A-2356, AUGUST 28, 1924, 4 COMP. GEN. 216

A-2356: Aug 28, 1924

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DISCHARGED AMERICAN - DISPOSITION OF EXTRA WAGES COLLECTED BY CONSULAR OFFICER WHERE AMERICAN SEAMEN WERE DISCHARGED UPON REQUEST OF THE MASTER OF THE VESSEL WHO CHARGED INSUBORDINATION. WHICH WAS FORWARDED TO THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE AND DEPOSITED IN THE SPECIAL DEPOSIT ACCOUNT OF THE DISBURSING CLERK. UPON CERTIFICATION BY THE SECRETARY OF STATE THAT THE SEAMEN WERE NOT AT FAULT. 1924: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF APRIL 16. - WHO WERE DISCHARGED FROM THE STEAMSHIP SELMA CITY DECEMBER 27. YOU REPORTED THAT THE THREE SEAMEN WERE DISCHARGED ON DECEMBER 27. REQUIRES THE MASTER OF A VESSEL TO PROVIDE DISCHARGED SEAMEN WITH EMPLOYMENT ON ANOTHER VESSEL AGREED TO BY THE SEAMEN OR TO PROVIDE ONE MONTH'S EXTRA WAGES "IF IT SHALL BE SHOWN TO THE SATISFACTION OF THE CONSUL THAT SUCH SEAMAN WAS NOT DISCHARGED FOR NEGLECT OF DUTY.

A-2356, AUGUST 28, 1924, 4 COMP. GEN. 216

SEAMEN, DISCHARGED AMERICAN - DISPOSITION OF EXTRA WAGES COLLECTED BY CONSULAR OFFICER WHERE AMERICAN SEAMEN WERE DISCHARGED UPON REQUEST OF THE MASTER OF THE VESSEL WHO CHARGED INSUBORDINATION, ETC., AND THE CONSULAR OFFICER, BEING IN DOUBT AS TO THE INNOCENCE OR GUILT OF THE SEAMEN, REQUIRED THE MASTER TO PAY AN AMOUNT REPRESENTING ONE MONTH'S EXTRA WAGES OF THE SEAMEN, WHICH WAS FORWARDED TO THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE AND DEPOSITED IN THE SPECIAL DEPOSIT ACCOUNT OF THE DISBURSING CLERK, AUTHORIZATION MAY BE GRANTED FOR ISSUANCE OF CHECKS TO THE DISCHARGED SEAMEN FOR THE AMOUNT OF THE EXTRA WAGES THUS COLLECTED, UPON CERTIFICATION BY THE SECRETARY OF STATE THAT THE SEAMEN WERE NOT AT FAULT, THE CHECKS TO BE DELIVERED IN CARE OF THE UNITED STATES SHIPPING COMMISSIONER OF THE PROPER PORT.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL TO THE SECRETARY OF STATE, AUGUST 28, 1924:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF APRIL 16, 1924 (C.O.-196.3/517), FORWARDING DRAFT FOR $302.50, REPRESENTING AMOUNT COLLECTED BY THE AMERICAN CONSUL AT ALEXANDRIA, EGYPT, AS EXTRA WAGES DUE THREE SEAMEN- - GEORGE MILNE, WILLIAM LASCHE, AND JACK MCGRAE--- WHO WERE DISCHARGED FROM THE STEAMSHIP SELMA CITY DECEMBER 27, 1923, BY THE UNITED STATES CONSUL ON THE REQUEST OF THE MASTER OF THE VESSEL.

THE AMOUNT OF THE DRAFT HAS BEEN DEPOSITED TO THE CREDIT OF THE SPECIAL DEPOSIT ACCOUNT OF THE DISBURSING CLERK OF THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE.

IN YOUR LETTER OF MAY 29, 1924, YOU REPORTED THAT THE THREE SEAMEN WERE DISCHARGED ON DECEMBER 27, 1923, ON CHARGES OF INSUBORDINATION AND BECAUSE OF OTHER COMPLAINTS OF THE MASTER OF THE VESSEL, AND THAT WHEN DISCHARGED THE AMERICAN CONSUL COLLECTED ONE MONTH'S EXTRA WAGES IN BEHALF OF EACH SEAMAN.

SECTION 4581, REVISED STATUTES, AS AMENDED BY SECTION 16 OF THE ACT OF DECEMBER 21, 1898, 30 STAT. 759, REQUIRES THE MASTER OF A VESSEL TO PROVIDE DISCHARGED SEAMEN WITH EMPLOYMENT ON ANOTHER VESSEL AGREED TO BY THE SEAMEN OR TO PROVIDE ONE MONTH'S EXTRA WAGES "IF IT SHALL BE SHOWN TO THE SATISFACTION OF THE CONSUL THAT SUCH SEAMAN WAS NOT DISCHARGED FOR NEGLECT OF DUTY, INCOMPETENCY, OR INJURY INCURRED ON THE VESSEL.'

THIS WAS A CASE, EVIDENTLY, WHERE THE CONSUL COULD NOT DECIDE THE INNOCENCE OR GUILT OF THE SEAMEN OR WHETHER EXTRA WAGES WERE OR WERE NOT DUE THE SEAMEN. IN SUCH CASE PARAGRAPH 253, UNITED STATES CONSULAR REGULATIONS, PROVIDES AS FOLLOWS:

DOUBTFUL CASES.--- IN CASES OF DOUBT, IN WHICH FROM ANY CAUSE THE CONSULAR OFFICER IS UNABLE TO DECIDE TO HIS SATISFACTION WHETHER THE EXTRA WAGES SHOULD BE COLLECTED OR NOT, IT WILL BE THE PREFERABLE AND SAFER COURSE FOR HIM TO REQUIRE THEIR PAYMENT. THE MASTER OR AGENT OF THE VESSEL SHOULD BE PERMITTED TO MAKE THE PAYMENT UNDER PROTEST, IF HE SHALL SEE FIT. A FULL STATEMENT OF THE FACTS SHOULD BE PROMPTLY COMMUNICATED TO THE DEPARTMENT OF STATE, WHEN THE CASE WILL BE EXAMINED, AND RESTITUTION WILL BE MADE IF THE CIRCUMSTANCES ARE DEEMED TO WARRANT IT.A LIKE REPORT SHOULD ALSO BE MADE TO THE AUDITOR FOR THE STATE AND OTHER DEPARTMENTS TO ACCOMPANY THE QUARTERLY RELIEF RETURN TO THAT OFFICER.

EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 3731, DATED SEPTEMBER 5, 1922, DIRECTED THE SUBSTITUTION OF THE ,COMPTROLLER GENERAL OF THE UNITED STATES" IN LIEU OF "AUDITOR FOR THE STATE AND OTHER ARTMENTS.'

IN YOUR LETTER OF APRIL 16, 1924, YOU CERTIFIED DUE THE THREE SEAMEN THE FOLLOWING AMOUNTS:

TABLE

GEORGE MILNE ------------------------------------------- $165.00

WILLIAM LASCHE ----------------------------------------- 75.00

JACK MCGRAE -------------------------------------------- 62.50

TOTAL --------------------------------------------- 302.50

IN YOUR LETTER OF MAY 29, 1924, THIS ACTION WAS EXPLAINED AS FOLLOWS:

THIS ACTION WAS TAKEN IN VIEW OF THE FACT THAT FIRST OFFICER MILNE, A LICENSED OFFICER, WAS TRIED BEFORE THE BOARD OF LOCAL INSPECTORS, STEAMBOAT INSPECTION SERVICE, NEW YORK CITY, AND ACQUITTED OF THE CHARGE OF INSUBORDINATION. MR. LASCHE AND MR. MCGRAE, WHOSE CASES WERE NOT WITHIN THE JURISDICTION OF THE INSPECTION SERVICE, WERE NOT TRIED, BUT ONE OF THEM APPEARED AS WITNESS IN THE CASE. INASMUCH AS THESE TWO SEAMEN WERE DISCHARGED ON GROUNDS SIMILAR TO THOSE ON WHICH THE DISCHARGE OF THE FIRST OFFICER WAS EFFECTED, AND SINCE THE FIRST OFFICER WAS EXONERATED UPON TRIAL, AND NO ACTION APPARENTLY HAS BEEN TAKEN AGAINST THE OTHER SEAMEN, THE DEPARTMENT EXPRESSED THE OPINION IN ITS LETTER TO YOU UNDER REFERENCE THAT THEY AS WELL AS MR. MILNE WERE ENTITLED TO THE MONTH'S EXTRA WAGES, AND REQUESTED THAT APPROPRIATE ACTION BE TAKEN WITH A VIEW TO THE SETTLEMENT OF THE MATTER.

ACCORDINGLY THE DISBURSING CLERK OF THIS OFFICE HAS THIS DAY BEEN REQUESTED TO ISSUE CHECKS TO THE THREE SEAMEN IN THE AMOUNTS INDICATED, AND THE CHECKS HAVE BEEN DIRECTED TO BE FORWARDED CARE OF UNITED STATES SHIPPING COMMISSIONER, NEW YORK CITY.