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garded as not detached in fact from sea duty by the arrest and in consquence as in a continuous sea duty status from date of arrest until date of acquittal and entitled accordingly to the rental allowance.
On the other hand, if the culmination of the suspension be that of conviction it will operåte äs a detachment in fact of him from sea duty from the date of arrest, he will not have been in a sea-duty status thereafter, and he will accordingly not be entitled to the rental allowance after date of arrest. See, in this connection, 10 Comp. Dec., 795; 24 id., 351; 25 id., 514; 4 id., 605; 6 id., 670; 1 Comp., Gen., 367, 563; 2 id., 415; Sullivan v. United States, 32 Ct. Cl., 402.
Your question is answered accordingly.
PURCHASES-LUMBER OF UNUSUAL DIMENSIONS.
Following the usual trade customs in dealing in lumber, payment is authorized
in an otherwise proper case, for the number of board feet actually used in producing lumber of unusual dimensions rather than the number of board
feet in the lumber actually delivered. Decision by Comptroller General McCarl, April 2, 1923:
R. C. Craig, superintendent and special disbursing agent, Indian Service, requested February 23, 1923, review of settlement No. 1-2037, dated September 21, 1922, disallowing credit claimed in his accounts for $15.49 as the difference between $47.38, paid March 31, 1921, to the Hammond-Olsen Lumber Co. for sixty 12-inch and four 16-inch boards 1} by 24 inches, and $25.26 as computed by the auditing division of the General Accounting Office.
The lumber was purchased from the Hammond-Olsen Lumber Co. at $125 a thousand board feet. The lumber actually delivered, calculated at this price, totals $25.26, and not $47.38, as paid by claimant. However, it is contended that since the lumber was of unusual dimensions and was specially manufactured the lumber company charged the United States with the quantity of material actually used in producing the lumber instead of charging an increased unit price for the number of board feet contained in the quantity furnished.
It appears to be necessary to make an allowance of three-fourths inch for wastage in ripping and jointing when manufacturing lumber of unusual dimensions, surfaced four sides, and it appears to be a trade custom to charge the vendee the ordinary unit price for the lumber of unusual dimensions furnished, including the wastage of three-fourths inch a board foot in producing the lumber, instead of charging an increased price for the lumber actually furnished.
As the payments made in thise case were in accordance with such trade custom, credit for $13.49 will be allowed in the accounts of the disbursing agent.
SEIZURE OF VEHICLES FOR VIOLATION OF CUSTOMS LAWS.
The seizure and forfeiture of vehicles under section 3062, Revised Statutes, for
violation of the customs laws, is not affected by the fact that the legal owner of the vehicle may have been innocent of any wrongdoing and with.
out knowledge of the unlawful use of the vehicle. The forfeiture of vehicles seized under section 3062, Revised Statutes, for vio
lation of the customs, laws, occurs by operation of law immediately upon the seizure and is not affected by any subsequent irregularity in the sale
of the seized vehicle. Decision by Comptroller General McCarl, April 4, 1923:
C. H. Rutherford and H. M. Dort applied January 10, 1923, for a review of settlement No. 231 of December 26, 1922, disallowing their claim for $285.05 as proceeds of sale of one Ford automobile which was seized and sold under the provisions of section 3062, Revised Statutes.
The automobile in question was seized by the United States customs authorities while being used in the transportation of intoxicating liquor from Mexico in violation of the customs laws. As originally presented the claim was based upon the ground that the automobile had been sold by Rutherford and Dort in April, 1921, subject to the terms of a conditional sale agreement under which the legal title remained in them until payment of the entire purchase price; that only a small part of the purchase price has been paid; and that they had no knowledge of the use to which the vehicle was being put.
Under the provisions of section 3062, Revised Statutes, any vehicle used in importation and transportation of merchandise which is subject to import duty or which shall have been introduced into the United States in any manner contrary to law may be seized and forfeited. The forfeiture in such a case is not affected by the fact that the legal owner of the vehicle may have been innocent of any wrongdoing and without knowledge that the vehicle was being used in the importation or transportation of dutiable or contraband merchandise. United States v. One Black Horse, 129 Fed. Rep., 167; United States v. One Black Horse, 147 Fed. Rep., 770. See also United States v. One Saxon Automobile, 257 Fed. Rep., 251, and Goldsmith-Grant Company v. United States, 254 U. S., 505, involving a like forfeiture under section 3450, Revised Statutes.
Contention has been made on behalf of claimants that their claim should be allowed because of a certain alleged irregularity in the sale of the seized automobile. It appears that two Ford automobiles were seized from the same person, one on May 9, 1921, and the other on June 8, 1921. The car seized in May was recorded and advertised for sale as seizure No. 274, and the car seized in June was re corded and advertised as seizure No. 298. The date set for sale of the car seized in May was July 15, 1921, and the date set for sale of
the car seized in June was September 14, 1921. Both cars were stored in the same garage after seizure and both bore the same license number. On July 15, 1921, the car actually brought out and sold at public auction was the car seized in June and carried under seizure No. 298 instead of the car seized in May under seizure No. 274. The car seized in May was thereafter sold September 14, 1921, the date originally fixed for the sale of the car seized in June. In each case the car actually sold and delivered was the identical car exhibited and bid upon at the auction. Apparently the only irregularity was that the record and report of the sale referred to the wrong number and date of seizure. This would appear to have no effect upon the legality of the sale, but whatever irregularity there may have been in connection with the sale of the car could have no bearing upon the claim here presented, because the forfeiture occurred by operation of law immediately upon seizure for violation of the customs law.
With reference to the suggestion that this claim had been allowed by the customs service or the Treasury Department and that nothing remained for this office to do in connection with the matter except to effect payment of the claim as thus allowed, attention is invited to section 236, Revised Statutes, as amended by section 305 of the act of June 10, 1921, 42 Stat., 24, as follows:
All claims and demands whatever by the Government of the United States or against it, and all accounts whatever in which the Government of the United States is concerned, either as debtor or creditor, shall be settled and adjusted in the General Accounting Office.
See also the provision in section 304 of the act of June 10, 1921, 42 Stat., 24, that balances certified by the Comptroller General shall be final and conclusive upon the executive branch of the Government.
Upon a review of the matter no difference is found and the settlo ment is sustained.
MILEAGE-OFFICER OF THE ARMY UPON RETIREMENT.
An officer of the Army who is at his home on sick leave when retired is not
entitled to mileage from his last duty station to his home. Comptroller General McCarl to Capt. Carl Halla, United States Army, April 4, 1923:
I have your letter dated March 3, 1923, with inclosed voucher, requesting decision whether you are authorized by section 12 of the act of June 10, 1922, 42 Stat., 631, to make a payment to Vincent M. Elmore, lieutenant colonel, United States Army, retired, of 8 cents a mile for the distance from San Francisco, Calif., to Montgomery, Ala., under a statement of facts as disclosed by the papers forwarded by you, which may be epitomized as follows:
The officer was serving in the Hawaiian Department as inspector general on July 17, 1922, when he made application to The Adjutant
General of the Army for retirement after 23 years' service. No action appears to have been taken on the application on September 29, 1922, when War Department Special Orders No. 229 were issued assigning him upon the completion of his tour of foreign duty to duty as inspector in the Fourth Corps Area with station at Fort McPherson, Ga. Subsequently, October 2, 1922, War Department Special Orders No. 231 granted him leave of absence for three months on account of sickness. Paragraph 7 of Special Orders No. 242, Hawaiian Department, dated October 16, 1922, reads as follows:
In compliance with instructions contained in letter from the War Depart. ment, A. G. O., (AG-210.31, 9-1-22), September 29, 1922, and paragraph 34, Special Orders No. 229, War Department, current series, Lieutenant Colonel Vincent M. Elmore, Inspector General, these headquarters, is relieved from his present assignment and duty in this department, effective upon completion of his present tour of foreign service, January 23, 1923, and upon the expiration of the leave of absence granted him by paragraph 23, Special Orders No. 231, War Department, current series, on account of sickness, will proceed to Fort McPherson, Georgia, reporting, upon arrival, to the commanding officer, Fourth Corps Area, for duty. The travel directed is necessary in the military service
Lieutenant Colonel Elmore left Honolulu via U. S. Army transport Thomas on November 10, 1922, arrived in San Francisco November 18, 1922, left for Montgomery, Ala., his home, on the same day, and was there on December 8, 1922, when War Department Confidential Orders No. 87-R were issued under the act of June 30, 1922, 42 Stat., 722, as amended by the act of September 14, 1922, 42 Stat., 840, placing him on the unlimited retired list and directing him to proceed to his home. The voucher presented is for mileage for the land distance from his last duty station to his home, where he was located when the order of retirement was received.
The apposite provision of the act of June 10, 1922, 42 Stat., 631, provided :
That officers of any of the services mentioned in the title of this Act, when traveling under competent orders without troops, shall receive a mileage allowance at the rate of 8 cents per mile, distance to be computed by the shortest usually traveled route
Travel orders to be competent under the act of March 3, 1883, 22 Stat., 456, must have the necessity for the travel stated in the orders and be certified to by the officer issuing the orders, and under the act of August 6, 1894, 28 Stat., 237, must state the special duty enjoined
The tour of foreign service was due for completion on January 23, 1923, and neither the War Department order of September 29, 1922, nor the Hawaiian Department order of October 6, 1922, required or authorized any travel at public expense until the completion of the foreign tour of duty. The order of October 2, 19:22, merely granted three months' leave of absence on account of sickness
and did not authorize or direct any travel. It is obvious that there was no "traveling under competent orders” prior to retirement. Any travel in anticipation of the order of October 16, 1922, becoming effective did not operate to give the officer a vested right to mileage for the distance traveled in the general direction of his new station. In other words, any travel performed in anticipation of orders becoming effective must be at the risk of the officer performing the travel, and he is not entitled to mileage for that travel if the orders are rescinded or modified before the expiration of his leave so as to send him to a different station.
An officer on retirement who proceeds from his last station to his home pursuant to orders within a reasonable time after retirement is entitled to mileage, or, for sea travel, actual expenses. 13 Comp. Dec., 112; 18 id., 634; 1 Comp. Gen., 477. Mileage appears to be claimed in this case on the theory that if the officer had remained at Honolulu until the orders of retirement were issued he would have been entitled to mileage to his home and, having proceeded there on leave of absence, he is entitled to mileage for the distance when the orders of retirement were subsequently issued.
Lieutenant Colonel Elmore was at his home when the orders of retirement were issued, and there was no distance to travel to his home under the orders announcing his retirement.
Payment of the voucher herewith returned is unauthorized.
APPRENTICES-GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE.
The provision in the act of February 20, 1923, 42 Stat., 1277, that the Public
Printer may “hereafter employ such number of apprentices as in his judgment will be consistent with the economical service of his office, not being dependent upon or qualified by any other provision in this act, and there being available during the fiscal year 1923 an appropriation applicable to the payment of such employees, the Public Printer became authorized to employ not exceeding 200 such apprentices immediately upon approval
of the act and for the remainder of the fiscal year. Comptroller General McCarl to the Public Printer, April 7, 1923:
I have your letter of April 3, 1923, which is understood to be a request for decision whether the provision in the act of February 20, 1923, 42 Stat., 1277, relative to the employment of apprentices in the Government Printing Office authorizes the employment of such apprentices immediately upon the approval of the act or whether said provision does not become effective until July 1, 1923.
The provision in question is in an annual appropriation act and is in the following terms:
The Public Printer may hereafter employ such number of apprentices (not to exceed two hundred at any one time) as in his judgment will be consistent with the economical service of the office