GIBSON V. UNITED STATES, 194 U. S. 182 (1904)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Gibson v. United States, 194 U.S. 182 (1904)

Gibson v. United States

No. 195

Argued April 8, 1904

Decided April 25, 1904

194 U.S. 182


Under § 1444, Rev.Stat., and § 11 of the Navy Personnel Act of March 3, 1899, a captain in the navy who is retired as a rear admiral receives three-fourths of the pay of rear admirals in the nine lower numbers of the eighteen rear admirals provided for by the act, and not three-fourths of the pay of those in the nine higher numbers.

Page 194 U. S. 183

While repeals by implication are not favored where the same subject matter is covered by two acts which cannot be harmonized with a view to giving effect to the provisions of each, the latter act prevails, to the extent of the repugnancy between them when it is apparent that the latter act was intended as a substitute for the earlier one. District of Columbia v. Hutton, 143 U. S. 18. Provisions as to allowances which are fixed for naval officers in the Navy Personnel Act of March 3, 1899, supersede the statutory provisions as to the same allowances in the earlier statutes.

This is an appeal from the Court of Claims. The claimant is a retired rear admiral. This action was prosecuted to recover the difference between three-fourths the pay of a brigadier general and that of a major general of the Army, accorded by statute to retired rear admirals. The Court of Claims dismissed the petition, holding the claimant entitled to three-fourths the pay of a brigadier general. Upon the hearing in that court, the following facts were found:

"I. The claimant, William C. Gibson, was duly appointed a captain in the Navy, to rank from February 18, 1900. While serving in that grade, then being an officer of the Navy, with a creditable record, who served during the Civil War, he was retired by the following order:"

"Navy Department"

"Washington, June 30, 1900"

" Sir: On July 23, 1900, you will regard yourself transferred to the retired list of officers of the U.S. Navy, in accordance with the provisions of section 1444 of the Revised Statutes, and with the rank and three-fourths of the sea pay of the next higher grade, i.e., rear admiral, in accordance with the provisions of section 11 of the Naval Personnel Act, approved March 3, 1899."

" Respectfully,"

"John D. Long"


"Captain William C. Gibson, U.S. Navy, commanding U.S.S. Texas"

"II. Since his retirement, he has received pay at the rate of

Page 194 U. S. 184

four thousand one hundred and twenty-five dollars ($4,125) a year, being three-fourths of five thousand five hundred dollars ($5,500) the pay fixed by section 1261 of the Revised Statutes of the United States, as that of a brigadier general in the Army."

"If paid at the rate fixed by said section 1261 for a major general in the Army, he would receive pay at the rate of three-fourths of seven thousand five hundred dollars a year, being five thousand six hundred and twenty-five dollars ($5,625) a year, a difference of over and above what he has been receiving of one thousand five hundred dollars ($1,500) a year."

"III. From January 22, 1900, to July 3, 1900, inclusive, claimant was, by regular assignment, in command of the U.S.S. Texas, a seagoing vessel in commission. During that period, he was, prior to the 18th of February, a commander, in receipt of pay at the rate of four thousand dollars ($4,000) a year, and from and after that date a captain, receiving pay at the rate of four thousand five hundred dollars ($4,500) a year. He did not, while so attached to and in command of said vessel, receive any sea ration or commutation therefor, under Revised Statutes, sections 1578 and 1585."

"The commutation therefor, at the rate of thirty cents per day, would amount to forty-eight dollars and ninety cents ($48.90). "

Page 194 U. S. 186

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