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A Bill to Provide for the Proper Application of Money in the Pension Bureau of the Interior Department
(Ruling No. 192.)
[In the matter of the payment of pension under certificate 25010, in the claim of Andrew Thompson,
late private, Company D, One hundred and forty-first New York Volunteers.]
DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR, PENSION OFFICE,
Washington, D. C., June 9, 1886.
It appears in this claim that Andrew Thompson was pensioned March 10, 1864, at the rate of $6, and thereafter, on March 7, 1867, increased to $15, to date from June 6, 1866, and thereafter at $18, to commence from June 4, 1872, and thereafter, under the act of March 3, 1883, was increased to $24.
It further appears from a certified copy of an order made and entered in the Steuben County court of the State of New York, that on the 12th day of May, 1884, one John Van Etten, of the town of Corning, in the county of Steuben, in the State of New York, was appointed a committee of the person and estate of the said Andrew Thompson, the said Thompson having been adjudged an habitual drunkard under the laws and practice of the State of New York.
The pension moneys since the date of the day of the entry of said order, to wit, May 12, 1884, have been paid to the said John Van Etten as committee of the person and estate of the said Andrew Thompson.
The question presented for decision is whether a guardian appointed of the person and estate of a pensioner, upon the ground of said pensioner being an habitual drunkard, is such and appointment under the laws of the United States, affecting the payment of pensions to guardians, as authorizes the Commissioner of Pensions to continue the payment of pension to such guardian.
The Commissioner of Pensions is bound by the law.
The provisions of the law authorizing the appointment of guardians and the payment of pension moneys to guardians contemplates only guardians appointed for the legal disqualifications of minority or insanity, or the payment of pensions to guardians, in the discretion of the Commissioner, pending the imprisonment of the pensioner for offenses against the law. (Act August 8, 1882.)
There is no authority of law authorizing the payment of pension moneys to a guardian appointed under State process as a committee or guardian of the person and estate of an habitual drunkard.
In this case all pensions due and to become due will be paid to the pensioner upon his individual voucher.
JOHN C. BLACK,
(Recorded in Vol. 1, Commissioner's Rulings, page 184.)