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UNITED STATES V. G. FALK & BROTHERS, 204 U. S. 143 (1907)

U.S. Supreme Court

United States v. G. Falk & Brothers, 204 U.S. 143 (1907)

United States v. G. Falk & Brothers

No. 259

Argued December 4, 1906

Decided January 7, 1907

204 U.S. 143


While the primary purpose of a proviso is to qualify only the provision of the statute to which it is appended, a presumption of such purpose will not prevail against a demonstrative test that the legislative intent was that the proviso was of general application. The Attorney General having construed the proviso of § 50 of the Tariff Act of 1890 as not restricted to the matter immediately preceding it, but as of general application, and this construction having been followed by the executive officers charged with the administration of the law, Congress will be held to have adopted that construction in the enactment of § 33 of the Tariff Act of 1897 and to have made no other change except to require as the basis of duty the weight of merchandise at the time of entry instead of its weight at the time of its withdrawal from warehouse. The proviso in § 20 of the Customs Administrative Act only refers to cases in which a change in the rate of duty has been made while the merchandise is in bonded warehouse, and not to difference in weight.

145 F. 484 reversed.

The facts are stated in the opinion.

Page 204 U. S. 145

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