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The restoration of credit and confidence is a necessary step if we are to find our way out of present unhappy conditions. This is what it is hoped the legislation will accomplish.
In conformity with section 2a of Rule XIII of the House Rules, there is herewith printed the change, referred to in section 6 of this present bill, from the terms used in reference to section 5202 of the Revised Statutes of the United States as amended; also the sections of the Criminal Code of the United States (U. S. C., title 18, ch. 5, secs. 202 to 207, inclusive) as referred to in subparagraph (e) of section 16 of this bill. The amendment to that part of section 5202, referred to, is printed in italics, and the words stricken out are shown in brackets, as follows: Section 5202 of the Revised Statutes as amended
An act to amend the (War Finance Corpora. tion act) Reconstructions Finance Corporation act."
202. (Criminal Code, sec. 112.) Member of Congress taking consideration for procuring contract: Whoever, being elected or appointed a Member of, or Delegate to, Congress, or a Resident Commissioner, shall, after his election or appointment and either before or after he has qualfied, and during his continuance in office, or being an officer or agent of the United States, shall directly or indirectly take, receive, or agree to receive, from any person, any money, property, or other valuable consideration whatever, for procuring, or aiding to procure, any contract, appointive office, or place, from the United States or from any officer or department thereof, for any person whatever, or for giving any such contract, appointive office, or place to any person whomsoever; or whoever, directly or indirectly, shall offer, or agree to give, or shall give or bestow, any money, property, or other valuable consideration whatever, for the procuring, or aiding to procure, any such contract, appointive office, or place, shall be fined not more than $10,000 and imprisoned not more than two years; and shall, moreover, be disqualified from holding any office of honor, profit, or trust under the Government of the United States. Any such contract or agreement may, at the option of the President, be declared void. (R. S. 1781; March 4, 1909, ch. 321, sec. 112, 35 Stat. 1108.)
203. (Criminal Code, sec. 113.) Receiving pay by Member of Congress in matters affecting United States: Whoever, being elected or appointed a Senator, Member of, or Delegate to, Congress, or a Resident Commissioner, shall, after his election or appointment and either before or after he has qualified, and during his continuance in office, or being the head of a department, or other officer or clerk in the employ of the United States, shall, directly or indirectly, receive, or agree to receive, any compensation whatever for any services rendered or to be rendered to any person, either by himself or another, in relation to any proceeding, contract, claim, controversy, charge, accusation, arrest, or other matter or thing in which the United States is a party or directly or indirectly interested, before any department, court-martial, bureau, officer, or any civil, military and naval commission whatever, shall be fined not more than $10,000 and imprisoned not more than two years; and shall, moreover, thereafter be incapable of holding any office of honor, trust, or profit under the Government of the United States. (R. S. 1782; Mar. 4, 1909, ch. 321, sec, 113, 35 Stat. 1109.)
204. (Criminal Code, sec. 114.). Member of Congress interested in public contracts; contracts void: Whoever, being elected or appointed a Member of, or a Delegate to Congress, or a Resident Commissioner, shall, after his election or appointment, and either before or after he has qualified, and during his continuance in office, directly or indirectly, himself, or by any other person in trust for him, or for his use or benefit, or on his account, undertake, execute, hold, or enjoy, in whole or in part, any contract or agreement, made or entered into in behalf of the United States by any officer or person authorized to make contract on its behalf, shall be fined not more than $3,000. All contracts or agreements made in violation of this section shall be void; and whenever any sum of money is advanced by the United States, in consideration of any such contract or agreement, it shall forthwith be repaid; and in case of failure or refusal to repay the same when demanded by the proper officer of the department under whose authority such contract or agreement shall have been made or entered into, suit shall at once be brought against the person so failing or refusing and his sureties, for the recovery of the money so advanced. (R. S. 3739; Mar. 4, 1909, ch. 321, sec. 114, 35 Stat. 1109.)
205. (Criminal Code, sec. 115.) Making official contract with Member of Congress: Whoever, being an officer of the United States, shall on behalf of the United States, directly or indirectly, make or enter into any contract, bargain, or agreement, in writing or otherwise, with any Member of or Delagate to Congress, or any Resident Commissioner after his election or appointment as such Member, Delegate, or Resident Commissioner, and either before or after he has qualified, and during his continuance in office, shall be fined not more than $3,000. (R. S. 3742; Mar. 4, 1909, ch. 321, sec. 115, 35 Stat. 1109.)
206. (Criminal Code, sec. 116.) Contracts not affected: Nothing contained in sections 204 and 205 of this title shall extend, or be construed to extend, to any contract or agreement made or entered into, or accepted, by any incorporated company, where such contract or agreement is made for the general benefit of such incorporation or company; nor to the purchase or sale of bills of exchange or other property by any Member of or Delegate to Congress, or a Resident Commissioner, where the same are ready for delivery, and payment therefor is made, at the time of making or entering into the contract or agreement. (R. S. 3740; Mar. 4, 1909, ch. 321, sec. 116, 35 Stat. 1109.)
207. (Criminal Code, sec. 117.) Official accepting bribe: Whoever, being an officer of the United States, or a person acting for or on behalf of the United States, in any official capacity, under or by virtue of the authority of any department or office of the Government thereof; or whoever, being an officer or person acting for or on behalf of either House of Congress, or of any committee of either House, or of both Houses thereof, shall ask, accept, or receive any money, or any contract, promise, undertaking, obligation, gratuity, or security for the pay. ment of money, or for the delivery or conveyance of anything of value, with intent to have his decision or action on any question, matter, cause, or proceeding which may at any time be pending, or which may by law be brought before him in his official capacity, or in his place of trust or profit, influence thereby, shall be fined not more than three times the amount of money or value of the thing so asked, accepted, or received, and imprisoned not more than three years; and shall, moreover, forfeit his office or place and thereafter be forever disqualified from holdi any office of honor, trust, or profit under the Government of the United States. (R. S. 5501, 5502; Mar. 4, 1909, ch. 321, sec. 117, 35 Stat. 1109.)
LOANS FOR THE RELIEF OF DRAINAGE AND IRRIGATION
JANUARY 11, 1932.—Committed to the Committee of the Whole House on the
state of the Union and ordered to be printed
Mr. Smith of Idaho, from the Committee on Irrigation and Recla
mation, submitted the following
[To accompany H. R. 4650)
The Committee on Irrigation and Reclamation, to whom was referred the bill (H. R. 4650) to provide for the relief of farmers in any State by the making of loans to drainage districts, levee districts, levee and drainage districts, irrigation and/or similar districts other than Federal reclamation projects or to counties, boards of supervisors, and/or other political subdivisions and legal entities, and for other purposes, having carefully considered the same, recommend its passage with the following amendments:
Section 4, page 4, line 12 after the word "security" insert the words "or is subject to assessments."
Section 5, page 5, line 11, after the word "property” insert the words “or said property which may be subject to assessment for the repayment of said bonds”.
Section 5, page 5, lines 12 and 13, after the words “Provided, however," strike out the entire proviso down to the colon in line 22, page 5, and insert in lieu thereof the following:
That where such bonds are issued by a county and it shall appear that under the laws of the State in which such county is situated, such bonds are direct and general obligations of the county issuing the same, and that provision is made by law for the levying and collecting of taxes for the payment of such bonds, it shall be sufficient if each bond on the face thereof shall pledge the full faith and credit of such county.
Section 6, page 6, line 8, after the word "land" insert the words “within a reasonable time to be fixed by the Secretary of the Interior”.
Section 6, page 6, line 10, after the word "sale" strike out the entire proviso down to and including line 15.
The pending legislation is almost identical with the bill upon which extended hearings were held in the Seventieth and Seventy-first Congresses, and which was considered and favorably reported from this committee last Congress, but was not reached for consideration on the calendar.
As the title indicates, the legislation is for the relief of farmers in drainage and irrigation districts who, as a general rule, do not come within the provisions of the Federal farm loan act, and for whose benefit no relief legislation has been heretofore enacted.
The proposed law does not apply to the development of any new land but is intended to enable the farmers on various existing projects to have their assessments, which are in arrears, funded in order that they may continue to operate their lands until agricultural conditions are such as to enable them to maintain themselves and farm at a profit. As has been disclosed in the extensive hearings which have been held on this legislation, unless relief is afforded, there are thousands of farmers who will be forced to abandon their lands and have them taken over by the bondholders.
The districts are required to pay 3 per cent annually on the money advanced.
The relief proposed under this bill is to be in the form of loans adequately secured by first liens on the benefited farms, the repayment of which is further guaranteed by the fact that each loan is to have behind it the taxing power of the State. In a word, it is an extension of credit-a plan for refinancing distressed districts on a long-term basis.
NOT AID FOR INDIVIDUALS BUT FOR COMMUNITIES
It is not a plan to extend aid directly to individual farmers in their individual capacities, but it is a plan to aid farmers in their collective capacities where they have organized districts to install and maintain public works. It is the public works, the collective or community works authorized by and operated under authority of the law, that are to be relieved by this bill.
NO OPPORTUNITY FOR SPECULATION
There is no provision in this bill that would afford an opportunity for speculation either in the bonds of any district or in the lands covered by the bonds. The proposed law would prohibit the purchase of any bonds in excess of the appraised value thereof.
PRACTICAL RELIEF FOR UNEMPLOYMENT
When a farmer- loses title to his land, one of two courses is left open to him. He can go to work as a hired hand for some other farmer if he can find one who will employ him, or he can go to the city to look for a job. In this connection Secretary Hyde, of the United States Department of Agriculture, writing in the Saturday Evening Post, has supplied some official figures concerning the drift of population from the farms to the city. He gives the Government estimates on the net loss in farming population through the drift to the cities, as follows: For the year 1922, 1,120,000 persons; for 1924, 679,000; for 1925, 901,000; for 1926, 1,020,000; for 1927, 604,000; for 1928, 598,000. Thus we see that for a period of six years the average drift from the farms to the city has exceeded