Major William W. Dick of the Office of the Adjutant General to Lieutenant Colonel Joseph I. McMullen of the Office of the Judge Advocate General65

Subject: Establishment in the War Department of a commission to hear and determine Patent Claims of certain British Nationals.

Under authority of Section 3 of the Act of Congress, approved March 2, 1919 (40 Stat. 1273), there is hereby constituted in the War Department, a commission to be known as “The Commission for Adjustment of British Claims”, composed and charged with duties and invested with powers as hereinafter described.
The following personnel is designated to constitute the commission:
  • Lieutenant Colonel Joseph I. McMullen, J.A.G.D., chairman.
  • Honorable Charles B. Rugg, Assistant Attorney General, Member and Legal Adviser.
  • Honorable Harvey H. Bundy, Assistant Secretary of State, Member.
  • Lieutenant Commander Robert A. Lavender, U. S. Navy, Member.
  • Major George P. Hill, J.A.G.D., Assistant Legal Adviser.
  • Captain Thomas H. Green, J.A.G.D., Secretary.
The officers of the Army detailed on this commission will perform the duties required of them in addition to their other duties.
The assignment of Mr. Rugg, Mr. Bundy, and Lieutenant Commander Lavender has been concurred in by The Attorney General, The Secretary of State and The Secretary of the Navy, respectively,
It shall be the duty of the commission to hear and determine claims of British Nationals arising out of the acceptance and/or use by the United States of their patents, inventions, or designs during the World War; the claims in question being limited to those claims which have been agreed upon in the correspondence between the British Government and the Department of State.
The commission shall have all powers necessary and incident to the proper performance of its duties and shall adopt its own methods of procedure and rules and regulations for its conduct. The office of the commission shall be in the City of Washington, but hearings may also be had in such other places as may be expedient and necessary for the proper performance of its duties.66
All members of the commission, and the Assistant Legal Adviser and the Secretary thereof, shall have authority to administer oaths to witnesses, testifying or deposing in the course of any investigation, proceeding or hearing, in accordance with Section 183, Revised Statutes of the United States as amended.
The commission shall fix the time and place for hearings and shall serve notice thereof upon all parties thereto, or their representatives, who shall be entitled to be heard and present evidence. The act of a majority of the members of the commission, when in session as a commission, shall be deemed to be the act of the commission; but, in the course of any investigation undertaken by the commission, any member or members shall have power to examine witnesses and to receive evidence and to report the same to the commission.
The findings and decisions of the commission shall be final and conclusive, subject only to review by the Secretary of War.
A full and complete record shall be kept of all proceedings, hearings and testimony, and all testimony shall be recorded by a reporter. Copies of all findings, including the findings on questions of fact, and the commission’s decision, duly certified, shall be served upon the parties or their attorneys and a copy shall be transmitted to the Secretary of War. Upon termination of its duties the commission shall render to the Secretary of War a report containing a full and complete account of its transactions and proceedings.
Request for employment or detail of the necessary clerical assistance will be made to the Secretary of War. Stationery and office [Page 59] supplies will be furnished by the Supply Division of the War Department.
The necessary expenses of the Commission will be paid from an appropriation provided in the Second Deficiency Act, Seventy-Second Congress, First Session, under the head “Office of The Judge Advocate General”.67
By order of the Secretary of War:
Wm. W. Dick

[This Commission, which completed its hearings August 12, 1932, awarded claims to the British inventors totaling $255,500 (811.54241/135½). At the request of President Hoover, an appropriation covering this amount was made a part of the Second Deficiency Act of March 4, 1933 (House Document No. 557, 72d Cong., 2d sess., 47 Stat. 1614).]

  1. Copy transmitted to the Department of State by the Adjutant General’s office, July 7, 1932; received July 8.
  2. The hearings of the commission were held in London, August 3–12, 1932.
  3. 47 Stat. 540.