Texas Attorney General Opinion: O-4438 Page: 3 of 10
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Hon. Coke Stevenson, Page 3
that the military authorities have the paramount right
to control and supervise their post exchanges wherever
located, and that if it is deemed necessary or advisa-
ble for the morale and general welfare of the troops to
authorize the sale of 3.2 beer by such exchanges, they
may do so without incurring the risk of criminal prose-
cution by the state authorities. After procuring your
concurrence in the matter I propose to consult the lo-
cal authorities at Brownwood and then, after assuring
myself that there is no appreciable reasonable opposi-
tion by the city and county officials there, I propose,
with the approval of the War Department, to authorize
the sale of 3.2 beer at Camp Bowie.
"I anticipate no difficulty with reference to the
payment of the state tax prior to delivery of the beer
at the exchanges. The post exchanges however, are not
required to obtain and pay for state licenses. The
beer will be sold under proper con trol and supervision
and careful precautions taken to prevent its being
taken from the camp.
"The sale of or dealing in intoxicating liquors at
any post exchange or canteen is still prohibited by
Federal Statute. Congress, however, has declared that
3.2 beer is non-intoxicating and the War Department has
accordingly authorized its sale by Army post exchanges."
This department has previously held in Opinion No. 0-
3318 that where a deed of cession of jurisdiction, in compliance
with Articles 5242 to .5247, inclusive, R.C.S. of Texas, 1925, has
.been made to the Federal Government that the state has no power
or jurisdiction to regulate or control the sale of beer in such
ceded areas. That part of the holding in that opinion is not in-
volved nor affected here. In the same opinion, however, it was
held if a deed of cession of jurisdiction had not been made, in
the statutory manner, by the State of Texas to the Federal Gov-
ernment, that the sale of beer by an Army canteen on grounds used
for military purposes located in a "dry area" as contemplated in
the Texas Liquor Control Act, by the Federal Government, was sub-
ject to the Texas laws relating thereto. At the time said opin-
ion was written (April.12, 1941) there was considerable confusion
in the court decisions regarding the legal status of Army post
exchanges being Federal instrumentalities. This is evidenced by
the extended discussion of the authorities on that point in our
Opinion No. 0-2317, in which this department concluded that Army
Post Exchanges were not Federal instrumentalities of Government.
It will be noted that at the time said Opinion No. 0-2317 (May
7, 1940) was written the latest case of importance in the Federal
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Texas. Attorney-General's Office. Texas Attorney General Opinion: O-4438, text, 1942; (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth261687/m1/3/: accessed November 19, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.