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connected with this case were not presented to and considered by the Comptroller, and in view of the evident embarrassment that would necessarily arise as the result of the decision in question, it is respectfully requested that he be asked to reconsider said decision. It is submitted that the practice under existing regulations should not under the circumstances be interfered with unless clearly wrong."
Section 87 of the act of January 12, 1895 (28 Stat., 622), provides as follows:
"All printing, binding, and blank books for the Senate or House of Representatives and for the executive and judicial departments shall be done at the Government Printing Office, except in cases otherwise provided by law."
It is apparent that the appropriation for public printing and binding for the Department of the Interior is exclusively applicable to the payment of all public printing done for the Executive Department of the Interior and its bureaus and offices situated here at the seat of government, except as otherwise provided by law, and that all printing therefor must be done by the Public Printer and charged to said appropriation.
The language, "for the.Senate or House of Representatives and for the executive and judicial departments," might be held to mean in its broadest sense all of the governmental establishments. The term "Executive Departments," however, has been interpreted by this office since my occupancy to mean and be confined to the Executive Departments, their bureaus and establishments located here at the seat of gov ernment and made part of such Executive Departments by law.
The question to be determined in this case is whether the printing involved was printing done for the Interior Department proper, as distinguished from printing done for the reclamation service, which, by law, is placed under the control of the Secretary of the Interior.
The mere fact that such printing originated at Washington, and was performed by the Public Printer, is not at all conclusive as to whether it was printing for the Executive Department or otherwise.
A fair general definition of executive printing was in my judgment given in 10 Comp. Dec., 771, in the following language:
"Is limited to work originating in and done for an Executive Department proper as distinguished from field service under the control of an executive department."
This definition leaves for determination in the particular case: What is meant by originating in and being done for an Executive Department?
It is a matter of much less difficulty to state an example under this definition than to accurately define the definition. A set of regulations of the Interior Department, although possibly affecting only the reclamation service, would unquestionably be printing for an Executive Department and its cost properly payable from the appropriation for public printing and binding. On the contrary, if a matter be required to be printed pertaining exclusively to this service-for instance, a pay roll of the reclamation service-if printed at the Public Printer's this would not fall within the purview of section 87 of the act of June 12, 1895, supra, and would not be printing for an Executive Department within the meaning of said act and should be paid for out of an appropriation other than that for public printing and binding.
Public printing and binding for an Executive Department may be specifically defined as printing and binding to be used as parts of the administrative machinery of an Executive Department and its bureaus and offices made parts thereof by law and situated at the seat of government. Several of the Executive Departments have field services as parts thereof and have bureaus and offices attached to them by law with their respective field services. Certain other General Government establishments, such as the reclamation service, put under the control of the Secretary of the Interior by law are not parts of the Interior Department within the sense of the public printing act. Like conditions are found in other departments of the Government. The Army is under the administrative control of the Secretary of War, but is not a part of the Executive Department called the War Department, located at the seat of government, and its support is specifically appropriated for. A like condition exists as to the postal service, as distinguished from the Post-Office Department here at the seat of government.
The appropriations made yearly for the support of the Executive Departments proper are not available to defray the operating expenses of these field services unless so expressly provided by law. On the other hand, the appropriations made for the support of these field services are not available
to pay the operating expenses of the Executive Departments proper.
The question to determine on this review as it relates to the vouchers considered in the case being considered is: Are the expenses represented by these vouchers parts of the administrative operating expense of the Executive Department called the Interior Department, or were they incurred for the sole and exclusive use of the service not a part of the administrative service of this Executive Department?
The answer to this question must determine whether the decision, being reviewed, was correctly determined. The items included in the vouchers in question are for printing by the Public Printer, such as letter heads, ruled tablets, blank forms of bills of lading, orders for travel, bonds, proposals and vouchers of various kinds, including vouchers for supplies; for services, for traveling expenses, for transportation, for payments under contracts, and for pay rolls, adver tisements, and specifications.
It is understood that these forms were prepared and issued here at Washington, whether by the regular force of the Executive Department proper, or by the employees of the reclamation service located here at Washington, I am not advised. Some of them have printed thereon as an address, "Washington, D. C.;" others the printed signature, "Thomas Ryan, Acting Secretary;" others a blank receipt with the words, "John D. McChesney, Chief Disbursing Clerk. U. S. G. S."
The second voucher is for a single item of printing, namely, for printing and binding 600 copies of the second annual report of the reclamation service.
The above facts considered alone would indicate that the printing was done for the Interior Department proper, an Executive Department of the Government, in so far as it relates to the items set out in the first voucher; but as I understand the law creating the reclamation service, it is not made a part of a bureau or office of the Executive Department of the Interior. It is not within the power of the Secretary of the Interior, or any other authority short of Congress, to make it a part of the Executive Department known as the Interior Department. This effect certainly should not be given to printing matter upon papers. The
Secretary of the Interior is authorized by Congress to operate this service by proper rules and regulations. He may, if he sees fit, put its primary administrative control under a bureau officer of his Department, viz, the Chief of the Geological Survey, just as the President has placed the building of the isthmian canal under the control and direction of the Secretary of War. His putting it under the control and direction of the Secretary of War did not and could not have the effect of making the Isthmian Canal Commission a part of the Executive Department called the War Department. If it did have such effect, then the appropriations made for the support of the War Department proper would be available to pay its expenses. No one would so contend.
The placing of the executive control of the reclamation service by the Secretary of the Interior in the Chief of the Geological Survey could no more make this service a part of the Executive Department of the Interior than in the case just cited.
Separate and distinct appropriations are made for the support of the Interior Department proper and for the support of the reclamation service. These appropriations are not convertible. Each must be expended for the particular purpose for which made.
As a conclusion to this matter, and on reconsideration of the decision in question, I am constrained to hold and decide that the printing in question, as shown in the vouchers, except the voucher for the printing and binding of the 600 copies of the annual report of the reclamation service, if intended to be printed for and used exclusively for the reclamation service, is properly payable out of the appropriation for the reclamation service.
It is evident from what I have heretofore said that the cost of printing and binding of the annual report of the reclamation service is properly payable out of the appropriation for that service, and not from public printing and binding.
The appropriation for public printing and binding for the Interior Department, as I am advised, has been charged with these vouchers by the Public Printer.
The proper course to pursue in this matter is to refer these vouchers to the Auditor for the Interior Department with the proper explanations as to the use for which this printing was
intended and used and have the proper transfer of appropriations made.
A copy of this decision will be forwarded to the Secretary of the Interior, the disbursing officer who made the reference eliciting the decision of January 31, 1905, and the Auditor for the Interior Department.
ROYALTIES FOR RIGHT TO USE PATENTED ARTICLES.
Where the United States used patented improvements, with the consent of the owners and with the mutual understanding that compensation was to be paid for such use, it is liable therefor on a quantum meruit, although the contract was not in writing, as provided by section 3744, Revised Statutes.
(Comptroller Tracewell to the Secretary of War, April 5, 1905.)
By your reference dated March 30, 1905, of a communication from the Chief of Ordnance of the Army dated March 27, 1905, you request my decision of the question therein presented, as follows:
"1. Referring to a letter from this Office dated February 17, 1905, which was referred to you by the Secretary of War under date of February 21, submitting for decision as to whether or not the articles of agreement inclosed could be entered into between the United States and Messrs. Von Lengerke & Detmold, of New York, providing for procuring from them the right to manufacture and use a breech-loading magazine arm, certain features of which are covered by United States letters patent owned by them; and to your decision, dated February 28, in which you stated that this contract could be entered into, subject to the restriction that no license fee or royalty could be paid on account of arms manufactured prior to an agreement between the United States and Messrs. Von Lengerke & Detmold, I have the honor to inclose herewith new articles of agreement, which have been drawn up so that the license fee and royalty will cover only such arms and cartridge clips as are manufactured subsequent to an agreement between this Department and the attorney for Messrs. Von Lengerke & Detmold; and providing also for the payment of separate royalties for the features contained in the several letters patent, as suggested in your decision.
"2. The appropriations which authorize the proposed contract, to which no exception was taken in your decision, are those stated in my letter of February 17, and in view of the