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201. Subject matter.-An official letter shall refer to one subject only.
202. Channels of communication. For general provisions as to channels of
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203. Letterheads.-All field offices of the Engineer Department at Large should be provided with letterheads of the same general form and style of type as the letterheads adopted for use in the Office of the Chief of Engineers.
204. Ink.-(a) The use of colored inks in correspondence is prohibited except that carmine or red ink may be used in annotation, ruling, or in compliance with specific instructions herein or issued by the War Department on blank forms.
(0) In the preparation of official papers only such inks as will insure permanency of records will be used.
205. Forms of correspondence.-(a) The method of writing letters and indorsements in all official correspondence in the service of the War Department and the Army and with bureaus of executive departments is prescribed in A. R. 340–15.
(6) Official correspondence with officers in the Federal service not in or under the War or Navy Departments and with parties outside of the Federal service will be in the general forms in use in good civilian practice. Ordinarily one copy thereof will be forwarded with the communication but more than one may be forwarded when desirable in particular cases. Letters to members of Congress will be forwarded in duplicate.
(c) In official letters and indorsements of considerable length the subject matter will be divided into separate paragraphs, which shall be numbered consecutively, using Arabic numerals.
(d) When referring in letters and indorsements to a telegram or radiogram, the message will be quoted and the date given.
(e) In every letter covering inclosures each inclosure should be distinctly described, the number of inclosures being stated at the foot of the letter. Every inclosure shall be so file marked or otherwise indorsed as to clearly indicate the carrying paper or report of which the inclosure forms à part. When inclosures are sent separately either a copy of the carrying paper will accompany each package of inclosures, or the purport of the carrying paper will be clearly indicated.
(f) All official communications signed by an officer of the Army or a civilian employee of the War Department acting in an official capacity shall show the name of the signer of the communication in typewriting immediately below the written signature.
(g) The carbon copy accompanying each communication addressed to the Chief of Engineers will be forwarded with the original and shall not be withdrawn in any office through which it passes. A sufficient number of carbons will, however, be supplied to permit retention of one copy in each intermediate office through which the correspondence is routed.
(h) Division Engineers are authorized to forward to the Chief of Engineers, and to refer to district and other division offices, by stamp in lieu of formal indorsement, papers on which their action is purely routine. The stamp shall show the designation of the division office and the date on which the paper is forwarded or referred by that office, and will be placed to the left of and on a line with the signature by which the paper has been forwarded or referred to the Division Engineer. No signature or initial is required nor are the words "forwarded", "referred”, etc., necessary. The forwarding of a paper by stamp will be considered as implying the unqualified approval of the Division Engineer, but only such papers will be so forwarded as clearly do not warrant the exercise of administrative discretion by him.
(i) When copies of indorsements from Division Engineers to higher authority are furnished District Engineers the district file number shall be placed thereon for identification in the district office.
206. Prompt replies.-(a) All official communications shall be answered promptly. If complete reply cannot be prepared within a reasonable length of time, receipt of the communication will be acknowledged and a statement given as to the length of the anticipated delay and the reason therefor.
(6) To secure prompt attention to urgent matters, communications relative thereto should be conspicuously stamped in red at the head thereof "Urgent” or "Answer by wire requested."
(c) Instructions issued by other departments or bureaus within the War Department are not to be complied with until published by the Office of the Chief of Engineers. Where such instructions appear to be applicable and are not published within a reasonable time the matter should be brought to the attention of the Chief of Engineers for instructions.
207. File marks and symbol numbers.-(a) Communications addressed to the Chief of Engineers when citing previous letters or reports will give the Engineer Department file marks as well as the subject and dates.
(0) To facilitate distribution of mail and to identify originating sections in the Office of the Chief of Engineers, a symbol number is placed in the upper right-hand corner of the original and all copies of each letter, memorandum and indorsement. In telegrams the symbol number is placed at the end of the message thus: “Three” or “Three F”. Field offices replying to communications from that office by letter or by telegram (not by indorsement) will include a reference, such as "Reference 3-C” (or "Reference Three C”, if by telegram), to the symbol number carried by the corresponding communication from this office. When letter or telegraphic replies are made to telephone inquiries from the Office of the Chief of Engineers reference should be made to the name of the individual making the inquiry.
208. Return of papers.-All papers and correspondence of whatever origin sent by indorsement from the Office of the Chief of Engineers to officers or agents of the Engineer Department for any purpose whatever shall be returned unless specific direction is given for their retention,
209. Addresses.--Communications to the Office of the Chief of Engineers will be addressed to the Chief of Engineers, United States Army. An officer or civilian assigned to the charge of a division or district in the Engineer Department at Large will be addressed and referred to in communications as the Division Engineer and the District Engineer, respectively.
210. Within the Engineer Department.-(a) All correspondence addressed to the Chief of Engineers shall be forwarded through the Division Engineer except that in emergencies direct communication with the Chief of Engineers is authorized. In such cases a copy of the communication will be sent at the same time to the Division Engineer, and be so indicated by notation on the original and all copies. If the Division Engineer has been advised by telephone that fact should be stated. The following papers will be forwarded as indicated :
(1) Money accounts and papers relating thereto, direct to the Chief of Engineers in order to avoid the expense of a double clerical check. Replies to exceptions taken by the Chief of Engineers to the money accounts of disbursing Officers will be forwarded through the Division Engineer (Chap. VIII)
(2) Reports of changes in the classified service and reports of emergency and temporary employees will be forwarded to the Chief of Engineers through the Civil Service District Manager. Replies by District Engineers to exceptions taken to Reports of Changes shall be forwarded through the Division Engineer. Applications for refund of retirement deductions, together with reports of separations and related papers, will be forwarded direct to the Chief of Engineers. (Chap. X, and The Engineer Retirement Manual)