Closely analogous to lobbying contracts are bargains which have for their object obtaining a contract with the National Government or with a State or municipality, where no legislation is required. There is no doubt that a bargain is illegal which contemplates bringing improper influence to bear upon the official or body having power to enter into the public contract in question.5 But is the employment of an agent to solicit the contract upon a promise of payment contingent on success obnoxious to policy as it is in lobbying contracts? The Supreme Court of the United States has answered this question in the affirmative, saying that "there is no real difference in principle between agreements to procure favors from legislative bodies, and agreements to procure favors in the shape of contracts from the heads of departments;" and holding broadly that a contract to give any agent compensation dependent on his success in procuring a public contract was necessarily illegal.6 But the same court later somewhat modified its previous sweeping statements,7 and it is probable that most courts would agree with the argument in a New York decision:8

3 Marshall'v. Baltimore, etc., R. Co., 16 How. 314, 14 L. Ed. 953; Haselton v. Sheckela, 202 U. 8. 71, 50 L. Ed. 939, 26 Sup. Ct. 567; Crocker v. United States, 240 U. S. 74, 78, 60 L. Ed. 533, 36 S. Ct. 245; Globe Works v. United States, 45 Ct. CI. 497; Foltz v. Cogswell, 86 Cal. 542, 25 Pac. 60; Ber-mndes Asphalt Pav. Co. v. Critch-field, 62 111. App. 221; Coquillard's Adm. v. Bearss, 21 Ind. 479, 83 Am. Dec. 362; Richardson v. Scott's Bluff, 59 Neb. 400, 81 N. W. 309, 48 L. R. A. 294, 80 Am. St. Rep. 682; Spalding v. Swing, 149 Pa. St. 753, 24 Atl. 219, 34 Am. St. Rep. 608. See also Flynn v. Bank of Mineral Wells, 53 Tex. Civ. App. 481, 118 S. W. 848.

4 Denison v. Crawford Co., 48 Iowa, 211; Barber Asphalt Pav. Co. v. Bots-ford, 56 Kans. 532, 44 Pac. 3; Kansas City Paper House v. Foley Ry. Printing Co., 85 Kans. 678, 118 Pac. 1056, 39 1.. R. A. (N. S.) 747, Ann. Cas. 1913 A. 294; Stroemer v. Van Orsdel, 74 Neb. 132, 103 N. W. 1053, 107 N. W. 125, 4 L. R. A. (N. S.) 212, 121 Am. St. 713. See also Taylor v. Bemiss, 110 U. S. 42, 28 L. Ed. 64, 3 S. Ct. 441; Pennebaker v. William, 136 Ky. 120, 120 S. W. 321, 123 S. W. 672; Milbank v. Jones, 127 N. Y. 370, 28 N. E. 31, 24 Am. St. 454; Chesebrough v. Conover, 140 N. Y. 382, 35 N. E. 633.

"A person having something to sell has the right to sell it through an agent, and this right is an incident to his ownership. To declare that he may not employ an agent, upon commission, where the government is the prospective buyer, is to take away what is ordinarily one of the elements of the enjoyment of ownership - the unrestricted right to sell. Upon this line of reasoning, commission agreements for a sale to the government have been upheld and enforced in this State where the agreement did not actively require corruption in its performance. Treated as a matter distinct in its nature from agreements to procure legislation, an agreement to compensate an agent for his successful efforts in traffic with the government has been held binding, where unfairness in the dealings or an intention to resort to corruption did not actually appear from the facts." 9

5 Crocker v. United States, 240 U. S. 74, 60 L. Ed. 633, 36 Sup. Ct. 245; Anderson v. Blair (Ala.), 80 So. 31; Russell v. Currier Printing, etc., Co., 43 Colo. 321, 95 Pac. 936; Dunlap v. Lebus, 112 Ky. 237, 23 Ky. L. 1481, 65 S. W. 441; Ward v. Hartley, 178 Mo. 135, 77 S. W. 302; Drake v. Lauer, 93 N. Y. App. Div. 86, 86 N. Y. 8. 986,' affd. 182 N. Y. 533, 75 N. E. 1129; McCallum v. Corn Products Co., 131 N. Y. App. Div. 617,116 N. Y. S. 118; Beck v. Bauman, 173 N. Y. S. 772; Hyland v. Oregon Haasam Paving Co., 74 Oreg. 1,144 Pac. 1160, L. R. A. 1915 C. 823; Flynn v. Bank of Mineral Wells, 53 Tex. Civ. App. 481, 118 S. W. 848. See also Washington Irrigation Co. v. Krutz, 119 Fed. 279, 56 C. C. A. 1.

6 Tool Co. v, Norris, 2 Wall. 45, 17 L. Ed. 868. See also Hovey v. Storer, 63 Me. 486; Glenn v. Southwestern Gravel Co. (Okl.), 177 Pac. 586; Hyland v. Oregon Hassam Paving Co.,

74 Oreg. 1, 144 Pac. 1160, L. R. A. 1915 C. 823.

7 In Oscanyan v. Winchester Repeating Arms Co., 103 U. S. 261, 26 L. Ed. 539, the court said (page 276).'- "And here it may be observed, in answer to some authorities cited, that the percentage allowed by established custom of commission merchants and brokers, though dependent upon sales made, is not regarded as contingent compensation in the obnoxious sense of that term, which has been so often the subject of animadversion by this court, as suggesting the use of sinister or corrupt means for accomplishing a desired end. They are the rates established by merchants for legitimate services in the regular course of business." See also Stanton v. Embrey, 93 U. S. 548, 23 L. Ed. 983; Valdes v. Larrinaga, 233 U. S. 705, 34 S.Ct.750, 58 L.Ed. 1163.

8 Swift v. Aspell, 40 N. Y. Misc. 453, 82 N. Y. S. 659, 660.