|100. Special Message to the Congress Transmitting First Report of the War Claims Commission|
May 3, 1950 |
To the Congress of the United States:
Pursuant to the provisions of Section 8 of the War Claims Act of 1948, I transmit herewith the report of the War Claims Commission required by that Section. In the absence of a thorough review by interested departments and agencies, the report should be considered as representing only the views of the War Claims Commission and not my own views or those of the Executive Branch as a whole.
The intent of Section 8 of the War Claims Act was clearly to provide for a thorough study and evaluation of all of the many types of claims arising from World War II so that legislation dealing with the war claims problem could be considered as a whole rather than approached on a piecemeal basis.
However, as the Commission points out in the opening paragraphs of its report, it has not had sufficient time to make the kind of study intended. While making certain specific legislative recommendations, the Commission was unable to be equally specific in other areas. Thus, Congress is still not provided with a comprehensive analysis of the total war claims problem which is needed in order to make intelligent decisions in regard to individual types of claims. Such an analysis cannot be completed by the Commission without several more months of intensive study.
Under these circumstances, I recommend that legislation dealing with additional types of claims be limited at this session of Congress to that which may be necessary to enable the Commission to develop comprehensive recommendations as to what claims should be authorized in legislation and what the standards of eligibility should be. These recommendations should be submitted to me in time for full consideration by other interested departments and agencies and preparation of a coordinated set of recommendations from the Executive Branch to the Congress early in the next session of the Congress.
In the meantime, the Commission will, of course, proceed to adjudicate and pay those claims which have already been authorized by the Congress in the War Claims Act of 1948.
HARRY S. TRUMAN
NOTE: The report of the War Claims Commission is published in House Document 580 (81st Cong., 2d sess.).
The War Claims Act of 1948 was signed by President Truman on July 3, 1948 (62 Stat. 1240).
Provided courtesy of The American Presidency Project. John Woolley and Gerhard Peters. University of California, Santa Barbara.