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AMENDING EMPLOYERS' LIABILITY ACT WITH REGARD TO FURNISHING INFORMATION CONCERNING ACCIDENTS

APRIL 28, 1938.-Referred to the House Calendar and ordered to be printed

Mr. HEALEY, from the Committee on the Judiciary, submitted the

following

REPORT

(To accompany H. R. 10296)

The Committee on the Judiciary, to whom was referred the bill (H. R. 10296) to amend an act entitled "An act relating to the liability of common carriers by railroad to their employees in certain cases," approved April 22, 1908, as amended (U. S. C., title 45, ch. 2), after consideration, report the same favorably to the House with the recommendation that the bill do pass.

The Employers' Liability Act, to which this bill adds a section, defines the liability of railroads for death or injury to their employees occurring by reason of negligence of the railroad company,

The bill makes illegal and void any efforts to prevent railroad company employees from furnishing voluntarily information to a person in interest with reference to the facts incident to the injury or death of any railroad employee. It is made a criminal offense, punishable by a fine of not more than $1,000 or imprisonment for not more than 1 year, or both, to attempt to coerce an employee to prevent him from furnishing such information or to discipline or discharge him for doing so.

There is nothing in this bill to compel an employee to furnish information to anybody. If he furnishes information he does it of his own will. The bill would simply prevent interference with the employee's freedom of choice to give or withhold his information as he sees fit. This has nothing to do with the power of a court to compel testimony.

It is not a bill for the benefit of ambulance chasers. The language is carefully limited to make its provisions applicable with reference to the giving of information only to a person in interest. Section 1 of the Employers' Liability Act designates persons who are entitled to recover under the act under certain circumstances. These include the employee, and his or her personal representative for the benefit of the surviving spouse, children, and next of kin. The committee takes the language "a person in interest” as meaning a person entitled under section 1 to maintain an action or to recover damages as a result of the injury or death.

The modern trend in the law is toward full and complete discovery of evidentiary facts. The Rules of Civil Procedure for the District Courts recently promulgated by the Supreme Court contain provisions giving latitude in the taking of depositions, interrogating the opposite party, and permitting the court to order any party to permit the entry upon land or other property in his possession or control for the purpose of inspecting, measuring, surveying, or photographing the property or any designated relevant object or operation thereon. The bill is in lino with that trend.

It is not assumed that it will be undertaken by anyone morally to justify the acts or conduct which the reported bill prohibits, and it is believed that the proposed legislation has been sufficiently safeguarded, after consideration by the Judiciary Committee, to afford ample protection against its misuse.

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AMENDING EMPLOYERS' LIABILITY ACT WITH REGARD TO FURNISHING INFORMATION CONCERNING ACCIDENTS

APRIL 28, 1938.-Referred to the House Calendar and ordered to be printed

Mr. HEALEY, from the Committee on the Judiciary, submitted the

following

REPORT

[To accompany H. R. 10296)

The Committee on the Judiciary, to whom was referred the bill (H. R. 10296) to amend an act entitled "An act relating to the liability of common carriers by railroad to their employees in certain cases, approved April 22, 1908, as amended (U. S. C., title 45, ch. 2), after consideration, report the same favorably to the House with the recommendation that the bill do pass.

The Employers' Liability Act, to which this bill adds a section, defines the liability of railroads for death or injury to their employees occurring by reason of negligence of the railroad company:

The bill makes illegal and void any efforts to prevent railroad company employees from furnishing voluntarily information to a person in interest with reference to the facts incident to the injury or death of any railroad employee. It is made a criminal offense, punishable by a fine of not more than $1,000 or imprisonment for not more than 1 year, or both, to attempt to coerce an employee to prevent him from furnishing such information or to discipline or discharge him for doing so.

There is nothing in this bill to compel an employee to furnish information to anybody. If he furnishes information he does it of his own will. The bill would simply prevent interference with the employee's freedom of choice to give or withhold his information as he sees fit. This has nothing to do with the power of a court to compel testimony.

It is not a bill for the benefit of ambulance chasers. The language is carefully limited to make its provisions applicable with reference to the giving of information only to a person in interest. Section 1 of the Employers' Liability Act designates persons who are entitled to recover under the act under certain circumstances. These include the employee, and his or her personal representative for the benefit of the surviving spouse, children, and next of kin. The committee takes the language "a person in interest” as meaning a person entitled under section 1 to maintain an action or to recover damages as a result of the injury or death.

The modern trend in the law is toward full and complete discovery of evidentiary facts. The Rules of Civil Procedure for the District Courts recently promulgated by the Supreme Court contain provisions giving latitude in the taking of depositions, interrogating the opposite party, and permitting the court to order any party to permit the entry upon Íand or other property in his possession or control for the purpose of inspecting, measuring, surveying, or photographing the property or any designated relevant object or operation thereon. The bill is in line with that trend.

It is not assumed that it will be undertaken by anyone morally to justify the acts or conduct which the reported bill prohibits, and it is believed that the proposed legislation has been sufficiently safeguarded, after consideration by the Judiciary Committee, to afford ample protection against its misuse.

PROVIDING FOR THE ERECTION OF A MONUMENT TO TO THE MEMORY OF GEN. PETER GABRIEL MUHLENBERG

APRIL 28, 1938.—Committed to the Committee of the Whole House on the

state of the Union and ordered to be printed

Mr. KELLER, from the Committee on the Library, submitted the

following

REPORT

[To accompany H. J. Res. 631)

The Committee on the Library, to whom was referred the resolution (H. Res. 631) to provide for the erection at Woodstock, Va., of a monument to the memory of Gen. Peter Gabriel Muhlenberg, having had the same under consideration, beg leave to report it back and to recommend that the resolution do pass with the following amendment:

Page 1, line 3, strike out the figures "$50,000" and insert in lieu thereof the figures "$25,000.".

Many monuments have been erected to the heroes of the War between the States, but the only generals of the Revolutionary War to whom personal monuments have been erected were Generals Mercer, Nash, and Davidson by the Continental Congress, and later confirmed by the Congress of the United States, and Generals Washington, Lafayette, De Kalb, Pulaski, Von Steuben, and Greene. In other words, independent action of the Congress of the United States has been taken to provide individual monuments to only two native-born generals of the Revolutionary War-General Washington and General Greene. It is, therefore, highly fitting for the National Government to recognize the outstanding services of another native-born hero, Peter Gabriel Muhlenberg. His native State of Pennsylvania has honored him by placing a statue of him in Statuary Hall and by erecting a monument to him in the city of Philadelphia. The Lutheran Church, of which he was a distinguished member, plans to honor him by the erection at Woodstock of a replica of the little church in which he preached his famous farewell sermon before entering the military service of his country. But the Government for which he fought and for which he rendered such conspicuous service has taken no official action to commemorate his accomplishments as a preacher,

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