A-53823, MARCH 31, 1934, 13 COMP. GEN. 254

A-53823: Mar 31, 1934

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TRANSPORTATION - RATES - LOWEST FIRST CLASS - STATEROOMS IN THE TRANSPORTATION OF A DETACHMENT OF TROOPS ON COMMERCIAL VESSELS ON WHICH THERE ARE NOT SUFFICIENT MINIMUM-RATE FIRST-CLASS STATEROOMS TO ACCOMMODATE ALL OF THE DETACHMENT. REQUIRES THE PROCUREMENT OF STATEROOM ACCOMMODATIONS BEGINNING WITH THE MINIMUM FIRST-CLASS RATE ACCOMMODATIONS AND CONTINUING WITH THE NEXT HIGHER-PRICED ACCOMMODATIONS AS MAY BE REQUIRED AFTER THE LOWER-PRICED ACCOMMODATIONS ARE EXHAUSTED. A QUESTION ARISES AS TO THE USE OF COMMERCIAL STEAMSHIP LINES FOR THE TRANSPORTATION OF TROOPS WHERE THE NUMBER OF MEN TRAVELING IS SUCH THAT THERE ARE NOT SUFFICIENT MINIMUM-RATE STATEROOMS ON THE VESSEL TO ACCOMMODATE THE ENTIRE DETACHMENT.

A-53823, MARCH 31, 1934, 13 COMP. GEN. 254

TRANSPORTATION - RATES - LOWEST FIRST CLASS - STATEROOMS IN THE TRANSPORTATION OF A DETACHMENT OF TROOPS ON COMMERCIAL VESSELS ON WHICH THERE ARE NOT SUFFICIENT MINIMUM-RATE FIRST-CLASS STATEROOMS TO ACCOMMODATE ALL OF THE DETACHMENT, SECTION 10 OF THE ACT OF MARCH 3, 1933, 47 STAT. 1516, REQUIRES THE PROCUREMENT OF STATEROOM ACCOMMODATIONS BEGINNING WITH THE MINIMUM FIRST-CLASS RATE ACCOMMODATIONS AND CONTINUING WITH THE NEXT HIGHER-PRICED ACCOMMODATIONS AS MAY BE REQUIRED AFTER THE LOWER-PRICED ACCOMMODATIONS ARE EXHAUSTED, ON CONDITION THAT THE AGGREGATE COST OF THE TRANSPORTATION OF THE DETACHMENT DOES NOT EXCEED THE COST OF THEIR TRANSPORTATION BY RAIL.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL TO THE SECRETARY OF THE NAVY, MARCH 31, 1934:

THERE HAS BEEN RECEIVED YOUR FIRST ENDORSEMENT, FEBRUARY 12, 1934, OF BASIC LETTER OF THE MAJOR GENERAL COMMANDANT, UNITED STATES MARINE CORPS, REQUESTING DECISION AS FOLLOWS: SUBJECT: STATEROOM ACCOMMODATIONS, REQUEST FOR DECISION. REFERENCES: (A) SEC. 10, ACT OF 3 MAR. 33.

(B) COMP. GEN. DEC. NO. A-48894, 31 MAY 33.

(C) COMP. GEN. DEC. NO. A-48267, 11 JULY 33.

(D) COMP. GEN. DEC. NO. A-50504, 23 SEPT. 33.

1. IN VIEW OF THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 10 OF THE ACT OF 3 MARCH 1933 AND THE RULING OF THE COMPTROLLER GENERAL AS SET FORTH IN REFERENCE (D), A QUESTION ARISES AS TO THE USE OF COMMERCIAL STEAMSHIP LINES FOR THE TRANSPORTATION OF TROOPS WHERE THE NUMBER OF MEN TRAVELING IS SUCH THAT THERE ARE NOT SUFFICIENT MINIMUM-RATE STATEROOMS ON THE VESSEL TO ACCOMMODATE THE ENTIRE DETACHMENT, NECESSITATING THE USE OF HIGHER-PRICED ROOMS.

2. IT HAS BEEN THE PRACTICE OF THE MARINE CORPS TO ROUTE SUCH DETACHMENTS OF TROOPS VIA WATER LINES WHERE THE COST IS LESS THAN VIA COMPETING RAIL LINES, AND TO FURNISH STATEROOM ACCOMMODATIONS BEGINNING WITH MINIMUM-RATE ROOMS AND CONTINUING WITH HIGHER-PRICED ROOMS AS REQUIRED, AFTER THE LOWER -PRICED ROOMS HAVE BEEN EXHAUSTED. IN REFERENCE (D), IT IS HELD THAT,"* * * A HIGHER RATE THAN THE LOWEST FIRST-CLASS RATE IS NOT AUTHORIZED, EVEN WHEN THE LOWER FIRST-CLASS ACCOMMODATIONS HAVE BEEN EXHAUSTED ON A PARTICULAR VESSEL * * *.' THE QUESTION CONSIDERED BY THE DECISION REFERRED TO, HOWEVER, APPEARS TO RELATE ONLY TO INDIVIDUAL TRAVEL AND THERE IS ACCORDINGLY A DOUBT AS TO WHETHER THE SAME RULE IS INTENDED TO APPLY TO TRANSPORTATION OF TROOPS UNDER THE CIRCUMSTANCES PRESENTED HEREIN.

3. IT WOULD APPEAR THAT THE OBJECT OF SECTION 10 OF THE ACT OF 3 MARCH, 1933, AS STATED IN REFERENCE (C) IS TO EFFECT ECONOMY, AND TO ELIMINATE FROM CONSIDERATION ALL SUPERIOR ACCOMMODATIONS PREVIOUSLY PERMITTED ON ACCOUNT OF RANK. THIS PURPOSE WOULD APPEAR TO BE SERVED WHEN THE RULING IN QUESTION IS APPLIED TO INDIVIDUAL TRAVEL OR SMALL DETACHMENTS BUT ON THE CONTRARY SUCH PURPOSE WOULD BE DEFEATED IF IT IS HELD THAT DETACHMENTS WHICH ARE TOO LARGE TO BE ACCOMMODATED IN MINIMUM-RATE STATEROOMS MUST BE ROUTED VIA RAIL LINES AT A HIGHER COST. THE APPLICATION OF THIS RULING WOULD LIKEWISE SERIOUSLY INTERFERE WITH THE EFFICIENT MOVEMENT OF TROOPS IN CASES OF EMERGENCY WHERE IT IS FOUND THAT THE MOST SATISFACTORY AND EXPEDITIOUS MODE OF TRANSPORTATION IS VIA A COMMERCIAL WATER LINE.

4. IN REFERENCE (B) IT IS HELD THAT "IN CASES WHERE THE USE OF AN EXTRA- FARE TRAIN IS DUE TO A NEED OF THE SERVICE WHICH COULD NOT BE MET BY THE USE OF THE REGULAR-FARE TRAIN, AND NOT FOR THE COMFORT OR CONVENIENCE OF THE TRAVELER, THE EXTRA-FARE TRAIN MAY BE CONSIDERED "THE TRANSPORTATION FACILITY USED" WITHIN THE PURVIEW OF SECTION 10 OF THE ACT OF MARCH 3, 1933.' IT WOULD APPEAR THAT A SIMILAR LINE OF REASONING MIGHT BE FOLLOWED IN THE CIRCUMSTANCES PRESENTED INASMUCH AS THE ASSIGNMENT OF SUCH MEN AS COULD NOT BE ACCOMMODATED IN MINIMUM RATE ROOMS TO HIGHER-PRICED ROOMS WOULD NOT BE FOR THEIR COMFORT OR CONVENIENCE, BUT MERELY ON ACCOUNT OF THE NECESSITY FOR UTILIZING SUCH ACCOMMODATION IN ORDER TO AVOID THE GREATER EXPENSE OF RAIL TRANSPORTATION.

YOU ARE ADVISED THAT IN THE TRANSPORTATION OF A DETACHMENT OF TROOPS ON THE COMMERCIAL VESSELS ON WHICH THERE ARE NOT SUFFICIENT MINIMUM RATE FIRST-CLASS STATEROOMS TO ACCOMMODATE ALL OF THE DETACHMENT, SECTION 10 OF THE ACT OF MARCH 3, 1933, REQUIRES THE PROCUREMENT OF STATEROOM ACCOMMODATIONS BEGINNING WITH THE MINIMUM FIRST CLASS RATE ROOMS AND CONTINUING WITH THE NEXT HIGHER-PRICED ROOM, AS MAY BE REQUIRED, AFTER LOWER-PRICED ROOMS ARE EXHAUSTED ON CONDITION THAT THE AGGREGATE COST OF TRANSPORTATION OF THE DETACHMENT DOES NOT EXCEED THE COST OF THEIR TRANSPORTATION BY RAIL.