Imágenes de páginas





New YORK, January 14, 1918. Hon. OSCAR W. UNDERWOOD,

Chairman Ways and Means Committee, Washington, D. C. DEAR SIR: As to the proposed revision of the customs tariff, allow us to suggest the advisability of removing the import duties on dried prunes. This article is exported in very large quantities and the importations amount to practically nothing. The import duty therefore is absolutely useless. This fruit can only be imported in very exceptional years when the crop in California is a failure, and at such periods it would be a hardship for the poor people to have the cost of this healthy fruit increased, which would be the case if the present duty remained unchanged.

We would also think it better for the importers to change the duty on lentils from ad valorem to a specific duty. The importations are only small and there is when prices vary quickly some difficulty in getting the correct market value at the time of shipment. Às the article is not grown in this country it does not make any difference to the importers what duty you assess it at as long as they know just what they have to pay. On basis of the average prices during the past five years a duty of 25 per cent amounts to three-eighths cent to one-half cent per pound, and it seems to us that a duty of one-fourth cent to one-half cent per pound would be just to the Government and to the importers and do away with all questions regarding market value. Trusting that this will have your attention, we remain, Very truly, yours,





House of Representatives. GENTLEMEN: The following brief is hereby submitted by the undersigned in support of the retention of the present rate of duty on rasins and Zante currants. Respectfully submitted.


Congressman elect. RAISINS AND ZANTE CURRANTS. Raisins and Zante currants, not being necessaries of life but more in the nature of luxuries, should bear their proper and equitable burden of revenue for the support of the Federal Government.

The following tabulated statements show what these commodities are doing in this respect:








1901. 1902. 1903. 1904. 1905. 1906 1907 1908 1909 1910. 1911. 1912

Pounds. 74,000,000 106,000,000 120,000,000 75,000,000 87,000,000 95,000,000 140,000,000 130,000,000 140,000,000 112,000,000

2,949, 794 5,635,001 5, 965, 816 5, 959, 100 4, 364, 610 12,071, 605 3,750,008 8, 640, 248 4,440,784 4,801,309 2,719,620 2,895, 975

$73, 745 140, 873 149, 145 148, 978 109, 115 301,790

$3,750 216,006 111,1120 120.033 67, 991 72,390 Year.

[blocks in formation]

From the above it appears that a healthy competition exists in the raisin market and that the revenue derived from this commodity, considering its quantity, is quite sufficient,

In considering what per cent of the raisins consumed in this country are imported the importation of Zante currants must be figured, as they are nothing more or less than a seed!ess raisin, the name Zante currant being misleading, and are in all respects similar to our seedless products. The following statement shows the amount of the seedless-raisin product in this country as gathered from home statistics, which amounts are included in the first above tabulated statement, showing full amount of home product. My latest figures on the seedless-raisin product of the United States reaches down only to 1909, as follows:

Production of seedless raisins.

[blocks in formation]

the sea.

Were the tarifi made higher on raisins and Zante currants we would run the risk of shutting out importations and thus defeating the object of levying the tariff. Also, make it possible for a domestic monopoly to spring up and fix and hold an arbitrary price. Ii the tariff were made lower it would kill our home industry, thereby removing competition and leave the American consumer at the mercy of the shipper across

If raisins are now sold too high in this country, it is the result of the operations of the middle man, as in California, the home of our domestic raisin; the wholesale price to the grower this year is 2 cents per pound, best variety. Some years the producer's price runs a little higher than this and sometimes a little lower. During the six years of the existence of the California Raisin Growers Association, it handled the bulk of the raisins grown in California. The following shows the values received by the farmer during those years under what was considered the most favorable condition. Since the dissolution of this association, to say the least, the value of raisins to the producer has not been increased, but on the contrary, as shown by the selling price this year, has at times been decreased:

Raisin prices.


Price paid to growers.



Price paid to growers.



65, 024, 000
52, 410, 750

Per ton.


54, 106, 592
85, 177, 864
97,011, 106

Per ton.

$60.00 76.00 48.00


The average net price for the six years, as shown above, was $66.66. I have no home record other than that showing the price paid to the producer by wholesale.

My chief object in appearing before you gentlemen of this committee is to assure you, as one coming from the very heart of our domestic raisin center, Fresno, Cal., that

any tariff manipulation which will, in any substantial manner, lower the wholesale price of domestic raisins to the grower will destroy completely our home product and leave our American market open to a foreign monopoly.

Raisin growers of California are usually small farmers, generally good citizens, conspiring against nothing but the elements, wind, early rains, and frost, and having no combinations among them, save the combination of rich soil, mountain water, and abundance of sunshine, which, all united, make my district the natural home of the raisin, as well as one of the garden spots of the West.


INDIANAPOLIS, IND., December 13, 1912. Hon. Chas. A. KORBLY, M. C.,

Washington, D. C. My Dear Sir: We note that more or less tariff agitation is being discussed by the present Congress, and as an invoice covering an importation of 33,600 pounds of currants from Greece has just been cleared by us, the total value of the purchase being $1,422.96, on which we paid a duty of $666;" freight from Greece to destination, $178.29.

With a little investigation you will find that 99 per cent of the currants used in the United States are imported directly from Greece. Who does that duty of $666, therefore, benefit? Certainly not the American working men, as very little labor is connected with the handling of currants; in fact, we import them in the uncleaned state and clean them in this country, and inasmuch as the incoming Democratic Congress is considering a revision of the tariff, as advocated in their platform, we are of the opinion that currants are one of the items that should be allowed to enter free.

A very small amount of currants are raised on the Pacific coast, but the consumption is extremely limited, because they do not compare with the quality of the product imported from Greece. It is generally understood that the latter country has perfect conditions for raising and curing currants that are not available elsewhere, and seemingly all attempts to raise currants elsewhere have been a positive failure.

No article produced in the United States can possibly take the place of currants in various uses, and consequently free entry of currants could not, in our opinion, affect any other American products, particularly referring to raisins, which are used at times in connection with currants; but in any preparation of that kind currants are indispensable, the flavor, and particularly the color, being of an entirely different nature.

Of course, if the Government needs revenue they can keep up the duty on currants, but they will do so at the expense of the poor consumer. Therefore, if any product is to be taxed for revenue or production, it is only consistent that such articles be luxuries, and certainly not a popular, low-priced, necessary article of food, used in every home in the United States, and not produced within its territory.

Be kind enough to see that this protest, made by an active business house, brought to the attention of the proper committee. Yours, very truly,

BESSIRE & Co. (Inc.),
J. P. BESSIRE, President.



New York, January 16, 1913. WAYS AND MEANS COMMITTEE,

Washington, D. C. MR. CHAIRMAN AND GENTLEMEN: I desire to submit the following report on ripe olives, and have it made a part of the record of your hearings. Very respectiully,

Dr. L. J. HUFF.

Los Angeles, Cal.



(Averages, two seasons' costs.)


Paid to grower for olives on trees per ton (average).
Cost of picking, $17.50; superintendence, freight, hauling to deliver at factory,


34. 85

96. 85

. 302

. 113

· 090 . 100

Average cost of pickling olives, delivered factory....
Average cost pickling fruit, $96.85 ton, per gallon.....
Manufacturing expense (includes factory labor and supplies and materials,

not including packages).
Taxes, interest, general expense (general expense includes labor, office

employees, stationery, postage, telegrams, etc.).
Packages and labor on aame (includes cans, cases, labels, and labeling).

Total manufacturing cost per gallon (including cost of fruit).
Average selling price per gallon ....

Trade discounts.....
Cash discounts and brokee
Selling expense (not including brokerage).
Freight on finished product...

[merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small]

Average net selling price...
Average cost of manufacturing.

Net profit per gallon (average).

Average profit per ton of pickling olives. Respectfully submitted.

. 1225

39. 20

Dr. L. J. HUFF,

Los Angeles, Cal.




DEAR SIR: The proposed Payne tariff increases the duty on olives in bulk from 15 to 20 cents per gallon. (Par. 271, p. 84, line 4.)

We ask a reduction to 10 cents per gallon in order to multiply the consumption of small olives among people of moderate means. Given the opportunity, we can make that trade so large as to completely absorb any olives produced in America, if they are ever successfully grown and offered green cured. Under a specific duty of 20 cents per gallon, the ad valorem rate on small olives amounts to 133 per cent; hence that trade has not been promoted among the middle classes.

During the last 10 years the average importations of Spanish olives in bulk have been about 1,600,000 gallons. To the importing bottler, olives in bulk are a raw material, upon which during the same period they have expended for American-made bottles, corks, and other material about $1,200,000 annually, and paid out in salaries and wages about $500,000 per year. The component part of the finished product is of American manufacture. The green-cured Spanish olive is non competitive with any other olive.

The average revenue for 10 years under a duty of 15 cents per gallon has amounted to about $240,000, equaling about 36 per cent of the value of the raw material, made up from about 1,000,000 gallons of large and medium size olives, and, say, 600,000 gallons of small olives. The Ways and Means Comp uittee estimate that under the proposed duty of 20 cents per gallon, which is an adva ce of 33 per cent, the importa

78959°-rol 3–13_-46


tions will remain the same as in 1906. This is misleading, because it makes the possibility of selling small olives just that much less, when it amounts to 133 per cent on small sizes.

Clearly, a better revenue producer would be a rate of 10 cents per gallon, under which it would be quite possible to import 4,000,000 gallons, reversing the present percentages of sizes, and consisting of, say, 1,750,000 gallons of large and medium size olives and 2,250,000 gallons of small olives, and giving a revenue of $400,000 instead of $240,000. Such a rate would make more revenue, enlarge the use of bottles, cases, labels, etc., and give the consumer more olives for a given sum, while affording employment for many more people in various parts of the country. Yours, very truly,


Chairman Olive Importers' Committee. Condensed facts about the olive industry in the United States. Value of Spanish olives annually imported, freight paid.

$760,000 Duty thereon...

240,000 Value of American-made bottles, cases, labels, etc., annually used in the finished product...

1, 200,000 Salaries and wages per annum to American citizens.

500,000 Profit of the industry...

300,000 Total of the industry in Spanish olives..

3,000,000 American bottles annually filled in the United States......

25, 000, 000 Above figures show the imported Spanish-grown olive is the raw material used in the American industry of bottling olives.

This raw material can not be furnished by California under any circumstances, the California olive being unsuitable for bottling.

To increase the American olive bottling and allied industries we submit the duty on Spanish olives should be reduced to 10 cents per gallon. These olives are not produced here. Average quantity annually imported during 10 years, gallons...

1, 600,000 Approximate quantity imported campaign 1907-8, gallons....

2, 750,000 Average annual revenue to the United States at 15 cents per gallon.... $240, 000 Estimated annual importations under a tariff of 10 cents per gallon, gallons. 4,000,000 Estimated revenue to the Government at 10 cents per gallon...

$400,000 Quantity California so-called green-cured olives producible under present acreage, gallons...

30,000 Revenue to the Government..

None. Dingley bill duty, 15 cents gallon in bulk equals on large olives 15 per cent; small olives, per cent.

100 Payne bill duty, 20 cents gallon in bulk equals on large olives 20 per cent; small olives, per cent....

133 Fairer rate asked for, 10 cents gallon in bulk equals on large olives 10 per cent; small olives, per cent...




Chairman Ways and Means Committee, Washington, D. C. DEAR Sir: Confirming my letter of to-day in respect to olive oil, and the statements made by Dr. Huff, of Los Angeles, Cal., before your committee on the 7th instant, I beg to supplement a few statistics which I trust you may find helpful when you come to the hearing of Schedule G in respect to olives.

I have understood that the California producers will send a representative to Washington to ask for a retention or an increase of the present duty.

The following statistics are based on the Summary of Commerce and Finance published by the Department of Commerce and Labor, No. 12, series of 1911, page 1878, and the Annual Review of the California Fruit Grower of August 14, 1912, of which a copy is inclosed in the accompanying letter;

« AnteriorContinuar »