B-125485, NOV. 8, 1955

B-125485: Nov 8, 1955

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BOTT: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF AUGUST 8. YOU STATE THAT AT THE TIME JUST PRECEDING YOUR DEPARTURE FROM EUROPE YOU AND YOUR HUSBAND WERE RESIDING AT BORDEAUX. THAT YOU WERE ADVISED TO LEAVE BECAUSE OF THE IMMINENT DANGER OF WAR. UPON BOARDING THE SHIP YOU ALLEGE THAT A PAPER WAS THRUST AT YOU WHICH YOU SIGNED. YOU ASK WHETHER THIS WAS THE NOTE IN QUESTION. YOU ALSO ASK WHY YOU ALONE ARE INDEBTED TO THE UNITED STATES AND NOT YOUR FORMER HUSBAND. OUR OFFICE IS UNABLE TO STATE WHETHER WHAT YOU SIGNED WHILE BOARDING THE SHIP FOR TRANSPORTATION TO THE UNITED STATES WAS THE NOTE IN QUESTION. THE GENERAL TENOR OF YOUR LETTER IS THAT YOU DID NOT REQUEST A LOAN FOR YOUR PASSAGE MONEY AND THAT THE AMOUNT OF $400 WHICH WAS PAID TO THE AMERICAN CONSUL AT BORDEAUX WAS FOR THE PASSAGE OF YOU AND YOUR HUSBAND.

B-125485, NOV. 8, 1955

TO MRS. MARY E. BOTT:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF AUGUST 8, 1955, RELATIVE TO THE MATTER OF YOUR INDEBTEDNESS TO THE UNITED STATES IN THE AMOUNT OF $264.10, REPRESENTING THE COST OF YOUR TRANSPORTATION FROM LISBON, PORTUGAL, TO NEW YORK, IN MARCH 1941, FOR WHICH YOU EXECUTED A PROMISSORY NOTE TO THE DEPARTMENT OF STATE. YOU REQUEST THAT ANY ACTION AGAINST YOU BE DELAYED PENDING AN INVESTIGATION AND ANSWER TO CERTAIN QUESTIONS PROPOUNDED BY YOU.

YOU STATE THAT AT THE TIME JUST PRECEDING YOUR DEPARTURE FROM EUROPE YOU AND YOUR HUSBAND WERE RESIDING AT BORDEAUX, FRANCE, AND THAT YOU WERE ADVISED TO LEAVE BECAUSE OF THE IMMINENT DANGER OF WAR. YOU CLAIM THAT YOU AND YOUR HUSBAND CALLED AT THE CONSULATE TO MAKE ARRANGEMENTS FOR YOUR RETURN TRIP AND PAID APPROXIMATELY $400 FOR PASSAGE. YOU FURTHER STATE THAT AFTER ARRIVAL AT LISBON, PORTUGAL, YOU RECALL NO REQUEST OF YOURS FOR FINANCIAL AID OR THAT YOU MADE A LOAN OR EVEN CALLED UPON THE CONSULATE AT LISBON. UPON BOARDING THE SHIP YOU ALLEGE THAT A PAPER WAS THRUST AT YOU WHICH YOU SIGNED. YOU ASK WHETHER THIS WAS THE NOTE IN QUESTION. YOU ALSO ASK WHY YOU ALONE ARE INDEBTED TO THE UNITED STATES AND NOT YOUR FORMER HUSBAND.

OUR OFFICE IS UNABLE TO STATE WHETHER WHAT YOU SIGNED WHILE BOARDING THE SHIP FOR TRANSPORTATION TO THE UNITED STATES WAS THE NOTE IN QUESTION. THE GENERAL TENOR OF YOUR LETTER IS THAT YOU DID NOT REQUEST A LOAN FOR YOUR PASSAGE MONEY AND THAT THE AMOUNT OF $400 WHICH WAS PAID TO THE AMERICAN CONSUL AT BORDEAUX WAS FOR THE PASSAGE OF YOU AND YOUR HUSBAND. FOR YOUR USE THERE ARE ENCLOSED PHOTOSTATIC COPIES OF (1) COMBINATION NOTE AND RECEIPT EXECUTED BY YOU ON MARCH 4, 1941, FOR PAYMENT OF YOUR STEAMSHIP FARE FROM LISBON TO NEW YORK, AND (2) YOUR LETTER DATED AUGUST 18, 1941, IN REPLY TO A DEMAND MADE BY THE DEPARTMENT OF STATE FOR THE REPAYMENT OF THE AMOUNT OF $264.10.

A READING OF YOUR LETTER OF AUGUST 18, 1941, INDICATES AN ACKNOWLEDGMENT ON YOUR PART OF THE ASSISTANCE GIVEN YOU BY THE DEPARTMENT OF STATE IN YOUR REPATRIATION TO THE UNITED STATES. FURTHER, THE FIFTH PARAGRAPH OF THE LETTER SHOWS CLEARLY THAT THE $400 PAID TO THE AMERICAN CONSUL AT BORDEAUX, FRANCE, WAS FOR YOUR FORMER HUSBAND'S PASSAGE MONEY AND EXPENSES. THE DEPARTMENT OF STATE HAS ADVISED THAT THERE IS NO RECORD OF ANY LOAN HAVING BEEN MADE TO MR. BOTT AND, CONSEQUENTLY, HE IS NOT INDEBTED TO THE UNITED STATES.

WE HOPE THAT THE INFORMATION SHOWN ABOVE WILL CONVINCE YOU OF THE PROPRIETY OF THE CLAIM. IF YOU ARE UNABLE FINANCIALLY TO PAY THIS INDEBTEDNESS IN A LUMP SUM, OUR OFFICE WILL GLADLY MAKE ARRANGEMENTS FOR THE SATISFACTION OF THE DEBT ON AN INSTALLMENT BASIS. PAYMENT SHOULD BE MADE BY CHECK OR MONEY ORDER PAYABLE TO THE "U.S. GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE, POST OFFICE BOX 2610, WASHINGTON 13, D.C.'

IT IS REQUESTED THAT YOUR REMITTANCE OR AN INITIAL PAYMENT IN CONNECTION WITH A DEFINITE PLAN FOR SETTLEMENT BE FORWARDED TO THIS OFFICE PROMPTLY. FAILING IN THIS, WE HAVE NO ALTERNATIVE BUT TO FORWARD THE MATTER TO THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE FOR FURTHER COLLECTION ACTION.