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EXISTING LAW

tary shall fix the corresponding authorized strengths in grade in general conformity with the table.

(b) Not more than one-half of the general officer strength may be in grades above brigadier general.

(c) A vacancy in any grade may be filled by an authorized appointment in any lower grade.

(d) In time of war, or of national emergency declared after May 5, 1954, by Congress or the President, the President may suspend the operation of any provision of this section.

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THE BILL

86TH CONGRESS 1st Session

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

REPORT

No. 665

PROVIDING FOR THE CONVEYANCE OF CERTAIN REAL PROPERTY TO FORT WALTON BEACH, FLA.

JULY 15, 1959.-Committed to the Committee of the Whole House on the State of the Union and ordered to be printed

Mr. DURHAM, from the Committee on Armed Services, submitted the

following

REPORT

To accompany H.R. 29341

The Committee on Armed Services, to whom was referred the bill (H.R. 2934) to provide for the conveyance of certain real property of the United States to the city of Fort Walton Beach, Fla., having considered the same. report favorably thereon with amendment and recommend that the bill, as amended, do pass.

The amendment is as follows:

Page 3, line 12. strike all of section 3 and insert in lieu thereof the following:

SEC. 3. The conveyance authorized by the first section of this Act shall be subject to

(a) the condition that the real property so conveyed shall be used by the city of Fort Walton Beach, Florida, for a municipal golf course and other recreational purposes only, and if such city shall ever cease to use such real property for a municipal golf course and other recreational purposes the title thereto shall revert to the United States, which shall have the right of immediate entry thereon.

(b) the condition that the city of Fort Walton Beach, Florida, shall pay to the Secretary of the Air Force as consideration for the tract of land conveyed under the provisions of this Act, a price equal to 50 per centum of the fair value of the property conveyed, based on the highest and best use of the property on the date of enactment of this law, regardless of its former character or use, as determined by the Chief of Engineers, Department of the Army, or his designee.

PURPOSE OF THE BILL

H.R. 2934 would provide for the conveyance by the Secretary of the Air Force of 338.7549 acres of Eglin Air Force Base to the city of Fort Walton Beach, Fla., for use as a municipal golf course and for other recreational purposes. Such conveyance would provide that should the transferred lands be used for other than the aforementioned purposes, title would revert to the United States.

BACKGROUND OF THE BILL

The portion of Eglin Air Force Base proposed for conveyance to the city of Fort Walton Beach is located approximately midway between Auxiliary Field No. 4 and Auxiliary Field No. 9 at Eglin Air Force Base. These auxiliary fields are about 9 miles apart. The parcel involved is traversed by a State highway and is surrounded on three sides by new developments consisting of homes, stores, and other privately owned enterprises, all of which interferes with the effective utilization of the parcel by the Air Force.

EXPLANATION OF THE AMENDMENT

The bill as introduced did not provide for the payment of any consideration to be paid by the city of Fort Walton Beach. The committee took into consideration that existing law (50 U.S.C. App. 1622 (h)) provides that conveyance of land to municipalities for park or recreational purposes shall be made at a price equal to 50 percent of the fair value of the property conveyed. In view of this, the committee accepted the recommendation of the Department of Defense that the bill be modified to require the payment of 50 percent of the fair market value.

PUBLIC USE OF PROPERTY

The committee was advised that the recreational features to be established on this property will be available to the military people at Eglin Air Force Base as well as to the general population in and around the city of Fort Walton Beach. It is proposed that a golf course, which will be municipally owned, be constructed on the property. The nearest golf course to this area is 15 miles away and it is on the military reservation at Eglin Air Force Base.

FISCAL DATA

Enactment into law of this measure will not involve the expenditure of any Federal funds.

DEPARTMENTAL DATA

The Department of the Air Force on behalf of the Department of Defense has no objection to this legislation as is evidenced by letter dated June 15, 1959, which is set out below and made a part of this report.

The Bureau of the Budget interposed no objection to the submission of the report by the Department of the Air Force but points.

out the provisions of the Federal Property and Administrative Services Act of 1949 which would be applicable to this property.

Hon. CARL VINSON,

DEPARTMENT OF THE AIR FORCE,

OFFICE OF THE SECRETARY,
Washington, June 15, 1959.

Chairman, Committee on Armed Services,
House of Representatives.

DEAR MR. CHAIRMAN: Reference is made to your request for the views of the Department of Defense with respect to H.R. 2934, 86th Congress, a bill to provide for the conveyance of certain real property of the United States to the city of Fort Walton Beach, Fla. The Secretary of Defense has delegated to this Department the responsibility for expressing the views of the Department of Defense.

H.R. 2934, if enacted, would provide for the conveyance by the Secretary of the Air Force of 338.7549 acres of Eglin Air Force Base to the city of Fort Walton Beach, Fla., for use as a municipal golf course and for other recreational purposes. Such conveyance would provide that should the transferred lands be used for other than the aforementioned purposes, title would revert to the United States.

The portion of Eglin Air Force Base proposed for conveyance to the city of Fort Walton Beach is located approximately midway between Auxiliary Field No. 4 and Auxiliary Field No. 9 at Eglin Air Force Base. These auxiliary Fields are about 9 miles apart. The parcel involved is traversed by a State highway and is surrounded on three sides by new developments consisting of homes, stores, and other privately owned enterprises, all of which interferes with the effective utilization of the parcel by the Air Force. Accordingly, the Department of Defense has no objection to the conveyance of this property to the city of Fort Walton Beach for use as a municipal golf course and other recreational purposes.

However, it is pointed out that the policy of the executive branch. of the Government (as stated by Bureau of the Budget Bulletin 58-3, dated November 13, 1957, subject: User Charges for Certain Government Services) generally prohibits the conveyance of Governmentowned resources without consideration. Furthermore, existing law (50 U.S.C. App. 1622(h)), provides that conveyance of surplus land to municipalities for park or recreational purposes shall be made at a price equal to 50 percent of the fair value of the property conveyed; and, although the land in the instant case has not been declared surplus, 50 percent of the fair value is considered an appropriate consideration.

In view of the circumstances, the Department of Defense would not object to the passage of H.R. 2934, provided that section 3 were amended as follows:

"SEC. 3. The conveyance authorized by the first section of this Act shall be subject to

(a) the condition that the real property so conveyed shall be used by the city of Fort Walton Beach, Florida, for a municipal golf course and other recreational purposes only and if such city shall ever cease to use such real property for a municipal golf course and other recreational purposes the title thereto shall re

two properties, the committee took into consideration that the Navy Department has utilized the port authority's property for 17 years without payment by the Navy for such use. While this would not constitute consideration from a legal standpoint, the committee was of the view that if, indeed, the property to be conveyed by the Navy is of great value, then the free use of the port authority property should be weighed against this.

FUTURE USE OF PROPERTIES

The Navy would continue to use the land conveyed to it for parking, recreational, and other allied purposes. The port authority would utilize the property conveyed to it in connection with its plan for expansion of port facilities in the area.

COMMITTEE POSITION

The committee reported this bill by a unanimous vote.

FISCAL DATA

Enactment into law of this measure would not involve the expenditure of any Federal funds.

DEPARTMENTAL DATA

The Department of the Navy on behalf of the Department of Defense has no objection to this measure, although it did recommend that the bill be amended to provide for payment by the port authority of any amount by which the Navy property exceeded the port authority property in value.

The Bureau of the Budget interposed no objection to the submission of the report which is set out below and made a part of this report but did call the attention of the committee to the provisions of the Federal Property Act which prescribed the procedure to be followed in the handling of excess property.

Hon. CARL VINSON,

DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY,

OFFICE OF THE SECRETARY,
Washington, D.C., June 18, 1959.

Chairman, Committee on Armed Services,

House of Representatives, Washington, D.C.

MY DEAR MR. CHAIRMAN: Your request for comment on H.R. 5888, a bill to authorize the Secretary of the Navy to transfer to the Massachusetts Port Authority, an instrumentality of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. certain land and improvements thereon comprising a portion of the E Street Annex, so-called, South Boston Annex, Boston Naval Shipyard, in South Boston, Mass., in exchange for certain other lands, has been assigned to this Department by the Secretary of Defense for the preparation of a report thereon expressing the views of the Department of Defense.

The Navy property comprises 15.90 acres of land while the port authority property comprises 3.85 acres. The Navy property has been

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