A-60138, FEBRUARY 27, 1935, 14 COMP. GEN. 659

A-60138: Feb 27, 1935

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WERE AUTHORIZED TO SUE THE UNITED STATES FOR AMOUNTS ALLEGED TO BE DUE THEM FROM THE UNITED STATES BY REASON OF THE ALLEGED NEGLECT OF OFFICIALS AND INSPECTORS OF THE BUREAU OF ANIMAL INDUSTRY OF THIS DEPARTMENT IN DIPPING TICK-INFESTED CATTLE IN TEXAS AND OKLAHOMA IN THE YEARS 1918 AND 1922. THESE SUITS ARE BEING DEFENDED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE WITH THE ASSISTANCE OF AN ATTORNEY FROM THIS DEPARTMENT. THE TESTIMONY TO BE INTRODUCED WILL BE LARGELY IN THE FORM OF DEPOSITIONS. A GREAT NUMBER OF WHICH HAVE BEEN TAKEN. FURTHER PROCEEDINGS HAVE BEEN POSTPONED FOR APPROXIMATELY FOUR WEEKS. THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE WILL. PROCURE A COPY OF THESE DEPOSITIONS FOR ITS USE BUT IT WILL GREATLY FACILITATE THE PLANNING OF THE GOVERNMENT'S DEFENSE IF A COPY MAY ALSO BE OBTAINED FOR THE USE OF THE ATTORNEY OF THIS DEPARTMENT.

A-60138, FEBRUARY 27, 1935, 14 COMP. GEN. 659

AGRICULTURE DEPARTMENT - ERADICATING CATTLE TICKS - DEFENSE OF SUITS AS THE ACT OF MAY 9, 1934, AUTHORIZING SUITS FOR DAMAGES RESULTING FROM DIPPING TICK-INFESTED CATTLE IN TEXAS AND OKLAHOMA IN 1918 AND 1922, MAKES IT THE DUTY OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL TO DEFEND SUCH SUITS, THE EXPENSE OF MAKING COPIES OF ANY DEPOSITIONS FOR USE IN SUCH DEFENSE PROCEEDINGS MAY NOT BE CHARGED TO THE APPROPRIATION FOR ERADICATING CATTLE TICKS UNDER THE DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL TO THE SECRETARY OF AGRICULTURE, FEBRUARY 27, 1935:

THERE HAS BEEN RECEIVED YOUR LETTER OF FEBRUARY 4, 1935, AS FOLLOWS:

BY ACTS OF CONGRESS APPROVED MAY 9, 1934 (48 STAT., PART II, PP. 56 AND 58), RUSSELL AND TUCKER, ET AL., AND PORTER BROS. AND BIFFLE, ET AL., ALL RESIDENTS OF OKLAHOMA, WERE AUTHORIZED TO SUE THE UNITED STATES FOR AMOUNTS ALLEGED TO BE DUE THEM FROM THE UNITED STATES BY REASON OF THE ALLEGED NEGLECT OF OFFICIALS AND INSPECTORS OF THE BUREAU OF ANIMAL INDUSTRY OF THIS DEPARTMENT IN DIPPING TICK-INFESTED CATTLE IN TEXAS AND OKLAHOMA IN THE YEARS 1918 AND 1922. THE AMOUNTS INVOLVED TOTAL BETWEEN $300,000 AND $400,000.

THESE SUITS ARE BEING DEFENDED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE WITH THE ASSISTANCE OF AN ATTORNEY FROM THIS DEPARTMENT. THE TESTIMONY TO BE INTRODUCED WILL BE LARGELY IN THE FORM OF DEPOSITIONS, A GREAT NUMBER OF WHICH HAVE BEEN TAKEN. FURTHER PROCEEDINGS HAVE BEEN POSTPONED FOR APPROXIMATELY FOUR WEEKS.

THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE WILL, OF COURSE, PROCURE A COPY OF THESE DEPOSITIONS FOR ITS USE BUT IT WILL GREATLY FACILITATE THE PLANNING OF THE GOVERNMENT'S DEFENSE IF A COPY MAY ALSO BE OBTAINED FOR THE USE OF THE ATTORNEY OF THIS DEPARTMENT. THERE WILL BE APPROXIMATELY 1,500 PAGES OF TESTIMONY AND THE PRICE PER PAGE WILL BE 15 CENTS, THUS TOTALING ABOUT $225.00.

THE ACTS AUTHORIZING THE SUITS CARRY NO APPROPRIATIONS FOR THE PAYMENT OF EXPENSES CONNECTED THEREWITH AND THE APPROPRIATIONS FOR THIS DEPARTMENT DO NOT SPECIFICALLY AUTHORIZE THE PURCHASE OF TRANSCRIPTS OF TESTIMONY. SINCE THE WORK OF THE BUREAU OF ANIMAL INDUSTRY IS PRIMARILY INVOLVED AND SINCE THE OUTCOME OF THE SUITS MAY AFFECT ITS FUTURE POLICY, IT WOULD SEEM THAT THE EXPENSE HERE IN QUESTION IS NECESSARILY INCIDENT TO THAT WORK.

I SHALL APPRECIATE IT, THEREFORE, IF YOU WILL ADVISE ME WHETHER A COPY OF THE DEPOSITIONS MENTIONED MAY PROPERLY BE PURCHASED BY THIS DEPARTMENT AND THE EXPENSE CHARGED TO THE APPROPRIATIONS FOR THAT BUREAU FOR THE FISCAL YEAR 1935 (48 STAT. 474). IN VIEW OF THE IMPORTANCE OF THE CASES AND THE NECESSITY FOR PROMPT ACTION, IT WILL BE APPRECIATED IF YOU WILL EXPEDITE CONSIDERATION OF THIS REQUEST.

EACH OF THE ACTS OF MAY 9, 1934, AUTHORIZING THESE SUITS PROVIDES THAT "* * * IT SHALL BE THE DUTY OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL TO CAUSE THE UNITED STATES ATTORNEY IN SUCH DISTRICT TO APPEAR AND DEFEND FOR THE UNITED STATES.'

THE APPROPRIATION "ERADICATING CATTLE TICKS, 1935," ACT OF MARCH 26, 1934, 48 STAT. 476, PROVIDES:

ERADICATING CATTLE TICKS: FOR ALL NECESSARY EXPENSES FOR THE ERADICATION OF SOUTHERN CATTLE TICKS, $562,007, OF WHICH $150,000 SHALL BE IMMEDIATELY AVAILABLE: PROVIDED, THAT, EXCEPT UPON THE WRITTEN ORDER OF THE SECRETARY OF AGRICULTURE, NO PART OF THIS APPROPRIATION SHALL BE USED FOR THE PURCHASE OF ANIMALS OR IN THE PURCHASE OF MATERIALS FOR OR IN THE CONSTRUCTION OF DIPPING VATS UPON LAND NOT OWNED SOLELY BY THE UNITED STATES, EXCEPT AT FAIRS OR EXPOSITIONS WHERE THE DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE MAKES EXHIBITS OR DEMONSTRATIONS; NOR SHALL ANY PART OF THIS APPROPRIATION BE USED IN THE PURCHASE OF MATERIALS OR MIXTURES FOR USE IN DIPPING VATS EXCEPT IN EXPERIMENTAL OR DEMONSTRATION WORK CARRIED ON BY THE OFFICIALS OR AGENTS OF THE BUREAU OF ANIMAL INDUSTRY.

IT IS UNDERSTOOD THE DESIRED COPY IS FOR USE IN THE DEFENSE PROCEEDINGS. THE CITED APPROPRIATION IS NOT AVAILABLE THEREFOR AS THE ACTS OF MAY 9, 1934, IMPOSE UPON THE ATTORNEY GENERAL THE DUTY OF DEFENDING THE SUITS. THE QUESTION PRESENTED IS ANSWERED ACCORDINGLY.