A-22916, JUNE 1, 1928, 7 COMP. GEN. 759

A-22916: Jun 1, 1928

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RAILROADS ENGAGED IN CARRYING THE MAILS ARE REQUIRED TO TRANSPORT WITHOUT CHARGE ANY POST OFFICE INSPECTOR TRAVELING ON OFFICIAL BUSINESS AND WHERE A CARRIER OWNS AND OPERATES A PARLOR OBSERVATION CAR. IT IS NOT ENTITLED TO PAYMENT FOR SUCH EXTRA TRANSPORTATION FURNISHED AN INSPECTOR. FOR DECISION WHETHER YOU ARE AUTHORIZED TO DEDUCT FROM MAIL EARNINGS OF THE SOUTHERN PACIFIC RAILROAD CO. THE AMOUNT PAID BY THE INSPECTOR FOR THE SEAT IS THE FARE NAMED IN SOUTHERN PACIFIC CO. THE EQUIPMENT FOR WHICH THE FARE WAS CHARGED IS THE SOUTHERN PACIFIC CO. PARLOR OBSERVATION CAR AND THERE IS. EQUIPMENT IS USED. ALTHOUGH THE AMOUNT OF THE CHARGE IS THE SAME AS THE PULLMAN CHARGE FOR THE SAME SERVICE PLUS THE SURCHARGE UNDER THE AUTHORIZATION FROM THE INTERSTATE COMMERCE COMMISSION PERMITTING A SURCHARGE UPON PASSENGERS IN SLEEPING AND PARLOR CARS AMOUNTING TO 50 PERCENT OF THE CHARGE FOR SPACE IN SAID CAR.

A-22916, JUNE 1, 1928, 7 COMP. GEN. 759

TRANSPORTATION - PARLOR OBSERVATION CARS - POST-OFFICE INSPECTORS UNDER THE ACT OF JULY 28, 1916, 39 STAT. 419, RAILROADS ENGAGED IN CARRYING THE MAILS ARE REQUIRED TO TRANSPORT WITHOUT CHARGE ANY POST OFFICE INSPECTOR TRAVELING ON OFFICIAL BUSINESS AND WHERE A CARRIER OWNS AND OPERATES A PARLOR OBSERVATION CAR, AS DISTINGUISHED FROM PULLMAN-CAR EQUIPMENT, IT IS NOT ENTITLED TO PAYMENT FOR SUCH EXTRA TRANSPORTATION FURNISHED AN INSPECTOR.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL TO THE POSTMASTER GENERAL, JUNE 1, 1928:

THERE HAS BEEN RECEIVED YOUR REQUEST DATED MAY 8, 1928, FOR DECISION WHETHER YOU ARE AUTHORIZED TO DEDUCT FROM MAIL EARNINGS OF THE SOUTHERN PACIFIC RAILROAD CO. ANY PART OF AN ITEM OF $1.88 PAID BY C. E. WEBSTER, POST-OFFICE INSPECTOR, TO THE SAID COMPANY FOR A SEAT IN A PARLOR CAR ON TRAIN NO. 52 FROM FRESNO TO LOS ANGELES, CALIF., AND CLAIMED IN HIS TRAVEL EXPENSE ACCOUNT FOR THE MONTH OF JULY, 1927, IN REIMBURSEMENT OF TRAVELING EXPENSES ON OFFICIAL BUSINESS.

THE AMOUNT PAID BY THE INSPECTOR FOR THE SEAT IS THE FARE NAMED IN SOUTHERN PACIFIC CO. LOCAL AND JOINT SEAT FARE TARIFF CJ NO. 1, I.C.C. 3765, FOR SUCH A SEAT, WHICH APPEARS TO BE THE ONLY FARE MENTIONED FOR THE SAID SERVICE. THE EQUIPMENT FOR WHICH THE FARE WAS CHARGED IS THE SOUTHERN PACIFIC CO. PARLOR OBSERVATION CAR AND THERE IS, THEREFORE, NO DIVISION OF THE REVENUE AS IN THE CASE WHERE PULLMAN CO. EQUIPMENT IS USED. ALTHOUGH THE AMOUNT OF THE CHARGE IS THE SAME AS THE PULLMAN CHARGE FOR THE SAME SERVICE PLUS THE SURCHARGE UNDER THE AUTHORIZATION FROM THE INTERSTATE COMMERCE COMMISSION PERMITTING A SURCHARGE UPON PASSENGERS IN SLEEPING AND PARLOR CARS AMOUNTING TO 50 PERCENT OF THE CHARGE FOR SPACE IN SAID CAR, SAID CHARGE TO BE COLLECTED IN CONNECTION WITH THE CHARGE FOR SPACE AND TO ACCRUE TO THE RAIL CARRIER.

THE ACT OF JULY 28, 1916, 39 STAT. 419, PROVIDES, IN PERTINENT PART, THAT:

* * * EVERY RAILROAD COMPANY CARRYING THE MAILS SHALL CARRY ON ANY TRAIN IT OPERATES AND WITHOUT EXTRA CHARGE THEREFOR THE PERSONS IN CHARGE OF THE MAILS AND WHEN ON DUTY AND TRAVELING TO AND FROM DUTY, AND ALL DULY ACCREDITED AGENTS AND OFFICERS OF THE POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT AND THE RAILWAY MAIL SERVICE AND POST-OFFICE INSPECTORS WHILE TRAVELING ON OFFICIAL BUSINESS, UPON THE EXHIBITION OF THEIR CREDENTIALS: * * *

UNQUESTIONABLY, THE EQUIPMENT IN THIS CASE WAS THAT OF THE SOUTHERN PACIFIC RAILROAD CO. AND WAS A PART OF A TRAIN OPERATED BY IT. MR. WEBSTER WAS A POST-OFFICE INSPECTOR AND AS SUCH WAS ENTITLED, UNDER THE PLAIN TERMS OF THE STATUTE, UPON EXHIBITION OF HIS CREDENTIALS, TO BE TRANSPORTED "WITHOUT EXTRA CHARGE" ON "ANY TRAIN" OPERATED BY THE SOUTHERN PACIFIC CO. WHICH IS ENGAGED IN CARRYING THE MAILS. THERE IS, THEREFORE, NO AUTHORITY UNDER THE PLAIN TERMS OF THE ACT OF JULY 28, 1916, SUPRA, FOR THE CHARGE MADE BY THE SOUTHERN PACIFIC CO. FOR THE USE BY MR. WEBSTER OF ITS PARLOR OBSERVATION CAR WHILE ON OFFICIAL DUTY AS POST-OFFICE INSPECTOR.

THIS IS NOT A CASE OF A POST-OFFICE INSPECTOR TRAVELING ON A RAILROAD IN PULLMAN-CAR EQUIPMENT WHERE A CHARGE MAY BE MADE NOT SUBJECT TO DEDUCTION BECAUSE OF THE USE OF THE PULLMAN EQUIPMENT. THE EQUIPMENT USED WAS THAT OF THE SOUTHERN PACIFIC CO. AND THERE IS NOT ONLY NO AUTHORITY FOR PAYMENT TO SAID COMPANY OF THE AMOUNT EQUAL TO THE SURCHARGE, BUT THERE IS NO AUTHORITY FOR PAYMENT OF THE AMOUNT WHICH MIGHT HAVE BEEN PAID HAD PULLMAN CO. EQUIPMENT BEEN USED IN LIEU OF THE SOUTHERN PACIFIC CO. EQUIPMENT. UNDER THE ACT OF JULY 28, 1916, POST OFFICE INSPECTORS ARE ENTITLED TO BE CARRIED BY THE RAILROAD IN CIRCUMSTANCES SIMILAR TO THE CIRCUMSTANCES UNDER WHICH ORDINARY TRAVELERS ARE CARRIED; THAT IS, IN FIRST-CLASS EQUIPMENT USED ON THE PARTICULAR TRAIN ON WHICH THEY TRAVEL.

ANSWERING YOUR QUESTION SPECIFICALLY YOU ARE ADVISED THAT THE ENTIRE SUM PAID BY MR. WEBSTER WHILE ON OFFICIAL BUSINESS AS POST-OFFICE INSPECTOR TO THE SOUTHERN PACIFIC RAILROAD CO., FOR A SEAT IN ITS PARLOR CAR, NAMELY, $1.88, SHOULD BE DEDUCTED FROM ANY SUMS DUE SAID RAILROAD COMPANY FOR CARRIAGE OF THE MAILS OR OTHERWISE.