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Opin., 625), a contrasted aspect is presented, the thing imported in that case having passed beyond the stage of materials and being itself substantially a completed article to which manufacture in this country merely added the finishing touches.

Mr. Olney's opinion, although brief, is evidently based on careful consideration of all aspects of the case. It is not perhaps accurate, in view of the facts shown, to denominate noils as a "by-product;" but I concur in the principle of my predecessor's ruling, and perceive no sufficient reason to revise the same. "A question once definitely answered by one of my predecessors and left at rest for a long term of years should be reconsidered by me only in a very exceptional case." (21 Opin., 24.)

Very respectfully,

The SECRETARY OF THE TREASURY.

P. C. KNOX.

CUSTOMS LAW-IMPORTATION OF PORTO RICAN PRODUCTS.
All articles of Porto Rican origin exported from Porto Rico to foreign
countries after the passage of the Foraker act of April 12, 1900 (31
Stat., 77), may, since the proclamation of the President on July 25,
1901, doing away with the 15 per cent duty imposed under section 3
of that act, be imported into the United States free of duty under
paragraph 483 of the tariff act of July 24, 1897 (30 Stat., 195), pro-
vided the articles have not been advanced in value or improved in
condition by any process of manufacture or other means.
Such free importation does not, however, affect the question of the pay-
ment of the internal-revenue tax provided for in section 3 of the For-
aker act.

DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE,
May 19, 1902.

SIR: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of the 8th instant, relative to the expression of an opinion by me as to "whether articles of Porto Rican origin can be exported to a foreign country and imported therefrom into the United States free of duty."

Under paragraph 483 of the tariff act of July 24, 1897, "articles the growth, produce, and manufacture of the United States, when returned without having been advanced

in value or improved in condition by any process of manufacture or other means," may be entered free of duty.

It appears from the cases submitted by you that the Boston Molasses Company, of Boston, Mass., during the year 1901 shipped a cargo of molasses from Porto Rico to Halifax, Nova Scotia, and that the same "is now held in bond at that port, just as imported;" that Herz Brothers, of New York City, in June, 1901, shipped a lot of tobacco from Porto Rico to Canada, a part of which remains there; that Steindler Brothers, of New York City, have in bond in Montreal, Canada, 141 bales of Porto Rican leaf tobacco, shipped there direct from Porto Rico. It is assumed for the purposes of this opinion that this last shipment was made, as were the others, subsequent to the passage of the Porto Rican or Foraker act of April 12, 1900. Can these articles be now brought into the United States duty free?

Section 2 of said Porto Rican act provided that "the same tariffs, customs, and duties shall be levied, collected, and paid upon all articles imported into Porto Rico from ports other than those of the United States which are required by law to be collected upon articles imported into the United States from foreign countries."

Section 3 provided that merchandise coming into the United States from Porto Rico and coming into Porto Rico from the United States shall be subject to the payment of 15 per cent of the duties charged upon like articles of merchandise imported from foreign countries; and in addition thereto, upon articles of merchandise of Porto Rican manufacture coming into the United States and withdrawn for consumption or sale, a tax equal to the internal revenue tax imposed in the United States upon like articles of domestic manufacture; and on all articles of merchandise of United States manufacture coming into Porto Rico, in addition to the duty above provided, "a tax equal in rate and amount to the internal revenue tax imposed in Porto Rico upon the like articles of Porto Rican manufacture." Said section further provided that upon the happening of certain contingencies and proclamation of the fact by the President, all tariff duties between the United States and Porto Rico upon the products of each should cease, and that they should

not be collected in any event after March 1, 1902. Proclamation was accordingly made on July 25, 1901.

Section 14 of said act provided: "That the statutory laws of the United States not locally inapplicable, except as hereinbefore or hereinafter otherwise provided, shall have the same force and effect in Porto Rico as in the United States, except the internal revenue laws, which, in view of the provisions of section 3, shall not have force and effect in Porto Rico."

While the letter of the language used in paragraph 483 may limit the privilege therein conferred to articles produced in the United States, the evident purpose of the paragraph is such that it may well be held to admit a country. having the legal status which Porto Rico has now been given. Under section 14 of the Foraker act, previously quoted, all our statutory laws "not locally inapplicable and not "otherwise provided" are extended to the island. It was, as we have seen, "otherwise provided" as to internal-revenue tax on goods going into Porto Rico from the United States and withdrawn for consumption or sale.

The laws of the United States relating to customs, commerce, and navigation were extended to Alaska, and that country was made a customs district, upon its acquisition from Russia. Provision was also made for the nationalization of all vessels owned by actual residents of the territory at the date of its cession, as was done in the case of Porto Rico.

Under date of July 13, 1878 (Treasury decision 3653), it was held by your Department that section 4347, Rev. Stat., relating to the transportation of merchandise "from one port of the United States to another port of the United States" applies to Alaska; and that section 4367, Rev. Stat., requiring the master of every foreign vessel "bound from a district in the United States to any other district within the same" to deliver, previous to departure, a manifest to the collector, also applies to Alaska. It is believed that since that time Alaska has been regarded by your Department as within the privileges, requirements, and limitations of our customs laws.

No good reason can be found why Porto Rico, now com

pletely brought within our customs bounds, within our navigation laws (Foraker act, sec. 9), and within the benefits of our statute law in general, should not enjoy the benefits of paragraph 483.

I am therefore of the opinion that all articles of Porto Rican origin exported from Porto Rico after the passage of the Foraker act may, since the proclamation doing away with the 15 per cent duty, be imported into the United States under said paragraph 483. This, of course, does not affect the question of the payment of the internal-revenue tax provided in section three of the Foraker act.

Respectfully,

The SECRETARY OF THE TREASURY.

P. C. KNOX.

REMOVAL AND DESTRUCTION OF MERCHANDISE HELD IN BOND.

Articles of merchandise imported into the United States and held in a bonded warehouse for use in the manufacture of articles for exportation in accordance with section 15 of the tariff act of July 24, 1897 (30 Stat., 207), may be removed from such warehouse and destroyed in the presence of an officer designated by the collector of the port and accounted for as waste, and the manufacturer relieved from the payment of duty thereon.

DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE,
May 31, 1902.

SIR: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of the 25th ultimo relative to an application made by the American Tobacco Company for permission to remove from the bonded manufacturing warehouse of said company, at Durham, N. C., and destroy 565 pounds of imported tin, 28,850 imported photographs, and 10 bobbins of imported cigarette paper, which said company represents are "an accumulation of waste incident to manufacture, and discarded by reason of being unfit for sale."

You state that this merchandise was transferred to said bonded warehouse for use in the manufacture of articles for exportation in accordance with section 15 of the act of July 24, 1897, and ask for an expression of my opinion as to whether the same may now be removed from said ware

house and destroyed "either without or with the payment of duties."

The evident scope, intent and purpose of section 15, above referred to, is to permit the domestic manufacture of imported merchandise for foreign consumption without the payment of duties on such merchandise. American labor is thereby benefited and our revenue not lessened or affected for the obvious reason that the imposition of duties would probably result in such merchandise being manufactured abroad. The privilege conferred under section 15 is safeguarded with provisions and restrictions aimed to prevent the unlawful removal of any part of such bonded merchandise for domestic consumption; but there is nothing in these restrictions that probibits the destruction of waste material.

Section 23 of the act of June 10, 1890, is particularly applicable to goods imported for domestic consumption, and the provision therein for an allowance on account of goods damaged in transit in no way affects the question of the right of the manufacturer of bonded merchandise to destroy waste material.

I am, therefore, of the opinion that if such material is destroyed in the presence of an officer designated by the collector of the port, it can be accounted for as waste, and the manufacturer relieved from the payment of duty thereon. Respectfully,

JOHN K. RICHARDS,

Acting Attorney-General.

The SECRETARY OF THE TREASURY.

ATTORNEY-GENERAL-OPINION.

The settled policy of the Department is that no opinion should be ren-
dered upon any question of law unless it is specifically formulated in
a case actually arising in the administration of a Department, and
accompanied by a statement or finding of the facts involved.
Nor will the Department consider any question committed to judicial
review. To do so might bring it into conflict with a judicial tribunal.
The conclusions of a Federal court, until reversed by a higher court, are
binding upon the Attorney-General.

DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE,
May 31, 1902.

SIR: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of April 21, 1902, from the Hon. W. B. Allison and

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