United States v. Hathaway
Annotate this Case
71 U.S. 404 (1866)
U.S. Supreme Court
United States v. Hathaway, 71 U.S. 4 Wall. 404 404 (1866)
United States v. Hathaway
71 U.S. (4 Wall.) 404
Staves for pipes, hogsheads, and other casks, the growth and produce of the province of Canada, imported in November, 1863, from Canada into the United States were not free from duty under the reciprocity treaty of 1854 between the United States and Great Britain, by which "timbers and lumber of all kinds, round, hewed, and sawed, unmanufactured
in whole or in part" were to be admitted free of duty. They were liable to pay 10 percent ad valorem, imposed by the sixth section of the Act of July 14, 1862.
The suit was brought to recover a duty of ten percentum ad valorem, under the Tariff Act of 14 July, 1862, on staves for pipes, hogsheads, and other casks imported by the defendants in November, 1863, from Canada into the United States.
These articles were exempt from duty by the twenty-third section of the Act of March 2, 1861. [Footnote 1] But a duty of ten percentum ad valorem was imposed by the sixth section of the Act of July 14, 1862.
By the reciprocity treaty of 1854 between this country and Great Britain, it was stipulated that the following, among other articles, were to be admitted free of duty: "Timber and lumber of all kinds, round, hewed, and sawed, unmanufactured in whole or in part."
It was admitted on the trial by the defendants that they had imported from Canada West, at the time charged in the declaration, into the United States a quantity of white-oak timber split in the form of pipe and hogshead staves at the place of importation, and that they were the growth and produce of the province of Canada.
The main question upon which the judges divided in opinion was whether, under the reciprocity treaty of 1854 between the United States and Great Britain, and the acts of Congress on the subject, the article of staves as above described, were liable to duty.
The government had held that the article being split wood was not exempt, but was liable to pay ten percent under the Act of July 14, 1862.
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