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PARAGRAPH 717_WORKS OF ART.
Seventh. Changing paragraph No. 716 so as to give free entry to the stained-glass window would make paragraph No. 109 noneffective as a revenue producer. Virtually all stained-glass windows imported into America for church purposes are donations to the church. If your appraiser were to attempt to place a value upon the stained-glass window thus imported he would immediately be confronted with the statement that the window in question is a gift to a certain church and can not be subject to a tax.
Eighth. Our raw material (antique glass) is imported under the specifications contained in paragraph 99. There is not a scrap of good antique glass made in America. We are willing to pay the duty on our raw material on condition that the present restriction on imports of foreign stained-glass windows be retained. The granting of free raw material-i. e., free antique glass-would, however, help us very little. The cost of antique glass contained in a $1,500 stained glass window would cost about $75, the remainder being charged to labor, overhead charges and a fair profit. The labor item is, and always has been, the great item of cost in the stained glass window.
Having made this short explanation, I would respectfully ask that you read my brief which will take only a few minutes more of your time.
Should you desire additional data relating to this matter we will furnish same immediately. Thanking you in advance for your attention, we beg to remain, Yours, respectfully,
THE D'ASCENZO STUDIOS,
Per FREDERICK E. MAYER. PARAGRAPH 717.
Works of art, including paintings in oil, mineral, water, or other colors, pastels, original drawings and sketches, etchings and engravings, and sculptures, which are proved to the satisfaction of the Secretary of the Treasury under rules prescribed by him to have been in existence more than twenty years prior to the date of their importation, but the term "sculptures" as herein used shall be understood to include professional productions of sculptors only, whether round or in relief, in bronze, marble, stone, terra cotta, ivory, wood, or metal; and the word "painting," as used in this act, shall not be understood to include any article of utility nor such as are made wholly or in part by stenciling or any other mechanical process; and the words "etchings' and "engravings," as used in this act, shall be understood to include only such as are printed by hand from plates or blocks etched or engraved with hand tools, and not such as are printed from plates or blocks etched or engraved by photo-chemical processes. Other works of art (except rugs and carpets), collections in illustration of the progress of the arts, works in bronze, marble, terra cotta, parian, pottery, or porcelain, artistic antiquities, and objects of art of ornamental character or educational value which shall have been produced more than one hundred years prior to the date of importation, but the free importation of such objects shall be subject to such regulations as to proof of antiquity as the Secretary of the Treasury may prescribe.
WORKS OF ART.
R. F. DOWNING & Co.,
New York, February 20, 1913. Hon. OSCAR W. UNDERWOOD, Chairman Committee on Ways and Means,
Mouse of Representatives, Washington, D. C. DEAR Sir: I beg to call your attention to the provisions of paragraph 717 of the act of August 5, 1909, allowing free entry of paintings and other works of art which have been in existence more than 20 years prior to the date of their importation. Also artistic antiquities which have been produced more than 100 years prior to date of importation.
There does not seem to be any good reason why articles of this kind should be accorded free entry. They are imported as a rule by a wealthy class of people who can well afford to pay the duty on same. When ordinary articles which are applied to the same use are imported duty must be paid thereon by the ordinary importer, and as the tariff law which is to be enacted, and which is now being considered by your committee, is understood to be a tariff for revenue, I would suggest that paragraph 717 be eliminated and that the articles mentioned therein be made dutiable under other provisions in the tariff act which provides for such articles. Yours, respectfully,
M. W. BURCKARD.
BRIEF OF JAMES L. GERRY, WASHINGTON, D. C., REGARDING
THE CHEMICAL SCHEDULE.
D. C., February 7, 1913. Hon. Oscar W. UNDERWOOD, Chairman Ways and Means Committee,
House of Representatives. DEAR SIR: I have the honor to invite your attention to one of the features of the chemical bill introduced at the last special session which I feel should be modified in some measure—the suggestion made that the rates provided for in the basket clauses or catch-all provisions should be at least commensurate or equivalent to the general average of the rates provided for in the entire bill.
In the first place, I think it utterly unwise that the basket clause of any act should specify a rate much lower than a majority of the rates provided for under eo nomine provisions; but this principle is vitally important with respect to the chemical schedule for a number of reasons. A slight change in any given formula, the addition of some reagent, will change the character of a particular commodity to such an extent that it will be taken out of the eo nomine provision and carried into the basket clause. Now, if the rates applied to articles which are specifically provided for range anywhere from 25 up to 60 per cent ad valorem and the basket clause provides for a rate of 15 per cent ad valorem, then obviously a very consistent effort will be made to get everything possible out of the specific designations into the basket clauses.
In order to indicate the correctness of my statement in this regard I have attached to this letter a list of the articles, citing in connection therewith the decision of the Board of General Appraisers, which have been held dutiable under the first basket clause which appears in the act. It has been maintained by some that the catch all provision should specify a rate not lower than the highest rate mentioned in the act, but in view of the fact that there are certain rates which are intended to be more or Jess prohibitive or onerous, as, for instance, on cocaine, opium, and saltpeter on the one hand, and such articles as cologne, toilet soaps, on the other hand as luxuries this suggestion, in my mind, would not be fair; but the rates provided for in those bas ket clauses should certainly not be lower than the great bulk of the merchandise imported under that specific class, and if this principle were to be followed, then the rates provided would be approximately 25 or 30 per cent.
There is another reason which appeals very strongly to the Treasury Department in this connection, and I may say right here, without violating any confidence, that the people in the Customs Division of the Treasury Department agree with me in the statement outlined above, and that is that any marked difference as between the rates provided for in the body of the act and those specified in the basket clauses will inevitably lead to litigation, and this is evident from the list of decisions which I have submitted, bearing in mind that with respect to those decisions the basket clause provided for a rate of 25 per cent. This recommendation is made without any suggestion whatsoever as to any given rate which this committee may see fit to impose upon any given article, and the committee may proceed to increase the eo nomine provisions to any extent that in its judgment may be deemed wise and proper. My whole proposition is addressed to the necessity as an administrative feature of providing in the basket clauses, and particularly in the basket clauses of the chemical bill, of rates which are to some degree in excess of the general average or equivalent ad valorem of all of the rates provided for in the body of the act. I have the honor to remain, very respectfully, yours,
JAMES L. GERRY.
SCHEDULE OF DUTIES UNDER THE TARIFF ACT OF AUGUST 5, 1909. IN EFFECT AUGUST
Schedule A, paragraph 3, of above act, reads as follows: 3. Alkalies, alkaloids, distilled oils, essential oils, expressed oils, rendered oils, and all combinations of the foregoing, and all chemical compounds, mixtures, and salts
, and all greases not specially provided for in this section, twenty-five per centum ad valorem; chemical compounds, mixtures, and salts containing alcohol or in the preparation of which alcohol is used, and not specially provided for in this section, fifty-five cents per pound, but in no case shall any of the foregoing pay less than twenty-five per centum ad valorem.
Articles listed in paragraph 3.
Phosphate of, as chemical salt.
Acetate, as chemical salt.
Nitrate, as chemical salt (T. D. 6172).
25462, 25805, 26065, 26693, 28058, 29535). Chemical compounds and salts, containing alcohol, or in the preparation of which
alcohol is used, n. 8. p. f. per pound 55 cents, but not less than 25 per cent.