A-11927, OCTOBER 25, 1926, 6 COMP. GEN. 288

A-11927: Oct 25, 1926

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RENTAL AND SUBSISTENCE ALLOWANCES - MINOR SON ATTENDING NAVAL ACADEMY AN OFFICER OF THE NAVY IS NOT ENTITLED TO INCREASED RENTAL AND SUBSISTENCE ALLOWANCES BY REASON OF AN UNMARRIED MINOR SON WHO IS ATTENDING THE UNITED STATES NAVAL ACADEMY WHERE ALL NECESSARY QUARTERS AND SUBSISTENCE ARE FURNISHED BY THE UNITED STATES. HE EXPLAINS THE CLAIM AS FOLLOWS: I HAVE A MINOR CHILD UNDER TWENTY-ONE YEARS OF AGE (HE BECAME 21 YEARS OF AGE ON JUNE 2ND. 1925) * * * WHO IS A MIDSHIPMAN AT THE U.S. I WAS UNDER A MISAPPREHENSION THEN THAT I WAS NOT ENTITLED TO THE ALLOWANCES OF AN OFFICER WITH DEPENDENTS BECAUSE OF THIS FACT. IT SHALL ALSO INCLUDE THE MOTHER OF THE OFFICER PROVIDED SHE IS IN FACT DEPENDENT ON HIM FOR HER CHIEF SUPPORT.

A-11927, OCTOBER 25, 1926, 6 COMP. GEN. 288

RENTAL AND SUBSISTENCE ALLOWANCES - MINOR SON ATTENDING NAVAL ACADEMY AN OFFICER OF THE NAVY IS NOT ENTITLED TO INCREASED RENTAL AND SUBSISTENCE ALLOWANCES BY REASON OF AN UNMARRIED MINOR SON WHO IS ATTENDING THE UNITED STATES NAVAL ACADEMY WHERE ALL NECESSARY QUARTERS AND SUBSISTENCE ARE FURNISHED BY THE UNITED STATES. THE OPERATION OF A STATUTE MUST BE RESTRICTED WITHIN NARROWER LIMITS THAN ITS WORDS IMPORT WHERE THE LITERAL MEANING EMBRACES CASES NOT INTENDED BY THE LEGISLATIVE BODY.

DECISION BY COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL, OCTOBER 25, 1926:

LIEUT. GEORGE J. SHAW (S.C.), UNITED STATES NAVY, HAS PRESENTED A CLAIM FOR THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN RENTAL ALLOWANCE AT $60 PER MONTH AND SUBSISTENCE ALLOWANCE AT 60 CENTS PER DAY WHICH HE RECEIVED AS AN OFFICER HAVING NO DEPENDENTS WHILE ON DUTY AT THE UNITED STATES NAVY YARD, NEW YORK, N.Y., FROM JULY 17, 1924, TO JUNE 1, 1925, AND RENTAL ALLOWANCE AT $100 PER MONTH AND SUBSISTENCE ALLOWANCE AT $1.80 PER DAY PROVIDED BY LAW FOR AN OFFICER OF HIS RANK AND LENGTH OF SERVICE HAVING A DEPENDENT. IN A LETTER DATED JUNE 23, 1925, HE EXPLAINS THE CLAIM AS FOLLOWS:

I HAVE A MINOR CHILD UNDER TWENTY-ONE YEARS OF AGE (HE BECAME 21 YEARS OF AGE ON JUNE 2ND, 1925) * * * WHO IS A MIDSHIPMAN AT THE U.S. NAVAL ACADEMY, ANNAPOLIS, MD., BEING SUBSISTED AND QUARTERED AT THAT INSTITUTION AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE. I WAS UNDER A MISAPPREHENSION THEN THAT I WAS NOT ENTITLED TO THE ALLOWANCES OF AN OFFICER WITH DEPENDENTS BECAUSE OF THIS FACT; * * *

THE DIFFERENCE IN ALLOWANCES CLAIMED AMOUNTS TO $804 AND THE OFFICER APPEARS OF THE OPINION THE ALL-INCLUSIVE PHRASEOLOGY EMPLOYED IN SECTIONS 4 AND 6 OF THE ACT OF JUNE 10, 1922, 42 STAT. 625, AS AMENDED BY THE ACT OF MAY 31, 1924, 43 STAT. 250, ENTITLES HIM TO THE ADDITIONAL ALLOWANCES NOTWITHSTANDING THAT THE GOVERNMENT PROVIDED ADEQUATE QUARTERS, HEAT, LIGHT, SUBSISTENCE, ETC., WITHOUT CHARGE TO HIS SON DURING THE PERIOD COVERED BY THE CLAIM.

SECTION 4 OF THE ACT PROVIDES:

THAT THE TERM "DEPENDENT" AS USED IN THE SUCCEEDING SECTIONS OF THIS ACT SHALL INCLUDE AT ALL TIMES AND IN ALL PLACES A LAWFUL WIFE AND UNMARRIED CHILDREN UNDER TWENTY-ONE YEARS OF AGE. IT SHALL ALSO INCLUDE THE MOTHER OF THE OFFICER PROVIDED SHE IS IN FACT DEPENDENT ON HIM FOR HER CHIEF SUPPORT.

THE BROAD MISSION OF THE NAVAL ACADEMY HAS BEEN DEFINED AS FOLLOWS:

TO MOULD THE MATERIAL RECEIVED INTO EDUCATED GENTLEMEN, THOROUGHLY INDOCTRINATED WITH HONOR, UPRIGHTNESS, AND TRUTH, WITH PRACTICAL RATHER THAN ACADEMIC MINDS, WITH THOROUGH LOYALTY TO COUNTRY, WITH A GROUNDWORK OF EDUCATIONAL FUNDAMENTALS UPON WHICH EXPERIENCE AFLOAT MAY BUILD THE FINISHED NAVAL OFFICER, CAPABLE OF UPHOLDING, WHENEVER AND WHEREVER MAY BE NECESSARY, THE HONOR OF THE UNITED STATES; AND WITHAL GIVING DUE CONSIDERATION THAT HEALTHY MINDS IN HEALTHY BODIES ARE NECESSITIES FOR THE FULFILLMENT OF THE INDIVIDUAL MISSIONS OF THE GRADUATES; AND THAT FULLEST EFFICIENCY UNDER THIS MISSION CAN ONLY BE ATTAINED, IF, THROUGH JUST AND HUMANE YET FIRM DISCIPLINE, THE GRADUATES CARRY INTO THE SERVICE RESPECT AND ADMIRATION FOR THIS ACADEMY.

A CANDIDATE NOMINATED FOR A VACANCY AT THE ACADEMY WHO SUCCESSFULLY PASSES THE MENTAL AND PHYSICAL EXAMINATIONS WILL RECEIVE AN APPOINTMENT AS MIDSHIPMAN AND BE ADMITTED TO THE NAVAL ACADEMY PROVIDED (1) HE IS A CITIZEN OF THE UNITED STATES; (2) WAS NOT LESS THAN 16 YEARS OF AGE NOR MORE THAN 20 YEARS OF AGE ON APRIL 1 OF THE CALENDAR YEAR IN WHICH HE ENTERS THE ACADEMY; AND (3) HAS SIGNED ARTICLES, WITH THE CONSENT OF HIS PARENT OR GUARDIAN, BY WHICH HE BINDS HIMSELF TO SERVE IN THE UNITED STATES NAVY DURING THE PLEASURE OF THE PRESIDENT OF

UNITED STATES (INCLUDING HIS TIME OF PROBATION AT THE NAVAL ACADEMY) UNLESS SOONER DISCHARGED. (REGULATIONS GOVERNING THE ADMISSION OF CANDIDATES INTO THE UNITED STATES NAVAL ACADEMY AS MIDSHIPMEN, FEBRUARY, 1925.)

THE PAY OF A MIDSHIPMAN IS $780 PER ANNUM COMMENCING AT THE DATE OF HIS ADMISSION, AND IS SUFFICIENT TO MEET ALL HIS EXPENSES WHILE AT THE NAVAL ACADEMY. IN ADDITION HE IS PROVIDED QUARTERS, RATIONS, AND A COURSE OF TECHNICAL TRAINING. FROM THE TIME HE ENTERS THE ACADEMY UNTIL HIS GRADUATION THEREFROM, WITH THE EXCEPTION OF BRIEF VACATIONS AT CHRISTMAS, EASTER, AND DURING THE MONTH OF SEPTEMBER OF EACH YEAR OR IN CONNECTION WITH ATHLETIC CONTESTS, THE MIDSHIPMAN IS NOT PERMITTED TO LEAVE THE TOWN OF ANNAPOLIS, EACH OF THE TWENTY-FOUR HOURS OF HIS DAY BEING CONTROLLED BY RIGID AND SPECIFIC REGULATIONS GOVERNING HIS SLEEPING, HIS EATING, HIS STUDY, HIS RECREATION, HIS RELAXATION, ETC., AND HIS EVERY DELINQUENCY MAKING HIM SUSCEPTIBLE TO SERIOUS PUNISHMENT OR DISMISSAL. IT IS A FORM OF INDENTURE OR APPRENTICESHIP IN WHICH THE PARENT SURRENDERS PRACTICALLY ALL PARENTAL CONTROL AND RESPONSIBILITY AND THE OBLIGATION OF SUPPORT AND EDUCATION IS ASSUMED BY THE UNITED STATES. IT MAY BE CLASSED AS EQUIVALENT TO THE DUTIES OF A FOSTER PARENT BY ADOPTION. WITH HIS OWN AND HIS PARENTS' CONSENT THE MIDSHIPMAN BECOMES IN FACT A CHILD OR WARD OF THE GOVERNMENT. IT HAS EVEN BEEN HELD WHEN A MINOR ENLISTS IN THE ARMY OR NAVY THAT THE ENLISTMENT OPERATES AS AN EMANCIPATION. COMMONWEALTH V. MORRIS, 1 PHILA. (PA.) 381; BAKER V. BAKER, 41 VT. 55; 29 CYC. 1625. IT IS INCONCEIVABLE THEN THAT THE CONGRESS COULD HAVE INTENDED TO INCLUDE IN THE PHRASE "UNMARRIED CHILDREN UNDER TWENTY-ONE YEARS OF AGE" A SON WHO HAS BEEN EMANCIPATED BY APPOINTMENT AS A MIDSHIPMAN FOR HIS MANUMISSION IS MORE COMPLETE THAN THAT OF A MINOR SON WHO CONTRACTS MARRIAGE, THE STATUTE EXPRESSLY EXCLUDING THE LATTER FROM THE TERM ,DEPENDENT.' 29 CYC. 1675.

IT IS A SOUND RULE OF STATUTORY CONSTRUCTION THAT THE OPERATION OF A STATUTE MUST BE RESTRICTED WITHIN NARROWER LIMITS THAN THE WORDS IMPORT WHERE THE LITERAL MEANING EMBRACES CASES NOT INTENDED BY THE LEGISLATIVE BODY. BREWER V. BLOUGHER, 14 PET. 178-200, 10 L. ED. 408; UNITED STATES V. AMERICAN BELL TELEPHONE COMPANY, 159 U.S. 548-555, 40 L. ED. 255; HOLY TRINITY CHURCH. V. UNITED STATES, 143 U.S. 457, 472, 36 L. ED. 226.

IN PITTSBURGH, ETC., R-Y CO. V. VINING'S ADM-R. 27 IND. 513, 519, 92 AM.DEC. 269, IN CONSTRUING THE TERM AS USED IN A STATUTE PROVIDING THAT THE ACTION FOR THE DEATH OF A CHILD MUST BE BROUGHT BY THE FATHER, ETC., THE COURT SAID:

THE WORD CHILD * * * IS NOT TO BE CONSTRUED AS EQUIVALENT TO THE WORD "MINOR," BUT WE THINK IS LIMITED IN ITS APPLICATION TO ONE WHO OCCUPIES THE POSITION OF A CHILD TO A PARENT, AS DEPENDING UPON HIM FOR PROTECTION, SUPPORT, AND EDUCATION, AND CAN NOT BE HELD TO INCLUDE ONE WHO, ALTHOUGH A MINOR, HAS ASSUMED THE RELATIONS AND RESPONSIBILITY DEVOLVING UPON THE HEAD OF A FAMILY. WEBSTER SAYS, THE WORD "IS APPLIED TO INFANTS FROM THEIR BIRTH, BUT THAT THE TIME WHEN THEY CEASE ORDINARILY TO BE SO CALLED IS NOT DEFINED BY CUSTOM.' WE THINK IT IS INTENDED BY THE STATUTE THAT THE POSITION OCCUPIED BY THE PERSON SHOULD DETERMINE THE QUESTION RATHER THAN THE AGE ALONE.

THE SETTLEMENT DISALLOWING LIEUTENANT SHAW'S CLAIM FOR ADDITIONAL ALLOWANCES MUST BE SUSTAINED.