1. The rule that an article, dutiable by its specific
designation, will not be affected by the general words of the same
or another statute which would otherwise embrace it applies as well
to statutes reducing duties as to those increasing them.
2. As the twelfth section of the Act of June 30, 1864, 13 Stat.
213, imposes a duty of fifty percent ad valorem
artificial flowers eo nomine,
they are not subject to the
deduction of ten percent allowed by the second section of the Act
of June 6, 1872, 17 id.
231, "on all manufactures of
cotton of which cotton is the component part of chief value."
In 1874, Rheims, the plaintiff below, imported into the port of
New York a quantity of artificial flowers, composed of iron, paper,
wire, and cotton, and on which Arthur, the collector, imposed,
under the twelfth section of the Act of June 30, 1864, 13 Stat.
213, a duty of fifty percent ad valorem.
Rheims claimed that, under the second section of the Act of June
6, 1872, 17 Stat. 231, the merchandise was liable only to ninety
percent of the duty imposed by the Act of June 30, 1864, but
having, under protest, paid the duty imposed by the collector,
brought this suit to recover the excess.
Under the instructions of the court below, the jury found that
the importer was entitled to the deduction. From the judgment
rendered upon the verdict, this writ of error is brought.
MR. JUSTICE HUNT delivered the opinion of the Court.
The question for decision in this case is whether the
Page 96 U. S. 144
in error is entitled to the deduction of ten percent allowed by
the Act of June 6, 1872.
Under the Act of 1864, the duty of fifty percent was imposed on
"artificial and ornamental feathers and flowers, or parts thereof,
of whatever material composed, not otherwise provided for, beads
and bead ornaments." 13 Stat. 213. As no other provision was made,
the goods were presumably subject to this duty.
The Act of June 6, 1872, 17 id.
231, provides, in its
second section, as follows:
"That on and after the 1st of August, 1872, in lieu of the
duties imposed by law on the articles in this section enumerated,
there shall be levied, collected, and paid on the goods, wares, and
merchandise in this section enumerated and provided for, imported
from foreign countries, ninety percent of the several duties and
rates of duties now imposed by law on said articles severally, it
being the intent of this section to reduce existing duties on such
articles ten percent of such duties -- that is to say, on all
manufactures of cotton of which cotton is the component part of
chief value; . . . on all iron and steel, and all manufactures of
iron and steel of which such metals, or either of them, shall be
the component part of chief value, excepting cotton machinery."
Many other articles are named.
The general words of the Act of 1872 no doubt are sufficiently
comprehensive to embrace the case before us. Artificial flowers are
a manufacture of which cotton is the chief component, and, were
that all, would be entitled to the deduction asked for.
But it is true also that they are dutiable under the law of
1864, not as a manufacture of cotton, but specifically, eo
as artificial flowers. It has been held in many cases
-- as that of "almonds and dried fruits," the "canary birds," and
at the present term, in the case of "thread laces" and of
"chocolate" -- that when an article is intended to be made dutiable
by its specific designation, it will not be affected by the general
words of the same or another statute which would otherwise embrace
This rule applies both to statutes reducing and to statutes
increasing duties. Giving it such application here, we must hold
that "artificial flowers" are not entitled to be classed as
Page 96 U. S. 145
a manufacture of cotton which is entitled to the reduction
provided for by Act of 1872.
The ruling in this respect was erroneous, and the judgment must
be reversed, and it is