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EXPLANATORY NOTES, CITATIONS FROM DECISIONS OF
THE COURTS AND THE TREASURY DEPARTMENT.
CHARLES F. WILLIAMS,
COUNSELLOR-AT-LAW, AND CHIEF CLERK TO THE LATE TARIFF COMMISSION.
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This book is in the nature of a commentary on the new tariff act. The author has had exceptional facilities for the work, being familiar with all statements made before the Tariff Commission, including many not made public in the printed report of the testimony, and being cognizant of the discussions before that body and of the tenor of its deliberations. He was also obliged to keep himself minutely informed of the progress of tariff discussion before Congress and the finance committees of both houses during the past winter. He has endeavored, without obtruding his own opinions, to assist importers and others in determining in advance many questions likely to arise in administering the new law. To this end the sections of the old law have been brought into juxtaposition with those of the new to which they correspond or bear an analogy, in such a manner that the changes are readily seen. This method has been thought preferable to reproducing the former law in its entirety. It can be seen at a glance what paragraphs remain unchanged.
In the notes an attempt has been made to state, by reference to, and citations and abstracts from, the opinions of the courts and of the department, all that has been decided and that has any practical bearing upon the interpretation of the law and of questions of classification. It is, as is well known, difficult, and often impossible, to harmonize the decisions of the department. None are more fully aware than the officials of the treasury how poorly adapted are present methods for determining disputed questions of classification. It is much to be regretted that none of the plans which, at different times, have been proposed for changing these methods have, thus far, received legislative sanction.