,teJ.1al!J,' and similar in fU!l '\'I1'afers, whic1l were llSed for sacrawe,qta1,pulllOileS. That there were other articles from the same mao terials', and' in thin sheets,lmown to' confectioners and bakers as waters, and used by confectioners to prevent sticky candies' from adhering to each other, or to anything with which they might come in contract, and by bakers as a foundation on which cakes and macaroons were placed and bake(l; and that there were still other articles known as wafers, and used In sealing letters and other documents. That these medicinal wafers, these sacramental waters,' these Confectioners' and bakers' wafers, and these sealing waters were all in fact 1lllmedicated, though neither variety of these waters was known to trade and commerce as "wafers unmedicated" or "unmedicated waters." That the term "wafers unmedicated" or "unmedlcated waters" was not a trade or commercial term; and that there were articles contalnlng-medicines or supposed medicines, and used for medicinal purposes, that were Jmown to druggists as "medicated waters," such as cough wafers, bronchial wafers, worm wafers, and other' wafers. Oomstock & Brown, (Albert Comstock, of counsel,) for importer.
Edward Mitchell, U. S.Atty., and Thomas Greenwood, Asst. U. S. Atty., for collector.
LACOMBE, Circuit Judge, (orally.) These articles are in fact unmedicated. That is not disputed. They are know in commerce as "wafers.'" That also, I understand, is not disputed. Not only are they known as "wafers," but they are wafers, within the diction· ary meaning of the term. That has no new meaning either. It is a meaning of the word evidently centuries They are there· fore within the. express phraseology of. paragraph 750, and, though it may seem strange that congress should make this particular food product free, it is not for the court to substitute its own guesses as to what the intention of congress may be, when the language which they have used is so plain upon its face as this phrase is. I shall therefore reverse· the decision of the board of appraisers, and direct the classification under paragraph 750, free.
YOM OLEFF et al.
Collector. York. July 24, 1893.)
(Circuit Court,S. D.
CUSTOMS DUTIES---cCONSTRUCTION OF STATUTES-MEANING OF PHRASE-PROVINCB OF COURT AND JURY In the constmctionof tariff lawfl the Ord:Ullry meaning of a phrase in
common speech is a question of law for the court; the commercial meanIng is a question of fact for the jmy.
At Law. Action by Robert Vom Clefi' and others against Daniel Magone, collector of the port of New York, to recover duties paid ander protest. Verdict was given for defendant. New trial or· dered. Comstock & Brown, for plaintiff. James S. Van Rensselaer, Asst. U. S. Atty., for defendant. LACOMBE,Circuit .rudge. I have reached the conclusion that there should be a new trial of this case. The jury were correctly
WILSON V. UNITED STATES.
instructed as to their duty in weighing the testimony toucWng the commercial meaning, if any, of the phrase "steel strips," and there was sufficient evidence as to that to sustain a verdict against the plaintiff. Unfortunately, however, the charge was so framed as to warrant the inference that they might also determine what is the ordinary meaning of the phrase in common speech. Such mean· ing, however, is a question of law, and is for the court. It is im· possil;lle to tell whether the jury found for the defendant because they were satisfied that the phrase had a trade meaning which excluded goods like these, or because they thought that the words "steel strips," as used in common speech, did not include them. If the plaintiff be sound in the contention that his importation is within the dictionary meaning of the words used, he probably could not avail of his exception upon appeal from the verdict as it stands, as the appellate court would be warranted in assuming that the jury decided against him as to the trade meaning. Verdict is set aside, and new trial ordered.
WILSON et al. v. UNITED STATES, (two cases.) (Circuit Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit. Nos. 16 and 81.
CuSTOMS DUTIES-CLASSIFICATION-HEMSTITCHED HANDKERCHIEFS.
May 17, 1893.)
Hemmed or hemstiched handkerchiefs, which are not also embroIdered, are dutiable under paragraph 349 of the tariff act of 1890, as "handkerchiefs-eomposed of cotton or other vegetable fiber," and not under para· graph 373, as "hemstitched and embroidered handkerchIefs." Rice v. U. S., 53 Fed. Rep. 910, follOWed.
Appeals from the Circuit Court of the United States f9r the Northern District of illinois. P. L. Shuman, for importers. Thos. E. Milchl'ist, for the United State!!!. Before GRESHAM and WOODS, Circuit Judges, and BUNN, District Judge. PER CURIAM". These cases were submitted together. The question presented is of the proper rate of duty, under the act of October 1, 1890, upon handkerchiefs composed of linen, which were hemstitched but not embroidered. 1'he duty was assessed by the collector at the rate of 60 per cent. ad valorem under paragraph 373 of the act. The duty was paid under protest, the importers claiming in their certificate of dissatisfaction, in the first case, that the proper duty was 35 per cent. ad valorem, as required by paragraph 371, upon "manufactures of flax not otherwise provided for, containing over 100 threads to the squart> inch," under paraor, if that was not so, then 50 per cent. ad graph 349, which prescribes that duty upon ''handkerchiefs-eom· posed of cotton or other vegetable fiber." No reference to this