A-98398, OCTOBER 13, 1938, 18 COMP. GEN. 335

A-98398: Oct 13, 1938

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IS AS FOLLOWS: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF JUNE 6. ADVISING THAT THE SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR IS AUTHORIZED TO INCUR CONTRACTUAL OBLIGATIONS FOR THE PURCHASE OF PRIVATELY OWNED LANDS WITHIN EXISTING NATIONAL PARKS AND MONUMENTS ON A 50-50 BASIS TO THE EXTENT OF $1. IS LIMITED TO ENTERING INTO CONTRACTUAL OBLIGATIONS FOR THE PURCHASE OF PRIVATELY OWNED LANDS WITHIN NATIONAL PARKS AND MONUMENTS IN EXISTENCE ON MARCH 4. HAS BEEN SUGGESTED THAT THE USE OF THE WORD "EXISTING" IN THE ABOVE-CITED STATUTE WAS INTENDED TO PROHIBIT THE INCURRING OF CONTRACTUAL OBLIGATIONS FOR THE PURCHASE OF LANDS WITHIN AREAS AUTHORIZED OR PROPOSED TO BE INCLUDED WITHIN NATIONAL PARKS AND MONUMENTS. THIS DEPARTMENT IS CONSIDERING THE NEGOTIATION OF CONTRACTS FOR THE PURCHASE OF PRIVATELY OWNED LANDS WITHIN THE OLYMPIC NATIONAL PARK.

A-98398, OCTOBER 13, 1938, 18 COMP. GEN. 335

PURCHASE OF PRIVATE LANDS IN NATIONAL PARKS, ETC. - STATUTORY LIMITATIONS ACQUISITIONS OF LAND IN NATIONAL PARKS AND NATIONAL MONUMENTS, BY THE INTERIOR DEPARTMENT UNDER AUTHORITY CONFERRED BY THE PROVISO IN THE INTERIOR DEPARTMENT APPROPRIATION ACT OF MARCH 4, 1929, 45 STAT. 1600, MUST BE LIMITED, BECAUSE OF THE TERMS OF THE SAID ACT, TO NATIONAL PARKS AND MONUMENTS IN EXISTENCE ON THAT DATE. 17 COMP. GEN. 1052, AMPLIFIED.

ACTING COMPTROLLER GENERAL ELLIOTT TO THE SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR, OCTOBER 13, 1938:

YOUR LETTER OF OCTOBER 5, 1938, IS AS FOLLOWS:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF JUNE 6, 1938, IN REPLY TO DEPARTMENTAL LETTER OF APRIL 15, ADVISING THAT THE SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR IS AUTHORIZED TO INCUR CONTRACTUAL OBLIGATIONS FOR THE PURCHASE OF PRIVATELY OWNED LANDS WITHIN EXISTING NATIONAL PARKS AND MONUMENTS ON A 50-50 BASIS TO THE EXTENT OF $1,000,000 AUTHORIZED BY THE ACT OF MARCH 4, 1929 (45 STAT. 1600).

SOME DOUBT EXISTS AS TO WHETHER THE SECRETARY'S AUTHORITY, IS LIMITED TO ENTERING INTO CONTRACTUAL OBLIGATIONS FOR THE PURCHASE OF PRIVATELY OWNED LANDS WITHIN NATIONAL PARKS AND MONUMENTS IN EXISTENCE ON MARCH 4, 1929, OR WHETHER SUCH AUTHORITY EXTENDS TO NATIONAL PARKS AND MONUMENTS EXISTING ON THE DATE OF THE CONTRACT, BUT NOT IN EXISTENCE ON MARCH 4, 1929. HAS BEEN SUGGESTED THAT THE USE OF THE WORD "EXISTING" IN THE ABOVE-CITED STATUTE WAS INTENDED TO PROHIBIT THE INCURRING OF CONTRACTUAL OBLIGATIONS FOR THE PURCHASE OF LANDS WITHIN AREAS AUTHORIZED OR PROPOSED TO BE INCLUDED WITHIN NATIONAL PARKS AND MONUMENTS.

PURSUANT TO THE ABOVE-MENTIONED AUTHORITY, THIS DEPARTMENT IS CONSIDERING THE NEGOTIATION OF CONTRACTS FOR THE PURCHASE OF PRIVATELY OWNED LANDS WITHIN THE OLYMPIC NATIONAL PARK, ESTABLISHED BY THE ACT OF JUNE 29, 1938 (PUBLIC NO. 778, 75TH CONGRESS). THIS NATIONAL PARK INCLUDES THE AREA FORMERLY COMPRISING THE MOUNT OLYMPUS NATIONAL MONUMENT, ESTABLISHED BY PRESIDENTIAL PROCLAMATION OF MARCH 2, 1909 (35 STAT. 2247). THE LANDS UNDER CONSIDERATION FOR PURCHASE ARE WITHIN THE OLYMPIC NATIONAL PARK, BUT ARE OUTSIDE OF THE FORMER MONUMENT AREA.

YOUR DECISION ON THE ABOVE IS REQUESTED.

THE PROVISIONS OF LAW IN QUESTION IS A PROVISO IN THE APPROPRIATION FOR THE ACQUISITION OF PRIVATELY OWNED LANDS AND STANDING TIMBER "WITHIN THE BOUNDARIES OF EXISTING NATIONAL PARKS AND NATIONAL MONUMENTS" AS MADE BY THE ACT OF MARCH 4, 1929, 45 STAT. 1600, AS FOLLOWS:

* * * PROVIDED, THAT IN ADDITION TO THE AMOUNT HEREIN APPROPRIATED THE SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR MAY INCUR OBLIGATIONS AND ENTER INTO CONTRACTS FOR ADDITIONAL ACQUISITION OF PRIVATELY OWNED LANDS AND/OR STANDING TIMBER IN THE EXISTING NATIONAL PARKS AND NATIONAL MONUMENTS NOT EXCEEDING A TOTAL OF $2,750,000 AS MATCHING FUNDS, FROM OUTSIDE SOURCES ARE DONATED FOR THE SAME PURPOSE, AND HIS ACTION IN SO DOING SHALL BE CONSIDERED CONTRACTUAL OBLIGATIONS OF THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT: * * *

IN THE CONSTRUCTION OF STATUTES ONE OF THE CARDINAL RULES IS THAT EFFECT MUST BE GIVEN, IS POSSIBLE, TO EACH AND EVERY WORD. SULLIVAN V. ASSOCIATED BILL POSTERS AND DISTRIBUTORS OF THE UNITED STATES AND CANADA, 6 FED./2D) 1000. SEE ALSO, SECTION 380, LEWIS SUTHERLAND STATUTORY CONSTRUCTION. HAD THE CONGRESS OMITTED THE WORD "EXISTING THE STATUTE WOULD HAVE REFERRED TO THE ACQUISITION OF LANDS "IN NATIONAL PARKS AND NATIONAL MONUMENTS" AND WOULD THEN HAVE BEEN APPLICABLE TO ANY NATIONAL PARK OR MONUMENT IRRESPECTIVE OF THE DATE WHEN ESTABLISHED. HOWEVER, THE INSERTION OF THE WORD "EXISTING" IN THE ACT CAN HAVE ONLY ONE MEANING, THAT IS, TO LIMIT PRIVATE LAND ACQUISITIONS IN NATIONAL PARKS AND MONUMENTS IN EXISTENCE ON THE DATE OF THE ACT AS ANY OTHER CONSTRUCTION WOULD RENDER THE USE OF THE WORD SUPERFLUOUS AND MEANINGLESS. IT MUST BE HELD, THEREFORE, THAT THE ACT OF MARCH 4, 1929, CONSTITUTES NO AUTHORITY FOR THE ACQUISITION OF LANDS WHICH WERE NOT WITHIN THE BOUNDARIES OF A NATIONAL PARK OR MONUMENT ON THE DATE OF THE ACT.

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