« ПретходнаНастави »
as possible, it must protect itself by law against competition and against fraud. To this end a penalty is attached to a number of acts, of which the following are the most liable to be committed :
(a.) Using stamps in payment of postage which have been previously used for like purposes.
(6.) Fraudulent attempt to evade the payment of postage.
(c.) Establishing private express for the conveyance of letters or packets, or aiding therein.
(d.) Sending letters by private express or delivering them for transmission thereby.
(e.) Carrying letters out of mails or securing them for
(f.) Intercepting or secreting letters.
(8.) Selling stamps for more or less than the lawful price.
(h.) Sending anything indecent. (i.) Doing any kind of lottery business. () Etc. Classification of Mail Matter.—There are four classes of mail matter. 1 he first class consists of written matter,letters and postal cards,-and all matter wholly or partly in writing. Typewritten letters are included, unless they are of the nature of a circular. No writing or printing is allowed on the address side of a postal, nor may anything except an address label be posted or attached to it. The postage on this class is 2 cents for each ounce or fraction thereof. The second class consists of newspapers and all other periodicals which are issued at stated intervals, at least four times a year. The postage is i cent a pound or fraction thereof. Weekly newspapers within the county of publication are free, except when addressed to
a free delivery office therein. Newspapers and periodicals sent by others than the publisher or news agent, must be stamped at the rate of 1 cent for each 4 ounces or fraction thereof. The third class includes all other printed matter; such as, books, circulars, proof sheets, etc. The rate of postage is i cent for each 2 ounces or fraction thereof. Seeds, cuttings, roots, scions, and plants are sent at this rate also. The fourth class embraces all other matter of a nature not liable to destroy, deface, or otherwise damage the contents of the mail bag, or harm the person of anyone engaged in the postal service. The packages must not exceed 4 pounds, except for 4 single book, which may weigh more.
The postage is 1 cent an ounce.
Classification of Postmasters.—The classification of postmasters is made on the basis of salary received by them. The first class embraces those whose annual salaries are $3,000 and upward ; the second class, those whose annual salaries are between $2,000 and $3,000; the third class, those whose annual salaries are between $1,000 and $2,000; the fourth class, those whose annual compensation, exclusive of their commissions on the money-order business, amounts to less than $1,000. The salaries of the first three classes are graded on the gross receipts of the offices. Offices doing from $1,900 to $8,000 business pay from $1,000 to $1,900 salary ; from $8,000 to $40,000, $2,000 to $2,900 salary; from $40,000 to $600,000 and upwards, salary $3,000 to $6,000. The postmaster of New York city gets $8,000, irrespective of the foregoing grading. Fourth class postmasters are paid upon the basis of box rents collected and stamps canceled on matter actually mailed at their offices. They get all the box rent, and a commission on stamps canceled. If their
gross receipts are only $50 or less per quarter, they get all of them. Some fourth class offices pay less than $5 a year.
Postmasters of the fourth class are appointed by the Postmaster-General ; all others are appointed by the President and confirmed by the Senate. Their term of office is four years.
THE INTERNAL REVENUE.
What it is.—The taxes for the United States government are not direct taxes but indirect taxes; that is, the individual is not taxed for its support as he is for the support of the State and county. The federal government has a right to lay a direct tax; but as a rule it makes use of that power only in time of war, when its expenses are great. In ordinary times it raises its taxes from two sources : from goods imported from foreign countries and from articles produced or manufactured in this country. The tax on the former is known as the tariff, or custom duties; that on the latter, as the internal revenue. Both of these are collected in the States; but as customs are paid only at seaports, Pennsylvania has only two cities in which custom houses are located,-Philadelphia and Erie,-while internal revenue collectors are found all over the State.
Things on Which the Internal Revenue Tax is Levied.The articles subject to tax under the internal revenue laws are alcoholic liquors, tobacco, cigars, cigarettes, snuff, oleomargarine, playing-cards, and the circulation of banks. There is also a special annual tax levied on distillers and brewers, on manfacturers of cigars, tobacco, and oleomargarine, and on wholesale and retail dealers in alcoholic liquors, oleomargarine, and tobacco in certain quantities.
Collection Districts.-For the purpose of assessing, levying, and collecting internal revenue taxes, collection districts are formed by the President. In Pennsylvania there are four; together they comprise all the counties in the State. For each of these, the President appoints a collector, who must be a resident in the same. Deputies are appointed by the collector, to assist him in the performance of his duties.
Duties of the Collectors.—The chief duty of the collectors is to collect all taxes imposed by law. The deputies are required to make frequent visits to distilleries, breweries, tobacco and cigar manufactories, and all places where taxable objects are kept. In order to detect fraud, they must thoroughly acquaint themselves with distilling and brewing, with the manufacture of cigars and tobacco, and with the difference between butter and oleomargarine. If any illicit distilling is known to exist, they must seize the stills and secure the arrest of the operators.
The taxes imposed upon the circulation of national banks are returned and paid directly to the Treasurer of the United States; the revenue collectors have nothing to do with them.
Other Officers in the Revenue Service.—The revenue from distilled liquors is so much greater than that from any other source, that every safeguard must be placed around its collection. To this end, other officers beside the collectors are appointed. They are the gaugers and storekeepers, who receive their appointment from the Secretary of the Treasury, to which department the revenue system belongs. The gauger measures the volume and determines the proof (strength) of distilled liquors and puts upon each cask or package gauged by him all the marks, brands and stamps required by law. The storekeeper, jointly
with the proprietor, has charge of the distillery warehouse. He keeps the government key, and the warehouse must at no time be unlocked except in his pres
He must make a daily report of all spirits received in the warehouse and withdrawn from it. His chief duty is to see that no liquor is withdrawn without his knowledge; for the tax on distilled spirits is not due before the same are withdrawn, provided they are withdrawn within three years from the date of deposit. While spirits are in the warehouse they are said to be in bond. The bond is an obligation given by the distiller to the government, with one or more sureties, that he will pay the tax before removing the liquor from the warehouse.
THE WEATHER BUREAU.
Its History.—The Weather Bureau formerly belonged to the War Department, it having been a part of the Signal Corps. The latter was devised by Gen. A. J. Myers to give signals in the army and navy by means of flags by day and torches and rockets by night. One of the first uses of the Signal Service was to warn military commanders of the approach of storms. To do this the condition of the atmosphere had to be observed and in that way the present Weather Bureau sprung into existence. It was established by an act of Congress in February, 1870; and was transferred from the War Department to the Agricultural Department in 1891.
Its Extent.-Its growth has been wonderful, both in extent and usefulness; though it must be admitted that more progress has been made in the facilities of the Bureau than in its scientific knowledge. There are now about five hundred stations in the country. Pennsylvania has four regular ones; they are in Philadelphia,