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refer to it in passing, in connection with the language of the whole decree, and the reasons given for the judgment, as some ground for the belief that the court in fact assumed the truth of the recitals, but thought them wholly immaterial. The court also pays no heed to the evidence which was received upon the trial of the case, showing the manner in which settlements of existing debts had been made upon instruments like the one in question, with or without the particular clause as to payments, the evidence being that the debts were paid at the rate of exchange provided for in the act of Congress. This, of course, must have been upon the ground that the words of the contract, as construed by the court, governed.

In the City of San Juan v. St. John's Gas Co., 195 U. S. 510, the contention was that the money due the gas company for lighting the street lamps was payable in Porto Rican money, but this court said that the contract was for payment in current foreign money, exclusive of Spanish gold; and it was conceded that if foreign current money was required by the contract, money of the United States, current at the time the contract was made, was within the contemplation of the parties. Such money was also current in the island when performance was due. The case does not cover the one at bar.

Nor is the debt payable at the rate of one hundred cents for each peso, on the theory that the money in circulation at the time and place for the performance of the contract was he money in contemplation of the parties thereto in the absence of a contract for the payment in some other money. See 195 U.S. 510, cases cited, page 520.

There was, as we have seen, no contract to pay in American money at the rate contended for by appellee. In providing for the withdrawal of all coins in circulation in Porto Rico, Congress provided at the same time for fixing the equivalent between those coins and American coins for the payment of all existing debts. This was simply fixing the value of those coins relatively to their value in American coin and with reference to the payment of debts then existing. All money then unpaid

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on this mortgage obligation was an existing debt within the act, and hence might be paid in American money at the rate of exchange therein specified. The withdrawal of the coins of Porto Rico in circulation at the time of the passage of the act of Congress, and provided for therein, did not take legal effect, so far as concerned debts then existing, except upon the condition that those debts might be solved in the coins of the United States, at the rate of exchange stated in the act. This did not impair or change the obligation of any contract, and was but an exercise of power to fix the value of the coins which were to be withdrawn, and to state the rate of exchange at which existing debts might be paid in American money, and as there was no contract to pay at any other rate, the act was valid and applied to this case.

We are of opinion that the appellant is entitled to pay the balance remaining unpaid of the debt secured by the mortgage in American money, at the rate of exchange prescribed by Congress.

The judgment of the court below is reversed and the case remanded for further proceedings in conformity with this opinion.






No. 151. Submitted December 13, 1905.-Decided January 2, 1906.

In order that the Circuit Court may have jurisdiction where diverse citizen

ship does not exist it must appear, by a statement in legal and logical form, such as good pleading requires, that there is a controversy really involving the construction or application of the Federal Constitution or that the validity or construction of a treaty or statute made under its authority is drawn in question.

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The Circuit Court has no jurisdiction of an action, where diverse citizen

ship does not exist, to recover taxes where the right depends upon statutes of the State and no claim to exemption is based on any provision in the Federal Constitution, or on any Federal statute or treaty with Indians; nor can it be assumed from the complaint in this case on any Federal ground that cattle, belonging to a religious organization and roaming over an Indian reservation, are exempt from taxation by the State because the organization devotes its property to purposes of charity among the Indians; nor can such exemption be claimed on the ground that the property is one of the means and instrumentalities of the Federal Government.

THE plaintiff in error commenced this action in the Circuit Court of the United States for the District of Montana, to recover from the defendant the amount of certain back taxes, which it alleged had been illegally assessed and which it had been compelled to pay in order to prevent the seizure and sale of the property owned by it, and upon which the taxes were levied. Both parties to the action were residents of the State of Montana at the time it was commenced. The defendant demurred to the complaint upon the ground, among others, that the court had no jurisdiction of the person of the defendant or of the subject matter of the action. The demurrer was sustained by the court, and the complaint dismissed on the sole ground that it had no jurisdiction, and the court has certified the question of jurisdiction directly to this court, as provided for in the fifth section of the act of 1891. 26 Stat. 826, 827; 1 Comp. Stat. U. S. 549.

The following is the complaint:

The plaintiff above named complains to the court, and alleges:

I. That it is and since prior to the year 1890 has been a corporation organized and existing under the provisions of chapter 34, fifth division of the Compiled Statutes of the State of Montana, relating to the incorporation of religious, benevolent and other like societies, and that its purposes are set forth in its articles of incorporation, as follows:

The particular business or object of said corporation shall be to hold the legal title to real estate in the Territory of Montana,

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for the use and in trust for the Society of Jesus, also to hold and in trust for said society all funds, property and effects of said society, or any members thereof, or any person or persons, corporation or corporations, conveyed, transferred, delivered or assigned to the said coporation, for the use and benefit of said society; to conduct, erect, govern and maintain churches, colleges, schools and libraries, and all other such necessary and useful enterprises as may be properly connected with the society and corporation. The general business and object of said corporation shall be to inculcate and further the interests of Christian education among the inhabitants of the Territory of Montana, including the Indians and other residents on reservations within the said Territory, and also to advance the interests of the Christian religion through the erection and maintenance of churches, colleges and schools and the preaching of the gospel.

II. The Society of Jesus referred to in the said articles of incorporation is an association or order of ministers of the gospel, none of the members of which can, under the rules of the said order, hold or does hold any property in his own right.

III. Plaintiff further avers that about the year 1854 the said Society of Jesus established a mission among the Flathead Indians, then residing in the western portion of what is now the State of Montana, and stationed among them members of the said order, with directions to teach, educate, enlighten and care for the said Indians. That the said mission being so established, members of the said order so deputed went among the said Indians, and from about the year 1854 to the present time have continued in the work of teaching, educating and enlightening the said Flathead Indians.

IV. The plaintiff further avers that since the creation of the Flathead Indian reservation in the State of Montana, members of the said order, commonly known as Jesuit Fathers, have, by the direction of said order and by permission of the Indians living and entitled to live within the same, and the Government of the United States, been permitted to reside within the said

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reservation for the purpose of teaching and educating the Indians residing thereon, and that they have been, during all of said period, continuously engaged in the work of teaching and educating the said Indians.

V. That with the permission of the Indians inhabiting and entitled to inhabit the said reservation and the Government of the United States, the said Jesuit Fathers have constructed on the said reservation, at great expense, extensive school buildings, with dormitories, and in connection therewith, for the purpose of teaching the said Indians the manual arts, a blacksmith shop, wagon shop, printing office, saddlery shop, shoe shops, bakeries, and other shops of like character, and with the same purpose cultivate fields and gardens.

VI. That for the more successful conduct of the training and education of the Indians, the said Jesuit Fathers take into their care and custody at tender ages the children of the said Indians, and keep them at the said schools, and clothe, feed and house them until they arrive at mature years, and that they now have and for more than ten years last past have had in their charge and care upwards of two hundred and fifty of the children of the Indians residing on and entitled to reside on the said reservation.

VII. That for many years the Government of the United States, in recognition of the value of the work of the said Jesuit Fathers in the training and education of the said Indians, appropriated and paid to them large sums of money for the purpose of carrying on the said work of educating the said Indians and caring for their children, but that such contributions are no longer made by the Government.

VIII. That with a view to provide means for the carrying on of the said work of educating the said Indians the said Jesuit Fathers have acquired a large band of neat cattle, which roam over and feed upon the said reservation. That the right to keep and graze the said cattle upon the lands included within the said reservation was, long prior to the year 1895, granted to the Jesuit Fathers by the Indians residing upon the said reservation

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