APPEAL FROM THE COURT OF CLAIMS.
MR. JUSTICE MILLER delivered the opinion of the court.
This is an appeal from a judgment of the Court of Claims, in favor of David Mouat, for the sum of $83.28.
The question arises as to the compensation to be paid to Mouat for travelling expenses while acting as a paymaster's clerk. The act of Congress of June 16, 1874, making appropriations for the support of the army for the next fiscal year, has appended to the clause providing for the transportation of officers and baggage, and for their travelling expenses, the following:
"Provided, that only actual travelling expenses shall be allowed to any person holding employment or appointment under the United States, and all allowances for mileages and transportation in excess of the amount actually paid are hereby declared illegal; and no credit shall be allowed to any of the disbursing officers of the United States for payment or allowances in violation of this provision." 18 Stat. 72, c. 285.
This proviso in its terms is applicable to every person holding employment or appointment under the United States, and seems to be one of those frequent cases in which Congress in a general appropriation bill has intentionally enacted some law
reaching far beyond the general scope of the bill itself. Its obvious purpose was to abolish all payments for travelling expenses in which a specific allowance per mile was made by law, and to establish the more equitable principle of paying the actual expenses of persons travelling in the service of the Government. And it is to be observed that the universality of this principle is secured by the use of the two words "employment or appointment" in reference to persons serving under the Government of the United States.
Two years later, when Congress was making appropriations for the naval service, by the act of June 30, 1876, the attention of that body seemed to be directed to the fact that it included officers of the navy, as well as all other officers of the Government. That act contains the following provision:
"And so much of the act of June sixteenth, one thousand eight hundred and seventy-four, making appropriations for the support of the army for the fiscal year ending June thirtieth, one thousand eight hundred and seventy-five, and for other purposes, as provides that only actual travelling expenses shall be allowed to any person holding employment or appointment under the United States while engaged on public business, as is applicable to officers of the navy so engaged, is hereby repealed; and the sum of eight cents per mile shall be allowed such officers while so engaged, in lieu of their actual expenses." 19 Stat. 65, c. 159.
By this declaration Congress did not repeal the whole of that statute. It did not even repeal it as applicable to the entire navy, but it selected a certain class of persons in the navy to whom it should no longer apply, and who should thereafter be relieved from keeping an account of their actual expenses while travelling for the Government, and should be allowed eight cents per mile in lieu thereof.
The class of persons thus relieved from the effect of the act of 1874 is designated as "officers of the navy." No other person holding an employment or appointment under the United States, although in the navy, was thus relieved from the effect of that act. As this is a special statute, ...