B-177250, APR 18, 1973

B-177250: Apr 18, 1973

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AS SHIP OF FOREIGN REGISTRY WAS UTILIZED RATHER THAN U.S. IS BASED ON ARMY AND GOVERNMENT REGULATIONS. IT APPEARS THAT IT WAS YOUR DESIRE TO RETURN TO SEATTLE ALMOST IMMEDIATELY AFTER YOUR HUSBAND'S DEATH (FOUR DAYS LATER YOU DEPARTED FROM BELGIUM) WHICH LED YOU TO PERSONALLY ARRANGE FOR THE CAR SHIPMENT PRIOR TO YOUR DEPARTURE. A SHIP OF FOREIGN REGISTRY WAS UTILIZED FOR THE SHIPMENT OF SERGEANT GAGNON'S CAR ALTHOUGH IT APPEARS THAT UNITED STATES SHIPS WERE AVAILABLE (SEE DECISION B-152812. IS SUSTAINED. IT WAS NECESSARY TO SUSTAIN THE PRIOR DISALLOWANCE OF YOUR CLAIM. THERE WAS NO INTENTION TO ATTRIBUTE ANY FALSEHOODS TO YOU OR TO BE SARCASTIC OR IN ANY OTHER WAY TO INDICATE A LACK OF BELIEF IN YOUR SINCERITY OR VERACITY.

B-177250, APR 18, 1973

DENIAL OF CLAIM FOR SHIPMENT OF DECEASED HUSBAND'S AUTOMOBILE FROM ANTWERP, BELGIUM, TO PORTLAND, OREGON, AS SHIP OF FOREIGN REGISTRY WAS UTILIZED RATHER THAN U.S. SHIP.

TO MRS. MARY E. GAGNON:

WE REFER TO YOUR LETTER OF MARCH 23, 1973, REGARDING OUR DECISION OF MARCH 12, 1973, B-177250, WHICH SUSTAINED THE PRIOR DISALLOWANCE OF YOUR CLAIM FOR REIMBURSEMENT OF THE $251 COST OF THE PERSONALLY ARRANGED SHIPMENT OF YOUR HUSBAND'S CAR FROM ANTWERP, BELGIUM, TO PORTLAND, OREGON, SUBSEQUENT TO HIS DEATH ON AUGUST 22, 1970, WHILE A MEMBER OF THE UNITED STATES ARMY.

IN YOUR LETTER YOU SAY THAT YOU APPRECIATE THAT THE DECISION OF MARCH 12, 1973, IS BASED ON ARMY AND GOVERNMENT REGULATIONS. HOWEVER, YOU REFER TO THE LAST PARAGRAPH OF THE DECISION AND IN THIS REGARD YOU SAY THAT YOU DO NOT APPRECIATE "THE IMPLICATION OF FALSEHOODS OR THE SARCASM" THEREIN.

THE PARAGRAPH IN QUESTION READS AS FOLLOWS:

IN VIEW OF THE OFFICIAL REPORT AND THE ENTIRE RECORD BEFORE US, IT APPEARS THAT IT WAS YOUR DESIRE TO RETURN TO SEATTLE ALMOST IMMEDIATELY AFTER YOUR HUSBAND'S DEATH (FOUR DAYS LATER YOU DEPARTED FROM BELGIUM) WHICH LED YOU TO PERSONALLY ARRANGE FOR THE CAR SHIPMENT PRIOR TO YOUR DEPARTURE. CONSEQUENTLY, IN THE ABSENCE OF OFFICIAL INDICATION THAT MISINFORMATION RECEIVED FROM OFFICIAL SOURCES RESULTED IN THE SHIPMENT, AND, SINCE THE M.V. MADAME BUTTERFLY, A SHIP OF FOREIGN REGISTRY WAS UTILIZED FOR THE SHIPMENT OF SERGEANT GAGNON'S CAR ALTHOUGH IT APPEARS THAT UNITED STATES SHIPS WERE AVAILABLE (SEE DECISION B-152812, NOVEMBER 26, 1963, COPY ENCLOSED), THE DISALLOWANCE OF YOUR CLAIM FOR REIMBURSEMENT FOR THE COST OF SHIPPING YOUR HUSBAND'S CAR FROM ANTWERP, BELGIUM, TO PORTLAND, OREGON, IS SUSTAINED.

IN THIS PART OF THE DECISION WE ATTEMPTED TO INDICATE THAT IN THE DESCRIBED CIRCUMSTANCES AS OFFICIALLY REPORTED TO US, IT WAS NECESSARY TO SUSTAIN THE PRIOR DISALLOWANCE OF YOUR CLAIM. THERE WAS NO INTENTION TO ATTRIBUTE ANY FALSEHOODS TO YOU OR TO BE SARCASTIC OR IN ANY OTHER WAY TO INDICATE A LACK OF BELIEF IN YOUR SINCERITY OR VERACITY.

THE CONCLUSION WE REACHED IN OUR DECISION WAS NOT BECAUSE OF A LACK OF SYMPATHY IN YOUR CIRCUMSTANCES, RESULTING FROM THE LOSS OF YOUR HUSBAND, BUT WAS BASED ON THE FACTS AS OFFICIALLY REPORTED TO US AND THE APPLICABLE STATUTORY PROVISIONS AND REGULATIONS. THESE PROVISIONS DID NOT PERMIT A MORE FAVORABLE CONCLUSION.

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