Skip to Highlights
Highlights

WHICH ASSIGNMENTS ARE TO BE MADE PURSUANT TO STATUTORY AUTHORITY VESTED IN THE DIRECTOR OF SELECTIVE SERVICE TO UTILIZE THE SERVICES OF CONSCIENTIOUS OBJECTORS ON "WORK OF NATIONAL IMPORTANCE.'. THERE IS NO AUTHORITY TO USE SUCH FUNDS TO PROVIDE CONSCIENTIOUS OBJECTORS WITH ANY ALLOWANCE OF CASH OR COMPENSATION OF ANY KIND. CONSCIENTIOUS OBJECTORS WHO ARE ASSIGNED UNDER AUTHORITY OF THE SELECTIVE TRAINING AND SERVICE ACT OF 1940 AND EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 8675 TO THE COAST AND GEODETIC SURVEY. THE ASSIGNMENT OF CONSCIENTIOUS OBJECTORS TO "WORK OF NATIONAL IMPORTANCE" IS THE DUTY AND RESPONSIBILITY OF THE DIRECTOR OF SELECTIVE SERVICE UNDER THE SELECTIVE TRAINING AND SERVICE ACT OF 1940 AND EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 8675.

View Decision

B-33825, APRIL 27, 1943, 22 COMP. GEN. 995

CONSCIENTIOUS OBJECTORS - ASSIGNMENT TO WORK OF GOVERNMENT DEPARTMENTS AND ESTABLISHMENTS - APPROPRIATION AVAILABILITY FOR MAINTENANCE EXPENSES; ETC. FUNDS AVAILABLE UNDER THE DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE APPROPRIATION ACT, 1943, TO CERTAIN BUREAUS OF THAT DEPARTMENT FOR THE EXPENSES NECESSARY TO ACCOMPLISH DESIGNATED OBJECTS AND PURPOSES MAY BE USED FOR THE PAYMENT OF MAINTENANCE EXPENSES (SUCH AS FOR FOOD, SHELTER, WORK CLOTHES, MEDICAL CARE, TRANSPORTATION, ETC.) NECESSARILY INCURRED IN CONNECTION WITH UTILIZING THE SERVICES OF QUALIFIED CONSCIENTIOUS OBJECTORS WHO MAY BE ASSIGNED TO THE BUREAUS TO AID IN THE ACCOMPLISHMENT OF WORK OF THE NATURE DESCRIBED IN THE APPROPRIATION ACT, WHICH ASSIGNMENTS ARE TO BE MADE PURSUANT TO STATUTORY AUTHORITY VESTED IN THE DIRECTOR OF SELECTIVE SERVICE TO UTILIZE THE SERVICES OF CONSCIENTIOUS OBJECTORS ON "WORK OF NATIONAL IMPORTANCE.' WHILE FUNDS AVAILABLE UNDER THE DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE APPROPRIATION ACT, 1943, TO CERTAIN BUREAUS OF THAT DEPARTMENT FOR THE EXPENSES NECESSARY TO ACCOMPLISH THE BUREAUS' WORK MAY BE USED FOR THE PAYMENT OF THE MAINTENANCE EXPENSES OF CONSCIENTIOUS OBJECTORS ASSIGNED BY THE DIRECTOR OF SELECTIVE SERVICE TO THE WORK OF SAID BUREAUS, THERE IS NO AUTHORITY TO USE SUCH FUNDS TO PROVIDE CONSCIENTIOUS OBJECTORS WITH ANY ALLOWANCE OF CASH OR COMPENSATION OF ANY KIND. CONSCIENTIOUS OBJECTORS WHO ARE ASSIGNED UNDER AUTHORITY OF THE SELECTIVE TRAINING AND SERVICE ACT OF 1940 AND EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 8675 TO THE COAST AND GEODETIC SURVEY, DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE, FOR PERFORMANCE OF "WORK OF NATIONAL IMPORTANCE" MAY NOT BE GIVEN TEMPORARY APPOINTMENTS AS CIVIL SERVANTS OR EMPLOYEES OF THE UNITED STATES. THE ASSIGNMENT OF CONSCIENTIOUS OBJECTORS TO "WORK OF NATIONAL IMPORTANCE" IS THE DUTY AND RESPONSIBILITY OF THE DIRECTOR OF SELECTIVE SERVICE UNDER THE SELECTIVE TRAINING AND SERVICE ACT OF 1940 AND EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 8675, AND, THEREFORE, DETAILS OF THE ASSIGNMENT OF CONSCIENTIOUS OBJECTORS TO AID IN THE WORK OF A GOVERNMENT DEPARTMENT SHOULD BE COVERED BY AGREEMENT BETWEEN THE SELECTIVE SERVICE SYSTEM AND THE GOVERNMENT DEPARTMENT CONCERNED, RATHER THAN BY CONTRACT--- OR EVEN ARRANGEMENT--- WITH THE CONSCIENTIOUS OBJECTORS AS INDIVIDUALS.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL WARREN TO THE SECRETARY OF COMMERCE, APRIL 27, 1943:

I HAVE YOUR LETTER OF APRIL 14, 1943, AS FOLLOWS:

IN ACCORDANCE WITH ARRANGEMENTS MADE WITH THE SELECTIVE SERVICE SYSTEM, IT IS PROPOSED TO UTILIZE THE SERVICES OF CONSCIENTIOUS OBJECTORS ON SPECIALIZED PROJECTS PERFORMING WORK FOR THE WAR EFFORT. THESE MEN HAVE BEEN CALLED FOR MILITARY DUTY BUT, BECAUSE THEY CONSCIENTIOUSLY OPPOSE PERFORMING COMBATANT OR NON-COMBATANT SERVICE IN THE ARMED FORCES, EFFORTS ARE BEING MADE TO EMPLOY THEM ON PROJECTS OF NATIONAL IMPORTANCE. UNDER THE TERMS OF OUR AGREEMENT WITH THE SELECTIVE SERVICE SYSTEM, THESE MEN CAN BE DETAILED FOR THE PERFORMANCE OF SUCH WORK PROVIDED THAT ADEQUATE MAINTENANCE IS FURNISHED AND THAT THE MEN ARE COMPENSATED AT A RATE NOT TO EXCEED $5 PER MONTH.

THREE BUREAUS OF THE DEPARTMENT--- THE NATIONAL BUREAU OF STANDARDS, THE WEATHER BUREAU, AND THE COAST AND GEODETIC SURVEY--- ARE ENGAGED IN WORK VITAL TO THE ARMED FORCES AND HAVE PROJECTS ON WHICH QUALIFIED MEN ARE URGENTLY NEEDED. THE NATURE OF THESE PROJECTS AND THE PLAN PROPOSED FOR UTILIZING THE SERVICES OF QUALIFIED OBJECTORS ASSIGNED TO THE DEPARTMENT ARE SET FORTH BELOW.

THE NATIONAL BUREAU OF STANDARDS IS ENGAGED ON A LARGE NUMBER OF RESEARCH PROJECTS DIRECTLY BEARING UPON THE WAR EFFORT. THESE PROJECTS ARE OF SUCH IMPORTANCE THAT THE BUREAU HAS BEEN FORCED TO ABANDON MOST OF ITS NORMAL ACTIVITIES AND TO ASSIGN ITS QUALIFIED WORKERS TO WAR WORK. THE BUREAU IS CONSTANTLY BEING ASKED TO TAKE ON ADDITIONAL WORK OF NATIONAL IMPORTANCE, A TYPICAL PROJECT BEING INCIDENTAL RESEARCH AND STANDARDIZATION IN CONNECTION WITH THE SYNTHETIC RUBBER PRODUCTION PROGRAM. THIS PROJECT WILL REQUIRE THE SERVICES OF A NUMBER OF TRAINED PHYSICISTS AND CHEMISTS AND, BECAUSE OF THE ACUTE SHORTAGE OF PERSONS OF THESE QUALIFICATIONS, IT APPEARS THAT THE NECESSARY PERSONNEL CANNOT BE OBTAINED THROUGH ORDINARY CHANNELS. IT HAS BEEN FOUND, HOWEVER, THAT THERE ARE A CONSIDERABLE NUMBER OF MEN CLASSED AS CONSCIENTIOUS OBJECTORS AND ASSIGNED TO WORK CAMPS WHO APPEAR TO BE PARTICULARLY WELL QUALIFIED FOR THIS AND OTHER PROJECTS OF SIMILAR IMPORTANCE WHICH THE BUREAU IS CALLED UPON TO UNDERTAKE.

THE UNITED STATES WEATHER BUREAU IS, AT THE REQUEST OF THE WAR DEPARTMENT, CONDUCTING AN INTENSIFIED STUDY OF PAST WEATHER CONDITIONS IN THE NORTHERN HEMISPHERE IN AN EFFORT TO INCREASE THE ACCURACY OF LONG RANGE WEATHER FORECASTS. ONE PHASE OF THE PROJECT INVOLVES THE PLOTTING ON BASE NORTHERN HEMISPHERE CHARTS OF ALL AVAILABLE WEATHER DATA FOR EACH DAY OF THE PERIOD UNDER STUDY. THE WEATHER BUREAU HAS ALSO BEEN REQUIRED TO OPEN A LARGE NUMBER OF ADDITIONAL OBSERVATION STATIONS, MANY OF WHICH ARE IN ISOLATED LOCALITIES, FOR THE PURPOSE OF MAKING THE FREQUENT AND EXTENDED OBSERVATIONS WHICH ARE NECESSARY TO MILITARY OPERATIONS, PARTICULARLY AVIATION. IT IS PROPOSED TO UTILIZE THE SERVICES OF APPROXIMATELY 100 CONSCIENTIOUS OBJECTORS BY ASSIGNING THEM TO THE MOUNT WEATHER STATION OF THE WEATHER BUREAU, WHICH PROPERTY IS AVAILABLE FOR SUCH A PROJECT. THE BASIC FUNCTION OF THIS GROUP WOULD BE TO PLOT THE WEATHER DATA ON THE DAILY NORTHERN HEMISPHERE CHARTS FOR USE OF METEOROLOGISTS. HOWEVER, FROM THIS GROUP WOULD BE SELECTED MEN WHO HAVE DEMONSTRATED AN INTEREST IN AND APTITUDE FOR WEATHER WORK FOR ADVANCE TRAINING IN THE TAKING OF WEATHER OBSERVATIONS INCLUDING THE OPERATION OF RADIOSONDE DEVICES. THESE MEN WOULD BE ASSIGNED IN GROUPS OF 3 TO 5 TO ISOLATED WEATHER STATIONS FOR WHICH IT IS CURRENTLY EXTREMELY DIFFICULT TO SUPPLY PERSONNEL.

A SIMILAR PROJECT FOR WHICH A WORKABLE PLAN HAS BEEN DEVISED IS TO BE UNDERTAKEN IN THE COAST AND GEODETIC SURVEY. UNDER THIS PLAN, CONSCIENTIOUS OBJECTORS WILL BE ASSIGNED TO FIELD PARTIES ENGAGED IN CONDUCTING SURVEYS REQUESTED BY THE ARMY ENGINEERS IN LIEU OF MEN DRAFTED INTO MILITARY SERVICE. THIS PROJECT HAS BEEN SUBMITTED TO THE CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION WHICH HAS STATED THAT THE MEN ENGAGED THEREON CAN BE EMPLOYED UNDER SCHEDULE A, SUBDIVISION XI, PAR. 7 OF THE CIVIL SERVICE REGULATIONS. THE COAST AND GEODETIC SURVEY PROPOSES TO PROVIDE MAINTENANCE AT THE RATE OF $2 PER DIEM, WHICH SUM IS NORMALLY ALLOWED REGULAR EMPLOYEES ENGAGED ON SURVEY PARTY WORK. A COPY OF THE DEPARTMENT'S LETTER TO THE CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION AND THE COMMISSION'S REPLY ARE ATTACHED FOR YOUR INFORMATION.

THE CONSCIENTIOUS OBJECTORS ARE NOW EMPLOYED IN WORK CAMPS MAINTAINED BY THE NATIONAL SERVICE BOARD FOR RELIGIOUS OBJECTORS UNDER A POLICY ADOPTED BY THE SELECTIVE SERVICE SYSTEM. IF THE MEN ARE DETAILED TO THE DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE FOR ASSIGNMENT TO WORK OF NATIONAL IMPORTANCE, IT WILL BE NECESSARY FOR THE DEPARTMENT TO PROVIDE ADEQUATE MAINTENANCE, CONSISTING OF FOOD, SHELTER, WORK CLOTHES, AND POSSIBLY AN ALLOWANCE NOT TO EXCEED $5 PER MONTH AND NECESSARY MEDICAL ATTENTION AND HOSPITALIZATION, AS WELL AS TRANSPORTATION FROM THE WORK CAMP TO PLACE OF EMPLOYMENT AND RETURN IN EVENT THEIR SERVICES ARE UNSATISFACTORY.

AT THE NATIONAL BUREAU OF STANDARDS, IT MAY BE NECESSARY TO CONSTRUCT QUARTERS IN WHICH THE MEN ASSIGNED THERE WILL BE HOUSED TEMPORARILY AND THEN THE QUARTERS USED FOR EXPERIMENTAL WORK AND FOR STORAGE. ADDITIONAL SPACE IS BADLY NEEDED AT THE BUREAU FOR THESE PURPOSES. THE QUESTION OF THE MESS WILL BE CARED FOR EITHER BY PROVIDING FACILITIES AND SUPPLYING THE PROVISIONS OR BY CONTRACT WITH THE CAFETERIA NOW OPERATED AT THE BUREAU. IF THE MOUNT WEATHER STATION OF THE WEATHER BUREAU IS USED TO HOUSE THE MEN ASSIGNED TO THIS PROJECT, IT WILL BE NECESSARY TO MAKE MINOR REPAIRS, INSTALL HEATING AND KITCHEN FACILITIES AND SUPPLY THE PROVISIONS. THE SELECTIVE SERVICE SYSTEM WILL PROVIDE COTS, BEDDING AND POSSIBLY OTHER ITEMS ESSENTIAL TO CAMP OPERATION.

THE DEPARTMENT BELIEVES THAT THE APPROPRIATIONS MADE TO THE THREE BUREAUS ARE AVAILABLE FOR THESE PROJECTS. HOWEVER, BEFORE BEGINNING OPERATIONS AND OBLIGATING FUNDS, IT IS DESIRED TO HAVE YOUR APPROVAL OF THESE PROPOSED EXPENDITURES OF FUNDS AND YOUR DECISION AS TO WHETHER THE APPROPRIATIONS OF THE BUREAUS NAMED MAY BE USED FOR ADEQUATE MAINTENANCE OF CONSCIENTIOUS OBJECTORS (ENGAGED ON THE ABOVE OUTLINED WORK OF THESE BUREAUS) CONSISTING OF FOOD, SHELTER, WORK CLOTHES, AND POSSIBLY AN ALLOWANCE NOT TO EXCEED $5 PER MONTH AND NECESSARY MEDICAL ATTENTION AND HOSPITALIZATION, AS WELL AS TRANSPORTATION FROM THE WORK CAMP TO PLACE OF EMPLOYMENT AND RETURN IN EVENT THEIR SERVICES ARE UNSATISFACTORY.

THE USE OF THESE CONSCIENTIOUS OBJECTORS ON PROJECTS OF NATIONAL IMPORTANCE WILL RESULT IN SAVINGS OF THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS AND WILL HELP RELIEVE THE MANPOWER SHORTAGE. IN THIS CONNECTION, THERE IS ENCLOSED A COPY OF AN ORDER FROM THE SELECTIVE SERVICE SYSTEM WITH RESPECT TO ASSIGNING CONSCIENTIOUS OBJECTORS TO THE COAST AND GEODETIC SURVEY PROJECT, AND THIS DEPARTMENT HAS BEEN INFORMALLY ADVISED THAT LIKE APPROVAL WILL BE GIVEN TO THEIR ASSIGNMENT TO THE NATIONAL BUREAU OF STANDARDS AND WEATHER BUREAU PROJECTS.

THE DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE APPROPRIATION ACT, 1943, PUBLIC LAW 644, APPROVED JULY 2, 1942, 56 STAT. 494, 497, 499, CONTAINS SEPARATE APPROPRIATIONS FOR THE COAST AND GEODETIC SURVEY, THE NATIONAL BUREAU OF STANDARDS AND THE WEATHER BUREAU, EACH OF WHICH PROVIDING FOR ALL EXPENSES NECESSARY TO ACCOMPLISH CERTAIN DESCRIBED OBJECTS AND PURPOSES. THE TERMS OF SUCH APPROPRIATIONS LEAVE LITTLE ROOM FOR DOUBT BUT THAT THE FUNDS PROVIDED THEREIN ARE AVAILABLE GENERALLY FOR SUCH ,SPECIALIZED PROJECTS" AS ARE DESCRIBED IN YOUR LETTER. THUS, THE FUNDS OF THE COAST AND GEODETIC SURVEY ARE MADE AVAILABLE FOR "EVERY EXPENDITURE REQUISITE FOR AND INCIDENT TO THE WORK OF THE COAST AND GEODETIC SURVEY; " THOSE OF THE NATIONAL BUREAU OF STANDARDS FOR ALL NECESSARY EXPENSES CONNECTED WITH "RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT," WHICH IS DESCRIBED AS CONSISTING OF "THE STUDY OF NEW PROCESSES AND METHODS OF FABRICATION; " AND THOSE OF THE WEATHER BUREAU FOR ALL NECESSARY EXPENSES INCIDENT TO "COLLECTING AND DISSEMINATING METEOROLOGICAL, AEROLOGICAL, CLIMATOLOGICAL, AND MARINE INFORMATION, AND FOR INVESTIGATIONS IN METEOROLOGY, CLIMATOLOGY, SEISMOLOGY, EVAPORATION, AND AEROLOGY IN THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA AND ELSEWHERE.'

ORDINARILY, OF COURSE, THE RESPECTIVE BUREAUS SECURE THE PERSONAL SERVICE OF QUALIFIED PERSONNEL FOR SUCH WORK BY MEANS OF APPOINTMENTS TO REGULARLY ESTABLISHED POSITIONS AND THE FUNDS INVOLVED ARE EXPENDED FOR THE SALARIES, TRAVELING EXPENSES, SUBSISTENCE, ETC., OF SUCH EMPLOYEES. YOUR LETTER STATES THAT "BECAUSE OF THE ACUTE SHORTAGE OF PERSONS OF THESE QUALIFICATIONS, IT APPEARS THAT THE NECESSARY PERSONNEL CANNOT BE OBTAINED THROUGH ORDINARY CHANNELS" BUT THAT BY ARRANGEMENT WITH THE SELECTIVE SERVICE SYSTEM, CERTAIN CONSCIENTIOUS OBJECTORS POSSESSING THE NECESSARY QUALIFICATIONS CAN BE ASSIGNED TO SUCH WORK. IN VIEW OF THE FACT THAT THE INVOLVED FUNDS HAVE BEEN MADE AVAILABLE SPECIFICALLY TO ACCOMPLISH WORK OF THE NATURE DESCRIBED, THE ONLY QUESTION FOR CONSIDERATION IS WHETHER THE APPROPRIATED FUNDS OF THE THREE BUREAUS INVOLVED MAY BE USED TO DEFRAY EXPENSES NECESSARILY REQUIRED TO UTILIZE THE SERVICES OF SUCH CONSCIENTIOUS OBJECTORS.

SECTION 5 (G) OF THE SELECTIVE TRAINING AND SERVICE ACT OF 1940, 54 STAT. 889, PROVIDES, IN PART, AS FOLLOWS:

(B) NOTHING CONTAINED IN THIS ACT SHALL BE CONSTRUED TO REQUIRE ANY PERSON TO BE SUBJECT TO COMBATANT TRAINING AND SERVICE IN THE LAND OR NAVAL FORCES OF THE UNITED STATES WHO, BY REASON OF RELIGIOUS TRAINING AND BELIEF, IS CONSCIENTIOUSLY OPPOSED TO PARTICIPATION IN WAR IN ANY FORM. ANY SUCH PERSON CLAIMING SUCH EXEMPTION FROM COMBATANT TRAINING AND SERVICE BECAUSE OF SUCH CONSCIENTIOUS OBJECTIONS WHOSE CLAIM IS SUSTAINED BY THE LOCAL BOARD SHALL, IF HE IS INDUCTED INTO THE LAND OR NAVAL FORCES UNDER THIS ACT, BE ASSIGNED TO NONCOMBATANT SERVICE AS DEFINED BY THE PRESIDENT, OR SHALL, IF HE IS FOUND TO BE CONSCIENTIOUSLY OPPOSED TO PARTICIPATION IN SUCH NONCOMBATANT SERVICE, IN LIEU OF SUCH INDUCTION, BE ASSIGNED TO WORK OF NATIONAL IMPORTANCE UNDER CIVILIAN DIRECTION. * * * EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 8675, DATED FEBRUARY 6, 1941, ISSUED PURSUANT TO SAID SECTION 5 (G), PROVIDES:

1. THE DIRECTOR OF SELECTIVE SERVICE, HEREINAFTER CALLED THE DIRECTOR, IS AUTHORIZED TO ESTABLISH, DESIGNATE, OR DETERMINE WORK OF NATIONAL IMPORTANCE UNDER CIVILIAN DIRECTION TO WHICH MAY BE ASSIGNED PERSONS FOUND UNDER SECTION 5 (G) OF THE SELECTIVE TRAINING AND SERVICE ACT OF 1940 TO BE CONSCIENTIOUSLY OPPOSED TO PARTICIPATION IN COMBATANT AND NON-COMBATANT TRAINING AND SERVICE IN THE LAND OR NAVAL FORCES OF THE UNITED STATES.

2. THE DIRECTOR SHALL MAKE THE NECESSARY ASSIGNMENTS TO SUCH WORK, SHALL DETERMINE THE AGENCIES, ORGANIZATIONS, OR INDIVIDUALS THAT MAY PROVIDE CIVILIAN DIRECTION THEREOF, AND SHALL HAVE GENERAL SUPERVISION AND CONTROL OVER SUCH WORK.

3. TO THE EXTENT THAT HE MAY DEEM NECESSARY TO CARRY OUT THE PROVISIONS OF THIS ORDER, THE DIRECTOR MAY UTILIZE THE SERVICES OF THE DEPARTMENTS, OFFICERS, AND AGENTS OF THE UNITED STATES; ACCEPT THE SERVICES OF THE OFFICERS AND AGENTS OF THE SEVERAL STATES, TERRITORIES, AND THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, AND THE SUBDIVISIONS THEREOF; AND ACCEPT VOLUNTARY SERVICES OF PRIVATE ORGANIZATIONS AND INDIVIDUALS; AND MAY OBTAIN, BY PURCHASE, LOAN, OR GIFT, EQUIPMENT AND SUPPLIES FROM FEDERAL AND OTHER PUBLIC AGENCIES AND PRIVATE ORGANIZATIONS AND INDIVIDUALS, WITH OR WITHOUT ADVERTISING OR FORMAL CONTRACT.

4. THE DIRECTOR IS AUTHORIZED TO PRESCRIBE SUCH RULES AND REGULATIONS AS MAY BE NECESSARY TO CARRY OUT THE PROVISIONS OF THIS ORDER. ALSO, IT IS PROVIDED IN THE ACT OF JUNE 27, 1942, 56 STAT. 415, 416, PUBLIC LAW 630, APPROPRIATING FUNDS FOR THE SELECTIVE SERVICE SYSTEM FOR THE FISCAL YEAR 1943:

* * * THAT SUCH AMOUNTS AS MAY BE NECESSARY SHALL BE AVAILABLE FOR THE PLANNING, DIRECTING, AND OPERATION OF A PROGRAM OF WORK OF NATIONAL IMPORTANCE UNDER CIVILIAN DIRECTION, EITHER INDEPENDENTLY OR IN COOPERATION WITH GOVERNMENTAL OR NONGOVERNMENTAL AGENCIES, AND THE ASSIGNMENT AND DELIVERY THERETO OF INDIVIDUALS FOUND TO BE CONSCIENTIOUSLY OPPOSED TO PARTICIPATION IN WORK OF THE LAND OR NAVAL FORCES, WHICH COOPERATION WITH OTHER AGENCIES MAY INCLUDE THE FURNISHING OF FUNDS TO AND ACCEPTANCE OF MONEY, SERVICES, OR OTHER FORMS OF ASSISTANCE FROM SUCH NONGOVERNMENTAL AGENCIES FOR THE MORE EFFECTUAL ACCOMPLISHMENT OF THE WORK; AND INCLUDING ALSO THE PAY AND ALLOWANCES OF SUCH INDIVIDUALS AT RATES NOT IN EXCESS OF THOSE PAID TO PERSONS INDUCTED INTO THE ARMY UNDER THE SELECTIVE SERVICE SYSTEM, AND SUCH PRIVILEGES AS ARE ACCORDED SUCH INDUCTEES * * *.

IT IS NOTED THAT UNDER THE TERMS OF SAID SECTION 5 (G) CONSCIENTIOUS OBJECTORS MAY EITHER BE INDUCTED INTO THE ARMED FORCES AND ASSIGNED TO NONCOMBATANT DUTY OR, IF FOUND OPPOSED TO SUCH NONCOMBATANT MILITARY DUTY, BE ASSIGNED TO "WORK OF NATIONAL IMPORTANCE UNDER CIVILIAN DIRECTION.' YOUR LETTER STATES THAT THE PLAN PROPOSED THEREIN HAS REFERENCE TO THE LATTER CLASS OF INDIVIDUALS. AS TO SUCH PERSONS, THE CONGRESS HAS DELEGATED TO THE DIRECTOR OF SELECTIVE SERVICE, THROUGH THE PRESIDENT, GENERAL SUPERVISION AND CONTROL OVER THEIR ACTIVITIES AND THE AUTHORITY TO DETERMINE ,WORK OF NATIONAL IMPORTANCE" ON WHICH THEIR SERVICES MAY BE UTILIZED DURING THE PRESENT NATIONAL EMERGENCY. MOREOVER, IT IS CLEAR--- IF NOT FROM THE ABOVE QUOTED LANGUAGE OF SECTION 5 (G) CERTAINLY FROM THE LANGUAGE OF THE EXECUTIVE ORDER ISSUED THEREUNDER AND OF THE APPROPRIATION FOR THE SELECTIVE SERVICE SYSTEM--- THAT SUCH "WORK OF NATIONAL IMPORTANCE" MAY ENTAIL THE PERFORMANCE OF WORK UNDER THE SEVERAL DEPARTMENTS OF THE UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT. HOWEVER, THE LEGISLATION AND EXECUTIVE ORDER ABOVE QUOTED DO NOT EXPLICITLY PROVIDE THAT IN THE EVENT CONSCIENTIOUS OBJECTORS ARE ASSIGNED TO THE WORK OF A GOVERNMENT AGENCY ANY PART OF THE FINANCIAL BURDEN OF SUCH ASSIGNMENT SHALL--- OR EVEN MAY-- - BE ASSUMED BY SUCH AGENCY. IT IS CLEARLY SO PROVIDED IN THE CASE OF NONGOVERNMENTAL AGENCIES (SEE ABOVE QUOTED PORTION OF THE APPROPRIATION FOR THE SELECTIVE SERVICE SYSTEM). BUT IN VIEW OF THE MUCH MORE APPARENT NECESSITY FOR SPECIFIC STATUTORY AUTHORITY FOR A GOVERNMENT DEPARTMENT TO ACCEPT PRIVATE DONATIONS OF FUNDS IN THE ACCOMPLISHMENT OF ITS DELEGATED FUNCTIONS, IT WOULD SEEM THAT THE COMMONLY EMPLOYED LEGAL MAXIM,"EXPRESSIO UNIUS EST EXCLUSIO ALTERIUS," IS NOT FOR APPLICATION. THE NOVELTY OF THE PROBLEM WITH WHICH THE CONGRESS WAS CONFRONTED IN THE MATTER OF THE UTILIZATION OF THE SERVICES OF CONSCIENTIOUS OBJECTORS MAY WELL EXPLAIN THE FAILURE TO BE MORE SPECIFIC WITH RESPECT TO WHETHER THE AUTHORITY TO USE FUNDS APPROPRIATED TO THE SELECTIVE SERVICE SYSTEM IN THE CASE OF THE ASSIGNMENT OF CONSCIENTIOUS OBJECTORS TO THE WORK OF A GOVERNMENT AGENCY WAS A PERMISSIVE OR MANDATORY DIRECTION. THE MATTER IS NOT ENTIRELY FREE FROM DOUBT, BUT IT DOES SEEM REASONABLE TO CONCLUDE THAT WHERE THE CONGRESS HAS APPROPRIATED FUNDS DIRECTLY AND SPECIFICALLY FOR ALL EXPENSES NECESSARY TO ACCOMPLISH CERTAIN WORK, IT IS PROPER TO CHARGE SUCH FUNDS WITH SUCH NECESSARY EXPENSES CONNECTED WITH THE ASSIGNMENT OF CONSCIENTIOUS OBJECTORS AS MAY BE DEEMED DIRECTLY ATTRIBUTABLE TO THEIR SERVICE ON THAT WORK.

ACCORDINGLY, THIS OFFICE WILL NOT OBJECT TO OTHERWISE PROPER PAYMENTS FROM FUNDS APPROPRIATED TO THE RESPECTIVE BUREAUS OF THE DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE COVERING MAINTENANCE AND OTHER INCIDENTAL EXPENSES OF THE NATURE DESCRIBED IN YOUR LETTER IN CONNECTION WITH ASSIGNMENTS OF CONSCIENTIOUS OBJECTORS TO THE WORK THEREOF. HOWEVER, YOUR LETTER STATES THAT IN ADDITION TO SUCH EXPENSES THERE IS BEING CONSIDERED THE POSSIBILITY OF THE PAYMENT OF AN ALLOWANCE OF NOT TO EXCEED $5 PER MONTH TO SUCH PERSONS. SINCE THE ONLY EXPENSES PROPERLY CHARGEABLE TO THE FUNDS OF THE RESPECTIVE BUREAUS ARE THOSE NECESSARY TO ACCOMPLISH THE WORK THEREOF, AND SINCE THERE IS NOT SHOWN THE NECESSITY OF USING SUCH FUNDS TO PROVIDE CONSCIENTIOUS OBJECTORS WITH ANY ALLOWANCE OF CASH--- OR COMPENSATION OF ANY KIND--- THERE WOULD APPEAR TO BE NO AUTHORITY TO CHARGE SUCH PAYMENTS TO THE FUNDS HERE INVOLVED.

MOREOVER, THERE IS ANOTHER FEATURE OF THE PLAN FOR WHICH THERE APPEARS NO AUTHORITY OF LAW NOR IS THERE SHOWN ANY NECESSITY FROM AN ADMINISTRATIVE STANDPOINT--- THAT IS, THE PROPOSAL THAT SUCH CONSCIENTIOUS OBJECTORS AS MAY BE ASSIGNED TO SURVEY OPERATIONS OF THE COAST AND GEODETIC SURVEY BE GIVEN TEMPORARY APPOINTMENTS UNDER SCHEDULE A, SUBDIVISION XI, PAR. 7, OF THE CIVIL SERVICE REGULATIONS. CERTAINLY THERE HAS BEEN FOUND NO INDICATION THAT THE CONGRESS EVER INTENDED THAT THE COOPERATION BETWEEN THE SELECTIVE SERVICE SYSTEM AND THE SEVERAL DEPARTMENTS OF THE GOVERNMENT WITH RESPECT TO THE ASSIGNMENT OF CONSCIENTIOUS OBJECTORS TO WORK OF NATIONAL IMPORTANCE SHOULD TAKE THE FORM OF AN APPOINTMENT AS A CIVIL SERVANT OR EMPLOYEE OF THE UNITED STATES.

FURTHERMORE, AS ABOVE STATED, THE ASSIGNMENT OF SUCH PERSONS TO WORK OF NATIONAL IMPORTANCE IS THE DUTY AND RESPONSIBILITY OF THE DIRECTOR OF SELECTIVE SERVICE, AND, THEREFORE, THE DETAILS OF SUCH ASSIGNMENTS SHOULD BE COVERED BY AGREEMENT BETWEEN THE SELECTIVE SERVICE SYSTEM AND THE DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE RATHER THAN BY CONTRACT--- OR EVEN ARRANGEMENT--- WITH THE CONSCIENTIOUS OBJECTORS AS INDIVIDUALS.

GAO Contacts