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SEC. 22. That the provisions of this Act shall be effective beginning July 1, 1922, and all laws and parts of laws which are inconsistent herewith or in confict with the provisions hereof are hereby repealed as of that date.
The act prior to June 10, 1922, which granted to commissioned officers of the Navy an increase of pay when serving at sea was the act of May 13, 1908, 35 Stat., 128, which provided :
All officers on sea duty and all officers on shore duty beyond the continental limits of the United States shall while so serving receive ten per centum additional of their salaries and increase as above provided, and such increase shall commence from the date of reporting for duty on board ship or the date of sailing from the United States for shore duty beyond the seas or to join a ship in foreign waters.
This provision of law was made inoperative on and after July 1, 1922, by reason of section 2 of the act of June 10, 1922, and is not preserved to any officer by section 16, the increase previously allowed being no part of the pay to which an officer was entitled “by reason of his grade and length of service on June 30, 1922."
On and after July 1, 1922, the “sea pay” of an individual commissioned officer of the Navy is the base pay of one of the periods one to six prescribed in section 1 of the act of June 10, 1922, into which he may fall by reason of grade and length of service or nature of appointment, plus the per cent increase prescribed for length of service, or that prescribed in section 8 of said act. In other words, the pay prescribed in the act of June 10, 1922, is both “sea pay” and “shore duty pay" for a commissioned officer of the Navy.
You are accordingly advised that a commissioned officer of the Navy serving as the Superintendent of the Naval Academy, or as the commandant of the navy yard, Mare Island, is not entitled on and after July 1, 1922, to a 10 per cent increase in pay, whether he continues on and after that date to take the pay to which he may be entitled by reason of grade and length of service on June 30, 1922, or the pay prescribed in the act of June 10, 1922.
REPAIRS TO AUTOMOBILE HIRED BY GOVERNMENT OFFICIAL. Reimbursement for the cost of repairs to a privately owned automobile neces
sitated by an accident while the car was being operated by the owner under hire by a Goveriment employee on official business for a specified
price for the trip is unauthorized. 27 Comp. Dec., 759, distinguished. Decision by Comptroller General McCarl, September 19, 1922:
The Director the United States Veterans' Bureau applied July 10, 1922, for a review of settlement No. 7136, dated February 10, 1922, Treasury Department Division, in which was disallowed the claim of G. S. Ferrell for $79.15 as reimbursement of amount expended by him for repairs to his automobile as a result of an accident while conveying a field examiner of the United States Veterans' Bureau for hire on official business September 29, 1921.
It appears that A. W. Dewling, a field examiner, engaged the claimant to convey him by means of claimant's automobile from Chapmanville, W. Va., to Shively and Whirlwind, W. Va., and return, a total distance of 36 miles, on official business, for the sum of $16. As they were nearing Whirlwind there came a heavy thunder shower, making the mountain roads difficult, if not dangerous, for automobile travel, and a short distance from Whirlwind on the return trip the automobile skidded off the road and rolled down into a creek below, doing considerable damage to the car and injuring the driver.
Upon this state of facts there is no legal liability on the United States for the damage to the car or to the driver. The only liability assumed by the Government was to pay the agreed price, to wit, $15, for the service which claimant undertook to render. The fact that some persuasion may have been necessary to induce claimant to undertake to render the service for the agreed consideration and that he may have been influenced by a desire to accommodate his Gov. ernment and its agent, or a disabled veteran, can not affect the legal phase of the case, which alone is for consideration in determining the rights and liabilities involved.
This case is clearly distinguishable from the case reported in 27 Comp. Dec., 759. In the case then under consideration, the car and its owner were pressed into the service of the Government officer in an emergency without any agreement or understanding as to compensation. In the present case there was no such emergency and there was a definite agreement between the owner and the Gov. ernment officer as to compensation for the service.
Upon a review of the matter no difference is found and the disallowance is sustained.
INVESTIGATING PRODUCTION OF NITRATES-RENT OF BUILDINGS
FOR, IN DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA.
The provision in section 124, of the act of June 3, 1916, 39 Stat., 215, authorize
ing the President to lease such lands as might be necessary for the construction and operation of plants for the generation of power or the production of nitrates, or other products needed for munitions of war, does not specifically authorize the leasing or renting of buildings in the District of Columbia, and in view of the prohibition in the act of March 3, 1887, 19 Stat., 370, payment of rent for a privately owned building in the District of Columbia, to be occupied by the Government in connection with the investigation which the President is authorized to make under the
provisions of the first paragraph of said section 124, is not authorized. Comptroller General McCarl to the Secretary of Agriculture, September 19, 1922:
I have your letter of September 2, 1922, requesting decision whether the unexpended balance of the $500,000 which was allotted by the President to the Department of Agriculture from the appropriation of $20,000,000 made in section 124 of the act of June 8, 1916, 39 Stat., 215, may be used to pay rent for the building known as the Ohio Building, which is owned by the American University and located on the American University grounds in the District of Columbia.
It appears that the use of the university buildings and grounds was donated to and accepted by the Government at the beginning of the war and used by the Army or War Department for various activities incident to the prosecution of the war; that upon the cessation of hostilities all such activities were discontinued except the fixed nitrogen research laboratory; that all buildings other than the Ohio Building and certain temporary buildings in which the laboratory was located were vacated by the United States; that settlements were made with the university authorities March 11, 1920, and July 11, 1921, involving the disposition of the temporary buildings and improvements erected by the Government on the grounds and releasing the Government from all claim for damages or rent; that neither of said settlements made provision for continued occupation by the Government of any of the buildings; that the laboratory has continued to occupy the premises pursuant to resolutions of the university executive committee covering the period to June 30, 1922; that the activities, personnel, equipment, etc., of the laboratory were transferred by the President from the War Department to the Department of Agriculture June 14, 1921, effective from July 1, 1921; that no rent has been paid for the premises occupied by the laboratory; that no agreement or other provision has been made for occupation after June 30, 1922; and that the trustees of the university have suggested that rent be paid for the premises beginning July 1, 1922, at the rate of $10,000 per annum.
The provision in section 124 of the act of June 3, 1916, under authority of which the fixed nitrogen research laboratory was established, reads:
The President of the United States is hereby authorized and empowered to make, or cause to be made, such Investigation as in his judgment is necessary to determine the best, cheapest, and most available means for the production of nitrates and other products for munitions of war and useful in the manu. facture of fertilizers and other useful products by water power or any other power as in his judgment is the best and cheapest to use.
The only specific question now determined is the authority to rent in the District of Columbia. The said section contains no specific authority for the renting of a building or buildings in the District of Columbia. Therefore, the use of the appropriation for that purpose is prohibited by the provision in the act of March 3, 1877, 19 Stat., 370, which reads:
• Hereafter no contract shall be made for the rent of any building or part of any building, to be used for the purposes of the Government in the District of Columbia, until an appropriation therefor shall have been made in terms by Congress, and that this clause be regarded as notice to all contractors or lessors of any such building or any part of building.
The provision in section 124 of the act of June 3, 1916, authorizing the President to lease such lands as may be necessary for the construction and operation of plants for the generation of power or the production of nitrates or other products needed for munitions of war is no authority for the renting of buildings in the District of Columbia to be used in making the investigation authorized in the first paragraph of said section.
The question submitted is answered in the negative.
BONUS FOR CIVILIAN EMPLOYEES OF WAR DEPARTMENT.
The requirement in the acts of March 1, 1919, 40 Stat., 1267, and May 29, 1920,
41 Stat., 689, that employees must have entered the service prior to June 30, 1918, and June 30, 1919, to be entitled to receive the bonus for fiscal years 1920 and 1921, respectively, without being certified by the head of the department or establishment, contemplates entrance into the civil service as distinguished from the military service, and the fact that civil employees were in the military service on the respective dates does not entitle them to the bonus; it is immaterial that the duties performed in both military
and civil positions were similar and continuous with each other. Decision by Comptroller General McCarl, September 20, 1922:
John P. Griebel has requested review of settlement No. W–839859, of this office, dated June 12, 1922, whereby was disallowed his claim for increase of compensation at the rate of $240 per annum for services rendered as a civilian employee of the War Department at Coblenz, Germany, from October 1, 1919, to March 31, 1921.
Prior to October 1, 1919, claimant was a first lieutenant in the United States Army with the American forces in Germany, and from June 13, 1919, to September 30, 1919, served in that capacity with the postal express service, Coblenz, Germany. After discharge from the Army he served from October 1, 1919, to March 31, 1921, as civilian employee of the Quartermaster Corps, United States Army, and also with the postal express service at Coblenz, Germany, at compensation of $2,400 per annum. From December 1, 1919, he was furnished quarters in kind, which were paid for from quartermaster funds until December 1, 1920, and thereafter by the German Government.
The act of March 1, 1919, 40 Stat., 1267, granting the increase of compensation for the fiscal year from July 1, 1919, to June 30, 1920, required a certificate of eligibility from the head of the department in which employed to entitle employees who entered the service after June 30, 1918, to increase of compensation. The act of May 29, 1920, 41 Stat., 689, granting the increase of compensation for fiscal year July 1, 1920, to June 30, 1921, had a requirement similar thereto in case of employees who entered the service after June 30, 1919.
It is advanced that as claimant was an officer of the Army on June 30, 1918, and June 30, 1919, he is entitled to the increase without a certificate from the Secretary of War. All the annual increase of compensation acts have been expressly limited to civilian employees of the Government. Thus the word “service" as used in the statutes in connection with an employee's status on a certain date, terminating a fiscal year, determining whether a certificate is required, clearly contemplates civilian service and has no relation whatever to military service, regardless of the continuity of the two services and performance of same or similar duties under both.
As claimant entered the civilian service October 1, 1919, and was not certified by the Secretary of War, he is not entitled to the increase of compensation for any portion of the period from October 1, 1919, to March 31, 1921. The recommendation of claimant to receive the increase, by his immediate superior, dated March 4, 1922, is not a certificate within the meaning of the statutes.
In view thereof it is unnecessary to pass upon the other question presented by the record-whether receipt of quarters in kind by a civilian employee of the Army in Germany is a special allowance because of foreign service precluding him from receiving the increase of compensation.
Upon review of the matter the settlement is sustained.
MILEAGE-OFFICER OF NAVY CHANGING STATION WHILE ON
The fact that the unexpired portion of leave granted a naval officer is revoked
and he is ordered to make a change of station does not entitle him to any greater mileage than had the change of station been made while on duty,
and he is entitled to mileage only from the old to the new station. Comptroller General McCarl to Ensign James Chapman, United States Navy, September 20, 1922:
I have your letter of August 22, 1922, requesting decision of the question as to whether Ensign J. A. McDonnell, United States Navy, is entitled to mileage from Detroit, Mich., to Rockport, Mass., under the circumstances stated by you, as follows:
Ensign J. A. McDonnell, U. S. N., was ordered detached upon decommissioning of the U. S. S. Lansdale, and further ordered to proceed and report to the commanding officer of the U. S. S. Mahan for duty on BuNav orders by the BuNav dated 23 June, 1922, permitted a delay of fourteen days in obedience i orders dated 29 May, 1922, such delay to count as leave. Ensign McDonnell accordingly proceeded to his home in Detroit, Mich., from Philadelphia, Pa., and while on leave received telegraphic orders from the commander Mine Squadron One, U. S. Atlantie Fleet, dated 8 July, 1922, revoking remainder of leave, and modifying orders to report to the U. S. S. Maury instead of to the U. S. S. Mahan.
Ensign McDonnell was paid travel allowance from Philadelphia to Rockport, Mass., 365 miles at eight cents per mile-total, $29.20—but, by reason of being ordered from Detroit, Mich., to Rockport, Mass., before the expiration of his leave, he believes that he is entitled to mileage from Detroit to Rockport, Mass.