A-17608, MARCH 16, 1927, 6 COMP. GEN. 585

A-17608: Mar 16, 1927

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MARINES IS LIMITED TO THOSE PROVIDED FOR IN THE ACT OF MARCH 9. 1927: I HAVE YOUR LETTER OF FEBRUARY 28. IT IS DESIRED BY THE WAR DEPARTMENT. YOUR DECISION IS THEREFORE REQUESTED WHETHER THE MONEY APPROPRIATED BY THE ABOVE-QUOTED ACT OR BY ANY OTHER ACT MAY BE USED FOR SUCH PURPOSE. THIS CONNECTION YOUR ATTENTION IS INVITED TO PAGES 1969 AND 1970 OF THE CONGRESSIONAL RECORD OF JANUARY 19. WHICH INDICATE THAT IT WAS THE DESIRE OF THE HOUSE AND THAT THEY ATTEMPTED SO TO WORK THE PROVISION TO ACCOMPLISH THIS RESULT. AN AMENDMENT WAS PROPOSED TO INSERT IN THE LAST CLAUSE OF THE PARAGRAPH IN QUESTION AFTER THE WORD "NATIONAL" THE WORDS "POST. A POINT OF ORDER WAS RAISED UPON THE GROUND THAT THIS CONSTITUTED LEGISLATION AND THE AMENDMENT WAS WITHDRAWN.

A-17608, MARCH 16, 1927, 6 COMP. GEN. 585

APPROPRIATIONS - HEADSTONES FOR GRAVES OF CONFEDERATE SOLDIERS UNDER THE APPROPRIATIONS AS MADE BY THE ACTS OF APRIL 15, 1926, 44 STAT. 287, AND FEBRUARY 23, 1927, 44 STAT. 1106, THE FURNISHING OF HEADSTONES FOR UNMARKED GRAVES OF CONFEDERATE SOLDIERS, SAILORS, AND MARINES IS LIMITED TO THOSE PROVIDED FOR IN THE ACT OF MARCH 9, 1906, 34 STAT. 56, AND TO GRAVES IN NATIONAL CEMETERIES.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL TO THE SECRETARY OF WAR, MARCH 16, 1927:

I HAVE YOUR LETTER OF FEBRUARY 28, 1927, AS FOLLOWS:

THE ACT MAKING APPROPRIATIONS FOR THE MILITARY AND NONMILITARY ACTIVITIES OF THE WAR DEPARTMENT FOR THE FISCAL YEAR ENDING JUNE 30, 1927, AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES, ACT OF APRIL 15, 1926 (44 STAT. 254, AT 287), PROVIDES AS FOLLOWS:

"FOR CONTINUING THE WORK OF FURNISHING HEADSTONES OF DURABLE STONE OR OTHER DURABLE MATERIAL FOR UNMARKED GRAVES OF UNION AND CONFEDERATE SOLDIERS, SAILORS, AND MARINES, AND SOLDIERS, SAILORS, AND MARINES OF ALL OTHER WARS IN NATIONAL, POST, CITY, TOWN, AND VILLAGE CEMETERIES, NAVAL CEMETERIES AT NAVY YARDS AND STATIONS OF THE UNITED STATES, AND OTHER BURIAL PLACES, UNDER THE ACTS OF MARCH 3, 1873, FEBRUARY 3, 1879, AND MARCH 9, 1906; CONTINUING THE WORK OF FURNISHING HEADSTONES FOR UNMARKED GRAVES OF CIVILIANS INTERRED IN POST CEMETERIES UNDER THE ACTS OF APRIL 28, 1904, AND JUNE 30, 1906; AND FURNISHING HEADSTONES FOR THE UNMARKED GRAVES OF CONFEDERATE SOLDIERS, SAILORS, AND MARINES IN NATIONAL CEMETERIES, $170,000.'

IT IS DESIRED BY THE WAR DEPARTMENT, IF LEGAL, TO FURNISH HEADSTONES FOR UNMARKED GRAVES OF CONFEDERATE SOLDIERS BURIED IN PRIVATELY-OWNED CEMETERIES IN THE VARIOUS CITIES, TOWNS, AND VILLAGES, THROUGHOUT THE UNITED STATES, REGARDLESS OF THE PLACES OR CIRCUMSTANCES OF DEATH. YOUR DECISION IS THEREFORE REQUESTED WHETHER THE MONEY APPROPRIATED BY THE ABOVE-QUOTED ACT OR BY ANY OTHER ACT MAY BE USED FOR SUCH PURPOSE. THIS CONNECTION YOUR ATTENTION IS INVITED TO PAGES 1969 AND 1970 OF THE CONGRESSIONAL RECORD OF JANUARY 19, 1927, AND TO PAGE 2029 OF THE CONGRESSIONAL RECORD OF JANUARY 20, 1927, WHICH INDICATE THAT IT WAS THE DESIRE OF THE HOUSE AND THAT THEY ATTEMPTED SO TO WORK THE PROVISION TO ACCOMPLISH THIS RESULT.

IN THE CONSIDERATION OF THE PROVISIONS OF THE BILL WHICH THEREAFTER BECAME THE ACT OF FEBRUARY 23, 1927, 44 STAT. 1106, MAKING APPROPRIATIONS FOR THE WAR DEPARTMENT FOR THE FISCAL YEAR 1928, IN WHICH IDENTICAL LANGUAGE AS THAT QUOTED IN YOUR LETTER APPEARS, AN AMENDMENT WAS PROPOSED TO INSERT IN THE LAST CLAUSE OF THE PARAGRAPH IN QUESTION AFTER THE WORD "NATIONAL" THE WORDS "POST, CITY, TOWN, AND VILLAGE.' A POINT OF ORDER WAS RAISED UPON THE GROUND THAT THIS CONSTITUTED LEGISLATION AND THE AMENDMENT WAS WITHDRAWN. THE PURPOSE OF THE PROPOSED AMENDMENT, IT WAS STATED, WAS TO OVERCOME A RULING OF THE WAR DEPARTMENT TO THE EFFECT THAT UNDER THE TERMS OF THE APPROPRIATION IN WHICH SPECIFIC REFERENCE IS MADE TO THE ACTS OF MARCH 3, 1873, 17 STAT. 545, FEBRUARY 3, 1879, 20 STAT. 281, AND MARCH 9, 1906, 34 STAT. 56, THE FURNISHING OF HEADSTONES FOR GRAVES OF CONFEDERATE SOLDIERS WAS LIMITED TO GRAVES IN NATIONAL CEMETERIES.

THERE IS SOME INDICATION FROM THE DISCUSSION OF THE MATTER BEFORE THE HOUSE THAT IT WAS THE OPINION OF AT LEAST SOME OF THE MEMBERS OF THE HOUSE THAT THE LANGUAGE IN THE FIRST PART OF THE PARAGRAPH WAS SUFFICIENTLY BROAD TO COVER THE FURNISHING OF HEADSTONES FOR THE UNMARKED GRAVES OF UNION AND CONFEDERATE SOLDIERS, SAILORS, AND MARINES BURIED IN ALL CLASSES OF CEMETERIES, BUT IT WAS ALSO POINTED OUT THAT THE AMENDMENT WOULD ENLARGE THE SCOPE OF THE APPROPRIATION AND IT WAS FOR THAT REASON THAT THE POINT OF ORDER WAS RAISED.

THE PROVISION IN THE ACT OF 1873 FOR THE FURNISHING OF HEADSTONES RELATES SOLELY TO GRAVES IN NATIONAL CEMETERIES. THE ACT OF 1879 PROVIDES FOR THE ERECTION OF "HEADSTONES OVER THE GRAVES OF SOLDIERS WHO SERVED IN THE REGULAR OR VOLUNTEER ARMY OF THE UNITED STATES DURING THE WAR FOR THE UNION, AND WHO HAVE BEEN BURIED IN PRIVATE VILLAGE OR CITY CEMETERIES, IN THE SAME MANNER AS PROVIDED BY THE" LAW OF MARCH 3, 1873,"FOR THOSE INTERRED IN NATIONAL MILITARY CEMETERIES.' WHILE THIS ACT AUTHORIZES THE FURNISHING OF HEADSTONES FOR GRAVES OF UNION SOLDIERS IN OTHER THAN NATIONAL CEMETERIES, IT MAKES NO SUCH PROVISION WITH RESPECT TO CONFEDERATE SOLDIERS.

THE ACT OF MARCH 9, 1906, AUTHORIZED AND DIRECTED THE SECRETARY OF WAR TO ASCERTAIN THE LOCATIONS AND CONDITIONS OF ALL THE GRAVES OF THE SOLDIERS AND SAILORS OF THE CONFEDERATE ARMY AND NAVY "WHO DIED IN FEDERAL PRISONS AND MILITARY HOSPITALS IN THE NORTH AND WHO WERE BURIED NEAR THEIR PLACES OF CONFINEMENT" AND "TO CAUSE TO BE ERECTED OVER SAID GRAVES WHITE MARBLE ADSTONES.'

THE LANGUAGE OF THE FIRST PART OF THE PROVISION HERE IN QUESTION WOULD APPEAR BROAD ENOUGH TO AUTHORIZE THE FURNISHING OF HEADSTONES FOR THE UNMARKED GRAVES OF BOTH UNION AND CONFEDERATE SOLDIERS INTERRED IN ALL CLASSES OF CEMETERIES WERE IT NOT QUALIFIED BY THE ADDITION OF THE PHRASE "UNDER THE ACTS OF MARCH 3, 1873, FEBRUARY 3, 1879, AND MARCH 9, 1906.' IN VIEW OF THIS QUALIFICATION OF THE FIRST CLAUSE OF THE PROVISION IN QUESTION, IT MUST BE HELD THAT THE AUTHORITY TO FURNISH HEADSTONES FOR GRAVES OF CONFEDERATE SOLDIERS IN OTHER THAN NATIONAL CEMETERIES IS NECESSARILY LIMITED TO THE GRAVES REFERRED TO IN THE ACT OF MARCH 9, 1906, SUPRA. SEE DECISION OF FORMER COMPTROLLER TRACEWELL TO THE SECRETARY OF WAR UNDER DATE OF MAY 13, 1913.

YOU ARE ACCORDINGLY ADVISED THAT UNDER THE APPROPRIATION AS MADE BY THE ACT OF APRIL 15, 1926, 44 STAT. 287, AND THAT MADE BY THE ACT OF FEBRUARY 23, 1927, 44 STAT. 1106, THE FURNISHING OF HEADSTONES FOR UNMARKED GRAVES OF CONFEDERATE SOLDIERS, SAILORS, AND MARINES IS LIMITED TO THOSE PROVIDED FOR IN THE ACT OF MARCH 9, 1906, AND TO GRAVES IN NATIONAL CEMETERIES.