B-157349, DEC. 4, 1967

B-157349: Dec 4, 1967

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PLAINTIFF'S RECOURSE IS AGAINST GOVT. SINCE PROPERTY WAS REQUISITIONED BY KOREAN GOVT. SANG-UI: WE HAVE YOUR LETTER OF NOVEMBER 13. AS WE HAVE PREVIOUSLY ADVISED YOU. IT APPEARS THAT WE HAVE NOT CLEARLY COMMUNICATED OUR POSITION IN THE MATTER. IT IS OUR POSITION THAT WHOEVER MIGHT ULTIMATELY BE RESPONSIBLE FOR THE VALUE OF STONE REMOVED BY UNITED STATES FORCES FROM YOUR QUARRY. SUCH RECOURSE AS YOU MAY HAVE SO FAR AS WE ARE CONCERNED IS AGAINST THE GOVERNMENT OF KOREA. REGARDLESS OF THE INTERPRETATION TO BE PLACED UPON THE AGREEMENTS IN QUESTION SO FAR AS CONCERNS THE PARTY ULTIMATELY RESPONSIBLE FOR ANY LOSS YOU MAY HAVE SUFFERED. ONE ASPECT IS CLEAR. THERE IS NO BASIS UPON WHICH YOU MAY ASSERT A CLAIM AGAINST THE UNITED STATES.

B-157349, DEC. 4, 1967

PROPERTY - PRIVATE - TAKING FOR GOVERNMENT USE - REIMBURSEMENT DECISION TO FOREIGN CLAIMANT DENYING CLAIM FOR ADDITIONAL PAYMENT FOR PROPERTY REQUISITIONED BY GOVERNMENT. WHOEVER MIGHT ULTIMATELY BE RESPONSIBLE FOR VALUE OF STONE REMOVED BY UNITED STATES FORCES FROM QUARRY -- WHETHER U.S. OR KOREAN GOVERNMENT -- PLAINTIFF'S RECOURSE IS AGAINST GOVT. OF KOREA. IF KOREAN GOVT. DOES NOT PROVIDE RELIEF THAT DOES NOT ESTABLISH ANY AUTHORITY FOR COMPTROLLER GENERAL TO RESOLVE MATTER. SINCE PROPERTY WAS REQUISITIONED BY KOREAN GOVT. CLAIM MAY NOT BE SHIFTED TO U.S. GOVERNMENT.

TO MR. LEE, SANG-UI:

WE HAVE YOUR LETTER OF NOVEMBER 13, 1967, AND ENCLOSURES, OUTLINING AGAIN THE BASIS FOR YOUR CLAIM AGAINST THE UNITED STATES.

AS WE HAVE PREVIOUSLY ADVISED YOU, WE FULLY APPRECIATE THE ARGUMENT SUPPORTING YOUR POSITION, BUT IT APPEARS THAT WE HAVE NOT CLEARLY COMMUNICATED OUR POSITION IN THE MATTER.

STATED IN THE BRIEFEST TERMS, IT IS OUR POSITION THAT WHOEVER MIGHT ULTIMATELY BE RESPONSIBLE FOR THE VALUE OF STONE REMOVED BY UNITED STATES FORCES FROM YOUR QUARRY--WHETHER IT BE THE UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT, THE KOREAN GOVERNMENT, OR YOURSELF--SUCH RECOURSE AS YOU MAY HAVE SO FAR AS WE ARE CONCERNED IS AGAINST THE GOVERNMENT OF KOREA. AND IF THE GOVERNMENT OF KOREA FAILS TO PROVIDE THE RELIEF YOU REQUEST, THAT DOES NOT ESTABLISH ANY AUTHORITY FOR THIS OFFICE TO RESOLVE THE CLAIM IN YOUR FAVOR. NOR DOES THE KOREAN GOVERNMENT'S FAILURE TO PROVIDE RELIEF SERVE AS A BASIS FOR OUR CONSIDERING YOUR CASE AS A MERITORIOUS CLAIM.

REGARDLESS OF THE INTERPRETATION TO BE PLACED UPON THE AGREEMENTS IN QUESTION SO FAR AS CONCERNS THE PARTY ULTIMATELY RESPONSIBLE FOR ANY LOSS YOU MAY HAVE SUFFERED, ONE ASPECT IS CLEAR. THERE IS NO BASIS UPON WHICH YOU MAY ASSERT A CLAIM AGAINST THE UNITED STATES. YOUR PROPERTY WAS REQUISITIONED BY YOUR GOVERNMENT. IF THE PAYMENT YOU HAVE RECEIVED FROM YOUR GOVERNMENT IS NOT SUFFICIENT TO APPROPRIATELY COMPENSATE YOU FOR THE USE MADE OF YOUR PROPERTY PURSUANT TO THE REQUISITION, YOUR ACTION FOR REMEDY LIES AGAINST THE REQUISITIONING GOVERNMENT. THE FAILURE OF THE REQUISITIONING GOVERNMENT TO PROVIDE THE RELIEF REQUESTED CANNOT SERVE TO SHIFT YOUR CLAIM TO ONE AGAINST THE UNITED STATES. THE RESPONSIBILITY OF THE UNITED STATES UNDER THE AGREEMENTS IS SOLELY TO THE KOREAN GOVERNMENT.

IF THE GOVERNMENT OF KOREA WERE TO PAY YOUR CLAIM, IT MIGHT WELL BE THAT IT IN TURN WOULD SEEK REIMBURSEMENT FROM THE UNITED STATES, IN LIGHT OF THE INTERPRETATIONS STRESSED IN YOUR LETTER AND IN LETTER DATED AUGUST 31, 1967, FROM THE KOREAN MINISTRY OF NATIONAL DEFENSE,A COPY OF WHICH YOU ENCLOSED. BUT FOR THE REASONS STATED ABOVE WE NEED NOT, IN CONNECTION WITH A CLAIM BY YOU AGAINST THE UNITED STATES, SPECULATE UPON SUCH POSSIBILITIES NOR UPON THE CONCLUSIONS WHICH MIGHT BE REACHED WERE SUCH AN EVENTUALITY TO ARISE.

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