B-128179, FEB. 4, 1957

B-128179: Feb 4, 1957

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INC.: REFERENCE IS MADE TO A LETTER DATED DECEMBER 31. THE DISALLOWANCE WAS MADE FOR THE REASON THAT "THE REDUCTION FROM THE THEN PREVAILING RATE OF $1.06 PER TON TO THE LOWER RATE OF $0.35 PER TON BECAME EFFECTIVE ON AUGUST 1. IT IS STATED IN THE LETTER OF DECEMBER 31. THAT DURING THE ENTIRE PERIOD TO WHICH THIS CLAIM RELATES BOTH JAPAN AND KOREA WERE UNDER ALLIED OCCUPATION AND SHIPOWNERS WERE UNABLE TO NEGOTIATE FOR THE USE OF PORT FACILITIES ON A COMMERCIAL BASIS. AS A RESULT OF THIS SITUATION CARGO DISCHARGE WAS CARRIED OUT BY THE SUPREME COMMANDER OF THE ALLIED POWERS IN JAPAN (SCAP). IT IS ALLEGED THAT THE ORIGINAL DISCHARGE RATE OF $1.06 WAS BASED UPON THE ORIGINAL MILITARY EXCHANGE RATE OF 15 YEN TO ONE DOLLAR ESTABLISHED IN AUGUST 1945 AND THAT THE 15 TO ONE RATE STOOD UNTIL MARCH 12.

B-128179, FEB. 4, 1957

TO PACIFIC TRANSPORT LINES, INC.:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO A LETTER DATED DECEMBER 31, 1956, WITH ENCLOSURES, AND PREVIOUS CORRESPONDENCE, FROM LILLICK, GEARY, WHEAT, ADAMS AND CHARLES, REQUESTING, IN YOUR BEHALF, REVIEW OF THE PARTS OF SETTLEMENTS DATED MAY 4 AND 7, 1956, WHICH DISALLOWED $19,569.22 OF THE AMOUNT CLAIMED AS EXCESS STEVEDORING CHARGES DEDUCTED BY THE GOVERNMENT FOR UNLOADING SERVICES FURNISHED YOU IN CONNECTION WITH BERTH TERM CARGOES AT FAR EAST COMMAND PORTS DURING THE YEARS 1947 AND 1948.

THE DISALLOWANCE WAS MADE FOR THE REASON THAT "THE REDUCTION FROM THE THEN PREVAILING RATE OF $1.06 PER TON TO THE LOWER RATE OF $0.35 PER TON BECAME EFFECTIVE ON AUGUST 1, 1947, ON CARGO DISCHARGED ON AND AFTER THAT DATE.'

IT IS STATED IN THE LETTER OF DECEMBER 31, 1956, THAT DURING THE ENTIRE PERIOD TO WHICH THIS CLAIM RELATES BOTH JAPAN AND KOREA WERE UNDER ALLIED OCCUPATION AND SHIPOWNERS WERE UNABLE TO NEGOTIATE FOR THE USE OF PORT FACILITIES ON A COMMERCIAL BASIS. AS A RESULT OF THIS SITUATION CARGO DISCHARGE WAS CARRIED OUT BY THE SUPREME COMMANDER OF THE ALLIED POWERS IN JAPAN (SCAP). IT IS ALLEGED THAT THE ORIGINAL DISCHARGE RATE OF $1.06 WAS BASED UPON THE ORIGINAL MILITARY EXCHANGE RATE OF 15 YEN TO ONE DOLLAR ESTABLISHED IN AUGUST 1945 AND THAT THE 15 TO ONE RATE STOOD UNTIL MARCH 12, 1947, WHEN SCAP REVISED THE RATE FROM 15 TO ONE TO 50 TO ONE. IT IS CONTENDED THAT THE DISCHARGE RATE AS COMPUTED UNDER THE REVISED EXCHANGE RATE OF 50 TO ONE WAS THEREUPON REDUCED FROM $1.06 PER TON TO $0.35 PER TON.

THE BILLS OF LADING COVERING BERTH TERM SHIPMENTS DID NOT RECITE ANY SPECIFIC AMOUNTS WHICH WERE TO BE CREDITED AGAINST SHIPS OPERATOR'S BILLS AS AN ALLOWANCE FOR STEVEDORING SERVICES PERFORMED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY FOR THEIR BENEFIT. HOWEVER, IN THE PERIOD PRIOR TO AUGUST 1, 1947, SCAP RECOMMENDED TO THE DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY THAT THE RATE OF $1.06 PER TON FOR DRY CARGO BE ESTABLISHED AS THE COST TO OPERATORS FOR THE DISCHARGE OF CARGOES. ON AUGUST 1, 1947, SCAP PUBLISHED A SET OF RATES TO BE CHARGED THEREAFTER TO THE SHIPOWNERS FOR STEVEDORING SERVICES PERFORMED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY FOR THEIR BENEFIT, ONE OF WHICH WAS $0.35 PER TON FOR GENERAL CARGO. MANY CLAIMS OF SHIPOWNERS, INCLUDING YOURS, FOR AMOUNTS WITHHELD FOR THE STEVEDORING SERVICES RENDERED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY HAVE BEEN SETTLED BY OUR OFFICE ON THE BASIS THAT THE RATE OF $1.06 PER TON WOULD APPLY FOR ALL CARGO THROUGH JULY 31, 1947, AND THE GENERAL CARGO RATE OF $0.35 PER TON THEREAFTER. THIS ACTION WAS TAKEN NOTWITHSTANDING THE FACT THAT IT WAS NOT UNTIL AS LATE AS JANUARY 1, 1949, THAT THE DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY ISSUED ITS FIRST AND ONLY OFFICIAL PUBLICATION WHEREIN THE STEVEDORING RATE OF $0.35 WAS ADOPTED FOR BERTH TERM SHIPMENTS. SINCE SCAP, ON AUGUST 1, 1947, THE TIME IT FIXED THE RATE OF $0.35 PER TON FOR GENERAL CARGO, WAS AWARE THAT THE RATE OF THE YEN HAD BEEN REVISED FROM 15 TO ONE TO 50 TO ONE, IT IS APPARENT THAT THE RATES FOR HANDLING THE CARGOES WERE NOT COMPUTED ENTIRELY ON THE CONVERSION RATE OF THE YEN TO THE DOLLAR, BUT WERE ARRIVED AT BY SCAP AFTER DUE CONSIDERATION OF ALL PERTINENT FACTORS.

UNDER THE CIRCUMSTANCES, NO JUSTIFICATION IS PERCEIVED FOR ACCEPTING ANY AMOUNT LESS THAN $1.06 PER TON AS THE ESTABLISHED RATE FOR STEVEDORING SERVICES UNDER BERTH TERM SHIPMENTS RENDERED PRIOR TO AUGUST 1, 1947, AND THE SETTLEMENTS OF MAY 4 AND 7, 1956, ARE, THEREFORE, SUSTAINED.

THERE IS NOTED IN YOUR LETTER THE STATEMENT THAT ADDITIONAL MATERIALS WILL BE SUBMITTED HERE IN SUPPORT OF THAT PORTION OF YOUR CLAIM RELATING TO STEVEDORING CHARGES UNDER SPACE CHARTER CONTRACTS.