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JURISDICTION OF STATE HARBOR COMMISSIONERS,
NORFOLK HARBOR.

The State of Virginia, through its legislature, having duly relinquished jurisdiction over the lands belonging to the United States at the navyyard at Norfolk upon which it is proposed to construct a dry dock, the State board of harbor commissioners for the port of Norfolk and Portsmouth is without authority to require the submission to and approval by it of the plans of the contemplated improvement, although such improvement be within the harbor line established by that board. The authority of the United States over that harbor is paramount and absolute.

DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE,

May 15, 1902.

SIR: It appears from your communication of the 24th ultimo, with inclosures, that in the construction of the new granite dry dock at the United States navy-yard at Norfolk, Va., it will be necessary to extend the cofferdam at the entrance of the dock about 80 feet inside of the line established by the State board of harbor commissioners for the port of Norfolk and Portsmouth.

Although the contemplated improvement is on ground belonging to the United States, over which Virginia has duly relinquished jurisdiction, the board of harbor commissioners insist that the plans for the contemplated improvement be submitted to and approved by them, in accordance with the provisions of the State law, before the work be proceeded with.

You desire my opinion upon the question whether this demand is warranted.

Under the Constitution, Congress is given power "to regulate commerce with foreign nations, and among the several States," and when Congress once exercises its power under this clause over the navigable waters of the United States the power (so the Supreme Court has held time and again) is paramount and absolute.

In the case of South Carolina v. Georgia (93 U. S., 4). Mr. Justice Strong, speaking for the court, said, respecting the contention that Congress can not place an obstruction in a navigable stream (p. 11): "It is not, however, to be conceded that Congress has no power to order obstructions to be placed in the navigable waters of the United States,

either to assist navigation or to change its direction by forcing it into one channel of a river rather than the other. It may build light-houses in the bed of the stream. It may construct jetties. It may require all navigators to pass along a prescribed channel, and may close any other channel to their passage."

Akin to the absolute and paramount authority over the navigable waters of the United States in the regulation of interstate and foreign commerce is the power which the Constitution vests in Congress, in providing for the common defense and general welfare, "to provide and maintain a navy," and "to exercise like authority (that is, exclusive jurisdiction) over all places purchased by the consent of the legislature of the State in which the same shall be, for the erection of forts, magazines, arsenals, dockyards, and other needful buildings.

Virginia, through its legislature, consented that the United States should take and use this property for a navyyard. That meant such a navy-yard, with such docks, structures, and improvements, as the United States might determine the general interest required. Virginia reserved no right to supervise the nature of the navy-yard to be constructed.

As to the harbor, the United States, as I have pointed out, has paramount and absolute authority over it. The jurisdiction of the State board of harbor commissioners is subordinate. It is not to be assumed that the United States, to which is intrusted the protection and improvement of this harbor, will unnecessarily obstruct or interfere with its navigability. On the contrary, it is to be presumed that every interest intrusted to the protection of the United States will be preserved and advanced by carrying out the improvements according to the plans prepared and approved by it.

Your question, therefore, is answered in the negative.
Very respectfully,

Approved:

P. C. KNOX.

JOHN K. RICHARDS,

Solicitor-General.

The SECRETARY OF THE NAVY.

APPOINTMENT-STUDENT INTERPRETERS AT LEGATION TO

CHINA.

The President is authorized, under the provisions of the diplomatic and consular appropriation act of March 22, 1902 (32 Stat., 78), to appoint the ten student interpreters at the legation to China therein provided for without sending their names to the Senate for confirmation.

DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE,

* * *

May 16, 1902.

SIR: The diplomatic and consular appropriation act of March 22, 1902, provides "for ten student interpreters at the legation to China, at one thousand dollars each, ten thousand dollars," who "shall be chosen in such manner as will make the selections nonpartisan so far as may be consistent with aptness and fitness for the intended work," and that "upon receiving such appointment each student interpreter shall sign an agreement," etc. The character and manner of appointment are not in terms prescribed. Your letter of April 16, therefore, asks my opinion on the question whether the President is authorized to appoint these interpreters without sending their names to the Senate for confirmation.

You refer to laws providing for interpreters which expressly confer upon the President power to appoint. Thus, section 1680, Revised Statutes, provides that "the President may appoint for the legation to China an interpreter, when the secretary of the legation does not act as such;" and section 3 of the act of June 11, 1874 (18 Stat., 66, 70), provides "that the President shall be, and he is hereby, authorized to appoint interpreters" to certain consulates in China.

Discussing a related subject in an opinion to you, dated May 11, 1900 (23 Opin., 136), my immediate predecessor held in effect that such officers as interpreters do not fall within the constitutional requirement of appointment by and with the advice and consent of the Senate (Art. II, sec. 2, par. 2); that Congress, by the use of the unqualified phrase "may appoint," or equivalent language, had seen fit to give the sole power of appointment to the President; that respecting an office not plainly included in the constitu

tional requirement of confirmation, that is, respecting "inferior officers" in the sense of the clause of the Constitution cited, the appointment, if requiring the advice and consent of the Senate, is so conditioned in the law creating the office. This subject is also discussed in an opinion dated November 7, 1901 (23 Opin., 574), which I addressed to the Secretary of War (see also opinion addressed to the President dated December 24, 1901; 23 Opin., 599). The doubts suggested by the authorities upon the question of what are inferior offices, and the uncertainty due to differing phraseology of various laws, as well as the effect of practice as establishing a precedent, are indicated in those opinions.

The practice relative to interpreters under laws which gave the power of appointment to the President and did not expressly require confirmation has become established. As to this particular law, the authority to appoint is matter of necessary inference and is not explicitly prescribed. Proceeding by obvious and reasonable analogies, it is my opinion that inasmuch as the law does not require confirmation by the Senate, and yet necessarily confers upon the President the power to select and appoint a certain class of officers whom ordinarily he alone appoints, Congress intended to authorize the President to appoint the student interpreters in question without sending their names to the Senate for confirmation.

Very respectfully,

The SECRETARY OF STATE.

P. C. KNOX.

CAMEL'S HAIR NOILS-DRAWBACK.

The separation of imported camel's hair into "tops" and "noils" by combing, for the purpose of preparing the material for manufacture, does not result in such "noils" becoming a distinct manufactured article and entitled to drawback within the meaning of section 30 of the tariff act of July 24, 1897 (30 stat., 211).

The drawback law contemplates the manufacture of a separate and complete article which is not merely the finished material of a further stage.

The principle announced in the opinion of Attorney-General Olney (21

Opin., 23), that "a question once definitely answered by a former Attorney-General and left at rest for a long term of years should be reconsidered only in a very exceptional case," concurred in.

DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE,

May 16, 1902.

SIR: It appears from your letter of April 28 that an application has been made for reconsideration of the ruling that "camel's hair noils, resulting from the separation of imported camel's hair into hair and noils, were not entitled to drawback under section 25 of the tariff act of October 1, 1890, as a manufactured article" (21 Opin., 159). Furthering this application, you request an expression of my opinion as to whether camel's hair noils are not entitled to drawback under the provisions of the law mentioned now appearing as section 30 of the tariff act of 1897.

Your letter of April 6, 1895, as well as G. A. 2725 which the applicants invoke, makes it clear that this merchandise results from the separation by combing of camel's hair into "tops" (corresponding to the "long staples" of wool) and the short fibers, or "noils," which on the camel are a soft woolly fur. The decision of the Board of General Appraisers shows that, before combing, camel's hair goes through a cleaning process which advances it to a condition equal to wool which has been washed or scoured. The view of the board's decision undoubtedly is that, in order to separate the noils, camel's hair so far passes through processes of manufacture, and that the object of the manufacture of fabrics from camel's hair, using noils as material, is to obtain this short and downy hair as the more valuable product, rather than the tops, which exactly reverses the case of wool. Such an intermediate manufacturing process, for the purpose of preparing the material of further manufacture, does not necessarily result in a distinct manufactured article. The test as to whether an article is or is not manufactured, for the purposes of the duty schedules, may differ from that applicable in drawback laws. In my opinion the drawback law in question contemplates the manufacture of a separate and complete article which is not merely the finished material of a further stage.

In an opinion rendered to you on February 14 last (23

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