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electric-light plant now installed therein, the addition consisting of substantially the electric plant required for lighting the new custom-house building in process of erection, with the exception of the steam boilers for operating the electric generators, to be connected by cable with and to be used for lighting the new building. It is also understood that by so placing in one building the electric-light plant for lighting both buildings, only one force of employees will be required for operating and caring for the plant, thus effecting a large saving in operating expenses. You propose to pay the cost of the installation of the increased electric plant in post-office building from the appropriation made for the erection of the new custom-house.
The sole legal question presented by your reference is: Can an appropriation made for the erection of a new custom-house at Baltimore, which by the act of June 6, 1900 (31 Stat., 591), is made applicable to installing an electric plant therein, be used to enlarge or increase the capacity of an existing electric plant now in use in the post-office building situated in said city of Baltimore.
It is provided by section 3678 of the Revised Statutes:
"All sums appropriated for the various branches of expenditure in the public service shall be applied solely to the objects for which they are respectively made, and for no others."
In my judgment it would be a plain violation of this statute to use the appropriation made for the Baltimore custom-house to pay for a new or increase the capacity of the electric plant in the post-office building in question. These buildings, while both are owned by the Government, are separate and distinct in so far as the cost of the erection is concerned, including the installation of electric plants, as if owned by separate and distinct owners. A sale of the post-office would carry with it as a part thereof the electric plant. It would be no more a misuse of the appropriation for the erection of the customhouse building in question, as it regards the statute above cited, to use it in putting on a new roof on the post-office building than to use it to enlarge its electric plant. The fact that the plant when so enlarged could be utilized by each of the buildings in question can not alter the fact that this plant is a part of the post-office building and no part of the customhouse.
It is not seen why the economy contemplated can not be accomplished through the use of the appropriation made by the act of April 28, 1904 (33 Stat., 464), by increasing the electric plant in the post-office building and furnishing light to the custom-house, or vice versa by installing a sufficient plant for both buildings in the new custom-house. Neither of these expedients appears to be prohibited by any law.
COMPUTING COMPENSATION FOR A FRACTIONAL PART OF A MONTH.
A rural letter carrier who served from the 1st to the 14th, inclusive, of a thirty-one day month, and was succeeded on the 15th of the month by a newly appointed carrier who served during the remainder of the month, is entitled to fourteen-thirtieths of the monthly pay of a carrier on said route, and his successor is entitled to sixteen-thirtieths thereof.
(Comptroller Tracewell to the postmaster at Guthrie, Okla., June 5, 1905.)
I am in receipt of your letter of the 26th ultimo, as follows: "I inclose to you herewith a letter from the postmaster at Hunter, Okla. The question is, What amount should be paid to a carrier serving from the 1st day of May to the 14th, inclusive, and what amount should be paid a newly appointed carrier who serves the same route from May 15 to May 31, inclusive? On March 21, 1905, I asked a question covering this identical point, but your letter of April 6 in reply thereto failed to give me the information. Please advise me if Harry Lower should be paid for fifteen or sixteen days' service. Please return the inclosure."
Also the communication of the postmaster at Hunter, Okla., dated May 24, 1905, referred to therein:
"Please inform me of the amount voucher should be made out for to P. J. Roach, carrier No. 2, from May 1 to May 14; also Harry Lower, who was appointed carrier to begin May 15. Please give me the amount each voucher should be made out for."
Assuming from your letters that P. J. Roach, carrier on rural route No. 2, served as such up to and including the 14th of May, and that Harry Lower succeeded him as such carrier and served from and including the 15th of May up to and in
cluding the 31st of May as such carrier, you should pay Roach fourteen-thirtieths of the monthly installment of salary fixed for the carrier of this route, and Lower sixteen-thirtieths of the same. In other words, pay them the one-twelfth of the annual salary for the month of May.
Rural carriers are paid from a lump sum, but when a route is established and an annual salary is fixed for such particular route, it is the same as if Congress had appropriated for the route a specific sum. It therefore follows that there can be paid as salary on a route so established and a salary so fixed but the one-twelfth part of the annual salary for any particular month.
You are authorized to pay as above set out. If there had been a lapse of one or more days in filling Roach's place, the person succeeding him could be paid for the 31st day of May. The person thus succeeding Roach would be entitled to one day's pay for each day served; in other words one-thirtieth of the monthly salary for each day served in the month.
EXPENDITURES ON ACCOUNT OF PERSONS WHO HAVE BEEN ORDERED DEPORTED, BUT WHO ARE DETAINED AS WITNESSES.
Under the provisions of the act of March 3, 1903, expenditures on account of persons who have been ordered deported, but who are detained as witnesses for the Government, must be limited to expenses for their maintenance and the necessary expenses of their detention, and therefore the payment to such persons of a per diem in the nature of witness fees is not authorized.
(Comptroller Tracewell to the Secretary of Commerce and Labor, June 5, 1905.)
I am in receipt of your letter, dated May 29, 1905, wherein you request my decision on the question presented by you as follows:
"Upon the advice of the United States district attorney for the southern district of New York, the Department finds it necessary, in connection with the prosecution of the case of the United States v. Tile, Grate, and Mantel Association, for violation of the contract labor laws, to detain at Ellis Island, for the purpose of securing their testimony, four aliens who had been ordered deported. The district attorney states that these
aliens are much irritated on account of their enforced idleness. and are discontented and concerned because they have no money and are making none, and recommends that under the term 'Cost of maintenance,' employed in section 19 of the immigration act of March 3, 1903, an allowance for personal expenses, in addition to the cost of their board and lodging, be made, in order that they may cheerfully remain.
"The portion of section 19, relative to the maintenance of aliens detained as witnesses, provides:
"That the Commissioner-General of Immigration, under the direction or with the approval of the Secretary of Commerce and Labor, may suspend, upon conditions to be prescribed by the Commissioner-General, the deportation of any alien found to have come under the promise or agreement of labor or service of any kind if, in his judgment, the testimony of such alien is necessary on behalf of the United States Government in the prosecution of the offenders against the provisions of sections 4 and 5 of this act: Provided, That the cost of maintenance of any person so detained resulting from such suspension of deportation shall be paid from the "Immigrant fund.""
"In this connection your attention is also invited to a provision of the general deficiency act of March 3, 1905, which reads:
"Provided, That the necessary expenses incident to the detention of aliens ordered deported, whose attendance as witnesses is required in behalf of the United States in prosecutions arising under the immigration laws, may be paid from the permanent appropriation for "Expenses of regulating immigration.
"Your decision is, therefore, requested upon the following questions:
"Is the Department authorized under the provisions above quoted to pay to these aliens, in addition to their board and lodging, a per diem, in the nature of witness fees, for personal expenses?
"In case the above question is answered in the negative the Department desires to be informed as to what expenses may properly be included in the terms 'cost of maintenance,' and 'necessary expenses,' as employed in the provisions above referred to.
"A reply is desired at your earliest convenience.
"A copy of the letter received from the United States district attorney is inclosed herewith."
(1) By the statutory provisions quoted, supra, Congress has provided just what expenditures may be made on account of persons who have been ordered deported but who are detained as witnesses for the Government. It has limited
such expenditures to the "maintenance" of such persons and to "the necessary expenses incident to (their) detention."
It is my opinion, therefore, that you are not authorized to pay to such detained aliens a per diem in the nature of witness fees.
(2) It is impossible to state definitely what items of expense are included in the word "maintenance." The circumstances in each case would have great, if not controlling, influence.
For example: Should the clothing of such a detained person be destroyed, or if his clothing be insufficient to properly protect his health, you would undoubtedly be authorized to provide suitable clothing for him. If he become ill, medical attention and drugs should also be provided. "Maintenance" includes food, lodging, laundry, tobacco, and such other necessary articles as are usually and customarily furnished people in their station in life. Such articles should, however, be prescribed by you in a regulation covering the subject.
It is my opinion that when such articles have been thus prescribed by you, commutation thereof would be unauthorized.
COMPUTING COMPENSATION FOR FRACTIONAL PART OF A MONTH.
Where a letter carrier was absent on leave without pay four days in a thirty-one day month, one-thirtieth of his monthly pay should be deducted for each day he was so absent, and the substitute carrier will be entitled for each day's service to one-thirtieth of the monthly pay of the regular carrier.
(Acting Comptroller Mitchell to the postmaster at Albany, N. Y., June 6, 1905.)
I am in receipt of your letter of May 31, 1905, as follows:
"On May 28, 1905, Louis Van Karmerik, jr., a first-class letter carrier at this office, salary $1,000 (together with three others), was granted leave of absence without pay for the balance of the month, his service for the balance of the month (four days) having been performed by a substitute letter carrier. Mr. Van Karmerik therefore served twenty-seven days in the month of May, and I should like to be informed as to the amount of pay he is entitled to for that service, and the amount of pay the substitute is entitled to for his four days' service in the month of May.