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war workers, in congested war areas, and toward relieving serious hardship cases. Its enactment would represent a constructive effort in line with the desirable objective of keeping the private building industry alive and of encouraging its expansion as rapidly as the material situation permits.

Under the controlled materials plan of the War Production Board, the National Housing Agency is the claimant agency for housing required to be provided for in-migrant war workers. In addition to these claimant agency functions with respect to housing for in-migrant war workers, the War Production Board has also designated the National Housing Agency to perforin similar functions in connection with priorities and allocations of materials with respect to such housing as, during the period when construction materials continue to be allocated by the War Production Board, it becomes practicable to permit:

1. To relieve situations of extreme general hardship resulting from a lack of housing accommodations and congestion in communities where intensive war activities have been centered; or

2. To relieve present or impending personal hardship to an individual or his family, or to provide for the reconstruction or replacement of housing damaged or destroyed, or removed from the market by condemnation or acquisition by public authority, in order to maintain insofar as practical the present value and physical condition of the existing housing supply.

The committee feel that, by this method of treatment of the various functions and activities with respect to the processing of priorities and allocations of materials for such privately financed housing as can be provided during the war period, the unnecessary expenditure of funds and manpower which necessarily result from division of responsibility will be avoided and maximum economy will thus be promoted.

The committee believe that, by facilitating and simplifying the processing of priorities for privately financed war housing, the enactment of the bill will do much toward maintaining the private housing industry in the best possible condition during the war period and toward minimizing the impact of the conversion period, so that private housing industry will be in a position to assume its post-war tasks with vigor and rapidity.

The enactment of the proposed legislation is concurred in by Hon. John B. Blandford, Jr., Administrator of the National Housing Agency as shown by the following letter:

NATIONAL HOUSING AGENCY,

Washington, D. C., May 8, 1944. Hon. FRITZ G. LANHAM, Chairman, Committee on Public Buildings and Grounds,

House of Representatives. MY DEAR CONGRESSMAN LANHAM: Allow me to acknowledge your letter of May 3 requesting our views with respect to H. R. 4728, a bill to amend the act entitled "An act to expedite the provision of housing in connection with national defense, and for other purposes,” approved October 14, 1940, as amended.

As you know, under the controlled materials plan of the War Production Board, the National Housing Agency is the claimant agency for housing required to be provided for in-migrant war workers. For some time now we have been discussing with representatives of the War Production Board certain problems involved in the gradual resumption of housing construction, repairs and maintenance for purposes other than the housing of in-migrant war workersparticularly the

problems involved in the processing of priorities and the allocation of materials therefor. As a result of these discussions, the War Production Board has agreed to constitute the National Housing Agency as the elaimant agency for such housing, as well as for housing required to be provided for in-migrant war workers, and to place in the National Housing Agency full responsibility for the administration of these housing programs.

The agreement with the War Production Board contemplates that, in addition to its present claimant agency functions in connection with both privately and publicly financed housing required to be provided for in-n igrant war workers, the National Housing Agency will perform similar functions in connection with priorities and allocation of materials with respect to such housing, as during the period when construction materials continue to be allocated by the War Production Board, it may be practicable to permit for the following purposes:

1. To relieve situations of extreme general hardship resulting from a lack of housing accommodations and congestion in communities where intensive war activities have been centered.

2. To relieve present or impending personal hardship to an individual or his family, or to provide for the reconstruction or replacement of housing damaged or destroyed, or removed from the market by condemnation or acquisition by public authority, in order to maintain insofar as practical the present value and physical condition of the existing housing supply.

The procedure contemplated under this agreement with the War Production Board will continue in the National Housing Agency the responsibility for all of the major functions and activities with respect to priorities and allocations of material for such housing as may be provided during the war period and thus avoid the conflicts and confusion which would be inherent in any division of that responsibility. Likewise, this procedure will make for the maximum economy in administering these functions and activities by utilizing the existing facilities of the Government to the fullest extent possible and by avoiding the unnecessary expenditure of funds and manpower which would result from a division of that responsibility.

The volume of new housing construction required to meet the primary need of housing necessary in-migrant war workers is now tapering off and, subject to the exigencies of the war situation, critical materials may also be allocated, in accordance with the agreement with the War Production Board, for other housing construction urgently needed in war congested communities. In addition to meeting these primary housing needs the passage of H. R. 4728 will permit this supplemental program and make it possible to maintain the private housing industry in the best condition possible during the war period. It will likewise implement our policy of utilizing every practical means of minimizing the impact of the conversion period upon the private housing industry so that it will be in a position to assume its post-war tasks with vigor and rapidity.

In view of the foregoing, the National Housing Agency favors the passage of H. R, 4728. The Bureau of the Budget has advised us that it has no objection to this favorable report. If you require any further information or material please let me know. Sincerely,

JOHN B. BLANDFORD, Jr.,

Administrator.

CHANGES IN EXISTING LAW

In compliance with paragraph 2 (a) of rule XIII of the rules of the House of Representatives, the changes in the last proviso of section 3 of the act of October 14, 1940, as amended, made by the bill are shown as follows (existing law proposed to be omitted is enclosed in black brackets, new matter is printed in italics and existing law in which no change is proposed is shown in roman):

Provided further, That the term "administrative expenses” as used herein shall be deemed to include administrative expenses of the National Housing Agency in connection with any functions performed by it, as a claimant agency under the controlled materials plan established pursuant to subsection (a) of section 2 of the Act entilled An Act to expedite national defense, and for other purposes, approved June 28, 1940 (54 Stat. 676), as amended, with respect to priorities or allocations of materials relating to public or private housing [for persons engaged in national defense activities].

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HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

78TH CONGRESS

2d Session

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{

REPORT No. 1499

JAMES FLEMING

May 22, 1944.—Committed to the Committee of the Whole House and ordered to

be printed

Mr. MARTIN of lowa, from the Committee on Military Affairs, sub

mitted the following

REPORT

(To accompany H. R. 171)

The Committee on Military Affairs to whom was referred the bill (H. R. 171), for the relief of James Fleming, having considered the same, submit the following report thereon, with the recommendation that it do pass:

James Fleming enlisted in the Army at Knoxville, Tenn., September 25, 1899, and served in the Forth-eighth United States Volunteer Infantry. While serving in the Phillippine Islands he was tried by a general court martial and was sentenced to be dishonorably discharged, forfeiting all pay and allowances due him, and to be confined at hard labor for 5 years

He was dishonorably discharged February 9, 1901. While in confinement, his organization was mustered out of the service, June 30, 1901. Later it was discovered that the general court martial which tried him was without jurisdiction and consequently its action was void and without effect and Fleming was released from imprisonment on orders dated May 28, 1902. When he was released from confinement the War Department held that he was discharged from the service as of June 30, 1901, the date of the muster out of his rompany, and that his discharge was without honor.

So far as his record shows, Fleming was never tried on the charges preferred against him and there has never been a determination of his innocence or guilt of those charges Nevertheless, the War Department takes the position that because the charges were still outstanding against him at the date of the muster out of his company Fleming was in a status not of honor and the War Department proceeds further to cite the determination of the general court martial that did not have proper jurisdiction, as proof that he could not be considered as having been restored to an honorable status.

Fleming has been imposed upon without due process of law. In reality, the opinions of the unauthorized general court martial cannot

be used as a judicial determination of guilt and such proceedings should not be used as the basis for the issuance of a dishonorable discharge.

The individual soldier is entitled to all the benefits of any of like rank and service until and unless he is found guilty of some offense by a tribunal having proper jurisdiction. One of the benefits to which he is entitled under the law of our country is an honorable discharge and his right to an honorable discharge cannot be abridged by the private opinion of any officer or officers individually nor by any organization or group or general court martial not having jurisdiction.

The War Department's statement that this case would be a precedent for similar action in the cases of 26 other former soldiers released from confinement as general prisoners is not a logical ground for imposing this penalty without trial before a tribunal having jurisdiction.

In order that as full and as complete a picture as your committee are able to portray may be presented, the committee desire at this point to insert the letter from the Secretary of War to the chairman of the Committee on Military Affairs of the House of Representatives dated September 10, 1940, and the official point of view of The Adjutant General of the United States dated August 19, 1940, which are as follows:

WAR DEPARTMENT,

Washington, September 10, 1940. Hon. ANDREW J. MAY, Chairman, Committee on Military Affairs,

House of Representatives, Washington, D. C. DEAR MR. May: This is in further response to your request of August 7, 1940, for a report on H. R. 10226, Seventy-sixth Congress, third session, a bill for the relief of James Fleming

The bill under consideration, H. R. 10226, proposes by its terms that in the administration of any laws conferring rights, privileges, and benefits upon honorably discharged soldiers James Fleming, who was assigned to Company B, Fortyeighth Regiment United States Volunteer Infantry, shall hereafter be held and considered to have been honorably discharged from the military service of the United States as a member of that organization on the 30th day of June 1901. Examination of the enclosed statement of service prepared in the office of The Adjutant General of the Army from the official records reveals that James Flemming (name also found as James Fleming), enlisted September 25, 1899, to serve for the period ending June 30, 1901. While serving in the Philippine Islands with Company B, Forty-eighth United States Volunteer Infantry (colored), he was tried by a general court martial and found guilty of "drunkenness on duty, in violation of the thirty-eighth article of war; of using threatening language to a noncommissioned officer and of threatening to shoot a noncommissioned officer, to the prejudice of good order and military discipline,” and was sentenced to be dishonorably discharged, forfeiting all pay and allowances due him, and to be confined at hard labor for 5 years. Action was taken dishonorably discharging the man February 9, 1901, and he was placed in confinement serving sentence. Subsequently it was discovered that two members of the general court martial which tried him were Regular Army officers and under the seventy-seventh article of war and decisions of the Supreme Court of the United States in the case of McClaughry v. Deming (186 U. S. Reports, p. 49), and in the case of Brown v. the United States (206 U. S. Reports, p. 240), the court martial was without jurisdiction, consequently its action was void and without effect. He is shown to have been released from further operation of his sentence to imprisonment on orders dated May 28, 1902. In the meantime the period of his enlistment expired and his organization mustered out June 30, 1901. Accordingly, it is held by the War Department that Flemming was discharged from the service on June 30, 1901, the date of the muster out of his company, and that his discharge was without honor.

At the time of his discharge the soldier was in a status not of honor since the charges which brought about his trial then remained against him. Although the

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