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PARAGRAPH 280_ALMONDS. LETTERS URGING REDUCTION OF DUTY ON ALMONDS, ETC.
ELMIRA, N. Y., February 5, 1913. Congressman E. S. UNDERHILL,
Washington, D. C. DEAR SIR: Re reduction of tariff on almonds, walnuts, and filberts. I am heartily in favor of the reduction of tariff on almonds, walnuts, and filberts. These are now a regular article of food and not looked upon as a luxury any longer. Manufacturing confectioners use large quantities of them each year and, according to statistics, the average price of these goods is constantly advancing and is now from 40 to 50 per cent higher than 10 years ago. If, upon inquiry, you find it possible or advisable to reduce the tariff on nut meats, it would be a benefit to my customers and to the thousands of people con uming my goods. There seems to be no reason for protecting home industry on these articles, as the great quantity used in this country is largely purchased from abroad. Thanking you for your kind consideration of the matter, Very respectfully, yours,
WILFRID I. Booth.
CINCINNATI, February 4, 1919. Hon. ALFRED ALLEN, Member of Congress, Second District of Ohio,
Washington, D. C. DEAR Mr. ALLEN: Want to call your attention to the tariff bill in reference to nuts imported into this country, notably almonds, walnuts, and filberts.
We trust that you will vote for the abolition of the duty in the same. The consumption of all kinds of nuts has increased enormously in the past years and is especially true regarding almonds, which are largely used in the confectionery and bakery line.
Ten or 15 years ago they could be purchased at the cost of 60 shillings per 503 kilos gross. To-day the average cost abroad on the saine goods is 95 shillings per 503 kilos gross. To-day's price for these goods is 100 shillings per 50 kilos gross. Comparing average price of to-day with that of about 10 years ago, we have an increase in the cost of these goods from 40 to 50 per cent.
Farmers in Italy and Spain cultivating almonds have grown enormously rich on account of these high prices, and there is no reason why the producers of almonds in this country should not be able to compete sucessfully under the circumstances. In fact there are not enough of these goods grown in this country to be worthy of consideration. Trusting you will give same your consideration, we remain, Very respectfully, yours,
P. ECHERT FACTORY,
RoddewIG SCHMIDT Candy Co.,
Davenport, Iowa, February 17, 1913. Hon. IRVIN S. PEPPER, Washington, D. C.
Sır: Permit us to ask you to give the question of tariff on almonds, walnuts, and filberts your kind consideration, and if you can consistently do so, please favor abolition of the high present duty on these importations.
We know of no goods which can stand the abolition of tariff better than almonds, walnuts, and filberts. Goods of this kind used to be looked upon as a luxury. That time, however, has passed, and nuts to-day are classed among articles of necessary food.
The consumption of all kinds of nuts has increased enormously within the past years. and, notwithstanding the fact that their production has been greatly increased, the prices of some nuts have advanced from 40 to 50 per cent. This is especially true regarding almonds. The ordinary kinds of almonds, such as Sicily, Bari, and Majorca. which are being used in very large quantities in the confectionery, chocolate, and bakery lines, could be purchased abroad some 10 to 15 years ago at an average cost of 60 shillings per 50 kilos gross. To-day the average cost abroad of the same goods is 95 shillings per 500 kilos gross. To-day's price for these same goods is 106 shillings per 507 kilos gross. "Comparing the average price of to-day with that of about 10 years ago, we have an increase in the cost of these goods of from 40 to 50 per cent.
The farmers in Italy and Spain cultivating almonds have grown rich on account of these high prices and there is no reason why the producers of almonds in this country should not be able to compete successfully under the circumstances. What the home producers have to strive for is to bring their products up to the high standard of quality that the foreign-grown almonds are.
As to the duty on walnuts and filberts, there is no reason for same on account of protecting home industry, as there are not enough of these goods grown in this country to be worthy of consideration. We trust, with these facts, you will give the question due consideration. Yours, very respectfully,
P. RODDEWIG, President.
Filberts and walnuts of all kinds, not shelled, three cents per pound; shelled, five cents per pound. See also Italian Chamber of Commerce, page 2500.
BRIEF OF WALNUT GROWERS OF CALIFORNIA.
D. C., January 20, 1913. The COMMITTEE ON WAYS AND MEANS,
House of Representatives. GENTLEMEN: The following brief and its accompanying exhibits are hereby submitted by a committee representing the walnut growers of California, in support of the retention of the present rate of duty upon walnuts. Respectfully submitted.
C. C. TEAGUE.
J. A. OSMUN. The walnut growers of California, through the undersigned committee, desire to submit for your consideration a few reasons, supported by facts and figures, showing why the present duty of 3 cents per pound on walnuts, not shelled, and of 5 cents per pound on walnuts shelled, should be continued. Under the present rates of duty, the walnut industry is having a healthy growth, the production having more than doubled in the last 10 years, until the domestic product is supplying about 50 per cent of the consumption of walnuts, not shelled, in the United States. (See Exhibit 1.)
From 1901 to 1911 the importation of walnuts, not shelled, has increased from 4,851 tons to 11,104 tons, an increase of 127 per cent. Shelled walnuts have increased from 1,112 tons to 5,356 tons, an increase of 373 per cent. In a corresponding increase, the revenue to the United States upon these two classes of walnuts has gone from $402,311.69 in 1901, to $1,201,929.68 in 1911, an increase in revenue of 198 per cent. (See Exhibit 1.)
The countries furnishing these imported nuts are, in order of importance, France, with 78 per cent; Italy, with 13 per cent; Chile, Turkey, Hungary, Spain, Manchuria and other countries collectively, 9 per cent. (See Exhibit 2.)
Only two districts in Europe, viz, Sorrento in Italy, and Grenoble in France, produce nuts comparable in quality and size with the domestic nut. The quantity that can be furnished by these districts is limited, and, of the total importation of walnuts, less than 20 per cent are of these grades.
The bulk of imported nuts are the Marbot and Cornes varieties; these correspond in size and quality to the second grade of the Pacific coast production. Many walnuts of foreign production, especially in France, are used in making oil; these nuts are small and practically unfit for exportation. If the present duty is lessened, many of these inferior nuts will be sent to the United States.
Under the present rates of duty the production of walnuts on the Pacific coast since 1903 has increased from 6,339 tons to 12,500 tons in 1911. (See Exhibit 3.)
The consumption of walnuts in the United States has increased from 16,166 tons of walnuts unshelled and 1,789 tons of shelled nuts in 1903 to 23,604 tons of nuts not shelled and 5,356 tons of shelled nuts in 1911. These totals are found by adding iniportation totals and domestic production. (See Exhibits 1 and 3.)
The rates of duty of 3 cents and 5 cents, respectively, per pound on walnuts barely represents the difference in the labor costs of production. The duty on walnuts
PARAGRAPH 281-WALNUTS. shelled protects the consumer to a certain extent against excessive importations of a deleterious food product, for it is well known that walnuts shelled soon become rancid and unfit for consumption.
The probable effect of a decrease in duty on walnuts not shelled will be to encourage the importation of an inferior article, because nearly all of the world's supply of really good walnuts is already coming to this country.
The lands that are now devoted to growing walnuts are the very richest and most fertile in California and are suitable for growing other crops which are yielding as good or better returns than walnuts; and the margin of profit in growing walnuts is so low (see Exhibit 4 B) that if a reduction of the duty should result in less profits in the industry many would dig up their groves and devote the land to the growing of other products. This would result in an increased price to the consumer, as substantially all of the good walnuts produced in the world are now being consumed in this country, and without the California production there would be only about one-half enough to supply the American demand.
Foreign walnuts are not grown in orchard form as we grow them in this country, but are grown as border trees to plots of ground, along roadways, in pastures, and on hillsides or waste places, and, therefore, are without the cost of orchard care, while in this country irrigation is required, necessitating planting in orchard form and cultivation, entailing a cost on an average of $31.50 per acre, equalling a cost of 37 cents per pound. (See Exhibit 4, Sec. C.)
The cost of labor in this country being greatly in excess of labor in foreign countries, the costs of harvesting and packing are also greatly in excess of that in foreign countries.
The duty on an ad valorem basis, estimated, is approximately 40 per cent on the walnuts, not shelled, and 30 per cent on the shelled product.
Considering the facts that a walnut grove costing $750 per acre (see Exhibit 4 B), under the highest culture, will produce on an average only 825 pounds of walnuts each year, the present duty is much larger proportionately than on most other manufactures and products entailing so much investment.
A rate of duty which through experience has shown a benefit to all concerned can not be wrong. Under this duty and during a 10-year period the domestic production has more than doubled, the foreign importations have more than doubled, the consumption has more than doubled, the revenue to the Government has more than doubled, competition has been maintained, while the consumer has been furnished a better article without increase of price.
Previous to 1901 no division was made in Government reports between walnuts and filberts, consequently our exact knowledge of the importation of walnuts begins with 1901.
The following table shows the amount of walnuts imported from all countries for the years 1901 to 1911, inclusive, showing tonnage invoice price at foreign ports of shipments. It also includes the duty paid to the United States Treasury Department.
[Taken from yearly Reports of Commerce and Navigation of the United States.)
1, 434, 861.00
1905 (reported 1906):
1, 843, 305.00
698, 300, 47
1906 (reported June 30, 1907):
11,518 1, 409, 422.91
1,051, 098. 76
1907 (reported June 30, 1908):
10,719 1,530, 649.65
2,711, 414. 96
+41 + 30
1908 (reported June 30, 1909):
2, 406, 352.21
1909 (reported June 30, 1910):
3, 396, 606.09
1, 216, 148. 63
1910 (reported June 30, 1911):
4, 235, 766.35
1,196, 586. 23
1911 (reported June 30, 1912):
11,104 1,643, 960. 25
+ 40 + 25
1, 201, 929. 68
Compilation of figures showing percentages of origin of walnuts imported from foreign
REPORTS OF STATE BOARD OF EQUALIZATION OF CALIFORNIA. 1908: 666,477 walnut trees bearing. 1910: 651,852 walnut trees bearing. 1912: 680,960 walnut trees bearing; 224,299 walnut trees nonbearing.
Upon an average 25 trees are planted to an acre.
25 The true values of bearing orchards, based upon assessed appraisement, is $750 as an approximate average. The true value of nonbearing orchards in the same manner =$500.
B. $750 times 27,240=$20,430,000
Investment. $500 times 9,000= 45,000,000