Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

tion for its own sake. Further protectionist agitation and the political strength and opportunity given to it by a peculiar combination of circumstances brought in the tariff of May 19, 1828, known as "the tariff of abominations." This was superseded by the act of July 14, 1832, with lower protection. The act of March 2, 1833, closely following, involved the abandonment of protection and the return to a revenue basis. Under this act the revenues of the Government fell behind its expenditures and afforded the occasion for the protective tariff of August 30, 1842. This was followed by the famous Walker revenue tariff of July 30, 1816, which went into effect on December 1 of that year and continued until superseded, because of superabundant revenue, by the lower revenue tariff of March 3, 1857.

The coming of the Civil War, with its abnormal requirements for revenue and the industrial disturbances, introduced a great change in the course of our tariff history. The act of March 2, 1861, was to provide for more revenue, and that of June 30, 1864, to meet even greater demands. After the war the abnormal fiscal situation afforded the opportunity for the wool tariff of March 2, 1867, the result of a combination of interests by woolgrowers and wool manufacturers. This act was the beginning of the high protective duties on wool and woolen goods, which have continued through the acts of 1883, 1890, 1897, and our present act of 1909, except for the interruption by the Wilson Act of 1894, which was in force only until 1897, and the life of which was too brief and too much disturbed by unusual and abnormal conditions to enable its merits and usefulness to be generally established.

The following table affords a concise review of the rates of duty on unmanufactured wools provided for in the tariff acts from 1789 to date. The rates of duty during this period on the various manufactures of wool are to be found in Table 69, page 208, of Appendix B in this report.

Tariff duties on wool, 1789-1909.

a

Administration of

Date of act of Congress.

Effective date

of tarifi.

Rates of duty.

George Washington..... July 4,1789 July 4, 1789 Free.
James Madison.

Apr. 27, 1816 July 1,1816 15 per cent ad valorem.
James Monroe.
May 22,1824 July 1,1824 Value not exceeding 10 cents a pound, 15 per cent.

Value exceeding 10 cents a pound, 20 per cent.
After June 1, 1825, 25 per cent; after June 1, 1826,

30 per cent. John Quincy Adams.... May 19, 1828 July 1,1828 4 cents a pound and 40 per cent; the ad valorem

rate to be 45 per cent from July 1, 1829, and 50

per cent from July 1, 1830. Andrew Jackson..... July 14, 1832 Mar. 3, 1833 Value not over 8 cents a pound, free. Value over

8 cents a pound, 4 cents a pound and 40 per cent

ad valorem. Andrew Jackson...... Mar. 2,1833 Jan. 1,1834 Duties of the preceding act in excess of 20 per cent

to have one-tenth of such excess taken off every two years until Jan. 1, 1812, when one half the residue to be deducted, and the remaining half

after June 30, 1812. John Tyler...... Aug. 30,1842 | Aug. 30, 184? Value not over 7 cents a pound, 5 per cent. Value

over 7 cents a pound, 3 cents a pound and 30 per

cent. James Knox Polk. July 30, 1846 Dec. 1,1846 30 per cent ad valorem. Franklin Pierce... Mar. 3,1857 July 1,1857 Value not over 20 cents a pound, free. Value over

20 cents a pound, 24 per cent. James Buchanan.. Mar. 2.1861 Apr. 1,1861 Value less than 18 cents a pound, 5 per cent.

Value 18 cents and not over 24 cents a pound, 3 cents a pound. Value over 24 cents a pound. 9 cents a pound.

Tariff duties on wool, 1789-1909Continued.

Administration of

Date of act of Congress.

Effective date

of tariff.

Rates of duty.

Abraham Lincoln..... June 30,1864 July

1,1864

Value 12 cents or less a pound, 3 cents a pound.

Value over 12 cents a pound and not over 24 cents, 6 cents a pound. Value over 24 cents a pound and not over 32 cents, 10 cents a pound and 10 per cent ad valorem. Value over 32 cents a pound, 12 cents a pound and 10 per cent

ad valorem. Andrew Johnson.... Mar. 2,1867 Mar. 2, 1867 Class I, clothing wool: Value 32 cents a pound or

less, 10 cents a pound and 11 per cent ad valo.
rem.

Value over 32 cents a pound, 12 cents a
pound and 10 per cent ad valorem.
Washed wool twice the regular duty.
Class II, combing wool: Value 32 cents a pound

or less, 10 cents a pound and 11 per cent ad
valorem. Value over 32 cents a pound, 12 cents
a pound and 10 per cent ad valorem.
Class III, carpet wool: Value 12 cents per pound

or less, 3 cents a pound. Value over 12 cents a

pound, 6 cents a pound.

AU classes scoured wool treble the regular duty. Ulysses S. Grant. June 6,1872 Aug. 1,1872 All duties reduced 10 per cent. Ulysses S. Grant. Mar. 3,1875 Mar. 3, 1875 Duties of act of Mar. 2, 1867, restored. Chester A. Arthur. Mar. 3,1883 July 1,1883 Class I, clothing wool: Value 30 cents a pound or

less, 10 cents a pound. Value over 30 cents a pound, 12 cents à pound. Washed 'wool double the regular duty. Class II, combing wool: Value 30 cents a pound

or less, 10 cents a pound. Value over 30 cents a pound, 12 cents a pound. Class III, carpet wools: Value 12 cents a pound

or less, 24 cents a pound. Value over 12 cents a pound, 5 cents a pound.

All classes scoured wool treble the regular duty. Benjamin Harrison..... Oct. 1, 1890 Oct. 6,1890 Class I, clothing wool: 11 cents a pound. If

washed, double the regular duty. Class II, combing wool: 12 cents a pound, Class III, carpet wool: Value, 13 cents a pound

or less, 32 per cent. Value over 13 cents & pound, 50 per cent.

All classes scoured wool treble the regular duty. Grover Cleveland.... Aug. 1, 1894 Aug. 28, 1894 Free. William McKinley.. July 24, 1897 July 24, 1897 Class I, clothing wool: 11 cents a pound. If

washed, double the regular duty. Class II, combing wool: 12 cents à pound. Class II1, carpet wool: Value 12 cents a pound or

less, 4 cents a pound. Value over 12 cents a

pound, 7 cents a pound.

All classes scoured wool treble the regular duty. William Howard Taft.. Aug. 5,1909 Aug. 6, 1909 No change from act of 1897.

DEMOCRATIC PLEDGES TO THE PEOPLE.

The Democratic national platform of 1908 declared:

We welcome the belated promise of tariff reform now offered by the Republican Party in tardy recognition of the righteousness of the Democratic position on this question, but the people can not safely entrust the execution of this important work to a party which is so deeply obligated to the highly protected interests as is the Republican Party. We call attention to the significant fact that the promised relief was postponed until after the coming electionan election to succeed in which the Republican Party must have the same support from the beneficiaries of the high protective tariff as it has always heretofore received from them; and to the further fact that during years of uninterrupted power no action whatever has been taken by the Republican Congress to correct the admittedly existing tariff iniquities.

We favor immediate revision of the tariff by the reduction of import duties. Articles entering into competition with trust-controlled products should be placed upon the free list, and material reductions should be made in the tariff upon the necessities of life, especially upon articles competing with such American manufactures as are sold abroad more cheaply than at home; and gradual reductions should be made in such other schedules as may be necessary to

The truth of these Democratic criticisms of the Republican promises has now become entirely clear to the people, who unquestionably expected a substantial revision downward after the election of 1908, in accordance with what was understood to be the meaning of the Republican platform of that year. The Republican Party has failed to make the revision required, and the present Democratic House of Representatives has been entrusted by the people with the plain duty of tariff revision according to the Democratic platform of 1908; that is, immediate revision, with gradual reduction of duties to a revenue basis, and with especial consideration given to the necessities of life. The pledges of the platform and the practical requirements of the present situation call for revision a step at a time, subject by subject, or schedule by schedule. In this way the varied and extensive business interests necessarily affected by the tariff are not disturbed by changes too sweeping or too sudden, and have the proper opportunities for gradual adjustment to new rates. On the other hand, the Members of Congress have adequate opportunities in a gradual revision by subject or schedule for full consideration and discussion of the matters involved. A general tariff revision is such a large and comprehensive task, as shown by experience, that it is practically impossible for the Members of Congress to fully inform themselves in the short time at their disposal and deal properly with the great array of items involved in the 14 schedules. It is apparent, also, that the combinations of interests, habitually organized by predatory private interests at the expense of the public to influence legislation, are weakened and discouraged through revision by subject or schedule.

SCHEDULE K NOT REVISED BY ACT OF 1909.

This schedule of the tariff act, covering wool and manufactures of wool, deals throughout with articles which are necessities of life for the masses of our people. The existing tariff rates on these articles were established in the act of 1897, and were made extremely high, in many cases to the point of practically prohibiting imports. These very high rates have been kept as they were since 1897, without any modification, under the complete power exercised by the Republican Party from 1897 to the incoming of the present House of Representatives. As is well known, the Republican tariff legislation of 1909 was not an honest revision in the public interest. As to Schedule K, with the great burdens it carries to every man, woman, and child in the United States, the act of 1909 was really not a revision at all. Notwithstanding the complaints of the general public and a large number of manufacturers, Schedule K, as enacted in the tariff act of 1909, made only five changes from the act of 1897. These few changes were all very trifling and unimportant, and are in detail as follows:

The act of 1909 provided an additional paragraph, No. 375, reading:

On combed wool or tops, made wholly or in part of wool or camel's hair, valued at not more than 20 cents per pound, the duty per pound shall be two and one-fourth times the duty imposed by this schedule on 1 pound of unwashed wool of the first class; valued at more than 20 cents per pound, the duty per pound shall be three and one-third times the duty imposed by this schedule on 1 pound of unwashed wool of the first class; and in addition thereto, upon all the foregoing, 30 per cent ad valorem.

The effect of this provision was to make combed wool or tops explicitly subject to the duties thus established and to take this article out from the provisions of paragraph No. 376 in the act of 1909, which provides thatwool and hair which have been advanced in any manner or by any process of manufacture beyond the washed or scoured condition, not specially provided for in this section, shall be subject to the same duties as are imposed upon manufactures of wool not specially provided for in this section. This change was forced as a result of public exposure of a job or

a trick by which an exorbitant rate of duty on wool tops was concealed in the paragraph covering " wool and hair advanced in any manner," and so forth. Tops are the straightened fibers of wool, resulting from the combing process. The cunning, if not corrupt, manipulation of an influential private interest, whereby tops were concealed in paragraphs 364 and 366 of the act of 1897, had resulted in protecting this article by a rate of duty substantially higher than that on the more advanced product, yarns, which are spun from the tops. The exposure of this trick made it impossible to continue the disguişed or concealed protection on tops. However, the duty imposed upon them openly in the act of 1909 is apparently prohibitive, and, on the imports of the year ending June 30, 1910, was equivalent to 111.73 per cent ad valorem, while in the same year the duties on yarns were equivalent to an average of 82.38 per cent ad valorem.

The act of 1909, in paragraph 377, provided that on yarns valued at not more than thirty cents per pound the duty per pound shall be two and one-half times the duty imposed by this section on one pound of unwashed wool of the first class, and in addition thereto, thirty-five per centum ad valorem.

This is exactly the same specific duty as was imposed by the act of 1897 on yarns of the value in question, and a mere change in the additional ad valorem duty from 40 to 35 per cent. This insignificant change proved to be really no reduction of rate. For the year ending June 30, 1909, under the act of 1897, the duties collected on imports of yarns valued at not more than 30 cents per pound were equivalent to 143.97 per cent ad valorem. For the fiscal year 1910, under the act of 1909, tħe duties collected on imports of yarns of the same range of value were equivalent to 159.75 per cent ad valorem. The imports in both of these years were insignificant, only 29} pounds in 1909, valued at $7.80, and 127 pounds in 1910, valued at $28, proving that the rates of duty on these cheaper yarns, as established in 1897, were prohibitive and deliberately kept so in the act of 1909. On yarns valued at more than 30 cents per pound the rate of duty was left unchanged. It was equivalent to 86.77 per cent ad valorem on the actual imports of the fiscal year 1909 and 82.38 per cent on the imports of the fiscal year 1910.

The act of 1909, in paragraph 380, covering “women's and children's dress goods, coat linings, Italian cloths, bunting, and goods of similar description and character, of which the warp consists wholly of cotton or other vegetable material, with the remainder of the fabric composed wholly or in part of wool," made no change whatever in the specific part of the compound duties, but only as to the articles included, “ when weighing over 4 ounces per square yard," provided that the ad valorem duty (imposed in addition to the cent as established in the act of 1897. This insignificant change effected no real reduction of duty. The imports during the year ended June 30, 1910, were only $179,394 in 'value of the articles affected, out of a total of $9,218,374 worth of women's and children's dress goods, etc., or less than 2 per cent of the total. In this 2 per cent of the total imports of the cheaper grades of women's and children's dress goods, the duties collected from August 6, 1909, to June 30, 1910, under the act of 1909, on the imports of those valued at above 40 and not above 70 cents per pound, were equivalent to 114.14 per cent ad valorem, as compared with 118.45 per cent ad valorem on the imports of the same grades in the year ended June 30, 1909. The duties collected on the higher grades valued at over 70 cents per pound, during the period mentioned under the act of 1909, were equivalent to 98.01 per cent ad valorem, as compared with 101.87 per cent on like imports in the fiscal year 1909 under the rates of the act of 1897. During the fiscal year 1910 the imports of these articles in both the cheaper and higher grades were less than one-tenth of the total of like imports in the fiscal year 1909, indicating that the rates as “revised” in 1909 were, in effect, made more prohibitive than they were under the act of 1897.

In paragraph 383 of the act of 1909, ribbons and ornaments are explicitly included among webbings, gorings, suspenders, braces, braids, trimmings, and a lengthy list of similar articles made of wool or of which wool is a component material. In the act of 1897 ribbons and ornaments were not specified in Schedule K and were dutiable under paragraph 366 of that act as “manufactures made wholly or in part of wool not specially provided for” at the rate of 33 cents per pound and 50 per cent ad valorem. The effect of changing the classification of these articles in the act of 1909 was to make them dutiable under paragraph 383 at the rate of 50 cents per pound and 60 per cent, and this was a substantial revision upward. The imports of these ribbons and ornaments are not separately reported.

In paragraph 393 of the act of 1909, “ mats, mattings, and rugs of cotton are explicitly included with “carpets and carpeting of wool, flax, or cotton, or composed in part of any of them, not specially provided for.". The mats, matting, and rugs of cotton were not specified in the act of 1897 and were dutiable under paragraph 322, Schedule I, of that act as “ manufactures of cotton not specially provided for,” at the rate of 45 per cent ad valorem. The effect of the change in classification of these mats, matting, and rugs in the act of 1909 was to make them dutiable at the higher rate of 50 per cent ad valorem.

These five items are the only changes effected in Schedule K by the act of 1909. It is plain that this act accomplished nothing approaching a revision of this schedule. The entire act of 1909 was an outrageous breach of faith with the people, and as to Schedule K was a mere empty mockery of alleged revision. The people have been prompt and keen to resent this contemptuous denial of their just expectations and heartless indifference to their serious burdens on the part of the Republican Party. The act of 1909 was long delayed, and known to be not merely the product of a single session of Congress, but really the outcome of deliberation within the Republican Party extending over a number of years and resulting only after severe and just criticism of the act of 1897 by manufacturers and consumers alike. The act of 1909 was not passed in haste or without

« AnteriorContinuar »