A-88151, OCTOBER 1, 1937, 17 COMP. GEN. 293

A-88151: Oct 1, 1937

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1937: THERE IS TRANSMITTED HEREWITH COPY OF LETTER DATED JULY 9. WAS PURCHASED BY THE TREASURER OF THE UNITED STATES THROUGH THE FEDERAL RESERVE BANK OF NEW YORK. WHICH SETTLEMENT WAS ISSUED UNDER THE APPROPRIATION OF $1. 285.83 IS THE TOTAL AMOUNT REPORTED IN YOUR LETTER OF JANUARY 7. WITH RESPECT TO THAT CLAIM IT WAS REPORTED THAT THE AMOUNT CLAIMED AND ALLOWED WAS 164 POUNDS STERLING 2S. 0D. SINCE THERE WAS APPROPRIATED FOR PAYMENT OF THE CLAIM ONLY $702.22. PAYMENT WAS LIMITED TO THE EQUIVALENT OF THAT AMOUNT ON THE DATE OF SETTLEMENT. SINCE THIS DIFFERENCE IS TOO LARGE TO BE EXPLAINED BY THE NORMAL FLUCTUATION OF EXCHANGE RATES BETWEEN THE TIME OF APPROVAL OF THIS CLAIM BY YOU AND THE TIME OF PAYMENT.

A-88151, OCTOBER 1, 1937, 17 COMP. GEN. 293

CLAIMS - CERTIFICATION TO CONGRESS - PAYMENTS IN FOREIGN CURRENCY THE CERTIFICATION TO THE CONGRESS BY THE SECRETARY OF THE NAVY UNDER THE ACT OF DECEMBER 28, 1922, 42 STAT. 1066, FOR AN APPROPRIATION FOR PAYMENT OF CLAIMS OF FOREIGN NATIONALS, ETC., BECAUSE OF PRIVATE PROPERTY DAMAGES, ON THE BASIS OF UNITED STATES CURRENCY IN THE DEFINITE AMOUNT OF THE DAMAGE DETERMINED UPON, PLUS AN INDEFINITE ADDITIONAL AMOUNT TO COVER POSSIBLE FLUCTUATIONS IN EXCHANGE REQUIRING A GREATER AMOUNT OF UNITED STATES CURRENCY FOR THE PURCHASE OF THE FOREIGN CURRENCY REQUISITE TO THE PAYMENT OF THE CLAIM, WOULD APPEAR TO BE PREFERABLE TO THE CERTIFICATION OF THE DEFINITE AMOUNT OF DAMAGE ONLY, WITH ITS CONSEQUENT UNAVAILABILITY OF APPROPRIATED MONEYS SUFFICIENT FOR PAYMENT OF THE ENTIRE CLAIM IN THE EVENT OF EXCHANGE RATES AT THE TIME OF PAYMENT LESS FAVORABLE THAN THOSE EXISTING AT THE TIME OF CERTIFICATION.

ACTING COMPTROLLER GENERAL ELLIOTT TO THE SECRETARY OF THE NAVY, OCTOBER 1, 1937:

THERE IS TRANSMITTED HEREWITH COPY OF LETTER DATED JULY 9, 1937, FROM OILFUEL DEPOTS (GIBRALTAR), LTD., POST OFFICE BOX 80, GIBRALTAR, GIBRALTAR, RETURNING A CHECK FOR 142 POUNDS STERLING 3S. 8D. SENT TO THE CLAIMANT BY THE TREASURY DEPARTMENT JUNE 30, 1937, PURSUANT TO A SETTLEMENT OF THIS OFFICE, IN REIMBURSEMENT FOR DAMAGE TO THE OIL HULK DRAGON RESULTING FROM A COLLISION WITH THE U.S.S. QUINCY ON JULY 27, 1936, THE CLAIMANT STATING THAT IT CANNOT ACCEPT THE CHECK IN FULL SETTLEMENT OF ITS CLAIM WHICH AMOUNTED TO 164 POUNDS STERLING 2S. 0D.

THE CHECK FOR 142 POUNDS STERLING 3S. 8D. WAS PURCHASED BY THE TREASURER OF THE UNITED STATES THROUGH THE FEDERAL RESERVE BANK OF NEW YORK, NEW YORK, ON JUNE 18, 1937, AT A COST OF $702.22 PURSUANT TO SETTLEMENT NO. 0447498, DATED JUNE 18, 1937, WHICH SETTLEMENT WAS ISSUED UNDER THE APPROPRIATION OF $1,285.83 MADE BY THE FIRST DEFICIENCY APPROPRIATION ACT, FISCAL YEAR 1937, TO PAY CLAIMS FOR DAMAGES ADJUSTED AND DETERMINED BY THE SECRETARY OF THE NAVY UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF THE ACT ENTITLED "AN ACT TO AMEND THE ACT AUTHORIZING THE SECRETARY OF THE NAVY TO SETTLE CLAIMS FOR DAMAGES TO PRIVATE PROPERTY ARISING FROM COLLISIONS WITH NAVAL VESSELS," APPROVED DECEMBER 28, 1922, 42 STAT. 1066, AS FULLY SET FORTH IN HOUSE DOCUMENT NO. 110, SEVENTY-FIFTH CONGRESS.

REFERENCE TO SAID HOUSE DOCUMENT NO. 110 DISCLOSES THAT THE AMOUNT OF $1,285.83 IS THE TOTAL AMOUNT REPORTED IN YOUR LETTER OF JANUARY 7, 1937, TO THE DIRECTOR, BUREAU OF THE BUDGET, AS APPROVED BY YOU UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF THE ACT OF DECEMBER 28, 1922, SUPRA, FOR PAYMENT ON THE EIGHT CLAIMS LISTED IN THE LETTER, INCLUDING THE CLAIM OF OILFUEL DEPOTS (GIBRALTAR), LTD., NOW IN QUESTION. WITH RESPECT TO THAT CLAIM IT WAS REPORTED THAT THE AMOUNT CLAIMED AND ALLOWED WAS 164 POUNDS STERLING 2S. 0D. STATED IN SAID LETTER AS EQUIVALENT TO $702.22, UNITED STATES CURRENCY.

IN ACCORDANCE WITH YOUR ACTION FINDING THE AMOUNT OF 164 POUNDS STERLING 2S. 0D. DUE ON THE CLAIM OF OILFUEL DEPOTS (GIBRALTAR), LTD., AND WITH THE GENERAL RULE OF THIS OFFICE WITH RESPECT TO CLAIMS OF FOREIGN CREDITORS RESIDING ABROAD, THE SETTLEMENT OF THIS OFFICE DIRECTED PAYMENT OF THE CLAIM IN ENGLISH CURRENCY, BUT SINCE THERE WAS APPROPRIATED FOR PAYMENT OF THE CLAIM ONLY $702.22, PAYMENT WAS LIMITED TO THE EQUIVALENT OF THAT AMOUNT ON THE DATE OF SETTLEMENT, OR 142 POUNDS STERLING 3S. 8D.

IT NOW APPEARS THAT AFTER PAYMENT TO THE CLAIMANT OF THE AMOUNT OF 142 POUNDS STERLING 3S. 8D., THERE REMAINS UNPAID A BALANCE OF 21 POUNDS STERLING 18S. 4D., OUT OF THE AMOUNT OF 164 POUNDS STERLING 2S. 0D. WHICH YOU FOUND DUE ON THIS CLAIM.

SINCE THIS DIFFERENCE IS TOO LARGE TO BE EXPLAINED BY THE NORMAL FLUCTUATION OF EXCHANGE RATES BETWEEN THE TIME OF APPROVAL OF THIS CLAIM BY YOU AND THE TIME OF PAYMENT, THE RECORDS NOW ON FILE IN THIS OFFICE WITH RESPECT TO THE MATTER, INCLUDING THE CLAIMANT'S LETTER OF OCTOBER 28, 1936, TO YOUR DEPARTMENT, PRESENTING CLAIM IN THE AMOUNT OF 164 POUNDS STERLING 2S. 0D., AND COPIES OF THE CLAIMANT'S BILL OF OCTOBER 27, 1936, IN THE SAME AMOUNT, AND OF OTHER SUPPORTING PAPERS, HAVE BEEN EXAMINED IN AN EFFORT TO ACCOUNT FOR SUCH DIFFERENCE. FROM PENCIL NOTATIONS ON THE CLAIMANT'S LETTER OF OCTOBER 28, 1936, APPARENTLY PLACED THEREON IN YOUR DEPARTMENT, IT APPEARS THAT THE RATE OF $4.888625 WAS USED IN CONVERTING THE AMOUNT OF THE CLAIM TO UNITED STATES CURRENCY, THIS RATE BEING THE NOON BUYING RATE IN NEW YORK CITY ON OCTOBER 27, 1936, THE DATE OF CLAIMANT'S BILL, FOR CABLE TRANSFERS PAYABLE IN ENGLISH CURRENCY, AS REPORTED BY THE FEDERAL RESERVE BOARD.

HOWEVER, IN REALITY THE AMOUNT OF 164 POUNDS STERLING 2S. 0D. AT THE RATE OF $4.888625 IS EQUIVALENT TO $802.22, INSTEAD OF $702.22 AS REPORTED IN YOUR LETTER OF JANUARY 7, 1937, TO THE DIRECTOR, BUREAU OF THE BUDGET. IT THUS APPEARS THAT THROUGH AN INADVERTENCE THERE WAS REPORTED TO THE CONGRESS FOR AN APPROPRIATION FOR PAYMENT OF THIS CLAIM, $100 LESS THAN THE AMOUNT INTENDED BY YOUR DEPARTMENT.

ALSO, IT APPEARS PROBABLE THAT EVEN IF THERE SHOULD BE REPORTED TO THE CONGRESS AND APPROPRIATED AN ADDITIONAL AMOUNT OF $100 FOR THIS CLAIM, THE SUM OF THE ENGLISH CURRENCY OBTAINABLE THEREWITH AND THE ENGLISH CURRENCY ALREADY PURCHASED FOR PAYMENT OF THE CLAIM WOULD BE LESS THAN THE FULL AMOUNT OF 164 POUNDS STERLING 2S. 0D. APPROVED BY YOU FOR PAYMENT AND NOW REQUESTED BY THE CLAIMANT, SINCE THE ENGLISH CURRENCY ALREADY PURCHASED WAS OBTAINED AT THE RATE OF $4.93875, WHICH IS CONSIDERABLY HIGHER THAN THE RATE OF $4.888625 APPARENTLY USED IN YOUR DEPARTMENT IN DETERMINING THE EQUIVALENT OF THE CLAIM IN THE UNITED STATES CURRENCY.

IN THIS CONNECTION REFERENCE MAY BE MADE TO THE PROCEDURE, WITH WHICH YOU ARE NO DOUBT FAMILIAR, ADOPTED WITH RESPECT TO CLAIMS OF FOREIGN CREDITORS ALLOWED BY THIS OFFICE UNDER APPROPRIATIONS THE BALANCES OF WHICH HAVE BEEN CARRIED TO THE SURPLUS FUND UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 5 OF THE ACT OF JUNE 20, 1874, 18 STAT. 110, AS AMENDED, AND CERTIFIED TO THE CONGRESS UNDER THE ACT OF JULY 7, 1884, 23 STAT. 254. UNDER SUCH PROCEDURE THERE IS CERTIFIED BY THIS OFFICE TO BE DUE THE FOREIGN CLAIMANT A DEFINITE AMOUNT--- WHICH IS THE EQUIVALENT IN UNITED STATES CURRENCY OF THE AMOUNT OF THE CLAIM IN FOREIGN CURRENCY AT THE DATE OF SETTLEMENT--- OR SO MUCH THEREOF, OR SO MUCH ADDITIONAL THERETO, AS MAY BE NECESSARY TO PAY THE CLAIMANT THE AMOUNT OF HIS CLAIM IN FOREIGN CURRENCY AT THE RATE OF EXCHANGE IN EFFECT AT THE TIME OF PAYMENT. WHEN MAKING APPROPRIATION FOR PAYMENT OF SUCH CLAIMS, THE CONGRESS PROVIDES THE DEFINITE AMOUNTS CERTIFIED IN THE SETTLEMENTS OF THIS OFFICE,"TOGETHER WITH SUCH ADDITIONAL SUM DUE TO INCREASES IN RATES OF EXCHANGE AS MAY BE NECESSARY TO PAY CLAIMS IN THE FOREIGN CURRENCY AS SPECIFIED IN CERTAIN OF THE SETTLEMENTS OF THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE.' SEE SECTION 4 (A) OF THE FIRST DEFICIENCY APPROPRIATION ACT, FISCAL YEAR 1937, 50 STAT. 16. PROVISION IS THUS MADE FOR PAYMENT TO THE FOREIGN CREDITOR OF THE EXACT AMOUNT OF HIS CLAIM IN THE CURRENCY OF HIS COUNTRY, EVEN THOUGH FUNDS ARE NOT AVAILABLE FOR PAYMENT OF THE CLAIM AT THE TIME OF ITS ALLOWANCE BY THIS OFFICE.

THERE WOULD APPEAR FOR ADMINISTRATIVE CONSIDERATION WHETHER A SIMILAR PROCEDURE, WITH APPROPRIATE LIMITATIONS WHERE NECESSARY TO INSURE THAT NO MORE THAN $3,000 BE PAID ON ANY ONE CLAIM, WOULD BE DESIRABLE WITH RESPECT TO CLAIMS OF FOREIGN NATIONALS, ORGANIZATIONS, OR INSTITUTIONS REPORTED TO THE CONGRESS UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF THE ACT OF DECEMBER 28, 1922, 42 STAT. 1066, TITLE 34, SECTION 599, U.S.C.

THE MATTER IS BROUGHT TO YOUR ATTENTION FOR SUCH ADMINISTRATIVE ACTION AS MAY BE DEEMED NECESSARY. THE CHECK FOR 142 POUNDS STERLING 3S. 8D. HEREIN REFERRED TO IS BEING RETURNED TO THE CLAIMANT COMPANY WITH LETTER OF TODAY, COPY OF WHICH IS INCLOSED FOR YOUR INFORMATION.