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Mr. PALMER. Is not the real reason why there is no importation of the foreign article that it sells over there for more money than it sells over here, and that even aside from the freight proposition it could not come in unless they shipped it below their usual prices ? Mr. LESLEY. I think that is a fact. As I have said before, I think
, it is in panicky years, when we would need the labor most and need to give men employment most, that it would be more serious.
Mr. PALMER. We are not going to have any more panics for at least four years.
Mr. KITCHIN. You refer to the continuing panic from 1907 to about 1911.
Mr. LESLEY. Do I what?
Mr. KITCHIN. You refer to the panic that continued from 1907 to 1911 ?
Mr. LESLEY. I just hate to think about it. Mr. KITCHIN. From November, 1907, to 1910 was the panic to which you refer?
Mr. LESLEY. There was a panic along there.
Mr. LESLEY. I have great hopes you will agree with all these other committees to give us a chance, to give the community at large a chance, all to be very prosperous without any more of these panics.
Mr. RAINEY. This bidding which recently occurred in connection with the Panama Canal contract was real competitive bidding ?
Mr. LESLEY. I understand so. The Government got it very advantageously.
Mr. RAINEY. Between manufacturers here and manufacturers abroad?
Mr. LESLEY. Yes.
Mr. RAINEY. Of course, manufacturers here were compelled to disregard the tariff to bid against manufacturers abroad?
Mr. LESLEY. I think that is a free zone in Panama for our cement. I think there is no duty on this cement going into Panama.
Mr. Rainey. I am not talking about that part of it. Of course, there is no duty on it when it is shipped into the Panama Canal Zone. But I say, when competing with German firms, or other foreign firms, you disregarded the tariff and competed with them on the basis as if there were no tariff wall between this country and Germany against foreign manufacturing competition, and in that competition the American manufacturers won without the assistance of the tariff at all? Is not that true? And the largest sale made in the last hundred years was made as the result of that free competitive bidding by American manufacturers, who went in and who could not have been protected in that bidding by the tariff at all.
Mr. LESLEY. I am going to answer that in this way: In the freezone belt, American goods intended for use in the canal, went in free, and goods from abroad paid a duty.
Mr. RAINEY. But you were trying to sell to this Government and foreign manufacturers were trying to sell to this Government. Therefore you met on a field with no tariff wall between
bid the lowest and secured the greatest cement contract ever made. Is not that true ?
Mr. LESLEY. Maybe I have not got the thing quite right in my mind. I want to see if I am right. We bid without any duty on the commodity. The foreigner bid, having to pay a duty on the commodity. We beat him out by reason of that advantage which we had.
Mr. RAINEY. Did the Government compel foreigners furnishing cement to the zone to pay a duty to the Government?
Mr. LESLEY. Yes; that is the law. I think that law came out in some of these Scotch dredges that came in. I think they wanted a special act admitting them. I think that answers your question, and I am very sure I am right about the law, because I remember the clause very well.
Mr. RAINEY. With reference to these dredges, is it not true that the President of the United States threatened to purchase the dredges abroad and disregard our navigation laws and everything else?
Mr. LESLEY. I think he did. I think they passed a special act exempting it, as I recollect. But the general law covering the Panama Canal Zone does give a preferential to American manufacturers.
Mr. RaiNEY. With quality and cost considered? That is the law? Mr. LESLEY. Yes, sir; that is my recollection about it.
Mr. Rainey. Was it the result of the preferential that you got the cement contract?
Mr. LESLEY. I think there was a little difference in cost, I think only a few cents in cost, between the American bid and the lowest foreign bid; and the quality was fully equal.
Mr. HARRISON. Are there any further questions? If not, that will conclude your statement, Jír. Lesley.
Mr. LESLEY. Thank you very much for your attention.
ARGUMENT ON BEHALF OF THE AssociATION OF AMERICAN PORTLAND CEMENT
(On Schedule B: Earths, earthenware, and glassware. Subhed, paragraph 86, "Coment, lime, and plaster."
“Roman, Portland, and other hydraulic cement, in barrels, sacks, or other packages, 8 cents per hun. dred pounds, including weight of barrel or package; in bulk, 7 cents per hundred pounds; other cement, 20 per cent ad valorem."')
Your petitioner, the Association of American Portland Cement Manufacturers, which is a voluntary association for the dissemination of information in connection with the uses of Portland cement, and which represents in its membership nearly 90 per cent of the output of the United States, presents the following argument in support of the retention of the present rate of duty on Portland cement.
HISTORY OF THE DUTY.
In connection with the duty on Portland cement it will be noted in the paragraph above quoted that the rate of duty upon cement not enumerated is on the basis of 20 per cent, and the following table, ehowing the importations, the values, the duty collected, and the rate of duty in percentages, shows the average percentage of duty upon Portland cement for the last nine years to have been about 22 per cent.
By reference to the Tariff Commission of 1882, to the proposed Mills bill, to the Wilson bill, and to the McKinley and Dingley bills, it will be noted that the duty on cement has been considered more as a revenue than as a protective duty, and that in all the period referred to the rate has been practically maintained at or near 20 per cent ad valorem, thus indicating that in the minds of those who had to do with the preparation of tariff bills in the past twenty-odd years the duty on cement was considered reasonable and proper, and one which had as its basic reasons its fairness, its moderation, and its revenue-raising powers. In considering the question of the duty on Portland cement, it is respectfully urged that,
THIS INDUSTRY IS A NATIONAL ONE.
In this connection, by a reference to the “Cement Industry in the United States in 1911,” Department of the Interior, United States Geological Survey, prepared by Mr. Ernest F. Burchard, it will be noted that there were in existence during the past year cement works in Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Alabama, Georgia, Virginia, West Virginia, Colorado, Texas, Utah, California, Washington, Kentucky, Iowa, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Maryland, and Montana. In addition to this, in the 1910 report, in referring to the occurrence of raw material for cement making, it is shown that the materials for the manufacture of Portland cement can be found in every State and Territory of the Union. This table illustrates clearly the national character of the industry, and the fact that in asking for its preservation and maintenance in its present condition po geographical lines nor geographical interests are making the request, but a national association of practically all the manufacturers of the United States representing an industry capable of development in every State and Territory of the Union.
In view of the consideration shown at the hands of your honorable committee it would seem necessary to show the operations of the Dingley Act in connection with the present rate of duty as tested under reasonable economic conditions, fair to both producer and consumer. Therefore the arguments are grouped under several heads, as follows, showing the operation of the present law:
(a) The growth of the American cement industry.
No “trust” in the cement industry.
THE GROWTH OF THE AMERICAN CEMENT INDUSTRY.
The following table shows the growth of the American Portland cement industry since the passage of the Dingley bill, together with the value of the production in dollars. These figures are from the reports of the United States Geological Survey.
The appended table, showing the average prices of Portland cement as gathered by the United States Geological Survey from 1870 to 1911, is most instructive, and shows that since the year 1890 the price has been practically cut in half. Since the year 1897, the date of the passage of the Dingley bill, the price has fallen over 47 per cent, or from $1.61 to $0.844 per barrel.
It will be noted that during the last few years the importation of foreign cements has been materially decreased.
This is due to the fact that we have here in the United States a productive capacity of at least 20 per cent over and above the capacity for consumption. Under these conditions 32 mills have gone through receivers' hands in the last four years and have either reorganized in such a way as to cause their stockholders great loss or are idle.
They are as follows: 1, The Alabama Portland Cement Co.; 2, Alma Cement Co.; 3, The Alpena Portland Cement Co.; 4, American Cement Co. of New Jersey; 5, Buckeye Portland Cement Co.; 6, Buckhorn Portland Cement Co.; 7, Castalia Portland Cement Co.; 8, Egyptian Portland Cement Co.; 9, Elk Cement & Lime Co.; 10, Empire Portland Cement Co., 11, Hecla Portland Cement Co.; 12, Marengo Portland Cement Co.; 13, Wayland Portland Cement Co.; 14, Northampton Portland Cement Co.; 15, Omega Portland Cement Co.; 16, Western Portland Cement Co.; 17, York Portland Cement Co.; 18, Atlantic Portland Cement Co.; 19, Atlantic & Gulf Portland Cement Co.; 20, Blanc Stainless Cement Co.; 21, Bonner Brand Portland Cement Co.; 22, Great Western Portland Cement Co.; 23, Lily White Cement Co.; 24, Monarch Portland Cement Co.; 25, Norfolk Portland Cement Corporation; 26, Penn-Allen Cement Co.; 27, Piedmont Portland Cement & Lime Co.; 28, Santa Cruz Portland Cement Co.; 29, Standard Portland Cement Corporation; 30, United States Cement Co.; 31, Altoona Portland Cement Co.; 32, Iola Portland Cement Co.
LABOR CONDITIONS IN THE OEMENT INDUSTRY.
For the information of the committee the process of manufacturing Portland cement should be briefly explained. Limestones and clays, limestone, marls and clays, or other similar argillaceous or calcareous materials are mined or quarried and transported to heavy crushing and grinding machinery, where, under the process most commonly in use (the dry process), they are ground to powder of a fineness so great as to practically pass a 100-mesh sieve. This fine powder is subsequently fed into rotary kilns from 60 to 150 feet in length, where it is calcined to incipient vitrifaction by means of pulverized coal, gas, or oil flames entering the kiln at the opposite end to that in which the powder is fed. The material which is thrown from the kiln is in the shape of small nodules of great hardness and is called Portland cement clinker. This clinker is again crushed and ground in various forms of iron ball or tube mills to a fineness of from 90 to 95 per cent on a 100-mesh sieve. It is then put into bags or barrels and is the Portland cement of commerce. To produce a single barrel of Portland cement very nearly 1,100 pounds of material have to be ground, of which between 600 and 700 pounds is the raw material from which the carbonicacid gas is expelled in the kiln, and 380 pounds is the Portland cement of commerce. In addition to this, nearly 200 pounds of coal are used, of which one-half has to be ground to an equal fineness for the calcination and production of every barrel of cement.
From the above statement it should need no argument to convince this committee that the manufacture of Portland cement is essentially a labor proposition. It is labor in the quarry, labor in the raw material, labor in the coal-grinding plant, labor in the finishing mill, and labor in the packing house,
and what is not actual labor in and around a cement mill is practically labor in coal, which represents so large a proportion of the weight of the finished product; in point of fact, nearly 50 per cent thereof.
For the most part the labor in and around cement mills is ordinary day labor and compares with the labor in and about the manufacture of pig iron. It averages, so far as ordinary day labor is concerned, from $1.40 to $2 per day, according to the section of the country where mill is located. The higher-priced men get from $3 to $5 per day, according to ability.
Comparisons of labor cost in this country and in Europe have been repeatedly made, and as a broad proposition it can be safely stated the labor in Europe is on an average from 30 to 40 per cent less than the labor cost per barrel of Portland cement in the United States. Coal, on the other hand, is cheaper here than abroad.
The labor employed in the Portland cement industry is scattered all over the country, there being nearly 100 works in operation, in almost every State of the Union, and any action your committee will take to destroy so important an industry as this by any radical reduction of duty will affect labor conditions seriously in many States of the Union, especially in the State of Pennsylvania, where a large proportion of the Portland cement of the country is made. This is also the case in the State of Kansas, which is another large producer, and in some of the Southern States, where the industry is just beginning to find a foothold.
THE GENERAL BENEFITS TO THE COUNTRY.
A reference to almost any scientific magazine,
an examination of almost any newspaper, will show the growth of the American Portland cement industry under the present law and the development of many new uses of cement. From the erection of the skyscraper of from 15 to 20 stories in height, constructed entirely of concrete, to the building of the small house of the workingman, concrete is finding a field of the greatest value and use to the American public. Apart from its permanent character, its fire-resisting qualities make it the ideal building material. In sanitary qualities and in its economical virtues in reducing fire risk concrete is becoming recognized as the building material of the future. Not only, however, is this material coming into use in the matter of dwellings and office buildings, but also for factory construction, the building of railway stations, the fabrication of silos, grain elevators, and other work, such as telegraph poles, railway ties, etc. In addition, it has found many uses of great value for both farmer and manufacturer. While the fence post, the hitching post, the motor foundation, the silo, the pigsty on the farm, owe their permanence and strength to concrete, so also the ornamental garden seat, the decorated pergola, the font in the public and private gardens and parks have the same origin. Necessity certainly was the mother of invention when, with the rapidly approaching failure of the lumber supply of the United States, as indicated by the forestry reports, the de