« ForrigeFortsett »
change does not alter the underlying reason for excepting from its benefits soldiers discharged for their own convenience. A discharge so granted necessarily results in some loss to the Government and a man so released from his contract of enlistment does not stand on an equal footing with one whose contract is fulfilled, nor is he in the same status as a man who stands willing to discharge his full obligation but is released therefrom for the convenience of the Government. Therefore, it is apparent that the same reasons for denying travel allowance to men so discharged under prior acts authorizing such allowance exist under the act of February 28, 1919.
Since men discharged from enlistments entered into after March 3, 1921, are not affected by any of the war-time provisions relative to demobilization and are practically in the same status as were men who enlisted in the Army under the acts of June 3, 1916, and prior statutes relative to travel allowance for discharged soldiers, you are advised that enlisted men of the Navy who first enlisted after March 3, 1921, and who are honorably discharged for their own interest and convenience before expiration of their enlistments are not entitled to travel allowance as provided in the act of February 28, 1919.
INCREASE IN FREIGHT RATES.
Where prior to canvassing bids for furnishing material to be used in the con.
struction of a river and harbor improvement the Government requested railroad companies to quote what the tariff rates would be on material offered by the bidders, and the railroad companies quoted the published commercial tariff rates in force at that time with land-grant deductions when applicable, which were accepted by the Government, no such contractual relation existed as to obligate the railroad companies to continue to ship the material at the quoted rates throughout the entire time the improvement was in course of construction, but the railroad companies were entitled to any increase in tariff rates authorized by the Interstate Commerce Commission.
Comptroller General McCarl to the Secretary of War, July 15, 1921:
I have your letter of July 6, 1921, transmitting papers in reference to the Government's liability to pay an advanced freight rate upon certain stone used in the construction of silt diversion works for the protection of Los Angeles and Long Beach Harbors, authorized by the River and Harbor acts of July 27, 1916, 39 Stat., 391, 404, and March 2, 1919, 40 Stat., 1284.
In the specifications for the said works was a provision as follows:
The prices bid for stone will include all expense of furnishing and placing it, excepting railroad freight charges from the quarry to the railroad station or sidetrack nearest the work. If the transportation is over lines on which the Government is entitled to reduced rates, the stone will be taken over at the quarry and transported on Government bills of lading, and if no reduced rate is available to the Government the contractor will handle the transporta. tion and be reimbursed for its cost, not including any demurrage for which he may be responsible. Each bidder will state the location of the quarry or quarries from which it is proposed to obtain the stone, and the cost to the United States for its transportation will be considered as a factor in making award. He will also submit samples of stone from each quarry named. Suitable stone is available at several privately owned quarries and bidders may also be able to procure it for such a public work at quarry owned by the Los Angeles County Flood Control District or at a quarry operated by the City of Los Angeles at Catalina Island.
It appears that prior to canvassing the bids for this stone the district engineer wrote to each of the railroads concerned to learn what would be the freight rates upon the stone offered by the bidder, and rates were quoted by the Southern Pacific Co. upon stone from Declez, Calif., from which place all the stone used on the works has been shipped. The communication of the district engineer to the railroad companies states:
You are requested to quote the freight charge you would make considering the land-grant status of a portion of the route and that the stone is for a Federal project for harbor protection.
The company on July 22, 1919, quoted the published commercial tariff rate' on stone rip-rap, carload, effective at the time from Declez to Elftman, Calif., at 80 cents per ton of 2,000 pounds, and from Declez to Long Beach at $1 per ton of 2,000 pounds, minimum carload weight 60,000 pounds, as published in Southern Pacific tariff 230-B, I. C. C. 3891. The rates thus quoted were in effect one year, one month, and three days after the quotation, when they were increased on August 26, 1920, by order of the Interstate Commerce Commission in order “Ex Parte 74” dated July 29, 1920, pursuant to the provisions of section 15a of the interstate commerce act to increase the freight revenue of carriers by rail to a basis that would enable them to earn an aggregate annual net railway operating income as nearly as may be to 6 per cent upon the aggregate value of the railway property of such carriers.
The question is raised whether the increased freight rates which involve the disbursing of public money can be allowed, and whether it may be held that a contractual relation became established for freight rates on stone to be shipped to the silt diversion works by the acceptance by the Government of the rate originally quoted on behalf of the railroad company which would preserve the original rates throughout the duration of the construction work which is now nearly completed, it appearing that about 30 per cent of the stone required had been shipped prior to the increase in freight rates.
The rates from Declez, Calif., to Elftman and Long Beach of 80 cents and $1 per ton, respectively, were rates made effective June 25, 1918, having superseded the lower rates that became effective December 31, 1913. The rates that became effective June 25, 1918, were increased August 26, 1920, from Declez to Elftman and Long Beach, to $1 and $1.30 per ton, respectively. These rates are subject to land-grant deduction, no question being raised on account of said deduction. There appears to have been no agreement with the carriers that the rate named for the transportation service, which was the regular commercial rate which on account of Government business was subject to land-grant deduction, would be maintained until all deliveries had been made. The quotation was merely the quotation of the tariff rate and the tariff rate was increased by order of the Interstate Commerce Commission. There thus appears to be no obligation on the part of the carrier to maintain the lower rate on account of the Government shipment. There appears to be nothing in the arrangement or agreement requiring the railroad company to maintain the rates first quoted, and in view of the increased rate being duly authorized by Government authoritynamely, the Interstate Commerce Commission—and not by the volition of the carrier, there appears to be no reason why payment at the increased rate should not be made. Payment in accordance with the effective tariff rate at the time of the service, with proper land-grant deduction therefrom, may therefore be made.
PAY OF RETIRED ENLISTED MEN OF THE ARMY COMMISSIONED
DURING THE WORLD WAR.
Retired enlisted men of the Army granted the retired pay and allowances of
warrant officers on the retired list because of active service as commissioned officers of the United States Army at some time between April 6, 1917, and November 11, 1918, under provisions of the act of June 4, 1920, 41 Stat., 786, are not entitled also to the allowance of $15.75 per month authorized for retired enlisted men of the Army in lieu of rations, clothing. quarters, and other allowances by provisions of the act of March 2, 1907,
34 Stat., 1217. Decision by Comptroller General McCarl, July 15, 1921:
Emil Walter applied May 23, 1921, for revision of the action of the Auditor for the War Department in disallowing by settlement No. 245470, dated April 23, 1921, his claim for $15.75 per month for the period June 4, 1920, to April 23, 1921, which is allowed retired enlisted men of the Army in addition to their pay by the act of March 2, 1907, 34 Stat., 1217, in lieu of rations, clothing, quarters, or other allowances.
The record discloses that the claimant entered the military service on June 23, 1883, as a private of Troop M, 7th Cavalry, and by successive reenlistments served continuously in various arms of the service until December 1, 1909, when he was placed on the retired list as a sergeant, first class, Hospital Corps. He was commissioned captain in the Quartermaster Officers' Reserve Corps and called to active duty under the reserve commission on July 13, 1917, and continued thus to serve until October 31, 1919, when he was discharged from the emergency commission of major to which he had been appointed while on active duty. The claimant has received for the period over which this claim for the allowances of a retired enlisted man extends the retired pay of a warrant officer by virtue of a provision in section 127a of the act of June 4, 1920, 41 Stat., 786, which reads:
Retired enlisted men who have served honorably as commissioned officers of the United States Army at some time between April 6, 1917, and November 11, 1918, including those who have been placed on the retired list during the World War, and who have been or may hereafter be discharged from their temporary commissions, shall receive the retired pay and allowances of warrant officers on the retired list * * *
While conceding that under section 4a of the act of June 4, 1920, a warrant officer is entitled to retirement under the same conditions as commissioned officers, which, by virtue of section 1274, Revised Statutes, is to retirement after 30 years' service with 75 per cent of the pay of the rank upon which retired, and that the term “allowances” as used in section 127a is superfluous, as the term “pay” does not include " allowances," United States v. Landers, 92 U. S., 77, it is contended that section 4b of the act of June 4, 1920, saves to the claimant the allowances of a retired enlisted man while receiving the “pay and allowances” of a retired warrant officer.
This contention is devoid of merit. The saving clause in section 4b is by its express terms confined to that section. The change of the retired pay status of claimant as a retired enlisted man from that of retired enlisted men generally to that of retired warrant officers was not by operation of said section 4b, but by operation of section 127a of the act. The saving clause in section 4b applies to the enlisted men of the Army on the active list who were required to be regraded and placed in one of the seven grades established by that section. Moreover, the pay of the claimant was increased by the operation of section 127a of the act of June 4 from $75.75 per month, which includes the $15.75 per month as commutation of all allowances, to $115.50 per month.
On revision, the action of the auditor is affirmed.
INSURANCE ON REGISTERED MAIL SHIPMENTS OF MONEY.
The act of July 7, 1884, 23 Stat., 204, contemplates competitive bids in the
matter of contracts for transportation of money, coin, or securities, and, as insurance is a service incident to such transportation, it should also he secured by competitive bidding in compliance with provisions of section 3709, Revised Statutes, either through advertising in newspapers, or, if conditions are such as to make it inadvisable to so advertise, through other means sufficient to properly convey the desires of the department
to those engaged in the business involved. Comptroller General McCarl to the Secretary of the Treasury, July 20, 1921:
I have your letter relative to whether the provisions of section 3709 of the Revised Statutes require advertising in contracting " for insurance on registered mail shipments of money, coin, and securities," and if so whether such advertising may be by invitation for competitive bids addressed to a number (not less than five) engaged in furnishing such insurance.
I understand that heretofore, under rulings of the accounting officers of the Treasury, the insurance of shipments by mail has been authorized. 21 Comp. Dec., 308.
Section 3709 of the Revised Statutes requires that,
All purchases and contracts for supplies or services, in any of the Departments of the Government, except for personal services, shall be made by advertising a sufficient time previously for proposals respecting the same, when the public exigencies do not require the immediate delivery of the articles, or performance of the service. * * *
The act of July 7, 1884, 23 Stat., 204, requires that, Whenever it is practicable contracts for the transportation of moneys, bullion, coin, notes, bonds, and other securities of the United States, and paper shall be let to the lowest responsible bidder therefor, after notice to all parties having means of transportation.
It will be noticed that the act of 1884 contemplated competitive bids in the matter of transportation. Although in recent years such shipments have been by mail I think the insurance is a service incidental to the transportation and as such should be procured by competitive bidding in compliance with the provisions of section 3709.
The method of advertising is not prescribed by the statute and the accounting officers of the Treasury have not considered that advertising in newspapers is absolutely necessary. If conditions are such as to make it inadvisable to so advertise, I see no objection to adopting a method by which notice of the desire of the department for competitive bids is properly conveyed to those who are in the business involved. The voucher forms used in such matters usually indicate the information that is required to be given as to the method of advertising adopted and the facts as to the procuring of the competitive bids should be furnished accordingly.
LEASES FROM TENANTS IN COMMON.
Where the Government leases premises from several tenants in common the
contract with each tenant is separate and distinct, not dependent one on the other, and the fact that some of the cotenants ask and receive a higher rate of rental than others is no basis for a claim for additional rent by a
cotenant who has agreed by the terms of his lease to accept a lower rental. Comptroller General McCarl to F. W. Hoover, disbursing officer, State, War, and Navy Department buildings, July 20, 1921:
I have your letter of July 14, 1921, transmitting voucher stated in favor of Wm. W. Danenhower, for rental for the month of July, 1921, for an undivided one-third interest in the premises known as lots 5 to 23, inclusive, in square 147 in the city of Washington, computed on an annual rate of $1,022.88.