A-88950, SEPTEMBER 16, 1937, 17 COMP. GEN. 256

A-88950: Sep 16, 1937

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IS FOR APPLICATION IN FUTURO. 1937: I HAVE YOUR LETTER OF SEPTEMBER 14. I AM BRINGING THE MATTER TO YOUR ATTENTION ON THE ADVICE OF MY ADVISORY COUNCIL AS IT APPEARS TO BE THE OPINION OF THE COUNCIL THAT THE COMPTROLLER GENERAL'S OFFICE IS THE ONLY AUTHORITY THAT CAN CLARIFY THE SITUATION. WILL PERSONALLY AND OFFICIALLY APPRECIATE YOUR GIVING ME A REPLY ON THIS MATTER AT YOUR VERY EARLIEST CONVENIENCE. WERE ENROLLED IN THE ORGANIZATION FOR PERIODS OF SIX MONTHS WITH THE PRIVILEGE OF RE-ENROLLING AS LONG AS THEIR CONDUCT AND SERVICES WERE SATISFACTORY. 75TH CONGRESS) WHEREBY THE CIVILIAN CONSERVATION CORPS WAS ESTABLISHED AS A SUCCESSOR TO EMERGENCY CONSERVATION WORK. WILL BE LIMITED IN THEIR TERM OF ENROLLMENT FOR TWO YEARS FROM JULY 1.

A-88950, SEPTEMBER 16, 1937, 17 COMP. GEN. 256

CIVILIAN CONSERVATION CORPS - ENROLLEES - PERIODS OF SERVICE LIMITATIONS - ACT, JUNE 28, 1937 THE LIMITATION ON THE TOTAL LENGTH OF TIME AN ENROLLEE MAY SERVE IN THE CIVILIAN CONSERVATION CORPS APPEARING IN THE ACT OF JUNE 28, 1937, 50 STAT. 319, ESTABLISHING THE CORPS EFFECTIVE JULY 1, 1937, IS FOR APPLICATION IN FUTURO, AND THE TERM OF SERVICE UNDER SUCH LIMITATION MAY BE COMPUTED WITHOUT REGARD TO SERVICE PRIOR TO JULY 1, 1937, IN THE CORPS ESTABLISHED IN CONNECTION WITH THE EMERGENCY CONSERVATION WORK AUTHORIZED BY THE ACT OF MARCH 31, 1933, 48 STAT. 22.

ACTING COMPTROLLER GENERAL ELLIOTT TO THE DIRECTOR, CIVILIAN CONSERVATION CORPS, SEPTEMBER 16, 1937:

I HAVE YOUR LETTER OF SEPTEMBER 14, 1937, AS FOLLOWS:

A VERY SERIOUS EMERGENCY SITUATION HAS ARISEN IN CONNECTION WITH THE OCTOBER FIRST ENROLLMENT PERIOD FOR THE CIVILIAN CONSERVATION CORPS. I AM BRINGING THE MATTER TO YOUR ATTENTION ON THE ADVICE OF MY ADVISORY COUNCIL AS IT APPEARS TO BE THE OPINION OF THE COUNCIL THAT THE COMPTROLLER GENERAL'S OFFICE IS THE ONLY AUTHORITY THAT CAN CLARIFY THE SITUATION. WILL PERSONALLY AND OFFICIALLY APPRECIATE YOUR GIVING ME A REPLY ON THIS MATTER AT YOUR VERY EARLIEST CONVENIENCE.

THE 73RD CONGRESS ENACTED A LAW (PUBLIC, NO. 5, 73RD CONGRESS) APPROVED MARCH 31, 1933, AUTHORIZING THE PRESIDENT TO CREATE AN AGENCY FOR THE PRINCIPAL PURPOSE OF RELIEVING UNEMPLOYMENT AND ACCOMPLISHING USEFUL WORK. BY EXECUTIVE ORDER OF APRIL 5, 1933, THE PRESIDENT APPOINTED A DIRECTOR OF EMERGENCY CONSERVATION WORK TO SET UP AND ADMINISTER THE NEW ORGANIZATION. UNDER THIS ACT OF CONGRESS, THE PRESIDENT'S EXECUTIVE ORDER AND SUBSEQUENT ACTS OF CONGRESS AND EXECUTIVE ORDERS THE EMERGENCY CONSERVATION WORK AGENCY CONTINUED TO FUNCTION UNTIL JUNE 30, 1937. UNDER THIS PROGRAM UNMARRIED MALE CITIZENS OF THE UNITED STATES BETWEEN THE AGES OF 17 AND 28, BOTH INCLUSIVE, WERE ENROLLED IN THE ORGANIZATION FOR PERIODS OF SIX MONTHS WITH THE PRIVILEGE OF RE-ENROLLING AS LONG AS THEIR CONDUCT AND SERVICES WERE SATISFACTORY.

ON JUNE 28, 1937, THE CONGRESS ENACTED NEW LEGISLATION (PUBLIC, NO. 163, 75TH CONGRESS) WHEREBY THE CIVILIAN CONSERVATION CORPS WAS ESTABLISHED AS A SUCCESSOR TO EMERGENCY CONSERVATION WORK. THE CIVILIAN CONSERVATION CORPS OFFICIALLY CAME INTO EXISTENCE ON JULY 1, 1937. FOR YOUR READY REFERENCE, I ATTACH COPY OF THIS ACT. SECTION 8 OF THE ACT CONTAINS, AMONG OTHER THINGS, THE FOLLOWING PROVISION:

"PROVIDED FURTHER, THAT ENROLLMENTS SHALL BE FOR A PERIOD OF NOT LESS THAN SIX MONTHS AND RE-ENROLLMENTS (EXCEPT IN THE CASE OF ONE MESS STEWARD, THREE COOKS, AND ONE LEADER, IN EACH COMPANY, AND WAR VETERANS) SHALL NOT EXCEED A TOTAL TERM OF TWO YEARS.'

THE QUESTION ARISES AS TO WHETHER JUNIOR ENROLLEES BETWEEN THE AGES OF 17 AND 23, BOTH INCLUSIVE, WILL BE LIMITED IN THEIR TERM OF ENROLLMENT FOR TWO YEARS FROM JULY 1, 1937, OR WILL ANY SERVICE THEY MAY HAVE RENDERED IN THE CORPS PRIOR TO JULY 1, 1937, BE INCLUDED IN THE TOTAL TWO YEAR ENROLLMENT PERIOD PERMITTED UNDER THE ABOVE SECTION. AS STATED IN THE BEGINNING THIS QUESTION IS VITAL TO THE OCTOBER FIRST ENROLLMENT, AND I EARNESTLY HOPE THAT I MAY RECEIVE A PROMPT REPLY FROM YOU.

I ATTACH THREE LEGAL OPINIONS ON THE SUBJECT; ONE FROM THE JUDGE ADVOCATE GENERAL OF THE WAR DEPARTMENT, WHICH HOLDS THAT SERVICE PRIOR TO JULY 1, 1937, MUST BE INCLUDED IN THE ENROLLEES TWO-YEAR LIMITATION; ANOTHER FROM THE SOLICITOR OF THE DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE; AND A THIRD FROM THE LEGAL COUNSEL TO THE DIRECTOR, CIVILIAN CONSERVATION CORPS, HOLDING CONTRARY VIEWS. PLEASE RETURN THESE OPINIONS WITH YOUR REPLY.

WHILE THE TERM "CIVILIAN CONSERVATION CORPS" HAS BEEN EMPLOYED IN CONNECTION WITH THE ACTIVITY OF THE EMERGENCY CONSERVATION WORK ESTABLISHED UNDER THE ACT OF MARCH 31, 1933, 48 STAT. 22 (SEE SEC. 3 OF TITLE I OF THE ACT OF AUG. 12, 1935, 49 STAT. 596), THE "CORPS," AS SUCH, OFFICIALLY CAME INTO EXISTENCE BY THE TERMS OF THE ACT OF JUNE 28, 1937, 50 STAT. 319 (AN ACT TO ESTABLISH A CIVILIAN CONSERVATION CORPS, AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES), SECTION 1 OF WHICH ACT PROVIDES IN PERTINENT PART:

THAT THERE IS HEREBY ESTABLISHED THE CIVILIAN CONSERVATION CORPS, HEREINAFTER CALLED THE CORPS, * * *.: PROVIDED, THAT THE PROVISIONS OF THIS ACT SHALL CONTINUE FOR THE PERIOD OF THREE YEARS AFTER JULY 1, 1937, AND NO LONGER.

SECTION 18 OF THE ACT PROVIDES:

THIS ACT, EXCEPT AS OTHERWISE PROVIDED, SHALL TAKE EFFECT JULY 1, 1937.

SECTION 4 OF THE ACT PROVIDES:

THERE ARE HEREBY TRANSFERRED TO THE CORPS ALL ENROLLED PERSONNEL * * * AND OBLIGATIONS OF THE EMERGENCY CONSERVATION WORK ESTABLISHED UNDER THE ACT OF MARCH 31, 1933 (48 STAT. 22), AS AMENDED; * * *.

UNDER THE PROGRAM INAUGURATED UNDER THE EMERGENCY CONSERVATION WORK THE AGE LIMITATION OF THE ENROLLEES IS STATED TO HAVE BEEN FIXED AT BETWEEN 17 AND 28 YEARS, BOTH INCLUSIVE, AND THE LENGTH OF TIME AN ENROLLEE COULD SERVE AS SUCH WAS NOT SPECIFICALLY LIMITED. UNDER THE NEW ACT THE AGE LIMITATION (WITH CERTAIN EXCEPTIONS NOT INVOLVED IN THE PRESENT SUBMISSION) IS FIXED AT BETWEEN 17 AND 23 YEARS, BOTH INCLUSIVE, THE MINIMUM LENGTH OF ENROLLMENTS THEREUNDER IS FIXED AT 6 MONTHS, AND THE TOTAL LENGTH OF TIME AN ENROLLEE MAY SERVE IN THE CORPS IS LIMITED TO 2 YEARS. THE PROVISIONS OF THE NEW ACT ARE TO CONTINUE FOR THE PERIOD OF 3 YEARS AFTER JULY 1, 1937.

IT MUST BE PRESUMED THAT AT THE TIME THE NEW LEGISLATION WAS ENACTED THE CONGRESS WAS WELL AWARE--- AND IT SO APPEARS FROM THE LEGISLATIVE HISTORY- -- OF THE OLD PROGRAM INAUGURATED UNDER THE EMERGENCY CONSERVATION WORK AND THAT WHEN, BY THE NEW ACT, THE CONGRESS ESTABLISHED THE CIVILIAN CONSERVATION CORPS AND FIXED, AMONG OTHER THINGS, A LIMITATION AS TO THE TOTAL LENGTH OF TIME AN ENROLLEE COULD SERVE IN THE CORPS SUCH LIMITATION WAS FOR APPLICATION IN FUTURO. PARTICULARLY WOULD THIS APPEAR SO WHEN VIEWED IN THE LIGHT THAT THE ACT AUTOMATICALLY TRANSFERRED TO THE CORPS ON JULY 1, 1937, "ALL ENROLLED PERSONNEL" (UNDER THE OLD PROGRAM), REFERRED TO IN SECTION 4 OF THE ACT AS "ENROLLED PERSONNEL * * * OF THE EMERGENCY CONSERVATION WORK," WHICH PERSONNEL MAY HAVE INCLUDED MANY ENROLLEES WHO HAD ALREADY SERVED MORE THAN 2 YEARS--- THE OLD PROGRAM HAVING THEN BEEN IN OPERATION FOR MORE THAN 4 YEARS.

ACCORDINGLY, YOU ARE ADVISED THAT THIS OFFICE WILL NOT BE REQUIRED TO QUESTION OTHERWISE PROPER PAYMENTS TO PERSONS WHO MAY BE ENROLLED OR REENROLLED OCTOBER 1, 1937, IN THE CIVILIAN CONSERVATION CORPS, BECAUSE OF ANY PERIOD SUCH ENROLLEES MAY HAVE SERVED PRIOR TO JULY 1, 1937.

THE THREE MEMORANDUM LEGAL OPINIONS FORWARDED WITH YOUR LETTER ARE RETURNED AS REQUESTED.