B-48770, AUGUST 31, 1945, 25 COMP. GEN. 246

B-48770: Aug 31, 1945

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WHETHER OR NOT THE DEPENDENTS ARE EMPLOYEES OF THAT AGENCY FROM WHOSE COMPENSATION "RENT" IS DEDUCTED PURSUANT TO THE ACT OF MARCH 5. - ARE NOT TO BE REGARDED AS "PROVIDED WITH PUBLIC QUARTERS" FOR DEPENDENTS. SO AS TO REQUIRE A DEDUCTION FROM THE PAY OF SUCH ENLISTED MEN WHEN THEIR DEPENDENTS ARE IN RECEIPT OF FAMILY ALLOWANCE. FOR A DEDUCTION FROM THE PAY OF ENLISTED MEN OF THE FIRST THREE GRADES IF THEIR DEPENDENTS ARE "PROVIDED WITH PUBLIC QUARTERS" WHILE RECEIVING A FAMILY ALLOWANCE IS INAPPLICABLE IN CASES WHERE THE DEPENDENTS OCCUPY ON A RENTAL BASIS QUARTERS WITHIN THE PURVIEW OF THE 1945 ACT. AS FOLLOWS: THE NAVY DEPARTMENT IS INFORMED THAT CERTAIN ENLISTED MEN WHOSE DEPENDENTS RECEIVE FAMILY ALLOWANCE OCCUPY QUARTERS ON A RENTAL BASIS FROM THE NATIONAL PARK SERVICE UNDER THE JURISDICTION OF THE DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR.

B-48770, AUGUST 31, 1945, 25 COMP. GEN. 246

RENTAL OF GOVERNMENT-OWNED QUARTERS TO DEPENDENTS OF ENLISTED MEN IN RECEIPT OF FAMILY ALLOWANCE ENLISTED MEN OF THE FIRST THREE GRADES WHOSE DEPENDENTS OCCUPY ON A RENTAL BASIS QUARTERS UNDER THE JURISDICTION OF THE NATIONAL PARK SERVICE- -- WHETHER OR NOT THE DEPENDENTS ARE EMPLOYEES OF THAT AGENCY FROM WHOSE COMPENSATION "RENT" IS DEDUCTED PURSUANT TO THE ACT OF MARCH 5, 1928, AS FOR QUARTERS FURNISHED IN KIND--- ARE NOT TO BE REGARDED AS "PROVIDED WITH PUBLIC QUARTERS" FOR DEPENDENTS, WITHIN THE MEANING OF SECTION 108 (B) OF THE SERVICEMEN'S DEPENDENTS ALLOWANCE ACT OF 1942, AS AMENDED, SO AS TO REQUIRE A DEDUCTION FROM THE PAY OF SUCH ENLISTED MEN WHEN THEIR DEPENDENTS ARE IN RECEIPT OF FAMILY ALLOWANCE. IRRESPECTIVE OF OTHER CONSIDERATIONS, FROM AND AFTER THE DATE OF THE ACT OF JULY 2, 1945, PROVIDING THAT MILITARY AND NAVAL PERSONNEL AND THEIR DEPENDENTS MAY OCCUPY ON A RENTAL BASIS HOUSING FACILITIES UNDER THE JURISDICTION OF ANY GOVERNMENT AGENCY, WITHOUT LOSS OF MONETARY ALLOWANCE FOR QUARTERS, THE REQUIREMENT OF SECTION 108 (B) OF THE SERVICEMEN'S DEPENDENTS ALLOWANCE ACT OF 1942, AS AMENDED, FOR A DEDUCTION FROM THE PAY OF ENLISTED MEN OF THE FIRST THREE GRADES IF THEIR DEPENDENTS ARE "PROVIDED WITH PUBLIC QUARTERS" WHILE RECEIVING A FAMILY ALLOWANCE IS INAPPLICABLE IN CASES WHERE THE DEPENDENTS OCCUPY ON A RENTAL BASIS QUARTERS WITHIN THE PURVIEW OF THE 1945 ACT.

ASSISTANT COMPTROLLER GENERAL YATES TO THE SECRETARY OF THE NAVY, AUGUST 31, 1945:

THERE HAS BEEN CONSIDERED YOUR LETTER OF MARCH 26, 1945, AS FOLLOWS:

THE NAVY DEPARTMENT IS INFORMED THAT CERTAIN ENLISTED MEN WHOSE DEPENDENTS RECEIVE FAMILY ALLOWANCE OCCUPY QUARTERS ON A RENTAL BASIS FROM THE NATIONAL PARK SERVICE UNDER THE JURISDICTION OF THE DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR, AND FURTHER, THAT CERTAIN WIVES OF ENLISTED MEN NOW OCCUPYING NATIONAL PARK SERVICE QUARTERS ARE EMPLOYED BY THE NATIONAL PARK SERVICE AND LIVE IN SUCH QUARTERS ONLY BY VIRTUE OF SUCH EMPLOYMENT, AND THAT THE RENT OF SUCH QUARTERS IS CHECKED AGAINST THE SALARY OF THE WIVES, TO WHOM THE HOUSES (QUARTERS) ARE LEASED DIRECTLY.

THE QUARTERS RENTED FROM THE NATIONAL PARK SERVICE ON A MONTH TO MONTH BASIS RANGE IN PRICE FROM $15 TO $30 PER MONTH. THE NAVY DEPARTMENT IS INFORMED THAT SUCH QUARTERS ARE DEFICIENT IN SEVERAL WAYS, IN THAT ONLY A FEW HAVE FIXTURES SUCH AS REFRIGERATORS, RANGES, ETC., AND THEY ARE COMPLETELY UNFURNISHED AND REQUIRE CONSIDERABLE MONTHLY EXPENSE IN RENTING FURNISHINGS TO MAKE THEM HABITABLE. IT IS ALSO UNDERSTOOD THAT THE LEASING ARRANGEMENTS ARE ENTERED INTO AS A PURELY PERSONAL MATTER BETWEEN THE INDIVIDUALS CONCERNED AND THE REPRESENTATIVES OF THE DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR.

SECTION 108 OF THE ACT APPROVED JUNE 23, 1942 (56 STAT. 383), AS AMENDED BY SECTION 8 OF THE ACT OF OCTOBER 26, 1943 (57 STAT. 579; 37 U.S.C., SUPP. III, 208), REQUIRES, WITH RESPECT TO PAYMENT OF FAMILY ALLOWANCE TO THE DEPENDENTS OF ENLISTED MEN, THAT, EFFECTIVE NOVEMBER 1, 1943---

"THE MONTHLY PAY OF ANY ENLISTED MAN OF THE FIRST, SECOND, OR THIRD GRADES WHO IS PROVIDED WITH PUBLIC QUARTERS FOR HIS DEPENDENTS AND ANY OF WHOSE DEPENDENTS IS RECEIVING A FAMILY ALLOWANCE SHALL BE REDUCED BY, OR CHARGED WITH, 90 CENTS PER DAY.'

ALNAV 175 OF OCTOBER 26, 1943, ISSUED PURSUANT TO SECTION 108, SUPRA, PROVIDES, IN PERTINENT PART, AS FOLLOWS:

"PERSONNEL FIRST THREE PAY GRADES WHO ARE PROVIDED WITH PUBLIC QUARTERS FOR THEIR DEPENDENTS WILL BE CHECKED NINETY CENTS PER DAY FOR SUCH QUARTERS IF ANY OF THEIR DEPENDENTS RECEIVE FAMILY ALLOWANCE.'

IN CONNECTION WITH THE FOREGOING, YOUR DECISION IS REQUESTED ON THE FOLLOWING QUESTIONS:

(1) WHETHER OR NOT THOSE ENLISTED MEN WHOSE DEPENDENTS RECEIVE FAMILY ALLOWANCE AND WHO OCCUPY QUARTERS ON A RENTAL BASIS FROM THE NATIONAL PARK SERVICE COME WITHIN THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 108 OF THE ACT OF JUNE 23, 1943, AS AMENDED AND ALNAV 175 OF OCTOBER 26, 1943.

(2) IN THOSE CASES WHERE THE WIVES OF THE ENLISTED MEN OCCUPYING NATIONAL PARK SERVICE HOUSES ARE EMPLOYED BY THE NATIONAL PARK SERVICE, AND THE QUARTERS ARE RENTED DIRECTLY TO THE WIVES WITH THE RENTAL DEDUCTED FROM THEIR SALARIES AS EMPLOYEES OF THE NATIONAL PARK SERVICE, IS IT REQUIRED THAT THE MONTHLY PAY OF THE ENLISTED MEN CONCERNED SHALL BE REDUCED BY OR CHARGED WITH 90 CENTS PER DAY ON THE GROUND THAT DURING THE OCCUPANCY OF SUCH QUARTERS UNDER THE CONDITIONS STATED SUCH ENLISTED MEN HAVE BEEN PROVIDED WITH PUBLIC QUARTERS FOR THEIR DEPENDENTS WITHIN THE MEANING OF SAID SECTION 108, AS AMENDED, AND ALNAV 175 OF OCTOBER 26, 1943?

(3) IN THE EVENT QUERIES (1) AND (2) ARE ANSWERED IN THE AFFIRMATIVE, WILL RETROACTIVE CHECK AGES AGAINST THE ACCOUNTS OF THE ENLISTED MEN CONCERNED BE REQUIRED FROM NOVEMBER 1, 1943, AND, IF SO, SHOULD CLAIM FOR REFUND OF RENTAL PAYMENTS MADE TO THE NATIONAL PARK SERVICE BE SUBMITTED ON GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE FORM 2034, AND ALL FUTURE COSTS OF RENTAL BILLED THE NAVY DEPARTMENT ON SUCH FORM 1080 BY THE NATIONAL PARK SERVICE?

SECTION 8 OF THE SAID ACT OF OCTOBER 26, 1943, 57 STAT. 579, AMENDING THE SERVICEMEN'S DEPENDENTS ALLOWANCE ACT OF 1942, 56 STAT. 361, PROVIDES AS FOLLOWS:

THAT SECTION 108 OF SUCH ACT IS AMENDED BY INSERTING IN THE FIRST LINE THEREOF AFTER " SEC. ," THE SUBPARAGRAPH DESIGNATION "/A)," AND ADDING AT THE END OF THE SECTION A NEW SUBSECTION TO READ AS FOLLOWS:

"/B) EXCEPT AS OTHERWISE HEREIN PROVIDED, MONETARY ALLOWANCES IN LIEU OF QUARTERS FOR DEPENDENTS AS AUTHORIZED BY SECTION 10 OF THE PAY READJUSTMENT ACT OF 1942 SHALL NOT BE PAYABLE FOR THE PERIOD DURING WHICH FAMILY ALLOWANCES TO DEPENDENTS OF ENLISTED MEN OF THE FIRST, SECOND, OR THIRD GRADES ARE AUTHORIZED OR, BEING ENTITLED TO A MONETARY ALLOWANCE IN LIEU OF QUARTERS FOR DEPENDENTS HAS APPLIED, THEREFOR, MAY, AT HIS OPTION, RECEIVE OR CONTINUE TO RECEIVE SUCH MONETARY ALLOWANCE OR ELECT NOT TO RECEIVE SUCH MONETARY ALLOWANCE AND TO HAVE HIS DEPENDENTS BECOME ENTITLED TO RECEIVE FAMILY ALLOWANCE: PROVIDED, THAT PAYMENT OF SUCH MONETARY ALLOWANCE SHALL BE MADE ONLY FOR SUCH PERIODS, FROM THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF THIS ACT, AS THE ENLISTED MAN HAS IN EFFECT AN ALLOTMENT OF PAY, IN AN AMOUNT NOT LESS THAN THE AMOUNT OF SUCH MONETARY ALLOWANCE, FOR THE SUPPORT OF THE DEPENDENTS ON WHOSE ACCOUNT THE ALLOWANCE IS CLAIMED. DEPENDENT OF ANY ENLISTED MAN SHALL BE ENTITLED TO FAMILY ALLOWANCE FOR ANY PERIOD FOR WHICH SUCH MONETARY ALLOWANCE IS PAID TO THE ENLISTED MAN. AN ENLISTED MAN'S ELECTION TO HAVE HIS DEPENDENTS RECEIVE FAMILY ALLOWANCE MAY BE MADE AT ANY TIME AND WHEN MADE SHALL BE IRREVOCABLE DURING THE PERIOD OF ENTITLEMENT TO FAMILY ALLOWANCE AS SET OUT IN SECTION 101: PROVIDED, THAT THE SECRETARY OF THE DEPARTMENT CONCERNED IS AUTHORIZED TO MAKE THE ELECTION ON BEHALF OF THE ENLISTED MAN IN ANY CASE IN WHICH HE DEEMS IT DESIRABLE AND FINDS IT IMPRACTICABLE FOR THE ENLISTED MAN TO SO ELECT, SUBJECT TO TERMINATION AT LATER DATE UPON SPECIFIC REQUEST OF THE ENLISTED MAN. IF AN ELECTION IS MADE THE MONETARY ALLOWANCE PAYMENTS SHALL BE DISCONTINUED AT A DATE TO BE PRESCRIBED BY THE SECRETARY OF THE DEPARTMENT CONCERNED. THE MONTHLY PAY OF ANY ENLISTED MAN OF THE FIRST, SECOND, OR THIRD CLASS GRADES WHO IS PROVIDED WITH PUBLIC QUARTERS FOR HIS DEPENDENTS AND ANY OF WHOSE DEPENDENTS IS RECEIVING A FAMILY ALLOWANCE SHALL BE REDUCED BY, OR CHARGED WITH, 90 CENTS PER Y.'

WITH RESPECT TO THAT PORTION OF THE ABOVE SECTION WHICH IS QUOTED IN YOUR LETTER THERE APPEAR ON PAGES 15 AND 16 OF THE REPORT OF THE HEARINGS HELD JUNE 28, 1943, BY THE COMMITTEE ON MILITARY AFFAIRS, UNITED STATES SENATE, THE FOLLOWING STATEMENTS BY BRIGADIER GENERAL M. G. WHITE, ASSISTANT CHIEF OF STAFF, G-1---

THERE IS ANOTHER ITEM IN THE LAW THAT THE ARMY WOULD LIKE CHANGED. THE PRESENT LAW EXCLUDES ENLISTED MEN OF THE FIRST THREE PAY GRADES, WHO, IF NOT OCCUPYING GOVERNMENT QUARTERS, RECEIVE COMMUTATION FOR QUARTERS AT THE RATE OF $37.50 A MONTH. THE EFFECT IS THAT A MAN IN THE FOURTH PAY GRADE, RECEIVING A DEPENDENCY ALLOWANCE, FREQUENTLY LOSES MONEY IF HE IS PROMOTED, WHICH IS A VERY UNFORTUNATE SITUATION. * * *

* * * IN SOME CASES THE MAN WITH A WIFE ALONE, FOR EXAMPLE, WOULD RECEIVE LESS THAN HE DOES AT PRESENT. HE GETS $37.50 FOR HIS COMMUTATION OF QUARTERS, AND HE WOULD ONLY GET DEPENDENCY ALLOWANCE FROM THE GOVERNMENT IF HE ONLY HAD A WIFE AND NO CHILDREN.

WE BELIEVE THIS WILL BE ALL RIGHT FOR THOSE WHO ARE HEREAFTER PROMOTED; THEY ACTUALLY LOSE NOTHING. THEY RECEIVE AN INCREASE IN PAY UPON PROMOTION AND THE DEPENDENCY ALLOWANCE TO THEIR WIVES CONTINUES WITHOUT CHANGE. BUT THOSE MEN NOW IN THE FIRST THREE PAY GRADES, WHO ARE NOW DRAWING COMMUTATION, SHOULD BE PERMITTED TO ELECT EITHER TO CONTINUE IN THAT STATUS, RECEIVING COMMUTATION, OR TO APPLY FOR DEPENDENCY ALLOWANCE. HAVING ONCE ELECTED THE LATTER, THEY SHOULD NOT BE PERMITTED TO CHANGE. THAT IS, HAVING ONCE GONE FROM COMMUTATION STATUS TO ALLOTMENT STATUS, THEY COULD NOT THEREAFTER GO BACK ON COMMUTATION.

WE WOULD THUS GRADUALLY ABSORB INTO THE ALLOTMENT SYSTEM THE MEN WHO ARE NOW DRAWING COMMUTATION. IT WOULD NECESSITATE ONE OTHER THING. IF A MAN IN ONE OF THOSE GRADES OCCUPIES GOVERNMENT QUARTERS, WE SHOULD MAKE SOME CHARGE AS RENTAL. ON THE BASIS OF THE PRESENT COMMUTATION $37.50 A MONTH, THE RENTAL CHARGE FOR GOVERNMENT QUARTERS WOULD BE ABOUT A DOLLAR AND QUARTER A DAY. THEY WOULD THUS PAY FOR THEIR QUARTERS, AND AT THE SAME TIME THEY WOULD RECEIVE THE DEPENDENCY ALLOWANCES * * * .

ALSO, ON PAGE 7 OF THE REPORT OF THE HEARINGS HELD SEPTEMBER 29, 1943, BY THE COMMITTEE ON MILITARY AFFAIRS, HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, ON THE BILL S. 1279, WHICH SUBSEQUENTLY WAS ENACTED INTO LAW AS THE SAID ACT OF OCTOBER 26, 1943, THERE APPEARS THE FOLLOWING STATEMENT BY GENERAL WHITE RESPECTING THE PROPOSED DEDUCTION FROM THE PAY OF AN ENLISTED MAN ON ACCOUNT OF OCCUPANCY OF PUBLIC QUARTERS BY HIS DEPENDENTS:

* * * FREQUENTLY PUBLIC QUARTERS ARE FURNISHED FOR A SOLDIER'S FAMILY, AND IN THAT CASE, WHILE HE DRAWS NO COMMUTATION, HE DOES HAVE AN ADVANTAGE IN THAT HE HAS QUARTERS WITHOUT EXPENSE TO HIMSELF. SO, TO RECTIFY THAT, OR RATHER TO MAKE IT EQUITABLE FOR ALL, WE PROPOSE SOME DEDUCTION FROM HIS PAY IN CASE HIS FAMILY IS OCCUPYING SUCH QUARTERS. IN OTHER WORDS, WE WILL CHARGE HIM A SMALL RENTAL FOR THE PUBLIC QUARTERS HE OCCUPIES.

IN THE LIGHT OF THE FOREGOING LEGISLATIVE HISTORY, IT SEEMS CLEAR THAT THE PURPOSE OF THE PROVISION IN SECTION 8 OF THE SAID ACT OF OCTOBER 26, 1943, FOR THE DEDUCTION FROM THE PAY OF AN ENLISTED MAN OF THE FIRST THREE PAY GRADES WHOSE DEPENDENTS ARE IN RECEIPT OF THE FAMILY ALLOWANCE AND WHO ALSO ARE PROVIDED WITH PUBLIC QUARTERS IS TO EQUALIZE THE MONETARY BENEFITS ACCRUING TO SUCH ENLISTED MEN AND THEIR DEPENDENTS WITH THOSE ACCRUING TO ENLISTED MEN OF THE FIRST THREE PAY GRADES WHO ELECT TO CONTINUE IN RECEIPT OF THE MONETARY ALLOWANCE AND WHOSE DEPENDENTS LIKEWISE ARE PROVIDED WITH PUBLIC QUARTERS.

PARAGRAPH 2 OF SECTION 10 OF THE PAY READJUSTMENT ACT OF 1942, 56 STAT. 363, 364, PROVIDES:

EACH ENLISTED MAN OF THE FIRST, SECOND, OR THIRD GRADE, IN THE ACTIVE MILITARY, NAVAL, OR COAST GUARD SERVICE OF THE UNITED STATES HAVING A DEPENDENT AS DEFINED IN SECTION 4 OF THIS ACT, SHALL, UNDER SUCH REGULATIONS AS THE PRESIDENT MAY PRESCRIBE, BE ENTITLED TO RECEIVE, FOR ANY PERIOD DURING WHICH PUBLIC QUARTERS ARE NOT PROVIDED AND AVAILABLE FOR HIS DEPENDENT, THE MONTHLY ALLOWANCE FOR QUARTERS AUTHORIZED BY LAW TO BE GRANTED TO EACH ENLISTED MAN NOT FURNISHED QUARTERS IN KIND: PROVIDED, THAT SUCH ENLISTED MEN SHALL CONTINUE TO BE ENTITLED TO THIS ALLOWANCE ALTHOUGH RECEIVING THE ALLOWANCE PROVIDED IN THE FIRST PARAGRAPH OF THIS SECTION IF BY REASONS OF ORDERS OF COMPETENT AUTHORITY HIS DEPENDENT IS PREVENTED FROM DWELLING WITH HIM.

THE ABOVE-QUOTED PARAGRAPH AUTHORIZES THE PAYMENT OF A MONTHLY ALLOWANCE FOR QUARTERS TO AN ENLISTED MAN OF THE FIRST THREE PAY GRADES IN THE EVENT "PUBLIC QUARTERS ARE NOT PROVIDED * * * FOR HIS DEPENDENT.' CONVERSELY, SUCH ALLOWANCE IS NOT AUTHORIZED IN ANY CASE WHERE THE ENLISTED MAN IS PROVIDED WITH PUBLIC QUARTERS FOR HIS DEPENDENT. SINCE SECTION 108 (B) OF THE SERVICEMEN'S DEPENDENTS ALLOWANCE ACT OF 1942, AS AMENDED, SUPRA, REQUIRES A DEDUCTION OF THE AMOUNT THEREIN PRESCRIBED FROM AN ENLISTED MAN'S PAY FOR PERIODS HE IS "PROVIDED WITH PUBLIC QUARTERS FOR HIS DEPENDENT"--- THE IDENTICAL CIRCUMSTANCE UNDER WHICH PAYMENT OF THE MONTHLY ALLOWANCE FOR QUARTERS, AUTHORIZED BY PARAGRAPH 2 OF SECTION 10 OF THE PAY READJUSTMENT ACT OF 1942, SUPRA, IS DENIED--- IT SEEMS CLEAR, IN VIEW OF THE PURPOSE OF THE SAID AMENDATORY STATUTE TO EQUALIZE THE MONETARY BENEFITS ACCRUING TO ENLISTED MEN UNDER SUCH CIRCUMSTANCES, THAT A DETERMINATION AS TO WHAT CONSTITUTES THE FURNISHING OF PUBLIC QUARTERS WITHIN THE CONTEMPLATION OF THE SAID SECTION 108 (B) IS GOVERNED BY THE SAME CONSIDERATIONS HERETOFORE APPLIED TO THE PROVISIONS OF LAW RESPECTING PAYMENT OF THE MONETARY ALLOWANCE IN LIEU OF QUARTERS.

IT IS WELL ESTABLISHED THAT THE STATUTES AUTHORIZING PAYMENT OF QUARTERS ALLOWANCE AND RENTAL ALLOWANCE TO MILITARY AND NAVAL PERSONNEL DO NOT AUTHORIZE PAYMENT OF SUCH ALLOWANCES TO OFFICERS OR ENLISTED MEN OTHERWISE ENTITLED THERETO FOR PERIODS DURING WHICH THEIR DEPENDENTS OCCUPY GOVERNMENT-OWNED OR CONTROLLED QUARTERS UNLESS SUCH OCCUPANCY IS ON A RENTAL BASIS AND OCCUPANCY ON THAT BASIS IS AUTHORIZED BY EXPRESS PROVISION OF LAW. CONSEQUENTLY, WHETHER, IN EACH OF THE CIRCUMSTANCES STATED IN YOUR LETTER, THE ENLISTED MAN "IS PROVIDED WITH PUBLIC QUARTERS FOR HIS DEPENDENTS" DEPENDS UPON A DETERMINATION OF THE STATUTORY AUTHORITY OF THE SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR TO AUTHORIZE THE RENTING OF PUBLIC QUARTERS UNDER THE JURISDICTION OF THE NATIONAL PARK SERVICE TO PERSONS OTHER THAN EMPLOYEES OF THAT SERVICE AS WELL AS TO EMPLOYEES THEREOF.

SECTION 3 OF THE ACT OF AUGUST 25, 1916, 39 STAT. 535, AS AMENDED (16 U.S.C. 3), AUTHORIZING THE SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR TO MAKE SUCH RULES AND REGULATIONS AS HE MAY DEEM NECESSARY OR PROPER FOR THE USE AND MANAGEMENT OF THE PARKS, MONUMENTS, AND RESERVATIONS UNDER THE JURISDICTION OF THE NATIONAL PARK SERVICE, FURTHER PROVIDES THAT:

* * * HE MAY ALSO GRANT PRIVILEGES, LEASES, AND PERMITS FOR THE USE OF LAND FOR THE ACCOMMODATION OF VISITORS IN THE VARIOUS PARKS, MONUMENTS, OR OTHER RESERVATIONS PROVIDED FOR UNDER SECTION 2 OF THIS TITLE, BUT FOR PERIODS NOT EXCEEDING TWENTY YEARS * * * IN VIEW OF THE BROAD AUTHORITY THUS CONFERRED ON THE SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR, THERE CAN BE LITTLE DOUBT THAT PUBLIC QUARTERS UNDER THE JURISDICTION OF THE NATIONAL PARK SERVICE PROPERLY MAY BE LEASED TO INDIVIDUALS OTHER THAN EMPLOYEES OF THAT SERVICE IN ACCORDANCE WITH ADMINISTRATIVE REGULATIONS AUTHORIZING SUCH ACTION AND, WHILE THE LOCATION OF THE PARTICULAR QUARTERS HERE INVOLVED HAS NOT BEEN IDENTIFIED, IT IS ASSUMED THAT THE LEASING THEREOF TO ENLISTED MEN'S DEPENDENTS WHO ARE NOT GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES WAS IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONTROLLING REGULATIONS ISSUED BY THE SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR. WITH RESPECT TO THE FURNISHING OF PUBLIC QUARTERS TO EMPLOYEES OF THE NATIONAL PARK SERVICE, SECTION 3 OF THE ACT OF MARCH 5, 1928, 45 STAT. 193, PROVIDES:

THE HEAD OF AN EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENT OR INDEPENDENT ESTABLISHMENT, WHERE, IN HIS JUDGMENT, CONDITIONS OF EMPLOYMENT REQUIRE IT, MAY CONTINUE TO FURNISH CIVILIANS EMPLOYED IN THE FIELD SERVICE WITH QUARTERS, HEAT, LIGHT, HOUSEHOLD EQUIPMENT, SUBSISTENCE, AND LAUNDRY SERVICE; AND APPROPRIATIONS FOR THE FISCAL YEAR 1929 AND THEREAFTER OF THE CHARACTER HERETOFORE USED FOR SUCH PURPOSES ARE HEREBY MADE AVAILABLE THEREOF: PROVIDED, THAT THE REASONABLE VALUE OF SUCH ALLOWANCES SHALL BE DETERMINED AND CONSIDERED AS PART OF THE COMPENSATION IN FIXING THE SALARY RATE OF SUCH CIVILIANS. THE NECESSARY EFFECT OF THE QUOTED STATUTE IS TO REQUIRE THE WITHHOLDING FROM THE EMPLOYEE OF SO MUCH OF HIS GROSS SALARY AS REPRESENTS THE REASONABLE VALUE OF THE ALLOWANCES FURNISHED. HENCE, IT IS CLEAR THAT AMOUNTS DEDUCTED FROM AN EMPLOYEE'S COMPENSATION FOR QUARTERS FURNISHED IN KIND REPRESENT PAYMENT OF "RENT" BY THE EMPLOYEE FOR SUCH QUARTERS.

FROM THE FOREGOING, IT WILL BE SEEN THAT OCCUPANCY OF QUARTERS UNDER THE JURISDICTION OF THE NATIONAL PARK SERVICE BY THE GENERAL PUBLIC AS WELL AS BY EMPLOYEES OF THAT SERVICE, ON A RENTAL BASIS, IS AUTHORIZED SPECIFICALLY BY LAW AND, THEREFORE, IN CONSONANCE WITH THE PRINCIPLES APPLIED IN DETERMINING, FOR MONETARY ALLOWANCE PAYMENT PURPOSES, WHETHER PUBLIC QUARTERS ARE PROVIDED FOR AN ENLISTED MAN'S DEPENDENTS, YOU ARE ADVISED THAT WHERE AN ENLISTED MAN'S DEPENDENTS--- WHETHER OR NOT EMPLOYEES OF THE NATIONAL PARK SERVICE--- OCCUPY, ON A RENTAL BASIS, QUARTERS UNDER THE JURISDICTION OF THE NATIONAL PARK SERVICE, SUCH ENLISTED MAN IS NOT "PROVIDED WITH PUBLIC QUARTERS FOR HIS DEPENDENTS" WITHIN THE MEANING OF SAID SECTION 108 OF THE SERVICEMEN'S DEPENDENTS ALLOWANCE ACT OF 1942, AS AMENDED.

FURTHERMORE, SUBSEQUENT TO THE DATE OF YOUR REQUEST FOR DECISION THERE WAS ENACTED PUBLIC LAW 120, APPROVED JULY 2, 1945, 59 STAT. 316, WHICH READS AS FOLLOWS:

THAT NOTWITHSTANDING THE PROVISIONS OF ANY OTHER LAW (INCLUDING ANY LAWS RESTRICTING THE OCCUPANCY OF HOUSING FACILITIES UNDER THE JURISDICTION OF GOVERNMENT DEPARTMENTS OR AGENCIES BY PERSONNEL, AND DEPENDENTS OF PERSONNEL OF THE ARMY, NAVY, MARINE CORPS, AND COAST GUARD ABOVE SPECIFIED RANKS, OR BY PERSONNEL, AND DEPENDENTS OF PERSONNEL, OF THE COAST AND GEODETIC SURVEY AND THE PUBLIC HEALTH SERVICE), PERSONNEL OF ANY OF THE SERVICES MENTIONED HEREIN AND THEIR DEPENDENTS MAY BE ACCEPTED AS TENANTS IN AND MAY OCCUPY ON A RENTAL BASIS ANY SUCH HOUSING FACILITIES, OTHER THAN PUBLIC QUARTERS CONSTRUCTED OR DESIGNATED FOR ASSIGNMENT TO AND OCCUPANCY WITHOUT CHARGE BY SUCH PERSONNEL AND THEIR DEPENDENTS IF ANY, AND SUCH PERSONNEL SHALL NOT BE DEPRIVED BY REASON OF SUCH OCCUPANCY OF MONEY ALLOWANCES TO WHICH THEY ARE OTHERWISE ENTITLED FOR RENTAL OF QUARTERS.

THE EVIDENT PURPOSE OF THE QUOTED STATUTE IS TO AUTHORIZE MILITARY AND NAVAL PERSONNEL AND THEIR DEPENDENTS TO OCCUPY, ON A RENTAL BASIS, HOUSING FACILITIES--- OTHER THAN PUBLIC QUARTERS CONSTRUCTED AND DESIGNATED FOR ASSIGNMENT AND OCCUPANCY WITHOUT CHARGE BY SUCH PERSONNEL AND THEIR DEPENDENTS--- UNDER THE JURISDICTION OF ANY GOVERNMENT DEPARTMENT OR AGENCY, WITHOUT LOSS OF RENTAL OR QUARTERS ALLOWANCE. SINCE, UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF THE SAID ACT, ENLISTED MEN OTHERWISE ENTITLED TO THE MONETARY ALLOWANCE FOR QUARTERS COULD CONTINUE IN RECEIPT THEREOF FOR PERIODS DURING WHICH THEIR DEPENDENTS OCCUPY, ON A RENTAL BASIS, PUBLIC QUARTERS SUCH AS INVOLVED IN THE INSTANT MATTER OR SIMILAR QUARTERS UNDER THE JURISDICTION OF ANY OTHER DEPARTMENT OR AGENCY OF THE GOVERNMENT, IT FOLLOWS, IN VIEW OF THE EVIDENT PURPOSE OF SECTION 108 (B) OF THE SERVICEMEN'S DEPENDENTS ALLOWANCE ACT, AS HEREINBEFORE STATED, THAT, IN ANY EVENT, NO DEDUCTION WOULD BE REQUIRED FROM THE PAY OF ENLISTED MEN OF THE FIRST THREE PAY GRADES WHOSE DEPENDENTS WERE RECEIVING FAMILY ALLOWANCE PAYMENTS AND LIKEWISE OCCUPYING SIMILAR QUARTERS ON A RENTAL BASIS FROM AND AFTER JULY 2, 1945--- THE DATE OF APPROVAL OF THE SAID PUBLIC LAW 120.

ACCORDINGLY, QUESTIONS (1) AND (2,) ABOVE, ARE ANSWERED IN THE NEGATIVE, MAKING UNNECESSARY ANY ANSWER TO QUESTION (3).