A-90318, MARCH 14, 1938, 17 COMP. GEN. 736

A-90318: Mar 14, 1938

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IS AS FOLLOWS: SECTION 14 OF THE GRAZING ACT OF JUNE 28. RECOGNIZES THE FUND TO WHICH THE MONEYS ARE TO BE DEPOSITED AS A SPECIAL FUND BY MAKING SPECIFIC PROVISION AS TO THEIR DISTRIBUTION. INCLUDED IN WHICH IS THE PROVISION THAT THE STATES SHALL RECEIVE FIFTY PERCENTUM. AS ISOLATED TRACTS AND CERTAIN TRACTS TOO MOUNTAINOUS OR ROUGH FOR CULTIVATION ARE NOW DISPOSED OF UNDER THE SECTION OF THE STATUTES AS AMENDED IN SECTION 14 OF THE GRAZING ACT. " I HAVE RESPECTFULLY TO REQUEST WHETHER ANY OR ALL. IT IS A RULE OF STATUTORY CONSTRUCTION THAT THE INTENT OF CONGRESS AS EXPRESSED IN ANY PART OF A STATUTE MUST BE GATHERED FROM THE READING OF THE STATUTE AS A WHOLE AND THAT THE STATUTE SHOULD BE CONSTRUED WITH REFERENCE TO EXISTING LAWS.

A-90318, MARCH 14, 1938, 17 COMP. GEN. 736

SALES - PUBLIC LANDS - DISPOSITION OF PROCEEDS - STATUTORY CONSTRUCTION SECTIONS 10 AND 11, ACT, JUNE 28, 1934, 48 STAT. 1269, 1272, PROVIDING FOR THE DISPOSITION OF ,MONEYS RECEIVED UNDER AUTHORITY OF THIS ACT," RELATE TO MONEYS COLLECTED AS GRAZING FEES UNDER SECTION 3 OR AS RENTAL FOR LEASE OF LANDS UNDER SECTION 15, BUT NOT TO PROCEEDS OF SALE OF LAND UNDER SECTION 2455, REVISED STATUTES, AS AMENDED BY SECTION 14 OF THE ACT, AND SUCH PROCEEDS SHOULD BE ACCOUNTED FOR IN ACCORDANCE WITH ESTABLISHED PROCEDURE FOR ACCOUNTING FOR PROCEEDS OF SALES OF PUBLIC LANDS. THE INTENT OF CONGRESS AS EXPRESSED IN ANY PART OF A STATUTE MUST BE GATHERED FROM THE READING OF THE STATUTE AS A WHOLE, AND A STATUTE SHOULD BE CONSTRUED WITH REFERENCE TO EXISTING LAWS AND ITS OPERATION RESTRICTED WITHIN NARROWER LIMITS THAN ITS WORDS IMPORT WHERE THE LITERAL MEANING EMBRACES CASES NOT INTENDED.

ACTING COMPTROLLER GENERAL ELLIOTT TO THE SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR, MARCH 14, 1938:

YOUR LETTER OF MARCH 2, 1938, IS AS FOLLOWS:

SECTION 14 OF THE GRAZING ACT OF JUNE 28, 1934 (48 STAT., 1269), AMENDS SECTION 2455 OF THE REVISED STATUTES, THEREBY GIVING THE SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR AUTHORITY TO ORDER INTO MARKET AS ISOLATED TRACTS AREAS NOT EXCEEDING 760 ACRES, INSTEAD OF 320 AS THERETOFORE AUTHORIZED, REMOVES THE FORMER MINIMUM LIMIT AS TO PRICE, AND GIVES OWNERS OF CONTIGUOUS LANDS CERTAIN PREFERENCE RIGHTS AS TO PURCHASE.

SECTION 10 OF THE SAID GRAZING ACT PROVIDES:

"THAT, EXCEPT AS PROVIDED IN SECTIONS 9 AND 11 HEREOF, ALL MONEYS RECEIVED UNDER AUTHORITY OF THIS ACT SHALL BE DEPOSITED IN THE TREASURY OF THE UNITED STATES AS MISCELLANEOUS RECEIPTS.'

AND RECOGNIZES THE FUND TO WHICH THE MONEYS ARE TO BE DEPOSITED AS A SPECIAL FUND BY MAKING SPECIFIC PROVISION AS TO THEIR DISTRIBUTION, INCLUDED IN WHICH IS THE PROVISION THAT THE STATES SHALL RECEIVE FIFTY PERCENTUM.

AS ISOLATED TRACTS AND CERTAIN TRACTS TOO MOUNTAINOUS OR ROUGH FOR CULTIVATION ARE NOW DISPOSED OF UNDER THE SECTION OF THE STATUTES AS AMENDED IN SECTION 14 OF THE GRAZING ACT, AND THEREFORE ,UNDER AUTHORITY OF THIS ACT," I HAVE RESPECTFULLY TO REQUEST WHETHER ANY OR ALL, AND IF A PART, HOW MUCH, OF THE PROCEEDS OF ISOLATED TRACTS OR ROUGH LANDS NOW SOLD UNDER AUTHORITY OF THE SAID SECTION 14 SHALL BE COVERED AS RECEIPTS FROM PUBLIC LANDS UNDER GRAZING ACT OF JUNE 28, 1934.

IT MAY BE NOTED THAT THE BREAK-DOWN PRESCRIBED IN YOUR INSTRUCTIONS A- 90318 OF NOVEMBER 9, 1937, QUOTES SECTIONS 10 AND 11 OF THE GRAZING ACT AND RECOGNIZES RECEIPTS UNDER SECTION 15, BUT MAKES NO REFERENCE TO SECTION 14.

IT IS A RULE OF STATUTORY CONSTRUCTION THAT THE INTENT OF CONGRESS AS EXPRESSED IN ANY PART OF A STATUTE MUST BE GATHERED FROM THE READING OF THE STATUTE AS A WHOLE AND THAT THE STATUTE SHOULD BE CONSTRUED WITH REFERENCE TO EXISTING LAWS.

THE ACT OF JUNE 28, 1934, 48 STAT. 1269, AS AMENDED BY THE ACT OF JUNE 26, 1936, 49 STAT. 1976 IS ENTITLED:

AN ACT TO STOP INJURY TO THE PUBLIC GRAZING LANDS BY PREVENTING OVERGRAZING AND SOIL DETERIORATION, TO PROVIDE FOR THEIR ORDERLY USE, IMPROVEMENT, AND DEVELOPMENT, TO STABILIZE THE LIVESTOCK INDUSTRY DEPENDENT UPON THE PUBLIC RANGE, AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES. * * *

THE ENACTING CLAUSE PROVIDES:

THAT IN ORDER TO PROMOTE THE HIGHEST USE OF THE PUBLIC LANDS PENDING ITS FINAL DISPOSAL, THE SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR IS AUTHORIZED, IN HIS DISCRETION, BY ORDER TO ESTABLISH GRAZING DISTRICTS * * *

TO CARRY OUT THE PURPOSES OF THE ACT THE SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR IS AUTHORIZED TO DO CERTAIN THINGS INCLUDING, UNDER SECTION 3, THE AUTHORITY TO ISSUE PERMITS UPON THE PAYMENT OF REASONABLE FEES, TO GRAZE LIVESTOCK ON THE GRAZING DISTRICTS ESTABLISHED UNDER AUTHORITY OF SECTION 1. WHILE SECTION 2455, REVISED STATUTES, RELATING TO THE SALE OF ISOLATED OR DISCONNECTED TRACTS OF LAND, IS AMENDED BY SECTION 14 OF THE ACT OF JUNE 28, 1934, WHEN THE ACT IS READ AS A WHOLE, WITH DUE REFERENCE TO EXISTING STATUTES SPECIFICALLY PROVIDING FOR DISPOSITION OF THE PROCEEDS FROM THE SALE OF PUBLIC LANDS--- SUCH AS THE ACT OF JUNE 17, 1902, 32 STAT. 388, AS AMENDED BY THE ACT OF JUNE 12, 1906, 34 STAT. 259 (TITLE 43, SEC. 391, U.S. CODE) ESTABLISHING THE RECLAMATION FUND--- IT IS CLEAR THAT SECTIONS 10 AND 11 PROVIDING FOR THE DISPOSITION OF "MONEYS RECEIVED UNDER AUTHORITY OF THIS ACT," RELATE TO MONEYS COLLECTED AS GRAZING FEES UNDER SECTION 3 OR AS RENTAL FOR LEASE OF LANDS UNDER SECTION 15, BUT NOT TO MONEYS RECEIVED FOR THE SALE OF LAND UNDER SECTION 2455, REVISED STATUTES, AS AMENDED BY SECTION 14 OF THE ACT OF JUNE 28, 1934, SUPRA.

IT IS A SOUND RULE OF STATUTORY CONSTRUCTION THAT THE OPERATION OF A STATUTE MUST BE RESTRICTED WITHIN NARROWER LIMITS THAN ITS WORDS IMPORT WHERE THE LITERAL MEANING EMBRACES CASES NOT INTENDED BY THE LEGISLATIVE BODY. 6 COMP. GEN. 288, 290, AND CASES THEREIN CITED. IT IS CLEAR IN THIS CASE THAT IT WAS NOT THE INTENT OF CONGRESS THAT MONEYS RECEIVED FROM THE SALE OF LANDS SHOULD BE TREATED IN THE SAME MANNER AS FEES RECEIVED FOR GRAZING PERMITS.

ACCORDINGLY, YOU ARE ADVISED THAT NO PART OF THE PROCEEDS OF ISOLATED TRACTS, OR ROUGH LANDS SOLD UNDER AUTHORITY OF SECTION 2455, REVISED STATUTES, AS AMENDED BY SECTION 14 OF THE ACT OF JUNE 28, 1934, SUPRA, SHOULD BE COVERED INTO THE TREASURY AS RECEIPTS FOR DISTRIBUTION UNDER SECTIONS 10 AND 11 OF THE ACT, BUT THAT SUCH RECEIPTS SHOULD BE HANDLED IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE PROCEDURE HERETOFORE FOLLOWED IN ACCOUNTING FOR THE PROCEEDS FROM SALES OF PUBLIC LANDS.