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could properly be indemnified, amount largely in excess of his needs and requirements should be denied him.

"It is a status of service being in quarters, and in quarters it is the rule of the service to wear uniform.”

The construction now given to the act of March 3, 1885, is in harmony with that found in the decision of this office on the Navy reimbursement act of March 2, 1895, 28 Stat., 962. (Ante, p. 30.)

The conclusions reached by the Auditor in his decision are accordingly approved.

EDW. A. BOWERS,

Assistant Comptroller.

EMPLOYMENT OF SKILLED DRAFTSMEN AND

ARCHITECT IN CONSTRUCTION OF THE NEW

PUBLIC BUILDING AT CHICAGO. Under the authority to employ skilled draftsmen, etc., at a cost not

exceeding $250,000 per annum, to carry into effect the appropriations for public buildings, and their payment from said appropriations in proportion to the work done upon each building, the Secretary of the Treasury may employ such services in connection with the new public building at Chicago and charge the same to the appropriations made for that building; the special appropriations for such services in the act of March 2, 1895, and the joint resolution of January 28, 1896, relating to the Chicago building, being intended to increase the limit (for the benefit of the Chicago building) of $250,000 per annum for the employment of skilled draftsmen, etc.

TREASURY DEPARTMENT,
OFFICE OF COMPTROLLER OF THE TREASURY, .

June 26, 1896. SIR: I am in receipt of your communication of the 24th instant, relating to the payment of salaries of employees of the Supervising Architect's Office from the appropriation for the construction of the new public building at Chicago, Ill.

By the act of February 13, 1895 (28 Stat., 664), the Secre. tary of the Treasury was authorized to erect a new public building on the site of the old one in the city of Chicago, the entire cost thereof not to exceed $4,000,000. In the sundry civil appropriation act of March 2, 1895 (28 Stat., 911), there was made the following provision:

“In pursuance of the act of Congress entitled "An act to provide for the erection of a Government building at Chicago, Illinois,' approved February twenty-eight, eighteen hundred and ninety-five, the sum of three hundred thousand dollars is hereby appropriated for the commencement and continuation of the building, of which amount the sum of thirty thousand dollars is hereby authorized to be expended by the Secretary of the Treasury to employ temporarily draftsmen and skilled service, which may be necessary in the preparation of plans and specifications for the said building, this amount to be exclusive of any moneys that he may be authorized to expend for the services of engineers, draftsmen, and other persons employed in the preparation of plans and specifications for any other public buildings.”

A joint resolution of January 28, 1896, provides: “That in addition to the amount authorized to be expended for the temporary employment of draftsmen and skilled service in the preparation of plans and specifications for the public building at Chicago, Illinois, as provided in the sundry civil appropriation act approved March third [second], eighteen hundred and ninety-five, the Secretary of the Treasury is hereby authorized to use, out of the appropriation heretofore made a sam not exceeding twenty-five thousand dollars for the employment of a skilled architect to assist the Supervising Architect of the Treasury Department in preparing the designs, plans, specifications, and other drawings for said building, and for the architectural supervision of its construction.”

The legislative, executive, and judicial appropriation act for the fiscal year 1895 (28 Stat., 172) contained the following clause:

“ And the services of skilled draftsmen, civil engineers, computers, accountants, assistants to the photographer, copyists, and such other services as the Secretary of the Treasury may deem necessary and specially order, may be employed in the office of the Supervising Architect exclusively to carry into effect the various appropriations for public buildings, to be paid for from and equitably charged against such appropriations: Provided, That the expenditures on this account for the fiscal year ending June thirtieth, eighteen hundred and ninetyfive, shall not exceed two hundred thousand dollars; and that the Secretary of the Treasury shall each year in the annual estimates report to Congress the number of persons so em. ployed and the amount paid to each."

A similar provision was made in the corresponding appropriation act for the fiscal year 1896 (28 Stat., 775), and also in the corresponding appropriation act for the fiscal year 1897, except that the amount was increased to $250,000 for the fiscal year 1897.

Immediately following the provision in the act of May 28, 1896, for the fiscal year 1897, there is the following clause:

“That any draftsman or other employee engaged in the office of the Supervising Architect, under the special appropriation

made for the erection of a public building at Chicago, Illinois, may, when not employed on work pertaining to said building, be temporarily detailed by the Secretary of the Treasury to other work in said office; but while so detailed no part of his compensation shall be paid out of the appropriation for said building."

You ask, in view of all this legislation, whether you are authorized to make any charge against the appropriation for the new public building at Chicago for the payment of salaries of the employees of the Supervising Architect's Office in addi. tion to the amount of $30,000 authorized by the act of March 2, 1895, and the amount of $25,000 authorized by the joint resolution of January 28, 1896.

The clause in the act of March 2, 1895, authorizing the use of $30,000 of the appropriation for the new public building at Chicago for the employment of temporary draftsmen and skilled service, specifically provided that this amount be bexclusive of any moneys that he (the Secretary may be author. ized to expend for the services of engineers, draftsmen, and other persons employed in the preparation of plans and speci. fications for any other public buiiding," while the joint resolution of January 28, 1896, increased the amount which might be used from the appropriation for the public building by $25,000 for the employment of a skilled architect” only.

It is nowhere stated, in any of the acts above quoted, that the amount to be expended from the appropriation for the new public building at Chicago for draftsmen and others shall be limited to the amounts specified in the act of March 2, 1895, and the joint resolution of January 28, 1896. In my opinion this legislation was enacted for the purpose of increasing (exclusively, however, for the new public building at Chicago) the sums annually allowed to be used by the Secretary of the Treasury from the various appropriations for public buildings for the employment of employees in the office of the Supervising Architect, and not to limit the Secretary of the Treasury in the employment of draftsmen and other skilled service for the new public building at Chicago to the amounts specified in the act of March 2, 1895, and the joint resolution of January 28, 1896, the latter, however, providing only for the employ. ment of one person, to wit, a skilled architect.

Therefore, payment of a proper part of the salaries of the employees of the Supervising Architect's Office may be charged against the appropriation for the new public building at Chicago in addition to the amounts authorized by the act of March 2, 1895, and the joint resolution of January 28, 1896. Respectfully, yours,

R. B. BOWLER,

Comptroller. The SECRETARY OF THE TREASURY.

ALLOTMENTS FROM THE PAY OF OFFICERS OF

THE NAVY AND MARINE CORPS.

1. The insanity of an allottee who is not a member of the allotter's family,

or a relative, works a revocation of the allotment. 2. The trustee of such insane allottee, as in this case, can not act for the

allotter, nor execute a valid receipt for money paid in carrying out the purposes of the allotment after the commencement of the insanity.

TREASURY DEPARTMENT,
OFFICE OF COMPTROLLER OF THE TREASURY,

June 27, 1896. SIR: I am in receipt, under your indorsement of December 20, 1895, of the letter of James Munroe, trustee of William H. Bellis, non compos mentis, with certificate of his appointment as such trustee by the circuit court of Anne Arundel County, Md., and also allotment receipt in duplicate for December, 1895, covering an allotment of $25 of the monthly pay for December, 1895, of Naval Cadet D. W. Todd in favor of W. H. Bellis, jr. You ask for a decision as to whether payment of this allotment can be continued to be made in the name of W. H. Bellis, jr., as it appears that no such person exists, and reference being had to Navy Regulations of 1893, article 1469, as amended by Regulation Circular No. 16, adding a second paragraph, prescribing that "checks shall be drawn only in favor of the party to whom the money is due from the United States'."

From the letter of said Munroe it appears that this allotment receipt is signed by Mr. Joseph H. Bellis, a son of William H. Bellis, as bis agent, under the name of W. 8. Bellis, jr., and that “allotments have been coming to Mr. Bellis for sey. eral years past under a variety of names, sometimes William H. Bellis, sometimes Wm. H. Bellis and Son, sometimes W. H. Bellis, jr., sometimes Harry Bellis, and so on, and Mr. Bellis, jr., has been in the habit of signing them as they are

made out and applying the money to the uses of the business, as his father did when he gave it his personal attention.” It further appears from said letter that Joseph II. Bellis had no personal interest in said business of William H. Bellis, which was that of merchant tailor, at Annapolis, Md., and corducted for a long time under the name of William H. Bellis & Son.

On February 12, 1896, I addressed a letter to you, stating

“The practice of making allotments in the Navy is of many years' standing, but I am unable to find any statute authorizing such practice, except in the case of enlisted men. Section 1576, Revised Statutes, recognizes the assignment of wages due to persons enlisted in the naval service,' and declares that all powers of attorney, or other authority to draw, receipt for, or transfer the same, shall be void, unless attested by the commanding officer and paymaster. This certainly by implication would indicate that only enlisted men are taken out of the prohibition of section 3477, and, if so, officers can not leave allotments. In the Naval Regulations there is no specific recognition of the right on the part of an officer to make an allotment, notwithstanding the prevalent custom of so doing.

6 I will thank you to furnish me with any references that you may have to any law sustaining this practice of officers granting allotments. In case no such law exists, would it not be advisable to obtain legislative action specifically authorizing officers, as well as enlisted men, to make allotments of not to exceed 50 per cent of their pay at the rate received by them at the date of allotment, for the support of their families or other relatives only ?

Answer has been withheld pending a reply from you indicating the authority of law for making allotments by officers, or legislative action relieving such allotments from the provisions of section 3477 of the Revised Statutes, prohibiting assignments of claims against the United States, by powers of attorney or otherwise, except when allowed, due, and warrant issued in payment thereof.

The act making appropriations for the naval service for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1897, approved June 10, 1896, provides:

"That the Secretary of the Navy be, and he is hereby, authorized to permit officers of the Navy and the Marine Corps to make allotments from their pay, under such regulations as he may prescribe, for the support of their families or relatives, for their own savings, or for other proper purposes, during such time as they may be absent at sea, on distant duty, or under other circumstances warranting such action."

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