KALr.sTRoM and others.
(Di8trit'.t. (Jourl, W:D. Michigan, No D. 1887.)
INTERNAL REVENUE-WHOLESALE LIQUOR DEALERS LICENSE.
Where retail liquor dealers organize themselves under the style of a "Protection Union," and sign "artfcles" pledging themselves to purchase beer through the "Union " of brewers in another state, by which means they save two dollarsabarrel,and, no wholesale licenses having been taken out as providedby Rev. St. 0:. S.J 3242, such purchases are made through the secretary and treasurer or the" union," who is paid nothing for his services, the memo bers being changed only with freight, atorage, and the like. the retail dealers bec<?me wholesale dealers, and are liable to the penalty set out in that section. . .
Indidtment under Rev. St. U.S.§3242, for carrying on the business of wholesale liquor dealers without licenses. The following letter from the district to the circuit judge states the
GR..uID RAPIDS, MIOH.,: October 13, 1886. Htm. HowellE..Tackson-MY DBAB.JUDGE:.At my last term, at Mara case was tried before meinvohring a question upon which I was in ,great doubt. The case was this,: Pertain retail liquor dealers, who were saloon keepers at Garden City, in the upper peninsula, and who had obtained licenses, as such, had. been. su,rp)ied, with. beer by a wholesale dealer whose 'place of business was also there·. Fipding that they could supply themselves .at two dollars less per barrel than the 'local dealer was' selli ng at, these retail dealers organized themselves into ahiassociation which they. called the "ProtectionUnion;" composed of themselves and some dealers of their class from towns, the several signing what they termed "articles," but wbich, in faet, were nothing more. than a pledge that they would severpurchase their beer, through the troion, of a certain house of brewers in Milwaukee. They appointed a seCretary and treasurer. They had a place of deposit, where. when an invoice of beer arrived by rail from Milwaukee, the beer was stored in barrels.. Whetl any of the members wanted beer. he would send a drayman, with an order to the s6C1:etaryand treasurer, who was the same person. It would be the draymao for him. and a memoranquAl of it made, and, on the demand, it was paiq for by the mem.1>,(;,r' .theactual cost) by As fast as the stock began to get low, each member would make hIS estImate of about what he would want of the t1ext order, and the secretary and treasurer would make out an order in the name of the Unioo for the amount (.abolIt) of the aggregate of the orders, and send it into the Milwaukee concern, which would thereupon ship the beer, by car·load, to the "Protective Union," against which the bills were made out. These bills were paid by the secretary and treasurer, who collected from each the payment for so much as he actually had, and no more. Thus there would be some time between the shipment of the beer and the payment therefor to the Milwaukee people. As between themselves, each member of the Union was liable only for what he had, though probably, as between them and the Milwaukee house, each would be liable, in sulido, for the whole of the stuff sent. The Union made no The secretary and treasurer, who was one of their number, charged nothing for bis services; and charges for which the members paid, freight. storage, and the like, were to cover actual casb only. Tbe wholesale dealer on tbe ground was. of course, crowded out. Tbe Union paid no liquor tax.
CREAMER V. BOWERS.
Five of the members of the Union were prosecuted by the for being in the business of wholesale liquor dealers. witI-fout license. At the trial it was urged, on the part of the government, that these facts amounted to a sale by the Milwaukee firm to the Union, and a resale by it to its members,a,nd that the question of profit was not material; and on the part of the deferidants that, in substance, it was a mere device of· the retail dealers to geUheir stuff cheaper by association, and that the Union was not a "dealer," wbi.ch term contemplated a being in the business for the purpose of buying and selling fpr profit. . . . On the authority of tWo cases in the federal courts, to which you are refelTed,-U. 8. v. Roligeo, 28 lnt.' Rev. Ree. 314, (B. D. Ill., TREAT, J.;) U. S. v. Wittig, 22 Int. Rev. Rec. 98;:(D. Mass., LoWELL,J".,)-and notwithstanding Com. v. Bmith., 102 Mass. 144, and the cases therein referred to, which were cited by counsel for the defendants; and in view of the results to the federal· revenue by the crowding out of the middle,.men, who are wholesale dealers, by such a practice; and upon consideration that the Union might' be regarded as, in fact, dealing for· profit, the profit being the two dollars saved by the members on each barrel,-yet, with considerable misgiving, I instructed the jury thilt, these faets being admitted by the defendants, they -should find the defendants guilty. I imposed sentence, fine to be paid in 60 days, and, in default, impl'isonment, ete. The 60 days were given to give time for further consideration and consultation. The question is so close, and. the practice in question one which, if allowed, may become so wide,.spread, that I conclude to trouble you for your views upon it. Very respectfully yours, H. F. SEVERENS.
G.Chase Godwin, U. S. Atty., for the United States. Hurley & Mapes, for defendants.
I have considered the foregoing case, and the authori.referred and am of the opinion that ruling of the district Judge at the tnal was correct. The constructIOn of the revenue laws should not be so loose as to permit evasions on merely fanciful and un-:substantial distinctions. If "profit" is necessarily a part of the business which constitutes the Union in this case a dealer, it is found in the amount saved to the members on each barrel purchased. It is not material that the profit does not come to the Union, but is directly realized by the members.
CREAMER 11. BoWERS
(Oirc'Uit Oo'Urt, D. Delaware. February 21, 1887.)
PATENTS FOR INVENTIONS-ExPIRATION OF PATENT-BUIT FOR INFRINGEMENTREFORMING DECREE.