« PreviousContinue »
TREASURY DEPARTMENT, April 17, 1875. Sir: Referring to a class of cases known as “charges and commissions " cases, in which judgments have been recovered against collectors of customs, but which the Department has hitherto declined to pay, for the reason that no certificate of probable cause, as required by the twelfth section of the act of March 3, 1863, (Revised Statutes, section 982.) had been granted therein, I have to state that application has been made in behalf of the parties, both plaintiff and defendant, for payment of such judgments, and I bave, after due consideration, concluded to refer the certified statements in such cases to the accounting officers for examination and settlement, and for the issuance of a warrant in the nsual manner; payable out of the proper appropriation, if any, upon the espress condition that, before final payment by the collector of any such judgment, be shall require to be presented, and filed with him, a certificate from the clerk of the court, showing that a certificate of probable cause has been duly granted and entered of record in such case. You will please instruct the collector accordingly. I am, very respectfully,
B. II. BRISTOW,
Secretary. Hon. H. C. JOHNSON,
Commissioner of Customs, Treasury Department.
TREASURY DEPARTMENT, December 1, 1874. SIR: Referring to Department's letter of the 16th instant, addressed to the Solicitor of the Treasury, (a copy of which is herewith inclosed,) arquiescing in the decision of the court in the case of Kuttroff vs. Mur. pby, late collector, involving the rate of duty on dry carmine, I transmit herewith a letter from Hartley & Coleman, of the 23d instant, in which they request that you be instructed to consent to the discontinnance of certain cases wherein duty has been exacted upon dry carmine at the rate of 35 per cent., and to make up certified statements for the refond of the duties exacted in excess of 25 per cent., where the prorisions of law relative to protest, appeal, and suit have been coinplied with.
The Department agrees to such proposition, and you are hereby directed, in forwarding such certified statements, to give the Department's Dumber of the appeal, return, and the letter of Hartley & Coleman. I am, very respectfully,
B. H. BRISTOW,
Secretary COLLECTOR OF CUSTOMS,
TREASURY DEPARTMENT, December 15, 1874. Sir: In reply to your letter of December 10, and referring to Depart. ment's letter of December 1, the directions therein contained are hereby modified so as to limit the release or refund to cases techuically covered by the terms embraced in the letter, viz: “ Nakarat carmine," " Ori. ental carmine," “ Carmine No. 40,” &c. Such was the intention of the letter of December 1. I am, very respectfully,
B, H. BRISTOW,
Secretary. COLLECTOR OF CUSTOMS,
TREASURY DEPARTMENT, June 23, 1875. Sir: Your letter of the 12th of April last is received, transmitting the appeal (1829d) of P. E. Brulatour from your decision assessing duty, without an allowance of 5 per centum for breakage, on certain ale in bottles, imported per "Memphis,” April 1, 1875.
The question as to whether the allowance of 5 per cent. in lieu of breakage, under the provision in Section 2 of the act of February 9, 1875, should apply to malt-liquors in bottles, has been duly considered, and the Department has arrived at the conclusion, after receiving reports from the collector and appraiser at the ports of New York, Philadelpbia, and Boston, and from the appraiser at Baltimore, all tending to sustain this view, that Congress, by inserting the word “liquors,” in addition to the words “distilled spirits,” jn such proviso, intended to include maltliquors, which comprise ale, beer, and porter. This result was evident from previous legislation, (see Schedule D of the Revised Statutes,) ale, beer, and porter being classified under the general provision for liquors.
The Department, therefore, sustains the said appeal, and authorizes you to adjust the entry by allowing the 5 per centum in lieu of breakage, and, if necessary, to forward a certified statement for a refund of the duties exacted in excess. I am, very respectfully,
CHAS, F. CONANT,
Acting Secretary. COLLECTOR OF CUSTOMS,
New Orleans, La.
TREASURY DEPARTMENT, July 31, 1872. Sir: Application has been made to this Department for a reversal of its decision whereby silk crapes are classified as silks in the piece, aud charged with 60 per cent. duty, and for a refund of the difference in duty between that rate and the rate claimed by the parties, viz, 50 per cent. ad valorem.
A suit involving this question has been twice tried. On one trial the jury disagreed, and on the other trial a verdict was had against the Governinent. The application of the parties has been submitted to the Solicitor of the Treasury and to the United States district attorney at New York, both of whom state substantially that, in their opinion, the question involved is mainly, if not entirely, one of commercial designation, and in view of the trials already hail, and of the conflict of evi. dence likely to be presented on any further trial of the case, they do not recommend tbat a further trial be bad.
As it is the desire of the Department to avoid undue litigation in doubtful cases, I am disposed to join in the view taken by the law-officers
Ι before-mentioned, and have therefore to direct that your practice in this respect be changed, and that such goods hereafter be classified at 50 per cent., as "manufactures of silk not otherwise provided for;" and you are authorized to prepare the necessary certified statements for the refund to the importers of the amounts found due them, upon certifi. cates of discontinuance of the various suits being filed, and also in cases wbere protests and appeals have been duly filed, and uo suits instituted there time for commencement of suit has not expired. I am, very respectfully,
WM. A. RICHARDSON,
Acting Secretary. COLLECTOR or CUSTOMS,
TREASURY DEPARTMENT, May 5, 1875. Sir: The Department is in receipt of a letter from the United States Attorney-General, dated the 28th ultimo, in which he expresses the opinion that there is no ground for bringing the case of W. E. Hartwig t8. C. A. Arthur, collector, lately tried at your port, to the Supreme Court, and recommends that this Department acquiesce in the decision, which was in favor of the plaintiff, and which lield that German sausa. ges were exempt from duty, under the special provision for “ Bologna sausages," contained in section 5 of the act of June 6, 1872, since reenacted in section 2505 of the Revised Statutes.
The Department, therefore, acquiesces in the decision of the court Sa rendered, and directs you, upon the plaintiff duly satisfying the jadgment in the case, to prepare and forward a certified statement for the payment of the same.
With regard to the other cases still pending on the same question, where the requirements of law as to protest, appeal, and the bringing of suit bave been duly observed, you are directed, for the purpose of facilitating the final disposition thereof, to refer each case to the appraiser for his special return as to whether the article which is the subject matter thereof is entitled to exemption froin duty under the principle established by said decision of the court; but if such report shall be in the affirmative, you will delay, until further advised, the preparation and forwarding of the usual certified statements for refund. The same course may also be pursued in regard to the entries of such goods, wbere the time to bring suit has not expired, but where protest and appeal were duly made.
The Department having recently submitted, for a formal opinion from the Attorney-General, under the refund act of March 3, 1875, the question whether a judgment against the Government in one of a class of cases will be suficient to justify refunds in other cases of the same class without a separate and distinct adjudication of each case, suitable
further instructions will, on receipt of such opinion, be given you as to the final disposition of the cases covered by the present instructions. I am, very respectfully,
CHAS. F. CONANT,
Acting Secretary COLLECTOR OF CUSTOMS,
TREASURY DEPARTMENT, Vay 20, 1875. SIR: Referring to Department's letter to you of the 5th instant, in which you were informed that the United States Attorney-General bar. ing concurred, the Department had acquiesced in the decision of the United States circuit court of your district, in the case of W. E. Hartwig vs. Chester A. Arthur, which was to the effect that German and all other sausages cominercially known as “Bologna sausages” were exempt from duty, I have to say that the United States attorney having, since the 6th instant, given the opinion that a decision of the court, acquiesced in by himself and this Department, in one of a class of cases, governs in the whole of such class, you are now directed to carry out the instructions contained in such letter, which are to adjust all entries of such sausages in accordance with such decision, where the requirements of law as to protest, appeal, and bringing of suit have been duly observed, and upon the discontinuance of the suits to forward the usual certified statements for the refund to the importers of the amounts found due, and also to pursue tbe same course in the cases where protest and appeal have been made, and where the time to bring suit has not expired.
In this connection, and referring to your letter of the 18th instant, you are directed to cause the practice at your port to conforın to such decision.
I am, very respectfully,
B. H. BRISTOW,
COLLECTOR OF CUSTOMS, New York.
TREASURY DEPARTMENT, May 7, 1875. SIR: In the case of C. F. & G. G. Leuning vs. Chester A. Arthur, collector, lately tried at your port, which resulted in a verdict for the plaintiffs, thus sustaining the position taken by them that certain Japanese wax is exempt from duty under the provisions for " was,
Chinese,” contained in the fifth section of the act of June 6, 1872, (section 2505 of the Revised Statutes,) the Department is in receipt of a letter from the United States Attorney-General, dated the 28th instant, in which he is of the opinion that as the wax in question was proved on the trial to be identical with the so-called Chinese wax of commerce, and as there is no ground for a writ of error, that such decision of the court should be acquiesced in.
The opinion of the United States attorney who triel the case, datel February 8, 1875, is to the same effect.
The Department therefore acquiesces in such jadgment, and apon the plaintiffs duly satisfying the judgment, you are hereby authorized to forward a certified statement for the payment thereof. I am, very respectfully,
B. H. BRISTOW,
Secretary. COLLECTOR OF CUSTOMS,
TREASURY DEPARTMENT, June 19, 1877. Sir: Your letter of the 8th of April last is received, further reporting upon the appeal (5426c) of R. Kepling & Son from your decision assessing duty at the rate of 40 per cent. ad valorem, less 10 per cent. on certain imitation precious stones, imported per Pommerania, September 25, 1874, which the importers claim to be only liable to duty at the rate of 10 per cent. ad valorem. It appears from the special report of the appraiser and an examination of samples that the merchandise in question consists of imitations of brilliants, garnets, cameos, &c., composed of glass or paste, not set; that they were erroneously classified as “manufactures of glass,” and that they are specially provided for in Schedule M of the Revised Statutes for "composition of glass or paste *
when not set" at a duty of 10 per cent. ad valorem, (without any reduction,) as claimed by the importers.
You are therefore authorized to adjust the entry accordingly, and, if necessary, to take the usual steps for refunding the duties erroneously exacted.
This decision will also apply to the appeal (1621d) of the same importers, on the entries of similar goods per Hammonia, Septeinber 2, and Holsatia, October 8, 1874, which was transmitted by you on the 8th of April last. I am, very respectfully,
B. H. BRISTOW,
Secretary. COLLECTOR OF CUSTOMS,
TREASURY DEPARTMENT, July 15, 1875. SIR: The Department has been informed by the United States attorney of your district that two cases of Frederick R. Fowler et al. vs. Augustas Schell, former collector, &c., (0. S. 289 and 369,) which inTolved the question as to the proper rate of duty on caustic soda imported prior to 1861, were recently tried before the United States circuit court for the southern district of New York, and resulted in judgments against the defendant—the effect thereof being to decide that such merchandise was only dutiable, at the time of importation, at the rate of 4 per cent. ad valorem, instead of 15 per cent. ad valorem, as col
Upon submitting the matter to the United States Attorney-General, in accordance with the requirements of the act of March 3, 1875, that