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Mr. NEEDHAM. Have you been across the line in Canada during that time?
Mr. STEWART. I have been across the line, but not to any great extent.
Mr. NEEDHAM. They have free lemons and free oranges in Canada?
Mr. STEWART. I could not tell you, sir.
Mr. NEEDHAM. Does not the consumer in Canada pay exactly the same as in the State of Maine?
Mr. STEWART. I could not tell you, sir; I have not been there. Mr. NEEDHAM. I should advise you to take a trip up there.
Mr. STEWART. Before I get through you may see that it is impossible for me to do so at present, for want of funds. [Laughter.]
Mr. NEEDHAM. Well, you can write a letter to a friend; it will cost you 2 cents.
Mr. STEWART. California claims the need of protection to maintain what they call an infant industry, lemon culture. In the life of a human being there are several stages, known as infancy, childhood, manhood, and old age, and sometimes we hear of second childhood; but I never yet have heard of second infancy. The infant period of the lemon culture in California I think has long since passed, and it has reached its manhood by this time, judging from the reports I have received.
Not more than 40 per cent of the lemons consumed in the United States are raised in California. California has a natural market for her entire production west of the Allegheny Mountains. Why impose a duty on lemons to protect the California lemon when the cost to land them on the Atlantic coast with the inland freight rate added will bring the cost to any interior point west of the Allegheny Mountains above what the Californians can sell for at a very large profit? But you have heard and probably will hear regarding lemons from others who are better prepared than I to give you the facts and figures regarding quantity raised, the cost of production, and the prices charged for them throughout the country. So I will turn my attention to an industry in the State of Maine or which was there a few years ago; it is not there now-in which the manufacturers and laborers were vitally interested and which the duty on lemons has annihilated. I refer to the manufacture and exportation of the shooks from which boxes are made to pack lemons in in Sicily and ports on the Mediterranean for shipment to this country.
The State of Maine is the only State in the United States that has ever exported a cargo of such shooks into the Mediterranean. It was a business that was promoted by my father in 1858, and from that time down until the passage of the Payne-Aldrich bill we were making shipments annually, reaching about 4,000,000 boxes in a single year at times; not every year.
When the Payne-Aldrich bill was passed we had contracts, as we frequently had, covering a period of two or three years. Immediately on the passage of that bill the foreigners endeavored to have contracts for future delivery canceled. We were able to prevent that, as our contracts were with responsible parties, and we held ühem to the shipment, so that after the passage of the bill in 1909 we wer ble to make a few shipments, but in 1912 not a bundle.
The CHAIRMAN. You mean to say that the increase of this duty on lemons wiped out this box industry in Maine entirely?
Mr. STEWART. Absolutely, sir. "That business was bringing into Maine annually from $100,000 to more than $200,000, all foreign capital; not American capital; not 1 cent of it; all foreign capital; brought into the State of Maine and distributed thereafter the stumpage to the land owner was paid-chiefly to laborers engaged in manufacturing and shipping those shooks. That money was brought into this country and remained here in circulation. Now, we get not $1 of it. We have had in all these years competition in the box business in the Mediterranean ports from Austria, but when this tariff act was passed the Sicilians and Italians became a little bit aggrieved at the treatment they were receiving here, and they said, “We will give the Austrians all of the business if you people in America are going to treat us this way and shut our trade out of your markets. We will not buy your shooks,” and they have not done so either.
Mr. FORDNEY. You have not shut out of our markets their products, because their importations last year were increased; including the years 1895, 1896, 1910, 1911, and 1912—their importations were greater in 1912 than in those years. So they were not shut out.
Mr. STEWART. Not shut out entirely; no, sir. But you put a duty on here that intended to shut them out if you could.
Mr. FORDNEY. In these years their importations increased and the value of the importations increased.
Mr. STEWART. Yes, sir.
Mr. FORDNEY. Then, how did that affect your box business, if their importations increased?
Mr. STEWART. I told you how it affected it. It has driven us out of business.
Mr. FORDNEY. But are you correct ? Because their importations increased instead of decreasing
Mr. STEWART. I am correct in telling you what they told me.
Mr. FORDNEY. Ah, well; tbat is a different thing. You are blaming the Payne tariff law for it
Mr. STEWART. Because the people I have for customers tell me that the passage of the Payne Tariff Act is the reason they have for taking the action.
Mr. FORDNEY. My point is, when under the increased duty their importations increased and the value of the importations per box increased, how the law could have anything to do with it?
The CHAIRMAN. I want to say to Mr. Fordney that he did not catch the statistics I read this morning. I read into the record this morning some statistics which showed that the amount of lemons we had imported had fallen off very considerably since the passage of the PayneAldrich bill.
Mr. FORDNEY. I think I did catch it. I am speaking of the record as given in the statistics here.
The Chairman. These are all since the Payne-Aldrich bill was passed.
Mr. FORDNEY. In 1906 and 1905.
The CHAIRMAN. To go back to 1905; of course there was a difference in conditions, but the two years immediately preceding the passage of the Payne law there was a very much larger importation of lemons than there has been at any time since.
Mr. FORDNEY. In 1910, as compared with 1912, where the importation for 1910 was 100,000,000 pounds of lemons, the value was $3,136,000, whereas for 145,000,000 pounds in 1912 the value was $3,368,000.
The CHAIRMAN. Oh, Mr. Fordney, you do not see it. It is 160,000,000
Mr. FORDNEY. In 1910 ?
Mr. Hill. Your suggestion, as I see it after reading your brief, is like this: Under the Dingley law the duty on lemons was a cent a pound; the duty on box shooks was 30 per cent. The House raised the duty, against the vote of some people, on lemons to a cent and a quarter, and the Senate raised it to a cent and a half, and you claim they destroyed your box shook industry?
Mr. STEWART. Yes, sir.
Mr. Hill. Your proposition, as submitted here, is not fair, in my judgment. You propose to take the duty all off from lemons but leave the duty on shooks, and in addition to that give you the privilege of taking Canadian logs and making your shooks, which you have not got now, and in addition to that making a penalizing duty of 15 per cent if the lemon grower does not buy your shooks. That is not fair in my judgment.
Mr. STEWART. Now, sir, may I have just a momentMr. Hill. Let me read just a word from your own brief: Our friends and correspondents tell us that if this market is again opened to them in that manner, they will place their orders with us as before, but it is in your power to insure their doing so by making lemons when imported in boxes of American manufacture free from duty and when imported in boxes of foreign manufacture to be subject to a duty of half of 1 cent per pound wbich, I think you will admit, would cause nearly all if not every shipment of lemons to the United States to be packed in boxes of American manufacture.
Mr. STEWART. I believe it.
Mr. Ilill. You still stand before this committee and insist that lemons shall be made free, and that you shall be given a preferential rate of 15 per cent on your shooks?
Mr. STEWART. Yes, sir.
Mr. Hull. Well, if I was to continue in Congress next summer you would not get it as far as my vote was concerned.
Mr. STEWART. Paragraph 211, under Schedule D, sir, was written in our office. At the time the tariff was formulated under which that first became a law, those who appeared before the committee were asked, just as I have been asked to-day, to express how you would like to have the tariff changed and the wording of the law.
Mr. PALMER. Was Mr. Hill on the committee then?
The CHAIRMAN. Isn't that what you would call making a tariff by special interests?
Mr. STEWART. I could not tell you. I was a little younger then than I am now. We were asked by Mr. Hale and Mr. Blaine if we would offer suggestions of that kind.
Mr. Hill. That same question has been asked by the chairman a dozen times in the last week.
Mr. STEWART. I do not doubt it. I got it a week ago in a postal card asking me to come prepared for that to-day. We drew this up in our office at home, and when the law was published we were surprised to find not a scratch of a pen on it.
Mr. Hill. Because you find in the tariff law a rate written in the law as you would suggest, do you mean to say you wrote that?
Mr. STEWART. That I wrote it?
Mr. STEWART. It was written by myself after consultation between my father and myself. I wrote it with my own hand.
Mr. Hill. Did you write it into the law or did you make a suggestion of that kind to Mr. Hale and another member of the committee that you spoke of?
Mr. STEWART. I wrote that paragraph as it reads there, and sent it to Washington, and I say, when the law was published we were surprised to find that it was included without the change of the scratch
of a pen.
Mr. Hill. That is just what I asked you. Because it was written just the same as you suggested it, do you say you wrote it in the law?
Mr. STEWART. No, sir; I did not say I wrote it in the law.
Mr. STEWART. So it was. That was first written in our office and then it was copied and made law in Washington.
Mr. Hill. It is not fair to say that you wrote it in the law, when it was written just as you suggested.
Mr. STEWART. I beg pardon, I do not think there is any other gentleman in the house that interpreted my meaning so.
Mr. Hill. You have said that law was written in your office ? Mr. SrEwart. So it was; the wording of the law. Laughter. Just as it appears on the statute books. "I said the wording of it; Í did not say the law.
Mr. Hull. You say nobody else could have construed your remarks as I have Mr. STEWART. I do not say you construe it so.
I think you are only trying to confuse me.
Nr. Ilili. No, my friend; you are under oath and you are here to give us information. I am asking you a civil question. Be fair with me, as I shall try to be with
you. Mr. STEWART. I will try to.
Mr. Hill. Then I want to ask you, because you find in a tariff law a rate written as you would suggest or did suggest it, do you mean to say you wrote it into law ?
Mr. STEWART. No, sir; I did not say so, and I have not intended to say so at all.
Mr. Hill. I think that is just what you did say a few minutes ago.
Mr. STEWART. If I did, I did not intend to so express myself. I prefaced my remark by saying we had been invited to offer suggestions to the law
Mr. HILL. And that is what you are here to-day for-to offer some suggestions to this committee.
Mr. STEWART. Yes, sir.
you should find the rates in there as you are suggesting here, would you come back here by and by and say that was written in your office?
Mr. STEWART. No, sir. If it should be written into the law as suggested here, I think I could say it was drafted in our office. (Laughter.]
Mr. HILL. Oh, no.
Mr. STEWART. And that the draft of it was brought here and accepted by the committee.
Mr. Hill. Do not accuse our Democratic friends of that.
Mr. STEWART. The gentleman from Connecticut has said we did not have the privilege of taking the New Brunswick logs—the foreign logs. Now, he knows, probably as I do, that the free list contains a provision that does admit bringing the round log into this country and manufacturing it. The reason it did not contain it right there in that lawor the law that this is a copy of—was that the mills we were selling for were located so far from the boundary that we did not see the need of it.
Mr. McCall. And then you did not consider the other man's mill at all?
Mr. STEWART. We have represented for 50 years every person that manufactures box shooks in the State of Maine for export. We represented the manufacturers. We were the sole selling agents for their product. That was written in there in that manner because at that time we did not see the need of anything from the other side of the line.
Mr. McCall. You have a pretty strong combination up there, then ?
Mr. STEWART. It is not much of a combination now, I am sorry to såy.
Mr. LONGWORTH. When the duty was 1 cent on lemons was it a profitable industry?
Mr. STEWART. The sales were curtailed considerably at the beginning of the application of that l-cent rate.
Mr. LONGWORTH. At the time the Dingley bill was passed ?
Mr. LONGWORTH. Let us take as typical the year 1906–7. Was your business profitable.
Mr. STEWART. We did not lose anything, but in 1909 it was much better than it was in 1906 or 1907. The business got very low with us, and we did have a losing business.
Mr. LONGWORTH. In 1909 what dividends were your companies paying, about?
Mr. STEWART. I could not tell you, sir, because we sell on commission. We are not interested financially in the companies that manufacture the shooks. We are sales agents on commission.