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The resolution accepting the gift became a law July 7, 1898.

H. R. 9833 is a bill to accept a gift of money. Gifts of money are specially desired, and as such gifts frequently contemplate that an income is to be derived therefrom, and to be used, some means of assuring an income must be found. The Government does not make investments for the purpose of getting an income, and in cases like this it seems entirely proper that Congress should provide for it in the manner suggested in this bill. It is exactly what was done in the case of the bequest of the Englishman, James Smithson, whose bequest has been drawing 6 per cent interest since 1838. The United States encourages its soldiers by allowing 4 per cent

4 interest on deposits, and usually is indebted to the enlisted men to the extent of nearly $2,000,000.

Your committee believe that it is quite as good policy to encourage gifts for its own benefit by equally liberal treatment.

The income from the $20,000 will be used to purchase other engravings to be added to the collection.

It is quite the customary thing in libraries to have gifts called by the names of the citizens who made them. It is a convenience and detail of administration, and if it were not stipulated that this should be known as The Gardiner Greene Hubbard Collection it would still be done. It would not be gracious to refuse such recognition to citizens who are disposed to add to our art and literary treasures.

The appropriations of Congress suffice only for the purchase of the more ordinary books, maps, etc. For rare books, for those that are valuable because of their bindings, or desirable for historic and sentimental reasons, no provision is made.

Yet no great library would be complete without them. Like the British Museum and other great libraries, we must get our increment chietly from bequests. We should encourage such donations. We can not do it in any better way than by meeting the generosity of the citizens with a gracious acceptance.

CONGRESS

AMENDING ACT MAKING APPROPRIATIONS FOR NAVAL

SERVICE, FISCAL YEAR 1912.

MAY 26, 1911.-Committed to the Committee of the Whole House on the state of the

Union and ordered to be printed.

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

following

REPORT.

[To accompany H. R. 9442.)

The Committee on Naval Affairs, to whom was referred a bill (H. R. 9442) to amend an act approved March 4, 1911, entitled "An act making appropriations for the naval service for the fiscal year ending June thirtieth, nineteen hundred and twelve, and for other purposes," having had the same under consideration, report the bill back to the House with the recommendation that it do pass.

Section 1 of the bill amends the naval appropriation act passed at the close of the last session of the Sixty-first Congress making appropriations for the naval service for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1912, by striking out the following provision under the appropriation “Pay of the Navy:" clerks to paymasters and not exceeding ten clerks to accounting oflicers at yards and stations, general storekeepers ashore and afloat not exceeding ten clerks, and receiving ships, and other vessels; two clerks to general inspectors of Pay Corps; one clerk to pay officer in charge of deserters' rolls; and inserting in lieu thereof the following:

Clerks to paymasters at yards and stations, general storekeepers ashore, and receiving ships, and other vessels; iwo clerks to general inspertors of the Pay Corps; one clerk to pay officer in charge of deserters' rolls; not exceeding ten clerks to accounting officers at yards and stations, and not exceeding ten cierks to general storekeepers afloat.

This amendment is recommended by the committee in order that the law should be made to read as intended. The Senate adopted an amendment to the naval bill under the appropriation "Pay of the Navy,” which provided for clerks to accounting officers" and clerks to storekeepers ashore and afloat," without any limitation as to the total additional number of clerks authorized. Upon investigation by the conferees on the part of the House it was learned that the Senate amendment provided for an increase of 46 clerks, and to this increase the House conferees declined to yield, but it being established that a great deal of extra work has been given to the paymasters of the Navy by the adoption of a cost-accounting system in the navy, yards and stations and a new system of storekeeping on board ship which tends to economy and better supervision of bookkeeping methods and of care in the conservation of naval stores, the House conferees agreed to an increase of 20 clerks to paymasters, designating 10 for the cost-accounting officers and 10 for the general storekeepers afloat. In attempting to carry out this agreement reached by the conferees of the Senate and House the words "not exceeding ten clerks" were inserted after the word “afloat" in the Senate amendment, which, in effect, not only restricted the clerks to general storekeepers afloat to 10, but included in its limitation the clerks to general storekeepers ashore. At present, under existing law, the latter have 27 clerks, and the restriction thus will cause the discharge of 17 clerks after July 1, 1911, instead of providing for an increase of 10. The language of the bill under consideration corrects the situation so as to conform to the intention of the conferees of both Houses and requires no increase in the appropriation act as passed

Section 2 authorizes the Secretary of the Navy to make partial payments from time to time during the progress of work under existing contracts and contracts hereafter made for public purposes under the Navy Department not in excess of the value of the work already done, making ample provision for the protection of and security for the interests of the United States. On the 19th day of April, 1911, the House passed House joint resolution 1, striking out the provision of the naval appropriation act for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1912, providing for partial payments to be made on work in progress under the Navy Department up to 90 per cent of the value of completed work. This provision was improperly incorporated into the act because of an error in the enrolling of the act and was not agreed to by the conferees of both houses. The conference report of both houses eliminated this provision from the bill, and it being no proper part of the act it was eliminated by House joint resolution 1.

The following is a letter from the Secretary of the Navy to the chairman of the Committee on Naval Affairs of the House of Representatives, which states the situation relating to partial payments on work in progress with special reference to the amendment of House joint resolution 1 rather than its repeal.

Navy DEPARTMENT,

Washington, April 15, 1911. MY DEAR Congressman: I have the honor to invite your attention to my letter of the 3d of February last to the then chairman of the committee requesting that a provision be inserted in the naval bill authorizing the Secretary of the Navy to make partial payments, not in excess of the value of the work already done under public contracts, and stating the reasons on which such request was based.

In the naval act as passed there is included a provision authorizing partial payments under such contracts not in excess of 90 per cent of the value of the work already done. This provi ion, which it was intended to omit when the bill was last considered in each House, was, through inadvertence, incorporated in the bill as actually passed and approved, and House joint resolution No. 1 of the present session of Congress provides for its repeal on account of the error in enrollment.

Under date of the 10th instant the department addressed a letter to Hon. John J. expression of opinion in the premises, requesting that said provision instead of being repealed be retained and amended so as to authorize payments under the Navy contracts not in excess of the value of the work done, as originally recommended. "Inasmuch, however, as this matter comes under the cognizance of the Naval Committee, its attention is invited to the following.

Section 3648 of the Revised Statutes, taken from the act of January 21, 1883 (Stat. 3, p. 723), provides that “No advance of public money shall be made in any case whatever. And in all cases of contracts for the performance of any service or the delivery of articles of any description for the use of the United States payments shall not exceed the value of the service rendered or of the articles delivered previously to such payments.”

Under contracts for building naval vessels or the machinery, therefor, delivery is not contemplated until the entire structure is finished and tested, but it has been the practice to make partial payments under such contracts during the progress of the work, and this practice has prevailed from a very early period, though record can not now be found showing the ground on which it was sanctioned.

Originally a reservation of 10 per cent or more was made from each installment and the sum thereof, together with the last installment in entirety, was held back until preliminary acceptance and delivery as a protection for the Government against the contingency of having to pay for any minor defects or deficiencies in the vessel or machinery. Latterly, however, owing to the great increase in the cost of the larger vessels, running up above $3,000,000, it was found that the customary reservation from the installments as earned provided a greater sum than was considered necessary for the Government's protection and added an expense to the financing of the work that had to be paid by the Government indirectly as part of the price bid.

Therefore the method was adopted for all vessels of dividing the contract price into a larger number of installments, 50 for the largest vessels, to be paid without reservations, and securing the necessary protection against defects and deficiencies by withholding the last two or three installments, as the case requires, until preliminary acceptance and delivery. Payments are restricted to, though in fact they rarely equal, the value of the work already done, and further protection against failure of the contractor or loss by fire or other circumstance has been secured by bond with satisfactory security, insurance, and provision for lien in favor of the Government on the vessel or machinery so far as completed and materials on hand, and by giving the Government the right to forfeit the contract if the construction is not advanced satisfactorily and take possession of the work and the contractor's plant for the purpose of completion at the contractor's expense.

The accounting officers of the Treasury have uniformly acquiesced in the making of partial payments under said contracts, and the department had, consequently, entertained no doubts as to the legality of the contract provisions relating thereto, but recently the accounting officers decided that under a contract of the War Department for powder the making of partial payments before delivery was contrary to the provisions of section 3648 and therefore illegal. Apprehension that this ruling would be applied to the contracts for naval vessels induced the department to request, on the 3d of February, as stated, the enactment of a provision authorizing partial payments.

If the limitation now contained in the naval act of March 4, 1911, be repealed, the accounting officers would, it is assumed, disallow the payments already stípulated for in existing contracts and inhibit provision for such payments in future contracts.

Should such a situation arise, the Government would be exposed to suits for damages, whether the claims were valid or not, on account of nonpayment as stipulated in the existing contracts, and it would be obliged to pay under future contracts the cost of financing the undertaking in each case. For the vessels last authorized this item, made up of sums ranging from $3,000 for each $500,000 submarine boat to $50,000 for a $6,000,000 battleship, would amount to approximately $100,000 in excess of their cost under the previous plan of making partial payments. For these burdens no compensating advantage would be derived by the Government from the proposed repeal of the provision under discussion.

The department feels warranted in saying that the Government's interests have not been disadvantaged or jeoparded in any respect by making partial payments under the contracts for naval vessels or by not withholding a reservation from each of such payments; that the cost of every vessel paid for in installments has been actually less than it would have been otherwise; that competition for the contracts has been enlarged and additional pecuniary advantages thereby gained, and that no useful purpose can be served from other considerations by limiting, as said act does, payment to a sum less than the value of the work already done.

In view of the foregoing it is urgently recommended that the provision in question be not repealed, but that it be retained and amended by striking out the words

a

"ninety per centum of,” occurring in the twelfth line, page 3 of said joint resolution, 80 that payments under all contracts of this department may be made as heretofore, in the Secretary's discretion, in installments not exceeding the value of the work already done. Faithfully, yours,

G. v. L. MEYER. Hon. LEMUEL P. PADGETT, M. C., Chairman Committee on Naval Affairs,

House of Representatives.

. Under dates of April 18 and April 20, 1911, the Attorney General of the United States, in response to a request from the Secretary of the Navy, rendered the following opinions relating to partial payments on work in progress: SECRETARY OF THE NAVY-PARTIAL PAYMENTS UNDER CONTRACTS FOR PUBLIC PUR

POSES.
DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE,

April 18, 1911. Sir: I am in receipt of your letter of 17th instant, advising me that it is proposed by joint resolution No. 1 of the present session of Congress to strike from the naval appropriation bill of March 4, 1911, the clause authorizing the Secretary of the Navy to make partial payments from time to time during the progress of the work under contracts made under the Navy Department for public purposes, not in excess of 90 per cent of the value of work already done, etc., and asking my opinion as to whether, in the event of the repeal of that clause, the Navy Department would be justified in continuing to make partial payments as provided for in existing contracts made prior to March 4, and in providing for such payments under future contracts for ships, armor plate, and other objects.

It is an old-established rule that where no actually existing case is presented, but the Attorney General is asked for his opinion uopn a future hypothetical case, he declines to answer the question. (19 Op., 414; 20 Op., 289, id., 729.) If the joint resolution referred to should pass, and a question should then be presented arising before you for determination, I will then take pleasure in advising you.

It is perhaps proper, however, to state that Attorney General Brewster advised the Secretary of the Navy, by an opinion dated January 22, 1885 (18 Op., 105), that section 3648 of the Revised Statutes does not preclude a payment in any case where the money has been actually earned and the Government has received an equivalent therefor, its object being to prevent payments being made to contractors in advance of the performance of their contracts, whether for services or supplies.

In 1894 Attorney General Olney advised the Secretary of the Treasury that section 3618, Revised Statutes, prevented the making of partial payments on account of work performed in the construction of a revenue cutter where neither the statute under which the work was done nor the contract gave the Government the ownership of the boat before its completion or a lien on the uncompleted vessel for such part payments. He mentioned the fact that the contracts for building vessels for the Navy Department contained special stipulations giving the United States a lien upon the work done and paid for. (20 Op., 746.) This decision was followed by the Comptroller of the Treasury in the matter of partial payments on account of a contract to manufacture and sell powder for the use of the Army. (17 Comp. Dec., 231.)

The general rule would therefore seem to be well recognized that, in the absence of statutory prohibition, partial payments may be made on account of work done in the construction of vessels for the Navy if (1) title to the vessel shall have passed to the United States at the time of such payments, or (2) a lien shall have been created by law or contract upon the unfinished vessel to the amount of such partial paymects. I am, respectfully, yours,

GEORGE W. WICKERSHAM. The SECRETARY OF THE NAVY.

OFFICE OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL,

Washington, D. C., April 20, 1911. The SECRETARY OF THE Navy.

Sir: I have conferred with the solicitor for your department with respect to the efiect upon contracts made through your department for the construction of vessels subsequent to the enactment and in conformity with the naval appropriation act of

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