A-89417, OCTOBER 13, 1937, 17 COMP. GEN. 333

A-89417: Oct 13, 1937

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THERE IS NO AUTHORITY FOR PAYMENT OF TOLLS FOR THEIR MOVEMENT OVER BRIDGES CONSTRUCTED UNDER AUTHORITY OF SAID ACT WHERE THE APPROACHES LEADING TO THE BRIDGES ARE FREE PUBLIC HIGHWAYS. - ARE NOT EXEMPT FROM THE PAYMENT OF BRIDGE TOLLS. ARE PROPERLY PAYABLE FROM FEDERAL APPROPRIATIONS FOR EXPENSES OF SUCH TRANSPORTATION. 1937: THERE IS FOR CONSIDERATION THE LEGALITY OF PAYMENT OF A VOUCHER SUBMITTED BY MAJ. THE QUESTION AS TO TOLL CHARGES ON THE UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT VEHICLES LOANED TO THE MISSISSIPPI NATIONAL GUARD IS THE SAME AS THAT INVOLVED IN 16 COMP. IS NOT AUTHORIZED. " AN ENTIRELY DIFFERENT QUESTION IS PRESENTED. IT IS ASSUMED THAT THE "EXTRA PASSENGERS" WERE OFFICERS AND ENLISTED MEN OF THE MISSISSIPPI NATIONAL GUARD ORDERED TO ATTEND AN ENCAMPMENT UNDER SECTION 94 OF THE NATIONAL DEFENSE ACT (AND NOT OFFICERS AND ENLISTED MEN OF THE REGULAR ARMY ON DETACHED DUTY WITH THE NATIONAL GUARD).

A-89417, OCTOBER 13, 1937, 17 COMP. GEN. 333

BRIDGES - TOLLS - NATIONAL GUARD TO AND FROM CAMPS OF INSTRUCTION UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT VEHICLES, LOANED TO THE MISSISSIPPI NATIONAL GUARD, WHILE MOVING TO AND FROM CAMPS OF INSTRUCTION UNDER THE NATIONAL DEFENSE ACT, AS AMENDED, BEING "MUNITIONS OF WAR OF THE UNITED STATES" WITHIN THE MEANING OF SECTION 2 OF THE GENERAL BRIDGE ACT OF MARCH 23, 1906, 34 STAT. 85, THERE IS NO AUTHORITY FOR PAYMENT OF TOLLS FOR THEIR MOVEMENT OVER BRIDGES CONSTRUCTED UNDER AUTHORITY OF SAID ACT WHERE THE APPROACHES LEADING TO THE BRIDGES ARE FREE PUBLIC HIGHWAYS. MEMBERS OF THE NATIONAL GUARD, BEING MEMBERS OF THEIR RESPECTIVE STATE AND TERRITORIAL ORGANIZATIONS AND NOT TROOPS OF THE UNITED STATES WITHIN THE MEANING OF THE GENERAL BRIDGE ACT OF MARCH 23, 1906, 34 STAT. 84--- UNLESS IN THE ACTUAL SERVICE OF THE UNITED STATES UNDER AUTHORITY OF ARTICLE I, SECTION 8, PARAGRAPH 15, OF THE CONSTITUTION--- ARE NOT EXEMPT FROM THE PAYMENT OF BRIDGE TOLLS, AND TOLLS CHARGED FOR THEIR USE OF BRIDGES CONSTRUCTED UNDER THE SAID ACT, IN TRAVELING TO AND FROM CAMPS OF INSTRUCTION UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF THE NATIONAL DEFENSE ACT, AS AMENDED, ARE PROPERLY PAYABLE FROM FEDERAL APPROPRIATIONS FOR EXPENSES OF SUCH TRANSPORTATION.

DECISION OF ACTING COMPTROLLER GENERAL ELLIOTT, OCTOBER 13, 1937:

THERE IS FOR CONSIDERATION THE LEGALITY OF PAYMENT OF A VOUCHER SUBMITTED BY MAJ. J. W. PATTON, JR., FINANCE DEPARTMENT, MISSISSIPPI NATIONAL GUARD, UNITED STATES PROPERTY AND DISBURSING OFFICER, IN THE SUM OF $16.40 IN FAVOR OF VICKSBURG BRIDGE AND TERMINAL CO., COVERING BRIDGE TOLLS CHARGED ON MISSISSIPPI NATIONAL GUARD VEHICLES AND EXTRA PASSENGERS DURING JULY 1937, PRESUMABLY OFFICERS AND ENLISTED MEN OF THE NATIONAL GUARD, TRAVELING TO OR FROM A CAMP OF INSTRUCTION.

THE QUESTION AS TO TOLL CHARGES ON THE UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT VEHICLES LOANED TO THE MISSISSIPPI NATIONAL GUARD IS THE SAME AS THAT INVOLVED IN 16 COMP. GEN. 1091 (A-85116, JUNE 21, 1937), AND A-86717, JULY 9, 1937, AND PAYMENT OF TOLL CHARGES ON SUCH VEHICLES, AMOUNTING TO $10 ON THE VOUCHER SUBMITTED, IS NOT AUTHORIZED. HOWEVER, WITH REFERENCE TO THAT PORTION OF THE VOUCHER IN THE SUM OF $6.40 COVERING TOLL CHARGES FOR THE "EXTRA PASSENGERS," AN ENTIRELY DIFFERENT QUESTION IS PRESENTED.

IT IS ASSUMED THAT THE "EXTRA PASSENGERS" WERE OFFICERS AND ENLISTED MEN OF THE MISSISSIPPI NATIONAL GUARD ORDERED TO ATTEND AN ENCAMPMENT UNDER SECTION 94 OF THE NATIONAL DEFENSE ACT (AND NOT OFFICERS AND ENLISTED MEN OF THE REGULAR ARMY ON DETACHED DUTY WITH THE NATIONAL GUARD). ON THIS BASIS THERE IS FOR DETERMINATION THE QUESTION WHETHER SUCH PERSONNEL ARE "TROOPS OF THE UNITED STATES" WITHIN THE MEANING OF THE GENERAL BRIDGE ACT OF MARCH 23, 1906, 34 STAT. 84 (33 U.S.C. 491, ET SEQ.).

THE VICKSBURG BRIDGE AND TERMINAL CO. WAS AUTHORIZED UNDER THE ACT OF MAY 3, 1926, 44 STAT. 388, TO CONSTRUCT, MAINTAIN, AND OPERATE A BRIDGE ACROSS THE MISSISSIPPI RIVER AT OR NEAR THE CITY OF VICKSBURG, MISS., IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE PROVISIONS OF THE ACT OF MARCH 23, 1906, SUPRA.

SECTION 2 OF THE 1906 ACT PROVIDES, IN PART:

THAT ANY BRIDGE BUILT IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE PROVISIONS OF THIS ACT SHALL BE A LAWFUL STRUCTURE AND SHALL BE RECOGNIZED AND KNOWN AS A POST ROUTE, UPON WHICH NO HIGHER CHARGE SHALL BE MADE FOR THE TRANSMISSION OVER THE SAME OF THE MAILS, THE TROOPS, AND THE MUNITIONS OF WAR OF THE UNITED STATES THAN THE RATE PER MILE PAID FOR THE TRANSPORTATION OVER ANY RAILROAD, STREET RAILWAY, OR PUBLIC HIGHWAY LEADING TO SAID BRIDGE; * * *

IN OREGON-WASHINGTON RAILROAD NAVIGATION CO. V. THE UNITED STATES, 60 CT.CLS. 458, IT WAS HELD THAT NATIONAL GUARD ORGANIZATIONS WHILE TRAVELING TO AND FROM CAMPS OF INSTRUCTION ARE NOT IN THE SERVICE OF THE UNITED STATES AND ARE NOT "TROOPS OF THE UNITED STATES" WITHIN THE MEANING OF THE LAND-GRANT ACTS, SO AS TO BE ENTITLED TO A REDUCED TRANSPORTATION RATE. SEE, ALSO, ILLINOIS CENTRAL RAILROAD CO. V. THE UNITED STATES, 60 CT.CLS. 499.

SECTION 1 OF THE NATIONAL DEFENSE ACT, AS AMENDED BY THE ACT OF JUNE 15, 1933, 48 STAT. 153, PROVIDES THAT THE ARMY OF THE UNITED STATES SHALL CONSIST OF THE REGULAR ARMY, THE NATIONAL GUARD OF THE UNITED STATES, THE NATIONAL GUARD WHILE IN THE SERVICE OF THE UNITED STATES, ETC.

SECTION 71 (A) OF THE NATIONAL DEFENSE ACT, AS ADDED BY SECTION 9 OF THE ACT OF JUNE 15, 1933, 48 STAT. 157, PROVIDES:

(A) "NATIONAL GUARD" OR "NATIONAL GUARD OF THE SEVERAL STATES, TERRITORIES, AND THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA" MEANS THAT PORTION OF THE ORGANIZED MILITIA OF THE SEVERAL STATES, TERRITORIES, AND THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, ACTIVE AND INACTIVE, FEDERALLY RECOGNIZED AS PROVIDED IN THIS ACT AND ORGANIZED, ARMED, AND EQUIPPED IN WHOLE OR IN PART AT FEDERAL EXPENSE AND OFFICERED AND TRAINED UNDER PARAGRAPH 16, SECTION 8, ARTICLE I, OF THE CONSTITUTION.

UNLESS IN THE ACTUAL SERVICE OF THE UNITED STATES UNDER AUTHORITY OF ARTICLE I, SECTION 8, PARAGRAPH 15, OF THE CONSTITUTION OF THE UNITED STATES, MEMBERS OF THE NATIONAL GUARD ARE MEMBERS ONLY OF THEIR RESPECTIVE STATE AND TERRITORIAL ORGANIZATIONS AND ARE NOT TROOPS OF THE UNITED STATES WITHIN THE MEANING OF THE GENERAL BRIDGE ACT.

ACCORDINGLY, AS SUCH PERSONNEL ARE NOT EXEMPT FROM THE PAYMENT OF BRIDGE TOLLS ON THE BASIS OF BEING TROOPS OF THE UNITED STATES, TOLL CHARGES ASSESSED FOR THEIR USE OF BRIDGES CONSTRUCTED UNDER THE GENERAL BRIDGE ACT, OR ACTS OF LIKE IMPORT, ARE PROPERLY FOR PAYMENT FROM APPROPRIATED FUNDS OF THE UNITED STATES AVAILABLE FOR EXPENSES OF TRANSPORTATION OF SUCH PERSONNEL TO AND FROM CAMPS OF INSTRUCTION.

THE VOUCHER WILL BE RETURNED FOR A DEFINITE STATEMENT AS TO THE STATUS OF THE 64 PASSENGERS FOR WHOM A TOLL CHARGE OF 10 CENTS EACH IS MADE. IF IT APPEARS THEY ARE OFFICERS AND ENLISTED MEN OF THE NATIONAL GUARD OF MISSISSIPPI TRAVELING TO OR FROM A CAMP OF INSTRUCTION UNDER ORDERS WHICH OBLIGATE THE UNITED STATES TO PAY FOR TRANSPORTATION OF THE UNITS TO OR FROM CAMP THE ITEM WILL BE APPROVED FOR PAYMENT TO THE EXTENT OTHERWISE CORRECT.