A-28186, AUGUST 9, 1929, 9 COMP. GEN. 62

A-28186: Aug 9, 1929

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ORDINARILY A DELAY OF FROM THREE TO FOUR MONTHS IS NOT AN UNREASONABLE DELAY FOR THE DEPENDENTS OF AN OFFICER OF THE MARINE CORPS IN THE UNITED STATES TO JOIN HIM AT A FOREIGN STATION. REQUESTING DECISION AS TO WHETHER PAYMENT OF SAME IS AUTHORIZED. IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE PROVISIONS OF THE ABOVE REFERENCES THE FOLLOWING NAMED OFFICERS ARE DETACHED. ARMSTEAD * * * AS AT THAT TIME CAPTAIN ARMSTEAD WAS ON TEMPORARY DUTY AT TIENTSIN. THE EFFECT OF THIS ORDER WAS TO MAKE THAT PLACE HIS PERMANENT STATION. ON THE VOUCHER SUBMITTED CAPTAIN ARMSTEAD STATES: MY OLD PERMANENT STATION WAS MARINE BARRACKS. MY NEW STATION WAS TIENTSIN. MY WIFE AND SON WERE AT THE TIME RESIDING AT SEATTLE. A REQUEST WAS MADE BY RADIO FROM HEADQUARTERS.

A-28186, AUGUST 9, 1929, 9 COMP. GEN. 62

TRANSPORTATION - DEPENDENTS OF AN OFFICER OF THE MARINE CORPS WHERE THE DEPENDENTS OF AN OFFICER OF THE MARINE CORPS TRAVEL VIA COMMERCIAL STREAMER FROM THE UNITED STATES TO JOIN HIM AT HIS NEW PERMANENT STATION IN CHINA, A GOVERNMENT TRANSPORT BEING AVAILABLE, NO RIGHT TO THE PAYMENT OF THE COMMERCIAL COST OF SUCH TRANSPORTATION ACCRUES. ORDINARILY A DELAY OF FROM THREE TO FOUR MONTHS IS NOT AN UNREASONABLE DELAY FOR THE DEPENDENTS OF AN OFFICER OF THE MARINE CORPS IN THE UNITED STATES TO JOIN HIM AT A FOREIGN STATION, AND SUCH DELAY IN THE SAILING OF A GOVERNMENT TRANSPORT WOULD NOT RENDER IT UNAVAILABLE WITHIN THE MEANING OF THE ACT OF MAY 18, 1920, 41 STAT. 604.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL TO LIEUT.COL. CHARLES R. SANDERSON, UNITED STATES MARINE CORPS, AUGUST 9, 1929:

THERE HAS BEEN RECEIVED YOUR LETTER OF JULY 22, 1929, TRANSMITTING VOUCHER FOR $381.65 IN FAVOR OF CAPT. FRANK R. ARMSTEAD, UNITED STATES MARINES CORPS, COVERING THE COMMERCIAL COST OF TRANSPORTATION OF HIS WIFE AND MINOR SON FROM SEATTLE, WASH., TO TIENTSIN, CHINA, MARCH 17 TO APRIL 6, 1928, REQUESTING DECISION AS TO WHETHER PAYMENT OF SAME IS AUTHORIZED.

BRIGADE TRANSFER ORDER NO. 18, DATED TIENTSIN, CHINA, MARCH 1, 1928, PROVIDES:

1. IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE PROVISIONS OF THE ABOVE REFERENCES THE FOLLOWING NAMED OFFICERS ARE DETACHED, EFFECTIVE THIS DATE, FROM STATIONS LISTED BELOW TO THE THIRD BRIGADE, U.S. MARINE CORPS, ASIATIC STATION.

(E) FROM MARINE BARRACKS, NAVY YARD, MARE ISLAND, CALIF. * * * CAPTAIN FRANK R. ARMSTEAD * * *

AS AT THAT TIME CAPTAIN ARMSTEAD WAS ON TEMPORARY DUTY AT TIENTSIN, CHINA, THE EFFECT OF THIS ORDER WAS TO MAKE THAT PLACE HIS PERMANENT STATION.

ON THE VOUCHER SUBMITTED CAPTAIN ARMSTEAD STATES:

MY OLD PERMANENT STATION WAS MARINE BARRACKS, NAVY YARD, MARE ISLAND, CALIF. MY NEW STATION WAS TIENTSIN, CHINA, WHICH BECAME PERMANENT ON MARCH 1, 1928. MY WIFE AND SON WERE AT THE TIME RESIDING AT SEATTLE, WASHINGTON. A REQUEST WAS MADE BY RADIO FROM HEADQUARTERS, 3RD BRIG., AT TIENTSIN, CHINA, FOR GOVERNMENT TRANSPORTATION TO MY NEW PERMANENT STATION. INFORMATION WAS RECEIVED TO THE EFFECT THAT TRANSPORTATIONS COULD NOT BE FURNISHED UNTIL SOMETIME IN JUNE, 1928. TRAVEL WAS PERFORMED BETWEEN MARCH 17, 1928, AND APRIL 6, 1928. TRANSPORTATION IN KIND HAS NOT BEEN AND WILL NOT BE REQUESTED, AND NONE HAS BEEN FURNISHED.

RECEIPTS FURNISHED INDICATE TRAVEL WAS BY THE S.S. EMPRESS OF CANADA TO KOBE, JAPAN, AND S.S. MANREI MARU, KOBE TO TIENTSIN.

SECTION 12 OF THE ACT OF MAY 18, 1920, 41 STAT. 604, PROVIDING FOR THE FURNISHING OF TRANSPORTATION IN KIND FOR THE DEPENDENTS OF AN OFFICER WHEN HE IS ORDERED TO MAKE A PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION, PROVIDES:

* * * THAT TRANSPORTATION SUPPLIED THE WIFE OR DEPENDENT CHILD OR CHILDREN OF SUCH OFFICER, TO OR FROM STATIONS BEYOND THE CONTINENTAL LIMITS OF THE UNITED STATES, SHALL NOT BE OTHER THAN BY GOVERNMENT TRANSPORT, IF SUCH TRANSPORTATION IS AVAILABLE. * * *.

SECTION 12 OF THE ACT OF JUNE 10, 1922, 42 STAT. 631, PROVIDES THAT IN LIEU OF THE TRANSPORTATION IN KIND AUTHORIZED BY THE ACT OF MAY 18, 1920 PAYMENT MAY BE MADE OF THE COMMERCIAL TRANSPORTATION COSTS WHEN SUCH TRAVEL SHALL HAVE BEEN COMPLETED.

IT IS WELL ESTABLISHED THAT WHERE A GOVERNMENT TRANSPORT IS AVAILABLE, BUT NOT UTILIZED, NO RIGHT TO PAYMENT OF THE COMMERCIAL TRANSPORTATION COSTS ACCRUES UNDER THE ACT OF JUNE 10, 1922.

THE QUESTION IN THIS CASE IS WHETHER A GOVERNMENT TRANSPORT WAS AVAILABLE WITHIN THE MEANING OF THE LAW. IT IS STATED THAT A GOVERNMENT TRANSPORT WAS AVAILABLE IN JUNE, AND THIS WAS CONSIDERED ,AVAILABLE" BY THE NAVY DEPARTMENT IN OTHER SIMILAR CASES. SEE 8 COMP. GEN. 118. ORDINARILY, THE TIME HERE INVOLVED IS NOT AN UNREASONABLE DELAY FOR THE DEPENDENTS OF AN OFFICER IN THE UNITED STATES TO JOIN HIM AT A FOREIGN STATION. IN THE ABSENCE OF EVIDENCE SHOWING URGENCY IT MUST BE HELD, UNDER THE CIRCUMSTANCES STATED, THAT A GOVERNMENT TRANSPORT WAS AVAILABLE AND THAT, THEREFORE, PAYMENT OF THE VOUCHER, WHICH IS RETAINED IN THIS OFFICE, IS NOT AUTHORIZED.