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WILLIAM STAIRS AND ANOTHER, PLAINTIFFS, v. CHARLES H. PEASLEE.

December 1, 1855

WILLIAM STAIRS AND ANOTHER, PLAINTIFFS,
v.
CHARLES H. PEASLEE.



THIS case came up, on a certificate of division in opinion between the judges of the circuit court of the United States for the district of Massachusetts. The facts are stated in the opinion of the court. It was argued by Mr. Griswold, for the plaintiffs, and Mr. Gillet, for the defendant.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Mr. Chief Justice Taney delivered the opinion of the court.

Mr. Griswold's first and fourth points were as follows:––

1. The tariff act of March 3, 1851, did not repeal so much of former laws as provided that merchandise, when imported from a country other than that of production or manufacture, should be appraised at the market value of similar articles at the principal markets of the country of production or manufacture, at the period of the exportation to the United States. But that the provision in the 16th section of the tariff act of 1842 is still in force. Act Aug. 30, 1842, c. 270, § 16, 5 Stats. at Large, 564; Act March 3, 1851, c. 38, § 1, 9 Ib. 629; Act July 30, 1846, c. 74, § 8, 9 Ib. 43.

(a) Because congress in passing the tariff act of March 3, 1851, did not intend to repeal or modify the proviso in the 16th section of the tariff act of August 30, 1842. But only so much of the main body of the section as provided that merchandise, when imported from the country of production or manufacture, should be liable to duty on the appraised value at the time when purchased.

And the intention, if it can be ascertained, must govern in the interpretation of these statutes. Greely v. Thompson et al. 10 How. 225; Norcross v. Greely, 1 Curtis, 116; Barnard et al. v. Morton, Ib. 409.

(b) Because the act of March 3, 1851, was passed in consequence of the decision by this court, in the case of Greely v. Thompson et al. 10 How. 225, and Maxwell v. Griswold, Ib. 242, to the effect that by the 16th section of the tariff act of August 30, 1842, merchandise, when imported from the country of production or manufacture, was liable to duty on the appraised value thereof at the time when purchased, and not at the period of the exportation, as had been claimed by the secretary of the treasury.

And the intention of congress was simply to change the time with reference to which the value should be appraised, from the time when purchased, to the period of the exportation. Greely v. Thompson et al. 10 How. 225; Maxwell v. Griswold et al. 10 Ib. 242; Norcross v. Greely, 1 Curtis, 116; Barnard et al. v. Morton, Ib. 409; 1 Kent's Com. 462; Act March 3, 1851, c. 38, § 1, 9 Stats. at Large, 629; Act July 30, 1846, c. 74, § 8, 9 Ib. 43; Act Aug. 30, 1842, c. 270, § 16, 5 Ib. 564; Act March 1, 1823, c. 21, § 5, 3 Ib. 733; Act May 19, 1828, c. 55, §§ 8, 9, 4 Ib. 274; Act July 14, 1832, c. 227, § 7, 4 Ib. 592.

(c) Because sect. 1 of the tariff act of March 3, 1851, is not repugnant to, or inconsistent with, the provisio in the 16th section of the tariff act of August 30, 1842, but is cumulative, and should be construed with it, in pari materia. United States v. Sixty-seven Packages of Dry Goods, 17 How. 93; Wood v. United States, 16 Pet. 364; United States v. Freeman, 3 How. 564; Daviess et al. v. Fairbairn et al. Ib. 646; Morlot v. Lawrence, 1 Blatch, 612; Saving Institution v. Makin, 23 Maine, 360.

4. If the court shall hold that the appraisements of the cutch were legally made, still the additional duty of twenty per centum under the 8th section of the act of 1846 was wrongfully exacted by the defendant.

(a) Because the additional duty provided by the 8th section of the act of 1846 applies only in cases where the importer or consignee, on entry of merchandise, has voluntarily added to the invoice value. Act 1846, c. 74, § 8, 9 Stats. at Large, 43; Kreisler v. Morton, 1 Curtis, 415.

(b) Because the 17th section of the act of 1842 is still in force, and this imposes, on merchandise which has been procured by purchase, an additional duty of fifty per cent. of the duty prescribed by law, in case the appraised value thereof exceeds by ten per cent., or more, the invoice value; and this section embraces and applies to all cases of purchased goods, where the owner, importer, or consignee has not, on entry thereof, voluntarily added to the invoice value. Kreisler v. Morton, 1 Curtis, 415; Act 1846, § 8, 9 Stats. at Large, 43.

(c) Because the 8th section of the act of 1846 secures to owners, importers, and consignees of imports which have been actually purchased, the right of making such additions to the invoices on entry thereof, as shall, in their opinion, raise the same to the true market value of such imports in the principal markets, &c., &c.–(a privilege not enjoyed under the 17th section of the act of 1842;)–and it also provides that if the owner, importer, or consignee, having availed himself of this privilege, fails to make a sufficient addition to his invoice, he shall pay an additional duty of twenty per cent. on the appraised a value–a severer penalty than is inflicted by the 17th section of the act of 1842.

(d) Because the additional duty provided by the 17th section of the act of 1842 is not inconsistent with, or repugnant to, that in the 8th section of the act of 1846; because the latter is only applicable to cases of declarations of increased values voluntarily made by the owner, consignee, or agent on entry.

(e) Because the basis of appraisement by the two sections are entirely different.

By the 17th section of the act of 1842, if the appraised value exceed by ten per cent. or more, the invoice value, then fifty per cent. of the duty prescribed by law is to be added; while by the 8th section of the act of 1846, if the appraised value exceed by ten per cent. or more, the value declared in the entry, ...


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