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TUB METHOD OP EQrAL PROPORTIONS
As between these two tests, there seems little to choose. One is about as simple and natural as the other; and if Congress had to decide between them It would, indeed, be a difficult choice.
Fortunately, however, it is not necessary to face this dilemma, since the modern mathematical analysis has shown that the two tests are equivalent; that is, an apportionment which satisfies either test 1 or test 2 will automatically satisfy the other also.
The method of apportionment which satisfies both te't 1 and test is known as the method of equal proportions. A compact descriplio. of this method is obtained by combining test 1 and test 2 in the following statement, the truth of which has been mathematically established:
The method of equal proportions is the only method which makes both the ratio of population to Representatives and the ratio of Rcpresentativeg to population as nearly as possible the same in all the States.
This, It might be said, is the method for which Congress has been seeking for over a hundred years. It has been indorsed by the advisory committee to the Director of the Census in an elaborate report published in the Journal of the American Statistical Association for December, 1021, and by the overwhelming consensus of all other qualified scientific authorities. In the light of present-day knowledge of the subject, all the other methods which have been employed in the past must In- regarded as obsolete. The method of equal proportions is the best scientific solution of this highly technical problem.
(Readers who may be Interested in the mathematical theory of this subject, or in the technical details of the process of computation, will find full references In a recent article by E. V. Huntiuglon in the Transactions of the American Mathematical Society, vol. 30. pp. 8">-110, January. 11128; or in an earlier article in the Journal of American Statistical Association for September, 1921, pp. 839-S70. But none of these mathematical details are of any Importance for Congress.)
TWO CONFLICTING METHODS
Although test 1 and test 2 leave nothing to be desired, as simple and natural tests which a good apportionment should satisfy, there are two other tests (test la and test 2a) which, fur the sake of argument, are here mentioned. These alternative tests differ from test 1 nnd test 2 only in replacing the Idea of percentage difference by the less appropriate idea of absolute difference.
In similar problems In other fields the percentage difference has long been recognized as more significant than the absolute difference. For example, in an election contest. If we say that A has 10 per cent more votes than B, we have a fairly clear picture of the relative strength of the candidates; while if we said that A had absolutely 10 more votes than B we would have no idea of the relative strength. In a total of 230.000 votes, an absolute difference of 10 votes would Indicate a very close contest; while in a total of 12 votes, an absolute difference of 10 votes would indicate a sweeping victory.
Similarly, in the problem of apportionment, the percentage difference, as between the "congressional districts" of two States, for example, is more significant than the absolute difference. (This was first pointed out by Dr. Joseph A. Hill, of the Bureau of the Census. In 1910.)
If one Insists upon using the absolute difference, however, the tests read as follows:
Test la: If the absolute difference between the population per representative in any Slate and the population per representative In any other State can be reduced by a transfer of a representative from one State to tin* other, then this transfer should be made.
For example. In the dispute between Slates A and B, the first proposal is, according to this test, better than the second, since 07,050 is less than 70,000.
Both test la and test 2a prove to be "workable"; bat. unlike original tests, these new tests lead to two contacting results. M«veta«d la is called the method of the harmonic mean; method 2a Is call*-»a X lie method of the arithmetic mean (which is the same us the so-ca.lJ.ed method of major fractions).
The method la favors the small States more than does the metiaod of equal proportions, while the method lia favors the large States Kmmore than does the method of equal proportions. This is illustrated in the following example, in which 1(5 Representatives are to be apporfi«>a«a among the three States, A. B, C:
Tlie only method of apportionment which shows no bias in favo«r «f either the large States or the small States Is the method of proportions.
In the light of these facts, none of which were known before Congress is now in a position to make its choice between these methods.
The method of equal proportions, defined by test 1 or test 2. i» t he method on which all scientific authorities are practically uuanimc>vi^
If Congress desires to favor the small States, it may adopt m»-tlJfxJ la; if it desires to favor the large States, it may adopt method — »
To support method la on scienlilic grounds it would be necf^-'*111"? to contend (1) that the absolute difference is more significant ttm" the percentage difference; and (2) that the ratio of population Representatives Is alone Important, no attempt bi-ing niJ»*-l° equalize the ratios of Representatives to population among the States.
To support method 2a on scientific grounds, it would be neces»»»i*r'3r'
contend: (ll That the absolute difference Is more significant tt>i»"
percentage difference; and (2) that the ratio of lieprescntnf > ~ve&
population Is alone important, no attempt being made to the ratios of population to Representatives among the:
As between methods la and 2a the choice presents a dllemmru is not easy to solve, as there seems to be no clear reason why of the (wo ratios should be insisted on to the exclusion « other. If the method of equal proportions is adopted, this Ai need not be faced, since there is no such conflict between test test 2.
The method of equal proportions is the only method which both the ratio of population to Representatives and the ratio cf resentatives to population as nearly as possible the same in * States.
srPI'LKMKNTAHV NOTE ON THE SO-CALLED METHOD OF MAJOR FHA. •
The so-called method of major fractions, winch was devised b>* W. F. Witlcox in 1010 and used in the apportionment for that did not provide a test by which a dispute between two States ce» decided directly. What it did provide was a process of compi* which has been very much misunderstood.
It is often supposed that the method of major fractions begft computing the exact number of Representatives to which a State be entitled in a theoretically perfect apportionment and then pr~* ^ p t>y rejecting all fractious less than one-half and adding one ^seutative for each fraction greater than one-half. ,o^
This Is not a correct description of the method of major fra<" ^_^*»*'The "exact quota" to which a State would be entitled In a th cally perfect apportionment plays no part in the process. The assignment under this process may differ from the "exact
more than one whole unit. "Nearness to the quota" proves, In fact, to be one of the " unworkable" tests.
Professor Willcox himself admitted in an official communication to Conaress iii 1011 that the method by which his results were reached "la somewhat difficult to explain." To use Mb own words, he begins with n mysterious "ratio * * • assumed arbitrarily as a starting point," and divides the population of each State by this arbitrary ratio. "If the ratio be then dimlulsheil," he says, "the decimal in each quotient will be slightly increased. * * * If the ratio be further reduced * * * the decimals continue to increase with each change of ratio. * * • The State whose decimal flrst reaches 0.500 * * * is accordingly entitled to the next Hcprcsentutlvo."
According; to this description, the "title" which a State has to a certain number of Representatives is made to depend on the value of a ratio "assumed arbitrarily." In speaking of a particular case. Professor Wlllcox says: "The nearer the rntlo Is put 10 'J39.040, the weaker becomes the admitted claim if Illinois." And in another place (ll»lt>) he says the "claim1* of any State "matures" when the ratio hits reached a certain value. The so-called "ratio" finally selected is obtained by a laborious process of tvial Involving all the 48 States: It Is net the result of dividing the total population by the total number of R <>p res»>n ta fives.
Now, It Is clear that (he just "claim" or "title" of any State to any number of Representatives ought to depend only on the given populations of the States and the given size of the tlou.-'e, and not'on any c*xtmneous and arbitrary value. Professor Willcox's sliding ratio was merely an ingenious mathematical device, which bears no easily expliiinable relation to what any State is "justly" entitled to.
Hortunately, it is not necessary to go into the details of the process of computation for this or any other method. The result of the process Is the important thing for Congress to examine. The modern theory has shown that the process used by Professor Wllleox will always lead to si result Identical with the result of one of the two conflicting .methfKls mentioned above, namely, method 2a, so that a dlreet compuriFon between his method and the method of equal proportions can now be made.
Thr. arguments that can be brought up for or against the method of major fractions are therefore precisely the same as the arguments for or jieainst the method 2n, as outlined above.
In particular, method 2a has a systematic bias In favor of the large States (Just as method la has a systematic bias in favor of the small States), when compared with the method of equal proportions.
The mistaken notion that the method of major fractions Is "easier to understand" than either of the other two methods Is based on a complete misunderstanding of what the method of major fractions really Is.
The table Is a hypothetical but perfectly possible ease, showing the number of States that might be affected If the method of major fractions were used instead of the method of tHjual proportions. The populations nKBiiniPfl differ only slightly from the actual populations given by the 1O2O census. In the first column the assignment is exactly the same as ot present. In the second column 2'2 large States have gained and 22 pmnll States have lost. In other words (leaving out of account the four States which have only one Representative eaebt, the choice of method may affect the political fortunes of every State in the Union.
A possible case, showing bow mu<-h the large States might gain and I he small States lose under the method of major fractions as compared with the method of equal proportions:
Mr. HARDY. Mr. Speaker, I ask unanimous consent to extend my remarks in the Kecokd.
The SPEAKKB. Without objection it Is SO ordered.
There was uo objection.
Mv. HAKDY. Mr. Speaker, the eighteenth amendment, providing for prohibition, htis been In effect since January 20, lf)20—onlj- about eight years.
Its opponents complain that it is a failure because it has not been fully enforced and the country dried up and therefore ought to be repealed or nullified.
The Ten Commandments were laid down on tablets of stone some 4,000 years ago, and the principles pronounced therein have been enacted into laws of every civilized country of the world. The daily press of the country gives evidence that every commandment is being violated in every city practically every day.
Is there a great propaganda for the repeal of the Ten Cominaiidineots or the laws legalizing them? There is not. The people hare long been accustomed to such laws. The memory of man runneth not back to the time when they were not the accepted ethics of civilized society.
National prohibition is a new thing—only about 8 years old. Many of the great minority who opposed it in its making are opposing its enforcement, are asking for its repeal or modification. There are many living who built up fortunes iti the manufacture of liquors and in the legalized liiiuor trade. Many of these have fond dreams of the failure of prohibition and a return to the profitable days of license.
It is easy for promoters of wet organizations and schemes for propaganda to raise large sums of money for their exploitations. The minority, which wants a change in the laws, makes the big noise. The great majority, satisfied with things that are, say little.
Tons of propaganda from these wet organizations and promoters of wet funds pass over Congressmen's desks every year. The waste-papi'r privilege for the House Office Building is enhanced thereby.
The whole Federal machinery for enforcement is new. It is still in the making. Mistakes have been made. Improvements are being made. Lines are being tightened. Personnel is being improved. Public sentiment is being crystallized on law enforcement.
Prohibition has been a success in the main. There are violations, of course, and always will be. Show me a law on the statute books that has no violators. Even murder, the greatest crime of all, fills a good proportion of the front page of every daily news-paper every day.
Enforcement is being bettered both locally and nationally, and much depends upon the local community. To bo properly enforced any law must have the backing of local sentiment. There have been communities, still are, perhaps, in which gamblers could not be convicted by a local jury. There certainly are communities to-day in which bootleggers can not he convicted by local juries, no matter how convincing the evidence may be. New York City is one of these. I could name others closer home. To get convictions you must have local sentiment. You must have a citizenship from which juries nre drawn that will convict on proper evidence.
It is no fault of the law that in some communities convictions can not be had for bootlegging. The laws of the Nation are strong and effective. The laws of most of the States are us strong or stronger than the Federal laws. The Colorado statutes on the liquor question are more drastic than the Volstead Act. The laws of New York are practically nothing at all.
Again I want to emphasize the fact that national prohibition is a new thing—only 8 years old. A very short period of time, indeed, in considering the history of a country or the effect of a new law.
Conditions are improving rapidly. Sentiment for law enforcement is growing. Dry leaders are beginning to realize the fact that the battle was not entirely won when the eighteenth amendment was adopted.
Go back a little in the history of the movement. For 50 years before national prohibition was adopted there was a stirring agitation for temperance and prohibition. Societies and organizations were active everywhere. Sentiment was being created and sustained.
After the eighteenth amendment was adopted and the Volstead Act passed there was a feeling that the whole case had been won and settled for all time. There was a temporary lull in agitation, a let-up of sentiment-creating effort, a falling off in membership and activities of dry sentiment-building societies and organizations.
Now is coming the revival, and in it is a hopeful sign. Great leaders of public thc.ught are taking up the battle for law enforcement. Great fraternal orders, lodges, and organizations are promoting law enforcement. The pulpit and the press are advocating the principle that a good country is a law-abiding country. Big business, corporations, and individuals are asking and insisting that the laws must be enforced.
Look ahead 25 years. A generation will have passed since the saloon sign has been seen in America. Those who have had money invested in and have grown rich through legalized liquor traffic will have passed on. Those who champ at the bits for that "personal liberty" of which they have been deprived, of standing with one foot on a brass rail and drinking at a bar, will have forgotten its charm for them.
A new generation will be in charge of affairs—business, social, and official. A generation of men and women who know not of public drinking places, of legalized liquor traffic. This coming generation will look back upon this "personal-liberty" talk in connection with legalized liquor traffic as this present generation looks back upon that "pei-sonal-property" talk of those of a former generation which believed so firmly in the slavery (raffle, and with much the same feeling of disgust.
I have great confidence in the future, born of my observation of the past. I bought the newspaper I still own at my home town. Canon City, Colo.. 33 years ago. The town then had eight licensed saloons. In my boyish enthusiasm I concluded that we would make (hat town dry. I recall that it was a shocking idea to the community at first, and certainly was not, popular. But in time we won. Through my newspaper I have advocated the dry side in every election, city, State, and national, s'nce July 1, 1895; had a little part in carrying the elections which made Colorado dry; and I was elected to Congress in time to vote for the Volstead Act in 1919. And have voted for all subsequent amendments.
I have watched the popularity of the dry movement grow through all these years. Gradually the country was voted dry, beginning with villages, towns, and cities, then counties and States, and finally the Nation.
Every decade has marked a great advance, and I am convinced that the country is drier, in fact and in sentiment, than it has ever been in tha history of the Nation. The membership of the Congress is drier than it was 10 years ago, or even 6 years ago.
TIIK THY AMKND.MENT AND ITS ADOPTION
This is the simple wording of the eighteenth amendment to the United States Constitution:
Section 1. After one year from the rntlflciitlon of this article tlie manufacture, sale, or transportation of intoxicating liquors within, the importation thereof into, or the exportation thereof from, the United States and all territory subject to the jurisdiction thereof for beverage purposes is hereby prohibited.
Skc. U. The Conyresa and the several States shall hnve concurrent power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.
Skc. I!. This article shall lie inoperative unless it shall have been ratified as an amendment to the Constitution by the leKistittures of the several States, as provided in the Constitution, within seven years from tlie date of the submission hereof to the States by the Congress.
This is the way every amendment to the Constitution must he proposed and adopted:
First Proposed by a two-thirds vote of each branch of Congress, the United States Senate and the House of Representatives.
Second. Then the amendment so proposed must be ratified by the State legislatures of three-fourths of the States of the Union.
That was exactly what has been done by this amendment and by all others that have been added to the Constitution.
If any person thinks he sees a possibility of this country going back to a wet basis let him analyze that procedure carefully. It would be necessary to get two-thirds of each branch of Congress to vote in favor of a wet amendment and then to get 36 of the States to ratify It. Some job, I will say.
The eighteenth amendment was voted on in the United States Senate August 1, 1917, the vote being 65 to 20.
It passed the House of Representatives on December 17, 1917—vote being 262 to 128.
The Congress which proposed this amendment was elected in November, 1916, five months before this country was engaged in the Great War. It was a well-advertised fact that this Congress would vote on this dry amendment when it was elected.
The ratification by the States came along very rapidly. From January 8, 1918, to January 20, 1919, the necessary three-fourths of the States of the Union—the 36 necessary—had ratified the amendment. This made it effective January 20, 1920.
Later 10 other States ratified the amendment, making a total of 46 States. Only 2 States fulled to ratify, these being Rhode Island and Connecticut. The total vote of Senators and Representatives in the 46 State legislatures which ratified was 5,102 for ratification to 1,245 against.
This was no sudden nor new thing up for consideration. Prohibition had been agitated for a hundred years. Maine voted dry in 1846 and again in 1851. Kansas adopted a dry constitutional amendment in 1880', North Dakota in 18^0, Georgia and Oklahoma in 1907, Mississippi and North Carolina in 1!»08. Other States came along, so that before national prohibition became effective under the eighteenth amendment 33 States and 4 Territories had adopted state-wide prohibition.
As a matter of fact, before the eighteenth amendment became effective in January. 1920, 95 per cent of the area of the United States, containing more than 70 per cent of the population of the country, had voted itself dry under State prohibition and local-option laws.
COLORADO HAS VOTKO ON gOESTION 8KVEI1AL TIMES
Since the Nation adopted the eighteenth amendment several of the States have tried out the sentiment of the people by a referendum on some phase of the question or another. Almost invariably the States have given a larger vote each time for prohibition.
The growing dry sentiment in Ohio is quoted often. In different state-wide elections on the question its record is as follows:
'Wet ' by 84. ir,2
'Wet' by T>5. 40S
'Wet ' by 1.307
'Dry ' by 2.1. 7.19
Dry' by 41, 853
'Dry ' by... 189.472
The experience in Colorado has been interesting. The drys lost the first effort to vote the State dry in 1912. but carried the proposition and made Colorado dry in 1914.
Here is the official vote in the State for the several State elections in which prohibition has been an issue.
Election of 1912: This was the first state-wide election on the prohibition question. The title on the ballot read: The statewide prohibition amendment to the constitution, adding Article XXI:
b*or . 75. 87T
Against 116. 774
Wet majority 40, 897
Election of 1914: An amendment to the constitution of the State of Colorado by adding thereto a new article to be numbered and designated as "Article XXII—Intoxicating liquor." prohibiting the sale of intoxicating liquor and the manufacturing and importation of intoxicating liquor for purpose of sale or gift:
Yes 129. T>8!1
No__. • 118,017
Pry majority 11.57::
Election of 1910: Proposed constitutional amendment—manufacture and sale of beer:
Yes 77. 345
Dry majority 85,788 Election of 191R: Bone-dry amendment:
Yes_. _____ 113. C.'M
No _____________________________________________________ fi4, 710
Dry majority _____________________________________ 48,890
Election of 1026: Amending Article XXII relative to intoxicating liquors: Yes. ______________________ in". 749
N,,H ___________________________________________________ 15 ». 072
Dry majority ______________________________________ 4ti, 923
. •'. I IIN.MKXT APPROPRIATIONS HAVE" BKKfi I.IHKKAI.
Tlie Federal Government has been active in ]>rohil>itiou enforcement, and the Congress has been liberal with appropriations to carry on this work. In 1927 tlie Bureau of Prohibition was created for the better administration and enforcement of thi: prohibition and narcotic laws. A commissioner is In charge of the Imrenu. The country is divided into 2.~> districts, including one district in I'orto Kico nnd one in Hawaii. An administrator is in charge of each district. Tinder these are about 4,500 employees, agents, and so forth. Many of these employees are being pnt under the civil service.
In the short space of time that has elapsed since prohibition was enacted it is natural that, many intricate problems have been found to be worked out. Kight years ago many warehouses and many cellars were full of liquor. There have been some leaks. The bonded supply of whisky in warehouses lias been cut down by withdrawals from 50,000,000 gallons to less than 20,000,000 gallons. As the supply dries up the leaks will be fewer and the enforcement easier. This division has had its problems with denatured alcohol, with .supplies in bond. with fake physicians' prescriptions, with illicit manufacture and sales, with smuggling and border patrol. The Government has problems to work out that tlie good citizens back home can little realize nor appreciate. Hut the bureau is meeting them with intelligence and vigor. Administration and enforcement is being improved every year.
The Coast Guard has been very active in helping to enforce prohibition by preventing the landing of illicit cargoes of liquor at coast points. The story the commandant of the Coast Guard told before the Appropriations Committee sounds like u romance of the sea.
Little is known of the Coast Guard in the interior of our country. It is a development of many years. It has other duties to perform, but its major function in recent years has been to prevent liquor smuggling. In that it has been very effective.
The Coast Guard has in it a fleet of ships. The fleet includes 16 cruising cutters, 25 destroyers taken over from the Navy for prohibition patrol duty, 37 harbor launches, and 370 smaller patrol and picket boats — a total of 448 ships and boats.
To man this fleet there are 12.253 officers and men.
The Coast Guard has practically cleaned up "Rum Row," which used to be anchored off the east coast, and is making it harder every year for vessels to laud and discharge cargoes of liquor on American shores. Last year the Coast Guard seized 169 vessels and boats in this illicit business.
The border patrol of the customs service is helpful in law enforcement and it is estimated that about one-third of the activities of the Department of Justice may be charged to prohibition enforcement.
The appropriation for the next fiscal year, the year ending June 30, 1929, for prohibition enforcement runs over §36,000,000. They are divided up as follows:
Bureau of Prohibition -------------------------------- $11.478,700
Coast Guard prohibition-enforcement activities __________ 115, 004, 930
Customs for border patrol ____________________________ 787,500
Uepartment of Justice — that portion chargeable to pro
hibition enforcement _______________________________ 8,900,000
Total 36, -231, 130
PRACTICAL RESULTS Of FEDERAL ENFORCEMENT EFFORTS
It just happens that I have been on that section of the Appropriations Committee which considers the appropriations for these prohibition-enforcement units. It in an interesting story, this, that comes to the committee from the Bureau of Prohibition, the customs service, and the Coast Guard. There is stuff here for a thrilling recital. I can give, however, only a few brief facts and figures.
I have been convinced of the thorough sincerity and patriotism of those in charge. I believe the different units are in excellent hands and work in harmony. I know that they are getting practical results.
Here are a few figures that tell the story better than flowery praise can do:
Collection* from /ints and pmalticn for prohibition rinlalioHn in year
Fines and forfeitures $4.143,040.02
Civil penalties incident to illicit manufacturing of
Intoxicating liquor $1, 018, 9119. 71
Totnl $0, lt>2, 009. 73
Number of convictions, 1927 (being 70.3 per cent of
all cases tried) 36,540
Total", ifeur» J94I to 19ft
Fines and forfeitures $30, 037. 190. (52
Civil penalties $K, :|53, 098. 24
Totnl $38, 3!)0, 888. 80
Automobiles seised 31, 13:!
Arrests made 408,1«7
Convictions secured 233. 040
Seizures under prohibition act year endinu June M, K)21
Value of automobiles
Value of Ijojits seized
Total appraised value of property seized and destroyed
Total appraised value of property seized and not destroyed..
Persons arrested by Federal agents
Persons arrested by State officers assisted by Federal agents"
Malt liquor _____________________________________ ____
Wine ________________________ _ ___ __ __ __ _ _
Mnsh ________ ____
14, 312 ll.HNl 8, 024 173. <!5<1 7. 137
$3, 529, 2!lt! 333
$318,323 $12. 498,385 SI2, Oil, 953 (54, 9S6
Uullons 1, 462, 532 . 5,971,903
21, 083, 038
WAR MINERAL CLAIMS
Mr. SPROUL of Kansas. Mr. Speaker, I ask unanimous consent to extend my remarks in the Record on the bills H. R. 11411 and S. 1347.
The SPEAKER. Without objection it is so ordered.
There was no objection.
Mr. SPROUL of Kansas. Mr. Speaker and Members of the House, the Committee on Mines and Mining has reported both H. H. 11411 and S. 1347 in the same form. This is a most interesting bill. The subject matter grows out of an act passed March 2, 1919. That act dealt with two distinct classes of business losses associated with the prosecution of the World War. Let us get a clear and distinct understanding of these classes of business losses.
The first part of the act of March, 1919, provided for the payment of losses growing out of contracts, express or implied. It recognized a legal obligation on the part of the Government to those who had been operating under contracts, express or implied. Special provision for determination and settlement of the claims was made, providing an appeal in the event such was desired. All of those claims have been settled and paid.
The act of March, 1919, section a, took notice of another class of losses. Certain mine operators claimed to have sustained special losses from ending of the war and consequent price deflations. However, no contracts, express or implied, had been made with the Government by the mine- operators; but finally the Congress, in section 5 of the act of March, 1919, authorized the Secretary of the Interior to investigate and pay the net losses of the so-called mine operators. Hut in the act it was expressly provided that such payments were made on condition that no appeal should be allowed or taken from the judgment and determination by the Secretary of the Interior of the amounts of net losses sustained; his judgment was to be final. And no District of Columbia courts were allowed jurisdiction to hear or pass upon any such claims. These were the second class of net losses from the war that the Government paid.
Under this act of March. 1919, more than $7,000,000 of the $8,000,000 in claims were paid. These mine operators who claim to have sustained more than §8.000,000 in net losses were perfectly satisfied with section 5 of the bill, which reads that "The Secretary shall be the sole judge of the amounts of the net losses and that there shall be no appeal and that no other courts shall have jurisdiction." They understood that what the Government was paying was a mere gift or donation and that it was not owing according to tlie ordinary business operations.
But now, after six or eight years, this very same class of preferred mine operators come back to Congress with strong lobbies asking for another bill and more money. What does this bill provide for? It sets aside all settlements and payments made by the Secretary under the act of March, 1919. II resurrects and brings to life all these many claims which have been settled, and it provides that the claimants may keep the money which Ims been t>ald to thorn nnd which they have accepted in full settlement: may ignore those settlements and may yet appeal to the Court of Claims, and there have the right to have their claims opened up altogether and reconsidered and the question passed upon as to whether they sustained more net losses thun f"r which they have lieen paid. And if the court should find that they sustained more net losses than they have been paid the Government should pay any remaining difference. And in the meantime the claimant!; may keep all the money the Government has puid them, whether wrongfully or not. Claimants are not required to bring their money back into court which has been paid them in settlement of their claims until after it is finally determined whether they are entitled to more money or less money.
In the first place this second class of claims never should have been paid. The claims were 100 per cent without merit. Why'- Because there are thousands of other mine operators and business men and farmers who have lost equally heavily as a result of the war and in the same general way. Because the Government did not owe anything on these claims. They were not based on any kind of contract, and the hearings so disclosed. Became the payment of these claims was a mere donation or gift from the Government. For the Government to pay such claims as this is for it to discriminate against the farmers of the country, against the various other kinds of mine operators in the country, against many different kinds of business concerns in the country, all of whom lost equally heavily with this special class of mine operators.
No Member of this House can satisfactorily explain to the farmers of his district, to other mine operators of his district, to other business nun of his district why it was that he voted to take so many millions of dollars out of the Treasury to pay a bunch of mine operators whom the Government did not owe a penny under contract of any kind. Every Member of this House should think on these questions. Why should we be prejudiced in favor of one particular class of mine operators whom the Government did not owe a penny'' Why should we give out of the ]>coplc's money so many millions of dollars to this special class of business men?
The Supreme Court of the United States says that "(Inpayment of money to this class of mine operators is nothing more than a gift or donation." Why .should we not give and donate to all farmers, business men, and other mine operators to recompense them for their losses sustained in aiding the World War cause?
To pass this bill means that ten or twelve hundred claims may find their way ir.to the Court of Claims, there to he investigated. 10 years after the war, to determine the amount of net losses; and no one to represent the Government. It. means, of course, that the Government continues to lose millions on top of millions of money.
I resp«>ctfully ask each Member of the House to carefully read the report of the Secretary of the Interior to Senator Oddie. For your benefit, please read it carefully; when you do. I am satisfied you will talk against and vote against the passage of this meritless bill.
Section (2). body of H. R. 11411:
Sec. 2. In cases where final decisions of the Secretary of the Interior have been heretofore rendered, appeal to the Court of Claims shall be made within six months after the passage of this act; and Id all cases where flnnl decisions of tho Secretary of the Interior have not heretofore been rendered, appeals from such decisions to the Court of Claims shall be made within 00 days after such decisions shall have been rendered hy said Secretary: Provided. That uo acceptance or acquittance by any claimant of or for any settlenrent made heretofore by the said Secretary shall prevent or estop any appeal to the said Court of Claims, as heroin provided for.
REPORT OF THE SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR
Department Of 'fur. Interior.
WuHhintjtun, January W, JJ>28. Hon. Tasker L. Oddie,
Chairman Cnmmitirc on Mints and Mining,
United States Kenalt.
Mr Dear Senator Oddie : Receipt Is acknowledged of your request for a rc'|K>rt on S. 1347, Seventieth Congress, which bill is now before your committee for consideration.
The bill proposes to strike from the war minerals relief act, approved March 2, 1919, as amended, under which the entire 1,208 claims have, during tin1 past '-iyht years, been investigated and disposed of, the provision which makes ttie decision of tile Secretary of the Interior conclusive nnd dual, and the further provision that the law shall not be construed to confer jurisdiction upon any court to entertain a suit against the United States. It adds a new section, vesting the Court of Claims with jurisdiction to hear and determine any claim which
has been, or which mny in the future be, disposed of by the Secretary of the Interior, provided only that appeal be taken within 90 days aft'*r the pnssngc of the act, or the subsequent decision of the -Secretary o( the Interior, as the case may be.
The history of war minerals relief legislation and administration leads me to the belief this bill should not be enacted. When Congress passed the war minerals relief act (the Dent Act) It dealt with two classes of claimants. The class having express or implied contracts with the Government was directed to go to the War Department for settlement, with the right of appeal to the Court of Claims. The class having uo contracts, express or implied, was directed to be adjudicated by the Secretary of the Interior, witli no right of appeal to any court, that official's decisions to be conclusive and final. The distinction between the two classes of claimants, as made by Congress, obviously was for the reason that the claims in one class, having R legal status, because of express or implied contracts, called for a legal court of review, while the claims in the other class, ln-ing based wholly upon moral considerations, were to he Investigated and paid by an officer of the Government, without intervention by the courts. The. Supreme Court of the United States has interpreted the war minerals relief act and set out the reasons why the right of appeal to any court was withheld by Congress. In the case of Work ». Hives th« opinion of Chief Justice Taft contained the following:
"The above summary of section 5 clearly shows that Congress was seeking to save the beneficiaries from losses which it would have been under no legal obligation to make good if a private person. It was a gratuity based on equitable and moral considerations. (United States i>. Realty Co. 163 U. 8. 427, 439; Allen r. Smith, 173 D. 8. 389, 402.) Congress did not wish to create a legal claim.
"It was not dealing with vested rights. It did not. as it did with the claims for supplies and services directly furnished the (iovernment under the first and second sections of the act, make the losses recoverable In a court, hut expressly provided otherwise. It dealt with the subject with the utmost caution. It hedged the granting of the equitable gratuity with limitations to prevent the use of the statute for the recovery of doubtful or fraudulent claims or merely speculative losses. It vested the Secretary with power to reject all losses except as be was satisfied that they were just and equitable and It made his decision conclusive and final. Final against whom? Against the claimant. He could not resort to conrt to review the Secretary's decision. This was expressly forbidden. By the fifth proviso, however, the (iovernment was permitted, through any of its agencies or even by u committee of Congress duly authorized to review the settlement by the Secretary and by necessary implication to reverse It. If the Government was defrauded it was authorized to sue to recover any money paid under the award.
"Congress was occupying toward the proposed beneficiaries of section 6 the attitude rather of a benefactor than of a debtor at law. Congress intended the Secretary to act for It, and to construe the meaning of the words used to describe the elements of the net losses to be ascertained nnd to give effect to his interpretation without the Intervention of the courts. This statute presents a case of as wide discretion as was held to have been vested In the Secretary of the Navy In the Decatur rase." S. l.'!47, before you. proposes now, after the work of administration, covering many years, has been concluded, and when more than seven millions of dollars have been paid to claimants, to create legal claims ; to make of the Government a debtor at law rather than a benefactor. Having shared in a gratuity, claimants, given a legal status by this Mil, may bring the Government into court and compel the court to review the Government's actions in the bestowing of its own gratuities.
Under S. 1347 the entire 1,268 claims may be taken to the Court of Claims. That practically all will find their way there Is more than probable. Claimants will have little or nothing to lose. The bill is, in fact, an invitation to appeal. There is but one requirement and that Is that the simple act of filing an appeal be performed within 90 days. It is then incumbent upon the court to duplicate much of the work that has been performed by the Secretary of the Interior in order that a decision mny be rendered. If the decision should be adverse to the claimant, the Government and not the claimant would bear the financial cost. Under such conditions, even the claimant who had accepted his award and departed satisfied, would be induced to appeal his claim. The revival of these claims, as proposed by the bill, after years spent in their examination and adjustment, under a remedial act, would heap upon the Court of Claims labor and expense which, in my Judgment, can not be justified.
When Congress passed the war minerals relief act the circumstances nnd events out of which the moral obligation to these claimants grew were fresli in the minds of Its Members. If Congress had felt the Government was a debtor at law, the losses undoubtedly would have been made recoverable In a court. Having declared otherwise, and all claims having been examined and disposed of in conformity to tlir net as passed, I can not now approve a bill which is in direct opposition to the letter and spirit of that act.
I recommend that S. 1347 be not enacted.
I am advised by the Director of the Bureau of the Itudget that t'w proposed legislation is ill conflict with the financial program of Hie 1'residcut.