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REPORT No. 692
TO REVISE AND EQUALIZE THE RATE OF PENSION TO CERTAIN
SOLDIERS, SAILORS, AND MARINES OF THE CIVIL WAR, TO CERTAIN WIDOWS, FORMER WIDOWS OF SUCH SOLDIERS, SAILORS, AND MARINES, AND GRANTING PENSIONS AND INCREASE OF PENSIONS IN CERTAIN CASES
May 20, 1930.-Ordered to be printed
Mr. ROBINSON of Indiana, from the Committee on Pensions, sub
mitted the following
[To accompany H. R. 12013]
The Committee on Pensions, to whom was referred the bill (H. R. 12013) to revise and equalize the rate of pension to certain soldiers, sailors, and marines of the Civil War, to certain widows, former widows of such soldiers, sailors, and marines, and granting pensions and increase of pensions in certain cases, having considered the same, report back to the Senate with the recommendation that the bill do pass with amendment, as follows:
Page 2, line 25, strike out the figures “ 1905” and in lieu thereof insert the figures" 1910.”
The bill as reported out of the House carries $12,199,360 the first year. It is approximated that the number of widows living who married Civil War veterans between 1905 and 1910, is about 3,000, which would add an additional appropriation of about $1,000,000.
It is a very difficult matter to determine just how many widows who married between 1905 and 1910 the bill would affect, but a conservative estimate by the Bureau of Pensions is about 3,000. Of course after the act of June 27, 1905, was passed the per cent of the marriages was considerably reduced for the reason that the soldier was growing much older and there was no prospect of a widow receiving a pension if married after that date.
(House Report No. 1353, Seventy-first Congress, second session)
The Committee on Invalid Pensions, to which was referred H. R. 12013, entitled “A bill to revise and equalize the rate of pension to certain soldiers, sailors, and marines of the Civil War, to certain widows, former widows of such soldiers, sailors, and marines, and granting pensions and increase of pensions in certain cases,” having considered the same, unanimously reports the bill back to the House with recommendation that the bill do pass without amendment.
Section 1 of the bill increases the rate of pension of veterans from $65 to $75 per month.
Section 2 of the bill grants the $100 per month rate to all veterans requiring the regular aid and attendance of another person. In brief, this will increase the rate of pension of all those receiving the $72 and $90 per month rates to $100 per month. The average age of veterans now on the pension roll who would be affected by the provisions of sections 1 and 2 is 87 years.
Section 3 of the bill lowers the age limit for widows and former widows to 70 years for the allowance of the $40 per month rate. The present law provides this rate when they have attained the age of 75 years. The average age of widows now on the pension roll is 76 or 77 years. This section also provides for restoration of a former widow's name to the pension roll when marriages contracted by her subsequent to the soldier's death have been terminated by divorce, if such divorce has been obtained upon any ground other than adultery on her part.
Section 4 of the bill is an administrative feature empowering the Commissioner of Pensions to use his discretion as to recovery in certain overpayment cases where it is shown such overpayment was without fault of the beneficiary.
Section 5 of the bill provides that where a veteran is in receipt of a pension and shown to be entitled to increase at the date of passage of this act as provided therein, such increase shall be effective on the 4th day of the month next after the approval of the act; where not then entitled, increase to begin when the requisite condition is shown; and where not on the pension roll but entitled under this act, pension to commence from date of filing application thereunder in the Bureau of Pensions. This section also provides for a deduction of $25 per month from the pension of a veteran entitled to the benefits of this act during the actual period he is a resident of the United States Soldiers' Home, of a National or State Soldiers' Home.
Sections 6 and 7 are the usual administrative features appearing in general pension bills.
A comparison of the foregoing rates of pension as proposed by this legislation with those provided under present laws is as follows:
Conditions of title, based on 90 days' service or discharge for disability
Totally belpless or blind (soldiers)
$100 100 75
40 · 12, 199, 360
"This estimate is based upon figures as of June 1, 1930.
ESTIMATED COST OF BILL
The following table indicates in detail the numbers affected, the changes in rates, the monthly and annual rates of increase, and the approximate additional cost. The number of soldiers, while now about 51,100, will be reduced to 49,500 by the time the bill is passed and put into effect.
The data presented in the foregoing table, indicating the approximate cost of this increase to be $12,000,000, have been collated through the courtesy of the Commissioner of the Bureau of Pensions who has materially assisted the committee in preparing and working out a satisfactory bill.
The committee feels that this bill is equitable and just, as it increases the rate of pension of every Civil War veteran who is now on the pension roll under existing service laws and, in addition, provides the $40 per month rate to approximately 27,000 widows and former widows. Also, in the last analysis, in spite of the wars that have followed, the heroes who answered the call of the immortal Lincoln, remain the outstanding figures of this and the preceding generation. And in view of the unusually high average age of the survivors, the present situation calls for an immediate and liberal treatment.
Mr. GLENN, from the Committee on Claims, submitted the following
[To accompany S. 2010)
The Committee on Claims, to whom was referred the bill S. 2010, after carefully considering the bill reports the same favorably and recommends that the bill do pass with the following amendments:
In line 10, strike out all after the numerals “1921” down to the period in line 12.
In July, 1900, a board of naval officers initiated the idea of a destroyer and submarine base in the Columbia River by filing a report which contemplated such establishment in the mouth of the river. No definite action was had thereon until a further report was made in 1917 by the navy yard commission of which Rear Admiral J. M. Helm was senior member and chairman. This report recommended the establishment of such a base at Tongue Point, which is a location on the Columbia River about 10 miles from its mouth. The report further recommended that the site be acquired by purchase or gift”; subsequently, negotiations were had with the people of Astoria, which is the county seat of Clatsop County, in which the proposed site was to be located. In these negotiations the local people were given to understand that a substantial development would be made by the United States and that an active base would be maintained at Tongue Point necessitating the maintenance there of a substantial number of employees and enlisted men of the Navy. The Helm report, above referred to, suggested the immediate development and recommended an immediate appropriation of $1,200,000. Subsequently thereto, on October 8, 1919, the board of inspection of naval bases, composed of high officials of the Navy, reported to the Secretary of the Navy that the project be developed to a capacity sufficient "for the successful maintenance and operation of a minimum of 12 submarines, 6 destroyers, etc.” This report recommended the appropriation of $1,500,000 with authorization for the completed