Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

glass companies have been easy marks and have kept putting up money.

Mr. COCKRAN. Now we understand; the losses have been made good from capital.

Mr. KANN. Yes.

Mr. COCKRAN. In what way was the capital contributed to make good the loss?

Mr. KANN. I can not answer for the other companies outside of mine.

Mr. COCKRAN. Just take yours?
Mr. KANN. Yes.

Mr. COCKRAN. As I understand it from you, there has been a steady loss every year?

Mr. KANN. No; I did not say that anywhere in my statement. I say that a number of the companies have never paid any dividend, and as to those companies I would say that they have never made a profit, but a steady loss.

Mr. COCKRAN. You are not connected with them, are you?
Mr. KANN. No, sir.
Mr. COCKRAN. Your evidence is not good on that.
Mr. Kann. No, sir; that is the reason-

Mr. COCKRAN. Let us confine ourselves to your company, about which you know everything.

Mr. KANN. Yes.

Mr. COCKRAN. Has that company been conducted at a loss for the last ten years!

Mr. KANN. No, sir.
Mr. COCKRAN. It has made a profit ?
Mr. KANN. Some years.

Mr. COCKRAN. It has made a profit, so that it has not had to make up a deficit by reason of losses in operation ?

Mr. KANN. We have spent a large amount of money for rehabiliment and replacement of our plant.

Mr. COCKRAN. Is that represented by stock?

Mr. Kann. No, sir; it is represented by a debt that must be refunded into new money if we do not get to making profits on our plant pretty soon.

Mr. COCKRAN. Your business has been run at a loss for ten years, and that has resulted in what is called a "floating debt ; " am I right in that?

Mr. KANN. Yes, sir.
Mr. COCKRAN. What is the amount of that?

Mr. Kann. I do not want to be discourteous, but I do not think that answers any purpose here.

Mr. COCKRÁN. But it does. I do not insist on the answer if it embarrasses you.

Mr. KANN. I can not see

Mr. COCKRAN. Let me finish and tell you why it does. You can see if your floating debt was a matter that amounted to 10 per cent even now on your capital, it would represent an annual loss of 1 per cent, and that would be one thing. On the other hand, if it was a mere negligible one, it would be another. That is the reason I propounded the question.

Mr. KANN. I do not think it would serve this body in any respect to know the details of that. In a broad, general way our company has been in existence twenty-five years, and I have been identified with it ever since its inception, and have had more or less to do with its manipulation ever since it has been in business. We made money for four or five years, when there was practically less competition, from the fact that the glass was not so plentiful as it is now. In the later years, in the last four or five years, we have made no money. We have been put to the necessity of spending money for the purpose of making goods in some portions of our plant, trying to economize and reduce the cost, which meant an expenditure of new money and high cost while we were making these improvements. That is our case.

Mr. COCKRAN. Let me ask you this: This will not go into any of the secrets of your business. Your stock is not on the market at all ?

Mr. KANN. No, sir; it is a close corporation.
Mr. COCKRAN. It is not for sale!

Mr. KANN. Yes: I would be glad to have you identified with the company by selling you some of my stock.

Mr. COCKRAx. It is not on the market?
Mr. Kanx. No, sir.
Mr. COCKRAN. You are not in the hands of a receiver?
Mr. Kann. No, sir.
Mr. Cockrax. You have done business for fourteen years?
Mr. KANN. Yes.
Mr. COCKRAN. And you are not broke?

Mr. KANN. I do not want to admit it here in public at any rate. I have not paid my hotel bill here yet.

Mr. COCKRAN. And you have made no new issues of stock in those fourteen years, have you?

Mr. KANN. No, sir.

Mr. Cockran. Or of bonds? These are all matters of record, so that I am not asking you to disclose anything of a private character. You have made no issues of bonds?

Mr. Kaxx. Yes, we have made an issue of bonds.

Mr. COCKRAN. Was that to make good a deficit, or to extend your operations?

Mr. KANN. To increase our operations and try to reduce our cost.

Mr. COCKRAN. And put you in a competitive condition on the market?

Mr. Kaxx. Yes.

Mr. COCKRAX. I understand you have testified that the railway rates are excessive. Is that what you said—that the railway rates imposed on you here are very excessive in comparison with the rates on goods imported from the Atlantic seaboard to Pittsburg; that the rates from Pittsburg west are, in your judgment, excessive?

Mr. Kanx. No: I did not say that they were excessive, but I say that the foreign manufacturer gets a very much lower rate by comparison.

Mr. COCKRAN. That is it.
Mr. Kanx. It may be all right, but we do not get the benefit of it.
Mr. COCKRAN. I mean, by comparison, your rates are too high?

Mr. Kann. By comparison the foreign manufacturer gets a very much lesser rate, if that is what you mean.

Mr. Cockran. I mean are the rates charged to you from Pittsburg west high by comparison with the rates charged from the Atlantic coast to Pittsburg? Did I understand you correctly to say that they were ?

Mr. Kans. The rate from the export point on the other sidefrom Antwerp is about the same or less; that is, it has been up to a very short time ago less than the rate was at that time from Pittsburg or the Pittsburg district to Chicago. In other words, they got an ocean rate for nothing and a portion of the inland rate for nothing

Mr. COCKRAN. And you got no portion of the inland rate for nothing?

Mr. Kann. No, sir; that is right.
Mr. COCKRAN. Therefore by comparison it was quite excessive!
Mr. KANN. Yes, sir.

Mr. COCKRAX. Do you not think that your remedy for that is to be obtained before the body charged with the equalizing of rates and not by compelling us to perpetrate another wrong, or at least to put another exaction on the community, because you have suffered one at the hands of the railroad?

Mr. KANN. I think it would be our duty as manufacturers to get redress from them if we could.

Mr. COCKRAN. Yes.

Mr. KANN. We have been before the Interstate Commerce Commission.

Mr. COCKRAN. You have been before them?

Mr. Kann. Yes; and you heard Mr. Clause, the president of that company, tell about that. They brought suit against several of the railroads on that very point, and fought it out very ardently, and consistently, and persistently.

Mr. COCKRAN. Now, without accepting Mr. Boutell's view, but on the other hand dissenting from it strongly, that protection has benefited both the consumer and labor, because I believe it has benefited neither but plundered both, I want to ask this question, based on your statement. I am quoting from your statement that under this proposed rate a wholesome importation would still be continued.

Mr. KANN. Yes.

Mr. COCKRAX. Might I ask you to define what you mean by “ wholesome importation," from your point of view?

Mr. Kann. I had in mind, when I used that language, that there would be a great many plates coming over here of a specific size which it would be difficult at any time for this country to furnish, irrespective of the price, and which the foreign manufacturer probably would just as gladly furnish as any other size.

Mr. COCKRAN. I see.

Mr. Kann. They have (as has been told you here, I suppose) very much more careful operators, and they get better and more positive results; and there has been a standard established here of several sizes, one of them being 18 by 40, or 24 by 30, square inches, making 5 square feet. They are used as a standard in the furniture and in the pier-mirror business, and in frame goods. I do not believe that in this country they will ever be able, even if they could take it per foot, at a profit based upon what it would cost them, to take the quantities of that stuff that will be offered here. They could not do it to-day;

and I think that business is going to keep on increasing to such an extent that there will always be a very large importation of just those few sizes alone.

Mr. COCKRAN. But your idea of wholesome importation would be one that excluded altogether the importation of these smaller plates!

Mr. Kann. Oh, no, no, sir. I do not think it will do anything of the kind. I do not believe that this duty, if it is imposed, will at all result in the excluding of the small glass. I think it will result in dividing it.

Mr. COCKRAN. Do you mean to say that the glass which pays now 8 cents could come in under a 227-cent duty ?

Mr. KANN. Yes, sir.

Mr. Cockran. Then what good will it do to put on this 224-cent duty ?

Mr. KANN. It will allow us to meet that competition.
Mr. COCKRAN. Meet it how! By keeping it out?
Mr. KANN. Oh, no.
Mr. COCKRAN. How will you meet it except by keeping it out?

Mr. KANN. When we are meeting it to-day by meeting the import price, we are getting less for our glass than it costs us to manufacture it. If there is added onto the duty this increased rate on small glass, it is going to make that glass cost them more money landed here. Now, I believe they will cut into that duty. I do not believe it will deter the Belgian manufacturer from cutting into that price, because they have all these other markets of the world to make good from, which we have not; and while this will give us some protection in that line, I do not believe it will cure the evil, because they have a place to "

even up Mr. COCKRAN. But the effect of this tax that you are seeking to impose on it now is to raise the price of the article, is it not?

Mr. KANN. Yes.

Mr. COCKRAN. How do you say, then, that it will not affect the price to the consumer?

Mr. Kann. You do not understand; I did not say it would not.

Mr. COCKRAN. Then I misunderstood you. I take back the question. I understood you to say that.

Mr. KANN. It will raise the price to the consumer, perhaps, just to the extent that the duty raises the price per foot.

Mr. COCKRAN. Exactly.

Mr. Kann. But that will be very small after all, because in these various uses it is probably a 5-foot piece of glass, and if you should put the whole difference on there it would be 50 or 60 cents to a piece of glass.

Mr. COCKRAN. And you think a man would be a mean person who would consider that for a moment, as compared with the great advantage of allowing you gentlemen to make a lot of money?

Mr. KANN. I do, sir, when you take into consideration the fact that this is a portion of a piece of furniture or a frame or a hatrack or something, that costs in the total $10, $15, $20, $50, or $100 as a piece of furniture; and the whole difference, which would save this industry from loss, would be 50 cents.

Mr. COCKRAN. It would increase your dividends!

Mr. Kann. No; it would not increase them. It would give us dividends.

Mr. COCKRAN. It would give you dividends?
Mr. KANN. Yes.

Mr. COCKRAN. If you have not declared any so far, it would cer-
tainly be an increase, would it not!
Mr. KANN. An increase from nothing to something-yes.
Mr. COCKRAN. That is all.
Mr. LONGWORTH. What countries impose a flat rate?
Mr. Kann. Germany does.

Mr. COCKRAN. It says here that Germany and France do so; that in
France and Germany the rate is 6 and 7 francs.

Mr. LONGWORTH. Is that a square foot or a square meter?

Mr. Kann. It is based on the square foot. Of course their basis of measurement over there is the meter, altogether.

Mr. LONGWORTH. That is what I want to know.
Mr. COCKRAN. It says “square meter.”

Mr. LONGWORTH. This duty of 7 marks is the German tariff duty, is it not?

Mr. COCKRAN. No; in France and Germany both they put them in francs6 francs in France and 74 francs in Germany per square meter.

Mr. KANN. Yes; per square meter.

Mr. LONGWORTH. What I want to get at is: What would that be equivalent to per foot? You ask, as I understand, for 25 cents a square foot ? Mr. KANN. Yes, sir. Mr. LONGWORTH. A square meter contains about 10 square feet? Mr. Kann. Yes; a fraction less, but for convenience call it ten.

Mr. LONGWORTH. Therefore the German duty will be approximately

Mr. KANN. Twelve and a half cents per square foot.
Mr. LONGWORTH. Twelve and a half cents per square foot ?
Mr. Kann. Yes, sir.

Mr. LONGWORTH. Then you are asking for just double the German tariff rate, and more than double the French tariff rate? That is all I want to know.

Mr. Kann. Well, pardon me

Mr. DALZELL. What you are contending for is the method of importation ?

Mr. Kann. Yes, sir. Pardon me, I should like to answer that a little more fully. The people who are engaged in the manufacture of plate glass in Germany, whether you calĩ them a trust or an association, or whatever you choose to call them the matter is referred to in that government record there—are not alone participating in that protection, or whatever else you may call it; but they have put a duty against their colaborers in Belgium to keep their product out of Germany, and to have the German field all to themselves.

Mr. LONGWORTH. I understand that. All I wanted to know was, what would be the equivalent!

Mr. KANN. Yes.

Mr. NEEDHAM. A gentleman representing the importers stated this morning that the whole of the importation into this country did not come in competition with the domestic product, being of a different character and for a different purpose. Is that true or not?

[ocr errors]
« AnteriorContinuar »