A-66542, MAY 21, 1936, 15 COMP. GEN. 1010

A-66542: May 21, 1936

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TRANSPORTATION - ARMY OFFICERS' BAGGAGE - ARMY TRANSPORT SERVICE THERE IS NO AUTHORITY FOR ALLOWING AN ARMY OFFICER A CONSTRUCTIVE CREDIT FOR TRANSPORTATION OF AUTHORIZED BAGGAGE. AS FOLLOWS: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR DECISION DATED NOVEMBER 1. REFERENCE IS ALSO MADE TO A LETTER OF THE SAME PURPORT FROM THE CLAIMS DIVISION OF YOUR OFFICE ADDRESSED TO THE FINANCE OFFICER. WHICH STATEMENT READS: "THERE IS NO ACTUAL INCREASED COST INCURRED FOR SHIPMENT OF THE BAGGAGE OF AN OFFICER IN THE ARMY BY ARMY TRANSPORT. SUCH COST IS NOT AN ELEMENT FOR CONSIDERATION IN THE CASE OF SHIPMENTS BETWEEN POINTS ON THE WEST AND EAST COASTS OF THE UNITED STATES.'. APPARENTLY THERE IS SOME MISUNDERSTANDING ON THE PART OF YOUR OFFICE IN REGARD TO THE OPERATION OF THE ARMY TRANSPORT SERVICE AS THE ABOVE ASSUMPTION WOULD LEAD TO THE BELIEF THAT ITS CARGO CARRYING CAPACITY IS UNLIMITED.

A-66542, MAY 21, 1936, 15 COMP. GEN. 1010

TRANSPORTATION - ARMY OFFICERS' BAGGAGE - ARMY TRANSPORT SERVICE THERE IS NO AUTHORITY FOR ALLOWING AN ARMY OFFICER A CONSTRUCTIVE CREDIT FOR TRANSPORTATION OF AUTHORIZED BAGGAGE, AT HIS REQUEST, BY COMMON CARRIER, INSTEAD OF AVAILABLE ARMY TRANSPORT SERVICE.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL TO THE SECRETARY OF WAR, MAY 21, 1936:

THERE HAS BEEN RECEIVED YOUR LETTER OF MARCH 18, 1936, AS FOLLOWS:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR DECISION DATED NOVEMBER 1, 1935, NO. A 66542, ADDRESSED TO THE CHIEF OF FINANCE, U.S. ARMY, AND OTHER DECISIONS REFERRED TO THEREIN WHICH IN SUBSTANCE DENY A CREDIT OF $1.50 PER HUNDREDWEIGHT FOR TRANSPORTATION OF AUTHORIZED BAGGAGE AND EFFECTS ON ARMY TRANSPORTS BETWEEN THE EAST AND WEST COASTS OF THE UNITED STATES. REFERENCE IS ALSO MADE TO A LETTER OF THE SAME PURPORT FROM THE CLAIMS DIVISION OF YOUR OFFICE ADDRESSED TO THE FINANCE OFFICER, U.S. ARMY, WASHINGTON, D.C., UNDER DATE OF OCTOBER 26, 1935, CLAIMS DIVISION FILE T-EFJ C-61-DEWEY, FRANK ., ET AL.

THE POSITION TAKEN BY YOUR OFFICE IN THIS MATTER APPEARS TO BE BASED ON A STATEMENT CONTAINED IN THE SYLLABUS OF YOUR DECISION OF APRIL 23, 1934, 13 COMP. GEN. 293, WHICH STATEMENT READS:

"THERE IS NO ACTUAL INCREASED COST INCURRED FOR SHIPMENT OF THE BAGGAGE OF AN OFFICER IN THE ARMY BY ARMY TRANSPORT, AND SUCH COST IS NOT AN ELEMENT FOR CONSIDERATION IN THE CASE OF SHIPMENTS BETWEEN POINTS ON THE WEST AND EAST COASTS OF THE UNITED STATES.'

APPARENTLY THERE IS SOME MISUNDERSTANDING ON THE PART OF YOUR OFFICE IN REGARD TO THE OPERATION OF THE ARMY TRANSPORT SERVICE AS THE ABOVE ASSUMPTION WOULD LEAD TO THE BELIEF THAT ITS CARGO CARRYING CAPACITY IS UNLIMITED, ASIDE FROM THE FACT THAT THERE IS AN ACTUAL AND DEFINITE INCREASE IN COST INCURRED FOR EVERY SHIPMENT OF BAGGAGE BY ARMY TRANSPORT.

FOR YOUR INFORMATION, THE ORIGINAL CHARGE AGAINST OFFICERS SHIPPING EXCESS BAGGAGE ON ARMY TRANSPORT WAS PUBLISHED IN SECTION IV, CIRCULAR NO. 13, WAR DEPARTMENT, MARCH 23, 1925, WITH A VIEW TO CONTROLLING AND DISCOURAGING SUCH SHIPMENTS ON ACCOUNT OF LACK OF AVAILABLE SPACE. THE ORIGINAL RATES WERE ON THE BASIS OF COST PER SHIP TON. PRIOR TO THIS ACTION, THE PROVISIONS OF THE ACT OF MARCH 23, 1910 (36 STAT. 255), PROVIDING THAT BAGGAGE IN EXCESS OF REGULATION CHANGE OF STATION ALLOWANCE MAY BE SHIPPED WITH SUCH ALLOWANCE AND REIMBURSEMENT COLLECTED FOR TRANSPORTATION CHARGES ON SUCH EXCESS WERE NOT APPLIED TO THE ARMY TRANSPORT SERVICE, BUT TO COMMERCIAL SHIPMENTS ONLY.

FOLLOWING THE PUBLICATION OF CIRCULAR NO. 13, WAR DEPARTMENT, 1925, THERE CONTINUED TO BE AN INCREASE IN THE CARGOES OF THE ARMY TRANSPORT SERVICE, AND FURTHER ACTION WAS NECESSARY. ACCORDINGLY, A CONSTRUCTIVE CHARGE OF $1.50 PER CWT., BASED ON ALL COSTS AND WHICH APPROXIMATES THE ORIGINAL RATES OF HANDLING BAGGAGE ON THE SHIP TONS BASIS ESTABLISHED IN 1925, WAS PUBLISHED IN O.Q.M.G. CIRCULAR LETTER NO. 113, DECEMBER 22, 1927, AND NOW CURRENT IN CIRCULAR NO. 2, WAR DEPARTMENT, 1933. THESE REGULATIONS BY DESIGN SPECIFICALLY ENABLE THE WAR DEPARTMENT TO CONTROL SHIPMENTS OF AUTHORIZED BAGGAGE TO AND FROM INTERIOR POINTS BY DIVERSION TO COMMERCIAL CARRIERS FOR DIRECT MOVEMENT. THE PRIMARY PURPOSE OF THE APPLICATION OF THE COST FACTOR OF $1.50 PER CWT., IN CIRCULAR NO. 2, WAR DEPARTMENT, 1933, IS TO AVOID CONGESTION OF PORTS AND TRANSPORTS AND EXCESSIVE HANDLINGS, AND TO AVOID DELAYS INCIDENT TO EXCESSIVELY LONG HAULS INVOLVED. FOR YOUR INFORMATION, SINCE JULY 1, 1934, OUT OF A TOTAL OF 30 SAILINGS, 25 VESSELS WERE LOADED TO CAPACITY AND IN MANY CASES CARRIED EXCESS CARGO ON DECK, WHICH IS MOST UNDESIRABLE. FIVE (5) OF THE SAILINGS HAD CARGO SLIGHTLY BELOW CAPACITY.

THE DIVERSION IS EFFECTED THROUGH THE MEDIUM OF TRANSPORTATION RATE FACTORS RATHER THAN BY GEOGRAPHICAL TERRITORIES OR BOUNDARIES. THE PROCEDURE NOW BEING FOLLOWED BY THE WAR DEPARTMENT HAS PROVED ITS WORTH, AND I KNOW OF NO OTHER MEANS SO SIMPLE IN APPLICATION, OR SO SATISFACTORY AS TO RESULTS THAT WILL ENABLE THE WAR DEPARTMENT TO MEET THIS PROBLEM.

WHILE THE USE OF THIS CONSTRUCTIVE CHARGE HAS EVOLVED AS ABOVE INDICATED AND WAS ESTABLISHED PRIMARILY AS A CONTROL ON EXCESSIVE SHIPMENTS BY TRANSPORT, THE WAR DEPARTMENT FINDS IT IS QUITE CONTRARY TO FACT TO ASSUME THAT FOR SHIPMENT OF BAGGAGE BY ARMY TRANSPORT NO ACTUAL INCREASE IN COST IS INCURRED.

BRIEFLY, INCREASED COSTS DO ARISE FROM THE FOLLOWING FACTORS:

AN INCREASE IN THE NUMBER OF TRIPS RESULTS FROM INCREASE IN PASSENGERS AND FREIGHT. THE TRANSPORT SCHEDULES ARE CONTINUOUSLY REVISED TO REDUCE SAILINGS WHENEVER POSSIBLE, AND THE REVERSE IS NECESSARY IF THE TOTAL OF PASSENGERS AND CARGO INCREASES.

THE HANDLING OF ADDITIONAL CARGO PRODUCES IMMEDIATE COSTS BOTH DIRECT AND INDIRECT. STEVEDORE LABOR INCREASES IN RATIO TO CARGO, AND TIME REQUIRED FOR LOADING AND UNLOADING IS GREATER. THE LATTER RESULTS IN INDIRECT COSTS WHICH SHOULD BE CONSIDERED.

THE VALUE OF OFFICERS TO THE GOVERNMENT IS REDUCED BY LONG DELAYS IN RECEIPT OF THEIR EFFECTS. THIS CAN BE MEASURED IN THE VALUE OF THEIR SERVICES LOST TO THE GOVERNMENT WHICH MUST AT SOME TIME BE REFLECTED IN INCREASED PERSONNEL.

TO SUMMARIZE, IT IS CONSIDERED THAT THE CHARGE OF $1.50 PER CWT. APPLIED TO TRANSPORTATION BY ARMY TRANSPORT, UNDER SECTION III, OF CIRCULAR NO. 2, WAR DEPARTMENT, 1935, IS FOR THE TIME BEING A FAIR DETERMINATION OF THE ACTUAL COST TO THE GOVERNMENT OF SUCH TRANSPORTATION, AND ITS APPLICATION RESULTS IN NO INCREASE IN THE EXPENSE OF GOVERNMENT BUT ADDS GREATLY TO THE EFFICIENCY OF THE TRANSPORT SERVICE AND OF THE ARMY.

THE PRACTICAL APPLICATION OF YOUR DECISIONS GIVES RISE TO A SERIOUS SITUATION IN REGARD TO TRANSPORTATION WHICH, IF CONTINUED, WILL INCREASE COSTS AND SERIOUSLY INTERFERE WITH THE EFFICIENT OPERATION OF THE ARMY TRANSPORT SERVICE.

IT IS THEREFORE REQUESTED THAT ALL DECISIONS THAT DO NOT RECOGNIZE THE CARGO RATE FACTOR ON ARMY TRANSPORTS AS AN ELEMENT OF COST FOR TRANSPORTATION IN CONNECTION WITH SHIPMENTS OF AUTHORIZED BAGGAGE BY ARMY TRANSPORT BE WITHDRAWN.

IT APPEARS FROM HEARINGS ON APPROPRIATION BILLS THAT THE ARMY TRANSPORT SERVICE IS OPERATING SIX VESSELS, TWO FREIGHT, AND FOUR PASSENGER AND FREIGHT COMBINED. THIS SERVICE IS MAINTAINED AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE AS AN INTEGRAL PART OF THE ARMY, AND SO FAR AS IS PRACTICABLE SAILINGS ARE ARRANGED AND SCHEDULED TO FURNISH MAXIMUM TRANSPORTATION SERVICE FOR THE MILITARY ORGANIZATION AT A MINIMUM COST FOR ALL NECESSARY MOVEMENT OF TROOPS, BAGGAGE, AND SUPPLIES. IT IS STATED IN THE HEARINGS ON THE WAR DEPARTMENT APPROPRIATION BILL FOR 1933, AT PAGE 884, THAT AFTER AN EXHAUSTIVE STUDY BY THE GENERAL STAFF IT WAS FOUND TO BE MORE ECONOMICAL TO MOVE PERSONNEL AND CARGO FROM THE FIRST SIX CORPS AREAS AND DESTINED FOR THE NINTH CORPS AREA, WHICH IS ON THE WEST COAST, BY RAIL TO NEW YORK, THENCE BY TRANSPORT TO SAN FRANCISCO, THAN TO MOVE OVERLAND TO SAN FRANCISCO, AND THIS POLICY IS FOLLOWED, ALTHOUGH THE SAVING IS SMALL WHERE THE POINT OF ORIGIN IS WEST OF, OR A GREATER DISTANCE THAN, PITTSBURGH. IN THE COMPARISON OF COSTS OF TRANSPORTATION BY ARMY TRANSPORT SERVICE AND COMMERCIAL CARRIERS OVERLAND, THE ELEMENT OF COST OF TRANSPORTATION BY ARMY TRANSPORT WAS NOT CONSIDERED. AT PAGE 885 IT IS SUGGESTED THAT WHILE FROM SOME POINTS IT MIGHT BE CHEAPER TO MAKE SHIPMENT OVERLAND, OR THERE MAY BE VERY LITTLE SAVINGS, EVEN THOUGH THE ELEMENT OF ACTUAL COST ON THE TRANSPORT IS NOT CONSIDERED, THE TRANSPORT SERVICE IS MAINTAINED AS AN INTEGRAL PART OF THE ARMY TO RENDER SUCH SERVICE, AND IF NOT SO UTILIZED, GENERAL WILLIAMS ATED,"WE WOULD BE SENDING THE BOAT OUT NOT COMPLETELY LOADED.'

IRRESPECTIVE OF ANY ELEMENT OF COST OF HANDLING AN OFFICER'S BAGGAGE ON THE TRANSPORT, THE ARMY TRANSPORT SERVICE IS MAINTAINED AT PUBLIC EXPENSE FOR FURNISHING TRANSPORTATION IN KIND FOR THE MILITARY ESTABLISHMENT. WHERE AN ARMY OFFICER IS ORDERED TO TRAVEL BETWEEN POINTS WITHIN PRESCRIBED AREAS ON THE EAST AND WEST COASTS, THIS SERVICE IN KIND IS AVAILABLE FOR THE TRANSPORTATION OF THE OFFICER'S HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS. IF, AT HIS REQUEST AND FOR HIS CONVENIENCE, TRANSPORT SERVICE, OTHERWISE AVAILABLE, IS NOT UTILIZED, CLEARLY THERE IS NO AUTHORITY TO REIMBURSE HIM FOR ANY PART OF THE MAINTENANCE COST OF THE ARMY TRANSPORT SERVICE, ON THE THEORY THAT THE ACTUAL COST TO HAVE RENDERED SUCH TRANSPORTATION SERVICE FROM NEW YORK TO SAN FRANCISCO, WOULD HAVE BEEN $1.50 PER HUNDRED POUNDS. SUCH RULE HAS BEEN UNIFORMLY APPLIED IN CASE OF PERSONNEL VOLUNTARILY TRAVELING ON COMMERCIAL VESSELS, WHERE ARMY TRANSPORTS WERE AVAILABLE. ALSO, THE PRINCIPLE IS THE SAME AS THAT OF AN OFFICER VOLUNTARILY PROCURING CIVILIAN MEDICAL AND HOSPITAL ATTENTION WHILE ON DUTY AT A POST WHERE MEDICAL AND HOSPITAL FACILITIES ARE MAINTAINED AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE BY THE MEDICAL DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY.

THE DECISIONS TO WHICH YOU REFER (OTHER THAN THE ACTION OF OCT. 26, 1935, CLAIMS DIVISION FILE T-EFJ, C-61, DEWEY, FRANK O., ET AL.) ARE TO THE EFFECT THAT WHERE SHIPMENT OF AN OFFICER'S CHANGE OF STATION BAGGAGE ALLOWANCE ON PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION BETWEEN TWO POINTS IN CONTINENTAL UNITED STATES IS MADE, OTHER THAN FROM THE OLD TO THE NEW STATION, OR BY ALL-RAIL SHIPMENT, OR BY OTHER ROUTING AT THE REQUEST OF THE OFFICER WHEN RAIL-ARMY TRANSPORT-RAIL SHIPMENT WOULD BE THE ROUTING USED BY THE QUARTERMASTER, OR IN SUCH A CASE WHERE ADDITIONAL SHIPMENTS ARE MADE FROM OTHER THAN THE OLD STATION, THE LIMIT OF COST FOR SHIPPING THE CHANGE OF STATION BAGGAGE ALLOWANCE IS THE ACTUAL EXPENDITURE WHICH WOULD BE MADE BY THE GOVERNMENT OVER AND ABOVE THE COST OF OPERATING THE ARMY TRANSPORTS, AND THAT THE OFFICER IS NOT ENTITLED TO A CONSTRUCTIVE CREDIT OF $1.50 PER HUNDREDWEIGHT FOR THE PORTION OF THE ROUTE BY ARMY TRANSPORT, THE RATE FIXED FOR EXCESS BAGGAGE ON ARMY TRANSPORTS BETWEEN THE EAST AND WEST COASTS. AS POINTED OUT IN 13 COMP. GEN. 293, IN MANY, IF NOT MOST, CASES, TO USE SUCH A FACTOR WOULD RESULT IN THE SHIPMENT BY ARMY TRANSPORT NOT BEING BY THE ROUTE RESULTING IN THE LEAST COST TO THE GOVERNMENT. IF IT ACTUALLY COST THE GOVERNMENT ANY SUCH AMOUNT TO SHIP SUCH BAGGAGE, THE JUSTIFICATION FOR USING THE ARMY TRANSPORTS IS NOT APPARENT. WHILE THERE MAY BE SOME INCIDENTAL EXPENSES IN HANDLING SHIPMENTS BY ARMY TRANSPORT, THE GOVERNMENT PAYS THE COST OF OPERATING THE TRANSPORTS WHETHER A PARTICULAR SHIPMENT IS OR IS NOT MADE ON THE VESSEL, AND FOR PRACTICAL PURPOSES THERE IS IN FACT NO INCREASED COST TO THE GOVERNMENT FOR SHIPMENT BY ARMY TRANSPORTS JUSTIFYING A CREDIT TO THE OFFICER FOR APPLICATION ON SHIPMENT BY A ROUTING OF HIS SELECTION OR TO REDUCE HIS COST IN THE CASE OF MULTIPLE SHIPMENTS.

THE USE OF ARMY TRANSPORTS FOR TRAVEL OF PERSONNEL AND SHIPMENT OF BAGGAGE ON CHANGE OF STATION BETWEEN POINTS IN CONTINENTAL UNITED STATES WAS INITIATED BY THE WAR DEPARTMENT AFTER THE OPENING OF THE PANAMA CANAL TO BOLSTER THE CLAIM THAT THE OPERATION OF TRANSPORTS RESULTED IN NO INCREASED COST TO THE GOVERNMENT OVER THE TOTAL COST OF TRAVEL AND SHIPMENTS BY COMMERCIAL ROUTES. IN VIEW OF THIS ADMINISTRATIVE ACTION, SO LONG AS ARMY TRANSPORTS ARE OPERATED, AND IN A SHIPMENT OF CHANGE OF STATION BAGGAGE THE TRANSPORTS CAN REASONABLY BE USED, THIS OFFICE IN THE AUDIT OF ACCOUNTS WILL NECESSARILY INQUIRE IN PROPER CASES WHY TRANSPORTS WERE NOT USED.

THE ARGUMENT EXPRESSED IN YOUR LETTER THAT THERE IS ACTUAL INCREASED COST IN CONNECTION WITH SHIPMENTS BY ARMY TRANSPORT IS INCONSISTENT WITH THE ARGUMENTS ADVANCED FROM THE WAR DEPARTMENT WHEN ATTEMPTING TO FORESTALL LEGISLATION PROHIBITING THE USE OF SUCH FACILITIES FOR CERTAIN PURPOSES. SEE, FOR EXAMPLE, THE REMARKS OF SENATOR REED IN THE CONSIDERATION OF SECTION 208 OF THE ECONOMY ACT OF JUNE 30, 1932, CONGRESSIONAL RECORD, SEVENTY-SECOND CONGRESS, FIRST SESSION, PART II, AT PAGE 12174:

MR. REED. THE COMMITTEE IS NOW PROPOSING AN AMENDMENT WHICH WOULD ALLOW TRANSPORTATION OF AUTOMOBILES IN ARMY TRANSPORTS. WITHOUT THAT PERMISSION THE TOTAL AMOUNT SAVED WOULD BE $3,000, BASED ON LAST YEAR'S FIGURES. DO NOT KNOW HOW MUCH WOULD BE SAVED AFTER THE ADOPTION OF THE COMMITTEE AMENDMENT, BUT IT WOULD CERTAINLY BE LESS THAN $3,000, AND PROBABLY NOT AS MUCH AS $1,000. IT WOULD APPLY TO ONLY A FEW OFFICERS WHO ARE ORDERED TO DUTY AT PLACES WHERE GOVERNMENT TRANSPORTS DO NOT GO, SUCH AS PUERTO RICO. IT SEEMS A PITY TO EFFECT A SAVING OF A THOUSAND DOLLARS AT THE EXPENSE OF VERY FEW OFFICERS.

REMARKS OF SENATORS BYRNES AND REED AT PAGE 12326:

MR. BYRNES. * * *

THE AMENDMENT WAS REJECTED UPON THE SUGGESTION OF THE SENATOR FROM PENNSYLVANIA (MR. REED), WHO ADVISED THE SENATE THAT ACCORDING TO THE INFORMATION RECEIVED BY HIM FROM THE WAR DEPARTMENT THE TOTAL SAVING EFFECTED BY THAT SECTION WOULD NOT EXCEED $3,000. THIS MORNING IN THE APPROPRIATIONS COMMITTEE OFFICIALS OF THE NAVY DEPARTMENT TESTIFIED THAT AS A RESULT OF THE ELIMINATION OF THAT SECTION WE WOULD HAVE TO APPROPRIATE $307,000 IN ORDER TO TRANSPORT AUTOMOBILES FOR NAVAL OFFICERS FROM PLACE TO PLACE. THE SENATOR FROM PENNSYLVANIA WAS UNAWARE OF THE EFFECT ON THE NAVY AND ADVISES ME THAT HE IS RATHER AMAZED AT THE INFORMATION. I DO NOT THINK HE WOULD HAVE ANY OBJECTION TO THE MOTION I NOW MAKE TO RECONSIDER THE VOTE WHEREBY THE COMMITTEE AMENDMENT WAS REJECTED, IN ORDER THAT THE SECTION OF THE BILL MAY BE RECONSIDERED. NOTE THAT THE SENATOR FROM PENNSYLVANIA HAS JUST AT THIS MOMENT ENTERED THE CHAMBER, AND FOR HIS BENEFIT I WISH TO STATE THAT I HAVE MOVED TO RECONSIDER THE VOTE BY WHICH THE COMMITTEE AMENDMENT WAS REJECTED RELATING TO THE TRANSPORTATION OF AUTOMOBILES.

MR. REED. MR. PRESIDENT, I HOPE THE SENATOR WILL NOT INSIST UPON A VOTE IMMEDIATELY. I HAVE BEEN TRYING TO CALL THE WAR DEPARTMENT TO GET SOME INFORMATION ABOUT IT. THE SHOWING IN THE HEARINGS ON THE ARMY BILL WAS THAT THEIR TOTAL EXPENDITURES FOR THAT ITEM ARE ABOUT $3,000. I AM TOLD A SHOWING IN THE HEARINGS ON THE NAVY BILL WAS THAT THE NAVY IS SPENDING OVER $300,000 FOR THAT PURPOSE.

AND REMARKS OF SENATOR REED AT PAGE 12348:

MR. REED. MR. PRESIDENT, EARLIER IN THE DAY THE SENATOR FROM SOUTH CAROLINA ENTERED A MOTION TO RECONSIDER THE VOTE BY WHICH SECTION 208 WAS STRICKEN FROM THE BILL. SINCE THEN WE HAVE MADE SOME INQUIRY AS TO THE AMOUNT SPENT BY THESE VARIOUS SERVICES IN THE SHIPMENT OF AUTOMOBILES PRIVATELY OWNED TO WHERE OFFICERS WERE ASSIGNED TO DIFFERENT STATIONS. FIND THAT THE EXACT AMOUNT SPENT BY THE ARMY IN THE LAST FISCAL YEAR WAS $3,541.30, AND I URGED THE ELISION OF THE AMENDMENT ON THE GROUND THAT IT WOULD NOT AFFECT A MATERIAL SAVING, WHICH WAS THE GROUND ON WHICH THE SENATE ACTED YESTERDAY. THAT WAS ENTIRELY TRUE AS FAR AS THE ARMY WAS CONCERNED, BUT WE HAVE LEARNED THIS MORNING THAT THE NAVY SPENT ON AN ITEM FOR THE SAME SERVICE RENDERED TO A SMALLER GROUP OF OFFICERS THE ASTONISHING SUM OF $307,000. THAT SEEMS TO COME FROM THE FACT THAT THE NAVY SHIPS ALL OF THE AUTOMOBILES OF OFFICERS IN CRATES BY COMMERCIAL STEAMERS AND BY RAILROAD. THE COST OF CRATING IS VERY HIGH, AND THE COST OF SHIPPING OF THE CRATED AUTOMOBILES IN THAT MANNER IS VERY HIGH.

OBVIOUSLY, THE AMOUNT STATED FOR THE ARMY DID NOT COVER THE COST OF SHIPMENT OF PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILES BY RAIL AND THE ONLY POSSIBLE INFERENCE TO ONE INFORMED OF THE ACTUAL EXPENDITURE FOR SHIPPING PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILES OF ARMY PERSONNEL BY RAIL AS IN EFFECT PRIOR TO THE ECONOMY ACT IS THAT THE INCIDENTAL COSTS OF SHIPMENT BY ARMY TRANSPORT WERE FURNISHED. IF IT COSTS THE GOVERNMENT PRACTICALLY NOTHING TO SHIP AN AUTOMOBILE BY ARMY TRANSPORT, IT IS DIFFICULT TO APPRECIATE THE ARGUMENT THAT IT ACTUALLY COSTS A SUBSTANTIAL AMOUNT TO SHIP THE OTHER BAGGAGE OF OFFICERS BY ARMY TRANSPORT, AND THAT THEY SHOULD BE GIVEN CREDIT FOR A CONSTRUCTIVE COST OF $1.50 PER HUNDRED POUNDS TO APPLY AGAINST COST OF SHIPMENT BY A ROUTING OF THEIR OWN SELECTION. AS THE ARMY TRANSPORTS ARE MAINTAINED BY THE CONGRESS ON THE REPRESENTATION THAT THE COST OF THEIR OPERATION WILL BE OFFSET BY ECONOMIES MADE POSSIBLE BY UTILIZING THEM FOR TRAVEL AND SHIPMENT, FOR WHICH OTHERWISE THE GOVERNMENT WOULD BE REQUIRED TO PAY COMMERCIAL RATES, THIS OFFICE CANNOT ACCEPT THE VIEW THAT THE OFFICER IS ENTITLED TO A CONSTRUCTIVE CREDIT BY SUCH ROUTING, WHICH WOULD ESTABLISH A RATE EXCESS OF THE COST BY AVAILABLE COMMERCIAL ROUTES, IN DETERMINING HIS LIABILITY FOR SHIPMENT BY A ROUTING OF HIS SELECTION, OR IN THE CASE OF MULTIPLE SHIPMENTS.

HOWEVER, IN VIEW OF YOUR REFERENCE TO CLAIMS DIVISION ACTION IN THE CASE OF CAPT. FRANK O. DEWEY, CAVALRY, AND CAPT. HUGH B. HESTER, FIELD ARTILLERY, THE PAPERS IN CONNECTION WITH THAT SHIPMENT HAVE BEEN EXAMINED. IT APPEARS THAT BOTH OFFICERS WERE ON DUTY AT FORT BLISS, EL PASO, TEX., EACH WAS ASSIGNED TO DUTY AT THE QUARTERMASTER CORPS SCHOOL AT PHILADELPHIA, AND THEIR BAGGAGE (EACH HAVING LESS THAN HIS AUTHORIZED ALLOWANCE) WAS CONSOLIDATED AND ONE SHIPMENT WEIGHING 9,270 POUNDS WAS SHIPPED AS A CARLOAD OF 12,000 POUNDS TO HOUSTON, TEX., BY RAIL, AND FROM THAT POINT TO PHILADELPHIA BY THE SOUTHERN STEAMSHIP CO. THE PAPERS CONTAIN NO SUGGESTION THAT THE OFFICERS ASKED THIS METHOD OF SHIPMENT AND THE FACT THAT SHIPMENTS WERE CONSOLIDATED WOULD SEEM TO INDICATE THE QUARTERMASTER DETERMINED THE METHOD OF SHIPMENT AND THE ROUTING. IN THE EXAMINATION OF THE VOUCHER IN THE AUDIT, THE COST OF THE SHIPMENT BY RAIL, EL PASO TO SAN FRANCISCO (1286 MILES), ARMY TRANSPORT TO NEW YORK, AND RAIL NEW YORK TO PHILADELPHIA, WAS COMPUTED AND IT APPEARING THAT A SAVING WOULD HAVE BEEN ACCOMPLISHED ON THE COMBINED SHIPMENTS OF $10.41 FOR CAPTAIN DEWEY'S PROPORTION AND $9.79 ON CAPTAIN HESTER'S PROPORTION, A TOTAL OF $20.20, ADVICE OF COLLECTION WAS REQUESTED. WHETHER THE ARMY ORDINARILY MAKES SHIPMENTS FROM EL PASO BY WAY OF SAN FRANCISCO TO PHILADELPHIA, UTILIZING ARMY TRANSPORTS, AND WHETHER THERE WAS AN ARMY TRANSPORT AVAILABLE WITHIN A REASONABLE TIME IN THIS CASE IS NOT KNOWN. INDEPENDENTLY, HOWEVER, OF WHETHER THE QUARTERMASTER WAS REQUIRED TO USE THE SAN FRANCISCO ROUTING WITH ARMY TRANSPORT TO NEW YORK, THE OFFICERS APPARENTLY WERE NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR THE METHOD OF SHIPMENT AND IF SO AND THEY HAVE REFUNDED THE AMOUNTS INDICATED, CLAIMS BY THEM SUPPORTED BY A SHOWING THAT THEY MADE NO REQUEST AS TO THE ROUTING OF THE SHIPMENT CONTRARY TO THE METHOD PERMITTED BY INSTRUCTIONS TO THE QUARTERMASTER AT EL PASO IN EFFECT WHEN THE SHIPMENT WAS MADE, WILL BE GIVEN CONSIDERATION BY THIS OFFICE IF AND WHEN SUBMITTED.

OTHERWISE, YOU ARE ADVISED THAT THE DECISION OF NOVEMBER 1, 1935, AND DECISIONS REFERRED TO THEREIN, DENYING A CONSTRUCTIVE CREDIT OF $1.50 PER HUNDRED POUNDS FOR TRANSPORTATION OF AUTHORIZED BAGGAGE AT THE REQUEST OF THE OWNER BY COMMON CARRIER, INSTEAD OF UTILIZING AVAILABLE ARMY TRANSPORT SERVICE, MAY NOT BE WITHDRAWN AS REQUESTED BY YOU.