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the following: “Provided, That such person rendered active service as a commissioned officer within the period between April 6, 1917, and November 11, 1918."
It is estimated that the bill, if enacted, would bring on the retirement rolls approximately 40 emergency officers at a cost for the first year of approximately $39,000.
H. R. 1948 is identical with the first proviso of section 1 of H. R. 1036, Seventyeighth Congress, on which an unfavorable report was furnished your committee under date of September 25, 1943.
In view of the foregoing, the Veterans' Administration is unable to recommend favorable consideration of the bill.
Advice has been received from the Bureau of the Budget that there would be no objection by that office to the submission of this report to your committee. Very truly yours,
FRANK T. HINES, Administrator.
CHANGES IN EXISTING LAW
In compliance with paragraph 2a of rule XIII of the Rules of the House of Representatives, changes in existing law (54 Stat. 760) made by the bill are shown as follows (matter in which no change is proposed is shown in roman; matter proposed to be omitted is shown in black brackets; new matter is printed in italics):
Provided, That such person [rendered] entered active service [as a commissioned officer within the period] between April 6, 1917, and November 11, 1918, and served as an officer prior to July 2, 1921:
78TH CONGRESS | HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
REPORT No. 1446
PAYMENT OF COMPENSATION OF CUSTOMS EMPLOYEES FOR INSPECTIONAL SERVICES ON SUNDAYS AND HOLIDAYS
May 16, 1944.—Committed to the Committee of the Whole House on the state
of the Union and ordered to be printed
Mr. West, from the Committee on Ways and Means, submitted the
[To accompany S. 1758]
The Committee on Ways and Means, to whom was referred the bill (S. 1758) to amend section 451 of the Tariff Act of 1930, and for other purposes, having had the same under consideration, report it back to the House with amendments and recommend that the bill, as amended,
The amendments are as follows:
In section 1 of the bill, strike out "operator, or agent of a bridge, tunnel, or ferry” and insert: operator, or agent of an air carrier (as defined in the Civil Aeronautics Act of 1938, as amended), highway vehicle, bridge, tunnel, or ferry,
In section 1 of the bill strike out“other means upon, over, or through any such bridge, tunnel, or ferry' and insert: other means of highway travel upon, over, or through any highway, bridge, tunnel, or ferry, or by aircraft operated by an air carrier
In section 1 of the bill strike out“other means upon, over, or through any bridge, tunnel, or ferry between the United States and Canada" and insert: other means of highway travel upon, over, or through any highway, bridge, tunnel, or ferry, or by aircraft operated by an air carrier, between the United States and Canada
In section 1 of the bill, strike out "or agent of any such bridge, tunnel, or ferry, or other person" and insert: or agent of any such air carrier, highway vehicle, bridge, tunnel, or ferry, or other person
In section 2 of the bill strike out "over toll bridges” and insert: on aircraft operated by an air carrier (as defined in the Civil Aeronautics Act of 1938, as amended), over highways or toll bridges
In section 2 of the bill, strike out the second sentence and insert: Any reimbursement of compensation made payable without reimbursement by this section which has accrued and been collected since January 6, 1941, shall be refunded.
In section 3 of the bill strike out "Director of the Bureau of the Budget” and insert “United States Civil Service Commission''; strike out "his" and insert "its”; and strike out “He” and insert «The Commission'.
The purpose of this bill is to deal with an emergency situation created by the closing on Sundays and holidays of certain international bridges and tunnels on the Mexican and Canadian borders because of requirements of existing law as interpreted by the Supreme Court of the United States in the case of the United States v. Howard C. Myers (320 U. S. 561), decided January 3, 1944.
Many international bridges and tunnels on these borders have long maintained continuous service at all hours of the day and all days of the week. Until the decision above referred to, the Customs Service of the Treasury Department furnished free customs service at such facilities in accordance with its interpretation of the requirements of existing law. The result of the Myers decision was to limit the authority of the Customs Service to provide the customs inspection necessary to maintain such facilities in operation on Sundays and holidays, so that service could be provided only upon the specific request of the operators of such facilities and conditioned upon furnishing of bond by them for reimbursement to the United States of extra compensation payable to customs officers and employees assigned to such duty.
The owners of many of these international facilities have declared that they are not in a position to incur the additional obligation necessary to continue operations on Sundays and holidays, as a result of which it has been necessary to close the facilities because of lack of authority under existing law to provide the necessary customs service. The owners of 9 of the 11 bridges on the Mexican border, closed those bridges on Sunday, May 7, and stated that their bridges would continue to be closed on Sundays and holidays thereafter, unless they are relieved of the obligation for reimbursement for necessary customs service. One of the principal facilities for international traffic between the United States and Canada, 1. e., the Rainbow Bridge at Niagara Falls, N. Y., has been closed for the last several Sundays and its operators have announced their intention to remain closed unless corrective legislation is obtained. Three other bridges on the Canadian border are continuing to remain open on Sundays under restraining orders issued by the courts.
There are instances where the Canadian and Mexican Governments own a portion of several of the international toll bridges, and furnish without charge similar customs service on their side of the bridges. In the event this bill were not enacted, the United States would be in the anomalous position of requiring foreign Governments to pay this Government's employees for such overtime compensation, and reciprocal action by these foreign Governments might be expected.
The bill establishes the principle that whenever the public interest requires that international bridges, tunnels, and ferries be kept open to international traffic during the night and on Sundays and holidays, the necessary customs service should be provided as a public service at the expense of the Government, without making public access to such facilities dependent upon the payment by the owners of compensation for customs officials and employees necessarily assigned to duty at such facilities. Immigration and other Federal inspectional services are already furnished at Government expense, and there is no logical basis for distinction.
Section 451 of the Tariff Act of 1930, and related statutory provisions, provide in effect for the payment to customs employees assigned to certain services at night or on Sundays and holidays at double the'r ordinary rates of compensation. The Supreme Court of the United States in the Myers case ruled that these overtime compensation provisions apply to services at certain international toll bridges and tunnels involved in that suit.
Since the first decision in the Myers suit in the Court of Claims on January 6, 1941, the Customs Service felt obligated as a protective measure to demand payment from the owners of such international facilities of the compensation payable to customs employees for Sunday and holiday duty at such facilities. It is the view of the committee that it would be inequitable to require the bridge owners to assume this obligation even for services provided prior to the date of enactment of this act. For that reason section 2 of the bill absolves the owners of such facilities from all such liability incurred prior to the enactment of this act, and authorizes refunds of any amounts paid by them since January 6, 1941.
Appropriate amendments were made to the bill to provide equal treatment for air carrier aircraft as provided in the bill for international bridges, tunnels or ferries. At the present time the laws requiring the posting of bonds and the payment of overtime pay for customs employees apply to air carrier aircraft. The effect of the air carrier amendments would be to make it clear that air carrier aircraft operating between this country and Mexico and Canada are not required to post a bond or to pay the overtime compensation for work of customs employees performed outside their regular tours of duty and on Sundays and holidays. Compensation for such overtime would be paid by the Government without reimbursement from the air carrier aircraft owner. The granting of this relief to the air carriers is necessary since they do not now have control over their own schedules. Under Executive order the War Department has power to take them over, in whole or in part, and therefore is exercising extensive control over their operations, including schedules. The Government took for military use the major part of the air-line fleet and requires the air lines to use the aircraft remaining in commercial service to the greatest possible extent. In order to do so the air lines cannot in all cases schedule aircraft to arrive during regular tours of duty of customs employees but must schedule them to meet the wishes of the War Department and to get the maximum utilization of the few aircraft remaining in commercial service.
Under these circumstances the effect of the existing law is to require the air carriers to pay out large sums each year in compensation to customs inspectors when they cannot escape these costs through the scheduling of aircraft to arrive during the regular tours of duty of the inspectors.
The committee amended the bill to include employees stationed on highways at international border crossings. Without such an amendment these employees would not receive compensation for work performed on Sundays, holidays, or nights, which is work that is identical with the duties performed by similar employees on toll bridges, tunnels, and toll facilities, who will receive compensation for such overtime in accordance with the recent decision of the Supreme Court of the United States in the Myers case. In order to avoid this obvious discrimination between employees of the Customs Service performing the same duties at the same basic rate of pay, the committee felt it just and equitable to extend the same treatment to the employees assigned on our Canadian and Mexican borders, whether on toll facilities or on free public highways.
Section 2 of the bill is amended by the insertion of the date, January 6, 1941, to limit any claims for refunds to those that may arise from transactions subsequent to that date.
Section 3 of the bill is amended by substituting the United States Civil Service Commission for the Director of the Bureau of the Budget. The committee felt that the investigation required involved matters properly within the scope of the Commission's normal functions. Section 3 provides for an investigation and a report within 90 days on the removal of inequities that may be found to exist between employees of the Customs Service and other Federal employees performing comparable work under comparable circumstances with a view to further action by Congress at an early date.
CHANGES IN EXISTING LAW
In compliance with clause 2a of rule XIII of the Rules of the House of Representatives, changes in existing law made by the Senate bill are shown as follows (existing law in which no change is proposed is printed in roman type and new matter proposed to be inserted is printed in italics): SEC. 451. SAME-EXTRA COMPENSATION.
Before any such special license to unlade shall be granted, the master, owner, or agent, of such vessel or vehicle shall be required to give a bond in the penal sum to be fixed by the collector conditioned to indemnify the United States for any loss or liability which might occur or be occasioned by reason of the granting of such special license and to pay the compensation and expenses of the customs officers and employees assigned to duty in connection with such unlading at night or on Sunday or a holiday, in accordance with the provisions of section 5 of the Act entitled “An Act to provide for the lading or unlading of vessels at night, the preliminary entry of vessels, and for other purposes," approved February 13, 1911, as amended. In lieu of such bond the owner, or agent, of any vessel or vehicle or line of vessels or vehicles may execute a bond in a penal sum to be fixed by the Secretary of the Treasury to cover and include the issuance of special licenses for the unlading of vessels or vehicles belonging to such line for a period of one year from the date thereof. Upon a request made by the owner, master, or person in charge of a vessel or vehicle, or by or on behalf of a common carrier or by or on behalf of the owner or consignee of any merchandise or baggage, for overtime services of customs officers or employees at night or on a Sunday or holiday, the