Rothschild v. United States
179 U.S. 463 (1900)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Rothschild v. United States, 179 U.S. 463 (1900)

Rothschild v. United States

No. 69

Argued October 31-November 1, 1900

Decided December 17, 1900

179 U.S. 463

Syllabus

It is the meaning of the Tariff Act of July 24, 1897, to subject to different rates of duty the leaves of tobacco suitable for cigar wrappers and those not suitable when mixed in the same commercial bale or package.

It is the meaning of said act to subject to the duty of one dollar and eighty-five cents per pound the leaves of tobacco suitable for cigar wrappers intermingled in the bales or packages of tobacco (unstemmed) of the description which, in their entirety at the date of the enactment, were commercially known in this country as "filler tobacco," and bought and sold by that name, notwithstanding such leaves constitute less than fifteen percentum of the contents.

This case is here on certificate of the Court of Appeals of the Second Circuit. The case went to that court by appeal from the Circuit Court for the Southern District of New York, which reversed a decision of the board of general appraisers. 87 F. 798.

The statement of facts made by the circuit court of appeals is as follows:

"The appellant imported from San Domingo into the port of New York in September, 1897, certain bales of unstemmed leaf

Page 179 U. S. 464

tobacco, the product of San Domingo, in which bales there was mixed or packed with filler tobacco less than four percentum of leaves suitable for wrappers. The collector of the port assessed duty upon the leaves of filler tobacco in each bale at the rate of thirty-five cents per pound, and upon the leaves suitable for wrapper at $1.85 per pound, assuming to do so conformably with the provisions of the Tariff Act of July 24, 1897 (Schedule F, 213, 214), imposing duty on wrapper and filler tobacco as follows:"

" Par. 213. Wrapper tobacco and filler tobacco when mixed or packed with more than fifteen percentum of wrapper tobacco, and all leaf tobacco the product of two or more countries or dependencies, when mixed or packed together, if unstemmed, one dollar and eighty-five cents per pound; if stemmed, two dollars and fifty cents per pound; filler tobacco not specially provided for in this act, if unstemmed, thirty-five cents per pound; if stemmed, fifty cents per pound."

" Par. 214. The term 'wrapper tobacco,' as used in this act, means that quality of leaf tobacco which is suitable for cigar wrappers, and the term 'filler tobacco' means all other leaf tobacco."

The following questions are propounded:

"1. Is it the meaning of the Tariff Act of July 24, 1897, to subject to different rates of duty the leaves of tobacco suitable for cigar wrappers and those not suitable when mixed in the same commercial bale or package?"

"2. Is it the meaning of said act to subject to the duty of one dollar and eighty-five cents per pound the leaves of tobacco suitable for cigar wrappers intermingled in the bales or packages of tobacco (unstemmed) of the description which, in their entirety at the date of the enactment, were commercially known in this country as 'filler tobacco,' and bought and sold by that name, notwithstanding such leaves constitute less than fifteen percentum of the contents? "

Page 179 U. S. 465

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