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44. Immunity of Records Against Subpoena

Although it has been questioned, it is now settled that a state court cannot impose the duty upon a federal officer, custodian of papers or records of a department, to produce the same as evidence, nor punish by process for contempt the refusal of a subordinate either to obey a subpoena duces tecum, or to testify concerning matters connected with his department in violation of prescribed regulations lawfully emanating from his executive chief.63

45. Vacancies; Head of Department

In case of the death, resignation, absence, or sickness of the head of any department, the first or sole assistant thereof shall, unless otherwise directed by the President, perform the duties of such head until a successor is appointed or such absence or sickness shall cease.64

The signature of such an acting head, so indicated, to a document of his department, implies that one of the conditions named has arisen.65

46. Vacancies in Subordinate Offices

In case of the death, resignation, absence or sickness of the chief of any bureau, or of any officer thereof, whose appointment is not vested in the head of the department, the assistant or deputy of such chief or of such officer, or if there be none, then the chief clerk of such bureau, shall, unless otherwise directed by the President, perform the duties of the office so vacated until a successor is named, or such absence or sickness shall cease.66

47. Only Recess Appointments to be Made Otherwise

No temporary appointment, designation or assignment of one officer to perform the duties of another, in cases covered by the two next preceding paragraphs, shall be made otherwise than as therein provided, except to fill a vacancy occurring during a Senate recess.67

48. Temporary Appointments Limited to Thirty Days

A vacancy occasioned by death or resignation must not be temporarily filled under R. S. §§ 177, 178, and 179 (Comp. St. §§ 259-261), for a longer period than 30 days.68

63 In re Huttman (D. C.) 70 F. 699; In re Weeks (D. C.) 82 F. 729; Boske v. Comingore, 177 U. S. 459, 20 S. Ct. 701, 44 L. Ed. 846. But see In re Hirsch (C. C.), 74 F. 928.

64 R. S. § 177 (Comp. St. § 259).

65 Miller v. New York, 109 U. S. 385, 3 S. Ct. 228, 27 L. Ed. 971; Cf. In re Jem Yuen (D. C.) 188 F. 350; U. S. v. Peralta, 19 How. 343, 15 L. Ed. 678; Parish v. U. S., 100 U. S. 500, 25 L. Ed. 763; Chadwick v. U. S. (C. C.) 3 F. 756; U. S. v. Adams (C. C.) 24 F. 348. 66 R. S. § 178 (Comp. St. § 260). See 19 Op. Attys. Gen. 503; 28 Op. Attys. Gen. 95; Weitzel v. Brown, 224 Mass. 190, 112 N. E. 945; 23 Op. Attys. Gen. 473; 20 Op. Attys. Gen. 483; U. S. v. Duell, 17 App. D. C. 575.

67 R. S. § 181 (Comp. St. § 263).

68 R. S. § 180 (Comp. St. § 262).


49. Power of Removal

The power of removal is a purely executive power, which is not intrusted to the judicial branch of the government.69

50. Hours of Business and Holidays

All the bureaus and offices in the State, War, Treasury, Navy, and Post Office Departments, and in the General Land Office, must be open for the transaction of public business at least eight hours in each day from the first day of October until the first day of April, in each year, and for at least ten hours each day during the remainder of each year, except Sundays and legally declared public holidays. Heads of departments must require of all clerks and other employees, of whatever grade or class, at least seven hours of labor each day, except Sundays and days declared public holidays by law or executive order (with 30 days' annual leave with pay and not to exceed 30 days additional in any one year in meritorious cases of sickness); and they may by special order, stating reasons, further extend the hours of labor of any employee.70 Holidays in this connection are the first day of January, twenty-second day of February, fourth day of July, twenty-fifth day of December, the day proclaimed by the President as national Thanksgiving Day," "Memorial" or "Decoration Day" 72 (not applicable to the Philippine Islands73), and "Labor's Holiday," on the first Monday in September. Inauguration Day is added to the foregoing in reference to the Government Printing Office.75 Heads of departments are not obliged to require labor of employees in the executive departments after twelve o'clock noon on every Saturday, declared a holiday for all purposes in the District of Columbia.76


51. Correspondence in General

(a) Unless otherwise specified, letters, especially the initial letter, ordinarily should be addressed to the chief of the department having jurisdiction. Later correspondence may then go directly to the bureau or unit immediately concerned, as directed in the official letter received from such government agency. (b) An approved form of address to a department chief is:

The Honorable

The Secretary of State.

The President,

The White House.

69 Keim v. U. S., 33 Ct. Cl. 174, affirmed 177 U. S. 290, 20 S. Ct. 574, 44 L. Ed. 774; Lellmann v. U. S., 37 Ct. Cl. 128. See U. S. ex rel. Brown v. Root, 18 App. D. C. 239, 29 W. L. R. 477, as to power of President to dismiss Army or Navy officer for any cause which in his judgment would promote the public service.

70 R. S. § 162 (Comp. St. § 236); Act March 15, 1898, c. 68, § 7 (30 Stat. 316 [Comp. St. § 238]).

71 Resolution of Jan. 6, 1885, No. 5 (23 Stat. 516 [Comp. St. § 3244]).

72 Resolution of Feb. 23, 1887, No. 6 (24 Stat. 644 [Comp. St. § 3245]). 73 25 Op. Attys. Gen. 127.

74 Act June 28, 1894, c. 118 (28 Stat. 96 [Comp. St. § 3246]).

75 Act Jan. 12, 1895, c. 23 (28 Stat. 607 [Comp. St. § 7010]).

76 25 Op. Attys. Gen. 40.

(c) Formal salutation may be "Sir;" or "My Dear Mr. Secretary;" or "My Dear Mr. Attorney General;" or "My Dear Mr. Postmaster General;" or "My Dear Mr. President;" or "My Dear Mr. Chief Justice;" or "My Dear Mr. Justice Blank."

(d) Envelopes should be addressed:

The President,

The White House,

Washington, D. C.

The Secretary of War,

Washington, D. C.
The Attorney General,
Washington, D. C.
Honorable John Jones,

United States Senate.
Washington, D. C.

Honorable George Smith,

House of Representatives,

Washington, D. C.




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