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Mr. KANN (continuing). Because anybody is apt to buy a piece of glass--if you have a piece of glass 12 inches each way, that makes a square foot.
Mr. LONGWORTH. Yes,
Mr. Kann. That piece of glass could probably be bought for 20 cents.
Mr. LONGWORTH. That is just what I want to know.
Mr. KANN. Or 15 cents, as the case may be; but, say, for illustration, 20 cents.
Mr. LONGWORTH. Yes.
Mr. KANN. The other piece of glass which you speak of, and which has 120 feet in it
Mr. LONGWORTH. Yes; how much would that cost?
Mr. Kann. That glass to-day we are selling for in the neighborhood of—well, the factory selling price is about 35 cents.
Mr. LONGWORTH. Thirty-five cents a foot? Is that what you mean?
Mr. Kann. A square foot, sir; and on the average we are getting probably about 28 cents for it, taking it in with all the small glass we are selling. That is the point I am trying to make.
Mr. LONGWORTH. Then that would cost about $36?
Mr. Kann. Yes. Now, if you will pardon me for one minute, just take a step further, and then I think you will have the answer to the problem.
Mr. LONGWORTH. That is what I want to understand.
Mr. KANN. If you should buy that piece of glass in a jobbing house in your city, they would sell you that piece of glass from a list which is prepared, in which they charge you so much a square foot, subject to a certain discount; and that glass to-day, perhaps I do not know-you could probably buy that very same piece of glass for 50 or 60 cents.
Mr. COCKRAN. Fifty or 60 cents?
Mr. LONGWORTH. I may be very stupid about that; but I can not get through my head how it is, when you say that it costs more to make a square foot of glass, you sell one foot for 15 cents, and yet you sell this 120 square feet at the rate of 30 cents a foot.
Mr. COCKRAN. Sixty cents, he says.
Mr. Kann. Our factory sale price would probably be, say, 30 cents or 35 cents. The cost per foot is the same, based upon taking your foot production and dividing it into your total cost. Is not that clear?
Mr. LONGWORTH. That is clear as to the price, but not as to the cost.
Mr. KANN. Yes; as to the cost. We take all the various items which go to make up the cost, starting in with material and labor and fuel and boxing charge and whatever else ought to be chargedtaxes, insurance, etc.; and we will take that to be a thousand dollars. Suppose the net result in feet was 1,000 feet. You would divide that into a thousand dollars, and it would give you a dollar a foot, would it not? Now, it costs you a dollar a foot irrespective of the size of that glass, whether it goes into stock in pieces of 1 foot, or 25 or 50
feet, or 120 feet, as far as factory cost is concerned. The 1-foot piere costs quite a little more to handle, as I tried to explain, from the fact that it has to be handled many more times, and all that sort of thing. and then it has to be more carefully polished and packed; and yet. as a matter of fact, we only get for that small piece of glass from 1.3 to 20 cents a foot, and it costs $1, while we may get $1.25 for the large piece of glass that cost us a dollar. We have to make our profit off of those few disproportionate or unusual pieces that we sell; and as the bulk of our production is in small glass
Mr. LONGWORTH. Do you mean to say that you sell a product that it costs you a dollar to make for 15 cents?
Mr. KANN. I am simply using that as an illustration. But I clo say this, in order to make the statement exact, that we do sell a product which costs on the average 32 or 34 or 35 or 36 cents, as the different factories may differ a bit, as low down as 12 cents, and a very large portion of it at 15 cents and 16 and 18 and 20 cents, and we have been doing it for years. That is the burden of our complaint here that we do have to sell at least 60 per cent of our product at less than it costs to produce.
Mr. LONGWORTU. At how much less?
Mr. Kann. You can figure it from these various duty imports if you want to; but taking the various conditions that may be put in, that may be sold either as a finished size, a cut size, etc., at answhere from 15—well, I will say on an average 12 to 15 cents a foot loss on every foot of it. If you take it from the smallest up to the largest, covering the extreme range of the sizes, it gives us a profit over cost. And while that may sound as a very strange statement, I do not believe there is any factory-I mentioned these 11, and the other companies are here to answer for themselves—I believe they would be very glad to corroborate that statement by factory figures and by their books. As far as we are concerned, I would be glad to do it, because on the face of it it looks like a contradiction.
Mr. Griggs. I understood the gentleman who preceded you to say that it was largely a question of inefficiency on this side.
Mr. Kann. No; I do not believe he said it was largely that; but that is a factor.
Mr. Griggs. I asked a question as to the labor, and he replied that they paid three times as much on this side for inefficient labor as they did on the other side for efficient labor.
Mr. Kann. I do not believe he cared to leave that impression. Of course, I can not answer for him; but I make that statement from my own knowledge.
Mr. Griggs. I see that he is present, and if he would like to correct it, I shall be very glad to have him. Mr. COCKRAN. You make your statement.
Mr. KANN. I know that from my own knowledge of the labor over there; I have been on the other side; and I know our labor here, and I know what we pay here. And while I have no interests on the other side, any more than trying to keep posted as to what they do, I know that we have been paying about three times as much as they have The average laborer over there gets 3 francs and 10 centimes. That is about 70 cents. I think it runs from 65 to 75 cents
Mr. GRIGGS. What is the average furniture and mirror size!
Mr. KANN (continuing). We pay over here on an average- I think this price will average through the different works—anywhere from $2 to $2.25 per employee per day.
Mr. Griggs. How do they compare in efficiency with those on the other side?
Mr. Kann. I think they get a very much better quality of labor.
Mr. KANN. Yes, sir; because, as I stated in our paper, these people have been tied to the industry for years. They never leave employment of that kind and seek other employment. The factories are all located in one district. They are a glass-making people.
Mr. GRIGGs. Then the question of inefficiency here Mr. Kann. I would not say inefficiency. We do not get the quality of labor, to begin with.
Mr. Griggs. I will say difference of efficiency, then.
Mr. Kawn. Yes, sir; that would be better, because we can not get the quality of that kind of labor. We can not get them here. We never get them.
Mr. Griggs. Efficiency plus and efficiency minus—that will suit you better?
Mr. Kann. Yes, sir.
Mr. Griggs. Very well, that suits me just as well. I want you now to give me the average mirror size of glass that is used in furniture. I mean the kind used in bureaus and washstands.
Mr. Kanx. The size which is most used is 5 feet-18 by 40, or 24 by 30, or 18 by 36; that is, 18 inches one way and 36 another, or 18 inches one way and 40 the other.
Mr. GRIGGS. Eighteen by 40?
Mr. Griggs. That is 5 square feet; and you want, on that, a flat rate of 22 cents ?
Mr. KANN. On that: yes.
Mr. Griggs. That, then, would increase the price of the bureaus and the washstands that the people throughout the country are obliged to purchase $1 each, would it not?
Mr. KANN. That would make an increase to-day as between 10 cents and 22, which would be 121 cents; and on 5 feet that would be 60 cents increase over what the duty is to-day.
Mr. Griggs. Yes, I understand that; but I am talking about the entire duty.
Mr. KANN. Yes.
Mr. GRIGGs. It would be 60 cents more if your proposition goes with the committee and with Congress?
Mr. KANN. Yes.
Mr. Kann. Pardon me; if it will not interrupt you, I should like to say that there are a great many sizes, of course, which are used for that purpose which are not 5 feet square. There are about 17 standard sizes, which run all the way from a foot and a half up to 5 feet. But 5 feet is the largest size; that is the extreme.
Mr. GRIGGS. I understand that; but the increase in duty which you ask is on the glass that is most largely used throughout the country!
Mr. Kann. For that purpose; yes. Probably the most largely used is the glazing glass, on which we are willing to take a reduction.
Mr. GRIGGs. The glazing glass is for windows, is it not? Mr. KANN. Yes. Mr. Griggs. That is, for the windows of the rich—those big pieces of plate glass?
Mr. KANN. And the poor, too. It is now within the reach of the most humble. You can buy it so cheaply now that it hardly pays to buy sheet glass or window glass. Mr. GRIGGS. I wish I had
known that a month ago. Mr. Kann. It is not too late. We will come around and give you a salvage price on what you have put in.
Mr. Pou. My boy broke one pane, and I had to pay $21 for it. [Laughter.]
Mr. Kann. That is the kind that is generally found pretty expensive.
Mr. CLARK. The net result of this scheme of yours would be to increase the cost of glass to the consumer and reduce the revenue of the Government?
Mr. KANN. No, sir. I thought you would catch my suggestion better than that.
Mr. CLARK. I have been listening with all the power that I have.
Mr. KANN. The consuming public will get the benefit of quite a reduction on all the glass over 10 square feet, to begin with.
Mr. CLARK. I know; but the consuming public does not use much glass over that size.
Mr. KANN. I beg your pardon, sir. You will find that all the men that run the little groceries or the little shops in the towns all over this country, as well as the big stores, have to have plate-glass fronts on them. They get the benefit of that low price; and almost every cottage that is built now has plate glass in it.
Mr. CLARK. Another question : Do you know of anybody engaged in any sort of manufacturing in or around Pittsburg that is making money?
Mr. KANN. Yes, sir; I do.
Mr. Clark. I wish you would give me a list of them, either privately or publicly.
Mr. Kann. I will give it to you privately this evening.
Mr. Gaines. Let me ask you a question. Assuming that the tariff were increased to a flat rate of 224 cents, and that thereafter the price to the consumer of American plate glass was increased by the full amount of the increase of duty, how much would that add to the cost of a bureau which had a looking-glass in it 18 by 40 inches; assuming for the sake of the argument that the price of the domestic article would be increased by the entire amount of the tariff!
Mr. Kann. If they would take the largest piece of the glass which is brought in for that purpose, generally speaking, about 50 cents, sir.
Mr. GAINES. So that if all of the tariff were added to the cost, the consumer would be out 50 cents on the price of a bureau?
Mr. Kann. Yes, sir. And I should like to say, if you will permit me a little further than your question would lead, that very low prices have been made on the mirrors that we have sold as American manufacturers in competition even with the imported mirrors, or glass for that purpose. As a result of a foolish competition among ourselves very low prices have been made, which would have given the consumers the benefit of 50 or 60 cents less than the former prices, yet they never got it.
Mr. GAINES. Who did get it?
Mr. GAINES. So that the manufacturing consumer is the man that perhaps, in your opinion, would get the benefit of the difference?
Mr. KANN. If the public has gotten the benefit of this lower price up to the present time, the very worst that could happen to them on a single piece of the cheapest furniture would be an increase of 50 cents. If they have gotten the benefit of the low price, they have gotten 50 cents lower than the present price, which I doubt. But I want to make the point that all of that low price has not gone to the consumer. It has disappeared in between, and it meant a great many thousands of dollars to this industry.
Mr. GAINEs. In your opinion, it has not gone to the ultimate consumer, but to the manufacturing consumer?
Mr. Kann. It has gone into somebody's hands, so that it has not been a factor in producing this product. It has not gone to the plate-glass manufacturer. I do not believe it has gone to the mirror manufacturer. It has not gone to the consumer, to whom it ought to have gone, and we have suffered in consequence. Nobody that should have gotten the benefit of it has gotten the benefit of it. That is the point I want to make.
Mr. CLARK. Now, let us turn Brother Gaines's proposition around the other way. There are 16,000,000 homes in the United States. If they only bought one bureau a year, that would be $8,000,000 that this proposed increase in the duty would cost the consumers more than they are paying now?
Mr. KANN. Yes, sir.
Mr. KANN. Yes; that is quite an item. It would help us along quite a bit. If you divided that $8,000,000 between these 12 companies, I mean, it would help them quite a good deal.
Mr. CLARK. You would get a nice little sum out of it?
Mr. KANN. Yes, and we need it. That is what we are here for. We need just that $8,000,000.
Mr. CLARK. The truth about the whole business is that the way that you all make your money is by getting a little here and a little there from a great many people, so that there is not enough for one of them to come here and testify against you about it, and the general total of the rake off amounts to a fortune to you?
Mr. Kann. That is right. Every little helps.