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Mr. EISENBACH. Yes, sir.
Mr. HAMMOND. Are those particular furs imported to any large extent? Mr. EISENBACH. I do not think so. Do
you mean the finished coat or the material ?
Mr. HAMMOND. I mean the material.
Mr. EISENBACH. Yes; they are imported to some extent. I believe they have perhaps decreased on account of the raise in duty to 35 per cent. They formerly all came in at 20 per cent. They were raised to 35 per cent and the importation has decreased.
Mr. HAMMOND. How many manufacturers in this country make these cheap fur coats, the heavy, rough fur coats, used by cattlemen and others ?
Mr. EISENBACH. I shoud say perhaps 50.
Mr. HAMMOND. But very much of it is imported ?
Mr. HARRISON. And those materials all bear duty now, the dogskins, etc.?
Mr. EISENBACH. They all have a duty of 35 per cent now.
Mr. HARRISON. Where we are talking about putting a duty upon raw furs, we are talking about putting a duty upon martins and sable and all kinds of black foxes and silver foxes, the most luxurious and high-priced articles that are in market now.
Mr. EISENBACH. You would have to classify them.
Mr. EISENBACH. There are lots of other skins coming in now that are used for cheap manufacturing.
Mr. HARRISON. You did not include them in your statement. Suppose you enumerate the others.
Mr. EISENBACH. I did not refer to them because they have always been free of duty
Mr. HARRISON (interposing). Yes. All of the very luxurious, valuable, and expensive furs are on the free list now and always have been.
Mr. EISENBACH. I do not understand.
Mr. HARRISON. The furs of which $17,000,000 worth came in free are the luxurious, expensive, and valuable furs. The dogskins, the goatskin, etc., which you say go to make the cheaper fur coats, are now on the dutiable list. Is not that true?
Mr. EISENBACH. Yes; but I think the statement is not quite correct. The $17,000,000 worth of importations do not come from these luxurious furs at all.
Mr. HARRISON. They are all included within it, are they not?
Mr. EISENBACH (interposing). Silver foxes are not imported at all; they are caught in this country.
Mr. HARRISON. And black foxes?
Mr. HARRISON. You mean that they come from Alaska !
Mr. EISENBACH. Sable comes partly from Europe and they are partly caught in this country.
Mr. HARRISON. There are no real sable here, are there?
Mr. EISENBACH. Real sable? You will have to classify that. We have an American marten that is called sable and we have a Russian sable that is called sable.
Mr. HARRISON. In spite of the confusing trade names in the fur trade, the fact remains that the luxurious and expensive furs which are imported are coming in free and the kind which are used to make a cheap coat, with the exception of raccoon fur, already bear a duty.
Mr. EISENBACH. I think the skins that are used as a luxury, which come in under that schedule are very, very small as compared with the ones used by the general public and by the poor people. You have referred to the most expensive skins which exist and in which importation is very limited as compared with the general importation of furs.
Mr. HARRISON. You would not think they were limited if you were to take a walk up and down Fifth Avenue in New York.
Mr. EISENBACH. I do not know
Mr. HARRISON. You would not think they were limited either in quantity or value.
Mr. EISENBACH. There are a great many caught right in this country and not imported at all. There are a number of domestic furs that are, fortunately, very valuable.
Mr. JAMES. Could you not give the committee a statement showing those furs that are used by the people out West and in the North, the cheap furs, as you call them, that are used by motormen on cars, etc.; and will you also give us a statement showing furs that are high priced and that are used by the people who are well-to-do?
Mr. EISENBACH. Very likely I could do that. I did not know you had any intention of raising any other points.
Mr. JAMES. You came here for another purpose. I understand that.
Mr. EISENBACH. Yes, sir.
Mr. James. But you are perfectly willing to give us whatever information you can? Mr. EISENBACH. I am very glad to; yes, sir. . Mr. JAMES. We would like to have that. Mr. EISENBACH. I will be very glad to do that. Mr. James. I wish you would; we would appreciate it. Mr. EISENBACH. I will do so.
Mr. Hill. If the words“but not repaired” were stricken out, would it not be entirely possible to take a fur skin of any kind and patch another piece onto it, and then bring it in under the 20 per cent rate instead of the higher rate?
Mr. EISENBACH. It would be of absolutely no value. If another skin were just sewed to it it would be of no value, because it is taken care of under the schedule referring to partly manufactured goods at 35 per cent.
Mr. Hill. Is it not a very difficult proposition to match fur?
Mr. HILL. And if the words “but not repaired” are stricken out, would it not be entirely possible to have the matching process carried through and the pieces sewed together? And, of course, if you could put on one piece you could put on two pieces.
Mr. EISENBACH. That could be done.
Mr. Hill. Consequently, without it being manufactured at all, you could get in almost anything you please, with a large amount of work done on it, and yet not have it come under the manufactured class.
Mr. EISENBACH. Such a thing has not occurred heretofore. If you strike out the words “but not repaired," and want to be careful that such a thing could not be done, you could put in another phrase saying that more than one skin sewed together should come in as manufactures, and we would have no objection at all to that.
Mr. Hill. The reason I asked you the question as to the effect of striking out the words “but not repaired” is this: I remember distinctly four years ago a gentleman from Minneapolis came here with a large amount of furs just in that condition. I was of a mind to take his side of the case until I saw the articles and turned them over, and found that it was a complete system of patchwork, which was repairing from the original piece, and when he spread them out on the floor down in my office I changed my mind and voted for this.
Mr. EISENBACH. When we went over to Baltimore we presented such skins as we wanted to come in at 20 per cent. It was decided in our favor. I would be very glad to present to this committee such skins as we want to have come in.
Mr. Hill. Do you have any come in that way from China ?
Mr. EISENBACH. They are coming in as partly manufactured and are paying 35 per cent.
Mr. Kitchen. Before these words "but not repaired” were put into the statute did these skins sewed together as explained by Mr. Hill come in under the 20 per cent clause?
Mr. EISENBACH. They did formerly, and they were raised to 35
Mr. KITCHIN. Yes; because of these words being put in.
Mr. EISENBACH. No; because of the following paragraph, in which you specially specify-and when they are further advanced, such as plates, linings, etc., they shall pay 35 per cent.
Mr. FORDNEY. I will state to the witness and to the gentleman from North Carolina that my recollection is that they all came in under that lower rate.
Mr. EISENBACH. Formerly; yes.
Mr. EISENBACH. Formerly they did come in under the 20 per cent rate. Then you raised them to 35 per cent on account of these words "but not repaired
Mr. KITCHIN (interposing). They came in under the 20 per cent rate before they put those words in ?
Mr. EISENBACH. Yes. We had a duty of 35 per cent on skins. Such skins as were temporarily sewn together-for instance, a skin
PARAGRAPH 439–FURS. would have a hole in it, and naturally it would be put together so that it would not fall apart on the way over here.
Mr. KITCHIN. You are not objecting to paying a 35 per cent upon those kinds of furs sewn together, are you?
Mr. EISENBACH. Unless more than one skin is sewed together; we do not object to skins which are temporarily sowed.
Mr. KITCHIN. I see. You want these words stricken out, and you want fur repaired to come in at 20 per cent, as it did formerly?
Mr. EISENBACH. We do not want anything else than what is going on now. We are getting them at 20 per cent and we do not want it changed.
Mr. FORDNEY. Under the ruling of the Board of Appraisers he gets them in now at 20 per cent.
Mr. KITCHIN. Has that ruling ever been appealed from?
Mr. HARRISON. What kind of fur is that you hold in your hand?
Mr. HARRISON. You would not describe that as a necessity of life?
Mr. EISENBACH. It can be made up very cheaply and it will keep people warm.
Mr. Harrison. What about chinchillas ? Are they necessary?
Mr. EISENBACH. No. There are very few come in. We do not get enough to speak of.
Mr. JAMES. What kind of fur is that?
The CHAIRMAN. The substance of that decision was that when the skin was mounted the Government tried to throw it into the 35 per cent clause, but the board of appraisers did not sustain it?
Mr. EISENBACH. Yes, sir.
Mr. PETERS. I notice there are exports of $14,975,000. What class of skins are exported ?
Mr. EISENBACH. American furs principally, such as mink, sable, muskrat, skunk, raccoon, and foxes of all kinds.
Mr. PETERS. Mostly in the unmanufactured state ?
January 30, 1919. The COMMITTEE ON WAYS AND MEANS,
House of Representatives, Washington, D. C. GENTLEMEN: As a representative of the Fur Merchants' Credit Association of New York, I have been elected to appear before this committee, and respectfully say, on behalf of the fur merchants, that we are contented with the present tariff schedule pertaining to furs. We, however, respectfully ask to have the three words “but not repaired,” in second line of paragraph 439, stricken out in the bill now being prepared. These words are ambiguous, and the interpretation of their meaning have caused the fur merchants a great deal of expense, and after considerable delay a decision was
rendered by the General Board of Appraisers nullifying their import as originally interpreted, and it is to eliminated the probability of the same question arising again that we ask for the elimination of the three words above mentioned. Respectfully, yours,
ALFRED EISENBACH (For Fur Merchants' Credit Association).
BRIEF OF ALEX. E. KLAHRE & CO., NEW YORK, N. Y.
New YORK, January 29, 1913. The COMMITTEE ON WAYS AND MEANS,
House of Representatives, Washington, D. C. Dear Sirs: We would respectfully call your attention to paragraph 439 pertaining to furs, skins, etc., and would ask that on the following furs dressed on the skins, namely: Sheepskin rugs, goatskin rugs, dogskin robes and mats, kidskin crosses, and lambskin crosses, which are under paragraph 439 in the prevailing law dutiable at 35 per cent, be reduced to 20 per cent.
The above-named skins are tanned and sewed together in China, but can not be used in this condition as imported and must be resewn, cleaned, and dyed.
On single tanned goatskins, single tanned dogskins, single tanned sheepskins and lambskins, a duty of 20 per cent, same duty as in prevailing law.
All raw skins free as in the present law.
We are convinced that in the event of the reductions of duties on the skins named, he revenue to the Government will be largely increased.
It is a well-known fact amongst the trade that owing to the present rates of duties our manufacturers and importers are somewhat timid in importing the quantities of skins from China they otherwise would do if lower rates of duties prevailed, depending upon the European markets for their purchases from time to time and paying the extra profit to the importers of those markets, which should inure to the benefit of manufacturers of our country.
One of the largest firms of manufacturers in Milwaukee made the statement a few days ago that owing to the excessive duty of 35 per cent the firm was compelled to discharge a large number of working men because of the difficulty in selling their output on account of the high duty. Very respectfully, yours,
Alex. E. KLAHRE & Co.
BRIEF OF LOWERRE & CO., NEW YORK, N. Y., ET AL.
NEW YORK, January 27, 1913. The COMMITTEE ON WAYS AND MEANS,
House of Representatives, Washington, D. C. GENTLEMEN: Referring to paragraph 439 under Schedule N of the present tariff, we beg to petition your committee in regard to the rough furs which are commonly known as goat and sheep"rugs” and “mats” and dog “mats," and ask that this class of furs be separated from the general class and be put by themselves with a special rating of their own. We ask this for the reason that they are of an entirely different class of material, being cheaper and rougher than what are commonly known as "fancy furs." However, on account of not having separate classification, they are included in the second part of paragraph 439 under Manufactures of furs further advanced than dressing and dyeing and prepared for use as material, including plates, linings, and crosses, 35 per cent ad valorem,” thus putting them on an equal basis with goods which are already prepared in the greater part for manufacture.
We give you the following arguments in favor of a separate listing and reduction:
First. We have no ax to grind. We neither gain nor lose on account of the higher duty. The only effect it has is to make the manufactured article cost more to the consumer, without giving to anyone any added protection whatever, as this class of furs is used only for the manufacture of carriage robes and a cheap grade of men's fur coats, none of which are imported into this country in the manufactured state.
Second. The terms “rugs” and “mats” are simply trade names for certain standard sizes of furs, and has no meaning in any other sense than this. While they are not one separate skin, the skins are simply pieced out on the sides with a loose stitch and basted to bring them up to the standard of measurement. This stitch is absolutely worthless as far as being of any use in the manufacturing, it being necessary to rip the sewing, cut the "rugs” and “mats” apart, rematch and sew before they are of marketable value as far as manufacture is concerned. The principal reason for these funs