A-39253, NOVEMBER 9, 1931, 11 COMP. GEN. 174

A-39253: Nov 9, 1931

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BURIAL EXPENSES - AMERICAN SEAMEN THE FUNDS APPROPRIATED FOR THE BURIAL OF AMERICAN SEAMEN IN FOREIGN COUNTRIES UNDER THE GENERAL APPROPRIATION FOR "RELIEF AND PROTECTION OF AMERICAN SEAMEN" ARE AVAILABLE ONLY IN CASES IN WHICH THE VESSEL UPON WHICH THE SEAMAN WAS LAST EMPLOYED HAD BEEN RELIEVED OF LIABILITY FOR HIS CARE AND TREATMENT AND HE HAD BECOME A CHARGE ON THE CONSULATE. IS AUTHORIZED TO PAY FROM GOVERNMENT FUNDS THE FUNERAL EXPENSES OF FRED A. A SEAMAN WHO WAS LEFT IN THE HOSPITAL AT HALIFAX. SEAMAN BELIEVED TO HAVE BEEN NATIVE AMERICAN. AS THE SEAMAN IN QUESTION WAS NOT DISCHARGED AND WAS PLACED IN THE HOSPITAL BY THE OWNERS OF THE HOLY CROSS. THAT VESSEL WAS NEVER RELIEVED OF THE DUTY AND RESPONSIBILITY OF FURNISHING MEDICAL TREATMENT AND RETURNING THE SEAMAN TO THE UNITED STATES AND DISPOSING OF THE REMAINS IN THE CASE OF DEATH.

A-39253, NOVEMBER 9, 1931, 11 COMP. GEN. 174

BURIAL EXPENSES - AMERICAN SEAMEN THE FUNDS APPROPRIATED FOR THE BURIAL OF AMERICAN SEAMEN IN FOREIGN COUNTRIES UNDER THE GENERAL APPROPRIATION FOR "RELIEF AND PROTECTION OF AMERICAN SEAMEN" ARE AVAILABLE ONLY IN CASES IN WHICH THE VESSEL UPON WHICH THE SEAMAN WAS LAST EMPLOYED HAD BEEN RELIEVED OF LIABILITY FOR HIS CARE AND TREATMENT AND HE HAD BECOME A CHARGE ON THE CONSULATE.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL TO THE SECRETARY OF STATE, NOVEMBER 9, 1931:

THERE HAS BEEN RECEIVED YOUR LETTER OF OCTOBER 24, 1931, REQUESTING TO BE ADVISED WHETHER THE AMERICAN CONSUL IN CHARGE AT HALIFAX, NOVA SCOTIA, IS AUTHORIZED TO PAY FROM GOVERNMENT FUNDS THE FUNERAL EXPENSES OF FRED A. NELSON, A SEAMAN WHO WAS LEFT IN THE HOSPITAL AT HALIFAX, WITHOUT CONSULAR DISCHARGE, BY THE MASTER OF THE AMERICAN TRAWLER HOLY CROSS. YOU INVITE ATTENTION TO A TELEGRAM FROM THE AMERICAN CONSUL DATED OCTOBER 23, AS FOLLOWS:

BODY OF SEAMAN FRED A. NELSON LEFT IN LOCAL HOSPITAL BY TRAWLER HOLY CROSS, OFFICIAL NUMBER 228057, WITHOUT DISCHARGE AT CONSULATE GENERAL AWAITING BURIAL SINCE DEATH HERE 15TH IN SPITE OF MASTER'S STATEMENT AT CONSULATE GENERAL THAT HE HAD MADE FUNERAL ARRANGEMENTS WITH HIS COMPANY. OWNERS DO NOT ANSWER TELEGRAMS FROM THE CONSULATE GENERAL AND UNDERTAKER. SEAMAN BELIEVED TO HAVE BEEN NATIVE AMERICAN. IN THE CIRCUMSTANCES WOULD COMPTROLLER GENERAL APPROVE ACCOUNTS IF I PAID FOR UNDERTAKER AND BURIAL. PLEASE INSTRUCT BY TELEGRAPH.

AS THE SEAMAN IN QUESTION WAS NOT DISCHARGED AND WAS PLACED IN THE HOSPITAL BY THE OWNERS OF THE HOLY CROSS, THAT VESSEL WAS NEVER RELIEVED OF THE DUTY AND RESPONSIBILITY OF FURNISHING MEDICAL TREATMENT AND RETURNING THE SEAMAN TO THE UNITED STATES AND DISPOSING OF THE REMAINS IN THE CASE OF DEATH. A-16650, JANUARY 20, 1927; 2 COMP. GEN. 74. WHILE THERE IS A SPECIFIC PROVISION IN THE APPROPRIATION FOR "RELIEF AND PROTECTION OF AMERICAN SEAMEN," ACT OF FEBRUARY 23, 1931, 46 STAT. 1312, FOR THE BURIAL OF AMERICAN SEAMAN IN FOREIGN COUNTRIES THAT RELATES ONLY TO CASES IN WHICH THE VESSEL UPON WHICH THE SEAMEN WAS LAST EMPLOYED HAD BEEN RELIEVED OF LIABILITY FOR HIS CARE AND TREATMENT AND HE HAD BECOME A CHARGE ON THE CONSULATE.

IN THE PRESENT CASE THE DISPOSITION OF THE REMAINS OF THE DECEASED SEAMAN IS A MATTER BETWEEN THE UNDERTAKER AND THE MASTER OF THE VESSEL OR THE RELATIVES OF THE SEAMAN, IF ANY, OR THE CITY AUTHORITIES. ACCORDINGLY, THE CONSULAR OFFICER IS NOT AUTHORIZED TO PAY THEREFOR FROM ANY APPROPRIATION UNDER THE CONTROL OF THE STATE DEPARTMENT.