« AnteriorContinuar »
* * * "
ambiguity in the words, there is no room for construction. The case must be a strong one, indeed, which would justify a court in departing from the plain meaning of words, especially, in a penal act, in search of an intention which the words themselves did not suggest. To determine that a case is within the intention of a statute, its language must authorize us to say so. It would be dangerous, indeed, to carry the principle that a case which is within the reason or mischief of a statute, is within its provisions, so far as to punish a crime not enumerated in the statute, because it is of equal atrocity, or of kindred character, with those which are enumerated.
This rule has been rigidly adhered to by the Federal courts. (Sturges v. Crowninshield, 4 Wheat. 122, 202; Lake County v. Rollins, 130 U. S. 662, 670; Bate Refrigerating Company v. Sulzberger, 157 U. S. 1, 36, 37; United States v. Goldenberg, 168 U. S. 95, 102; Yerke v. United States, 173 U. S. 439, 442; Hamilton v. Rathbone, 175 U. S. 414, 419, 420; United States v. Baltimore and Ohio Southwestern Railroad Company, 222 U. S. 8; United States v. Ninetynine Diamonds et al., 139 Fed. 961, 964.) Its application to this case compels an acceptance of the language of the act as final and limits the application thereof to persons who bring virus, etc., into the United States or one of the States for sale, barter, or exchange. Nor am I able to perceive that this construction leads to any absurd, unjust, or unnatural result. Congress may easily have intended to draw the line between the sale of these articles, which would lead to their indiscriminate dissemination, and their use in scientific and experimental research.
I have the honor to advise you that, in my judgment, your question should receive a negative answer. Respectfully,
GEORGE W. WICKERSHAM. The SECRETARY OF THE TREASURY,
REISSUED ARTICLES OF SHIP'S EQUIPAGE CHARGEABLE
TO ANNUAL APPROPRIATION FOR “ EQUIPMENT OF VESSELS."
Under the acts of June 25, 1910, and March 4, 1911 (36 Stat. 792,
1279), creating the naval supply account, articles of equipage of ships, which in prior fiscal years had been purchased and paid for under the appropriation “Equipment of vessels” and which had been turned into store from ships going out of commission, should be again charged against the annual appropriation for “ Equipment of vessels " when they are reissued to the vessels
upon their going into commission. Under said act of March 4, 1911, the Secretary of the Navy is au
thorized, whenever the interests of the Naval Establishment require it, to direct that “surveyed material taken from repairs made to ships or plant at navy yards and stations” and “stores turned in from ships" going out of commission should not be charged to the naval supply account, the word “materials” as used throughout the acts in question being intended to include articles forming part of a ship's equipage.
DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE,
March 19, 1912. Sir: I beg to acknowledge the receipt of the letters of the Assistant Secretary of the 19th and 27th ultimo in regard to the interpretation of the provisions of law creating the naval supply account.
In his letter of the 27th ultimo it is said :
“ The department is contemplating putting into commission within the next few weeks the following vessels : The battleships Kearsage, Kentucky, Illinois, and Alabama; the Charleston, a protected cruiser, and several other cruisers.
“ It is desired to use in commissioning these vessels some of the nonconsumable supplies, such as ships' equipage which in prior fiscal years has been purchased and paid for from moneys appropriated by Congress under the appropriation “Equipment of vessels.' The articles of equipage have been turned into store mainly on account of the placing out of commission of vessels which have been using such articles. In some instances, they are to be returned to the same vessel by which they were previously used.
“I have the honor to request your opinion as to whether under the provisions of the laws of June 25, 1910, and March 4, 1911, heretofore cited, these articles of equipage should be again charged against the appropriation · Equipment of vessels' in 1912, when they are reissued to the vessels going into commission."
The deficiency appropriation act of June 25, 1910 (36 Stat. 774, 792), contained the following provisions:
“ Naval supply account for the Naval Establishment: All stores on hand July first, nineteen hundred and ten, shail be charged to a naval supply account on the records of the Bureau of Supplies and Accounts, and all purchases of stock or expenditures for manufactured or repaired articles for stock at navy yards or stations, during the fiscal years nineteen hundred and eleven and nineteen hundred and twelve, shall be charged to this account and be paid for from ‘General account of advances.'
“ The amount so advanced during the fiscal years nineteen hundred and eleven and nineteen hundred and twelve shall be charged to the proper appropriations as these stores are consumed from stock, and when disbursements made for all other purposes are accomplished, the amount so charged shall be returned to “General account of advances' by pay or counter warrants: Provided, however, That such material as provisions, clothing and small stores, medical stores, and such other materials as the Secretary of the Navy may designate, may be purchased by specific appropriations or transferred to specific appropriations before such materials are issued for use or consumption. The said charge, however, to any particular appropriation shall be limited to the amount appropriated therefor.
“ Credit shall be made to appropriations during said fiscal years nineteen hundred and eleven and nineteen hundred and twelve for the value of surveyed material taken from repairs made to ships or plant at navy yards and stations, or for stores turned in from ships, and this credit shall not be used by the bureaus to increase the amount of that appropriation, but shall be a deduction from the operating expenses of the annual appropriation concerned, subject to the same provision as stated in above paragraph."
The naval appropriation act of March 4, 1911 (36 Stat. 1265, 1279), provided :
“ The permanent naval supply fund created by the act of March third, eighteen hundred and ninety-three, as modified by the acts of June tenth, eighteen hundred and ninety-six, and March third, eighteen hundred and ninetyseven, and further increased by the acts of January fifth, eighteen hundred and ninety-nine, and February fourteenth, nineteen hundred and two, is hereby abolished, and of the sum remaining on the books of the Treasury to the credit of the said fund after the adjustment of all liabilities, the Secretary of the Treasury is hereby authorized and directed to cause the sum of one million five hundred thousand dollars transferred to the credit of said fund from the general account of advances to be returned to general account of advances, and the remainder to be cov. ered into the Treasury; and hereafter the naval supply account for the Naval Establishment, as created by the act of June twenty-fifth, nineteen hundred and ten, under the Bureau of Supplies and Accounts, shall govern the charging, crediting, receipt, purchase, transfer, manufacture, repair, issue, and consumption of all stores for the Naval Establishment, excepting the materials named in that act and such other materials as the Secretary of the Navy may designate: Provided, That the amount expended under general account of advances for the purchase and manufacture of stores and materials for the Naval Establishment shall not exceed the amount available for such purposes."
The general account of advances was established by act of June 19, 1878 (20 Stat. 167), which provided :
“Be it enacted, etc., That the Secretary of the Navy be, and he is hereby, authorized to issue his requisitions for advances to disbursing officers and agents of the Navy under a ‘General account of advances,' not to exceed the total appropriation for the Navy, the amount so advanced to be exclusively used to pay current obligations upon proper vouchers and that “Pay of the Navy'shall hereafter be used only for its legitimate purpose, as provided by law.
“ Sec. 2. That the amount so advanced be charged to the proper appropriations, and returned to “General account of advances' by pay and counter warrant; the said charge, however, to particular appropriations, shall be limited to the amount appropriated to each.
“ SEC. 3. That the Fourth Auditor shall declare the sums due from the several special appropriations upon complete vouchers, as heretofore, according to law; and he shall adjust the said liabilities with the General account of advances.'"
Referring to the acts of June 25, 1910, and March 4, 1911, the Assistant Secretary, in his letter of February 19, states:
“1. Under the interpretation placed on these two provisions by the Bureau of Supplies and Accounts, all stores on hand on July 1, 1910, were covered into a naval supply account, and when issued for use were charged to the appropriations named in the requisition.
“ 2. Supplies purchased subsequent to the passage of this law were paid for from the General account of advances, and turned over to the naval supply account, and when issued for 'use were charged to the proper appropriation requiring them.
“ 3. All supplies of whatever nature, both consumable and nonconsumable articles, turned in by ships going out of commission, or by ships having purchased new articles to replace the ones turned in, are charged to the naval supply account, and an operating credit' allowed to the proper appropriation, which credit is in effect merely a bookkeeping transaction, and does not increase the appropriation to which it is credited. When these articles are again issued, upon a requisition, the appropriation is again charged for them.”
It will be observed that the act of June 25, 1910, does not contain any provision expressly requiring “all stores on hand July first, nineteen hundred and ten (which