of the Act to indicate acceptance of one of the limited definitions, that construction of the term must be given which tends to fulfil the express purpose of the Act as finally amended. There can be little question that Congress was aiming at the denunciation as a crime, of attempts to defraud the United States by presentation of false claims. In its original form, it was found capable of misunderstanding and divergence of opinion. Therefore Congress broadened the scope of the Act by what it hoped would prove deoppilative amendments. There is nothing by way of modifying words in the statute as amended to indicate that it meant to give narrow and restricted extension to the term used in the amending clause.
When Congress meant to use the word "department" in its narrow application, it sufficiently expressed that intention and recognized the existence of the broader definition either expressly as in Title 5 U.S.C.A. § 2, or by manifest implication from the context. The decision of the Supreme Court in United States v. Germaine, 99 U.S. 508, 510, 25 L. Ed. 482, has reference to a situation begotten by reference to the Constitutional method of appointment of certain officers of the government, who were to be designated by heads of departments. Mention of this power of appointment is made under "powers of the President," Article II, Section II, clause 2, and as Justice Miller said for the Supreme Court in that case:
"That instrument was intended to inaugurate a new system of government, and the departments to which it referred were not then in existence. The clause we have cited is to be found in the article relating to the Executive, and the word as there used has reference to the subdivision of the power of the Executive into departments, for the more convenient exercise of that power."
In giving its definition of the word department, the Supreme Court in the Germaine case recognized that this definition was dependent upon the context and associations in which the word department found itself.
In the case of United States Shipping Board Emergency Fleet Corporation v. Western Union Telegraph Company, 275 U.S. 415, 48 S. Ct. 198, 200, 72 L. Ed. 345, Mr. Justice Brandeis speaking for the Supreme Court cites Section 2 of the Post Roads Act, 14 Stat. 221, Revised Statutes, sections 5263-5266, 47 U.S.C.A. §§ 1-3, 6, which required:
"That telegraphic communications between the several departments of the government of the United States and their officers and agents shall, in their transmission over the lines of any of said compaines, have priority over all other business, and shall be sent at rates to be annually fixed by the Postmaster-General."
In discussing whether or not the Fleet Corporation was a department of the United States within the meaning of the Post Roads Act, the court speaks of "Great Executive Departments" and then refers to "minor independent departments," among which it includes Civil Service Commission, Interstate Commerce Commission, Bureau of American Republics, Panama Canal, Federal Reserve Board, Federal Trade Commission, and many others.
Recognizing the distinction between departments of the government of the United States, and instrumentalities in which the government has an interest, this decision offers gravific argument for the interpretation herein given to the final amendment to the act upon which these indictments are based, since Congress would seem to have recognized the distinction made by the court between departments of the government and corporations in which the United States of America is a stockholder.
In United States v. Bowman, 260 U.S. 94, 43 S. Ct. 39, 42, 67 L. Ed. 149, in referring to the language of the statute so frequently referred to herein, and on which the questioned indictments are based, Mr. Chief Justice Taft speaking for the Supreme Court said:
"It is directed generally against whoever presents a false claim against the United States, knowing it to be such, to any officer of the civil, military or naval service or to any department thereof, or any corporation in which the United States is a stockholder. * * *."
It might be pertinent to note that further in the same opinion is included the following:
"As said in United States v. Lacher, 134 U.S. 624, 629, 10 S. Ct. 625, 627, 33 L. Ed. 1080, quoting with approval from Sedgwick, Statutory and Const. Law (2d Ed.) 282: 'Penal provisions, like all others, are to be fairly construed according to the legislative intent as expressed in the enactment' They are not to be strained either way."
Paraphrasing the further language of the eminent Chief Justice, it needs no forced construction to interpret Title 18 U.S.C.A. § 80, as I have done.
Feeling as I do, that the indictments inform the defendants of the nature of the offenses charged and comply with all the requirements of a valid indictment, the motion of the defendants to quash said indictments is denied.
Let an order be submitted to this effect.
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