate amendment adds a proviso to the provisions of section 2 (relating to the allowances referred to in the preceding paragraph) that calls for a compulsory arbitration as to the amount of the allowance for use of the vessel. The Senate recedes on this amendment restoring the House language with full discretion and authority in the Administrator to fix the allowance for the use. A mandatory provision for arbitration would not be in the interest of expeditious restoration of vessels to their former owners, and in practice instead of protecting the Government might very well result in undue allowances for the use of the vessel, and in the return of vessels at an expense to the Government entirely out of line with the economic and public interests involved in the return.
Amendment numbered 3: The Senate amendment struck out the provision in section 2 of the House bill making the determination of allowances (both as to reconditioning and use) by the Administrator final notwithstanding any other provision of law. The Senate recedes on this amendment restoring the House language. This is in accord
with the discretionary and supplementary character of the whole legislation as embodied in the House bill and in the interest of expeditious restoration of vessels to their former owners when the basic policy of the law calls for such restoration. The former owner has under section 3 of the bill the opportunity to come in and bid at a public sale of the vessel in a case where he has not seen fit to make satisfactory arrangements for, or waives any right to, the return of the vessel.
S. O. BLAND,
(by S. O. Bland),
JOSEPH J. O'BRIEN, Managers on the part of the House.
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
REPORT No. 1413
AUTHORIZING ACQUISITION AND CONVERSION OR CONSTRUCTION OF CERTAIN LANDING CRAFT AND DISTRICT CRAFT FOR THE UNITED STATES NAVY
Mar 2, 1944.—Committed to the Committee of the Whole House on the state
of the Union and ordered to be printed
Mr. LYNDON B. JOHNSON, from the Committee on Naval Affairs,
submitted the following
[To accompany H. R. 4710)
The Committee on Naval Affairs, to whom was referred the bill (H. R. 4710) authorizing the acquisition and conversion or construction of certain landing craft and district craft for the United States Navy, and for other purposes, having considered the same, report favorably thereon without amendment and recommend that the bill do
pass. The purpose of the bill is to authorize the Secretary of the Navy to acquire and convert, or to undertake the construction of 1,000,000 tons of landing craft and district craft, or such portion thereof as may be directed by the President, of such size, type, and design as he may consider best suited for the prosecution of the war. Such vessels and craft are to be in addition to those heretofore authorized.
Recent similar authorizations, of which only a small balance of slightly less than 50,000 tons still remains unassigned, are as follows:
From the foregoing tabulation it will be seen that the authorized tonnage is nearly exhausted and representatives of the Navy Department have appeared before the committee in executive session and stated that additional authorization is urgently required for the successful prosecution of the war.