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ISELIN ET AL. v. UNITED STATES

decided: May 3, 1926.

ISELIN ET AL
v.
UNITED STATES



APPEAL FROM THE COURT OF CLAIMS.

Taft, Holmes, Van Devanter, McReynolds, Brandeis, Sutherland, Butler, Sanford, Stone

Author: Taft

[ 271 U.S. Page 137]

 MR. CHIEF JUSTICE TAFT delivered the opinion of the Court.

The appellants, partners as William Iselin & Company, sued the United States for $30,000 for breach of a warranty of quality in a sale to them by the United States of airplane linen. On January 15, 1920, the United States, through the Materials Disposal & Salvage Division of the Office of the Director of Air Service, advertised for bids for 168,400 yards of aircraft linen, to be submitted February 2, 1920. The bidders were to be notified February 5th of the yardage awarded, and were then to forward a check for 10 per cent. of the purchase price, remainder within thirty days. The advertisement also stated that the materials would be sold "as is" at points of storage, that inspection was invited, that specifications and quantities on hand were based upon best information available, but that no guaranty on behalf of the Government was given.

The representative of the appellants at New York, on February 2, 1920, after seeing the advertisement, sent the following letter to the Salvage Division, office of the Director of Air Service, Washington:

"I herewith submit my firm offer for approximately 168,400 yards of 38-inch grade A natural brown Irish Airplane Linen. Specifications: Minimum threads, warp

[ 271 U.S. Page 138]

     and filling, 90. Maximum threads, warp and filling, 105. Minimum weight, 4.5 oz. per square yard. Average length of pieces from 60 to 80 yards, at 93 cents per yard, f. o. b. cars at present location. Said linen as per sample submitted; goods to be firsts. This offer is for immediate acceptance on usual Government terms."

Under date of February 10th, there was sent to the plaintiff's representative the following communication from the New York office of the Salvage Division:

"This is to advise you that Washington has awarded you 150,400 yards of 38 inch grade 'A' Airplane Linen at 93 cents per yard. This linen is listed on sheet No. 3955, item 1 -- 65,400 yards, and sheet No. 2879 item 6 -- 85,000 yards.

"2. Inasmuch as we have your check for $13,987.20 to cover 10% of the sale, it is requested that you send this office Certified Check for $125,884.80 to cover the balance due together with your shipping directions.

"3. This check should be drawn in favor of 'Disbursing Officer, Air Service,' marking envelope for the attention of the Materials Disposal & Salvage Division, 360 Madison Ave., N. Y. C.

"4. Attention is invited to the following rule of the Air Service, which requires that payment be made promptly and material ...


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