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the mass of material has been done by the West Publishing Co. and the Edward Thompson Co. These two houses have subordinated their private interests to the public good and have produced a result which would have been impossible without them. Acknowledgment of valuable assistance is given to W. H. McClenon, of the Legislative Reference Division of the Library of Congress, and to the law officers and other representatives of the several departments, bureaus, and commissions of the Government. Appreciation is also expressed of the interest in the work taken by the Committee on the Revision of the Federal Statutes of the American Bar Association.

Scrutiny of this Code is invited. Constructive criticism is solicited. It is the ambition of the Committee on the Revision of the Laws of the House of Representatives gradually to perfect the Code by correcting errors, eliminating obsolete matter, and restating the law with logical completeness and with precision, brevity, and uniformity of expression.

Address criticisms to Chairman of the Committee on the Revision of the Laws of the House of Representatives, Washington, D. C. ROY G. FITZGERALD, Chairman.

Washington, June 30, 1926.



THE publishers of this annotated edition of the Code of the Laws of the United States are rendering a notable service to the public in general and to the legal profession in particular.

Cooperation between the publishers and the Committees of the Senate and House on Revision of the Laws made possible the preparation of the Code adopted by the Sixty-ninth Congress. The Code thus adopted is evidence of the law. After the correction of errors, inevitable in a work of this sort, the Code will no doubt be enacted into law and all the other legislation of Congress will be repealed. Meanwhile it is of the highest importance to bring together for ready reference all the legislation embodied in the Code and the mass of judicial decisions which have construed the legislation. This can best be done by distributing the Code through a series of volumes of convenient size, each volume containing a designated portion of the legislative text together with annotations of relevant judicial decisions. This task of division and addition has now been completed in a satisfactory way. The volume embodying legislation on a given subject can readily be taken from the library shelf or from the book-rack beside the desk and carried to court or wherever it is intended to be consulted. Mahomet need no longer seek the mountain. The mountain has distributed itself into foothills and all of them have come to him.

As a member of the Senate Committee on the Revision of Laws I have had something to do with the evolution of the Code. Members of the two Committees can appreciate, as few others can do, the magnitude of the problem of which the Code is a solution. While the annotations and other auxiliary matter account for the number of volumes in the present edition, it is well to remember that the Code itself, as issued from the Government Printing Office, is included within the limits of a single volume. That all the permanent and general legislation of a century and a half can be thus compressed is a fact to be borne in mind whenever it is charged that there has been an unreasonable multiplication of federal statutes. In spite of the popular impression to the contrary, I believe that a critical study of this body of law will disclose the Congress of the United States as the most conservative of the important legislatures of the world. I further believe that no set of volumes in the law library will be found more serviceable than those now made available for general use.

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THE "Code of the Laws of the United States," as passed by Congress in June, 1926, incorporates all of the laws of a general and permanent nature in force at the beginning of that session, that is, December 7, 1925.

Congress, in preparing the Code, had in mind the necessity for an arrangement of the laws which was convenient and accessible, and one which would also make provision for future growth.

To this end all of the existing laws are logically arranged under fifty titles. Many of these titles are subdivided into chapters, and lesser subdivisions wherever the matter lends itself to such arrangement.

The Code does not contain consecutive section numbers from beginning to end, as was the case in the Revised Statutes of 1878. The fifty titles comprising the Code are independently numbered, each title beginning with section 1. Gaps are left in the numbering, between the chapters and other subdivisions, so that new and amendatory acts may be inserted with due regard to their relation to the basic matter contained in the Code.

The purpose of this Annotated Edition is to add to this framework of the law, as represented by the text of the statutes, the constructions which the courts have placed upon these laws; for, as the Supreme Court has well said, "after a statute has been settled by judicial construction, the construction becomes as much a part of the statute as the text itself." Without these constructions no man can know the law.

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In addition, there has been supplied a great mass of historical data, showing the antecedents of the particular acts or sections, with comments on the sources and the character of the changes.

Many other editorial features have been supplied, which are designed to make the text and annotations more accessible or useful, not the least of which are Reference Tables showing where the laws have previously been placed in the Revised Statutes of 1878, the subsequent Statutes at Large, the Federal Statutes Annotated and the United States Compiled Statutes Annotated.

The entire work is supplemented by a most exhaustive and comprehensive index.

The editorial staffs of the two publishers, with the knowledge and experience gained over a long period of time in preparing annotated editions of the United States laws, have brought to this enterprise the background, the ability, and the judgment necessary to produce the character of work which the importance of the task demands.

In so far as the size of the title and the volume of annotations will permit, each title of the laws is comprised within a single volume of this set. It is felt that the advantages accruing from such a method

of publication will materially increase the value of the set for reference purposes.

A great step forward has been taken in the adoption of the plan for adding later laws and annotations to each title, through Supplementary Parts, which fit into the pocket at the back of each book, thus doing away with the necessity for publishing later matter in supplemental volumes, with all of their unavoidable inconveniences. These pocket parts are to be issued annually and cumulated from year to year.

Supplementing these pocket parts are Quarterly Pamphlets, which will contain all the laws and annotations which become available after the publication of the latest pocket part. These also are cumulated from quarter to quarter, the final cumulation supplied each year being in the form of pocket parts to be slipped into the backs of each volume of the set.


W. P. Co.

E. T. Co.

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