Page images
PDF
EPUB

House of the latter Congress. If this could be done, a Speaker could equally, by the same forms, be imposed on the present House. The attempt to do so would be absurd. It is to be presumed that Congress did not intend to violate the Constitution; and "the legislative, executive, and judicial” appropriation-act of March 3, 1893 (22 Stat., 531, 535), is, therefore, to be so construed as to make it conform to the Constitution. Its reasonable construction is, that it continued the office of “assistant document file clerk” during the fiscal year ending June 30, 1881; that it gave to Joel Grayson, as the incumbent thereof, the right to payment for services during such year, until a successor should be appointed under the authority of the House of the Forty-eighth Congress; and that the rule of the House gave to the Doorkeeper the power of removal and authority to appoint a successor in such office. The right of Grayson to compensation ceased with his removal, December 17, 1833, and the right of Davidson as Grayson's successor then commenced.

The Clerk of the House will be advised accordingly.
TREASURY DEPARTMENT,

First Comptroller's Office, January 11, 1884.

IN THE MATTER OF THE APPROPRIATIONS MADE BY CONGRESS FOR THE CONSTRUCTION OF THE BOUNDARY STREET AUXILIARY SEWER IN THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA.- SEWER-APPROPRIATION CASE.

1. The appropriations made by the acts of March 3, 1879 (20 Stat., 403), June 4, 1880

(21 Stat., 155), March 3, 1881 (Id., 458), July 1, 1882 (22 Stat., 135), and March 3, 1883 (Id., 464), for the construction of the boundary street auxiliary sewer in the District of Columbia, are “annual,” and not “permanent specificappropria

tions. 2. If the words of an appropriation-act are such as to admit of doubt whether the

appropriation is “annual” or “permanent specific,” it is to be deemed the former.

January 5, 1884, the Commissioners of the District of Columbia addressed a letter to the First Comptroller, as follows:

- The Commissioners have the honor to submit the following questions suggested by the Auditor, D. C.:

“ First: Whether any and all balances of appropriations for the construction of Boundary street sewer, heretofore made (if such balances are still remaining) are available for the payment of expenses properly incurred in its construction, under any existing contract, legally entered into, and upon which payments are still due?

"Second: Whether the balances of appropriations for the construction of said sewer, which may remain at the close of any fiscal year, are not embraced within the class specially exempted from being carried to the surplus fund after the expiration of two fiscal years, under the proviso contained in sec. 7, 18 Stat., p. 110 (act of June 20, 1871), which is in the following words, to wit: Prorided, That this provis

ion shall not apply to permanent specific appropriations (etc., etc.)

; but the appropriations named in this proviso shall continue available until otherwise ordered by Congress ?

“ The Boundary street sewer must necessarily be considered in its entirety, and as one work, not available for the purposes for which it is being constructed until finally completed. Appropriations have been made from year to year for the prosecution of this particular work, and may be fairly considered as continuous appropriations on account of the construction of said sewer."

OPINION BY WILLIAM LAWRENCE, First Comptroller.

The questions submitted may practically be resolved into one: Are the appropriations made for "work on Boundary street auxiliary sewer" "annual" or "permanent specific,appropriations ?

The appropriations made by Congress to be expended by the Commissioners of the District of Columbia are generally made on estimates, which the law requires to be prepared and submitted to Congress by the Commissioners (act June 11, 1878—20 Stat., 103, 104, sec. 3). An examination of the estimates and appropriations relating to the sewer in question will show their purpose and effect.

The estimates are usually made under captions similar to the following:

“Estimates of appropriations required for the service of the government of the District of Columbia for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1879.

The estimates for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1879, included one, as follows:

“Boundary street auxiliary sewer, $100,000.00.”

The act of March 3, 1879 (20 Stat., 416, 417), appropriated money in a gross sum for the expenses of the District, and provided that:

"All said appropriations shall be expended in accordance with the estimates of the Commissioners of said District, approved by the Sec. retary of the Treasury."

Other estimates and appropriations were made as follow:
Estimate for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1880:
“Boundary auxiliary sewers, $100,000.00."

The act of March 3, 1879 (20 Stat., 403), appropriated for “work on Boundary street auxiliary sewer, one hundred thousand dollars.”

Estimate for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1881 : “Boundary street auxiliary sewer, $100,000.00."

The act of June 4, 1880 (21 Stat., 155), appropriated “for Boundary street auxiliary sewer, one hundred thousand dollars."

Estimate for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1882: “Boundary street auxiliary sewer, $100,000.00.”

The act of March 3, 1881 (21 Stat., 458), appropriated “for Boundary street auxiliary sewer, fifty thousand dollars."

Estimate for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1883: “Boundary street intercepting sewer, 885,000.00."

The act of July 1, 1882 (22 Stat., 135), appropriated " for Boundary street intercepting-sewer, eighty-five thousand dollars."

Estimate for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1884: "Boundary intercepting sewers, $75,000.00."

The act of March 3, 1883 (22 Stat., 464), appropriated " for Boundary intercepting sewers, seventy-five thousand dollars."

The title of the act of June 4, 1880 (21 Stat., 155), is as follows:

"An act making appropriations to provide for the expenses of the government of the District of Columbia for the fiscal year ending June thirtieth, eighteen hundred and eighty-one, and for other purposes."

This act provides :

“ That the half of the following sums named, respectively, is hereby appropriated out of any money in the Treasury not otherwise appro. priated, and the other half out of the revenues of the District of Co. lumbia, for the purposes following, being the estimated expenses of the government of the District of Columbia for the fiscal year ending June thirtieth, eighteen hundred and eighty-one, namely:" &c.

A title and a provision in similar form are found in the acts of March 3, 1881 (21 Stat., 458), July 1, 1832 (23 Stat., 135), and March 3, 1883 (Id., 462). The Revised Statutes provide:

“SEC. 11. The style and title of all acts making appropriations for the support of Government shall be as follows: "An act making appropriations (here insert the object for the year ending June thirtieth (here insert the calendar year).'”

There are abundant reasons for holding that the several appropriations made for the sewer mentioned are annual, and, of course, as a consequence, not permanent specific.

1. The estimates, on which the first appropriation was made, asked for appropriations for the service of the government of the District of Columbia for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1879," and the first appropriation-act of March 3, 1879 (20 Stat., 417), declared, as to the appro. priations therein made, that "all said appropriations shall be expended in accordance with the estimates." The subsequent estimates and appropriations are similar in form. The purpose and effect of estimates have been elsewhere considered (1 Lawrence, Compt., Dec., 2d ed., App., ch. XIV, 581; Artificial-Limbs' case, 2 Lawrence, Compt. Dec., 2d ed., 384). The clear terms and purpose of the estimates and acts mentioned make the money appropriated applicable to the service of the designated fiscal year. A construction which would convert these annual appropriations into permanent specific appropria tions, finds no sanction in the language employed.

It was well said in Rex v. Burrell (12 Ad. and E., 468), by Patteson, J., " I see the necessity of pot importing into statutes words which are not to be found there." And this declaration has been sanctioned by the Supreme Court of the United States (Leavenworth, etc., R. R. Co. v.

DECISIONS

OF

THE FIRST COMPTROLLER (WILLIAM LAWRENCE) IN THE DEPART.

MENT OF THE TREASURY OF THE UNITED STATES.

1884.

IN THE MATTER OF THE AUTHORITY OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES OF ONE CONGRESS BY RESOLUTION TO CONTINUE THE EMPLOYMENT OF PERSONS AFTER SUCH CONGRESS HAS EXPIRED.HOUSE-RESOLUTION CASE.

The House of Representatives of the Forty-seventh Congress, by resolution of March

3, 1823, directed its Doorkeeper “to retain upon the laborers' roll until otherwise ordered” the names of T. and G. The House of the Forty-eighth Congress, by resolution of December 20, 1883, directed its Clerk to pay to each of them $60 per month, out of the miscellaneous items of the contingent fund, for services ren

dered from Marck 1883, to December 3, 1883. Held: 1. That the powers of the House of Representatives of the Forty-seventh Congress,

ceased at noon of March 4, 1883, after which the resolution of March 3, 1883, was inoperative, and, hence, only gave employment and right to compensation to

and including March 4, 1883. 2. That the House of Representatives has authority to dispose of its contingent fund

in its own discretion, except so far as it is limited by act of Congress. 3. That section 3680 of the Revised Statutes limits the use of the contingent fund of

each House of Congress, so that no payment can be made therefrom “to any clerk, messenger, or other attendant of

either of them, unless employed by a resolution of one of the Houses,” the effect of which is to allow compensation only after a valid employment by resolution. 4. That as the resolution of March 3, 1883, gave no authority for employment after

March 4, 1883, the resolution of December 20, 1883, cannot authorize payment for

any services after March 4, 1883, and prior to its passage. March 3, 1883, the House of Representatives resolved that its Doorkeeper be, and is, " directed to retain upon the laborers' roll until otherwise ordered the name of Alexander B. Thomas and (Wilson Grice] now in charge of the cloak-room, at the rate of $60 per month." December 20, 1883, the House resolved :

That the Clerk of the House pay out of the miscellaneous items of the contingent fund to Alexander B. Thomas and Wilson Grice $60 a month each for services rendered from March 4, 1883, to December 3, 1883, as per resolution of the House passed March 3, 1883.”

1 DEC, VOL, 5

« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »