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It would have been preferable if the facts of this case and the question of law arising thereon had been specifically stated in the request for an opinion (22 Op. 351, 477; 23 ib. 92); but I gather from the papers, which are not voluminous, that the specific issue is whether the fact that the Barac River is a nonnavigable stream of the Philippine Islands excludes this case from the operation of the laws relating to the award of life-saving medals.
Section 7 of the act approved June 20, 1874 (18 Stat. 125, 127), entitled “An act to provide for the establishment of life-saving stations and houses of refuge upon the sea and lake coasts of the United States, and to promote the efficiency of the Life-Saving Service," provides :
“SEC. 7. That the Secretary of the Treasury is hereby directed to cause to be prepared medals of honor, with suitable devices, to be distinguished as life-saving medals of the first and second class, which shall be bestowed upon any persons who shall hereafter endanger their own lives in saving, or endeavoring to save lives from perils of the sea, within the United States, or upon any American vessel: Provided, That the medal of the first class shall be confined to cases of extreme and heroic daring; and that the medal of the second class shall be given in cases not sufficiently distinguished to deserve the medal of the first class: Provided, also, That no award of either medal shall be made to any person until sufficient evidence of his deserving shall have been filed with the Secretary of the Treasury and entered upon the records of the department.'
Section 12 of the act approved June 18, 1878 (20 Stat. 163, 165), entitled “An act to organize the Life-Saving Service,” provides:
“SEC. 12. That the Secretary of the Treasury is hereby authorized to bestow the life-saving medal of the second class upon persons making such signal exertions in rescuing and succoring the shipwrecked, and saving persons from drowning, as, in his opinion, shall merit such recognition.”
This legislation was amended by the act of May 4, 1882 (22 Stat. 55, 57), in certain particulars which it is unnecessary here to consider.
The above-quoted provisions, in view of their incorporation in the acts relating to the Life-Saving Service, having been given a restricted construction by Attorney General Olney in an opinion rendered January 30, 1895 (21 Op. 124), Congress passed the act entitled “An act construing the acts of Congress in relation to the award of life-saving medals,” approved January 21, 1897 (29 Stat. 494), which reads:
"Whereas the Attorney General, under date of January thirtieth, eighteen hundred and ninety-five, has rendered an opinion that the statutes authorizing the award of lifesaving medals apply to the rescue of those persons only who, in the vicinity of a life-saving station, lifeboat station, or house of refuge, are in danger of drowning in any of the waters over which the United States, by reason of their right to regulate foreign and interstate commerce, [italics mine) have jurisdiction, and that the purpose of such statutes is to cause such medals to be bestowed upon the members, whether regular or volunteer, and whether permanent or temporary, of the life-saving crews; and that the terms ‘succoring the shipwrecked' and 'saving persons from drowning,' employed in section twelve, act approved June eighteenth, eighteen hundred and seventy-eight, authorizing the bestowal of life-saving medals of the second class, were intended to embrace only those persons who were suffering from the perils of the sea, either by actual shipwreck or from being upon or connected with any vessel in distress: Therefore,
“Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That so much of the acts relating to life-saving stations and the Life-Saving Service approved June twentieth, eighteen hundred and seventy-four, June eighteenth, eighteen hundred and seventy-eight, and May fourth, eighteen hundred and eighty-two, as provide for the award of life-saving medals shall be construed so as to empower the Secretary of the Treasury to bestow such medals upon persons making signal exertions in rescuing and succoring the shipwrecked and saving persons from drowning in the waters over which the United States has jurisdiction, whether the
said persons making such exertions were or were not members of a life-saving crew, or whether or not such exertions were made in the vicinity of a life-saving station.”
It will be observed that this act, in defining the waters to which the acts relating to the award of life-saving medals shall apply, omits the phrase "by reason of their right to regulate foreign and interstate commerce,” qualifying the jurisdiction of the United States, which is mentioned in the preamble as having been contained in the opinion of the Attorney General of January 30, 1895. The fact that this phrase was omitted from the construing act, that such a qualification is not in terms contained in the acts construed, and that the evident purpose of the construing act was to give the acts construed the most liberal interpretation, all lead to the conclusion that such legislation should be held to apply to any waters over which the United States has jurisdiction, whether because of its power to regulate interstate and foreign commerce or otherwise.
This was the view taken by Attorney General Griggs, in an opinion rendered April 2, 1900 (23 Op. 78, 80), construing the act of January 21, 1897, in which he said:
“It will be noted, also, that the act of January 21, 1897, was passed to correct a construction by one department of the Government which Congress, then at least, deemed too narrow, and to give to this legislation a broader scope. In doing this, Congress has plainly made the territorial extent of this legislation as broad as the waters over which the United States has jurisdiction. For, in correction of a previous construction, fixing much narrower limits, Congress has extended the legislation to all the waters over which the United States has jurisdiction, * whether or not such exertions were made in the vicinity of a life-saving station.' And all places which either are or are not ‘in the vicinity of a life-saving station' clearly embrace all places ‘in the waters over which the United States has jurisdiction. And it extends, by express terms, on board any American vessel. And, as already said, the purpose and object of the legislation emphasize this construction, and require it wherever, in the waters of the United States, human life is in peril of the sea and equally
require recognition of heroic efforts in its behalf, without reference to locality.”'
As above stated, the authority conferred upon the Secretary of the Treasury by the acts relating to the award of life-saving medals, which are construed by the act of January 21, 1897, is not in terms restricted to waters over which the United States has jurisdiction by virtue of its power to regulate interstate and foreign commerce. So Attorney General Olney, in an opinion rendered September 26, 1894 (21 Op. 65, 66), construing section 12 of the act of June 18, 1878, said that “the waters contemplated by the section are, in my judgment, either the high seas or what may be described as waters of the United States; that is, waters belonging to the United States as owner, or over which it has jurisdiction by virtue of its authority to regulate interstate and foreign commerce.”
It follows that, while the acts relating to the award of life-saving medals would not, after the act of January 21, 1897, as they did not theretofore, apply to waters “wholly within a State and no part of the navigable waters of the United States” (21 Op. 65, 66), because such waters are not under the jurisdiction of the United States, they should be construed to apply to the Barac River, in the Philippine Islands, notwithstanding the fact that that river is not a navigable stream, since that river is under the jurisdiction of the United States by virtue of the sovereignty of the United States over the islands. The power of Congress to extend its grant in this respect is unquestionable, and, as stated, the circumstances all indicate an intention so to do.
I have the honor, therefore, to advise you that, the other requirements of the statutes being met, you are authorized to award Capt. Van Schaick the appropriate medal for the service rendered by him as stated. Respectfully,
GEORGE W. WICKERSHAM. The SECRETARY OF THE TREASURY.
PHILIPPINE ISLANDS-ENTRY OF CIGARS FROM.
Section 2804 of the Revised Statutes, which forbids the entry of cigars of
less quantity than 3,000 in a single package, applies to cigars coming
into the United States from the Philippine Islands. Cigars and cigarettes brought into the United States from the Philippine
Islands are subject to the internal-revenue tax under section 5 of the tariff act of August 5, 1909 (36 Stat. 83), and internal-revenue stamps in payment of such tax are required to be affixed to the packages containing the same.
DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE,
May 10, 1911. Sir: By your letter of March 22, 1911, you transmitted certain correspondence between the Secretary of War and the Governor General and other officers of the Philippine Islands, in which they request that cigars and cigarettes, the product of those islands, be admitted into the United States in quantities less than 3,000 in a single package. You also state that you have received requests from customs officers for instructions as to the necessity for affixing customs stamps on Philippine cigars.
After quoting sections 2804 and 3402 of the Revised Statutes, you say:
“The admission of Philippine cigars and cigarettes in lots of less than 3,000 in a single package would present no administrative difficulties, and as this department is desirous of facilitating trade with the Philippine Islands so far as may be compatible with the law, I shall be pleased to have an expression of your opinion as to whether or not the provisions of said sections 2804 and 3402 of the Revised Statutes, as quoted above, especially the word “imported' should be applied to cigars and cigarettes brought to the United States from the said islands."
The admission into the United States of goods coming from the Philippine Islands is regulated primarily by section 5 of the tariff act of August 5, 1909 (36 Stat. 11, 83), which provides:
“Sec. 5. That there shall be levied, collected, and paid upon all articles coming into the United States from the Philippine Islands the rates of duty which are required to be levied, collected, and paid upon like articles imported