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“In due time the report was made and it, together with the recommendation of the Secretary of the Interior, was transmitted to Congress. It provided for the assessment of damages to 944 who came within the provision of the act of October 1, 1890, the amount found due to these 944 settlers being $116,119.19. This amount was appropriated for by the act of August 15, 1894, above quoted. This act also appropriated three thousand dollars, or so much thereof as was necessary, to pay such claimants in the list examined by the Secretary of the Interior as were held for further proof, or were errone. ously disallowed because of incorrect descriptions of the land settled upon.
"The act of March 2, 1895, above quoted, makes the unex. pended balance of the three thousand dollars appropriated to pay claims held for further proof, etc., available to pay claims that had not been investigated under the provisions of the act of October 1, 1890, and appropriates three thousand dollars more for the same purpose.
“Of the 91 claimants whose names were borne on the origi. nal roll, amounting to $116,119,19, eight hundred and seventyfive (875) have been paid and 55 remain unpaid, and there is still standing to the credit of this appropriation $5,627.77. This amount can only be used to pay the fifty-five claimants that were borne on the original roll and remain unpaid.
"Of the claims suspended or disallowed on the original roll, and which the appropriation of $3,000 in the act of August 15, 1894, was intended to provide for, nine, amounting to $926, have been allowed by the Secretary of the Interior, leaving an unexpended balance of $2,074 to be used under the provision of act of March 2, 1895. There is, therefore, $5,074 available to pay such claims as are certified under act of March 2, 1895. Under the provisions of this act (March 2, 1895) the Commissioner of Indian Affairs has transmitted to this office for settlement a roll, duly approved by the Secretary of the Interior, containing the names of 83 claimants, amounting in the aggregate to $5,675.67. This is $601.67 more than is avail. able for their payınent. These claims are all presented under the same circumstances and at the same time, and therefore stand on an equality as to payment. A pro rata allowance to the extent of the appropriation should therefore be made.
"The conclusions of this office are:
"First. No part of the appropriation of $116,119.19 made to pay the 944 claimants that were on the original roll that the Secretary of the Interior recommended to Congress can be used for any other purpose.
"Second. The last roll of claimants made up under author. ity of the act of March 2, 1895, should be paid pro rata."
In these conclusions I concur, and in this connection desire to call your attention to the report of J. N. Patterson, Auditor, to the Hon. J. N. Dolpb, United States Senate, in reference to the Rogue River depredation claims listed in House Ex. Doc. No. 52, second session Thirty-eighth Congress, from which it appears that the appropriation in that case being insufficient to pay the whole amount allowed by the commissioners, there was paid a pro rata of 34.77 per cent of the amount allowed. Respectfully, yours,
EDW. A. BOWERS,
Assistant Comptroller. The AUDITOR FOR THE INTERIOR DEPARTMENT.
IN RE CLAIM OF THE UNION PACIFIC RAILWAY COMPANY FOR TRANSPORTATION FURNISHED.
When the United States enter into contract relations with its citizens, it
subjects itself to the same rules of right and justice which govern
dealingy between individuals. Whenever a “transportation order" has been issued by a proper officer of
the Government in the transaction of public business and transportation has been furnished thereon, the United States are legally bound to pay for the same, in accordance with the reasonable interpretation of
said “order." The well-understood usage prevailing among railroad companies in the
United States is that they issue “limited” tickets to ordinary travelers, unless "unlimited” tickets are especially called for. In recognition of this usage, the “ transportation orders” issued by the several officers of the Government will be held to call for “limited” tickets only, except in cases where some other kind of tickets is specifically demanded.
February 20, 1896. The Union Pacific Railway Company appeals from the settlement by the Auditor for the Treasury Department of its account for transportation furnished under Orders Nos. 5298 and 5300, issued by the Secretary of the Treasury, which request the Union Pacific Railway Company to transport the persons named from Council Bluffs, Iowa, to Ogden, Utah, en route to San Francisco, Cal.
In the account presented the railroad company claims compensation at the rate of $30 for each person, viz: $29.75 between Omaha, Nebr., and Ogden, Utah, the charge of 25 cents for the Omaba Bridge being presented as a separate claim. In the settlement of this account the Auditor allowed the sum of $26.75 for transporting each person from Omaha to Ogden, or $53.50 for both, and disallowed $6 as being an overcharge for the two tickets.
In his letter of January 14, 1896, the Auditor for the company says:
“These requests called for transportation of the parties from Omaha to Ogden. It appearing incidentally that these passengers were en route to San Francisco, Cal., the Auditor for the Treasury Department has assumed, notwithstanding evidence to the contrary, that they were entitled to the benefit of the through limited rate which was in effect at that time from Council Blufts, Iowa, to San Francisco, viz, $50, and he therefore allows only the Union Pacific proportion of said through limited rate. We claim our proportion of the through unlimited rate, or 30-day rate, $60, and so informed the Auditor, although in stating our bill we charged, in error, the special local limited rate, Council Bluffs to Ogden.
"It will probably be admitted that a passenger who spends more time en route than is allowed on a through limited ticket is not entitled to the benefit of the through limited rate. Taking the case of transportation of H. W. Van Senden, request No. 5300, we have positive evidence that he spent far more time en route from Council Bluffs to Ogden than is allowed on a through limited ticket for the entire distance from Council Bluffs to San Francisco. The ticket which is inclosed herewith (and which is the identical one issued to Mr. Van Senden) was issued June 29, and was, by request, made good until July 31. He did not arrive at Ogden until July 19, having stopped over at some intermediate point. The ticket shows the date when issued (June 29) and the date when taken up by the conductor on train No. 1 (July 18), said train arriving at Ogden early in the morning of July 19. Therefore, whether we look to the kind of ticket issued or to the time consumed en route, there can be no question that this party was not entitled to a through limited rate.
“As to the transportation of J. F. Wilder, while our record does not show that he stopped over at any intermediate point, yet as he did not have a through limited ticket from Council Bluffs to San Francisco, he may and could have done so. It is in view of a contract on the part of the passenger to complete his journey within the required time that a through limited rate is made. Where there is no such contract, and where the passenger has the option of spending more time en route than is allowed on a through limited ticket, he is not entitled to the through limited rate."
When the United States enters into contract relations with its citizens in accordance with law, it subjects itself to the same rules of right and justice which govern dealings between individuals. (Mann v. United States, 3 C. Cls. R., 411.) Following this principle, when a “transportation order” has been issued by a proper officer of the Government in the transaction of public business, and the "order" has been accepted by a railroad company and transportation furnished thereon, the company is entitled to pay for the same in accordance with the reasonable interpretation of the “order," and at the rates in effect at that time.
The question, then, is as to the kind or character of transportation called for by the borders” under consideration. Order 5300 reads as follows:
“TRANSPORTATION ORDER. No. 5300.]
[Through trip —. "TREASURY DEPARTMENT,
“Washington, D. C., June 20, 1895. “The Union Pacific Railroad Company will please transport H. W. Van Senden from Council Bluffs, Iowa, to Ogden, Utah, en route to San Francisco, Cal., for which it will be reimbursed in accordance with existing law from appropriation Contin. gent expenses, Office Director of the Mint.' By order:
“S. WIKE, Acting Secretary.” Order No. 5298 differs from the above only in the name of the person transported.
The order did not state whether a “limited” or an “unlimited ” ticket was desired. In the absence of specific directions as to the character of the ticket required, the Union Pacific Company issued an "unlimited” ticket, which the company contends was required by the reasonable construction of the order. The Auditor for the Treasury Departinent has taken a different view, and has evidently assumed that when an "order" calls for transportation and omits to specify the character of ticket desired, the reasonable construction of said "order" is that a first-class limited ticket is the only kind con: templated, and no company or person is justified in issuing any other kind with a view of charging the Government the higher rate. Acting on this construction, the account was settled, allowing the Union Pacific a proportion of the $50 " limited” rate, instead of the $606 unlimited” rata, as claimed by the company.
It is the established and well understood usage that when an ordinary traveler asks for a ticket between given points, without specifying the kind of ticket desired, a first-class limited through ticket is referred to. As this is the custom when tickets are sold for cash, I see no reason why the same rule does not apply when the Government applies for transportation by a written request. If the United States when contracting with citizens are bound by the same rules of right and justice which govern dealings between individuals, so are the railroad companies bound by the same rules when dealing with the Government. It can make no difference whether the application for transportation is oral or written. If when the request is made orally by an ordinary traveler a first-class limited ticket would be furnished, a similar ticket should be furnished upon the written application of the Government.
The decision of the Auditor that the “ orders” in question called for transportation at "limited” rates and did not authorize transportation at "unlimited” rates is sustained.
In settling the account based on the two “orders" above mentioned an error of 23 cents was made in computation. As a principle is involved in this error, the same will be noticed.
The basis of computation for a through rate between Coun. cil Bluffs and San Francisco is $50 for each person. Twentyfive cents was first deducted for the Omaha Bridge, leaving $49.75 to be divided between the Union Pacific and Central Pacific railroads, of which the Union Pacific is entitled to 54 per cent and the Central Pacific to 46 per cent. The amount due the Union Pacific on each ticket is $26.865, or $53.73 on both. The Auditor allowed but $53,50. The error arose from taking $50 as the basis of the percentage division, instead of the true sum of $49.75, all that remained after deducting the arbitrary charge of 25 cents for the Omaha Bridge. The charge for the Omaha Bridge should be deducted before apply. ing the percentage division to ascertain the sum due each road.
On this revision an additional allowance of 23 cents will be made to the Union Pacific Railway Company.
R. B. BOWLER,