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PARAGRAPH 449-PRECIOUS STONES.
Nowhere in the new tariff act is there any section which squarely mentions sapphires or provides for the duty upon them for uses such as meter jewels. Certainly section 112 does not cover them nor does section 449, because that section provides that the precious stones must be suitable for use in the manufacture of jewelry, and that provision bars the sapphire meter jewels, as it is not believed they would be suitable for that purpose. Eliminating that sentence providing for what purpose they are to be used and the section would cover sapphire instrument jewels squarely. Section 555 of the law certainly does not cover sapphire instrument jewels, because they have been advanced from their natural state by cutting and grinding.
If this reasoning is sound, then as unclassified materials the sapphire instrument jewels would be governed by the provisions of section 481 of the Payne bill, which provides that an imported article not enumerated shall pay the same duty as the enumerated article it most resembles.
This being so, it will be discovered from an examination of section 192 that it covers jewels for use in the manufacture of watches and clocks, and therefore jewels for use in the manufacture of electric indicating instruments, such as voltmeters and ammeters, which are used for measuring or indicating purposes, should come in and be assessable under this classification, which would mean a duty of 10 per cent, as has been contended for at all times by the present objector.
If it is contended that the sapphire instrument jewels can not be classified under this section, then it must be that they would be entitled to classification under seetion 449, with other precious stones, as the fact that they were not to be used in the manufacture of jewelry, but in the manufacture of measuring or indicating instruments, does not destroy the resemblance and character of these jewels to the other enumerated articles in this section.
5. Manufacturers who use sapphire jewels in articles which they manufacture should receive the most favorable consideration upon the question at issue, as the whole purpose of the Government is to stimulate, assist, and build up the manufacturing industry in every way possible consistent with good Government.
No argument is needed in support of this statement. The great manufacturing industry in this country has been assisted in every possible way for many years.
To withhold the delivery of sapphire meter jewels except upon payment of 50 per cent might seriously impair and curtail production pending a determination of the matter. In any event the cost of manufacture would be greatly increased in this one respect.
At present there are awaiting determination at the Lynn post office 9 packages valued at $900 and 2 packages on the way valued at $200. A duty of 50 per cent means a payment of $550; a duty of 10 per cent means $110. It can readily be seen that the matter is serious and merits prompt attention. Shipments valued at about $200 arrive almost every week, so the amount involved is very considerable.
It is seriously contended that there was never any real intention when the Payne bill was passed to assess any such duty on sapphire jewels for use in the manufacture of indicating instruments, and it is respectfully requested that the rulings be corrected so that a duty of only 10 per cent shall be assessed and that the shipments which are now held up pending the payment of the 50 per cent duty may be promptly released and turned over to the General Electric Co. at Lyren so that it may have the jewels for use in its manufacturing business and that the necessary ruling may be made so that this matter will be effectually disposed of. Respectfully submitted.
JAMES 0. CARR, Attorney for General Electric Co.
SCHENECTADY, N. Y., February 20, 1912. Hon. Oscar W. UNDERWOOD,
Chairman Ways and Means Committee, Washington, D. C. DEAR SIR: I would like to present for the consideration of your committee a matter which I think should be considered at such time as any consideration is given to the subject of duty on precious stones. Under section 419 of the tariff act of 1909, it provides that precious stones cut but not set, and suitable for use in the manufacture of jewelry shall pay a duty of 10 per cent ad valorem. The act also provides in section 192 that all jewels for use in the manufacture of watches or clocks shall pay the same rate of duty. We import large quantities of sapphire meter jewels for use in recording instruments, and notwithstanding our contention that these jewels are dutiable at 10 per cent ad valorem, either under the provisions of section 449 or by
PARAGRAPH 449—PRECIOUS STONES.
similtude under section 192, we have so far been unsuccessful and the customs authorities have maintained that the jewels should pay a duty of 20 per cent as unenumerated manufactured articles under provisions of section 480. Many of these jewels which we import are almost identical with watch jewels except that they do not have a hole bored clear through the jewel. There is no reason why jewels which are used in the electrical industry should be made to pay a higher duty than jewels used in the watch industry simply because one has a hole and the other is without. Then, again, sapphires have from time immemorial been considered as and they are one of the precious stones, and prior to the 1909 act they have always been imported by us at à 10 per cent duty under the heading of precious jewels cut but not set. I understand that the clause in section 449, reading and suitable for use in the manufacture of jewelry” did not appear in the tariff act of 1897, but that its first appearance was in the act of 1909. Why it was put in, I do not know.
We believe that there should be no discrimination in these jewels, and in many ways, we see no reason why there should be any duty on them whatever. My purpose in writing this letter is to ask if your committee will not give this matter consideration, and if it is deemed advisable, give us an opportunity to to be heard i pon the subject, as it is a matter of considerable importance to the manufacturers in the electrical industry. Very truly, yours,
JAMES 0. Carr.
BRIEF OF DIAMOND WORKERS PROTECTIVE UNION.
New York, January 23, 1913. The COMMITTEE ON WAYS AND MEANS:
We, the undersigned, officers of the Diamond Workers Protective Union of America, respectfully submit to your consideration reasons why the present tariff on the schedule of diamonds, which is, the rough diamonds on the free list and a duty of 10 per cent ad valorem on the cut diamonds, should not be changed.
The diamond-cutting industry was practically unknown in this country until the Wilson bill caused a number of American importers and European manufacturers, in 1893, to erect diamond-cutting plants in this country. The tariff then called for 10 per cent duty on the rough and 25 per cent on cut diamonds. It was then said that because of the high duty large quantities of diamonds were smuggled into this country, which caused tremendous Íosses to the manufacturers who were forced to close their plants before the summer of 1896, and the workmen found themselves doomed to a very long period of idleness with all the miseries of the unemployed.
Not until the Dingley bill, stipulating the present schedule on the importations of diamonds, became an act, September 1, 1897, were the diamond workers able to find employment again. With rough diamonds on the free list and 10 per cent duty on the cut diamonds, several plants were opened again, but a number of manufacturers had sustained such great financial losses under the Wilson schedule that they did not reenter the field.
With rough diamonds on the free list, the manufacturer can commence the cutting of his article at an equal base with the European manufacturer, and the 10 per cent duty, which is placed on the cut diamonds, is a margin about sufficient to cover the higher expenses which the American manufacturer has to meet in the process of cutting as compared to the European manufacturer who operates in countries where the standard of money is lower and consequently rent for factories, wages, salaries, etc., are less than in this country.
The fact that our Government collected hardly any revenue from the importation of diamonds with the high tariff under the Wilson bill, while these revenues have been constantly increasing aiter 1897, with the rough diamonds on the free list and the moderate, but collectable, 10 per cent duty on the cut diamonds, is another fact in favor of the present schedule.
We beg you to consider that a change in the tariff from what it is now will deprive us of the protection which our industry needs in this country. It would mean that about 650 men, now engaged in our industry, about one-half of thein born in this country and almost all citizens, thrifty and worthy people, all of whom have spent the best part of their lives in this country and raised their families here, wll be reduced from a comparative prosperity to absolute ruination because they will find the factories definitely closed on them. For the Diamond Workers Protective Union of America.
ANDREW MEYER, President.
PARAGRAPH 449% PRECIOUS STONES.
BRIEF OF THE VALLORBES JEWEL CO., LANCASTER, PA.
LANCASTER, PA., January 30, 1913. Oscar W. UNDERWOOD, Esq., Chairman of Ways and Means Committee,
House of Representatives, Washington, D. C. DEAR SIR: Understanding that the committee of which you are chairman is in the midst of compiling data on sundry items under the sundry schedule of the anticipated new tariff bill, we are accordingly submitting the following enlightenment on what we consider as being very defective under the present tariff law.
The word "jewels" to the layman suggests an article of luxury; however, in this case our subject concerns stone bearings commonly known as “jewels" or jewel bearings for instruments of precision, etc., and quite contrary to the common impression of their being items of luxury they are indeed very necessary articles in that acting as a bearing in the small instruments in which they are used they perform the same function as ball bearings do to larger machinery, i. e., insure long life and constitute a practically indestructible bearing to the instrument, and also reduce friction to the minimum; being manufactured of precious and semiprecious stones they are much harder than any metal is, including the hardest of steel metals, and this very hardness permits of a higher polish which, besides reducing friction, also will last indefinitely as the polish on metal would wear away, being acted on by atmospheric conditions.
Were it not for these jewel bearings a watch, clock, or meter would wear down and become useless for positive accuracy within a year; so with these explanations you will appreciate "jewels for mechanical purposes as being articles of actual necessity."
Coming to the subject of what we mentioned as being defective in the present Payne tariff law, will say that under paragraph 192, Schedule C of this law, watch and clock jewels are especially provided for to pay an ad valorem duty of 10 per cent, however, this provision should have been made broader in its scope, as to include jewels for electric, water, and gas meters, tachometers, recording meters, scales, talking machines, and all other instruments of precision, and be so broad as to involve in its language all jewels, tools, etc., made of precious, semiprecious, and all other stones or mineral substances to be used for the same purpose that metal was previously used for, but to be for practical mechanical purposes and to be considered entirely separate from precious and semiprecious stones used for ornamentary luxurious purposes.
As it is now and has been, all jewels or stone bearings for purposes other than watch or clock uses paid a duty of 50 per cent under paragraph 112, Schedule B, Payne tariff law, several years ago, simply because they were an unenumerated article not especially provided for in this said Payne tariff law, but which should have been provided for just as much as watch and clock jewels were, for the same arguments or reasons for especially providing for watch and clock jewels at the rate they pay (10 per cent), are exactly the same for all other jewels for all other mechanical purposes, so being inconsistent we think this feature is defective under the present law, since there are as many of the other jewels used as watch and clock jewels.
As a result of the collector of customs demanding 50 per cent duty on jewels other than watch and clock jewels, the users and importers of said jewels protested the rate, but were unsuccessful in getting the rate to be the same as for watch and clock jewels, i. e., 10 per cent, the customs court, however, fixing the rate at 20 per cent under paragraph 480 of Schedule N; however, now the Treasury Department made a recommendation that the said customs court review their former decision and gave the opinion that the rate should be 35 per cent under paragraph 95 of Schedule B.
You of course realize how uncertain and unsatisfactory it is for the importers and users of jewels other than watch and clock jewels to have to be subjected to varying rates and not to have a sound and firm basis on which to operate.
At the present time the value of the consumed jewels, other than watch and clock jewels, is as great or greater than these watch and clock jewels, and will continue so, yet they were not especially provided for in the Payne tariff law, as were watch and clock jewels, and under these circumstances we believe that you will agree with us that if watch and clock jewels were especially provided for to pay a certain rate of duty under this said law, that jewels for all other mechanical instruments of precision should have also been especially provided for to pay the same rate of duty under the same paragraph.
We therefore hope that when you come to deliberate on the subject of the rate of duty that watch and clock jewels are to pay that you will broaden its scope as to include under the same paragraph and the same rate the following, also in language
to be specific in its analysis as follows: Jewels or bearings made of precious, semiprecious or synthetic stones or other artificial or natural mineral substances for use in watches, clocks, electric, gas, or water meters, phonographs, talking machines, scales, speedometers, and all other mechanical instruments or appliances, also including phonograph recorders, reproducers, and shaving knives made of the foregoing substances, all of the foregoing to pay the same rate of duty when imported in the loose and unmounted form, whether entirely finished or partly finished. When any of the foregoing are mounted in brass or other metal holders, screws, bushings, and settings to pay a higher rate.
It is our sincere hope that you will consider this and that we might hear from you at your convenience as to what your own personal opinion is of this suggestion. Thanking you in advance, we are, yours, very gratefully,
VALLORBES JEWEL Co. PARAGRAPH 450.
Hides of cattle, raw or uncured, whether dry, salted, or pickled, shall be admitted free of duty: Provided, That on and after October first, nineteen hundred and nine, grain, buff, and split leather shall pay a duty of seven and one-half per centum ad valorem; that all boots and shoes, made wholly or in chief value of leather made from cattle hides and cattle skins of whatever weight, of cattle of the bovine species, including calfskins, shall pay a duty of ten per centum ad valorem; that harness, saddles and saddlery, in sets or in parts, finished or unfinished, composed wholly or in chief value of leather, shall pay a duty of twenty per centum ad valorem.
BRIEF OF DAVID BRAMER, ALLSTON, MASS.
IMPORT DUTIES ON HIDES, Boots, AND SHOES.
Allston, Mass., January 4, 1913. To the Committee on Ways and Means of the Sixty-second Congress:
A few years ago a Massachusetts Senator, addressing a large and enthusiastic audience of his constituents, made this statement: "You can have protection for all or you can have free trade for all; but you can not have protection for some and free trade for some.” This seemed to be a very fair and reasonable sentiment. In practice, however, the Senator worked and voted for free trade in hides for the farmer and protection for the shoe manufacturer. The excuses given for this action were two, neither of which would bear close examination. One was that hides were a “by-product" and that no one raised cattle for this purpose. It was claimed that all money received from the sale of hides was so much clear gain to the farmer. A farm is, of course, run for profit, just the same as any other business, and the farmer is entitled to all he can make legitimately. Hides are as much a source of profit as beef, milk, or tallow. Were the rule of."by-products” to be put in force many things besides hides would go to the free list. In fact, it would be impossible to draw the line. No manufacturer would be willing to have this rule of “by-products" applied to his business. He would insist that each item bear its part of the burden. Why, then, should the farmer be expected to submit to it? It so happens that hides are the one universal product of the farms of this country, and that practically every farmer is directly interested in maintaining prices. A duty would add at once to the income of all farmers in the United States and who will dispute the proposition that they need this increase as much or more than the manufacturers do? Certainly the farmer and his family work long hours for comparatively small returns, and they need every encouragement. The farm laborers also work for low wages, which should be increased.
The second reason given for free hides was that the duty benefited the so-called Beef Trust. The answer to this is that the price of cattle is directly dependent on the amount which the animal brings to the packers, and this return is from all salable parts. As beef has advanced in price cattle returns have been larger to the grower, proving conclusively that the packers must of necessity divide with the farmer.
It is now a well-known fact that the duties on hides can not be restored. No political party could survive such action. The consumers of boots, shoes, harness, and other leather goods would not tolerate the price increases sure to follow. What, then, can
be done to insure a measure of justice to the farmer? Nothing but the removal of the duty on boots, shoes, and harness. We are exporters of these goods and have demonstrated our ability to compete with the whole world. The loss to the shoe manufacturer would be small, while the loss to the American farmer due to free hides is large and, as already stated, hits practically everyone. The most simple rules of justice demand that hides, boots, shoes, and harness shall be treated alike-either free trade for all or protection for all.
David BRAMER. PARAGRAPH 451.
Band, bend, or belting leather, rough leather, and sole leather, five per centum ad valorem; dressed upper and all other leather, calfskins tanned or tanned and dressed, kangaroo, sheep and goat skins (including lamb and kid skins) dressed and finished, other skins and bookbinders' calfskins, all the foregoing not specially provided for in this section, fifteen per centum ad valorem; chamois skin, twenty per centum ad valorem; skins for morocco, tanned but unfinished, five per centum ad valorem; patent, japanned, varnished, or enameled leather weighing not over ten pounds per dozen hides or skins, twenty-seven cents per pound and fifteen per centum ad valorem; if weighing over ten pounds and not over twenty-five pounds per dozen, twentyseven cents per pound and eight per centum ad valorem; if weighing over twenty-ive pounds per dozen, twenty cents per pound and ten per centum ad valorem; pianoforte leather and pianoforte-action leather, and glove leather, twenty per centum ad valorem; leather shoe laces, finished or unfinished, fifty cents per gross pairs and ten per centum ad valorem; boots and shoes made of leather, fifteen per centum ad valorem: Provided, That leather cut into shoe uppers or vamps or other forms, suitable for conversion into manufactured articles, and gauffre leather, shall pay a duty of ten per centum ad valorem in addition to the duty imposed by this paragraph on leather of the same character as that from which they are cut.
TESTIMONY OF FREDERICK W. CLARKE, 83 SOUTH STREET,
The witness was duly sworn by the chairman.
Mr. CLARKE. You have heard to-day a great deal about the manufacture of boots and shoes, but if the shoe manufacturer had to depend on the raw hides I do not think he would get very far in his process. They need the intervention of a very necessary and very ancient artificer known as a tanner.
In listening to the long series of briefs which are filed with you by representatives of different productive industries, you must, consciously or unconsciously, refer the petitioners into two classes: One who confessedly represent industries or great corporations now benefiting under high tariffs which exclude foreign competition, while at the same time they have to a greater or less extent been enabled through combination or otherwise to maintain high prices and secure for themselves swollen profits behind the barrier of protection. This would be one class. The other class would include industries whose protection is already among the lowest on the list, amongst whom competition is keen, who are doing their business at a minimum of profit and who have in no way been able to increase their profits because of any protection which the Government afforded them; businesses which are open to free competition and against whom no charge can be made of monopoly or extortion. All the industries of the country can be referred into one or the other of these two groups.