« PreviousContinue »
Bellinger, from the same place to Lakemont, Gan, under orders for permanent change of station, dated August 25, 1922, as follows:
You will regard yourself detached from your present station and such other duty as may have been assigned you, will proceed and report for duty in accordance with following instructions, this employment on shore duty being required by the public interests, having been so determined by the Secretary of the Navy:
To the commanding officer of the submarine base, New London, Conn., vla Government transportation from New Orleans, La., to New York, N. Y., for duty as public works officer of that station as the relief of Lieutenant Charles R. Johnson, C. E. C., U. S. N.
The above orders were modified by the following telegram, dated September 22, 1922:
Lieutenant Lyle E. Bellinger, Civil Engineer Corps, orders twenty-five August modified. Proceed New London via commercial transportation.
It appears that such orders were sent through the commandant eighth naval district and were delivered to claimant by such officer on September 25, 1922. He was detached on the same date and proceeded in compliance with such orders from New Orleans, La., to his new station September 27, 1922.
It further appears that transportation was furnished by Government requests for claimant's wife, Annie D. Bellinger, infant daughter, Anne H. Bellinger, and son, Lorentz D. Bellinger, from New Orleans, La., to New London, Conn.; that prior to the delivery of the orders in question he requested Government transportation for his daughter, Margaret Bellinger, age 20, from New Orleans, La., to Boston, Mass., and for his son, Frederick Bellinger, age 18, from New Orleans, La., to Lakemont, Ga.; that it was obligatory that these dependent children should leave on September 12, 1922, in order to arrive in time for the fall term of college which they were going to attend. Such requests were refused by the Bureau of Navigation for the reason that transportation requests could not be issued in advance of delivery to him of the orders directing the permanent change of station.
The transportation of dependents of a naval Oficer on permanent change of station is authorized by section 12 of the act of May 18, 1920, 41 Stat., 604. Such act does not preclude furnishing transportation to a point other than the new station provided the cost to the Government is not in excess of what it would have cost from the old to the new station, when the necessity for same is made clear and it is incident to the change of station of the officer. 27 Comp. Dec., 510; 7 MS. Comp. Gen., 903, March 15, 1922; 7 id., 1491. The travel of Margaret and Frederick Bellinger to Boston, Mass., and Lakemont, Ga., respectively, in advance of the date that claimant's order for permanent change of station became effective and to points other than his new station would appear to have been made for the personal convenience of the officer in order that he might send them to their
respective colleges in time for the opening of the fall term and there appears nothing to show that such travel would not have been performed had claimant not been ordered to make the permanent change of station.
Such travel having been made for the personal convenience of the claimant in sending his children to college and not incident to his permanent change of station, it is not necessary to determine whether the expense could have been legally incurred prior to the time claimant's order for permanent change of station became effective and binding upon him to comply with its instructions and at a time when such order directed that transportation be by“ Government” transportation instead of “commercial” transportation, the order having been modified from the former to the latter September 25, 1922.
Upon review of the matter no differences are found and the settlement is sustained.
RADIOGRAMS-ACCOUNTING FOR MESSAGES FROM MEMBERS OF
THE COAST GUARD SENT ON PERSONAL BUSINESS.
Radiograms originating from vessels of the Coast Guard, sent by officers and
enlisted men on personal affairs, should not be sent at Government expense, the charge therefor should include a charge for the use of the vessel's transmitting equipment as well as the arding ges, and such colle tions should be held in a special deposit account pending final settlement therefor with the Naval Communication Service, when any unexpended
balance should be covered in to miscellaneous receipts. Decision by Comptroller General McCarl, March 16, 1923:
Settlement T-4338, this office, dated January 31, 1923, allowed the Naval Communication Service $35.77 reimbursement for radiograms transmitted during April, May, and June, 1922, and charged to appropriation “ Coast Guard, 1922."
The amounts billed the Coast Guard by the Naval Communication Service apparently represent forwarding charges on radiograms originating on ships of the Coast Guard, less certain credits during same period for proportionate part of charge for forwarding radiograms to the Coast Guard ships by the Naval Communication Service, representing the cost of receiving over equipment on the Coast Guard ships.
There are two vouchers involved: One showing total debits of $18,39 and total credits of $9.40 or a balance due of $8.99, and the other showing total debits of $17.38 and total credits of $0.72, or a balance due of $16.66; total balance due of $25.65. In the settlement the debits and credits were erroneously added and the total amount allowed. The amount of $10.12 was erroneously certified in favor of the Treasurer of the United States for deposit in the Treasury to credit of “Miscellaneous receipts."
It appears that the voucher showing balance due of $8.99 covers radiograms sent from the United States Coast Guard cutter Modoc by Coast Guard officers on board relating to their personal or private affairs. This office has been informally advised by the Coast Guard office that the uniform past practice with respect to the personal or private radiograms of Coast Guard personnel has been to collect from the senders on board the estimated total cost of transmitting the radiograms, no ship's charge being made for transmission, to deposit the amount thereof to the credit of the Coast Guard appropriation, and to pay the bills of the Naval Communication Service rendered the Coast Guard for forwarding charges out of such appropriation. In view thereof and because there has been credited the appropriation of the Coast Guard, 1922, from private collections sufficient to cover amount of this claim, no objection will be made in so far as this claim is concerned.
Upon review of the matter the settlement is revised and in lieu of $35.77 allowed the sum of $25.65 is certified due the Naval Communication Service.
Treasurer's check No. 35186, dated February 7, 1923, for $35.77 has been directed to be covered into the Treasury to the credit of the appropriation “ Coast Guard, 1922.” The sum of $10.12 is authorized to be transferred from “Miscellaneous receipts” to Guard, 1922.”
For the convenience of the radio management it appears that the Naval Communication Service is authorized to liquidate all accounts for radiograms transmitted or forwarded by it.
The Naval Communication Service is authorized by law to receive and transmit both commercial and Government messages that may have to be relayed by its service. In the case of commercial messages the Naval Communication Service collects the amount of its own charges plus the amount of the charges for transmission over the forwarding lines. In the case of Government messages it collects only the forwarding charges, making no charges for its own service. In either case the entire amount collected is deposited in the Treasury to the credit of the special deposit fund from which amounts due forwarding lines are paid by check, under monthly adjustments. 21 Comp. Dec., 141, 289.
In this case the transmitting station of the private radiograms was under the control of the Coast Guard, and collections of the costs of transmission in the first instance was the responsibility of the Coast Guard. If for the convenience of the Coast Guard personnel on board ships under its control the radio transmitting equipment is made available for private messages, and collections to cover costs thereof are necessary, there should be no adjustment of appropriation under control of the Coast Guard involved, but a special deposit fund
similar to that maintained by Naval Communication Service created and credited with all amounts collected on which final checks could be drawn to liquidate the charge of the Naval Communication Service. Any balance remaining as earnings must be deposited to credit of “Miscellaneous receipts.”
There is no authority for present practice of the Coast Guard in crediting its regular appropriations with the amount of collections and charging same with amount of claims of Naval Communication Service, and the practice will be discontinued. The proper amount now standing to credit of Coast Guard appropriations representing collections from private sources should be shown and withdrawn and placed in the special deposit fund.
The Coast Guard has advised that its personnel are not charged with any ship's charge, or charge for use of ship’s transmitting equipment, but that any civilian on board is so charged. There would appear to be no authority for a distinction in this respect, but a transmitting charge made for all radiograms of a private nature. Attention is directed to articles 3231 and 3242, Coast Guard Regulations, providing that radiograms strictly personal or for convenience or in the interest of the sender shall not be transmitted at Government expense.
RELIEF OF AMERICAN SEAMEN.
The hospital bills of American seamen who become ill or are injured while
members of the crew of a vessel and are placed in a hospital by the master of the vessel and later discharged by the consul for illness or injury are not payable from funds of the United States, whether incurred
before or after the discharge. 2 Comp. Gen., 438, amplified. Comptroller General McCarl to the Secretary of State, March 17, 1923:
I have your letter of March 8, 1923, as follows:
The department has received your letter dated January 16, 1923, setting forth your decision with regard to the relief of seamen discharged on account of illness or injury incapacitating them for service, in reply to my letter of December 21, 1922. It is believed that question No. 5 in my letter may have been misunderstood by your office and I should, therefore, be pleased if you would review the matter. Question No. 5 as set forth in my letter is as follows:
“5 If a seaman becomes ill or injured while a member of the crew of a vessel and is placed in a hospital by the master of the vessel and is later discharged by the consul for illness or injury, how should the total expense incurred be divided for payment?”
It was intended that this question should mean that if a seaman becomes ill or is injured while a member of the crew of a vessel and is placed in a hospital by the master of the vessel and is later discharged by the consul for illness or injury, expenses being incurred both prior and subsequent to the seaman's discharge, how should the total expenses incurred be divided?
Question No. 5 as set forth in your letter was answered in decision of January 16, 1923, 2 Comp Gen., 438, as follows:
The consular officer would not be authorized to pay from United States funds any part of the hospital bill in the case presented in question 5. See 14 Comp. Dec., 570; 15 id., 348.
It was understood at the time the decision was rendered that the seaman in the case supposed continued to remain in the hospital after being discharged from the service of the vessel and that the hospital charges were for care and treatment after such discharge as well as prior thereto. In other words, the question appears to have been understood as intended. The answer as given in the decision of January 16, 1923, is in accord with decisions of the courts and the Comptroller of the Treasury to the effect that a vessel is liable for the expenses of care and treatment of a seaman becoming disabled in its service-The Osceola, 189 U. S. 158; The Iroquois, 194 U. S., 240—and that such liability does not terminate with the discharge of the seaman. The W. L. White, 25 Fed. Rep., 503; The Eva B. Hall, 114 Fed. Rep., 775; The Troy, 121 Fed. Rep., 901; McCarron v. Dominion Atlantic Railway Company, 134 Fed. Rep., 762; 14 Comp. Dec., 570; 15 id., 348.
REFUNDS OF ESTATE TAXES WITH INTEREST.
Overpayments of estate taxes arising from the failure to make certain allowable
deductions from the gross value of the estate are refundable under section 1324 (a) of the act of November 23, 1921, 42 Stat., 316, with interest thereon, from the appropriations available for the refund of other internal
revenue taxes illegally collected. Comptroller General McCarl to the Secretary of the Treasury, March 17,
I have your letter of March 3, 1923, requesting decision of questions presented as follows:
(1) Whether, under the provisions of section 403 of the revenue act of 1921, the refund of estate taxes paid on amounts allowable as a deduction under paragraph (2) of subdivision (a) thereof is subject to the provisions of section 1324 (a) of said act, requiring the allowance of interest upon the allowance of a claim for the refund of internal revenue taxes paid, and
(2) Whether there is any appropriation available from which such refunds may be paid
Section 403 of the revenue act of 1921, act of November 23, 1921, 42 Stat., 279, enumerates the deductions authorized to be made from the value of gross estates for the purpose of determining the value of the net estates on which the tax imposed under section 401 of said act is to be computed.
Paragraph 2 of subdivision (a) of said section 403 is to the effect that in determining the value of the net estate in the case of a resident there shall be deducted from the value of the gross estate
An amount equal to the value of any property forming a part of the gross estate situated in the United States of any person who died within five years prior to the death of the decedent where such property can be identified as having been received by the decedent from such prior decedent by gift, bequest, devise, or inheritance, or which can be identified as having been acquired in exchange for property so received: Provided, That this deduction shall be allowed only where an estate tax under this or any prior Act of Congress was paid by or on behalf of the estate of such prior decedent, and only in the amount of the value placed by the Commissioner on such property in determining the value of the gross estate of such prior decedens and only to the