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Mr. · CARR. Yes. You see, section 4577 of the Revised Statutes makes it obligatory upon consuls to send destitute seamen home, and under another law that same provision is applied to collectors of customs in the Philippines, also in Alaska, Hawaii, and Panama. Destitute seamen have to be relieved and sent home; these accounts have been received, have been examined, and have been found to be lawful under these statutes.
The Comptroller General certifies this amount as due from the Government in the payment of these accounts under the statute. It is a matter over wħich we have no control, except to use as good business judgment as possible in keeping the expense as low as it may be, but we have to carry on the relief work under the law.
The CHAIRMAN. All of these items have been properly examined and certified ?
Mr. CARR. Yes, sir.
CONTINGENT EXPENSES, UNITED STATES CONSULATES.
The CHAIRMAN. On page 103 there is the item, “ Contingent expenses, United States consulates.” That is a 1918 and 1919 item?
Mr. CARR. Yes, sir. That is for the purpose, Mr. Chairman, of paying the rent of the consular office in Moscow, Russia. We had a verbal lease for the office in Moscow at the rate of $700. The rent was paid for the quarters ending March 31, 1918, and September 30, 1919. It was not paid, however, for the quarter ending June 30, 1918, probably because our consul general suddenly died and things were in a very much disturbed condition. Mr. Poole, who succeeded to the post of consul general, was ordered to remove from Moscaw on account of the revolution and to go up to Archangel and take carge of the embassy there. He left the Government property in this building, where it still is, to the best of my information, and the owner of that property has now requested us to pay the rent. Meanwhile the appropriation had gone back into the Treasury—$19,000 we turned back as the unexpended balance of the appropriation for those years. This is in the nature of reappropriating enough of that to cover a just charge which at that time was not paid on account of the revolution.
EXPOSITION AT PANAMA,
The CHAIRMAN. The next item is:
For participation in an exposition to be held in the city of Panama, including the same objects specified under this head in the diplomatic and consular appropriation act for the fiscal year 1916, $312.23.
Is that a deficiency?
Mr. Carr. In a sense it is a deficiency, and in a sense a bookkeeping transaction.
The CHAIRMAN, What year?
Mr. CARR. 1916. There is $312.23 outstanding in claims in excess of the appropriation. One of them is the claim of the Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific Railroad Co. for $95.47 for the transportation of exhibits. The remainder is made up of claims of the Panama Canal and the Panama Railroad Co. for supplies furnished.
The only payment is that of $95.47, as we understand it. The appropriation of
this amount in this form will enable us to cancel on the books of the Treasury the indebtedness to the Panama Railroad and Panama Canal and the payment of $95.47 to the Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific Railroad Co. for the outstanding claim. Of course, you can perfectly well say that the commissioner and disbursing officer of the exposition ought not to have exceeded the appropriation, but it is probable that they did so through miscalculation; we do not know about that. We have not allowed anything in excess of the appropriation in our department. We merely submit this for your consideration, and express the opinion that we think it would be a good thing to get off of the department's books.
The CHAIRMAN. Do you think it is justified ? Mr. Carr. Yes, sir; I do. I think it is due the people who have bills outstanding in their favor, and I think the Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific Railroad Co. ought not to suffer a loss of $95 because an erposition commissioner contracted in excess of his appropriation.
The CHAIRMAX. Of course, he had no authority to make a contract?
Mr. CARR. No. I do not defend that for a moment. I think he should have stayed within his appropriation.
The CHAIRMAN. Of course, if we let things run along long enough, without bringing them in here for appropriation, no matter how illegitimate the expense may have been or how unjustifiable the excess expenditure over the appropriation, it becomes legitimate in time under the process of auditing.
Mr. CARR. This thing I do not claim to be legitimate. The only reason we submit it to Congress is for Congress to determine whether it does not feel in equity that the claim of the railroad company ought to be met, inasmuch as it was contracted in good faith by them. We have been unable to do anything else with it. Generally speaking, I do not believe in this kind of thing, but in a small amount of this sort, especially where most of it is a mere bookkeeping transaction between various branches of the Government, it seems to
Mr. GALLIVAN (interposing). Does this clean it all up?
Mr. CARR. Yes, sir; this cleans up the exposition. Our object is to clean up the books, which we are trying to do as rapidly as possible in our department.
INTERNATIONAL OBSERVATORY AT UKIAH,
The CHAIRMAN. We have another item before us:
The appropriation for the maintenance of the International Latitude (bservatory at Ukiah, Calif., made in the deficiency appropriation act approved December 15, 1921, is herehy made available for the purposes therein described for the entire fiscal year beginning July 1, 1921.
Mr. Carr. You appropriated, as I understood —
The CHAIRMAN (interposing). I think we made it available until next December, if I recall.
Mr. Carr. No; my recollection was that you intended to appropriate the amount
The CHAIRMAN (interposing). That was $2,000?
Mr. Carr. Yes. The amoụnt we had the previous year, which is the maximum amount you have appropriated for one year. My understanding was that that was to date from the first of the fiscal year, to cover the expenses until the station was turned over. The comptroller decided, however, that inasmuch as you had not specifically stated in the appropriation that it was to date from the first of the fiscal year that he would not permit any bills incurred between the beginning of the fiscal year and the date of the appropriation to be paid out of it. I felt that his construction of the law was not according to the intent of Congress; but there was nothing to do but to ask you to make it specifically, available for the entire fiscal year instead of from December 15, the date of the law.
The CHAIRMAN. I thought that we made that available not only for the balance of the fiscal year, but until the following December. I would not be sure; I do not remember the language.
Mr. Carr. I do not recall it in exactly that form, but there are some $697 worth of expenditures, they are all very small, incurred between July 1 and the date of the deficiency act.
The CHAIRMAN. Here is what we said:
For the maintenance of the International Latitude Observatory at Ukiah, Calif., and for the continuance of the work thereon until the station is turned over to the Geodetic and Geophysical Union, $2,000.
I thought that that would make the money payable clearly during the next fiscal year.
Mr. BYRNS. The entire fiscal year.
Mr. Carr. That makes it for a specific purpose instead of for a specific fiscal year.
Mr. Byrns. That was not available until actually approved and hence the previous expenditures could not be paid.
ST. JOHN RIVER COMMISSION.
The CHAIRMAN. The next item is:
For the expenses of the St. John River Commission, including the same objects specified under this head in the diplomatic and consular appropriation act for the fiscal year 1907, $4,750.
What is the trouble now, Mr. Carr?
Mr. Carr. The trouble is this, Mr. Chairman. There were many difficulties which arose on the St. John River.
The CHAIRMAX. In the stream?
Mr. Carr. Yes, sir; in the stream. They arose out of the fact that the St. John River is the boundary between New Brunswick and Maine for a part of the way, and the inhabitants of the two countries were engaged largely in logging and other enterprises which caused disputes concerning the rights of the respective countries. This caused the British and United States Governments to agree upon a commission under Article III of the treaty of Washington of 1842, known as the Webster and Ashburton treaty, to investigate those difficulties and find out what they were and what could be done to get rid of them. So Congress in the appropriation act of July 16, 1906, appropriated $20,000, in the urgent deficiency act of February 25, 1910, a further $20,000, and in the deficiency act of 1911 an additional $15,000, making a total of $55,000 for the work of that commission.
The CHAIRMAN. The first appropriation was in 1906 ?
Mr. CARR. Yes, sir; 1906, 1910, and 1911. This Government appointed George A. Murchie, of 'Calais, Me., Peter C. Keegan, of Van Buren, Me., as commissioners, and 0. F. Fellows, of Bangor, Me., as counsel. Some time before the completion of the work of the commission the department paid those commissioners and the counsel an honorarium of $5,000 out of the appropriation for their services.
The CHAIRMAN. $5,000 each?
Mr. Carr. Yes; $5,000 each, and made the stipulation that any further compensation would be determined upon the basis of the work done by them when their report was completed to be submitted to Congress. Their report was not completed and submitted until February 18, 1916, whereupon the commissioners claimed increased compensation in a very considerable amount. The administration at that time, the last administration, could not agree upon the amount and no payment was ever made. Finally, the matter rested until this administration came into power, and then they took up with this administration their claim for additional compensation and submitted further facts which were not before the last administration. Their claim was on the basis of $50 a day, and amounted in the whole to $10,425.
The CHAIRMAN. The full amount?
Mr. Carr. Of the compensation for commissioners and the counsel. The department on reviewing all the evidence reached the conclusion that the Government ought not to pay more than $25 a day, and reduced the amount it thought to be due to $25.287.50. It had already paid $5,000 honorarium.
Mr. GALLIVAN. Honorarium? The $5,000 was a salary?
Mr. (ARR. When this decision was reached the department still had available five thousand and some dollars in the appropriation. and it paid over that $5,000 to them.
The ('HAIRMAX. It had already paid them $20,000?
Mr. CARR. $20.288.59 is the exact amount which its payments ag. gregated, which was all the money but $219 remaining in the appropriation. It said to them that it would pay them that amount and then it would submit to Congress the question of paying the rest of the amount which it thought fair for their compensation.
The CHAIRMAN. $1,750 ?
Mr. Carr. There is no legal obligation in the sense that a specifie compensation was ever agreed upon or that Congress ever authorized a specific compensation, but unquestionably the department, when these men were employed for this rork, gave them to understand that the honorarium which it paid, or retainer, as you choose to call it-
Mr. GalliAx. Retainer.
Mr. Carr. Must not be regarded as their full compensation. That appears very definitely in our correspondence with them, so that there is really a moral obligation to pay.
The CHAIRMAN. The compensation was to be agreed upon when the report was submitted?
Mr. CARR. Yes, sir. The report was submitted in February, 1916, and is printed in Senate Document No. 724, Sixty-fourth Congress, second session. In a sense these men have, I think, a valid claim.
The CHAIRMAN. You have agreed upon that amount, and to that extent, of course, there is an obligation?
Mr. CARR. Yes, sir.
The CHAIRMAN. And have agreed to recommend consideration of the payment of the balance ?
Mr. CARR. Yes, sir.
The CHAIRMAN. But you have not any agreement binding this payment?
Mr. CARR. No, sir. We have only the purpose to recommend to Congress what we thought would be fair compensation.
The CHAIRMAN. They understand that that is all the obligation that exists?
Mr. Carr. If you care to have it in the record I will give you the exact statement written them.
The CHAIRMAN. I wish you would.
Mr. CARR. Yes, sir. As a matter of fact, they have finished their work and all but one of those men are dead. With the exception of one case the
to the estates. The CHAIRMAN. The money is divided equally between them?
Mr. CARR. No; not equally between them, but the money is divided according to the total number of days which their records show they put in on this work. This statement is rather long, and I will put it in the record without reading.
The CHAIRMAN. Put it in the record, please.
Mr. CARR. Because it states the exact facts and principles upon which the department reached its decision about the $25,000.
(The statement referred to is as follows:) As a result of a careful reexamination of the record in this case it has been ascertained that the department's computation of the number of days which the American members and counsel devoted to the work of the commissionupon which it based the proposal of settlement outlined in its letter to Senator Hale dated June 22, 1921—was made without giving consideration to an account rendered by Counsel Fellows for services performed prior to March 28, 1910.
The proposed settlement above mentioned was based on the number of days of service shown by the following statement:
The figures shown for the period prior to March 28, 1910, were estimated in each case, the estimate being based upon the expense accounts furnished for