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PARAGRAPHS 92-94-POTTERY. Mr. Burgess made the statement that the cheaper grade of foreign goods can be sold at a less price than they can produce them here and that therefore the American manufacturers are confined to middle-grade goods, upon which the domestic competition is keen, and that therefore profits have not been in excess of 54 per cent. The indisputable fact is that up to 10 years ago the 10-cent stores, which sold the cheaper grades of goods, supplied themselves almost exclusively with imported pottery, while at the present time 75 per cent of their purchases are made in this country. We also refer to our brief, and particularly to Exhibits 1 to 6, in contradiction of Burgess's statement that very few American goods (dinner ware) are sold in department stores, but that almost all is imported. It is, of course, true that they do not have to be kept in stock, as foreign goods do, because American goods can be purchased as wanted, which is in favor of the American goods and a handicap against the imported goods. In other words, a purchaser of foreign goods has to take the risk of carrying stock and tie up his money, whereas he can buy American goods as wanted.
Freight rates obtained from English manufacturers: În former years from Liverpool, England, to Baltimore, and from Liverpool to St. Louis show from figures that ihe published English freight rates now on earthenware are measurement rates. It should be shown how these measurement rates figure out if converted to the 100 pound rate. Mr. J. Jones, as stated to the Ways and Means Committee, seems to be of the idea that it figures out 25 cents on 100 pounds, or three times as much as was. asserted by Mr. Burgess.
We also desire to direct particular attention of the committee to the false marking of earthenware by the very domestic manufacturers whose representatives appeared before you. We submitted samples of various earthenware which is stamped "Limoges” china, “Dresden” china for “China.". There is a very heavy penalty prescribed for the false marking of imported articles, the purpose being, of course, to protect the American consumer. There is, however, no corresponding penalty pro tecting the American consumer from the false marking and misrepresentations of the domestic manufacturer, as set forth in this instance. It is a matter of common knowledge that Limoges china and Dresden china are the very best grades of merchandise manufactured, and the purpose of the false marking by the domestic manufacturers is clearly to deceive the consumer.
We attach hereto also an advertisement clipped from the Cosmopolitan Magazine, marked “Exhibit A,"referring to “Homer Laughlin China" manufactured by Homer Laughlin China Co. These goods are earthenware and not china, nor does this concern manufacture china. Mr. W. E. Wells, whose testimony is herein referred to, is connected with this concern and appeared as their representative.
We also attach hereto an advertisement of “Limoges China Dinnerware,” factured by the Limoges China Co. of Sebring, Ohio. (Exhibit B.) We do not deny the right of a company using its incorporated name, but the purpose of stamping earthenware “Limoges china" seems clear and apparent.
It is respectfully suggested that in giving the necessary consideration and weight to the testimony of the domestic pottery concerns that this committee take due cognizance of the many glaring inaccuracies of statements made, of errors of omission as well as commission. Respectfully submitted.
HOMER LAUGHLIN CHINA FOR SERVICE.
For real household service, for real satisfaction, you can not buy better, more attractive, or more serviceable dinner ware than Homer Laughlin china, but you can pay much higher prices than are asked for it. Sold almost everywhere. The trade-mark name, Homer Laughlin," stamped on the underside of each dish is our guaranty
NOTE.-People tell us that “The China Book” is one of the most beautiful and interesting brochures recently produced. Send for your copy. It is free.
THE HOMER LAUGHLIN CHINA Co.,
Newell, W. va.
The Limoges china dinner ware equals the best of imported ware at one-eighth of the cost, made in any size set or assortment. We are the recognized leaders on coffee and tea assortments. Our Royal Flow blue and French Flow green treatments are deservedly popular. We are constantly creating special plans to stimulate your business. Write us for samples.
THE LIMOGES CHINA Co.,
STATEMENT OF WILL T. BLAKE, ON BEHALF OF THE NATIONAL
BROTHERHOOD OF OPERATIVE POTTERS. Mr. BLAKE. Mr. Chairman, this is just a statement which perhaps will explain itself.
In view of the fact that your committee is meeting at this time for the purpose of determining the wisdom of revising the tariff schedules on pottery, and mindful of the further fact that such revision if it be downward, judging from past experience, would undoubtedly prove a serious blow and set back to the American pottery industry, we herewith submit for your information and careful thought a few facts which we trust may be of some meager assistance to you in reaching a fair and equitable conclusion.
Should the present tariff schedules on pottery be cut so as to require a reduction in the present selling price of the American pottery manufacturers' goods, we have been given assurance by no less an authority than Mr. W. E. Wells himself, an official of and spokesman for the United States Potters' Association, that there must and inevitably will follow a reduction in the wages of the employees of such industry in proportion to and as a consequence of such tariff revision.
In confirmation of the foregoing statement, we herewith submit in part Mr. Wells's public declarations to the press:
If the rate of duty on pottery is reduced, it will mean that the selling price must be reduced. The owners will not, and can not, sell their output on a closer margin than they are doing to-day, and if they must reduce prices they must either close their plants or reduce wages. Just as surely as the workmen are getting every dollar of the protection to-day they will have to stand every dollar of any reduction made. This is no threat nor bluff, but is the deliberate statement of one who knows precisely what he is talking about. This result occurred in 1894, and there is more reason for it now than there was at that time.
At present one-half of the pottery used in this country is made abroad, which is fairly good evidence that the protective tariff has not made a monopoly in this particular line. We are fighting with the importer every day to hold our ground and still pay American wages. The owner can not take another dollar out of his pocket to hold his present proportion of the business, and it will bear repeating that if the new administration should invite pottery to this country at a lower price that difference will have to be met right out of the workingman's pocket.
Mr. Wells, I believe, is present in the audience this afternoon, and if that statement is not correct I should be very glad to have him indicate it.
It will be remembered, perhaps, by the older members of your committee that when the Wilson bill was enacted into law back in 1894, materially reducing the tariff and thereby inviting greater foreign competition, many of the potteries closed down entirely, and few, if any, of them were operated much better than half time. The employees were not only forced against their wishes to accept irreg
PARAGRAPHS 92-94 POTTERY.
ular employment, but were obliged as well to work at a 12 per cent reduction. These conditions, too, obtained throughout the life of the Wilson law.
Following the enactment of the Dingley law in 1897, which materially increased the tariff, the trade of the domestic pottery manufacturer in a comparatively short time assumed a more normal and prosperous condition, steadier work was furnished the employees, and the wage scale which prevailed prior to the 124 per cent reduction was restored. No attempt has since been made on the part of the United States Potters' Association to reduce wages. On the contrary, in many branches of the industry material wage increases have been conceded to the workmen, which, in effect, have enabled them to surround themselves with more of the necessaries and comforts of life.
In view of the expressed declaration of the United States Potters' Association as to what the workmen may expect should the present tariff schedules be lowered, and in view of what actually did happen between the years 1894 and 1897 when the schedules were lowered, we say to you frankly, gentlemen of the committee, and with the utmost sincerity, that is the present schedules are reduced and the growth of the pottery industry is impaired or retarded, or if the wages of our men are jeopardized or lowered, we should consider it an act of retrogression--a step backward.
As prosperous at the country now is, and as considerate as our employers have been on questions affecting wages, our men to-day, with all of these things in their favor, have an exceedingly difficult mathematical problem on their hands to meet the everyday obligations of life. They assuredly do not want to take a step backward, and believing as they do that if the present schedules are lowered it unquestionably means a step backward, we, as their representatives, do urge upon you, Mr. Chairman and gentlemen of the committee, that the present schedules on pottery be not disturbed.
This statement is signed by Frank H. Hutchins, Michael Kennedy, Edwin James Whitehead, Samuel T. Burgess, and Will T. Blake, representatives of the National Brotherhood of Operative Potters.
I desire to yield the remaining portion of my time, Mr. Chairman, to Mr. Frank H. Hutchins, the first vice president of our organization, of Trenton, N. J., who wishes to make a brief oral statement.
Mr. LONGWORTH. I desire to ask a few questions. You are a practical potter?
Mr. BLAKE. Yes, sir.
Mr. BLAKE. In our organization, I should say, Mr. Longworth, there are about 7,000. In the industry which we represent there are perhaps 13,000 or 14,000. But not all those are skilled laborers. We take in all of the skilled branches, with perhaps one exception.
Mr. LONGWORTH. Would your experience as a skilled potter fit you for any other employment in case the pottery industry in this country should be abandoned ?
Mr. Blake. I think not, unless it would be to publish a trade paper of some character.
Mr. LONGWORTH. But no trade occupation?
Mr. BLAKE. No trade occupation.
The CHAIRMAN. You have consumed the time allotted to you, and there are other witnesses to follow. We can hear him when we get through, unless it is a very brief statement.
Mr. BLAKE. Just a brief oral statement.
The CHAIRMAN. I would not want to cut him off; I just do not want to have him go in ahead of other witnesses, but if it is only for a minute or two, I will hear him. If he wants to make a long statement we will hear him when we get through with these other witnesses.
Mr. BLAKE. Yes, sir. The CHAIRMAN. I say, if it is only a minute or two we will hear him now.
Mr. BLAKE. Thank you.
WAGES IN THE POTTERY INDUSTRY.
CHICAGO, January 13, 1919. Chairman UNDERWOOD,
Ways and Means Committee, House of Representatives, Washington, D. C. DEAR SIR: The Chicago pa pers have contained accounts during the last few days of hearings before the Ways and Means Committee in which the men interested in maintaining the tariff on earthenware, pottery, tiles, etc., defended the present tariff on these wares. Apparently the arguments used were that a reduction of the tariff would lower the American workman to the level of his European competitor.
During the past year I have become closely acquainted with the pottery industry and the making of tiles in this country and in England, Germany, and Austria, in the course of a study I was asked to make for the Bureau of Labor. I do not wish to burden you with a long exposition of this subject, but only to call your attention to the fallacy of the arguments of men who claim that the protective tariff raises the wages of our potters and that the conditions under which they work are better than those in foreign countries.
The white-ware potters of Trenton and East Liverpool are, it is true, well paid. They have short hours and can to a great extent control the conditions under which they work, but it is not the tariff which has achieved these results for them; it is their strong organization, the National Brotherhood of Operative Potters. The women in this same field are unorganized, and they are poorly paid and are not protected at all against the dangers of lead poisoning, as they would be were they working in English or German potteries.
The "art and utility” pottery trade of the Zanesville district and the tile works of Ohio and other States enjoy, according to our consul in Staffordshire, as much protection from the tariff as does the white-ware branch, but here you will find wages wretchedly low, women working for 85 cents to $1.10 a day; men from $1.35 to $1.65; skilled dippers of many years' experience making less than $2 a day. This is because these branches are unorganized, and in the Zanesville district no other work but this can be obtained. It is not an alien industry; the workpeople are all Americans except in a few tile factories. Their rate of lead poisoning is more than twice as great as that of the white-ware potters, owing to the more dangerous glaze which is used and to the poverty of the workers.
As for conditions in these potteries and tile works, it seems absurd to talk of lowering American standards to the level of the European, for the latter is so much higher. The Englishman or German works under a system of factory control which eliminates as far as possible, in our present state of knowledge, the danger of lead poisoning. It is recognized that he is employed in a dangerous trade and that he has a right to protection. Our American potters and tile workers, men and women, work in an atmosphere of poisonous dust and the barest essentials of sanitary control are wanting. As
a result, with less than one-quarter of the workers we have almost twice as many cases of lead poisoning in a year.
The protective tariff does not secure fair wages for the workers in the pottery and tile industry: Where wages are fair, they are the result of trade-unionism.' The unorganized branches are dangerous and a detriment, not an advantage, to the communities which harbor them, because of the character of the work, the lack of sanitary control, and the low wages which bring in their train the undernourishment predisposing to lead poisoning.
These unorganized potters and tile workers have no spokesman, but there are physicians in the Zanesville district who could speak for them and there are intelligent men and women among them who, if they were not afraid, could testiiy to what I have suid. If you wish any further details, Bulletin No. 104 of the Bureau of Labor will furnish them. Yours, sincerely,
TELEGRAM OF BURLEY & TYRELL CO., CHICAGO, ILL.
Chicago, ILL., January 7, 1913. Hon. Oscar W. UNDERWOOD,
Chairman Ways and Means Committee, Washington, D. C.: As extensive handlers of both foreign and domestic earthenware and French and German china we strongly recommend a duty as follows: Earthenware, 25 per cent and china 35 per cent.
BURLEY & TYRELL Co. PARAGRAPH 95.
Articles and wares composed wholly or in chief value of earthy or mineral substances, not specially provided for in this section, whether susceptible of decoration or not, if not decorated in any manner, thirty-five per m ad valorem; if decorated, forty-five per centum ad valorem; carbon, not specially provided for in this section, twenty per centum ad valorem; electrodes, brushes, plates, and disks, all the foregoing composed wholly or in chief value of car
bon, thirty per centum ad valorem. For talc, see Italian Chamber of Commerce, page 111. PARAGRAPH 96.
Gas retorts, twenty per centum ad valorem; lava tips for burners, ten cents per gross and fifteen per centum ad valorem; carbons for electric lighting, wholly or partly finished, made entirely from petroleum coke, thirty-five cents per hundred feet; if composed chiefly of lampblack or retort carbon, sixty-five cents per hundred feet; filter tubes, thirty-five per centum ad valorem; porous carbon pots for electric batteries, without metallic connections, twenty per centum ad valorem.
STATEMENT OF J. W. VOORHIS, ESQ., REPRESENTING THE
AMERICAN EVER READY CO.
Mr. VOORHIS. J. W. Voorhis, representing the American Ever Ready Co.
Mr. HARRISON. What is the paragraph to which you will speak?
Mr. Voornis. Mr. Chairman and gentlemen, the item in question as defined in the tariff act of 1909 is Carbon not especially provided for in this section is dutiable at 20 per cent ad valorem." This is a sort of misnomer, for this article, which is the article in question which I wish to dwell upon, is carbon clinkers.