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TICE V. UNITED STATES, 99 U. S. 286 (1878)

U.S. Supreme Court

Tice v. United States, 99 U.S. 286 (1878)

Tice v. United States

99 U.S. 286


The Secretary of the Treasury having been authorized by sec. 15 of the Act of March 2, 1867, 14 Stat. 481, to "adopt, procure, and prescribe" meters to be used by distillers, adopted the meter of A., April 18, 1867. If the Secretary revoked his order, it was agreed that A. should be paid for all the instruments he might then have completed or have in process of completion, provided the number of sets in process of manufacture at any one time should not exceed twenty. A joint resolution, passed Feb. 3, 1868, 15 id. 246, declared that, pending an examination thereby directed, all work on the construction of meters under the direction of the Treasury Department should be suspended, and that in the meantime no further contract should be made under the Act of March 2, 1867. Power to adopt and prescribe meters was, by the Act of July 20, 1868, id. 125, conferred upon the Commissioner of Internal Revenue, who, Sept. 16, 1868, adopted A.'s meter, reserving the right to entirely revoke his order adopting it, and, on the part of the government, direct the discontinuance of its manufacture. June 8, 1870, the Commissioner revoked his previous order, except as to meters then on hand or in process of construction not exceeding twenty sets; and A. was informed that neither the government nor any department or officer thereof was or would be responsible for or on account of any meters. The use of A.'s meter was entirely discontinued June 8, 1871. He then had fourteen and a half sets on hand, for the value of which he brought this suit, contending that the contract made by the Secretary in 1867, to pay for the instruments on hand at the time of the discontinuance to the extent of twenty sets, was adopted by the Commissioner in 1868 and was made part of all the subsequent proceedings. It does not appear that any of the fourteen and a half sets on hand June 8, 1871, were on hand or in process of manufacture June 8, 1870. Held, that A. was not entitled to recover.

The facts are stated in the opinion of the Court.

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