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mining periodicals, it is hoped that the Comptroller General wil so view their purchase in so far as the application of section 192 of the Revised Statutes to this situation is concerned.
Although the publications in question may, as stated in the submis sion, be used as mining periodicals and not as newspapers by the mining engineers and metallurgists of the Alaskan Experiment Station, it does not appear that they are not newspapers for the dissemination of general news and intended as such for the general public by the publishers. A newspaper given over to general news, though the bulk of that news relates to mining, as might be expected where mining is possibly the chief industry in the Territory in which the paper is intended to circulate, is nevertheless a newspaper within the intent and meaning of section 192, Revised Statutes. The indicated value of such newspapers in the field work of the experiment station and their use as permanent records of the station do not serve to make the statute inapplicable as to them. See 1 Comp. Gen., 92.
PERSIAN EXCHANGE-CONSULAR SERVICE.
Upon satisfactory evidence that the bullion value of the standard silver coins
of Persia was fixed by the Persian Government and an embargo laid on the exportation of silver during the period of the World War the local value of the coinage so fixed will be the basis upon which the accounts of the con
sular officers in that country during the period in question will be settled. Decision by Comptroller General McCarl, December 7, 1922:
Gordon Paddock, formerly United States consul at Tabriz, Persia, applied July 25, 1922, for review of the action of the State and Other Departments Division, this office, in disallowing by settlement No. 28271, dated November 30, 1921, items Nos. 1, 2, and 6 of the statement of his accounts amounting to $8,171.86. The disallowance represents the difference between amounts claimed by the consul as loss by exchange calculated upon the alleged normal value of the Persian silver kran, and the loss calculated upon the prevailing bullion value of the silver in the kran as shown by tables prepared by the Director of the Mint and issued quarterly by the Secretary of the Treasury.
The question as to the proper basis for conversion of the Persian kran into terms of United States currency was before the former Comptroller of the Treasury in connection with the accounts of a former minister to Persia, and on July 7, 1919, the comptroller rendered a decision to the effect that the value of the kran should be computed at the bullion value of the silver in the kran as quoted in the quarterly mint tables.
The comptroller reasoned that the actual bullion value of the silver in the markets of the world is the correct measure of its value in the hands of the consul general in Persia, and that when the Government had paid in silver the bullion value of which in terms of United
States currency equaled the amount of the obligation it stood fully discharged of its obligation. This reasoning is sound in theory, but it rests upon the assumption that the bullion value of silver in Persia was the same as its bullion value in the world's market, an assumption negatived by the evidence as to currency conditions in Persia throughout the period covered by the accounts now before me.
Prior to the commencement of the World War, the mint tables show that the currency of Persia “is silver circulating above its metallic value.” The table of July 1, 1914, shows the exchange value of the silver kran to be approximately $0.0875. The table of October 1, 1916, shows the exchange value to have arisen to approximately $0.117, where it remained until the table of April 1, 1917, when it was advanced to $0.179, where it remained throughout the war and until the table of October 1, 1919, after which no exchange rate is quoted.
The mint or bullion value of the silver kran was not quoted in the mint tables prior to the table of October 1, 1916. That table quotes its bullion value as 0.0915. Succeeding tables show a steadily rising value, as the value of silver bullion rose in the world's markets to $0.1746 quoted in the table of April 1, 1920, from whence it has since declined to about its pre-war normal value. While the relative value of silver bullion in the world's market fluctuated to the world's gold standard as shown, it is in evidence that there was no cortesponding fluctuation in its value in Persia.
It appears that while Persia coins some gold, its gold coinage does not circulate generally as currency, the circulating currency being silver, with no gold standard to support it. In other words, the currency standard of Persia is silver, not gold. In order to stabilize its currency and conserve its standard bullion, Persia, early in the World War, put an embargo on the exportation of silver and fixed its price at the Persian mint at the pre-war rate, at which rate it remained constant throughout the war and thereafter, so that at no time during the period covered by these accounts was the bullion value of silver in Persia greater than it had been before the war.
It is also in evidence that for commercial purposes the value of the kran in terms of foreign currency was fixed at 55 krans to the British pound sterling, or $0.0884 to the kran based on the normal gold value of $4.8665 to the pound. This is approximately the normal exchange value of $0.0875 shown by the pre-war mint tables.
Assuming the correctness of the facts hereinbefore stated, I think there can be no doubt that because of the action taken by the Persian Government the value of the Persian kran locally did not fluctuate or change, but remained constant at its pre-war value throughout the period covered by the accounts in question. Such being the facts, Settlement of the accounts should be on the basis of the local value of
the kran. It was of no avail to the consul that the bullion value of the kran he received had appreciated elsewhere, because he could not even in theory export them where they might realize their worldmarket bullion value. The value to him was the value the kran had in the local market, and that value did not vary from the approximate normal par of $0.0875 used by the consul in computing his loss by exchange.
The facts are evidenced by unsigned and uncertified carbon copies of letters addressed to the consul respectively by G. Moreau, Director of the Imperial Mint of Persia; L. Molitor, Director General of Customs of Persia; J. W. Wright, deputy manager of the Imperial Bank of Persia; and Hild. F. Stevens & Son. Upon the production before this office of the originals of these letters or other duly authenticated evidence of the facts alleged all outstanding disallowance will be adjusted upon the basis of a normal par value for the kran of $0.0875, as claimed by the consul.
FIFTY PER CENT ADDITIONAL PAY FOR FLYING FOR PERIOD OF
LEAVE-OFFICERS OF THE ARMY.
A retroactive detail of an officer of the Army on leave of absence to flying duty
did not place him in a flying-duty status for pay purposes prior to the subsequent termination of the leave, and he is not entitled for said period of leave to 50 per cent additional pay for flying, without regard to whether
voluntary flights were performed during it or official flights thereafter. Vouchers for flying pay should be accompanied by a certificate of the command
ing officer of the officer claiming the 50 per cent additional pay for flying, which should set forth that flights to the required number or period in air and within prescribed dates have in fact been made, that they were flights necessitated by and inherent in the duty itself to which detailed, and that no facts affecting such inherent duty have occurred in the said flight period except as therein stated, and should have appended a schedule
of flights showing dates, numbers, and periods in air. Comptroller General McCarl to First Lieut. Frank C. Peters, United States
Army, December 7, 1922:
I have your letter of September 19, 1922, requesting decision whether you are authorized to pay voucher therewith transmitted, stated in favor of First Lieut. Jasper K. McDuffie, Air Service, United States Army, for increased pay for flying duty for period from July 1 to August 14, 1922, $128.33, while the officer was on leave of absence, pursuant to paragraph 18, Special Orders, No. 132, dated Headquarters Third Corps Area, Baltimore, Md., June 6, 1922.
There is appended to the voucher the following certificate: A certificate to accompany the pay voucher of Jasper K. McDuffie, 1st Lt., A. S., for the month of Special, Aug., 1922.
I certify that during the period for which fying pay is claimed on the at. tached voucher, I was detailed to duty involving flying, and that during such period I fulfilled the flying requirements prescribed by General Orders, No. 30, War Department, 1922.
(Signed) JASPER K. MODUFFIE,
18t Lieut, Air Service
This certificate, read in connection with the voucher, is that the officer during the period he was on leave of absence made the number of flights required by the Executive order of July 1, 1922, published in War Department General Orders, No. 30, of July 19, 1922. It is apparent that this is not the case, as voluntary flights made while an officer is on leave of absence from duty are not flights necessary in the performance of a military duty. . See decisions of September 6 and 29, 1922, 2 Comp. Gen., 185 and 237. While those decisions were to the Secretary of the Navy they were based on the laws and regulations here in question and are of equal application to questions of pay and allowances for flying duty in the Army.
In the decision of September 6 it was said with respect to the certificate to be attached to vouchers claiming flying pay:
The flight certificate should not only set forth that flights to the required number, or period in air, and within prescribed dates, have in fact been made, but in addition state that they were flights necessitated by and inherent in the duty itself to which detailed, and that no facts affecting such inherent duty have occurred in said flight period except as therein set forth, and should have appended a schedule of fights showing dates, numbers, and periods in air.
And see decision of September 29 as to the certificate to be made by the commanding officer of the claiming officer. Vouchers including items for increased pay for flying duty should not be paid unless and until they conform to the requirements set forth in the two decisions cited.
Lieutenant McDuffie was detailed to duty involving flying effective July 1, 1922, pursuant to the requirements of section 20 of the act of June 10, 1922, 42 Stat., 632, by paragraph 1 of Personnel Orders, No. 146, dated Office of the Chief of Air Service, July 22, 1922. At the date of issuing this order the officer was or. leave of absence and apparently had been on leave of absence from June 22, 1922, and possibly from June 15, 1922, although this order undertakes to put him on flying duty status from July 1, 1922. It is assumed that during the period August 15 to 31, 1922, the officer performed not less than 20 flights; that flying pay was paid him for that period on his regular monthly pay voucher; and that you are in doubt (the voucher being amended as herein indicated) whether, under the Executive order of July 1, 1922, the officer may be paid the increased pay for flying duty while he was on leave of absence July 1 to August 14, 1922, for the flights performed after his return to duty. Accordingly this question will be considered.
Apposite statutes, in their chronological order, with quotations of the portions material in this consideration are:
Section 13a of the national defense act, added by section 13 of the act of June 4, 1920, 41 Stat., 768:
Officers and enlisted men of the Army shall receive an increase of 50 per centum of their pay while on duty requiring them to participate regularly and
frequently in aerial flights; and hereafter no person shall receive additional pay for aviation duty except as prescribed in this section:
Section 20 of the act of June 10, 1922, 42 Stat., 632:
when detailed to duty involving flying, shall receive the same increase of their pay and the same allowance for traveling expenses as are now authorized for the performance of like duties in the Army,
Act of June 30, 1922, 42 Stat., 724, under “ Pay, and so forth, of the Army, 1923,” subhead “Aviation increase":
That the authorization for increase of flying pay contained in section 13a of the Act of June 4, 1920, shall be construed to include any officer of any branch of the service who may be ordered by proper authority to perform duty requiring him to participate regularly and frequently in aerial flights.
No increased pay is payable except there be a lawful detail to duty involving flying, and the increase is then payable " while on duty requiring them to participate regularly and frequently in aerial flights." 2 Comp. Gen., 185, 186. On June 22, when Lieutenant McDuffie apparently entered on leave of absence, he was not detailed to duty involving flying under the act of June 10, 1922. When so detailed, as of July 1, 1922, he was on leave, and, assuming that he returned from leave August 15, 1922, it was not possible for him to perform any duty under the detail until the latter date. The detail to duty involving flying not operating as a revocation of the orders granting him leave, it necessarily follows that the detail did not, and was not intended to, become effective until his return from leave, notwithstanding the effective date stated in the order. This is the view heretofore taken of details to duty involving flying where flights were not performed thereunder for a period following the detail. See, for example, 23 Comp. Dec., 589, 590, where it was said that an officer or man to whom orders of detail had issued and whose flight record showed no flight since the order of detail, or for an unreasonable length of time after order of detail, would not for that time be in fact detailed to duty involving actual flying. And see, also, 24 Comp. Dec., 232, 235, where it was said:
Inasmuch as the commencement of the leave of absence was coincident with the date of the detail for duty in air-craft flying, for all intent and purpose that detail may as well have begun at the time of the appellant's report for duty on his return from leave because the mere fact of the date of the detail in itself can not operate to establish a duty status in air-craft flying as contemplated by the statute when such duty was not and could not be performed.
You are accordingly informed that as the officer was not lawfully detailed to duty involving flying during the period July 1 to August 14, 1922, inclusive, his detail becoming effective on return from leave, you are not authorized to pay the voucher.