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MESSRS. JOHN J. FITZGERALD (CHAIRMAN), SWAGAR SHERLEY,
IN CHARGE OF
DEFICIENCY APPROPRIATIONS ON ACCOUNT OF WAR EXPENSES
URGENT DEFICIENCY APPROPRIATIONS ON ACCOUNT OF WAR
HEARINGS CONDUCTED BY THE SUBCOMMITTEE, MESSRS. J. J.
FITZGERALD (CHAIRMAN), SWAGAR SHERLEY, JOSEPH W. BYRNS, THOMAS U. SISSON, FREDERICK H. GILLETT, JAMES W. GOOD, AND JOSEPH G. CANNON, OF THE COMMITTEE ON APPROPRIATIONS, HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, ON THE DAYS FOLLOWING, NAMELY:.
MONDAY, JULY 16, 1917.
DEPARTMENT OF STATE.
STATEMENTS OF MR. WILBUR J. CARR, DIRECTOR OF THE CONSU
LAR SERVICE, AND MR. RICHARD C. TANIS, CHIEF, DIVISION OF MEXICAN AFFAIRS.
APPROPRIATION FOR FAMILY OF TATSUJI SAITO, A JAPANESE SUBJECT.
The CHAIRMAN. Did you estimate or request an appropriation for the family of a Japanese subject named Tatsuji Saito, who was killed at San Geronimo, Mexico, on the night of May 25?
Mr. Carr. That was not estimated by the State but by the War Department; but it was submitted by the War Department on the recommendation of the Secretary of State.
The CHAIRMAN. Is there any case similar to this where a man, the subject of another nation, was engaged in attempting to sell liquor to our troops in violation of regulations, and there was some question as to how he met his death?
Mr. CARR. I do not know the facts of this case myself.
The CHAIRMAN. I have read the statement of the State Department, and, upon the statement of the department, it seems extraordinary that with no definite proof that he was killed by our troops and with proof that he was engaged in selling liquor surreptitiously to our troops in Mexico, that as an act of grace we should compensate his family.
Mr. Carr. I am not acquainted personally with the facts, Mr. Chairman, but Mr. Tanis, of the Mexican Division, is with me and will state what he knows about the case.
Mr. Tanis. My recollection is that this man was selling liquor on the premises at San Geronimo ranch, and at the time he met his death he was violating the military orders. I believe there was an order given that there should be no further sale of liquor, but that he continued to sell it or the soldiers insisted upon receiving liquor from him.
The CHAIRMAN. The Secretary of War sent a letter to the House and he included in it extracts from a report of Gen. Pershing and from those extracts the facts are as I have stated them. What I wish to know is has there ever been a similar case?
Mr. CARR. Cases somewhat of this kind were those growing out of the Italian riots in New Orleans, where not as a matter of right but as an act of grace
The CHAIRMAN (interposing). But the facts were entirely different there. They were killed in riots.
Mr. CARR. The facts were not the same, I admit.
The CHAIRMAN. And here is a case where we have a military expedition into Mexico, and this man, in violation of orders, is surreptitiously selling liquor to our soldiers. He is killed, and an exhaustive investigation is made by military authorities, and his servant is given every opportunity to identify the perpetrators of the crime from the men of the company stationed at the place; and .ulthough they can not prove that any American soldier committed the crime, they think as an act of grace we ought to give money to his family. I think that is the most extraordinary set of circumstances I have ever known.
Mr. Tanis. Here is a telegram from Gen. Funston to The Adjutant General at Washington, D. C., dated June 20, 1916, which says: “In quarrel which took place about 10.30 p. m.
Mr. GILLETT (interposing). That telegram is printed here in the book.
The CHAIRMAN. I want to know if there is any case which at all parallels this case.
Mr. TANIS. I do not know of any case that parallels this.
Mr. CARR. I think the letter of the Secretary of War practically establishes the fact that there is not any exactly parallel precedent, because he says in the last paragraph, on page 3, that somewhat similar cases were those of the Italian subjects and also the case of Schmidt, a German subject.
The CHAIRMAN. They were not similar cases at all.
Mr. Carr. He says they were somewhat similar. Apparently there is no case exactly parallel to this, but it seems to be the judgment of both the Secretary of State and the Secretary of War that it would be a wise thing to make this appropriation for the benefit of the relatives of this subject of Japan.
Mr. GILLETT. We have before us all the facts that you know, I presume?
Mr. Carr. I think you have, in the letter of the Secretary of War, all the facts that are in the possession of both departments.
RELIEF AND PROTECTION OF AMERICAN SEAMEN IN FOREIGN COUNTRIES,
PANAMA CANAL ZONE, AND INSULAR POSSESSIONS.
The CHAIRMAN. For relief and protection of American seamen in foreign countries, and in the Panama Canal Zone, and shipwrecked American seamen in the Territory of Alaska, the Hawaiian Islands, Porto Rico, and the Philippine Islands, $20,000."
Is this for this fiscal year or the last fiscal year?
Mr. Carr. That is the fiscal year ended June 30, 1917. The explanation for that, Mr. Chairman, is this: The law imposes upon consular officers the duty of relieving and sending back to the United States destitute American seamen, or seamen on wrecked vessels, or seamen who are ill and unfit for service. The appropriation you gave us has been exhausted. The drafts that have since come in under that standing provision of law have been met from the emergency fund because there was no other way of meeting them. The law imposes the obligation of rendering the service, so we had to pay the drafts out of the emergency fund. This is for the purpose of reimbursing the emergency fund. We have paid out of that fund to date $8,167.74. We do not know what drafts are still outstanding and have not come in. At the time we made this estimate we thought we would need probably about $20,000. We are under the impression now that we will not need that entire amount, but we do not know quite how much of it we will need. We do know we will need over $8,000 to reimburse the emergency fund.
The CHAIRMAN. Is the emergency fund a continuing appropriation?
Mr. Carr. The emergency fund is made so much a year plus unexpended balances of the preceding year.
The CHAIRMAN. How could you reimburse it from this appropriation?
Mr. Carr. We would pay back into the emergency fund
The CHAIRMAN (interposing). You would not have any authority to do that. You can not transfer appropriations from one fund to another. There is a statute which expressly forbids doing that.
Mr. Carr. I think it has been done right along; in fact, I know it has been done.
The CHAIRMAN. Then you have been violating the law right along. Mr. Carr. In this particular fund The CHAIRMAN (interposing). You violate the law if you transfer funds like that. You have no authority to do that.
Mr. Carr. It has been done for years with the approval of the accounting officers.
The CHAIRMAN. The statute specifically provides that no money shall be expended for a purpose other than that for which it is specifically appropriated.
Mr. CARR. I think, Mr. Chairman, the accounting officers look upon this particular appropriation as different from any other.
The CHAIRMAN. I do not care how they look upon it; if they do that they look upon it in a way Congress never anticipated. I will read that law for the benefit of the State Department:
All sums appropriated for the various branches of expenditure in the public service shall be applied solely to the objects for which they are respectively made and for no others.
You can not take an appropriation specifically made for this purpose to reimburse some other appropriation. If the accounting officers are doing that, they are doing something that they have no authority to authorize.
Your emergency fund is very large, is it not?
Mr. Carr. Yes; of course, you understand $150,000 is not a very large sum of money in these days.