Imágenes de páginas

Mr. BESSE. I think that you have got my thought, Mr. Chairman.

Mr. ROBERTSON. I always like to see a witness that is very firm in his convictions, never has wavered, for then I know exactly where he stands.

Mr. BESSE. I do not propose to say that I think every tariff rate is correct. I realize that tariff rates need to be corrected from time to time. I think that we can do it in the United States without having to do it through the medium of a trade agreement with other countries that bind us to that other country, and in certain respects to third countries besides the one with which we may be dealing at the moment.

Mr. ROBERTSON. Did not your association support the wool tariff in the Payne-Aldrich Act of 1909 ?

Mr. BESSE. That was before my day, but I would assume that they did.

Mr. ROBERTSON. Do you think that a protection on woolen goods on that tariff was too high?

Mr. BESSE. I do not think it has ever been too high.
Mr. ROBERTSON. That is what I thought.

Mr. BESSE. The highest rate we have today, that is, a percentage rate, is 45 percent.

Mr. ROBERTSON. Well, you will recall the campaign of 1912, because I am sure you are as old as I am; are you not?

Mr. BESSE. Yes, sir.
Mr. ROBERTSON. You recall that campaign?
Mr. BESSE. Yes, sir.

Mr. ROBERTSON. And you remember that in the campaign of 1912 President Taft carried the banner for schedule K of the PayneAldrich tariff, and that was certainly the major issue between him and Teddy Roosevelt, although Woodrow Wilson had a few things to say about tariff in general, and you remember the outcome of that.

Mr. BESSE. I tried to point out to you, Mr. Robertson, that it is not a question of whether the rates are high or not. If you want to protect an industry, you have to protect an industry. If you determine that a particular industry is not the kind of industry you want to maintain in this country, you withdraw the protection.

Mr. ROBERTSON. What did you say the rates under the Hawley-Smoot tariff on woolen goods'was?

Mr. BESSE. I said that the highest ad valorem rate that we have in the schedule at the present time under the agreement is 45 percent.

Mr. ROBERTSON. Oh, yes; but in 1938 wasn't it 8 percent?

Mr. Besse. You are speaking of an ad valorem equivalent combining the two rates.

Mr. ROBERTSON. A compounded equivalent. Mr. BESSE. Exactly, but you cannot consider the compound rate when you are considering the textile industry. The rate contains an element of protection to the grower. That is not protection to the wool-textile industry. That is the protection to the grower. He has 34 cents a pound on his wool. · We start with that higher price of raw material. The specific rate is to take care of that difference. In my opinion it is immaterial whether the rate is 5 percent or 100 percent. The point is that it should be adequate for the purpose that you have in mind.

Mr. ROBERTSON. Well, I just wanted to refresh your memory on the point, that the rate in the Payne-Aldrich tariff of 1909 was higher than in the Hawley-Smoot tariff, and your position was that it has never been too high, but after that campaign in 1912, when schedule K was sticking up like a sore thumb, the Republicans when they had full power to do what they pleased with the tariff bill in 1930, did not put it up quite that high again. That is a fact, is it not?

Mr. BESSE. I think the 1930 rates have been adequate.
Mr. ROBERTSON. That they have been adequate !
Mr. BESSE. I think they have been adequate.
Mr. ROBERTSON. You would like to have those let alone!

Mr. BESSE. That is not the purport of what I am trying to say, Mr. Robertson. I am trying to say that I believe in an adequate rate. I am saying further I do not believe any of us can tell today what an adequate rate is going to be after the war. I am saying further that I do not think our hands should be tied by trade treaties that may have to be canceled. If we find that we have to have new rates, or a new type of tariff, I do not think that our hands should be tied.

Mr. ROBERTSON. I think that you went further than that, Mr. Besse, and said, or intimated when you referred to the trade agreements with Iran, that there was nothing involved in these trade agreements over and beyond the question of immediate trade; that good will, friendship, cooperation in the war effort, cooperation after the war, were of no moment at all and should not be considered and that the people were really being misled, or something to that effect, by a discussion of that phase of the problem.

Now, I want to ask you this: Why do you think that Great Britain bought the entire Turkish tobacco crop when you know that they would rather have Virginia tobacco than Turkish tobacco in their cigarettes, and why did we buy the entire output of chrome from Turkey?

Mr. BESSE. You are asking me that question?
Mr. ROBERTSON. That is right.
Mr. BESSE. I think it was both for military and political reasons.

Mr. ROBERTSON. Exactly. We wanted to keep the friendship of Turkey, and we wanted to keep Germany out of Turkey, because we knew if Germany got into Turkey she would come on down into Iran and Iraq, she would cut us off from India, she would bottle us up in the Mediterranean, she would make the Suez Canal useless; is that not true?

Mr. BESSE. I hope that nothing I have said has given you the impression that I am against international cooperation or with working with other countries. I am merely trying to point out that I do not think our tariff structure is the means to use for that end.

Mr. ROBERTSON. I thought you said that when they negotiated an agreement with Iran we either fooled Iran or fooled ourselves, or both got fooled, and I thought you made that statement for a purpose.

Mr. BESSE. That is my impression. I cannot see what earthly use that agreement is during the duration of this war.

Mr. ROBERTSON. Do you see any good that has come out of the trade agreements we have negotiated with the Latin-American countries in the matter of war cooperation?

Mr. BESSE. Personally, I have not, and I have seen no testimony from the Latin-American countries to that effect. I have seen Mr.

Rockfeller's testimony, but I have seen no testimony from those countries to that effect.

Mr. ROBERTSON. Which countries were the first to cooperate with us down there, and which held out to the last, and are still practically holding out?

Mr. BESSE. Are you speaking of Chile and Argentina ?

Mr. ROBERTSON. That is right. All the others came in that we had these agreements with and established trade relations. They came in promptly in the conference down there in Habana. Also the conference at Santiago and Lima I believe, and in other conferences elsewhere later. Everybody comes in with us except the two that we could not trade with. Argentina, we could not take her beef, and the other, we could not take her copper.

Mr. Besse. That proves nothing. The reasons that we cannot trade with them are the same reasons that prevented us from cooperating with them in a political sense. One is no more cause or effect than the other, and vice versa.

Mr. ROBERTSON. In the penetration of those Latin-American countries by Germany, they sought to cement relations between Latin America and Germany through trade and they had apparently the best luck in Argentina because they had been the best European customers of Argentina's exports, and we had a hard time meeting that situation in Argentina. I hope that we have met it, but we did have a hard time doing it. Is that not true?

Mr. BESSE. Surely. Your questioning apparently suggests that you believe a promise to reduce our tariff rates is the only weapon we have to cement our good relations with South American countries and I do not believe it.

Mr. ROBERTSON. Oh, no; I do not say that, and I do not mean to imply that. I hope that you will not entertain that idea. I think that there are a lot of things that we have got to do to improve our relations. One of the things is when we send some tourists down there, they must not get tight and brag how big they are and how insig. nificant the other fellow is. Latin Americans do not appreciate that, for instance, and that never helps us any. There are a lot of things we have done that have not helped us, helped the friendly feeling, but we are trying to overcome that now.

There is just one other question. Does my memory serve me correctly when I say that with the exception to your reference to the splendid contribution to the war effort, both for our armed forces and for those of our allies made by the unparalleled production of woolencloth and blankets, and so forth, your argument to us this time is substantially the same as the one made 3 years ago ?

Mr. BESSE. I am afraid that I am consistent.

Mr. ROBERTSON. Then, I will not take the time to go through those details because if anybody is interested, they can commence at page 2386 of the printed hearings and go for the next nine hearings where we discuss conflicting viewpoints. I thank you very much.

Mr. REED. I wanted to make the observation that the agreement we have with Argentina has not brought them in on our side of the fight, and just to make the record clear, it was this that Majority

[ocr errors]

Leader Rainey had to say when the Democrats were in control of Congress in 1931. He said:

Lower the tariff drastically? You Republicans won't do it, and we Democrats dare not do it with conditions as they are. We do not want this market flooded with the cheap labor in the other countries.

That is what he said. Mr. ROBERTSON. Well, the point I made was that the policy of this administration was outlined in its platform adopted in Chicago in December of 1932, and that was the policy of the reciprocal trade agreements, and not, as I understood you to say, that they were committed to repeal the Hawley-Smoot tariff. There was nothing said in the platform about repealing the Hawley-Smoot tariff, but quite a bit was said about the subject of reciprocal trade agreements.

Mr. REED. You campaigned on the theory that if you were entrusted with power you were going to lower the tariff duties.

Mr. ROBERTSON. Are you charging that we did not carry that out!

Mr. REED. I will say that you carried it out with a destructive vengeance.

Mr. Besse. I hope that I will not be back in 1946, but I will promise you I will be consistent if I am here.

Mr. ROBERTSON. We are always glad to see you, because the question of renewing this act will probably be up then.

Now, the next witness is Miss Emily Hickman, and she indicated that she would like to have 3 minutes.


Miss HICKMAN. The Young Women's Christian Associations of the United States comprise some three million women and girls. The conditions of life for these women are a matter of great concern to the Young Women's Christian Association movement. These women are consumers and need to buy their goods in a reasonable market. It is our belief that their advantage is best served by provisions which afford them an opportunity to buy at prices not augmented by high tariff duties, goods which can be produced more cheaply abroad than at home. We believe the trade agreements program accomplishes this in some measure.

Many of the Young Women's Christian Association's women are workers. Today America has developed into a stage of large-scale production which demands increased markets. Unless these markets are forthcoming, production in American factories has to be shut down. This affects our workers disastrously. The reciprocal trade agreements enlarge our foreign markets. İt may be true that the admission of foreign goods on a large scale will compel curtailment in America of production of some articles which may prove to be inefficiently produced from the point of view of world production. The shift of capital and workers from such industries to those better adjusted to compete in the world market will bring temporary hardship. To our minds, however, this will be much less harmful to our women than the alternative of curtailing employment in our large mass industries. Moreover the trade agreements guard against any large degree of harm to any American industries.

The standard of living affects all of our women. This can best be maintained by an on-going production basis in food and goods, geared

[ocr errors]

to a world market. Only in this way is there any probability that we can continue to maintain a rising standard of living.

We believe earnestly that the satisfactory adjustment of world trade is a factor in diminishing world friction and consequently world war. To women who bear a so peculiarly poignant and tragic share in war suffering, the elimination of war becomes a goal to be passionately striven for and approached by every hopeful avenue.

Training for citizenship holds a leading place in the Young Women's Christian Association programs. We interpret that training to mean the inculcating in all of our members of a deep concern for the well being of America and for her influence on the world at large. As the world becomes more closely knit in its relationship and as the United States comes to play a more and more determining role, as citizens, we are alive to whatever can add to the good influence of this country in the building of the post-war world. The planning of our trade relationships with other countries, in partnership with those countries, seems to us a most promising approach to the helpful exercise of American influence in establishing for all people a better economic future, the practice of cooperation between all, the abolishing of distrust and suspicion among nations and the beginning of a happier age.

The Congress in its wisdom has devised the policy of the trade agreements and on three previous occasions has authorized its embodiment in negotiations. Thereby the Congress has not only laid down a wise policy but it has relieved itself of the necessity for dealing with details of trade agreements which would have been exhaustive of its time and attention. In this it is in accord with the practice of all parliamentary bodies throughout the world.

The National Young Women's Christian Association urges the continuance of this program in the way which has contributed to its marked success. We favor, therefore, the renewal by the Congress of the authority for the conclusion of reciprocal trade agreements.

The CHAIRMAN. The next witness is Mr. Stanley Brown.



Mr. Brown. In coming before you, I do so to express certain personal views and observations bearing upon the question of the extension of the Reciprocal Tariff Act. Although I have for a period of years, and still do represent various European industrial units in the textile and apparel industry who are desirous of extending their trade relations in the United States, none of these have asked me to appear here nor do my expressions necessarily represent their points of view, but my remarks are drawn from the effects of the Tariff Act on their particular types of products and opportunities for trading in this market. I do not claim to be an expert on tariff laws, but I do see the effects of their operations.

The Reciprocal Tariff Act has been a helpful approach to overcoming obstacles to their United States trade insofar as it has reduced barriers which had been prohibitive. To that extent, no one who

« AnteriorContinuar »