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TO COLLECTORS OF CUSTOMS.

TREASURY DEpartment,

Washington, D. C., February 2, 1878.

The following Decisions of the Department for the month of January, 1878, upon the construction to be given to Acts of Congress, relating to the Tariff, Navigation, and other subjects, are published herewith for the information and guidance of Officers of the Customs. JOHN SHERMAN,

Secretary.

(3443.)

Values in United States Money of the Monetary Units and Standard Coins of Foreign Countries.

TREASURY DEPARTMENT, January 1, 1878.

The first section of the act of March 3, 1873, Statutes at Large, volume 17, page 602, reproduced in section 3564 of the Revised Statutes, provides "that the value of foreign coin, as expressed in the money of account of the United States, shall be that of the pure metal of such coin of standard value," and that "the values of the standard coins in circulation of the various nations of the world shall be estimated annually by the Director of the Mint, and be proclaimed on the first day of January by the Secretary of the Treasury."

The estimate of values contained in the following table has been

made by the Director of the Mint, and is hereby proclaimed in compliance with the above-stated provisions of law:

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The above rates will be taken in estimating the values of all foreign merchandise made out in any of said currencies, imported on or after January 1, 1878.*

I am, very respectfully,

JOHN SHERMAN,

Secretary of the Treasury.

(3444.)

Certificates of Payment of Tonnage Tax.

TREASURY DEPARTMENT, January 2, 1878.

Officers of the customs are hereby instructed that, on and after the first day of February, 1878, blanks for certified copies of tonnage-duty

certificates will be furnished in book form, with stubs, which blanks will be used to the exclusion of the loose blanks (Catalogue No. 492) heretofore supplied for that purpose. These certified copies will continue to be issued conformably to the provisions of Department Circular No. 20, Series of 1874, relative to the taking up of original certifi cates, &c., but the blanks must not be used under any circumstances for original certificates. The stubs of each book will be mailed to the Commissioner of Customs, Washington, as soon as the corresponding certified copies have been issued. Collectors will be charged with the blanks forwarded to them, and credited with the stubs returned. Should any blank be accidentally rendered unfit for use, it will be preserved and returned with the book of stubs.

All the blanks of Form 492 on hand on the date above mentioned will be destroyed.

COLLECTORS OF CUSTOMS AND OTHERS.

JOHN SHERMAN,

Secretary.

(3445.)

Live Snakes, not Specimens of Natural History.

TREASURY DEPARTMENT, January 3, 1878.

SIR: The Department is in receipt of your letter of the 29th ultimo, submitting the appeal (6865 e) of Messrs. Charles Ruche & Bro. from your assessment of duty at the rate of 20 per cent. ad valorem on certain snakes, imported by him per "Donau," November 21, 1877.

The apellant states that the snakes in question are intended to be placed in the New York Aquarium, as specimens of natural history, and to be used for scientific purposes only, and claims that they are exempt from duty under the provision in the free list, Revised Statutes, for "specimens of natural history, botany, and mineralogy, when imported for cabinets as objects of taste or science, and not for sale."

Referring to article 939, Regulations of 1857, in which it is held that the term "specimens of natural history" comprehends only articles for the cabinet of the naturalist, and has no application to living animals, your assessment of duty on the snakes in question is hereby affirmed. Very respectfully, By order:

COLLECTOR OF CUSTOMS, New York.

H. F. FRENCH,

Assistant Secretary.

(3446.)

Paintings on China.

TREASURY DEPARTMENT, January 8, 1878.

SIR: The Department is in receipt of your letter dated the 5th instant, submitting the appeal (6914e) of Mr. C. C. Harrison from your assessment of duty, at the rate of 50 per cent. ad valorem, on certain china-ware or crockery imported by him per "Pennsylvania," November 16, 1877, and classified as “decorated china," but claimed by the importer to be paintings on china.

It is claimed that the goods consist of dessert-plates, to be affixed to walls for ornamental purposes, and that their value is greatly enhanced by the paintings thereon.

In view of the provision of Schedule B, imposing duty at the rate of 50 per cent. ad valorem on china, porcelain, and parian-ware, gilded, ornamented, or decorated in any manner, your decision is affirmed.

Very respectfully,

By order:

COLLECTOR OF CUSTOMS, Philadelphia, Pa.

(3447.)

H. F. FRENCH,

Assistant Secretary.

Water-Colors for Painting China-Duty on.

TREASURY DEPARTMENT, January 11, 1878.

SIR: The Department is in receipt of your letter of the 19th ultimo, transmitting the appeal (6800 e) of J. Marsching & Co. from your decision assessing duty at the rate of 35 per cent. ad valorem on certain colors imported per "Germanie," October 8, 1877, which the appellants claim to be dutiable at the rate of 25 per cent. ad valorem, as "painters' colors."

It appears from the special report of the appraiser that the goods are not commercially, or otherwise, known as "painters' colors," but are water-colors, which are specially prepared and used for decorating china-ware. The appraiser at Boston also reports that the said colors do not belong to the class known as painters' colors, and that they are consequently classified at that port under the provision for "water-colors," at a duty of 35 per cent. ad valorem, as assessed by you. Your decision is therefore affirmed.

Very respectfully,
By order:

COLLECTOR OF CUSTOMS, New York.

H. F. FRENCH,

Assistant Secretary.

(3448.)

Horse-Clippers-Duty on.

TREASURY DEPARTMENT, January 11, 1878.

SIR: The Department is in receipt of your letter of the 5th instant, transmitting the appeal (6953 e) of J. A. Safford from your decision assessing duty at the rate of 45 per cent. ad valorem on certain "horseclippers," imported per "Java," December 17, 1877, which the appellant claims, as they are manufactures of steel, iron, and wood, should be assessed with duty as follows: 45 per cent. ad valorem on the steel portion and 35 per cent. ad valorem on the iron and wood portion.

It appears from the special report of the appraiser that the said horseclippers are complete and finished articles, in the condition in which they are imported, and are invoiced and packed as complete in themselves, so that, notwithstanding they are composed of different materials, as alleged, it is impracticable to separate such materials or their values for the assessment of duty.

The Department must therefore reject the claim of the appellant, and decide that the clippers, being manufactures in part of steel, were properly subjected to duty at the rate of 45 per cent. ad valorem, under the provision therefor (Heyl, 1012) in Schedule E.

The article in question is of an entirely different character from horseshears, which are like ordinary shears, with the points turned up. (See No. 3195, Published Decisions.)

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Wools-Market Value at Port of Shipment.

TREASURY DEPARTMENT, January 15, 1878.

SIR: The Department duly received your reports of the 21st, 22d, and 27th of November, and 11th of December, 1877, with accompanying documents, relative to the following appeals from your assessment of duty at the rate of 12 cents per pound and 10 per cent. ad valorem on certain wools embraced therein, viz:

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