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Mr. HARRISON. I do not mean the small match in size; I mean the common match.
Mr. ADAMS. The household match?
Mr. Adams. It shows an ad valorem of 10.27 on account of the statement being made that the average value is 7.3 cents per thousand. That is misleading. You will notice that the duty collected in 1912 on the common household match amounted to $440.22; practically nil. The importations were so small-importations of a case at a time of five cases at a time, that were practically bought at the retail price, may account for that apparent discrepancy in the ad valorem.
Mr. HARRISON. Based upon what would be a true unit of value at the customhouse, what do you think the ad valorem equivalent would really be?
Mr. Adams. The manufactured cost would compare with that shown in the Dingley law of 1905, of 3.9 cents per thousand matches, with an ad valorem of 25.36.
Mr. HARRISON. Even at that it is a less ad valorem than that from the smaller size of matches.
Mr. ADAMS. Exactly; but the matches cost much more to manufacture, especially with the restrictive features thrown about them by the Esch-Hughes regulations.
Mr. HARRISON. Could we select any rate ad valorem which would bring us in any revenue upon the common kind of household matches?
Mr. Adams. I doubt it. The duty should not be any higher per 1,000 matches than on the other matches.
Mr. Palmer. Your suggestion is to make them practically the same ?
Mr. Adams. My suggestions are based on the barbarous way--and I mean to make no pun in saying that-in which the match business has been conducted in the United States for the last 50 years. I assume that the statement is true, although I do not know anything more than the fact that it was published in the St. Louis GlobeDemocrat as a dispatch coming from Chicago, that the National Fire Protection Association, in a convention in May last, are reported to have gone on record that the fire loss due to matches amounts to $36,000,000 a year. This statement has been widely published, especially by “trade” papers. If true, the total losses in life and property directly due to matches for the last 40 or 50 years has been appalling. It is simply a matter of mathematics to arrive at the totals. Assuming that the present population of the United States is 100,000,000, and that the average population for the last 40 years was 40,000,000, the average loss for the full period would be 40 per cent of $36,000,000, or $14,000,000 a year. This is what we have had to pay, or what it has cost the country at large. Fires are not as common or recurrent on the European continent as here and the tremendous losses from fire in this country caused by matches have been due to the character of the American-made match and the carelessness in the use of unsafe matches. The question is, Why should we continue by the means of a prohibitive tarif to bar out the importation of the better made European match, by giving further protection to the American industry, which has produced an inferior
product and grossly abused the “special privilege” by which it has been fostered during all these years?
Mr. HARRISON. You have not discussed the Swedish safety match at all, have you?
1 Mr. Adams. Yes, sir. This is a Swedish safety match (exhibiting box of matches).
Mr. HARRISON. You have not discussed the character of match at all.
Mr. Adams. I have in the brief which is prepared. I did not read my full brief.
Mr. Harrison. Do you think it is an unsafe match from the fireprevention point of view ?
Mr. ADAMS. No; under the conditions I have suggested, as set forth in this brief here:
Matches with impregnated wood splints, of the household type, known as “Strike anywhere safety matches," on account of their superiority in use, should be made practically exempt from duty. The importation of dangerous matches should be prohibited.
The suggestion is made that the tariff regulation pertaining to the importation of matches be made in accordance with the conditions of the following classification:
Class No. 1. The importation of matches of the type or kind commonly known as "fuzees” or “wind matches" or of matches of all descriptions made with wood splints or sticks that have not been impregnated with a chemical compound or process that will insure and result in instantaneous carbonization of the match when under combustion, and prevent an afterglow or live coal, when the flame of the match has been extinguished, is prohibited.
That would bar out the unsafe match of Sweden.
Mr. HARRISON. Would that bar out the unsafe safety match from Sweden ?
Mr. Adams. Yes; it would bar out all matches, even if made in China, Japan, Sweden, or anywhere else, that are not impregnated.
Class No. 2. Wax and fancy matches and tapers, 35 per cent ad valorem.
Class No. 3. Matches made with impregnated wood splints or sticks that require ignition on an especially prepared surface, commonly known as “Strike on the box safety matches,” per gross of 144 boxes, containing not more than 100 matches each, 6 cents per gross. When imported in boxes containing over 100 matches each, fourtenths of 1 cent per 1,000 matches.
Class No. 4. Matches made with impregnated wood splints or sticks that will ignite by friction on any abrasive surface, and commonly known as “Strike anywhere matches," one-tenth of 1 cent per 1,000 matches. Class No. 5. Matches not otherwise provided for, 100 per cent ad valorem.
Mr. Hill. I think when the hearings of the Esch bill were held that some official of the Diamond Match Co. was before the committee, and if I am not mistaken he told the committee that 144 boxes of matches were valued at 21 cents.
Mr. ADAMS. Yes, sir.
Mr. Adams. Twenty-one cents. That is shown right in the ad valorem costs.
Mr. Hill. The household matches you have there, for the same quantity, would cost about 6 cents wholesale price, according to your statement ?
Mr. Adams. Twenty-one cents for 14,400 matches.
Mr. Hill. Yes. I thought he said 1,400.
Mr. Adams. That it to be practically the same as now with the exception that you bar out matches that are not impregnated. Mr. HILL Thirty-five per cent?
present tariff. Mr. Hill. That would not be far from 35 per cent. Mr. Adams. No; it is shown right here, 27.59 per cent ad valorem.
Mr. PALMER. You want it the same even if it comes in boxes of 1,000 or more ?
Mr. ADAMS. Safety matches are never packed in large boxes because the safety matches are carried in the pocket, and people could not carry a box of matches around like that (indicating box); they could not carry a box like that with matches that strike on the box or a prepared surface.
Mr. PALMER. Under this class 3 you have "matches made with impregnated wood splints," commonly known as “Strike on the box safety matches, per gross of 144 boxes, containing not more than 100 matches each, 6 cents per gross."
Mr. Adams. The same as at present.
Mr. PALMER. Then when they are imported in boxes containing over 100 matches each--those are these large household matches, are they not?
Mr. Adams. They might go to 105 or 125, but that was to get away from the possibility of making boxes of this size (indicating box). That would carry 125 matches. But making it there at the same rate, it figures out practically the same.
Mr. PALMER. Where are these paper matches made [exhibiting matches] ?
Mr. ADAMS. They are made in America and outlawed in New York. Those are one of the most dangerous kinds of matches that you possibly could use.
Mr. PALMER. What makes them dangerous ?
Mr. Adams. They are said to be poisonous, and there is an afterglow. You do not follow the directions and keep the cover down when you strike the match, which you are supposed to do [demonstrating by striking match). It is very hard to extinguish and after it is thrown away may cause a fire.
Mr. PALMER. I always thought that was one of its exceptional qualities. I can get a light from these matches most any time.
Mr. Adams. It is outlawed under the match law of New York City, although that law is not being very rigidly enforced by the city authorities. They have too much to do.
Mr. PALMER. Those matches that you call “wind” matches are hard to extinguish, and are considered very dangerous.
Mr. Adams. Yes. I have incorporated in my brief some of the sections of the New York City match law, and which were incorporated in the tariff regulations:
SEC. 258. On and after the 1st day of January, 1913, it shall be unlawful for any person to manufacture, transport, store, or sell within the city
of New York any matches in the manufacture of which white phosphorus enters as an ingredient.
Sec. 265. It shall be unlawful for any person to transport, store, or sell within the city of New York any matches for which a certificate of approval shall not have been issued by the fire commissioner.
Sec. 272. No certificate of approval shall be issued for any match of the type or kind commonly known as “fuzees” or 'vind matches," or for a match the stick of which has not been treated to a process of impregnation for the purpose of preventing an afterglow.
SEO. 273. It shall be unlawful for any person to store, transport, or sell within the city of New York, any matches unless the box or container in which they are packed bears plainly marked on the outside thereof the name of the manufacturer, the number of the certificate of approval, and the words “Approved Match, No.
Here is a box of matches that contains the name of the manufacturer and the certificate. This is certificate No. 10, and is made by the Salvation Match Co. I do not happen to have any other matches that comply with the New York law. There are several manufacturers that are doing so, but very reluctantly. It is believed the opposition to the law was based upon the slight difference in the expense required to impregnate the matches. The CHAIRMAN. Are there any further questions? (After a passe.)
RE SCHEDULE N-MATCHES. To the Chairman and Members of the Committee on Ways and Means, House of Representatives, Washington, D. C.:
Attention is called to the hearings before the Ways and Means Committee on "white phosphorus matches” (H. R. 2896) that preceded the enactment of the Esch-Hughes regulations. In these hearings it was clearly brought out that the importation of matches into this country is principally confined to what are commercially known as "safety strike-on-the-box” matches, which are uniformly packed in boxes containing less than 100. This is proven by a record of the imports. The manufacturers contended they could not compete with European producers on this type of match, which represents only about 5 per cent of the total consumption of matches in this country.
Almost without exception, European manufacturers are equipped with machinery to make only the “safety match,” or small-sized package. However, the reason the imports have been confined to this type of match is due to the unjust discriminative duty that has been assessed for the past 40 years on the larger-sized package, in which the strike-on-the-box “carry-in-yởur-pocket” so-called safety” matches are not packed.
It was brought out in the hearings that European matches are, as a rule, of superior quality.
As the Esch-Hughes regulations referred to prohibit the importation into this country after January 1, 1913, of any match in which white phosphorus enters as an ingredient, the conditions surrounding the importation of matches practically permit of only bringing into this country matches of the best quality:
The duties collected on matches when packed in individual boxes containing over 100 matches are now almost nil. This is on account of the fact that the present duty is almost double that assessed on matches packed in small boxes. This is a glaring inconsistency and should be corrected.
If the duty is removed entirely on matches of the type known as the "impregnated strike-anywhere match,” it would not work any hardship to the manufacturers in this country, 'excepting that it would compel them to make matches of equal quality or suffer some loss of trade through the introduction of a foreign-made match.
The duty should remain the same on matches packed in boxes containing 100 matches or less of impregnated "safety" strike-on-the-box matches, and when not “impregnated" the importation should be prohibited. Matches with splints that are not impregnated with a chemical compound that will insure carbonization of the splint or stick of the match under combustion are dangerous to use on account of the firecreating afterglow or live coal that remains after the flame of the match has been extinguished.
Duties on imported matches should be based on a proper classification of type and kind, rather than on the present ambiguous and deceptive wording of section No. 436.
REASONS WHY HOUSEHOLD STRIKE-ANYWHERE SAFETY MATCHES SHOULD BE EXEMPT
FROM DUTY AND THE IMPORTATION OF DANGEROUS MATCHES PROHIBITED.
1. Household strike-anywhere safety matches are distinguished from the imported matches, packed in small boxes, in that they do not have to be ignited on an especially prepared surface. The strike-anywhere match is used universally in the household. They are a necessity as compared with the small type under the present tariff regulation; that is, boxes containing 100 matches or less, as now imported, which are principally used by smokers and are to be found in cafés, hotels, cigar stores, etc., of the larger cities of this country, and are therefore comparatively speaking, luxuries.
2. The household match is uniformly made of larger and stronger splints, and is a better, safer match, when properly made, than the so-called “safety matches'' now imported. The household match costs much more to manufacture, për 1,000 matches, than the imported “safety matches.” This is shown in the record of ad valoremi values per 1,000 matches imported since 1896, as compared with the importation record of safety matches."
3. The Esch-Hughes regulations prohibit the importation of white phosphorous matches after January 1, 1913. This insures the importation of matches safer for use in the household or elsewhere, both from the standpoint of poison and fire hazard. Imported matches under these conditions anticipate the requirements as to the sale of unsafe matches in this country, by two years, under the Esch-Hughes law.
4. It is almost the universal custom for European manufacturers, excepting some of those located in Belgium, to impregnate the wood splints of matches with a chemical compound that prevents the dangerous fire-creating afterglow, or live coal, after the fame of the match has been extinguished. Many disastrous fires and loss of human life are caused by this dangerous feature.
Attention is called to the following statement published in the New York World, November 10, 1912:
"GREAT FIRE LOSSES CAUSED BY USE OF UNSAFE MATCHES. "The fire that destroyed the Equitable Building in this city on January 9, 1912, was caused, it is alleged, by a match. This conclusion was reached after a month's study of the disaster by F.J. T. Stewart, superintendent of the bureau of survey of the board of fire underwriters. In his report to the fire underwriters he said:
" "The timekeeper of the Café Savarin arrived at the building about 5 a. m. the day of the fire and went immediately to his office, a small frame inclosure in the receiving room, located in the basement of No. 12 Pine Street.
“He lighted the gas in his office and threw away the match. At about 5.18 a. m. another employee discovered the fire in the timekeeper's office. The waste-paper basket, chair, and desk were burning briskly.'
“That was the start of a fire that caused over $5,000,000 in property loss, including the building itself, and that brought the financial operations of New York City and practically the whole country to a standstill for several days, closing the Stock Exchange and imperiling $10,000,000,000 in securities and other valuables in safes and deposit vaults.
*The Asch Building fire in this city, where 147 Triangle shirtwaist operatives were killed, was caused by a lighted match dropped into waste materials.
“The match men are now said to be secretly plotting to get the board of aldermen to shove aside the proposed ordinance to abolish white sulphur tipped and nonimpregnated matches, which ignite too easily, are poisonous, and which glow after they are blown out.'
Attention is also called to the following editorial, published December 18,1912, in Fire and Water Engineering, the leading trade journal in its line, representing the waterworks associations, fire engineers' associations, League of American Municipalities, and International Association of Municipal Electricians:
“The National Fire Protection Association, while in convention in Chicago in May last, are reported to have gone on record in favor of legislation to curtail the enormous losses from fire caused by matches, which they stated amounted to $36,000,000 a year in the United States, and kill more people each year than all the dynamite manufactured in the country. It is reported that the losses stated cover only the equities in properties represented by fire insurance. This is also true of the statistics showing that $300,000,000 yearly is the premium loss by fire in this country. If the replacement value of property destroyed and of uninsured property not reckoned are taken into consideration, it is probable that the total annual loss will exceed $500,000,000. Moreover, if the published statement of the National Fire Protective Association as regards fire losses due to matches is correct, the percentage of such losses amounts to