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The act of Congress approved February 13, 1928 (Public, No. 26, 70th Cong.), provides as follows:
That there is hereby authorized to be appropriated not to exceed $200,000, to be expended for the construction and installment at the Pacific Branch, Soldiers' Home, Los Angeles County, California, of one general mess building with bakery and equipment and such utilities and appurtenances thereto as in the judgment of the Board of Managers of the National Home for Disabled Volunteer Soldiers may be necessary.
The purpose of the estimate of appropriation submitted herewith is to enable the Board of Managers of the National Home for Disabled Soldiers to carry out the provisions of the above-quoted act. It is highly desirable that the project be completed at as early a date as practicable.
This estimate of appropriation is required to provide for legislation enacted since the transmission of the Budget for the fiscal year 1929. I recommend that it be transmitted to Congress. 2 Yery respectfully,
H. M. LORD,
Director of the Bureau of the Budget. The PRESIDENT.
Supplemental estimate of appropriation required for the service of the fiscal year
ending June 30, 1929, by the War Department, National Home for Disabled Volunteer Soldiers
PACIFIC BRANCH, SANTA MONICA, CALIF.
Construction of mess hall: For the construction on land now owned
by the National Home for Disabled Volunteer Soldiers of a sanitary,
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AN AMENDMENT OF PUBLIC RESOLUTION 65, APPROVED MARCH
3, 1926, PROVIDING FOR THE PARTICIPATION OF THE UNITED STATES IN AN INTERNATIONAL EXPOSITION TO BE HELD IN SEVILLE, SPAIN
FEBRUARY 16 (calendar day, FEBRUARY 20), 1928.--Read; referred to the Com
mittee on Foreign Relations, and ordered to be printed
To the Congress of the United States:
In accordance with the accompanying recommendation of the Secretary of State, I request of the Congress legislation that will authorize the appropriations heretofore made or hereafter to be made under the authority of Public Resolution 65, approved March 3, 1925, providing for the participation of the United States in an international exposition to be held in Seville, Spain, to be expended, for the purposes enumerated in the resolution, without regard to the provisions of any other act relating to the expenditure of public moneys, on the certificate of the Secretary of State that the materials or services were necessary to enable the Government of the United States to participate in the exposition.
The attention of Congress is invited to the accompanying report of the Secretary of State and the memorandum of the comrnission of the United States to the international exposition at Seville, in which the details with regard to the necessity of the proposed amendment are set forth,
CALVIN COOLIDGE. THE White House,
Washington, February 20, 1928.
The undersigned, the Secretary of State, has the honor to lay before the President a copy of a communication from the secretary of the commission of the United States to the International Exposition at Seville, submitting a draft of amendment to Public Resolution 65, approved March 3, 1925, providing for the participation of the United States in an international exposition to be held in Seville, Spain, which would permit the appropriations heretofore made or hereafter to be made under the authority of that resolution to be expended, for the purposes enumerated in the resolution, without regard to the provisions of any other act relating to the expenditure of public moneys, on the certificate of the Secretary of State that the materials or services were necessary to enable the Government of the United States to participate in the exposition. Full details with regard to the necessity of the proposed amendment are set forth in a memorandum furnished by the commission, a copy of which is also hereto attached.
The legislation proposed meets with the approval of the undersigned, who deems it necessary in order to facilitate the Government's participation with the highest measure of success in the exposition, in view of the short period of time which remains before the date set for the opening of the exposition.
The undersigned begs to recommend that, if it meets with the approval of the President also, the matter be brought to the attention of Congress, and, in view of its urgency, that that body be requested to adopt the proposed legislation at the earliest possible date.
The Director of the Bureau of the Budget advises that the proposed request is not in conflict with the financial program of the President. Respectfully submitted.
FRANK B. KELLOGG. DEPARTMENT OF STATE,
Washington, February 17, 1928.
COMMISSION OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA-THE INTER
NATIONAL EXPOSITION AT SEVILLE
MEMORANDUM DECISION OF COMPTROLLER GENERAL THAT ARCHITECT
MUST SIGN VOUCHERS AND APPROVE MATERIALS AND WORKMANSHIP IN PERSON
On November 29, 1926, the Secretary of State authorized the United States ambassador to Spain to acquire a site, offered by the exposition authorities, for the United States Government buildings at the Seville Exposition, and on December 2 the United States ambassador to Spain cabled the Secretary of State to the effect that the royal commissioner had assured him that the Seville city council would allocate the site in question and accept the terms suggested by this Government.
From this date on negotiations were undertaken to secure the definite acquisition of this site.
After many delays on the part of the Spanish officials in the definite ceding of this site, due to the special agreement necessitated by the fact that this site was for a permanent building which should, after the exposition, be retained by this Government as a consulate, and since the final conclusion of the negotiations seemed to be hanging fire, the commissioner general sailed for Spain on May 10, 1927, to conclude these negotiations. After his arrival in Spain it was discovered that there existed in the minds of the exposition authorities an erroneous impression that the United States Government would erect a million-dollar building which would, after the close of the exposition, be turned over gratis to the municipality of Seville.
When it was explained that the permanent building would cost in the neighborhood of $200,000 the Spanish officials demurred at the allocation to this Government of the site proposed. As a compromise they offered a greatly reduced plot of ground containing, however, the same location, which is considered to be one of the most advantageous in the exposition grounds. The commissioner general attempted to conclude the negotiations for this reduced site by cable, but as the full explanation of this matter by cable involved great difficulties, almost impossibilities, the commissioner general returned and explained the matter to the State Department. His suggestions were approved by the department, and on July 18 the department cabled the ambassador to Spain to accept the reduced site. On September 26 a confidential dispatch was received from the United States ambassador to Spain stating that the royal decree for the acquisition of the Government site at Seville had been issued, and on September 29 this ground was formally ceded to the United States by the liaison bureau of the General Spanish Exposition.
In the meantime the commission, with the aid of the Commission of Fine Arts, had selected an architect and plans had been prepared for a rectangular building which could have been placed to good effect on the larger site previously discussed, although this plot of ground was triangular. In the reduced plot, which was still triangular, this rectangular building was not appropriate.
Accordingly, the architect was under the necessity of scrapping his original plans and drawing new plans for a triangular building to fit the triangular site. These revised plans were received on December 11, and on the 12th offered for bids to various construction companies. On December 19 it was decided to which construction company the contract should be let, and on January 4, 1928, the contract with the construction company was signed.
On December 30 a letter was received from the architect authorizing his representative to approve materials and workmanship and to sign vouchers for him in Seville in connection with the fulfillment of his contract as architect for the buildings. This letter was submitted to the State Department to insure the fact that the authorization was wide enough in scope. This was approved, but it was suggested that this matter be referred to the Comptroller General's office. After an informal discussion of this matter with the office of the Comptroller General, during which the authority of the architect to authorize his representative to act for him was questioned, the Comptroller General's office recommended the formal submission of this matter for a decision. The decision received was adverse, holding that since the contract with the architect was for personal services he could not deputize anyone to act for him. Following this, the Department of State transmitted a draft of a supplemental contract authorizing the representative of the architect to act for him, explaining that at the time that the contract was entered into it had been the intention of the architect and of the department that the approval of vouchers and the certification of materials and workmanship be performed in part by a deputy of the architect.
This letter requested authorization to enter into the supplemental contract. In his reply to this letter the Comptroller General held that the Government was entitled to the personal services of the architect and that such a contract was illegal and unauthorized.
Previous to the signing of the architects' contract it had been submitted to the solicitor's office of the Department of State and to the Foreign Service Buildings Commission of the Department of State. In addition to this, a representative of the Foreign Service Buildings Commission and the commissioner general conferred with the assistant solicitor of the Comptroller General's office regarding the contract and received word that it had the approval of that office, suggesting certain supporting letters which were supplied.
The Comptroller General holds that vouchers for the construction of the buildings will have to be signed by the architect in person. The architect is at present in San Diego, Calif., and is unable to leave there until April on account of important contracts which he has undertaken. At the time that our contract was entered into with the architect we were familiar with this situation and knew that he would be unable to be present himself in Spain during this period. Under these circumstances, it would be impossible for the architect to be present in Spain now and certify to the vouchers in person.
The commissioner general, representatives of the construction company, and the representative of the architect, together with a special disbursing officer, are now in Seville, ready to start the construction. Under the most favorable circumstances the construction company estimates that the buildings will be finished by September 15, 1928. This means that with the normal delays it will be October 1, 1928, before they are finished, and the opening date of the exposition is October 12, 1928.
This decision of the Comptroller General inflicts a hardship on both the Government and the architect. From the standpoint of the Government, it involves delays when time is of the very essence. If the contract is canceled with the architect, the details of the work and the coloring of the buildings and landscaping of the grounds, which necessarily are left until after the construction has progressed to a point of warranting them, will have to be carried out by another architect. From the standpoint of the architect, who has already been called upon to prepare two sets of plans, in addition to the financial loss there will occur a damage to his professional reputation from the breach of this contract. Both the contracting parties, the architect and the Department of State, are agreeable and anxious that this contract should be fulfilled in part by a deputy architect. The Comptroller General has decided that this can not be done. The authorization asked for will clarify this situation and enable us to proceed with the construction of the buildings immediately. Otherwise, in addition to the hardships enumerated above, the Government will lose money either while the force now in Spain is maintained there preparatory to the construction work beginning, or during the time necessary for their return and the entering into of a new contract and another trip to Spain to start construction work.