and accentuates the clear meaning of the last clause of Section 3. It is manifest that it was the intention of Congress that a prior settlement under the earlier statute should not operate to preclude the granting of further relief under the 1946 Act.
With the policy or expediency of this legislation, the Court has no concern. It is the duty of the Court to apply the statute as it is written, in view of the fact that it is unambiguous.
Insofar as Sections 204 or 307 of the rules and regulations promulgated under the statute may be inconsistent with Section 3 of the Act, these regulations must be deemed invalid. It is elementary law that executive regulations promulgated for the purpose of carrying a statute into effect must be within the framework of the Act and may not be inconsistent with the statute.
On the basis of these considerations, the motion of the defendants for summary judgment will be denied.
The United States also moves to dismiss the complaint on the ground that the United States may not be sued in this action.
Section 6 of the Act of August 7, 1946, which provides judicial review in behalf of any claimant under the Act who is dissatisfied with the action of the Department or Agency, authorizes the claimant to file a petition in any Federal District Court of competent jurisdiction asking determination by the Court of the equities involved in such claim. The statute does not specify who should be named as the defendant in such an action. It would be better if it had, but the Court has to take the statute as it finds it. It seems to the Court that this provision is a clear submission on the part of the United States to suit under this Act, and that therefore the United States of America became subject to suit. To be sure, the statute further provides that the Court shall have jurisdiction to determine the amount to which the claimant or petitioner may be entitled and to issue an order directing the department or agency to settle the claim accordingly. There is indeed an incongruity in the statute. A Government department is not an entity and may not be sued. For example, an action does not lie against the War Department or the Navy Department as such. It may well be that a judgment against the United States may direct a particular officer or agency of the Government to take certain action. It seems to the Court that although Section 6 of the Act is somewhat ambiguous, it may be reasonably construed to permit an action against the United States.
In this case, the plaintiff, apparently being in doubt, sued both the United States and the Secretary of the Interior. The course he has followed seems entirely proper. The motion to dismiss will be denied.
The Court wishes to make one additional observation, as to the effect of the release contained in the agreement. Naturally the existence of the release may be a circumstance which may have a bearing on the question whether it is equitable to award to the claimant any additional allowance. This is a matter to be considered in determining the merits of the claim and will have to be decided at a trial on the facts.
Both motions are denied.