The Federal Reporter with Key-Number Annotations, Volume 250: Cases Argued and Determined in the Circuit Courts of Appeals and District Courts of the United States, August-October, 1918. Page: 80
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250 FEDERAL REPORTER
quantities required, whether more or less than the estimates, for a period of
six months or one year commencing March 1, 1916." The estimated quanti-
ties were then set forth below. The proposals also contained some 49 in-
structions to the bidders describing the conditions under which the bidders
might bid and the specifications of the terms used in the schedules describing
the quality and quantity. These were divided into four main divisions, the
first 12 instructions under the head of "Proposals," the next 14 under the
head of "Quantity and Quality," the next 8 under the head of "Packing,"
the next 4 under that of "Delivery," and the remainder under the heading
"Contract" The first instruction under the head of "Quantity and Quality"
read as follows: "No. 13. The subjoined schedule specifies the quantity as
nearly as may be estimated and the quality of each kind of paper required,
but the contractor must furnish the quantity which may be needed, whether
more or less than the estimate." The first provision under the subhead "Con-
tract" read: "No. 39. The successful bidders will be required to enter into
a contract to furnish the quantity required, whether more or less than the
estimates, and to conform in every particular to the instructions, schedule,
specifications, and standard samples as fixed upon by the joint committee of
printing furnished by the Public Printer."
Francis G. Caffey, U. S. Atty., of New York City (Julian Hartridge,
of New York City, of counsel), for the United States.
Joseph G. Cohen, of New York City (Walter C. Noyes, of New
York City, of counsel), for defendant in error.
Before WARD, Circuit Judge, and LEARNED HAND and MAY-
ER, District Judges
LEARNED HAND, District Judge (after stating the facts as above).
 The first question is what the literal meaning of the words is. The
express undertaking of the defendant is that it shall "furnish * * *
so much of the estimated quantity as may be ordered by the party of the
second part [the Public Printer], whether more or less than the esti-
mates stated in the proposal." This is the only language in the contract
touching quantity at all. If the phrase had been omitted "whether more
or less than the estimates stated in the proposals," we take it that there
could have been no question that the undertaking would have been lim-
ited by the estimate as a maximum.
 The plaintiff urges that words like "more or less," when used
of an amount otherwise ascertainable than by the estimated quantity,
do no more that indicate what the parties at the time honestly suppose
the quantity will be, and this is quite true. Such words do not them-
selves constitute any measure of quantity, since by hypothesis that is
defined by other terms. Brawley v. United States, 96 U. S. 168, 24 L.
Ed. 622; Marx v. American Malting Co., 169 Fed. 582, 95 C. C. A.
80 (semble); Grant v. United States, 7 Wall. 331, 19 L. Ed. 194. Yet,
when the only measure is the estimate itself, they allow only a small
latitude of variation, much within that here asserted. Norrington v.
Wright, 115 U. S. 188, 6 Sup. Ct. 12, 29 L. Ed. 366; Pine River Log-
ging Co. v. United States, 186 U. S. 279, 22 Sup. Ct. 920, 46 L. Ed.
1164; Hadley Dean Plate Glass Co. v. Highland Glass Co., 143 Fed.
242, 74 C. C. A. 462. In the contract proper there was no outside
measure but the estimated quantity. There might have been, it is
true, if the language had been "all paper required by the party of the
second part, whether more or less than the estimates stated in the pro-
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The Federal Reporter with Key-Number Annotations, Volume 250: Cases Argued and Determined in the Circuit Courts of Appeals and District Courts of the United States, August-October, 1918., legislative document, 1918; Saint Paul, Minnesota. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc38821/m1/95/: accessed December 13, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.