B-141281, FEB. 5, 1960

B-141281: Feb 5, 1960

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PHYSICAL AND MENTAL HARDSHIPS" ALLEGED TO HAVE BEEN IMPOSED BY THE CANCELLATION IN 1956 OF A TRAVEL AUTHORIZATION WHICH WOULD HAVE PERMITTED YOU AND YOUR FAMILY TO ENTER THE BONIN ISLANDS FOR RESIDENCE PURPOSES. THAT YOU WERE AUTHORIZED TO ENTER THE BONIN ISLANDS FOR THE PURPOSE OF ESTABLISHING PERMANENT RESIDENCE BY COMMANDER IN CHIEF. THE RECORD SHOWS THAT YOU WERE UNABLE TO LEAVE JAPAN ON THE NAVAL VESSEL INITIALLY SCHEDULED TO TRANSPORT YOU AND YOUR FAMILY TO THE BONIN ISLANDS BECAUSE OF INADEQUATE ACCOMMODATIONS ABOARD THE VESSEL. WHILE AWAITING TRANSPORTATION ON ANOTHER NAVAL VESSEL YOUR TRAVEL AUTHORIZATION WAS CANCELLED ON APRIL 9. 000 TO THE UNITED STATES NAVY FOR COMPENSATION FOR PHYSICAL HARDSHIPS AND MENTAL SUFFERING AND REIMBURSEMENT FOR EXPENSES AND LOSSES ALLEGED TO HAVE ARISEN FROM THE CANCELLATION OF YOUR TRAVEL AUTHORIZATION.

B-141281, FEB. 5, 1960

TO MR. ARTHUR A. ACKERMAN:

YOUR LETTER OF OCTOBER 12, 1959, PRESENTS FOR OUR CONSIDERATION A CLAIM AGAINST THE UNITED STATES IN THE AMOUNT OF $25,000,"FOR THE MONETARY LOSS, PHYSICAL AND MENTAL HARDSHIPS" ALLEGED TO HAVE BEEN IMPOSED BY THE CANCELLATION IN 1956 OF A TRAVEL AUTHORIZATION WHICH WOULD HAVE PERMITTED YOU AND YOUR FAMILY TO ENTER THE BONIN ISLANDS FOR RESIDENCE PURPOSES.

THE RECORD SHOWS THAT IN MAY 1955, YOU APPLIED TO COMMANDER NAVAL FORCES, FAR EAST, FOR PERMISSION FOR YOU AND YOUR FAMILY TO ENTER THE BONIN ISLANDS; THAT YOU WERE AUTHORIZED TO ENTER THE BONIN ISLANDS FOR THE PURPOSE OF ESTABLISHING PERMANENT RESIDENCE BY COMMANDER IN CHIEF, U.S. PACIFIC FLEET, ON JANUARY 12, 1956; AND THAT YOU RECEIVED AUTHORIZATION FROM COMMANDER NAVAL FORCES, FAR EAST, DATED FEBRUARY 24, 1956, FOR TRAVEL FOR YOU AND YOUR FAMILY FROM JAPAN TO THE BONIN ISLANDS VIA NAVAL VESSEL. THE TRAVEL AUTHORIZATION DIRECTED YOU AND YOUR FAMILY TO BE AT THE YOKOSUKA NAVAL BASE ON MARCH 17, 1956. ALSO, THE RECORD SHOWS THAT YOU WERE UNABLE TO LEAVE JAPAN ON THE NAVAL VESSEL INITIALLY SCHEDULED TO TRANSPORT YOU AND YOUR FAMILY TO THE BONIN ISLANDS BECAUSE OF INADEQUATE ACCOMMODATIONS ABOARD THE VESSEL, AND WHILE AWAITING TRANSPORTATION ON ANOTHER NAVAL VESSEL YOUR TRAVEL AUTHORIZATION WAS CANCELLED ON APRIL 9, 1956. SUBSEQUENTLY, IN REPLY TO YOUR LETTERS TO THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES AND THE SECRETARY OF STATE, THE AMERICAN EMBASSY, TOKYO, JAPAN, BY LETTER OF JUNE 25, 1956, INFORMED YOU THAT IT WOULD NOT BE POSSIBLE FOR YOU AND YOUR FAMILY TO MOVE TO THE BONIN ISLANDS BECAUSE THEY HAD BEEN CLOSED TO FURTHER RESETTLEMENT FOR SECURITY REASONS.

AFTER RECEIVING THE AFOREMENTIONED LETTER FROM THE AMERICAN EMBASSY YOU SUBMITTED A CLAIM FOR $25,000 TO THE UNITED STATES NAVY FOR COMPENSATION FOR PHYSICAL HARDSHIPS AND MENTAL SUFFERING AND REIMBURSEMENT FOR EXPENSES AND LOSSES ALLEGED TO HAVE ARISEN FROM THE CANCELLATION OF YOUR TRAVEL AUTHORIZATION. YOU WERE ADVISED ON MARCH 27, 1957, THAT THE NAVY LACKED AUTHORITY TO CONSIDER YOUR CLAIM IN VIEW OF THE OPINION EXPRESSED BY THE JUDGE ADVOCATE GENERAL OF THE UNITED STATES NAVY THAT NO STATUTORY AUTHORITY EXISTED UNDER WHICH THE NAVY COULD ADJUDICATE YOUR CLAIM.

ON APRIL 11, 1959, YOU SUBMITTED A CLAIM FOR ABOUT $6,778, TO COMMANDER NAVAL FORCES, FAR EAST, REPRESENTING LOSSES AND EXPENSES INCURRED IN CONNECTION WITH YOUR ANTICIPATED MOVE TO THE BONIN ISLANDS. BY LETTER OF MAY 11, 1959, THE FORCE LEGAL OFFICER, COMMANDER NAVAL FORCES, JAPAN, REFERRED TO THE OPINION OF THE JUDGE ADVOCATE GENERAL SET FORTH IN THE LETTER TO YOU OF MARCH 27, 1957, AND ADVISED YOU THAT NO OFFICIAL OF THE GOVERNMENT HAS AUTHORITY TO EXPEND FUNDS OF THE UNITED STATES UNLESS SUCH EXPENDITURE IS SPECIFICALLY PERMITTED BY LAW.

THE CLAIM WHICH YOU HAVE PRESENTED TO OUR OFFICE APPEARS TO BE IDENTICAL TO THE FIRST CLAIM WHICH YOU SUBMITTED TO THE NAVY. THE JURISDICTION OF THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE TO ALLOW CLAIMS AGAINST THE UNITED STATES IS LIMITED TO CLAIMS BASED ON STATUTE, AND IN YOUR CASE WE KNOW OF NO STATUTORY BASIS UPON WHICH OUR OFFICE COULD ALLOW YOUR CLAIM. ALSO, THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE IS WITHOUT AUTHORITY TO ALLOW CLAIMS SOLELY ON THE BASIS OF EQUITABLE OR MORAL CONSIDERATION. THEREFORE, THERE IS NO VALID BASIS UPON WHICH OUR OFFICE CAN ALLOW YOUR CLAIM.

REGARDING YOUR REQUEST THAT YOUR CLAIM BE SUBMITTED TO THE UNITED STATES SENATE IF IT IS NOT ALLOWED BY OUR OFFICE, THE MERITORIOUS CLAIMS ACT, 31 U.S.C. 236, PROVIDES FOR THE SUBMISSION TO THE CONGRESS OF ONLY THOSE CASES WHEREIN THERE IS A LEGAL OR EQUITABLE LIABILITY ON THE PART OF THE GOVERNMENT AND SETTLEMENT CANNOT BE MADE SOLELY BECAUSE OF THE ABSENCE OF AN APPROPRIATION THEREFOR. SINCE THERE WAS NO LEGAL LIABILITY UPON THE UNITED STATES TO PERMIT YOU AND YOUR FAMILY TO ENTER THE BONIN ISLANDS FOR RESIDENCE PURPOSES, OR TO TRANSPORT YOU THERE, WE DO NOT FEEL THAT THE REPORTING OF YOUR CLAIM TO THE CONGRESS FOR CONSIDERATION UNDER THE MERITORIOUS CLAIMS ACT, SUPRA, IS WARRANTED.