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You told me later that one or both of these men had contracted influenza or colds, and, as you know, neither you nor either of your companions did any work whatsoever on these wells.

Further, the claimant insisted that the well-drilling outfits were nothing “but two old machines and some junk tools on the job,” and refused to perform any drilling and returned November 16, 1918, to Tulsa.

In the absence of a contract to the contrary, Government employees must make the journey to the place of their employment at their own expense. 11 Comp. Dec., 691. The telegram of November 2, 1918, prescribed as a condition precedent to reimbursement of traveling expenses an employment of 30 days, which must be interpreted to mean 30 days of services rendered. Claimant did not meet this condition, as he did not perform any work whatsoever, and, after assigning excuses for his failure to do so, returned to his home.

Upon review of the matter no differences are found and the settlement is sustained.

TERMINATION CONTRACTS. An agreement purporting to cancel purchase orders for delivery of goods to

the Government, executed subsequent to the date final delivery should have been made under terms of the orders, is without consideration and there

fore void. Decision by Acting Comptroller General Ginn, February 27, 1922:

M. T. Legg, major, Finance Department, applied January 16, 1922, for review of the action of the War Department Division of this office in disallowing by settlement No. 69992, dated December 30, 1921, credit for voucher 2141, $78, and voucher 2142, $1,753.40, in his accounts as captain, Quartermaster Corps, for March, 1920, covering payments to the Eisemann Magneto Co., under cancellation agreement No. 468, dated September 15, 1919, terminating purchase order No. 3515, dated May 6, 1919, and cancellation agreement No. 467, dated September 30, 1919, terminating purchase order No. 3491, dated May 3, 1919, respectively.

Purchase order No. 3515, in respect to deliveries, directed "ship two weeks after receipt of order"; and purchase order No. 3491 similarly provided for deliveries “to reach seaboard 30 days after receipt of order." Being dated at Washington, D. C., May 6 and May 3, respectively, these orders would in the ordinary course of mail have been received by the Eisemann Magneto Co. at Brooklyn, N. Y., on the following day, and shipments on these orders shouia therefore, in the absence of legal excuse for delay, have been made by May 21 and June 4, respectively; and if not delivered by those dates or within a reasonable time thereafter the United States would have been under no obligation to accept the material ordered in the absence of occurrences legally excusing the company for the delay or imposing upon the United States responsibility therefor.

It does not appear, nor has any averment been made, either that the company tendered delivery or was legally excusable for failure to deliver within the time specified in the orders, or that the United States refused to accept delivery when tendered or was responsible for nondelivery. Consequently, it does not appear that the United States was under any obligation to the Eisemann Magneto Co. on September 15, 1919, and September 30, 1919, respectively, in respect to these purchase orders. The so-called cancellation agreements purporting to terminate such a supposed liability were without consideration and void, and the payments made in pursuance thereof were unauthorized. (See 25 Comp. Dec., 398. 404.).

Upon a review of the matter no differences are found and the settlement is sustained.

HONORABLE-DISCHARGE GRATUITY_EXTENSIONS OF ENLIST

MENTS-NAVY. Extensions of enlistments in the Navy after July 11, 1919, entitle to honorable.

discharge gratuity only when such extensions singly or in the aggregate

amount to two, three, or four years. An extension of enlistment in the Navy after July 11, 1919, for only one year

entitles to no honorable-discharge gratuity, but if reextended for an additional year or years, the enlisted man on such reextension, or upon a th'rd extension, will be entitled to the same amount of gratuity as though the original extension had been for the total of the extensions, less any gratuity

which may have been paid on the prior extensions. When a reenlistment in the Navy follows within four months after an ex

tension or extensions of a prior enlistment, the aggregate of the extensions standing alone, if for two or more years. constitutes the “last expiring enlistment” within the meaning of the act of July 12, 1921, 42 Stat., 139, providing for payment of honorable-discharge gratuity, but if the extension is for one year only, the prior original enlistment, exclusive

of such extension, constitutes the “last expiring enlistment." Acting Comptroller General Ginn to the Secretary of the Navy, February 28,

1922:

I have your request of December 28, 1921, for a decision of certain questions arising in the application of the decision of this office of December 6, 1921, to payments of honorable-discharge gratuity pay to men of Navy upon separate extensions of two or three years of other than war enlistments, the initial extension of which was entered into on or after July 11, 1919.

The decision held that a proportionate gratuity was payable upon such extensions, subject to the limitations of the act of July 12, 1921, treating a two or three year extension as corresponding to a two ør three year reenlistment for the purpose of proportionate benefits.

Your questions are answered in the order presented. A. Is honorable-discharge gratuity payable where the aggregate of extensions is equivalent to an enlistment period of two or three years, as distinguished from a two or three year extension standing alone?

Examples. 1. Enlisted July 15, 1915—4 years—to expire July 14, 1919.

Extended 1 year from July 15, 1919.

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1' 1920.

What honorable discharge gratuity is payable on second extension?

2. Enlisted July 15, 1915—4 years—to expire July 15, 1919.

Extended 2 years from July 15, 1919.
1 year

"
"

" " 1921.
What honorable discharge gratuity is payable on second extension :
3. Enlisted July 15, 1915—4 years—to expire July 15, 1919.
Extended 1 year from July 15, 1919.

“ “ “ 1920.

i " " " " 1921.
What honorable discharge gratuity is payable on last extension?
Your general question is answered in the affirmative.
As to the examples, as follows:

1. 2 months' gratuity becomes payable on second extension, the two 1-year extensions being treated as the equivalent of a two-year extension for purposes of the gratuity.

2. 3 months' gratuity is payable on second extension, or, in event a two months' gratuity was paid on first extension, an additional one month is payable.

3. 3 months' gratuity is payable on last extension if 2 months' gratuity was not paid on second extension; if it was paid only the additional one month's gratuity is payable.

B. Are the provisions of act of July 12, 1921, effective on each individual extension entered into on or after July 12, 1921, or on aggregate of extensions entered into on or after that date?

Examples. 4. Enlisted July 15, 1919–2 years—to expire July 14, 1921.

Extended 1 year from July 15, 1921.

" 2 vears" " " 1922. Is gratuity of two or three months payable on second extension? 5. Enlisted July 15, 1919—2 years—to expire July 14, 1921. Extended 1 year from July 15, 1921. 1 "

" " 1922.

" " 1923. If gratuity of 2 months is payable on second extension, would an additional

1 month gratuity be payable on third extension ? Section 2 of the act of July 12, 1921, 42 Stat., 139, provides :

That hereafter no enlisted man in the Navy shall be paid on reenlistment an honorable discharge gratuity, or any proportionate part thereof, in excess of any amount equal to one month's pay for each year of service in the last expiring enlistment of such enlisted man.

This act operates on each individual extension of two or three years entered into after its date, or on each aggregate of extensions of two or three years, as per your examples, as follows:

4. Two months' gratuity only is payable, the last expiring enlistment for the purpose being the original 2-year term.

5. No. On third individual extension the extension becomes an aggregate 3year extension for gratuity purposes, and as such the payment of the gratuity for the third or additional month would be in excess of the 2 years in last expiring enlistment.

C. Shall the entire period covered by an enlistment which has been extended count as the last expiring period of service in computing the number of years in previous enlistment for the determination of the gratuity authorized for reenlistment on or after July 12, 1921?

Eramples. 6. Enlisted July 15, 1919–2 years—to expire July 14, 1921.

Extended 1 year from July 15, 1921.

Honorably discharged July 14, 1922, after service of 3 years.
If reenlisted within 4 months for 3 years is he entitled to 3 months' gra-

tuity?
7. Enlisted July 15, 1919–2 years—to expire July 15, 1921.

Extended 2 years from July 15, 1921.

Honorably discharged July 14, 1923, after service of 4 years.
Is he entitled to 4 months' gratuity if reenlisted for 4 years?

Your question is answered in the negative. It is the original enlistment term in itself, or last aggregate extension term, which is the measure under the statute.

Your examples are answered as follows: 6. No. On reenlistment within 4 months for 3 years he would be entitled to 2 months' gratuity only, the original term being the last expiring enlistment for purposes of the statute, the 1-year extension in itself not constituting an extension equivalent to a reenlistment.

7. No. The last expiring enlistment was the 2-year extension, the equivalent of a 2-year enlistment.

MILEAGE OF ARMY OFFICERS.

An Army officer ordered by proper authority to accompany an overland tour of

motor trucks for the purpose of observation and report is not entitled to

mileage for the travel so performed. The mileage allowance of an Army officer is subject to land-grant deductions

for distance traveled over a land-grant railroad, whether or not Government

transportation requests are used. Decision by Acting Comptroller General Ginn, March 1, 1922:

Eric M. Lubeck, formerly a major, Motor Transport Corps, United States Army, requested, December 10, 1921, review of settlement No. 126814, dated November 18, 1921, War Department Division of this office, by which was settled his claim for mileage as an officer of the Army for travel performed from Steele, N. Dak., to Fargo, N. Dak., and from the latter point to Chicago, Ill., August 28 to September 17, 1919.

The orders under which travel was performed were issued by the commanding officer, Motor Transport General Depot, Municipal Pier, Chicago, addressed to Maj. Lubeck as follows:

AUGUST 25, 1919. 1. In compliance with letter from Chief, Motor Transport Corps, file No. 451-MTC-SEng, dated August 22, 1919, Washington, D. C., you are directed to proceed without delay to Steele, No. Dak., to accompany the National Motor Truck Development Tour from that point to Milwaukee, Wis., for the purpose of observing and reporting all features of general interest for the Motor Trans· port Corps, as outlined in the above-mentioned letter from the Chief of the Motor Transport Corps.

2. Upon completion of this duty you will report to the commanding officer, Motor Transport General Depot, Municipal Pier, Chicago, Ill. 3. The travel directed is necessary in the military service, . . . . .

SEPTEMBER 12, 1919. 1. In compliance with telegraphic instructions from the Chief of the Motor Transport Corps, Washington, D. C., dated September 12th, 1919, you are directed to proceed to Chicago, Illinois, reporting upon arrival to the commanding officer, Motor Transport General Depot, Municipal Pier, when properly relieved by Captain Herbert Mitchell, M. T. C.

2. Orders from The Adjutant General of the Army, directing this travel, will be furnished you upon arrival in Chicago, Ill. * * *.

The letter referred to in the order of August 25 indicated that the duties of the officer selected were to accompany an overland tour of

motor trucks, to observe their performance on the journey and report thereon; and it was further directed that the officer selected should be fully qualified to perform those duties. The travel was performed either in the trucks or by automobile, not the property of the United States, furnished by the association which arranged the tour.

Claimant traveled with the trucks being tested from Steele by way of Bismarck, Minot, Devils Lake, and Grand Forks, to Fargo, where he was relieved from the duty assigned him by the order of August 25, and directed to return to Chicago. The journey to Chicago was by railroad.

Mileage was paid by a disbursing officer of the Army for travel from Chicago to Steele, and there was allowed in settlement No. 126814 mileage from Fargo to Chicago at 7 cents per mile, less 3 cents per mile deducted for land grant 390 miles, and the claim for mileage from Steele to Fargo via the route traveled was disallowed. Claimant in requesting review demands to be informed of the legal authority for this adjustment of his claim, and information as to the land grant deduction Fargo to Chicago.

Travel over land grant or bond aided railroad was possible between Fargo and St. Paul, 217 miles, and between St. Paul and Chicago, 173 miles, total 390, and the authority for the deduction is found in the act of June 12, 1906, 34 Stat., 246, requiring that when the travel of an officer of the Army in a mileage status is in whole or in part over a land grant or bond aided railroad there shall be deducted from his mileage account 3 cents per mile “ for the distance for which transportation has been or should have been furnished.” The failure of the officer, or his inability to secure Government transportation requests for travel over land grant railroads does not relieve him from this deduction.

The mileage laws do not contemplate that an officer of the Army will be entitled to mileage for any and all travel, and it has been consistently held that where travel is merely incidental to the performance of a specific, paramount military duty the officer is not in a travel status entitling him to mileage. The act of June 12, 1906 draws that distinction for the great bulk of the Army by providing that mileage shall be payable only for travel“ without troops.” Staff officers, as was the claimant, occasionally are assigned duties in the performance of which travel is merely incidental; but in the performance of such a duty they are no more entitled to mileage than is an infantry officer in command of an organization on a march.

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