B-5229, AUGUST 12, 1939, 19 COMP. GEN. 196

B-5229: Aug 12, 1939

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ARE TO BE GIVEN A SPECIAL MEANING. THE SAID APPROPRIATION IS NOT AVAILABLE FOR THE PURCHASE OF WORKS OF STANDARD LITERATURE AND FICTION FOR THE LIBRARIES OF THE OFFICIAL RESIDENCES OF THE SAID REPRESENTATIVE. 1939: I HAVE YOUR LETTER OF JULY 26. PURSUANT TO THE ABOVE AUTHORITY CONSTRUCTION OF A RESIDENCE FOR THE HIGH COMMISSIONER IN MANILA AND A SUMMER RESIDENCE IN BAGUIO IS NOW UNDER WAY AND THE HIGH COMMISSIONER IS PROCEEDING WITH THE PURCHASE OF FURNISHINGS AND EQUIPMENT. THIS DEPARTMENT HAS RECEIVED FROM HIM BY RADIO A REQUEST FOR INFORMATION AS TO WHETHER IT IS CONSIDERED THAT THE PURCHASE OF STANDARD LITERATURE AND FICTION FOR THE LIBRARIES OF THESE TWO RESIDENCES WOULD BE CONSIDERED AS APPROPRIATE EXPENDITURE UNDER THE ABOVE AUTHORITY.

B-5229, AUGUST 12, 1939, 19 COMP. GEN. 196

WORDS AND PHRASES - "FURNITURE" AND "FURNISHINGS" - NON INCLUSIVE OF BOOKS - PURCHASES FOR OFFICIAL RESIDENCES OF UNITED STATES REPRESENTATIVE IN THE PHILIPPINES LEGALLY DEFINED, THE TERMS "FURNITURE" AND "FURNISHINGS" DO NOT INCLUDE BOOKS GENERALLY OR LIBRARIES OF BOOKS, AND, IN THE ABSENCE OF EVIDENCE THAT THOSE WORDS AS USED IN THE APPROPRIATION ACT FOR THE " CONSTRUCTION OF BUILDINGS FOR UNITED STATES REPRESENTATIVE IN THE PHILIPPINE LANDS," 49 STAT. 595, AND THE GENERAL AUTHORIZING ACT OF JUNE 24, 1935, 49 STAT. 394, ARE TO BE GIVEN A SPECIAL MEANING, THE SAID APPROPRIATION IS NOT AVAILABLE FOR THE PURCHASE OF WORKS OF STANDARD LITERATURE AND FICTION FOR THE LIBRARIES OF THE OFFICIAL RESIDENCES OF THE SAID REPRESENTATIVE.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL BROWN TO THE SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR, AUGUST 12, 1939:

I HAVE YOUR LETTER OF JULY 26, 1939, AS FOLLOWS:

THE SECONDARY DEFICIENCY APPROPRIATION ACT, FISCAL YEAR 1935 ( PUBLIC, NO. 260, 74TH CONGRESS, APPROVED AUGUST 12, 1935), UNDER WAR DEPARTMENT NONMILITARY ACTIVITIES, CONTAINS THE FOLLOWING PROVISION:

"CONSTRUCTION OF BUILDINGS FOR UNITED STATES REPRESENTATIVE IN THE PHILIPPINE ISLANDS: FOR THE NECESSARY HOUSING FOR OFFICE AND RESIDENCE PURPOSES FOR THE ESTABLISHMENT OF THE UNITED STATES REPRESENTATIVE IN THE PHILIPPINE ISLANDS, INCLUDING THE ACQUISITION OF LAND, THE PURCHASE, CONSTRUCTION, AND RECONSTRUCTION OF BUILDINGS, AND THE PROCUREMENT OF FURNITURE, FURNISHINGS, AND EQUIPMENT, AS AUTHORIZED BY THE ACT APPROVED JUNE 24, 1935, TO REMAIN AVAILABLE UNTIL EXPENDED, $750,000.'

PURSUANT TO THE ABOVE AUTHORITY CONSTRUCTION OF A RESIDENCE FOR THE HIGH COMMISSIONER IN MANILA AND A SUMMER RESIDENCE IN BAGUIO IS NOW UNDER WAY AND THE HIGH COMMISSIONER IS PROCEEDING WITH THE PURCHASE OF FURNISHINGS AND EQUIPMENT. THIS DEPARTMENT HAS RECEIVED FROM HIM BY RADIO A REQUEST FOR INFORMATION AS TO WHETHER IT IS CONSIDERED THAT THE PURCHASE OF STANDARD LITERATURE AND FICTION FOR THE LIBRARIES OF THESE TWO RESIDENCES WOULD BE CONSIDERED AS APPROPRIATE EXPENDITURE UNDER THE ABOVE AUTHORITY.

I WOULD APPRECIATE YOUR OPINION ON THIS POINT IN ORDER THAT APPROPRIATE INSTRUCTIONS MAY BE TRANSMITTED TO THE HIGH COMMISSIONER FOR HIS GUIDANCE.

AS A MATTER OF LEGAL DEFINITION THE TERMS "FURNITURE" AND "FURNISHINGS" DO NOT INCLUDE BOOKS GENERALLY OR LIBRARIES OF BOOKS. SEE 27 C.J. 932-3; 2 BOUVIER 1326 (1914). WHILE, OF COURSE, WORDS AS USED IN A STATUTE MAY HAVE A SPECIAL MEANING TO BE DERIVED FROM ALL THE CIRCUMSTANCES (1 COMP. GEN. 372, 373), NO EVIDENCE HAS BEEN SUBMITTED TO INDICATE THAT THOSE WORDS AS USED IN THE APPROPRIATION ACT HERE INVOLVED, OR IN THE ACT OF JUNE 24, 1935, 49 STAT. 394, WERE INTENDED TO COVER ANY ITEMS OTHER THAN THOSE ORDINARILY INCLUDED IN THE MEANING OF SUCH TERMS. ACCORDINGLY, IT MUST BE HELD THAT THE APPROPRIATION REFERRED TO IS NOT AVAILABLE FOR THE PURCHASE OF WORKS OF STANDARD LITERATURE AND FICTION FOR THE LIBRARIES OF THE OFFICIAL RESIDENCES OF THE UNITED STATES REPRESENTATIVE IN THE PHILIPPINE ISLANDS.