B-22062, DECEMBER 4, 1941, 21 COMP. GEN. 524

B-22062: Dec 4, 1941

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" IT IS CONTEMPLATED THAT EDUCATIONAL MATERIAL BE DISTRIBUTED FREE OF CHARGE IN THE OTHER AMERICAN REPUBLICS AND THE UNITED STATES. AM OF THE OPINION THAT THE LANGUAGE IN THE APPROPRIATION ACT IS SUFFICIENTLY BROAD TO COVER THESE ITEMS. THE QUESTION PRESENTED IS UNDERSTOOD TO BE WHETHER THE WORD "PUBLICATIONS" AS USED IN THE ACT OF JULY 3. AUTHORIZING YOU TO MAKE "FREE DISTRIBUTION OF PUBLICATIONS" IS SUFFICIENTLY BROAD TO AUTHORIZE THE FREE DISTRIBUTION OF "PHONOGRAPH RECORDS. WHEN THE WORD "PUBLICATION" IS USED IN THAT SENSE ITS MEANING IS MUCH NARROWER THAN ITS TECHNICAL OR LEGAL MEANING AS USED IN THE LAW OF LIBEL AND SLANDER. WHEN USED IN THE SENSE IN WHICH IT IS USED IN THE SAID STATUTE.

B-22062, DECEMBER 4, 1941, 21 COMP. GEN. 524

STATUS OF UNMOUNTED ART REPRODUCTIONS, PHONOGRAPH RECORDS, ETC., AS "PUBLICATIONS" THE TERM "PUBLICATIONS" AS USED IN THE APPROPRIATION ACT OF JULY 3, 1941, FOR THE OFFICE FOR EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT, AUTHORIZING THE "FREE DISTRIBUTION OF PUBLICATIONS" EMBRACES "UNMOUNTED ART REPRODUCTIONS" BUT MAY NOT BE CONSTRUED TO INCLUDE PHONOGRAPH RECORDS, RADIO TRANSCRIPTIONS, OR MOTION PICTURE FILM.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL WARREN TO THE COORDINATOR OF INTER-AMERICAN AFFAIRS, DECEMBER 4, 1941:

THERE HAS BEEN RECEIVED FROM THE ACTING GENERAL COUNSEL, OFFICE OF THE COORDINATOR OF INTER-AMERICAN AFFAIRS, A LETTER OF NOVEMBER 19, 1941, AS FOLLOWS:

IN CARRYING OUT THE PROGRAM OF THIS OFFICE TO "FURTHER THE NATIONAL DEFENSE AND STRENGTHEN THE BONDS BETWEEN THE UNITED STATES AND THE OTHER AMERICAN REPUBLICS," IT IS CONTEMPLATED THAT EDUCATIONAL MATERIAL BE DISTRIBUTED FREE OF CHARGE IN THE OTHER AMERICAN REPUBLICS AND THE UNITED STATES. THE APPROPRIATION FOR THE OFFICE FOR EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT IN THE ACT OF JULY 3, 1941, PUBLIC, NO. 150, 77TH CONGRESS, PROVIDES, INTER ALIA, THAT THE FUNDS ALLOCATED TO THIS OFFICE SHALL BE AVAILABLE FOR "THE FREE DISTRIBUTION OF PUBLICATIONS.'

IN THIS CONNECTION, I DESIRE TO SUBMIT FOR YOUR CONSIDERATION THE QUESTION OF WHETHER THE TERM ,PUBLICATIONS" INCLUDES SUCH ITEMS AS PHONOGRAPH RECORDS, RADIO TRANSCRIPTIONS, GRANT OF MOTION-PICTURE FILM, AND UNMOUNTED ART REPRODUCTIONS, WHICH WOULD BE PRINTS OF GOOD QUALITY. AM OF THE OPINION THAT THE LANGUAGE IN THE APPROPRIATION ACT IS SUFFICIENTLY BROAD TO COVER THESE ITEMS; NEVERTHELESS, I SHOULD LIKE TO SUBMIT THE QUESTION TO YOU FOR DETERMINATION.

THE QUESTION PRESENTED IS UNDERSTOOD TO BE WHETHER THE WORD "PUBLICATIONS" AS USED IN THE ACT OF JULY 3, 1941, PUBLIC LAW 150, 55 STAT. 543, AUTHORIZING YOU TO MAKE "FREE DISTRIBUTION OF PUBLICATIONS" IS SUFFICIENTLY BROAD TO AUTHORIZE THE FREE DISTRIBUTION OF "PHONOGRAPH RECORDS, RADIO TRANSCRIPTIONS, GRANT OF MOTION-PICTURE FILM, AND UNMOUNTED ART REPRODUCTIONS, WHICH WOULD BE PRINTS OF GOOD QUALITY.'

THE WORD "PUBLICATIONS" AS USED IN THE STATUTE UNDER CONSIDERATION HAS REFERENCE NOT TO AN ACT BUT TO TANGIBLE THINGS WHICH MAY BE DISTRIBUTED; AND WHEN THE WORD "PUBLICATION" IS USED IN THAT SENSE ITS MEANING IS MUCH NARROWER THAN ITS TECHNICAL OR LEGAL MEANING AS USED IN THE LAW OF LIBEL AND SLANDER, ETC. WHEN USED IN THE SENSE IN WHICH IT IS USED IN THE SAID STATUTE, IT HAS BEEN HELD TO REFER TO A BOOK OR PRINT (50 CORPUS JURIS 870); TO "BOOKS, PAMPHLETS, PICTURES, PRINTS, AND PAPERS" ( UNITED STATES V. LOFTIS, 12 FED. 671); TO "BOOKS, PAMPHLETS, CIRCULARS, PAPERS, ETC.' ( UNITED STATES V. HUGGETT, 40 FED. 636); TO A "BOOK, PAMPHLET, PICTURE, WRITING, PRINT" ( UNITED STATES V. CHASE, 135 U.S. 255); AND TO "BOOKS, PAMPHLETS, TRACTS, NEWSPAPERS, AND MAGAZINES" ( WORDS AND PHRASES, PERMANENT EDITION, VOL. 35, P. 40). ALSO, THE WORD HAS BEEN DEFINED AS " THAT WHICH IS PUBLISHED; ANY PRINTED WORK PLACED ON SALE OR OTHERWISE DISTRIBUTED OR OFFERED FOR DISTRIBUTION" ( FUNK AND WAGNALLS NEW STANDARD DICTIONARY). WITH THE EXCEPTION OF "UNMOUNTED ART REPRODUCTIONS" IT APPEARS CLEAR THAT THE ITEMS MENTIONED IN THE ABOVE-QUOTED LETTER, I.E., PHONOGRAPH RECORDS, RADIO TRANSCRIPTIONS, AND MOTION-PICTURE FILM, DO NOT COME WITHIN THOSE DEFINITIONS OF THE WORD "PUBLICATIONS" AND I DO NOT FIND THAT THE WORD, AS USED IN THE SENSE IN WHICH IT IS HERE CONSIDERED, HAS RECEIVED A CONSTRUCTION SUFFICIENTLY BROAD TO INCLUDE SUCH ITEMS. LIKEWISE, NOTHING HAS BEEN FOUND IN THE LEGISLATIVE HISTORY OF THE ACT INVOLVED WHICH WOULD JUSTIFY SUCH A CONSTRUCTION OF THE WORD.

ACCORDINGLY, IT MUST BE HELD THAT THE AUTHORITY CONTAINED IN THE ACT OF JULY 3, 1941, SUPRA, TO MAKE "FREE DISTRIBUTION OF PUBLICATIONS," MAY NOT BE CONSTRUED TO AUTHORIZE THE FREE DISTRIBUTION OF "PHONOGRAPH RECORDS," "RADIO TRANSCRIPTIONS," OR "MOTION-PICTURE FILM.'