A-18906, SEPTEMBER 1, 1927, 7 COMP. GEN. 171

A-18906: Sep 1, 1927

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1927: THERE IS FOR CONSIDERATION THE PROPER APPLICATION OF THE ACT OF JANUARY 29. SUCH CLAIMS WERE DISALLOWED BY ANY ACCOUNTING OFFICER OF THE TREASURY. THAT NO CLAIM HEREUNDER SHALL BE ALLOWED IF MADE BY ANY PERSON WHO IS AN ASSIGNEE OF SUCH CLAIM NOR TO A LEGAL REPRESENTATIVE WITHOUT PROOF OF THE EXISTENCE OF BLOOD RELATIONS TO WHOM THE FUND WOULD BE DISTRIBUTED: PROVIDED FURTHER. PROVIDED: THAT EVERY COMMISSIONED OFFICER OF THE LINE OR STAFF EXCLUSIVE OF GENERAL OFFICERS SHALL BE ENTITLED TO RECEIVE ONE ADDITIONAL RATION PER DIEM FOR EVERY FIVE YEARS HE MAY HAVE SERVED OR SHALL SERVE IN THE ARMY OF THE UNITED STATES: * * * TWO QUESTIONS ARISE IN THE SETTLEMENT OF CLAIMS UNDER THE ACT OF JANUARY 29.

A-18906, SEPTEMBER 1, 1927, 7 COMP. GEN. 171

ARMY PAY - LONGEVITY INCREASE UNDER ACT OF JULY 5, 1838, 5 STAT. 258 SUBJECT TO THE LIMITATIONS OTHERWISE CONTAINED THEREIN, THE ACT OF JANUARY 29, 1927, 44 STAT. 1054, AUTHORIZES SETTLEMENT OF CLAIMS OF OFFICERS OF THE ARMY FOR LONGEVITY RATIONS UNDER THE ACT OF JULY 5, 1838, 5 STAT. 258, BASED ON ENLISTED SERVICE IN THE REGULAR ARMY PRIOR TO JUNE 18, 1878. PRIOR DECISIONS MODIFIED ACCORDINGLY. SUBJECT TO THE LIMITATIONS OTHERWISE CONTAINED THEREIN, THE ACT OF JANUARY 29, 1927, 44 STAT. 1054, AUTHORIZES SETTLEMENT OF ALL UNPAID CLAIMS OF OFFICERS OF THE ARMY FOR LONGEVITY RATIONS UNDER THE ACT OF JULY 5, 1838, 5 STAT. 258, AS CONSTRUED BY THE SUPREME COURT IN THE CASE OF UNITED STATES V. WATSON, 130 U.S. 80, AND THE COURT OF CLAIMS IN THE CASE OF STEWART V. UNITED STATES, 34 CT.CLS. 553, AND 16 COMP. DEC. 887, WHETHER DISALLOWED BY THE ACCOUNTING OFFICERS DURING THE PERIOD JUNE 20, 1890, TO MAY 18, 1908, OR PRIOR OR SUBSEQUENT THERETO. PRIOR DECISIONS MODIFIED ACCORDINGLY.

DECISION BY COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL, SEPTEMBER, 1, 1927:

THERE IS FOR CONSIDERATION THE PROPER APPLICATION OF THE ACT OF JANUARY 29, 1927, 44 STAT. 1054, PROVIDING:

AN ACT TO CONFER JURISDICTION ON THE COURT OF CLAIMS TO CERTIFY CERTAIN FINDINGS OF FACT, AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES.

BE IT ENACTED * * * THAT THE COURT OF CLAIMS SHALL CERTIFY TO THE PROPER ACCOUNTING OFFICERS OF THE UNITED STATES THE FINDINGS OF FACT HERETOFORE MADE FOR CLAIMANTS IN CLAIMS OF OFFICERS OF THE UNITED STATES ARMY FOR LONGEVITY PAY UNDER THE DECISIONS OF THE SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED STATES IN UNITED STATES AGAINST MORTON (VOLUME 112, UNITED STATES REPORTS, PAGE 1) AND UNITED STATES AGAINST WATSON (VOLUME 130, UNITED STATES REPORTS, PAGE 80), AND OF THE COURT OF CLAIMS IN STEWART AGAINST UNITED STATES (VOLUME 34, COURT OF CLAIMS REPORTS, PAGE 553).

AND THAT THE PROPER ACCOUNTING OFFICERS OF THE UNITED STATES SHALL PROCEED TO SETTLE THE CLAIMS SO CERTIFIED AND ALL OTHER CLAIMS FOR LONGEVITY PAY AND ALLOWANCES ON ACCOUNT OF SERVICES OF OFFICERS IN THE REGULAR ARMY ARISING UNDER SECTION 15 OF AN ACT APPROVED JULY 5, 1838, ENTITLED ,AN ACT TO INCREASE THE PRESENT MILITARY ESTABLISHMENT OF THE UNITED STATES, AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES," AND SUBSEQUENT ACTS AFFECTING LONGEVITY PAY AND ALLOWANCES, IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE DECISIONS OF THE COURTS OF THE UNITED STATES IN ALL CASES IN WHICH HERETOFORE, NAMELY, BETWEEN 1890 AND 1908, SUCH CLAIMS WERE DISALLOWED BY ANY ACCOUNTING OFFICER OF THE TREASURY, AND NO DECISION OF A COMPTROLLER HERETOFORE MADE AGAINST A CLAIMANT UNDER SAID SECTION 15 SHALL PREVENT A SETTLEMENT UNDER THE TERMS OF THIS ACT OF ANY SUCH DISALLOWED CLAIM. EVERY SUCH CLAIM SHALL BE PAYABLE TO THE CLAIMANT OR TO HIS WIDOW OR TO HIS LEGAL REPRESENTATIVE: PROVIDED, THAT NO CLAIM HEREUNDER SHALL BE ALLOWED IF MADE BY ANY PERSON WHO IS AN ASSIGNEE OF SUCH CLAIM NOR TO A LEGAL REPRESENTATIVE WITHOUT PROOF OF THE EXISTENCE OF BLOOD RELATIONS TO WHOM THE FUND WOULD BE DISTRIBUTED: PROVIDED FURTHER, THAT IT SHALL BE UNLAWFUL FOR ANY AGENT OR ATTORNEY, FIRM OF ATTORNEYS, OR ANY PERSON ENGAGED HERETOFORE OR HEREAFTER IN PREPARING, PRESENTING, OR PROSECUTING ANY CLAIM UNDER THIS ACT TO CHARGE OR RECEIVE MORE THAN 10 PERCENTUM OF ANY AMOUNT APPROPRIATED IN SATISFACTION OF THE CLAIM.

SECTION 15 OF THE ACT OF JULY 5, 1838, 5 STAT. 258, PROVIDED:

THAT EVERY COMMISSIONED OFFICER OF THE LINE OR STAFF EXCLUSIVE OF GENERAL OFFICERS SHALL BE ENTITLED TO RECEIVE ONE ADDITIONAL RATION PER DIEM FOR EVERY FIVE YEARS HE MAY HAVE SERVED OR SHALL SERVE IN THE ARMY OF THE UNITED STATES: * * *

TWO QUESTIONS ARISE IN THE SETTLEMENT OF CLAIMS UNDER THE ACT OF JANUARY 29, 1927: (1) WHETHER ENLISTED SERVICE IN THE REGULAR ARMY IS AUTHORIZED TO BE COUNTED IN THE COMPUTATION OF SERVICE IN THE SETTLEMENT OF THESE CLAIMS, AND (2) WHETHER IF A CLAIM WAS NOT DISALLOWED BETWEEN 1890 AND 1908, BUT HAD BEEN REJECTED PRIOR THERETO, THERE IS ANY AUTHORITY TO CONSIDER IT.

PRELIMINARY TO THE CONSIDERATION OF THE SPECIFIC QUESTIONS ARISING AND IN AID OF THEIR SOLUTION, A BRIEF REVIEW OF THE FACTS LEADING UP TO THE ENACTMENT OF 1927 IS DESIRABLE, IF NOT ESSENTIAL. THE ACT OF 1838 HAD BEEN CONTEMPORANEOUSLY AND CONTINUOUSLY CONSTRUED BY ALL DEPARTMENTS OF THE EXECUTIVE BRANCH OF THE GOVERNMENT FROM ITS ENACTMENT "THAT THE OFFICER IS ENTITLED TO THE ADDITIONAL RATION FOR EVERY FIVE YEARS' SERVICE ONLY, WHERE SUCH SERVICE HAS BEEN RENDERED AS A COMMISSIONED OFFICER OF THE ARMY, EXCLUDING SERVICE AS A VOLUNTEER OR MARINE" AND THAT "SERVICE * * * AS A CADET AT WEST POINT, CAN NOT BE REGARDED AS SERVICE IN THE ARMY.' PAR. 1331 AND 1329, VOL. 1, DIG. 2ND COMP. DEC. EDITION OF 1865, AND SEE DECISION OF THE SECOND COMPTROLLER OF THE TREASURY, JULY 24, 1838, IMMEDIATELY FOLLOWING THE PASSAGE OF THE ACT OF JULY 5, 1838, MS 2ND COMP. DEC. VOL. 6, P. 672. THIS CONSTRUCTION SEEMS NOT TO HAVE BEEN CHALLENGED IN ANY QUARTER UNTIL LONG AFTER THE REPEAL OF THE LAW, WHEN BY REASON OF SOME BROAD LANGUAGE DEFINING SERVICE IN THE ARMY, USED BY THE SUPREME COURT IN THE CASE OF UNITED STATES V. TYLER IN 1881, 105 U.S. 244 (WHICH WAS A CLAIM BY AN OFFICER OF THE ARMY, RETIRED FOR WOUNDS RECEIVED IN BATTLE, TO LONGEVITY INCREASE FOR TIME AFTER RETIREMENT), PERSONNEL OF THE ARMY BEGAN TO CONTEND FOR A BROADER CONSTRUCTION TO INCLUDE ALL SERVICE IN THE REGULAR ARMY WHETHER AS A COMMISSIONED OFFICER, ENLISTED MAN, OR CADET AT THE MILITARY ACADEMY. THE MORTON CASE, 1884, 112 U.S. 1, WAS A CLAIM FOR CREDIT FOR CADET SERVICE IN COMPUTING PAY UNDER THE ACT OF FEBRUARY 24, 1881, 21 STAT. 346, PROVIDING THAT "THE ACTUAL TIME OF SERVICE IN THE ARMY OR NAVY, OR BOTH, SHALL BE ALLOWED ALL OFFICERS IN COMPUTING THEIR PAY.' IN THAT CASE IT WAS HELD THAT THE STATUTES CREATING THE MILITARY ACADEMY CLEARLY DEMONSTRATED THE CORPS OF CADETS WAS A PART OF THE ARMY, AND THAT SERVICE THEREIN WAS SERVICE IN THE ARMY, THE COURT CITING AND QUOTING WITH APPROVAL ITS FORMER ADJUDICATION IN THE TYLER CASE. WATSON'S CASE, 1888, 130 U.S. 80, THERE WAS A CLAIM UNDER THE ACT OF JULY 5, 1838, FOR CREDIT FOR CADET SERVICE BY AN OFFICER RETIRED IN 1868 BECAUSE OF WOUNDS RECEIVED IN BATTLE, WHICH WAS ALLOWED FOR SO MUCH OF THE CLAIM AS WAS NOT BARRED BY THE STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS, THE COURT CITING AS AUTHORITY THE TYLER AND MORTON CASES.

MANY OFFICERS OF THE ARMY HAD THERETOFORE FILED WITH THE ACCOUNTING OFFICERS OF THE TREASURY CLAIMS FOR UNPAID LONGEVITY INCREASE OF PAY (RATIONS UNDER THE ACT OF 1838, BASED ON THE TYLER CASE. ALL THESE CLAIMS WERE REJECTED BY THE ACCOUNTING OFFICERS. AFTER THE WATSON DECISION THE ACCOUNTING OFFICERS ALLOWED THE CLAIMS OF THREE OFFICERS FOR LONGEVITY PAY (RATIONS) UNDER THE ACT OF 1838, WHEN BY DECISION OF JUNE 20, 1890, THE SECOND COMPTROLLER OF THE TREASURY DETERMINED THAT THE DECISION ON THE SUPREME COURT WAS NOT REQUIRED TO BE FOLLOWED IN CASES THAT COULD NOT BE PROSECUTED IN THE COURT OF CLAIMS BECAUSE OF THE BAR OF THE STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS, AND THAT DECISION ESTABLISHED THE PRACTICE OF THE ACCOUNTING OFFICERS UNTIL MAY 18, 1908, WHEN BY DECISION OF THAT DATE ASSISTANT COMPTROLLER MITCHELL REVERSED THE PRIOR DECISION AND HELD THAT CLAIMS FOR CREDIT FOR CADET SERVICE NOT THERETOFORE ACTED UPON BY THE ACCOUNTING OFFICERS OR THEIR PREDECESSORS SHOULD BE SETTLED IN ACCORD WITH THE MORTON AND WATSON DECISIONS. SEE 14 COMP. DEC. 795, WHERE THE MATTER IS FULLY REVIEWED. THESE DECISIONS AND ACTIONS OF THE ACCOUNTING OFFICERS APPARENTLY RELATED EXCLUSIVELY TO CREDIT FOR CADET SERVICE, ALTHOUGH THERE IS AN IMPLIED RECOGNITION THAT THE THREE CASES IN THE SUPREME COURT PERMITTED THE COUNTING OF SERVICE AS AN ENLISTED MAN IN THE REGULAR ARMY IN DECISION OF ASSISTANT COMPTROLLER MANSUR DECEMBER 11, 1894, QUOTED 14 COMP. DEC. 802, THAT HE ADHERES:

TO THE DECISION MADE JUNE 20, 1890, AND THE CLAIM FOR LONGEVITY PRIOR TO JUNE 16, 1878, DEPENDING ON A CREDIT FOR SERVICE AS AN ENLISTED MAN, AND PRIOR TO FEBRUARY 24, 1881, DEPENDING ON A CREDIT FOR ANY SERVICE OTHER THAN THAT OF A COMMISSIONED OFFICER OR AS AN ENLISTED MAN, WILL BE DISALLOWED.

PRIOR THERETO, IN DECISION OF MAY 8, 1889, SECOND COMPTROLLER BUTLER SAID IN REFERRING TO THE WATSON CASE:

* * * THIS INTERPRETATION IS PUT BY THE COURT ON THE GROUND THAT THE CADETS ARE A PART OF THE ARMY AND NOT UPON THE GROUND THAT THEY ARE IN ANY SENSE OFFICERS. THE COURT QUOTES WITH APPROVAL FROM THE DECISION IN THE MORTON CASE, IN WHICH THE POINT DECIDED WAS THAT CADETS WERE PART OF THE ARMY. SERVICE AS AN ENLISTED MAN IS OBVIOUSLY SERVICE IN THE ARMY, AND MUST, THEREFORE, BE INCLUDED IN THE PRINCIPLE OF THE DECISION. (SEE 21 COMP. DEC. 95.)

THE REFUSAL OF THE ACCOUNTING OFFICERS TO FOLLOW THE DECISION OF THE SUPREME COURT IN THESE CASES, OR THEIR LACK OF JURISDICTION TO REOPEN THE SETTLEMENTS OF THEIR PREDECESSORS AFTER THE CHANGE IN THEIR DECISION, RESULTED IN THE FILING OF NUMEROUS CLAIMS WITH THE CONGRESS AND MANY WERE REFERRED TO THE COURT OF CLAIMS, UNDER THE LAW SO PROVIDING, FOR A FINDING OF FACTS. FEW, IF ANY, APPROPRIATIONS WERE MADE IN PAYMENT OF THE JUDGMENTS OF THE COURT OF CLAIMS IN THESE CASES SPECIALLY REFERRED. SUBSEQUENT TO MAY 18, 1908,"BY REASON OF THE ACT OF CONGRESS PASSED JULY 6, 1914, THE CLAIM OF ABOUT 140 CONFEDERATE OFFICERS FOR LONGEVITY PAY DUE THEM PRIOR TO ENTERING THE CONFEDERATE ARMY, VIZ, PRIOR TO APRIL, 1861, WERE PAID, AGGREGATING ABOUT $150,000.' (H.REP. 22, 67TH CONG., 1ST SESS., ON H.R. 28, A BILL SIMILAR IN PURPOSE AND IN LANGUAGE TO THE ACT OF JANUARY 29, 1927.) AND SEE 21 COMP. DEC. 88. AMONG THE CLAIMS REFERRED TO THE COURT OF CLAIMS BY ONE OR THE OTHER OF THE HOUSES OF CONGRESS WERE CLAIMS BASED IN PART OR IN WHOLE ON SERVICE AS AN ENLISTED MAN IN THE REGULAR ARMY, INCLUDING THE CLAIM OF STEWART V. UNITED STATES, 34 CT.CLS. 553, ON WHICH WERE BASED ITS FINDINGS OF FACTS IN OTHER CASES, AND IT IS THESE LATTER CASES, AMONG OTHERS, WHICH, UNDER THE ACT OF 1927, THE COURT OF CLAIMS IS REQUIRED TO CERTIFY TO THE PROPER ACCOUNTING OFFICERS, AND WHICH THE PROPER ACCOUNTING OFFICERS ARE REQUIRED BY THE SECOND PARAGRAPH OF THE ACT TO SETTLE "IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE DECISIONS OF THE COURTS OF THE UNITED STATES.' IN THE COURT OF CLAIMS REPORT OF THE STEWART CASE ONLY THE AMOUNT OF THE JUDGMENT FOUND IS SHOWN, BUT IN 16 COMP. DEC. 887, THE FINDINGS OFFACT AND JUDGMENT ARE QUOTED AT LENGTH. THE SAME CONCLUSION SEEMS TO HAVE BEEN REACHED BY THE COURT OF CLAIMS IN THE CASE OF DAVISON V. UNITED STATES, 43 CT.CLS. 308. AN APPEAL WAS RECOMMENDED IN THE STEWART CASE BY THE ACCOUNTING OFFICERS BUT NONE WAS TAKEN. DECISION OF JUNE 30, 1910, 16 COMP. DEC. 887, ASSISTANT COMPTROLLER MITCHELL HELD IN VIEW OF THE STEWART CASE THAT ENLISTED SERVICE IN THE REGULAR ARMY WAS SERVICE REQUIRED TO BE INCLUDED IN THE COMPUTATION FOR LONGEVITY RATIONS UNDER THE ACT OF 1838. IN DECISION OF APRIL 8, 1914, 20 COMP. DEC. 733, COMPTROLLER DOWNEY HELD THAT CREDIT FOR ENLISTED SERVICE PRIOR TO JUNE 18, 1878 (AUTHORIZED BY STATUTE TO BE COUNTED ON AND AFTER THAT DATE, 20 STAT. 150), WAS NOT AUTHORIZED, CITING IN SUPPORT OF THAT VIEW THE DECISIONS OF THE COURT OF CLAIMS AND SUPREME COURT IN THE TYLER CASE, WHERE ENLISTED SERVICE WAS EXCLUDED FROM THE COMPUTATION PRIOR TO JUNE 18, 1878, BUT INCLUDED THEREAFTER; AND THE ACT OF MARCH 2, 1867, 14 STAT. 434, WHICH HE TREATED AS A LEGISLATIVE CONSTRUCTION OF THE 1838 ACT, AS LIMITING LONGEVITY CREDIT TO COMMISSIONED SERVICE; AND TAKING THE VIEW THAT THE QUESTION INVOLVED IN THE STEWART CASE WAS DECIDED WITHOUT DISCUSSION OR FORMAL OPINION, AND SHOULD NOT BE DEEMED AS REVERSING THE PRIOR CONSIDERED JUDGMENT OF THE COURT IN THE TYLER CASE. (THE SERVICE OF TYLER AS AN ENLISTED MAN APPEARS TO HAVE BEEN IN THE VOLUNTEERS, 21 COMP. DEC. 88, 94, AND SEEMS TO HAVE BEEN PROPERLY EXCLUDED FROM THE COMPUTATION IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE DECISION OF THE SUPREME COURT IN THE LATER CASE OF UNITED STATES V. SWEENY, 157 U.S. 281.) CLAIMS BASED ON ENLISTED SERVICE IN THE REGULAR ARMY WERE ALLOWED BY THE ACCOUNTING OFFICERS, THEREFORE, ONLY BETWEEN JUNE 30, 1910, AND APRIL 8, 1914. BOTH BEFORE AND SUBSEQUENT TO THAT TIME THEY WERE DISALLOWED. ALTHOUGH SECOND COMPTROLLER BUTLER HAD INDICATED THEY WERE ALLOWABLE UNDER THE WATSON DECISION, NONE IN FACT WERE ALLOWED. SEE 21 COMP. DEC. 88.

UNDER THE ACT OF 1927, THE COURT OF CLAIMS IS REQUIRED TO "CERTIFY * * * THE FINDINGS OF FACT HERETOFORE MADE FOR CLAIMANTS * * * UNDER THE DECISIONS * * * OF THE COURT OF CLAIMS IN STEWART AGAINST UNITED STATES.' THE DIRECTION OF THE STATUTE IS THAT THE ACCOUNTING OFFICERS "SHALL PROCEED TO SETTLE THE CLAIMS SO CERTIFIED AND ALL OTHER CLAIMS * * * IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE DECISIONS OF THE COURTS OF THE UNITED STATES.' STEWART'S CLAIM WAS UNDER THE ACT OF 1838 FOR CREDIT FOR ENLISTED SERVICE IN THE REGULAR ARMY. CLEARLY, ANY CLAIMS CERTIFIED BY THE COURT OF CLAIMS UNDER THE STEWART CASE MUST BE SETTLED AND ALLOWED; AND "ALL OTHER CLAIMS" ARE REQUIRED TO BE SETTLED ON THE SAME BASIS; THAT IS,"IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE DECISIONS OF THE COURTS OF THE UNITED STATES.' THERE IS NO DECISION OF A FEDERAL COURT KNOWN TO THIS OFFICE IN WHICH SERVICE AS AN ENLISTED MAN IN THE REGULAR ARMY IS HELD NOT AUTHORIZED UNDER THE ACT OF 1838, TO BE COUNTED FOR LONGEVITY RATIONS AS AN OFFICER OF THE REGULAR ARMY. CLAIMS BASED ON SUCH ENLISTED SERVICE IN THE REGULAR ARMY WILL ACCORDINGLY BE CONSIDERED AND SETTLED IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE DECISION OF THE COURT OF CLAIMS IN THE STEWART CASE, NOTWITHSTANDING PRIOR DECISIONS OF THE ACCOUNTING OFFICERS.

AS HAS BEEN SHOWN, (1) ALL CLAIMS FOR LONGEVITY CREDIT BASED ON CADET SERVICE OR ENLISTED SERVICE IN THE REGULAR ARMY, FILED WITH THE ACCOUNTING OFFICERS UNDER THE TYLER CASE AND PRIOR TO THE DECISION IN THE WATSON CASE, WERE DISALLOWED; (2) THREE CASES INVOLVING CREDIT FOR CADET SERVICE WERE ALLOWED UNDER THE WATSON CASE; (3) ALL OTHER CASES BETWEEN JUNE 20, 1890, AND MAY 18, 1908, WERE DISALLOWED, WHETHER INVOLVING CADET OR ENLISTED SERVICE; (4) THEREAFTER ALL CLAIMS INVOLVING CADET SERVICE WERE ALLOWED WHICH HAD NOT BEEN THERETOFORE ADVERSELY ACTED UPON BY THE ACCOUNTING OFFICERS, INCLUDING THE CLAIMS OF FORMER OFFICERS OF THE REGULAR ARMY WHO JOINED THE CONFEDERATE ARMY IN 1861 (THESE CLAIMS HAVING BEEN BARRED BY SECTION 3480, REVISED STATUTES, AND THE BAR HAVING BEEN REMOVED AS TO CLAIMS FOR SERVICE IN THE ARMY OF THE UNITED STATES PRIOR TO APRIL 13, 1861, BY THE ACT OF JULY 6, 1914, 38 STAT. 454); (5) ALL CLAIMS BASED ON CREDIT FOR SERVICE AS ENLISTED MEN IN THE REGULAR ARMY WERE DISALLOWED PRIOR TO JUNE 30, 1910, 16 COMP. DEC. 887, AND AFTER APRIL 8, 1914, 20 COMP. DEC. 733. IN THIS SITUATION OF INEQUALITY OF TREATMENT OF OFFICERS RENDERING THE SAME SERVICE THE CONGRESS, AFTER MANY YEARS OF CONSIDERATION, PASSED THE ACT OF JANUARY 29, 1927, AND THE QUESTION IS WHETHER ITS EFFECT IS TO PLACE ALL OFFICERS ON THE SAME BASIS AS TO PAY, OR TO AUTHORIZE PAYMENT TO CERTAIN ONES ONLY, WHO, DURING A PARTICULAR PERIOD, PRESENTED THEIR CLAIMS TO THE ACCOUNTING OFFICERS, AND WHOSE CLAIMS WERE THEN DISALLOWED. THE DIRECTION IS TO SETTLE THE CLAIMS DESCRIBED:

* * * IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE DECISIONS OF THE COURTS OF THE UNITED STATES IN ALL CASES IN WHICH HERETOFORE, NAMELY, BETWEEN 1890 AND 1908, SUCH CLAIMS WERE DISALLOWED BY ANY ACCOUNTING OFFICER OF THE TREASURY * * *

THE BASIS OF THE ACT IS THAT THE CONSTRUCTION OF THE LAW BY THE COURTS IN THE CITED CASES IS THE LAW AND DURING A SPECIFIED PERIOD DECISIONS OF THE ACCOUNTING OFFICERS WERE IN FORCE CONTRARY THERETO, AND THE PURPOSE OF THE STATUTE IS THAT THESE DECISIONS OF THE ACCOUNTING OFFICERS IN FORCE DURING THAT PERIOD ARE TO BE DISREGARDED AND "ALL OTHER CLAIMS" SETTLED IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE DECISIONS OF THE COURTS OF THE UNITED STATES. UNLESS THIS PURPOSE IS TO BE DEFEATED,THE PHRASE "NAMELY, BETWEEN 1890 AND 1908," MUST BE CONSTRUED AS DESCRIPTIVE OF THE TYPE OF CLAIMS TO BE ALLOWED UNDER THE TERMS OF THE ACT RATHER THAN AS A LIMITATION UPON THE CLAIMS TO BE CONSIDERED. IT IS TO BE NOTED THAT IT WAS ONLY DURING THIS PERIOD THAT THE ACCOUNTING OFFICERS HAD REFUSED TO FOLLOW THE DECISION OF THE SUPREME COURT IN THE WATSON CASE, AND THAT BOTH BEFORE AND AFTER THE PERIOD NAMED IN THE STATUTE THE EFFORT OF THE ACCOUNTING OFFICERS WAS TO FOLLOW THE DECISION, THE QUESTION CONSIDERED BY THEM BEING WHETHER THE LANGUAGE USED BY THE COURT SHOULD BE THE GUIDE IN INTERPRETING THE ACT OF 1838, OR WHETHER THE DECISION SHOULD BE OPERATIVE ONLY AS TO CASES OF IDENTICAL FACTS, THAT IS, LIMITED TO CADET SERVICE. ORDINARILY, THE PHRASE "NAMELY, BETWEEN 1890 AND 1908," WOULD OPERATE AS A LIMITATION UPON THE GENERALITY OF THE DIRECTION TO SETTLE SUCH CLAIMS "IN ALL CASES IN WHICH HERETOFORE * * * SUCH CLAIMS WERE DISALLOWED BY ANY ACCOUNTING OFFICER OF THE TREASURY.' HOWEVER, AS SO READ, THE PHRASE WOULD ALSO BE A LIMITATION UPON THE SETTLEMENT OF CLAIMS CERTIFIED BY THE COURT OF CLAIMS, AS THE LANGUAGE OF THE STATUTE FOLLOWING THE DIRECTION IN THE SECOND PARAGRAPH "TO SETTLE THE CLAIMS SO CERTIFIED AND ALL OTHER CLAIMS" MODIFIES AND RESTRICTS BOTH CLASSES, AND IF ONE CLASS IS LIMITED TO CLAIMS DISALLOWED BETWEEN 1890 AND 1908, THE OTHER MUST ALSO BE SO LIMITED. AS MANY CASES WERE REFERRED TO THE COURT OF CLAIMS BY ONE OR THE OTHER OF THE HOUSES OF CONGRESS SUBSEQUENT TO 1908 WHERE THE ACCOUNTING OFFICERS WERE WITHOUT AUTHORITY TO REOPEN SETTLEMENTS MADE BY THEIR PREDECESSORS, AND WERE NOT ACTED UPON BETWEEN 1890 AND 1908, IT IS OBVIOUS THAT TO ACCOMPLISH THE PURPOSE AND INTENT OF THE 1927 LAW THE PHRASE "NAMELY, BETWEEN 1890 AND 1908," MUST BE READ AS DESCRIPTIVE OF THE TYPE OF CLAIMS TO BE ALLOWED, RATHER THAN AS A LIMITATION TO SETTLE ONLY CLAIMS OF THE CHARACTER DESCRIBED, ADVERSELY ACTED UPON DURING THE LIMITED PERIOD STATED. SUCH CONSTRUCTION DOES NO VIOLENCE TO THE LANGUAGE OF THE ACT AND WILL EFFECTUATE ITS PURPOSE AND INTENT. IN THESE CIRCUMSTANCES, ACCEPTED RULES OF STATUTORY CONSTRUCTION REQUIRE THAT THAT MEANING BE ADOPTED WHICH WILL ACCOMPLISH THE INTENT OF THE ACT. SETTLEMENTS WILL BE MADE IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONSTRUCTION HEREIN; AND ACTION ON CLAIMS SETTLEMENTS HERETOFORE TAKEN UNDER THE ACT OF JANUARY 29, 1927, ON THE NARROWER VIEW OF THE INTENT OF THE ACT, WILL BE MODIFIED WITHOUT REQUEST FROM CLAIMANTS OR THEIR ATTORNEYS.