A-27810, JULY 10, 1929, 9 COMP. GEN. 5

A-27810: Jul 10, 1929

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RADIO TALKS - TRAINING OF EMPLOYEES FOR ANY EXPENSES FOR RADIO APPARATUS NECESSARY TO TRAIN EMPLOYEES TO DELIVER RADIO TALKS PERTAINING TO THEIR OFFICIAL DUTIES ARE PERSONAL AND MAY NOT BE PAID FROM APPROPRIATED FUNDS NOT SPECIFICALLY PROVIDING THEREFOR. WHICH HAVE BEEN ARRANGED BY THE DIRECTOR OF INFORMATION. IT WILL BE READILY APPRECIATED THAT UNLESS THE SPEAKERS ARE FAMILIAR WITH RADIO TECHNIQUE. WHICH IS REQUIRED TO PUT A MESSAGE ACROSS. MUCH OF THE EFFECTIVENESS OF THIS IMPORTANT MEANS OF REACHING THE PEOPLE WILL BE LOST. IT IS CONTEMPLATED TO PURCHASE AND INSTALL A MICROPHONE. OTHERS WHO ARE SCHEDULED TO SPEAK ON THE RADIO MAY PRACTICE THEIR ADDRESSES AND BE COACHED AS TO THE MODULATION OF THE VOICE AND DELIVERY OF THEIR MESSAGES.

A-27810, JULY 10, 1929, 9 COMP. GEN. 5

RADIO TALKS - TRAINING OF EMPLOYEES FOR ANY EXPENSES FOR RADIO APPARATUS NECESSARY TO TRAIN EMPLOYEES TO DELIVER RADIO TALKS PERTAINING TO THEIR OFFICIAL DUTIES ARE PERSONAL AND MAY NOT BE PAID FROM APPROPRIATED FUNDS NOT SPECIFICALLY PROVIDING THEREFOR.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL TO THE SECRETARY OF AGRICULTURE, JULY 10, 1929:

THERE HAS BEEN RECEIVED YOUR LETTER OF JUNE 28, 1929, AS FOLLOWS:

THE ORGANIC ACT ESTABLISHING THE DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE (SECTION 520, REVISED STATUTES) IMPOSES THE DUTY ON THIS DEPARTMENT TO "ACQUIRE AND DIFFUSE AMONG THE PEOPLE OF THE UNITED STATES USEFUL INFORMATION ON THE SUBJECTS CONNECTED WITH AGRICULTURE IN THE MOST GENERAL AND COMPREHENSIVE SENSE OF THAT WORD.' FOR SEVERAL YEARS PAST THE RADIO HAS BEEN RECOGNIZED AS ONE OF THE MOST EFFECTIVE AND POPULAR MEANS OF DISSEMINATING AGRICULTURAL INFORMATION TO THE PEOPLE. THIS HAS BEEN ACCOMPLISHED BY TALKS BY VARIOUS MEMBERS OF THE DEPARTMENT'S STAFF, WHICH HAVE BEEN ARRANGED BY THE DIRECTOR OF INFORMATION. IT WILL BE READILY APPRECIATED THAT UNLESS THE SPEAKERS ARE FAMILIAR WITH RADIO TECHNIQUE, WHICH IS REQUIRED TO PUT A MESSAGE ACROSS, MUCH OF THE EFFECTIVENESS OF THIS IMPORTANT MEANS OF REACHING THE PEOPLE WILL BE LOST. IT IS CONTEMPLATED TO PURCHASE AND INSTALL A MICROPHONE, REPEATER, AND LOUD SPEAKER IN ORDER THAT THE CHIEFS OF BUREAUS, SCIENTISTS, AND OTHERS WHO ARE SCHEDULED TO SPEAK ON THE RADIO MAY PRACTICE THEIR ADDRESSES AND BE COACHED AS TO THE MODULATION OF THE VOICE AND DELIVERY OF THEIR MESSAGES.

IN THE AGRICULTURE APPROPRIATION BILL, 1928, OFFICE OF THE SECRETARY, THERE WAS AN INCREASE OF $15,000 IN THE ITEM OFFICE OF INFORMATION,"FOR THE PURPOSE OF PAYING SALARIES OF EMPLOYEES FOR RADIO SERVICE WORK, WHICH WORK CONSISTS OF PREPARING AND DISSEMINATING AGRICULTURAL INFORMATION TO THE PUBLIC THROUGH THE VARIOUS LARGE BROADCASTING STATIONS OF THE COUNTRY.' (SEE P. 5 OF STATEMENT OF INCREASES, DECREASES, AND CHANGES, ETC., IN THE ESTIMATES OF THE APPROPRIATION ACT OF THIS DEPARTMENT FOR THE FISCAL YEAR ENDING JUNE 30, 1928.) CONGRESS ALSO RECOGNIZED BROADCASTING AS A MEANS OF DISSEMINATING AGRICULTURAL INFORMATION AND INCREASED THE APPROPRIATION ABOVE MENTIONED FOR THAT PURPOSE. (SEE P. 17,HEARINGS ON AGRICULTURE APPROPRIATION BILL, 1928, BEFORE SUBCOMMITTEE OF HOUSE COMMITTEE ON APPROPRIATIONS.) A FURTHER INCREASE FOR RADIO SALARIES AND EXPENSES WAS CONTAINED IN THE 1930 APPROPRIATION FOR THE OFFICE OF INFORMATION.

IN THE LIGHT OF THE ABOVE, YOUR DECISION IS REQUESTED IF THE ITEM IN THE AGRICULTURE APPROPRIATION BILL, OFFICE OF THE SECRETARY, 1930, UNDER THE SUBITEM OFFICE OF INFORMATION, IS AVAILABLE FOR THE PURCHASE OF A MICROPHONE, REPEATER, AND LOUD SPEAKER FOR THE PURPOSE PREVIOUSLY MENTIONED.

THE APPROPRIATION FOR THE OFFICE OF INFORMATION, DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE, AS MADE IN THE ACT OF FEBRUARY 16, 1929, 45 STAT. 1190, PROVIDES FOR THE FOLLOWING EXPENSES:

FOR NECESSARY EXPENSES IN CONNECTION WITH THE PUBLICATION, INDEXING, ILLUSTRATION, AND DISTRIBUTION OF BULLETINS, DOCUMENTS, AND REPORTS, INCLUDING LABOR-SAVING MACHINERY AND SUPPLIES, ENVELOPES, STATIONERY AND MATERIALS, OFFICE FURNITURE AND FIXTURES, PHOTOGRAPHIC EQUIPMENT AND MATERIALS, ARTISTS' TOOLS AND SUPPLIES, TELEPHONE AND TELEGRAPH SERVICE, FREIGHT AND EXPRESS CHARGES; PURCHASE AND MAINTENANCE OF BICYCLES; PURCHASE OF MANUSCRIPTS; TRAVELING EXPENSES; ELECTROTYPES,ILLUSTRATIONS, AND OTHER EXPENSES NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR, $400,000, OF WHICH NOT TO EXCEED $375,000 MAY BE USED FOR PERSONAL SERVICES IN THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CLASSIFICATION ACT OF 1923, AS AMENDED.

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

THE APPROPRIATION DOES NOT SPECIFICALLY PROVIDE FOR THE PURCHASE OF RADIO APPARATUS, AND I AM CONSTRAINED TO HOLD, THEREFORE, THAT IT IS NOT PROPERLY AVAILABLE THEREFOR. SEE A-19614, SEPTEMBER 13, 1927.