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or fibers suitable for coverings, and bags or sacks made therefrom, together with all hoop or band iron or hoop or band steel for baling any commodity and wire for baling agricultural products. All these coverings and materials for making coverings are essentials in the transportation of agricultural products to their markets. The products can not receive the benefit of any protection in these markets, and for this and other reasons it is unfair and unjust to continue duties on coverings for agricultural produce. These duties have annoyed and burdened farmers and have served principally to increase the profits of exacting trusts and combinations.

It appears that practically all of the jute bagging manufactured in this country is supplied by concerns which are in effect a combination and generally known as the “ bagging trust.” This combination has been supplying about four-fifths of the entire domestic requirement for bagging, chiefly used for covering cotton. The jute or jute butts from which this bagging is made must all be imported, as none is produced in this country. These raw materials have been on the free list for a number of years, and domestic manufacturers have every opportunity to make up and market this bagging at reasonable and competitive prices. Gunny cloth and burlaps, or burlap cloth, are also made almost entirely from jute, and very little, if any, of these cloths are produced in this country. Bags and sacks made from these materials are necessities in the marketing of fertilizers, stock foods, and various agricultural products. The placing of these materials and articles on the free list would be a distinct advantage to the producers and users of fertilizers, cereal products, and other commodities.

It is now generally admitted that even from the protection standpoint no protection whatever is needed by our great corporations and trusts which manufacture hoops, bands, and ties of iron and steel, and wire such as used for baling agricultural products, together with wire strands and rope, wire rods, and barbed wire and other forms of wire used for fencing. By reason of existing high duties our people are dependent for these articles on our giant steel industry, which has captured for its products a large share of the markets of the world. It is a matter of common knowledge that our manufacturers of wire, hoops, ties, and other forms of steel, have for years sold, and probably now do sell, their products abroad at much lower prices than to domestic consumers. The high protection they have enjoyed has enabled them to make this unfair discrimination against our own people. The removal of the duties on these iron and steel articles generally and necessarily used by our agricultural producers, as well as by many others, will effect a considerable saving to them, and this, like the provisions of the bill generally, is a long-delayed measure of equity and justice.

On the average cotton crop of about 12,000,000 bales, for practically all of which ties must be used, the additional burden imposed by the duty on these ties amounts to not less than $150,000. This is practically all tribute to the steel industry, as the Government collected only $1,499 in duties on this item in the fiscal year ended June 30, 1910. As binding twine, an important article for packing farm products in many parts of the country, is already on the free list, a like exemption should be given the ties used in baling cotton.

LEATHER, BOOTS, SHOES, HARNESS, AND SADDLERY.

H.des were placed on the free list by the Tariff Act of 1909, in response to the demand of the manufacturers of leather and boots and shoes, and after a hard struggle with the beef trust. The bill herewith reported proposes to place on the free list all forms of leather from cattle hides and cattle skins, together with boots and shoes, harness, saddles, and saddlery. With free hides, as at present, leather can be and apparently is being tanned and marketed in this country at low cost. Leather in its various forms is a prime necessity to all of our people and an essential raw material for many industries. Our manufacturers of boots and shoes have placed their products in the principal markets of the world, notwithstanding the existing duties on leather, which, while not high in comparison with many other duties, add appreciably to prices. The removal of the duties from leather made of cattle hides will be of advantage in the manufacture of harness, saddles, saddlery, boots and shoes, and the free market in all of these articles will necessarily be a benefit to agricultural producers as well as to all the people.

FOOD PRODUCTS.

Practically all that our people eat can be provided by our farmers, but a very large part of it is not and can not be eaten in the form in which it leaves the farm. The meat packing and distributing business of the country is thoroughly organized and is being exploited by a combination of great packing concerns commonly known as the "beef trust." The existing duties on meats and meat products are for the advantage of this combination only. It is well known that this trust, through the strength of its organization and position in the markets, injures the producers of cattle and other animals used for food by forcing down prices; and also oppresses the consumers of meats and meat products by establishing and maintaining high prices for these articles. Thus the trust controls the market both in buying and selling, and the result is a substantial addition to the cost of living from which all the people suffer. As our population has increased, our exports of foodstuffs and food products have declined and imports increased; under these circumstances duties on these articles have become a heavier burden on the people. In the Canadian reciprocity agreement, cattle and all other live stock, including swine, sheep and lambs, and likewise wheat, rye, oats, barley, buckwheat, and corn, are placed on the free list. With the removal of duties on imports of these articles from the only country from which real competition could be expected, our farmers are openly and avowedly placed in a free market as to foodstuffs and food products in the forms in which they leave the farm. Representative organizations of the farmers are therefore urging that all the people shall now have the advantage of a free market in buying these foodstuffs and food products in the forms in which they are finally consumed.

COST OF FOOD TO THE AVERAGE FAMILY.

In framing the measure under consideration, for reasons already classes and to the masses of our population to whom the necessities of life mean so much.

According to investigations conducted in 1902 by the Bureau of Labor, the expenditures of the average normal family, in the 11,156 families consulted having an income of not less than $600 and under $700, was $611.58, proportioned as follows: Food, 43.48 per cent; clothing. 12.88 per cent; rent, 18.48 per cent; sundries, 19.39 per cent; fuel, 4.65 per cent; and lighting, 1.12 per cent.

The following statistical analysis of the cost of articles of food to the average American family, averaging 5.31 persons, presents forcefully the significance and importance of the food sections of the bill under consideration, as related to the cost of living: TABLE 1.-Average cost of the various articles of the food consumeda in average

family of United States.

(Compiled from eighteenth report United States Commissioner of Labor. The statistics

are based on returns secured principally in 1901 from 2,567 families of the average size of 5.31 persons.)

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According to the figures of this table, out of the average annual cost for food of the average family of the 2,567 families consulted for the data, meat amounted to 28.49 per cent and the bread articles 8.93 per cent; meat and bread thus constituted 37.38 per cent of the total annual expenditure for food.

The general public are anxious that no artificial shelter shall be maintained to protect abnormally high prices of food articles in any form. The bill (H. R. 4413), accordingly places on the free list all meats, whether fresh, cured, prepared, or preserved in any manner, including bacon, hams, shoulders, sausage, and sausage meats, and likewise lard, lard compounds, and lard substitutes. The bill also exempts from duty wheat flour, semolina, rye flour, buckwheat flour, corn meal, oatmeal, rol’ed oats, and all prepared cereal foods, together with biscuits, bread, wafers, and similar articles not sweetened, and likewise places on the free list bran, middlings, and other offals of grain, which are important stock foods.

FOREST PRODUCTS.

The wasteful and premature consumption of our forests has created alarm with regard to the maintenance of the necessary supply of timber, lumber, and forest products generally. These products are among the fundamental necessities of the life and industry of our people, and none have a greater interest in increasing our supply of these products than have the farmers. The growing demands of an increasing population are pressing upon a diminishing supply. The ownership of timber in this country has become practically a monopoly, and has passed for the most part into the hands of great corporations and interests which are speculating on the increasing scarcity. The Democratic Party, recognizing a constant demand of the people, has persistently sought to secure free lumber. It seems that the President has at last come to appreciate the importance of this demand, as shown in his advocacy of the Canadian reciprocity agreement. In his message of February 26, 1911, he said:

Free Jumber we ought to have. By giving our people access to Canadian forests we shall reduce the consumption of our own, which, in the hands of comparatively few owners, now have a value that requires the enlargement of our available timber resources.

We must give our people access to available supplies of lumber from all possible sources. Logs and round unmanufactured timber are already on the free list. This bill also exempts from duty timber, hewn, sided, or squared, round timber used for spars or in building wharves, and sawed boards, planks, deals, and other lumber; that is, practically all forms of lumber, except the hard woods, lignum vitæ, lancewood, ebony, box, granadilla, mahogany, rosewood, satinwood, and all other cabinet woods, practically all of which must be imported; on these hard woods the existing duty of 20 per cent is retained for purposes of revenue only. Shingles, laths, and fencing posts are expressly exempted from duty by the bill.

The Democratic platform of 1908 explicitly demanded that lumber, timber, and logs be immediately placed upon the free list.

SEWING MACHINES.

Sewing machines are necessities in the homes of the people and should be purchased by our users at prices as favorable as those given to foreign users of American machines. It is well known that our manufacturers of these machines have for many years sold them at much lower prices for export to foreign countries than to consumers at home. American manufacturers have already proved that sewing machines are made here as cheaply as in any other part of the world. With free lumber, as provided for in this bill, our manufacturers

SALT.

Salt is an article of general necessity and an important material in many industries. It is absolutely required as a food preservative. It is most desirable that for the health and welfare of our people this article, so necessary in the preparation and marketing of food products, be made free from any artificial enhancement of price. The domestic supply of salt is dependent upon a limited number of natural deposits. There has been a gradual concentration of forces among the producing interests, which are well able to meet foreign competition. It is provided in the existing tariff law that duties shall be remitted on imported salt in bond used in curing fish taken by vessels licensed to engage in the fisheries and in curing fish on the shores of the navigable waters of the United States; also that duties paid on imported salt used in curing meats in the United States shall be refunded on the exportation of such meats. There is no good reason for confining the advantages of these exemptions to these cases. It has been the Democratic policy to make this article entirely free from duty, as provided for in this bill.

The full scope of the importance and significance of the bill H. R. 4413, as related to the people and to the revenues to be remitted, is exhibited in Tables 2 to 7, showing the production and consumption of the articles affected by the bill and the exports and imports, with the duties from imports, for selected years. It has been necessary to confine the statistics of Table 2 to census years, as the census has of necessity been relied upon for production figures. The statistics of manufactures for 1910 are not yet available, except for lumber, laths, and shingles. A full explanation of the sources used in compiling the tables, together with instructions for using the statistics, will be found in the notes in connection therewith.

DUTIES.

As shown in Table 5, the exemption from duty of all the articles affected by the bill (H. R. 4413) would reduce the tariff revenue by the amount of $10,028,989, based on the importations for the fiscal year ended June 30, 1910. Included in this are the duties to be remitted under the Canadian reciprocity agreement, amounting to $1,653,313. Deducting this amount from the total remitted duties, $10,028,989, for 1910, it appears that the net amount of duties which would be remitted under the provisions of bill H. R. 4413, after allowing for the results of the Canadian reciprocity agreement, would be only $8,375,676. This amount is inconsiderable in comparison with the great saving and advantage to all of our people from the additions to the free list provided for, and the committee recommend the passage of the bill.

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