A-9242, SEPTEMBER 23, 1927, 7 COMP. GEN. 229

A-9242: Sep 23, 1927

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ETHEL GLOVER IS THE WIFE OF AN ENGINEER OF A GOVERNMENT CUSTOMS LAUNCH FOR THE MOORING OF WHICH THE BOAT-HOUSE WAS LEASED. THE DECISION IN QUESTION WAS AFFIRMED. IN CONNECTION WITH THE PRESENT REQUEST FOR RECONSIDERATION THERE IS NOW SUBMITTED AN AFFIDAVIT BY MRS. DEPOSE AND SAY THAT I AM AND AT ALL TIMES MENTIONED HEREIN HAVE BEEN THE WIFE OF J. THAT THE BOATHOUSE FOR SAID CUSTOMS LAUNCH WAS BUILT AND PAID FOR WITH FUNDS FROM MY OWN SEPARATE ESTATE. THIS WAS MERELY DESCRIPTIVE AND NO PART OF SAID BOATHOUSE WAS LEASED OR INTENDED TO BE LEASED TO THE GOVERNMENT. SUCH EVIDENCE IS NOT MATERIAL WHERE THE SUBJECT MATTER OF THE CONTRACT IS A STRUCTURE IN WHICH BOTH THE HUSBAND AND WIFE MAINTAINED A COMMON HOUSEHOLD OR RESIDENCE AND IS DIRECTLY CONNECTED WITH THE HUSBAND'S EMPLOYMENT BY THE GOVERNMENT.

A-9242, SEPTEMBER 23, 1927, 7 COMP. GEN. 229

WIFE OF EMPLOYEE CONTRACTING WITH THE GOVERNMENT THE FACT THAT THE WIFE OF A PERSON EMPLOYED BY THE GOVERNMENT AS ENGINEER OF A CUSTOMS SERVICE LAUNCH HAS A SEPARATE ESTATE AND PERSONALLY OWNS THE BOAT-HOUSE IN WHICH THEY MAINTAIN THEIR COMMON RESIDENCE DOES NOT LEGALIZE A LEASE OF THE LOWER STORY OF SUCH BOAT HOUSE BY THE WIFE TO THE UNITED STATES AS A MOORING PLACE FOR THE LAUNCH. SUCH AN ARRANGEMENT CREATES AN UNDESIRABLE SITUATION SUBJECT TO CRITICISM AND MAY NOT BE APPROVED AS LAWFUL AND PROPER.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL TO THE SECRETARY OF THE TREASURY, SEPTEMBER 23, 1927:

THERE HAS BEEN RECEIVED YOUR LETTER OF AUGUST 30, 1927, REQUESTING RECONSIDERATION OF DECISION OF MAY 15, 1926, AFFIRMING THE DISALLOWANCE IN THE ACCOUNTS OF THE COLLECTOR OF CUSTOMS AT PORTLAND, OREG., OF CREDIT FOR PAYMENTS TO ETHEL GLOVER AS RENTAL FOR THE LOWER STORY OF A BOAT-HOUSE. ETHEL GLOVER IS THE WIFE OF AN ENGINEER OF A GOVERNMENT CUSTOMS LAUNCH FOR THE MOORING OF WHICH THE BOAT-HOUSE WAS LEASED, THE ENGINEER AND FAMILY RESIDING IN THE UPPER FLOORS OF THE BOAT-HOUSE. BY RECONSIDERATION OF OCTOBER 15, 1926, THE DECISION IN QUESTION WAS AFFIRMED.

IN CONNECTION WITH THE PRESENT REQUEST FOR RECONSIDERATION THERE IS NOW SUBMITTED AN AFFIDAVIT BY MRS. GLOVER, AS FOLLOWS:

I, ETHEL GLOVER, FIRST BEING DULY SWORN, DEPOSE AND SAY THAT I AM AND AT ALL TIMES MENTIONED HEREIN HAVE BEEN THE WIFE OF J. C. GLOVER, ENGINEER OF UNITED STATES CUSTOMS LAUNCH ROBERT N.; THAT THE BOATHOUSE FOR SAID CUSTOMS LAUNCH WAS BUILT AND PAID FOR WITH FUNDS FROM MY OWN SEPARATE ESTATE, AND J. C. GLOVER NEVER HAD ANY INTEREST IN SAID BOATHOUSE; THAT SAID BOATHOUSE CONSISTS OF TWO STORIES, THE LOWER PORTION BEING USED EXCLUSIVELY FOR MOORING SAID CUSTOMS LAUNCH, AND WHILE THE LEASE DESCRIBED THE LEASE PROPERTY AS A BOATHOUSE CONSISTING OF FIVE ROOMS, THIS WAS MERELY DESCRIPTIVE AND NO PART OF SAID BOATHOUSE WAS LEASED OR INTENDED TO BE LEASED TO THE GOVERNMENT, EXCEPT THE LOWER PORTION USED EXCLUSIVELY FOR THE MOORAGE OF SAID CUSTOMS LAUNCH; THAT UNDER AND PURSUANT TO THE OREGON CONSTITUTION (ARTICLE XV, SECTION 5) AND LAWS OF OREGON (SECTION 9743 OREGON LAWS), THE HUSBAND DOES NOT ACQUIRE, THROUGH HIS MARITAL RELATION, ANY INTEREST IN THE PERSONAL PROPERTY OF THE WIFE, AND SAID J. C. GLOVER HAS NEVER HAD ANY INTEREST IN SAID PERSONAL PROPERTY; AND

I FURTHER DEPOSE AND SAY THAT MY SAID HUSBAND, J. C. GLOVER, HAS NEVER RECEIVED ANY PART OF THE COMPENSATION PAID ME FOR MOORAGE OF SAID CUSTOMS LAUNCH.

WHILE EVIDENCE OF THE WIFE'S SEPARATE ESTATE MIGHT POSSIBLY BE RECEIVED AS REMOVING OBJECTION TO CONTRACTUAL RELATIONS BETWEEN THE WIFE AND THE UNITED STATES IN MATTERS WHOLLY DISCONNECTED FROM THE COMMON HOUSEHOLD OR FROM THE HUSBAND'S EMPLOYMENT, SUCH EVIDENCE IS NOT MATERIAL WHERE THE SUBJECT MATTER OF THE CONTRACT IS A STRUCTURE IN WHICH BOTH THE HUSBAND AND WIFE MAINTAINED A COMMON HOUSEHOLD OR RESIDENCE AND IS DIRECTLY CONNECTED WITH THE HUSBAND'S EMPLOYMENT BY THE GOVERNMENT. IT IS THE PRIMARY DUTY OF A HUSBAND TO FURNISH SUPPORT FOR HIS WIFE, AND WHERE SHE IS IN RECEIPT OF ADDITIONAL INCOME SO CLOSELY CONNECTED WITH THE EMPLOYMENT OF THE HUSBAND AND WITH THE COMMON HOUSEHOLD, AS IN THIS CASE, IT MUST BE CONCLUDED THAT SUCH INCOME INURES, EITHER DIRECTLY OR INDIRECTLY, TO THE BENEFIT OF THE HUSBAND. IT CREATES AN UNDESIRABLE SITUATION SUBJECT TO CRITICISM AND MAY NOT BE APPROVED AS LAWFUL AND PROPER. A-10761, AUGUST 19, 1925.

UPON RECONSIDERATION, THE FORMER DECISIONS OF MAY 15 AND OCTOBER 15, 1926, MUST BE, AND ARE, AFFIRMED.