22 U.S. Code § 1622 - Establishment of International Claims Commission
The Commission may prescribe such rules and regulations as may be necessary to enable it to carry out its functions, and may delegate functions to any member, officer, or employee of the Commission. The President may fix a termination date for the authority of the Commission, and the terms of office of its members under this subchapter. Any member of the Commission may be removed by the Secretary of State, upon notice and hearing, for neglect of duty, or malfeasance in office, but for no other cause. Not later than six months after its organization, and every six months  thereafter, the Commission shall make a report, through the Secretary of State, to the Congress concerning its operations under this subchapter. The Commission shall, upon completion of its work, certify in duplicate to the Secretary of State and to the Secretary of the Treasury the following: (1) A list of all claims disallowed; (2) a list of all claims allowed, in whole or in part, together with the amount of each claim and the amount awarded thereon; and (3) a copy of the decision rendered in each case.
 See Modification of Reporting Requirements note below.
References to this subchapter deemed to include section 119 of H.R. 2076, see section 119(b) of H.R. 2076, as enacted into law by Pub. L. 104–91, set out as an Authority of Foreign Claims Settlement Commission note under section 1644 of this title.
1966—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 89–554 repealed subsec. (a) which related to the composition, appointment, chairman, quorum, and acting members of the Commission.
Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 89–554 repealed subsec. (b) which provided for the principal office of the Commission, and for the appointment and compensation of personnel.
Subsec. (d). Pub. L. 89–554 repealed subsec. (d) which related to a limitation on additional appointments to the Commission.
1955—Act Aug. 9, 1955, § 1, amended credit to section by designating act Mar. 10, 1950, as “title I”.
Subsec. (c). Act Aug. 9, 1955, § 2, substituted “subchapter” for “chapter”.
1953—Act Aug. 8, 1953, added par. at end which was editorially designated as subsec. (d).
The functions of the Secretary of State under the third and fourth sentences of subsec. (c) of this section were abolished by Reorg. Plan No. 1 of 1954, § 4(b), eff. July 1, 1954, 19 F.R. 3985,68 Stat. 1279, set out as a note below.
Prepared by the President and transmitted to the Senate and the House of Representatives in Congress assembled, April 29, 1954, pursuant to the provisions of the Reorganization Act of 1949, approved June 20, 1949, as amended [see 5 U.S.C. 901 et seq.].
There is hereby established the Foreign Claims Settlement Commission of the United States, hereinafter referred to as the Commission. The Commission shall be composed of three members, who shall each be appointed by the President by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, hold office during the pleasure of the President, and receive compensation at the rate of $15,000 per annum. The President shall from time to time designate one of the members of the Commission as the Chairman of the Commission, hereinafter referred to as the Chairman. Two members of the Commission shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of the business of the Commission.
(b) All functions of the International Claims Commission of the United States (hereinafter referred to as the International Claims Commission) and the members, officers, and employees thereof are hereby transferred to the Foreign Claims Settlement Commission of the United States.
(c) The functions of the Secretary of State and of the Department of State with respect to the International Claims Commission and its affairs, exclusive of the functions of the said Secretary and Department under sections 3(c), 4(b), and 5, and the first sentence of section 8(d), of the International Claims Settlement Act of 1949, 64 Stat. 12, as amended [22 U.S.C. 1622(c), 1623(b), 1624, and 1627(d)], are hereby transferred to the Commission.
(d) The functions of the Commissioner provided for in the Joint Resolution approved August 4, 1939, ch. 421, 53 Stat. 1199, together with the functions of the Secretary of State under section 2 thereof, are hereby transferred to the Commission.
There are hereby vested in the Chairman all functions of the Commission with respect to the internal management of the affairs of the Commission, including but not limited to functions with respect to: (a) the appointment of personnel employed under the Commission, (b) the direction of employees of the Commission and the supervision of their official activities, (c) the distribution of business among employees and organizational units under the Commission, (d) the preparation of budget estimates, and (e) the use and expenditure of funds of the Commission available for expenses of administration.
(a) The War Claims Commission provided for in the War Claims Act of 1948, 62 Stat. 1240, as amended [50 U.S.C. 4101 et seq.] and the International Claims Commission, provided for in the International Claims Settlement Act of 1949, as amended [22 U.S.C. 1621–1627], including the offices of the members of each of the said commissions, and the office of Commissioner provided for in the aforesaid Joint Resolution of August 4, 1939, are hereby abolished.
(b) The functions of the Secretary of State under the third and fourth sentences of section 3(c) of the International Claims Settlement Act of 1949, as amended [22 U.S.C. 1622(c)], are hereby abolished.
The Commission is hereby authorized to delegate any of its functions to one or more persons designated by the Commission from among the members of the Commission and the officers and employees serving under the Commission.
(a) Any person who is a member or acting member of the War Claims Commission or of the International Claims Commission immediately prior to the taking effect of the provisions of this reorganization plan may be designated by the President as an acting member of the Foreign Claims Settlement Commission of the United States in respect of an office of member the initial appointment to which has not then been made under section 1 of this reorganization plan. Each such acting member of the said Foreign Claims Settlement Commission shall perform the duties and receive the compensation of member. Unless sooner terminated, the tenure of any acting member designated hereunder shall terminate when the office of member concerned is filled in pursuance of section 1 hereof, or 120 days after the effective date of this reorganization plan, whichever is earlier.
(b) The Chairman shall make such provisions as may be necessary with respect to winding up any affairs of the agencies abolished by the provisions of this reorganization plan not otherwise provided for herein.
(c) So much of the personnel, property, records, and unexpended balances of appropriations, allocations, and other funds employed, held, used, available, or to be made available, in connection with the functions transferred by section 2 of this reorganization plan as the Director of the Bureau of the Budget shall determine shall be transferred to the Commission at such time or times as the said Director shall direct.
(d) Such further measures and dispositions as the Director of the Bureau of the Budget shall deem to be necessary in order to effectuate the transfers provided for in subsection (c) of this section shall be carried out in such manner as he shall direct and by such agencies as he shall designate.
The provisions of this reorganization plan shall take effect on the date determined under section 6(a) of the Reorganization Act of 1949, as amended or the first day of July, 1954, whichever is later.
To the Congress of the United States:
I transmit herewith Reorganization Plan No. 1 of 1954, prepared in accordance with the Reorganization Act of 1949, as amended.
The reorganization plan establishes a new Government agency, the Foreign Claims Settlement Commission of the United States; transfers to that Commission the functions of the War Claims Commission and of the International Claims Commission of the United States; and abolishes the latter two Commissions.
The Foreign Claims Settlement Commission will be composed of three members appointed by the President by and with the advice and consent of the Senate. The President will designate one of the members as Chairman of the Commission. The Chairman will be responsible for the internal management of the affairs of the Commission. The reorganization plan contains provisions designed to assure smooth administration of functions during the period of transition to the new organization.
The War Claims Commission was created as a temporary agency by the War Claims Act of 1948. The Commission was made responsible for settling certain claims of former United States World War II prisoners of war, civilian internees captured or in hiding to avoid capture in the Philippines, Guam, Wake Island, and the Midway Islands, and certain religious organizations in the Philippines which had aided American forces during the war. In 1952, the Commission was assigned, additionally, the administration of claims of Philippine religious organizations which sustained losses of their educational, medical, and welfare facilities in the war, and of benefits to United States prisoners of war for inhumane treatment during internment by the enemy.
From its inception in 1949 to April 1, 1954, approximately 500,000 claims were filed with the War Claims Commission, and approximately $134 million was paid to claimants. Approximately 96,000 remaining claims are in the process of settlement, and the Commission must complete action on them, together with such appeals as may be filed, by March 31, 1955.
The International Claims Commission was established within the Department of State by the International Claims Settlement Act of 1949. Its immediate function was to adjudicate claims covered by a settlement of $17 million which was deposited with the Government of the United States by the Yugoslav Government primarily to compensate our nationals for losses sustained through nationalization of properties. The act also authorized the Commission to settle such claims as might be included later in any similar agreement between the United States and a foreign government. Subsequently, the Commission was assigned the administration of a $400,000 settlement negotiated with the Government of Panama.
From its establishment in 1950 to April 1, 1954, the International Claims Commission has settled 531 claims out of a total of 1,622 filed. Of this total, 1,555 claims were against Yugoslavia and 67 were against Panama. Under the act, settlement of the remaining Yugoslav claims must be completed by December 31, 1954.
The accompanying reorganization plan has substantial potential advantages. The Foreign Claims Settlement Commission will be able to administer any additional claims programs financed by funds derived from foreign governments without the delay which has often characterized the initiation of past programs. Moreover, the use of an existing agency will be more economical than the establishment of a new commission to administer a given type of foreign claims program. Consolidation of the affairs of the two present Commissions will also permit the retention and use of the best experience gained during the last several years in the field of claims settlement. The declining workload of current programs can be meshed with the rising workload of new programs with maximum efficiency and effectiveness.
A proposed new claims program now pending before the Senate would provide benefits similar to those paid to World War II victims under the War Claims Act for losses and internments resulting from hostilities in Korea. The executive branch of the Government has recommended approval of this program by the Congress. I now suggest that this program be assigned by law to the Foreign Claims Settlement Commission.
There should also be assigned to this new Commission the settlement of such of the claims programs as may be authorized from among those recommended by the War Claims Commission in its report made pursuant to section 8 of the War Claims Act. That report, posing many complex policy, legal, and administrative problems, is now being reviewed by executive agencies; and recommendations will soon be sent to the Congress.
By peace treaties and an international agreement, the United States has acquired the right to utilize certain external assets and settlement funds of several countries. A total of about $39 million is available to indemnify claims of United States nationals against the Governments of Rumania, Hungary, Bulgaria, and Italy, arising out of war damage or confiscations in those countries. In addition, claims growing out of United States losses from default on obligations and nationalization of properties may be settled by awards from $9 million realized from an agreement made in 1933 with the Soviet Union, known as the Litvinov assignment. Action by the Congress is necessary before these various funds may be assigned for settlement, and recommendations of the executive branch in this connection will be transmitted at an early date.
In addition to the reorganizations I have described, the reorganization plan transfers to the Foreign Claims Settlement Commission the functions of the Commissioner provided for in the joint resolution of August 4, 1939. These functions involve the receipt and administration of claims covered by the Litvinov assignment. The office of Commissioner, for which funds have never been appropriated and which has never been filled, is abolished.
The reorganization plan does not transfer the war claims fund or the Yugoslav claims fund from the Department of the Treasury, or divest the Secretary of the Treasury of any functions under the War Claims Act of 1948, as amended, or under the International Claims Settlement Act of 1949, as amended. It does not limit the responsibility of the Secretary of State with respect to the conduct of foreign affairs. The reorganizations contained in the reorganization plan will not prejudice any interest or potential interest of any claimant.
After investigation, I have found and hereby declare that each reorganization included in the accompanying reorganization plan is necessary to accomplish one or more of the purposes set forth in section 2(a) of the Reorganization Act of 1949, as amended. I have also found and hereby declare that it is necessary to include in the accompanying reorganization plan, by reason of reorganizations made thereby, provisions for the appointment and compensation of officers specified in section 1 of the plan. The rate of compensation fixed for each of these officers is that which I have found to prevail in respect of comparable officers in the executive branch of the Government.
The statutory citation for certain functions of the Secretary of State with respect to the International Claims Commission which are abolished by the reorganization plan, is the third and fourth sentences of section 3(c) of the International Claims Settlement Act of 1949 (64 Stat. 13), as amended.
It is at this time impracticable to specify the reductions of expenditures which it is probable will be brought about by the taking effect of the reorganizations contained in the plan.
Reorganization Plan No. 1 of 1954 provides a single agency for the orderly completion of present claims programs. In addition, it provides an effective organization for the settlement of future authorized claims programs by utilizing the experience gained by present claims agencies. It provides unified administrative direction of the functions concerned, and it simplifies the organizational structure of the executive branch. I urge that the Congress allow the reorganization plan to become effective.
The White House, April 29, 1954.
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