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DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR,

Washington, D. C., March 21, 1940. The PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE.

SIR: There is transmitted herewith a draft of a bill which would afford relief for certain certifying and disbursing officers of the Indian Service, the United States Veterans' Administration, and the Treasury Department in whose accounts disallowances have been made by the General Accounting Office.

The disallowances are reflected in certificates of settlement made by the General Accounting Office as follows:

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The disallowances in question resulted from the irregular handling of certain transactions by P. D. Southworth, former agricultural extension agent at the Great Lakes Indian Agency (formerly Lac du Flambeau Indian Agency). The irregularities did not come to light until after vouchers covering travel and other expenses incident to Mr. Southworth's activities had been paid by the disbursing officers. The transactions in question included the purchase of materials and the reimbursement of expenses allegedly incurred by him and, while highly irregular from an accounting and procedural standpoint, they were not readily detectible when the vouchers were paid or placed in line for payment by the certifying officers.

During the period covered by the disallowances, the Indian Agency was working in cooperation with various relief agencies, such as the Civil Works Administration, as well as State and local relief authorities. Mr. Southworth's duties included the organization and prosecution of various cooperative projects for the relief of the Indians under the jurisdiction of the Lac du Flambeau Agency. In the performance of this work, he failed to observe established and mandatory procedures, regulations, and laws. It appears that his actions were motivated by a desire to expedite the projects in order to relieve the admittedly bad living conditions of the Indians. In some instances, there are indications that he expended his personal funds to avoid any delay that might result from the use of usual methods of procedure.

Inasmuch as the disbursing agents and certifying officers concerned were acting in good faith and that the travel and other expense vouchers in question were placed in line for payment and paid in the usual course of business, it is recommended that the proposed legislation receive favorable consideration. Very truly yours,

E. K. BURLEW, Acting Secretary of the Interior.

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MAY 23 (legislative day, APRIL 24), 1940.—Ordered to be printed

Mr. TOWNSEND, from the Committee on Claims, submitted the

following

REPORT

(To accompany S. 3748)

The Committee on Claims, to whom was referred the bill (S. 3748) for the relief of Guy F. Allen, chief disbursing officer, Division of Disbursement, Treasury Department, having considered the same, report favorably thereon with the recommendation that the bill do pass without amendment.

This bill, which was initiated by and introduced at the request of the Secretary of the Interior, authorizes and directs the Comptroller General of the United States to allow credit in the February 1937 account of Guy F. Allen, chief disbursing officer, Division of Disbursement, Treasury Department, without charge against the certifying officer of the Department of the Interior, for voucher 16–28071, $149.94.

The facts are set forth in the following letter from the Secretary of the Interior, which is appended hereto and made a part of this report.

DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR,

Washington, April 5, 1940. The PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE.

Sir: There is enclosed a draft of a bill which would provide relief for the chief disbursing officer covering payment of the purchase of registry stamps by the General Land Office where the General Accounting Office has disallowed the voucher because previous speci authorization for the rcha was not obtained.

The Interior Department Appropriation Act, fiscal year 1937, approved June 22, 1936 (49 Stat. 1762), contains an appropriation of $160,000 for contingent expenses of land offices, and provides that no expenses chargeable to the Government shall be incurred by registers in the conduct of local land offices except upon previous specific authorization by the Commissioner of the General Land Office. During February 1937, the register of the district land office at Salt Lake City, Utah, purchased 1,666 registry stamps at 9 cents each amounting to $149.94, from I. A. Smoot, postmaster, for which the register inadvertently did not obtain from the Commissioner previous specific authorization.

The stamps purchased were necessary for the business of the district land office at Salt Lake City and previous specific authorization would have been issued by the Commissioner if a request therefor had been received from the register. The proposed legislation would authorize credit for the purchase of those stamps.

It is requested that the proposed bill be submitted to the House of Representatives for appropriate action. Very truly yours,

HAROLD L. Ickes,

Secretary of the Interior. O

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Mar 23 (legislative day, APRIL 24), 1940.-Ordered to be printed

Mr. TOWNSEND, from the Committee on Claims, submitted the

following

REPORT

(To accompany S. 3021)

The Committee on Claims, to whom was referred the bill (S. 3021) for the relief of A. A. Ramsay, having considered the same, report favorably thereon with the recommendation that the bill do pass with the following amendment:

At the end of the bill add the following: Provided, That no part of the amount appropriated in this Act in excess of 10 per centum thereof shall be paid or delivered to or received by any agent or attorney on account of services rendered in connection with this claim, and the same shall be unlawful, any contract to the contrary notwithstanding. Any person violating the provisions of this Act shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor and upon conviction thereof shall be fined in any sum not exceeding $1,000.

The purpose of the bill is to pay the sum of $50 to A. A. Ramsay, of Oracle, Ariz., in full settlement of his claim against the United States arising out of a collision with a Civilian Conservation Corps truck at Oracle, Ariz., on December 17, 1936.

The War Department has no objection to the enactment of the bill.

The records of the Department show that on December 17, 1936, at about 11 a. m., a Government truck, operated in connection with the Civilian Conservation Corps, on official business, was proceeding in a southerly direction on the Winkelman-Tucson Highway, in the unincorporated town of Oracle, Ariz., upgrade into a curve to the right (for the Government driver), approaching a culvert, 12 feet long and 18 feet wide. As the Government driver drove into the curve, he noticed two cars coming toward the Government truck on the curve from the opposite direction. The driver of the first car gave a lefthand signal and turned into a gasoline-station lot. The second car was owned and operated by claimant. As the Government truck was proceeding over the culvert, claimant's car slowed down, and it appeared to the Government driver that claimant was going to make a left turn in front of the Government truck.

The Government driver turned his vehicle to the left and then turned to the right to avoid claimant's car, which was not turning to the left but was slowing to a stop. As the Government truck passed claimant's car, the left front and rear fenders of the car were scraped by the rear of the truck body.

It is the view of the War Department that the Government driver, under the circumstances, was proceeding at too high a rate of speed and was traveling to the left of the center of the culvert, thereby encroaching on the right-of-way of claimant's car, which was stopped or almost stopped on his (claimant's) extreme right side of the roadway.

The facts are fully set forth in the following communications, which are appended hereto and made a part of this report.

WAR DEPARTMENT,

Washington, March 28, 1940. Hon. EDWARD R. BURKE, Chairman, Committee on Claims,

United States Senate. DEAR SENATOR BURKE: Careful consideration has been given to the bill $. 3021, Seventy-sixth Congress, third session, for the relief of A. A. Ramsay, which you transmitted to the War Department under date of January 9, 1940, with request for information and the views of the Department relative thereto.

The purpose of the proposed legislation is to pay to A. A. Ramsay, of Oracle, Ariz., the sum of $50, in full settlement of his claim against the United States arising out of a collision with a Civilian Conservation Corps truck at Oracle, Ariz., on December 17, 1936.

On December 17, 1936, at about 11 a. m., a Government truck, operated in connection with the Civilian Conservation Corps, on official business, was proceeding in a southerly direction on the Winkelman-Tucson Highway, in the unincorporated town of Oracle, Ariz., upgrade into a curve to the right (for the Government driver), approaching a culvert, 12 feet long and 18 feet wide. As the Government driver drove into the curve, he noticed two cars coming toward the Government truck on the above-mentioned curve from the opposite direction. The driver of the first car gave a left-hand signal and turned into a gasoline station lot. The second car was a Chevrolet coupe, owned and operated by A. A. Ramsay, who is also referred to in some of the records as "A. A. Ramsey."

As the Government truck was proceeding over the culvert, Mr. Ramsay's car slowed down, and it appeared to the Government driver that Mr. Ramsay was going to make a left turn in front of the Government truck. The Government driver turned his vehicle to the left and then turned to the right to avoid Mr. Ramsay's car, which was not turning to the left but was slowing to a stop. As the Government truck passed Mr. Ramsay's car, the left front and rear fenders of the car were scraped by the rear of the truck body. According to Mr. Ramsay, he saw the Government truck coming around the curve toward the culvert, and realizing that he could not pass the truck on the culvert came to a stop. He stated that it appeared that the brakes were applied on the truck and that the rear end of the truck skidded out toward the outside of the curve. There is no evidence that Mr. Ramsay made any hand signal indicating a left turn.

The evidence as to the speed of the Government truck is conflicting. The Government driver has stated that he was proceeding at about 25 miles per hour. Mr. Ramsay estimated that the truck was traveling at a rate of about 40 miles per hour; and a disinterested witness estimated that the truck was going around the curve at a speed of approximately 35 miles per hour. The disinterested witness has also testified that Mr. Ramsay's car was over on the right (for Mr. Ramsay) side of the culvert up against the south curb, and that the tracks left by the Government truck showed that it had been well over in the center of the road when coming around the curve.

Shortly after the accident, the Government truck was inspected by the shop foreman of a Government motor repair shop who found that the maximum goyerned speed on level ground for the truck could not exceed 33 miles per hour as the governor was set at 30 miles per hour and the seal on the governor had not been

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