B-141203, DECEMBER 30, 1959, 39 COMP. GEN. 485

B-141203: Dec 30, 1959

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WHICH HAVE LONG BEEN THE SUBJECT OF SPECIAL LEGISLATION. 1959: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF NOVEMBER 6. WHEN THE SERVICES REQUIRED CAN BE PROCURED FROM COMMON CARRIERS LAWFULLY OPERATING IN THE TERRITORY WHERE THE SERVICES ARE TO BE PERFORMED. IT IS STATED IN YOUR LETTER THAT THE EXTENSIVE NETWORK OF LOCAL AND REGIONAL MOTOR COMMON CARRIER OPERATIONS WHICH HAVE DEVELOPED OVER THE PAST DECADE OPEN UP MANY OPPORTUNITIES FOR ADVANTAGEOUS MAIL TRANSPORTATION CONTRACTS ON AN AREA CONCEPT WHICH THE DEPARTMENT DESIRES TO UTILIZE TO THE FULLEST POSSIBLE EXTENT IN THE INTEREST OF AN IMPROVED POSTAL SERVICE TO THE PUBLIC. YOU INDICATE THAT A LOGICAL APPROACH TO THIS END IS FOR THE DEPARTMENT TO ENTER INTO MAIL TRANSPORTATION CONTRACTS PROVIDING FOR THE USE OF A COMMON CARRIER BY MOTOR VEHICLE WITHIN THE TERRITORY IT SERVES ON AN "AS AND WHEN NEEDED" BASIS.

B-141203, DECEMBER 30, 1959, 39 COMP. GEN. 485

STAR ROUTE CONTRACTS - ADVERTISING - TRANSPORTATION SERVICE EXEMPTION CONTRACTS FOR TRANSPORTATION OF MAIL BY MOTOR CARRIERS (STAR ROUTE CONTRACTS), WHICH HAVE LONG BEEN THE SUBJECT OF SPECIAL LEGISLATION, WHICH REQUIRED SUCH CONTRACTS TO BE AWARDED AFTER ADVERTISING MAY NOT NOW BE CONSIDERED CONTRACTS FOR TRANSPORTATION SERVICES UNDER SECTION 321 (A), TRANSPORTATION ACT OF 1940, 49 U.S.C. 65 (A), WHICH PERMITS THE AWARD OF CONTRACTS FOR TRANSPORTATION OF HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS AND GOVERNMENT PROPERTY AND SUPPLIES WITHOUT ADVERTISING, AND THE COVERAGE OF MAIL TRANSPORTATION CONTRACTS UNDER THE GENERAL ADVERTISING STATUTES IN 41 U.S.C. 5 AND THE LIBERALIZATION OF THE ADVERTISING PROCEDURES, PARTICULARLY WITH RESPECT TO THE 60-DAY ADVERTISING REQUIREMENT BY THE ACT OF MAY 1, 1958, MAY NOT BE CONSTRUED TO PERMIT THE NEGOTIATION OF MAIL TRANSPORTATION CONTRACTS WITHOUT ADVERTISING.

TO THE POSTMASTER GENERAL, DECEMBER 30, 1959:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF NOVEMBER 6, 1959, REQUESTING OUR DECISION AS TO WHETHER, IN VIEW OF THE RECENTLY ENACTED PROVISIONS OF P.L. 85-392, APPROVED MAY 1, 1958, 72 STAT. 103-104 (39 U.S.C. 422A AND 422B), WHICH APPARENTLY SUBSTITUTE THE ADVERTISING REQUIREMENTS OF 41 U.S.C. 5 FOR CERTAIN SPECIFIC PROVISIONS OF THE BASIC LAW THERETOFORE GOVERNING THE PROCUREMENT OF SERVICES FOR TRANSPORTING THE MAIL UNDER STAR ROUTE CONTRACTS, SUCH SERVICES MAY NOW BE PROCURED FROM COMMON CARRIERS WITHOUT ADVERTISING, PURSUANT TO THE SECOND PROVISO OF SECTION 321 (A), TITLE III, OF THE TRANSPORTATION ACT OF 1940, P.L. 76-785 APPROVED SEPTEMBER 18, 1940, AS AMENDED, 49 U.S.C. 65 (A), WHEN THE SERVICES REQUIRED CAN BE PROCURED FROM COMMON CARRIERS LAWFULLY OPERATING IN THE TERRITORY WHERE THE SERVICES ARE TO BE PERFORMED.

IT IS STATED IN YOUR LETTER THAT THE EXTENSIVE NETWORK OF LOCAL AND REGIONAL MOTOR COMMON CARRIER OPERATIONS WHICH HAVE DEVELOPED OVER THE PAST DECADE OPEN UP MANY OPPORTUNITIES FOR ADVANTAGEOUS MAIL TRANSPORTATION CONTRACTS ON AN AREA CONCEPT WHICH THE DEPARTMENT DESIRES TO UTILIZE TO THE FULLEST POSSIBLE EXTENT IN THE INTEREST OF AN IMPROVED POSTAL SERVICE TO THE PUBLIC. YOU INDICATE THAT A LOGICAL APPROACH TO THIS END IS FOR THE DEPARTMENT TO ENTER INTO MAIL TRANSPORTATION CONTRACTS PROVIDING FOR THE USE OF A COMMON CARRIER BY MOTOR VEHICLE WITHIN THE TERRITORY IT SERVES ON AN "AS AND WHEN NEEDED" BASIS, AS IT IS IMPRACTICABLE TO PREPARE SPECIFICATIONS FOR ADVERTISEMENTS FOR BIDS COVERING SERVICES OF A COMMON CARRIER ON AN AREA BASIS DUE TO SEASONAL AND OTHER CHANGES FREQUENTLY MADE IN SCHEDULES AND ROUTES DUE TO COMMON CARRIER TRAFFIC REQUIREMENTS; THAT IN ADDITION FREQUENTLY ONLY A SINGLE COMMON CARRIER IS ABLE TO MEET THE DEPARTMENT'S NEEDS FOR AREA COVERAGE.

IT IS ALSO STATED IN YOUR LETTER THAT THE DEPARTMENT HAS A PROBLEM CONCERNING A NUMBER OF STAR ROUTES ON WHICH MAIL IS TRANSPORTED BY COMMON CARRIER BUS COMPANIES UNDER TEMPORARY CONTRACTS; THAT BECAUSE THESE COMPANIES CAN USE A PORTION OF THE BAGGAGE STORAGE SPACE OF THEIR REGULARLY SCHEDULED VEHICLES, THEY CAN AFFORD TO TRANSPORT PREFERENTIAL MAIL AT SUBSTANTIALLY LESS COST THAN A CONTRACTOR WHO IS UNABLE TO COMBINE OTHER BUSINESS WITH THAT OF MAIL TRANSPORTATION. THESE COMPANIES, YOU STATE, FEEL THAT THEY MUST RETAIN CONTROL OVER THEIR SCHEDULES AND, SINCE MAIL IS ONLY A SUBSIDIARY OPERATION, THEY DO NOT BID FOR REGULAR CONTRACTS WHICH REQUIRE TRANSPORTATION ON SCHEDULES SATISFACTORY TO THE DEPARTMENT AND WHICH NORMALLY BIND THE CONTRACTOR TO A TERM OF FOUR YEARS; THAT OTHER CONDITIONS OF REGULAR CONTRACTS ALSO TEND TO DISCOURAGE BIDS FROM BUS COMPANIES, AND THAT, WHILE THE LONG TERM IS NOT SUITABLE FOR BUS LINE OPERATIONS, OTHER BIDDERS ARE ATTRACTED BY THE LONG TERM WITH THE POSSIBILITY OF RENEWAL.

IT IS STATED FURTHER IN YOUR LETTER THAT THE DEPARTMENT HAS BEEN ADVERTISING THESE TRANSPORTATION CONTRACTS YEAR AFTER YEAR, BUT EITHER RECEIVES NO BIDS OR RECEIVES BIDS WHICH ARE SO HIGH AS TO BE UNREASONABLE WHEN COMPARED TO THE PRICE FOR WHICH THE BUS COMPANIES WILL CONTRACT FOR TEMPORARY SERVICE. AS A RESULT, NEW TEMPORARY CONTRACTS ARE MADE WITH BUS COMPANIES RATHER THAN REGULAR CONTRACTS, WHICH ACTION YOU STATE MAY LEAD TO EXPENSE OR INCONVENIENCE TO PERSONS DESIRING TO BID ON THE CONTRACTS WITH NO COMPENSATING ADVANTAGE TO THE GOVERNMENT. AS ILLUSTRATIVE OF THIS SITUATION COPIES WERE FORWARDED WITH YOUR LETTER OF CORRESPONDENCE RELATIVE TO THE REJECTION OF A LOW BID RECEIVED FROM A STAR ROUTE CONTRACTOR, AND THE AWARD AND SUBSEQUENT RENEWALS OF A TEMPORARY CONTRACT TO A BUS COMPANY FOR THE SERVICE AT A SUBSTANTIAL SAVINGS IN COST. YOU SUGGEST THAT THE BEST SOLUTION TO THE DILEMMA POSED BY THESE CIRCUMSTANCES WOULD BE TO OBTAIN SERVICES IN THE MANNER PRESCRIBED BY SECTION 321 (A), TITLE III, OF THE TRANSPORTATION ACT OF 1940, 49 U.S.C. 65 (A), WHICH PROVIDES, AS FOLLOWS:

NOTWITHSTANDING ANY OTHER PROVISION OF LAW, BUT SUBJECT TO THE PROVISIONS OF SECTIONS 1 (7) AND 22 OF THIS TITLE, THE FULL APPLICABLE COMMERCIAL RATES, FARES, OR CHARGES SHALL BE PAID FOR TRANSPORTATION BY ANY COMMON CARRIER SUBJECT TO CHAPTERS 1, 8, 12, AND 13 OF THIS TITLE OF ANY PERSONS OR PROPERTY FOR THE UNITED STATES, OR ON ITS BEHALF, AND THE RATE DETERMINED BY THE INTERSTATE COMMERCE COMMISSION AS REASONABLE THEREFOR SHALL BE PAID FOR THE TRANSPORTATION BY RAILROAD OF THE UNITED STATES MAIL: PROVIDED, HOWEVER, THAT ANY CARRIER BY RAILROAD AND THE UNITED STATES MAY ENTER INTO CONTRACTS FOR THE TRANSPORTATION OF THE UNITED STATES MAIL FOR LESS THAN SUCH RATE: PROVIDED FURTHER, THAT SECTION 5 OF TITLE 41, SHALL NOT AFTER SEPTEMBER 18, 1940, BE CONSTRUED AS REQUIRING ADVERTISING FOR BIDS IN CONNECTION WITH THE PROCUREMENT OF TRANSPORTATION SERVICES WHEN THE SERVICES REQUIRED CAN BE PROCURED FROM ANY COMMON CARRIER LAWFULLY OPERATING IN THE TERRITORY WHERE SUCH SERVICES ARE TO BE PERFORMED.

IN SUPPORT OF THE SUGGESTED SOLUTION, YOU POINT OUT THAT THE PROVISIONS OF THE FORMER LAW, I.E., 39 U.S.C. 421 ( ACT OF MARCH 1, 1881, 21 STAT. 374; ACT OF MAY 12, 1910, 36 STAT. 366) WHICH REQUIRED THE POSTMASTER GENERAL TO ADVERTISE "ALL GENERAL MAIL LETTINGS," AND 39 U.S.C. 422 ( ACT OF JULY 26, 1892, 27 STAT. 268) WHICH REQUIRED ADVERTISEMENT FOR SERVICES REQUIRED BETWEEN THE TIME OF A GENERAL MAIL LETTING AND THE NEXT SUCCEEDING GENERAL ADVERTISEMENT,"HAVE BEEN THE GENERAL BASIS FOR ADVERTISING FOR BIDS FOR COMPETITIVE SERVICE; " THAT THE PROVISIONS OF 39 U.S.C. 434 PROVIDING FOR TEMPORARY CONTRACTS ARE NOT MATERIAL TO THE FACTS AND CIRCUMSTANCES SUBMITTED; AND THAT, IN VIEW OF OTHER SPECIAL STATUTES YOUR INQUIRY DOES NOT RELATE TO CONTRACTS FOR AIR, RAIL, HIGHWAY POST OFFICE, STEAMSHIP SERVICE, ETC.

REFERENCE IS MADE IN YOUR LETTER TO THE RECENT CHANGES IN THE LAW PURSUANT TO THE ACT OF MAY 1, 1958, THE PERTINENT PROVISIONS OF WHICH ARE QUOTED BELOW, WHEREBY THE BASIC ADVERTISING REQUIREMENTS OF SECTIONS 39 U.S.C. 421 AND 39 U.S.C. 422 WERE SPECIFICALLY REPEALED AND THE ADVERTISING REQUIREMENTS OF 41 U.S.C. 5 WERE ADOPTED FOR THE PROCUREMENT OF MAIL TRANSPORTATION SERVICES, AS NOW SET OUT IN 39 U.S.C. 422A AND 422B, WHICH SPECIFICALLY EXCLUDE, HOWEVER, CONTRACTS FOR THE TRANSPORTATION OF MAIL BY MESSENGERS UNDER 39 U.S.C. 578, BY HIGHWAY POST OFFICE SERVICE UNDER 39 U.S.C. 1052, AND BY STEAMSHIPS UNDER 39 U.S.C. 449, AS FOLLOWS:

SEC. 2. WHEN ADVERTISING IS REQUIRED UNDER SECTION 3709 OF THE REVISED STATUTES (41 U.S.C. 5) OR ANY OTHER LAW, THE POSTMASTER GENERAL SHALL ADVERTISE, FOR A PERIOD OF NOT LESS THAN 30 DAYS, FOR BIDS FOR A CONTRACT FOR TRANSPORTING THE MAILS, UNLESS HE SHALL PUBLISH WITH THE ADVERTISEMENT A FINDING THAT THE PUBLIC EXIGENCIES SURROUNDING THE PARTICULAR CONTRACT REQUIRE A SHORTER PERIOD. THE ADVERTISEMENT SHALL BE CONSPICUOUSLY POSTED IN EACH POST OFFICE TO BE SERVED UNDER THE CONTRACT.

SEC. 3. THE FOLLOWING PROVISIONS OF LAW ARE HEREBY REPEALED:

(1) THE PARAGRAPH RELATING TO THE ADVERTISEMENT OF MAIL LETTINGS UNDER THE HEADING " OFFICE OF THE FOURTH ASSISTANT POSTMASTER- GENERAL," CONTAINED IN THE ACT OF MAY 12, 1910 (36 STAT. 366; 39 U.S.C. 421); AND

(2) THE FIRST SECTION OF THE ACT OF JULY 26, 1892 (27 STAT. 268), AS AMENDED (54 STAT. 228; 39 U.S.C. 422).

SEC. 4. THIS ACT SHALL NOT APPLY TO CONTRACTS FOR THE TRANSPORTATION OF MAIL---

(1) BY MAIL MESSENGERS UNDER THE ACT OF MARCH 3, 1887, AS AMENDED (24 STAT. 492, 68 STAT. 116; 39 U.S.C. 578),

(2) BY HIGHWAY POST OFFICE SERVICE UNDER THE HIGHWAY POST OFFICE SERVICE ACT OF 1955 (70 STAT. 781; PUBLIC LAW 862, EIGHTY-FOURTH CONGRESS; 39 U.S.C. 1051-1056), AND

(3) BY STEAMSHIPS UNDER SECTION 5 OF THE ACT OF MAY 17, 1878 (20 STAT. 62; 39 U.S.C. 449).

YOU ALSO POINT OUT THAT SUBSEQUENT TO THE ACT OF MAY 1, 1958, 41 U.S.C. 5 WAS AMENDED "IN AUGUST, 1958, ( SECTION 7, P.L. 85-800, APPROVED AUGUST 28, 1958, 72 STAT. 967) WITHOUT ANY EXCEPTIONS WITH RESPECT TO THE GENERAL AUTHORITY OF THE POSTMASTER GENERAL TO ENTER INTO CONTRACTS FOR MAIL TRANSPORTATION," WHICH CONGRESSIONAL ACTION YOU URGE "FURTHER CONFIRMS THAT THE POSTMASTER GENERAL IS SUBJECT TO SECTION 5 OF TITLE 41 * * *" AND "* * * ALSO ESTABLISHES THAT THE QUESTION WHETHER CONGRESS INTENDED ANY EXCEPTIONS TO SAID SECTION 5 TO BE APPLICABLE TO THE POSTMASTER GENERAL MUST BE CONSIDERED IN THE LIGHT OF EARLIER STATUTES IN EFFECT ON THAT DATE RATHER THAN AS OF THE DATE OF THE ENACTMENT OF SUCH EARLIER STATUTES.'

THE QUESTION THUS PRESENTED, YOU STATE, IS WHETHER THE EXCEPTION PROVIDED BY THE FINAL PROVISO OF 49 U.S.C. 65 (A) IS LIMITED TO THE PROCUREMENT OF TRANSPORTATION OF PASSENGERS AND PROPERTY OR WHETHER IT ALSO INCLUDES PROCUREMENT OF MAIL TRANSPORTATION. FOLLOWING THE RULE OF STATUTORY INTERPRETATION STATED IN REYNOLDS V. UNITED STATES (1941), 95 C.1CLS. 160, 165, YOU URGE THAT, FROM THE "STANDPOINT OF MAIL TRANSPORTATION," SECTION 65 (A) OF TITLE 49 "MAY BE CONSTRUED TO MEAN THAT, NOTWITHSTANDING ANY OTHER PROVISION OF LAW, RATES FIXED BY THE UNITED STATES MAIL, PROVIDED THAT ANY RAILROAD AND THE GOVERNMENT MAY ENTER INTO CONTRACTS FOR THE TRANSPORTATION OF MAIL AT LESS THAN I.C.C. RATES, AND PROVIDED FURTHER THAT THE ADVERTISING REQUIREMENTS OF SEC. 5 OF TITLE 41 SHALL NOT BE CONSTRUED AS REQUIRING BIDS IN CONNECTION WITH ANY MAIL TRANSPORTATION SERVICES WHICH THE GOVERNMENT CAN PROCURE FROM ANY COMMON CARRIER LAWFULLY OPERATING IN THE TERRITORY WHERE THE SERVICES ARE TO BE PERFORMED.' IT IS YOUR STATED CONCLUSION, ON THE BASIS OF THIS CONSTRUCTION, THAT SINCE THE POSTMASTER GENERAL IS NOW CLEARLY SUBJECT TO THE ADVERTISING REQUIREMENTS OF SECTION 5 OF TITLE 41 HE MUST ALSO BE SUBJECT TO THE EXCEPTION THERETO IN RESPECT TO OBTAINING CONTRACTS WITHOUT ADVERTISING OVER THE ROUTES OF COMMON CARRIERS UNDER SECTION 65 (A) OF TITLE 49, AND, FURTHER, THAT SINCE THERE ARE NO "COMMON CARRIERS OF MAIL" THE EXCEPTION IN SECTION 65 (A) "MUST BE INTERPRETED TO MEAN THAT THE POSTMASTER GENERAL'S AUTHORITY TO CONTRACT WITHOUT ADVERTISING FOR SERVICE OVER THE ROUTES OF COMMON CARRIERS REFERS TO AUTHORITY TO CONTRACT FOR MAIL TRANSPORTATION SERVICES WITH ANY COMMON CARRIER OF PERSONS OR PROPERTY.'

WE CONCUR WITH YOUR VIEW THAT PURSUANT TO THE PROVISIONS OF THE ACT OF MAY 1, 1958, THE ADVERTISING REQUIREMENTS FORMERLY GOVERNED BY SECTIONS 421 AND 422 OF TITLE 39 OF THE CODE HAVE BEEN SUPERSEDED BY THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 5 OF TITLE 41, BUT INASMUCH AS THE ACT OF AUGUST 28, 1958, MADE NO SUBSTANTIVE CHANGES IN THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 5 OTHER THAN TO RAISE THE MAXIMUM LIMITATION SPECIFIED IN EXCEPTION (1) FROM $500 TO $2,500, WE DO NOT BELIEVE THE FACT THAT THE AUGUST 28, 1958, ACT WAS APPROVED SOME FOUR MONTHS SUBSEQUENT TO THE PASSAGE OF THE ACT OF MAY 1, 1958, MAY BE ACCORDED THE SIGNIFICANCE OR DETERMINATIVE EFFECT YOU PROPOSE, NOR DO WE AGREE WITH YOUR CONSTRUCTION OF THE EXCEPTION PROVIDED BY SECTION 65 (A) OF TITLE 49.

IN THE CONSTRUCTION OF STATUTES THE COURTS FREQUENTLY HAVE EXPRESSED THE RULES THAT THE OBJECT DESIGNED TO BE REACHED BY AN ACT AND THE POLICY OF THE LEGISLATION AS A WHOLE MUST LIMIT AND CONTROL THE LITERAL IMPORT OF THE TERMS AND PHRASES EMPLOYED. AS WAS POINTED OUT BY THE COURT OF CLAIMS IN ITS RECENT DECISION OF JULY 16, 1958, RADIO 1TELEVISION TRAINING ASSOCIATION V. UNITED STATES, 163 F.1SUPP. 637, CONSIDERATION OF THE WORDS ALONE OF A STATUTE IS NOT ALWAYS ENOUGH. THEIR CONTEXT, THE PURPOSES OF THE LAW, AND THE CIRCUMSTANCES UNDER WHICH THE WORDS WERE EMPLOYED FREQUENTLY MUST BE CONSIDERED. PUERTO RICO V. SHELL COMPANY (1937), 302 U.S. 253, 258. CF. HOLY TRINITY CHURCH V. UNITED 143 U.S. 457; UNITED STATES V. KATZ, 271 U.S. 354; FLEISCHMAN CO. V. UNITED STATES, 270 U.S. 349, 360; UNITED STATES V. DICKERSON, 310 U.S. 554; AND UNITED STATES V. AMERICAN TRUCKING ASSOCIATION, 310 U.S. 534.

AN EXAMINATION OF THE LEGISLATIVE HISTORY OF SECTION 321 (A), TITLE III, OF THE TRANSPORTATION ACT OF 1940, 49 U.S.C. 65 (A), DISCLOSES THAT THE PHILOSOPHY AND PRIME PURPOSE UNDERLYING THE ENACTMENT EMBRACES THE FOLLOWING: (1) RELIEF OF THE RAILROADS BY RELAXING THE LAND-GRANT DEDUCTION REQUIREMENTS; (2) PAYMENT OF BILLS OF COMMON CARRIERS UPON PRESENTATION TO GOVERNMENT AGENCIES PRIOR TO AUDIT BY THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE; AND (3) CLARIFICATION OF THE GENERAL ADVERTISING REQUIREMENTS SO THAT GOVERNMENT AGENCIES WOULD NOT BE REQUIRED TO OBTAIN BIDS FROM COMMON CARRIERS FOR THE SHIPMENT OF HOUSEHOLD GOODS OF GOVERNMENT PERSONNEL AND THE TRANSPORTATION OF SUPPLIES USED FOR GOVERNMENT PURPOSES. IN OTHER WORDS, THE TERM TRANSPORTATION SERVICES AS USED IN THE LAST PROVISO OF SECTION 321 (A) HAS REFERENCE TO HOUSEHOLD GOODS MOVING AND OTHER PROPERTY TRANSPORTATION REQUIREMENTS OF GOVERNMENT AGENCIES COMPARABLE TO PROPERTY PROCUREMENT AND DISTRIBUTION REQUIREMENTS OF INDUSTRIAL AND BUSINESS ENTERPRISES. SEE SENATE REPORT NO. 1795, 76TH CONGRESS, 2D SESSION, ON S. 3974--- A BILL WHICH PROPOSED LANGUAGE ALMOST IDENTICAL TO THAT ULTIMATELY ADOPTED IN SECTION 321 (A), WHERE THE COMMITTEE STATED THAT THE BILL WAS THE RESULT OF RECOMMENDATIONS OF THE HOUSEHOLD GOODS CARRIERS' BUREAU AND OTHER MOTOR CARRIERS FOR HIRE AS REPRESENTED BY THE AMERICAN TRUCKING ASSOCIATIONS AND WOULD CARRY OUT A SUGGESTION MADE BY OUR OFFICE. THUS, IT SEEMS ABUNDANTLY CLEAR THAT THE TRANSPORTATION OF MAIL WAS NOT WITHIN THE PURPOSES OR INTENT OF THE ENACTMENT BUT, AS YOU WERE AWARE, MAIL TRANSPORTATION SERVICES WERE THEN AND NOW ARE COVERED BY SPECIAL LEGISLATION WHICH SETS OUT DETAILED CRITERIA AND REQUIREMENTS WITH RESPECT TO THE MEANS AND METHODS OF ITS DISTRIBUTION AND TRANSPORTATION. MOREOVER, AS WAS STATED IN OUR DECISION OF DECEMBER 15, 1955, REFERRED TO IN YOUR LETTER, THE STAR ROUTE SERVICE HAS BEEN IN OPERATION FOR MORE THAN A CENTURY AND CONGRESS, THROUGHOUT THE YEARS, HAS LEGISLATED SPECIFICALLY FOR THIS PHASE OF THE POSTAL SERVICE. AS EVIDENCE OF THE CONTINUING LEGISLATIVE POLICY IN THIS REGARD, SEE THE REPEAL AND SAVINGS PROVISIONS IN SECTION 602, TITLE VI OF THE FEDERAL PROPERTY AND ADMINISTRATIVE SERVICES ACT OF 1949, 63 STAT. 377, AS AMENDED, RELATING TO THE POSTAL ESTABLISHMENT.

FURTHERMORE, THE LEGISLATIVE HISTORY OF THE ACT OF MAY 1, 1958, AS REFLECTED BY THE HEARINGS BEFORE THE HOUSE COMMITTEE ON POST OFFICE AND CIVIL SERVICE ON H.R. 7906 AND SENATE REPORT NO. 1425, 85TH CONGRESS, ON H.R. 9240, INSOFAR AS MATERIAL TO THE QUESTION PRESENTED BY YOU, DISCLOSES A PURPOSE AND INTENT MERELY TO LIBERALIZE THE ADVERTISING PROCEDURE, PARTICULARLY THE 60-DAY REQUIREMENT APPLICABLE ESPECIALLY TO THE ADVERTISING OF STAR ROUTE CONTRACTS, WHICH WAS MORE RESTRICTIVE THAN THAT PROVIDED BY THE PROVISIONS OF 41 U.S.C. 5. HOWEVER, NOTHING HAS BEEN FOUND TO INDICATE AN INTENTION TO PROVIDE A GENERAL EXCEPTION PERMITTING NEGOTIATION OF STAR ROUTE CONTRACTS WITH COMMON CARRIERS, OR TO ELIMINATE THE OTHER LONG-STANDING STATUTORY REQUIREMENTS APPLICABLE TO STAR ROUTE CONTRACTS SOME OF WHICH WERE CITED IN OUR DECISION OF DECEMBER 15, 1955. IT SEEMS ESPECIALLY SIGNIFICANT THAT AN EXCEPTION OF SUCH BROAD SCOPE AS YOU NOW SUGGEST APPARENTLY WAS NOT EVEN MENTIONED DURING THE LEGISLATIVE DELIBERATIONS. THIS FACT CONSIDERED IN THE LIGHT OF THE LEGISLATIVE HISTORY AND THE GENERAL EXCEPTIONS EXPRESSLY PROVIDED BY SECTION 4 OF THE ACT IS A PERSUASIVE, IF NOT COMPELLING, INDICATION THAT THERE WAS NO INTENTION TO INCLUDE EXCEPTIONS OTHER THAN THOSE STIPULATED. WE, THEREFORE, ARE OF THE OPINION THAT AN EXTENSION BY STATUTORY CONSTRUCTION OF THE EXCEPTION PROVIDED BY THE LAST PROVISO OF 49 U.S.C. 65 (A) TO MAIL TRANSPORTATION SERVICES IS NOT WARRANTED AND THAT IF SUCH AN EXCEPTION IS FOUND NECESSARY OR DESIRABLE AMENDATORY LEGISLATION SHOULD BE OBTAINED.

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