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in the purchase of ordinary commercial supplies for the naval service, and to be reimbursed from the proper naval appropriations whenever the supplies purchased under said fund are issued for use."
This fund was increased by appropriations from time to time, as follows: June 10, 1896, $300,000 (29 Stat. 370); March 3, 1897, $1,000,000, "making total of $1,500,000” (29 Stat. 658); January 5, 1899, $1,000,000 (30 Stat. 781); February 14, 1902, $200,000 (32 Stat. 17).
The fund thus appropriated for amounted, at the lastmentioned date, to $2,700,000. Although recommendations to that end have been frequently made, Congress has refused or neglected to further increase it. The character of the fund is explicitly stated in the act. The object for its establishment and the manner of its use appear to have been understood and strictly observed until within a very short time. The statute authorized a fund for the purchase of ordinary commercial supplies kept in an entirety by the requirement of reimbursement for the supplies purchased out of the fund when issued to any of the bureaus.
The Paymaster-General, in his report to the Secretary of the Navy for the year 1905, when urging an increase of the fund, says:
I believe that all ordinary commercial articles in common use by two or more bureaus should be purchased out of the naval supply fund; and, in order to bring its amount into some proportion to its purpose, I recommend that it be increased at once to $5,000,000, and that the proceeds of sales of all condemned stores (except clothing and small stores, ordnance, and unserviceable vessels) be credited to this fund, instead of being covered into the Treasury.
"The great need now is not so much for increase of storehouses as for less accumulation of dead stock, and I am convinced that the prompt increase of the naval supply fund as recommended will, by consolidating a large quantity of ordinary supplies, tend decidedly to limit such accumulation, for the reason that naval supply fund stores can not at any time be drawn without reimbursement from
a current appropriation, and because, after such consolidation, the remnants of any one article would be reduced to those under a single appropriation only, instead of half a dozen or more remnants under as many different appropriations."
In his report for 1906 the same officer says:
“The need for a considerable increase in the naval supply fund becomes every day more manifest; and I again most earnestly recommend that the fund be so increased as to make its amount proportionate to its purpose. Until this is done the maintenance of separate stocks of the same article for different bureaus will continue to absorb a much greater aggregate sum under various appropriations, consequently requiring greater annual expenditures by reason of (a) increased cost of purchase in separate small lots, (b) greater expense for separate care and storage, and (c) unnecessarily large total quantities by reason of each bureau maintaining an individual reserve stock for emergencies, with resulting increased losses from deterioration. Each of the reasons which necessitated the creation of this fund would seem to afford sufficient argument to justify its increase to an amount sufficient to maintain a working stock of all ordinary commercial articles in common use by the different bureaus."
The account was kept in the Bureau of Supplies and Accounts in the Navy Department, stating the amount of the fund at $2,700,000 until the year 1908. Article 1543 of the Navy Regulations in force prior to 1909 provided that “the accounts of these supplies” (purchased under naval supply fund) “shall be kept separate in every particular from those purchased under the various appropriations."
The practical construction given by Congress and the Navy Department to the provisions of the statutes in determining the character and amount of this fund is thus clearly shown.
The above-mentioned article, 1543, was omitted from the Naval Regulations promulgated in 1909.
The worth of the fund in 1908 was given as $9,425,602.79; stock on hand, $10,205,826.24.
In 1909 the worth of the fund is given as $11,718,713.80; and the stock on hand $13,697,422.24.
This extraordinary and rapid increase could have occurred in only one way. Supplies or funds must have been procured otherwise than as provided in the act of March 3, 1893. Was there any legal way in which this could be done?
The chief of the Bureau of Supplies and Accounts—the Paymaster General-in his report to the Secretary for the year 1907, after reciting the inconveniences and difficulties of keeping stock accounts, evolved a plan which he stated thus:
“It did not take long to determine that the corner stone of any system of bookkeeping that would give the expenditures under the subheads of appropriations must be some form of suspension account into which all stores purchased would go and from which all stores used must come. In the naval supply fund the Navy Department had such an account already in existence. If it could be extended so as to become a clearing house for stores, the problem was solved; the answer could be given. This bureau, therefore, with the concurrence of all the other bureaus, laid before the department a plan to consolidate under the naval supply fund all that stock technically known as 'common general stock.'
“This plan was approved by the department, and thus was placed under one account all the reserve stock of the Navy, with some exceptions,
and these will, in all probability, eventually pass through this account.” This "common general stock” is created in this way:
An annual appropriation being made for the purposes of a specific fiscal year, should be utilized for such purposes and not otherwise. Nevertheless circumstances required the existence of a reserve stock of supplies at navy yards and stations, and it was therefore customary to expend from annual appropriations toward the end of each fiscal year sufficient funds to lay up stores not necessary for the year in which the appropriation ran, but absolutely necessary for the first part of the succeeding fiscal year. The succeeding annual appropriations then drew upon the
stores so laid up without charge to them and were in turn called upon to provide a reserve toward the end of the fiscal year. This was true of each annual appropriation. Each lot of stores purchased during the fiscal year was necessarily maintained separate from every other lot until the fiscal year closed, when they were, with certain exceptions, turned into a common general stock.'
Annual appropriations are those for the service of the given year for which they are estimated and appropriated. The statutes thus provide:
“SEC. 430, Revised Statutes. All estimates for specific, general, and contingent expenses of the Department, and of the several Bureaus, shall be furnished to the Secretary of the Navy by the chiefs of the respective Bureaus.
"SEC. 3676. All appropriations for specific, general, and contingent expenses of the Navy Department shall be under the control and expended by the direction of the Secretary of the Navy, and the appropriation for each Bureau shall be kept separate in the Treasury.
“Sec. 3678. 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."
The annual appropriation acts are enacted in conformity with these mandatory provisions. They always are for the current fiscal year.
It is undoubtedly true that, in the ordinary conduct of administration, materials and supplies, properly purchased, remain unconsumed and unused at the end of the
This is recognized and has been provided for by statute. The act of March 2, 1889 (25 Stat. 817, 818), provided :
"It shall be the duty of the Bureau of Provisions and Clothing to cause property accounts to be kept of all the supplies pertaining to the naval establishment, and to report annually to Congress the money values of the supplies on hand at the various stations at the beginning of the fiscal
year, the dispositions thereof, and of the purchases, and the expenditures of supplies for the year, and the balances remaining on hand at the end thereof.
“And for the purpose of utilizing accumulated naval supplies, the transfer is authorized, after requisition upon the Paymaster-General of the Navy, of any supplies belonging to one bureau and available for the use of another without reimbursement therefor by the bureau receiving the supplies so transferred: Provided, That supplies obtained for a specific object and still needed therefor, and supplies bought within the fiscal year in which the requisition is made, and provisions, clothing, and small stores shall not be subject to transfer without charge under the terms of this act."
If the statutes providing appropriations for a current fiscal year can receive the latitudinarian construction of permitting purchases of supplies, avowedly for use, not in that, but in another and succeeding year, it will hardly be contended that those supplies can, legally, be immediately taken from the bureau for which they were purchased and thrown into this miscellaneous “common general stock." This would do away with the force of all the statutes making annual appropriations. It would utterly destroy the relation between the laws governing appropriations and expenditures. It would entirely ignore the fundamental rule of statutory construction, that all laws upon the same subject must be construed together.
In this statute of March 2, 1889, the words “accumulated naval supplies” do not mean stores obtained in this way by the application of unused balances of specific appropriations at the end of the fiscal year to the purchase of articles not to be used in that year and the transfer of such articles so purchased to the naval supply fund. The words "accumulated naval supplies” evidently designate supplies intended for use in the current year for which they were purchased and not used because in unanticipated excess of what were needed or by some other fortuitous event. The context shows this. It is required that the property accounts shall show “the purchases and the expenditures of supplies for the year, and the balances remaining on hand at the end thereof." And to utilize accumulated supplies, the transfer is authorized of any supplies belonging to one bureau and available for the use