B-131081, MAY 2, 1957

B-131081: May 2, 1957

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ATTORNEY AT LAW: REFERENCE IS MADE TO A LETTER DATED FEBRUARY 12. WHILE YOU WERE SERVING WITH THE AMERICAN EXPEDITIONARY FORCES IN EUROPE. DEDUCTIONS WERE MADE FROM YOUR PAY FOR THE PURCHASE OF A $50 LIBERTY LOAN BOND AND THAT SUCH BOND HAD NEVER BEEN DELIVERED TO YOU. YOUR CLAIM WAS DISALLOWED BY SETTLEMENT DATED DECEMBER 15. BECAUSE THERE WAS NO SHOWING FROM THE OFFICIAL RECORDS THAT PAYMENT HAD NOT BEEN MADE TO YOU OR THAT THE BOND HAD NOT BEEN ISSUED CURRENTLY TO YOU. A REPORT FROM THE BUREAU OF THE PUBLIC DEBT CONCERNING CASES OF THIS KIND INDICATES THAT LIBERTY BONDS PURCHASED THROUGH PAYROLL DEDUCTIONS WERE NOT REQUIRED TO BE ISSUED IN REGISTERED FORM AND. WERE DELIVERED CURRENTLY TO THE PURCHASER.

B-131081, MAY 2, 1957

TO MR. ROBERT Z. MILLER, IN CARE OF MR. NICKOLAS PIAZZA, ATTORNEY AT LAW:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO A LETTER DATED FEBRUARY 12, 1957, WRITTEN ON YOUR BEHALF BY MR. NICKOLAS PIAZZA, ATTORNEY AT LAW, CONCERNING YOUR CLAIM FOR A LIBERTY LOAN BOND BELIEVED TO BE DUE INCIDENT TO YOUR WORLD WAR I SERVICE AS AN ENLISTED MAN, ARMY OF THE UNITED STATES.

IN A LETTER DATED FEBRUARY 28, 1955, TO THE UNITED STATES TREASURY, YOU SAID THAT BETWEEN JANUARY 1918 AND JANUARY 1919, WHILE YOU WERE SERVING WITH THE AMERICAN EXPEDITIONARY FORCES IN EUROPE, DEDUCTIONS WERE MADE FROM YOUR PAY FOR THE PURCHASE OF A $50 LIBERTY LOAN BOND AND THAT SUCH BOND HAD NEVER BEEN DELIVERED TO YOU. BY LETTER DATED MAY 2, 1955, THE CHIEF, DIVISION OF LOANS AND CURRENCY, BUREAU OF THE PUBLIC DEBT, TREASURY DEPARTMENT, ADVISED US THAT WITH THE INFORMATION FURNISHED THE TREASURY DEPARTMENT HAD BEEN UNABLE TO LOCATE ANY RECORD OF A LIBERTY LOAN BOND OR A VICTORY LIBERTY LOAN BOND PURCHASED BY YOU. YOUR CLAIM WAS DISALLOWED BY SETTLEMENT DATED DECEMBER 15, 1955, OF OUR CLAIMS DIVISION, BECAUSE THERE WAS NO SHOWING FROM THE OFFICIAL RECORDS THAT PAYMENT HAD NOT BEEN MADE TO YOU OR THAT THE BOND HAD NOT BEEN ISSUED CURRENTLY TO YOU.

A REPORT FROM THE BUREAU OF THE PUBLIC DEBT CONCERNING CASES OF THIS KIND INDICATES THAT LIBERTY BONDS PURCHASED THROUGH PAYROLL DEDUCTIONS WERE NOT REQUIRED TO BE ISSUED IN REGISTERED FORM AND, FOR THE MOST PART, WERE DELIVERED CURRENTLY TO THE PURCHASER. IT IS STATED IN THE REPORT, AS PERTINENT TO SUCH CASES, THAT THE TREASURY DEPARTMENT DOES NOT KEEP A RECORD OF THE INDIVIDUAL HOLDINGS OF COUPON BONDS AND NOTES, AS THESE SECURITIES ARE PAYABLE TO BEARER AND TITLE TO THEM PASSES BY DELIVERY WITHOUT ENDORSEMENT AND WITHOUT NOTICE TO THE TREASURY DEPARTMENT. ALSO, IT IS STATED IN THE REPORT THAT IT IS IMPOSSIBLE TO DETERMINE WHETHER OR NOT A FEDERAL RESERVE BANK ISSUED BONDS IN SUCH CASES BECAUSE AS OF SEPTEMBER 2, 1949, FEDERAL RESERVE BANKS WERE AUTHORIZED TO DESTROY BOND TRANSACTION RECORDS COVERING THE PERIOD 1917 THROUGH 1924.

THE CHIEF OF FINANCE, DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY, HAS REPORTED WITH RESPECT TO SUCH CASES THAT IN VIEW OF THE LENGTH OF TIME THAT HAS ELAPSED, A PERIOD OF MORE THAN 30 YEARS, AND THE EXTENT OF THE NORMAL DETERIORATION OF DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY FILES OVER SUCH AN EXTENDED PERIOD, THE DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY IS NOT IN A POSITION TO DETERMINE CONCLUSIVELY THAT A LIBERTY LOAN BOND WAS OR WAS NOT ISSUED TO A MEMBER WHO HAD DEDUCTIONS FROM HIS MILITARY PAY DURING THE PERIOD 1917 THROUGH 1919.

THE ACCOUNTING OFFICERS OF THE GOVERNMENT, IN THE ABSENCE OF CLEAR AND SATISFACTORY EVIDENCE OF THE VALIDITY AND NONPAYMENT OF A CLAIM, HAVE CONSISTENTLY REFUSED TO ALLOW A CLAIM WHERE THE CLAIMANT HAS SLEPT ON HIS RIGHTS FOR LONG PERIODS OF YEARS. SEE 4 COMP. DEC. 276, 5 COMP. DEC. 282, 285; AND 4 COMP. GEN. 805. INASMUCH AS YOU FAILED TO PRESENT YOUR CLAIM FOR APPROXIMATELY 37 YEARS, DURING WHICH PERIOD THE RECORDS NECESSARY EITHER TO JUSTIFY OR REFUTE THE CLAIM HAVE BEEN DESTROYED PURSUANT TO LAW OR OTHERWISE HAVE BECOME UNAVAILABLE, WE HAVE NO ALTERNATIVE BUT TO SUSTAIN THE DISALLOWANCE OF YOUR CLAIM.