A-12259, DECEMBER 31, 1925, 5 COMP. GEN. 455

A-12259: Dec 31, 1925

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" IS NOT AVAILABLE TO REIMBURSE AN OFFICER OF THE ARMY FOR EXPENDITURES MADE IN THE ENTERTAINMENT IN FOREIGN COUNTRIES OF OFFICIALS OF VARIOUS GOVERNMENTS WHILE MAKING ARRANGEMENTS FOR THE AROUND-THE-WORLD FLIGHT. REQUESTING DECISION WHETHER PAYMENT IS AUTHORIZED ON THREE VOUCHERS WHICH YOU SUBMIT. ALLEGED TO HAVE BEEN INCURRED BY LIEUTENANTS HALVERSON AND LAWTON DURING THE PERIOD FROM APRIL TO SEPTEMBER. IT IS PROPOSED TO PAY THE CLAIMS IN QUESTION FROM THE APPROPRIATION MADE IN THE ACT OF JUNE 7. IT WAS HELD IN EFFECT THAT THE APPROPRIATION CONTAINED IN THE ACT OF JUNE 7. FOR CONTINGENT EXPENSES IN CONNECTION WITH AN AERIAL FLIGHT AROUND THE WORLD "FOR SUCH PURPOSES AS MAY BE APPROVED OR AUTHORIZED BY THE SECRETARY OF WAR" IS NOT AVAILABLE TO REIMBURSE AN OFFICER OF THE ARMY FOR EXPENDITURES MADE IN THE ENTERTAINMENT IN FOREIGN COUNTRIES OF OFFICIALS OF FOREIGN GOVERNMENTS.

A-12259, DECEMBER 31, 1925, 5 COMP. GEN. 455

TRAVELING EXPENSES - ENTERTAINING THE APPROPRIATION CONTAINED IN THE ACT OF JUNE 7, 1924, 43 STAT. 491, OF $50,000 FOR CONTINGENT EXPENSES IN CONNECTION WITH AN AERIAL FLIGHT AROUND THE WORLD "FOR PURPOSES AS MAY BE APPROVED OR AUTHORIZED BY THE SECRETARY OF WAR," IS NOT AVAILABLE TO REIMBURSE AN OFFICER OF THE ARMY FOR EXPENDITURES MADE IN THE ENTERTAINMENT IN FOREIGN COUNTRIES OF OFFICIALS OF VARIOUS GOVERNMENTS WHILE MAKING ARRANGEMENTS FOR THE AROUND-THE-WORLD FLIGHT.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL TO CAPT. CARL HALLA, UNITED STATES ARMY, DECEMBER 31, 1925:

THERE HAS BEEN RECEIVED YOUR LETTER OF DECEMBER 3, 1925, REQUESTING DECISION WHETHER PAYMENT IS AUTHORIZED ON THREE VOUCHERS WHICH YOU SUBMIT, REGULARLY CERTIFIED AND APPROVED COVERING EXPENSES AGGREGATING $1,265, ALLEGED TO HAVE BEEN INCURRED BY LIEUTENANTS HALVERSON AND LAWTON DURING THE PERIOD FROM APRIL TO SEPTEMBER, 1924,"IN ENTERTAINING OFFICIALS OF VARIOUS GOVERNMENTS WHILE MAKING ARRANGEMENTS FOR THE AROUND-THE-WORLD FLIGHT," AND ALSO $32 AS "EXTRAORDINARY EXPENSES INCURRED" BY LIEUTENANT HALVERSON "IN GETTING AIRPLANE RADIATOR THROUGH CUSTOMS AND TRANSPORTED FROM CONSTANTINOPLE TO PARIS FOR WHICH VOUCHERS COULD NOT BE OBTAINED.'

IT IS PROPOSED TO PAY THE CLAIMS IN QUESTION FROM THE APPROPRIATION MADE IN THE ACT OF JUNE 7, 1924, 43 STAT. 491, IN THE FOLLOWING TERMS:

* * * AND NOT EXCEEDING $50,000 MAY BE USED FOR ALL CONTINGENT EXPENSES IN CONNECTION WITH AN AERIAL FLIGHT AROUND THE WORLD, FOR SUCH PURPOSES AS MAY BE APPROVED OR AUTHORIZED BY THE SECRETARY OF WAR, TO BE IMMEDIATELY AVAILABLE; * * *

IN DECISION OF OCTOBER 8, 1925, A-10221, ON A SIMILAR SUBMISSION BY YOU, IT WAS HELD IN EFFECT THAT THE APPROPRIATION CONTAINED IN THE ACT OF JUNE 7, 1924, 43 STAT. 491, OF $50,000, FOR CONTINGENT EXPENSES IN CONNECTION WITH AN AERIAL FLIGHT AROUND THE WORLD "FOR SUCH PURPOSES AS MAY BE APPROVED OR AUTHORIZED BY THE SECRETARY OF WAR" IS NOT AVAILABLE TO REIMBURSE AN OFFICER OF THE ARMY FOR EXPENDITURES MADE IN THE ENTERTAINMENT IN FOREIGN COUNTRIES OF OFFICIALS OF FOREIGN GOVERNMENTS, OR EMPLOYEES OF OIL, STEAMSHIP AND AIRCRAFT COMPANIES.

YOU REQUEST CONSIDERATION OF SAID DECISION AND AS A BASIS THEREFOR YOU SUBMIT COPIES OF CERTAIN COMMUNICATIONS FROM WHICH IT APPEARS THAT THE CHIEF OF AIR SERVICE, IN ESTIMATING THE COST OF THE PROPOSED FLIGHT AROUND THE WORLD, INCLUDED WITH OTHER ITEMS IN A LETTER TO THE ADJUTANT GENERAL OF THE ARMY, THAT OF "ENTERTAINMENT.'

AN EXAMINATION OF THE RECORDS DISCLOSES THAT SUCH AN ITEM WAS NOT MENTIONED AT THE HEARINGS BEFORE THE SUBCOMMITTEE OF HOUSE COMMITTEE ON APPROPRIATIONS. THE PROJECT WAS THOROUGHLY DISCUSSED IN THE COMMITTEE ROOM OF THE CONGRESS, BUT NOT A WORD IS REPORTED AS HAVING BEEN SAID ABOUT ENTERTAINMENT IN FOREIGN COUNTRIES OF OFFICIALS OF FOREIGN GOVERNMENTS BY ANYONE.

THE CHIEF OF AIR SERVICE IN A MEMORANDUM OF NOVEMBER 1, 1923, ADDRESSED TO THE DIRECTOR OF THE BUDGET, WITH REFERENCE TO THE OBJECT AND PURPOSE OF THE APPROPRIATION HERE INVOLVED, SAID:

* * * ON PAGE 5 OF THE ESTIMATE IT IS PROVIDED THAT THE SUM OF $50,000 MAY BE USED FOR ,CONTINGENT" EXPENSES FOR AN AERIAL FLIGHT AROUND THE WORLD. THE PHRASEOLOGY AS SUBMITTED BY THIS OFFICE WAS APPROVED BY THE WAR DEPARTMENT. IT IS EARNESTLY REQUESTED THAT NO CHANGE BE MADE THEREIN. THIS AUTHORIZATION IS INTENDED TO MEET ENTIRELY UNFORESEEN AND UNFORESEEABLE EXPENSES, THE PREPARATION OF EMERGENCY LANDING FIELDS, HIRE OF SERVICES OR MATERIAL FOR RESCUE PURPOSES, INCIDENTAL EXPENSES OF THE PERSONNEL NOT COVERED OTHERWISE, AND FOR ALL SUCH AS MAY PROPERLY BE CLASSED AS "CONTINGENT.'

THERE APPEARS NOTHING IN THIS STATEMENT TO INDICATE AN INTENT TO USE ANY PART OF THE APPROPRIATION FOR ENTERTAINMENT PURPOSES.

THE PROPOSED LEGISLATION PASSED THROUGH THE OFFICE OF THE DIRECTOR OF THE BUDGET AND WAS INCORPORATED IN THE APPROPRIATION ACT IN THE EXACT LANGUAGE AS SUBMITTED BY THE WAR DEPARTMENT. EVEN IN THE DEPARTMENT WHERE THE QUESTION OF ENTERTAINMENT WAS CONSIDERED, NO ITEM THEREFOR WAS INCLUDED IN THE ESTIMATE OF EXPENSES OF ADVANCE OFFICERS AS ARE HERE

FOR REASONS STATED HEREIN AND IN THE DECISION OF OCTOBER 8, 1925, SUPRA, I AM CONSTRAINED TO HOLD THAT THIS PAYMENT OF ITEMS IN THE VOUCHERS FOR ENTERTAINMENT IS NOT AUTHORIZED. THE ITEM OF $32 FOR TRANSPORTING AIRPLANE RADIATOR MAY BE PAID.