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contagion from the Atlantic to the Pacific, from the Soo to the Rio Grande. Ninetynine out of every hundred trans - Atlantic passengers believe it with their whole soul on their first trip. They believe it just as implicitly as they believe that anything offered for sale in Europe must necessarily be a wonderful bargain. So they spend half their time abroad shopping and the other half wearing their purchases in order to escape the tariff which in the abstract is a heavenly beatitude, provided it is only high enough, but which becomes an unjust, tyrannical, oppressive burden to be evaded by any artifice the moment it is brought home
to the individual. CUSTOMS INSPECTORS CHECKING THE DECLARATIONS IN THE DINING
On every westbound SALOON WHILE THE STEAMER HALTS AT QUARANTINE.
liner that crosses the At
lantic may be seen a few pleased to consider a practical joke upon women suffering from the tariff delusion. them by telling them they would not They can always be i Sentified by the have to pay duty on any of their preposterously inappropriate costumes European purchases they wore when they wear on shipboard. They suffer the going ashore.
Being a gossipy person pangs of martyrdom, for they know all he had found out all about their pur- the other women are talking about them, chases, had made the possession of those and they perjure their souls with false dutiable Persian lamb coats a bond of explanations and apologies to hide what sympathy between them, and had been everybody knows, which is that they are the arch conspirator in the pretended plot suffering merely to trick the United to trick the Government out of its just States Government out of the money it dues. But if any of the fifteen ever clap so desperately needs to pay pensions. eyes on the scoundrel again
The shrewder tourists on their first trip Amazing beyond comprehension is the take their purchases to a secluded spot tenacity with which seemingly intelligent in Switzerland where they wear them persons will cling to popular beliefs in each for an hour, then sew in old labels the face of the most explicit and em- they prudently brought from home. phatic refutations, backed up by au- After the first trip they know better. thority and reiterated again and yet Some even think jewels purchased again. Somebody somewhere somehow abroad are not dutiable if they take the sometime got the idea that anything that precaution to wear them on going ashore. had ever been worn, or which was worn Thus, a tourist who shall be nameless upon disembarking in America, no mat- here, returning on the George Washingter what it was, or what its value, or ton, October 10, 1910, wore a new diawhere it was purchased, was not subject mond ring and pin, his wife wore a to duty. He confided this hallucination diamond and sapphire ring and carried to some one else who passed it on to a silver mesh bag. None of these things another. This
This tariff delusion, thus were included in their declaration, yet started on its travels, has spread like a they readily admitted they had been pur
chased abroad. Asked why he did not mistake about the tariff law unless he declare the jewels, the tourist triumph- does it wilfully. Early in the west bound antly called attention to the fact that he voyage, so there will be plenty of time and his wife were wearing them. He to examine it at leisure, the purser or his was overwhelmed when the trinkets were minions hands to each passenger a blank seized and he was obliged to redeem declaration on which to schedule his them by paying their full value plus baggage, including foreign purchases, 60 per cent duty with a fine on top of and a little blue folder. The declaration, that for good measure.
which is numbered and has a coupon Yet it is difficult to work up any sym- with a corresponding number attached, pathy for the victims of the tariff delu- bears the most explicit directions for sion when they are forced to pay three filling it out. But for fear the plain and times what it would have cost them to be simple language may be misunderstood, honest. Smuggling is merely a form of the little blue folder, which is headed stealing, which is expressly forbidden in “Notice to Passengers," begins by quotthe decalogue. No one can make any ing paragraph 709 appearing in the free
list of the present tariff act governing or other articles taken out of the United passengers' baggage, which reads as fol- States which have been remodeled or imlows:
proved while abroad so as to increase "Wearing apparel, articles of per- their value, must be declared, the statesonal adornment, toilet articles, and sim- ment to include the cost of such improveilar personal effects of persons arriving ment. But for fear this twice repeated in the United States: but this exemption explanation that "wearing" foreign shall only include such articles as ac- bought articles does not exempt them, it tually accompany and are in the use of, is explained all over again for the third and as are necessary and appropriate for time in a separate paragraph, in these the wear and use of such persons, for the words: immediate purposes of the journey and "Use does not exempt from duty present comfort and convenience, and wearing apparel or other articles obshall not be held to apply to merchandise tained abroad, but such articles will be or articles intended for other persons or appraised at their present value.” for sale:
All cigars and cigarettes must be dePROVIDEI), That in case of residents clared and are not included in the one of the United States returning from hundred dollars exemption. But each abroad, all wearing apparel and other passenger over eighteen years of age is personal effects taken by them out of the entitled to bring in free of duty and in United States to foreign countries shall ternal revenue tax either fifty cigars or be admitted free of duty, without regard three hundred cigarettes for his or her to their value, upon their identity being bona fide personal consumption. Smokers established, uder appropriate rules and who have had to exist for a few months regulations to be prescribed by the Sec- upon European made cigars will see in retary of the Treasury, but no more than this a deliberate attempt on the part of one hundred dollars in value of articles the United States Government to affront purchased abroad by such residents of them, for no one in his right mind would the United States shall be admitted free smoke European cigars if he could get of duty upon their return."
any others.. Lest this legal phraseology should be Household goods of persons from formisunderstood, the little blue folder takes eign countries are admitted free of duty it up phrase by phrase, expounding, if actually used abroad by them not less elucidating, and explaining it until it than one year and if they are not inwould seem as if the law and the rules tended for any other person or for sale. established pursuant thereto must be as All articles intended for other persons, plain as a pikestaff is alleged to be even for use in business, theatrical apparel, to a rudimentary intellect. It is carefully properties and sceneries, must be depointed out that the exact number of clared by passengers, whether foreigners pieces of baggage must be stated in the or residents. Duties can not be paid by declaration ; that after the declaration check or draft but only in currency. Pashas been prepared and signed the coupon sengers are also warned that to offer or at the bottom must be detached and the give gratuities or bribes to customs offideclaration given to the purser; that cials is a violation of law. They are also after all his baggage has been landed explicitly invited to report any disupon the pier the passenger must present courtesy or incivility on the part of the his coupon at the desk where an inspector customs officers to the deputy collector will be detailed to examine the baggage; or deputy surveyor at the pier; or if that that the passenger must acknowledge in doesn't work, to go to the custom house; person his signature to the declaration; or if that isn't satisfactory to go straight that all wearing apparel, jewelry, and to the Secretary of the Treasury. other articles, whether lised or unused, Great care is exercised in the distribuon their persons, in their clothing, or in tion of the declarations and the little blue their hagsrage, which have been obtained folders on shipboard. They are handed abroad by purchase or otherwise, with to each passenger personally and his atthe foreign value or cost, must be de- tention is directed to them by word of clared; that all wearing apparel, jewelry, mouth. If he fails to turn in his declara
tion to the purser as requested, he is for travelers distributed on the ship?" reminded of his neglect. The purser she was asked. must turn over a baggage declaration for “Oh, yes! but I didn't pay any attenevery passenger to the customs officers tion to them.” who board the ship at quarantine. Being "Did you read the warning that failure numbered, every blank, including those to declare dutiable articles rendered the accidentally spoiled, has to be accounted articles liable to seizure and you to arfor.
rest, fine, and imprisonment?" All this seems plain enough, doesn't it? "Why, yes, I read that, but really I Yet a young woman from Chicago who didn't take it seriously." arrived on the Oceanic last October in- After the usual exemption had been cluded in her declaration only $920 worth disallowed and she had been obliged to of gowns and jewels purchased abroad, pay $1,800 in duties and penalties it is while the inspector found a great deal said the young Chicagoan took the law more. She was taken before Deputy much more seriously. So, also, did a Surveyor O'Connor to explain.
Brooklyn girl returning from Paris last “Did you read the printed regulations October.
October. In addition to the regulation warnings her father had written to her formed fiends who perpetrate it, that it to be careful to include everything du- seems a pity to spoil the illusion.
But tiable in her declaration. Yet she de- the unpicturesque truth is that all such clared but three gowns at $364, omitting stories are ordinary lies. seven others worth $523. That omission No man who does not know how to cost her father $836. A superior young conduct himself decently can get a job in gentleman from Philadelphia who merely the customs service. Furthermore, he wrote “dutiable goods” across his dec- can not begin work as an inspector until laration and then turned it in also took he has graduated with credit from a two the law seriously after a very bad quar- months' course in a school of deportment ter of an hour with the deputy surveyor.
maintained in the custom house. The The inspectors who board the ship at first and greatest lesson he is taught quarantine do not make the examinations there is that he must be a gentleman, not but merely see that the declarations are part of tlie time, but all the time. His duly filled out and turn them over to the next lesson teaches him how to handle supervisor in charge at the pier. Inci- costly laces and dainty lingerie. He has dentally they saunter through the de- to practice on real trunks full of things serted staterooms collecting empty jewel that travelers ordinarily have in their boxes, labels hastily ripped from foreign- baggage until he is letter perfect. Then made garments, scraps of paper, and he is permitted to try his hand on immi
, other rubbish that any ragpicker would grants' baggage at Ellis Island. From scorn, but which very frequently proves there he is advanced to second-class bag
to be worth a good many thousands of gage arriving on the minor lines. Not dollars to the Government, for such until he has become proficient is he althings often turn out to be clues to at- lowed to examine baggage at the piers tempts at smuggling.
of the important lines. There he is Upon disembarking the passenger closely watched, and if he does not do his finds lined up and waiting for duty one work properly he loses his job. If he inspector for each five first-class, and shows up with dirty hands or unkempt one for each ten second-class, passengers. clothing, unshaven or untidy, back home There are also a couple of desks for each he goes, losing his day's pay. If he is class in charge of uniformed men. impertinent or accepts bribes something Among those present, but not in uni- unpleasant happens to him. form, are a number of customs detectives No, the passenger who makes out his who have ways of their own of finding baggage declaration honestly and corany dutiable articles that may happen to rectly never has any trouble getting escape the regular inspectors. At regu- through the custom house. The examlar intervals along the walls is a letter of ination is as brief and simple as is com
a the alphabet. The passenger takes up his patible with a proper performance of stand in the space corresponding to the duty. first letter of his name to wait for his The inspectors must first of all be alert baggage. When it is all assembled he and intelligent, and intelligent men are
, goes to a desk, and presents the num- not the sort who are either rough or disbered coupon he tore from his declara- courteous, Indeed the worst boor could tion. The latter is fished from the pile, scarce be discourteous to most of the the inspector at the head of the waiting American
who are returning line is called to escort the passenger to home. Inspectors, after all, are human another desk where the latter is shown beings. his declaration and asked if the signa- There is a reason for the sensational ture is his own. Then comes the exam- yarns circulated about the customs exination.
amination at New York, and this reason Such heart-rending pictures have been is best expressed in the four lettersdrawn by newspapers of a certain type LOEB. The explanation is to be found of the “sufferings” of delicately nurtured in these little tables showing the New ladies undergoing the tortures of the York Custom House before and af examination, aileged to be aggravated by taking William Loeb, Jr., as Collector of