A-8417, APRIL 17, 1925, 4 COMP. GEN. 862

A-8417: Apr 17, 1925

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OR $15 WHEN THE SERVICE IS ONLY PERFORMED THREE TIMES A WEEK. WHICH LENGTH ROUTES WERE FORMERLY NOT PROVIDED FOR. 1925: I HAVE YOUR LETTER OF MARCH 9. YOU ARE AUTHORIZED TO ESTABLISH RURAL MAIL ROUTES OF A LENGTH ABOVE 36 MILES AND LESS THAN 50 MILES. SHALL ONLY BE ESTABLISHED HEREAFTER WHEN A MAJORITY OF THE PROPOSED PATRONS WHO ARE HEADS OF FAMILIES RESIDING UPON SUCH PROPOSED ROUTES SHALL BY WRITTEN PETITION ASK THE POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT TO ESTABLISH THE SAME. IT SHOULD BE NECESSARY TO DO SO THE POSTMASTER GENERAL IS HEREBY AUTHORIZED TO INCREASE THE LENGTH OF ROUTES NOT TO EXCEED FIFTY PERCENTUM ABOVE THE STANDARDS HEREIN PRESCRIBED. THE SALARIES OF RURAL CARRIERS WERE READJUSTED BY THE ACT OF JUNE 5.

A-8417, APRIL 17, 1925, 4 COMP. GEN. 862

RURAL MAIL ROUTES THE ACT OF FEBRUARY 28, 1925, 43 STAT. 1063, FIXING THE SALARIES OF RURAL CARRIERS AND PROVIDING FOR A SLIDING SCALE OF $30 PER MILE PER ANNUM FOR EACH MILE IN EXCESS OF 24 MILES, OR $15 WHEN THE SERVICE IS ONLY PERFORMED THREE TIMES A WEEK, ABOLISHES THE DISTINCTION PREVIOUSLY EXISTING BETWEEN HORSE-DRAWN AND MOTOR-VEHICLE ROUTES AND AUTHORIZES THE ESTABLISHMENT OF ROUTES OF A LENGTH ABOVE 36 MILES AND LESS THAN 50 MILES, WHICH LENGTH ROUTES WERE FORMERLY NOT PROVIDED FOR.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL TO THE POSTMASTER GENERAL, APRIL 17, 1925:

I HAVE YOUR LETTER OF MARCH 9, 1925, WHEREIN YOU REQUEST MY DECISION WHETHER UNDER THE ACT OF FEBRUARY 28, 1925, 43 STAT. 1063, RECLASSIFYING THE SALARIES OF POSTMASTERS AND EMPLOYEES OF THE POSTAL SERVICE, ETC., YOU ARE AUTHORIZED TO ESTABLISH RURAL MAIL ROUTES OF A LENGTH ABOVE 36 MILES AND LESS THAN 50 MILES, AND PAY SALARIES AND EQUIPMENT MAINTENANCE ALLOWANCE TO CARRIERS ASSIGNED TO SERVE ROUTES OF MORE THAN 36 MILES AND LESS THAN 50 MILES IN LENGTH.

THE ACT OF JULY 28, 1916, 39 STAT. 423, DIVIDED ALL RURAL MAIL DELIVERY ROUTES INTO TWO STANDARD CLASSES AND PROVIDED AS FOLLOWS:

HEREAFTER ALL RURAL MAIL DELIVERY ROUTES SHALL BE DIVIDED INTO TWO CLASSES TO BE KNOWN AS---

STANDARD HORSE-DRAWN VEHICLE ROUTES, WHICH SHALL BE TWENTY-FOUR MILES IN LENGTH, AND

STANDARD MOTOR-VEHICLE ROUTES, WHICH SHALL BE FIFTY MILES IN LENGTH, AND SHALL ONLY BE ESTABLISHED HEREAFTER WHEN A MAJORITY OF THE PROPOSED PATRONS WHO ARE HEADS OF FAMILIES RESIDING UPON SUCH PROPOSED ROUTES SHALL BY WRITTEN PETITION ASK THE POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT TO ESTABLISH THE SAME.

NOTHING HEREIN CONTAINED SHALL BE CONSTRUED TO PROHIBIT THE ESTABLISHMENT OF HORSE-DRAWN VEHICLE ROUTES OF LESS LENGTH THAN THE STANDARD OF TWENTY- FOUR MILES: PROVIDED, THAT IF, IN THE DISCRETION OF THE POSTMASTER GENERAL, IN ORDER TO RENDER MORE COMPLETE SERVICE, IT SHOULD BE NECESSARY TO DO SO THE POSTMASTER GENERAL IS HEREBY AUTHORIZED TO INCREASE THE LENGTH OF ROUTES NOT TO EXCEED FIFTY PERCENTUM ABOVE THE STANDARDS HEREIN PRESCRIBED, AND IN SUCH CASES THE COMPENSATION OF THE CARRIER ON SUCH HORSE-DRAWN VEHICLE ROUTES SHALL BE INCREASED ABOVE THE MAXIMUM PAY HERETOFORE FIXED BY LAW FOR RURAL CARRIERS AT THE RATE OF $24 PER ANNUM FOR EACH MILE OF SAID ROUTES IN EXCESS OF THIRTY MILES, AND ANY MAJOR FRACTION OF A MILE SHALL BE COUNTED AS A MILE: PROVIDED FURTHER, THAT CARRIERS IN THE RURAL MAIL DELIVERY SERVICE SHALL FURNISH AND MAINTAIN AT THEIR OWN EXPENSE ALL NECESSARY VEHICLE EQUIPMENT FOR PROMPT HANDLING OF THE MAIL: AND PROVIDED FURTHER, THAT NOTHING HEREIN SHALL BE CONSTRUED, AND NO ORDER SHALL BE ISSUED, TO PREVENT THE USE OF MOTOR VEHICLES ON HORSE-DRAWN VEHICLE ROUTES * * *.

THE SALARIES OF RURAL CARRIERS WERE READJUSTED BY THE ACT OF JUNE 5, 1920, 41 STAT. 1051, IN WHICH IT WAS PROVIDED THAT THE COMPENSATION OF EACH RURAL CARRIER SERVING A RURAL ROUTE OF 24 MILES, SIX DAYS IN THE WEEK, SHOULD BE $1,800 WITH PROVISION FOR LESSER SALARIES FOR CARRIERS SERVING ON ROUTES OF LESS THAN 24 MILES. THIS ACT FURTHER PROVIDED:

* * * EACH RURAL CARRIER ASSIGNED TO A HORSE-DRAWN VEHICLE ROUTE ON WHICH DAILY SERVICE IS PERFORMED SHALL RECEIVE $30 PER MILE PER ANNUM FOR EACH MILE SAID ROUTE IS IN EXCESS OF TWENTY-FOUR MILES OR MAJOR FRACTION THEREOF, BASED ON ACTUAL MILEAGE, AND EACH RURAL CARRIER ASSIGNED TO A HORSE-DRAWN VEHICLE ROUTE ON WHICH TRIWEEKLY SERVICE IS PERFORMED SHALL RECEIVE $15 PER MILE FOR EACH MILE SAID ROUTE IS IN EXCESS OF TWENTY-FOUR MILES OR MAJOR FRACTION THEREOF, BASED ON ACTUAL MILEAGE.

THE CLASSES INTO WHICH THE RURAL ROUTES WERE DIVIDED SEEMS TO BE RECOGNIZED IN THIS ACT AND THE PRIOR ACT MAKING THE DIVISIONS TOGETHER WITH THE RESTRICTIONS ATTACHING THERETO REMAINED IN FULL FORCE AND EFFECT. UNDER SUCH DIVISIONS AND WITH THE PROVISO THAT THE POSTMASTER GENERAL MIGHT INCREASE THE LENGTH OF EITHER STANDARD CLASS OF THE ROUTES NOT TO EXCEED 50 PERCENT OF THE STANDARD PRESCRIBED, IT WAS NOT CONSIDERED WITHIN THE AUTHORITY OF THE POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT TO ESTABLISH RURAL ROUTES IN EXCESS OF 36 MILES AND LESS THAN 50 MILES, THE 36 MILES EQUALING THE STANDARD ROUTE OF 24 MILES PLUS 50 PERCENT OF THE SAME.

THE ACT OF FEBRUARY 28, 1925, SECTION 13 OF WHICH AMENDS OR REPEALS ALL ACTS AND PARTS OF ACTS INCONSISTENT OR IN CONFLICT WITH TITLE 1 THERETO, PROVIDES:

SEC. 8. THAT THE SALARY OF CARRIERS IN THE RURAL MAIL DELIVERY SERVICE FOR SERVING A RURAL ROUTE OF TWENTY-FOUR MILES SIX DAYS IN THE WEEK SHALL BE $1,800; ON ROUTES TWENTY-TWO MILES AND LESS THAN TWENTY FOUR MILES, $1,728; ON ROUTES TWENTY MILES AND LESS THAN TWENTY-TWO MILES, 1,620; ON ROUTES EIGHTEEN MILES AND LESS THAN TWENTY MILES, $1,440; ON ROUTES SIXTEEN MILES AND LESS THAN EIGHTEEN MILES, $1,260; ON ROUTES FOURTEEN MILES AND LESS THAN SIXTEEN MILES, $1,080; ON ROUTES TWELVE MILES AND LESS THAN FOURTEEN MILES, $1,008; ON ROUTES TEN MILES AND LESS THAN TWELVE MILES, $936; ON ROUTES EIGHT MILES AND LESS THAN TEN MILES, $864; ON ROUTES SIX MILES AND LESS THAN EIGHT MILES, $792; ON ROUTES FOUR MILES AND LESS THAN SIX MILES, $720. EACH RURAL CARRIER ASSIGNED TO A ROUTE ON WHICH DAILY SERVICE IS PERFORMED SHALL RECEIVE $30 PER MILE PER ANNUM FOR EACH MILE SAID ROUTE IS IN EXCESS OF TWENTY-FOUR MILES OR MAJOR FRACTION THEREOF, BASED ON ACTUAL MILEAGE, AND EACH RURAL CARRIER ASSIGNED TO A ROUTE ON WHICH TRIWEEKLY SERVICE IS PERFORMED SHALL RECEIVE $15 PER MILE FOR EACH MILE SAID ROUTE IS IN EXCESS OF TWENTY-FOUR MILES OR MAJOR FRACTION THEREOF, BASED ON ACTUAL MILEAGE.

IT IS APPARENT FORM THE LANGUAGE OF THIS SECTION THAT ONLY ONE STANDARD RURAL ROUTE IS RECOGNIZED, NAMELY, THE 24-MILE ROUTE, AND IT IS ALSO EVIDENT THAT IT WAS THE INTENT OF CONGRESS TO ABOLISH THE DISTINCTION BETWEEN HORSE-DRAWN VEHICLE ROUTES AND MOTOR VEHICLE ROUTES, THEREBY REMOVING THE RESTRICTIONS FOR THE EXTENSION OF THESE ROUTES IMPOSED BY THE ACT OF FEBRUARY 26, 1916. THE ACT OF FEBRUARY 28, 1925, FIXES THE SALARIES OF RURAL CARRIERS OPERATING ON RURAL ROUTES OF 24 MILES OR LESS AND PROVIDES THAT RURAL CARRIERS ASSIGNED TO ROUTES ON WHICH DAILY SERVICE IS PERFORMED SHALL RECEIVE $30 PER MILE PER ANNUM FOR EACH MILE IN EXCESS OF 24 MILES AND $15 WHEN THE SERVICE IS PERFORMED THREE TIMES A WEEK. THE SALARIES OF RURAL CARRIERS WERE FIXED BY CONGRESS IN THIS ACT AT A STANDARD RATE FOR ROUTES FROM 4 MILES TO 24 MILES AND ABOVE THIS MAXIMUM IT WAS PROVIDED THAT THE SALARIES SHOULD BE ADJUSTED AT A CERTAIN RATE FOR EACH MILE.

ANSWERING YOUR QUESTION SPECIFICALLY, YOU ARE ADVISED THAT UNDER THE ACT OF FEBRUARY 28, 1925, THERE ARE AUTHORIZED TO BE ESTABLISHED RURAL ROUTES OF A LENGTH ABOVE 36 MILES AND LESS THAN 50 MILES, THERE BEING NO RECOGNIZED STANDARD ROUTE OF 50 MILES, AND IT, THEREFORE, FOLLOWS THAT PAYMENT OF SALARIES, AND EQUIPMENT MAINTENANCE ALLOWANCE OF CARRIERS ASSIGNED TO SUCH ROUTES, IS LIKEWISE AUTHORIZED.