Page:EB1911 - Volume 01.djvu/265

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adding them to any spirit to fraudulently convert it into a liquor passing as "brandy." The inquiries into the nature of brandy led to investigations into whisky. Formerly whisky was made from grain only and obtained by pot-still distillation, that form of "still" yielding a product containing a comparatively large proportion of volatile matters other than alcohol. For many years past, however, improved stills—so-called patent stills—have been adopted, enabling manufacturers to obtain a purer and far stronger product, saving carriage and storage. Attempts were made in England in 1905-1907 to restrict the term "whisky" solely to the pot-still product. But the question was referred in 1908 to a Royal Commission which reported against such a restriction. A common form of adulteration of whisky is the addition to it of spirit made on the Continent mainly from potatoes. This spirit is almost pure alcohol and is quite devoid of the injurious properties which are popularly but falsely attributed to it. The substitution of this—a very cheap and quite flavourless material—for one which owes its value more to its flavour than to its alcoholic contents, is clearly fraudulent.

Drugs.—To the adulteration of drugs but very brief reference can here be made. It is satisfactory to record that but very few of the great number of drugs included in the pharmacopoeias are liable to serious adulteration, and there are very few cases on record during recent years where real fraudulent adulteration was involved. The numerous preparations used by druggists are mostly prepared in factories under competent and careful supervision, and the standards laid down in the British Pharmacopoeia are, broadly speaking, carefully adhered to. The occurrence of unlooked-for impurities, such as that of arsenic in sodium-phosphate or in various iron preparations, can hardly be included in the list of adulterations. In the making up of prescriptions, however, a good deal of laxity is displayed; thus, the Local Government Board report of the years 1904-1905 refers to an instance of a quinine mixture containing 23 grains of quinine-sulphate instead of 240 grains. A certain latitude in the making up of physicians' prescriptions must necessarily be allowed, but much too frequently the reasonable limit of a 10% error over or under the amount of drug prescribed is exceeded. Certain perishable drugs, such as sweet spirits of nitre, or others liable to contain from their mode of manufacture metallic impurities, form the subjects of frequent prosecutions. The element of intentional fraud which characterizes many forms of food adulteration is happily generally absent in the case of drugs.

(O. H.*)

ADULTERY (from Lat. adultorium), the sexual intercourse of a married person with another than the offender's husband or wife. Among the Greeks, and in the earlier period of Roman law, it was not adultery unless a married woman was the offender. The foundation of the later Roman law with regard to adultery was the lex Julia de adulteriis coercendis passed by Augustus about 17 B.C. (See Dig. 48. 5; Paull. Rec. Sent. ii. 26; Brisson, Ad Leg. Jul. de Adult.) In Great Britain it was reckoned a spiritual offence, that is, cognizable by the spiritual courts only. The common law took no further notice of it than to allow the party aggrieved an action of damages. In England, however, the action for "criminal conversation," as it was called, was nominally abolished by the Matrimonial Causes Act 1857; but by the 33rd section of the same act, the husband may claim damages from one who has committed adultery with his wife in a petition for dissolution of the marriage, or for judicial separation. In Ireland the action for criminal conversation is still retained. In Scotland damages may be recovered against an adulterer in an ordinary action of damages in the civil court, and the latter may be found liable for the expenses of an action of divorce if joined with the guilty spouse as a co-defender.

Adultery on the part of the wife is, by the law of England, a ground for divorce, but on the part of the husband must be either incestuous or bigamous, or coupled with cruelty or desertion for two or more years. In the United States adultery is everywhere ground of divorce, and there is commonly no prohibition against marrying the paramour or other re-marriage by the guilty party. Even if there be such a prohibition, it would be unavailing out of the state in which the divorce was granted; marriage being a contract which, if valid where executed, is generally treated as valid everywhere. Adultery gives a cause of action for damages to the wronged husband. It is in some states a criminal offence on the part of each party to the act, for which imprisonment in the penitentiary or state prison for a term of years may be awarded.

In England, a complete divorce or dissolution of the marriage could, until the creation of the Court of Probate and Divorce, be obtained only by an act of parliament. This procedure is still pursued in the case of Irish divorces. In Scotland a complete divorce may be effected by proceedings in the Court of Session, as succeeding to the old ecclesiastical jurisdiction of the commissioners. A person divorced for adultery is, by the law of Scotland, prohibited from intermarrying with the paramour. In France, Germany, Austria and other countries in Europe, as well as in some of the states of the United States, adultery is a criminal offence, punishable by imprisonment or fine. (See Divorce.)

AD VALOREM (Lat. for "according to value"), the term given in commerce to a duty which is levied by customs authorities on goods or commodities in proportion to their value. An ad valorem duty is the opposite of a specific duty, which is chargeable on the measure or weight of goods. The United States is the one important country which has adopted in its tariff an extensive system of ad valorem duties, though it has not altogether disregarded specific duties; in some cases, indeed, the two are combined. Ad valorem duties, in the United States, are levied according to the saleable value of the goods in the country of their origin, and it is usual to require at the port of entry the production of an invoice with full particulars as to the place where, time when, and person from whom the goods were purchased, and the actual cost of the goods and the charges on them. Such an invoice is countersigned by the consul of the country for which the goods are intended. On arrival at the port of consignment the invoice is sworn to by the importer. The goods are then valued by an appraiser, and if the valuation of the appraiser exceeds that which appears on the invoice, double duty is levied, subject to appeal to a general appraiser and to boards of general appraisers.

It has been argued that, theoretically, an ad valorem duty is preferable to a specific duty, inasmuch as it falls in proper proportion alike on the high-priced and low-priced grades of a commodity, and, no matter how the value of any article fluctuates, the rate of taxation automatically adjusts itself to the new value. In practice, however, ad valorem duties lead to great inequalities, and are very difficult to levy; while the relative value of two commodities may remain apparently unchanged under an ad valorem duty, yet owing to the difference in the cost of production, or through the different proportions of fixed and circulating capital employed in their manufacture, an ad valorem tax will be felt much more severely by one commodity than by another. Again, there is always a difficulty in obtaining a true valuation on the exported goods, for values from their very nature are variable; while specific duties remain steady, and the buyer can always ascertain exactly what he will have to pay. The opening to fraud is also very great, for where, as in the United States, the object of the duty is to keep out foreign goods, every valuation at the port of shipment will be looked upon with the utmost suspicion, while it will always be a temptation to the foreign seller to undervalue, a temptation in many cases encouraged by the importer, for it lessens his tax, while the seller's market is increased. The staff of appraisers which must necessarily be kept at each port of entry considerably raises the expense, to say nothing of the annoyance and delay caused both to importers and foreign shippers.

The term "ad valorem" is used also of stamp duties. By the Stamp Act 1891 certain classes of instruments, e.g. awards, bills of exchange, conveyances or transfers, leases, &c., must be stamped in England with the proper ad valorem duty, that is, the duty chargeable according to the value of the subject matter of the particular instruments or writings. (See Stamp Duties.)