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supervision. Any appeal to be made on behalf of the Government either to one of the circuit courts of appeals or to the Supreme Court of the United States must be authorized by him.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation is a branch of this Department. It has charge of investigating crimes against Federal laws and of finding and arresting the offenders.

The principal objectives of the Department of Justice are (1) to promote the most effective administration of Federal law, (2) to protect the legal rights of the United States, and (3) to cooperate with all law-enforcement agencies within this country.

Among the services rendered by the Department of Justice in carrying out these objectives are the following:

1. It conducts suits in behalf of the Government in the Supreme Court of the United States and in other Federal courts.

2. It supervises and has direction over United States district attorneys and marshals throughout the United States.

3. It investigates and prosecutes violations of the Federal laws.

4. It supervises Federal prisons and other penal institutions.

5. It investigates and reports to the President concerning petitions for paroles, reprieves, and pardons.

6. It assists in drawing up rules of court procedure.

7. It gives advisory opinions on legal questions when requested to do so by the President or heads of the Executive Departments.

8. It undertakes to protect the individual members of this Nation in the exercise of the civil rights guaranteed to them by the Constitution and laws of the United States.

9. It enforces the immigration and nationality laws of the United States.


The Postmaster General is the head of the Post Office Department. He is aided by a large number of assistants. The work of the Department is divided among various offices and divisions.

The principal objective of the Post Office Department is to maintain cheap and efficient ways of communication for all the people alike, through the carrying of letters, post cards, printed matter, and goods through the United States and to foreign countries. Among the services of the Post Office Department are the following:

1. It collects and delivers the mail throughout the United States, in cities, towns, and country districts.

2. It supervises the carrying of the mails by railways, steamships, airplanes, and other means of transportation.

3. It operates post offices throughout the Nation.

4. It supervises and inspects all post-office organizations and their operation throughout the United States.

5. It maintains such services for the public as postal savings, registered mails, parcel post, and money orders.

6. The Postmaster General, with the approval of the President, makes postal agreements with foreign governments.


The chief objective of the Department of the Navy is to maintain vessels of war for the defense of the United States. The Navy must be kept in readiness at all times to carry out any duties the President, as its Commander in Chief, may order. It is responsible also for the protection of our outlying possessions and our commerce.

Among the many services rendered by the Navy Department are the following:

1. It organizes, trains, and maintains the naval forces of the United States, constructing and equipping war vessels, navy yards, and naval bases.

2. It maintains the United States Naval Academy at Annapolis, Md., the Naval War College at Newport, R. I., and other schools for training officers and enlisted men; and conducts naval maneuvers and gunnery practice for promoting the efficiency of men and ships.

3. It maintains an ever-ready Marine Corps for service on land or sea.

4. It maintains a system of radio communication between all ships at sea and naval shore stations, supplies maps and charts for the aid of navigation by sea and air, and operates research laboratories for the improvement of naval equipment.

5. Through its Naval Observatory it sets a standard of time throughout the country and checks the accuracy of all navigating instruments for ships and aircraft.

6. It is responsible for the government of certain of our island possessions.


We have described in this chapter the services done for the American people by six of the Executive Departments and in the next chapter we shall describe the work of the remaining four Departments and of a number of “independent agencies” of the Federal Government.

It is almost impossible for any citizen to remember all the different kinds of services which his Government does for him. From some of them he gets benefits about which he does not even know. Other services of the Federal Government are called to his attention every day—such as those of the Post Office. It is, therefore, a good thing for the student to read over these lists of the activities of the Executive Departments with careful attention-even though he may not fully understand the exact nature of some of them, for the descriptions will give him a good picture of the working of a government “of the people, by the people, and for the people.”


Complete each of the following:

1. The group made up of the heads of the 10 Executive Departments is known as the President's

2. Heads of the Executive Departments are appointed by the

and confirmed by the

3. If you wish to get a passport to travel in foreign countries, you must apply to the Department of

4. The Department which collects taxes and supervises the spending of public money is the Department of the

5. The chief law officer of the Federal Government is the

6. If you wish to get information about air mail or ocean mail you would inquire at the


Try to think of some of the services which are being given to the people of your own community by the six Departments about which you have been studying. Perhaps you can name some of them below:

Two of the services performed by the Department of State are:



Two of the services performed by the Department of the Treasury are:



Two of the services performed by the Department of War are:



Two of the services performed by the Department of Justice are:


Two of the services performed by the Post Office Department are:



Two of the services performed by the Department of Navy are:



Some more words which the student should understand:

economic-related to the production, distribution, and use of

wealth. emergencies—sudden and unexpected dangers. financialrelated to money matters. maneuvers-skillful and well-planned movements. naval basesfortified starting points from which war vessels may

operate. navigable-offering a passage for ships. paroles-releases of prisoners on their word of honor to observe

certain conditions. passports-official documents issued by governments to their cit

izens when they wish to travel in foreign countries, showing the right of the persons named to travel safely under the pro

tection of the government. penal institutions—buildings or other places in which persons are

imprisoned as a punishment for law-breaking. reception-formal occasion on which a person or group officially

greets or welcomes other persons. reprieves—temporary delays in applying punishment. research laboratories-properly equipped buildings or rooms in

which careful study and experiments are made in order to dis

cover new information.
visas-official permits for aliens to enter a country.

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