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From the accompanying papers it appears that Miss Minnie P. Goodwin, chief nurse at Public Health Hospital No. 35, at St. Louis, Mo., was directed by the Surgeon General in charge of the Public Health Service to proceed to New York for the purpose of taking a special course of instruction in hospital adminIstration at Columbia University, and that she was absent from the St. Louis hospital from July 6 to September 1, 1921, a total of 58 days. For the last 164 days of this time, however, she appears to have been on leave of absence.
For the entire period of her absence she was paid her regular salary of $64.60 per month, including the extra compensation or bonus. Her transportation and other traveling expenses for the trip amounted to a total of $94.94.
Question has been raised as to the legality of these payments of salary and traveling expenses.
It is assumed that during the time Miss Goodwin was absent from the hospital at St. Louis she was rendering no service to the Government. There would thus seem to be no warrant of law for the payment of any traveling expenses incurred on the trip, nor any salary, except for the time she was on leave of absence. It is the opinion of this division that the entire amount of traveling expenses and also her salary for 414 days should be disallowed. (XVI Comp. Dec., 429.)
Under date of June 28, 1922, the Surgeon General, Public Health Service, addressed to the Comptroller General the following letter:
Replying to your communication of the 29th ultimo addressed to the Secretary of the Treasury, and by him referred to me, concerning the authority for directing Nurse Minnie P. Goodwin to proceed from St. Louis to New York for the purpose of taking a special course in hospital administration at the Columbia University, you are advised that this order was issued upon approval of the Assistant Secre tary of the Treasury, in the interest of the Service. The special course referred to placed this service in possession of improved methods which it is believed will aid materially as and when adopted by the various service hospitals.
I believed that I had the right to issue orders to an officer of this service, and paragraph 22 of the Service Regulations defines the character of positions to which the title of " officer ” pertains.
For your further information you are advised that the amount paid to Nurse Minnie P. Goodwin, for expenses incurred under the order above referred to, has been refunded by her to the Disbursing Clerk of the Treasury Department.
This office does not question the good faith of the order, or the purpose intended and probably accomplished by it, but so far as has been disclosed it was given without authority of law. Miss Goodwin was subject to the order of the Surgeon General in all matters within the scope of her official appointment and duties, which, however, do not include the taking of a course of training either for her own improvement or for the improvement of the service generally.
The memorandum decision must be approved.
DAMAGES TO PRIVATE PROPERTY DUE TO TRAINING, PRACTICE,
OPERATION, OR MAINTENANCE OF THE ARMY.
The only authority for the allowance of claims for damages due to the training,
practice, operation, or maintenance of the Army is found in the acts making specific appropriations therefor from time to time, and where the only appropriation available for such claims limits the payments therefor to not exceeding $500 claims in excess of that amount must be denied. Such claims are not of a class which the General Accounting Office is authorized to allow and certify for reporting to Congress by the Secretary of the Treasury but are for submission to Congress by the administrative department
Decision by Comptroller General McCarl, July 14, 1922.
The Silver Lake Park Co. applied June 1, 1922, for a review of settlement No. 833531, dated May 12, 1922, War Department Division of this office, in which was disallowed its claim for $18,000 on account of damage to its property as a result of the establishment and maintenance by the Army of a remount station in connection with Camp Gordon, near Atlanta, Ga.
The damaged property consists of a small artificial lake, used for bathing, boating, and fishing and as an attraction in the sale of lots in its vicinity for use as suburban residences.
The remount station was established about three-quarters of a mile from the lake and across a small stream which was the principal tributary to the lake; that is to say, the principal tributary of the lake ran through the corrals established by the Government in connection with the remount station. Hundreds of animals (mules and horses) were maintained at this remount station during the period from 1917 to 1920, as a result of which manure, débris, etc.-washings from the corral—were carried down by the stream and deposited into the lake, filling the upper end of it to a depth of several feet and polluting the waters to such an extent as to render the lake useless for the purposes for which it was intended by its owner.
The amount claimed is the estimated cost of removing the objectionable deposit from the lake.
The claim was presented to and considered by the War Department under authority of the provision in the act of June 30, 1921, 42 Stat., 84, which reads:
For payment of claims for damages to and loss of private property incident to the training, practice, operation, or maintenance of the Army that have accrued, or may hereafter accrue, from time to time, to be immediately available and to remain available until expended, $100,000: Provided, That settlement of such claims shall be made by the Auditor for the War Department, upon the approval and recommendation of the Secretary of War, where the amount of damages has been ascertained by the War Department, and payment thereot will be accepted by the owners of the property in full satisfaction of such damages.
The War Department ascertained the amount of the damage to be $18,000, the claimant agreed to accept said amount in full satisfaction of the damages sustained, and the Secretary of War has approved and recommended settlement of the claim.
That the damage was incident to the training, practice, operation, or maintenance of the Army there would appear to be no room for doubt, but there is no general statute authorizing the allowance or payment of such claims. See 27 Comp. Dec., 669. The only authority for the allowance of claims of this class by the accounting officers of the Government is the specific appropriations that have been made therefor from time to time. See act of July 11, 1919, 41 Stat., 119; act of June 5, 1920, 41 Stat., 965; and the provisions hereinbefore quoted from the act of June 30, 1921. The appropriation thus made became exhausted in January, 1922, and from that time until June 30, 1922, there was no authority for allowance by the General Accounting Office of claims of the class now under consideration.
By the act of June 30, 1922, 42 Stat., 725, an appropriation was made as follows:
For payment of claims of not to exceed $500 in amount for damages to and loss of private property incident to the training, practice, operation, or maintenance of the Army that have accrued, or may hereafter accrue, from time to time, $50,000: Provided, That settlement of such claims shall be made by the General Accounting Office, upon the approval and recommendation of the Secretary of War, where the amount of damages has been ascertained by the War Department, and payment thereof will be accepted by the owners of the property in full satisfaction of such damages.
It is noted that this appropriation is made available only for payment of claims of “not to exceed $500 in amount.” As the claim now under consideration exceeds $500 in amount, said appropriation is no authority for its allowance.
Upon a review of the matter no differences are found, and the disallowance of the claim is sustained for the reason that there is no appropriation available for its payment and it does not belong to any of the classes of claims which the General Accounting Office is authorized to allow and certify to be reported to Congress by the Secretary of the Treasury as certified claims. See 1 Comp. Gen., 540.
The matter is one for submission to Congress by the administrative department.
ACKNOWLEDGMENT OF SERVICES IN THE RESCUE OF AMERICAN
The appropriation in the act of June 1, 1922, 42 Stat., 604, for expenses incurred
in the acknowledgment of the services of masters and crews of foreign vessels in rescuing American seamen or citizens from shipwreck or other catastrophe at sea, is available for expenses of such acknowledgment incurred during the fiscal year 1923, irrespective of the date of the shipwreck, but is not available for compensation or pension to the master or crew of the rescuing vessel.
Comptroller General McCarl to the Secretary of State, July 15, 1922.
I have your letter of July 6, 1922, requesting decision whether in the expenditure of the annual appropriations made under the title “Rescuing shipwrecked American seamen," the date of the rescue or the date of the acknowledgment of the services rendered therein is the determining factor as to the fiscal year chargeable.
The appropriation for the fiscal year 1923, act of June 1, 1922, 42 Stat., 604, reads:
For expenses which may be incurred in the acknowledgment of the services of masters and crews of foreign vessels in rescuing American seamen or citizens from shipwreck or other catastrophe at sea, $3,000.
It will be noted that this is not an appropriation for expenses incurred in rescuing American seamen or citizens from shipwreck or other catastrophe at sea, but is an appropriation for expenses which may be incurred in the acknowledgment of the services of masters and crews of foreign vessels” in such rescues. That the appropriation is prospective is evidenced by the use of the words“ may be incurred.” I think it is clear, therefore, that the appropriation hereinbefore quoted is available for expenses incurred during the fiscal year 1923 in the acknowledgment of the services of masters and crews of foreign vessels in rescuing American seamen and citizens from shipwreck and other catastrophe at sea regardless of when the shipwreck or other catastrophe may have occurred. In other words, the date of the acknowledgment and not the date of the catastrophe is for consideration in determining which fiscal year's appropriation is chargeable.
You also ask whether the appropriation in question would authorize you“ to award a money payment to a foreign seaman who, while serving on one of the rescuing vessels, sustained injuries from which he has never recovered and which have left him practically in a destitute condition and unable to perform any work.”
The terms of the appropriation and the amount thereof indicate that it was not intended to be used for the payment of compensation or pensions to the master or crew of a foreign vessel. It must be held, therefore, that said appropriation is available only for the expenses of acknowledgment, which may include a suitable token to be given to the person whose services are being acknowledged. The question as to the form of that token and whether it shall be money, a medal, or something else is, in general, for administrative determination.
PAY OF ENLISTED MEN OF MARINE CORPS.
The saving clause in section 16, act of June 10, 1922, 42 Stat., 632, saves to
enlisted men of the Marine Corps during their enlistment, current on June 30, 1922, while continuing in grades held on that date (subject to change by enactments thereafter), the total of their pay and allowances prescribed by the acts in effect on June 30, 1922, if greater than the total thereof as fixed by the act of June 10, 1922, but does not give them the right to both items of pay and allowances that may be greater under the laws in effect on June 30, 1922, and those that may be greater under the act of June 10,
1922. On and after July 1, 1922, enlisted men of the Marine Corps are not entitled under 1. Twenty per cent increase of pay when detailed to sea or foreign-shon
the saving clause in section 16, act v: June 10, 1922, 42 Stat., 632, or other. wise, to the former subsistence allowance in lieu of quarters and rations, but are confined to the allowances for quarters and subsistence prescribed by the President under section 11, act of June 10, 1922, 42 Stat., 630 (see Executive order of June 19, 1922), but continue to be entitled under saia saving clause (subject to changes in enactments thereafter) in enlistments current on June 30, 1922, while continuing in grades held on that date, provided the total of their pay and allowances under laws in effect on June 30, 1922, exceeds the total thereof as fixed by the act of June 10, 1922 ,to additional pay as follows:
duty, whether such detail began on or after July 1, 1922. 2. Good-conduct medal pay, conditioned on the continuance of annual
appropriations therefor. 3. Fourth and fifth grades, to 20 per cent increase in pay authorized by
sections 4 and 13 of the act of May 18, 1920, 41 Stat., 602, 604, and
the act of June 4, 1920, 41 Stat., 761. 4. Sixth and seventh grades, detailed as specialists, to specialists' pay
computed at rates in effect on June 30, 1922. 5. Qualified as marksmen, sharpshooters, or expert riflemen, to the addi.
tional pay provided therefor in act of May 11, 1908, 35 Stat., 114, as
amended by the act of May 12, 1917, 40 Ştat., 45. Comptroller General McCarl to the Secretary of the Navy, July 17, 1922.
I have your letter of June 20, 1922, requesting decision of certain questions submitted by the Paymaster, United States Marine Corps, relating to the pay and allowances of enlisted men of the United States Marine Corps arising under the saving clause contained in section 16, act of June 10, 1922, 42 Stat., 632, providing:
nothing contained in this act shall operate to reduce the total of the pay and allowances which any elisted man of the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, or Coast guard is now receiving during his current enlistment and while he holds his present grade or rating.
The questions submitted are predicated on the assumption that the total of the pay and allowances now being received by the enlisted men under prior laws is greater than the total of the pay and allowances they would receive under the act of June 10, 1922, and that a decision is requested whether various elements entering into the old pay and allowances, subject to change by enactments thereafter, will apply on and after July 1, 1922, in determining which pay may be taken under the saving clause by men whose grade or rating does not change on or after July 1, 1922, during current enlistments, or extended enlistments entered into on or before June 30, 1922, and for the term of such current enlistments or extended enlistments.
With the above understanding the questions will be stated and answered:
(a) Will enlisted men detailed on sea or foreign shore duty be entitled to the 20% increase provided therefor under the same conditions as provided by law?
This is an increase of pay for certain duty authorized by prior laws.
The question is answered in the affirmative.
(b) If (a) is answered in the affirmative, will such enlisted men who may be detailed to sea or foreign shore service on or after July 1, 1922, be entitled to such increase under the same conditions as now provided by law?
The right of an enlisted man to receive pay under prior law, reserved by section 16, supra, continues during his current enlistment or extended enlistment in which he was serving on June 30, 1922, if be continue in the same grade or rating, and such right is not neces