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THE KENTON HARDWARE CO.,
Kenton, Ohio, January 25, 1913. The WAYS AND MEANS COMMITTEE,
House of Representatives, Washington, D. C. GENTLEMEN: It has been brought to our attention that there is a movement on foot by certair importers of toys, who are not manufacturers and not financially interested in the manufacture of toys in this country, who expect to present a petition to your committee for a reduction on present rate of tariff on toys.
We most emphatically protest against any reduction in present tariff rate on toys. Foreign manufacturers, principally in Germany, copy American made toys, and send them over here, and place them on the market at prices that the American manufacturer can not meet. “Besides, toys imported into this country, principally by Germany, are such large values and offered at prices that the American manufacturer can not meet.
They are able to place their production in this market at a price, including present tariff, which, if met by American manufacturers, would mean their financial ruin. The imports are increasing annually, whereas the production on toys of domestic manufacture has not been increased, due to the total volume of business that we are able to do on domestic toys, being reduced on account of inroads being made into the total volume of business by toys that are imported, notwithstanding the present tariff rate.
If there should be any change in the tariff rate, we believe that in justice to the American manufacturer, the tariff should be raised'instead of reduced.
Trusting that your committee will give this matter the serious consideration it deserves, and see that home production is protected by maintaining the present tariff rate, for which we thank you in advance, we beg to remain, Yours, very truly,
THE KENTON HARDWARE Co.,
THE WILKINS Toy Co.,
Keene, N. H., January 27, 1913. The CHAIRMAN AND MEMBERS WAYS AND MEANS COMMITTEE,
House of Representatives, Washington, D. C. GENTLEMEN: Regarding the import duty on toys and its effect upon lines which we manufacture: we beg to state our position briefly as follows:
We have made for 20 years cast gray and malleable iron toys, and our business on same increased from year to year until 1907 and from which date there has been a substantial decrease, and we understand there has been a corresponding decrease in the total amount of these goods made in the United States. Three important concerns have retired from the manufacture of iron toys in recent years, two of which lines are entirely off the market and one partly reestablished by new interests.
We do not know that there is any direct foreign competition in iron toys, but we have been informed by our salesmen that imported sheet-metal toys have replaced these goods among the trade and under a continuation of the present tariff schedule the prospective conditions for the manufacturer of iron toys are not pleasant to contemplate.
About 14 years ago we introduced a line of spring motor automobile toys to retail for $1 and $1.50, and later brought out two numbers to retail for 50 cents. We have endeavored to develop lower-priced goods, but as yet have been unable to create anything which compares favorably with imported values. We are absolutely unable to meet foreign competition on low-priced mechanical toys, but thus far we have enjoyed a limited volume of business on better goods, although at a small margin of profit. We are the only manufacturers in this country making a line of automobile floor toys, so far as we know. Others have entered the field and withdrawn after a year or two and which is an indication that we have given a great deal of thought to efficient methods in order to maintain our position.
In your consideration of the difference in domestic and foreign labor costs, we trust you will go beyond that which enters directly into production. We respectfully invite your attention to the skilled labor required for making dies and tools necessary for the production of sheet metal toys. The higher price paid here for skilled tool. makers is in itself a severe handicap for American manufacturers. It means in this country a large investment for tools and a rapid depreciation to meet each season. And in addition to this is the higher cost of executive and clerical service and other items which enter into overhead expense.
We believe the present tariff does not properly protect the manufacturer of metal toys and we believe the increasing preponderance of imported toys which is particularly evident during the holiday season should furnish sufficient argument against any reduction in the tariff rate on these goods. Řespectfully submitted.
THE WILKINS Toy Co., By H. T. KINGSBURY.
LEO SCHLESINGER & Co.,
New York, January 28, 1913. Mr. De Witt C. BAKER,
643 Broadway, City. DEAR Sır: Answering yours of the 23d, we inclose our check for $10 toward defray. ing expense of counsel, and have sent you herewith three of our catalogues, and in the brief of the counsel would like you to make use of the following:
We would ask you to refer to pages 31 to 38. This is a class of goods that is only made in Europe, and we are the only manufacturers in this country. We have invested in this department about $60,000, and the difficulty we have to compete is the great difference in prices paid in Europe for labor, as they pay the sanie in marks that we do in dollars, besides the difficulty we have in getting the proper artists to do this work.
The committee have surely had the lithographers before them regarding the great difference between Europe and this country in lithography, and with the duty now on this class of goods it is hard to compete with Europe, as they are imported to a very large extent.
We can not sell these goods at the same price as the imported goods, and can only sell them to such houses that do not go abroad and must buy in this country, as their purchases are not large enough to warrant the expense of purchasing abroad. On this class of goods there should be the same protection as the lithographers have. The only difference between their protection and ours is that we lithograph on tin while they lithograph on paper.
If there should be the slightest reduction on this class of goods we might as well close this branch, as we should never be able to sell this class of goods should the duty be lower. We should have an increase, but the tendency at the present to decrease, we prefer to have the duty remain as it is without any change. Yours, very truly,
LEO SCHLESINGER & Co.
THE SCHIEBLE Toy & Novelty Co.,
Dayton, Ohio, January 27, 1913. The Ways and Means COMMITTEE,
House of Representatives, Washington, D. C. GENTLEMEN: We are in formed your committee are about to act on the advisability of a reduction in the tariff on toys, and in view of the conditions which exist between foreign-made toys and American products, we bitterly oppose any such movement as to any reduction, as it will surely be a great hardship on American industries to compete with cheap foreign labor, which the toy manufacturers know exists abroad in the manufacture of toys and novelties.
We, as one of the great many toy manufacturers of this country, have been striving in the past years to overcome foreign-made cheap toye, whereby we could produce as good, if not a better class of toys, for our home markets, and at the same time be in a position to help our fellow workmen (the wage earner), who must be deeply considered in this matter, as in case a reduction is made in the tariff on foreign toys it is very clear to all toy manufacturers of the United States we would undoubtedly be compelled to reduce our present cost of manufacturing, which of course, would undoubtedly mean a cut in wages to the wage earner, and in view of the high cost of living, would be a great hardship on all employees in the toy industries of the United States. Under the circumstances, we trust your committee will not disturb the tariff on toys, and stand by the people and the good industries of the United States, who are endeavoring to make the United States the most prosperous and leading nation in the world. Yours, very truly,
THE SCHIEBLE Toy & NOVELTY Co.,
PETER F. Pia (Inc.),
New York, January 24, 1913. The WAYS AND MEANS COMMITTEE,
House of Representatives, Washington, D. C. GENTLEMEN: We herewith send catalogues, showing toys and novelties which we manufacture, and upon which we meet keen competition from the foreign manufactures, even at the present toy tariff, on account of their low cost of labor in manufac. turing.
These toys require much labor and are made of mostly composition metals of lead,
PETER F. Pia (Inc.).
MYSTO MANUFACTURING Co.,
New Haven, Conn., January 25, 1913. The WAYS AND MEANS COMMITTEE,
House of Representatives, Washington, D. C. GENTLEMEN: As one of the many rapidly growing toy manufacturing concerns in the United States, we believe that with ample protection we can continue the present increase in our business and offer employment to both skilled and unskilled labor to a very much larger number of men and women.
Your cooperation can undoubtedly place the manufacturers of toys on an equal basis with our foreign competitors. Very truly, yours,
THE Mysto MANUFACTURING Co., Per A. C. GILBERT.
THE EMBOSSING Co.,
Albany, N. Y., January 24, 1913. The WAYS AND MEANS COMMITTEE,
House of Representatives, Washington, D. C. GENTLEMEN: We understand that there is a movement on foot before your honorable committee for the purpose of obtaining a reduction in the tariff on toys and that your committee will give a hearing on the subject on the 29th instant.
The lines manufactured by this company consist of alphabetical blocks for children, checkers, and dominoes, all made of wood. Similar items are imported from foreign countries under the classification of toys, and from the conditions found in our trade it is our belief that the present tariff does not afford more than reasonable protection.
We are very much concerned over any prospect of a reduction in the present tariff on toys, because of the unusual conditions which obtain in trade on our lines. All our items, excepting one or two, which comprise an insignificant part of our business and are not to be considered, sell at very low prices which can not be changed without seriously limiting the volume of business which may be done, and in lines like ours volume is everything.
The principal material entering into our products is lumber, and, as you undoubtedly know, the price for this has advanced very rapidly during the past few years, as have the costs of the other materials we use. In addition to these, wages have rapidly risen and, in connection with the advanced costs of materials, have increased our manufacturing costs very much, and on account of our inability to change the established selling prices we have each successive year been obliged to work on a smaller margin.
The profit we earn is not excessive and only commensurable with the return which might reasonably be expected on our investment in the business. The present tariff, we believe, does not afford any more than reasonable protection to ourselves and other manufacturers of lines in the same classification as ourselves, and we solicit your earnest consideration of the facts herein in disposing of the question. Yours, very truly,
THE EMBOSSING Co.,
Daisy MANUFACTURING Co. (Inc.),
Plymouth, Mich., January 25, 1913. The WAYS AND MEANS COMMITTEE OF Congress,
Washington, D. C. GENTLEMEN: We desire to enter a protest against any reduction in the tariff on our line of manufacture. We started in business 24 years ago, manufact
ng toy air rifles. When the industry was started, we employed only a dozen men and very little capital. The business has grown steadily each year, until we now have upward of $150,000 capital engaged in the business and employ on an average of 160 people.
We believe that a change in the tariff that would permit goods similar to ours being shipped from European countries, where the scale of wages is much lower than ours, would seriously handicap us and perhaps be the means of destroying the industry that has taken 'many years to build up.
We trust your committee will have the time to get full information on the subject before any recommendation is made, and if you will do this we feel satisfied that you will look at the matter in exactly the same way that we do. Yours, truly,
Daisy MANUFACTURING Co.,
DAYTON FRICTION Toy WORKS,
Dayton, Ohio, January 25, 1918. The WAYS AND MEANS COMMITTEE,
House of Representatives, Washington, D.C. GENTLEMEN: We understand that there is a movement on foot before your committee to obtain a reduction in the tariff on toys, which we understand to be 35 per cent.
We manufacture mechanical toys and employ over 100 people. Our Mr. Clark has personally visited the German manufacturers in Nuremberg, and saw all girls working on punch presses at less than half the wages that are paid in our factory.
Toys are now imported into the United States and some sold for 10 cents, giving a profit to the retailer as well as the jobber and commission man, that it would be impossible for us to manufacture at a profit at the price charged by the retailer. We have examined some of these dies, and some of the 10-cent toys imported into this country have 19 different operations on them. The same condition exists relative to toys imported into this country and sold at higher prices.
Without protection against foreign toys we would not be able to continue in business, as it is impossible to employ labor in the United States at a price which would compete with that paid to employ labor in the old country.
We therefore can not urge too strongly that the present tariff rate on imported toys be not reduced, as we feel that it would be a factor in eliminating the manufacture of toys in the United States. Respectfully, yours,
DAYTON FRICTION Toy WORKS,
THE J. & E. STEVENS Co.,
Cromwell, Conn., January 24, 1913. The Ways AND MEANS COMMITTEE,
House of Representatives, Washington, D. C. GENTLEMEN: The undersigned, the J. & E. Stevens Co., of Cromwell, Conn., are manufacturers of iron toys, consisting of banks, safes, toy cap pistols, etc., as catalogue describes.
Established in 1843, one of the oldest, if not the oldest, iron toy manufacturers in the world, our business has been successful through tariff protection and that only. Reduce the tariff and we are up against it, for we can not compete with foreign labor, materials, or supplies.
I will cite one case that came to the hand of the writer about two months ago. One of our customers sent a sample of the “Lion” cap pistol, made in England, stating that they were selling them at $1.25 per gross, while the one we manufacture, the same name and weight, costs more than twice that amount to manufacture, or $2.60 net. Why? The laws of Connecticut will not allow us to employ help under 16 years of age. They receive from $7 to $10 and even $12 per week in wages, while in other countries $3 per week is considered very high, as the writer has been told by foreigners that he has employed.
It is the same with materials and supplies, for they, too, are manufactured by cheap labor, even to the marketing of their product.
By reducing the tariff I can only see, by 35 years in the toy business, to compete with foreign countries, lower wages to employees or closed factory doors. Yours, very truly,
THE J. & E. STEVENS Co. P. S.-Our yearly business amounts to from $85,000 to $100,000, and employ from 80 to 115 laborers.
THE J. & E. STEVENS Co.
C. B. FRISBIE.
SAGINAW WOOD PRODUCTS Co.
Saginaw, Mich., January 25, 1913. The WAYS AND MEANS COMMITTEE,
House of Representatives, Washington, D. C. GENTLEMEN: We are very much interested in the question of tariff on toys, which we believe is to be brought up before your committee on the 29th of this month.
We are sending you, under separate cover, three copies of our recent catalogues, which will show you the line we manufacture.
We feel strongly that as far as our own business is concerned it would be detrimental to have the tariff on toys reduced.
We sincerely hope that the present tariff will be maintained. We feel that if this tariff is reduced it will affect our business to such an extent that we can not continue. Very respectfully, yours,
Saginaw Wood PRODUCTS Co.
Per Wm. S. NEWBOY, Secretary. Witness also filed with the committee two publications of playthings in the year 1912 and two portfolios containing catalogues of toy manufacturers.
BRIEF OF THE STROBEL & WILKEN CO., NEW YORK.
New York, January 18, 1913. For the purpose of removing all doubt as to the proper classification, we recommend paragraph 431 to read as follows:
"Dolls, and parts of dolls, doll heads, toy marbles, artificial Christmas trees, Christmas-tree candle holders, and other articles made expressly to ornament Christmas trees, of whatever materials composed, filler toys, and all other toys and parts of toys not composed of china, porcelain, parian, bisque, earthen or stone ware, 25 per cent ad valorem.
We are asking for a reduction on the toy schedule from 35 to 25 per cent ad valorem, believing that it will give the American manufacturers sufficient protection and probably increase the revenue. Allowing for transportation, approximately 20 per cent of the cost of the merchandise, the domestic manufacturer would have a protection of 40 to 50 per cent, which ought to be more than ample, as is evidenced by the very successful competition of the American manufacturers. It is necessary, therefore, that the cost of transportation be considered a protection to the home manufacturer as well as the duty itself.
Owing to the voluminous nature of toys, the ocean freights (which are generally figured on measurements) are abnormally high so that the landing cost from factory to American seaport would easily figure at 20 per cent of the value of the merchandise and in many cases, where the goods are bulky, as high as 30 and 35 per cent and still higher.
To illustrate, we select at random one case of dressed dolls. This case measures 1% cubic meters. Notwithstanding its large size the merchandise contained in it and which fully filled the case amounts to $31.20. Freight from factory to foreign seaport, $1; ocean freight, at $2.85 per cubic meter, $4.85; cartage, 30 cents; total for transportation, $6.15. The freight charges amount to just 20 per cent, and when you add to this the cost of the case at $2.60, on which 35 per cent duty must also be paid, you have a total of $3.52 or about 12 per cent on the merchandise, which together with the freight makes a total of 32 per cent. Contrast this with other lines of less