B-72092, APRIL 22, 1949, 28 COMP. GEN. 603

B-72092: Apr 22, 1949

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TRAVEL ALLOWANCES - BETWEEN TWO POINTS OUTSIDE UNITED STATES - NAVY ENLISTED MEN UPON DISCHARGE WHERE COMMERCIAL STEAMSHIP SERVICE IS AVAILABLE BETWEEN XITSINGTAO. WAS SUBSEQUENTLY DISCHARGED AT TSINGTAO. IS NOT ENTITLED TO TRAVEL ALLOWANCE UNDER SECTION 126 OF THE NATIONAL DEFENSE ACT. IS BY WAY OF SAN FRANCISCO. WAS SUBSEQUENTLY DISCHARGED AT PEARL HARBOR. IS ENTITLED TO TRAVEL ALLOWANCE FOR LAND TRAVEL ONLY FROM PEARL HARBOR TO HONOLULU AND FROM SAN FRANCISCO TO SEATTLE AS AUTHORIZED IN SECTION 126 OF THE NATIONAL DEFENSE ACT. RELATING TO TRAVEL BETWEEN THE UNITED STATES AND ALASKA ARE NOT APPLICABLE TO TRAVEL IN ALASKA WHERE THE TWO POINTS BETWEEN WHICH TRAVEL ALLOWANCE IS TO BE COMPUTED ARE BOTH LOCATED IN THAT TERRITORY.

B-72092, APRIL 22, 1949, 28 COMP. GEN. 603

TRAVEL ALLOWANCES - BETWEEN TWO POINTS OUTSIDE UNITED STATES - NAVY ENLISTED MEN UPON DISCHARGE WHERE COMMERCIAL STEAMSHIP SERVICE IS AVAILABLE BETWEEN XITSINGTAO, CHINA, AND KODIAK, ALASKA, VIA SEATTLE, WASHINGTON, INVOLVING ONLY SEA TRAVEL BETWEEN SUCH POINTS, AN INDIVIDUAL WHO ENLISTED AT KODIAK, ALASKA, AND WAS SUBSEQUENTLY DISCHARGED AT TSINGTAO, CHINA, IS NOT ENTITLED TO TRAVEL ALLOWANCE UNDER SECTION 126 OF THE NATIONAL DEFENSE ACT, AS AMENDED, WHICH AUTHORIZES ONLY TRANSPORTATION IN KIND AND SUBSISTENCE EN ROUTE FOR ANY SEA TRAVEL INVOLVED IN RETURNING ENLISTED MEN TO THEIR HOMES, ETC., UPON DISCHARGE. WHERE THE SHORTEST ROUTE OF TRAVEL BETWEEN HONOLULU, T.H., AND ADAK, ALASKA, IS BY WAY OF SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA, AND SEATTLE, WASHINGTON, AN INDIVIDUAL WHO ENLISTED AT ADAK, ALASKA, AND WAS SUBSEQUENTLY DISCHARGED AT PEARL HARBOR, T.H., IS ENTITLED TO TRAVEL ALLOWANCE FOR LAND TRAVEL ONLY FROM PEARL HARBOR TO HONOLULU AND FROM SAN FRANCISCO TO SEATTLE AS AUTHORIZED IN SECTION 126 OF THE NATIONAL DEFENSE ACT, AS AMENDED. THE PROVISIONS OF THE ACT OF JUNE 12, 1906, RELATING TO TRAVEL BETWEEN THE UNITED STATES AND ALASKA ARE NOT APPLICABLE TO TRAVEL IN ALASKA WHERE THE TWO POINTS BETWEEN WHICH TRAVEL ALLOWANCE IS TO BE COMPUTED ARE BOTH LOCATED IN THAT TERRITORY; AND WHETHER SUCH TRAVEL IS TO BE CONSIDERED LAND TRAVEL OR SEA TRAVEL DEPENDS PRIMARILY UPON THE RELATIVE LOCATIONS OF THE RESPECTIVE TERMINI AND THE MODE OF SURFACE TRANSPORTATION AVAILABLE BETWEEN THOSE POINTS. UNDER THE PROVISIONS IN SECTION 126 OF THE NATIONAL DEFENSE ACT, AS AMENDED, AUTHORIZING TRAVEL ALLOWANCE TO ENLISTED PERSONNEL FROM PLACE OF DISCHARGE OR RELEASE FROM ACTIVE DUTY TO ANY ONE OF THE AUTHORIZED POINTS, AN INDIVIDUAL WHO ENLISTED IN A FOREIGN COUNTRY AND WAS SUBSEQUENTLY DISCHARGED IN ANOTHER FOREIGN COUNTRY IS ENTITLED TO TRAVEL ALLOWANCE FOR LAND TRAVEL FROM THE PLACE OF DISCHARGE TO THE NEAREST PORT OF DEPARTURE OF COMMERCIAL TRANSPORTATION, AND FROM THE PORT OF ENTRY TO DESTINATION BY THE SHORTEST USUALLY TRAVELED ROUTE COMPUTED IN ACCORDANCE WITH PARAGRAPH 7502-5 OF THE NAVY TRAVEL INSTRUCTIONS. IN CASES OF DISCHARGE OR RELEASE FROM ACTIVE DUTY AND WHERE TRAVEL IS ACTUALLY TO BE PERFORMED WITH SEA TRAVEL INVOLVED, THIS OFFICE MAY ALLOW ONLY THE TRAVEL ALLOWANCE AUTHORIZED BY SECTION 126 OF THE NATIONAL DEFENSE ACT, AS AMENDED, TO BE PAID UPON DISCHARGE OR RELEASE FROM ACTIVE DUTY FOR TRAVEL BETWEEN THE TERMINI OF THE JOURNEY, WITHOUT REGARD TO ACTUAL PORTS OF DEPARTURE AND/OR ARRIVAL AS PROPOSED IN A CHANGE IN NAVY TRAVEL INSTRUCTIONS. WHERE THE PLACE TO WHICH TRAVEL ALLOWANCE IS AUTHORIZED IS IN THE UNITED STATES AND THE PLACE OF DISCHARGE OR RELEASE FROM ACTIVE DUTY IS IN ALASKA, OR VICE VERSA, THE TERMINI OF THE JOURNEY ARE WITHIN THE RESPECTIVE GEOGRAPHICAL AREAS SPECIFIED IN THE ACT OF JUNE 12, 1906, PROVIDING THAT TRAVEL BETWEEN THE UNITED STATES AND ALASKA SHALL NOT BE REGARDED AS SEA TRAVEL, AND, THEREFORE, TRAVEL ALLOWANCE IS PROPERLY PAYABLE AS FOR LAND TRAVEL FOR THE ENTIRE DISTANCE FROM STARTING POINT TO DESTINATION EVEN THOUGH A CHANGE OF STEAMERS OR TRANSFER FROM A STEAMER TO SOME OTHER MODE OF TRANSPORTATION EN ROUTE MAY BE NECESSARY. THE TRAVEL ALLOWANCE AUTHORIZED TO BE PAID BETWEEN A POINT IN ALASKA AND A POINT IN CANADA, NEWFOUNDLAND, OR MEXICO IS TO BE COMPUTED ONLY FOR THE LAND PORTION OF THE JOURNEY VIA THE SHORTEST USUALLY TRAVELED ROUTE BETWEEN THE TERMINI INVOLVED AS DETERMINED IN ACCORDANCE WITH NAVY TRAVEL INSTRUCTIONS ISSUED PURSUANT TO AUTHORITY CONTAINED IN THE ACT OF MARCH 3, 1909, AUTHORIZING THE SECRETARY OF THE NAVY TO DETERMINE DISTANCES AND WHAT CONSTITUTES THE SHORTEST USUALLY TRAVELED ROUTE. NOTWITHSTANDING THE AUTHORITY VESTED IN THE SECRETARY OF THE NAVY BY THE ACT OF MARCH 3, 1909, TO ESTABLISH WHAT CONSTITUTES THE SHORTEST USUALLY TRAVELED ROUTE IN RELATION TO SECTION 126 OF THE NATIONAL DEFENSE ACT, AS AMENDED, AUTHORIZING TRAVEL ALLOWANCE TO ENLISTED MEN UPON DISCHARGE, TC., THIS OFFICE MAY NOT APPROVE A CHANGE IN NAVY TRAVEL INSTRUCTIONS WHICH WOULD ESTABLISH THE ROUTE OF TRAVEL WITH ACTUAL PORTS OF ENTRY AND/OR DEPARTURE AS THE SHORTEST USUALLY TRAVELED ROUTE WHERE TRAVEL IS IN FACT PERFORMED AND A DIFFERENT ROUTE BETWEEN THE SAME POINTS IN ANOTHER SIMILAR CASE WHERE NO TRAVEL WHATEVER IS TO BE PERFORMED.

ASSISTANT COMPTROLLER GENERAL YATES TO THE SECRETARY OF THE NAVY, APRIL 22, 1949:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF AUGUST 2, 1948, WITH ENCLOSURE DATED MAY 3, 1948, FROM THE DEPUTY CHIEF OF NAVAL PERSONNEL RELATIVE TO THE QUESTION OF TRAVEL ALLOWANCE PAYABLE TO ENLISTED PERSONNEL UNDER THE CIRCUMSTANCES SET FORTH IN QUESTIONS (1) TO (5), SEPARATELY TREATED HEREUNDER. ALSO, IN VIEW OF THE COMMENTS BY THE DEPUTY CHIEF OF NAVAL PERSONNEL, YOU REQUEST THAT THE DECISION OF THIS OFFICE DATED FEBRUARY 26, 1948, B-72092, BE RECONSIDERED.

THE CONCLUSIONS REACHED IN THE DECISION TO WHICH YOU REFER WERE BASED UPON THE INFORMATION AVAILABLE TO THIS OFFICE AT THAT TIME. HOWEVER, ON THE BASIS OF ADDITIONAL EVIDENCE RECEIVED FROM THE CARRIERS INVOLVED AS WELL AS THE STEAMSHIP PASSENGER SCHEDULES WHICH APPEAR IN THE FEBRUARY 1949 ISSUE OF THE OFFICIAL RAILWAY GUIDE, THE EXAMPLES DISCUSSED IN THE DECISION OF FEBRUARY 26, 1948, ARE FURTHER CONSIDERED AND THE CONCLUSIONS THEREOF AFFIRMED OR MODIFIED AS INDICATED.

IT APPEARS THAT THE UNCERTAINTY CONNECTED WITH THE QUESTION OF DETERMINING THE AMOUNT PROPERLY PAYABLE AS A TRAVEL ALLOWANCE ARISES MAINLY IN THOSE CASES WHERE BOTH POINTS OF TRAVEL ARE OUTSIDE THE CONTINENTAL LIMITS OF THE UNITED STATES. THE PURPOSE OF THE TRAVEL ALLOWANCE LAW (SECTION 126 OF THE NATIONAL DEFENSE ACT, AS AMENDED BY SECTION 21 OF THE ACT APPROVED AUGUST 2, 1946, 60 STAT. 856) IS TO ENABLE THE ENLISTED PERSON TO RETURN TO ONE OF THE PLACES DESIGNATED IN THE STATUTE AND TO ACCOMPLISH THAT RESULT THE ACT PRESCRIBES A MONEY ALLOWANCE OF 5 CENTS PER MILE FOR THE DISTANCE FROM PLACE OF DISCHARGE OR RELEASE FROM ACTIVE DUTY TO ANY ONE OF THE AUTHORIZED POINTS. THE LAW, HOWEVER, FURTHER PRESCRIBES THAT " FOR SEA TRAVEL INVOLVED IN TRAVEL BETWEEN PLACE OF DISCHARGE OR RELEASE FROM ACTIVE DUTY AND PLACE TO WHICH TRAVEL IS AUTHORIZED ONLY TRANSPORTATION IN KIND AND SUBSISTENCE EN ROUTE SHALL BE ALLOWED.' FOR LAND TRAVEL BETWEEN PLACE OF DISCHARGE OR PLACE OF RELEASE FROM ACTIVE DUTY AND THE PLACE TO WHICH TRAVEL ALLOWANCE IS AUTHORIZED AN ENLISTED PERSON IS ENTITLED TO A MONEY ALLOWANCE AT THE RATE OF 5 CENTS A MILE. SUCH AN ALLOWANCE IS PAYABLE FOR LAND TRAVEL IN OR THROUGH A FOREIGN COUNTRY AS WELL AS FOR LAND TRAVEL WITHIN THE CONTINENTAL LIMITS OF THE UNITED STATES. 25 COMP. DEC. 950. HOWEVER, EXCEPT AS OTHERWISE SPECIFICALLY PROVIDED BY LAW (SEE ANSWER TO QUESTION 2, INFRA) ONLY TRANSPORTATION IN KIND AND SUBSISTENCE EN ROUTE ARE AUTHORIZED FOR SEA TRAVEL.

THE TRAVEL ALLOWANCE STATUTE DOES NOT WITHIN ITSELF OUTLINE OR ESTABLISH THE BASIS FOR DETERMINING THE ROUTE OF TRAVEL BETWEEN THE AUTHORIZED POINTS. HOWEVER, IN ALL CASES OF TRAVEL AT PUBLIC EXPENSE COMPUTATION SHOULD BE VIA THE SHORTEST USUALLY TRAVELED ROUTE INVOLVING THE LESSER EXPENSE TO THE GOVERNMENT AND THIS PRINCIPLE HAS BEEN APPLIED IN THE COMPUTATION OF TRAVEL ALLOWANCE. 17 COMP. DEC. 561. ALSO, THERE IS FOR CONSIDERATION IN THIS CONNECTION THE PROVISION CONTAINED IN THE ACT OF MARCH 3, 1909, 35 STAT. 774 (34 U.S.C. 977), WHICH PROVIDES THAT:

THE SETTLEMENT OF ALL TRAVELING EXPENSE CLAIMS, WHERE THE PAYMENT OF SUCH IS AUTHORIZED BY EXISTING LAW, AND THE DETERMINATION OF DISTANCES AND OF WHAT CONSTITUTES THE SHORTEST USUALLY TRAVELED ROUTE IN THE MEANING OF LAWS RELATING TO TRAVELING ALLOWANCES, SHALL ACCORD TO SUCH RULES AS THE SECRETARY OF THE NAVY MAY PRESCRIBE.

AND THE ACT OF OCTOBER 29, 1942, 56 STAT. 1011 (34 U.S.C. 899), PROVIDING AS FOLLOWS:

PAYMENT AND SETTLEMENT OF MILEAGE ACCOUNTS OF OFFICERS AND TRAVEL ALLOWANCE OF ENLISTED MEN OF THE NAVY, MARINE CORPS, AND COAST GUARD, REGULAR AND RESERVE, SHALL BE MADE IN ACCORDANCE WITH DISTANCES AND DEDUCTIONS COMPUTED OVER ROUTES ESTABLISHED AND PUBLISHED IN MILEAGE TABLES PREPARED PURSUANT TO THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 870 OF TITLE 10.

EXCEPT FOR CASES FALLING WITHIN THE PROVISIONS OF THE LATTER ACT, THE DETERMINATION OF DISTANCES AND WHAT CONSTITUTES THE SHORTEST USUALLY TRAVELED ROUTE WOULD APPEAR TO BE GOVERNED BY THE 1909 STATUTE. PRESUMABLY, THEREFORE, THE INSTRUCTIONS RELATING TO THE METHOD OF COMPUTATION OF TRAVEL ALLOWANCE CONTAINED IN PARAGRAPH 7502, NAVY TRAVEL INSTRUCTIONS, CHANGE NO. 2, MAY 1947, WHICH WERE CONSIDERED IN THE DECISION OF FEBRUARY 26, 1948, WERE PUBLISHED BY THE NAVY DEPARTMENT PURSUANT TO STATUTORY AUTHORITY, INCLUDING THE PROVISIONS OF THE 1909 ACT, QUOTED ABOVE.

IN CONNECTION WITH THE COMMENTS IN PARAGRAPH 7 OF THE LETTER DATED MAY 3, 1948, FROM THE DEPUTY CHIEF OF NAVAL PERSONNEL, EXAMPLES (A) TO (F), IN THE DECISION ABOVE REFERRED TO, ARE FURTHER CONSIDERED BELOW.

(A) INDIVIDUAL ENLISTED AT KODIAK, ALASKA, AND WAS SUBSEQUENTLY DISCHARGED AT TSINGTAO, CHINA.

THE AMERICAN MAIL LINE, LIMITED, HAS ADVISED THIS OFFICE THAT PASSENGER VESSELS OF AMERICAN REGISTRY ARE NOW OPERATING ON A NORMAL AND REGULAR SCHEDULE FROM SEATTLE, WASHINGTON, AND PORTLAND, OREGON, TO PORTS IN CHINA INCLUDING DIRECT SERVICE TO TSINGTAO. INASMUCH AS IT FURTHER APPEARS THAT COMMERCIAL STEAMSHIP SERVICE IS AVAILABLE VIA VESSELS OF THE ALASKA STEAMSHIP COMPANY FROM SEATTLE TO KODIAK, ALASKA, ONLY SEA TRAVEL IS INVOLVED BETWEEN TSINGTAO, CHINA, AND KODIAK, ALASKA. HENCE, AS INDICATED IN THE DECISION OF FEBRUARY 26, 1948, NO TRAVEL ALLOWANCE IS PAYABLE.

(B) INDIVIDUAL ENLISTED AT ADAK, ALASKA, AND WAS SUBSEQUENTLY DISCHARGED AT PEARL HARBOR, T.H.

SINCE FREQUENT AND REGULAR COMMERCIAL PASSENGER TRANSPORTATION FOR DIRECT TRAVEL BY SEA IS NOT NOW AVAILABLE BETWEEN HAWAII AND ALASKA OR BETWEEN HAWAII AND SEATTLE IT APPEARS THE SHORTEST ROUTE OF TRAVEL BETWEEN HONOLULU, T.H., AND ADAK, ALASKA, IS BY WAY OF SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA, AND SEATTLE, WASHINGTON. LAND TRAVEL IS NECESSARY BETWEEN SAN FRANCISCO AND SEATTLE AS THERE IS NO PRESENT COASTWISE PASSENGER STEAMSHIP SERVICE BETWEEN THESE TWO POINTS. ACCORDINGLY, TRAVEL ALLOWANCE IS PAYABLE FOR LAND TRAVEL FROM PEARL HARBOR TO HONOLULU AND FROM SAN FRANCISCO TO SEATTLE. ALL OTHER TRAVEL BETWEEN THE TERMINI INVOLVED IS SEA TRAVEL. APPEARS THAT ANY SURFACE TRAVEL TO OR FROM ADAK MUST BE PERFORMED BY WATER ALTHOUGH THAT POINT MAY NOT PRESENTLY BE SERVED BY REGULARLY SCHEDULED COMMERCIAL PASSENGER CARRYING VESSELS. THE CONCLUSION REACHED WITH RESPECT TO EXAMPLE (B) IS MODIFIED ACCORDINGLY. (SEE EXAMPLE (C) BELOW AS TO THE APPLICABILITY OF THE ACT OF JUNE 12, 1906.)

(C) INDIVIDUAL ENLISTED AT ADAK, ALASKA, AND WAS SUBSEQUENTLY DISCHARGED AT KODIAK, ALASKA.

THE ACT APPROVED JUNE 12, 1906, 34 STAT. 247 (10 U.S.C. 748), PROVIDES IN PART AS FOLLOWS:

* * * BUT FOR THE PURPOSE OF DETERMINING ALLOWANCES FOR ALL TRAVEL UNDER ORDERS, OR FOR OFFICERS AND ENLISTED MEN ON DISCHARGE, TRAVEL IN THE PHILIPPINE ARCHIPELAGO, THE HAWAIIAN ARCHIPELAGO, THE HOME WATERS OF THE UNITED STATES, AND BETWEEN THE UNITED STATES AND ALASKA SHALL NOT BE REGARDED AS SEA TRAVEL AND SHALL BE PAID FOR AT THE RATES ESTABLISHED BY LAW FOR LAND TRAVEL WITHIN THE BOUNDARIES OF THE UNITED STATES.

IT IS WELL ESTABLISHED THAT THE TERMINI OF THE JOURNEY ARE DETERMINATIVE AS TO WHETHER THE TRAVEL COMES WITHIN THE TERRITORY DESIGNATED IN THE ACT QUOTED ABOVE. SEE MOORE V. UNITED STATES, 58 C1CLS. 475. IN EXAMPLE (A), TRAVEL IS BETWEEN A POINT IN CHINA AND ONE IN ALASKA. IN EXAMPLE (B), TRAVEL IS BETWEEN PEARL HARBOR, T.H., AND ADAK, ALASKA. IN THIS EXAMPLE TRAVEL IS BETWEEN ADAK AND KODIAK, BOTH IN ALASKA, AND SUCH TRAVEL AS WELL AS THE TRAVEL IN EXAMPLES (A) AND (B) DOES NOT CONSTITUTE TRAVEL BETWEEN THE UNITED STATES AND ALASKA. THEREFORE, THE PROVISIONS OF THE 1906 ACT ARE NOT FOR APPLICATION. HOWEVER, AN ENLISTED PERSON TRANSFERRED TO SAN FRANCISCO FROM AN OVERSEAS POINT AND DISCHARGED AT SAN FRANCISCO WOULD BE ENTITLED, UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF THE 1906 ACT, TO TRAVEL ALLOWANCE COMPUTED AS FOR LAND TRAVEL FROM SAN FRANCISCO TO THE PLACE IN ALASKA TO WHICH TRAVEL ALLOWANCE IS PAYABLE, PROVIDED, OF COURSE, THAT THE STATED POINTS OF TRAVEL BETWEEN THE UNITED STATES AND ALASKA ARE IN FACT THE TRUE

TERMINI OF THE JOURNEY.

PARAGRAPH 7502-3, NAVY TRAVEL INSTRUCTIONS, PROVIDES AS FOLLOWS:

SCOPE OF LAND TRAVEL. TRAVEL IN THE PHILIPPINE ARCHIPELAGO AND TRAVEL BETWEEN POINTS IN ANY OF THE FOLLOWING WILL BE CONSIDERED LAND TRAVEL: UNITED STATES, ALASKA, CANADA, MEXICO, AND NEWFOUNDLAND.

IT IS STATED BY THE DEPUTY CHIEF OF NAVAL PERSONNEL IN HIS LETTER OF MAY 3, 1948, THAT THE NAVY DEPARTMENT INTERPRETS SAID INSTRUCTIONS AS APPLYING TO TRAVEL WHOLLY WITHIN ONE OF THOSE COUNTRIES OR FROM ONE TO ANOTHER OF SAID COUNTRIES. NO STATUTORY AUTHORITY HAS BEEN LOCATED WHICH COULD FORM A BASIS FOR SAID INSTRUCTIONS INSOFAR AS TRAVEL BY WATER IS CONCERNED. THERE APPEARS NO AUTHORITY TO CONSIDER TRAVEL BETWEEN ANY TWO POINTS IN ALASKA, SUCH AS TRAVEL BETWEEN ADAK AND KODIAK, AS LAND TRAVEL WHEN IN FACT SURFACE TRAVEL BETWEEN SUCH PLACES MAY ONLY BE PERFORMED BY MEANS OF WATER TRANSPORTATION. LIKEWISE, WHERE THE SHORTEST USUALLY TRAVELED ROUTE, AS DETERMINED IN ACCORDANCE WITH INSTRUCTIONS RELATING TO SUCH TRAVEL, IS BY WATER BETWEEN A POINT IN ALASKA AND A POINT LOCATED IN CANADA, MEXICO, OR NEWFOUNDLAND, OR BETWEEN TWO POINTS BOTH OF WHICH ARE LOCATED WITHIN ONE OF THE SAID COUNTRIES, OR BETWEEN A POINT IN ONE OF THOSE COUNTRIES AND A PLACE IN ANOTHER OF SAID COUNTRIES, THERE IS NO STATUTORY BASIS TO CONSIDER SUCH TRAVEL AS LAND TRAVEL. THE PROVISIONS IN THE ACT OF JUNE 12, 1906, THAT FOR THE PURPOSE OF DETERMINING ALLOWANCES FOR ALL TRAVEL UNDER ORDERS, INCLUDING ENLISTED MEN ON DISCHARGE, TRAVEL BETWEEN THE UNITED STATES AND ALASKA SHALL NOT BE REGARDED AS SEA TRAVEL AND SHALL BE PAID FOR AT THE RATES ESTABLISHED BY LAW FOR LAND TRAVEL WITHIN THE BOUNDARIES OF THE UNITED STATES ARE NOT APPLICABLE IN ANY CASE UNLESS THE TERMINI OF SUCH TRAVEL ARE IN FACT LOCATED IN ALASKA AND IN THE UNITED STATES. THE TERM "HOME WATERS OF THE UNITED STATES," AS USED IN THE 1906 ACT, IN CONNECTION WITH TRAVEL ALLOWANCES DOES NOT EXTEND TO TRAVEL BY WATER, WHETHER COASTWISE OR NOT, UNLESS BOTH POINTS OF TRAVEL ARE IN FACT LOCATED WITHIN THE CONTINENTAL LIMITS OF THE UNITED STATES. CF. 4 COMP. GEN. 25.

AS INDICATED IN EXAMPLE (B), ABOVE, INFORMATION BEFORE THIS OFFICE IS TO THE EFFECT THAT COMMERCIAL WATER TRANSPORTATION FOR PASSENGERS IS NOT NOW AVAILABLE BETWEEN ADAK AND KODIAK, ALASKA. HOWEVER, TRANSPORTATION BETWEEN THESE TWO PLACES IS PRESUMABLY AVAILABLE BY PRIVATE OR GOVERNMENT- OPERATED SHIPS AND SINCE NO LAND TRAVEL IS INVOLVED AND BOTH POINTS OF TRAVEL ARE IN ALASKA NO TRAVEL ALLOWANCE IS PAYABLE.

(D) INDIVIDUAL ENLISTED AT ARGENTIA, NEWFOUNDLAND, AND WAS SUBSEQUENTLY DISCHARGED AT PEARL HARBOR, T.H.

IN CONNECTION WITH THIS EXAMPLE THE AVAILABILITY AT THE PRESENT TIME OF COMMERCIAL PASSENGER WATER TRANSPORTATION FROM HONOLULU, T.H., TO ST. JOHNS, NEWFOUNDLAND, BY WAY OF SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA, AND NEW YORK, NEW YORK, HAS BEEN VERIFIED. SERVICE BETWEEN SAN FRANCISCO AND NEW YORK IS NOW OFFERED BY THE AMERICAN PRESIDENT LINES AND FURNESS LINES OPERATE ON REGULAR SCHEDULE BETWEEN NEW YORK, NEW YORK, AND ST. JOHNS, NEWFOUNDLAND. INASMUCH AS THE PLACE TO WHICH ENTITLED TO TRAVEL ALLOWANCE --- ARGENTIA, NEWFOUNDLAND--- IS IN A FOREIGN COUNTRY AND THE PLACE OF DISCHARGE IS PEARL HARBOR, T.H. (SEE PARAGRAPH 7502-2C, NAVY TRAVEL INSTRUCTIONS), THE COMPUTATION OF TRAVEL ALLOWANCE IS BASED ON THE INSTRUCTIONS CONTAINED IN PARAGRAPH 7502-5, CHANGE 2, MAY 1947, NAVY TRAVEL INSTRUCTIONS, WHICH AS PREVIOUSLY STATED IS TO BE VIEWED AS OUTLINING THE BASIS FOR DETERMINING THE ROUTE IN SUCH INSTANCES. THE SAID REGULATION PROVIDES AS FOLLOWS:

COMPUTATION BETWEEN FOREIGN LOCALITIES. WHEN THE PLACE TO WHICH ENTITLED TO TRAVEL ALLOWANCE IS IN A FOREIGN COUNTRY AND THE PLACE OF DISCHARGE, RELEASE, OR EXPIRATION OF ENLISTMENT IS ALSO IN A FOREIGN COUNTRY, TRAVEL ALLOWANCE IS PAYABLE FOR LAND TRAVEL FROM THE PLACE OF DISCHARGE OR RELEASE TO THE NEAREST PORT OF DEPARTURE OF COMMERCIAL TRANSPORTATION FOR THE FOREIGN COUNTRY IN WHICH THE PLACE TO WHICH TRAVEL ALLOWANCE IS PAYABLE IS LOCATED, AND FROM THE PORT IN THAT FOREIGN COUNTRY NEAREST THE PLACE TO WHICH TRAVEL ALLOWANCE IS PAYABLE, EXCEPT THAT ALL TRAVEL BETWEEN POINTS IN ANY TWO OF THE COUNTRIES AS SPECIFIED IN SUBPAR. 3 WILL BE CONSIDERED LAND TRAVEL. HOWEVER, WHEN EITHER THE PLACE OF DISCHARGE OR RELEASE OR THE PLACE TO WHICH TRAVEL ALLOWANCE IS PAYABLE IS NOT INLAND AND THE USUAL MODE OF TRAVEL BETWEEN THAT PLACE AND THE NEAREST PORT OF DEPARTURE OR ENTRY IS BY WATER, AS INDICATED IN THE OFFICIAL MILEAGE TABLES, TRAVEL ALLOWANCE WILL NOT BE ALLOWED FOR THIS PORTION OF THE TRAVEL. CONSEQUENTLY, THE ONLY LAND TRAVEL INVOLVED BETWEEN TERMINI VIA SUCH A ROUTE IS THAT FROM PEARL HARBOR TO HONOLULU, T.H., AND FROM ST. JOHNS, NEWFOUNDLAND, TO ARGENTIA, AND TRAVEL ALLOWANCE IS PAYABLE ON THAT BASIS. THE CONCLUSION REACHED IN CONNECTION WITH EXAMPLE (D) IS AFFIRMED. (E) * * *.

THE CONCLUSION IN THE DECISION OF FEBRUARY 26, 1948, AS TO THIS EXAMPLE APPEARS TO BE CONSISTENT WITH NAVY PRACTICE.

(F) INDIVIDUAL ENLISTED AT PEARL HARBOR, T.H., AND WAS SUBSEQUENTLY DISCHARGED AT LONDON, ENGLAND.

INFORMATION BEFORE THIS OFFICE FROM WHICH IT WAS CONCLUDED IN THE DECISION OF FEBRUARY 26, 1948, THAT COMMERCIAL TRANSPORTATION WAS AVAILABLE DIRECTLY TO LONDON, ENGLAND, FROM NEW YORK, NEW YORK, HAS NOW BEEN CORRECTED TO SHOW THAT SUCH COMMERCIAL SERVICE IS AVAILABLE ONLY AS FAR AS SOUTHAMPTON, ENGLAND. THEREFORE, TRAVEL ALLOWANCE IS PROPERLY PAYABLE FOR THE DISTANCE BETWEEN PEARL HARBOR AND HONOLULU, T.H., AND BETWEEN SOUTHAMPTON AND LONDON, ENGLAND, REPRESENTING THE LAND TRAVEL INVOLVED BY THE SHORTEST USUALLY TRAVELED ROUTE BETWEEN TERMINI COMPUTED IN ACCORDANCE WITH PARAGRAPH 7502-5, NAVY TRAVEL INSTRUCTIONS. SEE EXAMPLE (D) ABOVE. EXAMPLE (F) IS NOT MODIFIED ACCORDINGLY.

THE QUESTIONS CONTAINED IN YOUR LETTER OF AUGUST 2, 1948, ARE CONSIDERED IN NUMERICAL ORDER.

(1) IN THOSE CASES WHERE DISCHARGE FROM THE SERVICE IS EFFECTED AND TRAVEL IS ACTUALLY TO BE PERFORMED, WITH SEA TRAVEL BEING INVOLVED, IT WOULD APPEAR PROPER TO PAY TRAVEL ALLOWANCE BASED ON ACTUAL PORTS OF DEPARTURE AND/OR ARRIVAL WHEN SUCH PORTS ARE ACTUALLY DETERMINED AND TRANSPORTATION IS PROVIDED BY COMPETENT AUTHORITY. WILL A CHANGE IN U.S. NAVY TRAVEL INSTRUCTIONS TO ACCOMPLISH THIS PURPOSE MEET WITH THE APPROVAL OF THE COMPTROLLER GENERAL OF THE UNITED STATES?

THE TRAVEL ALLOWANCE NOW PROVIDED BY LAW ACCRUES TO AN ENLISTED PERSON UPON DISCHARGE, EXCEPT BY WAY OF PUNISHMENT FOR AN OFFENSE, UPON RETIREMENT, OR UPON RELEASE FROM ACTIVE DUTY AND IS PAYABLE, UNDER SUCH REGULATIONS AS THE HEAD OF THE DEPARTMENT CONCERNED MAY PRESCRIBE FOR PERSONNEL UNDER HIS JURISDICTION, AT THE RATE OF 5 CENTS PER MILE FOR THE LAND DISTANCE FROM PLACE OF DISCHARGE OR RELEASE FROM ACTIVE DUTY TO ANY ONE OF THE PLACES AUTHORIZED IN SECTION 126 OF THE NATIONAL DEFENSE ACT, AS AMENDED, SUPRA. THE ALLOWANCE IS PAYABLE FOR LAND TRAVEL INVOLVED VIA THE SHORTEST USUALLY TRAVELED ROUTE TO BE DETERMINED IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE INSTRUCTIONS OF THE SECRETARY OF THE NAVY. WHETHER OR NOT A MAN PERFORMS TRAVEL INCIDENT TO HIS DISCHARGE OR OTHER CHANGE OF STATUS FOR WHICH TRAVEL ALLOWANCE IS AUTHORIZED DOES NOT CHANGE HIS RIGHT TO TRAVEL ALLOWANCE OTHERWISE PROPERLY DUE. THE AMOUNT OF TRAVEL ALLOWANCE ACCRUING BETWEEN ANY TWO GIVEN POINTS SHOULD BE THE SAME WHETHER OR NOT TRAVEL IS PERFORMED AND SHOULD BE DEPENDENT UPON ONLY THE AMOUNT OF LAND TRAVEL INVOLVED VIA THE SHORTEST USUALLY TRAVELED ROUTE BETWEEN SUCH PLACES AT THE TIME OF DISCHARGE OR OTHER PERTINENT CHANGE OF STATUS.

THE ADOPTION OF REGULATIONS TO SECURE A GREATER DEGREE OF UNIFORMITY AS WELL AS TO SIMPLIFY THE COMPUTATION IN ALL SUCH CASES WAS APPROVED IN A DECISION TO THE SECRETARY OF THE NAVY DATED JULY 27, 1935, A 63149, 15 COMP. GEN. 84, AUTHORIZING CERTAIN PORTS OF ENTRY FOR DISCHARGES ACCOMPLISHED IN DESIGNATED ZONES OR AREAS BASED ON THE ASSUMPTION THAT TRANSPORTATION WOULD IN EVERY CASE BE AVAILABLE TO ANY OF THE PORTS SO PRESCRIBED FOR DISCHARGES ACCOMPLISHED IN THE PARTICULAR ZONE OR AREA. WAS POINTED OUT IN THE CITED DECISION THAT --

* * * ALTHOUGH THIS METHOD OF COMPUTATION IS ARBITRARY AS COMPARED WITH A COMPUTATION BASED ON FACTS AS TO ACTUAL AVAILABLE GOVERNMENT TRANSPORTATION AT THE TIME, IT IS PROBABLE THAT WHERE A SUFFICIENT NUMBER OF PORTS ARE DESIGNATED TO COVER THE PRINCIPAL USUALLY TRAVELED ROUTES BETWEEN THE POINTS INVOLVED, THE RESULT WILL NOT VARY IN ANY CONSIDERABLE AMOUNT FROM COMPUTATIONS BASED ON THE EXISTING RULE AND WILL SIMPLIFY THE COMPUTATION.

PRIOR THERETO, DETERMINATION OF THE ROUTE TO BE USED WAS DEPENDENT UPON THE AVAILABILITY OF GOVERNMENT AND/OR COMMERCIAL TRANSPORTATION FOR SEA TRAVEL AS WELL AS THE COMPARATIVE COST TO THE GOVERNMENT OVER SUCH ROUTES. THE ROUTE INVOLVING THE LESSER TOTAL EXPENSE TO THE GOVERNMENT WAS CONSIDERED TO BE THE SHORTEST USUALLY TRAVELED ROUTE AND TRAVEL ALLOWANCE WAS PAYABLE FOR THE LAND PART OF SUCH A ROUTE. SINCE THEN, HOWEVER, IN CASES INVOLVING TRAVEL TO OR FROM THE UNITED STATES (WITH THE EXCEPTION OF TRAVEL TO OR FROM ALASKA, CANADA, MEXICO, OR NEWFOUNDLAND), NAVY TRAVEL INSTRUCTIONS HAVE PROVIDED THAT ENTRY OR DEPARTURE FROM THE UNITED STATES SHOULD BE VIA DESIGNATED POINTS ON THE EAST AND WEST COASTS AS APPLICABLE TO THE CIRCUMSTANCES OF THE INDIVIDUAL CASE. IN EFFECT, THIS SERVED TO DETERMINE ANY SUCH ROUTE AS THE SHORTEST USUALLY TRAVELED ROUTE BETWEEN THE TERMINI OF THE JOURNEY. WITH THE POSSIBLE EXCEPTION OF MAKING NO PROVISION FOR CONSIDERATION OF GOVERNMENT TRANSPORTATION FOR SEA TRAVEL, WHERE GOVERNMENT TRANSPORTATION IS ACTUALLY AVAILABLE, NAVY TRAVEL INSTRUCTIONS HAVE REMAINED UNCHANGED IN RESPECT TO CASES INVOLVING TRAVEL BETWEEN FOREIGN COUNTRIES PROVIDING, GENERALLY, THAT TRAVEL ALLOWANCE IS PAYABLE FOR LAND TRAVEL TO THE NEAREST PORT OF DEPARTURE OF COMMERCIAL TRANSPORTATION FOR THE FOREIGN COUNTRY IN WHICH THE PLACE TO WHICH TRAVEL ALLOWANCE IS PAYABLE IS LOCATED AND FOR LAND TRAVEL FROM THE PORT IN THAT FOREIGN COUNTRY NEAREST THE ULTIMATE DESIGNATION, SUCH ROUTE BEING CONSIDERED AS THE SHORTEST USUALLY TRAVELED ROUTE.

IN THOSE CASES OF DISCHARGE AND WHERE TRAVEL IS ACTUALLY TO BE PERFORMED WITH SEA TRAVEL INVOLVED, QUESTION (1) SUGGESTS A CHANGE IN NAVY TRAVEL INSTRUCTIONS TO PERMIT PAYMENT OF TRAVEL ALLOWANCES BASED ON ACTUAL PORTS OF DEPARTURE AND/OR ARRIVAL WHEN SUCH PORTS ARE ACTUALLY DETERMINED AND TRANSPORTATION IS PROVIDED BY COMPETENT AUTHORITY. THUS CHANGED, THE NAVY TRAVEL INSTRUCTIONS WOULD THEN LACK A STANDARD UPON WHICH TO COMPUTE TRAVEL ALLOWANCES SINCE THERE WOULD BE NO BASIS CONTAINED WITHIN THE STRUCTURE OF THE REGULATIONS, OR OTHERWISE, TO PERMIT A DETERMINATION AS TO WHAT CONSTITUTES THE SHORTEST USUALLY TRAVELED ROUTE BETWEEN ANY TWO POINTS OF TRAVEL WHERE SEA TRAVEL IS INVOLVED. UNDER EXISTING LAW, THIS OFFICE MAY ALLOW ONLY THE TRAVEL ALLOWANCE UPON DISCHARGE OR RELEASE FROM ACTIVE DUTY WHICH IS PROPERLY PAYABLE BETWEEN THE TERMINI OF THE JOURNEY, WITHOUT REGARD TO ACTUAL PORTS OF DEPARTURE AND/OR ARRIVAL AND, HENCE, THE SUGGESTED CHANGE IN THE REGULATIONS WOULD NOT MEET WITH THE APPROVAL OF THIS OFFICE.

(2) IS TRAVEL ALLOWANCE PAYABLE AS FOR LAND TRAVEL FOR THE ENTIRE DISTANCE FROM A STARTING POINT (PLACE OF DISCHARGE OR RELEASE) IN THE UNITED STATES TO DESTINATION IN ALASKA EVEN THOUGH A CHANGE OF STEAMERS OR TRANSFER FROM A STEAMER TO OTHER MODES OF TRANSPORTATION IN ALASKA MAY BE INVOLVED, OR SHOULD THE PAYMENT BE RESTRICTED TO THE FIRST PORT OF ENTRY OR PLACE OF TRANSFER IN ALASKA?

THE ACT OF JUNE 12, 1906, 34 STAT. 247, QUOTED ABOVE, PROVIDES, INTER ALIA, THAT TRAVEL BETWEEN THE UNITED STATES AND ALASKA SHALL NOT BE REGARDED AS SEA TRAVEL AND SHALL BE PAID FOR AT THE RATES ESTABLISHED BY LAW FOR LAND TRAVEL WITHIN THE BOUNDARIES OF THE UNITED STATES. UNDER EXAMPLE (C), ABOVE, IT WAS POINTED OUT THAT THE TERMINI OF THE JOURNEY ARE DETERMINATIVE AS TO WHETHER OR NOT THE TRAVEL COMES WITHIN THE SCOPE OF THE CITED ACT. UPON DISCHARGE OR RELEASE FROM ACTIVE DUTY AN ENLISTED PERSON IS FACED WITH ONLY ONE JOURNEY, NAMELY, FROM THE PLACE OF HIS DISCHARGE OR RELEASE FROM ACTIVE DUTY TO THE PLACE TO WHICH TRAVEL IS AUTHORIZED BY LAW. WHEN THE PLACE TO WHICH ENTITLED TO TRAVEL ALLOWANCE IS IN THE UNITED STATES AND THE PLACE OF DISCHARGE OR RELEASE FROM ACTIVE DUTY IS IN ALASKA, OR VICE VERSA, THE TERMINI OF THE JOURNEY ARE WITHIN THE RESPECTIVE GEOGRAPHICAL AREAS SPECIFIED IN THE 1906 ACT AND, THEREFORE, NONE OF THE TRAVEL FROM STARTING POINT TO DESTINATION IS TO BE REGARDED AS SEA TRAVEL. THE SHIFTING FROM ONE VESSEL TO ANOTHER, OR TO A DIFFERENT MODE OF TRANSPORTATION EN ROUTE, DOES NOT MAKE TWO JOURNEYS OUT OF ONE. HENCE, IN SUCH A CASE TRAVEL ALLOWANCE IS PROPERLY PAYABLE AS FOR LAND TRAVEL FOR THE ENTIRE DISTANCE FROM STARTING POINT TO DESTINATION EVEN THOUGH A CHANGE OF STEAMERS OR TRANSFER FROM A STEAMER TO SOME OTHER MODE OF TRANSPORTATION EN ROUTE MAY BE NECESSARY.

(3) IS TRAVEL ALLOWANCE PAYABLE AS FOR LAND TRAVEL FOR THE ENTIRE DISTANCE WHEN THE TRAVEL IS WHOLLY BETWEEN TWO POINTS IN ALASKA, REGARDLESS OF THE MEANS OF TRAVEL REQUIRED, OR WOULD SUCH PAYMENT BE CONTINGENT UPON THE MEANS OF TRAVEL REQUIRED?

THE PROVISIONS OF THE ACT OF 1906, 34 STAT. 247, RELATING TO TRAVEL IN THE HOME WATERS OF THE UNITED STATES OR BETWEEN THE UNITED STATES AND ALASKA ARE NOT APPLICABLE TO TRAVEL IN ALASKA IN CASES WHERE THE TWO POINTS BETWEEN WHICH TRAVEL ALLOWANCE IS TO BE COMPUTED ARE BOTH LOCATED IN THAT TERRITORY. WHETHER SUCH TRAVEL IS LAND TRAVEL FOR WHICH A MONEY ALLOWANCE OF 5 CENTS PER MILE IS PAYABLE OR SEA TRAVEL FOR WHICH ONLY TRANSPORTATION IN KIND AND SUBSISTENCE EN ROUTE ARE AUTHORIZED IS PRIMARILY DEPENDENT UPON THE RELATIVE LOCATIONS OF THE RESPECTIVE TERMINI AND THE MODE OF SURFACE TRANSPORTATION AVAILABLE BETWEEN THOSE POINTS. TRAVEL ALLOWANCE BETWEEN SEWARD AND FAIRBANKS, ALASKA, IS OBVIOUSLY TO BE COMPUTED AS FOR LAND TRAVEL, THE SAID TWO POINTS BEING ON THE MAINLAND AND DIRECTLY CONNECTED BY THE ALASKA RAILROAD. HOWEVER, AS INDICATED IN EXAMPLES (B) AND (C), SURFACE TRAVEL TO OR FROM ADAK MUST BE BY WATER AND, HENCE, TRAVEL FROM ADAK TO OTHER ALASKAN ISLANDS OR TO POINTS ON THE MAINLAND OF ALASKA MUST, UNLESS REQUIRED BY STATUTE TO BE TREATED AS LAND TRAVEL (SEE QUESTION 2, ABOVE), BE COMPUTED AS SEA TRAVEL.

(4) IS TRAVEL ALLOWANCE PAYABLE AS FOR LAND TRAVEL FOR THE ENTIRE DISTANCE WHEN ONE OF THE POINTS INVOLVED IS IN MEXICO, CANADA, OR NEWFOUNDLAND AND THE OTHER POINT IS IN ALASKA?

IN NEARLY ALL CASES OF TRAVEL TO OR FROM A POINT IN ALASKA AND A POINT LOCATED IN CANADA OR IN NEWFOUNDLAND OR MEXICO, SURFACE TRANSPORTATION WOULD NECESSARILY BE BY WATER BETWEEN ALASKA AND VANCOUVER, B.C., OR SEATTLE, WASHINGTON. WHETHER TRAVEL TO OR FROM VANCOUVER OR SEATTLE AND THE TERMINUS LOCATED IN CANADA, NEWFOUNDLAND, OR MEXICO IS LAND TRAVEL OR SEA TRAVEL IS DEPENDENT UPON THE MODE OF SURFACE TRANSPORTATION BETWEEN SUCH POINTS VIA THE SHORTEST USUALLY TRAVELED ROUTE AS DETERMINED IN ACCORDANCE WITH APPLICABLE NAVY TRAVEL INSTRUCTIONS ISSUED PURSUANT TO THE STATUTORY AUTHORITY CONTAINED IN THE ACT OF MARCH 3, 1909, 35 STAT. 774. SINCE, FOR REASONS PREVIOUSLY STATED, THE PROVISIONS OF THE ACT OF JUNE 12, 1906, 34 STAT. 247, WOULD NOT BE FOR APPLICATION, NO PART OF ANY SUCH ROUTE WHICH IS IN FACT SEA TRAVEL MAY BE TREATED AS LAND TRAVEL FOR THE PURPOSE OF COMPUTING TRAVEL ALLOWANCE. A TRAVEL ALLOWANCE IN SUCH CASES IS PAYABLE ONLY FOR THE LAND PORTION OF THE JOURNEY VIA THE SHORTEST USUALLY TRAVELED ROUTE BETWEEN THE TERMINI INVOLVED.

(5) WILL A CHANGE IN U.S. NAVY TRAVEL INSTRUCTIONS, SO AS TO AUTHORIZE THE USE OF THE SPECIFIC PORTS SPECIFIED IN PARAGRAPH 7502-4, IN THOSE INSTANCES WHERE THE TRAVEL IS NOT TO BE PERFORMED, FOR THE REASONS AND UNDER THE CONDITIONS OF TRAVEL STATED IN PARAGRAPHS 10 AND 11 OF THE ENCLOSED LETTER, MEET WITH THE APPROVAL OF THE COMPTROLLER GENERAL.

PARAGRAPHS 10 AND 11 REFERRED TO IN THIS QUESTION ARE AS FOLLOWS:

10. A FURTHER PROBLEM IS INVOLVED IN DETERMINING THE EXTENT OF LAND TRAVEL WHEN ONE OF THE POINTS INVOLVED IS OUTSIDE THE NORTH AMERICAN CONTINENT AND THE OTHER POINT INVOLVED IS IN MEXICO, CANADA, ALASKA, OR NEWFOUNDLAND. IN PRACTICALLY ALL OF THESE CASES TRAVEL THROUGH OR WITHIN A PORTION OF THE UNITED STATES WOULD BE REQUIRED DUE TO THE ABSENCE OF MORE DIRECT TRANSPORTATION. THIS IS PARTICULARLY TRUE WITH RESPECT TO ALASKA. PRESENT INSTRUCTIONS ARE INADEQUATE TO ENABLE COMPLETE DETERMINATIONS IN THIS RESPECT.

11. IT IS EVIDENT THAT THE BASIC LAW CONTEMPLATES THAT THE DETERMINATION OF TRAVEL ALLOWANCES IN INSTANCES WHERE THE TRAVEL IS NOT PERFORMED SHALL BE BASED ON THE SAME FACTORS THAT ARE INVOLVED WHERE THE TRAVEL IS PERFORMED. IN OTHER WORDS, THE SAME ROUTES SHOULD APPLY IN BOTH INSTANCES. FOR THESE REASONS, AND IN ORDER TO ESTABLISH A UNIFORM AND EQUITABLE BASIS FOR DETERMINING TRAVEL ALLOWANCES DUE IN INSTANCES SPECIFIED IN PARAGRAPH 10, IT IS PROPOSED TO CHANGE THE PROVISIONS OF THE U.S. NAVY TRAVEL INSTRUCTIONS SO AS TO AUTHORIZE THE USE OF THE SPECIFIC PORTS SPECIFIED IN PARAGRAPH 7502-4 OF THOSE INSTRUCTIONS IN THOSE INSTANCES WHERE THE TRAVEL IS NOT TO BE PERFORMED. DECISIONS IS REQUESTED AS TO WHETHER SUCH A CHANGE WILL MEET WITH THE APPROVAL OF THE COMPTROLLER GENERAL.

PARAGRAPH 7502-4, NAVY TRAVEL INSTRUCTIONS, PRESCRIBES THE PORTS OF NEW YORK, NEW YORK, AND NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA, ON THE EAST COAST AND WILMINGTON AND SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA, ON THE WEST COAST AS PORTS OF ENTRY OR DEPARTURE TO OR FROM THE UNITED STATES IN CERTAIN DESIGNATED CASES WHERE ONE TERMINUS FOR TRAVEL ALLOWANCE PURPOSES LIES WITHIN THE UNITED STATES AND THE OTHER TERMINUS IS OUTSIDE THE UNITED STATES AND NOT IN ALASKA, CANADA, NEWFOUNDLAND, OR MEXICO. THE PARAGRAPH FURTHER PROVIDES THAT, OF THE TWO POSSIBLE PORTS OF ENTRY OR DEPARTURE FOR ANY PARTICULAR DISCHARGE OR EXPIRATION OF ENLISTMENT, THE ONE WHICH INVOLVES THE LESSER AMOUNT OF LAND TRAVEL IN THE UNITED STATES WILL BE USED. QUESTION (5), IT IS SUGGESTED THAT WHERE NO ACTUAL TRAVEL IS TO BE PERFORMED THE USE OF THE PORTS LISTED IN PARAGRAPH 7502-4, AS THE BASIS UPON WHICH TO COMPUTE TRAVEL ALLOWANCE, BE EXTENDED TO INCLUDE THOSE CASES WHERE ONE OF THE POINTS OF TRAVEL IS IN ALASKA, CANADA, NEWFOUNDLAND, OR MEXICO, AND THE OTHER POINT IS NEITHER IN ANY OF THE FOREGOING NOR IN THE UNITED STATES. IN QUESTION (1), IT IS PROPOSED, WITHOUT LIMITATION, THAT WHERE TRAVEL IS TO BE PERFORMED THE ACTUAL ROUTE OF TRAVEL BE USED AND TRAVEL ALLOWANCE COMPUTED ON THE BASIS OF THE ACTUAL PORTS OF DEPARTURE AND/OR ARRIVAL WHEN SUCH PORTS ARE ACTUALLY DETERMINED AND TRANSPORTATION IS PROVIDED BY COMPETENT AUTHORITY. IT IS NOT BELIEVED THESE TWO PROPOSALS PROPERLY CAN BE RECONCILED AND AT THE SAME TIME ATTAIN AND ESTABLISH A UNIFORM AND EQUITABLE BASIS FOR DETERMINING TRAVEL ALLOWANCES. COMPUTATION OF TRAVEL ALLOWANCE RESTS ON THE SAME FACTORS WHETHER TRAVEL IS TO BE PERFORMED OR NOT AND MUST BE BASED ON THE SHORTEST USUALLY TRAVELED ROUTE BETWEEN TERMINI AS SUCH ROUTE IS DETERMINED UNDER THE AUTHORITY CONTAINED IN THE ACT OF MARCH 3, 1909, 35 STAT. 774. THAT ACT PROVIDES THAT WHAT CONSTITUTES THE SHORTEST USUALLY TRAVELED ROUTE IN THE MEANING OF THE LAWS RELATING TO TRAVELING ALLOWANCES SHALL ACCORD WITH SUCH RULES AS THE SECRETARY OF THE NAVY MAY PRESCRIBE. THERE APPEARS NO AUTHORITY TO CONSIDER THE ROUTE OF TRAVEL WITH ACTUAL PORTS OF ENTRY AND/OR DEPARTURE AS THE SHORTEST USUALLY TRAVELED ROUTE WHERE TRAVEL IS IN FACT PERFORMED AND A DIFFERENT ROUTE BETWEEN THE SAME POINTS IN ANOTHER SIMILAR CASE MERELY BECAUSE NO TRAVEL WHATEVER IS TO BE PERFORMED.

THE FOLLOWING TWO ILLUSTRATIONS WILL SERVE TO DEMONSTRATE AT LEAST ONE OF THE DIFFICULTIES WHICH WILL ARISE AND THE IMPOSSIBILITY OF A UNIFORM TRAVEL ALLOWANCE ACCRUING UNDER THE PROPOSALS CONTAINED IN QUESTIONS (1) AND (5). IN A SITUATION WHERE/ONE POINT IS LOCATED IN ENGLAND AND THE OTHER IN QUEBEC, AND ASSUMING THAT COMMERCIAL OR GOVERNMENT TRANSPORTATION IS AVAILABLE AND FURNISHED DIRECTLY BETWEEN THOSE PLACES, THE PERSON PERFORMING TRAVEL WOULD BE ENTITLED ONLY TO TRANSPORTATION IN KIND AND SUBSISTENCE EN ROUTE FOR THE ENTIRE JOURNEY BY SEA, NO LAND TRAVEL BEING REQUIRED OR NECESSARY VIA SUCH A ROUTE. HOWEVER, AS TO THE ENLISTED PERSON WHO IS TO PERFORM NO TRAVEL WHATEVER, THE PROPOSAL INVOLVED IN QUESTION (5) WOULD REQUIRE THAT THE PORT OF NEW YORK, NEW YORK, BE USED AS PORT OF ENTRY ON THE ATLANTIC SEABOARD WITH RESULTING COMPUTATION OF TRAVEL ALLOWANCE AS FOR LAND TRAVEL FROM THAT POINT TO THE CANADIAN TERMINUS.

CONSIDERING THE SITUATION PRESENTED WHERE THE POINTS OF TRAVEL ARE LOCATED IN KODIAK, ALASKA, AND TSINGTAO, CHINA (SEE EXAMPLE (A), ABOVE), IT WILL BE SEEN THAT THE ENLISTED MAN WHO PERFORMS TRAVEL WOULD BE FURNISHED TRANSPORTATION IN KIND AND SUBSISTENCE EN ROUTE FOR THE ENTIRE JOURNEY, WHEREAS THE ENLISTED PERSON WHO IS NOT TO PERFORM ANY TRAVEL WHATEVER, AS IN THE CASE OF AN EXTENSION OF FIRST ENLISTMENT, WOULD HAVE HIS TRAVEL ALLOWANCE COMPUTED BY WAY OF SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA. IN THE ABSENCE OF COMMERCIAL COASTWISE SHIPPING TRAVEL BETWEEN SAN FRANCISCO AND SEATTLE WOULD NECESSARILY BE BY LAND AND HENCE THE SAID ENLISTED MAN'S TRAVEL ALLOWANCE WOULD BE COMPUTED AS FOR LAND TRAVEL FOR THAT PORTION OF SUCH A ROUTE.

FROM THE VIEWPOINT OF UNIFORMITY AND TO MAINTAIN A SIMPLIFIED BASIS OF COMPUTATION IT WOULD APPEAR ESSENTIAL THAT REGULATIONS GOVERNING PAYMENT OF TRAVEL ALLOWANCES SHOULD AVOID A DOUBLE STANDARD PERMITTING TRAVEL ALLOWANCE TO BE COMPUTED ON ONE BASIS FOR THE MAN WHO IS TO PERFORM TRAVEL AND IN ANOTHER CASE INVOLVING THE SAME POINTS ON AN ENTIRELY DIFFERENT BASIS SOLELY BECAUSE NO TRAVEL IS TO BE PERFORMED. THE TRAVEL ALLOWANCE LAW AUTHORIZES A MONEY ALLOWANCE OF 5 CENTS PER MILE FOR LAND TRAVEL AND TRANSPORTATION IN KIND WITH SUBSISTENCE EN ROUTE FOR SEA TRAVEL AND THE ACT OF MARCH 3, 1909, 35 STAT. 774, APPEARS TO VEST AMPLE AUTHORITY IN THE SECRETARY OF THE NAVY TO ESTABLISH WHAT CONSTITUTES THE SHORTEST USUALLY TRAVELED ROUTE. THE PROPOSAL IN QUESTION (5) WOULD OBVIOUSLY RESULT IN PAYMENT OF A TRAVEL ALLOWANCE FOR HYPOTHETICAL LAND TRAVEL IN THE TWO INSTANCES ABOVE ILLUSTRATED, AND, POSSIBLY, ALSO IN A MAJORITY OF CASES INVOLVING TRAVEL TO OR FROM ALASKA, CANADA, NEWFOUNDLAND, OR MEXICO AND POINTS NEITHER IN THOSE GEOGRAPHICAL AREAS NOR IN THE UNITED STATES. SEE 15 COMP. GEN. 84. ACCORDINGLY, FOR THE REASONS STATED THE SUGGESTIONS ADVANCED IN QUESTION (5) MAY NOT BE APPROVED.