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Opinion of the Court.

should hold, as it was held there, that it was an interference with interstate commerce, and that the defendant was not guilty. But to our minds there is a decided difference between this case and that. The contract to make and deliver these pictures was an executory contract, and no title passed by this contract. If they had been completed in Chicago, and under contract shipped to the purchaser, the title would have passed to the consignee upon delivery to the railroad in Chicago—the railroad being deemed to be the agent of the consignee, and Brennan v. Titusville would have applied, as the tax would have been upon the commerce. But, instead of completing the pictures in Chicago and shipping them to the parties who had contracted for them, they were shipped to themselves, “ The Chicago Portrait Company,' in Greensboro. This being so no title ever passed from the Chicago Portrait Company, until the pictures were put in the frames and delivered by the defendant. These pictures belonged to the Chicago company when they were shipped from Chicago, and belonged to it when they got to Greensboro. And the question is, could the Chicago Portrait Company, because it was a foreign corporation, engage in the business of completing these pictures, and in selling and delivering them in Greensboro, without becoming liable to a city tax, for which its own citizens would be liable. It seems to us that it could not."

We are not persuaded by this reasoning. It seems to proceed upon two propositions—first, that the pictures in question were not completed before they were brought to Greensboro; and, second, that the articles were not shipped directly to the purchasers, but to an agent of the sender in Greensboro.

But it certainly cannot be pretended that, if the pictures and the disconnected frames had been directly shipped to the purchasers, the license tax could have been imposed, either on the vendor out of the State or on the purchaser within the State. If the pictures and the frames intended for them had been shipped directly to the purchasers, whether in the same or separate packages, such a transaction would, beyond question, be interstate commerce beyond the reach of the taxing power of the State. It is too plain for argument that the supposed in

Opinion of the Court.

complete condition of articles of commerce, if shipped directly to the purchasers, cannot subject them to the license tax.

But we are not disposed to concede that, under the facts of this case, the pictures were, in any proper sense, incomplete when received in Greensboro. That the frames and the pictures were in separate packages, if such was the case, was merely for convenience in packing and handling, and “placing the pictures in their proper places,” (the language of the verdict,) meant that each picture was placed in the frame designed for it. The selection of the frame was as much a part of the purchase and sale as the selection of the picture.

Nor does the fact that these articles were not shipped separately and directly to each individual purchaser, but were sent to an agent of the vendor at Greensboro, who delivered them to the purchasers, deprive the transaction of its character as interstate commerce. It was only that the vendor used two instead of one agency in the delivery. It would seem evident that, if the vendor had sent the articles by an express company, which should collect on delivery, such a mode of delivery would not have subjected the transaction to state taxation. The same could be said if the vendor himself, or by a personal agent, had carried and delivered the goods to the purchaser. That the articles were sent as freight by rail and were received at the railroad station by an agent who delivered them to the respective purchasers, in nowise changes the character of the commerce as interstate.

Transactions between manufacturing companies in one State, through agents, with citizens of another constitute a large part of interstate commerce; and for us to hold, with the court below, that the same articles, if sent by rail directly to the purchaser, are free from state taxation, but if sent to an agent to deliver, are taxable through a license tax upon the agent, would evidently take a considerable portion of such traffic out of the salutary protection of the interstate commerce clause of the Constitution.

It cannot escape observation that efforts to control commerce of this kind, in the interest of the States where the purchasers reside, have been frequently made in the form of statutes and

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Opinion of the Court.

municipal ordinances, but that such efforts have been heretofore rendered fruitless by the supervising action of this court. The cases hereinbefore cited disclose the truth of this observation.

Upon principle and authority, therefore, we conclude that the judgment of the Supreme Court of North Carolina should be and is Reversed, and the cause is remanded to that court to take fur

ther proceedings not inconsistent with this opinion.

Opinions Per Curiam, etc.


No. 55. GEORGE TSUKAMOTO, APPELLANT, V. JOHN LACKMANN ET AL. Appeal from the Circuit Court of the United States for the Northern District of California. Submitted October 16, 1902. Decided October 20, 1902. Per Curiam. Final order affirmed with costs, on the authority of Minnesota v. Brundage, 180 U. S. 499; Markuson v. Boucher, 175 U. S. 184, and cases cited. Mr. James G. Maguire for the appellant. Mr. Thomas D. Riordan for the appellees.

No. 255. WILLIAM B. BROWN, APPELLANT, V. JOHN H. DRAIN, STREET SUPERINTENDENT, ETC., ET AL. Appeal from the Circuit Court of the United States for the Southern District of California. Motions to dismiss or affirm submitted October 14, 1902. Decided October 20, 1902. Per Curiam. Decree affirmed with costs, on the authority of Spies v. Illinois, 123 U. S. 131; Richardson v. Railroad Company, 169 U. S. 128; Walston v. Nevin, 128 U. S. 578; Fallbrook Irrigation District v. Bradley, 164 U. S. 112; French v. Asphalt Company, 181 U. S. 324; King v. Portland, 184 U. S. 61. (Mr. Justice Harlan took no part in the disposition of this case.) Mr. Joseph H. Call for the appellant. Mr. Albert H. Crutcher for the appellees.

No. 349. BANK OF IRON GATE, PLAINTIFF IN ERROR, v. MAGGIE A. BRADY, EXECUTRIX, ETC. In error to the Circuit Court of the United States for the Eastern District of Virginia. Submitted October 14, 1902. Decided October 20, 1902. Per Curiam. Judgment affirmed with costs, on the authority of Veazie Bank v. Fenno, 8 Wall. 533. Mr. William L. Royall for the plaintiff in error. Mr. Solicitor General Richards for the defendant in error.

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