A-20998, JANUARY 9, 1928, 7 COMP. GEN. 407

A-20998: Jan 9, 1928

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PURCHASES - NEWSPAPERS - UNITED STATES DAILY AN APPROPRIATION NOT AVAILABLE FOR THE PURCHASE OF NEWSPAPERS MAY NOT BE USED TO PURCHASE A YEARBOOK UNDER AN ARRANGEMENT BY WHICH A YEAR'S SUBSCRIPTION TO THE UNITED STATES DAILY IS TO BE GIVEN AS A PREMIUM WITH SUCH PURCHASE. HE STATES THAT THE YEARBOOK IS A BOOK OF REFERENCE AND THAT IT MAY BE PURCHASED AS SUCH FROM APPROPRIATIONS AUTHORIZING THE PURCHASE OF BOOKS OF REFERENCE. WILLIAMS WAS SO ADVISED ON TWO OCCASIONS. IT HAS BEEN HELD BY THIS OFFICE THAT THE UNITED STATES DAILY IS A NEWSPAPER AND COULD BE PURCHASED ONLY UNDER APPROPRIATIONS AVAILABLE FOR THE PURCHASE OF NEWSPAPERS. 7 COMP. THE SUBSCRIPTION PRICE OF THE UNITED STATES DAILY IS GIVEN ON THE FIRST PAGE OF EACH ISSUE AS $10 A YEAR.

A-20998, JANUARY 9, 1928, 7 COMP. GEN. 407

PURCHASES - NEWSPAPERS - UNITED STATES DAILY AN APPROPRIATION NOT AVAILABLE FOR THE PURCHASE OF NEWSPAPERS MAY NOT BE USED TO PURCHASE A YEARBOOK UNDER AN ARRANGEMENT BY WHICH A YEAR'S SUBSCRIPTION TO THE UNITED STATES DAILY IS TO BE GIVEN AS A PREMIUM WITH SUCH PURCHASE.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL TO THE SECRETARY OF THE TREASURY, JANUARY 9, 1928:

THERE HAS BEEN RECEIVED YOUR LETTER OF DECEMBER 20, 1927, REQUESTING DECISION OF A QUESTION PRESENTED AS FOLLOWS:

I AM ENCLOSING COPY OF A LETTER DATED JUNE 7, 1927, RECEIVED FROM MR. JAY JEROME WILLIAMS, PUBLISHER, THE UNITED STATES DAILY, IN WHICH HE OFFERS THE YEARBOOK OF THE UNITED STATES DAILY AT THE RATE OF $12.50 PER COPY AND TO FURNISH THE UNITED STATES DAILY FOR ONE YEAR, WITHOUT COST, TO ALL PURCHASERS OF THE YEARBOOK. AS YOU NOTE, HE STATES THAT THE YEARBOOK IS A BOOK OF REFERENCE AND THAT IT MAY BE PURCHASED AS SUCH FROM APPROPRIATIONS AUTHORIZING THE PURCHASE OF BOOKS OF REFERENCE.

THE TREASURY DEPARTMENT HAS BEEN UNDER THE IMPRESSION THAT THE PURCHASE OF THE SO-CALLED YEARBOOK WITH A SUBSCRIPTION TO THE UNITED STATES DAILY GIVEN FREE WOULD BE IN VIOLATION OF YOUR RULINGS RELATING TO THE PURCHASE OF THE UNITED STATES DAILY, FEELING THAT YOU WOULD BE INCLINED TO CONSIDER THE PURCHASE OF THIS PUBLICATION AS A SUBTERFUGE, AND MR. WILLIAMS WAS SO ADVISED ON TWO OCCASIONS. HOWEVER, ON EACH OCCASION MR. WILLIAMS HAS ASKED THAT A RULING BE OBTAINED FROM YOU ON THE QUESTION. ACCORDINGLY, I SHOULD NOW APPRECIATE RECEIVING YOUR RULING ON THE QUESTION OF WHETHER THE PURCHASE OF THE YEARBOOK, UNDER THE OFFER MADE BY MR. WILLIAMS, MAY BE MADE FROM APPROPRIATIONS AVAILABLE FOR THE PURCHASE OF BOOKS OF REFERENCE.

IT HAS BEEN HELD BY THIS OFFICE THAT THE UNITED STATES DAILY IS A NEWSPAPER AND COULD BE PURCHASED ONLY UNDER APPROPRIATIONS AVAILABLE FOR THE PURCHASE OF NEWSPAPERS. 7 COMP. GEN. 143; A-13787, APRIL 20, 1926. THE SUBSCRIPTION PRICE OF THE UNITED STATES DAILY IS GIVEN ON THE FIRST PAGE OF EACH ISSUE AS $10 A YEAR. IT IS EVIDENT THAT THE OFFER TO SELL THE YEARBOOK FOR $12.50 AND GIVE A YEAR'S SUBSCRIPTION TO THE PAPER FREE OF CHARGE IS TANTAMOUNT TO A SUBTERFUGE INTENDED TO ENABLE THE GOVERNMENT SERVICES WHICH DO NOT HAVE AN APPROPRIATION AVAILABLE FOR NEWSPAPERS, TO SUBSCRIBE TO THE UNITED STATES DAILY. UNDER THE OFFER SUBMITTED BY THE UNITED STATES DAILY, THE UNITED STATES FOR $12.50 WOULD SECURE BOTH A BOOK AND A SUBSCRIPTION TO THE PAPER. A PORTION OF THE $12.50 WOULD REPRESENT THE COST OF THE SUBSCRIPTION AND IT MATTERS NOT WHETHER IT IS CALLED THE PURCHASE OF A REFERENCE BOOK WITH A SUBSCRIPTION TO THE NEWSPAPER GIVEN FREE OR A SUBSCRIPTION TO THE NEWSPAPER WITH THE BOOK GIVEN FREE.

ANSWERING YOUR QUESTION SPECIFICALLY, YOU ARE ADVISED THAT AN APPROPRIATION FOR THE PURCHASE OF BOOKS OF REFERENCE, WHICH DOES NOT SPECIFICALLY AUTHORIZE THE PURCHASE OF NEWSPAPERS, MAY NOT BE USED FOR THE PURCHASE OF THE UNITED STATES DAILY YEARBOOK WHEN THE PRICE TO BE PAID COVERS, ALSO, A SUBSCRIPTION TO THE UNITED STATES DAILY.