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As stated, several bills which provide for varying degrees of emergency flood protection throughout the country have been introduced and referred to this committee. The committee has carefully considered all of those bills and in lieu thereof reports H. R. 4793 as a substitute for them. The committee recommends that the bill be considered and passed at the earliest practicable date.

As provided in section 2, the bill does not amend, repeal, or modify existing law. The provisions of the bill are additional and supplemental to existing legislation,

The chairman of the committee conferred with the Bureau of the Budget and he believes that the Bureau will advise that there is no objection to the submission of this bill.

The necessity for immediate repairs is great. The committee believes that the bill should be passed immediately and unanimously.

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78TH CONGRESS

2d Session

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

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REPORT No. 1445

AMENDING THE ACT PERTAINING TO EMERGENCY

OFFICERS' RETIREMENT BENEFITS

Mar 15, 1944.-Committed to the Committee of the Whole House on the state

of the Union and ordered to be printed

Mr. KILDAY, from the Committee on Military Affairs, submitted the

following

REPORT

(To accompany H. R. 1948]

it do pass:

The Committee on Military Affairs, to whom was referred the bill (H. R. 1948) to amend the act of July 15, 1940, pertaining to emergency officers' retirement benefits, having considered the same, submit the following report thereon, with the recommendation that

The purpose of the bill is to permit restoring to the retired list emergency officers formerly retired under the provisions of Public Law No. 506, Seventieth Congress, because of disability resulting directly from military service.

Under the provisions of the bill only those who entered service between April 6, 1917, and November 11, 1918, and served as officers prior to July 2, 1921, would be restored to the rolls.

It has been estimated by the Veterans' Administration that the bill would add to the retirement rolls approximately 40 emergency officers at a cost for the first year of approximately $39,000.

The officers who would qualify under this bill had honorable service during World War I. They are clearly shown to have been 30 percent or more permanently disabled in line of duty during war service. A number of them were severely wounded in combat with the enemy and decorated for gallantry in action.

Several of those who would be restored to the rolls under the provisions of the bill were actually commissioned before November 11, 1918, but, having been seriously wounded and evacuated to hospitals before they had an opportunity to formally accept their commissions, they are not considered to have served as officers within the time specified in existing law.

H. Repts., 78-2, vol. 3—-38

The only reason these officers are not now receiving retirement benefits is that, through no fault of their own and because of combat conditions, they did not have an opportunity to accept commissions that had been tendered before November 11, 1918.

Your committee desires to emphasize the following facts: The small number of officers who would be restored to the retired list under the provisions of this bill received retirement pay from 1928 to 1933 when same was discontinued under the provisions of Public, No. 2, Seventy-third Congress.

There will be restored to the rolls only those whose disabilities are clearly shown to have been incurred in line of duty and further shown to have been properly rated 30 percent or more disabling when retirement was originally awarded.

Letters from the War Department and Veterans' Administration follow:

APRIL 5, 1943. Hon. ANDREW J. May, Chairman, Committee on Military Affairs,

House of Representatives. DEAR MR. MAY: The War Department is reluctant to advise on the merits or effects of H. R. 1948, Seventy-eighth Congress, a bill to amend the act of July 15, 1940, pertaining to emergency officers' retirement benefits.

The purpose of this bill is to liberalize eligibility for receipt of disability retirement benefits by persons who served as officers in the Army, Navy, or Marine Corps of the United States during World War I, other than as an officer of the Regular Army, Navy, or Marine Corps. Specifically, the first proviso in section 1 of Public 743, Seventy-sixth Congress, approved July 15, 1940, provides “That such person rendered active service as a commissioned officer within the period between April 6, 1917, and November 11, 1918," which the bill would amend so that it would read “That such person entered active service between April 6, 1917, and November 11, 1918, and served as an officer prior to July 2, 1921."

Public 506, Seventieth Congress, enacted May 24, 1928, is the basic statute providing such benefits. It and subsequent laws are not administered by the War Department but by the Veterans' Administration under the direction of the Administrator of Veterans' Affairs, who is familiar not only with the law but also the regulations and precedent decisions relating thereto.

The War Department has been advised that S. 134, Seventy-sixth Congress (which became Public_743, 76th Cong.), and S. 458, Seventy-sixth Congress (which became Public 746, 67th Cong., approved July 18, 1940), were the result of long and careful study of the problem by committees of the Congress, representatives of service organizations, and with the advice and assistance furnished by the Veterans' Administration by request. This legislation was believed to provide emergency officers' retirement benefits for those officers not previously entitled and those officers who were removed from the retirement pay roll but where the circumstances were such as to justify general legislation granting entitlement and restoration to the roll.

The Bureau of the Budget advises that there is no objection to the submission of this report, as enactment of the proposed legislation would not be in accord 'yith the program of the President. Sincerely yours,

HENRY L, STIMSON,

Secretary of War.

OCTOBER 12, 1943. Hon. ANDREW J. MAY, Chairman, Committee on Military Affairs,

House of Representatives, Washington, D. C. MY DEAR MR. MAY: Further reference is made to your letter dated March 6, 1943, requesting a report on H. R. 1948, Seventy-eighth Congress, a bill to amend the act of July 15, 1940, pertaining to emergency officers'

retirement benefits. The purpose of the bill is to provide that emergency officers who entered the active service between April 6, 1917, and November 11, 1918, and who served as officers prior to July 2, 1921, shall be eligible for retirement pay under the provisions of Public Law No. 743, Seventy-sixth Congress, approved July 15, 1940.

Public 506, Seventieth Congress, May 24, 1926, granted retired pay at the rate. of 75 percent of the pay to which entitled at the time of discharge from their commissioned service, except pay under the act of May 18, 1920, to all persons who served as officers in the Army, Xavy, or Marine Corps during the World War, other than as officers of the Regular Army, Navy, or Marine Corps, who during such service incurred physical disability in line of duty and who within 1 year from the date of the act were rated at not less than 30 percent permanently disabled for disability resulting directly from such service. The term “World War" as used in the act was defined as including the period between April 6, 1917, and July 2, 1921, and it was provided that no person would be entitled to benefits under the provisions of the act unless application for retirement benefits was received in the United States Veterans' Bureau within 12 months after the passage of that act.

Section 17, title I, of Public Law No. 2, Seventy-third Congress, March 20, 1933, repealed the Emergency Officers' Retirement Act of May 24, 1928, insofar as it pertains to the grant of emergency officers' retired pay, but section 10 of Public Law No. 2 provided that

“Notwithstanding the provisions of section 2 of this title, any person who served as an officer of the Army, Navy, or Marine Corps of the United States during the World War, other than as an officer of the Regular Army, Navy, or Marine Corps during the World War, who made valid application for retirement under the provisions of Public, No. 506, Seventieth Congress, enacted May 24, 1928, sections 581 and 582, title 38, United States Code, and who prior to the passage of this Act has been granted retirement with pay, shall be entitled to continue to receive retirement pay at the monthly rate now being paid him if the disability for which he has been retired resulted from disease or injury or aggravation of a preexisting disease or injury incurred in line of duty during such service: Provided, That such person entered active service between April 6, 1917, and November 11, 1918: Provided, That the disease or injury or aggravation of the disease or injury directly resulted from the performance of military or naval duty, and that such person otherwise meets the requirements of the regulations which may be issued under the provisions of this Act."

Regulations issued pursuant to authorization contained in Public Law No. 2, Seventy-third Congress, defined the beginning and termination date of the World War as April 6, 1917, and November 11, 1918.

Public 743, Seventy-sixth Congress, July 15, 1940, authorized the return to the roll of emergency officers retired with pay a limited group of such officers who were in receipt of such benefits on March 19, 1933, under the provisions of the act of May 24, 1928, and shown to have been heretofore correctly rated, but who were not found entitled to continuation of such benefits under the restricted provisions of section 10, Public Law No. 2, Seventy-third Congress, above quoted. This act, however, did not affect the requirement that an emergency officer to be entitled to retirement must have rendered active service as a commissioned officer during the period between April 6, 1917, and November 11, 1918. The bill would eliminate this requirement and make such officers eligible to retirement if they entered active service prior to November 11, 1918, and served as officers prior to July 2, 1921.

At the time S. 134, Seventy-sixth Congress, which became Public 743, July 15, 1940, was pending in the Congress, language identical with that contained in this bill, H. R. 1948, Seventy-eighth Congress, was fully considered. The Committee on Military Affairs, House of Representatives, reported 8. 134 favorably, with amendments, one of which removed the aforementioned proviso and substituted

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