A-51277, OCTOBER 6, 1933, 13 COMP. GEN. 93

A-51277: Oct 6, 1933

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WAS AUTHORIZED TO SHIP HIS HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS FROM HIS HOME IN SAN ANTONIO TO HIS STATION IN MEXICO CITY. UPON ARRIVAL OF HIS EFFECTS AT LAREDO THEY WERE REFUSED FREE ENTRANCE. IT HAS ALWAYS BEEN CUSTOMARY TO HAVE SUCH EFFECTS ENTER THE COUNTRY FREE OF DUTY AND IT IS NOT UNDERSTOOD WHY THESE SHOULD NOT HAVE RECEIVED SIMILAR TREATMENT. I WOULD BE GLAD IF YOU WILL ADVISE WHAT THE RIGHTS OF THE BUREAU ARE IN CONNECTION WITH THE PAYMENT OF EXPENSES ON THE SHIPMENT. WAS NOT INCIDENT TO THE OFFICER'S RETURN TO HIS FORMER RESIDENCE. APPEARS TO HAVE BEEN DUE TO HIS REFUSAL TO PAY THE CUSTOMS DUTIES THEREON. THE RETURN EXPENSES ARE PERSONAL TO THE OFFICER AND MAY NOT BE REIMBURSED UNDER THE APPROPRIATION IN QUESTION.

A-51277, OCTOBER 6, 1933, 13 COMP. GEN. 93

TRANSPORTATION - HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS OF OFFICER OF BUREAU OF FOREIGN AND DOMESTIC COMMERCE WHERE A TRADE COMMISSIONER OF THE BUREAU OF FOREIGN AND DOMESTIC COMMERCE, UPON ORDERS TO CHANGE STATION FROM SAN ANTONIO, TEX; TO MEXICO CITY, MEXICO, SHIPS HIS HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS FROM SAN ANTONIO TO LAREDO, BUT UPON REFUSAL OF THE MEXICAN AUTHORITIES TO PERMIT THEIR ENTRY FREE OF DUTY RETURNS HIS HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS TO SAN ANTONIO, HE MAY BE REIMBURSED ONLY FOR THE COST OF SHIPMENT FROM SAN ANTONIO TO LAREDO, THE RETURN EXPENSES BEING PERSONAL TO THE OFFICER, AND NOT INCIDENTAL TO HIS TRAVEL TO MEXICO CITY.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL TO THE SECRETARY OF COMMERCE, OCTOBER 6, 1933:

THERE HAS BEEN RECEIVED YOUR LETTER OF SEPTEMBER 25, 1933, AS FOLLOWS:

MR. RICHARD A TULLIS, A TRADE COMMISSIONER OF THE BUREAU OF FOREIGN AND DOMESTIC COMMERCE AT MEXICO CITY, MEXICO, WAS AUTHORIZED TO SHIP HIS HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS FROM HIS HOME IN SAN ANTONIO TO HIS STATION IN MEXICO CITY. UPON ARRIVAL OF HIS EFFECTS AT LAREDO THEY WERE REFUSED FREE ENTRANCE, WHEREUPON MR. TULLIS ORDERED THE RETURN OF THE GOODS TO HIS FORMER HOME AT SAN ANTONIO TO BE PUT IN STORAGE.

IT HAS ALWAYS BEEN CUSTOMARY TO HAVE SUCH EFFECTS ENTER THE COUNTRY FREE OF DUTY AND IT IS NOT UNDERSTOOD WHY THESE SHOULD NOT HAVE RECEIVED SIMILAR TREATMENT.

IN VIEW OF THE FACT THAT THE EFFECTS DID NOT REACH MEXICO CITY, THE QUESTION ARISES AS TO THE RIGHT OF THE BUREAU TO PAY THE EXPENSES INCURRED, AND I WOULD BE GLAD IF YOU WILL ADVISE WHAT THE RIGHTS OF THE BUREAU ARE IN CONNECTION WITH THE PAYMENT OF EXPENSES ON THE SHIPMENT, EITHER TO LAREDO OR RETURN FROM LAREDO TO SAN ANTONIO.

THE APPROPRIATION FOR TRANSPORTATION OF FAMILIES AND EFFECTS OF OFFICERS AND EMPLOYEES OF THE FOREIGN SERVICE, ACT OF MARCH 1, 1933, 47 STAT. 1392, PROVIDES:

TRANSPORTATION OF FAMILIES AND EFFECTS OF OFFICERS AND EMPLOYEES: TO REGULATIONS AS THE SECRETARY OF COMMERCE MAY PRESCRIBE, OF FAMILIES AND EFFECTS OF OFFICERS AND EMPLOYEES OF THE BUREAU OF FOREIGN AND DOMESTIC COMMERCE IN GOING TO AND RETURNING FROM THEIR POSTS, OR WHEN TRAVELING UNDER THE ORDER OF THE SECRETARY OF COMMERCE, AND ALSO FOR DEFRAYING THE EXPENSES OF PREPARING AND TRANSPORTING THE REMAINS OF OFFICERS AND EMPLOYEES OF THE BUREAU OF FOREIGN AND DOMESTIC COMMERCE WHO MAY DIE ABROAD OR IN TRANSIT, WHILE IN THE DISCHARGE OF THEIR OFFICIAL DUTIES, TO THEIR FORMER HOMES IN THIS COUNTRY, OR TO A PLACE NOT MORE DISTANT, FOR INTERMENT, AND FOR THE ORDINARY EXPENSES OF SUCH INTERMENT, $42,000.

THE APPROPRIATION AUTHORIZES REIMBURSEMENT FOR THE TRANSPORTATION OF INCIDENT TO THE OFFICER'S TRANSPORTATION TO MEXICO CITY, MEXICO, THE EXPENSES TO LAREDO MAY BE REIMBURSED. THE RETURN OF THE GOODS TO SAN ANTONIO, HOWEVER, WAS NOT INCIDENT TO THE OFFICER'S RETURN TO HIS FORMER RESIDENCE, BUT APPEARS TO HAVE BEEN DUE TO HIS REFUSAL TO PAY THE CUSTOMS DUTIES THEREON. UNDER SUCH CIRCUMSTANCES, THE RETURN EXPENSES ARE PERSONAL TO THE OFFICER AND MAY NOT BE REIMBURSED UNDER THE APPROPRIATION IN QUESTION.