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In the case of our leather, it can not be claimed that we are in any way protected against foreign competition because of the freight which has to be paid on the foreign leather when imported. Against this freight charge is to be balanced the freight which we have to pay upon our raw material, consisting of skins in the hair or pickle, which we are compelled to buy abroad. Some are bought in London, some are bought in Germany, France, and Spain, and some in Newfoundland and Norway.

Another reason why we can not compete on even terms with the European manufacturer is as follows: The European manufacturer has the whole world for his market. In our line, which in this respect also differs from certain branches of the shoe-leather trade, our product can not be exported to Europe or South America. It has been tried without success. Last year we sold over $1,000,000 worth of leather, and of that $6,500 went to Europe, and $1,000 to Central and South America. That represents a little over one-half per cent of our sales. We found that it was impossible to meet the prices of the foreign manufacturer.

Not only have we found it impossible to compete with the foreign manufacturer in outside markets, but we find that in a great many cases the foreign manufacturer successfully competes with us in the home market. For instance, the recent edition of the Encyclopedia Britannica was bound in England for the English market, and was bound in this country for the American market. American manufacturers bid on the leather without success. All the leather for this large piece of work was bought in England and imported into this country and used for the binding of what may be called the American edition of the Encyclopedia Britannica; so you can see that the present duty is not prohibitive, and we constantly have foreign competition in the American market, and besides, as I have said before, hard domestic competition.

Concerning the schedule, I should like to say that "rough leather" is subjected to a duty of 5 per cent ad valorem, and that some importers have endeavored to bring in tanned sealskins as rough leather in order to get the benefit of the 5 per cent duty instead of paying 15 per cent duty. This has led to litigation. I would suggest, in order to prevent the importation of tanned sealskins as rough leather under section 451, that the first clause of section 451, viz, “Band, bend of belting leather, rough leather, and sole leather, 5 per cent ad valorem," be transferred to the preceding section, 450. As paragraph 450 refers to hides of cattle, there could be no doubt that rough leather could refer only to such hides, and in this way no claim could be made that tanned sealskins should come in at a lower rate than tanned calfskins, which come in at 15 per cent.

The CHAIRMAN. Is the leather that you are talking about what is known in the tariff bill as piano leather?

Mr. BERNHEIM. No; not piano leather.

The CHAIRMAN. I see in the returns of the Treasury Department here: “Piano and action leather, and glove leather," and they seem to be classed together.

Mr. BERNHEIM. No; we are not interested in any way. Most of it comes in as leather, not otherwise provided for.


The CHAIRMAN. Now, I think the trouble about this leather schedule is that some of it is not competitive at all.

Mr. BERNHEIM. Exactly.
The CHAIRMAN. And some of it seems to be quite competitive?

The CHAIRMAN. Now this piano leather seems to be quite competitive, and the morocco leather, there seems to be a large amount of that imported ?


The CHAIRMAN. Now, what I want you to do is to differentiate between these classes, so we can understand it.


The CHAIRMAN. I want you to point out to us in this present tariff which classes of leather you are speaking about. Band and belting leather, you are not interested in

Mr. BERNHEIM. No; not a bit.
The CHAIRMAN. Rough leather
The CHAIRMAN. Sole leather?
The CHAIRMAN. Glove leather ?
Mr. BERNHEIM. No, sir.

The CHAIRMAN. Then all you are talking about comes in under leather, not otherwise provided for?

Mr. BERNHEIM. Most of it does, except some of it comes in under bookbinders' calfskins. The CHAIRMAN. Have you indicated in your brief a classification,

. because we can not leave the duty here on all other leather not provided for?

Mr. BERNHEIM. No; I have not. I would like to show you what we make, in the first place.

The CHAIRMAN. I would be glad to see what you make, but I think you had better figure out what you are driving at and present it to the committee.

Mr. BERNHEIM. For instance, there is a sealskin (exhibiting). That comes in under leather not otherwise provided for. There is another color. These are all articles of luxury. Here is a sealskin of other grain.

Mr. PALMER. What are they used for?

Mr. BERNHEIM. Only articles of luxury. Ladies' hand bags usually. There is a calfskin (exhibiting]. That has nothing to do with shoe calf.

The CHAIRMAN. Oh, well, I understand that.

Mr. BERNHEIM. There is morocco (exhibiting) used in fine books. Here is an imitation of morocco on sheepskin.

The CHAIRMAN. But if you want to benefit yourself and to give the committee any help you had better furnish us with a special designation of these, because we can not simply keep up the rate on all other leathers not provided for.

Mr. BERNHEIM. What would you suggest I do? Just mention the special leathers?

The CHAIRMAN. Well, you know the language of the trade.


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The CHAIRMAN. Then, describe them to us in a letter.

Mr. BERNHEIM. This rough leather has covered a multitude of sins. I believe it was the intention of the Payne people to have the rough leather simply cover hides of cattle. Now, they have been importing a great many things and calling them rough leather.

The CHAIRMAN. You had better go down to the Treasury Department and find out how they designate this kind of leather.

Mr. Bernheim. Well, I have the same kind of book you have there, and I can not find out.

The CHAIRMAN. Then you will have to leave yourself to our tender mercies, if you can not help us.

Mr. Dixon. What duty do they assess on this?
Mr. BERNHEIM. Fifteen per cent on all of this.

The CHAIRMAN. On some of this leather 15 per cent is practically prohibitive. Nothing comes in. Now, I see that certain of that leather is quite competitive?


The CHAIRMAN. Where it is quite competitive-reasonably competitive—I do not think the committee is disposed to disturb it, but we can not leave a basket clause that will gather up everything that comes in, at a higher rate of duty.

Mr. BERNHEIM. You have designated bookbinders' calfskins, for instance.

The CHAIRMAN. Well, I am asking you to find a designation for that. I do not mean to say we are going to adopt your designation, but you can throw some light on it, and we will submit it to the Treasury Department and see if they agree with you.

Mr. PALMER. Who are the principal manufacturers of this leather in the United States ?

Mr. BERNHEIM. We are the principal manufacturers.
Mr. PALMER. Who is the concern?
Mr. BERNHEIM. R. Neuman & Co., New York.
Mr. PALMER. Is not some of it made in Philadelphia ?

Mr. BERNHEIM. No, not at all. We constantly have to figure against the importer. There is not a big item that comes up that the importer is not there. They got the Encyclopedia Brittanica job.

Mr. PALMER. This comes in under the n. s. p. f. clause ?
Mr. BERNHEIM. It seems to me the tendency is to reduce leather.
Mr. PALMER. To save this from the general

Mr. BERNHEIM (interposing). Exactly, from the general slaughter, because it is competitive and it is used in articles of luxury and you are going to import it anyway. If ladies want leather bags, they will have them, no matter what the duty is on them.

The CHAIRMAN. If we reduce the general line of leather, we can not leave a basket clause at the present rate. Therefore, if you want to accomplish what you have in mind, you have got to get out of the basket clause.

Mr. BERNHEIM. The basket clause?

The CHAIRMAN. I mean the clause that provides for everything not specifically provided for.

Mr. BERNHEIM. I see.

PARAGRAPH 451-LEATHER. The CHAIRMAN. So you had better suggest to the committee just what you want.

Mr. BERNHEIM. How long may I have?

The CHAIRMAN. If you want it printed, you will have to put it in by Saturday, but I will consider it if you will write me a letter about it any time in the next two weeks.

Mr. BERNHEIM. All right, sir.



Chicago, ILL., January 20, 1919. To the honorable The Ways and Means Committee

of the Congress of the United States,

Washington, D. C. GENTLEMEN: The Shoe and Leather Association of Chicago, composed of manufacturers of shoes, leather, harness, belting, and leather goods, and dealers in leather, hides, etc., respectfully but emphatically protests against further reduction in the tariffs on leather, shoes and harness in the revenue bill now being drafted.

The duties on our products were among the few severely revised downward in 1909. Sole, belting, and rough leather were lowered from 20 to 5 per cent; upper leather from 20 to 74 per cent; shoes from 25 to 10 per cent, and harness from 45 to 20 per cent. This was the most severe reduction of duties on manufactured products inflicted upon a staple industry in the history of tariff legislation.

Attempts still further to narrow the slender margin of protection remaining would be inequitable and unjust. The small duties imposed by the existing law do not suffice to measure the difference between the labor cost of production at home and abroad, and further attacks upon us would be disastrous.

We are not advocates of inordinate protective tariffs and do not oppose “revision downward” but desire to protest against invidious revision which singles out one industry for repeated reductions.

Leather and its products are not controlled by trusts. There is severe competition in all parts of the country. Profits are small and the ultimate consumer is served efficiently and economically. Our duties, small originally, were reduced 60 to 75 per cent four years ago. In this we stand apart from every other industry. Injustice will result if our case is not disassociated from others and considered strictly upon its merits. All of which is respectfully submitted.

E. L. NEILSON, President,
C. W. STAFFORD, First Vice President,
E. A. Fargo, Second Vice President,




Philadelphia, January 11, 1918. The CHAIRMAN WAYS AND MEANS COMMITTEE,

Washington, D. C. DEAR SIR: Inclosed you will find a brief which we hope you will consider, as we believe it to be a just and fair and true adjustment which should be made in Schedule N, sundries, paragraph 451.

We know your committee wants to act justly in this matter, and if they feel that the brief has not fully enlightened them, we would be glad to send our representative to Washington to go before your committee and explain thoroughly as to the paragraph we have explained in the inclosed brief. Hoping you will make this change for the benefit of the industry, I am, Yours, very truly,




We beg to call your attention to Schedule N, sundries, paragraph 451: “Band, bend or belting leather, rough and sole leather, 5 per cent."

This paragraph has caused considerable litigation in the courts, and some of the cases are still pending. The paragraph should be changed to read: “Belting leather, sole leather, rough leather, in the whole hide or butt or bend form, 5 per cent ad valorem.” The balance of paragraph 451, to the best of our knowledge, is a just and very fair protection to the manufacturers and laborers. Our reasons in the starting of this paragraph lie in the fact that importers are importing all kinds of leather into this country and calling same “band” and under the word “band” leather. We have questioned continually many leather tanners and manufacturers of leather, etc., on this subject and all declare they have never heard of “band” leather. The word “bend” was misplaced in that paragraph and importers are taking advantage of the fact and are bringing in many varieties of leathers, cutting them into bend form and bringing them in as “band” leather. The word “bend” does not mean leather, but does mean the trimming of a butt or hide. It means the part after the shoulder has been cut from the hide and the hide then split in half, each half being called a bend. Sole leather is mostly sold in bend form. The leathers these concerns are bringing in under the words “band” and “bend” are apron and picker leathers for worsted machinery.

Prior to the importers taking advantage of the word "band" and "bend,” there were being tanned in this country and manufactured about 50 to 60 per cent of these leathers. But since this change the tanners and manufacturers of these leathers in this country there is now about 20 per cent, and the importing of the same has grown to a very large extent, they gaining the difference. These apron and picker leathers should come in under the word “not specially provided for, at 15 per cent," and if you will adjust the paragraph to read as stated above they will come in under that wording, as there is at least 20 per cent more labor, etc., on apron and picker leather than on rough belting or sole leather. So that these leathers should be properly placed, Schedule N, paragraph 451, should read as follows:

“Paragraph 451. Belting leather, sole leather, rough leather, in whole hide or in butt or bend form, 5 per cent 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 bookbinder's calfskins, all the foregoing not specially provided for in this section, 15 per cent ad valorem; skins for morocco, tanned but unfinished, 5 per cent ad valorem; patent, japanned, varnished, or enameled leather weighing not over 10 pounds per dozen hides or skins, 27 cents per pound and 15 per cent ad valorem; if weighing over 10 pounds and not over 25 pounds per dozen, 27 cents per pound and 8 per cent ad valorem; if weighing over 25 pounds per dozen, 20 cents per pound and 10 per centum ad valorem; pianoforte leather and piano-forte-action leather, and glove leather, 20 per cent ad valorem; leather shoe laces, finished or unfinished, 50 cents per gross pairs and 10 per cent ad valorem; boots and shoes made of leather, 15 per cent 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 10 per cent ad valorem in addition to the duty imposed by this paragraph on leather of the same character as that from which they are cut.”



New York, January 21, 1913.


Present rate, weighing not over 10 pounds per dozen, 15 per cent ad valorem and 27 cents per pound; weighing over 10 pounds and not over 25 pounds per dozen, 8 per

cent ad valorem and 27 cents per pound (equivalent to 291 per cent ad valorem). Rate we propose, same as sole leather, 5 per cent, at least same as shoes, 10 per cent, or free, if shoes are to be free.

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