A-37114, JULY 6, 1931, 11 COMP. GEN. 10

A-37114: Jul 6, 1931

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COMPENSATION - OVERTIME - CUSTOMS AND IMMIGRATION INSPECTORS - PANAMA CANAL PAYMENTS OF OVERTIME COMPENSATION ARE AUTHORIZED TO CUSTOMS INSPECTORS EMPLOYED BY THE PANAMA CANAL UNDER THE CONDITIONS PRESCRIBED FOR PAYMENT OF OVERTIME COMPENSATION TO CUSTOMS INSPECTORS IN THE CONTINENTAL UNITED STATES BY THE ACT OF FEBRUARY 13. PROVISION WAS MADE FOR THE PAYMENT OF OVERTIME TO IMMIGRANT INSPECTORS IN THE UNITED STATES. THIS APPLICATION CAUSED A REVIEW OF THE LAW AND REGULATIONS UNDER WHICH OVERTIME COMPENSATION WAS BEING ALLOWED TO CUSTOMS INSPECTORS. SUCH REVIEW INDICATED THAT THERE MIGHT BE A QUESTION AS TO WHETHER SUCH OVERTIME COMPENSATION WAS BEING MADE IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE EXISTING LAW AND REGULATIONS. 4.

A-37114, JULY 6, 1931, 11 COMP. GEN. 10

COMPENSATION - OVERTIME - CUSTOMS AND IMMIGRATION INSPECTORS - PANAMA CANAL PAYMENTS OF OVERTIME COMPENSATION ARE AUTHORIZED TO CUSTOMS INSPECTORS EMPLOYED BY THE PANAMA CANAL UNDER THE CONDITIONS PRESCRIBED FOR PAYMENT OF OVERTIME COMPENSATION TO CUSTOMS INSPECTORS IN THE CONTINENTAL UNITED STATES BY THE ACT OF FEBRUARY 13, 1911, AS AMENDED BY THE ACT OF FEBRUARY 7, 1920, 41 STAT. 402, AND TO IMMIGRATION INSPECTORS EMPLOYED BY THE PANAMA CANAL UNDER THE CONDITIONS PRESCRIBED FOR PAYMENT OF OVERTIME COMPENSATION TO IMMIGRATION INSPECTORS IN THE CONTINENTAL UNITED STATES BY THE ACT OF MARCH 2, 1931, 46 STAT. 1467, THE LATTER TO BE PAYABLE ONLY FOR PERIODS PROSPECTIVELY FROM THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF THE REGULATIONS PRESCRIBED BY THE PANAMA CANAL. OVERTIME COMPENSATION OF CUSTOMS INSPECTORS EMPLOYED BY THE PANAMA CANAL FOR INSPECTING BAGGAGE OF PASSENGERS ON ARMY TRANSPORTS SHOULD BE PAID UNDER APPROPRIATIONS FOR ARMY TRANSPORTATION.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL TO THE GOVERNOR OF THE PANAMA CANAL, JULY 6, 1931:

CONSIDERATION HAS BEEN GIVEN TO YOUR LETTER OF JUNE 6, 1931, AS FOLLOWS:

1. BY ACT OF CONGRESS, APPROVED MARCH 2, 1931 (PUBLIC, NO. 774, 71ST CONGRESS), PROVISION WAS MADE FOR THE PAYMENT OF OVERTIME TO IMMIGRANT INSPECTORS IN THE UNITED STATES, FOR WORK DONE AFTER 5:00 P.M. AND ON SUNDAYS AND HOLIDAYS.

2. FOLLOWING THE RECEIPT OF THIS ACT ON THE ISTHMUS, ONE OF THE QUARANTINE INSPECTORS OF THE PANAMA CANAL, WHO ALSO ACTS AS IMMIGRANT INSPECTOR, APPLIED FOR THE PAYMENT OF OVERTIME IN CONFORMITY WITH THE ACT AUTHORIZING OVERTIME TO IMMIGRANT INSPECTORS IN THE UNITED STATES, BASING HIS CLAIM FOR SUCH OVERTIME ALSO ON THE FACT THAT OVERTIME PAYMENTS OF A LIKE CHARACTER HAD BEEN MADE TO CUSTOMS INSPECTORS IN THE EMPLOY OF THE CANAL SINCE SEPTEMBER 1, 1919.

3. THIS APPLICATION CAUSED A REVIEW OF THE LAW AND REGULATIONS UNDER WHICH OVERTIME COMPENSATION WAS BEING ALLOWED TO CUSTOMS INSPECTORS, AND SUCH REVIEW INDICATED THAT THERE MIGHT BE A QUESTION AS TO WHETHER SUCH OVERTIME COMPENSATION WAS BEING MADE IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE EXISTING LAW AND REGULATIONS.

4. THE OVERTIME PAYMENTS TO CUSTOMS INSPECTORS WAS AUTHORIZED BY THE GOVERNOR OF THE PANAMA CANAL ON THE RECOMMENDATION OF THE CHIEF OF CIVIL AFFAIRS, EFFECTIVE SEPTEMBER 1, 1919, BASED ON THE THEN EXISTING LAW AND CUSTOMS REGULATIONS IN THE STATES, WHICH AUTHORIZED THE PAYMENT OF SUCH OVERTIME. THE LAW AUTHORIZING SUCH OVERTIME PAYMENT IS NOW EMBODIED IN SECTION 267, TITLE 19, OF THE U.S.C.

5. AT THAT TIME THERE SEEMED TO BE NO OBJECTION TO AUTHORIZING SUCH OVERTIME PAYMENTS TO PANAMA CANAL CUSTOMS INSPECTORS IN VIEW OF THE FACT THAT THE GOVERNOR, UNDER AUTHORITY OF THE PRESIDENT, WAS AUTHORIZED TO FIX THE COMPENSATION OF EMPLOYEES OF THE PANAMA CANAL AT A RATE NOT EXCEEDING 25 PERCENT IN EXCESS OF THE SALARIES OR COMPENSATION PAID TO GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES IN THE CONTINENTAL UNITED STATES. (SEC. 4, PANAMA CANAL ACT.)

6. AT THE TIME THESE PAYMENTS WERE AUTHORIZED IT IS APPARENT THAT ANOTHER STATUTE, WHICH BECAME EFFECTIVE JULY 1, 1919, WAS NOT CONSIDERED NOR EVEN KNOWN TO HAVE BEEN IN EXISTENCE AT THAT TIME. THIS STATUTE, THUS REFERRED TO, IS NOW EMBODIED IN SEC. 66, TITLE 5, U.S.C. IT PROHIBITS ANY EMPLOYEE OF THE GOVERNMENT FROM RECEIVING ANY COMPENSATION FROM OUTSIDE PARTIES. THE PROVISIONS AUTHORIZING OVERTIME PAYMENTS TO IMMIGRANT INSPECTORS IN THE ACT OF MARCH 2, 1931, AND TO CUSTOMS INSPECTORS IN SEC. 267, TITLE 19, U.S. CODE, WOULD APPEAR TO TAKE THESE SERVICES OUT OF THE PROVISIONS OF SEC. 66, TITLE 5, U.S.C.

7. AT THE TIME OVERTIME PAYMENTS TO CUSTOMS INSPECTORS WAS AUTHORIZED IN 1919 THE PROVISION WAS INSERTED IN OUR TARIFF PROVIDING FOR COLLECTION OF THE AMOUNTS AUTHORIZED AS OVERTIME PAYMENTS TO INSPECTORS TO BE MADE FROM VESSELS REQUIRING THE USE OF INSPECTORS FOR THE PURPOSE OF INSPECTING PASSENGERS' BAGGAGE, WHEN THE VESSEL REQUIRED SUCH SERVICE AFTER 6:00 P.M. OR ON SUNDAYS OR HOLIDAYS.

8. SINCE SEPTEMBER 1, 1919, COLLECTIONS HAVE BEEN MADE AGAINST VESSELS DESIRING TO LAND PASSENGERS AFTER 6:00 P.M. ON A WEEK DAY, OR ON SUNDAYS AND HOLIDAYS, SUCH CHARGE BEING MADE AND THE SERVICE OF THE CUSTOMS INSPECTORS BEING FURNISHED ONLY ON REQUEST OF THE MASTER OR AGENTS OF SUCH VESSEL. (SEE CURRENT PANAMA CANAL TARIFF NO. 10, PAGE 27.)

9. THE AMOUNTS NECESSARY TO PAY SUCH CHARGES HAVE BEEN COLLECTED THROUGH DEPOSIT WITH THE COLLECTOR, AND THE COLLECTOR HAS PAID SUCH DEPOSIT DIRECT TO THE CUSTOMS INSPECTORS WITHOUT SUCH RECEIPT AND DISBURSEMENT SHOWING IN THE ACCOUNTS OF THE COLLECTOR, WHICH HAVE BEEN AUDITED BY THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE.

10. THIS IS THE PARTICULAR PRACTICE WHICH SEEMS QUESTIONABLE, IN VIEW OF THE DECISIONS RENDERED BY YOU, ATTENTION BEING PARTICULARLY CALLED TO YOUR DECISION OF JUNE 16, 1930 (A-30685).

11. THE PROPRIETY OF MAKING THESE OVERTIME PAYMENTS TO CUSTOMS INSPECTORS IS NOT QUESTIONED, AND I BELIEVE HAS RESULTED IN AN ACTUAL SAVING TO THE PANAMA CANAL FOR THE REASON THAT, EXCEPT FOR THE PAYMENT OF THIS OVERTIME, IT WOULD HAVE BEEN NECESSARY TO EMPLOY ADDITIONAL INSPECTORS. IN OTHER WORDS, THE AMOUNT OF PAYMENT FOR COMPENSATION, INCLUDING OVERTIME, HAS BEEN LESS THAN IT WOULD HAVE BEEN HAD THE COLLECTIONS FROM THE STEAMSHIPS BEEN CREDITED TO OUR APPROPRIATION, AS AUTHORIZED IN OUR ANNUAL APPROPRIATION ACTS, AND ADDITIONAL INSPECTORS EMPLOYED TO PERFORM THE SERVICE, SO THAT THE SERVICE COULD HAVE BEEN PERFORMED WITHOUT INCURRING OVERTIME.

12. THE AMOUNT OF OVERTIME RECEIVED BY THE INSPECTORS IS NOT EXCESSIVE, THE OVERTIME DUTY BEING DISTRIBUTED AS EQUITABLY AS PRACTICABLE AMONG ALL THE CUSTOMS INSPECTORS, AND HAS RESULTED IN A PAYMENT OF APPROXIMATELY $30.00 PER MONTH TO EACH INSPECTOR FOR SUCH OVERTIME.

13. IN VIEW OF THE FACT THAT THESE PAYMENTS FOR OVERTIME HAVE NOT APPEARED IN THE ACCOUNTS OF THE COLLECTOR, WHICH HAVE BEEN AUDITED EITHER BY THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE IN WASHINGTON OR BY YOUR INSPECTORS DETAILED FOR THE EXAMINATION OF THE COLLECTOR'S ACCOUNT ON THE ISTHMUS, I HAVE DIRECTED THAT FURTHER PAYMENTS OF THIS OVERTIME TO CUSTOMS INSPECTORS BE SUSPENDED PENDING YOUR DECISION AS TO THE LEGALITY OF SUCH PAYMENTS.

14. IF THE PAYMENT OF SUCH OVERTIME IS CONSIDERED LEGAL AND PROPER BY YOU, IT IS MY INTENTION TO HAVE SUCH COLLECTIONS AND PAYMENTS FULLY SHOWN IN THE COLLECTOR'S ACCOUNT HEREAFTER.

15. THE PAY OF CUSTOMS INSPECTORS EMPLOYED BY THE PANAMA CANAL IS BASED ON THE THREE LOWER RATES OF PAY AUTHORIZED BY ACT OF CONGRESS APPROVED MAY 29, 1928, FOR CUSTOMS INSPECTORS IN THE UNITED STATES, PLUS THE 25 PERCENT INCREASE AUTHORIZED FOR CANAL EMPLOYEES BY THE PANAMA CANAL ACT, AND THE OVERTIME ALLOWANCE IS THE SAME AS THAT ALLOWED INSPECTORS IN THE UNITED STATES UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF SEC. 66, TITLE 5, U.S.C.

16. IN VIEW OF THE FOREGOING, YOUR DECISION IS REQUESTED AS TO MY AUTHORITY TO CONTINUE OVERTIME PAYMENTS TO CUSTOMS INSPECTORS AND TO MAKE SUCH PAYMENTS TO IMMIGRANT INSPECTORS EMPLOYED BY THE PANAMA CANAL.

17. IN THIS CONNECTION, YOUR ATTENTION IS INVITED TO THE FACT THAT YOUR OFFICE HAS CONSIDERED ONE PHASE OF THIS MATTER IN A DECISION MADE TO MAJOR E. T. COMEGYS, DISBURSING OFFICER, FINANCE DEPARTMENT, UNDER DATE OF OCTOBER 27, 1922 (A.D. 7182), IN WHICH IT WAS HELD THAT PAYMENT OF BILLS RENDERED BY THE PANAMA RAILROAD COMPANY FOR CASH ADVANCED TO CUSTOMS INSPECTORS FOR INSPECTION OF BAGGAGE ON THE U.S. ARMY TRANSPORT SOMME WAS NOT AUTHORIZED. THE REGULATION AUTHORIZING COLLECTION FOR THE OVERTIME OF INSPECTORS WAS QUOTED IN THAT DECISION.

18. IT APPEARS THAT SUBSEQUENT TO THE RENDITION OF THIS DECISION YOU RENDERED A DECISION TO MAJOR W. A. MCNICHOLS, OF THE FINANCE DEPARTMENT, UNDER DATE OF OCTOBER 6, 1926 (6 COMP. GEN. 237), IN WHICH, QUOTING FROM THE SYLLABUS, YOU HELD: "WHERE SUCH OVERTIME SERVICES ARE NECESSARY IN CONNECTION WITH THE INSPECTION OF BAGGAGE ON AN ARMY TRANSPORT, THE ADDITIONAL COMPENSATION IS A PROPER CHARGE AGAINST THE APPROPRIATION "ARMY TRANSPORTATION" FOR THE FISCAL YEAR IN WHICH THE SERVICE IS RENDERED.'

19. UNDER THIS LATTER DECISION IT WOULD SEEM AS IF OUR BILLS FOR THE OVERTIME SERVICE OF OUR CUSTOMS INSPECTORS ARE PROPER ONES FOR PAYMENT FROM FUNDS AVAILABLE FOR ARMY TRANSPORTATION. AS A MATTER OF FACT, SINCE YOUR DECISION RENDERED TO MAJOR COMEGYS IN 1922, THE AMOUNT OF THE CHARGES AUTHORIZED TO BE MADE AGAINST COMMERCIAL VESSELS HAS BEEN COLLECTED FROM THE PASSENGERS ON ARMY TRANSPORTS AND PAID TO CUSTOMS INSPECTORS FOR OVERTIME, THE SAME AS COLLECTIONS MADE FROM COMMERCIAL VESSELS UNDER LIKE CIRCUMSTANCES.

20. IN VIEW OF YOUR DECISION IN 6 COMP. GEN. 237, SHOULD NOT OUR BILLS FOR OVERTIME SERVICE OF CUSTOMS INSPECTORS FOR INSPECTING BAGGAGE OF PASSENGERS ON ARMY TRANSPORTS, BE ACCEPTED BY ARMY QUARTERMASTERS AND PAID FROM APPROPRIATION "ARMY TRANSPORTATION?

YOUR LETTER PRESENTS FOR DECISION THREE SPECIFIC QUESTIONS WHICH MAY BE STATED AS FOLLOWS: (1) WHETHER PAYMENTS OF OVERTIME COMPENSATION TO CUSTOMS INSPECTORS EMPLOYED BY THE PANAMA CANAL MAY CONTINUE; (2) WHETHER OVERTIME COMPENSATION MAY BE PAID TO IMMIGRATION INSPECTORS EMPLOYED BY THE PANAMA CANAL; AND (3) WHETHER OVERTIME COMPENSATION OF CUSTOMS INSPECTORS FOR INSPECTING BAGGAGE OF PASSENGERS ON ARMY TRANSPORTS SHOULD BE PAID UNDER APPROPRIATIONS FOR ARMY TRANSPORTATION.

INSPECTORS AND EMPLOYEES OF THE CUSTOMS AND IMMIGRATION SERVICES ON THE ISTHMUS ARE UNDER THE JURISDICTION OF THE PANAMA CANAL AND NOT UNDER THE TREASURY AND LABOR DEPARTMENTS. IT IS UNDERSTOOD THAT OVERTIME COMPENSATION HAS HERETOFORE BEEN PAID TO CUSTOMS INSPECTORS EMPLOYED BY THE PANAMA CANAL UNDER THE SAME OR SIMILAR CONDITIONS AS PRESCRIBED BY THE ACT OF FEBRUARY 13, 1911, AS AMENDED BY THE ACT OF FEBRUARY 7, 1920, 41 STAT. 402, FOR CUSTOMS INSPECTORS EMPLOYED IN THE CONTINENTAL UNITED STATES. IT HAS BEEN GENERALLY RECOGNIZED AS THE PURPOSE AND INTENT OF SECTION 4 OF THE PANAMA CANAL ACT OF AUGUST 24, 1912, 37 STAT. 561, TO AUTHORIZE THE PAYMENT OF COMPENSATION RATES TO PANAMA CANAL EMPLOYEES ON THE BASIS OF THE RATES PRESCRIBED BY LAW FOR THE SAME OR SIMILAR GOVERNMENTAL POSITIONS IN THE CONTINENTAL UNITED STATES, PLUS A DIFFERENTIAL OF NOT TO EXCEED 25 PERCENT. SEE DECISION OF MAY 12, 1931, 10 COMP. GEN. 519, HOLDING THAT THE CLASSIFICATION ACT AS EXTENDED TO THE FIELD SERVICE BY SECTION 2 OF THE BROOKHART SALARY ACT IS NOW APPLICABLE TO EMPLOYEES OF THE PANAMA CANAL, WHEREIN WAS CITED THE DECISION OF AUGUST 7, 1925, A-9682, AUTHORIZING THE ADJUSTMENT OF SALARY RATES OF POSTAL EMPLOYEES FOR THE PANAMA CANAL ON THE BASIS OF THE NEW RATES PRESCRIBED BY THE POSTAL RECLASSIFICATION ACT OF FEBRUARY 28, 1925, 43 STAT. 1053. THIS POLICY REASONABLY MAY BE HELD TO APPLY NOT ONLY TO THE FIXING OF THE REGULAR OR BASIC RATES OF COMPENSATION OF PANAMA CANAL EMPLOYEES, BUT ALSO TO THE BENEFITS OF OVERTIME COMPENSATION OR OTHER EXTRA COMPENSATION WHICH MAY BE SPECIFICALLY AUTHORIZED BY LAW FOR GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES IN THE CONTINENTAL UNITED STATES. THE ACT OF MARCH 3, 1917, 39 STAT. 1106, WHICH BECAME EFFECTIVE JULY 1, 1919, PROHIBITING THE PAYMENT OF COMPENSATION OF GOVERNMENT OFFICERS AND EMPLOYEES FROM PRIVATE SOURCES, DOES NOT APPLY TO THE PAYMENT OF OVERTIME COMPENSATION OF CUSTOMS AND IMMIGRATION EMPLOYEES UNDER SPECIFIC STATUTORY AUTHORITY WHICH REQUIRES THE STEAMSHIP OR OTHER TRANSPORTATION COMPANIES TO PAY FOR THE OVERTIME UNDER CERTAIN CONDITIONS. SEE 3 COMP. GEN. 128. ACCORDINGLY, QUESTIONS (1) AND (2) ARE ANSWERED IN THE AFFIRMATIVE TO THE EXTENT THAT SUCH PAYMENTS OF OVERTIME COMPENSATION ARE MADE TO CUSTOMS INSPECTORS UNDER THE CONDITIONS PRESCRIBED BY THE ACT OF FEBRUARY 7, 1920, SUPRA, AND TO IMMIGRATION INSPECTORS AND EMPLOYEES UNDER THE CONDITIONS PRESCRIBED BY THE ACT OF MARCH 2, 1931, 46 STAT. 1467, THE LATTER TO BE PAYABLE ONLY FOR PERIODS PROSPECTIVELY FROM THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF THE REGULATIONS PRESCRIBED BY THE PANAMA CANAL FOR PAYMENT OF SUCH OVERTIME. SEE DECISION OF JUNE 3, 1931, A-36167, 10 COMP. GEN. 537. PROPER ACCOUNTING TO THIS OFFICE IS REQUIRED FOR ALL SUCH PAYMENTS OF OVERTIME COMPENSATION EITHER TO CUSTOMS INSPECTORS OR IMMIGRATION INSPECTORS OR EMPLOYEES HEREAFTER MADE.

REFERRING TO QUESTION (3), YOUR ATTENTION IS INVITED TO THE DECISION OF APRIL 21, 1928, A-22614, RECONSIDERING AND MODIFYING THE DECISION OF OCTOBER 27, 1922, A.D. 7182, WHEREIN IT WAS STATED AS FOLLOWS:

THE TARIFF SUPPLEMENT OF THE PANAMA CANAL, EFFECTIVE SEPTEMBER 1, 1919, PROVIDED THAT IN ORDER TO FACILITATE THE DISCHARGE OF PASSENGERS FROM VESSELS, THE BUREAU OF CUSTOMS SHOULD FURNISH CUSTOMS INSPECTORS AFTER THE USUAL WORKING HOURS FOR THE INSPECTION OF PASSENGERS' BAGGAGE AND THAT FOR SUCH SERVICES THE CUSTOMS OFFICIALS SHOULD RECEIVE CERTAIN EXTRA COMPENSATION THEREIN PROVIDED FOR, THE AMOUNT THEREOF TO BE A CHARGE AGAINST THE VESSEL.

THERE APPEARS TO BE NO PROVISION MADE IN THE CUSTOMS REGULATIONS OF THE PANAMA CANAL COVERING SERVICES WITH RESPECT TO THE SHIP'S CARGO SIMILAR TO THOSE PROVIDED FOR IN THE ACT OF FEBRUARY 7, 1920, SUPRA, UNDER WHICH THE DECISION, 6 COMP. GEN. 237, WAS RENDERED, AND NO CUSTOMS SUPERVISION APPEARS TO BE EXERCISED OVER THE LOADING OR UNLOADING OF A SHIP'S CARGO IN THE PORTS OF THE CANAL ZONE. IT IS ALSO STATED BY THE COMMANDING OFFICER OF THE PANAMA CANAL, IN SIXTH INDORSEMENT OF NOVEMBER 9, 1927, THAT THERE IS NO PROVISION FOR PAYMENT OF OVERTIME SERVICES OF CUSTOMS INSPECTORS FOR ANY OTHER PURPOSE THAN THE INSPECTION OF PASSENGERS' BAGGAGE AND THAT A SHIP WHICH DOES NOT CARRY PASSENGERS DOES NOT REQUIRE THE SERVICES OF CUSTOMS OFFICERS OTHER THAN THOSE OF THE BOARDING OFFICER.

YOUR PRESENT SUBMISSION STRESSES THE POINT THAT THE PRIMARY OBJECT IN HAVING THE BAGGAGE OF PASSENGERS ON ARMY TRANSPORTS INSPECTED AFTER USUAL WORKING HOURS IS NOT FOR THE BENEFIT OR CONVENIENCE OF THE PASSENGERS BUT TO EXPEDITE THE UNLOADING OF FREIGHT. AS STATED IN DECISION OF OCTOBER 27, 1922, THE TARIFF SUPPLEMENT ALLOWING COMPENSATION FOR OVERTIME SERVICES WAS INTENDED TO APPLY PRIMARILY TO COMMERCIAL VESSELS RATHER THAN TO ARMY TRANSPORTS, AND IN INSTANCES WHERE PASSENGERS ARE TRANSPORTED ON ARMY TRANSPORTS THE REGULATIONS PROVIDE THAT THE TRANSPORTATION SHALL BE WITHOUT EXPENSE TO THE UNITED STATES. THE DECISION IN 1922 WAS BASED UPON THE THEORY THAT BY ALLOWING OVERTIME COMPENSATION TO CUSTOMS OFFICIALS FOR THEIR SERVICES IN CONNECTION WITH THE INSPECTION OF PASSENGERS' BAGGAGE ON ARMY TRANSPORTS SUCH ALLOWANCE WOULD BE TANTAMOUNT TO IMPOSING UPON THE GOVERNMENT AN EXPENSE CONTRARY TO THE REGULATIONS GOVERNING THE TRANSPORTATION OF PASSENGERS ON ARMY TRANSPORTS, AND SAID DECISION AS RENDERED UPON THAT BASIS WAS CORRECT.

HOWEVER, IN VIEW OF THE REPRESENTATIONS NOW MADE, I HAVE TO ADVISE THAT IN CASES IN WHICH IT IS CLEARLY SHOWN THAT THE PASSENGERS HAD TO BE DISCHARGED FROM THE ARMY TRANSPORT PRIOR TO UNLOADING ITS CARGO, AND THAT IT WAS IN THE INTEREST OF THE UNITED STATES TO UNLOAD THE CARGO AS SOON AS POSSIBLE, AND THAT THE INSPECTION OF THE PASSENGERS' BAGGAGE AFTER USUAL WORKING HOURS DID IN FACT EXPEDITE THE UNLOADING OF THE CARGO, THE EXPENSES OF PAYING FOR THE OVERTIME SERVICES OF CUSTOMS INSPECTORS IN INSPECTING PASSENGERS' BAGGAGE ON ARMY TRANSPORTS UNDER THE TARIFF SUPPLEMENT OF THE PANAMA CANAL MAY BE CONSIDERED AS BEING OCCASIONED BY THE NECESSITY OF UNLOADING THE CARGO OF THE ARMY TRANSPORT AND, AS SUCH, PROPERLY MAY BE CHARGED AGAINST THE VESSEL AND PAID UNDER THE APPROPRIATION "ARMY TRANSPORTATION" MADE AVAILABLE FOR THE OPERATION OF ARMY TRANSPORTS. SEE ACT OF FEBRUARY 23, 1927, 44 STAT. 1113. TO SUCH EXTENT THE DECISION OF OCTOBER 27, 1922, IS MODIFIED.

WHILE THIS QUESTION IS PROPERLY FOR SUBMISSION BY THE SECRETARY OF WAR, UNDER THE CONDITIONS STATED IN SAID DECISION, QUESTION (3) MAY BE ANSWERED IN THE AFFIRMATIVE.