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Mr. COUZENS, from the Committee on Interstate Commerce, sub
mitted the following
[To accompany H. R. 10288)
The Committee on Interstate Commerce, to which was rereferred the bill (H. R. 10288) to regulate the transportation of persons in interstate and foreign commerce by motor carriers operating on the public highways, having considered the same, adheres to the report made April 14, 1930 (Š. Rept. 396), and recommends that the bill with amendments as set forth in said report do pass.
REPORT No. 721
PAYMENT OF CERTAIN CHARGES ON GOODS SHIPPED
TO PHILIPPINE ISLANDS
Mar 23, 1930.-Ordered to be printed
Mr. BINGHAM, from the Committee on Territories and Insular Affairs,
submitted the following
(To accompany H. R. 6127)
The Committee on Territories and Insular Affairs, to whom was referred the bill (H. R. 6127) to authorize the payment of checking charges and arrastre charges on consignments of goods shipped to the Philippine Islands, having considered the same, reports favorably thereon and recommends that the bill do pass.
The following letter from the Assistant Secretary of War stresses the importance of expediting action on the bill for the reason that the nonpayment of the amounts due from the Army and Navy are inflicting a hardship upon those to whom they are due:
Washington, May 12, 1930. Hon. HIRAM BINGHAM, Chairman Committee on Territories and Insular Affairs,
United States Senate, Washington, D. C. DEAR MR. CHAIRMAN: H. R. 6127, entitled “A bill to authorize the payment of checking charges and arrastre charges on consignments of goods shipped to the Philippine Islands” passed the House on April 21, 1930, and it is understooci that this bill is now before the Senate Committee on Territories and Insular Affairs.
The facts in regard to the purposes of the act are shown in the hearings before a subcommittee of the Committee on Expenditures in the Executive Departments in the House of Representatives on February 28, 1930, and in Report No. 857, Seventy-first Congress, second session, March 7, 1930, to accompany H. R. 6127.
The amounts involved from the Army and Navy are long overdue and nonpayment is working a hardship on those to whom they are due. Payment is only equitable. It is recommended that any practicable steps be taken to expedite favorable action on bill. If any further information is needed, I shall take pleasure in supplying it. Sincerely yours,
F. TRUBEE DAVISON,
Secretary of War.
In 1922, the Philippine Legislature, acting within its authority, passed an act to create a harbor board for the port of Manila and provided for the collection of certain charges in connection with imports and exports through the port. These charges include checking charges and arrastre charges. The Manila Harbor Board, representing the Philippine government, was authorized to and did contract with a commercial agency, to wit, the Manila Terminal Co., for the operation of the insular-owned piers, warehouses, and other terminal facilities and for the collection of said charges. The arrastre charge became due when a ship discharged its cargo upon a pier and the goods were taken possession of by the Manila Terminal Co. and listed by it as to articles and condition on arrival and stored in the warehouses ready for delivery to the consignee. Checking charges arose when cargo was discharged ship side directly to the consignee's boat or lighter. Here again the Manila Terminal Co. would list the articles discharged and certify their condition. This was necessary in order to complete the statistics regarding the business of the harbor, to insure the collection of the customs charges, and for the protection of the consignee in case of dispute as to the condition in which the goods arrived.
The act of the Philippine Legislature having been called to the attention of the Comptroller General, he promptly held that it was inoperative as to shipments made by the United States Government, although the matter had been previously passed upon by the Quartermaster General of the United States Army, the Judge Advocate General of the War Department, and the Secretary of War himself, all of whom held that the services rendered were necessary, and that the charges in connection therewith were proper and should be paid. The Manila Harbor Board, considering the fact that its agent, the Terminal Co., had to expend money in hiring laborers to handle the Government's shipments from commercial vessels, decided, in view of the Comptroller General's decision, to refuse to land or handle any more goods. As that would have impeded the operation of the United States Government there, the Governor General directed that the services be continued pending negotiations for a final determination of the matter. Hence, Congress was appealed to for relief.
The amount of these charges checked from 1922 up to November 6, 1929, was as follows: For the United States Navy for checking charges, $574.03, and for arrastre charges, $25,135.13; making a total of $25,709.16. For the United States Army, for checking charges, $927.95, and nothing for arrastre charges. The total of all charges unpaid until November 6, 1929, for both Army and Navy, is $26,637.11. The bill authorizes the payment of these past charges as well as future charges.
The committee feels that the United States Government, having created the Philippine government, and authorized it to enact laws within certain prescribed limitations, should be the first one to observe these laws. Hence, in this particular instance, the United States
. Government ought not to claim an exception but should voluntarily submit itself to the same regulations and charges that are prescribed for commercial concerns enjoying the same services in the Philippine harbor. The passage of the bill, the committee believes, would create a favorable impression in the Philippine Islands.