If you haven't read Part I of this post, I would strongly encourage you to take a few minutes to do so before continuing. You can read it here:
- Regulating US Commemorative Coins - Redux / Part I
At the opening of the First Session of the 76th Congress, in January 1939, Francis Thomas Maloney (D-CT) was back with a duplicate draft of the bill he introduced in the previous Congress. The bill included all of the same provisions and requirements. As was the previous bill, the 1939 bill was referred to the Senate Committee on Banking and Currency.
The new bill did move forward a bit, being reviewed by the Senate Committee and reported back with amendments:
1) The Commemorative Coin Commission was to continue with five members appointed by the President, but the bill no longer specified organizations from which they were to be drawn. Gone were the controls that would have potentially added historical expertise to the consideration of each new coin bill.
2) The cap of ten approved commemorative coin bills per year was removed.
3) The provision ensuring the US Government would not be responsible for the costs of die preparation and related coinage setup steps was removed.
4) The coins were to be distributed by Secretary of the Treasury, or agencies designated by the Secretary, at face value rather than the sponsoring organization (with or without a premium charged); no provision was included to generate any net funds from distribution of a coin to its sponsor. Essentially, the amendment created a situation by which all future US commemorative coins were to be circulating commemoratives vs. not-intended-for-circulation (NIFC) collector issues. Considering one of the Treasury Department's arguments against commemorative coins was the confusion they would create if encountered by the general public in circulation, it's hard to imagine it supported such a provision.
This last amendment removed nearly all of the appeal of a commemorative coin for a sponsor. From a financial standpoint, the amendments (#3 and #4 above) would have meant that a sponsor might be required to pay for coinage dies and production setup for a coin it was seeking without a chance at receiving any proceeds from sales of their coin. Where's the upside?
From the outside looking in (and doing it 84 years later), it appears to me that the Senate Committee was killing the bill, without directly saying so, in favor of a less restrictive approach.
The Senate considered the bill as amended by the Committee and passed it without debate. The revised bill was then sent to the House of Representatives where it was referred to House Committee on Coinage, Weights, and Measures and never heard from again.
Later in 1939, in August, Representative Joseph Edward Hendricks (D-FL) introduced a version of the bill that mostly paralleled Maloney's bill but maintained sponsor distribution of the coins and their sale "at par or at a premium" - there would, once again, have been a reason for an organization to sponsor a coin! The bill was referred to the House Committee on Coinage, Weights, and Measures but was not reported out.
In 1941, early in the 77th Congress, two more attempts were made to regulate US commemorative coin approvals. In the House of Representatives, in February, Representative Hendricks re-introduced his previous bill, again restoring sponsor distribution of the coins and their sale "at par or at a premium." In March, Senator Maloney also tried again, this time with a bill that incorporated all of the amendments recommended by the Senate Committee on Banking and Currency in the previous Congress.
Neither the House bill nor the Senate bill of 1941 was acted upon by its referred Committee and the legislation was never to be. In 1941, the Act to Prohibit Commemorative coins (Read about it here
) had been in force for approximately two years and all past multi-year programs had been stopped and the floodgates for proposed commemorative coin legislation had been effectively closed. It was not a time Congress was interested in reopening a topic that it had already closed (at least partially).
For other of my posts about commemorative coins and medals, see: Commems Collection.