A-12195, JANUARY 9, 1926, 5 COMP. GEN. 465

A-12195: Jan 9, 1926

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WAS RETURNED TO THE VETERAN FOR CORRECTION OF A DEFECT. THE NATURE OF WHICH IS NOT NOW KNOWN. THERE CAN BE NO PRESUMPTION THAT THE DEFECT WENT MERELY TO SOME NONESSENTIAL AND THAT THE APPLICATION WITHOUT THE CORRECTION WAS A VALID ONE UNDER THE LAW. THE ISSUANCE OF AN ADJUSTED SERVICE CERTIFICATE AND PAYMENTS THEREUNDER ARE NOT AUTHORIZED. THE FACTS SUBMITTED DISCLOSE THAT WHEN THE ALLEGED APPLICATION WAS RECEIVED IN THE WAR DEPARTMENT ON JULY 13. IT WAS IN DUE ROUTINE GIVEN A NUMBER. WERE ENTERED ON A CARD. THAT UPON EXAMINATION OF THE SUBSTANCE OF THE ALLEGED APPLICATION IT WAS DETERMINED NECESSARY THAT IT BE RETURNED TO THE VETERAN FOR CORRECTION. WHICH WAS DONE. - AT LEAST IT IS NOT ESTABLISHED THAT THE REQUIRED CORRECTION WAS EVER MADE.

A-12195, JANUARY 9, 1926, 5 COMP. GEN. 465

VETERANS' BUREAU - ADJUSTED COMPENSATION - APPLICATION WHERE AN APPLICATION FOR AN ADJUSTED SERVICE CERTIFICATE, UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF THE WORLD WAR ADJUSTED COMPENSATION ACT OF MAY 19, 1924, 43 STAT. 125, AFTER HAVING BEEN FILED IN THE OFFICE OF THE SECRETARY OF WAR, WAS RETURNED TO THE VETERAN FOR CORRECTION OF A DEFECT, THE NATURE OF WHICH IS NOT NOW KNOWN, AND LOST, AND THE VETERAN DIED PRESUMABLY WITHOUT MAKING THE CORRECTION, THERE CAN BE NO PRESUMPTION THAT THE DEFECT WENT MERELY TO SOME NONESSENTIAL AND THAT THE APPLICATION WITHOUT THE CORRECTION WAS A VALID ONE UNDER THE LAW. THE ISSUANCE OF AN ADJUSTED SERVICE CERTIFICATE AND PAYMENTS THEREUNDER ARE NOT AUTHORIZED.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL TO THE DIRECTOR, UNITED STATES VETERANS' BUREAU, JANUARY 9, 1926:

CONSIDERATION HAS BEEN GIVEN YOUR SUBMISSION DATED DECEMBER 3, 1925, REQUESTING DECISION WHETHER AN ADJUSTED SERVICE CERTIFICATE MAY LAWFULLY ISSUE AND PAYMENTS BE MADE THEREUNDER, BASED UPON AN ALLEGED APPLICATION OF SAMUEL HORN, A VETERAN, NOW DECEASED, IN VIEW OF THE FACTS APPEARING.

THE FACTS SUBMITTED DISCLOSE THAT WHEN THE ALLEGED APPLICATION WAS RECEIVED IN THE WAR DEPARTMENT ON JULY 13, 1924, IT WAS IN DUE ROUTINE GIVEN A NUMBER, AND THE FACTS OF ITS RECEIPT, DATE, ETC., WERE ENTERED ON A CARD; THAT UPON EXAMINATION OF THE SUBSTANCE OF THE ALLEGED APPLICATION IT WAS DETERMINED NECESSARY THAT IT BE RETURNED TO THE VETERAN FOR CORRECTION, WHICH WAS DONE; THAT THE VETERAN DIED JULY 15, 1924, PRESUMABLY WITHOUT MAKING OR AN OPPORTUNITY TO MAKE THE REQUIRED CORRECTION, THE ELEMENT OF TIME AND THE ROUTINE IN SUCH MATTERS CONSIDERED --- AT LEAST IT IS NOT ESTABLISHED THAT THE REQUIRED CORRECTION WAS EVER MADE; THAT THE ALLEGED APPLICATION WAS LATER SENT BACK TO THE WAR DEPARTMENT BY ONE WARREN BURKEY, AN ATTORNEY, WITH INFORMATION CONCERNING THE VETERAN'S DEATH; THAT THE APPLICATION HAS BECOME LOST AND FOR THAT REASON IS NOT AVAILABLE FOR TRANSMITTING TO THE DIRECTOR OF THE VETERANS' BUREAU AS REQUIRED BY SECTION 303 OF THE WORLD WAR ADJUSTED COMPENSATION ACT. SAID SECTION IS AS FOLLOWS:

(A) AS SOON AS PRACTICABLE AFTER THE RECEIPT OF A VALID APPLICATION THE SECRETARY OF WAR OR THE SECRETARY OF THE NAVY, AS THE CASE MAY BE, SHALL TRANSMIT TO THE DIRECTOR OF THE UNITED STATES VETERANS' BUREAU (HEREINAFTER IN THIS ACT REFERRED TO AS THE "DIRECTOR") THE APPLICATION AND A CERTIFICATE SETTING FORTH---

(1) THAT THE APPLICANT IS A VETERAN;

(2) HIS NAME AND ADDRESS;

(3) THE DATE AND PLACE OF HIS BIRTH; AND

(4) THE AMOUNT OF HIS ADJUSTED SERVICE CREDIT TOGETHER WITH THE FACTS OF RECORD IN HIS DEPARTMENT UPON WHICH SUCH ABOVE CONCLUSIONS ARE BASED.

(B) UPON RECEIPT OF SUCH CERTIFICATE THE DIRECTOR SHALL PROCEED TO EXTEND TO THE VETERAN THE BENEFITS PROVIDED FOR IN TITLE IV OR V.

THE CERTIFICATION CARD SENT FROM THE WAR DEPARTMENT TO THE DIRECTOR OF THE VETERANS' BUREAU IS TO THE EFFECT THAT THE RECORDS OF SAID DEPARTMENT DISCLOSE THERE IS ADJUSTED SERVICE CREDIT DUE IN THE SUM OF $625; AND IN VIEW OF THE FACT THAT CONFLICTS AS TO THE RIGHTS OF PARTIES UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF THE WORLD WAR ADJUSTED COMPENSATION ACT ARE NOT ONLY POSSIBLE BUT LIKELY IN CASES OF THIS CHARACTER, THE PROVISIONS OF THE LAW ARE FOR CLOSE OBSERVANCE TO THE END THAT ALL INTERESTS, INCLUDING THOSE OF THE UNITED STATES, MAY BE PROPERLY SAFEGUARDED.

IT IS TO BE NOTED THAT BY THE EXPRESSED PROVISION OF THE STATUTE ABOVE QUOTED THERE MUST BE A VALID APPLICATION FILED WITH THE SECRETARY OF WAR OR THE SECRETARY OF THE NAVY, AS THE CASE MAY BE, WHICH VALID APPLICATION MUST BE TRANSMITTED TO THE DIRECTOR OF THE VETERANS' BUREAU WITH THE FACTS OF RECORD IN THE DEPARTMENT ESSENTIAL TO ENABLE THE DIRECTOR TO EXTEND TO THE APPLICANT, IF ENTITLED, THE BENEFITS OF THE ENACTMENT. THAT A VETERAN HAS DURING HIS LIFETIME FILED A VALID APPLICATION, IS A SPECIFIC REQUIREMENT OF THE LAW THAT MUST BE SATISFIED BEFORE THE DIRECTOR OF THE VETERANS' BUREAU IS AUTHORIZED, IN A CASE OF THIS CHARACTER, TO EXTEND THE BENEFITS OF THE ENACTMENT, AND IN SUCH CONNECTION, THE ADMINISTRATIVE RESPONSIBILITY BEING HIS, THE FACTS ARE FOR ASCERTAINMENT AND PRIMARY DETERMINATION BY HIM. BUT A VALID APPLICATION, SO FILED, BEING ESSENTIAL ALSO TO SUPPORT ANY PAYMENT MADE IN CONNECTION THEREWITH FROM FUNDS APPROPRIATED TO CARRY OUT THE PROVISIONS OF THE ENACTMENT, THE QUESTION FOR DETERMINATION HERE IS WHETHER THE ALLEGED APPLICATION HAS BEEN SUFFICIENTLY ESTABLISHED TO BE A VALID APPLICATION OF THE VETERAN, SO FILED, AS TO FURNISH NECESSARY SUPPORT FOR PAYMENTS FROM SUCH APPROPRIATED FUNDS IF MADE.

IT IS NOT DISCLOSED, AND APPARENTLY IS NOT KNOWN, FOR WHAT CORRECTION THE ALLEGED APPLICATION WAS RETURNED TO THE VETERAN. IT HAS BECOME LOST AND IS NOT NOW AVAILABLE FOR EXAMINATION. IT IS OF RECORD, HOWEVER, THAT THE APPLICATION WAS RETURNED TO THE VETERAN BY THE WAR DEPARTMENT "FOR CORRECTION.' IT MUST BE ASSUMED THIS RETURN WAS FOR NO TRIVIAL MATTER, BUT WAS NECESSARY. THERE HAVING BEEN DETERMINED SUCH NECESSITY FOR RETURN AND CORRECTION THE DEFECT OR OMISSION PROBABLY WENT TO SOME ESSENTIAL MATTER INVOLVING THE VALIDITY OF THE DOCUMENT AS AN APPLICATION. FOR ONE THING, NOTHING APPEARS THAT MAY BE ACCEPTED AS ESTABLISHING THAT THE ALLEGED APPLICATION WAS EVEN EXECUTED BY THE VETERAN.

CLEARLY, IN SUCH A STATE OF FACTS THERE CAN BE NO PRESUMPTION THAT THE DEFECT NECESSITATING THE RETURN WENT MERELY TO SOME NON-ESSENTIAL AND THAT THE "APPLICATION" WAS, WITHOUT THE REQUIRED CORRECTION, A VALID ONE UNDER THE LAW.

UPON THE FACTS PRESENTED, ISSUANCE OF AN ADJUSTED SERVICE CERTIFICATE AND PAYMENT THEREUNDER ARE NOT AUTHORIZED.