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UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
Having General Applicability and Legal Effect
in Force June 1, 1938
Published by the Division of the Federal Register, the National
Act as Amended June 19, 1937
TITLE 1-GENERAL PROVISIONS
TITLE 2—THE CONGRESS
TITLE 3—THE PRESIDENT
TITLE 6-AGRICULTURAL CREDIT
GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE
Additional copies of this volume may be procured from the Superintendent of Documents,
Government Printing Office, Washington, D. C.
AUTHORITY AND GENERAL ORGANIZATION
The following list shows the titles appearing in the various
43~Public Lands: Interior
Title 44—Public Property and Works
Title 18—Conservation of Power
19 Customs Duties
21-Food and Drugs
48–Territories and Insular Pos-
Title 22—Foreign Relations
VOLUME 14 (2 Books)
Title 49—Transportation and Railroads
LEGISLATIVE AND ADMINISTRATIVE BACKGROUND
Historical Poreword The legislation which brought about the establishment of the Federal Register also laid the foundation for the Code of Federal RegulationsPrior to the Federal Register Act of July 26, 1935 (49 Stat, 500; 44 C.S.C., Sup. II, 301-314) and the publication of the Federal Register beginning with the issue of March 14, 1936, there were no facilities within the executive branch of the Federal Government for the central filing and publication of all the various Presi. dential proclamations, Executive orders, administrative rules, regulations, and similar documents which have general applicability and the force of law, The lack of such facilities made it extremely difficult and sometimes impossible for interested parties, official and private alike, to inform themselves concerning the rules, regulations, and other documents which implement, interpret, or apply many Federal statutes,
The establishment of an office for the central publication of Federal administrative regulations had long been advocated. The United States was the only important Nation without an official gazette fulfilling this function, Great Britain, France, Germany, Australia, Ireland, Canada, New Zealand, South Africa, and most of the Latin American countries supported systematic publications which made available and accessible the records of the acts of their executive authorities. At the direction of President Franklin D. Roosevelt, who had advocated such a reform since 1914, an official committee, under the chairmanship of the then Assistant Secretary of Commerce, studied the subject in detail from 1933 to 1935. In 1934 the American Bar Association adopted a recommendation that
Rules, regulations, and other exercises of legislative power by executive or administrative officials should be made easily and readily available at some central office, and, with appropriate provision for emergency cases, should be subJected to certain requirements by way of registration and publication as prerequisite to their going into force and effect. The argument of an important constitutional ? case in the Supreme Court of the United States in the fall of 1934, in which the Assistant Attorney General representing the Government disclosed to the Court his discovery that the parties had proceeded in the lower courts in ignorance of the technical, though inadvertent, revocation of the regulation upon which the case rested, served to high-light the need for systematic publication of administrative regulations and called forth renewed pleas for a remedy.?
The Federal Register Act, “to provide for the custody of Federal proclamations, orders, regulations, notices, and other documents, and for the prompt and uniform printing and distribution thereof,” was the direct result of these suggestions.
Under the provisions of this Act, the Archivist of the United States. acting through tivision established by him in The National Archives (Division of ile Federal Register) was charged with the custody and,
Panama Refining Co. v. Ryan, 293 C. S. 388; see Selected Papers of Homer Oummings, Swisher w., 1989, pp. 123–124.
shes (Griswold - invernment in Ignorance of Law-A Plea for Better PublicaMen op Exotive Legislation", 48 Harv. L. Rev. 198.
together with the Public Printer, with the prompt and uniform printing and distribution of the documents coming within the purview of the Act. These provisions included the appointment of the Director of the Division of the Federal Register by the President to act under the general direction of the Archivist of the United States in carrying out the provisions of the Act and the regulations prescribed thereunder. The Act further provided for the appointment of a permanent administrative committee of three members consisting of the Archivist, or Acting Archivist as Chairman, an officer of the Department of Justice designated by the Attorney General, and the Public Printer or Acting Public Printer. The Director of the Division of the Federal Register
was designated as Secretary of the Committee. This Committee was required to prescribe, with the approval of the President, regulations for carrying out the provisions of this Act.
Section 11 of the Act required each executive agency to prepare and file with the Administrative Committee of the Federal Register a complete compilation of all documents which had been issued or promulgated prior to the date documents were required or authorized to be published in the FEDERAL REGISTER. These compilations were to consist only of the documents which were still in force and effect and relied upon by the submitting agency as authority for, or invoked or used by it in the discharge of, any of its functions or activities. The Administrative Committee was required to report with respect to the documents to the President, who was to determine which of such documents had general applicability and legal effect and to authorize the publication thereof in a special or supplemental edition of the FEDERAL REGISTER. The intent of section 11 was to constitute the Division of the Federal Register, The National Archives, the central agency for the filing and publication, not only of current administrative documents, but also of a basic publication containing all similar documents presently in force and effect which had been issued prior to the establishment of the FEDERAL REGISTER. A study of the problems involved and examination of the compilations submitted by the various agencies pursuant to section 11 revealed that mere compilations of documents were almost unusable because of their bulk and lack of uniformity. Further administrative and legislative study of the problems involved led to the Act approved June 19, 1937, which amended section 11 of the Federal Register Act to provide for a codification rather than a compilation of all existing regulations of the type contemplated by the Act. The amended section 11 provides as follows:
(a) On July 1, 1938, and on the same date of every fifth year thereafter, each agency of the Government shall have prepared and shall file with the Administrative Committee a complete codification of all documents which, in the opinion of the agency, have general applicability and legal effect and which have been issued or promulgated by such agency and are in force and effect and relied upon by the agency as authority for, or invoked or used by it in the discharge of, any of its functions or activities on June 1, 1938. The Committee shall, within ninety days thereafter, report thereon to the President, who may authorize and direct the publication of such codification in special or supplemental editions of the Federal Register.
(b) There is hereby established a Codification Board, which shall consist of six members: The Director of the Division of the Federal Register, chairman ex officio; three attorneys of the Department of Justice, designated by the Attorney General; and two attorneys of the Division of the Federal Register,