A-25362, FEBRUARY 15, 1929, 8 COMP. GEN. 448

A-25362: Feb 15, 1929

Additional Materials:

Contact:

Edda Emmanuelli Perez
(202) 512-2853
EmmanuelliPerezE@gao.gov

 

Office of Public Affairs
(202) 512-4800
youngc1@gao.gov

THE VESSEL WAS INJURED WHILE IN THE GOVERNMENT SERVICE AS A RESULT OF ITS GROUNDING. THE UNITED STATES IS LIABLE TO THE CONTRACTOR FOR THE REASONABLE AND NECESSARY COSTS OF REPAIRING THE DAMAGES TO SAID VESSEL AND THE NECESSARY INCIDENTAL EXPENSES RESULTING THEREFROM. RESULTING FROM DAMAGES SUSTAINED WHILE SAID BOAT WAS UNDER CHARTER TO THE WAR DEPARTMENT IN JUNE. THE ITEMS OF SAID CLAIM ARE AS FOLLOWS: TABLE EXPENDITURES FOR REPAIRS TO THE BARGE NEPTUNE NO. 14 . WAS GROUNDED ALONGSIDE OF THE COAL DOCK AT FORT SLOCUM. THE OVERAUTHORIZED LOAD FOR HARBOR WERE THE CONTRIBUTING AGENTS IN THE CASE. (3) THE SPECIFIC DAMAGE DONE WAS: A. THE TIDE WERE RESPONSIBLE FOR THE DAMAGE. (6) * * *. CONCLUSIONS (1) THE ACCIDENT WAS CAUSED: A.

A-25362, FEBRUARY 15, 1929, 8 COMP. GEN. 448

CONTRACTS - BAILMENT FOR HIRE - BREACH - DAMAGES WHERE THE CHARTER AGREEMENT FOR A VESSEL LEASED BY THE WAR DEPARTMENT STIPULATED THAT IT SHOULD BE RETURNED IN THE SAME CONDITION AS RECEIVED, LESS ORDINARY WEAR AND TEAR, AND THE VESSEL WAS INJURED WHILE IN THE GOVERNMENT SERVICE AS A RESULT OF ITS GROUNDING, DUE TO ITS OVERLOADING AND IMPROPER HANDLING BY AGENTS OR SUBCONTRACTORS OF THE GOVERNMENT, THE UNITED STATES IS LIABLE TO THE CONTRACTOR FOR THE REASONABLE AND NECESSARY COSTS OF REPAIRING THE DAMAGES TO SAID VESSEL AND THE NECESSARY INCIDENTAL EXPENSES RESULTING THEREFROM.

DECISION BY COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL, FEBRUARY 15, 1929:

REVIEW HAS BEEN REQUESTED OF SETTLEMENT NO. 075418, DATED OCTOBER 12, 1928, DISALLOWING THE CLAIM OF THE MORAN TOWING AND TRANSPORTATION CO., OR THE MORAN BROS. CONTRACTING CO. (INC.), FOR THE SUM OF $755.01 ON ACCOUNT OF NECESSARY REPAIRS TO THE COAL BARGE NEPTUNE NO. 14, RESULTING FROM DAMAGES SUSTAINED WHILE SAID BOAT WAS UNDER CHARTER TO THE WAR DEPARTMENT IN JUNE, 1926.

THE ITEMS OF SAID CLAIM ARE AS FOLLOWS:

TABLE

EXPENDITURES FOR REPAIRS TO THE BARGE NEPTUNE NO. 14 ------- $667.01

DEMURRAGE, 2 DAYS, AT $9 PER DAY --------------------------- 18.00

TOWAGE OF BARGE TO AND FROM DRY DOCK ----------------------- 45.00

SURVEY CHARGES --------------------------------------------- 25.00

TOTAL ------------------------------------------------------ $755.01

BY LETTER OF MAY 28, 1926, THE MORAN TOWING AND TRANSPORTATION CO. ENTERED INTO AN INFORMAL AGREEMENT OR CHARTER OF HIRE WITH THE WAR DEPARTMENT INTERMEDIATE DEPOT QUARTERMASTER, LOCATED AT THE NEW YORK ARMY BASE, BROOKLYN, N.Y., FOR USE OF THE COAL BARGE NEPTUNE NO. 14, OWNED BY THE NEPTUNE LINE (INC.), AND THEN UNDER CHARTER TO SAID MORAN TOWING AND TRANSPORTATION CO., WHEREBY THE GOVERNMENT BECAME OBLIGATED TO PAY THE CHARTERER FOR THE USE OF SAID BARGE AT THE RATE OF $9 PER DAY AND, FURTHER, TO PAY FOR ALL TOWING, WATCHING, LABOR, WHARFAGE, AND OTHER CHARGES, AND, FINALLY, TO RETURN THE BARGE TO SAID CONTRACTOR "IN THE SAME CONDITION AS RECEIVED, LESS ORDINARY WEAR AND TEAR.' THE WAR DEPARTMENT AUTHORITIES TOOK POSSESSION OF SAID COAL BARGE UNDER THE INFORMAL CHARTER AGREEMENT ON MAY 28, 1926, AND PROCEEDED TO USE SAME FOR TRANSPORTING GOVERNMENT COAL FROM THE RAILROAD TERMINALS AT SOUTH AMBOY, N.J., TO FORT SLOCUM, N.Y. WHILE SO EMPLOYED BY THE GOVERNMENT, SAID BARGE NEPTUNE NO. 14, ON JUNE 7, 1926, WAS GROUNDED ALONGSIDE OF THE COAL DOCK AT FORT SLOCUM, WHILE AWAITING TO DISCHARGE ITS CARGO OF COAL, WITH RESULTANT DAMAGES TO THE BOAT, SUBSEQUENTLY FIXED BY THE WAR DEPARTMENT AUTHORITIES AT $755.01. THE BOARD OF ARMY OFFICERS APPOINTED TO INVESTIGATE AND FIX RESPONSIBILITY FOR THE DAMAGES TO SAID VESSEL, AFTER INVESTIGATION AND HEARINGS, REPORTED ITS FINDINGS AND CONCLUSIONS, UNDER DATE OF JUNE 28, 1926, AS FOLLOWS:

FINDINGS

(1) THE DAMAGE OCCURRED AT NEPTUNE DOCK, FORT SLOCUM, N.Y.

(2) THE TIDE, THE SHALLOWNESS OF THE WATER, AND THE OVERAUTHORIZED LOAD FOR HARBOR WERE THE CONTRIBUTING AGENTS IN THE CASE.

(3) THE SPECIFIC DAMAGE DONE WAS:

A. FRONT BEAM AFT BROKEN VERTICALLY IN CENTER (30 FEET BY 14 INCHES BY 12 INCHES).

B. BEAM RIDER BROKEN (4 INCHES BY 12 INCHES BY 22 FEET).

C. BULKHEAD BEAM BROKEN (6 INCHES BY 8 INCHES BY 32 FEET).

D. BARGE TWISTED.

(4) REPAIRS REQUIRED: A, B, AND C, ABOVE REPLACED, AND BARGE STRAIGHTENED BY BEING PLACED ON DRY DOCK.

(5) EVIDENCE TENDING TO FIX RESPONSIBILITY: THE EVIDENCE SHOWS THAT THE LACK OF DREDGING, THE OVERAUTHORIZED LOADING OF THE BARGE, AND THE TIDE WERE RESPONSIBLE FOR THE DAMAGE.

(6) * * *.

CONCLUSIONS

(1) THE ACCIDENT WAS CAUSED:

A. BY CHANGE OF TIDE.

B. BY SHALLOWNESS OF WATER AT THE DOCK.

C. OVERAUTHORIZED LOADING.

(2) THE BOARD CONCLUDES THAT THE UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT IS RESPONSIBLE.

(3) THE BOARD CONCLUDES THAT THE UNITED STATES IS LIABLE.

THE RECORD SHOWS THAT BY SETTLEMENT NO. 0177695 (1), DATED OCTOBER 12, 1928, THE CLAIM OF THE NEPTUNE LINE (INC.), OWNER OF SAID BARGE NEPTUNE NO. 14, FOR $755.01 TO COVER SAID DAMAGES WAS DISALLOWED FOR THE REASON THAT THERE WAS NO PRIVITY OF CONTRACT BETWEEN SAID CLAIMANT AND THE UNITED STATES, IT APPEARING THAT THE GOVERNMENT'S SAID CONTRACT FOR THE BARGE WAS WITH THE MORAN TOWING AND TRANSPORTATION CO., THE THEN CHARTERER THEREOF FROM THE OWNER. IN SUPPORT OF ITS SAID CLAIM THE NEPTUNE LINE (INC.), FILED RECEIPTED BILLS SHOWING THAT THE FOLLOWING PAYMENTS HAD BEEN MADE IN CONNECTION WITH THE REPAIRS OF SAID BARGE NEPTUNE NO. 14, AND OTHER ITEMS OF DAMAGE, RESULTING FROM THE ACCIDENT TO SAID BOAT ON JUNE 7, 1926, WHILE SAME WAS UNDER CONTROL OF THE WAR DEPARTMENT, VIZ:

TABLE AUGUST 15, 1926, PAID JAMES SHEWAN AND SONS, BROOKLYN, N.Y., FOR REPAIRS TO SAID VESSEL, ETC ---------------------------------- $667.01 JUNE 23, 1926, PAID FRANK GARDNER, MARINE SURVEYOR AND APPRAISER --------- ------------------------------------------- 25.00 TOWAGE CHARGES TO AND FROM DRY DOCK -------------------------- 45.00 DEMURRAGE, 2 DAYS AT $9 PER DAY ------------------------------ 18.00

-------- TOTAL DAMAGES ------------------- ---------------------------- $755.01

THE QUARTERMASTER GENERAL, UNITED STATES ARMY, IN LETTER DATED MAY 6, 1927, TO THE CHIEF OF FINANCE, REPORTED THE FOLLOWING ADDITIONAL FACTS RELATIVE TO THE CLAIM FOR DAMAGES TO SAID BARGE:

2. AMONG THE PAPERS TRANSMITTED IS THE ORIGINAL CONFIRMATION OF CHARTER OF COAL BOAT "NEPTUNE NO. 14" BY THE MORAN TOWING AND TRANSPORTATION COMPANY, DATED MAY 28TH, 1926, TOGETHER WITH PURCHASE ORDERS NOS. 626-27- 1003 AND 626-27-1050, ISSUED BY THE QUARTERMASTER SUPPLY OFFICER, NEW YORK GENERAL INTERMEDIATE DEPOT, BROOKLYN, N.Y., TO COVER THE SERVICES OF THIS BARGE FROM MAY 28TH TO JUNE 7TH, 1926, AND FROM JUNE 8TH TO JUNE 18TH, 1926, INCLUSIVE. LETTERS FROM THE NEPTUNE LINES, INC., AND THE MORAN TOWING AND TRANSPORTATION COMPANY ALSO ACCOMPANY WHICH INDICATE THAT THE LATTER COMPANY WILL NOT MAKE A CLAIM FOR DAMAGES AGAINST THE UNITED STATES.

3. A BOARD OF OFFICERS WAS CONVENED AT FT. SLOCUM, N.Y., ON JUNE 12TH, 1926, TO INVESTIGATE, FIX THE RESPONSIBILITY FOR, AND RECOMMEND ACTION TO BE TAKEN WITH REFERENCE TO THE ALLEGED DAMAGE DONE TO SAID BARGE, WHICH OCCURRED ON OR ABOUT JUNE 7TH, 1926, WHILE LAYING ALONGSIDE THE COAL DOCK AT FT. SLOCUM, N.Y. SINCE THAT TIME THE BOARD HAS BEEN RECONVENED AND THREE ADDITIONAL PROCEEDINGS HAVE BEEN FURNISHED IN THE MATTER. IN THE LAST PROCEEDINGS THE RECOMMENDATIONS OF THE BOARD ARE AS FOLLOWS:

"THE BOARD ADHERES TO ITS FORMER FINDINGS, CONCLUSIONS, AND RECOMMENDATIONS AS CONTAINED IN THE ORIGINAL AND ADDITIONAL PROCEEDINGS OF THE BOARD, WITH THE EXCEPTION THE BOARD IS NOW OF THE OPINION THAT THE GOVERNMENT IS RESPONSIBLE FOR THE DAMAGE AND THAT BOSE AND PARKER IS LIABLE TO THE GOVERNMENT BECAUSE THEY FAILED TO REMOVE THE COAL BUCKETS.'

4. THE 10TH AND 20TH INDORSEMENTS HEREON WILL INDICATE THE EFFORTS MADE BY THIS OFFICE TO OBTAIN ADDITIONAL DATA AND INFORMATION UPON CERTAIN ISSUES INVOLVED IN THE CASE. FROM THE VERY OUTSET IT IS CLEAR THAT THIS CASE WAS NOT PROPERLY HANDLED BY THE GOVERNMENT AUTHORITIES. THE NEW YORK GENERAL INTERMEDIATE DEPOT IS AT FAULT IN LEAVING THE UNLOADING OF COAL ON BARGES SOLELY TO THE RAILROAD COMPANY OR LAST CARRIER. LIKEWISE SAID DEPOT HAD RECEIVED INFORMATION ON THE FUEL ESTIMATES THAT, OWING TO HARBOR CONDITIONS AT FT. SLOCUM, BARGES SHOULD NOT BE LOADED HEAVIER THAN 350 TONS. IN THE INSTANT CASE THE BARGE "NEPTUNE NO. 14" CARRIED 745 TONS OF COAL, OR THE CONTENTS OF 14 CARS. THE CAPACITY OF SAID BARGE WAS 1,000 TONS AND, IF PROPER SUPERVISION HAD BEEN GIVEN TO THE MOORING OF THE BARGE AND SUBSEQUENT UNLOADING OF THE COAL AT FT. SLOCUM BY THE POST AUTHORITIES, IT IS THE VIEW OF THIS OFFICE THAT NO DAMAGE WOULD HAVE RESULTED TO THE BARGE DUE TO THE SHALLOWNESS OF THE WATER AT FT. SLOCUM. UNDER THE CIRCUMSTANCES, AND AS AN ECONOMICAL MEASURE, THE LOADING OF THIS ADDITIONAL TONNAGE INTO THE BARGE "NEPTUNE NO. 14" BY THE RAILROAD COMPANY --- ITS CAPACITY BEING 1,000 TONS--- APPEARS TO HAVE BEEN WARRANTED.

5. RESPONSIBILITY AT FT. SLOCUM WAS LIKEWISE NEGLECTED. UPON THE ARRIVAL OF THE BARGE AT THAT POINT, THE FACT SHOULD HAVE BEEN KNOWN THAT THE BARGE WAS OVERLOADED FOR SAFE HANDLING AT CERTAIN POINTS OF THE WHARF AT LOW TIDE. THIS SHOULD HAVE PUT THE QUARTERMASTER ON GUARD AND DUE PRECAUTIONARY MEASURES SHOULD HAVE BEEN TAKEN TO EXERCISE CLOSER SUPERVISION OVER THE BARGE TO SEE THAT IT WAS PROPERLY MOVED WITH THE TIDE. INSTEAD, HOWEVER, MATTERS WERE ALLOWED TO SHAPE THEMSELVES. THE BARGE WAS BROUGHT SAFELY TO FT. SLOCUM BY THE MORAN TOWING AND TRANSPORTATION COMPANY AND MOORED TO THE WEST END OF THE PIER ON JUNE 3, 1926. ON JUNE 7, 1926, AT HIGH WATER, THE BARGE WAS MOVED BY BOSE AND PARKER TRUCKING CORPORATION, NEW ROCHELLE, N.Y., WITH THEIR OWN LABOR, TO THE NORTH SIDE OF THE DOCK OF UNLOADING. NO INFORMATION AS TO THE DEPTH OF THE WATER WAS FURNISHED THE CONTRACTORS BY THE QUARTERMASTER, BUT IT APPEARS THEY MUST HAVE HAD KNOWLEDGE OF THE MATTER SINCE THEY HAD BEEN UNLOADING BARGES FROM THE DOCK FOR THE TWO PREVIOUS YEARS. * * *

ON NOVEMBER 24, 1926, A BOARD OF ARMY OFFICERS REPORTED ITS FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS RELATIVE TO THE CLAIM FOR DAMAGES TO SAID BARGE, AS FOLLOWS:

2. THAT THE REPAIR WORK AT THE DOCK YARDS DID NOT INCLUDE ANYTHING BEYOND WHAT WAS NECESSARY TO PUT THE BARGE IN SUBSTANTIALLY THE SAME CONDITION IT WAS IN IMMEDIATELY PRIOR TO GROUNDING AT FORT SLOCUM.

3. THAT THE ITEMS ENUMERATED IN THE BILLS SUBMITTED BY THE NEPTUNE LINE, INC., ARE FAIR AND REASONABLE IN VALUE AND PROPER FOR RESTORATION DUE DIRECTLY TO THE GROUNDING. * * *

THE BOARD RECOMMENDS THAT THE BILLS SUBMITTED BY THE NEPTUNE LINE, INC., AND AMOUNTING TO $755.01 FOR THE REPAIR OF BARGE BELONGING TO THE SAID COMPANY ARE FAIR, JUST, AND NOT UNREASONABLE, AND SHOULD BE PAID.

THE NEPTUNE LINE HAS NOW STATED THAT SETTLEMENT OF THE CLAIM, AS SUBMITTED BY THE MORAN TOWING AND TRANSPORTATION CO., WILL FULLY SATISFY ANY AND ALL INTEREST THE NEPTUNE LINE MAY HAVE IN THE MATTER IN SO FAR AS THE GOVERNMENT IS CONCERNED.

IT APPEARS THAT ON JUNE 18, 1926, THE SAID BARGE NEPTUNE NO. 14 WAS RETURNED BY THE GOVERNMENT TO THE CONTRACTOR IN HER DAMAGED CONDITION AND THAT SUBSEQUENTLY CONTRACTOR WAS PAID THE PER DIEM RATE OF CHARTER HIRE FOR THE BARGE, AS STIPULATED IN THE INFORMAL CHARTER AGREEMENT, FOR THE DAYS SAID BOAT WAS IN POSSESSION OF THE GOVERNMENT THEREUNDER. PAYMENTS HAVE BEEN MADE BY THE GOVERNMENT, HOWEVER, TO COVER THE DAMAGES SUSTAINED BY SAID BOAT WHILE SAME WAS IN ITS SERVICE.

THE RECORD DISCLOSES THAT AT THE TIME OF THE LEASING OF SAID COAL BARGE NEPTUNE NO. 14 FROM THE CLAIMANT THE GOVERNMENT CONTRACTING OFFICER WAS CHARGED WITH THE PURCHASE AND DELIVERY OF THE COAL REQUIRED AT FORT SLOCUM, N.Y., AND IT HAD BEEN DETERMINED THAT THE MOST ECONOMICAL WAY OF HANDLING THE SHIPMENTS WAS TO TRANSPORT SAME BY THE RAILROADS TO SOUTH AMBOY, N.J., AND FROM THERE TRANSPORT SAID COAL BY WATER TO FORT SLOCUM. WHILE THE GOVERNMENT WAS USING THE LEASED BARGE NEPTUNE NO. 14 IN SAID COAL TRANSPORTATION SERVICE, IT WAS LOADED WITH 745 GROSS TONS OF COAL AND ON JUNE 3, 1926, WAS TOWED SAFELY FROM SOUTH AMBOY, N.J., TO THE DOCKS AT FORT SLOCUM, N.Y., AND MOORED TO THE WEST END OF THE PIER TO AWAIT THE UNLOADING OF ITS CARGO BY THE BOSE AND PARKER TRUCKING CORPORATION, WHICH HAD BEEN EMPLOYED BY THE GOVERNMENT TO UNLOAD, TRIM, AND PLACE SAID CARGO OF COAL. IT APPEARS THAT ON JUNE 7, 1926, THE BOSE AND PARKER TRUCKING CORPORATION, PREPARATORY TO UNLOADING THE CARGO, MOVED SAID COAL BARGE TO THE NORTH SIDE OF THE DOCK, AT HIGH TIDE, AND HOOKED UP AND TIED THE COAL BUCKETS TO THE BARGE IN SUCH MANNER THAT THE BARGE WAS PREVENTED FROM SUBSEQUENTLY SHIFTING WITH THE TIDE; AND THAT WHEN SAID TIDE RECEDED THE BARGE GROUNDED IN THE SHALLOW WATER, WITH RESULTANT DAMAGES AS ABOVE SET FORTH.

THE INVOLVED CONTRACT WITH THE CLAIMANT CLEARLY WAS ONE OF BAILMENT FOR HIRE IMPOSING UPON THE GOVERNMENT THE OBLIGATION TO RETURN THE COAL BARGE TO THE CONTRACTOR IN AS GOOD CONDITION AS WHEN RECEIVED, NATURAL WEAR AND TEAR EXCEPTED, AND FAILING TO DO THIS TO RESPOND IN DAMAGES TO COVER ANY INJURIES TO SAID BARGE RESULTING FROM THE FAULT OF THE BAILEE.

UNDER ITS LEASE AGREEMENT WITH THE MORAN TOWING AND TRANSPORTATION CO. FOR USE OF THE COAL BARGE NEPTUNE NO. 14 IN ITS COAL-TRANSPORTATION SERVICE, THE UNITED STATES WAS OBLIGATED TO RETURN SAID BARGE IN THE SAME CONDITION AS RECEIVED, LESS ORDINARY WEAR AND TEAR. THIS IT DID NOT DO. IN PERMITTING THE SAID BARGE TO BE INJURED WHILE IN ITS POSSESSION AND SERVICE, RESULTING FROM ITS GROUNDING AT LOW TIDE DUE TO ITS OVERLOADING-- - CONSIDERING THE SHALLOWNESS OF THE WATER AT THE RECEIVING DOCK--- AND TO THE IMPROPER TYING UP OF SAID BARGE AT THE UNLOADING PIER, THE UNITED STATES COMMITTED A BREACH OF ITS CONTRACT OF HIRE, AND IN SO DOING BECAME LIABLE FOR WHATEVER DAMAGES SUCH BREACH OCCASIONED THE CONTRACTOR. SEE SMOOT'S CASE, 15 WALL. 36; DERMOTT V. JONES, 2 WALL. 9. GENERALLY, THE MEASURE OF DAMAGES IN CASE OF A BREACH OF CONTRACT, WHERE THERE IS NO BAD FAITH OR FRAUD IN EVIDENCE, IS THE AMOUNT OF DAMAGES WHICH NATURALLY RESULT OR FLOW FROM THE BREACH COMPLAINED OF; OR, IN OTHER WORDS, THE AMOUNT THAT WILL COMPENSATE THE INJURED PERSON FOR THE LOSS WHICH A FULFILLMENT OF THE CONTRACT WOULD HAVE PREVENTED OR THE BREACH OF IT HAS ENTAILED. 17 CORPUS JURIS, 847. WHERE THE CHARTER AGREEMENT FOR A VESSEL LEASED BY THE WAR DEPARTMENT STIPULATED THAT IT SHOULD BE RETURNED IN THE SAME CONDITION AS RECEIVED, LESS ORDINARY WEAR AND TEAR, AS IN THIS CASE, AND THE VESSEL WAS INJURED WHILE IN THE GOVERNMENT SERVICE AS A RESULT OF ITS GROUNDINGS, DUE TO ITS OVERLOADING AND IMPROPER HANDLING BY AGENTS OR SUBCONTRACTORS OF THE GOVERNMENT, THE UNITED STATES IS LIABLE TO THE CONTRACTOR FOR THE COSTS OF REPAIRING THE DAMAGES TO SAID VESSEL AND THE NECESSARY INCIDENTAL EXPENSES RESULTING THEREFROM. IN THIS CONNECTION SEE PINTSCH COMPRESSING COMPANY V. UNITED STATES, 61 CT.CLS. 858; 24 COMP. DEC. 606; MANUSCRIPT DECISIONS OF THE COMPTROLLER GENERAL DATED APRIL 27, 1922, IN REVIEW NO. 1238, AND DATED DEC. 16, 1925, IN A-11297; 5 COMP. GEN. 557; AND 6 COMP. GEN. 36.

IN THE INSTANT CASE, THE INJURIES TO THE COAL BARGE NEPTUNE NO. 14 RESULTING FROM HER GROUNDING WHILE IN THE SERVICE OF THE GOVERNMENT, AS ABOVE STATED, WERE SURVEYED BY A BOARD OF ARMY OFFICERS AND THE INJURIES SUSTAINED WERE SUBSEQUENTLY REPORTED. THE DAMAGES RESULTING FROM SUCH INJURIES WERE INVESTIGATED BY A BOARD OF ARMY OFFICERS APPOINTED FOR THE PURPOSE OF FIXING THE RESPONSIBILITY THEREFOR AND ITS FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS, ABOVE QUOTED, WERE MADE AFTER INVESTIGATION AND THE HEARING OF TESTIMONY OF WITNESSES, UNDER OATH, RELATIVE TO THE ACCIDENT AND RESULTANT DAMAGES. THE RECORD IN THE CASE SHOWS THAT THE DAMAGES RESULTING FROM THE GROUNDING OF SAID BARGE WERE REPAIRED AT A COST OF $667.01; THAT THE MARINE SURVEYOR'S FEE FOR SERVICES WAS 25; THAT THE CHARGES FOR TOWING THE BARGE TO AND FROM THE DRY DOCK WERE $45; AND THAT THE DEMURRAGE CHARGEABLE WHILE THE VESSEL WAS BEING REPAIRED AMOUNTED TO $18. THUS, THE UNITED STATES APPEARS TO BE INDEBTED TO THE MORAN TOWING AND TRANSPORTATION CO. IN THE SUM OF $755.01 ON ACCOUNT OF THE DAMAGES SUSTAINED BY THE COAL BARGE NEPTUNE NO. 14, WHILE IN THE SERVICE OF THE WAR DEPARTMENT UNDER SAID INFORMAL CHARTER AGREEMENT OF MAY 28, 1926. SAID DAMAGES REPRESENT THE REPAIRS AND REPLACEMENTS, AND ADDITIONAL INCIDENTAL EXPENSES IN CONNECTION THEREWITH, WHICH THE UNITED STATES WAS UNDER OBLIGATION TO MAKE IN ORDER TO RETURN THE VESSEL TO THE CONTRACTOR IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE PROVISIONS OF ITS CHARTER AGREEMENT.

THE LIABILITY OF THE UNITED STATES FOR PAYMENT OF DAMAGES TO THE CONTRACTOR FOR INJURIES TO THE COAL BARGE NEPTUNE NO. 14, WHILE IN THE GOVERNMENT SERVICE, BEING ESTABLISHED BY THE EVIDENCE THERE IS FOR CONSIDERATION THE QUESTION AS TO THE APPROPRIATION FROM WHICH THE DAMAGE CLAIM MAY BE PAID. IT HAS BEEN HELD THAT AN APPROPRIATION IS PROPERLY CHARGEABLE WITH ALL EXPENSES NECESSARY TO ACCOMPLISH THE OBJECT FOR WHICH MADE UNLESS PARTICULAR ITEMS OF EXPENSE ARE SPECIFICALLY PROVIDED FOR BY SOME OTHER APPROPRIATION OR ARE PROHIBITED BY LAW. 4 COMP. DEC. 24. THE APPROPRIATION FOR THE TRANSPORTATION OF THE ARMY AND ITS SUPPLIES IS MADE AVAILABLE FOR THE OPERATION OF BOATS AND VESSELS, WHICH NECESSARILY INCLUDES, AMONG OTHER THINGS, THE PAYMENT OF CHARTER HIRE TO CONTRACTORS FOR THE SERVICES OF THEIR COAL BARGES WHICH HAVE BEEN LEASED FOR TRANSPORTATION OF THE COAL REQUIREMENTS OF THE UNITED STATES ARMY; AND IF THE SAID BARGE CONTRACTS IMPOSE UPON THE GOVERNMENT THE OBLIGATION TO RETURN THE BARGES TO THE CONTRACTORS IN AS GOOD CONDITION AS WHEN RECEIVED, NATURAL WEAR AND TEAR EXCEPTED, AS IN THIS CASE, THE SAID APPROPRIATION IS AVAILABLE, ALSO, FOR NECESSARY REPAIRS TO COVER DAMAGES SUSTAINED TO THE VESSELS WHILE IN THE GOVERNMENT SERVICE WHICH ARE FOUND TO BE DUE TO THE FAULT OF THE BAILEE, ITS AGENTS, OR SUBCONTRACTORS. SEE 7 COMP. GEN. 653. INASMUCH AS THE CHARTER HIRE FOR SERVICES OF THE BARGE UNDER THE INVOLVED CONTRACT WAS PROPERLY PAID TO THE CONTRACTOR UNDER THE APPROPRIATION "ARMY TRANSPORTATION, 1926," THE PAYMENT OF THE CONTRACTOR'S SAID CLAIM FOR DAMAGES IS PAYABLE UNDER THE SAME APPROPRIATION.

FOR THE REASONS STATED THERE IS CERTIFIED AS DUE THE MORAN TOWING AND TRANSPORTATION CO. THE SUM OF $755.01, AND A CHECK THEREFOR WILL ISSUE IN DUE COURSE, PAYABLE FROM THE APPROPRIATION ,ARMY TRANSPORTATION, 1926.'