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BEFORE THE COMMITTEE ON WAYS AND MEANS
FIRST PRINT, No. 8.
THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 19, 1908.
NICHOLAS LONGWORTH. SAMUEL W. MCCALL.
EDGAR D. CRUMPACKER. EBENEZER J. HILL.
CHAMP CLARK. HENRY S. BOUTELL.
WILLIAM BOURKE COCKRAN. JAMES C. NEEDHAM.
OSCAR W. UNDERWOOD. WILLIAM A. CALDERHEAD.
D. L. D. GRANGER. JOSEPH W. FORDNEY.
JAMES M. GRIGGS. JOSEPH H. GAINES.
EDWARD W. POU.
CHOICE B. RANDELL.
THE COMMITTEE ON WAYS AND MEANS,
Thursday, November 19, 1908. The committee this day met, Hon. Sereno E. Payne in the chair.
The CHAIRMAN. We will first hear Mr. Saitta, and conclude the hearing on lemons.
STATEMENT OF MR. PHILIP F. SAITTA, 258 BROADWAY, NEW
YORK, N. Y
Mr. SAITTA. Mr. Chairman and gentlemen of the committee, I represent the fruit importers and dealers in New York.
A great deal was said yesterday in reference to the cost of Italian lemons, and I would like as briefly as possible, in a few words, give you the facts as to what the cost of lemons is in New York City.
Lemons have never been landed in New York to my knowledge, with an experience of fully twenty-five years, at less than $2.40 to $2.45 per box. The freight, stated yesterday to be 25 cents, has never in my experience been less than 30 cents, is. 3d., English money, thereby making it 30 cents per box.
Mr. CLARK. What was that first statement?
Mr. Saitta. That lemons can not be landed in New York, including the duty, at less than $2.40.
Mr. CLARK. Including the duty ?
Mr. Saitta. Yes, sir; and that is, I may add here, not only for the best quality of lemons, but half of the firsts, as they are called in the trade, and half of the seconds. The freight, as stated, is 30 cents. The duty is 80 cents, and then there is also a duty upon the shook of 15 per cent if it is of American make and 30 per cent if it is of Italian make. They make it invariably 15 per cent, although the material from which they make the boxes comes from this country, especially from Maine—a kind of wood that is not used for any other than that specific purpose. They have to mix that wood with Italian wood, and therefore it pays an additional 15 per cent. The total duty is in the neighborhood of 82 to 85 cents a box. The actual cost of lemons in Italy during the cheapest time of the year, which is between the months of December and March or the early part of April, is 4s. 9d. per box, English money. Plus the freight and plus the duty, lemons can never be landed in New York City at a less price than $2.42 a box, and that is only periodically and at certain times of the year when lemons are the cheapest, as stated before, between December and March, but later on, in April, lemons advance, owing to the enormous demand of the European market, from 4s. 9d.