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TIDE WATER OIL COMPANY v. UNITED STATES.

decided: May 31, 1898.

TIDE WATER OIL COMPANY
v.
UNITED STATES.



APPEAL FROM THE COURT OF CLAIMS.

Author: Brown

[ 171 U.S. Page 214]

 MR. JUSTICE BROWN, after stating the case, delivered the opinion of the court.

The single question presented for our consideration in this case is whether the boxes or cases exported by the petitioner were "wholly manufactured" in the United States within the meaning of the section hereinafter cited.

The facts were, in substance, that the claimant imported from Canada in 1889 and 1890 box shooks, and from Europe steel rods, upon which duties were paid to the amount of $39,636.20 under the tariff act of March 3, 1883, 22 Stat. 488, 502, which levied a duty of thirty per cent upon "casks and

[ 171 U.S. Page 215]

     barrels, empty sugar-box shooks, and packing boxes, and packing-box shooks, of wood, not specially enumerated or provided for in this act." The box shooks so imported were manufactured in Canada from boards, which were planed and cut into the required lengths and widths for making into boxes withinout further labor than nailing them together. They were then tied up into bundles of sides, ends, bottoms and tops, of from fifteen to twenty-five in a bundle, for convenience in handling and shipping. After importation, they were made up into boxes or cases, by nailing the proper parts together with nails manufactured in the United States out of the imported steel rods, and by trimming, when defective in length or width, to make the boxes or cases without projecting parts.

The ends and sides of the boxes were nailed together by nailing machines, and the sides trimmed off even with the ends by saws. Then bottoms were nailed on and trimmed in the same manner. After being filed, the tops were nailed on, and the boxes made ready for exportation. The cost of the labor expended in the United States in the nailing, handling and trimming of the boxes was about one tenth of the value of the boxes. The principal part of the labor in trimming the boxes was occasioned by the Canadian manufacturer not cutting the shooks into the required lengths and widths for making the boxes, the cost of which trimming the claimant sometimes charged to the Canadian manufacturer.

Upon this state of facts petitioner made claim for duties paid as above upon the shooks under Rev. Stat. ยง 3019, which reads as follows:

"There shall be allowed on all articles wholly manufactured of materials imported, on which duties have been paid when exported, a drawback equal in amount to the duty paid on such materials, and no more, to be ascertained under such regulations as shall be prescribed by the Secretary of the Treasury. Ten per centum on the amount of all drawbacks so allowed shall, however, be retained for the use of the United States by the collectors paying such drawbacks respectively."

The question arises whether the boxes in question were

[ 171 U.S. Page 216]

     "wholly manufactured" within the United States of "materials imported" from abroad. The section above quoted uses the words "wholly manufactured of materials imported," but we understand it to be conceded that the words "in the United States" should be considered as being incorporated into the section after the word "manufactured." The provision would be senseless without this interpolation. The object of the section was evidently not only to build up an export trade, but to encourage manufactures in this country, where such manufactures are intended for exportation, by granting a rebate of duties upon the raw or prepared materials imported, and thus enabling the manufacturer to compete in foreign markets with the same articles manufactured in other countries. In determining whether the articles in question were wholly manufactured in the United States, this object should be borne steadily in mind.

The primary meaning of the word "manufacture" is something made by hand, as distinguished from a natural growth; but as machinery has largely supplanted this primitive method, the word is now ordinarily used to denote an article upon the material of which labor has been expended to make the finished product.Ordinarily, the article so manufactured takes a different form, or at least subserves a different purpose from the original materials; and usually it is given a different name. Raw materials may be and often are subjected to successive processes of manufacture, each one of which is complete in itself, but several of which may be required to make the final product. Thus, logs are first manufactured into boards, planks, joists, scantlings, etc., and then by entirely different processes are fashioned into boxes, furniture, doors, window sashes, trimmings and the thousand and one articles manufactured wholly or in part of wood. The steel ...


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