Files on Parade

WHERE are the President’s orders?
Where can a fellow trail
The code today that he must obey
Or land in a Federal jail?
Where are the latest edicts
Turned out by the cubic mile
By the ABC’s and the XYZ’s;
Where are they found on file?

SOME in the State Department,
Some in the Treasury,
Some in the courts or the weather reports,
Or the trucks of the D.S.C.
Some in the secret archives
Where dust of the ages blows,
And some you’ll find in the Brain Trust’s mind,
But — nobody really knows!

HOW can we find the orders
That tell us the way to do?
The various laws “with teeth and claws”
And fines and sentences, too?
We want to be strictly legal,
But we’re in a haze so far
As to what is what in these laws we’ve got
And where in the heck they are.

SOME in the War Department
And some in the NRA,
And some are kept in the Labor Dept.
And some in the Coast Sur-VEY.
And the Dead Letter Office has some,
And ever the tangle grows,
And the whole blame mess is a matter of guess,
For nobody really knows!

By Berton Braley.

Rochester Evening Journal (Rochester, New York) Dec 29, 1934

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