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similar work performed by those who receive minimum wages. In some low-wage industries of high labor cost it can reduce the pressure on employers who pay higher wages than their competitors. It may be a further stimulant to the more effective use of labor and to better management. It may cause some business failures where success or survival had depended only upon wage differentials over competitors; but such failures can hardly be deplored under a well-considered minimum wage law. It may be a positive factor in increases in prices of particular items or in all items of production. Some of these effects may be more desirable than others and judgment regarding them will influence the decision as to where the statutory minimum should be set.
While the goal of all industry should be the best possible livelihood for all persons engaged in it, and not merely "a living wage,” this is not a simple function of a statutory minimum wage. It can be said with much certainty that, whatever the statutory minimum wage set by this Congress, the new minimum will not furnish more than a meager living in actual purchasing power for the workers who receive no more than the minimum wage. And if these particular workers have two, three, or four or more persons to support, they will not be able to do so at any decent level without the support of one or more additional earners, or supplemented by outside income or public assistance. The statutory minimum wage is a device to prevent certain specially placed employers from exploiting immobile, timid, and poorly equipped workers from receiving as good a wage as is received by others doing the same work, and it also serves to make consumers pay the full cost of production. But a statutory minimum wage cannot solve the problem of inadequate income for workers in the lowest-wage categories and for those among the unskilled who have large families to support.
PROPOSED PROVISION PERTAINING TO AN APPROPRIA
TION FOR THE NATIONAL MEDIATION BOARD
THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES
PROPOSED PROVISION PERTAINING TO AN APPROPRIATION FOR THE FISCAL YEAR 1948 FOR THE NATIONAL MEDIATION BOARD
APRIL 19 (legislative day, MARCH 29) 1948.—Read; referred to the Committee
on Appropriations and ordered to be printed
THE WHITE HOUSE,
Washington, April 16, 1948. The PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE PRO TEMPORE.
SIR: I have the honor to transmit herewith for the consideration of Congress, a proposed provision pertaining to an appropriation for the fiscal year 1948 for the National Mediation Board.
The details of this proposed provision, the necessity therefor, and the reasons for its submission at this time are set forth in the letter of the Director of the Bureau of the Budget, transmitted herewith, in whose comments and observations thereon' I concur. Respectfully yours,
HARRY S. TRUMAN.
EXECUTIVE OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENT,
BUREAU OF THE BUDGET
Washington, D. C., April 15, 1948. The PRESIDENT,
The White House. SIR: I have the honor to submit herewith for your consideration à proposed provision pertaining to an appropriation for the fiscal year 1948 for the National Mediation Board, as follows:
NATIONAL MEDIATION BOARD
NATIONAL RAILROAD ADJUSTMENT BOARD Salaries and expenses: The limitation under this head in the National Mediation Board Appropriation Act, 1948, on the amount available for compensation and expenses of referees, is increased from "$65,000” to “$75,000".
The increased limitation is required to permit continued use of neutral referees in deadlocked cases pending before the National Railroad Adjustment Board, as provided by section 4 of the Railway Labor Act. A greater number of deadlocked cases has developed than had been anticipated in estimates previously submitted for the fiscal year 1948. No additional funds are involved, since the agency will be able to absorb the additional cost of referees through savings in other items of expenditure.
I recommend that the foregoing proposed provision be transmitted to the Congress. Respectfully yours,
JAMES E. WEBB, Director of the Bureau of the Budget.
RELIEF OF EDWARD TRAPIER ROGERS-VETO
THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES
WITHOUT APPROVAL THE BILL (S. 1307) ENTITLED “AN ACT FOR
THE RELIEF OF EDWARD TRAPIER ROGERS”
APRIL 20 (legislative day, MARCH 29), 1948.-Read; referred to the Committee on
the Judiciary and ordered to be printed
To the Senate:
I return herewith, without my approval, the enrolled bill (S. 1307) for the relief of Edward Trapier Rogers.
This bill would authorize the payment of $25,000 to Edward Trapier Rogers, of Raleigh, N. C., for personal injuries which he sustained as the result of an explosion which occurred while he was a civilian employee of the War Department. This amount would be in addition to disability compensation that has been or will be paid to him under the United States Employees' Compensation Act.
On the morning of October 31, 1946, Mr. Rogers, a chemical engineer employed by the Chemical Corps Technical Command at Edgewood Arsenal, Md., was engaged in a chemical experiment, the object of which was to develop a colored smoke shell for thé 4.2 chemical mortar. The mixture which was being prepared had previously been made by Mr. Rogers and used experimentally in a number of hand grenades and had been approved by the Bureau of Mines. The work was being done in a small, open-frame building in which was located a laboratory "dough" mixer with an explosion-proof electric motor. Standing instructions were that no one was to be in the building while the motor was running. On this occasion, however, Mr. Rogers remained at the machine after the motor had been started to add another ingredient. He estimated that he was there about 3 minutes when the mixture exploded. The cause of the explosion has not been determined.
In the explosion, Mr. Rogers sustained very serious injuries, necessitating extensive surgery, including the amputation of both
He was hospitalized until discharged on August 23, 1947. On October 13, 1947, he returned to work at the Edgewood Arsenal, where he has since continued to be employed at a salary of $4,902 per annum.
From the time of the accident until his return to employment he received total disability compensation from the Government in the amount of $116.66 per month, the maximum amount payable under existing law. The law authorizes the award of an additional sum of not more than $50 a month if the disability sustained is sufficient to require the service of an attendant. Since his discharge from the hospital, Mr. Rogers has received this additional item of compensation. When he is no longer able to work he will again be entitled to draw compensation on account of his disability. Furthermore, the Government will continue to furnish to Mr. Rogers all medical services and hospitalization which may be found to be necessary for the treatment of his injuries, including the cost of appropriate prosthetic appliances.
It is with extreme regret that I am obliged to return this measure without my approval. One's natural impulse is to extend to Mr. Rogers all possible assistance to relieve his suffering and to compensate him for his loss above and beyond the limits of the amounts payable to him under the terms of the existing general law. There are, however, compelling reasons to the contrary. As stated by the committee reports on this measure, there is no evidence of any negligence on the part of the Government or of any agent of the Government. The Federal Employees' Compensation Act as written by the Congress provides only for the payment of compensation for loss of wage-earning capacity. It does not provide indemnity for loss, or loss of use, of members of the body. Justice demands the uniform application of our compensation laws to all persons alike. The Federal Security Agency advises me that there are many persons on its rolls who have been rated as totally disabled but who have received no more than the amounts fixed by the general law. Among them are a number who, like the beneficiary in this measure, have suffered the loss of both arms.
The amount of compensation which may be awarded under the act seems inadequate in this instance. The remedy, however, is not to single out one case for a special award. This case brings sharply to focus the need for more adequate compensation for disabilities sustained in the service of the Government. There are several measures now pending in the Congress, the enactment of which would serve that purpose.
Therefore, while deeply regretting this deplorable accident, I feel compelled to withhold my approval from the bill.
HARRY S. TRUMAN. THE WHITE HOUSE, April 20, 1948.