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been exported, but that is practically the case. We are debarred from any foreign trade.
Mr. Pou. Is your factory in Belgium a separate corporation!
Mr. CLAUSE. I have forgotten how many thousand francs. I be-
Mr. CLAUSE. It is selling in the neighborhood of 110 now. It was considerably below par for a portion of this year, and was about at par until a matter of two or three weeks ago, when it made somewhat of an advance.
Mr. Pou. Are you asking for an increase of duty ?
Mr. CLAUSE. On some sizes, yes, sir; but a large decrease on a great many other sizes.
Mr. Pou. You do not think you could stand any cut under the duties that now protect you?
Mr. CLAUSE. We are losing money on all the small glass we are selling now; that is, on practically all of it.
I Mr. Griggs. You are asking an increase of duty on the smaller sizes?
Mr. CLAUSE. Yes.
Mr. Griggs. And they are the sizes most commonly used by the common people of the country?
Mr. CLAUSE. There are more used of the smaller sheets than of the larger.
Nr. Griggs. You make a great deal of glass for these small stores in small towns?
Mr. CLAUSE. We are accepting a large reduction in the duty on them.
Mr. GRIGGS. Ten feet square?
Mr. CLAUSE. All the glass 10 feet and over, under this proposition, is largely reduced, and practically all the glass used in store fronts is over 10 feet in area.
Mr. GRIGGS. Not in the small towns.
Mr. CLAUSE. Ten feet is only 24 by 60 inches; 2 feet wide and 5 feet long.
Mr. GRIGGs. Oh, you mean just 10 square feet?
Mr. Griggs. I beg your pardon. Now, you have spoken several times this morning of the difficulty of making this glass. Do you experience any more difficulty here than you do in Belgium?
Mr. CLAUSE. In making glass?
Mr. GRIGGS. What is the reason for that?
Mr. Clause. Because the labor there is skilled in that line of manufacture. They have been at it for generations. Here at the present time in the Pittsburg district, 60 to 70 per cent of the men we employ are foreigners of a certain class.
Mr. GRIGGS. You employ day labor?
Mr. CLAUSE. Yes; and we pay over three times the rate of wages we pay abroad.
Mr. Griggs. You pay better here?
Mr. CLAUSE. Yes; we get better labor over there. I would like to complete the statement that I was making. I was saying that 60 to 70 per cent of the labor in our Pittsburg district are Italians and Slavs, and a large proportion of them can not speak English.
Mr. Griggs. Why do you not bring over some Belgians?
Mr. Griggs. You bring over Italians and Slavs, and you spoke of so many that could not speak English. I thought, perhaps, you might in some way get some Belgians.
Mr. Clause. Ten or twelve years ago nearly all the labor employed in our works could speak English; they were Belgians, French, and German, but yet they could speak English. They had been here quite a time, and they were men who had grown up in the industry on the other side. But latterly we have been compelled to take Italians and Slavs principally. They have kept coming into the works until 60 or 70 per cent of the men now employed are of those nationalities, and very few of them can speak English.
Mr. Griggs. You would say, then, that the plate-glass industry in America is languishing? .
Mr. CLAUSE. It is languishing. I can not say that it is in a condition of collapse, but it has gotten along with very meager returns.
Mr. Griggs. The condition is one to create apprehension?
Mr. CLAUSE. If there should be any reduction of the duty, it would be one to create apprehension.
The CHAIRMAN. What portion of your output does not exceed 5 square feet in area, of plate glass?
Mr. CLAUSE. Of the actual output as it naturally comes from the works there would not be over
The CHAIRMAN. I mean as you sell it.
Mr. Clause. It runs all the way from 55 per cent—you mean under 5 feet?
The CHAIRMAN. Yes; under 5 feet.
Mr. Pou. How does the selling price of your glass turned out by your Belgian factory compare with the selling price of the product of your American factories?
Mr. CLAUSE. We get a much more profitable price for the Belgian product than we do for this. Mr. Pou. Can you indicate any per cent of difference upon the output as a whole? Mr. CLAUSE. It would be quite a considerable difference; probably 20 to 25 per cent, I should say, at the present very low American selling price. Prices there are very profitable. They are good prices. We are getting a high price in Belgium. And here there is another thing we have to bear in mind—this should have been brought out this morning. I refer to the question of competition with the Belgian works that Mr. Cockran was trying to get at, and that is that our competition with foreign glass is largely in the small sizes, which they, like ourselves, frequently sell at less than their cost. This question of selling the small glass at a loss is as old as the industry. It is easy enough to break big glass up and make small sizes of it, but if you have small glass on hand you can not make it any bigger, and it must be sold in that condition, and they o sell small glass irrespective of the cost price, and that is the glass we are competing with largely here. r. Pou. Is the difference in favor of the cost of production in Y. Plain factory the difference you have to pay in the price of r Mr. CLAUSE. That is the important thing. Here is another thing which is very important. The works there cost only half of what they cost here to put up, originally; so that we have to get considerable more returns in order to make the same kind of a profit, and the cost of replacement, enters very largely into it. A plate-glass factory is peculiar in this, that it does not ico itself readily to the installation of different apparatus. The tendency in the manufacture, in this as well as in any other line of manufacture, naturally drifts in a certain channel which seems to favor a reduction in the cost. Those changes which have come about have been of a character that could not be introduced without a much larger expenditure than is incident to many lines of business. To be more definite, you take a factory where they employ small machines that stand on the floor, perhaps without ń. or even where they have foundations; something is gotten up that is new and perhaps better, and it is a simple matter to take out the old machine and put in the new one. It involves no change in the general structure of the plant, and it is very easily brought about, .# at a minimum loss for that which is displaced. The tendency in the manufacture of plate glass for the last fifteen years particularly has been of such a character that it could not be carried out at all without the actual demolishing of what you had. The type and the structure of the buildings has changed, and the dimensions of the buildings have changed and the character of foundations has changed—they are going very much deeper—and it is just about the same as rebuilding a plant; so that the question of replacement in plate-glass manufacture is a very large item. That, of course, again is double here what it is abroad, and all those things go to make up a very different situation. Mr. Pou. From the standpoint of profits, it would have paid your mpany to have invested all its money in Belgium ? Mr. CLAUSE. Yes; very decidedly. Mr. Pou. You are making 20 per cent there and 8 per cent here?
Mr. CLAUSE. We are not making 8 per cent on the manufacture of plate glass here.
Mr. Pou. What would you say that your profits have been on the plate-glass industry here that corresponds to what you are doing in Belgium ?
Mr. CLAUSE. They have been very little. They have been very meager indeed.
Mr. Pou. Can you not name some figure?
Mr. CLAUSE. I should say 1 per cent would not be far out of the way; probably nearer than any other guess you could make.
Mr. GRIGGS. Then, do you not think that the making of plate glass in the United States, competing with Europe, would be like raising bananas under glass in Boston and competing with Cuba?
Mr. CLAUSE. I never tried raising bananas.
Mr. COCKRAN. You find it easier. You have succeeded in it seyeral times.
Mr. Pou. But for these supplementary supports your industry has had, you would practically have made nothing?
Mr. CLAUSE. That is right; we would have made very little if it had not been for the auxiliary sources of revenue we had.
Mr. RANDELL. I understood you to say that the auxiliaries are what cut down your profit.
Mr. CLAUSE. No.
Mr. Pou. I do not see what we can do except to put the tariff up to about twice what it is now.
Mr. CLAUSE. That is what we think.
Mr. DALZELL. According to the history of the industry, what is the condition of the industry now compared to the condition of the industry in past years? Are not the prices much lower than they were before the tariff ?
Mr. CLAUSE. They have decreased very greatly. They are about 10 or 15 per cent of what they were thirty-five years ago.
Mr. COCKRAN. How about the last ten years?
Mr. CLARK. The vice of Mr. Dalzell's question is in the fact that he attributes the lowering of the prices to the tariff.
Mr. CLAUSE. Really I do not know what was in his mind, I am sure.
Mr. CLARK. That would be the net result. If his question embraces the philosophy of the situation, then nothing goes down unless you have a high tariff.
Mr. CLAUSE. I was simply stating the fact to you.
Mr. COCKRAN. As a matter of fact, machinery has played a large part in production, steadily, has it not !
Mr. Clause. Yes; very expensive machinery, at that. It is a very heavy type of machinery.
Mr. COCKRAN. But it has operated to reduce the cost of production?
Mr. CLAUSE. Yes, sir; in Belgium quite as much as here, however.
Mr. GAINES. Where do you sell the product of your Belgian factory?
Mr. CLAUSE. All over the world. A little of it comes here, but otherwise it goes all over the world.
Mr. GAINES. How large is your Belgian factory as compared with your American?
Mr. CLAUSE. It is about the size of the average American factory. There are some factories that are larger, but it is about the same size as the average factory.
Mr. Gaines. In addition to the translation which was made by Mr. Cockran from the Belgian report of 1907 on manufactures Í have had translated for me this additional matter, which I wish to go in the record, from the report on the manufacture of glass published in 1907 by the Belgian department of the interior and labor, page 207:
The plate-glass industry has passed during the recent years through various times of crisis and prosperity. In 1900 a selling syndicate existed, comprising the Belgian, French, German, and Italian factories. This syndicate lasted only ten months. From 1901 to 1904 the constant increase of production and competition caused a decline in prices, reaching 3 francs on the average value of a square meter. This resulted in a more and more critical situation to which the new international convention of August, 1904, and which was still in existence in 1907, put an end. [This syndicate has been signed to last until 1914.) As a consequence of this understanding, and thanks to slight monthly idle days, the production maintains itself in normal condition. At present the plate-glass industry is in a very prosperous situation.
The present production of the 8 Belgian plate-glass factories exceeds onefourth of the total world's production. As to the 24 Belgian, German, French, and Italian factories which are parties to the syndicate, they manufacture more than one-half of the world's production.
Approximately 30 per cent of the plate glass produced is exported. Two-thirds of this production is intended for the United States, England, and its colonies.
Business with France and Germany is very small because of the high duties6 francs in France and 7.50 francs in Germany per square meter, which represents, respectively, 50 per cent and 60 per cent of its value.
Is that in accordance with your observation of the trade, that the syndicate that regulates the selling price composed of the plate-glass producers of Belgium, France, Germany, and Italy produces 50 per cent of the plate glass produced in the world?
Mr. CLAUSE. The factories of what countries?
Mr. CLAUSE. That they produce 90 per cent of plate glass used in the world?
Mr. Gaines. No; more than half of the world's production.
Mr. CLAUSE. I suppose the factories in those countries do produce half of the world's production.
Mr. GAINES. This says more than half.
Mr. GAINES. Then more than half of the world's production of this article is controlled by a foreign syndicate which regulates prices?