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decided: December 5, 1898.



Author: Fuller

[ 172 U.S. Page 139]

 MR. CHIEF JUSTICE FULLER, after stating the case, delivered the opinion of the court.

In respect of these importations, it must be assumed that the bags were not in fact all of American manufacture or substantially so.

The opinion of the General Appraisers stated that "it was admitted that there were bags of foreign manufacture and of American manufacture, all indiscriminately mingled together, no attempt being made on entry or afterwards to separate from these enormous totals of goods of the same class those claimed to be relieved from duty accompanied by the proof establishing such indulgence." The examiner testified that he "in some cases examined every bale of the whole entire invoice;" that he used his judgment "to try to open sufficient to get at the classification of the goods;" and that where he opened the bales and examined them he found of foreign make in general "from seventy-five to eighty per cent." Indeed we do not understand the importers to deny that these importations contained foreign made bags.

Under Title 33 of the Revised Statutes a duty was imposed on grain bags, except those manufactured in the United

[ 172 U.S. Page 140]

     States and exported containing American products, declaration having been made of intent to return the same empty. Rev. Stat. ยงยง 2504, 2505.

By section 7 of the act of February 8, 1875, c. 36, 18 Stat. 307, 308, it was provided: "That bags, other than of American manufacture, in which grain shall have been actually exported from the United States, may be returned empty to the United States free of duty, under deregulations to be prescribed by the Secretary of the Treasury."

Section 6 of the tariff act of March 3, 1883, c. 121, 22 Stat. 488, 489, provided that on and after July 1, 1883, "the following sections shall constitute and be a substitute for Title 33 of the Revised Statutes." The provision in regard to empty returned bags of American manufacture was reenacted in substance in the free list, but that of section 7 of the act of 1875 was omitted, and bags, excepting bagging for cotton, were made dutiable.

Paragraph 493 of the tariff act of 1890 retained the same exemption from duty upon returned empty bags of American manufacture, and was silent in regard to returned empty foreign made bags which were filled when exported.

In view of this legislation, Acting Attorney General Maxwell advised the Secretary of the Treasury, July 20, 1893, that the provision of section 7 of the act of 1875 exempting foreign made grain bags was repealed. 20 Op. Atty. Gen. 630. This ruling was followed and approved by the Treasury Department, August 22, 1893, Syn. T.D. 14,281; and the same ruling was made by the Board of General Appraisers, February 3, 1894, in Kent v. United States, G.A. 2448, as it had been in prior decisions; by Judge Lacombe, in effect, April 21, 1891, in In re Straus, 46 Fed. Rep. 522; and specifically by Judge Townsed in Kent v. United States, 68 Fed. Rep. 536, June 2, 1895. The latter case was carried to the Circuit Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit and the decree affirmed, April 7, 1896, 38 U.S. App. 554. The rule applied was that "when a later statute is a complete revision of the subject to which the earlier statute related, and the new legislation was manifestly intended as a substitute

[ 172 U.S. Page 141]

     for the former legislation, the prior act must be held to have been repealed;" and the opinion of Judge Shipman leaves nothing to be added in support of the conclusion reached.

Foreign made bags, then, being dutiable at two cents per pound under paragraph 365 of the act of October 1, 1890, and these bales being permeated with bags of foreign manufacture, the appraiser reported all the bags as dutiable and the collector so assessed them.

But the importers insist that this assessment was illegal because of the insufficiency or invalidity of the examination; or of the absence of a statute specifically applicable; or because it was not confined to foreign made bags.

Paragraph 493 required proof of the identity of articles entered as exempt thereunder, and this was not only repeated in the regulations, but Article 336 required "verification, after examination, by the appraiser, with an endorsement stating whether the articles are of domestic or foreign manufacture." By section 2 of the Customs Administrative Act of June 10, 1890, c. 407, all invoices must contain a correct description of the merchandise, signed by the manufacturer or by the person owning or shipping the same, or by his duly authorized agent, which under section 5 might be adopted by the domestic consignee or owner, who by section 9 was made liable for the employment or use of any fraudulent or false invoice or statement by means whereof the United States may be deprived of lawful duties. Under section 10 it was the duty of the appraiser to ascertain, estimate and appraise the actual market value and wholesale price of merchandise imported, and the number of yards, parcels and quantities. And evidently this ascertainment involves character and quality as well as value, since the statement, invoice or entry must be true in respect of the character of the goods as well as of their value. 26 Stat. 131, 136.

On the question of identity, then (which under the law includes the question of country of manufacture), the production of the papers required by the regulations are not conclusive proof, and ...

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