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CLAIMS OF AREND KAMP AND FRANCIS GORT
THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES
A REPORT FROM THE SECRETARY OF STATE REGARDING TWO
CLAIMS PRESENTED BY THE GOVERNMENT OF THE NETHERLANDS AGAINST THE UNITED STATES FOR COMPENSATION FOR TWO NETHERLANDS SUBJECTS INJURED WHILE THE U. 8. 8. CANIBAS WAS LOADING ON MAY 1, 1919, AT ROTTERDAM
DECEMBER 19, 1927.-Read; referred to the Committee on Foreign Relations and
ordered to be printed
To the Congress of the United States:
I transmit herewith a report regarding two claims presented by the Government of the Netherlands against the Government of the United States for compensation for personal injuries sustained by two Netherlands subjects, Arend Kamp and Francis Gort, while the U.S. S. Canibas was loading on May 1, 1919, at Rotterdam.
I recommend that, in order to effect a settlement of these claims in accordance with the recommendation of the Secretary of State, the Congress, as an act of grace and without reference to the question of the legal liability of the United States in the premises, authorize an appropriation in the sum of $1,000, $500 of which is to be paid to Mr. Arend Kamp and $500 to be paid to Mr. Francis Gort.
CALVIN COOLIDGE. THE WHITE HOUSE, December 19, 1927.
DECEMBER 17, 1927. The PRESIDENT:
I have the honor to submit, with a view to its transmission to Congress, the following report and recommendation regarding two claims presented by the Government of the Netherlands against the
Government of the United States for compensation for personal injuries sustained by two Netherlands subjects, Arend Kamp and Francis Gort, while the U.S.S. Canibas was loading on May 1, 1919, at Rotterdam.
The U. S. S. Canibas, on May 1, 1919, was owned by the Government of the United States, controlled by the United States Shipping Board, manned by a Navy crew, and prior to the accident in question was. operated for the account of the War Department. At the time of the accident, however, naval stores were being transferred to the U. S. S. Canibas by means of a cargo net from the barge Johanna, which was a Dutch vessel chartered by the United States naval port office at Rotterdam. As one of the loads was being hoisted out of the hold of the Johanna by a windlass on the Canibas, the Netherlands subjects, Kamp and Gort, who were on board the Johanna endeavored to prevent the load from interfering with a stovepipe on the Johanna. The load was cleared from the stovepipe, when the rope parted and the load fell on the two men, injuring both severely.
The board of naval officers which convened on May 1, 1919, for the purpose of investigating the accident, rendered the following findings:
(1) Accident due to fall of loaded cargo net on Arend Kamp and Frans Gort through parting of fall.
(2) Parting of fall due to weakness in the fall, which might have been inherent or could have been developed during morning's operation.
(3) Responsibility can not be placed on any particular person inasmuch as the fall was apparently in good condition, from outside inspection, before this work started.
Under date of May 6, 1920, the Solicitor of the Navy Department, in a communication to the Secretary of the Navy, made the following Statement:
While it is doubtful that either of the two men have a legal claim against the United States, nevertheless it is believed that the doubts should be resolved in favor of the claimants and it is recommended that the record be referred to the War Department with the request that the claimants each be paid the sum of $500 in full of all claims on account of the injuries sustained, including hospital charges and medical attendance, under the provisions of an act to give indemnity for damages caused by American forces abroad (Public No. 133) approved April 18, 1918.
In a letter dated May 21, 1920, addressed to Mr. Kamp, by the United States naval staff representative's office at London, Mr. Kamp was informed that advice had been received from the Navy Department at Washington that he would be paid the sum of $500 on account of the injuries sustained by him on May 1, 1919, which sum was to include hospital expenses and medical attention.
Pursuant to the recommendation of the Solicitor for the Navy Department, the Acting Secretary of the Navy addresesd a memorandum to the Secretary of War requesting that Kamp and Gort each be paid the sum of $500 in full of all claims arising out of their injuries under the provisions of the act approved April 18, 1918.
However, the War Department, following a ruling of the Comptroller of the Treasury Department, rendered December 14, 1920, declined to pay the claims in question on the grounds that the injuries suffered by the claimants were the consequence of their own negligence and were not caused by the negligence of persons composing the military or naval forces of the United States and that the injuries could
not, therefore, be deemed to give rise to "damages caused by the American military forces" within any possible meaning of section 1 of the act approved April 18, 1918.
The Netherlands Government brought the claims to the attention of the department in a note dated May 27, 1920, and has persistently pressed the matter since that date. The department referred the matter to both the War and Navy Departments and inquired whether those departments were still of the opinion that without reference to the question of legal liability a compassionate allowance should be made to the injured persons and whether they would be willing to support any recommendation which might be made by this department to Congress regarding the matter.
The War Department replied in a letter dated July 30, 1923, with the suggestion that in the event the State Department desired that a recommendation be made to the Congress, the Navy Department take the action to support such recommendation, provided the Navy Department believes that a payment should be made in the case.
The Navy Department replied in a letter dated May 15, 1923, that should the Department of State recommend to the Congress that an appropriation be made to pay to each of the claimants the sum of $500 as a compassionate allowance and the bill should be referred to the Navy Department for a report, favorable action thereon would be recommended.
I have the honor to suggest, therefore, that you recommend to the Congress that as an act of grace and without reference to the question of the legal liability of the United States, an appropriation in the sum of $1,000 be authorized to effect a settlement of these claims, $500 of which is to be paid to Mr. Arend Kamp and $500 to be paid to Mr. Francis Gort.
It may be stated that the claim was brought to the attention of the Sixty-ninth Congress in a message from the President dated December 21, 1925, which is printed in Senate Document No. 26, Sixty-ninth Congress, first session.
It will be noted from the inclosed communication from the Director of the Budget, to whom the matter was referred, that the proposed action is not in conflict with the financial program of this Government. Respectfully submitted.
FRANK B. KELLOGG. The PRESIDENT,
The White House.
BUREAU OF THE BUDGET,
Washington, December 8, 1927. MY DEAR MR. SECRETARY: I have from Assistant Secretary of State Carr a letter dated December 6, 1927, inclosing copy of a proposed communication to the President recommending that Congress be requested to authorize an appropriation of $1,000 for the payment of two claims of $500 each presented by the Government of the Netherlands for compensation for personal injuries sustained by two Netherland subjects, Arend Kamp and Francis Gort, while the U. S. S. Canibas was loading, on May 1, 1919, at Rotterdam, and asking that I indicate whether the action proposed in the communication is in harmony with the financial policy of the President.
In reply I have to advise you that the proposed request for legislation authorizing an appropriation of $1,000 for the purpose stated is not in conflict with the financial program of the President. Very truly yours,
H. M. LORD, Director. The SECRETARY OF STATE.
LEGAL RIGHTS OF THE UNITED STATES AND THE STATE OF ALABAMA IN THE MUSCLE SHOALS PROJECT
RELATIVE TO THE
LEGAL RIGHTS OF THE UNITED STATES IN THE MUSCLE
IN RELATION THERETO
PRESENTED BY MR. McNARY
JANUARY 4, 1928.-Ordered to be printed