B-30716, JANUARY 19, 1943, 22 COMP. GEN. 659

B-30716: Jan 19, 1943

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IS NOT APPLICABLE TO GAS FURNISHED BY SAID COMPANIES FOR USE IN PUBLIC BUILDINGS LOCATED OUTSIDE THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA. 5 COMP. 1943: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF NOVEMBER 27. AS FOLLOWS: MEMBERS OF OUR STAFF HAVE BEEN ENGAGED IN AN INVESTIGATION OF THE HIGH COST OF GAS SERVICE FOR FEDERAL PUBLIC HOUSING AUTHORITY WAR HOUSING PROJECTS SERVED BY THE ROSSLYN GAS COMPANY IN ARLINGTON. GAS FOR THESE PROJECTS IS PURCHASED THROUGH A MASTER METER FOR EACH PROJECT UNDER CONTRACTS EXECUTED BY THE GOVERNMENT. COPIES OF ALL OF THESE CONTRACTS ARE ON FILE IN THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE. CONFORMED COPIES OF TWO TYPICAL CONTRACTS ARE ATTACHED FOR YOUR READY REFERENCE. EXCEPT IN THE CASE OF ONE PROJECT WHERE GAS SPACE HEATING IS USED THE RATE AVERAGES APPROXIMATELY 70 CENTS PER THOUSAND CUBIC FEET.

B-30716, JANUARY 19, 1943, 22 COMP. GEN. 659

GAS - STATUTORY LIMITATION ON PRICE TO BE PAID - APPLICABILITY TO GAS FURNISHED PUBLIC BUILDINGS LOCATED OUTSIDE THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA THE PROVISION IN SECTION 6 OF THE ACT APPROVED SEPTEMBER 1, 1916, LIMITING TO 70 CENTS PER ONE THOUSAND CUBIC FEET THE AMOUNT THAT MAY BE PAID THE WASHINGTON GAS LIGHT COMPANY OR THE GEORGETOWN GAS LIGHT COMPANY FOR ANY GAS FURNISHED BY SAID COMPANIES FOR USE IN ANY OF THE PUBLIC BUILDINGS OF THE UNITED STATES OR THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, IS NOT APPLICABLE TO GAS FURNISHED BY SAID COMPANIES FOR USE IN PUBLIC BUILDINGS LOCATED OUTSIDE THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA. 5 COMP. GEN. 448, CONTRA, CITED AND DISCUSSED.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL WARREN TO THE ADMINISTRATOR, NATIONAL HOUSING AGENCY, JANUARY 19, 1943:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF NOVEMBER 27, 1942, AS FOLLOWS:

MEMBERS OF OUR STAFF HAVE BEEN ENGAGED IN AN INVESTIGATION OF THE HIGH COST OF GAS SERVICE FOR FEDERAL PUBLIC HOUSING AUTHORITY WAR HOUSING PROJECTS SERVED BY THE ROSSLYN GAS COMPANY IN ARLINGTON, FAIRFAX AND ALEXANDRIA, VIRGINIA.

GAS FOR THESE PROJECTS IS PURCHASED THROUGH A MASTER METER FOR EACH PROJECT UNDER CONTRACTS EXECUTED BY THE GOVERNMENT. COPIES OF ALL OF THESE CONTRACTS ARE ON FILE IN THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE, BUT CONFORMED COPIES OF TWO TYPICAL CONTRACTS ARE ATTACHED FOR YOUR READY REFERENCE. UNDER THESE CONTRACTS THE RATES AVERAGE BETWEEN 75 CENTS AND 80 CENTS PER THOUSAND CUBIC FEET, EXCEPT IN THE CASE OF ONE PROJECT WHERE GAS SPACE HEATING IS USED THE RATE AVERAGES APPROXIMATELY 70 CENTS PER THOUSAND CUBIC FEET.

WE WISH TO PRESENT FOR YOUR CONSIDERATION THE QUESTION OF WHETHER IT IS LEGALLY PROPER FOR THE ROSSLYN COMPANY TO CHARGE THESE FEDERAL HOUSING PROJECTS A GAS RATE IN EXCESS OF 70 CENTS PER THOUSAND CUBIC FEET IN VIEW OF THE PROVISION OF SECTION 23, TITLE 40, OF THE UNITED STATES CODE WHICH READS AS FOLLOWS:

"NO PART OF ANY MONEY APPROPRIATED BY ANY ACT, SHALL BE USED FOR THE PAYMENT TO THE WASHINGTON GAS LIGHT COMPANY OR THE GEORGETOWN GAS LIGHT COMPANY FOR ANY GAS FURNISHED BY SAID COMPANIES FOR USE IN ANY OF THE PUBLIC BUILDINGS OF THE UNITED STATES OR THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA AT A RATE IN EXCESS OF 70 CENTS PER ONE THOUSAND CUBIC FEET. ( SEPTEMBER 1, 1916, CH. 433, SEC. 6, 39 STAT. 716).'

IN A DECISION DATED DECEMBER 28, 1925 (5 COMP. GEN. 448), THE HONORABLE J. R. MCCARL, RULED THAT THE RESTRICTION CONTAINED IN THE ABOVE QUOTED ACT WAS APPLICABLE TO GAS FURNISHED THE BUREAU OF ANIMAL INDUSTRY IN MONTGOMERY COUNTY, MARYLAND, BY THE GEORGETOWN GAS LIGHT COMPANY OF MONTGOMERY COUNTY, MARYLAND, FOR THE REASONS THAT THE MARYLAND COMPANY WAS WHOLLY OWNED BY THE GEORGETOWN GAS LIGHT COMPANY AND BECAUSE THE MAIN OFFICE AND OFFICERS OF THE MARYLAND COMPANY WERE THE SAME AS FOR THE GEORGETOWN GAS LIGHT COMPANY PROPER. THE DECISION WAS STATED TO BE BASED UPON THE RULE OF LAW "THAT WHERE A CORPORATION IS SO ORGANIZED AND CONTROLLED AND ITS AFFAIRS ARE SO CONDUCTED AS TO MAKE IT MERELY AN INSTRUMENTALITY OR ADJUNCT OF ANOTHER CORPORATION, THE TWO MAY BE TREATED AS ONE, IN DISREGARD OF FICTIONAL LEGAL DISTINCTION. SEE 34 OP. ATTY. GEN. 353. AND PARTICULARLY IS SUCH RULE FOR APPLICATION IN MATTERS INVOLVING CONTRACTUAL RELATIONS WITH THE GOVERNMENT.'

HOWEVER, IN A DECISION DATED MAY 27, 1926 (5 COMP. GEN. 940) MR. MCCARL RULED THAT THE STATUTE DID NOT APPLY TO THE ROSSLYN GASCOMPANY FOR THE FOLLOWING QUOTED REASONS:

"IN THE CASE HERE UNDER CONSIDERATION, WHILE MOST, IF NOT ALL, OF THE STOCK OF THE ROSSLYN GAS COMPANY IS OWNED OR CONTROLLED BY THE WASHINGTON GAS LIGHT COMPANY, THE ROSSLYN GAS COMPANY IS A SEPARATE CORPORATION HAVING NO OFFICE IN THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA AND TRANSACTS ITS BUSINESS THROUGH ITS OFFICE AT CLARENDON, VIRGINIA. IT HAS DIFFERENT OFFICERS AND OPERATES AS A SEPARATE AND DISTINCT CORPORATION AND BUYS ITS GAS FROM THE GEORGETOWN GAS LIGHT COMPANY AT A RATE IN EXCESS OF THAT FIXED BY THE ACT OF SEPTEMBER 1, 1916, SUPRA. UNDER THE CIRCUMSTANCES, IT CANNOT BE CONSIDERED AS SUBJECT TO THE STATUTORY RESTRICTIONS AS TO PRICE FOUND IN THE SAID ACT OF SEPTEMBER 1, 1916, AND THE DECISION IN 5 COMP. GEN. 448, IS ACCORDINGLY NOT APPLICABLE THERETO.

OUR INVESTIGATION INDICATES THAT THE FACTS QUOTED IN THE ABOVE DECISION BY MR. MCCARL NO LONGER APPLY. THE ROSSLYN GAS COMPANY IS NOW A WHOLLY OWNED SUBSIDIARY OF THE WASHINGTON GAS LIGHT COMPANY AND THE GENERAL OFFICES OF THE COMPANY ARE IN WASHINGTON IN THE SAME LOCATION AS THE WASHINGTON GAS LIGHT COMPANY. FURTHERMORE, ALL OF THE OFFICERS OF THE ROSSLYN GAS COMPANY (INCLUDING PRESIDENT, VICE PRESIDENT AND GENERAL MANAGER, VICE PRESIDENT AND TREASURER, AND SECRETARY), ARE EXACTLY THE SAME AS FOR THE WASHINGTON GAS LIGHT COMPANY. WE UNDERSTAND THAT EMPLOYEES OF THE WASHINGTON GAS LIGHT COMPANY READ THE METERS AND KEEP THE ACCOUNTS OF THE ROSSLYN COMPANY (EXCEPT FOR THE ALEXANDRIA DIVISION WHICH HAS ITS OWN METER READING AND ACCOUNTING FORCE).

WE ALSO LEARNED THAT EMPLOYEES OF THE WASHINGTON GAS LIGHT COMPANY PERFORM MANY OTHER SERVICES FOR THE ROSSLYN COMPANY, SUCH AS CONSTRUCTION OF MAINS AND REPAIRS OF METERS.

WE MAY ALSO POINT OUT THAT ALL OF THE GAS DISTRIBUTED BY THE ROSSLYN COMPANY, EXCEPT A NEGLIGIBLE QUANTITY, IS FROM THE SAME SOURCE AS THE GAS DISTRIBUTED IN THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA. THIS GAS IS "SOLD" BY THE WASHINGTON GAS LIGHT COMPANY TO THE ROSSLYN COMPANY UNDER A SIMPLE LETTER FORM OF CONTRACT DATED MAY 28, 1941, AT A RATE OF 40 CENTS PER THOUSAND CUBIC FEET. THE CONTRACT IS SIGNED FOR THE WASHINGTON GAS LIGHT COMPANY BY MARCY L. SPERRY, PRESIDENT, AND FOR THE ROSSLYN GAS COMPANY BY MR. ROBERT C. OWERS, VICE PRESIDENT AND TREASURER. MR. OWERS IS ALSO VICE PRESIDENT AND TREASURER OF THE WASHINGTON GAS LIGHT COMPANY, AND, OF COURSE, MR. SPERRY IS PRESIDENT OF THE ROSSLYN GAS COMPANY.

IT WOULD SEEM THAT UNDER THE FACTS AS THEY EXIST TODAY, THE DIFFERENTIATION BETWEEN THE ROSSLYN GAS COMPANY AND THE WASHINGTON GAS LIGHT COMPANY, AS DESCRIBED IN MR. MCCARL'S DECISION OF MAY 27, 1926, NO LONGER EXISTS AND THE ROSSLYN GAS COMPANY IS NOW IN A POSITION ANALOGOUS TO THE GEORGETOWN GAS LIGHT COMPANY OF MONTGOMERY COUNTY, MARYLAND, DESCRIBED IN MR. MCCARL'S DECISION DATED DECEMBER 28, 1925. IT WOULD SEEM TO FOLLOW, THEREFORE, THAT THE ACT OF SEPTEMBER 1, 1916, 39 STAT. 716, SHOULD NOW APPLY TO GAS FURNISHED BY THE ROSSLYN GAS COMPANY TO PUBLIC BUILDINGS OF THE UNITED STATES.

WE WOULD BE PLEASED TO RECEIVE YOUR OPINION REGARDING THIS MATTER AT YOUR EARLIEST OPPORTUNITY.

THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 23, TITLE 40, U.S.C. QUOTED IN YOUR LETTER, WERE ENACTED AS PART OF SECTION 6 OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA APPROPRIATION ACT FOR THE FISCAL YEAR 1917, APPROVED SEPTEMBER 1, 1916, 39 STAT. 676, 716, AND AS CONTAINED THEREIN ARE AS FOLLOWS:

THAT HEREAFTER NO PART OF ANY MONEY APPROPRIATED BY THIS OR ANY OTHER ACT SHALL BE USED FOR THE PAYMENT TO THE WASHINGTON GAS LIGHT COMPANY OR THE GEORGETOWN GAS LIGHT COMPANY FOR ANY GAS FURNISHED BY SAID COMPANIES FOR USE IN ANY OF THE PUBLIC BUILDINGS OF THE UNITED STATES OR THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA AT A RATE IN EXCESS OF 70 CENTS PER ONE THOUSAND CUBIC FEET.

BEFORE CONSIDERING THE SPECIFIC QUESTION SUBMITTED IN YOUR LETTER--- THAT IS, WHETHER THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN THE WASHINGTON GAS LIGHT COMPANY AND THE ROSSLYN GAS COMPANY IS SUCH THAT THE COMPANIES MAY BE REGARDED AS ONE INSOFAR AS GAS FURNISHED THE WAR HOUSING PROJECTS REFERRED TO IN YOUR LETTER IS CONCERNED--- THERE IS FOR CONSIDERATION WHETHER THE ACT HERE INVOLVED RELATES TO PUBLIC BUILDINGS BOTH WITHIN AND WITHOUT THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, OR WHETHER IT RELATES ONLY TO THOSE WITHIN THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA.

PRIOR TO THE ENACTMENT OF THE GENERAL PROVISION HERE INVOLVED, THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA APPROPRIATION ACT FOR THE FISCAL YEAR 1915, 38 STAT. 517, 553, CONTAINED THE FOLLOWING PROVISION IN SECTION 7 THEREOF:

* * * NO PART OF ANY MONEY APPROPRIATED BY THIS ACT SHALL BE USED FOR THE PAYMENT TO THE WASHINGTON GAS LIGHT COMPANY FOR ANY GAS FURNISHED BY SAID COMPANY AT A RATE IN EXCESS OF 70 CENTS PER ONE THOUSAND CUBIC FEET OF GAS SO FURNISHED FOR USE IN ANY OF THE PUBLIC BUILDINGS OF THE UNITED STATES OR THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA. A SUBSTANTIALLY SIMILAR PROVISION WAS CONTAINED IN SECTION 7 OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA APPROPRIATION ACT FOR THE FISCAL YEAR 1916, 38 STAT. 894, 925, 926. THOSE PROVISIONS--- THAT IS, THE PROVISIONS IN THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA APPROPRIATION ACTS FOR THE FISCAL YEARS 1915 AND 1916--- WERE LIMITATIONS AS TO THE MAXIMUM RATE THAT MIGHT BE PAID TO THE WASHINGTON GAS LIGHT COMPANY FOR GAS FURNISHED FOR USE IN ANY OF THE PUBLIC BUILDINGS OF THE UNITED STATES OR THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA UNDER THE APPROPRIATIONS MADE BY THOSE ACTS. IT APPEARS THAT THE EARLIER ONE WAS INSERTED IN THE 1915 APPROPRIATION ACT BY AN AMENDMENT OFFERED FROM THE FLOOR OF THE SENATE. SEE VOLUME 51, PART 5, CONGRESSIONAL RECORD, PP. 4803-4807. THE AMENDMENT APPEARS TO HAVE BEEN AGREED TO AND IN CONFERENCE REPORT NO. 817 ( VOLUME 51, PART 11, CONGRESSIONAL RECORD, PP. 10420-10425), IT WAS STATED WITH RESPECT THERETO (PAGE 10425).

ON AMENDMENT NO. 225: INSERTS THE PROVISION, PROPOSED BY THE SENATE, THAT GAS SHALL NOT BE PURCHASED OUT OF THE APPROPRIATIONS IN THIS ACT FOR USE IN ANY PUBLIC BUILDING IN WASHINGTON, .C., AT A RATE IN EXCESS OF 70 CENTS PER THOUSAND FEET. IT SEEMS APPARENT FROM THE FOREGOING THAT IT WAS THE LEGISLATIVE INTENTION THAT THE PROVISION THERE UNDER CONSIDERATION WAS TO RELATE ONLY TO PUBLIC BUILDINGS IN THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA.

THE PROVISION OF THE LATER ACT, NOW UNDER CONSIDERATION, APPEARS TO HAVE BEEN INSERTED BY THE HOUSE COMMITTEE IN THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA APPROPRIATION BILL FOR THE FISCAL YEAR 1917, BUT WAS REMOVED THEREFROM BY THE SENATE COMMITTEE (SEE HOUSE REPORT NO. 721 AND SENATE REPORT NO. 669, 64TH CONGRESS, ST SESSION), AND APPEARS TO HAVE BEEN RESTORED TO THE BILL BY AN AMENDMENT OFFERED BY SENATOR NORRIS, OF NEBRASKA, ON THE FLOOR OF THE SENATE. SEE VOLUME 53, PART 12, CONGRESSIONAL RECORD, PP. 11971- 11979. THE PROVISION APPEARS TO HAVE BEEN AN ENLARGEMENT OF THE PREVIOUS PROVISIONS CONTAINED IN THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA APPROPRIATION ACTS FOR THE FISCAL YEARS 1915 AND 1916, IN THAT, WHEREAS UNDER THE TWO EARLIER PROVISIONS THE LIMITATION WAS CONFINED TO FUNDS APPROPRIATED BY THOSE ACTS AND RELATED ONLY TO PAYMENTS TO THE WASHINGTON GAS LIGHT COMPANY FOR GAS FURNISHED PUBLIC BUILDINGS, THE PROVISION HERE INVOLVED ENLARGED THE LIMITATION TO MAKE IT APPLICABLE TO ALL APPROPRIATIONS THEREAFTER MADE BY ANY ACT AND WAS MADE APPLICABLE, ALSO, TO PAYMENTS TO THE GEORGETOWN GAS LIGHT COMPANY AS WELL AS TO THE WASHINGTON GAS LIGHT COMPANY FOR GAS FURNISHED PUBLIC BUILDINGS. THE INTENTION WAS TO NEGATIVE ANY LIABILITY OVER AND ABOVE A MAXIMUM RATE OF 70 CENTS PER ONE THOUSAND CUBIC FEET FOR GAS FURNISHED BY EITHER OF THOSE TWO COMPANIES TO PUBLIC BUILDINGS. OFFERING THE AMENDMENT, SENATOR NORRIS STATED WITH RESPECT THERETO, IN PART, AS FOLLOWS:

MR. PRESIDENT, THAT PROVISION, IN SUBSTANCE, HAS BEEN IN THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA APPROPRIATION BILL FOR SEVERAL YEARS. SEVERAL YEARS AGO, IN MARCH, 1914, AN AMENDMENT WAS PUT ON THE APPROPRIATION BILL HERE IN THE SENATE THAT LIMITED THE PRICE THAT WOULD BE PAID FOR GAS BY THE GOVERNMENT OF THE UNITED STATES TO THE WASHINGTON GAS LIGHT CO. TO 70 CENTS PER 1,000 CUBIC FEET. THAT AMENDMENT WENT ON IN THE SHAPE OF A LIMITATION AFTER A GENERAL AMENDMENT HAD BEEN STRICKEN OUT ON A POINT OF ORDER. THE HOUSE, EVER SINCE THAT, HAVE PUT THE LANGUAGE INTO THE DISTRICT APPROPRIATION BILL. THEY HAVE ENLARGED IT SO AS TO COVER BOTH GAS COMPANIES AND THE ENTIRE DISTRICT AND ALL APPROPRIATIONS, WHETHER MADE IN THIS BILL OR OTHER BILLS, APPROPRIATING FOR THE PAYMENT OF GAS IN THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA. ( CONG. REC. VOL. 53, PART 12, P. 11971). THUS, WHILE THE PROVISION WAS AN ENLARGEMENT OF THE TWO EARLIER PROVISIONS, APPARENTLY THE SPONSOR OF IT IN THE SENATE REGARDED THE PROVISION--- PREVIOUSLY INSERTED BY THE HOUSE-- - AS INTENDED TO APPLY ONLY TO GAS FURNISHED PUBLIC BUILDINGS IN THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA.

WHILE IN DECEMBER, 1925, IN THE DECISION IN 5 COMP. GEN. 448, REFERRED TO IN YOUR LETTER, THE ACT WAS APPLIED TO GAS FURNISHED BY THE GEORGETOWN GAS LIGHT COMPANY OF MONTGOMERY COUNTY, MARYLAND, THEN A SUBSIDIARY OF THE GEORGETOWN GAS LIGHT COMPANY, TO GOVERNMENT BUILDINGS IN MONTGOMERY COUNTY, MARYLAND, THE GEORGETOWN GAS LIGHT COMPANY OF MONTGOMERY COUNTY, MARYLAND, DECLINED TO ACCEPT THAT VIEW AND SUBSEQUENTLY FILED SUIT IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE DISTRICT OF MARYLAND--- AT LAW 4676-- - CLAIMING COMPENSATION FOR GAS FURNISHED THE AGENCIES IN THE BUILDINGS REFERRED TO IN MONTGOMERY COUNTY AT THEIR REGULAR RATES FOR SIMILAR SERVICE TO THE PUBLIC. THE GOVERNMENT URGED IN DEFENSE THAT THE ACT HERE INVOLVED PREVENTED CHARGING FOR THE GAS A RATE IN EXCESS OF 70 CENTS PER ONE THOUSAND CUBIC FEET. THE COURT, IN ITS ORAL OPINION OF JUNE 22, 1932, STATED THAT IT ACCEPTED THE JUDGMENT OF THE GOVERNMENT AS SOUND, THAT "WE SHOULD LOOK THROUGH FORM TO SUBSTANCE IN A CASE OF THIS KIND, AND NOT ALLOW A MERE CORPORATE FICTION TO BE SET UP TO EVADE THE EXPRESSED PURPOSE OF A LEGISLATIVE ACT," AND THAT IT WAS "WILLING TO ASSUME THAT IF WE DID OTHERWISE FIND WARRANT IN THE STATUTE FOR THE CONSTRUCTION CONTENDED FOR BY THE GOVERNMENT, I SHOULD IGNORE THE CORPORATE FICTION AND SAY THAT THIS MONTGOMERY COUNTY CORPORATION WAS SIMPLY AN AGENCY, A CLOAK, A MEANS WHEREBY THE MAIN, THE PARENT CORPORATION MIGHT ACT.' HOWEVER, THE COURT HELD, FOR REASONS DISCUSSED AND SET FORTH IN ITS OPINION, THAT THE ACT DID NOT APPLY TO PUBLIC BUILDINGS OUTSIDE THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, AND ENTERED JUDGMENT IN FAVOR OF THE PLAINTIFF FOR THE AMOUNT CLAIMED. APPEAL WAS TAKEN AND, AFTER AN APPROPRIATION THEREFOR, THE JUDGMENT WAS PAID UNDER SETTLEMENT OF THIS OFFICE DATED MARCH 17, 1933. I AM NOT AWARE OF ANY OTHER JUDICIAL DETERMINATION INVOLVING THE EXTENT OF THE APPLICABILITY OF THE ACT. WHILE THE MATTER OF TRANSPORTATION OF GAS FROM ONE STATE TO ANOTHER IS A MATTER OF INTERSTATE COMMERCE, SUBJECT TO FEDERAL CONTROL AND REGULATION (SEE THE NATURAL GAS ACT, 52 STAT. 821), THE MATTER OF RATES CHARGED CONSUMERS OF GAS IS ORDINARILY A MATTER OF LOCAL REGULATION. THIS HAS BEEN HELD TO APPLY TO THE RETAIL SALE OF GAS AT THE BURNER TIPS BY ONE WHO PIPES THE GAS INTO THE STATE, OR BY ONE WHO IS A LOCAL DISTRIBUTOR ACQUIRING THE GAS FROM ANOTHER WHO HAS SIMILARLY BROUGHT IT INTO THE STATE. SEE EAST OHIO GAS CO. V. TAX COMMISSION, 283 U.S. 465; ILLINOIS GAS CO. V. PUBLIC SERVICE CO., 314 U.S. 498; MEMPHIS GAS CO. V. BEELER, 315 U.S. 649. WHILE IT MAY BE THAT THE CONGRESS HAS THE POWER TO IMPOSE ANY LIMITATION IT MAY SEE FIT AND PROPER UPON THE RATE OR THE AMOUNT THAT THE GOVERNMENT MAY PAY FOR GAS FURNISHED TO IT, IT IS NOT BELIEVED THAT, BY THE PROVISION OF LAW HERE INVOLVED, IT INTENDED TO REGULATE OR LIMIT RATES ON GAS FURNISHED OUTSIDE OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA.

ACCORDINGLY, AND IN VIEW OF THE FOREGOING JUDICIAL DETERMINATION IN THE MATTER, IT IS CONCLUDED THAT THE PROVISIONS OF THE ACT OF 1916, SUPRA, ARE NOT APPLICABLE TO PUBLIC BUILDINGS OUTSIDE THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA. HENCE, THE QUESTION YOU SUBMIT, WHETHER THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN THE WASHINGTON GAS LIGHT COMPANY AND THE ROSSLYN GAS COMPANY IS SUCH THAT THE COMPANIES SHOULD BE REGARDED AS ONE INSOFAR AS THE GAS FURNISHED IS CONCERNED, IS NOT FOR CONSIDERATION OR DECISION AT THIS TIME.