Eastern Extension Telegraph Co., Ltd. v. United States - 231 U.S. 326 (1913)


U.S. Supreme Court

Eastern Extension Telegraph Co., Ltd. v. United States, 231 U.S. 326 (1913)

Eastern Extension, Australia & China

Telegraph Co., Ltd. v. United States

No. 419

Argued October 22, 1913

Decided December 1, 1913

231 U.S. 326

Syllabus

While the Act of March 3, 1887, c. 359, 24 Stat. 505, broadened the general jurisdiction of the Court of Claims, it was not repugnant to or or inconsistent with the limitations of § 1066, Rev.Stat., expressly excluding from such jurisdiction all claims growing out of treaty stipulations, and it did not, therefore, repeal that section.

Claims based on treaty stipulations within § 1066, Rev.Stat., include those which arise solely as the result of cession of territory to the United States.

The policy and spirit of a statute should be considered in construing it, as well as the letter.

Page 231 U. S. 327

Although the Court of Claims has not jurisdiction of claims against the United States based on treaty stipulations, it has jurisdiction of claims based on contracts originally made with the former sovereign of ceded territory and assumed by the United States after the cession, either expressly or by implication.

Where the court below declined to take jurisdiction and the appeal is solely on that question, this Court will not express any opinion on the merits, as they are not before it.

48 Ct.Clms. 33 reversed.

The facts, which involve the jurisdiction of the Court of Claims, are stated in the opinion.



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