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tariff act of March 3, 1883, under paragraph 645, in the free list of that act, a similar provision was made. No such provision is contained in the free list of the act of October 1, 1890. The omission of such a provision, in view of the previous legislation, would seem to show necessarily the intention of Congress not to exclude from the operation of the act articles imported for the benefit of the United States."

By the tariff act of 1894, par. 385 (28 Stat. 537), articles imported by the United States were again placed upon the free list, but in both the tariff acts of 1897 and 1909, such articles were again omitted therefrom; and the reason assigned by Solictor-General Taft as necessarily showing that it was the intention of Congress that they should not then be imported free of duty, is equally applicable under the present condition of the law, and excludes them from importation without payment of duty. Respectfully,

GEORGE W. WICKERSHAM. The SECRETARY OF THE NAVY.

PUBLIC PRINTER-AUTHORITY TO DISCONTINUE THE

OPERATION OF BRANCH PRINTING OFFICES.

The Public Printer can not discontinue the operation of the branch

printing offices as branch offices, except the specific offices mentioned in the proviso of section 31 of the general printing act of January 12, 1895 (28 Stat. 605), to wit, those in the Weather Bureau and the Record and Pension Division of the War Department, even though he transfers the employees and plants thereof, either in whole or in part, to the Government Printing Office building, and there continues the work hitherto performed in the branch offices.

DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE,

February 6, 1911. Sir: I am in receipt of a letter addressed to you by the Public Printer under date of December 9, 1910, in which he requests my opinion as to whether or not he has legal authority "to transfer the employees, machinery, material, equipment, and supplies constituting any one or more of the branch printing offices, or so many or such part of the same as may be necessary, to the Government Printing Office building, and perform the work hitherto performed in the branch office or offices so transferred, in the Government Printing Office, where such transfer meets with the consent and approval of the head of the Department or Departments for whose convenience said branch office or offices was created, and when in the opinion of the head of the Department or Departments and the Public Printer the transfer tends to promote the best interests of the service, and the work of printing for the Department or Departments would be in no wise retarded."

In connection with this question he refers to my opinion dated March 28, 1910 (28 Op. 232), in which I advised that “ no power is conferred upon the Public Printer, of his own motion, to abolish any branch printing office; nor, with the consent of the Joint Committee on Printing, to abolish any except” the specific offices mentioned in the proviso of section 31 of the general printing act of January 12, 1895 (28 Stat. 601).

In reference to the question now presented, I am of opinion that the Public Printer can not discontinue the operation of the branch printing offices even though he transfers the employees and plants thereof either in whole or in part to the Government Printing Office building, and there continues the work hitherto performed in the branch offices.

The pertinent portion of the general printing act is section 31 (28 Stat. 605), which is quoted in full in my said opinion of March 28, 1910.

That section evidently contemplates the separate existence of departmental offices as branches. For instance, it describes them as "printing offices in the Departments.” and “oflices for Departmental work.” Similarly it provides that “all persons employed in said printing offices and binderies shall be appointed by the Public Printer, and be carried on his pay roll the same as employees in the main office;" and it requires the Public Printer to show "in detail in his annual report the cost of operating each Departmental office.

This view of the purpose of the act is confirmed by the fact that the power in question is specifically granted with reference to the Patent Office work, by a clause in section 73 (28 Stat. 620) providing that the work for this particular office "may be done at the Government Printing Office whenever in the judgment of the Joint Committee on Printing the same would be to the interest of the Government."

The Senate Committee which had charge of the bill, which subsequently became the general printing act above referred to, in their report clearly showed that the purpose of the bill was not to bring about the physical union of the several branches with the Government Printing Office, but merely to place these branches under the supervision of the Government Printer. In discussing section 31, which at that time was designated section 32, the report said (Senate Report 1549, 52d Cong., 1st sess.):

“This section is new. At the present time there are four branch offices, namely, one in the Treasury Department, one in the Interior Department, one in the Navy Department, and one in the State Department, under the control of the Public Printer. These are branch offices of the Government Printing Office. Besides these there are printing establishments in the Post-Office, War, and Agriculturai Departments, one in the Weather Bureau, and one in the Surgeon-General's Office, which are not branch offices, and have been in operation some considerable length of time, without doubt in violation of the law, which reads, "That all printing and binding and blank books for the Senate and House of Representatives and Executive and Judicial Departments shall be done by the Government Printing Office, except in cases otherwise provided by law. It was deemed best by the committee, after a full investigation into the matter and visiting all of the Departments where printing was done, that it would be in the interest of the public service and on the line of economy to place all of these offices under the Public Printer and to denominate them 'branch office of the Government Printing Office, and to provide that all offices hereafter established by law shall be placed under his direction and be under his control. This seems to meet with the approval of the heads of the Executive Departments and of the Public Printer. The heads of the Departments have stated in writing that printing offices in the Departments are necessary, and their existence is in the interest of the public service and on the line of economy.'

A like report was submitted to the Senate in the next Congress by which the bill was eventually passed (Senate Report 574, 53d Cong., 2d sess.).

Finally Congress has itself, since the passage of the general printing act, indicated that Congressional action was necessary to bring about the transfer of the operations of a branch office to the General Printing Office by specially authorizing such transfer in the case of the Census Office. This was done by section 11 of the act of March 6, 1902 (32 Stat. 51, 53).

I am therefore of opinion, as above stated, that the Public Printer has not the authority to discontinue the operation of the branch offices as branch offices, excepting in the case of those in the Weather Bureau and the record and Pension Division of the War Department, which are in terms excepted by section 31 of the general printing act. Very respectfully,

GEORGE W. WICKERSHAM. THE PRESIDENT.

STATE TAX ON AUTOMOBILES PURCHASHED FOR PRESI

DENT.

Automobiles purchased for the President under appropriations made by

Congress are not subject to taxation by a State, nor can the chauffeurs operating said machines be taxed by a State for the privilege of per

forming the duties pertaining to their employment. A State may, however, in order to protect the public against dangers

that might arise from performing the duties of a lawful employment in an unlawful manner, adopt reasonable police regulations which require that certain conditions be complied with before entering upon such occupation, and the fees intended merely to pay the expenses of complying with these requirements may be exacted.

DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE,

February 10, 1911. Sir: I have the honor to acknowledge receipt of your communication of January 31, 1911, in which you inclose copies of acts passed by the legislatures of the States of Maryland and Virginia relative to the operation of automobiles in those States, and you ask my opinion as to the right of a State to impose a tax upon automobiles purchased for your use under appropriations made by act of Congress, and to require the payment of a license fee for chauffeurs operating the same.

These automobiles, as I understand, were purchased under authority of act of Congress and were paid for out of funds appropriated for the contingent expenses of the executive office; and the chauffeurs are employees of the Government, and their services are paid for out of the same appropriation.

As these automobiles are property of the United States, they are not subject to taxation by a State.

McCulloch v. Maryland (4 Wheat. 316).
Osborn v. Bank of United States (9 Wheat. 738).
Bank Tax Case (2 Wall. 200).
Society for Savings v. Coite (6 Wall. 594).
Dobbins v. Commissioners of Erie County (16 Pet. 435).
Railroad Co. v. Peniston (18 Wall. 5).
McGoon v. Scales (9 Wall. 23).
Van Brocklin v. State of Tennessee (117 U. S. 151).

Furthermore, since the chauffeurs are paid out of funds appropriated by the United States, and are under their employment in charge of property belonging to the Government, and are engaged in the performance of services on behalf of the United States, it is equally certain that they can not be taxed by a State for the privilege of performing the duties pertaining to their employment.

But there is another principle which has an important bearing upon the question under consideration, and that is the right of a State under its police power to enact and enforce regulations designed to promote the public welfare.

It does not follow that because one is employed by the United States to perform a service authorized by its laws, and in connection with its property, he is entirely free from state control as to the method by which it shall be performed in a State. If such service is one which may, if done in a reckless and negligent manner, become a menace to the safety of individuals, then the State has the right to

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