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FREUND V. UNITED STATES, 260 U. S. 60 (1922)

U.S. Supreme Court

Freund v. United States, 260 U.S. 60 (1922)

Freund v. United States

Nos. 29, 37

Argued October 5, 6, 1922

Decided November 13, 1922

260 U.S. 60


1. Broad provisions in a government contract authorizing the government to change the obligations imposed on the other party should be interpreted not as permitting government officials to remold the contract at will, but as confined to what was fairly and reasonably within the contemplation of the parties when the contract was made. P. 260 U. S. 62.

2. Where a contractor undertook a circuit mail carriage service from and back to a city post office site via scheduled stations, with stops en route to collect mail from letter carriers, to be paid for at so much for every mile traveled, a stipulation in the contract authorizing the Postmaster General to establish service to and from like offices, stations, etc., to those named in the schedules, to be paid for at the contract rate per mile of travel, did not authorize substitution of a much heavier service, in transporting all mail between railroad stations and another post office site, involving increased equipment and expense, and paid for at the same mileage rate but without counting trips on which no mail was carried. P. 260 U. S. 64.

3. Contractors who were encouraged by agents of the Post Office Department to enter into a mail carriage contract and give a heavy bond, without notice of the Department's purpose to substitute a more onerous service under color of the contract but not within its terms, and who performed the new service under protest, rather than incur the risk to themselves and their bondsmen of throwing up the contract, held not to have acquiesced in the change. P. 260 U. S. 68.

4. A mail carriage contractor who, under duress of the Post Office Department, performs service not called for by his contract is entitled to recover, in the Court of Claims, the reasonable value of such service, including a fair profit. P. 260 U. S. 69.

56 Ct.Clms. 15 reversed.

Appeals from a judgment allowing in part a claim for service in carrying the mails.

Page 260 U. S. 61

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