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which are promoted by the use of arms or munitions of war procured from the United States, and shall make
proclamation thereof, it shall be unlawful to export except under such limitations and exceptions as the President shall prescribe any arms or munitions of war from any place in the United States to such country until otherwise ordered by the President or by Congress.”
You now inquire whether, under this joint resolution, it is now unlawful to export arms and ammunition from the United States to the Dominican Republic under the President's proclamation of October 14, 1905, notwithstanding the amending of the joint resolution of April 22, 1898.
So far as the subject matter of the proclamation of October 14, 1905, is concerned it falls squarely within the provisions of the amended joint resolution of March 14, 1912, because it prohibits the export of arms and munitions of war, which is precisely what Congress, by the amending resolution, prohibits. It is true that the amending resolution bases the President's power to prohibit such export upon his finding “that in any American country conditions of domestic violence exist which are promoted by the use of arms or munitions of war procured from the United States," whereas by the joint resolution of April 22, 1898, the President is generally authorized, in his discretion, to prohibit such export, and it is not necessary that the exercise of that discretion be predicated upon a finding such as is required by the resolution of March 14, 1912. However, the later resolution does not in any way invalidate the proclamation issued under the authority of the previous resolution, which, by its terms and in accordance with the act of its promulgation, is to continue operative until otherwise ordered by the President or by Congress.
In my opinion, therefore, the prohibition contained in the proclamation of October 14, 1905, is still operative. Respectfully,
GEORGE W. WICKERSHAM.
The SECRETARY OF STATE.
OCEAN MAIL SERVICE-ADVERTISEMENTS-CONTRACTS.
In contracting for the carriage of the mails between ports of the
United States and ports on the Isthmus of Panama, pursuant to the act of March 3, 1891 (26 Stat. 830), the Postmaster General is required to advertise for separate proposals and to make a
separate contract for each separate and distinct line of service. The word “route," as used in section 1 of the above-mentioned
act, means the course or way to be traveled in going from one place to another.
DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE,
April 12, 1912. SIR: I beg to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of the 22d ultimo, requesting my opinion as to your authority under the act of March 3, 1891 (26 Stat. 830), to advertise and contract for certain ocean mail service between ports in the United States and ports on the Isthmus of Panama. Your letter states:
“Advertisements for ocean mail service pursuant to the act of March 3, 1891, on three routes, from Atlantic and Pacific ports to the Isthmus of Panama, were issued by the Department last summer but failed to bring proposals for the desired service. The Department desires to readvertise for the service, somewhat extending the scope of the proposals by adding a service for 14-knot steamers, as follows:
“One route to provide a weekly service in 16-knot steamers to Colon and Panama from New York and New Orleans, and from San Francisco, respectively; the other route to provide a service in 14-knot steamers three or four times a month to Colon and Panama from Boston, Philadelphia, and Baltimore, and from Seattle, respectively.
“ You will note that the service from New York, New Orleans, and San Francisco to the Isthmus, which was previously separated into three routes, would be combined in a single route. This is also true of the service from Boston, Philadelphia, Baltimore, and Seattle. It is thought that an advertisement drawn in this manner would secure bids for the service desired and would obviate difficulties which prevented the Department from receiving bids under the previous advertisement. It is believed that the fact that the successful bidder on either route could perform service from one of the Atlantic ports to Colon, send the ship through the canal to San Francisco or Seattle, and perform service from those ports to Panama on the return voyage would make the operation of the vessels commercially possible, a requisite to the submission of a proposal.
“At the same time it should be noted that while the routes described have different termini in the Republic of Panama, the purpose of the service on both the Atlantic and Pacific side of each route is to provide improved mail and freight connections to Central and South America. As you are aware, Colon and Panama are on the direct route to the north-coast ports of Colombia and to Venezuela, and to west-coast ports of Central and South America, respectively.
The draft of an advertisement for proposals for the desired service, which accompanies your letter, contains the following statements:
Proposals will be received at the Post Office Departnent, Washington, D. C., until 4.30 p. m. October 1, 1912, for ocean mail service pursuant to the act of March 3, 1891, on the routes hereinafter described, service to commence not later than January 1, 1915. The right is reserved to reject all bids.
“ SCHEDULE OF ROUTES.
No. 81, ‘O. M. S. From New York every two weeks, 26 trips a year, calling at Key West, and from New Orleans every two weeks, 26 trips a year, to Colon; also from San Francisco to Panama once each week, 52 trips a year, calling at San Pedro and San Diego, at the election of the Department. Time from New York to Colon not to exceed 6 days and from New Orleans to Colon 4 days, and from San Francisco to Panama 10 days. Contract for 10 years. Bond required with bid $275,000.
“ No. 82, ‘0. M. S. From Boston every 28 days, 13 trips a year, from Philadelphia every 28 days, 13 trips a year, and from Baltimore every 28 days, 13 trips a year, to Colon, calling at least twice a month at Norfolk, Wilmington, Charleston, and Savannah; also from Seattle or Portland about every 10 days, 39 trips a year, to Panama, calling at Astoria, San Francisco, San Pedro, and San Diego, all calls to be made at the election of the Department. Time, Seattle to Panama 16 days, Boston to Colon 64 days, Philadelphia and Baltimore via southern ports 71 days. Contract for 10 years. Bond required with bid $125,000.”
The first section of the act of March 3, 1891 (26 Stat. 830, 831), under which the ocean mail service referred to is sought to be established, provides:
“That the Postmaster General is hereby authorized and empowered to enter into contracts for a term not less than 5 nor more than 10 years in duration, with American citizens, for the carrying of mails on American steamships between ports of the United States and such ports in foreign countries, the Dominion of Canada excepted, as in his judgment will best subserve and promote the postal and commercial interests of the United States, the mail service on such lines to be equitably distributed among the Atlantic, Mexican Gulf, and Pacific ports. Said contracts shall be made with the lowest responsible bidder for the performance of said service on each route, and the Postmaster General shall have the right to reject all bids not in his opinion reasonable for the attaining of the purposes named.”
Section 2 requires that“ before making any contract for carrying ocean mails in accordance with this act the Postmaster General shall give public notice by advertising once a week, for three months, in such daily papers as he shall select in each of the cities of Boston, New York, Philadelphia, Baltimore, New Orleans, St. Louis, Charleston, Norfolk, Savannah, Galveston, and Moblie, and when the proposed service is to be on the Pacific Ocean, then in San Francisco, Tacoma, and Portland.”
That section further provides :
“ Such notice shall describe the route, the time when such contract will be made, the duration of the same, the size of the steamers to be used, the number of trips a year, the times of sailing, and the time when the service shall commence, which shall not be more than three years after the contract shall be let. The details of the mode of advertising and letting such contracts shall be conducted in the manner prescribed in chapter 8 of title 46 of the Revised Statutes for the letting of inland mail contracts so far as the same shall be applicable to the ocean mail service."
Section 3 requires that the steamships shall be of American build, owned and officered by American citizens, and manned in certain proportions by American crews. This section also divides such steamships into four classes and specifies the manner and material of their build, tonnage, and rate of speed, particulars which differ with the class. Section 4 provides that the ships shall be constructed according to plans and specifications approved by the Secretary of the Navy and of sufficient strength to be readily convertible into cruisers. Section 5 fixes the maximum rate of compensation to be paid for such ocean mail service to the ships of each class at so much a mile, “ by the shortest practicable route, for each outward voyage.” The other sections of the statute are inapplicable to the question under consideration.
This statute gives you a large discretion in contracting for the carriage of the mails in American steamships between ports of the United States and ports in foreign countries, but it limits your authority by providing (sec. 1) that “ said contracts shall be made with the lowest responsible bidder for the performance of said service on each route.” This provision requires a separate contract for each separate and distinct line of service. The word “ route the course or way to be traveled in going from one place to another. (Standard Dict.; Webster's Dict.; Attorney General v. West I'isconsin Railway, 36 Wis. 466, 494.) So, stoppages between the point of departure and the point of destination are said to be made “ en route,” i. e., on the road or way. There is no doubt as to the meaning of the word, and it appears to have been used in the statute in its ordinary sense. Thus, section 2 of the act provides that “ such notice shall describe the route, the time when such contract will be made, the duration of same, the size of the