B-10517, JUNE 18, 1940, 19 COMP. GEN. 1004

B-10517: Jun 18, 1940

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1940: I HAVE YOUR LETTER OF MAY 23. THE SECRETARY OF AGRICULTURE IS AUTHORIZED AND DIRECTED TO ESTABLISH. APPROPRIATIONS HAVE BEEN MADE FOR THE CARRYING OUT OF THIS PURPOSE IN THE ANNUAL APPROPRIATION ACT FOR THIS DEPARTMENT. SECTIONS 202 (A) TO 202 (D) OF THE AGRICULTURAL ADJUSTMENT ACT OF 1938 ARE AS FOLLOWS: "SEC. 202. (A) THE SECRETARY IS HEREBY AUTHORIZED AND DIRECTED TO ESTABLISH. SUCH RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT SHALL BE DEVOTED PRIMARILY TO THOSE FARM COMMODITIES IN WHICH THERE ARE REGULAR OR SEASONAL SURPLUSES. THE SECRETARY IS AUTHORIZED TO ACQUIRE LAND AND INTERESTS THEREIN. THE SECRETARY IS AUTHORIZED AND DIRECTED TO COOPERATE WITH OTHER DEPARTMENTS OR AGENCIES OF THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT.

B-10517, JUNE 18, 1940, 19 COMP. GEN. 1004

APPROPRIATIONS - USE AT OTHER THAN SPECIFIED LABORATORIES PENDING THEIR COMPLETION FUNDS AVAILABLE TO THE DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE FOR PERFORMING RESEARCH WORK AT THE FOUR REGIONAL RESEARCH LABORATORIES BEING ESTABLISHED PURSUANT TO SECTION 202 OF THE AGRICULTURAL ADJUSTMENT ACT OF 1938, MAY BE USED, PENDING THE COMPLETION OF THE REGIONAL LABORATORY BUILDINGS, FOR RESEARCH WORK ELSEWHERE OF THE KIND AUTHORIZED BY LAW TO BE PERFORMED BY SUCH LABORATORIES.

ACTING COMPTROLLER GENERAL ELLIOTT TO THE SECRETARY OF AGRICULTURE, JUNE 18, 1940:

I HAVE YOUR LETTER OF MAY 23, 1940, AS FOLLOWS:

UNDER SECTION 202 OF THE AGRICULTURAL ADJUSTMENT ACT OF 1938, THE SECRETARY OF AGRICULTURE IS AUTHORIZED AND DIRECTED TO ESTABLISH, EQUIP, AND MAINTAIN FOUR REGIONAL RESEARCH LABORATORIES, AND APPROPRIATIONS HAVE BEEN MADE FOR THE CARRYING OUT OF THIS PURPOSE IN THE ANNUAL APPROPRIATION ACT FOR THIS DEPARTMENT. SECTIONS 202 (A) TO 202 (D) OF THE AGRICULTURAL ADJUSTMENT ACT OF 1938 ARE AS FOLLOWS:

"SEC. 202. (A) THE SECRETARY IS HEREBY AUTHORIZED AND DIRECTED TO ESTABLISH, EQUIP, AND MAINTAIN FOUR REGIONAL RESEARCH LABORATORIES, ONE IN EACH MAJOR FARM PRODUCING AREA, AND AT SUCH LABORATORIES TO CONDUCT RESEARCHES INTO AND TO DEVELOP NEW SCIENTIFIC, CHEMICAL, AND TECHNICAL USES AND NEW AND EXTENDED MARKETS AND OUTLETS FOR FARM COMMODITIES AND PRODUCTS AND BYPRODUCTS THEREOF. SUCH RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT SHALL BE DEVOTED PRIMARILY TO THOSE FARM COMMODITIES IN WHICH THERE ARE REGULAR OR SEASONAL SURPLUSES, AND THEIR PRODUCTS AND BYPRODUCTS.

"/B) FOR THE PURPOSES OF SUBSECTION (A), THE SECRETARY IS AUTHORIZED TO ACQUIRE LAND AND INTERESTS THEREIN, AND TO ACCEPT IN THE NAME OF THE UNITED STATES DONATIONS OF ANY PROPERTY, REAL OR PERSONAL, TO ANY LABORATORY ESTABLISHED PURSUANT TO THIS SECTION, AND TO UTILIZE VOLUNTARY OR UNCOMPENSATED SERVICES AT SUCH LABORATORIES. DONATIONS TO ANY ONE OF SUCH LABORATORIES SHALL NOT BE AVAILABLE FOR USE BY ANY OTHER OF SUCH LABORATORIES.

"/C)IN CARRYING OUT THE PURPOSES OF SUBSECTION (A), THE SECRETARY IS AUTHORIZED AND DIRECTED TO COOPERATE WITH OTHER DEPARTMENTS OR AGENCIES OF THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT, STATES, STATE AGRICULTURAL EXPERIMENT STATIONS, AND OTHER STATE AGENCIES AND INSTITUTIONS, COUNTIES, MUNICIPALITIES, BUSINESS OR OTHER ORGANIZATIONS, CORPORATIONS, ASSOCIATIONS, UNIVERSITIES, SCIENTIFIC SOCIETIES, AND INDIVIDUALS UPON SUCH TERMS AND CONDITIONS AS HE MAY PRESCRIBE.

"/D) TO CARRY OUT THE PURPOSES OF SUBSECTION (A), THE SECRETARY IS AUTHORIZED TO UTILIZE IN EACH FISCAL YEAR, BEGINNING WITH THE FISCAL YEAR BEGINNING JULY 1, 1938, A SUM NOT TO EXCEED $4,000,000 OF THE FUNDS APPROPRIATED PURSUANT TO SECTION 391 OF THIS ACT, OR SECTION 15 OF THE SOIL CONSERVATION AND DOMESTIC ALLOTMENT ACT, AS AMENDED, FOR SUCH FISCAL YEAR. THE SECRETARY SHALL ALLOCATE ONE-FOURTH OF SUCH SUM ANNUALLY TO EACH OF THE FOUR LABORATORIES ESTABLISHED PURSUANT TO THIS SECTION.'

IN ACCORDANCE WITH THIS AUTHORITY AND UNDER THE APPROPRIATIONS MADE, THE CONSTRUCTION AND EQUIPMENT OF THE LABORATORY BUILDINGS HAS PROCEEDED, BEING ONLY PARTIALLY COMPLETED IN THE CASE OF CERTAIN LABORATORIES. NECESSITY, INITIATION OF A LARGE-SCALE PROGRAM OF THIS TYPE REQUIRES THE GRADUAL PROCUREMENT AND INSTALLATION, EVEN AFTER BUILDINGS ARE COMPLETED, OF EQUIPMENT AND FACILITIES, AND THE PERIODIC TRANSFER TO SUCH LOCATIONS OF THE EXISTING PROJECTS AND PERSONNEL WHICH ARE THEREAFTER TO BE ENGAGED UNDER THE PROGRAM. FOR EXAMPLE, THE EASTERN REGIONAL LABORATORY BUILDING AT PHILADELPHIA IS EXPECTED TO BE AVAILABLE FOR PARTIAL OCCUPANCY BY THE DEPARTMENT IN AUGUST OF THIS YEAR, BUT IT WILL BE IMPOSSIBLE, DUE TO THE LIMITED FUNDS AVAILABLE, TO INITIATE ALL RESEARCH WORK AT OR IN THE LABORATORY BUILDING UNTIL THE NECESSARY EQUIPMENT IS MADE AVAILABLE.

FOR SOME YEARS THE DEPARTMENT HAS BEEN CONDUCTING ESSENTIAL AND VALUABLE RESEARCH WORK IN THE INDUSTRIAL FARM PRODUCTS RESEARCH DIVISION OF THE BUREAU OF AGRICULTURAL CHEMISTRY AND ENGINEERING (FORMERLY THE BUREAU OF CHEMISTRY AND SOILS). THIS OFFICE HAS BEEN FUNCTIONING UNDER AN ITEM IN THE ANNUAL APPROPRIATION ACTS ENTITLED " INDUSTRIAL UTILIZATION OF FARM PRODUCTS AND BYPRODUCTS," CARRYING A SPECIFIC APPROPRIATION ANNUALLY FOR THIS WORK. INCLUDED AMONG THE PROJECTS CARRIED ON UNDER THIS APPROPRIATION IS THE PROJECT ON TANNING MATERIALS, HIDES, SKINS, AND LEATHER, WHICH IS AN EXTREMELY IMPORTANT PROJECT FROM THE STANDPOINT OF INDUSTRIAL UTILIZATION. HOWEVER, THE ITEM ON INDUSTRIAL UTILIZATION OF FARM PRODUCTS AND BYPRODUCTS WAS ELIMINATED FROM THE APPROPRIATION BILL FOR THIS DEPARTMENT FOR THE FISCAL YEAR 1941, THE FOLLOWING REPORT BEING MADE BY THE HOUSE APPROPRIATIONS COMMITTEE:

" INDUSTRIAL UTILIZATION OF FARM PRODUCTS AND BY-PRODUCTS--- THE COMMITTEE HAVE ELIMINATED THIS ITEM FROM THE BILL FOR THE REASON THAT THE RESEARCHES THEREUNDER ARE IDENTICAL IN CHARACTER AND WITH RESPECT TO OBJECTIVE WITH THOSE TO BE CONDUCTED IN THE FOUR REGIONAL LABORATORIES. THE BUDGET ESTIMATE OF $120,300 INCLUDES A REDUCTION OF $56,575 TO BE TRANSFERRED TO THE FOUR RESEARCH LABORATORIES. THE COMMITTEE BELIEVE THAT THE ENTIRE ACTIVITY SHOULD BE TAKEN OVER AT ONCE, BEGINNING JULY 1, BY THE RESEARCH LABORATORIES AND THAT THE AMOUNT OF $3,200,000 FOR THE LATTER IS SUFFICIENT TO ABSORB THE REDUCTION RESULTING FROM THE ELIMINATION OF THIS ITEM FROM THE BILL.' (P. 8 REPORT NO. 1540, HOUSE COMMITTEE ON APPROPRIATIONS, DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE APPROPRIATION BILL, FISCAL YEAR 1941.)

IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE ACTION TAKEN BY THE COMMITTEE, THE DEPARTMENT IMMEDIATELY MADE PREPARATIONS FOR THE TRANSFER OF THE WORK WHICH WAS TO HAVE BEEN CARRIED ON UNDER THE ITEM " INDUSTRIAL UTILIZATION OF FARM PRODUCTS AND BYPRODUCTS" TO THE RESEARCH LABORATORIES. IN THE SPECIFIC INSTANCE OF THE PROJECT ON TANNING MATERIALS, HIDES, SKINS, AND LEATHER, THIS WORK IS PLANNED TO BE CARRIED ON IN THE EASTERN REGIONAL LABORATORY BUILDING AT PHILADELPHIA, WHICH WILL NOT BE READY OR EQUIPPED IN THE EARLY PART OF THE NEXT FISCAL YEAR TO CARRY ON THIS WORK. ALTERNATIVELY, THEREFORE, IT IS PROPOSED, PENDING THE ADEQUATE EQUIPPING OF THIS LABORATORY FOR THIS WORK, TO CARRY ON SUCH WORK IN WASHINGTON, WHERE FACILITIES NOW EXIST, AND TO PROVIDE, OF COURSE, AS INDICATED BY THE HOUSE APPROPRIATIONS COMMITTEE, FOR THE CONDUCT OF THIS WORK FROM APPROPRIATIONS MADE AVAILABLE FOR THE EASTERN REGIONAL LABORATORY. UNTIL SUCH TIME AS IT IS POSSIBLE TO TRANSFER THIS WORK TO PHILADELPHIA, IT IS IMPERATIVE THAT THERE BE NO DISLOCATION IN THIS WORK, SINCE IF IT WERE NECESSARY TO TRANSFER ALL PERSONNEL NOW ENGAGED ON THIS PROJECT TO THE REGIONAL LABORATORY BUILDINGS, IT WOULD BE NECESSARY TO ENGAGE THEM IN OTHER TYPES OF WORK TO BE PERFORMED IN THE LABORATORY, WHICH WOULD CAUSE SERIOUS DETRIMENT TO THE RESEARCH ON TANNING MATERIALS, ETC.

IT SHOULD BE NOTED HERE THAT THE SENATE RESTORED $45,100 OF THE " INDUSTRIAL UTILIZATION OF FARM PRODUCTS AND BYPRODUCTS" ITEM, SUCH REDUCED SUM BEING SOLELY FOR THE CONTINUED OPERATION OF THE AMES, IOWA, LABORATORY. THE ITEM WAS THEN REDUCED IN THE RECOMMENDATIONS OF THE CONFERENCE COMMITTEE TO $22,550. (SEE CONFERENCE REPORT ON DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE APPROPRIATION BILL, 1941, HOUSE REPORT NO. 2024, 76TH CONGRESS, 3RD SESSION, PAGE 10.) THIS SMALL REMAINDER OF THE TOTAL AMOUNT ORIGINALLY SOUGHT WILL HAVE ONLY SLIGHT EFFECT ON THE GENERAL PROBLEM HERE STATED, AND WILL NOT AFFECT THE PARTICULAR CONDITIONS DESCRIBED.

IT HAS BEEN THE BELIEF OF THE DEPARTMENT FOR SOME TIME THAT, RECOGNIZING THE TIME NECESSARY TO BE CONSUMED IN THE CONSTRUCTION AND EQUIPMENT OF THE LABORATORIES, CERTAIN WORK WHICH IS TO BE TRANSFERRED AND TO BE PERFORMED IN THE LABORATORY BUILDINGS MUST BE CARRIED ON WITHOUT INTERRUPTION AT THE LOCATION OF THE BEST AVAILABLE FACILITIES IN THE REGION, UNTIL SUCH TIME AS THE LABORATORY BUILDINGS ARE ACTUALLY AVAILABLE FOR THIS WORK. THIS NECESSITY IS MADE ESPECIALLY APPARENT BY REASON OF THE ACTION OF THE COMMITTEES DESCRIBED ABOVE, AS A RESULT OF WHICH THERE HAS BEEN ELIMINATED FROM THE DEPARTMENT APPROPRIATION BILL THE MAJOR PORTION OF THE SEPARATE APPROPRIATION FOR " INDUSTRIAL UTILIZATION OF FARM PRODUCTS AND BYPRODUCTS," INDICATING AN INTENT THAT SUCH ACTIVITY SHOULD BE TAKEN OVER BY THE REGIONAL RESEARCH LABORATORIES.

IT IS BELIEVED, THEREFORE, THAT THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 202 (A) OF THE AGRICULTURAL ADJUSTMENT ACT OF 1938 ARE NOT TO BE CONSTRUED AS REQUIRING THAT ALL RESEARCH DESCRIBED BY THE ACT IS NECESSARILY TO BE PERFORMED ONLY IN THE BUILDING WHICH HAPPENS TO BE CHOSEN FOR THE CONSOLIDATION AND COORDINATION OF WORK WITHIN EACH MAJOR FARM PRODUCING AREA, BUT THAT THE SECTION CONTEMPLATES THAT THE WORK MAY BE CARRIED ON AT SUCH TEMPORARY LABORATORY OR HEADQUARTERS AS THE DIRECTOR OF THAT LABORATORY FINDS NECESSARY TO UTILIZE, PENDING SUCH TIME AS THE FACILITIES OF THE CENTRALIZED BUILDING ARE AVAILABLE. THAT IS, THE DEPARTMENT DOES NOT FEEL THAT A REGIONAL RESEARCH LABORATORY CONSISTS ONLY OF THE BUILDING WHICH IS CHOSEN FOR CENTRALIZED WORK, WHEN SO TO INTERPRET THE SECTION WOULD MEAN THAT NECESSARY RESEARCH WORK MAY NOT BE CARRIED ON UNTIL THAT BUILDING IS COMPLETE AND EQUIPPED FOR EACH TYPE OF WORK INVOLVED. IT IS OBVIOUSLY THE BELIEF OF THE APPROPRIATIONS COMMITTEE THAT THE APPROPRIATIONS MADE AVAILABLE FOR THESE LABORATORIES ARE TO BE UTILIZED IMMEDIATELY FOR CERTAIN FUNCTIONS EVEN THOUGH THE LABORATORY BUILDINGS MAY NOT BE COMPLETE OR READY FOR SUCH PURPOSES. MOREOVER, SECTION 202 (C) OF THE ACT PROVIDES FOR COOPERATION BY THE SECRETARY WITH OTHER DEPARTMENTS AND AGENCIES OF THE FEDERAL AND STATE GOVERNMENTS, AND ALSO PRIVATE INTERESTS,"UPON SUCH TERMS AND CONDITIONS AS HE MAY PRESCRIBE.' SINCE IT IS APPARENT THAT IN CARRYING OUT SUCH COOPERATION, AND IN PROSECUTING CERTAIN PROJECTS, SUCH AS PRELIMINARY WORK ON PERISHABLE PRODUCTS, IT MAY FROM TIME TO TIME BE NECESSARY TO PERFORM SOME WORK AT LOCATIONS OTHER THAN THE PHYSICAL SITES OF THE LABORATORY BUILDINGS, IT MUST HAVE BEEN THE INTENTION OF CONGRESS THAT THE RESEARCH WORK IN EACH MAJOR FARM PRODUCING AREA BE PERFORMED IN A CENTRALIZED BUILDING INSOFAR AS SUCH IS POSSIBLE UNDER THE CIRCUMSTANCES.

FINALLY, IT APPEARS THAT THE AUTHORIZATION AND DIRECTION "TO ESTABLISH, EQUIP, AND MAINTAIN" THE LABORATORIES DOES NOT NECESSARILY REQUIRE THE CONSTRUCTION OF A SINGLE BUILDING IN EACH AREA, BUT WOULD PERMIT THE USE OF A GROUP OF BUILDINGS, SEPARATED TO A GREATER OR LESSER EXTENT, BUT COORDINATED, OF COURSE, UNDER A SINGLE SUPERVISION AND DIRECTION AND KNOWN AS THE " LABORATORY" FOR THAT AREA. THE FACT THAT, IN CARRYING OUT THIS MANDATE, THE DEPARTMENT HAS ACTUALLY SET ABOUT THE CONSTRUCTION OF A SINGLE LARGE BUILDING IN EACH OF THE FOUR MAJOR AGRICULTURAL AREAS FOR THE CONDUCT OF THIS WORK, IS NOT NECESSARILY CONCLUSIVE OF THE POSSIBILITY THAT ONE OR MORE OTHER BUILDINGS OR LOCATIONS MIGHT BE WITHIN THE SCOPE OF THE TERM "LABORATORY.'

THE DEPARTMENT WOULD APPRECIATE YOUR CONSIDERATION OF THIS MATTER, SO THAT WE MAY BE ADVISED WHETHER THE WORK MAY PROCEED AS PLANNED FOR THE NEXT FISCAL YEAR.

THERE APPEARS TO BE NOTHING IN THE LEGISLATIVE HISTORY OF THE ACTION TAKEN BY BOTH HOUSES OF THE CONGRESS IN ELIMINATING NEARLY $75,000 OF THE ESTIMATE UNDER THE ITEM " INDUSTRIAL UTILIZATION OF FARM PRODUCTS" TO INDICATE THAT IT WAS INTENDED BY SUCH ACTION THAT THE RESEARCH WORK FOR WHICH SAID AMOUNT HAD BEEN ESTIMATED SHOULD BE DISCONTINUED ON JULY 1, 1940, AND NOT RESUMED UNTIL IT COULD BE PERFORMED IN A REGIONAL LABORATORY. WHAT APPARENTLY WAS INTENDED IS THAT BEGINNING JULY 1, 1940, SUCH RESEARCH WORK, BELIEVED TO BE WORK SUCH AS IT WAS CONTEMPLATED WOULD BE PERFORMED BY THE REGIONAL LABORATORIES AUTHORIZED TO BE ESTABLISHED BY THE AGRICULTURAL ADJUSTMENT ACT OF 1938, SHOULD BE FINANCED WITH FUNDS MADE AVAILABLE FOR SUCH LABORATORIES RATHER THAN WITH FUNDS APPROPRIATED AS THERETOFORE UNDER THE BUREAU OF AGRICULTURAL CHEMISTRY AND ENGINEERING (FORMERLY THE BUREAU OF CHEMISTRY AND SOILS). IN OTHER WORDS, THE LEGISLATIVE ACTION WAS DIRECTED AT THE MANNER OF FINANCING THE WORK RATHER THAN THE PLACE WHERE THE WORK WAS TO BE DONE; AND THERE IS NOTHING TO INDICATE AN INTENT THAT THE WORK SHOULD BE SUSPENDED UNTIL AN OPERATING REGIONAL LABORATORY COULD UNDERTAKE ITS PROSECUTION.

IN THE PENDING 1941 APPROPRIATION BILL FOR YOUR DEPARTMENT ( H.R. 8202) THE APPROPRIATION " CONSERVATION AND USE OF AGRICULTURAL LAND RESOURCES" CONTAINS A PROVISO AS FOLLOWS:

* * * THAT NO PART OF SUCH AMOUNT SHALL BE AVAILABLE FOR CARRYING OUT THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 202 (F) OF THE AGRICULTURAL ADJUSTMENT ACT OF 1938, AND NOT TO EXCEED $3,000,000.00 SHALL BE AVAILABLE UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 202 (A) TO 202 (E), INCLUSIVE, OF SAID ACT, INCLUDING RESEARCH ON FOOD PRODUCTS OF FARM COMMODITIES: * * * THIS AMOUNT OF $3,000,000 IS PROPOSED TO BE MADE AVAILABLE FOR THE FISCAL YEAR 1941 FOR THE USE OF THE REGIONAL LABORATORIES AUTHORIZED TO BE ESTABLISHED BY SECTION 202 OF THE AGRICULTURAL ADJUSTMENT ACT OF 1938, AND WHILE SUBSECTION (A) OF SAID SECTION WOULD APPEAR TO CONTEMPLATE RESEARCH WORK AT SUCH LABORATORIES AND THAT THE FUNDS WOULD BE USED FOR WORK AT SUCH LABORATORIES, THE FUNDS MADE AVAILABLE BY THE ABOVE PROVISO ARE GENERALLY FOR CARRYING OUT THE PROVISIONS OF THE FIRST FOUR SUBSECTIONS OF THE SECTION. TAKING INTO CONSIDERATION THE FACT THAT IT WAS NOT INTENDED TO DISCONTINUE THE WORK TO WHICH YOU REFER, AS WELL AS THE GENERAL TERMS OF THE PROVISO ABOVE QUOTED, I HAVE TO ADVISE THAT THERE APPEARS NO LEGAL OBJECTION TO THE USE, PENDING THE COMPLETION OF THE REGIONAL LABORATORY BUILDINGS, OF THE FUNDS MADE AVAILABLE FOR THE RESEARCH LABORATORIES FOR SUCH RESEARCH WORK AS IS AUTHORIZED BY LAW TO BE PERFORMED BY SUCH LABORATORIES REGARDLESS OF WHETHER SUCH WORK BE PERFORMED IN WASHINGTON OR ELSEWHERE, PROVIDED THE LIMITATIONS UNDER THE APPROPRIATION " CONSERVATION AND USE OF AGRICULTURAL LAND RESOURCES," INCLUDING THAT FOR PERSONAL SERVICES IN THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, ARE NOT EXCEEDED. WHAT IS SAID HEREIN MUST BE CONSIDERED AS APPLICABLE TO THE 1941 APPROPRIATIONS ONLY IF AND WHEN THE ITEMS REFERRED TO BECOME LAW SUBSTANTIALLY AS THEY NOW APPEAR IN THE BILL H.R. 8202.