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This fifth edition of the United States Code was prepared and published pursuant to the act of May 29, 1928, ch. 910, as amended March 2, 1929, ch. 586. It contains a consolidation and codification of all the general and permanent laws of the United States in force on January 2, 1953. By statutory authority this edition may be cited "U. S. C. 1952 ed." Previous editions were published in 1926, 1934, 1940, and 1946.
Inasmuch as many of the general and permanent laws which are required to be incorporated in this Code are inconsistent, redundant, archaic and obsolete, there has been inaugurated a comprehensive project of revising and enacting the Code, consisting of 50 titles, into positive law, title by title. In furtherance of this plan bills have been enacted to revise, codify and enact into positive law Titles 1, 3, 4, 6, 9, 14, 17, 18, 28, and 35. In addition, bills relating to other titles are also being prepared for introduction at an early date. When this work is completed all the titles of the Code will be legal evidence of the general and permanent law and recourse to the numerous volumes of the Statutes at Large for this purpose will be unnecessary.
The title and chapter structure of the 1946 edition, together with Supplement V thereto, has been substantially preserved, the only changes made having been necessitated by the enactment of legislation during the 2d session of the 82d Congress. Any errors discovered in the 1946 edition or Supplement V have been corrected.
The actual work of preparing and editing the material for this edition was done by the West Publishing Co. of St. Paul, Minnesota, and the Edward Thompson Company of Brooklyn, New York, under the supervision of the Committee on the Judiciary of the House of Representatives. These companies prepared the original Code which Congress enacted in 1926 and have continuously served the Committee since that time in the preparation of the authorized new editions and Supplements to the Code. Grateful acknowledgment is made to the editorial and manuscript staffs of both publishing companies and of the law revision counsel for the Committee, for their untiring efforts to make this edition as nearly perfect as possible. Acknowledgment of valuable assistance is made also to various officers of Government departments and agencies for their helpful suggestions and criticisms.
The Committee on the Judiciary invites criticisms or suggestions with the view of improving the Code wherever possible. It is hoped that the program of enacting the Code into positive law, title by title, to improve its present status as merely prima facie evidence of the law, will meet with early success.
Committee on the Judiciary.
WASHINGTON, D. C., May 1, 1953.