B-121747, OCTOBER 25, 1954, 34 COMP. GEN. 199

B-121747: Oct 25, 1954

Additional Materials:

Contact:

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

 

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

IS A LIMITATION ON EXPENDITURES BY THE SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR FOR FISHERY RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT AND. THE FUNDS AUTHORIZED TO BE TRANSFERRED FROM THE SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR TO THE SECRETARY OF AGRICULTURE FOR THE SURPLUS FISHERY DISPOSAL PROGRAM UNDER SECTION 2 (D) OF SAID ACT ARE NOT SUBJECT TO SUCH LIMITATION. 1954: REFERENCE IS MADE TO LETTER OF OCTOBER 8. - IS TO BE INCLUDED OR EXCLUDED FROM THE $3. (D) THE SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR IS FURTHER AUTHORIZED TO RETRANSFER ANY OF THE FUNDS NOT TO EXCEED $1. ONLY SUCH FUNDS AS ARE THUS TRANSFERRED SHALL BE USED FOR THE PURPOSES SPECIFIED IN SECTION 1 OF THIS ACT WITH RESPECT TO DOMESTICALLY PRODUCED FISHERY PRODUCTS. THE TENOR OF SAID MEMORANDUM IS THAT THE SENTENCE IN THE QUOTED SECTION 2 (E).

B-121747, OCTOBER 25, 1954, 34 COMP. GEN. 199

APPROPRIATIONS - LIMITATIONS - FISH AND WILDLIFE SERVICE THE LIMITATION CONTAINED IN SECTION 2 (E) OF THE ACT OF JULY 1, 1954, RELATING TO THE DISTRIBUTION OF FISHERY PRODUCTS, IS A LIMITATION ON EXPENDITURES BY THE SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR FOR FISHERY RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT AND, THEREFORE, THE FUNDS AUTHORIZED TO BE TRANSFERRED FROM THE SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR TO THE SECRETARY OF AGRICULTURE FOR THE SURPLUS FISHERY DISPOSAL PROGRAM UNDER SECTION 2 (D) OF SAID ACT ARE NOT SUBJECT TO SUCH LIMITATION.

ACTING COMPTROLLER GENERAL WEITZEL TO THE SECRETARY OF INTERIOR, OCTOBER 25, 1954:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO LETTER OF OCTOBER 8, 1954, FROM ASSISTANT SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR, ORME LEWIS, REQUESTING A DECISION WHETHER THE AMOUNT OF $1,500,000--- AUTHORIZED BY THE ACT OF AUGUST 11, 1939, 53 STAT. 1411, 15 U.S.C. 713C, AS AMENDED BY SECTION 2 (D) OF PUBLIC LAW 466, APPROVED JULY 1, 1954, 68 STAT. 377, TO BE RETRANSFERRED BY THE SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR TO THE SECRETARY OF AGRICULTURE FOR THE PURCHASE OF SURPLUS FISHERY PRODUCTS--- IS TO BE INCLUDED OR EXCLUDED FROM THE $3,000,000 ANNUAL EXPENDITURE CEILING IMPOSED BY SECTION 2 (E) OF THE SAID ACT, 68 STAT. 376, AS AMENDED.

PUBLIC LAW 466 AMENDED SECTION 2 OF THE ACT OF AUGUST 11, 1939, SO AS TO READ, IN PERTINENT PART, AS FOLLOWS:

SEC. 2. (A) THE SECRETARY OF AGRICULTURE SHALL TRANSFER TO THE SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR EACH FISCAL YEAR, BEGINNING WITH THE FISCAL YEAR COMMENCING JULY 1, 1954, AND ENDING ON JUNE 30, 1957, FROM MONEYS MADE AVAILABLE TO CARRY OUT THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 32 OF SUCH ACT OF AUGUST 24, 1935, AN AMOUNT EQUAL TO 30 PERCENTUM OF THE GROSS RECEIPTS FROM DUTIES COLLECTED UNDER THE CUSTOMS LAWS ON FISHERY PRODUCTS * * * WHICH SHALL BE MAINTAINED IN A SEPARATE FUND AND USED BY THE SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR (1) TO PROMOTE THE FREE FLOW OF DOMESTICALLY PRODUCED FISHERY PRODUCTS IN COMMERCE BY CONDUCTING A FISHERY EDUCATIONAL SERVICE AND TECHNOLOGICAL, BIOLOGICAL AND RELATED RESEARCH PROGRAMS, THE MONEYS SO TRANSFERRED TO BE ALSO AVAILABLE FOR THE PURCHASE OR OTHER ACQUISITION, CONSTRUCTION, EQUIPMENT, OPERATION, AND MAINTENANCE OF VESSELS OR OTHER FACILITIES NECESSARY FOR CONDUCTING RESEARCH AS PROVIDED FOR IN THIS SECTION, AND (2) TO DEVELOP AND INCREASE MARKETS FOR FISHERY PRODUCTS OF DOMESTIC ORIGIN AND (3) TO CONDUCT ANY BIOLOGICAL, TECHNOLOGICAL, OR OTHER RESEARCH PERTAINING TO AMERICAN FISHERIES.

(D) THE SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR IS FURTHER AUTHORIZED TO RETRANSFER ANY OF THE FUNDS NOT TO EXCEED $1,500,000 TO BE MADE AVAILABLE UNDER THIS SECTION TO THE SECRETARY OF AGRICULTURE TO BE USED FOR THE PURPOSES SPECIFIED IN SECTION 1 OF THIS ACT, AND ONLY SUCH FUNDS AS ARE THUS TRANSFERRED SHALL BE USED FOR THE PURPOSES SPECIFIED IN SECTION 1 OF THIS ACT WITH RESPECT TO DOMESTICALLY PRODUCED FISHERY PRODUCTS.

(E) THE SEPARATE FUND CREATED FOR THE USE OF THE SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR UNDER SECTION 2 (A) OF THIS ACT AND THE ANNUAL ACCRUALS THERETO SHALL BE AVAILABLE UNTIL EXPENDED, EXCEPT (1) THAT NOT MORE THAN $3,000,000 BE SPENT IN ANY FISCAL YEAR AND (2) THAT THE BALANCE OF THE FUND SHALL NOT EXCEED $5,000,000 AT THE END OF ANY FISCAL YEAR, AND THE SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR SHALL RETRANSFER THE FUNDS IN EXCESS OF SAID $5,000,000 BALANCE TO THE SECRETARY OF AGRICULTURE TO BE USED FOR THE PURPOSE SPECIFIED IN SECTION 32 OF THE ACT OF 1935 (49 STAT. 774; 7 U.S.C. 612C), AS AMENDED.

THERE ACCOMPANIED THE LETTER A COPY OF A MEMORANDUM DATED AUGUST 25, 1954, FROM THE SOLICITOR, DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR, TO THE DIRECTOR, FISH AND WILDLIFE SERVICE, EXPRESSING HIS VIEWS ON THE MATTER. THE TENOR OF SAID MEMORANDUM IS THAT THE SENTENCE IN THE QUOTED SECTION 2 (E)," THE SEPARATE FUND CREATED FOR THE USE OF THE SECRETARY OF UNDER SECTION 2 (A) OF THIS ACT, 68 STAT. 376, AND THE ANNUAL ACCRUALS THERETO SHALL BE AVAILABLE UNTIL EXPENDED, EXCEPT (1) THAT NOT MORE THAN $3,000,000 BE SPEND IN ANY FISCAL YEAR, * * * " ATTAINS FULL MEANING ONLY IT REFERS TO ALL OF THE FUNDS TRANSFERRED TO THE SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR, SINCE THE SEPARATE FUND WAS CREATED FOR THE PURPOSES OF BOTH SECTIONS 2 (A) AND (D), AND THE FULL USE OF SUCH FUNDS, SUBJECT TO THE DISCRETIONARY RETRANSFER AUTHORITY OF SECTION (D), WAS VESTED IN THE SECRETARY. THE SOLICITOR FURTHER REFERS TO THE STATEMENT BY SENATOR ELLENDER IN EXPLANATION OF HIS FLOOR AMENDMENT OF SECTION 2 (E): "1THE PURPOSE OF THIS AMENDMENT IS TO LIMIT THE AMOUNT OF EXPENDITURE FOR THE PURPOSES OF THE ACT TO $3 MILLION.' CONG. REC., MAY 14, 1954, PAGE 6254. IT IS HIS CONTENTION THAT THE SENATOR, IN USING THE TERM "ACT," AT LEAST MUST HAVE REFERRED TO ALL OF THE PURPOSES OF SECTION 2, AND PROBABLY TO THE PURPOSES OF THE ACT AS A WHOLE, WHICH INCLUDES THE PURCHASE OF SURPLUS FISHERY PRODUCTS. THE SOLICITOR THEREUPON EXPRESSES THE VIEW THAT ANY FUNDS RETRANSFERRED BY THE SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR TO THE SECRETARY OF AGRICULTURE MUST BE CHARGED TO THE $3,000,000 LIMITATION APPEARING IN SAID SECTION 2 (E). I AM UNABLE TO AGREE WITH THAT VIEW FOR THE REASON THAT THE EFFECT OF THE CONSTRUCTION CONTENDED FOR WOULD BE ENTIRELY INCONSISTENT WITH THE PURPOSES FOR WHICH THE ACT OF JULY 1, 1954, WAS ENACTED.

IN THE CONSIDERATION OF THE QUESTION PRESENTED BY THE ASSISTANT SECRETARY, IT IS NECESSARY TO DETERMINE WHETHER THE $3,000,000 EXPENDITURE LIMITATION CONTAINED IN SECTION 2 (E) OF THE 1954 ACT CONSTITUTED AN OVERALL LIMITATION ON ALL OBJECTS OF EXPENDITURE PROVIDED FOR UNDER SAID ACT. AN APPARENT AMBIGUITY EXISTING, THE INTENT OF THE CONGRESS MUST BE ASCERTAINED AND GIVEN EFFECT.

AS A MATTER OF LEGISLATIVE BACKGROUND IT MAY BE STATED THAT SECTION 32 OF THE ACT OF AUGUST 24, 1935, 49 STAT. 774, 7 U.S.C. 612C, AS AMENDED, APPROPRIATED ANNUALLY, IN A SPECIAL FUND WITH NO-YEAR AVAILABILITY, AN AMOUNT EQUAL TO 30 PERCENT OF THE GROSS RECEIPTS COLLECTED FROM DUTIES UNDER THE CUSTOMS LAWS. SUCH RECEIPTS INCLUDED TARIFF DUTIES FROM FISHERY IMPORTS. THIS SPECIAL FUND WAS TO BE EXPENDED BY THE SECRETARY OF AGRICULTURE FOR THE REMOVAL OF SURPLUSES OF AGRICULTURE COMMODITIES AND THE DEVELOPMENT OF NEW MARKETS BY THE USE OF SUCH SURPLUSES. TO EXTEND THE RELIEF AFFORDED AGRICULTURAL PRODUCTS UNDER SAID SECTION 32 TO THE FISHERY INDUSTRY, THERE WAS ENACTED THE CITED ACT OF AUGUST 11, 1939. SECTION 1 THEREOF AUTHORIZED THE SECRETARY OF AGRICULTURE TO USE NOT TO EXCEED $1,500,000 PER YEAR OF SECTION 32 FUNDS TO PURCHASE AND DIVERT SURPLUS FISH AND FISHERY PRODUCTS FOR DISTRIBUTION THROUGH PUBLIC AND PRIVATE RELIEF CHANNELS. AND SECTION 2 AUTHORIZED THE SECRETARY FO TRANSFER TO THE SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR $75,000 TO CONDUCT A FISHERY EDUCATIONAL SERVICE; AND $100,000 TO DEVELOP AND INCREASE MARKETS FOR FISHERY PRODUCTS OF DOMESTIC ORIGIN. IT WILL BE NOTED THAT THE 1939 ACT DID NOT MAKE A NEW APPROPRIATION. IT EXTENDED THE USE TO BE MADE OF FUNDS THERETOFORE DIRECTLY APPROPRIATED TO THE DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE. FURTHER, IT WILL BE NOTED THAT SAID ACT WAS DESIGNED TO ACCOMPLISH TWO INDEPENDENT PURPOSES, NAMELY, (1) DISPOSAL OF SURPLUS FISH AND FISHERY PRODUCTS, AND (2) RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT.

REGARDING THE ACT OF JULY 1, 1954, IT REASONABLY APPEARS THAT, INSOFAR AS IT PERTAINS TO THE AVAILABILITY AND USE OF SECTION 32 FUNDS BY THE SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR, IT WAS INTENDED TO AMEND SECTION 2 OF THE 1939 ACT PRIMARILY FOR THE PURPOSE OF MAKING AVAILABLE TO THE SECRETARY, OVER A PERIOD OF THREE YEARS, ADDITIONAL FUNDS TO ENABLE HIM TO CARRY OUT A MORE EXTENSIVE AND BROADENED FISHERY RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM WITHOUT OTHERWISE AFFECTING THE SCOPE OF OR THE AMOUNT AUTHORIZED TO BE TRANSFERRED TO AND EXPENDED BY THE SECRETARY OF AGRICULTURE IN CARRYING OUT THE PURPOSES OF THE SURPLUS FISHERY PROGRAM ESTABLISHED UNDER SECTION 1 OF THE LATTER ACT. NO SPECIFIC MENTION WAS MADE IN THE 1954 ACT FOR CHARGING THE $3,000,000 LIMITATION WITH EXPENDITURES AUTHORIZED TO BE MADE BY THE SECRETARY OF AGRICULTURE ON THE SURPLUS FISHERY PROGRAM. HAD THE CONGRESS INTENDED THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 2 (D) TO OPERATE AS A SUBLIMATION ON THE $3,000,000 LIMITATION, IT IS REASONABLE TO BELIEVE THAT THE LANGUAGE CUSTOMARILY EMPLOYED FOR SUCH PURPOSE WOULD HAVE BEEN USED, AND THE FIRST EXCEPTION TO SECTION 2 (E) THEN WOULD READ: "THAT NOT MORE THAN $3,000,000 BE SPENT IN ANY FISCAL YEAR, OF WHICH AMOUNT THE SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR IS AUTHORIZED TO RETRANSFER NOT TO EXCEED $1,500,000 TO THE SECRETARY OF AGRICULTURE TO BE USED, ETC.' IT SEEMS CLEAR, THEREFORE, THAT THE USE OF THE TERM "ACT" BY SENATOR ELLENDER IN HIS REFERRED-TO EXPLANATION OF HIS SECTION 2 (E) AMENDMENT HAS REFERENCE ONLY TO THE 1954 ACT AND TO THE RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT PURPOSES COVERED THEREIN.

IT IS SIGNIFICANT, TOO, THAT NO LIMITATION WAS PLACED UPON THE AMOUNT OF SECTION 32 FUNDS, EQUAL TO 30 PERCENT OF THE GROSS RECEIPTS FROM DUTIES COLLECTED UNDER THE CUSTOMS LAWS ON FISHERY PRODUCTS (ESTIMATED TO BE $3 OR $4 MILLION A YEAR--- CONG. REC., MAY 14, 1954, PAGE 6251), DIRECTED TO BE TRANSFERRED TO THE SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR.

ALSO, THE LEGISLATIVE HISTORY OF PUBLIC LAW 466 DISCLOSES THAT THE CONGRESS WAS NOT UNAWARE OF THE FACT THAT THE $3,000,000 LIMITATION APPLIED SOLELY TO FISHERY RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT PURPOSES. FOR EXAMPLE, DURING THE DEBATES IN THE SENATE, SENATOR SMATHERS STATED, WITHOUT DISSENT FROM ANY OTHER MEMBER, AS FOLLOWS:

I UNDERSTAND, IN CONNECTION WITH THE BILL, THERE IS TO BE AN AGREEMENT THAT THE AMOUNT OF MONEY WHICH WILL BE USED FOR RESEARCH TO IMPROVE THE SITUATION SO FAR AS SHRIMP, OYSTERS, AND ALL OTHER FORMS OF FISH LIFE ARE CONCERNED, SHALL BE LIMITED TO $3 MILLION; BUT I RECOGNIZE THAT THERE MAY BE JUSTIFICATION FOR IT.

I THINK THIS IS A DESIRABLE AND SATISFACTORY BILL AND CERTAINLY THE $3 MILLION WHICH WE ARE ASKING FOR A PERIOD OF ONLY 3 YEARS IS A REASONABLE AMOUNT. * * * (1CONG. REC., MAY 14, 1954, PAGE 6250.)

THUS, IT SEEMS REASONABLY CLEAR THAT THE PROVISIONS OF SECTIONS 2 (D) AND (E) WERE INTENDED TO PROVIDE FOR THE ACCOMPLISHMENT OF INDEPENDENT PURPOSES WITHIN THE SEPARATE LIMITS OF FUNDS PROVIDED THEREFOR, AND ARE TO BE GIVEN EFFECT WITHOUT REGARD TO EACH OTHER, OR AS ONE LIMITING OR RESTRICTING THE OTHER.

ACCORDINGLY, IT MUST BE HELD THAT THE FUNDS AUTHORIZED TO BE RETRANSFERRED TO THE SECRETARY OF AGRICULTURE UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 2 (D) OF THE CITED ACTS TO BE USED BY HIM FOR THE PURCHASE OF SURPLUS FISHERY PRODUCTS MAY NOT BE INCLUDED IN OR CHARGED TO THE $3,000,000 ANNUAL EXPENDITURE LIMITATION PROVIDED IN SECTION 2 (E) OF SUCH ACTS.