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terminable at his pleasure, the above-noted amendment has been added to the bill by your committee. Report of the War Department on S. 2024 follows:
MARCH 5, 1935. Hon. MORRIS SHEPPARD, Chairman Committee on Military Affairs,
United States Senate. DEAR SENATOR SHEPPARD: Careful consideration has been given to the bill (S. 2024, 74th Cong., 1st_sess.) to give proper recognition to the distinguished services of Col. William L. Keller, which you transmitted to the War Department under date of February 26, 1935, with a request for information and the views of the Department relative thereto.
There is no provision of law applicable to this case.
Colonel Keller is a man of outstanding character and ability as a medical officer, particularly as a surgeon. This ability is recognized and highly appreciated by both the War Department and the Army at large. The loss of his valuable services and advice, upon his retirement, will be greatly regretted.
In the general case the War Department is opposed to the enactment of preferential legislation or legislation seeking to continue on the active list persons who have attained the statutory retirement age. Such legislation as a rule tends to establish undesirable precedents. However, the proposed legislation does not seek to continue Colonel Keller on the active list; it seeks to place him in an office not now existent under the War Department, with the active-duty pay and allowances of the grade held by him at the time of his retirement. Further, as stated in the bill, it would continue to make available to the public service Colonel Keller's mature professional judgment and long experience, which, in all probability, cannot be replaced. Therefore, in expressing its approval of S. 2024, it is considered that the circumstances and conditions are unusual, and that a similar case is not likely again to present itself.
With reference to the wording of the bill, it is believed that Colonel Keller's designation as consultant in surgery should be conditioned upon his acceptance of the position and should be terminable at his pleasure. As he has now been in the Government service for over 35 years and is approaching the age of 64, it is believed that he should be allowed a full retirement status after his retirement if he should so desire. Accordingly, it is recommended that the following proviso be inserted in the bill before the semicolon which follows the word “Columbia":
“Provided, That such designation shall be subject to the said Colonel William L. Keller's acceptance and terminable at his pleasure.'
Amended as indicated above, the War Department recommends the enactment of S. 2024.
The views set forth in the foregoing are in consonance with a report submitted by the War Department to the Committee on Military Affairs, House of Representatives, on H. R. 3158, an identical bill introduced in the present session of Congress in behalf of Colonel Keller. Sincerely yours,
Geo. H. DERN, Secretary of War. At the request of Senator Sheppard, chairman of the Senate Military Affairs Committee, Maj. Gen. E. M. Markham, at present Chief of Engineers, of the United States Army, who has been in personal touch with the career of Colonel Keller for more than 30 years, wrote Senator Sheppard as follows:
MARCH 9, 1935. Hon. MORRIS SHEPPARD,
United States Senate, Washington, D. C. MY DEAR SENATOR SHEPPARD: As requested by you verbally yesterday, I am very happy indeed to indict the following respecting Col. William L. Keller, Medical Corps, and my lengthy personal knowledge of his character and talents.
I first became acquainted with Colonel Keiler at Manila in the year 1901, when he was, even at the tender years of a lieutenant of the Medical Corps, the operating surgeon at the Army General Hospital. At that time his stupendous volume of work, the continuity of his outstanding achievements, and his fine character as a human being were "the talk of the islands."
My personal knowledge and interest at Manila was gained as an incident to the hospitalizations and operation requirements of officers and enlisted men of the Engineer Corps. I recall very distinctly the statement of Lieutenant Keller's superior at the time, that he was gravely concerned respecting a replacement for Lieutenant Keller, as related to the safety of the operative cases of the service. There can be no doubt that Lieutenant Keller's great work in the remote Philippine Islands at the early date referred to attracted explosively the attention of the total military service.
Since that time, and frequently so, I have known intimately of his practically unbroken successes in the saving of the life and health of the commissioned and enlisted forces of the Army, with the consequence of my unceasing admiration of his professional skill, of his highly uncommon attention to his surgical commitments, and of his fine character. I believe his attitude toward his duties to be a matter of spiritual inspiration and devotion to the military service.
In recent years, I have had quite definite knowledge, and the gravest concern, as to the surgical side of the great Walter Reed Hospital. I observed daily, for a lengthy period, the manner and character of the attention of Colonel Keller to the surgical cases committed to that hospital.
I would strengthen my language if I could in urging that Colonel Keller's service of nearly 2 score years in the Medical Corps of the Army be rewarded to the moderate extent contemplated by the bill to which you referred yesterday.
Without doubt, I am but repeating what yourself and congressional associates must have heard many times when I refer to the modesty and the utter void of self-seeking, which have been characteristic of Colonel Keller's service since he committed himself thereto.
Additional to any more personal encomiums respecting Colonel Keller, it seems to me that the real issue of the very highest gravity should be the perpetuation of Colonel Keller's great talents and his uncommonly expansive experience, in the interest of the health and life of the military service, until he can no longer handle an instrument or voice an opinion.
Trusting that the above may be helpful in your considerations, and assuring you that there is no consciousness of exaggeration in my views of and respect for Colonel Keller, believe me, Sincerely,
E. M. MARKHAM,
Chief of Engineers. O
MARCH 13 (calendar day, March 15), 1935.-Ordered to be printed
Mr. O'MAHONEY, from the Committee on Public Lands and Surveys,
submitted the following
(To accompany S. 997]
The Committee on Public Lands and Surveys, to whom was referred the bill (S. 997) to provide for the acquisition by the United States of Red Hill, the estate of Patrick Henry, report the same to the Senate with amendments and recommend that the bill so amended do pass.
On page 1, strike out the title "To provide for the acquisition by the United States of Red Hill, the estate of Patrick Henry", and substitute the following new title: "To provide for the establishment of a national monument on the site of Red Hill, estate of Patrick Henry.”
On page 1, strike out lines 1 to 11 inclusive, and on page 2, lines 1 to 9 inclusive, and substitute in lieu thereof the following:
That when title to the estate known as Red Hill, the estate of Patrick Henry, located in Charlotte County, Virginia, together with such buildings and other property located thereon as may be designated by the Secretary of the Interior as necessary or desirable for national monument purposes shall have been vested in the United States, said area and improvements shall be designated and set apart by proclamation of the President for the preservation as a national monument for the benefit and inspiration of the people, and shall be called the “Patrick Henry National Monument”.
Sec. 2. That the Secretary of the Interior be, and he is hereby, authorized to accept donations of land, interests in land, and/or buildings, structures, and other property within the boundaries of said national monument as determined and fixed hereunder, and donations of funds for the purchase and/or maintenance thereof, the title and evidence of title to lands acquired to be satisfactory to the Secretary of the Interior: Provided, That he may acquire on behalf of the United States out of any donated funds, by purchase at prices deemed by him reasonable, or by condemnation under the provisions of the Act of August 1, 1888, such tracts of land within said national monument as may be necessary for the completion thereof.
Sec. 3. That the administration, protection, and development of the aforesaid national monument shall be exercised under the direction of the Secretary of the Interior by the National Park Service, subject to the provisions of the Act of August 25, 1916, entitled “An Act to establish a National Park Service, and for other purposes”, as amended.
Page 2, line 10, strike out the figure “3” and insert the figure “4”.
On page 2, line 23, strike out the figure "4" and insert the figure "5".
On page 3, line 3, strike out the figure "5" and insert the figure “6”. The title of the bill explains its purpose.
The amendments are made to conform to the general recommendations of the Secretary of the Interior. The first three sections of the bill as amended constitute the substitute measure proposed by the Secretary. As introduced the bill would have required the purchase of the property by negotiation or condemnation. As amended, it authorizes the Government to accept the property as a gift. The report of the Secretary of the Interior is as follows:
THE SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR,
Washington, March 9, 1935. Hon. ROBERT F. WAGNER, Chairman Committee on Public Lands and Surveys,
United States Senate. MY DEAR MR. CHAIRMAN: I have received your letter of January 18, enclosing copy of S. 997, entitled "A bill to provide for the acquisition by the United States of Red Hill, the estate of Patrick Henry”, and requesting a report thereon.
Under the provisions of the proposed legislation, the establishment of the area as a national monument would be in line with the recent policies of Congress providing for the preservation of outstanding historical areas in the East. The present estate is about 1,000 acres. Several old buildings which are probably a part of the original buildings on the estate are now standing. The original house was burned in 1919, and the old kitchen in 1928. The plans of the estate and buildings are so well known that there would be practically no question as to the relocation and restoration of the Red Hill house. The foundation lines of the house are yet very evident. Patrick Henry is buried at Red Hill. His importance in the destinies of the American Nation, as well as in his own Commonwealth, is great.
S. 997, as introduced, provides for the acquisition of Red Hill by Government purchase or condemnation, and I am advised by the Acting Director of the Bureau of the Budget that the bill is not in accord with the financial program of the President.
A substitute bill has been prepared and is attached, recommending that the site of the original house and the old kitchen and such lands of the original estate as would be necessary in the judgment of the Secretary of the Interior for the protection and preservation thereof be donated to the United States either by the State of Virginia or by public-spirited persons. Precedent for such a gift to the Nation is found in the establishment of the George Washington Birthplace National Monument at Wakefield, Va. I am advised that this substitute bill would not be in conflict with the financial program of the President.
If the newly drafted bill is substituted in lieu of S. 997, I recommend that it receive favorable consideration by the Congress.
S. 997 is similar to H. R. 109, upon which a separate report has been submitted, corresponding to this report. Sincerely yours,
HAROLD L, ICKES,
Secretary of the Interior. O