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within the meaning of the law; and it is true, on the other hand, in this case—and I suppose in other similar instances—that while the separate parts were put together and the framework set up abroad, and thus a stage beyond the separate parts was reached before importation, nevertheless the machine was completed in various respects by the materials produced and the application of labor employed in this country. Were these additions here the essence of the completed article, and did they substantially make it what it was, or were they, on the other hand, merely the finishing touches? The line is not always easy to draw, as the opinion in the Tide Water Oil Company case indicates. I am clear, however, that the thing imported in this case can not fairly be called the mere materials for manufacture within this country, even if, in some instances, the work done to constitute a new and distinct manufacture may not be great or may be in reality only the completion of an antecedent proc
Your letter describes the article as an automobile to be used in the construction of an express wagon. You say that the motor, when imported, was complete. It is misleading to infer that its combination with, or construction into a vehicle constituted a new and distinct manufacture.
Although we touch upon a question of fact here which embraces an evolving industrial development, I can see no valid reason for saying that an automobile or complete motor is simply material for the manufacture of an express wagon. And this leads me to the underlying consideration which I have in mind. It is obvious that this importation and the subsequent constructive work were casual and experimental, in pursuance, perhaps, of a progressive policy on the part of the company. In developing their experiments with this motor, various efforts and trials were made to reconstruct and adapt it to the demands of their business. All these were finally unsuccessful, and now the importer wishes to file a claim for drawback on the export of this apparatus in its present condition. The case is anomalous and accidental; but one thing is very clear-neither of the purposes lying at the foundation of the drawback policy will benefit the application. The Adams Express Company, as I understand it, is neither engaged in the export trade nor in domestic manufacture—at least, in such directions as this. It may certainly be said that neither the one business nor the other moved them to import and now to export this machine. The purpose merely was to obtain, after trial and experiment, an effective motor wagon for use in their business of inland transportation.
On the whole case, I am strongly of the opinion that the machine, the ultimate article, produced here as you state, does not constitute a manufacture within the meaning of the draw back laws, and I so advise you. Respectfully,
P. C. KNOX. The SECRETARY of the TREASURY.
ISLAND OF TUTUILA-STATUS-CUSTOMS DUTIES.
In view of the convention concluded by the United States, Great Brit
ain, and Germany on December 2, 1899 (31 Stat., 1878), the island of Tutuila is not a foreign country within the meaning of our tariff laws, and goods coming into the United States from that island are not subject to duty.
DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE,
February 17, 1902. SIR: I have received your letter of the 10th instant, ask. ing my opinion upon the question " whether merchandise shipped from Pago Pago, Tutuila, is entitled to free entry in view of the convention concluded by the United States, Great Britain, and Germany on December 2, 1899.”
If Pago Pago is not a foreign port, then, according to the recent decisions of the Supreme Court the law imposing duties upon goods imported into the United States does not impose a duty upon goods brought from that place.
The privilege of establishing at the harbor of Pago Pago a station for coal and other naval supplies for our naval and mercantile marine was obtained by treaty of 1878 with Samoa, and a deed made in pursuance thereof.
By recent events, including the making and executing of a treaty between Great Britain, Germany, and the United States, the island of Tutuila, of which Pago Pago is a port, has come under the control and into the possession of the United States. It is a small island, with but 3,000 or 4,000 inhabitants, has been separated politically from the remainder of the Samoan group, the authority of the King of Samoa over it is at an end, and it has no government but that of a naval officer appointed by United States authority, except·local town governments. By the treaty referred to, the exclusive sovereignty of the United States over it appears to be asserted by us and recognized by Great Britain and Germany, which nations formerly shared with us a protectorate.
I find that on December 6, 1900, the Department of State, whose opinion is entitled to great weight in interpreting the effect of its own negotiations and proceedings in such a case, expressed the view that Pago Pago is not a “foreign port or place” within the meaning of the law imposing a tonnage tax upon vessels. And on December 8, 1900, two days later, your own Department (Treasury Decision 22661) ruled that such a tax was not collectible upon a vessel from Pago Pago. Among the inclosures of your letter to me is one from the Secretary of State, advising you that "the islands of Tutuila and Manua, being in the exclusive possession and control of the United States, should be considered as domestic territory in the sense in which and to the extent that Porto Rico was so, immediately before the passage of the statute providing a government therefor."
In view of these things, I am of opinion that our tariff laws, imposing duties upon goods from * foreign countries" are not applicable to goods arriving from Pago Pago.
A practical question arises from the provision of the tripartite treaty referred to, that “each of the three signatory powers should continue to enjoy, in respect of their commerce and commercial vessels, in all the islands of the Samoan group, privileges and conditions equal to those enjoyed by the sovereign power in all ports which may be open to the commerce of either of them"—that is to say, it is possible that German and British merchants may attempt, under cover of this provision, to carry goods via Pago Pago into some of our other ports, since, according to the doctrine laid down in Dooley v. United States (182 U.S., 222), and other cases, goods entering Pago Pago from the United States are not dutiable by executive authority, and so as to goods arriving from Pago Pago in the ports of the United States. But this can not alter the status of the ports of Tutuila, nor does it present any difficulty which Congress and your Department can not easily deal with. The treaty neither stipulates for free entry into Pago Pago nor is intended to provide a means for entry into other ports on the terms stipulated in the case of Pago Pago, but only that the same privileges we see fit to accord at Pago Pago to our own commerce and vessels shall be enjoyed by British and German goods and vessels arriving there, and that, reciprocally, American merchants shall have the privileges in the ports of the British and German islands of the group accorded there to British and German commerce. Respectfully,
P. C. KNOX. The SECRETARY OF THE TREASURY.
SECRETARY OF THE TREASURY-COMPROMISE OF CLAIM.
While the Secretary of the Treasury has no authority under section 3469,
Revised Statutes, to compromise a claim in favor of the Cnited States which has been reduced to judgment, affirmed by the highest court, and which is clearly collectible, that section confers upon him the authority to compromise all other claims in favor of the United States, except those arising under the postal laws.
DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE,
February 19, 1902. Sir: It appears from your letter of the 28th ultimo that on November 13, 1901, you
made a demand
the North American Commercial Company for the sum of $42,515.55, with interest at the rate of 6 per cent from May 1, 1891, on account of the tax, bonus, and rental due under the contract of March 12, 1890 (whereby the North American Commercial Company on May 1, 1890, became the lessee for a period of twenty years thereafter of the exclusive right to take fur seals on the islands of St. George and St. Paul, in the Territory of Alaska), for 4,158 seal skins, taken during the fall of 1889 and spring of 1890 by the natives of the seal islands under the privilege granted them by law to kill seals for food, and subsequently turned over to the North American Commercial Company.
The North American Commercial Company concedes the validity of the Government's claim for the sum named, but resists the payment of interest thereon from May 1, 1891, upon the following ground:
The seal skins in question having been taken prior to the transfer of the sealing privilege from the Alaska Commercial Company to the North American Commercial Company, the former company laid claim to the skins, which were accordingly shipped to the collector of customs at San Francisco to await the determination of the controversy by the courts. While this controversy was still pending, the seal skins were turned over to the North American Company, and that company, on April 14, 1891, was notified by your Department that in view of the fact that the Alaska Company had entered suit against it for the value of the skins, “the question of the payment of the tax to the Government is held in abeyance awaiting the final decision of ownership.” Prior to this date, namely, on April 1, 1891, your Department, after acknowledging the payment of rent and tax for the year ending May 1, 1891, notified the North American Company that the amount to be paid for the seal skins in question was not included in the account paid but was left for future adjustment."
In view of these facts and the fact that the Government nerer demanded the payment of the tax, bonus, and rental for the seal skins until November 13, 1901, the North American Company contends that the Government can not justly and legally exact interest from May 1, 1891, but "desiring to avoid conflict and litigation is willing, by way of settlement of said claim, to pay a part of the interest demanded, say 3 per cent, from the date when the litigation between the two companies was settled on March 8, 1894, until now."
The question you submit to me is whether your Department has authority to compromise the claim. I am of the opinion it has. Section 3469 of the Revised Statutes provides as follows:
“Upon a report by a district attorney, or any special attorney or agent having charge of any claim in favor of