Appeal of FIELD et al.
(etrcwlt Court, N. D. lll(nois. June 8, 1899.)
CusTOMS DUTIl!IS...,PROPERTY SUBJECT TO DUTy....,SILK VEILS.
Silk goods, which,although m.ade in the manner of laces, and having the substantial characteristics of laces, are not commerciallv known as "laces," but as "silil; nets,'" "veilings," and "drapery nets, "are dutiable under Schedule L, par. 414; 01 the customs act of 1890, as a manufacture of silk not otherwise provided for, and not as silk laces.
N. W.Bliss, for appellants.
u. S. Dist.
Atty., for the collector.
'BL'ofJG:M-r',' District Judge. This is an appeal from the board of gen'llppi1Hsersundersectionl5. of the 'customs administrative act of June.11Q,i'1890.The appellants hnported to the port of Chicago silk collector classed as silk "laces," and assessed the duty at'the rate 0£60 per cent. ad valorem. Appellants. gave the collect6t ri6tice of their dissatisfaction' with his decision in classi fying and 'I ' , .' , , assesllTIlg' the ,duty on ,said goods, and thereupon the collector transmitted exhibits conneoted with the entry 'of such duty to the board of general appraisers at New York city. The i]'C)ltt'd. 'df general appraisers, after an examination and hearing, rendered a deciSi6hilffirming theltction of the collector; and the appellants, being With such decision, applied to this court for a review of the law and fact inv()lved in the decision. The record of the the board of general appraisers, together with the eVi'dence' and exhibits before them, has been duly returned to this court, of the appellants further proof has been taken in tHe' m'annerrequired by the statute, and the case brought to hearing upon the return of the hoard of general appraisers, and proofs taken. The contention of the importer is that the goodgiiti'question are' not known as "silk laces," but are commercially kilown 'by the trade asl'silk nets," "veilings," and "drapery nets," and are dtitWble asa manufacture of silk not otherwise provided for, at 50 per cetit;iad valorem, under Schedule L,par. 414,of the customs act of 06tober'l,'!1890. The board of general appraisers, in its opinion in the case; 'htls:goDEl' very fully into the art ofl'lace making, and the difference lkt#e'ehithi'lfa'brics knowrias "laces" arid' "woven fabrics, "and their conclusions in the matter are quite clearly expressed in the 2d, 6th, 7th, 8th, and 9th findings of fact, which form part of their opinion, which I quote as follows: "(2) The merchandise in question consists of plain and a variety of figured silk iace nets and veilinga and silk lacll drapery nets made on the lace machine, and distinguished by the hexagonal mesh." "(6) The hexagonal mesh is the essential feature, as it is the distinguishing characteristic of lace, the process of its formation being akin to knitting as it is the antithesis of weaving.
APPEAL 011' FIEI.D.
"(7) The presence of the hexagonal mesh in a textile fabric is conclusivEI of the fact that it is a lace, whereas its absence is equaUyconclusive of the fact that it is a woven fabric; that is to sav; not a lace. "(8) The claim that the merchandise in controversy is commercially known 8S 'nets' and 'veilings' and' drapery' nets,' and never as ·lace nets,' 'lace veilings,' 'lace drapery nets.' or as · laces,' is not, in our opinion, clearly established, and we hence find that it consists of laces."
It will be seen that the test applied by the board of general appraisers to these goods for determining the class to which they belong for the purpose of duty is that they contain the hexagonal mesh, which they find to be the distinguishing characteristic of lace. The conclusion of the board, deduced from the study of the art of lace making, either by hand or machinery, is based largely upon definitions of lace and their differentiation of lace from woven fabrics. The proof in the case from expert persons skilled in the trade and with long and extensive experience in the businessisthat these goods are not known as "laces," but are commercially known as "nets" and" veilings." and" drapery nets." There.is no dispute between the parties but that the goods are a manufacture of silk; nor is there any dispute that they are made upon what is known, as a "lace machine;" that is, a machine which nets or knits the meshes and figures upon them. While I have qo doubt that these goods respond to the general designation or description of lace, not necessarily becaus,e they show the hexagonal mesh, but because they are mad,e in the: same manner as most of the mllchine-made laces, I am also satisfied, as I have before said, from the proof, that these goods are not commercially designated as" laces," but are known to the trade by the name of "sik nets," "veilings," etc.; and, recognizing therule "that the commercial designation of an article among traders and manufacturers, where such designation is clearly established, fixes its character for the purpose of the tariff laws, "I see no escape from the conclusion that these goods should have been classed as dutiable under clause 414 as a manufacture of silk not otherwise specially provided for. This rule has been so long acted upon as to hardly require the citation of authorities in its support. It was clearly laid down in U. S. v. 200 Chests of Tea, 9 Wheat. 430, followed in Barlow v. U.S., 7 Pet. 409, and again applied in Arthur v. Morison, 96 U. S. 108. In that case goods were imported and assessed for dutyas "silk veils." The importer insisted' that; although the veils were a manufacture of silk, they were not commercjally known aa ll silk veils,". but were commercially known as "crepe veils, " and the supreme court, in an elaborate opinion, 'sustained the contention of the impol'ter, the court saying: .
"The question of law thus presented is whether veils which are Ilpt'COIpmonly called,' silk veils, ' but are veils of silk. and are com mer.ciaUy known;as · crepe veils,' and not otherwise, are liable to a duty of60 per .cent. The argument of the'govorllm'entJ\sthat the statute in question is a one. to include ,all articles made of silk, or of WhiCh silk is the. component mateiilll of chie'! value, specifically enumeratipgin its first brlJ,ucha variety of subjects on which should 1:Jeimposed a 60 per cent., and further providing,that on aU manufactures from that,material
a dilty of, 5O"per 1tMtM. <"'SUkveils, Rrespecil1caUyenumerated :Rs:being liaNe ito·'\ duty of 60 per cent."and ,Ithe articles' in question; . .Qf which til} 1'8' silk. are wi,tbin .the enUtDlirattng danseof tbe:statute. If this were &l.l,ithe al'g'ulllelllt'wouid be Rstl'Ong:Que.. But the. fact that the veils in \lni versaUy'known and recognized among merchants and import. ers as ·crepe veilR.' an'd ·not otherwise, and are never caJledoli known as ·silk veil.s,' is to be taken into acconnt.. Although crepe is shown to be a material of"snk :tl1:which a ool'tain resinous substance has been applied, neither the merahald, Illor the ordinary buyer undel'stands them to be, identical. Neither who should order acasl} of crepes and receiveolle of silk PI' order and receive c,repe. lIor the indi vidual purl'!Jaser who a dress of: Hnd receive one of crepe, or should order and woulddeern that the order had been properly filled. understandiug concurs in this reRpect with that of the tra:lerand the construction to be given to the Iangul1g8oftbe It me thartheerror of the hoard of generalapprllisers lies in their OOi1b}u'sion tbat, be(iause thegoorls in question are made after the matinel of' laces, anrlhave the substantial characteristics of laces, there· fore t'f)pyfarecomrllerci'ally laces, whiie I,think the of proof clearly shows"thatthey are not', as "laces," but as "nets" and lttiu' "drapery nets.". It is due to the board of general apprai'safs to slIY that the additional proof taken under 'the order of this court sibcethEl appelllis lnuch more full and convincing as to the commerclaldesigtlation of these goods than that made by the proof before the commhlsion. FCH'these reasansthe decision of'the board of general appraisers'i,8'reversed,'ftnif:the 'of thl' port of Chicago is ordered to reliquidat'e the Elutdesaecording to this decision.
D. Ne1D .Yor1c. January 12, 1899.)
TariffActOtlt. 1. l'l:lIlO; construction of paragraphs 883,885,886. 9. 'SAME. ' ' ·'Tbe,"sQrtinjJ of.paragrapb K, Tariff Act Oct. '':! ..;1, p. to 8. cAME. The term "sorting" In paragraTlh 888 meanl a changing of the original lI.eeool, alJd not a seJlarJl,tion of Be to color.
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DpTIES-Du1T 9.l'WOOL-SORTING. '
.. thedut1on w()()l wblch bas ..een lortecl.hall be twice the etlny t/pWhlch iit 'Nould'be,otherwise sUlljeet",meanl "twice tbe'duty to which it s\lbjllotif .it "
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to .b.e tb\rd, cl!,S8, Wbich are subject to tlle 'yalu6,of tbe woOl in ,all unsorted condItion shOUld be aslirltf'multipHed '1:11 twice therli1leprovlded by law, for wool oflluch value. Ulup, ·. SoU9wed. " , :