B-121682, FEB. 20, 1956

B-121682: Feb 20, 1956

Additional Materials:

Contact:

Edda Emmanuelli Perez
(202) 512-2853
EmmanuelliPerezE@gao.gov

 

Office of Public Affairs
(202) 512-4800
youngc1@gao.gov

TO CENTRAL OF GEORGIA RAILWAY COMPANY: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR FILE N-3380-G. WHICH ORIGINALLY WAS PAID AS CLAIMED IN THE SUM OF $1. (2) THAT INASMUCH AS THE MACHINE GUNS SHIPPED WITH THE HALF-TRACKS WERE DETACHED AND STORED IN THE PASSENGER COMPARTMENT OF THOSE VEHICLES. COMBINATION ARTICLE RULE 18 OF THE CONSOLIDATED FREIGHT CLASSIFICATION WAS APPLICABLE. THE RECORD SHOWS THAT THIS SHIPMENT WAS ONE OF A NUMBER OF SHIPMENTS MADE BY THE SECOND ARMORED DIVISION THROUGHOUT THE SEVERAL MANEUVER AREAS IN THE SOUTHEAST. WHICH WAS THE TYPE INCLUDED IN THE INSTANT SHIPMENT. WAS WEIGHED AT FORT BENNING. THE CERTIFIED WEIGHT WAS SHOWN TO BE 15. IT IS NOTED THAT A COPY OF THE WEIGHT CERTIFICATE IN QUESTION WAS FURNISHED YOU BY OUR TRANSPORTATION DIVISION WITH A LETTER OF JULY 3.

B-121682, FEB. 20, 1956

TO CENTRAL OF GEORGIA RAILWAY COMPANY:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR FILE N-3380-G, CONCERNING THE SETTLEMENT ACTION TAKEN ON YOUR BILL NO. 3380, WHICH ORIGINALLY WAS PAID AS CLAIMED IN THE SUM OF $1,801.23 FOR TRANSPORTATION SERVICES PERFORMED ON GOVERNMENT BILL OF LADING NO. WQ-3468057, COVERING A SHIPMENT OF LIGHT TANKS AND HALF- TRACKS FROM DECHERD, TENNESSEE, TO SAND HILL, GEORGIA, DURING JUNE 1941.

OUR TRANSPORTATION DIVISION EFFECTED SETTLEMENT OF YOUR BILL IN THE AMOUNT OF $1,298.15 BY COMPUTING THE CHARGES ON THE HALF-TRUCKS AT THE FIFTH-CLASS RATE ON A WEIGHT OF 15,250 POUNDS EACH AND BY APPLYING THE SECOND-CLASS RATE ON THE WEIGHT OF THE GUNS. YOUR OBJECTION TO THIS SETTLEMENT SEEMS TO BE (1) THAT THE CHARGES ON THE HALF-TRACKS SHOULD BE BASED ON A WEIGHT OF 16,300 POUNDS EACH, CITING IN THIS CONNECTION OUR DECISION B-66677 OF SEPTEMBER 12, 1947, AND (2) THAT INASMUCH AS THE MACHINE GUNS SHIPPED WITH THE HALF-TRACKS WERE DETACHED AND STORED IN THE PASSENGER COMPARTMENT OF THOSE VEHICLES, COMBINATION ARTICLE RULE 18 OF THE CONSOLIDATED FREIGHT CLASSIFICATION WAS APPLICABLE. SUCH APPLICATION WOULD REQUIRE THAT CHARGES FOR THE TOTAL WEIGHT OF THE HALF-TRACKS AND GUNS BE COMPUTED AT THE HIGHER CARLOAD RATING OF SECOND CLASS, APPLICABLE TO THE GUNS.

CONCERNING THE MATTER OF THE PROPER WEIGHTS TO BE APPLIED ON THE HALF- TRACKS, THE RECORD SHOWS THAT THIS SHIPMENT WAS ONE OF A NUMBER OF SHIPMENTS MADE BY THE SECOND ARMORED DIVISION THROUGHOUT THE SEVERAL MANEUVER AREAS IN THE SOUTHEAST. THE ARMY FINANCE OFFICE DEVELOPED INFORMATION AS TO THIS SHIPMENT AND NUMEROUS OTHERS MADE AT THE SAME PERIOD OF TIME, REQUESTING THAT A SCALE CERTIFICATE CERTIFIED BY A SWORN WEIGHMASTER BE SECURED ON EACH TYPE OF HALF-TRACK, FULLY EQUIPPED, INCLUDED IN SUCH SHIPMENTS. ON MARCH 9, 1942, AN M2 HALF TRACK, WHICH WAS THE TYPE INCLUDED IN THE INSTANT SHIPMENT, WAS WEIGHED AT FORT BENNING, GEORGIA, ON A REGULARLY INSPECTED TRACK SCALE, AND THE CERTIFIED WEIGHT WAS SHOWN TO BE 15,250 POUNDS. IT IS NOTED THAT A COPY OF THE WEIGHT CERTIFICATE IN QUESTION WAS FURNISHED YOU BY OUR TRANSPORTATION DIVISION WITH A LETTER OF JULY 3, 1952, FILE T-GAO-A-25084-WMD-11/41.

AS TO WHETHER OR NOT THE WEIGHTS FOUND APPLICABLE TO THE SHIPMENTS OF HALF-TRACKS DISCUSSED IN DECISION B-66677 OF SEPTEMBER 12, 1947, SHOULD BE APPLIED HERE, IT IS OBSERVED THAT THE SHIPMENTS THERE INVOLVED WERE MADE BY THE FOURTH MOTORIZED DIVISION, AND THE WEIGHT OF 16,300 POUNDS REFERRED TO IN THE DECISION WAS SHOWN TO BE AN AGREED WEIGHT REPORTEDLY BASED ON THE AVERAGE WEIGHT OF A LARGE NUMBER OF CARS THAT HAD BEEN SCALED. THE WEIGHT OF 16,300 POUNDS WAS CONSIDERED APPROPRIATE IN THAT CASE IN THE ABSENCE OF A "MORE DEFINITE AND AUTHORITATIVE SHOWING AS TO THE ACTUAL WEIGHTS OF THE SHIPMENTS.' IN THE INSTANT CASE THERE HAVE BEEN SUBMITTED WEIGHT CERTIFICATES WHICH DESIGNATE THE ACTUAL WEIGHT OF THE M2 HALF- TRACKS SUCH AS WERE SHIPPED ON BILL OF LADING WQ-3468057. IN VIEW OF THE FACT THAT THESE WEIGHTS WERE OBTAINED BY ACTUALLY WEIGHING SHIPMENTS OF HALF-TRACKS MADE BY THE SECOND ARMORED DIVISION, THEY MUST BE VIEWED AS FURNISHING A MORE DEFINITE AND AUTHORITATIVE BASIS OF WEIGHTS THAN THE "AGREED BASIS" UPON WHICH RELIANCE WAS PLACED IN DECISION B-66677 OF SEPTEMBER 12, 1947.

FINALLY, WITH RESPECT TO THE CONTENTION THAT THE COMBINATION ARTICLE RULE 18 OF THE CLASSIFICATION IS APPLICABLE BECAUSE THE DETACHED AND BOXED GUNS WERE LOADED IN THE PASSENGER COMPARTMENTS OF THE VEHICLES, IT SEEMS SUFFICIENT TO NOTE THAT RULE 18 OF CONSOLIDATED FREIGHT CLASSIFICATION NO. 14, PROVIDES THAT:

"WHEN NOT SPECIFICALLY CLASSIFIED, ARTICLES WHICH HAVE BEEN COMBINED OR ATTACHED TO EACH OTHER, WILL BE CHARGED AT THE RATING FOR THE HIGHEST CLASSED ARTICLE OF THE COMBINATION * * *.'

THUS, IT IS OBSERVED THAT THE RULE APPLIES SPECIFICALLY TO ARTICLES COMBINED OR ATTACHED SO AS TO CONSTITUTE A COMPLETE ARTICLE. SEE NATIONAL RADIATOR COMPANY V. PENNSYLVANIA RAILROAD COMPANY, 256 I.C.C. 82.

IN THIS INSTANCE, THE MERE PLACING OF A BOXED MACHINE GUN IN THE BODY OF THE HALF-TRACK AFFORDS NO BASIS FOR HOLDING THAT THE MACHINE GUN IS COMBINED OR ATTACHED TO THE HALF-TRACK. EVEN IF THE GUN WERE ATTACHED TO THE HALF-TRACK, THE COMPLETE ARTICLE WOULD STILL BE A HALF TRACK SINCE THE ESSENTIAL CHARACTERISTICS OF THE VEHICLE IS NOT AFFECTED BY THE PRESENCE OR ABSENCE OF THE MACHINE GUN. "IT HAS BEEN HELD REPEATEDLY THAT RULE 18 DOES NOT APPLY TO ARTICLES THAT HAVE THE CHARACTERISTICS OF AN ENTITY," STEWART AND STEVENSON SERVICES, INC. V. BALTIMORE AND OHIO RAILROAD COMPANY ET AL., 276 I.C.C. 156, 157.

IT IS ACCORDINGLY CONCLUDED THAT RULE 18 OF THE CONSOLIDATED FREIGHT CLASSIFICATION HAS NO APPLICATION TO THE SHIPMENTS OF HALF-TRACKS WITH A BOXED MACHINE GUN IN THE PASSENGER COMPARTMENT, AS HERE INVOLVED, AND THE SETTLEMENT DISALLOWING YOUR BILL FOR ADDITIONAL CHARGES IS SUSTAINED.