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SENATE

76TH CONGRESS

3d Session

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REPORT No. 1656

PROVIDING FOR REIMBURSEMENT OF CERTAIN OFFICERS AND ENLISTED MEN OR FORMER OFFICERS AND ENLISTED MEN OF THE UNITED STATES NAVY FOR PERSONAL PROPERTY LOST IN THE HURRICANE AND FLOOD AT NEW LONDON, CONN., ON SEPTEMBER 21, 1938

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

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Mr. Walsh, from the Committee on Naval Affairs, submitted the

following

REPORT

(To accompany S. 3808)

The Committee on Naval Affairs, to whom was referred the bill (S. 3808) to provide for the reimbursement of certain officers and enlisted men or former officers and enlisted men of the United States Navy for personal property lost in the hurricane and flood at New London, Conn., on September 21, 1938, having considered the same, report favorably thereon without amendment and recommend that the bill

do pass.

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The purpose of the bill is to authorize and direct the Secretary of the Treasury to pay, out of any money in the Treasury not otherwise appropriated, such sum or sums, amounting in the aggregate not to exceed $8,364.96, or such portion as may be necessary, to pay claims of certain officers and enlisted men or former officers and enlisted men of the United States Navy, for the value of personal property lost as a result of the hurricane and flood at New London, Conn., on September 21, 1938.

The bill was introduced at the request of the Navy Department. The loss suffered by these men occurred through no fault of their own, and the only way they may be reimbursed is by legislation. The committee considers this a fair and just claim against the Government and recommends the passage of the bill.

A letter from the Secretary of the Navy to the Speaker of the House of Representatives, dated April 15, 1940, is hereby made a part of this report.

Navy DEPARTMENT,

Washington, D. C., April 15, 1940. The SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES.

MY DEAR MR. SPEAKER: There is transmitted herewith a draft of a proposed bill to provide for the reimbursement of certain officers and enlisted men or former officers and enlisted men of the United States Navy for personal property lost in the hurricane and flood at New London, Conn., on September 21, 1938.

The purpose of this proposed bill is to authorize and direct the Secretary of the Treasury to pay, out of any money in the Treasury not otherwise appropriated, the sum of $8,364.96, or such portion as may be necessary, to pay claims of certain officers and enlisted men or former officers and enlisted men of the United States Navy, for the value of personal property lost as a result of the hurricane and flood at New London, Conn., on September 21, 1938.

The facts and circumstances of this case are substantially as follows: On the afternoon of September 21, 1938, a hurricane and flood wave occurred at New London, Conn., resulting in a large amount of material damage to United States property at the United States Navy submarine base at New London, Conn. Claims have been received from three officers and three enlisted men of the Navy who had been ordered to make a change of station, for loss of personal property, including household effects, which had been turned over to the J. F. Sullivan Storage Co., New London, Conn., awaiting shipment by the Government in accordance with change-of-station orders. The hurricane and tidal wave destroyed the building in which the property was stored, resulting in the losses complained of.

The J. F. Sullivan Storage Co. is insured with the Scottish Union & National Insurance Co., but the insurance company has refused to adjust these claims under this policy or under any other circumstances as these damages were held to be due to an "act of God,” which exempted the insurance company from liability.

There is no other authority of law pursuant to which these claims may be adjusted by the Navy Department.

The Navy Department is strongly of the opinion that provision should be made for the payment of these claims in that the personnel involved were assigned to duty at New London, Conn., by orders of the Navy Department, and the loss of their property occurred without fault or negligence on their part.

These claims were submitted to the Navy Department Claims Board, which found the value of the property lost to be $8,364.96.

The additional cost to the Government should this proposed legislation be enacted will not exceed $8,364.96. The Navy Department recommends that the proposed legislation be enacted. Sincerely yours,

LEWIS COMPTON, Acting.

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SENATE

76TH CONGRESS)

3d Session

REPORT No. 1657

AUTHORIZING THE SECRETARY OF THE NAVY TO ACCEPT ON BEHALF OF THE UNITED STATES A GIFT OF THE YACHT "FREEDOM” FROM STERLING MORTON

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

Mr. Walsh, from the Committee on Naval Affairs, submitted the

following

REPORT

(To accompany H. R. 8983)

The Committee on Naval Affairs, to whom was referred the bill (H. R. 8983) authorizing the Secretary of the Navy to accept on behalf of the United States a gift of the yacht Freedom from Sterling Morton, having considered the same, report favorably thereon without amendment and recommend that the bill do pass.

The purpose of the act is to authorize the Secretary of the Navy to accept, without expense to the Government, the yacht Freedom, as a gift to the United States Naval Academy.

This yacht will be of great value to the Naval Academy in training the midshipmen in seamanship as well as in developing their knowledge of sailing and piloting, both of which are essential in their training to become officers in the Navy.

The yacht is about 90 feet long, and, in addition to being equipped with sails, has a gasoline motor installed for auxiliary power.

The committee are appreciative of the spirit in which this yacht is tendered to the Government by the donor, Mr. Sterling Morton, and are unanimous in recommending that the bill receive the favorable action of the Congress.

The only expense involved will be the annual cost of upkeep, estimated to be $1,800, which is considered negligible when compared to the value the yacht will be to the academy in the training of midshipmen.

The Navy Department favors the enactment of this proposed legislation as indicated in the letter from the Acting Secretary of the Navy to the chairman of the Committee on Naval Affairs of the House of Representatives, which is hereby made a part of this report, as follows:

Navy DEPARTMENT,

Washington, April 4, 1940. The CHAIRMAN, COMMITTEE ON NAVAL AFFAIRS,

House of Representatives, Washington, D. C. MY DEAR MR. CHAIRMAN: The bill (H. R. 8983) authorizing the Secretary of the Navy to accept on behalf of the United States a gift of the yacht Freedom from Sterling Morton, was referred to the Navy Department by your committee with request for views and recommendation.

The purpose of the bill is as stated in its title.

Mr. Sterling Morton, of Chicago, Ill., who has offered to give this yacht to the Naval Academy, is a nephew of the late Paul Morton, former Secretary of the Navy. In a letter to the Superintendent of the Naval Academy, Mr. Morton gave as his reason for the offer his interest in the Navy and the recent revival of sailing at the Naval Academy, and described the yacht as follows: Length, overall, 89 feet; length at water line, 66 feet; beam, 20 feet; draft, 10 feet; power, 175-horsepower gasoline motor; speed under power, 8 to 9 knots. The Freedom is now in storage at City Island, N. Y.

The Superintendent of the Naval Academy foresees the use of the Freedom in connection with seamanship training of midshipmen and is of the opinion that it would be of great value as such. Experience has shown that sailing develops not only a knowledge of piloting and seamanship, but a sense of responsibility as well.

A photograph of the Freedom, a drawing showing the details of her construction, and a list of her equipment are forwarded herewith.

The estimated annual cost of upkeep of the Freedom is $1,800.

The Navy Department is most desirous of accepting this gift. Enactment of the bill H. R. 8983 is therefore recommended.

The Navy Department has been advised by the Bureau of the Budget that there would be no objection to the submission of this report. Sincerely yours,

H. R. STARK, Acting.

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