A-11892, DECEMBER 7, 1925, 5 COMP. GEN. 415

A-11892: Dec 7, 1925

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APPROPRIATIONS - TRANSFER THE APPROPRIATION MADE FOR THE CARE OF THE DEAD UNDER THE BUREAU OF MEDICINE AND SURGERY OF THE NAVY DEPARTMENT IS NOT AVAILABLE FOR TRANSFER TO THE WAR DEPARTMENT FOR THE PURPOSE OF TAKING CARE OF EXPENDITURES INCURRED. FOR MAINTAINING AN ARMY POST CEMETERY IN WHICH NAVY AND MARINE CORPS DEAD ARE BURIED. 1925: I HAVE A LETTER DATED NOVEMBER 7. SUBMITTING FOR DECISION THREE QUESTIONS STATED THEREIN AS FOLLOWS: (A) IS THE APPROPRIATION "CARE OF THE DEAD" AVAILABLE FOR EXPENDITURES COVERING A PROPORTIONATE SHARE OF THE COST OF MAINTAINING AN ARMY POST CEMETERY IN WHICH NAVY AND MARINE CORPS DEAD ARE BURIED? IT IS STATED BY THE HARBOR DEFENSE COMMANDER AT SAN DIEGO.

A-11892, DECEMBER 7, 1925, 5 COMP. GEN. 415

APPROPRIATIONS - TRANSFER THE APPROPRIATION MADE FOR THE CARE OF THE DEAD UNDER THE BUREAU OF MEDICINE AND SURGERY OF THE NAVY DEPARTMENT IS NOT AVAILABLE FOR TRANSFER TO THE WAR DEPARTMENT FOR THE PURPOSE OF TAKING CARE OF EXPENDITURES INCURRED, OR TO BE INCURRED, FOR MAINTAINING AN ARMY POST CEMETERY IN WHICH NAVY AND MARINE CORPS DEAD ARE BURIED, THE CONGRESS HAVING MADE PROPER AND ADEQUATE APPROPRIATION UNDER THE WAR DEPARTMENT FOR THE UPKEEP AND MAINTENANCE OF ARMY POST CEMETERIES.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL TO THE SECRETARY OF THE NAVY, DECEMBER 7, 1925:

I HAVE A LETTER DATED NOVEMBER 7, 1925, SIGNED BY THE SURGEON GENERAL, UNITED STATES NAVY, PRESUMABLY BY YOUR DIRECTION, SUBMITTING FOR DECISION THREE QUESTIONS STATED THEREIN AS FOLLOWS:

(A) IS THE APPROPRIATION "CARE OF THE DEAD" AVAILABLE FOR EXPENDITURES COVERING A PROPORTIONATE SHARE OF THE COST OF MAINTAINING AN ARMY POST CEMETERY IN WHICH NAVY AND MARINE CORPS DEAD ARE BURIED?

(B) IF ANSWER TO QUESTION (A) BE AFFIRMATIVE, MAY A STATED ESTIMATED AMOUNT, TO BE DETERMINED BETWEEN THE TWO DEPARTMENTS, BE TRANSFERRED IN ADVANCE OF THE ACTUAL EXPENDITURES BY THE WAR DEPARTMENT FOR MAINTAINING THE CEMETERY, AS ANNUALLY AT THE BEGINNING OF THE FISCAL YEAR?

(C) IF ANSWER TO QUESTION (A) BE AFFIRMATIVE, AND TO QUESTION (B) BE NEGATIVE, HOW MAY THE REQUIRED ADJUSTMENT BETWEEN APPROPRIATIONS BE EFFECTED?

THESE QUESTIONS ARISE FROM CONDITIONS IN CONNECTION WITH THE ARMY POST CEMETERY AT FORT ROSECRANS, CALIF. IT APPEARS THAT FOR SOME TIME IN THE PAST THE CEMETERY HAS BEEN USED FOR BURIALS OF NAVY AND MARINE CORPS DEAD AS WELL AS FOR ARMY DEAD BY ARRANGEMENTS BETWEEN THE NAVY AND WAR DEPARTMENTS. IN A LETTER DATED SEPTEMBER 5, 1925, IT IS STATED BY THE HARBOR DEFENSE COMMANDER AT SAN DIEGO, CALIF., THAT THERE ARE AT PRESENT AVAILABLE IN THE CEMETERY 29 OFFICER AND 59 ENLISTED MEN'S GRAVE SITES, WHICH WILL BE AMPLE FOR ALL ARMY PERSONNEL ON ACTIVE DUTY IN THE VICINITY OF SAN DIEGO FOR THE NEXT 25 YEARS. HE RECOMMENDS THAT THE BURIALS IN THIS CEMETERY BE RESTRICTED TO THE ARMY PERSONNEL AND THAT THE SITE ADJOINING AND ABOUT THE SIZE OF THE PRESENT CEMETERY BE TURNED OVER TO THE NAVY FOR A CEMETERY, AND THAT THE ARMY RESERVE THE SAME RIGHTS TO BURIALS AS HAVE BEEN EXTENDED TO THE NAVY IN THE PRESENT ARMY CEMETERY.

IN CORROBORATION OF THESE STATEMENTS AND RECOMMENDATIONS, THERE IS ALSO SUBMITTED COPY OF LETTER FROM THE COMMANDANT OF THE ELEVENTH NAVAL DISTRICT AND NAVAL OPERATING BASE, SAN DIEGO, CALIF., DATED SEPTEMBER 15, 1925, IN WHICH IT IS ALLEGED THAT THE NAVY PERSONNEL AT OR NEAR SAN DIEGO IS MUCH GREATER THAN THAT OF THE ARMY AND THAT NAVY AND MARINE BURIALS IN THIS CEMETERY DURING THE RECENT PAST HAVE BEEN GREATLY IN EXCESS OF THE ARMY BURIALS, AND IT IS STATED THAT THE NUMBER OF NAVY AND MARINE INTERMENTS IS EXPECTED TO INCREASE IN THE FUTURE WHILE NO SUCH INCREASE IS ANTICIPATED IN SO FAR AS THE ARMY INTERMENTS ARE CONCERNED.

THE RECOMMENDATION OF THE HARBOR DEFENSE COMMANDER THAT THE SITE ADJOINING THE CEMETERY BE TURNED OVER TO THE NAVY DOES NOT APPEAR TO HAVE BEEN LOOKED UPON WITH FAVOR BY THE SECRETARY OF THE NAVY, WHO SUGGESTS INSTEAD, IN A LETTER TO THE SECRETARY OF WAR, DATED SEPTEMBER 29, 1925, THAT SHOULD IT BE DEEMED NECESSARY FOR THE ARMY TO WITHDRAW THE PRIVILEGE EXTENDED THE NAVY TO BURY ITS DEAD IN THE CEMETERY BECAUSE OF LACK OF SPACE, LEGISLATIVE AUTHORITY BE OBTAINED FOR CONVERSION OF THE PRESENT POST CEMETERY AND APPROPRIATE ADJACENT GROUND INTO A NATIONAL CEMETERY.

IN REPLY TO THIS LETTER THE SECRETARY OF WAR STATED, IN A LETTER DATED OCTOBER 22, 1925, THAT IT IS NOT BELIEVED TO BE IN THE BEST INTERESTS OF THE WAR DEPARTMENT TO OBTAIN LEGISLATIVE AUTHORITY FOR CONVERSION OF THE POST CEMETERY INTO A NATIONAL CEMETERY FOR THE REASON THAT NATIONAL CEMETERIES ARE MAINTAINED SOLELY FROM WAR DEPARTMENT APPROPRIATIONS AND THAT SHOULD THIS CEMETERY BE TURNED INTO A NATIONAL CEMETERY, ITS MAINTENANCE WOULD DEVOLVE SOLELY UPON THE WAR DEPARTMENT. IT IS SUGGESTED BY THE SECRETARY OF WAR AS AN ALTERNATIVE THAT IF THE NAVY DEPARTMENT WILL CONTRIBUTE A PRO-RATA SHARE OF THE EXPENSES INVOLVED IN THE MAINTENANCE OF THE POST CEMETERY, THE PRESENT ARRANGEMENT MAY CONTINUE AND THE PRESENT CEMETERY BE ENLARGED BY TAKING IN ADJACENT GROUND SO AS TO TAKE CARE OF THE BURIALS OF BOTH DEPARTMENTS.

THE BASIS PROPOSED FOR CONTRIBUTION BY EACH DEPARTMENT TO THE UPKEEP AND MAINTENANCE OF THE CEMETERY IS UPON THE PRESENT NUMBER OF INTERMENTS ALREADY MADE, STATED TO BE 223 ARMY AND 118 NAVY AND MARINE CORPS, UPON WHICH IT IS ESTIMATED THAT THE NAVY SHARE WOULD BE $900 A YEAR AND THAT OF THE ARMY $1,700. IT IS IN CONNECTION WITH THE TRANSFER OF FUNDS FROM NAVY APPROPRIATIONS TO ARMY FOR SUCH PURPOSE THAT DECISION IS REQUESTED.

THERE APPEARS TO BE NO DOUBT THAT THE APPROPRIATION MADE FOR THE CARE OF THE DEAD UNDER THE BUREAU OF MEDICINE AND SURGERY OF THE NAVY IS AVAILABLE FOR THE BURIAL EXPENSES OF THE PERSONNEL OF BOTH THE NAVY AND MARINE CORPS, BUT THE QUESTION HERE INVOLVED IS AS TO WHETHER IT IS AVAILABLE TO COVER EXPENSES FOR THE MAINTENANCE OF AN ARMY POST CEMETERY IN WHICH NAVY AND MARINE CORPS DEAD ARE BURIED.

THERE IS APPROPRIATED EACH YEAR UNDER THE WAR DEPARTMENT SUCH SUMS AS ARE NECESSARY FOR THE UPKEEP AND MAINTENANCE OF ARMY POST CEMETERIES UNDER THE APPROPRIATION "INCIDENTAL EXPENSES OF THE ARMY," SUCH SUMS BEING INCLUDED IN THE ITEM "AND SUCH ADDITIONAL EXPENDITURES AS ARE NECESSARY AND AUTHORIZED BY LAW IN THE MOVEMENTS AND OPERATION OF THE ARMY AND AT MILITARY POSTS, AND NOT EXPRESSLY ASSIGNED TO ANY OTHER DEPARTMENT.' THE QUESTION WHETHER THE WAR DEPARTMENT SHOULD OR SHOULD NOT PERMIT THE USE OF THE ARMY POST CEMETERY FOR THE BURIAL OF NAVY AND MARINE CORPS DEAD IS NOT FOR DETERMINATION BY THIS OFFICE. BUT SO LONG AS THE CEMETERY REMAINS UNDER THE JURISDICTION AND CONTROL OF THE WAR DEPARTMENT AND AN APPROPRIATION FOR ITS UPKEEP AND MAINTENANCE IS AVAILABLE UNDER SAID DEPARTMENT, IT DEVOLVES UPON SUCH DEPARTMENT TO PERFORM THE DUTY WITHIN THE LIMITS OF THAT APPROPRIATION. IT IS UNDERSTOOD THAT THE NAVY DEPARTMENT BEARS THE ACTUAL EXPENSES OF INTERMENT OF ITS DEAD IN THIS CEMETERY AND IT DOES NOT APPEAR THAT THE EXPENSES OF UPKEEP AND MAINTENANCE, WHICH ARE PROPER CHARGES AGAINST THE WAR DEPARTMENT APPROPRIATION, ARE MATERIALLY INCREASED BY REASON OF THE BURIAL OF THE NAVY DEAD IN THE CEMETERY.

THEREFORE, IT MUST BE HELD THAT THE USE OF NAVY DEPARTMENT APPROPRIATIONS FOR ANY PART OF THE EXPENSES OF SUCH UPKEEP AND MAINTENANCE IS NOT AUTHORIZED.