A-96526, AUGUST 24, 1938, 18 COMP. GEN. 193

A-96526: Aug 24, 1938

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VETERANS' ADMINISTRATION - ADJUSTED COMPENSATION - FINDINGS BY SECRETARY OF WAR AND EFFECT ON GOVERNMENT ACCOUNTING OFFICERS WHERE THE SECRETARY OF WAR HAS DETERMINED ON THE FACTS AND LAW INVOLVED THAT A FORMER SOLDIER WAS A "VETERAN" WITHIN THE MEANING OF THE WORLD WAR ADJUSTED COMPENSATION ACT. THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE IS PRECLUDED BY SECTIONS 305 AND 310 OF THE WORLD WAR ADJUSTED COMPENSATION ACT FROM DISALLOWING CREDIT FOR OTHERWISE LAWFUL PAYMENTS MADE THEREUNDER BY A DISBURSING OFFICER. IS AS FOLLOWS: THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE HAS TAKEN EXCEPTION TO THE PAYMENTS OF ADJUSTED COMPENSATION MADE TO MR. ON THE GROUND THAT HE IS NOT A VETERAN WITHIN THE MEANING OF TITLE 1. DENNICK IS A VETERAN WITHIN THE MEANING OF TITLE 1.

A-96526, AUGUST 24, 1938, 18 COMP. GEN. 193

VETERANS' ADMINISTRATION - ADJUSTED COMPENSATION - FINDINGS BY SECRETARY OF WAR AND EFFECT ON GOVERNMENT ACCOUNTING OFFICERS WHERE THE SECRETARY OF WAR HAS DETERMINED ON THE FACTS AND LAW INVOLVED THAT A FORMER SOLDIER WAS A "VETERAN" WITHIN THE MEANING OF THE WORLD WAR ADJUSTED COMPENSATION ACT, NOTWITHSTANDING HIS DISHONORABLE DISCHARGE FROM HIS WAR ENLISTMENT AND ALTHOUGH CONTRARY TO THE VIEWS EXPRESSED IN 2 COMP. GEN. 162, 167, AND THE VETERANS' ADMINISTRATION HAS ISSUED AN ADJUSTED SERVICE CERTIFICATE TO THE VETERAN ON THE BASIS OF THE WAR DEPARTMENT CERTIFICATION, UNDER WHICH PAYMENT HAS BEEN MADE, THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE IS PRECLUDED BY SECTIONS 305 AND 310 OF THE WORLD WAR ADJUSTED COMPENSATION ACT FROM DISALLOWING CREDIT FOR OTHERWISE LAWFUL PAYMENTS MADE THEREUNDER BY A DISBURSING OFFICER.

ACTING COMPTROLLER GENERAL ELLIOTT TO THE ADMINISTRATOR OF VETERANS' AFFAIRS, AUGUST 24, 1938:

YOUR LETTER OF JULY 14, 1938, IS AS FOLLOWS:

THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE HAS TAKEN EXCEPTION TO THE PAYMENTS OF ADJUSTED COMPENSATION MADE TO MR. GEORGE DENNICK, A-1,378,453, ON THE GROUND THAT HE IS NOT A VETERAN WITHIN THE MEANING OF TITLE 1, SECTION 2 (A) (1) OF THE WORLD WAR ADJUSTED COMPENSATION ACT, 1924, AS AMENDED. THE WAR DEPARTMENT HAS CERTIFIED TO THE VETERANS' ADMINISTRATION THAT MR. DENNICK IS A VETERAN WITHIN THE MEANING OF TITLE 1, SECTION 2 (A) (1) OF THE WORLD WAR ADJUSTED COMPENSATION ACT, 1924, AS AMENDED, AND REGARDS ITS DETERMINATION AS FINAL AND CONCLUSIVE UNDER THE AUTHORITY OF SECTIONS 305 AND 310 OF THE ACT. THE FACTS INVOLVED IN THE CASE ARE PRESENTED FOR YOUR CONSIDERATION.

IN JULY 1924 MR. DENNICK FILED AN APPLICATION (FORM WWC-1) WITH THE ADJUTANT GENERAL'S OFFICE, WAR DEPARTMENT, FOR ADJUSTED COMPENSATION BENEFITS UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF THE WORLD WAR ADJUSTED COMPENSATION ACT, 1924, AS AMENDED. THE APPLICATION WAS APPROVED BY THAT DEPARTMENT AND SUBSEQUENTLY WAS CERTIFIED TO THE VETERANS' ADMINISTRATION WITH AN ADJUSTED SERVICE CREDIT OF $625.00. ON THE BASIS OF THIS CERTIFICATION AND UNDER THE AUTHORITY OF SECTION 501 OF THE ACT, THE VETERANS' ADMINISTRATION ISSUED ADJUSTED SERVICE CERTIFICATE NO. 1,268,352 IN THE AMOUNT OF $1,570.00, EFFECTIVE JANUARY 1, 1925. ON JANUARY 22, 1927, THE VETERAN PLEDGED THE CERTIFICATE WITH THE MID CITY TRUST AND SAVINGS BANK, CHICAGO, ILLINOIS, AS SECURITY FOR A LOAN OF $120.00. THE CERTIFICATE AND THE VETERAN'S PROMISSORY NOTE WERE REDEEMED FROM THE BANK BY THE CENTRAL OFFICE OF THE VETERANS' ADMINISTRATION, WASHINGTON, D.C., ON AUGUST 19, 1927, BY PAYMENT OF $124.14 WHICH INCLUDED THE PRINCIPAL OF THE NOTE AND THE INTEREST WHICH HAD ACCRUED THEREON TO THE DATE OF REDEMPTION. FOUR ADDITIONAL LOANS IN THE AMOUNTS OF $104.19, $40.46, $43.78, AND $432.00 WERE GRANTED ON THE SECURITY OF THE CERTIFICATE BY THE CENTRAL OFFICE OF THE VETERANS' ADMINISTRATION ON APRIL 17, 1929, APRIL 19, 1930, JANUARY 17, 1931, AND APRIL 30, 1931, RESPECTIVELY, INCREASING THE VETERAN'S LOAN INDEBTEDNESS TO $785.00 AS OF APRIL 30, 1931, THE DATE THE LAST LOAN WAS OBTAINED.

IN A COMMUNICATION DATED OCTOBER 7, 1935, THE WAR DEPARTMENT REQUESTED THAT MR. DENNICK'S APPLICATION (FORM WWC-1) AND CREDIT CERTIFICATE OF $625.00 BE RETURNED TO THAT DEPARTMENT FOR CANCELLATION AS A REVIEW OF THE RECORDS REVEALED THAT HE WAS NOT ENTITLED TO ADJUSTED COMPENSATION. THE LETTER STATED IN PART:

"1. THE RECORDS SHOW THAT GEORGE DENNICK, ARMY SERIAL NUMBER 147,970, A SERGEANT, QUARTERMASTER CORPS, ENLISTED APRIL 10, 1914; SAILED FOR OVERSEAS SERVICE AUGUST 14, 1917; WAS TRIED BY A GENERAL COURT MARTIAL WHICH CONVENED AT HEADQUARTERS BASE SECTION NO. 5, FRANCE, SEPTEMBER 25, 1919, AND WAS SENTENCED TO BE DISHONORABLY DISCHARGED FROM THE SERVICE, TO FORFEIT ALL PAY AND ALLOWANCES DUE OR TO BECOME DUE, AND TO BE CONFINED AT HARD LABOR FOR TEN (10) YEARS. THE SENTENCE WAS APPROVED EXCEPT THE CONFINEMENT AT HARD LABOR FOR TEN YEARS WAS MITIGATED TO CONFINEMENT AT HARD LABOR FOR TWO YEARS. HE WAS DISCHARGED OCTOBER 12, 1919; ARRIVED IN THE UNITED STATES OCTOBER 29, 1919, FROM OVERSEAS. UNDER DATE OF JUNE 15, 1920, HE WAS HONORABLY RESTORED TO DUTY AND WAS HONORABLY DISCHARGED JUNE 16, 1920.

"2. SINCE MR. DENNICK WAS DISHONORABLY DISCHARGED OCTOBER 12, 1919, FROM HIS ENLISTMENT OF APRIL 10, 1914, HE IS NOT ENTITLED TO ADJUSTED COMPENSATION.'

IN COMPLIANCE WITH THE REQUEST CONTAINED IN THIS COMMUNICATION, THE VETERANS' ADMINISTRATION RETURNED MR. DENNICK'S APPLICATION AND CREDIT CERTIFICATE TO THE WAR DEPARTMENT AND ACCORDINGLY CANCELED HIS ADJUSTED SERVICE CERTIFICATE NO. 1,268,352. THE NECESSARY ACTION WAS INITIATED TO EFFECT COLLECTION OF THE AMOUNT OF THE VETERAN'S LOAN INDEBTEDNESS BUT BEFORE ANY PART OF HIS INDEBTEDNESS WAS RECOVERED, THE WAR DEPARTMENT RECERTIFIED HIS APPLICATION AND SERVICE CREDIT STATING IN THE LETTER OF RECERTIFICATION DATED MARCH 16, 1936:

"1. WHEN THE APPLICATION FOR ADJUSTED COMPENSATION OF GEORGE DENNICK, ARMY SERIAL NUMBER 147,970, WAS CERTIFIED TO YOUR BUREAU ON DECEMBER 16, 1924, SUCH ACTION WAS APPROPRIATE UNDER THE REGULATIONS IN EXISTENCE AT THAT TIME. HOWEVER, IN 1932, THE JUDGE ADVOCATE GENERAL HELD THAT A MAN WHOSE ENLISTMENT CONTRACT HAD BEEN TERMINATED BY A DISHONORABLE DISCHARGE, ENTERS A NEW ENLISTMENT UPON HIS RESTORATION TO THE ARMY, TO COMPLETE THE ENLISTMENT TERMINATED BY HIS DISHONORABLE DISCHARGE. SOMETIME AFTER THAT DECISION WAS RENDERED, IT WAS NOTED THAT THE ABOVE NAMED FORMER SOLDIER HAD BEEN DISHONORABLY DISCHARGED FROM HIS WORLD WAR ENLISTMENT, AND THAT HE WAS NOT HONORABLY RESTORED TO DUTY, UNTIL AFTER NOVEMBER 11, 1918, AND THAT HE WAS THEREFORE NOT ENTITLED TO RECEIVE ADJUSTED COMPENSATION. CONSEQUENTLY YOU WERE REQUESTED TO RETURN CREDIT CERTIFICATE NUMBER 1,378,453, AND THE IDENTITY SHEET OF THE FORMER SOLDIER'S APPLICATION FOR ADJUSTED COMPENSATION. SINCE THEIR RETURN TO THIS OFFICE, THE JUDGE ADVOCATE GENERAL HAS HELD THAT IF APPROPRIATE ACTION WAS TAKEN ON AN APPLICATION FOR ADJUSTED COMPENSATION UNDER REGULATIONS IN EXISTENCE AT THAT TIME, SUCH ACTION SHALL NOT BE DISTURBED IF SUCH REGULATIONS ARE SUBSEQUENTLY CHANGED.'

UPON RECEIPT OF THIS COMMUNICATION RECERTIFYING THE VETERAN'S CLAIM FOR ADJUSTED COMPENSATION BENEFITS, THE VETERANS' ADMINISTRATION ISSUED ADJUSTED SERVICE CERTIFICATE NO. 3,943,072 IN THE AMOUNT OF $1,570.00 TO REPLACE THE CANCELED CERTIFICATE NO. 1,268,352, AND RESTORED THE VETERAN'S LOAN ACCOUNT TO ITS ORIGINAL STATUS. SUBSEQUENTLY, MR. DENNICK FILED AN APPLICATION (FORM 1701) FOR FINAL SETTLEMENT OF CERTIFICATE NO. 3,943,072 UNDER THE ADJUSTED COMPENSATION PAYMENT ACT, 1936. SETTLEMENT WAS CERTIFIED BY THE CENTRAL OFFICE OF THE VETERANS' ADMINISTRATION UNDER ADMINISTRATIVE SETTLEMENT NO. 634937 FOR PAYMENT OF $763.26 ON JUNE 15, 1936. IN AUDITING THE VETERANS' ACCOUNT, THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE TOOK EXCEPTION TO THE PAYMENTS MADE TO THE VETERAN STATING ON NOTICE OF EXCEPTION (FORM 2084) DATED NOVEMBER 30, 1936:

"IT APPEARS FROM THE "A" FOLDER OF THE VETERAN THAT HE WAS NOT ENTITLED TO AN ADJUSTED SERVICE CERTIFICATE. LOANS WERE OBTAINED BY THE VETERAN ON THE CERTIFICATE ERRONEOUSLY ISSUED, AND AN ADMINISTRATIVE REPORT SHOWING THE VETERAN'S INDEBTEDNESS IS REQUESTED.'

THE VETERANS' ADMINISTRATION FORWARDED TO THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE THE INFORMATION CONTAINED IN THE LETTER FROM THE WAR DEPARTMENT DATED MARCH 16, 1936, RECERTIFYING THE VETERAN'S APPLICATION AND SERVICE CREDIT OF $625.00. ON JULY 14, 1937, THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE ROTE:

"REPLY DATED APRIL 26, 1937, NOTED. AS THE JUDGE ADVOCATE GENERAL HAS HELD THAT VETERAN WAS DISHONORABLY DISCHARGED HE IS NOT A "VETERAN" WITHIN THE MEANING OF TITLE 1, SEC. 2 (A) (1) OF THE WORLD WAR ADJUSTED COMPENSATION ACT, 43 STAT. 121. SEE 11 COMP. GEN. 284.'

BEFORE REPLYING TO THIS STATEMENT, THE VETERANS' ADMINISTRATION FORWARDED TO THE WAR DEPARTMENT A COPY OF DECISION A-40324 DATED JANUARY 26, 1932 (11 COMP. GEN. 284), CITED BY THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE, AND A COPY OF DECISION A-38633 DATED SEPTEMBER 24, 1931, RENDERED BY THE COMPTROLLER GENERAL IN A SIMILAR CASE, WITH THE REQUEST THAT FURTHER INFORMATION BE FURNISHED REGARDING THE VETERAN'S ELIGIBILITY TO RECEIVE ADJUSTED COMPENSATION. THE WAR DEPARTMENT REPLIED IN A COMMUNICATION DATED OCTOBER 22, 1937:

"2. THIS FORMER SOLDIER WAS SENTENCED TO BE DISHONORABLY DISCHARGED, TO FORFEIT ALL PAY AND ALLOWANCES DUE OR TO BECOME DUE, AND TO BE CONFINED AT HARD LABOR FOR TEN YEARS. THE SENTENCE WAS APPROVED BUT THE PERIOD OF CONFINEMENT WAS REDUCED TO TWO YEARS AND, AS THUS MITIGATED, THE SENTENCE WAS ORDERED EXECUTED, AND DENNICK WAS DISHONORABLY DISCHARGED ON OCTOBER 12, 1919. ON JUNE 12, 1920, THE UNEXECUTED PORTION OF THE SENTENCE WAS REMITTED AND, ON HIS OWN APPLICATION, DENNICK WAS HONORABLY RESTORED TO DUTY, AND ASSIGNED TO THE COAST ARTILLERY CORPS, AND HONORABLY DISCHARGED ON JUNE 16, 1920. RESTORATION TO DUTY, UNDER SUCH CIRCUMSTANCES, WAS AUTHORIZED BY PARAGRAPH 7, SECTION 2, ACT OF MARCH 4, 1915 (38 STAT. 1085).

"3. AN APPLICATION FOR ADJUSTED COMPENSATION WAS RECEIVED IN THIS OFFICE ON JULY 21, 1924, FROM THIS FORMER SOLDIER. AT THE TIME OF RECEIPT, THE RULING OF THE JUDGE ADVOCATE GENERAL, WHICH HAD RECEIVED THE APPROVAL OF THE SECRETARY OF WAR, IS TO BE FOUND IN A MEMORANDUM OF THE JUDGE ADVOCATE GENERAL (GENERAL CROWDER) TO THE SECRETARY OF WAR (MR. GARRISON), DATED FEBRUARY 25, 1914, WHEREIN IT WAS HELD THAT "HONORABLE RESTORATION * * * DOES NOT MEAN A NEW ENLISTMENT; IT DOES MEAN A REVIVAL OF THE OLD ENLISTMENT AND THE REINSTATEMENT OF THE DELINQUENT IN IT AT THE POINT WHERE HE QUITTED IT IN DISHONOR.' THIS LANGUAGE WAS QUOTED IN LATER OPINIONS OF THE JUDGE ADVOCATE GENERAL, AND WAS THE APPROVED POLICY FOR MANY YEARS. (DIG.OPS.J.A.G. 1912-1917, PAGE 349; C.M.NO. 133756, FEB. 15, 1926.) ACTING ON THE PRINCIPLE LAID DOWN IN THIS PRECEDENT THE WAR DEPARTMENT CONSISTENTLY HELD THAT THERE WAS NO SEPARATION FROM THE SERVICE UNDER OTHER THAN HONORABLE CONDITIONS UNTIL, IN THE CASE OF ALBERT J. FORTIN, OPS.J.A.G., 260, DECEMBER 28, 1926, THE JUDGE ADVOCATE GENERAL TOOK THE SAME VIEW AS HAD BEEN TAKEN BY THE COMPTROLLER GENERAL, IN 2 COMP. GEN. 162, TO WHICH YOU REFER, VIZ, THAT THERE WERE, IN EFFECT, IN THESE CASES OF RESTORATION TO DUTY, TWO PERIODS OF ENLISTMENT AND THAT THE FIRST PERIOD WAS FULLY TERMINATED BY DISHONORABLE DISCHARGE. THIS, OF COURSE, WAS A REVERSAL OF THE EARLIER DOCTRINE AND WHEN THE NEXT CASE OF THIS NATURE WAS PRESENTED, ON AN APPLICATION FOR ADJUSTED COMPENSATION, CREDIT WAS DENIED FOR THE FIRST PERIOD OF SERVICE AND ALLOWED ONLY FOR THE SECOND PERIOD (WHICH HAD OCCURRED BEFORE JULY 1, 1919). (OPS.J.A.G., 253.12, JULIUS STALINSKI, NOVEMBER 23, 1931.) ON THE THEORY THAT THIS OPINION WAS A PRECEDENT NOT ONLY FOR ALL FUTURE CASES BUT FOR CASES ALREADY ADJUDICATED, REQUEST WAS MADE OF YOUR OFFICE FOR THE CANCELLATION OF CERTAIN CERTIFICATES, OF WHICH THE INSTANT CASE ISAN EXAMPLE, AS APPEARS FROM MY LETTER OF OCTOBER 8, 1935, BUT ON THIS PROCEDURE BEING BROUGHT TO THE ATTENTION OF THE JUDGE ADVOCATE GENERAL, HE RULED, IN THE CASE OF JOHN WARREN, OPS.J.A.G., 242.17, FEBRUARY 19, 1936, THAT IN CERTIFYING AN APPLICATION, IN OCTOBER 1924, IN RELIANCE UPON APPROVED OPINIONS OF THE JUDGE ADVOCATE GENERAL, THEN STANDING AS PRECEDENTS, SUCH CERTIFICATION WAS LEGAL AND TO ATTEMPT TO WITHDRAW THE SAME, BECAUSE OF A LATER AND DIFFERENT CONSTRUCTION OF THE LAW, WOULD BE ILLEGAL. CONSEQUENCE OF THIS RULING, YOU WERE REQUESTED, IN MY INDORSEMENT OF MARCH 16, 1936, IN THE INSTANT CASE, TO REINSTATE THE CERTIFICATION.

"4. SUMMARIZING, THE WAR DEPARTMENT DOES NOT DISTURB CERTIFICATIONS MADE UNDER THE OLD RULING BUT WHEN THE QUESTION IS NOW PRESENTED, FOR THE FIRST TIME, FOLLOWS THE NEW RULING OF THE JUDGE ADVOCATE GENERAL.

"5. CAREFUL CONSIDERATION HAS BEEN GIVEN TO THE DECISIONS OF THE COMPTROLLER GENERAL WHICH YOU CITE OR OF WHICH COPIES ARE ENCLOSED. IT IS NOT BELIEVED THAT 11 COMP. GEN. 284 IS IN POINT, AS THERE HAS BEEN NO DETERMINATION THAT THIS SOLDIER WAS "DISCHARGED NOT UNDER HONORABLE NDITIONS," BUT QUITE THE REVERSE. THE WAR DEPARTMENT, THEREFORE, REGARDS ITS DETERMINATION AS FINAL AND CONCLUSIVE, UNDER SECTIONS 305 AND 310 OF THE WORLD WAR ADJUSTED COMPENSATION ACT.

"6. AS TO THE TWO DECISIONS OF THE COMPTROLLER GENERAL RESPECTING NAVY ADJUSTED COMPENSATION CASES, BOTH ARE BASED ON THE THEORY THAT THERE WERE TWO DISCHARGES OTHER THAN HONORABLE FROM THE SAME ENLISTMENT, WHICH IS NOT THE THEORY OF THE EARLIER WAR DEPARTMENT RULE, AS IT IS UNDERSTOOD IN THIS OFFICE. FURTHER, IN NEITHER OF SAID CASES WAS ANY DISCHARGE HELD TO HAVE BEEN GRANTED UNDER HONORABLE CONDITIONS, WHICH AGAIN DISTINGUISHES THE CASE FROM THE INSTANT CASE.

"7. THE DETERMINATION OF THE SECRETARY OF WAR IS REGARDED AS MADE IN RELIANCE UPON THE ADVICE OF HIS LEGAL ADVISER AND PURSUANT TO HIS AUTHORITY TO DETERMINE WHO IS A "VETERAN," WITHIN THE MEANING OF SECTION 2 OF THE WORLD WAR ADJUSTED COMPENSATION ACT, AS AUTHORIZED BY SECTIONS 305 AND 310 THEREOF.'

THIS INFORMATION WAS TRANSMITTED TO THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE ON DECEMBER 8, 1937. THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE, HOWEVER, ISSUED NOTICE OF EXCEPTION (FORM 2084) ON JANUARY 11, 1938, WHICH READS IN PART:

"REPLY DATED DECEMBER 8, 1937, NOTED. EXCEPTION IS ADHERED TO. THERE WOULD APPEAR TO BE NO AUTHORITY FOR CONTINUING THE PRACTICE OF REGARDING RESTORATION AFTER DISHONORABLE DISCHARGE AS A REVIVAL OF THE OLD ENLISTMENT AFTER AUGUST 31, 1922, THE DATE OF DECISION OF THE COMPTROLLER GENERAL (2 COMP. GEN. 162), WHICH RULING WAS SUBSEQUENTLY ADOPTED BY THE JUDGE ADVOCATE GENERAL.'

SECTION 305 OF THE WORLD WAR ADJUSTED COMPENSATION ACT, 1924, AS AMENDED, PROVIDES: "IMMEDIATELY UPON THE ENACTMENT OF THIS ACT THE SECRETARY OF WAR AND THE SECRETARY OF THE NAVY SHALL ASCERTAIN THE INDIVIDUALS WHO ARE VETERANS AS DEFINED IN SECTION 2, AND, AS TO EACH VETERAN, THE NUMBER OF DAYS OF OVERSEA SERVICE AND OF HOME SERVICE, AS DEFINED IN SECTION 2, FOR WHICH HE IS ENTITLED TO RECEIVE ADJUSTED SERVICE CREDIT, AND THEIR FINDINGS SHALL NOT BE SUBJECT TO REVIEW BY THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE, AND PAYMENTS MADE BY DISBURSING OFFICERS OF THE UNITED STATES VETERANS' BUREAU MADE IN ACCORDANCE WITH SUCH FINDINGS SHALL BE PASSED TO THEIR CREDIT.'

SECTION 310 OF THE WORLD WAR ADJUSTED COMPENSATION ACT, 1924, AS AMENDED, READS:

"THE DECISIONS OF THE SECRETARY OF WAR, THE SECRETARY OF THE NAVY, AND THE DIRECTOR, ON ALL MATTERS WITHIN THEIR RESPECTIVE JURISDICTIONS UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF THIS ACT (EXCEPT THE DUTIES VESTED IN THEM BY TITLE VII) SHALL BE FINAL AND CONCLUSIVE.'

UNDER THE AUTHORITY OF THESE SECTIONS, THE WAR DEPARTMENT HAS DECLARED ITS DETERMINATION AS TO MR. DENNICK'S ELIGIBILITY TO RECEIVE ADJUSTED COMPENSATION AS FINAL AND CONCLUSIVE. THE EXCEPTION TAKEN BY THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE, HOWEVER, REQUIRES THE VETERANS' ADMINISTRATION TO RECOVER THE AMOUNT OF THE LOANS GRANTED TO MR. DENNICK ON CERTIFICATE NO. 1,268,352 AND THE INTEREST ACCRUED THEREON TO THE DATE OF REPAYMENT, IN ADDITION TO THE AMOUNT CERTIFIED FOR PAYMENT ON CERTIFICATE NO. 3,943,072 UNDER THE ADJUSTED COMPENSATION PAYMENT ACT, 1936. THE VETERANS' ADMINISTRATION HAS NO AUTHORITY UNDER THE LAW TO CANCEL ADJUSTED SERVICE CERTIFICATE NO. 3,943,072 AND THUS TO RECOVER THE AMOUNT INVOLVED FROM THE VETERAN, EXCEPT UPON THE CANCELLATION OF THE VETERAN'S ADJUSTED SERVICE CREDIT BY THE WAR DEPARTMENT. UNDER THE CIRCUMSTANCES AS OUTLINED IT IS RESPECTFULLY REQUESTED THAT FURTHER CONSIDERATION BE GIVEN THIS CASE WITH A VIEW OF REMOVING THE EXCEPTION TAKEN TO THE PAYMENTS OF ADJUSTED COMPENSATION MADE TO MR. DENNICK BY THE VETERANS' ADMINISTRATION.

THE SECRETARY OF WAR HAVING FINALLY DETERMINED ON THE FACTS AND LAW INVOLVED THAT GEORGE DENNICK, A-1,378,453 WAS A "VETERAN" WITHIN THE MEANING OF THE WORLD WAR ADJUSTED COMPENSATION ACT, NOTWITHSTANDING HIS DISHONORABLE DISCHARGE FROM HIS WAR ENLISTMENT, AND ALTHOUGH CONTRARY TO THE VIEWS EXPRESSED BY THE FORMER COMPTROLLER GENERAL (2 COMP. GEN. 162, 167), AND THE VETERANS' ADMINISTRATION HAVING ISSUED AN ADJUSTED SERVICE CERTIFICATE TO THE VETERAN ON THE BASIS OF THE CERTIFICATION OF THE WAR DEPARTMENT, UNDER WHICH SETTLEMENT HAS BEEN MADE, SECTIONS 305 AND 310 OF THE WORLD WAR ADJUSTED COMPENSATION ACT CLEARLY AND DEFINITELY PRECLUDE THIS OFFICE FROM DISALLOWING CREDIT OF OTHERWISE LAWFUL PAYMENTS MADE ON THE ADJUSTED SERVICE CERTIFICATE BY THE DISBURSING OFFICER. THIS OFFICE HAS DISCHARGED ITS DUTY IN THE CASE BY BRINGING ATTENTION THROUGH THE EXCEPTIONS TO THE PAYMENTS IN THE AUDIT OF ACCOUNTS TO WHAT THIS OFFICE FINDS IS AN UNLAWFUL PAYMENT TO A SOLDIER WHO WAS EXPRESSLY EXCLUDED FROM THE BENEFITS OF THE WORLD WAR ADJUSTED COMPENSATION ACT BY REASON OF HIS DISHONORABLE DISCHARGE FROM THE ARMY ENLISTMENT CURRENT DURING THE WAR PERIOD. 11 COMP. GEN. 284. YOU ARE ADVISED, THEREFORE, THAT CREDIT IN THE ACCOUNTS WILL NOW BE ALLOWED FOR THE PAYMENTS IN QUESTION.