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the language of the present tariff act, or of the chemical bill of 1912 known as H. R. 20182, is adopted in new legislation.
We are importers of certain anthracene fast vat dyes manufactured in Germany and known as hydron blues. These dyes are produced from carbazol, which is derived from commercial or crude anthracene. We have claimed the hydron blues to be properly classifiable under paragraph 487 of the present tariff act as “dyes derived from
anthracene,” but such classification has been denied by the customs officials, who assess the dyes in question as “coal-tar dyes or colors, not specially provided for, at 30 per cent ad valorem under paragraph 15 of the tariff act of 1909.
Litigation as to the propriety of this assessment is now pending in the United States Court of Customs Appeals, but, as the law is thus misconstrued, we venture to ask your committee to clear the matter up by the insertion of appropriate phraseology when it writes the new tariff bill.
The language of the present act reads: “Par. 487. Alizarin, natural or artificial, and dyes derived from alizarin or from anthracene.''
The language we propose is: “Alizarin, natural or artificial, and dyes derived from alizarin, anthracene or carbazol.”'
THE RELATION OF HYDRON BLUES TO ANTHRACENE.
The hydron blues are derived from anthracene because their origin is traceable to the physical substance, commercial anthracene. Carbazol, from which they are directly made, is derived from commercial anthracene and can not be obtained in commercial quantities from any other substance. Up to this time the customs authorities have held that the phrase "derived from anthracene” does not refer to the commercial product, but refers to technically pure anthracene having the chemical formula C,,H10
It is only since the last tariff act went into effect that a commercial method of separating carbazol from anthracene has been perfected, and the discovery of hydron blues has resulted. Their derivation and properties, therefore, place them in the same class with the vat blues derived from anthracene. Clearly bringing them within that group in the tariff is in accord with the avowed object of your committee to bring the classification of the chemical schedule up to date, remove all obsolete features, and eliminate possible misconstruction.
Such treatment of these dyes is also in accordance with
THE ATTITUDE OF CONGRESS TOWARD THE FAST VAT DYESTUFFS KNOWN AS ALIZARIN
OR ANTHRACIN DERIVATIVES, AND INDIGO,
For nearly 40 years it has been the policy to exempt from duty alizarin or anthracin derivatives and indigo. Provisions exempting alizarın, or alizarin or anthracin derivatives, and indigo are found in every tariff since 1875, the phraseology changing from time to time to meet the development of the industry.
While the policy of giving these products free entry was departed from for the first time in many years in the bill which passed the House of Representatives in 1912, known as H. Ř. 20182, there was no departure from the policy of treating them alike. That bill imposed an ad valorem duty of 10 per cent on “alizarin, natural or artificial, and dyes derived from alizarin or from anthracin” (par. 6) and the same rate on "indigo, indigo extracts or paste, and indigo carmined” (par. 38).
If your committee sees fit to remove the dyes just enumerated from the free list and subject them to a tax of 10 per cent, no inequality will result. But what we ask is that the phraseology of the act should be so clear that all dyes properly falling within the same class should be treated alike. We do not believe that your committee intends that one fast vat dye derived from anthracin shall be dutiable at 10 per cent and another fast vat dye from the same derivation shall, by reason of a lack of clearness in the law, be assessed at 30 per cent.
The law as it now stands is interpreted in favor of certain German manufacturers who produce a limited number of patented anthracin derivatives and import them into this country, and discriminates against other manufacturers and importers who have discovered and developed valuable competing products in the same class. No dyes of this class are manufactured in America. We believe you will wish to correct this in the interest of the American textile industry, as well as in fairness to the importer. Hydron blues are among the fastest dyes known and are largely used abroad, but are almost prohibited to the American textile manufacturer because of the misconstruction of which we complain.
PARAGRAPH 487-ALIZARIN. As the dyes for which we speak have been upon the market but two years and have had to pay a duty of 30 per cent, while other anthracin dyes have paid nothing, the importations have been relatively small and the aggregate duty unsubstantial.' An equal or greater amount of revenue would doubtless be collected from them if properly classified with the anthracin derivatives, because of the increased consumption that Fould result from placing them upon a competing basis. Respectfully submitted.
CASSELLA COLOR Co., 182–184 Front Street, New York City. ROBERT ALFRED SHAW,
Vice President. CURIE, SMITA, & MAXWELL, Attorneys, 32 Broadway, New York City.
Thomas M. LANE, Of Counsel. The CHAIRMAN. Your time has expired, Mr. Lane. You say you have another question?
Mr. LANE. I have another question.
Mr. LANE. I now wish to address you very briefly upon the subject of statuary and casts of sculpture imported for use in churches. In the tariff act of 1897, paragraph 649 contained a provision for regalia and gems, statuary and specimens or casts of sculpture, where especially imported in good faith for use and by order of any society incorporated or established solely for religious, philosophical, educational, scientific, or literary purposes, or for the encouragement of the fine arts, or for the use and by order of any college, academy, school, or seminary of learning in the United States, or any State or public library, and not for sale. That provision was not new. It had been in the tariff, in one form or another, for many years. Casts of sculpture and statuary, whether made of marble or composition, had been admitted free under it. In the last tariff act nearly all of the institutions entitled to the benefits of the exemption were cut out from it by the insertion of a clause immediately after the provision for statuary and casts of sculpture
Mr. PALMER. What section is that of the present act?
Mr. LANE. Section 661 of the present act. These words were inserted immediately after the provision for statuary and casts of sculpture, " for use as models or for art educational purposes only.” That practically limited the exemption to art schools, possibly to the museums, depending upon the breadth of construction given the clause. This was done at the instance of a few domestic manufacturers of composition church statuary, and it represents one of the few inroads that have been made upon a historic policy, if I read our tariff acts correctly, from almost the beginning of our tariff history of making exemptions for the encouragement of religion, the arts, and sciences.
Mr. HAMMOND. This was new in 1909, you say?
Mr. LANE. New in 1909. Now, during the entire life of the tariff act of 1897, and prior to that time, churches were permitted to import these composition statues-stations of the cross, statues representing symbolic and religious subjects—upon their own order and upon production of proper proof that the article was a bona fide transaction intended for a church, and was actually delivered to the church.
The regulations surrounded the exemption with every proper safeguard, and that undoubtedly would be the case if the provision were restored.
We ask you to put the law back in the form that it existed under the act of 1897, by striking out those words inserted there, “for use as models or for art educational purposes only." We think that limits the provision beyond the real intention of Congress, as expressed in its policy for many years.
The American manufacturer, whether deserving protection or not, has generally kept his hands off these exemptions in the free list, and we think that it is fair that he should continue to do so. Even if there were a reason for this protection, we do not think that exceptions to these free-list exemptions should be made, but there was no reason, when this exception was inserted in paragraph 661 of the tariff act of 1909, and I firmly believe that the committee at that time was misled by the facts that were put before them. I have endeavored to correct that misapprehension in this brief.
Mr. HAMMOND. You have spoken in reference to statuary, but I wish to ask you if you know whether it has been held that regalia and gems used by various fraternal societies may be admitted free of duty under this clause 661 ?
Mr. LANE. I believe that has generally been denied to fraternal societies and has been limited to art, religion, etc.
Mr. HAMMOND. Fraternal societies have been held not to be incorporated simply for religious, literary, educational, and scientific purposes?
Mr. LANE. It depends somewhat upon the society, but my impression is that the fraternal society with which most of us are familiar has been denied the privileges of this paragraph. But I was about to call your attention to the actual selling prices of the American manufacturers of these statues. There are very few of them in this country-I believe at the outside six or eight, probably only four of which are at all important.
Mr. HARRISON. Did you hear the argument of the witness here the other day that we should admit all modern art free?
Mr. LANE. I did not hear it.
Mr. Harrison. Do you think that modern art, if we were to adopt that suggestion, covers church statuary?
Mr. LANE. Well, I have some doubt about it, so far as it refers to the class of articles that I am talking about this morning. Certainly art experts would hesitate to admit that they were high art. They represent the class of composition plaster statuary that is used very largely in certain denominations as a most essential adjunct of worship.
They came in during the entire life of the act of 1897 under the provisions for casts, statuary, or casts of sculpture. There is no limitation there requiring those articles to be artistic, and there was never any question raised as to the classification after the Supreme Court decision cited in our brief; but the prices at which they were actually quoted by these American manufacturers, who got this rather unusual measure of protection by the insertion of a clause in an exemption for religious purposes, were then and are
now-and we have filed a brief in which we have shown you the actual figures from our catalogues as against their figures from their catalogues—their prices were actually at that time lower than the prices for which the importing concerns were quoting these articles on a duty free basis; and although these articles have been paying 35 to 60 per cent since then-35 being the rate generally assessed the American manufacturers have not advanced their prices, showing that there is apparently no need for it; that they are making an ample margin of profit without any advance in price. Mr. FORDNEY. Is that generally the cause When there is a duty
? in favor of the American-made article and it sells for no more than the foreign price, is it because they do not need protection? Is that your idea of that?
Mr. LANE. Well, it seems to me that it is a fair inference to draw.
Mr. FORDNEY. Well, in the case of tin, that was put at a very high price, and we have a very high duty on it, and the price is less than half what it was then. Is that an indication that there is no need for protection?
Mr. LANE. I would not want to say absolutely that it was.
Mr. LANE. I do not undertake to generalize, other than to call attention to this fact. We have even advanced our prices. They claim that the foreigners can manufacture the articles more cheaply.
Mr. FORDNEY. It is generally the case on every article that is on the protected list that the duty does not advance the price to the consumer.
Mr. LANE. At the time of the last tariff act the American manufacturers of these statues were claiming that they could not compete with the foreigner.
Mr. FORDNEY. Well, that is the argument of every manufacturer.
Mr. LANE. At that time the foreigners' price was higher, on these statutes, and it is still higher to-day. If you let them in duty free to-day, the price at which they would be invoiced by the foreign concerns would be higher than the price at which they are being quoted by the domestic concerns.
Mr. FORDNEY. Then the protection which is in the law hurts nobody, does it? There is no reason for change unless the consumer is being injured by it.
Mr. LANE. It absolutely eliminates competition.
Mr. FORDNEY. It eliminates the importer; he is the fellow that it hurts; he is the fellow that is complaining.
Mr. LANE. And it eliminates competition absolutely.
Mr. FORDNEY. The domestic competition is so very great that the consumer is getting the benefit of it, and you do not need your foreign competition in order to protect the industries of this country and the consumer too.
Vír. LANE. Not only that, it restricts the churches, who ought to be permitted to get works of artistic or semiartistic character, without any tariff wall. It restricts them to the products of three or four man
PARAGRAPH 487-ALIZARIN. ufacturers in this country. These articles are made in Munich and France far more beautifully than they are made here.
Mr. FORDNEY. This is an industry in this country, producing these articles, and under protection those articles are now being furnished to the churches at lower prices than before we had protection, and the church and no one else is injured, are they?
Mr. LANE. The same articles are not furnished to the churches; they haven't as full a market.
Mr. FORDNEY. Are you manufacturing those goods ?
Mr. LANE. We are importers of them. We represent the leading importers of those goods. Mayer & Co. are also manufacturers in Germany.
Mr. FORDNEY. Can you tell me why it is that there has not been one single importer come before this committee who does not want a lower rate of duty, or free trade, although he is an American citizen, doing business here and looking to Americans for his pay and his customers ?
Mr. LANE. Well, I suppose the reason is obvious. He wishes to be placed upon a competing basis with the American manufacturer; that is what he is asking of your committee.
Mr. FORDNEY. He wishes rather, my dear friend, to do a larger volume of business from abroad, and thus restrict American business. There can be no other answer to it, as far as I am concerned. I can not see it in any other light.
The CHAIRMAN. The substance of your argument is that heretofore these works of so-called art, to be used in the churches, came in free, and that the last law taxed them, levied a tax upon them, and you want them placed back on the free list?
Mr. LANE. That is it. The CHAIRMAN. Your time has expired. Mr. LANE. May I file, in this connection, a brief upon the subject of church regalia, and also a petition upon the subject of stained-glass windows ?
The CHAIRMAN. They will be printed.
Mr. LANE. And I should like to file, with your permission, Mr. Chairman, the petition of Cardinal Gibbons and of some 30 bishops of his church, in support of the propositions that I have made to you this morning
Mr. Palmer. As I understand your proposition, if the change in section 661 is made as you suggest, then section 661 will read the same as it did in the Dingley law and as it did in the laws prior to the Dingley law?
Mr. LANE. That is right. The Dingley law admitted these articles free throughout the entire 12 years of its existence.
Mr. PALMER. Yes; and also in the Wilson law and preceding acts. Mr. LANE. The Wilson law and preceding acts.