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of business in such instances. If the bill is enacted, it will enable the Committee on Appropriations to eliminate from the annual appropriation bills innumerable instances of authority which has been carried there for many years to permit these advance payments to be made. With the passage of the law the practice throughout the Government can become uniform, and considerable unnecessary surplusage in the annual supply bills may be omitted. Very truly yours,

MARTIN B. MADDEN, Chairman The bill, of course, does not authorize any additional subscriptions to be made and only changes the method of payment so as to make it unnecessary in the future to carry these provisions in the appropriation bills.

The prohibitory statute referred to in the act (Rev. Stat., sec. 3648) is as follows:

“529. Advances of public moneys; prohibition against. - Except as otherwise provided by law, no advance of public money shall be made in any case. And in all cases of contracts for the performance of any service, or the delivery of articles of any description, for the use of the United States, payment shall not exceed the value of the service rendered, or of the articles delivered previously to such payment. It shall, however, be lawful, under the special direction of the President, to make such advances to the disbursing officers of the Government as may be necessary to the faithful and prompt discharge of their respective duties, and to the fulfillment of the public engagements. The President may also direct such advances as he may deem necessary and proper, to persons in the military and naval service employed on distant stations, where the discharge of the pay and emoluments to which they may be entitled can not be regularly effected.






20 Session

REPORT No. 876



JUNE 9 (calendar day, JUNE 10), 1930.-Ordered to be printed

Mr. WATERMAN, from the Committee on the Judiciary, submitted the



do pass.

[To accompany H. R. 972] The Committee on the Judiciary, having had under consideration the bill H. R. 972, to amend an act entitled "An act providing for the revision and printing of the index to the Federal Statutes," approved March 3, 1927, reports the same favorably to the Senate and recommends that the bill do pass.

The need and effect of this legislation is rather completely set out in House Report No. 31, Seventy-first Congress, second session, as follows:

The Committee on the Judiciary, to whom was referred the bill H. R. 972, after consideration, reports the same favorably and recommends that the same

This bill passed the House in the closing days of the Seventieth Congress, and there is printed herewith the report made on H. R. 9778, which fully shows the necessity and advisability for the enactment of this legislation. The report is as follows:

“This bill amends the act of March 3, 1927, providing for the revision and printing of the index to the Federal statutes. The law as originally passed authorized an appropriation of $25,000 for this work. The Librarian has advised the committee that it will be impossible to do the work for less than $50,000, and upon his recommendation the committee has amended the law, increasing the appropriation from $25,000 to $50,000, and also to provide that the index prepared shall be revised and extended to include the acts of Congress down to the Seventieth Congress, instead of to the Sixty-ninth Congress, as provided by the original act.

“There is printed herewith and made a part of this report a memorandum from the Librarian of Congress which sets forth in detail the estimated cost of revising and printing the index provided for."

SR-71-2-VOL 2



Washington, December 16, 1927.

House of Representatives.
DEAR MR. CHAIRMAN: The bill authorizing the above having become law, an
estimate in accordance with it was submitted for the urgent deficiency bill. At
the hearing I was, however, obliged to point out that the amount of appropria-
tios authorized ($25,000) would not be sufficient; nor could I confidently support
the estimate as appropriate to such a bill.

The item was omitted in the bill as passed.

The acting director of our legislative reference service has since conferred with
the clerk of your committee, and reports that the suitable procedure would seem
to be

(1) A measure for the amount of the act, raising the limit of cost to $50,000;

(2) In support of that measure, an estimate from my office supporting it by
an analysis of the expense involved; and

(3) A statement as to the value of such publication, should that question be

I am accordingly inclosing for your consideration a suggestion for a bill of
amend the act of March 3, 1927; a revised estimate of costs; and the statement
referred to under (3) above.
Very respectfully,


A BILL To amend the act of March 3, 1927, entitled "An act providing for the revision and printing of

the index to the Federal statutes

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of
America in Congress assembled, That the act of March 3, 1927, entitled "An act
providing for the revision and printing of the index to the Federal statutes”
(Forty-fourth Statutes, page 1401) is amended by striking out the word “Sixty-
ninth” in the first session and inserting "Seventieth” in lieu thereof; also by
striking out the figures “$25,000" in the second section and inserting "$50,000”
in lieu thereof.

Revised estimate for the cost of revising and printing the Scolt-Beaman index
For a period of 16 months (May 1, 1928, to Aug. 31, 1929) —
1 reviser in chief, grade 3, professional, at $3,000..

$4, 000
1 file clerk, grade 3, clerical, etc., at $1,500.

1 clerical assistant, grade 1, at $1,140.

1, 520
For a period of 12 months (Sept. 1, 1928, to Aug. 31, 1929)
1 expert typist, grade 3, clerical, etc., at $1,500.-

1, 500
For a period of 8 months (Sept. 1, 1928, to Apr. 30, 1929)
1 expert typist, grade 3, clerical, etc., at $1,500.-


10, 020

[blocks in formation]

The original Scott-Beaman index was printed in an edition of 4,206 copies. The $50,000 called for will
print 3,684 copies of the new edition or 622 copies less than the first edition. This will not be of much sig.
nificance, as the Superintendent of Documents will have the right to reprint should the demand call for it.



It is a very difficult and lengthy task for the ordinary investigator to find what, if any, Federal legislation has been enacted on any given subject. The acts of Congress are included in 44 volumes of the Statutes at Large, each with a separate index; some of these indexes are by no means complete and they are not prepared according to a single consistent plan. If an investigator is interested in the law in force only, he may consult unofficial compilations such as the Federal Statutes Annotated or the United States Compiled Statutes, or the Code of Laws of the United States, which is official to the extent of being declared prima facie evidence of law. The indexes to these do not refer to the original enactments, but to a page or section of the code or other compilation, from which it requires still an additional search to find the actual provision of law in force, Moreover, neither the code nor (except to an incomplete extent) the unofficial compilations include references to provisions of permanent legislation not regarded as in force at the date of these publications; consequently their indexes do not meet the needs of one who wishes to ascertain the development of Federal legislation on any subject.

The Scott and Beaman indexes are designed to meet the needs of all persons wishing to consult the Federal statutes. One volume covers the period 17891873, the other 1873–1907 (including the Revised Statutes of 1874). Congress has recently (44 Stat. 1401, c. 375) directed the revision of the 1873–1907 Scott and Beaman index to include the period 1873–1927, but has not yet made any appropriation to this end. The work of revising this index and bringing it down to date has been one of the major activities of the American law section since 1914, and at present the card-index files include all the material that would be printed in the revised Scott and Beaman index, so that the only additional work necessary is a relatively small amount of revision in the nature of harmonizing cards at present arranged in three separate files and the transfer of the material from cards to printer's copy.

The card index has been found extremely useful by those who have known of its existence and to whom it has been accessible; it is reasonable to assume that the index would, if printed, prove equally useful to thousands of people who need to consult the Federal statutes elsewhere than in Washington. The late Col. E. C. Little, chairman of the House Committee on Revision of the Laws, frequently remarked that this card index was the most useful repository of information as to the Federal laws with which he was acquainted. The same index has also been utilized in connection with the preparation of the Code of Laws of the United States.

The fact that the code has been adopted as prima facie evidence of law, and may later be adopted as absolute law, does not militate against the value of the revised Scott and Beaman index. The chairman of the House committee has urged all users of the code to "scrutinize" it, and ascertain whether there is “any omission or misstatement” in it. Any such scrutiny would be greatly facilitated by a complete index of the permanent general law from the Revised Statutes to date, such as the revised Scott and Beaman index. This index would also, through the table of repeals and amendments, indicate the probable reason why the great mass of general legislation not included in the code should not be regarded as law in force in 1925. It would further prove of great value to the historical investigator who wishes to find what laws have been, as well as what are, in force.

The revised index would include several features not included in the former edition. Among these may be mentioned: (1) Special designation (by printing in italics or otherwise) of provisions of law that seem clearly to be no longer in force; (2) a list of implied as well as express repeals and amendments, with explanatory notes indicating briefly the extent of the repeal or amendment; (3) references to the Constitution as well as to statutory provisions. Respectfully submitted.

W. H. McCLENON. With the increasing number of Federal laws and their great importance to the people of the country, the committee urges that this legislation to afford a more copious and satisfactory index to the Federal statutes be speedily enacted. It is difficult with the available indexes, even after diligent search by competent attorneys, to readily locate the Federal statutes. The Librarian of Congress is splendidly equipped to execute this work which will be a great benefit to Government officials and the legal profession generally.

There follows a statement of the changes made in the present law in compliance with the rule, the new language being printed in italics and the old language being shown in black brackets.

“That the Librarian of Congress is hereby authorized and directed to have the index to the Federal statutes, published in 1908 and known as the Scott and Beaman Index, revised and extended to include the acts of Congress down to and including the acts of the [Sixty-ninth] Seventieth Congress, and to have the revised index printed at the Government Printing Office.

“SEC. 2. There is hereby authorized to be appropriated for carrying out the provisions of this act the sum of ($25,000] $50,000, to remain available until expended.”



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