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PARAGRAPH 451-BOOTS AND SHOES.
RESOLUTIONS OF THE LYNN (MASS.) SHOE MANUFACTURERS'
Lynn, Mass., February 12, 1913. Whereas a bill is pending before Congress to place boots and shoes on the free list; and Whereas the boot and shoe industry of the United States would have to compete with
the product of foreign countries where boots and shoes are made under decidedly lower labor cost and where shoe machinery of the same type as used in the shoe factories of the United States is rapidly being installed, it becomes absolutely necessary that the boot and shoe industry of this country have some measure of protection to offset the difference in the cost of labor as paid in foreign countries and the cost of labor of American shoe workers, as well as the difference of manufacturing costs and overhead expense in foreign countries as compared with those in the United
States; and Whereas we thoroughly believe the placing of boots and shoes on the free list would
prove unwise, radical, unwarranted, uneconomic, inexcusable, and would controvert alike the protective and revenue principles of tariff legislation: therefore be it
Resolved, That we, the special committee appointed by the Lynn Shoe Manufacfacturers' Association, which represents a business of $30,000,000 per year, employing approximately 14,000 shoe workers in a city which produces the largest number of pairs of shoes of any shoe center of the United States, fully realizing that the present tariff is a necessary protection for the highly competitive American boot and shoe industry, strongly protest against the removal or any reduction of the present tariff on boots and shoes and thus avert the great danger to workmen, manufacturers, and the boot and shoe industry of the country.
Of Watson Shoe Co.
Of C. H. Aborn & Co.
Of Mitchell-Caunt Co.
PROTEST OF THE SUPERINTENDENTS AND FOREMEN'S ASSO
CIATION OF HAVERHILL, MASS.
WASHINGTON, D. C., February 1, 1913. My Dear Mr. Roper: I beg to inclose you herewith a telegram from the financial secretary of the Superintendents and Foremen's Association of Haverhill, Mass.
I shall be much obliged if you will have it inserted in the permanent record of the hearings on the boot and shoe paragraph in Schedule N. Sincerely, yours,
A. P. GARDNER. DANIEL C. ROPER, Esq.,
Clerk, Committee on Ways and Means, Washington, D.C.
HAVERHILL, Mass., January 29, 1913. A. P. GARDNER,
Care Committee on Ways and Means, Washington, D. C. Superintendent and Foremen's Association of Haverhill protests any reduction in tariff on boots and shoes,
L. O. PHILBRICK, Financial Secretary.
PARAGRAPH 451-BOOTS AND SHOES.
BRIEF OF J. E. & W. G. WESSON, WORCESTER, MASS., IN RE
DUTY ON BOOTS AND SHOES.
WORCESTER, Mass., January 25, 1913. Mr. Oscar UNDERWOOD,
Chairman of Ways and Means Committee, Washington, D. C. Dear MR. UNDERWOOD: We know you will appreciate any facts that we can give your committee on the labor cost of shoes in this country and England. Other European countries are less than England.
Three years ago we visited England and called at a factory at Worcester; we got the information from the manager of the factory. He gave me the cost of labor in the factory outside of the office to average for every one employed-men, women,
and children--at £l a week, less than $5. Our payroll, outside of the office, averages between $11 and $12 per week, for each man, woman, and child employed. Leather and all that goes to make a shoe are about the same cost in England as here. The English factories have every improved machine that we have, and the workinen are as efficient as our own people.
The average cost of labor to the total cost of shoes is 25 per cent, and you will see with the wages paid in England it must be less than 15 per cent. We need the little protection of 10 per cent, the present duty on shoes. The prosperity of this country is due to the prosperity of the working people. I have manufactured shoes over 40 years and know that the workmen in shoe factories need all the wages they get, and it would be a great injustice to every workman connected with our industry to put shoes on the free list, and would benefit no one in this country. Kindly give the shoe workman careful consideration in the revision of tariff on shoes. Very respectfully,
J. E. & W. G. WESSON,
J. E. WESSON. BRIEF OF GEORGE R. JONES, PRESIDENT OF THE GEORGE R.
The effect of the removal of the duty upon shoes will first be felt, I am sure, by the small manufacturer.
Reports of the United States census indicate that the number of establishments manufacturing shoes in this country decreased 16 per cent between the years 1900 and 1910. The decrease has been due, in my opinion, to the keen competition now prevailing here throughout the industry, a competition hardly equalled in any other line and resulting in the survival only of the most efficient manufacturers.
If the tariff on shoes is removed or is reduced to a point where the foreign product, with admittedly a lower labor cost, can compete freely with us in our own markets, a still greater handicap must be met by the small manufacturer, and the number of establishments will be still further reduced.
The large manufacturer can perhaps stand the losses involved, in the readjustment of conditions, gradually reducing his labor cost to a point corresponding with the same item abroad. He alone, if anyone, can survive the increased competition. He can buy his supplies more cheaply-because in larger quantities and at favorable times, when the small manufacturer with a limited capital can hardly keep ahead of his production. He has the advantage of economies in manufacturing, attending, as you know, a large organization, which override the loss of individuals or temporary conditions. He can employ experts in every department of his business. He can maintain a large selling staff to demonstrate the superior merit of the domestic product as against a cheaper article of foreign manufacture. He can advertise extensively in a market reaching throughout the entire country. He can establish factories abroad to manufacture for him the relatively few grades of shoes in which foreign competition at the time is fiercest, operating here to advantage in all other grades.
In all of the above respects the small manufacturer with limited capital may find himself decidedly at a loss, when there shall be added to the competitors in this country with whom he must cope the competition of the rest of the world.
With the elimination of the small manufacturer the tendency to combination must grow, and the resulting consolidations of capital will dictate prices and terms regardless of domestic competition. This process is seen to-day in some other industries where large corporations compete even in foreign countries at the expense of the home market and laborer.
GEORGE R. JONES Co.,
PARAGRAPH 451-BOOTS AND SHOES.
BRIEF OF UNION LOCK-STITCH CO., EAST BOSTON, MASS.
East Boston, Mass., January 31, 1913. Hon. Oscar W. UNDERWOOD,
House of Representatives, Washington, D. C. DEAR Sır: I have been interested in the reports of the hearings before your committee on shoe duties. I have been connected with the shoe-machinery industry for 30 years and I can not say that I agree with our shoe manufacturers is to the harm which might result from the reduction of the duty.
The large wages which are paid our shoe workers in this country are because they have been in the past most efficient. I have seen shoe stitchers in England working for 4s. per week whose product did not begin to figure as well as the $15 per week shoe stitchers in Lynn.
The great burden, in my opinion, which the shoe industry has to carry to-day is the tax which they are subjected to by the United Shoe Machinery Co. through the tying clauses in their leases. It absolutely shuts out competition in machines which mean the most to the shoe industry.
The United Shoe Machinery Co's. much advertised system of careful service, by which they keep an expert in touch with all of their machines continually, has destroyed the efficiency of the operator and has taken away the ambition and initiative of the individual-two things which made the shoe industry of this country what it is.
The United Shoe Machinery Co. claim to have the most efficient line of shoe macinery in the world. Now, if this is true, why do they need any protection? We should have free shoe machinery. Your committee should not take the duty off of shoes and then compel the shoe people to enter the world's field on the basis of efficiency without giving the industry the benefit of free shoe machinery, so that they may buy the most efficient machines and work on an equal basis with other competitors. To be absolutely consistent there is nothing your committee can do other than to remove the duty on shoe machinery.
There is another item which I hope will receive the careful attention of your committee-the one of sewing machine needles. The Excelsior Needle Co., of Torrington, Conn., controls 75 per cent of the needle business of this country and abroad. They have three factories here, one in Coventry, England, and one in Aix-la-Chapelle, Germany.
Years ago they paid enormous dividends in cash and stock, so that an original investment of $100,000 was eventually capitalized at $3,000,000. Their English and German factories are the largest in those countries and have been fully equipped with American machinery.
To illustrate the inequality of prices, will say that needles made by them for McKay sewing machines, which are used largely in the shoe industry, sell in England for $10 per 1,000, while here the same thing made by these people sells for $16 per 1,000.
In view of the fact that they have driven out all competition abroad, it should be evident to your committee that they now need no protection here and needles should be put on the free list. Yours, very truly,
C. S. LUITWIELER, Treasurer.
BRIEF OF UTZ & DUNN CO., ROCHESTER, N. Y.
ROCHESTER, N. Y., January 25, 1913. Hon. HENRY G. DANFORTH, Washington, D. C.
Dear Sir: There will be a hearing for the Ways and Means Committee on January 29, 1913, on Schedule N of the Payne-Aldrich tariff bill, under which schedule is listed the item of boots and shoes.
There is now a duty of 10 and 15 per cent on men's and women's shoes, and we judge that it is intended to reduce the duty on these articles still further. If the duty on boots and shoes is abolished, it will prove a very disastrous proceeding so far as the boot and shoe industry of this country is concerned, and consequently the National Boot & Shoe Manufacturers' Association has appointed a committee, which will appear before the Ways and Means Committee on that date, with statistics and argument to endeavor to demonstrate that the present duty is already low and that s further reduction would be a serious blow to this industry.
PARAGRAPH 452-LEATHER BAGS, ETC. We are not only handicapped as regards the European product by reason of the fact that European labor cost is at least 60 per cent less on boots and shoes than it is in this country, but further by the fact that a great number of articles, raw material or manufactured articles, used in making shoes pay import duties ranging anywhere from 15 to 100 per cent; that the foreign manufacturer can purchase these articles cheaper than we can because he pays no duty on them directly or indirectly. The foreign manufacturer has an advantage over the American manufacturer in that he is not only on the same plane with the American manufacturer as regards leased machinery, but that if he so wishes he has a further advantage in that he can buy his machinery outright, if he so desires, which American manufacturers are prevented from doing owing to the large duty imposed on machinery and the tying clauses in the leases of the United Shoe Machinery Co. They are further handicapped by reason of the fact that the overhead charges are larger in this country than they are in European factories; that there is more power used and the depreciation is greater.
The first result of a reduction of the tariff on boots and shoes would be there would be importation from Europe and from Canada, which would increase very fast. Every pair of foreign-made boots and shoes sold in this country would mean that much reduction on home manufactures, and would therefore mean less employment for the shoe workers. If American factories wished to compete they would be obliged to cut their costs. It is not possible to cut the profit, as that is already as small as a business can be conducted at safely. If costs are to be reduced, the natural point at which the cut would be made would be in the labor cost, for the material cost would not be any less, nor could materials be purchased for any less than they are at the present time, and if the price of labor were reduced it would immediately result in labor disturbances and strikes.
This simply indicates in a short way the main points of argument in favor of a retention of duty on boots and shoes of at least the present schedule. Similar arguments will no doubt be presented by our committee in amplified form before the Ways and Means Committee, but we desire to enlist your assistance and your personal and moral support in this matter, and would appreciate it very much if you would exert your influence toward the end that there be no further reduction in the tariff on boots and shoes. Thanking you in advance, we are, Yours, respectfully,
UTZ & DUNN Co.
Bags, baskets, belts, satchels, card cases, pocketbooks, jewel boxes, portfolios, and other boxes and cases, made wholly of or in chief value of leather, not jewelry, and manufactures of leather, or of which leather is the component material of chief value, not specially provided for in this section, forty per centum ad valorem; any of the foregoing permanently fitted and furnished with traveling, bottle, drinking, dining or luncheon and similar sets, fifty per centum ad valorem.
LEATHER BAGS, ETC.
BRIEF OF FRANCIS E. HAMILTON, NEW YORK, N. Y., COUN
SEL OF TRUNK IMPORTERS.
The WAYS AND MEANS COMMITTEE,
House of Representatives, Washington, D. C. We, importers of trunks, respectfully request that the present duty upon the same be reduced to 20 per cent.
The present rate under paragraph 452 is 40 per cent, practically prohibitive, as will readily be shown by the following statement:
A case 16 feet long by 3.6 feet wide and 3.8 feet high contains 220 cubic feet and will contain 16 trunks 36 inches by 20 and 22 inches. The packing case and packing costs.
$12 Freight from Paris to New York.
33 Cartage, brokerage, etc....
PARAGRAPH 452-LEATHER BAGS, ETC.
being $3.50 expense to each trunk. If the foreign market value is $10, after paying 40 per cent duty and the above expenses the trunk will have cost, laid down in New York, $18, and to continue business we must ask at least $22 for the same.
A similar trunk can be bought in Paris for $14, and the trunk comes into competition with the American-made article protected by the high duty, which sells at $15 to $18, thus closing the market to our importations.
That these conditions exist to the great injury of the importers as well as to the cost of the public it is only necessary to note that there are at the present time more than twenty times as many American trunks exported for sale in Europe as there are of European trunks imported.
If the duty were reduced upon these goods to 20 per cent it would approach a competitive protective rate and as a result the Government would receive a largely increased revenue, as imports would be accelerated.
Examination of the imports of all leather goods, including trunks, shows that the total value of the same for the year closing June 30, 1912, was less than $300,000, while at the same time the sale of leather goods in the United States, according to the statistics contained in the census, runs into the millions annually. The reason for this is simple; the present duty is so high that foreign leather goods are shut out from the American market, except in the small percentage of very expensive traveling cases, saddlery, etc., imported and sold to those who will pay any price for foreign-made articles. This class of buyers, however, is so small that not 1 per cent of the trade in the country is represented by them.
We further call attention to the present customs rulings which within the past two years have imposed this heavy duty rate upon trunks purchased of necessity abroad by retursing American travelers. Why should an honest citizen of this country, forced by accident or the exigencies of travel to buy a trunk while abroad to carry his personal wardrobe, none of it dutiable, be compelled to pay twice or even three times for the trunk he has unwillingly purchased, simply because it is not of American manufacture?
No civilized nation so imposes upon its people, and this customs regulation, only recently in effect, would seem to be the dernier effort of the American manufacturer to control absolutely the expenditure of every last American dollar, whether spent at home or abroad, if used to buy leather goods.
To us this seems a most reprehensible ruling.
We therefore pray that the rate in paragraph 452 be reduced to 20 per cent ad valorem, and that the tariff law specifically permit a returning American citizen to bring in free of duty the trunk he has been obliged to purchase while in a foreign land. All of which is respectfully submitted.
FRENCH CHAMBER OF COMMERCE,
32 Broadway, New York City.
BRIEF OF BARTLEY BROS. & HALL, NEW YORK, N. Y.
The WAYS AND MEANS COMMITTEE,
House of Representatives, Washington, D. C. We, as jobbers and importers of leather goods, find from our experience that the present duty of 40 and 50 per cent upon the same is almost prohibitive and compels us to import only the most expensive articles in that line.
We therefore pray a reduction of this duty rate to 25 per cent.
The duty of 40 per cent applies to bags, baskets, belts, satchels, card cases, pocketbooks, jewel boxes, portfolios, and all other boxes or cases made wholly or in chief value of leather and all manufactures of leather not placed under the 50 per cent rate.
The duty of 50 per cent on leather bags, baskets, and novelties, fitted with articles for traveling purposes, compels the importation only of such articles as are novelties and of the finest workmanship. The cheaper grades can not be imported under a duty of 50 per cent.
The duty upon leather means that every leather belt worn by the men and women and children of this country, and every pocketbook or card case carried by any citizen, as well as every leather trunk, handbag, suit case, hatbox, or ladies shopping bag must pay 40 or 50 per cent of protection to the manufacturers of leather in this country. As a result the manufacturers of leather have grown rich at the direct expense of the people.