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GLAVEY v. UNITED STATES.

decided: May 27, 1901.

GLAVEY
v.
UNITED STATES.



APPEAL FROM THE COURT OF CLAIMS.

Author: Harlan

[ 182 U.S. Page 596]

 MR. JUSTICE HARLAN delivered the opinion of the court.

This action was brought May 22, 1897, to recover from the United States the sum of $6011.98, which amount the plaintiff Glavey, who was formerly a local inspector of vessels at New Orleans, alleged that he was entitled to receive for services performed by him as a special inspector of foreign steam vessels at the same city, at the rate of two thousand dollars per annum from May 25, 1891, to May 27, 1894.

The Court of Claims dismissed the petition. The majority of that court were of opinion that under the terms of his appointment the plaintiff was precluded from demanding compensation for any services performed by him as special inspector of foreign steam vessels. The minority were of opinion that the statute having fixed the salary of a special inspector of foreign steam vessels, it was beyond the power of the Secretary, in whom was vested the power of appointment, to prescribe as a condition of the plaintiff's appointment that he should serve as such special inspector without compensation beyond that received by him as a local inspector. 35 C. Cl. 242.

By section 4400 of the Revised Statutes of the United States, Title "Regulation of Steam Vessels," as the revision stood prior to August 7, 1882, it was provided: "All steam vessels navigating any waters of the United States which are common highways of commerce, or open to general or competitive navigation, excepting public vessels of the United States, vessels of other countries, and boats propelled in whole or in part by steam for navigating canals, shall be subject to the provisions of this Title."

Section 4415 of the same title relates to local boards of inspectors and the appointment of local inspectors.

Section 4400 was amended and enlarged by the act of Congress approved August 7, 1882, c. 441, by adding at the end of

[ 182 U.S. Page 597]

     that section these words: "And all private foreign steam vessels carrying passengers from any port of the United States to any other place or country shall be subject to the provisions of sections 4417, 4418, 4421, 4422, 4423, 4424, 4470, 4471, 4472, 4473, 4479, 4482, 4488, 4489, 4496, 4497, 4499 and 4500 of this Title, and shall be liable to visitation and inspection by the proper officer, in any of the ports of the United States, respecting any of the provisions of the sections aforesaid." 22 Stat. 346.

By that act it was further provided that for the purpose of carrying into effect its provisions "the Secretary of the Treasury shall appoint officers to be designated as special inspectors of foreign steam vessels, at a salary of two thousand dollars per annum each, and there shall be appointed of such officers at the port of New York, six; at the port of Boston, two; at the port of New Orleans, two; and at the port of San Francisco, two," § 2; that "the special inspectors of foreign steam vessels shall perform the duties of their office and make reports thereof to the Supervising Inspector General of Steam Vessels, under such regulations as shall be prescribed by the Secretary of the Treasury," § 3; that "each special inspector of foreign steam vessels shall execute a proper bond, to be approved by the Secretary of the Treasury, in such form and upon such conditions as the Secretary may prescribe, for the faithful performance of the duties of his office," § 4; that "the Secretary of the Treasury shall procure for the several inspectors heretofore referred to such instruments, stationery, printing, and other things necessary, including clerical help, where he shall deem the same necessary for the use of their respective offices, as may be required therefor," § 5; and that "the salaries of the special inspectors of foreign steam vessels and clerks provided for, together with their traveling and other expenses, when on official duty, and all instruments, books, blanks, stationery, furniture, and other things necessary to carry into effect the provisions of this act, shall be paid for by the Secretary of the Treasury, out of any moneys in the Treasury not otherwise appropriated," § 6. 22 Stat. 346.

[ 182 U.S. Page 598]

     The judgment of the Court of Claims was based upon a finding of facts which is here given in full:

"I. The claimant, a citizen of the United States, residing at New Orleans, La., was, on the 17th day of April, 1891, duly appointed, pursuant to Revised Statutes, section 4415, to the office of local inspector of hulls of steam vessels, for the district of New Orleans, La., and on April 21, 1891, he accepted said appointment and duly qualified by taking the prescribed oath of office and by forwarding the same together with the official bond prescribed by law therefor to the Treasury Department. He then and there entered upon the discharge of his duties and continued to discharge the same until May 27, 1894. During the claimant's incumbency of said office he claimed each month the salary thereof by rendering his accounts therefor, which were promptly paid by the defendants.

"II. The report of the supervising inspector general for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1889, recommended:

"'That sections 2 to 6, inclusive, of the amendment to section 4400, Revised Statutes, which provides a separate set of officers and clerks for the inspection of foreign steam vessels, be repealed, the reasons for the creation of such offices having ceased to exist upon the passage of the act approved June 19, 1886, which abolished the fees formerly collected from domestic steam vessels and their licensed officers, which fees were permanently appropriated previously for the support of the domestic inspection service and which could not legally be diverted therefrom for the support of officers and clerks inspecting foreign steam vessels, from whom no fees could legally be collected for such support. The action of Congress in the matter of creating the separate offices was based on the reasons given in the following extract from the special report of the supervising inspector general, dated January 21, 1882: ". . . Authority should be given the Secretary of the Treasury to appoint these special inspectors and to pay their salaries, . . . per annum, and necessary traveling expenses, from funds appropriated from moneys in the Treasury not otherwise appropriated, as it would seem obviously improper that such special officers should be paid from the appropriation for the salaries and expenses of steamboat

[ 182 U.S. Page 599]

     inspection from funds collected by a tax on American steamboat owners and the licensed officers of such vessels." As the officers and clerks of both services are now paid from funds in the general Treasury, the advantage of uniting the two services must be clearly obvious, both as to public interests and economy in conducting the service. In the latter respect a saving can be made of all the salaries now being paid, except at the port of New York, where two of the officers and the clerk might be retained by transfer to the domestic service, dispensing with the services of the other two now employed. The inspectors at San Francisco, Boston, Philadelphia, Baltimore and New Orleans could be dispensed with altogether, thereby saving to the Government the sum of $14,000 annually, the total of salaries now paid those officers. The additional work that would fall upon the domestic service by such dispensation would be as follows: At New York, 138 steamers; San Francisco, 11; Boston, 18; Portland, Me., 7; Philadelphia, 8; Baltimore, 10; Port Huron, 3; Marquette, 11; Buffalo, 8; Oswego, 22; Burlington, Vt., 3; Detroit, 2; New Orleans, 16. Total steamers, 257.'

"III. By the finance report of the Secretary of the Treasury to the Speaker of the House of Representatives, first session Fifty-first Congress (1889), it was recommended 'that all laws be repealed which provide a separate establishment for the inspection of foreign steam vessels, and that the inspectors of domestic steam vessels be authorized and required to perform all necessary services in connection with the inspection of foreign steamships. The offices proposed for abolition are virtually sinecures, and until they are abolished the Executive will remain subjected to importunity to fill them. The services ...


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