A-67032, NOVEMBER 6, 1935, 15 COMP. GEN. 378

A-67032: Nov 6, 1935

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TRAVELING EXPENSES - FOREIGN VESSELS TRAVEL IS AUTHORIZED BY A FOREIGN AGRICULTURAL SERVICE OFFICER. THE OFFICER WILL SAIL IN THE NEAR FUTURE FOR HIS NEW POST AND WILL BE ACCOMPANIED BY HIS WIFE. IT IS EXPECTED THAT HE WILL TRAVEL TO INDIA BY WAY OF EGYPT WHERE HE WILL SPEND ABOUT TEN DAYS IN BRINGING UP TO DATE INFORMATION OBTAINED IN THAT COUNTRY DURING A PREVIOUS ASSIGNMENT. IT APPEARS THAT THERE IS AN AMERICAN FREIGHT SERVICE RUNNING FROM NEW YORK TO BOMBAY VIA THE ATLANTIC OCEAN WHICH HAS PROVISION FOR APPROXIMATELY TWELVE PASSENGERS. AN INQUIRY OF THE AGENTS REVEALS THAT THERE IS NO SPACE AVAILABLE ON THE BOAT WHICH IS DUE TO SAIL EARLY IN NOVEMBER AND NO DEFINITE DATE HAS BEEN SET FOR THE NEXT SAILING WHICH PROBABLY WOULD BE IN LATE DECEMBER.

A-67032, NOVEMBER 6, 1935, 15 COMP. GEN. 378

TRAVELING EXPENSES - FOREIGN VESSELS TRAVEL IS AUTHORIZED BY A FOREIGN AGRICULTURAL SERVICE OFFICER, WITH HIS WIFE, IN REPORTING TO AN ASSIGNED POST IN A FOREIGN COUNTRY, WITH TEMPORARY DUTY EN ROUTE IN ANOTHER COUNTRY, VIA AN AMERICAN VESSEL TO HIS TEMPORARY DUTY STATION AND A FOREIGN VESSEL FROM A PORT OF THAT COUNTRY TO HIS PERMANENT DUTY STATION, WHERE THE ALL-AMERICAN ROUTE WOULD REQUIRE SUCH TRAVEL BY TRAIN AND VESSEL AS TO INVOLVE GREATER TIME, GREATER EXPENSE, AND RENDER IMPOSSIBLE THE PERFORMANCE OF TEMPORARY DUTY EN ROUTE. SECTION 601 OF THE MERCHANT MARINE ACT OF 1928 (45 STAT. 697), DOES NOT REQUIRE THE USE OF AN AMERICAN VESSEL CLASSIFIED AS A FREIGHT VESSEL WITH ONLY LIMITED PASSENGER ACCOMMODATIONS.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL TO THE SECRETARY OF AGRICULTURE, NOVEMBER 6, 1935:

THERE HAS BEEN RECEIVED YOUR LETTER OF OCTOBER 28, 1935, AS FOLLOWS:

AN OFFICER OF THE FOREIGN AGRICULTURAL SERVICE OF THIS DEPARTMENT HAS BEEN ASSIGNED TO AN INVESTIGATION IN INDIA WITH HEADQUARTERS AT BOMBAY. THE OFFICER WILL SAIL IN THE NEAR FUTURE FOR HIS NEW POST AND WILL BE ACCOMPANIED BY HIS WIFE. IT IS EXPECTED THAT HE WILL TRAVEL TO INDIA BY WAY OF EGYPT WHERE HE WILL SPEND ABOUT TEN DAYS IN BRINGING UP TO DATE INFORMATION OBTAINED IN THAT COUNTRY DURING A PREVIOUS ASSIGNMENT. GOING BY THIS ROUTE HE WOULD TAKE AN AMERICAN VESSEL FROM NEW YORK TO ALEXANDRIA AND FROM THERE A FOREIGN VESSEL FROM PORT SAID TO BOMBAY.

A QUESTION ARISES, HOWEVER, AS TO WHETHER TRAVEL BY THIS ROUTE TO INDIA WOULD SATISFY THE REQUIREMENTS OF SECTION 601 OF THE MERCHANT MARINE ACT OF 1928 (45 STAT. 697). AN ALTERNATIVE ROUTE WOULD BE BY TRAIN ACROSS THE UNITED STATES AND THENCE BY AN AMERICAN VESSEL FROM SAN FRANCISCO TO BOMBAY. THIS ROUTE, HOWEVER, WOULD PROBABLY TAKE FROM 21 TO 25 DAYS LONGER FOR OUR REPRESENTATIVE TO REACH BOMBAY AND, IN ADDITION, THE COST TO THE GOVERNMENT FOR THE OFFICER AND HIS WIFE WOULD BE ABOUT 300 DOLLARS MORE THAN BY THE ATLANTIC ROUTE. MOREOVER, IN GOING THIS WAY IT WOULD NOT BE POSSIBLE FOR HIM TO MAKE THE DESIRED INVESTIGATION IN EGYPT.

IN ADDITION TO THE PACIFIC ROUTE, IT APPEARS THAT THERE IS AN AMERICAN FREIGHT SERVICE RUNNING FROM NEW YORK TO BOMBAY VIA THE ATLANTIC OCEAN WHICH HAS PROVISION FOR APPROXIMATELY TWELVE PASSENGERS. AN INQUIRY OF THE AGENTS REVEALS THAT THERE IS NO SPACE AVAILABLE ON THE BOAT WHICH IS DUE TO SAIL EARLY IN NOVEMBER AND NO DEFINITE DATE HAS BEEN SET FOR THE NEXT SAILING WHICH PROBABLY WOULD BE IN LATE DECEMBER. IN VIEW OF THE NATURE OF OUR REPRESENTATIVE'S INVESTIGATION IT IS HIGHLY DESIRABLE THAT HE REACH BOMBAY BY THE END OF THE CALENDAR YEAR.

YOUR LETTER TO THE SECRETARY OF STATE, DATED JULY 7, 1931, NO. A 37351, STATED:

"IN VIEW OF THE FACT THAT AMERICAN VESSELS WOULD BE USED FOR A SUBSTANTIAL PORTION OF THE JOURNEY BY EITHER ROUTE AND THE FACT THAT THE PACIFIC ROUTE WOULD ENTAIL EXCESSIVE COSTS AND A MUCH LONGER TIME, THE REQUIREMENTS OF SECTION 601 OF THE MERCHANT MARINE ACT OF 1928 (45 STAT. 697), WILL BE SATISFIED IF THE JOURNEY IS MADE BY THE SHORTER ROUTE VIA EUROPE UPON AN AMERICAN VESSEL FOR SUCH PART OF SAID ROUTE AS AN AMERICAN VESSEL IS AVAILABLE.' YOUR LETTER OF DECEMBER 10, 1931, IN REFERRING TO YOUR LETTER OF JULY 7, 1931, NO. A-37351, STATES THAT SINCE THE ATLANTIC ROUTE IS MORE ECONOMICAL AND WOULD REQUIRE A SHORTER TIME THAN THE PACIFIC ROUTE, THE TRAVELER WOULD HAVE NO OPTION AS TO WHICH ROUTE HE WOULD TAKE. YOUR LETTER OF AUGUST 2, 1934, NO. A 56465, AGAIN SETS FORTH THE OPINION AS CITED IN YOUR LETTER OF JULY 7, 1931.

IN VIEW OF THE FACT THAT, IN GOING TO BOMBAY, OUR REPRESENTATIVE (1) WILL USE AN AMERICAN VESSEL FOR A SUBSTANTIAL PART OF THE JOURNEY, AND (2) WILL BE ABLE ENROUTE TO MAKE THE DESIRED INVESTIGATION IN EGYPT, IT APPEARS THAT THE REQUIREMENTS OF SECTION 601 OF THE MERCHANT MARINE ACT OF 1928 (45 STAT. 697), WILL BE SATISFIED.

IN ORDER THAT DISALLOWANCES DUE TO SELECTION OF ROUTES MAY BE AVERTED, YOUR ADVICE AS TO WHETHER OUR REPRESENTATIVE AND HIS WIFE MAY TRAVEL FROM THE UNITED STATES TO BOMBAY, USING THE AMERICAN VESSEL TO EGYPT AND A FOREIGN VESSEL FOR THE BALANCE OF THE TRIP, IS REQUESTED.

AS IT IS DESIRED TO ARRANGE TRANSPORTATION AS SOON AS POSSIBLE, A PROMPT REPLY WILL BE APPRECIATED.

IN VIEW OF THE CONDITIONS STATED IN YOUR SUBMISSION, IT WOULD APPEAR THAT THE REQUIREMENTS OF SECTION 601 OF THE MERCHANT MARINE ACT OF MAY 22, 1928 (45 STAT. 697), WOULD BE SATISFIED IF THE TRAVELER USES AN AMERICAN VESSEL BETWEEN NEW YORK AND ALEXANDRIA, AND A FOREIGN VESSEL FROM THAT PORT (OR FROM PORT SAID) TO HIS DESTINATION AT BOMBAY, INDIA. SAID ACT DOES NOT REQUIRE THE USE OF AN AMERICAN VESSEL CLASSIFIED AS A FREIGHT VESSEL WITH ONLY LIMITED PASSENGER ACCOMMODATIONS (A-37351, JULY 7, 1931).