A-34600, DECEMBER 26, 1930, 10 COMP. GEN. 282

A-34600: Dec 26, 1930

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EXPOSITIONS AND FAIRS - PARTICIPATION BY GOVERNMENT AGENCIES PARTICIPATION IN A FAIR BY A GOVERNMENT AGENCY IS NOT AUTHORIZED AS A GENERAL PROPOSITION UNLESS SPECIFICALLY PROVIDED FOR BY STATUTE. IF IT BE ADMINISTRATIVELY DETERMINED THAT THE EXPENDITURE FOR OFFICE RENT AND RENTAL OF FURNITURE AND OTHER EQUIPMENT FOR THE PURPOSE OF AN EXHIBIT AT A TRADE FAIR IN EUROPE WILL MATERIALLY AID IN THE PROMOTION AND DEVELOPMENT OF THE FOREIGN COMMERCE OF THE UNITED STATES. WILL BE AVAILABLE THEREFOR. IN A NUMBER OF FOREIGN COUNTRIES THERE ARE HELD ANNUALLY WHAT ARE KNOWN AS TRADE FAIRS. AT WHICH PLACES THERE ARE EXHIBITS OF THE MANUFACTURED PRODUCTS OF THE VARIOUS INDUSTRIES OF THOSE COUNTRIES. THESE EXHIBITIONS ARE PUT ON FOR THE PURPOSE OF ATTRACTING TO ONE PLACE A LARGE NUMBER OF BUYERS OF THE ARTICLES EXHIBITED AND MERCHANTS FROM GREAT DISTANCES ATTEND THESE FAIRS AND THEY ARE THE SOURCE OF CONSIDERABLE BUSINESS.

A-34600, DECEMBER 26, 1930, 10 COMP. GEN. 282

EXPOSITIONS AND FAIRS - PARTICIPATION BY GOVERNMENT AGENCIES PARTICIPATION IN A FAIR BY A GOVERNMENT AGENCY IS NOT AUTHORIZED AS A GENERAL PROPOSITION UNLESS SPECIFICALLY PROVIDED FOR BY STATUTE. HOWEVER, IF IT BE ADMINISTRATIVELY DETERMINED THAT THE EXPENDITURE FOR OFFICE RENT AND RENTAL OF FURNITURE AND OTHER EQUIPMENT FOR THE PURPOSE OF AN EXHIBIT AT A TRADE FAIR IN EUROPE WILL MATERIALLY AID IN THE PROMOTION AND DEVELOPMENT OF THE FOREIGN COMMERCE OF THE UNITED STATES, THE APPROPRIATION FOR PROMOTING COMMERCE WITH EUROPE AND OTHER AREAS, ACT OF APRIL 18, 1930, 46 STAT. 195, WILL BE AVAILABLE THEREFOR.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL TO THE SECRETARY OF COMMERCE, DECEMBER 26, 1930:

THERE HAS BEEN RECEIVED YOUR LETTER OF DECEMBER 5, 1930, AS FOLLOWS:

IN THE ANNUAL APPROPRIATION ACT OF THE BUREAU OF FOREIGN AND DOMESTIC COMMERCE OF THIS DEPARTMENT THERE APPEARS THE FOLLOWING:

"APPROPRIATIONS HEREIN MADE FOR THE BUREAU OF FOREIGN AND DOMESTIC COMMERCE SHALL BE AVAILABLE FOR EXPENSES OF ATTENDANCE AT MEETINGS CONCERNED WITH THE PROMOTION OF FOREIGN AND DOMESTIC COMMERCE, OR EITHER, AND ALSO EXPENSES OF ILLUSTRATING THE WORK OF THE BUREAU BY SHOWING OF MAPS, CHARTS, AND GRAPHS AT SUCH MEETINGS, WHEN INCURRED ON THE WRITTEN AUTHORITY OF THE SECRETARY OF COMMERCE.'

IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE AUTHORITY GRANTED BY THIS PARAGRAPH THE BUREAU OF FOREIGN AND DOMESTIC COMMERCE HAS BEEN EXHIBITING AT MEETINGS OF DIFFERENT TRADE BODIES MAPS, CHARTS, AND GRAPHS DESIGNED TO SHOW STATISTICAL AND OTHER INFORMATION IN REFERENCE TO THE EXPORTS AND IMPORTS OF THIS COUNTRY.

IN A NUMBER OF FOREIGN COUNTRIES THERE ARE HELD ANNUALLY WHAT ARE KNOWN AS TRADE FAIRS, AT WHICH PLACES THERE ARE EXHIBITS OF THE MANUFACTURED PRODUCTS OF THE VARIOUS INDUSTRIES OF THOSE COUNTRIES. THESE EXHIBITIONS ARE PUT ON FOR THE PURPOSE OF ATTRACTING TO ONE PLACE A LARGE NUMBER OF BUYERS OF THE ARTICLES EXHIBITED AND MERCHANTS FROM GREAT DISTANCES ATTEND THESE FAIRS AND THEY ARE THE SOURCE OF CONSIDERABLE BUSINESS.

THERE IS TO BE HELD IN LEIPZIG, GERMANY, FROM MARCH 1 TO MARCH 7, A FAIR OF THIS KIND AND THE BUREAU OF FOREIGN AND DOMESTIC COMMERCE WOULD LIKE TO RENT SPACE AT THIS FAIR FOR THE PURPOSE OF ESTABLISHING A TEMPORARY OFFICE IN WHICH THERE WOULD BE PLACED CATALOGUES, TRADE LITERATURE, PRICE LISTS, DIRECTORIES, AND OTHER MATERIAL DESCRIPTIVE OF AMERICAN PRODUCTS. THERE WOULD, OF COURSE, BE DISPLAYED CHARTS AND GRAPHS APPROPRIATE FOR THE OCCASION AND EVERY EFFORT MADE TO INDUCE FOREIGN BUYERS VISITING THE EXHIBIT TO BUY THE PRODUCTS MANUFACTURED IN THE UNITED STATES AS WELL AS TO TALK TO THEM ABOUT POTENTIAL AGENCIES FOR REPRESENTATIONS IN THEIR COUNTRY FOR THE SALE OF AMERICAN GOODS. REPRESENTATIVES OF THE BUREAU OF FOREIGN AND DOMESTIC COMMERCE HAVE IN PREVIOUS YEARS VISITED THESE FAIRS AND CONTACTED WITH THE FOREIGN BUYERS, BUT THEY FEEL THAT A REAL GOOD TRADE-PROMOTION JOB COULD BE DONE IF THEY COULD BE ON THE GROUND AND BE EQUIPPED WITH THE ABOVE-MENTIONED MATERIAL, WHICH WILL ENABLE THEM TO MAKE SATISFACTORY DEMONSTRATIONS TO THE POTENTIAL BUYERS BY REFERENCE TO PHOTOGRAPHS AND DESCRIPTIONS OF ARTICLES SHOWN IN THE CATALOGUES AND OTHER MATERIAL.

IT WOULD BE THE PURPOSE OF THE BUREAU OF FOREIGN AND DOMESTIC COMMERCE TO HAVE REPRESENTATION AT THIS FAIR BY SENDING EMPLOYEES FROM BOTH THEIR BERLIN AND PARIS OFFICES. IN ORDER TO PARTICIPATE IN THIS FAIR IT WOULD BE NECESSARY FOR THAT BUREAU TO RENT SPACE FOR THE TEMPORARY OFFICE AS WELL AS TO SPEND SEVERAL HUNDRED DOLLARS FOR RENTAL OF FURNITURE AND OTHER EQUIPMENT NECESSARY FOR THE PURPOSE OF MAKING A SHOWING. THE EXPENSE IN CONNECTION WITH THIS PROJECT WOULD BE PAID FROM THE APPROPRIATION "PROMOTING COMMERCE, EUROPE AND OTHER AREAS.'

THE BUREAU OF FOREIGN AND DOMESTIC COMMERCE HAS NEVER HAD AN EXHIBIT AT OTHER THAN MEETINGS OF TRADE ASSOCIATIONS IN THIS COUNTRY AND THE PURPOSE OF THIS INQUIRY IS TO ASK IF THE FUNDS OF THAT BUREAU ARE AVAILABLE FOR THE PURPOSE OF ESTABLISHING AN EXHIBIT OF THE CHARACTER OUTLINED ABOVE AT THE FAIR TO BE HELD IN LEIPZIG, GERMANY, FROM MARCH 1TO MARCH 7, 1931.

THE SPECIFIC AUTHORITY MAKING THE APPROPRIATION OF THE BUREAU OF FOREIGN AND DOMESTIC COMMERCE AVAILABLE FOR ATTENDANCE AT MEETINGS, ETC., WAS EVIDENTLY INSERTED TO OVERCOME THE PROHIBITION IN SECTION 8 OF THE ACT OF JUNE 26, 1912, 37 STAT. 184, AGAINST THE USE OF APPROPRIATED FUNDS FOR EXPENSES OF ATTENDANCE AT ANY MEETING OR CONVENTION OF ANY SOCIETY OR ASSOCIATION, UNLESS SUCH EXPENSES ARE PROVIDED FOR IN EXPRESS TERMS IN SOME GENERAL APPROPRIATION OR BY THE SPECIFIC APPROPRIATION THEREFOR.

PARTICIPATION IN FAIRS BY A GOVERNMENT AGENCY IS NOT AUTHORIZED AS A GENERAL PROPOSITION UNLESS SPECIFICALLY PROVIDED FOR BY STATUTE. 2 COMP. GEN. 582. WHERE, HOWEVER, PARTICIPATION IN THE FAIRS IS DIRECTLY CONNECTED WITH, AND IN FURTHERANCE OF, THE PURPOSES FOR WHICH A PARTICULAR APPROPRIATION IS MADE AND IT HAS BEEN SO ADMINISTRATIVELY DETERMINED, THE PARTICULAR APPROPRIATION MAY BE USED THEREFOR. 4 COMP. GEN. 457; 7 ID. 357. THE APPROPRIATION FOR PROMOTING COMMERCE WITH EUROPE AND OTHER AREAS, ACT OF APRIL 18, 1930, 46 STAT. 195, PROVIDES FOR "INVESTIGATIONS IN EUROPE AND OTHER AREAS FOR THE PROMOTION AND DEVELOPMENT OF THE FOREIGN COMMERCE OF THE UNITED STATES, $900,000.' IF IT BE ADMINISTRATIVELY DETERMINED THAT THE EXPENDITURE FOR OFFICE RENT AND RENTAL OF FURNITURE AND OTHER EQUIPMENT FOR THE PURPOSE OF MAKING AN EXHIBIT AT TRADE FAIRS IN EUROPE WILL MATERIALLY AID IN THE PROMOTION AND DEVELOPMENT OF FOREIGN COMMERCE OF THE UNITED STATES, THE APPROPRIATION REFERRED TO WILL BE AVAILABLE THEREFOR.