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--alien duties resum- July, 1790, section 1, 27th March, 1814, section 6, and 30th August, 1842, section 11: ed-following Texan exactions. S's cir. 12th December, 1843; V. 3, p. 335.
AS TO NEW GRENADA, ECUADOR, and VENEZUELA, formerly
Colombian Federation-alien duties on the former only.
AS TO THE KING
DOM OF MUSCAT:
1175. The reciprocity stipulations between the United States and Colombia having expired by limitation, and that Republic having separated into three independent States, a new Treaty has been formed with Venezuela-the former convention is observed by Ecuador-but, in regard to New Grenada, the old discriminating duties are to be exacted: S's cir. 14th July, 1837; V. 3, p. 143.
1176. Respecting our reciprocal commercial relations established with the Kingdom of alien duties abolished. Muscat and its dependencies, reference is made to the proclamation of the President of the 24th June, 1837: C's cir. 17th February, 1838; V. 3, p. 597.
AS TO SIAM:---alien duties abolished.
AS TO GREECE :alien tonnage duties abolished.
ASTO PORTUGAL:alien duties continued:
can and two by Foreign vessels.
1177. For the like reciprocal relations with the Kingdom of Siam, reference is also made to the aforesaid proclamation of the President of the 24th June, 1837: C's cir. 17th February, 1838; V. 3, p. 597.
1178. Collectors are informed that by proclamation of the President, of the 14th June last, the foreign or alien tonnage duties upon the vessels of the Kingdom of Greece were required to cease on that day: C's cir. 16th October, 1837; V. 3, p. 151.
1179. For the reciprocal commercial relations established with the Kingdom of Greece, reference is made to the proclamation of the President of the 14th June, 1837, discontinuing the collection of alien tonnage on Greek vessels after that date: C's cir. 17th February, 1838; V. 3, p. 597.
1180. Collectors are informed that, by proclamation of the President of the 11th October current, satisfactory evidence having been received by him of the continuance to levy alien duties on American vessels in the ports of Portugal, the same are required to be levied on the vessels of Portugal arriving in American ports: S's cir. 16th October, 1837; V. 3, p. 151.
1181. The proclamation of the President of the 11th October, 1837, declares, that the duties payable by vessels of Portugal arriving in ports of the United States prior to the 25th May, 1832, are, from the date of the proclamation, to be again levied: C's cir. 17th February, 1838; V. 3, p. 597.
1182. (The ad valorem duties, and the specific duties, levied quarterly on goods imstracts-showing three classes of impost rev- ported in American vessels, are required to be exhibited in separate abstracts; also, the ad enue, one by Ameri- valorem duties and the specific duties, levied quarterly on goods imported in Foreign vessels paying alien rates, are required to be exhibited in two separate abstracts; and the ad valorem duties and the specific duties, levied quarterly on goods imported in Foreign vessels paying American rates, are required to be exhibited in two corresponding abstracts, to ac company quarterly returns for settlement: S's cir. 13th March, 1834; V. 3, p. 449.)
THE SYSTEM OF INCIDENTAL REVENUE, DERIVED FROM VARIOUS SOURCES, AS
SECTION 1. Of instructions to Collectors, District Attorneys, Marshals, and Clerks of United States Courts, as to their duties in matters and proceedings appertaining to the institution, conduct, and final issue, of suits in which the United States is a party, or interested; and to Commissioners of Insolvent Debtors of the United States.
SECTION 2. Of Frauds on the Revenue, liable to suit by seizure, libel, &c., with occasional remissions thereof, &c: and quarterly returns of fines, penalties, and forfeitures, and the distributions of the same.
SECTION 3. Of Custom-house Bonds put in suit, or liable to be put in suit, and returns thereof respectively-embracing duty bonds, export bonds, bonds of masters of vessels, bonds of owners of vessels, bonds of collectors, bonds of deputy collectors, &c.
SECTION 4. Of Treasury transcripts of accounts for suit-consisting of statements made by the First Comptroller, by the Second Comptroller, and by the Register of the Treasury, of balances due on account of individuals or corporations, &c., on the books of the Treasury— severally addressed to the Solicitor of the Treasury.
Of Instructions to Collectors, District Attorneys, Marshals, and Clerks of United States Courts, as to their duties in matters and proceedings appertaining to the institution, conduct, and final issue, of suits in which the United States are a party, or interested; and to Commissioners of Insolvent Debtors of the United States.
1183. In relation to debts due to the United States, the decision of the Supreme Court of the United States, in February, 1815, is "that the United States are entitled to priority of payments in all cases of bankruptcy or insolvency, in pursuance of the 5th section of the act of 3d March, 1797," to provide more effectually for the settlement of accounts: C's cir. 9th March, 1805; V. 1, p. 229.
DEBTS DUE TO THE UNITED STATES-title to priority of payment.
(66.) By the act to establish the Treasury Department, passed on the 2d September, 1789, among the functions imposed on the Comptroller of the Treasury, it was made his duty "to provide for the regular and punctual payment of all moneys which may be collected, and to direct prosecutions for all delinquencies of officers of the Revenue, and for Debts that are, or shall be, due to the United States." By the act of the 15th May, 1820, the office of "Agent of the Treasury," to direct prosecutions for debts due to the United States, was established; and said office was, for the time being, conferred by the President on the Comptroller: but, at the instance of the Comptroller, shortly afterwards, he was relieved of it, and it was transferred to the 5th Auditor of the Treasury; in which capacity the said Auditor officiated, until the act of the 29th May, 1830, provided for the appointment of a Solicitor of the Treasury, whereby the office of Agent of the Treasury was superseded. Anterior to the latter period, nearly all the instructions of the Comptroller or the Secretary of the Treasury, on the prosecution of claims in law and equity, relate to the recovery of duty bonds, and other liabilities accruing under the Custom-house establishments—for the details of which, see the 3d section of this Chapter, and letter (c) in the 8th section of Chapter III, Nos. 919 to 979. But since the creation of the Solicitor's office, the instructions in relation to the prosecution of all claims in law and equity in the courts of the United States, in which the Government is a party or interested, have emanated from that office, and consequently were not embraced in the purpose of this compilation, however properly constituting a part of the Revenue system. Nevertheless, abstracts of a few of the principal of those instructions are here inserted, as being indispensable to elucidate the measures adopted for the recovery of this branch of Incidental Revenue. The foregoing statement will, in some degree, account for the meagerness of the instructions noted in this section,
1184. The opinion of Judge Story, delivered in the case of the United States against Theodore Lyman, comprises many important principles in relation to debts incurred to the United States under our Revenue Laws, viz:-1. "Debt lies in favor of the United States, against the importer, for duties due on goods imported :—the right to duties accrues by the importation with an intent to unlade; and, immediately upon the importation, the duties become a personal charge and debt on the importer: a bond taken at the Custom-house to secure the duties due by the importer is not an extinguishment of the debt so accruing, but merely collateral security for its payment. 2d. No person but the owner or consignee, or, in case of his sickness or absence, his agent or factor, is by revenue laws entitled to enter and bond goods at the Custom-house: a subpurchaser, after importation, has no such right; the collector has no authority to receive the bond of any person as security for the payment of duties, except such person be legally entitled to enter them. 3d. Debt lies against the importer for duties on smuggled goods :-So, where, by mistake or accident, or fraud, no bond is given to secure them:-So, where short duties only have been paid:-An information of debt, or an information in the nature of a "bill of discovery and account," is a proper remedy for the United States in such cases. 4th. In what cases the taking of a higher security operates as an extinguisher of a debt; and, in what cases not. such security is given by the debtor, prima facie the law presumes it intended as an extinguishment of the debt. Aliter when it is the bond of a third person. 5th. A debt accruing by statute, though a specialty, is not of so high a dignity as a bond:" C's cir. 27th September, 1819; V. 2, p. 56.
1185. The Comptroller informs Collectors, District Attorneys, and Officers of the United States Courts, that the office of "Agent of the Treasury" is now transferred, by the President, to the Fifth Auditor, to take effect from and after the 1st July next: C's cir. 13th June, 1821; V. 2, p. 131.
1186. The subject of the transfer of the agency of the Treasury from the Comptroller to the Fifth Auditor is repeated: C's cir. 13th July, 1821; V. 2, p. 133.
1187. (The office of Solicitor of the Treasury was substituted for that of Agent of the Treasury, with a more systematic organization and detail of duties, by the "act of the 29th May, 1830, providing for the appointment of a Solicitor of the Treasury," a copy of which act is, (by the Solicitor so appointed,) transmitted to Collectors of the Customs, District Attorneys, Marshals, and Clerks of the Courts, with rules and regulations for their government, in the new official relations so established between them and said office: Solicitor's cir. 27th July, 1830.)
1188. (In consequence of the letter of the Secretary of the Treasury to the Collector of New York, of the 8th instant, authorizing a stay of suits for duties on account of the late disastrous fire, the Solicitor of the Treasury instructs the attorney for that district to exercise a salutary discretion, under specific rules and regulations, to delay suits, and to suspend suits, generally Solicitor's cir. 15th May, 1837, (C's cirs. Vol. 3, p. 132.)
1189. (The Solicitor, in answer to certain inquiries, explains the points in the foregoing instructions (of the 15th May, 1837,) in relation to the extension of indulgence on duty bonds; Solicitor's cir. 30th May, 1837.
1190. (The Solicitor gives instructions to District Attorneys, Marshals, Clerks of United States Courts, and to Collectors of the Customs, relative to all the gradations preparatory to instituting suits for the recovery of claims or debts due to the United States, their prosecution and settlement: Solicitor's cir. 1st May, 1839.)
1191. The Comptroller requests information from certain Collectors respecting lands and other property set off to satisfy debts due to the United States, or bid in in certain cases to be arranged according to form transmitted: C's cir. 15th September, 1834; V. 3, p. 491.
1192. In pursuance of the act of 2d March, 1837, to extend for a longer period the several acts for the relief of insolvent debtors of the United States," the Secretary of the Treasury recalls the attention of District Attorneys and the Commissioners of Insolvent Debtors to the instructions on the subject, dated 8th July, 1834, (not in this collection,) (67) requiring all the facts connected with applications for relief to be laid before him: S's cir. 16th March, 1837; V. 3, p. 124.
(67.) The two following circulars having been restored since this Synopsis was prepared, are inserted in full here, to insure their preser vation, being as valuable as they are rare: "TREASURY DEPARTMENT, July 8th, 1834.
"SIR: It will be perceived that the Commissioners of Insolvency, appointed in pursuance of the act of Congress of March 2d, 1831, for the relief of certain insolvent debtors of the United States, revived and amended by the act approved on the seventh day of June, 1834, are required, before they enter upon the duties of their appointment, to take an oath or affirmation before one of the Justices of the Supreme Court, or before any Judge of a District Court of the United States, that they will faithfully execute the trust committed to them you will, therefore, be pleased to take the oath or affirmation as aforesaid, and forward a certificate thereof to the Treasury Department; and, as soon thereafter as may be convenient, make the necessary arrangements for entering on your duties as required by law.
"You will observe that the compensation allowed each Commissioner is five dollars for each day he shall be actually employed, and that a report must be made, under oath or affirmation, of the time actually occupied in the investigation of each case, and the amount received from the applicant. The Commissioners will, therefore, cause a journal to be kept of their proceedings, shewing the attendance or absence of each at their respective sessions, and the time employed in each investigation, as near as practicable, and of all other particulars which may be necessary to a clear understanding of the proper charges for the compensation of the Commissioners, and the distribution of the expenses among the several applicants. When the Commissioners are occupied in the investigation of more than one case on the same day, an entry shall be made on their journal, shewing the proportion of time spent on each; and the whole of the daily expense incurred for compensation to the Commissioners, not to exceed fifteen dollars, will be distributed accordingly among such applicants. When but one case is examined, the whole daily expense will, of course, be taxed on the applicant in such case. From the data thus prepared, the proper expense will be charged to each petitioner.
"Each applicant may be charged a sum, not to exceed two dollars a day, for the time his case is under examination, to be applied to the payment of contingent expenses; and if, at the end of the year, the sum thus paid shall be found to exceed the amount of contingent expenses authorized by law, the surplus shall be repaid to the applicants pro rata. The allowance for contingent expenses being limited to two dollars a day, and this being the only fund for the same, arrangements must be made not to exceed this sum.
"With a view to avoid uncertainty as to the payment of costs, the Commissioners, at their discretion, may require security from any petitioner, that the costs shall be duly paid as soon as the report is completed.
"No provision being made for a Secretary, the labor of keeping the minutes, and making fair copies of the proceedings and documents, will devolve upon the Commissioners; for which purpose they will make such arrangements among themselves as may be convenient. "The presence of a majority of the Commissioners will be sufficient, provided all have had due notice of the meeting or meetings held in the case, and opportunity to attend, and that those constituting the majority have all been present at every stage of the proceedings. "It may be proper to establish and give public notice of the hours of business, which ought not to be less than six hours for each day, that being the usual time for official business.
"In making the examination into the transactions of the applicants, you will inquire minutely into the matters referred to in the 3d section of the act aforesaid, approved March 2d, 1331, viz: the time when the debtor first became insolvent; when he made his insolvency known to his creditors; the causes thereof, and the amount of the same; what estate, real and personal, he owned at the time of such insolvency, and the manner in which it has been disposed of-that is to say, what sums have been paid to his said creditors, or other persons; and what estate or property, if any, owned at the time of his becoming insolvent, or which he has since acquired a right to, has been conveyed to any other person, with intent to be applied, directly or indirectly, to the benefit of himself or family. You will also specially inquire into the matters referred to in the fourth section of the act of March 2d, 1831, aforesaid, which may not have been embraced in the
1193. The Commissioners of Insolvent Debtors, and District Attorneys, are informed of the revival and extension of the acts for the relief of insolvent debtors of the United States; and their attention is called to the instructions heretofore given on the subject, [of which there are no others in this collection]: S's cir. 1st June, 1840; V. 3, p. 226.
inquiries directed in the 3d section thereof, viz: What portion of his debt due to the United States the applicant is able to pay; whether he has done any act fraudulently to deprive the United States of their legal priority; or committed any fraud, or made any conveyance of his estate, real or personal, in trust for himself, with intent to defraud the United States, or whereby to expect any benefit to himself or family; and, also, into any and every transaction in relation to such applicants, and the disposition of any property held or owned by them, before or since their insolvency, which may tend to disclose the true character of their indebtedness, and subsequent conduct in regard to the same. You will also inquire as to the matters embraced in section 3d, of the act of July 14th, 1832, in addition to the aforesaid act of March 2d, 1831, that is to say, whether the sureties of such applicants are unable to pay his debt to the United States, and entitled to the provisions of the act in like manner as the principal debtor, or are willing to file with the Secretary of the Treasury their consent in writing to his discharge. When the applicant is a surety, you will make the inquiries embraced in the said 3d section as to his co-sureties. You will also inquire as to the matters contained in section 2d, of the act of the 7th day of June, 1834, to revive and amend the aforesaid acts, viz: Whether the surety or co-surety of any debtor, who may apply for the benefit of the said acts, be dead and represented; and, if so, whether the consent of his legal representatives can be obtained to his discharge; or whether such surety or co-surety be absent in parts unknown; and whether the estate of such deceased or absent surety or co-surety be insufficient to pay the debt due to the United States.
"You will make report in writing, to the Department, of the result of your examination in every case; and it is considered necessary to a full understanding of the facts upon which the decision thereof must be made, that all questions put to the witnesses, and their answers, should be taken down in writing, and forwarded with the report; and likewise copies, duly certified, of all material documents and papers produced or referred to in the investigation of the case.
“I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Secretary of the Treasury.
Esqr., Commissioner of Insolvency.”
"TREASURY Department, July 19th, 1834.
"SIR: I transmit herewith copies of the act of Congress, passed 2d March, 1831, 'for the relief of certain insolvent debtors of the United States,' of the act of July 14th, 1832, in addition thereto, and of the act of June 7th, 1834, to revive and amend these acts. To the act of March 2d, 1831, I would refer you, as prescribing certain duties to be by you performed. These duties are so clearly to be inferred from the tenor of this act that no special instruction is deemed necessary in regard to them, further than may be collected from the Instructions given to the Commissioners of Insolvency, (a copy whereof is enclosed,) as to the matters to be by them investigated and embraced in their reports. You will, of course, use your best exertions to discover every fact in relation to the transactions of the applicants, so far as may be proper and necessary to protect the interests of the United States.
"You will cause to be prepared an accurate statement of the debt or debts due from each applicant, whose case shall be transmitted to you, to be laid before the Commissioners of Insolvency, specifying, particularly, the amount of each debt, and, if on Custom-house or the class of official bonds contemplated by the 1st section of the said act of March 2d, 1831, the date of the obligation, when due, and the names of the coobligors; also, the time when judgment was rendered, and all the subsequent proceedings thereon. This statement you will please to hand to the Commissioners, that it may be annexed to their report on the case.
"As there is some doubt of the power of the Commissioners to compel the attendance of witnesses, and no provision is made for paying their expenses, it may be presumed that Congress intended that applicants for discharge should be responsible for procuring the attendance of witnesses, and also for the expenses incurred thereby. You will, therefore, issue subpoenas, in the name of the Commissioners, for such witnesses as may be deemed necessary, either by yourself, the Commissioners, or the applicants, to be delivered to the applicants in their respective cases, and notice may be given to the witnesses, and their attendance procured with the least practicable expense to the applicants. In case of the absence of a witness at too great a distance to be summoned with convenience, you may agree with the applicant to take the deposition of such witness by commission, or in any manner that may be most convenient: but if it should happen that the applicant shall fail to procure the attendance, or obtain the deposition as aforesaid, of any witness deemed by you or the Commissioners to be material, you will request the proceedings in such case to be suspended, and the facts to be reported to this Department.
"It may be proper to call your attention to the important provisions of the 4th section of the aforesaid act of June 7th, 1834, in regard to the entry of satisfaction on judgments against insolvent debtors of the United States, discharged by virtue of the said acts, or of any other and former acts of Congress; in all proceedings for which purpose vigilance would seem to be especially necessary on your part to guard the public interest.
"Should the Commissioners have occasion to meet at any time when other duties will prevent your attendance, it will be proper for you to depute an attorney to attend them in your stead.