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: 82
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250 FEDERAL REPORTER
"The approximate estimated quantities for one year set forth in detail
in the schedule comprise 305,000 pounds news print paper."
The Republic Company's proposal was-
"to supply the Government of the United States with so much of the paper
more or less embraced in the following schedule as may be required for the
public printing and binding from March 1, 1916, to February 28, 1917, or for
a period of six months from March 1, 1916."
The form of proposals was accompanied by instructions as follows:
"No. 13. The subjoined schedule specifies the quantity as nearly as can
be estimated and the quality of each kind of paper required, but the con-
tractor must furnish the quantity which may be needed, whether more or
less than the estimate."
"No. 39. The successful bidders will be required to enter into a contract
to furnish the quantities required whether more or less than the estimates."
All these papers were a part of the contract in which the Republic
Company, as party of the first part, covenants to furnish the Public
Printer, as party of the second part, "so much of the estimated quan-
tity as may be ordered by the party of the second part, whether more
or less than the estimate stated in the proposal," and the Public Printer
covenants to pay the sum of three cents per pound for the same.
The schedule certainly does "set forth in detail" the "quantity re-
quired," as provided by the act. But it is said that the provision of
the proposal that more or less may be required is not detailed. If that
is so, it does not relieve the contractor of the obligation. Only the
government can complain that its agents have not conformed to the
statute, whereas it is asking to enforce the contract as made.
The covenant of the Republic Company is in the printed form of con-
tract, and it is difficult to believe that the government intended by the
language used to depart from the carefully reiterated provisions pre-
ceding it that the estimate was an estimate only, and that the contract
must be for the government's requirements during the period it covered
-or that the Republic Company so understood it. Such a construction
-does violence to what is obviously the main purpose of the statute and
of the contract, namely, that the government shall provide for its
needs during fixed periods of time, and not be at the risk of the mar-
ket for its needs as they arise from day to day. If the contract had
stopped with the words "so much of the estimated quantity as may be
ordered," there would be more force in the contention that the estimate
was a limitation, but effect must be given to the words immediately
following, "whether the same be more or less than the estimate stated
in the proposal," and they seem to me to completely exclude the con-
struction that the estimate is a limitation.
If the contract is one for the government's requirements, then the
fact that its requirements may vary largely does not make its contracts
to differ in principle from those of a manufacturer, a hotel keeper, a
railroad, or a steamship company. Both parties are bound; each tak-
ing the risk of the extent of the requirements and the risk of the mar-
ket. Clearly, if the market price for paper had fallen, the government
c-ould not have supplied its requirements by purchasing from other
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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/m1/97/: accessed April 29, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.