« ForrigeFortsett »
Mr. Justice Clarke dissents.
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Petitioner,
ETNA EXPLOSIVES COMPANY.
(See S. C. Reporter's ed. 402-405.)
nitric and sulphuric acids Nitric acid to which approximately
under the conditions hereinafter speci- The judgment of the court below is fied, of Chinese laborers to the United affirmed. States, shall be absolutely prohibited;" but this "shall not apply to the return to the United States of any registered Chinese laborer who has a lawful wife, child, or parent in the United States, or property therein of the value of one thousand dollars, or debts of like amount due him and pending settlement." Exclusion of all Chinese laborers, with certain definite, carefully guarded exceptions, was the manifest end in view, and for a long time the Duties same design has characterized legislation by Congress. "In the opinion of the government of the United States the 20 per cent by weight and 5 per cent accoming of Chinese laborers to this coun-cording to value of sulphuric acid has been try endangers the good order of certain corrosion of steel tank cars essential for added for the sole purpose of preventing localities within the territory thereof." transportation of the former acid in large See Act of May 6, 1882, 22 Stat. at L. quantities comes within paragraph 387 of 58, chap. 126, Comp. Stat. § 4290, 2 Fed. the free list in the Tariff Act of October 3, Stat. Anno. 2d ed. p. 67; Act of July 5, 1913, which grants free entry to both nitric 1884, 23 Stat. at L. 115, chap. 220, Comp. and sulphuric acids, rather than paragraph Stat. § 4290, 2 Fed. Stat. Anno. 2d ed. p. 5, which imposes a duty of 15 per cent ad 67; Act of September 13, 1888, 25 Stat. valorem upon "alkalies, alkaloids, and all chemical and medicinal compounds, prepat L. 476, 477, chap. 1015, 2 Fed. Stat. arations, mixtures and salts, and combina Anno. 2d ed. p. 82; Act of May 5, 1892, tions thereof," not specially provided for 27 Stat. at L. 25, chap. 60, Comp. Stat. in this section. § 4315, 2 Fed. Stat. Anno. 2d ed. p. 92; Act of November 3, 1893, 28 Stat. at L. 7, chap. 14, Comp. Stat. § 4320.
[For other cases, see Duties, V. d. 3. in Digest Sup. Ct. 1908.]
The special object of the Treaty of 1894 was to secure assent of China to Argued April 27 and 28, 1921. Decided May the limitation or suspension by the United States of immigration or resi
dence of Chinese laborers. Prior to that ON WRIT of Certiorari to the United
ers, imposing a duty on nitric acid to which sulphuric acid had been added solely to protect the tank car in which shipment was to be made. Affirmed.
The facts are stated in the opinion.
Assistant Attorney General Hanson argued the cause and filed a brief for petitioner:
It is undisputed that the imported merchandise was a chemical mixture within the meaning of the provision for all chemical mixtures in ¶ 5, Tariff Act
time rather drastic legislation had unStates Court of Customs Appeals to dertaken to limit such immigration and review a judgment which reversed a deresidence. These statutes were "re-en-cision of the Board of General Appraisacted, extended, and continued, without modification, limitation, or condition" by Act of April 29, 1902 (chap. 641, 32 Stat. at L. 176), as amended by Act of April 27, 1904 (chap. 1630, § 5, 33 Stat. at L. 428, Comp. Stat. § 4337, 2 Fed. Stat. Anno. 2d ed. p. 109), and are now in force notwithstanding the Treaty of 1894 expired in 1904. Hong Wing v. United States, 73 C. C. A. 346, 142 Fed. 128. This  well-defined purpose of Congress would be impeded rather than facilitated by permitting entry of the wives and minor children of Chinamen who first came after the ratification of the treaty, as members of an exempt class, and later assumed the status of laborers. We think our statutes exclude all Chinese persons belonging to the class defined as laborers except those specifically and definitely exempted, and there is no such exemption of a resident laborer's wife and minor children.
Strohmeyer & Arpe v. United States, 2 Ct. Cust. App. 285.
The dutiable classification of articles imported must be ascertained by an examination of the imported article itself, in the condition in which it is imported.
Dwight v. Merritt, 140 U. S. 213, 219, 35 L. ed. 450, 452, 11 Sup. Ct. Rep. 768; United States v. Citroen, 223 U. S. 407, 414, 415, 56 L. ed. 486, 488, 489, 32
Sup. Ct. Rep. 259; United States v. Schoverling, 146 U. S. 76, 82, 36 L. ed. 893, 895, 13 Sup. Ct. Rep. 24; Worthington v. Robbins, 139 U. S. 337, 341, 35 L. ed. 181, 182, 11 Sup. Ct. Rep. 581.
The motives which actuate the manufacture and importation of merchandise do not affect its dutiable classification. Dwight v. Merritt, 140 U. S. 213, 219, 35 L. ed. 450, 452, 11 Sup. Ct. Rep. 768; Magone v. Luckemeyer, 139 U. S. 612, 35 L. ed. 298, 11 Sup. Ct. Rep. 651; Merritt v. Welsh, 104 U. S. 694, 701, 704, 26 L. ed. 896, 897, 899; Seeberger v. Farwell, 139 U. S. 608, 35 L. ed. 297, 11 Sup. Ct. Rep. 650; United States v. Citroen, 223 U. S. 407, 415, 56 L. ed. 486, 488, 32 Sup. Ct. Rep. 259; United States v. Levitt, Fed. Cas. No. 15,594; United States v. Schoverling, 146 U. S. 76, 81, 36 L. ed. 893, 895, 13 Sup. Ct. Rep. 24.
This is not a case for the application of the rule that a thing may be within the letter of the statute and yet not within the statute.
Henry E. Frankenberg Co. v. United States, 206 U. S. 224, 225, 51 L. ed. 1034, 1035, 27 Sup. Ct. Rep. 628; Merritt v. Welsh, 104 U. S. 694, 701, 703, 26 L. ed. 896, 898, 899.
The decision below fixes no definite standard by which collectors of customs can determine the dutiable classification of mixed acid.
Merritt v. Welsh, 104 U. S. 694, 702, 26 L. ed. 896, 898.
The decision below is in conflict with a rule which has long had both legislative and judicial approval.
Boericke & Runyon Co.'s Case, T. D. 23,354; Boericke & R. Co. v. United States, 126 Fed. 1019; Otis Clapp & Son's Case, T. D. 20,516; United States v. Stone & D. Co. 171 Fed. 293, 99 C. C. A. 49, 175 Fed. 33.
In no event is the merchandise free of duty under ¶ 387, Tariff Act of 1913. Benjamin Iron & Steel Co. v. United States, 2 Ct. Cust. App. 159.
Mr. Addison S. Pratt argued the cause and filed a brief for respondent:
The merchandise here involved was in fact nitric acid, or nitric acid with sulphuric acid as a container or a protector for the instrument of transportation. Although, for the want of a better designation, it may be called a mixed acid, it was not a chemical mixture within the meaning of the Tariff Act.
Stromeyer & Arpe v. United States, 2 Ct. Cust. App. 285; United States v. Kraemer, 4 Ct. Cust. App. 433; United
States v. Walter, 4 Ct. Cust. App. 95; Stiner v. United States, 2 Ct. Cust. App. 347; Revillon Freres v. United States, 2 Ct. Cust. App. 209; Chew Hing Lung v. Wise, 176 U. S. 156, 44 L. ed. 412, 20 Sup. Ct. Rep. 320.
Though the words of a statute may be broad enough to include a certain thing or a certain act, yet, if absurd results will follow from giving such a broad meaning to the words, the thing or the act will be held not to be within the spirit of the statute, and, therefore, not within the statute.
Church of the Holy Trinity v. United States, 143 U. S. 457, 459, 36 L. ed. 227, 228, 12 Sup. Ct. Rep. 511; United States v. Kirby, 7 Wall. 482, 486, 19 L. ed. 278, 280; Lau Ow Bew v. United States, 144 U. S. 47, 59, 36 L. ed. 340, 344, 12 Sup. Sup. Ct. Rep. 517; Jacobson v. Massachusetts, 197 U. S. 11, 39, 49 L. ed. 643, 655, 25 Sup. Ct. Rep. 358, 3 Ann. Cas. 765; Heide v. United States, 2 Ct. Cust. App. 399, 403; Hensel v. United States, 3 Ct. Cust. App. 117; Maltus & Ware v. United States, 6 Ct. Cust. App. 525.
In cases of doubt, tariff acts must be interpreted in favor of the importer, as tax acts are interpreted in favor of the taxpayer.
United States v. Wigglesworth, 2 Story, 369, Fed. Cas. No. 16,690; Powers v. Barney, 5 Blatchf. 202, Fed. Cas. No. 11,361; Hartranft v. Wiegmann, 121 U. S. 609, 616, 30 L. ed. 1012, 1015, 7 Sup. Ct. Rep. 1240; American Net & Twine Co. v. Worthington, 141 U. s. 468, 474, 35 L. ed. 821, 824, 12 Sup. Ct. Rep. 55; United States v. Ullman, 4 Ben. 547, Fed. Cas. No. 16,593; Woolworth v. United States, 1 Ct. Cust. App. 120; Maltus & Ware v. United States, 6 Ct. Cust. App. 525; Hartranft v. Oliver, 125 U. S. 525, 529, 31 L. ed. 813, 814, 8 Sup. Ct. Rep. 958; Goat & Sheepskin Import Co. v. United States, 5 Ct. Cust. App. 178.
To classify the merchandise here involved as a chemical mixture produces unjust and absurd results, and resolves all doubts against the importer.
Arnold v. United States, 147 U. S. 494, 37 L. ed. 253, 13 Sup. Ct. Rep. 406; United States v. Garramone, 2 Ct. Cust. App. 30; Hensel v. United States, 3 Ct. Cust. App. 117; Heide v. United States, 2 Ct. Cust. App. 399; United States v. John Duncan's Sons, 2 Ct. Cust. App. 380; United States v. Embossing Co. 3 Ct. Cust. App. 220; United States v. Holland-American Trading Co. 4 Ct.
have been demanded, and, among other things, said:
Cust. App. 336; Protest of Wakem & McLaughlin, T. D. 28,832, G. A. 6736; Protest of Gabriel & Schall, T. D. 19,628,  "The word 'preparations' [in G. A. 4210, affirmed in 99 Fed. 716; Re¶ 5] implies, of course, that they Boston Book Co. 50 Fed. 914. are something prepared and adapted The rule that the dutiable classifica- to particular uses or services. It is tion of an article must be determined by an examination of its condition at the time of importation, and is not affected by the motive which actuated its manufacture or importation, was not infringed by the decision below.
Worthington v. Robbins, 139 U. S. 337, 341, 35 L. ed. 181, 182, 11 Sup. Ct. Rep. 581.
There is no difficulty in applying the rule or standard laid down by the court of customs appeals.
Buehne Steel Wool Co. v. United States, 86 C. C. A. 297, 159 Fed. 109.
Mr. Justice McReynolds delivered the opinion of the court:
A writ of certiorari to the court of customs appeals was granted under the Act of August 22, 1914 (chap. 267, 38 Stat. at L. 703, Comp. Stat. § 1186, 5 Fed. Stat. Anno. 2d ed. p. 689). 9 Ct. Cust. App. 298.
The question presented is whether the imports came within ¶ 387 of the free list, Tariff Act of 1913 (chap. 16, 38 Stat. at L. 114, Comp. Stat. § 5291, 2 Fed. Stat. Anno. 2d ed. p. 724), which provides: "Acids: Acetic or pyroligeneous, arsenic or arsenious, carbolic, chromic, fluoric, hydrofluoric, hydrochloric or muriatic, nitric, phosphoric, phthalic, prussic, silicic, sulphuric or oil of vitriol, and valerianic;" or was dutiable under
"Alkalies, alkaloids, and all chemical and medicinal compounds, preparations, mixtures and salts, and combinations thereof not specially provided for in this section, 15 per centum ad valorem." The imported merchandise was nitric acid, to which approximately 20 per cent by weight, and 5 per cent, according to value, of sulphuric acid, had been added for the sole purpose of preventing corrosion of steel tank car: essential for transportation of the former acid in large quantities. That the addition of sulphuric acid prevents nitric acid from attacking steel is a well-known fact concerning which there is no very satisfactory explanation. The court below found the sulphuric acid was added solely for transportation purposes, and that the result was not a mixture merchantable as such for use in the United States. It accordingly held that no duty should
no stretch to say that the word 'mixtures,' as here employed, was used in a similar sense to import mixtures susceptible of commercial use as they exist, or are at least such as are purposely started on their way toward adaptation to such use. While not resting this case solely upon this view, it certainly would appeal with great force were it the only consideration involved." "The testimony fairly tends to show that, as a commercial proposition, there is only one practical means of transporting strong nitric acid such as that involved in the present importation in quantities sufficient to meet the current demand, and that is to mix it with a sufficient amount of sulphuric acid, and ship it in tank cars or drums." "It is evident that the importer sought to introduce nitric acid, and had no desire to import sulphuric acid, or nitric and sulphuric acid as a usable mixture. This which was relatively insignificant in its small percentage of sulphuric acid, money value, was employed solely for ship the nitric acid into this country in the purpose of making it possible to usable quantities. The result was not a mixture merchantable as such for use in the United States.
chandise had not reached the state of a
commercial mixture contemplated by the statute. It was susceptible of no use other than as nitric acid, which must, before use, be again treated. The mixing of this minimum amount of sulphuric acid should be treated as a means of and part of the shipment, and as an act as essential in the importation of nitric acid as would have been the proper packing of glassware or other goods designed for shipment by rail." "In the present case we are convinced that there was neither an advantage to the importer in adding the requisite amount of sulphuric acid to admit of safe shipment of the nitric acid, nor was there any possible loss of revenue to the  government. The sole purpose for which this addition was made was to admit of shipment. It would be sticking in the bark to say that this was such a mixture as the statute in question contemplates. It is not yet prepared. It has not been advanced as a preparation for actual use except to the extent that a small portion of the requisite amount of
sulphuric acid, which, when added in the proper quantity, would result in making a mixture which was usable, is found in this tank instead of some other.
quantity is relatively insignificant." "We think that the true rule is that the introduction of a quantity of sulphuric acid solely for the purpose of rendering the transportation of nitric acid safe, and which does not result in a usable mixture, is more in the nature of an act of shipment than an admixture, and does not produce a substance which is dutiable under ¶ 5."
We find no reason for disapproving the conclusion reached by the court of customs appeals. The applicable tariff act granted free entry to both nitric and sulphuric acids, and, viewed practically, the commodity in question was nothing more than nitric acid, rendered noninjurious to steel tanks by adding sulphuric acid of small value. The two acids do not interact, and the result was a mere mechanical mixture, not intended or adapted as such for commercial use, and not a chemical mixture within the true intent of ¶ 5.
The judgment of the court below must be affirmed.
Mr. Justice Day took no part in the consideration or decision of this case. Mr. Justice Clarke dissents.
cover from the consignee of an interstate shipment, as a matter of law, under the Interstate Commerce Acts, the difference between the freight rates charged and colthe applicable published rates, is a queslected and the larger amount due under tion which the Federal Supreme Court can review by certiorari to a state court; not by writ of error. Carriers freight rate for true rate.
illegal liability of consignee
2. A commission merchant, the consignee of an interstate shipment, is, as a matter of law, liable to the carrier for the difference between the freight charges erroneously claimed by the carrier and paid by the consignee upon receipt of the goods, and the larger amount due under the applicable published tariffs, although the standard "straight" bills of lading, under which the goods were shipped, did not come into the consignee's possession, and it had no knowlthough the consignee accepted the shipment edge of their issuance or terms, and alupon the understanding that the charges were as reported, and did not agree to pay more.
[For other cases, see Carriers, II. b, 5, in Digest Sup. Ct. 1908.]
State of Massachusetts to review a judgment entered pursuant to the direction of the Supreme Judicial Court of that  NEW YORK CENTRAL & HUD- state, granting a part only of the relief
SON RIVER RAILROAD COMPANY. Plff. in Err. and Petitioner,
YORK & WHITNEY COMPANY. (No.
sought by a carrier in a suit to recover from a consignee the difference between the freight rate charged and collected and the true rate. Writs of error dismissed. Judgment reversed in No. 280, and cause remanded for further pro
YORK & WHITNEY COMPANY, Plff. in ceedings. Judgment in No. 281 affirmed.
Err. and Petitioner,
YORK CENTRAL & HUDSON RIVER RAILROAD COMPANY.
See same case below, 230 Mass. 206, 119 N. E. 855.
The facts are stated in the opinion. Mr. William L. Parsons argued the cause and filed a brief for the New York Central & Hudson River Railroad Company:
Whether the railroad is entitled to recover the undercharges on the first carload of cantaloupes, as a matter of law, under the acts of Congress relating to interstate commerce and the bill of lading issued under the Carmack Amendment, is a Federal question.
Pittsburgh, C. C. & St. L. R. Co. v. Fink, 250 U. S. 577, 63 L. ed. 1151, 40 Sup. Ct. Rep. 27; Cincinnati, N. O. & T. P. R. Co. v. Rankin, 241 U. S. 319,
326, 327, 60 L. ed. 1022, 1025, 1026,, A. 182, 202 Fed. 720; New York, N. H. L.R.A.1917A, 265, 36 Sup. Ct. Rep. 355; & H. R. Co. v. York & W. Co. 215 Mass. Gulf, C. & S. F. R. Co. v. Texas Packing Co. 244 U. S. 31, 34, 61 L. ed. 970, 971, 37 Sup. Ct. Rep. 487; Georgia, F. & A. R. Co. v. Blish Mill. Co. 241 U. S. 190, 195, 60 L. ed. 948, 951, 36 Sup. Ct. Rep. 541; St. Louis, I. M. & S. R. Co. v. Starbird, 243 U. S. 592, 61 L. ed. 917, 37 Sup. Ct. Rep. 462; Southern P. Co. v. Industrial Acci. Commission, 251 U. S. 259, 64 L. ed. 258, 10 A.L.R. 1181, 40 Sup. Ct. Rep. 130.
The full tariff rates are the only rates which the carrier may lawfully receive or the person liable properly pay. The public is charged with knowledge of the lawful rates. Misstatement of the rates, whether intentional or accidental, will not bind the carrier; they have the force of statute; they cannot be varied under any pretext.
Pittsburgh, C. C. & St. L. R. Co. v. Fink, 250 U. S. 577, 63 L. ed. 1151, 40 Sup. Ct. Rep. 27; Louisville & N. R. Co. v. Maxwell, 237 U. S. 94, 59 L. ed. 853, L.R.A.1915E, 665, P.U.R.1915C, 300, 35 Sup. Ct. Rep. 494; Texas & P. R. Co. v. Mugg, 202 U. S. 242, 50 L. ed. 1011, 26 Sup. Ct. Rep. 628; Dayton Coal & I. Co. v. Cincinnati, N. O. & T. P. R. Co. 239 U. S. 446, 60 L. ed. 375, 36 Sup. Ct. Rep. 137; Louisville & N. R. Co. v. Mottley, 219 U. S. 467, 55 L. ed. 297, 34 L.R.A. (N.S.) 671, 31 Sup. Ct. Rep. 265; Kansas Southern R. Co. v. Carl, 227 U. S. 639, 653, 57 L. ed. 683, 688, 33 Sup. Ct. Rep. 391; Gulf, C. & S. F. R. Co. v. Hefley, 158 U. S. 98, 39 L. ed. 910, 15 Sup. Ct. Rep. 802; Pennsylvania R. Co. v. International Coal Min. Co. 230 U. S. 184, 57 L. ed. 1446, 33 Sup. Ct. Rep. 893, Ann. Cas. 1915A, 315.
A consignee of an interstate shipment | who accepts the property and pays the charges thereon demanded by the carrier at the time of delivery is liable for any balance of charges subsequently found to be due under the tariff. This liability is imposed on the consignee, although not a party to the original contract of shipment, because the consignee accepts the property transported, knowing that it is subject to a lien for the charges arising from the transportation, knowing or charged with knowledge of the lawful tariff rates thereon, and knowing or charged with knowledge that the carrier may not properly ask or receive less than the full tariff charges.
Pittsburgh, C. C. & St. L. R. Co. v. Fink, 250 U. S. 577, 63 L. ed. 1151, 40 Sup. Ct. Rep. 27; Union P. R. Co. v. American Smelting & Ref. Co. 121 C. C.
36, 102 N. E. 366; Pennsylvania R. Co. v. Titus, 216 N. Y. 17, L.R.A.1916E, 1127, 109 N. E. 857, Ann. Cas. 1917C, 862; Emerson v. Central of Georgia R. Co. 196 Ala. 280, L.R.A.1916F, 120, 72 So. 120; Texas & P. R. Co. v. Mugg, 202 U. S. 242, 50 L. ed. 1011, 26 Sup. Ct. Rep. 628; Louisiana R. & Nav. Co. v. Holly, 127 La. 615, 53 So. 882; Jackson v. Piowaty & Sons, 205 Ill. App. 329.
Complete failure to post tariffs will not affect their validity nor excuse payment of charges accruing thereunder. The schedules become operative upon filing with the Interstate Commerce Com-. mission.
Berwind-White Coal Min. Co. v. Chicago & E. R. Co. 235 U. S. 371, 375, 59 L. ed. 275, 277, 35 Sup. Ct. Rep. 191; Texas & P. R. Co. v. Cisco Oil Mill, 204 U. S. 449, 451, 51 L. ed. 562, 563, 27 Sup. Ct. Rep. 358; Louisiana R. & Nav. Co. v. Holly, 127 La. 615, 53 So. 882.
The consignee, whatever may have been its actual opportunity to examine schedules, or its actual knowledge of their contents, was conclusively presumed to know the lawful rates.
Kansas City Southern R. Co. v. Carl, 227 U. S. 639, 653, 57 L. ed. 683, 688, 33 Sup. Ct. Rep. 391; Louisville & N. R. Co. v. Maxwell, 237 U. S. 94, 59 L. ed. 853, L.R.A.1915E, 665, P.U.R.1915C, 300, 35 Sup. Ct. Rep. 494; Pittsburgh, C. C. & St. L. R. Co. v. Fink, 250 U. S. 577, 63 L. ed. 1151, 40 Sup. Ct. Rep. 27.
It is immaterial that the tariffs were difficult to understand.
Chicago & A. R. Co. v. Kirby, 225 U. S. 155, 56 L. ed. 1033, 32 Sup. Ct. Rep. 648, Ann. Cas. 1914A, 501.
Special agreements to pay less than the tariff rates are absolutely forbidden, and repeatedly have been held invalid.
Dayton Coal & I. Co. v. Cincinnati, N. O. & T. P. R. Co. 239 U. S. 446, 60 L. ed. 375, 36 Sup. Ct. Rep. 137; Atchison, T. & S. F. R. Co. v. Robinson, 233 U. S. 173, 58 L. ed. 901, 34 Sup. Ct. Rep. 556; Chicago & A. R. Co. v. Kirby, 225 U. S. 155, 56 L. ed. 1033, 32 Sup. Ct. Rep. 648, Ann. Cas. 1914A, 501.
The railroad company had a lien on the shipment for the full lawful charges. Regardless of any notice of agency, the consignee could not discharge the lien, and was not entitled to require the delivery of the goods to it without payment of the entire charges.
Pittsburgh, C. C. & St. L. R. Co. v. Fink, 250 U. S. 577, 582, 63 L. ed. 1151, 1153, 40 Sup. Ct. Rep. 27.