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EQUALIZING CERTAIN ALLOWANCES FOR ENLISTED

MEN OF THE COAST GUARD

MAY 5, 1938.-Committed to the Committee of the Whole House on the state of

the Union and ordered to be printed

Mr. May, from the Committee on Military Affairs, submitted the

following

REPORT

(To accompany H. R. 10190)

The Committee on Military Affairs, to whom was referred the bill (H. R. 10190) to equalize certain allowances for quarters and subsistence of enlisted men of the Coast Guard with those of the Army, Navy, and Marine Corps, having considered the same, submit the following report thereon with the recommendation that it do pass:

The purpose of this bill is to authorize by specific legislation the continuance of the payment to enlisted men of the Coast Guard of allowances for quarters and subsistence while sick in hospital or absent from their permanent duty stations in a pay status. The act of April 15, 1926 (44 Stat. 257) authorized the payment of such allowances to enlisted men of the Army. This act was amended by the act of June 20, 1936 (49 Stat. 1545) so as to authorize the payment of like allowances to enlisted men of the Navy and Marine Corps. Pursuant to the act of June 20, 1936, and the act of May 18, 1920 (41 Stat. 603), hereinafter noted, the Coast Guard has paid quarters and subsistence allowances to enlisted men of the Coast Guard while sick in hospital or absent from their permanent duty stations in a pay status from the date of the approval of the former act. The aforementioned act of May 18, 1920, provides as follows:

That commissioned officers, warrant officers, petty officers, and other enlisted men of the Coast Guard shall receive the same pay, allowances, and increases as now herein are, or hereafter may be, prescribed for corresponding grades and ratings or length of service in the Navy.

It was generally believed that because of the authority contained in this act it was unnecessary for the Coast Guard to be named specifically in the act of June 20, 1936. The necessity for this legislation is brought about by the action of the General Accounting Office in disallowing payments to enlisted men of allowances for quarters and subsistence from the date of the passage of the act of June 20, 1936. The General Accounting Office ruled that since the Coast Guard was not specifically mentioned in the act of June 20, 1936, there was no authority for the payment of these allowances. The enactment of this bill will involve no increase in the appropriation for the Coast Guard, and it will place the Coast Guard on a parity in this regard with the other services.

The letter of the Acting Secretary of the Treasury, dated April 2, 1938, to the Speaker of the House of Representatives, recommending the enactment of this legislation, is as follows:

TREASURY DEPARTMENT,

Washington, April 2, 1938. The SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES.

Sir: There is transmitted herewith a proposed bill to amend existing law so as to equalize the allowances for subsistence and quarters of enlisted men of the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard.

As indicated in letter of March 21, 1938 (AB 3.2 WLS), copy enclosed, the General Accounting Office will disallow payments of subsistence and quarters to enlisted men made under article 242, “Pay and supply instructions, United States Coast Guard," issued by the Secretary of the Treasury, based on the act of June 20, 1936, 49 Stat. 1545 (U. S. C., Supp. III, title 34, sec. 914).

The act of June 20, 1936, amended the act of April 15, 1926 (44 Stat. 257), which provided that enlisted men of the Army, entitled to receive allowances for quarters and subsistence, shall continue while their permanent stations remain unchanged, to receive such allowances while sick in hospital or absent from their permanent-duty stations in a pay status. The act of June 20, 1936, extends the provisions of the act of April 15 1926 to include enlisted men of the Navy and Marine Corps, and thus equalizes the allowances for quarters and subsistence of enlisted men in the three services.

The Coast Guard has paid quarters and subsistence allowances to enlisted men of the Coast Guard while sick in hospital or absent from their permanent-duty stations in a pay status from the date of approval of the act of June 20, 1936, in accordance with the authority contained in the act of May 18, 1920 (41 Stat. 603), which provides in part as follows: "That commissioned officers, warrant officers, petty officers, and other enlisted men of the Coast Guard shall receive the same pay, allowances, and increases as now are, herein are, or hereafter may be, prescribed for corresponding grades and ratings or length of service in the Navy."

While this Department is of the opinion that existing law authorizes payments of subsistence and quarters allowances to enlisted men of the Coast Guard, the service is faced with the situation wherein payments to thousands of enlisted men will be disallowed and the alleged overpayments reported for collection from the enlisted men concerned, many of whom have been or will be separated from the service by death, discharge, or other causes.

Therefore it seems that the
most expeditious method of remedying this situation, and of resolving any doubt
as to whether or not the provisions of the act of June 20, 1936, are applicable to
enlisted men of the Coast Guard, is to amend existing law so as to include such
enlisted men. No increase in appropriations for the Coast Guard will be required
by the enactment of the bill.
It is requested that you lay this bill before the House of Representatives.
A similar bill has been transmitted to the Senate.
Very truly yours,

STEPHEN B. GIBBONS,
Acting Secretary of the Treasury.

1

CHANGES IN EXISTING LAW

In compliance with paragraph 2a of rule XIII of the Rules of the House of Representatives, changes in existing law made by the bill are shown as follows (existing law proposed to be omitted is enclosed in black brackets, new matter is printed in italics, existing law in which no change is proposed is shown in roman):

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(Act of June 20, 1936, 49 Stat. 1545): That so much of the Act entitled "An Act making appropriations for the military and nonmilitary activities of the War Department for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1927, and for other purposes, approved April 15, 1926 (44 Stat. 257; U. S. C., Appendix title 37, sec. 192), which provides “That hereafter enlisted men, including the members of the United States Army Band, entitled to receive allowances for quarters and subsistence shall continue, while their permanent stations remain unchanged, to receive such allowances while sick in hospital or absent from their permanent duty stations in a pay status: Provided further, That allowances for subsistence shall not accrue to such an enlisted man while he is in fact being subsisted at Government expense,” is hereby amended to read as follows: "That hereafter enlisted men of the Army, Navy, Coast Guard, and Marine Corps, including the members of the United States Army, Navy, and Marine Corps Bands, Coast Guard Academy Band, and the Naval Academy Band, entitled to receive allowances for quarters and subsistence, shall continue, while their permanent stations remain unchanged, to receive such allowances while sick in hospital or absent from their permanent duty stations in a pay status: Provided further, That allowances for subsistence shall not accrue to such an enlisted man while he is in fact being subsisted at Government expense.”

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