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and thirty-six dollars and seventy-two cents ($101,536.72) allowed upon the papers herewith, in accordance with said award. Appropriation, “Improving Tennessee River,” payable to claimant, Keokuk, Iowa, as appears from the statements and vouchers herewith transmitted for the decision of the Second Comptroller of the Treasury thereon.

E. W. KEIGHTLEY, Auditor. To SECOND COMPTROLLER OF THE TREASURY.

SECOND COMPTROLLER'S OFFICE. I admit and certify the above balance this 27th day of June, 1879.

W. W. UPTON,

Second Comptroller.

No. 45.

JUNE 28TH, 1878. To the THIRD AUDITOR OF THE TREASURY:

Sir: I have the honor to request that the papers in the case of C. L. Williams, adm'r of estate of George Williams (settlement No. 5744), may be returned to this department, in order that they may be recorded in the office of the Chief of Engineers. By direction of the Secretary of War.

H. T. CROSBY,

Chief Clerk.

No. 46.

Respectfully referred to the Chief of Engineers for record in his office. These papers to be returned. By order of the Secretary of War.

H. T. CROSBY,

Chief Clerk, WAR DEPT., June 28, 1879.

No. 47.

(3d endorsement.)

OFFICE OF CHIEF OF ENGINEERS,

June 30, 1879. Noted and respectfully returned to the Hon. the Secretary of War.

H. G. WRIGHT, Acting Chief of Engineers.

No. 48.

Respectfully returned to the Third Auditor of the Treasury.
By order of the Sec'y of War.

H. T. CROSBY,

Chief Clerk. WAR DEPT., July 1, 1879.

No. 49.

OFFICE OF THE CHIEF OF ENGINEERS,

Washington, D. C., Aug. 4th, 1879. E. W. KEIGHTLEY, Esq.,

3d Auditor, &c., &c. : DEAR SIR: In order to answer an inquiry from Major King, in charge of work at Muscle Shoals, on the Tenn. River, it is necessary to refer to the report of the board ef eng's officers upon the claim of George Williams, late a contractor upon that work, which I understand has been filed in your office.

If consistent with your rules, I would ask that it be loaned to me temporarily thro' the bearer of this; if not, that you will kindly suggest how I had best proceed to get the temporary loan of it. Very truly, yours,

H. G. WRIGHT,

Chief of Engineers.

No. 50.

Please send me the dates of the contracts under which the representatives of George Williams were paid; also the years in which the work was done.

W. W. UPTON. Contracts datedDec. 13, 1875. Between M. G. Kennedy and Maj. McFarland. March 31, 1876. Between Williams & McFarland. Oct. 14, 1876. Between Williams & Capt. W. R. King.

No. 51. UNITED STATES OF AMERICA:

WAR DEPARTMENT,

Washington City, January, 27, 1880. Pursuant to section 882 of the Revised Statutes, I hereby certify that the annexed are true copies of papers on file in this department.

In witness whereof, I have hereunto set my hand, and caused the seal of the War Department to be attixed, on the day and year first above written. (SEAL)

ALEX, RAMSEY,

Secretary of War.

No. 52.

SPARTA, TENNESSEE, 24th Septr., 1879. Hon. Geo. W. McCRARY,

Sec'y of War: D. Sir: I learn (unofficially) that you have withheld $101,000 of the money appropriated by Congress to continue the work on the Tennessee River at Muscle Shoals, for the purpose of paying a claim to the estate of one Geo. Williams, of Iowa. If this is so, I should like to be advised, and to know the authority for such action. The appropriation bill gave $210,000 to continue the work on the Muscle Shoals, & nothing to pay old and doubtful claims. The bill for the relief of Williams, which I read repeatedly, & prevented its passage by the House, when it came from the Senate, & only consented at last that it should be acted upon in the House, when I was importuned, & plead with, and assured, by the friends of the Williams bill, that it could in no way effect the appropriations made to the Tennessee; but that when the engʻrs made a settlement with Williams' representatives, they would report to you, & you to Congress, & then an appropriation would be made. This was said by Judge Reagan, Gen'l "Bright, and others.

I do not think the law authorizes you to pay Williams' claim until the report of the engʻrs is ratified & an appropriation specially made by Congress, & if, as is represented, you have diverted this $101,000 from the Tennessee, it will cause a suspension of this work, the discharge of many hands, and great damage to the work in process of construction. If you have not paid Williams claim, I enter my solemn protest against it, & hope you will not. Please answer. Yours truly,

G. G. DIBRELL.

No. 53.

SPARTA, TENNESSEE, 29th Septr, 1879. D. SIR: I regret to learn that you have used money appropriated to continue the work on the Tennessee River at Muscle Shoals to pay the award in favor of the heirs

of George Williams, dec'd, a former contractor. The act that passed for the relief of Williams did not authorize such action and could not have passed the House if it had been so understood. I so understood it, and was so assured by those managing the bill in the interest of Williams, and you had no authority to divert the appropriation made to continue the work from the purpose for which Congress appropriated it.

By your action you will throw about 12 to 1500 men out of employment and cause much delay and trouble.

If you bave not paid the award to Williams' heirs I trust you will not, thereby saving much trouble. Please advise me of your action in the premises. Yours, truly,

G. G. DIBRELL, Genl. A. A. HUMPHREYS,

Chief of Engr's, fc.

No. 54.

(Indorsement.)

OFFICE OF CHIEF OF ENGINEERS,

October 3, 1879. Respectfully submitted to the Hon. the Secretary of War.

Under the provisions of the law of January 13, 1879, there was drawn from the appropriation of Jan’y 18, 1878, for improving the Tennessee River below Chattanooga on special Treasury settlement dated June 25, 1879, in favor of the heirs of George Williams, deceased, the sum of $101,536.72.

The papers in the case, giving a full history of the settlement, are filed in the Treastry Department.

JOHN G. PARKE, Acting Chief of Engineers.

No. 55.

In the matter of the use of an appropriation for improving the Tennessee River in

the payment of a claim under the provisions of “An act for the relief of the legal representatives of George Williams, deceased.” (20 Statute, 591.) WAR DEPARTMENT, DIVISION OF REQUISITIONS AND ACCOUNTS,

Washington, D. C., October 23, 1879. Hon. GEORGE W. MOCRARY,

Secretary of War: SIR: A letter of the 29th ultimo, from Hon. G. G. Dibrell, of the House of Representatives, to the Chief of Engineers, suggests a question as to the authority under which your requisition for $101,536.72 was drawn in favor of “the legal representatives of George Williams, deceased,” for whose relief an act was approved January 13, 1879. (20 Statute, 591.)

In view of that fact you desire a verification of my opinion, given January 23, 1879, namely, that the appropriation for Improving the Tennessee River" was then'available for the payment of the claim of said Williams.

II.

The opinion of January 23, 1879, was based upon premises of then existing laws and facts, in brief, as follows:

1.-PREMISES OF LAW.

First. That the expenditure shall be within the amount of estimates originally rendered to Congress for the cost of the whole work. (Revised Statutes, ♡ 3663.)

Second. That the expenditure shall not be in excess of the appropriations made by Congress. (R. S., \ 3679.)

Third. That the unexpended balances of appropriations for rivers and harbors which have remained upon the books of the Treasury for two fiscal years shall not be carried to the surplus fund, but shall continue available until otherwise ordered by Congress. (Act June 20, 1874; 18 Stat., 110.)

Fourth. That the appropriation for rivers and harbors shall be "expended undor the direction of the Secretary of War.” (17 Stat., 370, 500 ; 18 Stat., 237, 456 ; 19 Stat., 132; 20 Stat., 152, 363.)

Fifth. That “all sums appropriated for the various branches of the public service shall be applied solely to the objects for which they are respectively made and for no other." (R. S., 3678.)

2.-PREMISES OF Fact.

First. That the proposed expenditure (since made) was within the amount of estimates originally rendered to Congress for the whole work.

Proof. "The survey of the Muscle Shoals begnn in June, 1871, with a view of ascertaining the probable cost of opening them to navigation, was completed in September of the same year. The result was mapped, and the maps with the report and the estimated cost of constructing a steamboat canal from Brown's Ferry to Florence, were transmitted to Washington under date of March 23, 1872. The estimated cost of such . a canal with a trunk 100 feet wide at the water surface, 6 feet depth of water over the miter-sills, and lock chambers 300 feet long and 60 feet wide is (was] $3,676,000.” (Report of Secretary of War, 1872, part 2, page 478.)

Second. That the proposed expenditure (since made) was not to be, and was not when made, in excess of the appropriation made by Congress.

Proofs.-1. The aggregate of the appropriations made for the Tennessee River, inelading the Muscle Shoals, from July 25, 1868, to the 230 January, 1879, was $1,515,500; and to this date is $1,737,000. (See annexed Exhibit A, referring to Report of Secretary of War, 1872, part 2, pages 476 to 479, for $125,500; 16 Stat., 226, for $80,000; 17 Stat., 372, for $75,000; 17 Stat., 563, for $125,000; 18 Stat., 240, for $125,000; 18 Stat., 45, for $400,000; 19 Stat., 138, for $270,000 ; 20 Stat., 154, for $315,000 ; 20 Stat., 367, for $221,500. Total, $1,737,000.)

2. The balance of appropriation available on January 23, 1879, $337,000. (Records.) 3. The balance of appropriation available for the Tennessee River on July 2, 1879, the day after payment of the Williams claim, was $259,963.28, and the balance available to-day is $116,963.28. (See annexed Exhibit B, prepared from departmental records.)

Third. That there was on January 23, 1879, an unexpended balance amounting to $337,000, which prior to July 1, 1879, was reduced by expenditure to a balance of $140,000, which latter remained on the books and was exclusive of $221,500, appropriated March 3, 1879.

Proof.-1. As to the figures-departmental records. 2. That the balance was available for expenditure “until otherwise ordered by Congress.” (18 Stat., 110.)

3. Under this law (18 Stat., 110), which is applicable to appropriations for rivers and harbors and fortifications alike, the balance of the appropriation for contingencies of fortifications were available and were used in the years 1875, 1876, and 1877 in the payment of claims secured long before those years, and nineteen cases in which these Here so used appeared up to January 23, 1879. (See Exhibit C.)

Fourth. That the balance available was for improving the Tennessee River, and was one of the appropriations for rivers and harbors which was to be expended under the direction of the Secretary of War,” according to his direction.

Proofs.-1. Items of appropriations in 16 Stat., 226; 17 Stat., 372; 17 Stat., 563; 18 Stat., 240, 458; 19 Stat., 138; 20 Stat., 154, 367.

2. Acts of Congress making appropriations for rivers and harbors (17 Stat., 370, 560 ; 19 Stat., 237, 456; 19 Stat., 132; 20 Stat., 152, 363).

3. Allotments made in 1868-9. (See Exhibit A.)

4. The appropriations could properly be expended under the direction of the Secretary of War without any reference to contract, as in 1872 the engineer officer in charge of the work was directed to carry on the work by “hired labor to the extent of the balance of the appropriation available therefor, including the forfeited percentage." (Report Secretary of War, 1872, p. 478.)

Fifth. That the balances accrued from appropriations for this branch of expenditure in the public service, i, e., for improving the Tennessee River, were available for expenditure in January and July last, and were properly applicable to payment for any work done under or on account of authority from the Secretary of War for the improvement of the Tennessee River subsequent to the year 1872, and if applied to payment therefor they would be applied solely to the objects for which they were made, and for no others.

Proofs.-1. No laws were or are found to hinder this application, but laws were and are found to permit such application in payment for services rendered, and the laws to permit it are herein cited.

* The balances had merged from year to year and had been carried forward with amounts appropriated as available for expenditure "until otherwise ordered by Congress," without restriction as to fiscal years. (See Exhibit B.)

3. These balances were to be and were expended under the direction of the Secretary of War, or at his discretion, without any legal restrictions further than those herein specified, save that of the amounts appropriated in the aggregate, $145,000 were to be expended for improving the Tennessee River above Chattanooga, and $1,370,500 were to be expended for improving the river below Chattanooga, including the Muscle Shoals. (See Exhibit A.)

4. The sums appropriated were for improving the Tennessee River, which was "the objectfor which the appropriation was made. (Ib.)

5. The Muscle Shoals Canal on Tennessee River had been a part of that improvement since 1831, and had been a part of it on resurveys, estimates, and appropriations, from 1868 to January, 1879, continuing a part of to the present date. (Report Secretary of War, 1872, 497, 498; act March 3, 1879, 20 Stat., 367.)

6. The expenditures by Williams on account of labor, materials, and so forth, were apon the Muscle Shoals Canal on Tennessee River, and on contract for section work improving said river. (20 Stat., 591.)

7. The actual amount of the expenditures was found by a board of engineers expressly authorized by law to determine and report the matter of fact. (20 Stat., 591 ; report of board.)

8. The legal right of the Secretary of War to expend the appropriation to pay the claim of Mr. Williams had never been doubted or questioned up to January 23, 1879, but the measure of allowances as matter of fact had been do ted and had remaine in question. (Senate committee report, No. 483, 2nd session 45th Congress.)

The act of Congress fixed the means for determining the measure of allowances, and thereupon the amount was fixed. (20 Stat., 591.)

CONCLUSIONS.

First. The proposed expenditure was within the estimates;
Second. Was not in excess of the appropriation made by Congress;

Third. Was to be from an unexpended balance accrued from several years' appropriations, exclusive of the last appropriation, and was available to pay for improving the Tennessee River, until otherwise ordered by Congress;

Fourth. It was to be made from an appropriation which Congress expressly declared should be “expended under the direction of the Secretary of War;"

Fifth. And was to be applied to a branch of the public service (i. e. improving Tennessee River), which was solely the object for which the appropriation was made, and it was to be applied to no other.

III.

1. The foregoing matters of law and fact substantially formed the basis of my opinion given in January last, that the appropriation for improving the Tennessee River was available for the payment of the claim.

2. A further review of the act for the relief of Williams's heirs, with a remembrance of some maxims and rules touching the construction of statutes, satisfied me that in this case the Secretary of War was obliged to make an allowance and payment out of any money available for the purpose, and the points of my construction of the law are substantially set forth in the next chapter.

IV.

The act for the relief of Williams's heirs is to be found in full on page 591, vol. 20, of the United States Statutes. It required the Secretary of War to adjust and settle upon just and equitable terms the claim of George Williams.” It provided that “in making said settlement the said Secretary of War shall not allow said George Williams more than his actual expenditures, with reasonable compensation for the use of tools and for money advanced in the prosecution of the said work," and that “no allowance or payment shall be made under this act except in pursuance of a recommendation of a board of not less than three engineers to be appointed by the Secretary of War to inquire into and report upon the character and value of the work done and the merits of the claim."

The rules of interpretation or construction of such a statute, as I understand them, are substantially as follows:

1. That the intention of the law-makers is the law. (Potter's Diaries on Statutes and Constitutions, 175-180; Sedgwick on Statutory and Constitutional Law, 231.).

2. That the intention of the legislators, “where the language of the act is explicit," must be sought in the words of the act. (Potter's Diaries on Statutes and Constitutions, 182, 183 ; Sedgwick on Statutory and Constitutional Law, 243, 382, and authorities there cited.)

3. That “a proviso in deeds or laws is a limitation or exception to a grant made, or authority conferred, the effect of which is to declare that the one shall not operate

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