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provision of the act of October 6, 1917, hereinbefore quoted. See also 27 Comp. Dec., 643.
UNIFORM GRATUITY_VOLUNTEER NAVAL RESERVE.
The payment of uniform gratuity of any amount to officers of the Volunteer
Naval Reserve reporting for active duty for training is not authorized, the act of July 1, 1922, 42 Stat., 793, providing only for the issue in kind of such articles of uniform as may, in the discretion of the Secretary of
the Nary, be required for their drills and training. Comptroller General McCarl to the Secretary of the Navy, August 26, 1922:
I have by your direction the letter of the Acting Paymaster General of the Navy, dated August 2, 1922, requesting decision whether officers of the Volunteer Naval Reserve are entitled to uniform gratuity of $50 upon first reporting for active duty for training on or after July 1, 1922.
The act of August 29, 1916, 39 Stat., 589, provides: Members of the Naval Reserve Force shall, upon first reporting for active service for training during each period of enrollment, be credited with a uniform gratuity of $50 for officers
The act further provides on page 592:
The Volunteer Naval Reserve shall be composed of those members of the Naval Reserve Force who are eligible for membership in any one of the other classes of the Naval Reserve Force, and who obligate themselves to serve in the Navy in any one of said classes without retainer pay and uniform gratuity in time of peace.
The appropriation act for the Navy for the fiscal year 1923, act of July 1, 1922, 42 Stat., 793, provides, under the heading “Naval Reserve Force":
That members of the Volunteer Naval Reserve may, in the discretion of the Secretary of the Navy, be issued such articles of uniform as may be required for their drills and training, the value thereof not to exceed that authorized to be issued to other classes of the Naval Reserve Force
The provision quoted from the act of July 1, 1922, relates to issues in kind and not to the payment of a uniform gratuity. The matter of such issuance is left to the discretion of the Secretary of the Navy, who may, by reason of the use of the term “members of the Volunteer Naval Reserve Force,” authorize issues in kind to both officers and men holding enlisted ratings.
Answering your specific question, you are advised that the pay. ment of a uniform gratuity of any amount is not authorized to officers of the Volunteer Naval Reserve.
LEASES-BREACH OF CONDITIONS.
A claim for compensation or damages resulting from the failure of the Govern
ment to fulfill a condition in a lease of real estate to restore the property so far as practicable to the same condition as when occupied is not payable from the appropriation under authority of which the lease was made and it is not such a claim as the General Accounting Office may certity and have
reported to Congress as a certified claim. Decision by Comptroller General McCarl, August 26, 1922:
William H. Johns applied June 16, 1922, for a review of settlement No. W797910, dated May 3, 1922, in which was disallowed his claim for $530, the estimated cost of restoring to its former condition two tracts of land consisting of 5 and 11 acres, respectively, which were leased by the Government from claimant and occupied in connection with Camp Colt, near Gettysburg, Pa., for the period from about October 1, 1917, to October 31, 1919.
Each of the leases involved contained a provision as follows: The lessee further agrees to level the ground when it is vacated and to restore it as far as practicable to the same condition as when occupied.
It is admitted that the Government did not level and restore the ground as agreed, and an officer of the Army designated for that purpose investigated the matter and estimated that the cost to claimant of leveling and restoring the premises would be $530, the amount claimed in this case.
The claim results not from the use of the land during the period covered by the leases but from failure on the part of the Government to perform the service which it specifically agreed in the leases to perform after termination of the use.
It would appear to be clear that there has been a breach of a covenant in the leases, but the payment of damages or compensation for such breach is not authorized from the appropriation for barracks and quarters under authority of which the leases were made.
This case is identical in principle with the case under consideration in my decision of December 13, 1921, in which the following ruling was made:
Appropriations by Congress are made to pay for services rendered to and benefits conferred on the Government and not to pay for damages occasioned by the failure of the administrative officers to properly carry out their purposes, in the absence of provisions therein so authorizing. The claim being one purely for damages for breach of contract the matter in the circumstances is one for presentation to Congress for appropriation by the administrative department and not one for certification by the General Accounting Office.
Claimant contends that since he has performed the service which the Government had obligated itself to perform his claim should be regarded as a claim for payment of the value of services rendered by him for the Government rather than as a claim for damages. The claim can not be paid upon that theory for the reason that no legal contract for the performance of the service by claimant was made between claimant and any officer of the Government having authority to make such contracts on behalf of the United States and there was no specific statute or appropriation under authority of which such a contract could have been made. The acceptance of voluntary service to the Government is prohibited. Act of February 27, 1906, 34 Stat., 49.
Upon a review of the matter no difference is found and the settlement is sustained.
MEDICAL TREATMENT OF DESTITUTE AMERICAN SEAMEN. Section 4577, Revised Statutes, authorizing relief for destitute American sea
men, does not authorize medical treatment in a foreign country at the expense of the United States beyond such date as the seaman could, with
reasonable regard for his safety, be returned to a port of the United States. Comptroller General McCarl to the Secretary of State, August 28, 1922:
I have your letter of August 15, 1922, requesting decision of a question presented as follows:
On December 21, 1920, Mr. William Alden Hughes, formerly chief engineer of the American steamship Steadfast, was removed from his vessel and placed in Union Institution Hospital, Birkenhead, being later transferred to Chester County Insane Asylum, Chester, England. The seaman was discharged on account of his mental disease and since that time the American consul at Liver. pool has been defraying the expense of his hospital treatment. The hospital authorities reported that the former seaman was not in condition to be transported to the United States.
The department has now received a despatch, dated July 20, 1922, from the American consul at Liverpool saying that the relatives of the former seaman desire to have him remain in England, but apparently they are not willing to defray any portion of the expense in connection with his stay in the hospital there. The hospital authorities have advised the consul that the seaman will soon be in a condition to be returned to the United States and the consul reports that unless he is instructed to the contrary, he will forward the seaman to the United States as soon as the hospital authorities will permit.
The department would be pleased to receive an expression of your opinion as to whether the seaman should be returned to the United States as soon as he is in a condition to be returned or whether, if the request of the parents is complied with, the expenses of his continued treatment in England may be paid from the appropriation for the relief of destitute American seamen.
Section 4577, Revised Statutes, which makes it the duty of consuls to provide certain destitute seaman “sufficient subsistence and passage to some port in the United States, in the most reasonable manner, at the expense of the United States” does not give to a seaman discharged on account of disability the right to hospital treatment in a foreign country at the expense of the United States for such period as the seaman or his relatives may elect.
On the facts presented in the case here submitted the disabled seaman should be returned to the United States as soon as his condition will permit. Then if further treatment is necessary it can be furnished in a hospital maintained by the United States for that purpose. The appropriation for relief and protection of American seamen in foreign countries is not available for expenses of subsistence and treatment in a foreign country for any period subsequent to the date on which the seaman could, with reasonable regard for his safety, be returned to a port in the United States.
TRANSFER OF APPROPRIATIONS BETWEEN GOVERNMENT
DEPARTMENTS OR ESTABLISHMENTS.
The supervision by the Quartermaster Corps of the Army of certain con
struction work, performed by a private contractor under a contract made with the Director of the Veterans' Bureau, does not authorize the allotment of funds from Veterans' Bureau appropriations to the War Department to be expended in payment for such construction work, as the act of May 21, 1920, 41 Stat., 613, authorizing the transfer of funds between Government agencies is applicable only when in payment for services or
supplies furnished by the Government agency to which transferred. Comptroller General McCarl to the Director, United States Veterans' Bureau, August 30, 1922:
I have your letter of August 21, 1922, requesting decision whether you are authorized to allot to the War Department from the appropriation made in the act of May 11, 1922, 42 Stat., 507, a sum sufficient to cover the amount of the contract with the Pontiac Construction Co. for foundations for hospital buildings at Northampton, Mass.
The appropriation in question is in the following terms: That for carrying out the provisions of the Act entitled “An Act to authorize an appropriation to enable the Director of the United States Veterans' Bureau to provide for the construction of additional hospital facilities and to provide medical, surgical, and hospital services and supplies for persons who served in the World War, the Spanish-American War, the Philippine Insurrection, and the Boxer Rebellion, and are patients of the United States Veterans' Bureau," approved April 20, 1922, there is appropriated, out of any money in the Treasury not otherwise appropriated, the sum of $12,000,000, and in addition to this amount the Director of the United States Veterans Bureau, subject to the approval of the President, may incur obligations for the purposes herein set forth not to exceed in the aggregate $5,000,000.
The act of April 20, 1922, 42 Stat., 496, referred to in the appropriation, specifically authorizes the Director of the United States Veterans' Bureau to provide additional hospital facilities by purchase and remodeling or extension of existing plants and by construction, on sites now owned or to be acquired by the Government, of hospitals and other necessary buildings. Section 2 of said act anthorizes the President “to require the architectural, engineering, constructing, or other forces of any of the departments of the Government to do or assist in such work.” Section 3 authorizes the appropriation of $17,000,000 for the work contemplated and provides that “not to exceed 3 per cent of this sum shall be available for the employment in the District of Columbia and in the field of necessary technical and clerical assistants at the customary rates of compensation, exclusively to aid in the preparation of the plans and speci. fications for the projects authorized herein and for the supervision of the execution thereof, and for traveling expenses, field-office equipment and supplies in connection therewith.”
The contract now under consideration was made by the Director of the Veterans' Bureau under the authority of said act of April 20, 1922, and the appropriation of May 11, 1922, and in accordance with the opinion of the Attorney General dated August 12, 1922, to the effect that the director alone is authorized to sign such contracts on behalf of the United States.
You state that it is the opinion of the Quartermaster General that funds sufficient to make payments under this contract should be transferred to the Quartermaster General to be disbursed by him in accordance with usual Army procedure and that the Quartermaster General “is strongly of the opinion that this method of procedure will be far more efficient than in case the allotment of funds is not
Section 7 of the act of May 21, 1920, 41 Stat., 613, has been referred to as authority for the proposed transfer.
Said section reads: That whenever any Government bureau or department procures, by purchase or manufacture, stores or materials of any kind, or performs any service for another bureau or department, the funds of the bureau or department for which the stores or materials are to be procured or the service performed may be placed subject to the requisitions of the bureau or department making the pro curement or performing the service for direct expenditure: Provided, That funds so placed with the procuring bureau shall remain available for a period of two years for the purposes for which the allocation was made unless sooner expended.
The case here presented does not involve the procurement by the Quartermaster Corps of stores or materials for the Veterans' Bureau nor the performance by the Quartermaster Corps of any service for said bureau, the cost of which is properly chargeable to the appropriation here in question. The work involved in this case is to be performed not by the Quartermaster Corps of the Army but by a civilian contractor under a contract made by the Director of the United States Veterans' Bureau. Therefore, section 7 of the act of May 21, 1920, has no application to this case.
Such service as the Quartermaster Corps may render in connection with the erecting, supervising, and inspecting of the work under the contract would be such as is contemplated under section 2 of the act of April 20, 1922, wherein the President is authorized to require the architectural, engineering, constructing, or other forces of any of the departments of the Government to assist in the execution of any construction work undertaken by the director under authority of said act of April 20, 1922, and the appropriations made in pursuance thereof. Such services are to be rendered without charge against the United States Veterans' Bureau appropriations.
I can see no good purpose to be served in transferring funds from the United States Veterans' Bureau to the Quartermaster Corps of