A-46688, FEBRUARY 1, 1933, 12 COMP. GEN. 517

A-46688: Feb 1, 1933

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BURIAL EXPENSES - GRAVE SPACE GRAVE SPACE IS ORDINARILY CONSIDERED A PART OF THE COST OF INTERMENT AND AS SUCH THE COST OF LEASING A CEMETERY LOT FOR A DEFINITE PERIOD OF TIME. FOR THE INTERMENT OF THE REMAINS OF A FOREIGN SERVICE OFFICER IS A PROPER CHARGE AGAINST THE ANNUAL APPROPRIATION . THE COST OF BURIAL IS PAID FROM PUBLIC FUNDS. THERE IS NO AUTHORITY TO REVIVE THE TRANSACTION AFTER A PERIOD OF 15 YEARS AND MAKE FURTHER PAYMENT ON ACCOUNT OF LEASING THE LOT FOR AN ADDITIONAL PERIOD OF 100 YEARS. 1933: I HAVE YOUR LETTER OF JANUARY 12. AS OLLOWS: THERE IS ENCLOSED COPY OF A DESPATCH RECEIVED BY THE DEPARTMENT FROM THE AMERICAN CONSUL GENERAL IN CHARGE OF ALGIERS. YOUR OPINION IS RESPECTFULLY REQUESTED AS TO WHETHER THE APPROPRIATION "TRANSPORTATION OF FOREIGN SERVICE OFFICERS.

A-46688, FEBRUARY 1, 1933, 12 COMP. GEN. 517

BURIAL EXPENSES - GRAVE SPACE GRAVE SPACE IS ORDINARILY CONSIDERED A PART OF THE COST OF INTERMENT AND AS SUCH THE COST OF LEASING A CEMETERY LOT FOR A DEFINITE PERIOD OF TIME, OR IN PERPETUITY, FOR THE INTERMENT OF THE REMAINS OF A FOREIGN SERVICE OFFICER IS A PROPER CHARGE AGAINST THE ANNUAL APPROPRIATION ,TRANSPORTATION OF FOREIGN SERVICE OFFICERS.' WHERE THE FAMILY OF A FOREIGN SERVICE OFFICER WHO DIES ABROAD REQUESTS OR CONSENTS TO THE BURIAL OF THE OFFICER IN THE FOREIGN COUNTRY, AND THE COST OF BURIAL IS PAID FROM PUBLIC FUNDS, THERE IS NO AUTHORITY TO REVIVE THE TRANSACTION AFTER A PERIOD OF 15 YEARS AND MAKE FURTHER PAYMENT ON ACCOUNT OF LEASING THE LOT FOR AN ADDITIONAL PERIOD OF 100 YEARS, OR IN PERPETUITY.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL TO THE SECRETARY OF STATE, FEBRUARY 1, 1933:

I HAVE YOUR LETTER OF JANUARY 12, 1933, REQUESTING DECISION OF A QUESTION PRESENTED, AS OLLOWS:

THERE IS ENCLOSED COPY OF A DESPATCH RECEIVED BY THE DEPARTMENT FROM THE AMERICAN CONSUL GENERAL IN CHARGE OF ALGIERS, ALGERIA, REPORTING THE EXPIRATION OF THE LEASE ON THE CEMETERY LOT CONTAINING THE REMAINS OF THE LATE CONSUL DEAN BIRCHARD MASON, WHO DIED AT HIS POST ON JANUARY 16, 1917, AND REQUESTING AUTHORIZATION EITHER TO PURCHASE THE LOT IN PERPETUITY OR TO EXTEND THE LEASE THEREON FOR ONE HUNDRED YEARS.

YOUR OPINION IS RESPECTFULLY REQUESTED AS TO WHETHER THE APPROPRIATION "TRANSPORTATION OF FOREIGN SERVICE OFFICERS, 1933," MAY NOW BE PROPERLY USED EITHER TO MAKE THE PURCHASE IN PERPETUITY OR TO EXTEND THE LEASE FOR ONE HUNDRED YEARS.

IN A DESPATCH DATED DECEMBER 23, 1932, THE AMERICAN CONSUL GENERAL AT ALGIERS, ALGERIA, STATES IN PART, AS FOLLOWS:

FROM THE ACCOUNTS WHICH WERE MADE UP AT THE TIME OF THE BURIAL OF CONSUL MASON, I FIND THAT A SUM OF FRS. 20.35 WAS PAID FOR THE PERMIT TO BURY. ALSO A SUM OF FRS. 70 WAS PAID TO MR. WILLIAMS, VERGER OF THE HOLY TRINITY CHURCH, ALGIERS, IN CONNECTION WITH THIS BURIAL, BUT THIS WAS A CONTRIBUTION FOR THE CARE OF THE BRITISH SECTION OF THE CEMETERY AND HAS NO CONNECTION WITH THE COST OR LEASE OF THE LOT. THE LOT WAS NOT PURCHASED IN PERPETUITY. THEREFORE, IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CEMETERY REGULATIONS, AT THE END OF FIFTEEN YEARS THE REMAINS ARE REMOVED UNLESS ARRANGEMENTS ARE MADE FOR A FURTHER LEASE OR A PURCHASE OUTRIGHT OF THE GROUND.

THE MAYOR OF THE CITY, UNDER WHOSE JURISDICTION THE CEMETERY IS PLACED, INFORMS ME THAT A CONVERSION OF THE LEASE FOR THIS LOT INTO A PURCHASE IN PERPETUITY WOULD COST FRS. 2159; OR AN ARRANGEMENT COULD BE MADE FOR ONE HUNDRED YEARS FOR FRS. 1225. THERE ARE ENCLOSED TWO PHOTOGRAPHS WHICH I TOOK OF THE STONE OVER CONSUL MASON'S GRAVE. HIS NAME APPEARS AT THE HEAD OF THE STONE, BUT IS NOT SHOWN IN THE PHOTOGRAPH.

A TELEGRAM FROM THE DEPARTMENT DATED JANUARY 17, 1917 (FILE NO. 123 M 38/58), AUTHORIZED THE EXPENSES FOR PREPARATION AND SHIPMENT OF THE BODY TO THE UNITED STATES. AS THE INTERMENT HAD ALREADY TAKEN PLACE WHEN THE TELEGRAM WAS RECEIVED, ONLY THE COST OF THE LOCAL INTERMENT, $144.72, WAS CHARGED TO THE DEPARTMENT.

THE BOULEVARD BRU CEMETERY IS VERY WELL KEPT UP AND IS UNDER THE JURISDICTION OF THE MAYOR OF THE CITY. THE ENGLISH SECTION OF THE CEMETERY IN WHICH CONSUL MASON IS BURIED IS CARED FOR BY A COMMITTEE OF THE ANGLICAN CHURCH OF ALGIERS.

IN CASE THE DEPARTMENT IS INCLINED TO AUTHORIZE THE PURCHASE OF THE LOT IN PERPETUITY, THIS CONSULATE SHOULD BE AUTHORIZED TO DRAW FOR THE EQUIVALENT OF FRS. 2159, OR APPROXIMATELY $85. A LEASE FOR ONE HUNDRED YEARS WOULD BE FRS. 1225, OR APPROXIMATELY $49.

IT HAS BEEN HELD THAT THE COST OF GRAVE SPACE IS ORDINARILY CONSIDERED A PART OF THE COST OF INTERMENT AND THAT THE NECESSARY COST OF LEASING A LOT IN PERPETUITY OR FOR 100 YEARS IS, UNDER CERTAIN CIRCUMSTANCES, A PROPER CHARGE AGAINST THE ANNUAL APPROPRIATION FOR "TRANSPORTATION OF FOREIGN SERVICE OFFICERS.' DECISION OF JUNE 24, 1932, A-42903. IN THE INSTANT CASE, THE CORRESPONDING APPROPRIATION FOR THE FISCAL YEAR 1917--- CURRENT AT THE TIME OF THE OFFICER'S DEATH -- WOULD HAVE BEEN AVAILABLE FOR THE PREPARATION AND SHIPMENT OF THE BODY TO THE UNITED STATES OR FOR THE LEASING OF THE LOT IN PERPETUITY OR FOR 100 YEARS, BUT THE FAMILY APPARENTLY ELECTED OR CONSENTED TO HAVE INTERMENT AT THE PLACE OF DEATH IN A LOT LEASED FOR 15 YEARS, AND THE COST OF SUCH BURIAL WAS PAID FROM PUBLIC FUNDS. UNDER SUCH CIRCUMSTANCES, IT WOULD APPEAR THAT THE RESPONSIBILITY OR DUTY OF THE UNITED STATES IN THE MATTER WAS FULLY DISCHARGED AND THERE IS NOW NO AUTHORITY OF LAW TO REVIVE SUCH TRANSACTION AND MAKE A FURTHER PAYMENT FROM PUBLIC FUNDS TO INSURE A PERMANENT RESTING PLACE FOR THE REMAINS OF THE OFFICER. THE EXPENSE INCIDENT TO ANY FURTHER ARRANGEMENT WOULD APPEAR TO BE ONE FOR PAYMENT BY THE FAMILY OF THE DECEASED OFFICER. YOU ARE ADVISED ACCORDINGLY.