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This compilation is, as the title page indicates, strictly a legal publication. No attempt has been made to include in it any matter which is not of legal effect, although in some instances, especially in the chapters dealing with the organization of the Fuel Administration and with the distribution of coal, letters and circulars and some brief statements by the editors have been published with a view to explaining a particular situation or course of procedure adopted by the Administration where no formal order has been entered. Such explanatory matter has, however, been confined as far as possible to foot notes.
The publication contains the Food and Fuel Control Act, approved August 10, 1917, pursuant to which the Fuel Administration was created, the Federal Trade Commission Act, the Overman Act, all proclamations and executive orders issued by the President, and all formal orders, rules and regulations of general application issued by the United States Fuel Administrator from August 23, 1917, to and including October 31, 1918. It does not contain informal orders, directions, and authorizations or orders and regulations entered by State Fuel Administrators pursuant to authority except such as are of genera) application and are, in the opinion of the editors essential and more or less permanent in character.
The general method of arrangement of material under the chapter, title, and section headings is chronological, the effective date and not the date of entry of the particular order determining its location. Modifications and amendments of an order will usually be found immediately following the order amended or modified, although it has been necessary to vary this arrangement in cases where an amendment has reference to more than one order. It is suggested therefore that upon locating a particular order, a search be made through the entire section for possible amendments. This will not be laborious inasmuch as the material has been so subdivided that the great majority of the sections contain but few orders. A variation from this general arrangement should also be noted in the case of the mine prices of bituminous coal where a strict chronological arrangement of the orders dealing with each state, regardless of counties, districts, or operations within the state, has been followed. This will make easy the finding of any desired price order without elaborate subdivision or cross references. The attempt has been made to make chapter, title, and section headings sufficiently descriptive to be helpful in the finding of particular orders and yet comprehensive enough to permit the inclusion thereunder of subsequent orders without the addition of new sections.
There has been issued a very large number of interpretations of the orders. In most cases, however, these interpretations or rulings were issued in the form of letters or telegrams and had application only to a particular state of facts. It was decided, therefore, that to include them, aside from the labor of collecting and editing them, might be more confusing than helpful. The great majority of such interpretations has, on that account, been omitted and the annotations have been limited to rulings of a general character and of an official status, either issued over the signature of the United States Fuel Administrator, or by the members of the legal staff with the approval of the solicitor or the general solicitor. Numerous cross references have also been made.
The United States Fuel Administrator desires that this compilation may be of the greatest use not only to the members of the Fuel Administration, but to all those who have occasion to deal with the Administration. It can be so only if it is entirely accurate. Suggestions and criticisms will therefore be welcomed and any errors or omissions should be called to the attention of the editors in order that corrections may be made in supplements which it is proposed to publish from time to time. WASHINGTON, D. C., January 1, 1919.