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PERSONAL FURNISHINGS-EMPLOYEES OF CIVIL SERVICE

COMMISSION.

Articles of personal equipment or furnishings for the protection, benefit, com

fort, or convenience of employees in the performance of their official duties, such as suits, overcoats, raincoats, boots, and gloves, for chauffeurs operating Government automobiles, trucks, or motor cycles, may not, in the absence of specific authority of law therefor, be furnished at the expense

of the United States. Comptroller General McCarl to the President, United States Civil Service Commission, October 3, 1922:

I have your letter of September 23, 1922, requesting decision whether the appropriation made in the act of February 17, 1922, 42 Stat., 368, for contingent expenses, Civil Service Commission, and which provides for “purchase, exchange, maintenance, and repair of motor trucks, motor cycles, and bicycles; maintenance and repair of a motor-propelled passenger-carrying vehicle to be used only for official purposes," may be used to purchase a chauffeur's suit, overcoat, and gloves, to be worn by the driver of the passenger vehicle, and sheepskin-lined storm coats, slicker raincoats, boots, and gloves for the chauffeurs operating the trucks and motor cycles.

The articles referred to must be regarded as for the protection, benefit, comfort, or convenience of the operators of the vehicles rather than as necessary or incident to the maintenance and repair of the vehicles. In other words, they are articles of personal equip ment or furnishings which, in the absence of specific authority of law therefor, can not be furnished at the expense of the United States. See 10 Comp. Dec., 134; 12 id., 616; 17 id., 508; 20 id., 306; 24 id., 44.

The question submitted is answered in the negative.

REENLISTMENT AND SUBSISTENCE AND QUARTERS ALLOW.

ANCES-ENLISTED MEN OF MARINE CORPS.

The reenlistment allowance provided in section 9, act of June 10, 1922, 42 Stat,

629, is payable to enlisted men of the Marine Corps upon original extensions of enlistments for two, three, or four years, or when the aggregate of extensions equals two, three, or four years, but only one reenlistment al

lowance should be paid for extending the same enlistment. Allowances for subsistence or quarters payable to enlisted men of the Marine

Corps, in lieu of furnishing subsistence or quarters in kind, in accordance with section 11, act of June 10, 1922, 42 Stat., 630, are chargeable, during the fiscal year 1923, to the appropriation “ Pay, Marine Corps," while the cost of furnishing subsistence or quarters in kind to such enlisted men is charge.

able to the appropriation “Provisions, Marine Corps.” Comptroller General McCarl to Brig. Gen. George Richards, United States Marine Corps, October 5, 1922:

I have your letter of August 16, 1922, requesting decision as to the enlistment allowance payable under the act of June 10, 1922, 42 Stat., 625, to enlisted men of the United States Marine Corps upon extensions of enlistment, and as to the appropriation from which the subsistence allowance authorized by said act is payable to enlisted men.

In 1 Comp. Gen., 489, it was held that the provisions of the act of August 22, 1912, 37 Stat., 331, authorizing extensions of enlistment“ of any enlisted man in the Navy” was applicable to enlisted men of the Marine Corps.

The act of August 22, 1912, 37 Stat., 331, provided : That the term of enlistment of any enlisted man in the Navy may, by his voluntary written agreement, under such regulations as may be prescribed by the Secretary of Navy with the approval of the President, be extended for a period of either one, two, three, or four full years from the date of expiration of the then existing four-year term of enlistment, and subsequent to said date such enlisted men as extend the term of enlistment as authorized in this section shall be entitled to and shall receive the same pay and allowances in all respects as though regularly discharged and reenlisted immediately upon expiration of their term of enlistment,

There is nothing in the act of June 10, 1922, 42 Stat., 625, prescribing periods of enlistment for any of the services to which the act relates nor repealing any existing laws relative thereto. Accordingly the laws authorizing extensions of enlistment in the Navy and the laws authorizing what are termed “short-term enlistments" are not disturbed by the act of June 10, 1922.

The act of August 22, 1912, provides that men who extend enlistments “shall receive the same pay and allowances in all respects as though regularly discharged and reenlisted immediately upon the expiration of their term of enlistment.” This authorization is general legislation applicable to then existing laws affecting reenlistment gratuities and to any that might thereafter be prescribed. When the act of August 22, 1912, was passed enlisted men of the Marine Corps were entitled, by assimilation under section 1612 of the Revised Statutes, to the reenlistment gratuity authorized for enlisted men of the Army. By the act of June 4, 1920, 41 Stat., 836, enlisted men of the Marine Corps were given the honorable discharge gratuity authorized for enlisted men of the Navy. By the act of June 10, 1922, 42 Stat., 629, a reenlistment allowance is spe. cifically provided for the enlisted men of the Marine Corps, and it is this allowance which is payable, by reason of the act of August 22, 1912, to enlisted men of the Marine Corps under an original extension of enlistment effective on and after July 1, 1922, “ as though regularly discharged and reenlisted immediately."

Section 9 of the act of June 10, 1922, provides, in part: On and after July 1, 1922, an enlistment allowance equal to $50, multiplied by the number of years served in the enlistment period from which he has last been discharged, shall be paid to every honorably discharged enlisted man of the first three grades who reenlists within a period of three months from the date of his discharge, and an enlistment allowance of $25, multiplied by the number of years served in the enlistment period from which he has last been discharged, shall be paid to every honorably discharged enlisted man of the other grades who reenlists within a period of three months from the date of his discharge.

As both the enlisted men of the regular Navy and of the Marine Corps acquire the right to the enlistment allowance upon extension

of enlistment under the same organic act, viz, August 22, 1912, the same rule should be applied to each branch of the service as to the conditions of payment.

The rule has been passed on for the regular Navy:

The extension of an enlistment for two, three, or four years entitles a man to the enlistment allowance. Such allowance shall be credited upon an exten. sion for two, three, or four years, or when the aggregate of extensions equals two, three, or four years; but only one enlistment allowance shall be credited for extension of the same enlistment, and the total of the extensions, if made up of several different ones, shall be considered as one extension. 10 MS. Comp. Gen., 1262, June 16, 1922.

In reference to your question as to the appropriation chargeable with the subsistence allowance of enlisted men, you state:

The following clauses which appear under “Provisions, Marine Corps," for the fiscal year 1922, are dropped from the same subhead in 1923: “Commutation for rations to enlisted men regularly detailed as clerks and messengers," and “or in lieu of board, commutation of rations to recruiting parties and enlisted men traveling on special duty, at such rates as the Secretars of the Navy may prescribe.” Also, under the subhead “Fuel, Marine Corps," and clause " the commutation thereof," appearing in the 1922 appropriation, is dropped from the appropriation for 1923. Under the heading “Pay, Marine Corps," subhead “Pay of enlisted men," the following item appears in 1923 which was not carried in the appropriation for 1922: "Allowance for lodging and subsistence, $1,048,974.”.

In further reference on this point, the letter of the major general commandant to the Secretary of the Navy, 1550-15, dated May 22, 1922, would make it clear that the expenses should all be charged to “Pay, Marine Corps." This letter is in part follows:

“ In order to properly adjust the appropriations 'Pay, Marine Corps,' and • Maintenance, Quartermaster's Department,' as carried in H. R. 11228, to conform to the new rates of pay and allowances as provided by H. R. 10972, it will be necessary to make certain increases and additions under ‘Pay, Marine Corps,' and drop certain items under Maintenance and transfer them to ‘Pay, Marine Corps.'

“ The amounts carried under "Maintenance, Quartermaster's Department,' subhead 'Subsistence,' as follows, should be dropped from ‘Maintenance' and added to Pay, Marine Corps. The change shown in these amounts are contained in the Hearings before the Subcommittee of the House Committee on Appropriations, page 679, are understood to have been recommended to the Senate Committee on Appropriations: 510 men (400, Hearings, p. 679), commutation enlisted men on recruiting duty, at $1.75 per day ($255,500, Hearings)

$325, 762 400 mėn (436, Hearings, p. 679), commutation clerks and messengers, staff office, at $1.50 per day ($238,710, Hearings).

219,000 216 men, commutation (small detachments).

122, 840

602 In addition to the above, there is an item of $150,000, under subhead “Fuel," “ commutation of heat and light, enlisted men." As shown in the Budget, 1923 page 373, that should be dropped from “Maintenance" and added to " Pay, Marine Corps."

Section 11, the act of June 10, 1922, 42 Stat., 630, provides:

To each enlisted man not furnished quarters or rations in kind there shall be granted, under such regulations as the President may prescribe, an allowance for quarters and subsistence, the value of which shall depend on the conditions under which the duty of the man is being performed, and shall not exceed $4 per day.

The act of July 1, 1922, 42 Stat., 808, carries appropriations under subheads and for purposes as follows:

667,

Pay, Marine Corps.—Pay of enlisted men, active and reserve list; allowance for lodging and subsistence, $1,048,974;

Provisions, Marine Corps.-For

payment of board and lodging of

recruiting parties, and enlisted men where it is impracticable otherwise to furnish subsistence;

$3,011,519. From the wording of these two appropriations it is evident that the former is chargeable when an allowance is made in lieu of furnishing subsistence or quarters in kind, and that the latter is chargeable with the payments for subsistence or quarters which may be contracted for or otherwise procured in kind for enlisted men and furnished them as such.

FIELD ASSISTANTS, SHIPPING CLERKS, AND SUPERVISORS OF TELEPHONE LINES, OF COAST GUARD-WHETHER WITHIN PURVIEW OF JOINT SERVICE PAY ACT FOR PAY PURPOSES.

The provisions in sections 1 and 16 of the act of June 10, 1922, 42 Stat., 627,

632, that said act should apply to persons not commissioned as officers, but whose pay “under existing law" is equivalent to or is “based by law" on that of a commissioned officer, does not extend the provisions of said act to field assistants, shipping clerks, or supervisors of telephone lines of the Coast Guard, whose salaries are not by statute Diade dependent upon the pay of any commissioned officer, but happen to be equivalent in

amount to the pay of such an officer. Comptroller General McCarl to the Secretary of the Treasury, October 5, 1922:

I have your letter of September 16, 1922, requesting decision, as follows:

The following is quoted from section 1 of the act of June 10, 1922, 42 Stat, 627 :

“ The provisions of this act shall apply equally to those persons serving, not as commissioned officers in the Army, or in the other services mentioned in the title of this act, but whose pay under existing law is an amount equivalept to that of a commissioned officer of one of the above grades, those receive ing the pay of colonel, lieutenant colonel, major, captain, first lieutenant, and second lieutenant being classified as in the sixth, tifth, fourth, third, second, and first periods, respectively.”.

Also, the following is quoted from section 16 of the above mentioned act, 42 Stat., 632:

“ The provisions of this section shall apply in like manner to each person pot commissioned whose pay is based by law on that of a commissioned officer."

There are in the Coast Guard field assistants (construction and repair), shipping clerks, and supervisors of telephone lines, who are civilian employees, and their pay is provided for in the annual appropriation acts. (For instance, see act making appropriations for the Treasury Department for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1923, approved February 17, 1922). The pay of certain of these civilian employees was fixed by the Secretary of the Treasury at $2,000.00 per annum, an amount equivalent to the base pay of a lieutenant, junior grade, prior to the enactment of the joint service pay act. These civilians have directed attention to that part of the act above quoted which provides that the act shall apply equally to those persons serving not as commissioned officers but whose pay is in an amount equivalent to that of a commissioned officer, and contend that said provision is applicable to them. However, the pay of pone of the above referred to civilians is based by law on that of a commisrioned officer.

Your decision is therefore requested as to whether or not field assistants (construction and repair), shipping clerks, and supervisors of telephone lines, of the United States Coast Guard, are included among the civilians whose rales of pay are provided for in said act.

You transmit for consideration in connection with this question the claims for compensation under the act of June 10, 1922, of Andre Forchy, field assistant; J. S. Randall, field assistant; C. E. Martin, supervisor of telephone lines; and J. P. Riley, shipping clerk, all being employed in the United States Coast Guard Service.

It appears that the salaries of these employees are not fixed by law or regulations. They are civil-service employees, under contract, and receive pay in the amount authorized and approved by the Secretary of the Treasury from the lump-sum appropriation pro-. vided in the act of February 17, 1922, 42 Stat., 377, for the “compensation of civilian employees in the field,” Coast Guard, which does not indicate the number or grade of civilians to be employed.

It is clear that the pay of these employees is not fixed “under existing law” in an amount “equivalent to that of a commissioned officer” within the meaning of the act of June 10, 1922.

The clear purpose of Congress in enacting the section in question is to extend to “persons not commissioned whose pay is based by law on that of a commissioned officer,” as expressly indicated in the last sentence of section 16, the same benefit accorded commissioned officers by the act.

It is a well-established rule of statutory construction that the intent of the statute must be arrived at by consideration of the statute as a whole.

Congress from time to time has expressly indicated that certain civilian employees shall be entitled to receive the pay and allowances of certain commissioned officers in the military service. For instance, the act of July 1, 1918, 40 Stat., 640, provides that a civilian instructor in the Coast Guard, after five years' service as such, shall have the pay and allowances of a second lieutenant, and after 10 years' service shall have the pay and allowances of a first lieutenant in the Coast Guard. The act of May 18, 1920, 41 Stat., 603, provides that the senior district superintendent, the three district superintend. ents next in order of seniority, the four district superintendents next below these three in order of seniority, and the junior five district superintendents, shall be given the rank, pay, and allowances of captain, first lieutenant, second lieutenant, and third lieutenant, respectively.

There appears nothing in the act of June 10, 1922, expressing an intention on the part of Congress to make any change in the pay or compensation of, or extension of allowances to, field assistants, shipping clerks, or supervisors of telephone lines of the Coast Guard, and you are accordingly advised that they are not included within the purview of the act of June 10, 1922.

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