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PARAGRAPHS 111-112_MARBLE. facturers, and the necessity they are under of working up the material is practically a permanent guaranty that competition will always be keen.
As marble producers with a considerable amount of capital invested in American industries and employing American labor, we feel that we are entitled to some protection against the imported material; we are taking the liberty of submitting herewith a memorial which was submitted to this committee some years ago. We content our. selves, in this instance, with simply submitting this former memorial, with the statement that all of its arguments are just as applicable to-day as they were when the memorial was originally submitted.
Alabama Marble Co., Alabama; George B. Sickles Marble Co., Georgia;
Royal Marble Co., Tennessee; T. S. Godfrey Marble Co., Tennessee; Gray Eagle Marble Co., Tennessee; Tennessee Producers Marble Co., Tennessee; John M. Ross, Tennessee; Knoxville Marble Co., Tennessee; Empire Marble Co., Tennessee; Meadow Marble Co., Tennessee; Ross & Republic Marble Co., Tennessee; Vermont Marble Co., Vermont and Alaska; Georgia Marble Co., Georgia; Blue Ridge Marble Co., Georgia; Asbury Marble Co., Tennessee; Evans Marble Co., Tennessee; John J. Craig Co., Tennessee; Knox Marble & Railway Co., Tennessee; Victoria Marble Co., Tennessee; Fenton Construction Co., Tennessee; Appalachian Marble Co., Tennessee; Cumberland Marble Mill Co., Tennessee; Colorado-Yule Marble Co., Colorado; Barney Marble Co., Vermont; Grant Marble Co., Milwaukee, Wis.; Pickel Marble & Granite Co., St. Louis, Mo.; St. Louis Marble & Tile Co., St. Louis, Mo.; Drake Marble & Tile Co., St. Paul, Minn.; Joseph Musto-Sons
Keenan Co., San Francisco, Cal. Comparison of amounts of marble (in cubic feet) imported into the United States and
amounts reported as used for interior work by American producers.
To the honorable the Committee on Ways and Means, House of Representatives.
The presenters of this memorial represent more than 90 per cent of the business of the American marble producers, the foreign marble importers, the marble mills, and marble manufactories of the United States.
By the tariff act of March 3, 1883, the rates of duty on all classes of marble were materially reduced. The act of October 1, 1890, made no change. The act of August 27, 1894, somewhat reduced these rates; but the act of July 24, 1897, restored the rates of 1883, with only a slight change in the classification of the unimportant items of slabs and mosaics.
Eighty per cent of all the marble imported into the United States comes from Italy. Any comparison, therefore, of the relative methods and conditions of producing marble at home and abroad is necessarily with Italy.
The first process in the production of marble is the quarrying of blocks. The conditions of quarrying in this country and in Italy are very diverse. The deposits in the United States are often deep below the surface of the ground, and in all cases it is necessary to actually cut the blocks out of the quarry by machinery or tools to avoid shattering the marble. In Italy, the deposits are exposed on the surface of the moun.
tain, and the blocks are simply blasted off and afterwards pointed or scabbled into regular shapes.
The second process is the sawing of these blocks into slabs the full size of the block, or into smaller pieces, sawed to size, for parts of monuments, or other specific purposes. The full-size slabs are finally coped, or broken into slabs of smaller dimensions.
The third process is the finishing of sawed marble by rubbing, cutting, carving, turning, polishing, etc., for its final use.
For the six years ending June 30, 1908, 69 per cent in value of all marble imported into the United States was in blocks, 6 per cent in slabs, 22 per cent in manufactures of marble, and 3 per cent in mosaic cubes. Almost the entire importations of onyx are in blocks.
FOREIGN MARBLE IS A PROPER COMMODITY UPON WHICH TO RAISE REVENUE.
People of moderate means use little marble except for cemetery purposes. For that they use a large amount; but they now use, and they will continue to use, American marble almost exclusively, because it is better for outdoor use, and that mainly used in cemeteries is cheaper than any foreign marble would be, even if admitted free of duty. Foreign marbles imported into the United States are either colored marbles or expensive grades of light marble. They are a luxury and their use depends more upon conditions of general prosperity than upon variations of cost. For example, under the business depression beginning in 1893 the total importation of marble fell from $1,135,176.23 for the year ending June 30, 1893, to $711,289.80 for the year ending June 30, 1894; and under the business depression beginning in November, 1907, the total importation fell from $1,536,156 for the year ending June 30, 1907, to $1,159,543 for the year ending June 30, 1908.
THE DUTY ON FOREIGN MARBLE TENDS TO REDUCE THE PRICE OF THE MEDIUM AND
CHEAPER GRADES OF MARBLE.
The production of Italian marble is confined to a small territory about Carrara, and its export price to this country is controlled by a few Italian firms. In so far as the duty on marble is not, in effect, paid by them, it operates to tax the wealthier consumer who buys expensive ornamental marble, while the buyer of grades of marble in common use by the people at large gets them at a lower price by reason of the tariff. The finer grades of American marble are so mixed with the cheaper grades in the same quarries that they must be worked together. The more of the finer there is produced the more of the cheaper grades there must be, and the lower their price. The marble in ordinary use for cemetery purposes and much of that used for building purposes could not be produced by itself alone for the price at which it is sold. It is the production from the same quarries of the higher grades of ornamental marbles competing with foreign marbles that admits of the production of much of the cheaper marble.
Of the total output of sawed marble for the last five years of the largest American producer, whose quarries produce the highest-priced marble in this country, (1) 45 per cent was sold for less than $1 per cubic foot, (2) 15 per cent for $1 to $2 per cubic foot, (3) 34 per cent for $2 to $3 per cubic foot, (4) 6 per cent for $3 and over per cubic foot. None of the first and second divisions and only a part of the third and fourth are in competition with Italian marble. Considerable of the third division is sold below the price of Italian marble and considerable of the fourth above it.
A PROTECTIVE DUTY ON MARBLE IS NECESSARY.
Any advantage to American quarries from machinery is more than offset.—The Italian quarries have certain natural advantages over the quarries of the United States. In the first place almost their entire product is high-priced marble, and hence the cost of quarrying it is a much less percentage of its selling price than in the case of American marble. The character of the Italian deposits, as hereinbefore explained, more than offset any advantages accruing to American quarries from the use of machinery. Machinery is used in our quarries from necessity and it is not used in the Italian quarries, by the larger producers at least, because the present method is cheaper.
The American quarries derive no protection from freight.—To the principal distributing points in the United States the freight will average as much as from Italy. For example, the present rates per cubic foot are approximately: To New York from Italy by steamer 36 cents, from Vermont 25 cents, and from Tennessee 65 cents; to Baltimore from Italy by steamer 38 cents, from Vermont 37 cents, and from Tennessee
59 cents; to New Orleans from Italy by steamer 40 cents, from Vermont 74 cents, and from Tennessee 35 cents; to San Francisco from Italy by steamer 90 cents, from Vermont $1.33 by steamer or $1.80 all rail, and from Tennessee $1.80. The comparison from the Georgia and Alabama quarries would be quite as favorable to the Italian quarries, and from the Colorado and Alaska quarries still more so. Our quarries, therefore, even in our own market have no natural protection against those of Italy.
Blocks are not raw material, but represent almost entirely labor.--The raw material in the mountains in Italy is of relatively small value, but the cost of the blocks is chiefly the labor required to quarry them and move them to the seaboard. In this country also an undeveloped quarry is of little value. The prevailing royalty paid a landowner for the right to quarry marble on his land is only 5 cents per cubic foot of merchantable marble produced. Two-thirds of the expense of producing marble in this country is for labor direct, and about one-fourth for supplies and material, including machinery, iron, tools, coal, etc. It is estimated that 90 per cent of the expense of the production of marble is directly or indirectly for labor. "The competition between Italian and American marble, therefore, is peculiarly a competition between Italian and American labor.
THE PRESENT RATES OF DUTY ON MARBLE OUGHT NOT TO BE REDUCED.
The duty on marble yields a revenue on an article which is a luxury. It tends to decrease the cost of the cheaper grades of marble which are used by the people at large. It is the protection afforded the high-priced marble that has made possible the production and use in the United States of great quantities of medium and cheaper grades of marble for cemetery purposes, buildings, etc. Such use of marble is entirely peculiar to our own country. It affords protection direct to American labor, not by fessening the importation but by upholding the prices of high-priced, colored marbles and expensive grades of light marbles. It tends also to further develop the remarkable marble deposits of this country. Marble is abundant in all the States along the Appalachian range, from the Gulf of Mexico to the Canada line, viz: Alabama, Georgia, Tennessee, North Carolina, Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Vermont. It is also found in Missouri, Colorado, Idaho, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, Utah, California, Washington, and Alaska. The ornamental or colored marbles found in Tennessee, Georgia, Vermont, Missouri, Arizona, and many other sections of the country are of the highest artistic order. The development of new marble quarries in Alabama, Colorado, and Alaska is at present very active. But the obstacles to be overcome in developing these natural resources can not be appreciated except by experience.
The difference in the cost of labor employed in the production, sawing, and manufacture of American and foreign marbles is much greater than the present rates of duty on marble, and those rates are not sufficient to equalize, in our own markets, the position of the marble quarries, mills, and shops of the United States with like industries abroad.
We recognize, however, that the present rates have prevailed since 1883, except for the short period between 1894 and 1897, and that business and trade relations have long been adjusted to those rates. Therefore the undersigned, representing more than 90 per cent of the American marble producing and foreign marble importing interests of the United States, and of its marble mills and manufactories, ask that the present rates of duty on marble be left as they are.
We call your attention to two instances of wrong classification which work great injustice to marble and ought to be corrected.
Limestones susceptible of polish and usable for decorative purposes.—Under the present tariff (par. 117) limestone unmanufactured is dutiable at 12 cents per cubic foot-less than one-fifth the marble rate. Under this paragraph the right is claimed to import Istrian, Hauteville, Botticino, and other fancy stones, which are sold and used in direct competition with regular high-grade marbles. The commercial and ordinary or popular meaning of marble is either any limestone which is capable of taking a polish or else any limestone which is suitable for being used for decorative or ornamental purposes. (See Century Dictionary, New American Encyclopedia, New International Encyclopedia.) Accordingly the Board of General Appraisers have held that Istrian (Decision 3603) and Hauteville (Decision 6398) should under the present tariff be classed as marbles and pay the marble rate. The decision in the latter case was affirmed by the United States Circuit Court, but on appeal was reversed by the United States Court of Appeals, which followed the more technical and limited definition that only that limestone is marble which is of a crystalline structure. The
whole subject of the proper classification of these stones under the present tariff now remains much confused and is still in litigation. Without reference to what may be their proper classification under the wording of the present tariff, they should in the new act be classed according to the purposes for which they are capable of being used, and in fact are used (in conformity with the similitude clause of the present tariff act, sec. 7), and on an equality with the stone with which they directly compete. They are capable both of being polished and of being used for interior decorative purposes of a high order, and in fact are so used in many important buildings in direct competition with regular marbles, both American and foreign. We therefore respectfully request that limestones, when susceptible of taking a polish and suitable for interior decorative purposes, be specifically classed with marble and take the marble rate. Limestone of low grade used as a building stone and not for higher decorative purposes should continue to be classed with freestone, sandstone, and other building stone.
Breccia.-Under the present tariff (paragraph 508) breccia is admitted free. It is a conglomerate marble susceptible of taking a polish and used in direct competition with regular marble for interior decorative purposes in many public and other large buildings. In the statistics of the Department of Commerce and Labor, “Importations entered for consumption,” breccia is now included in the statistics of marble, being classed as free marble as distinguished from other marbles which are dutiable. We respectfully request that it be specifically included with marble and take the marble rate.
Another great advantage of the Italian quarries lies in the following facts:
The unsound and worthless material can be separated from the good and rejected immediately after the marble is blown down from the quarry faces. At this stage the rejected material can not have cost more than 5 cents per cubic foot.
In the American quarries the marble has to be taken out a block at a time. The blocks which prove worthless and have to be rejected on the bank of the quarry, represent an actual cost of not less than 40 cents per cubic foot. The rejection of worthless material does not end here, however. There are still many blocks which contain good and bad in the same block and they can only be separated after sawing. Everything rejected at this stage represents a cost on the average of not less than $1 per cubic foot. All of the material rejected in both Italy and America is a burden of added cost that has to be borne by the good material. It is evident that on this point the Italian quarries have a much less burdensome load to carry than the American quarries. Respectfully submitted.
Vermont Marble Co., Vermont; Rutland-Florence Marble Co., Vermont;
Brandon Italian Marble Co., Vermont; Barney Marble Co., Vermont;
rado-Yule Marble Co., Colorado.
Co.; J. W. Harrison, of Ellin, Kitson & Co.; E. J. McGratty, of
of the Marble Industry of New York,
Association of Marble Dealers. WASHINGTON, D. C., November 23, 1908,
STATEMENT OF MR. JACKSON, REPRESENTING C. D. JACKSON &
CO., OF NEW YORK.
PARAGRAPHS 111 AND 114.
The CHAIRMAN. Mr. Jackson, will you please state the paragraph to which you wish to refer ? Mr. JACKSON. Paragraphs 111 and 114, marble.
WASHINGTON, D. C., January 9, 1919. The COMMITTEE ON WAYS AND MEANS,
House of Representatives, Washington, D. C.: Since 1908 a number of changes have taken place in the cost of production of marble and stone in rough blocks (and consequently in rough sawed slabs) in all the quarrying districts abroad through higher wages, pension funds, road taxes, transportation, etc., which necessitated the increase in selling prices abroad and consequently in the United States.
The adherence to a disproportionately high duty of 65 cents per cubic foot (unchanged since the tariff act of 1897) on rough blocks of marble hindered the importation of foreign marbles necessary in the construction and ornamentation of buildings.
The cost prices of the different foreign marbles vary in accordance with the facilities with which the material can be quarried, the location of the quarries, the distance to be covered by railroad transportation between the quarries, and the port at which marble is embarked for the United States.
In the following tabulation we wish to show the present approximate average costs of marble in rough blocks, average sized, large and small blocks mixed, as produced by quarries, loaded on cars at railroad station nearest to the quarry.
Duty. Category 1. Present average cost of polishable hard limestone, 85 cents per cubic foot...
$0.65 Category 2. Present average cost of ordinary marble, $1.30 per cubic foot..
.65 Category 3. Present average cost of veined type, $2 per cubic foot...
.65 Category 4. Present average cost of veined statuary type, $2.40 per cubic foot.. Category 5. Low-priced colored marble, $1.50 per cubic foot...
.65 Category 6. Medium-priced colored marble, $3.50 per cubic foot..
.65 Category 7. High-priced colored marble, $7 per cubic foot...
Based upon the foregoing average cost prices (being the wholesale selling prices to dealers abroad)
Per cent. The duty on category 1 amounts to..
764 The duty on category 2 amounts to...
50 The duty on category 3 amounts to...
321 The duty on category 4 amounts to...
27 The duty on category 5 amounts to...
40 The duty on category 6 amounts to...
18 The duty on category 7 amounts to...
9 The importation into the United States of the different categories can be classified by percentage as
Per cent. On category 1, about...
30 On category 2, about.
45 On category 3, about.
5 On category 4, about.
1 On category 5, about.
15 On category 6, about.
3 On category 7, about.
1 From this it will be seen that the present duty of 65 cents per cubic foot means an average duty of about 53.97 per cent on a crude article such as marble in blocks, rough or squared only, at point of loading from quarries abroad.
A further detrimental feature enforced since January, 1913, will tend to reduce still more the importation of foreign marble,