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JUNE 5 (legislative day, May 28), 1940.—Ordered to be printed

Mr. WILEY, from the Committee on Claims, submitted the following

REPORT

[To accompany H. R. 7608]

The Committee on Claims, to whom was referred the bill (H. R. 7608) for the relief of J. Montrose Edrehi, having considered the same, report favorably thereon with the recommendation that the bill do pass without amendment.

The facts are fully set forth in House Report No. 2241, Seventysixth Congress, third session, which is appended hereto and made a part of this report.

(H. Rept. No. 2241, 76th Cong., 3d sess.) The Committee on Claims, to whom was referred the bill (H. R. 7608) for the relief of J. Montrose Edrehi, having considered the same, report favorably thereon with an amendment and recommend that the bill, as amended, do pass.

The amendment is as follows:

Strike out all the language of the bill after the enacting clause, and insert in lieu thereof the following:

“That the Secretary of the Treasury be, and he is hereby, authorized and directed to pay, out of any money in the Treasury not otherwise appropriated, to J. Montrose Edrehi the sum of $517.30 in full settlement of all claims against the United States for services rendered by the said J. Montrose Edrehi as United States commissioner for the northern district of Florida for the period begining May 1, 1936, and ending April 30, 1938: 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.”

STATEMENT OF FACTS

Mr. J. Montrose Edrehi, United States commissioner for the northern district of Florida, submitted a claim to the Comptroller General for services rendered by him as such Commissioner for the period May 1, 1936, to April 30, 1938, amounting to $517.30.

According to the records of the General Accounting Office, Mr. Edrehi's accounts for the fees claimed was filed with the United States court, northern district of Florida, on June 6, 1939, and was received in the Department of Justice on June 9, 1939, and by the General Accounting Office on June 23, 1939. Since this claim was not presented within 1 year after the services were rendered, as required by the act of March 1, 1933, same was disallowed.

Mr. Edrehi has submitted an affidavit to your committee, explaining the cause of the delay in submitting his account to the Comptroller General, and his statement will be found hereafter appended.

The Attorney General recommends the enactment of the proposed legislation, since Mr. Edrehi did render the services for which he submitted a claim.

The Comptroller General makes no recommendation regarding the passage of this legislation, but it is the opinion of your committee that the claim should be allowed.

Appended hereto is the report of the Attorney General, the report of the Comptroller General, and Mr. Edrehi's statement.

OFFICE OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL,

Washington, D. C., January 24, 1940. Hon. AMBROSE J. KENNEDY, Chairman, Committee on Claims, House of Representatives,

Washington, D. C. MY DEAR MR. CHAIRMAN: This will acknowledge your letter of January 4, 1940, to the Secretary of the Treasury, which has been referred to this Department, requesting an opinion as to the merits of the bill (H. R. 7608) to authorize the Comptroller General to allow the claim of J. Montrose Edrehi for compensation for services rendered as United States commissioner from April 1, 1936, to June 30, 1938, inclusive, notwithstanding the fact that his accounts were not submitted within the time required by law.

The files of this Department show that J. Montrose Edrehi submitted accounts for services claimed to have been rendered by him as United States commissioner in the northern district of Florida for the period from May 1, 1936 (instead of April 1, 1936, as it appears in the bill), to June 30, 1938, inclusive. These accounts were disallowed by the Comptroller on the ground that Edrehi had failed to submit them within 1 year after the rendition of such services, as required by the act of March 1, 1933 (47 Stat. 1383; U. S. C., title 28, sec. 599a).

It appears that the services were rendered by the Commissioner and that he is entitled to compensation therefor. However, the date in line 7 of the bill should be changed from April 1, 1936, to May 1, 1936.

The purpose of the bill under consideration is to permit the Commissioner to be paid the fees that he has earned and to waive the failure to file his accounts therefor within the prescribed time. Similar bills have been passed by Congress, one by the Seventy-fifth Congress (S. 3446), and one by the Seventy-sixth Congress (S. 1688). In view of the foregoing circumstances, I recommend enactment of the bill. Sincerely,

ROBERT H. JACKSON,

Attorney General.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL OF THE UNITED STATES,

Washington, January 23, 1940. Hon. AMBROSE J. KENNEDY, Chairman, Committee on Claims,

House of Representatives. MY DEAR MR. CHAIRMAN: Further reference is had to your letter of January 4, 1940, acknowledged January 5, requesting a report on and an opinion as to the merits of H. R. 7608, Seventy-sixth Congress, second session, entitled "A bill for the relief of J. Montrose Edrehi,” which provides:

"That the Comptroller of the United States be, and he is hereby authorized and directed to settle and allow the claim of J. Montrose Edrehi for compensation for services rendered as United States commissioner in the northern district of Florida from April 1, 1936, to June 30, 1938, inclusive, notwithstanding the fact that accounts therefor were not submitted by the commissioner within one year after the rendition of such services in accordance with the provisions of the Act of March 1, 1933 (47 Stat. 1383).”

*

*

The act of March 1, 1933 (47 Stat. 1383), provides:

That the statutory fees of United States commissioners for services rendered after June 30, 1933, shall be applicable and payable only when an account therefor is rendered by the commissioner within one year after the rendition of such services.”

Involved claim for services rendered by J. Montrose Edrehi, United States commissioner for the northern district of Florida, in the total sum of $517.30 for the period beginning May 1, 1936, and ending April 30, 1938, was disallowed by settlement of this office dated July 25, 1939, for the reason that the claim was not presented within the time required by the above act.

The record shows that the commissioner's account for the fees claimed was filed with the United States court, northern district of Florida, on June 6, 1939, and that same was received in the Department of Justice on June 9, 1939, and by this office on June 23, 1939. It thus appears that the commissioner's account or claim for such fees was not presented within 1 year after the services were rendered, as is required by the act of March 1, 1933, supra.

As the specific provisions of said act of March 1, 1933, supra, prohibit the payment of statutory fees of United States commissioners for services rendered after June 30, 1933, where the account therefor is not presented within 1 year after rendition of the services for which the commissioner is claiming the fees, there would

appear to be no legal authority for the allowance of any part of the commissioner's claimed fees.

This office is not advised of any reason why the commissioner in this case should be exempted from the provisions of the act of 1933, supra, and I have no recommendations to offer with respect to the proposed bill. Sincerely yours,

R. N. ELLIOTT, Acting Comptroller General of the United States.

STATE OF FLORIDA,

County of Escambia, 88: Before the undersigned authority this day personally came and appeared J. Montrose Edrehi, well known to me to be the said J. Montrose Edrehi and a United States commissioner for the northern district of Florida, who, after being first duly sworn upon his oath deposes and says that his accounts as United States commissioner were not filed at the time they should have been filed was due to the fact that his stenographer who had kept his accounts before they were completed obtained employment in Miami, Fla.; that affiant then procured other assistance and endeavored to instruct this stenographer how to prepare the accounts, but that much time had elapsed and although the accounts were finally prepared they were not ready to submit to the Honorable A. V. Long, judge of the district court, when he came to Pensacola, so that the accounts were again delayed in order to have the court approve them. Furthermore, affiant did not know of the existing regulations and statute concerning the presentation of accounts before a fixed period of time and for these reasons and for the press of other duties and activities in which affiant was engaged, he could not and did not get the accounts presented at the proper time.

In witness whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and affixed my seal, this 1st day of February A. D. 1940. (SEAL)

J. MONTROSE EDREHI. Sworn to and subscribed before me this 1st day of February 1940.

WILLIAM F. BLOUNT,

Notary Public. My commission expires April 3, 1941.

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JUNE 5 (legislative day, May 28), 1940.-Ordered to be printed

Mr. BROWN, from the Committee on Claims, submitted the following

REPORT

[To acoompany H. R. 2901]

The Committee on Claims, to whom was referred the bill (H. R. 2901) conferring jurisdiction upon the United States District Court for the Middle District of Georgia to hear, determine, and render judgment upon the claim of Geraldine Ash, having considered the same, report favorably thereon with the recommendation that the bill do pass without amendment.

The facts are fully set forth in House Report No. 1858, Seventysixth Congress, third session, which is appended hereto and made a part of this report.

(H. Rept. No. 1858, 76th Cong., 3d sess.)

The Committee on Claims, to whom was referred the bill (H. R. 2901) conferring jurisdiction upon the United States District Court for the Middle District of Georgia to hear, determine, and render judgment upon the claim of Geraldine Ash, having considered the same, report favorably thereon with amendments and recommend that the bill as amended do pass.

The amendments are as follows:
Page 1, line 8, before the word “damages”, insert the word "alleged.”

Page 2, line 2, strike out the numeral “18” in the date "January 18, 1938” and insert in lieu thereof “10."

The purpose of the proposed legislation is to confer jurisdiction upont he United States District Court for the Middle District of Georgia to hear, determine, and render judgment upon the claim of Geraldine Ash, for damages on account of personal injuries sustained by her in a collision involving the automobile in which she was riding and a truck operated by the Soil Conservation Service, on January 10, 1938, in Athens, Ga., provided that the judgment, if any, shall not exceed $5,000.

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