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Opinion of the Court.
By $ 2 of the act of June 6, 1872, c. 315, (17 Stat. 231,) it was enacted that on and after August 1, 1872, in lieu of the duties imposed by law “on all manufactures of cotton of which cotton is the component part of chief value," there should be levied, collected and paid 90 per cent of the rates of duty then imposed by law upon said articles, it being stated to be the intent of the section “to reduce existing duties on said articles ten per centum of such duties."
It is contended for the defendants that the protest is insufficient because it makes no reference to the gloves as “made on frames;” that the trial related exclusively to a classification of the goods as “made on frames;” that the protest was not distinct or specific as to such goods; and that the paper called a protest did not protest against anything.
As the importation in question was made in January, 1874, and the Revised Statutes, according to $ 5595 thereof, embraced only the statutes of the United States, general and permanent in their nature, in force on December 1, 1973, as revised and consolidated by the commissioners, the question of the sufficiency of the protest arises under the statutes which existed December 1, 1873.
By the act of February 26, 1845, c. 22, (5 Stat. 727,) the right to maintain an action at law against a collector to ascertain and try the legality and validity of a demand for a payment of duties, and their payment under protest, was restored; but it was provided that such action should not be maintained unless such protest should be in writing " and signed by the claimant, at or before the time of payment of said duties, setting forth distinctly and specifically the grounds of objection to the payment thereof.” It was also provided by $ 14 of the act of June 30, 1964, c. 171, (13 Stat. 214, 215,) that the decision of the collector of customs at the port of importation and entry, as to the rate and amount of duties to be paid on imported goods, should be final and conclusive against all persons interested therein, unless the owner, importer, consignee or agent of the goods should, within ten days after the ascertainment and liquidation of the duties by the proper officers of the customs, give notice in writing to the collector, if dis
Opinion of the Court.
satisfied with his decision, "setting forth therein, distinctly and specifically, the grounds of his objection thereto."
In the present case, the entry was liquidated January 30, 1874, and the protest was filed February 6, 1874. The sole question for consideration is, whether the protest in question set forth distinctly and specifically the grounds of the objection of the importers to the decision of the collector assessing the duty of 60 per cent ad valorem on the gloves.
We think the protest was sufficient. The collector having assessed the duty of 60 per cent, could have assessed it only under $ 8 of the act of June 30, 1864, (13 Stat. 210,) which imposes that rate of duty on silk gloves, or under $ 3 of the act of March 3, 1865, (13 Stat. 493,) which imposes that rate of duty“ on ready-made clothing of silk, or of which silk shall be a component material of chief value.” The protest specifically states that the goods are “partly cotton gloves, mixed with silk," and are “composed of cotton and silk, cotton chief part, the duty of 60 per cent being only legal where silk is the chief part.” The words “chief part,” used twice in the protest, clearly mean that in the goods, composed of cotton and silk, the cotton is the component material of chief value, or the “component part of chief value," and that the silk is not the "component material of chief value.” In this respect, the protest called the attention of the collector “ distinctly and specifically” to the grounds of objection of the importers to his decision, namely, that he had, contrary to law, assessed a duty of 60 per cent upon the gloves, in that he had treated them as goods of which silk was the “component material of chief value," when the contrary was the fact, and the cotton, and not the silk, was the “component material of chief value” or “component part of chief value."
The protest further claimed that the gloves were liable to a duty of only 35 per cent, less 10 per cent, and were, in fact, in any event, liable to only that duty, whether liable to 30 per cent under $ 22 of the act of March 2, 1861, (12 Stat. 191,) with the 5 per cent added under $ 13 of the act of July 14, 1862, (12 Stat. 555, 556, 557.) or at 35 per cent, under the act of June 30, 1864, (13 Stat. 208, 209,) with the reduction, as to
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Opinion of the Court.
all those provisions, of 10 per cent, under the act of June 6, 1872, (17 Stat. 231).
It is entirely immaterial that the protest did not specify that the gloves were made on frames. It was sufficient to state that the gloves were composed of cotton and silk, and that the cotton was the component material or part of chief value, and the silk was not the component material of chief value. The importers were bound only to state, as they did, that the duty of 60 per cent was illegal, and why it was illegal.
In Arthur v. Unkart, 96 U. S. 118, it was held by this court that gloves like those in question, made on frames, and composed of cotton and silk, in which cotton was the component part of chief value, were not dutiable at 60 per cent, under $ 8 of the act of June 30, 1864, (13 Stat. 210,) but were dutiable only under $ 22 of the act of March 2, 1861, (12 Stat. 191,) and § 13 of the act of July 14, 1862, (12 Stat. 555, 556, 557,) and under $ 2 of the act of June 6, 1872, (17 Stat. 231).
Under the ruling of this court in Davies v. Arthur, 96 U. S. 148, 151, the objection set forth in the protest in this case, to the decision of the collector, was so distinct and specific as, when fairly construed, to show that the objection taken at the trial was at the time in the mind of the importer, and was sufficient to notify the collector of its true nature and character, to the end that he might ascertain the precise facts and have an opportunity to correct the mistake and cure the defect, if it was one which could be obviated.
This rule was affirmed in Greely's Administrator v. Burgess, 18 How. 413, 416; Arthur v. Dodge, 101 U. S. 34, 37; Arthur v. Morgan, 112 U. S. 495, 501, and cases there cited; and Schell's E.cecutors v. Fauché, 138 U. S. 562, 567, 568, 569.
The judgment of the Circuit Court is
struction to grant a new trial.
Photographic albums, made of paper, leather, metal clasps and plated clasps,
imported in April, May and June, 1885, the paper being worth more than all the rest of the materials put together, were not liable to a duty of 30 per cent ad valorem, as “manufactures and articles of leather,” under Schedule N of the act of March 3, 1883, c. 121, (22 Stat. 513,) but were liable to a duty of only 15 per cent ad valorem, under Schedule M of that act, (22 Stat. 510,) as a manufacture of paper, or of which paper
a component material, not specially enumerated or provided for" in that act. Under $ 6 of that act, (p. 491,) title 33 of the Revised Statutes was abro
gated after July 1, 1883, and $ 2499 in that title was made to read so that " on all articles manufactured from two or more materials the duty shall be assessed at the highest rates at which the component material of chief value may be chargeable," instead of reading that “ on all articles manufactured from two or more materials the duty shall be assessed at the highest rates at which any of its component parts may be chargeable;” and that new provision was applicable to this case, although the new $ 2499 also provided that “if two or more rates of duty should be applicable to any imported article it shall be classified for duty under the high
est of such rates." This last provision was not properly applicable, under $ 2499, to an article
“manufactured from two or more materials,” and it had sufficient scope if applied to articles not manufactured from two or more materials, but still prima facie subject to “two or more rates of duty."
The case is stated in the opinion.
Mr. Stephen G. Clarke for plaintiffs in error. Mr. Edwin B. Smith and Mr. Charles Curie were with him on the brief.
Mr. Assistant Attorney General Maury for defendant in
MR. JUSTICE BLATCHFORD delivered the opinion of the court.
This is an action at law, brought in the Superior Court of the city of New York, by Adolph Liebenroth, Iwan Von
Opinion of the Court.
Auw, William Graham and Herman Schliècher, composing the firm of Liebenroth, Von Auw & Co., against William H. Robertson, collector of the port of New York, to recover the sum of $552.55, as an alleged excess of duties exacted by the defendant on importations into the port of New York of photographic albums, in April, May and June, 1885, the duties assessed having been paid, protests duly filed and appeals taken to the Secretary of the Treasury. The suit was removed by the defendant, by certiorari, into the Circuit Court of the United States for the Southern District of New York. The case was tried before the court and a jury, in January, 1888, and a verdict found for the defendant by the direction of the court, followed by a judgment for him for costs. The plaintiffs have brought a writ of error.
There is a bill of exceptions, which shows that the substantive part of the protest was as follows: “We hereby protest against your decision and assessment of duties, as made by you, and the payment of more than as below claimed, on our importations below mentioned, consisting of certain bound albums or album books, claiming that, under existing laws, and section 2499 and Schedule M, act of March 3, 1883, said goods are liable to only 15% ad val. as a manufacture of which paper is the component material of chief value, not otherwise specially enumerated or provided for, or claiming that, under existing laws, and particularly by said section and said schedule, they are liable at only 20% ad val. as 'blank books,' or said goods are liable at no more than 25% ad val. as books,' under same section and schedule."
The duty was exacted and paid at the rate of 30 per cent ad valorem on the goods, as manufactures of articles of leather, or of which leather was a component part, they being composed of paper, leather, metal clasps and plated clasps, and of their various component materials, the paper being, in ninetynine cases out of a hundred, worth more than all the rest of the materials put together. The examiner in the appraiser's department testified, on the trial, that he classified the goods as "manufactures of leather and paper, leather chief value," but that his classification was erroneous, because the paper