A-34123, DECEMBER 2, 1930, 10 COMP. GEN. 245

A-34123: Dec 2, 1930

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THE USE OF THE FOREIGN VESSEL MUST HAVE BEEN NECESSARY TO THE ACCOMPLISHMENT OF THE TRAVELER'S MISSION. WHICH NECESSITY MUST HAVE BEEN ONE OF WHICH THE DEPARTMENT WAS AWARE IN ADVANCE AND WHICH FORMED THE SOLE BASIS OF THE ACTION IN AUTHORIZING THE USE OF THE FOREIGN VESSEL. WHO WAS NOT ACTUALLY RELIEVED FROM DUTY AT THAT PLACE UNTIL JANUARY 2. WAS NOT A SUFFICIENT REASON FOR AUTHORIZING THE USE OF A FOREIGN VESSEL BY ANOTHER EMPLOYEE FOR TRANSPORTATION BETWEEN NEW YORK CITY AND GOTHENBURG. AS FOLLOWS: RECEIPT IS ACKNOWLEDGED OF LETTER OF OCTOBER 27. THE LETTER IN QUESTION WAS IN REPLY TO THIS DEPARTMENT'S LETTER OF AUGUST 16. IN WHICH IT WAS STATED THAT HAD TECHNICAL ADVISER WILLIAM A.

A-34123, DECEMBER 2, 1930, 10 COMP. GEN. 245

TRAVELING EXPENSES - FOREIGN VESSELS TO AUTHORIZE REIMBURSEMENT FOR TRAVEL AND SUBSISTENCE EXPENSES UPON A FOREIGN VESSEL UNDER SECTION 601 OF THE MERCHANT MARINE ACT OF MAY 22, 1928, 45 STAT. 697, THE USE OF THE FOREIGN VESSEL MUST HAVE BEEN NECESSARY TO THE ACCOMPLISHMENT OF THE TRAVELER'S MISSION, WHICH NECESSITY MUST HAVE BEEN ONE OF WHICH THE DEPARTMENT WAS AWARE IN ADVANCE AND WHICH FORMED THE SOLE BASIS OF THE ACTION IN AUTHORIZING THE USE OF THE FOREIGN VESSEL. THE ILL HEALTH OF AN EMPLOYEE OF THE IMMIGRATION SERVICE ON DUTY AT GENOA, ITALY, WHO WAS NOT ACTUALLY RELIEVED FROM DUTY AT THAT PLACE UNTIL JANUARY 2, 1930, WAS NOT A SUFFICIENT REASON FOR AUTHORIZING THE USE OF A FOREIGN VESSEL BY ANOTHER EMPLOYEE FOR TRANSPORTATION BETWEEN NEW YORK CITY AND GOTHENBURG, DECEMBER 7 TO 17, 1929, FOR THE PURPOSE OF BEING TRAINED FOR THE DUTIES AT GOTHENBURG, THAT THE EMPLOYEE AT THAT PLACE MIGHT PROCEED TO GENOA.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL TO THE SECRETARY OF LABOR, DECEMBER 2, 1930:

THERE HAS BEEN RECEIVED YOUR LETTER OF NOVEMBER 7, 1930, AS FOLLOWS:

RECEIPT IS ACKNOWLEDGED OF LETTER OF OCTOBER 27, NO. A-MBW-112, SIGNED BY THE CHIEF, AUDIT DIVISION, WITH REFERENCE TO A SUSPENSION IN THE SETTLEMENT OF THE ACCOUNT OF THOMAS J. MURPHY, SPECIAL DISBURSING AGENT, LONDON, ENGLAND, AMOUNTING TO $484.00, IT BEING STATED THEREIN THAT PROOF THAT THE NECESSITY OF THE MISSION REQUIRED TRAVEL ON A VESSEL OF FOREIGN REGISTRY SATISFACTORY TO MEET THE REQUIREMENTS OF SECTION 601 OF THE MERCHANT MARINE ACT OF MAY 22, 1928, HAS NOT BEEN SUBMITTED.

THE LETTER IN QUESTION WAS IN REPLY TO THIS DEPARTMENT'S LETTER OF AUGUST 16, IN WHICH IT WAS STATED THAT HAD TECHNICAL ADVISER WILLIAM A. MANCILL SAILED ON THE STEAMSHIP "GEORGE WASHINGTON" INSTEAD OF THE VESSEL UPON WHICH HE DID SAIL, HE WOULD HAVE NOT ARRIVED AT HIS DESTINATION IN TIME TO ENABLE HIM TO ACCOMPLISH THE OBJECT OF HIS DETAIL.

IT WAS THOUGHT THAT THE FOREGOING STATEMENT WOULD BE SUFFICIENT, AND ACCORDINGLY, THE REASONS WHY HE COULD NOT HAVE ARRIVED IN TIME TO ACCOMPLISH THE OBJECT OF HIS MISSION WERE NOT GIVEN. IN A PERSONAL INTERVIEW HAD WITH REPRESENTATIVES OF YOUR OFFICE IT HAS BEEN SUGGESTED THAT THE REASONS WHICH PROMPTED THE DEPARTMENT IN HAVING TECHNICAL ADVISER MANCILL GO FORWARD ON THE STEAMSHIP "GRIPSHOLM" INSTEAD OF ON THE "GEORGE WASHINGTON" BE SET FORTH IN DETAIL FOR APPROPRIATE CONSIDERATION.

ACCORDINGLY, I HAVE TO ADVISE THAT THE DEPARTMENT JUST PRIOR TO DETAILING TECHNICAL ADVISER MANCILL WAS IN RECEIPT OF THE FOLLOWING REPORT FROM THE SUPERVISOR OF TECHNICAL ADVISERS IN UROPE:

"SINCE HIS ARRIVAL IN GENOA, MR. ESTELLE HAS SUFFERED FROM SERIOUS PULMONARY TROUBLE. HE COUGHS CONTINUOUSLY AND DEVELOPS HIGH FEVER PERIODICALLY. ALTHOUGH THE DOCTORS HAVE NOT BEEN ABLE TO DIAGNOSE HIS CASE AS TUBERCULOSIS, THEY HAVE STATED THAT HE HAS AN ABCESS OF THE RIGHT LUNG. MR. ESTELLE HAS MADE AS LIGHT AS POSSIBLE OF HIS CONDITION AND HAS WORKED MANY DAYS WHEN HE SHOULD NOT HAVE BEEN AT THE OFFICE. LAST MAY, HIS CONDITION BECAME SO BAD THAT HE WAS SENT TO THE HOSPITAL BY THE PHYSICIAN WHO WAS CALLED TO ATTEND HIM AND HE HAS HAD ONE BAD ATTACK THIS FALL, ALTHOUGH HE CONTINUED TO WORK. THE CONSUL GENERAL, MR. STARRETT, STATED THAT THOUGH HE SYMPATHIZED WITH ESTELLE, HE THOUGHT IT WOULD BE TO THE BEST ADVANTAGE OF ALL IF HE WERE RECALLED TO THE THE UNITED STATES, AS HIS CONTINUAL COUGHING AND THE SUSPICION OF TUBERCULOSIS MADE THOSE MEMBERS OF HIS STAFF WHO HAD TO ASSOCIATE WITH ESTELLE AFRAID OF THE CONTAGION.'

THIS DEPARTMENT WAS PLACED IN A POSITION OF HAVING AN OFFICER ASSIGNED TO AN AMERICAN CONSULATE IN THE CAPACITY OF TECHNICAL ADVISER WHO WAS OBJECTIONABLE TO THE CONSUL GENERAL AND WHOSE CONDITION OF HEALTH WAS SUCH THAT IT WAS FELT THAT HE COULD NOT SATISFACTORILY PERFORM THE DUTIES UPON WHICH HE WAS ENGAGED. IT WAS CONSIDERED, THEREFORE, THAT A REAL EMERGENCY EXISTED WHICH NECESSITATED THE MOST PROMPT ACTION POSSIBLE. ACCORDINGLY, STEPS WERE TAKEN TO HAVE AN OFFICER ARRIVE IN GENOA TO RELIEVE TECHNICAL ADVISER ESTELLE JUST AS SOON AS THAT COULD BE ACCOMPLISHED.

IN BRINGING ABOUT THIS RESULT IT WAS NECESSARY TO TAKE INTO CONSIDERATION THAT THE EXAMINATION OF APPLICANTS FOR IMMIGRATION VISAS IS PRACTICALLY COMPLETED QUITE EARLY IN THE MONTH AND IT WAS REALIZED THAT HAD TECHNICAL ADVISER MANCILL ARRIVED IN GOTHENBURG AFTER THE CASES OF APPLICANTS HAD BEEN DISPOSED OF FOR THAT MONTH IT WOULD BE NECESSARY FOR TECHNICAL ADVISER CRAVER WHOM HE WAS TO RELIEVE AT THAT CONSULATE AND WHO IN TURN WAS TO RELIEVE TECHNICAL ADVISER ESTELLE, TO REMAIN IN GOTHENBURG FOR SEVERAL DAYS DURING THE FOLLOWING MONTH IN ORDER THAT HE MIGHT APPROPRIATELY ACQUAINT TECHNICAL ADVISER MANCILL WITH HIS DUTIES..

AS STATED IN THIS DEPARTMENT'S LETTER OF AUGUST 16, MR. MANCILL SAILED FROM NEW YORK ON DECEMBER 7, 1929, AND ARRIVED IN GOTHENBURG ON DECEMBER 17, WHEREAS, HAD HE SAILED ON THE STEAMSHIP "GEORGE WASHINGTON" HE WOULD NOT HAVE ARRIVED UNTIL APPROXIMATELY DECEMBER 23. IT WAS THOUGHT THAT BETWEEN THE 17TH OF DECEMBER AND THE LATTER PART OF THE MONTH THERE WOULD BE A SUFFICIENT NUMBER OF CASES HANDLED AT GOTHENBURG TO ENABLE TECHNICAL ADVISER CRAVER TO ACQUAINT HIS SUCCESSOR, MR. MANCILL, WITH THE NATURE OF HIS DUTIES AND TO ENABLE THE FORMER TO RELIEVE TECHNICAL ADVISOR ESTELLE AT GENOA BY THE BEGINNING OF JANUARY. ON THE OTHER HAND, HAD HE ARRIVED ON DECEMBER 23, IT WAS FEARED THAT ALL EXAMINATIONS FOR THAT MONTH WOULD HAVE BEEN COMPLETED AND THAT TECHNICAL ADVISER CRAVER WOULD BE COMPELLED TO REMAIN FOR PART OF JANUARY IN GOTHENBURG TO INSTRUCT MR. MANCILL, WHICH WOULD GREATLY DELAY MATTERS. AS A MATTER OF FACT, TECHNICAL ADVISER CRAVER WAS ABLE TO REACH GENOA AND RELIEVE TECHNICAL ADVISER ESTELLE ON JANUARY 2.

AS PREVIOUSLY STATED, THIS DEPARTMENT IN THE EXERCISE OF ITS BEST JUDGMENT ADOPTED A COURSE WHICH IT WAS CONSIDERED NECESSARY TO ADOPT TO AFFORD RELIEF IN AN EMERGENT SITUATION. THE FACT THAT MR. ESTELLE IMMEDIATELY UPON HIS RETURN TO THIS COUNTRY WAS COMPELLED TO UNDERGO QUITE EXTENDED TREATMENT AT THE WALTER REED HOSPITAL JUSTIFIES THE CONCLUSION THAT HE WAS IN NO CONDITION TO CONTINUE ON IN THE POSITION OF IMMIGRANT TECHNICAL ADVISER AND THAT HE HAD BEEN RELIEVED FROM THAT POSITION NONE TOO SOON, BOTH FOR HIS OWN HEALTH AND THE PROTECTION OF THOSE WHO WERE COMPELLED TO WORK WITH HIM, TO SAY NOTHING OF THE EMBARRASSING SITUATION BROUGHT ABOUT BY HIS COMING INTO CONTACT WITH THE PEOPLE OF OTHER COUNTRIES WHO HAD DEALINGS AT THE AMERICAN CONSULATE WHICH CAME UNDER THE HANDLING OF MR. ESTELLE.

IN VIEW OF THE FOREGOING, MAY I RESPECTFULLY ASK THAT THE DECISION OF THE CHIEF OF THE AUDIT DIVISION BE RECONSIDERED AND THAT THE ACCOUNT BE PASSED AS RENDERED?

SECTION 601 OF THE MERCHANT MARINE ACT OF MAY 22, 1928, 45 STAT. 697, PROVIDES:

ANY OFFICER OR EMPLOYEE OF THE UNITED STATES TRAVELING ON OFFICIAL BUSINESS OVERSEAS TO FOREIGN COUNTRIES, OR TO ANY OF THE POSSESSIONS OF THE UNITED STATES, SHALL TRAVEL AND TRANSPORT HIS PERSONAL EFFECTS ON SHIPS REGISTERED UNDER THE LAWS OF THE UNITED STATES WHEN SUCH SHIPS ARE AVAILABLE, UNLESS THE NECESSITY OF HIS MISSION REQUIRES THE USE OF A SHIP UNDER A FOREIGN FLAG: PROVIDED, THAT THE COMPTROLLER GENERAL OF THE UNITED STATES SHALL NOT CREDIT ANY ALLOWANCE FOR TRAVEL OR SHIPPING EXPENSES INCURRED ON A FOREIGN SHIP IN THE ABSENCE OF SATISFACTORY PROOF OF THE NECESSITY THEREFOR.

WHILE IT APPEARS FROM YOUR SUBMISSION THAT THE STATE OF HEALTH OF MR. ESTELLE WAS SUCH AS TO RENDER HIS PRESENCE IN THE CONSULAR OFFICE UNDESIRABLE, YOUR DEPARTMENT DID NOT APPEAR TO CONSIDER IT OF SUCH AN ALARMING CHARACTER BUT THAT HIS SUBSTITUTE MIGHT DELAY HIS ARRIVAL UNTIL SUCH TIME AS ANOTHER TECHNICAL ADVISER COULD BE TRAINED TO TAKE THE PLACE OF THE SUBSTITUTE. NO REASON IS GIVEN WHY THE TECHNICAL ADVISER SENT TO GOTHENBURG COULD NOT HAVE BEEN DISPATCHED DIRECTLY TO GENOA HAD THE SITUATION BEEN AN EMERGENT ONE. MR. MANCILL'S MISSION WAS TO BE PERFORMED AT GOTHENBURG, AT WHICH PLACE HE ARRIVED DECEMBER 17. IT IS ACKNOWLEDGED THAT HE COULD HAVE ARRIVED DECEMBER 23, UPON AN AMERICAN VESSEL. THE TECHNICAL ADVISER WHOM HE RELIEVED AT THAT PLACE DID NOT RELIEVE MR. ESTELLE UNTIL JANUARY 2, 1930. THE REQUIREMENTS OF SECTION 601 OF THE MERCHANT MARINE ACT, SUPRA, AS TO THE USE OF AMERICAN VESSELS ARE MANDATORY AND REQUIRE THE DISALLOWANCE OF CREDIT FOR ALL TRAVEL AND SHIPPING EXPENSES ON A FOREIGN VESSEL IN THE ABSENCE OF SATISFACTORY PROOF OF THE NECESSITY THEREFOR. THE NECESSITY MUST HAVE RELATION TO THE TRAVELER'S MISSION AND MUST BE ONE OF WHICH THE DEPARTMENT WAS AWARE IN ADVANCE AND WHICH FORMED THE SOLE BASIS OF THE ACTION IN AUTHORIZING THE USE OF THE FOREIGN VESSEL.

THE REASONS GIVEN IN YOUR SUBMISSION DO NOT ESTABLISH THAT MR. MANCILL'S MISSION REQUIRED THE USE OF THE FOREIGN VESSEL WITHIN THE PURVIEW OF SECTION 601 OF THE MERCHANT MARINE ACT.

UPON REVIEW OF THE DISALLOWANCE OF CREDIT FOR $94 MUST BE AND IS SUSTAINED. THE EMPLOYEE SHOULD BE INSTRUCTED TO DEPOSIT PROMPTLY THAT AMOUNT AND, ALSO, THE $390 WHICH THE GOVERNMENT PAID UPON THE TRANSPORTATION REQUESTS USED BY HIM FOR TRANSPORTATION UPON THE FOREIGN VESSEL.