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PARAGRAPH 463-HORN COMBS. ditions, an explosive, and I am strongly of the opinion that it should be treated by the authorities as such. I have considered it my duty to bring this matter before you, and I sincerely trust that immediate action will be taken to have the whole matter thoroughly looked into, and have the risks and dangers which undoubtedly prevail minimized, or, if possible, abolished entirely.
(From Glasgow News of Sept. 12, 1912.)
STORAGE LIMITATIONS.---PROPOSED RESTRICTIONS.
The storage of celluloid in various forms in the city has been the subject of a report by Firemaster Waddell-published in the News on Tuesday-along with the watching and lighting committee's recommendation to forward a copy of the report to the home secretary with a request, in view of the urgent necessity, for steps being taken to regulate and control the storage.
At this afternoon's meeting of the corporation, Mr. R. S. Brown, in moving the minute, said they could not possibly magnify the dangers arising from celluloid, but it was satisfactory to know that Mr. Waddell and the brigade committee were doing everything in their power to minimize these. Mr. Brown spoke of the recent calamitous fire in London through celluloid cards going ablaze, and contended that what happened in London might well occur in Glasgow any day. Just a few days ago they had a fire in Trongate, where within a few minutes a whole building was ablaze and £5,000 damage done.
As to other dangers, he was told by Mr. Waddell of a case where a celluloid comb in a hairdresser's window caught fire from the rays of the sun, and some damage was done. Mr. Waddell wished to have the entire control of the storage of such inflammable material, and suggested that all rooms where celluloid in any form was stored ought to be thoroughly fireproof, and the articles kept at least 20 inches from any source of heat and protected from warm drafts or the rays of the sun.
Mr. McNaughton congratulated the chief fire officer and Mr. Brown on the proposals.
Mr. P. G. STEWART. What about people walking about the streets with celluloid combs in their hair? Is this not a question for legislation?
Mr. R. S. Brown. That is just what we are asking.
W. H. NoYES & BRO. Co.
Newburyport, Mass., January 22, 1913. Hon. Oscar W. UNDERWOOD,
Chairman of the Committee on Ways and Means, Washington, D. C. Dear Sir: It is probable that due to representation that will reach your committee, and which will be inspired by foreign manufacturers, particularly the Aberdeen Comb Co., of Aberdeen, Scotland, an attempt will be made to reduce the duty on horn combs.
In the Payne-Aldrich bill the duty on combs was made 50 per cent ad valorem. This duty was made in view of the rapidly increasing importation of foreign combs. Congressmen in both Houses very willingly conceded that a duty of 50 per cent was a just and fair one, as this duty only covers the difference in wages paid in this country as compared with the Aberdeen Works, of Scotland, which is the most active competition we have. Other countries, which pay still lower wages, would be more serious competitors, but for the fact that they do not as yet imitate our styles so carefully as the Aberdeen Works. One evidence of the reasonableness of this duty of 50 per cent is the fact that there has been no increase in prices in the United States since this duty has been in effect, the tendency of prices being downward, while at the same time the importation of foreign combs is still very large.
The manufacturers of horn combs in this country are absolutely dependent on protection, and to lower or remove the duty would not benefit the consumer, as investigation will prove.
The great bulk of horn combs are sold for 5 and 10 cents apiece at retail, and these prices would prevail whatever the duty. Furthermore, those of us who have visited
PARAGRAPH 463-HORN COMBS.
the countries of Europe have discovered that the retail price of combs is, on the average, as high as here. We believe were the duty entirely removed or lowered that the American manufacturer would be driven out of business, and the foreign price would equal the present American price, and the goods very inferior.
We would respectfully ask that you give the above your careful attention, and after considering the matter duty on combs, if you are satisfied our claims are just we would respectfully ask that your committee recommend at least a duty of 50 per cent ad valorem on combs. Respectfully, yours,
W. H. Noyes & BRO. Co.
NEWBURYPORT, MASS., January 22, 1913. Hon. Oscar W. UNDERWOOD,
Chairman Ways and Means Committee, Washington, D. C. DEAR Sır: As hearings in relation to a new tariff bill are now under way, we desire to give you the following information in regard to horn combs, dutiable under Section N, which section is set for hearing on the 29th instant.
The duty on this article was raised from 30 per cent to 50 per cent ad valorem by the present tariff.
That this advance in rate was fully justified by conditions is clearly shown by the following results:
First. That no advance in prices have since been made by any of the domestic manufacturers.
Second. The importations since the increase in rate have been as follows:
The value of importations in each year was fully 25 per cent of the estimated domestic production, the sales in 1912 showing a falli off in common with that of many other manufactured products.
It is not possible to make a comparison with importations under previous tariffs, as the present bill is the first one to make a separate classification of this article, but the above large percentage of importations shows very clearly that the present rate is far from being prohibitive.
The conditions existing in this industry are highly competitive, being from domes. tic and foreign sources.
The manufacturers in this country have factory capacity in excess of production, and each is therefore striving keenly to secure more business.
The foreign competition comes principally from Great Britain, France, Germany, and Italy, all countries with a very low wage scale.
The competition of the Aberdeen Comb Co., of Aberdeen, Scotland, is particularly difficult to meet, and we are constantly undersold by them on many styles, they having imitated some of our most important combs, and are making strong efforts to increase their trade in this country.
The above company is a consolidation of all of the important horn-comb factories in Great Britain, and if located in this country would be designated as a trust.
Most of the horn combs sold in this country are retailed at either 5 cents or 10 cents. Owing to this trade condition a change of duty, either upward or downward, would have no effect on the consumer.
Any reduction in the rate would therefore be solely to the advantage of the foreign manufacturers or to the importers. Such action would necessarily be distinctly to the disadvantage of the domestic manufacturers and to their employees.
In view of the large importations under the present rate, and as it has been shown that the manufacturers in this country did not take advantage of the increase of duty to raise prices, and as the increased and steadily rising wage scale since the present law was passed makes it even more difficult now to compete with the low wage scale of Europe, we most earnestly hope that the present rate may not be changed. Yours, very truly,
G. W. RICHARDSON Co.,
PARAGRAPH 463–RUBBER FOOTWEAR.
STATEMENT BY THE L. CANDEE & CO., NEW HAVEN, CONN.
The L. CANDEE & Co.,
New Haven, Conn., January 18, 1913. Hon. THOMAS L. REILLY,
House of Representatives, Washington, D. C. DEAR Sır: I am glad to note by your letter of the 12th ultimo that you are interesting yourself actively in behalf of the industries of New England, and particularly those centering in your district.
In reference to the duty on importations of rubber goods form foreign countries, which is at present 35 per cent, I respectfully suggest that if this tariff is to be lowered Congress should exert its best efforts to see what can be done in securing lower duties for American goods entering the markets of European countries, particularly the markets of Germany and France. In other words, if the tariff on rubber goods coming into this country is to be lowered, I feel very strongly that our Government should exact a “quid pro quo" from foreign Governments.
Through great effort and at large expense we have developed a very gratifying export trade. This was severely injured when on account of the admission of free pulp from Canada, Germany withdrew the “most favored nation" privileges which we had enjoyed in that market, and substantially raised our rate of duty.
There are many lines of goods which can be made cheaper, if not better, abroad, and if our markets are to be thrown open to foreign competition on these articles, we insist that in fairness to its own citizens our Government should see to it that American manufacturers have an opportunity to enter foreign markets where we can ... at least as favorable a basis as foreigners can enter ours.
About a year ago the congressional Ways and Means Committee considered as a revenue measure the imposition of a 5-cent tax on all crude rubber coming into this country. Under date of March 28, 1912, the Rubber Club of America submitted a comprehensive statement to the Hon. Oscar W. Underwood, chairman of the Ways and Means Committee, which accurately set forth our ideas on this subject.
While I can not believe that Congress would pass such a measure, I refer to this matter at the present time because it is a vital point, and should such legislation be passed it would be ruinous to our export business.
The principal European countries with which we come in closest competition, namely England, Germany, France, Austria, Sweden, and Italy, all admit rubber free of tax, and when it is understood that in the rubber industry about 60 per cent of the value of manufactured goods is in the crude rubber, the extent of the handicap under which such a tax as this one proposed would place us will be readily understood.
Again thanking you for your interest in the matter, and assuring you that the manufacturers of Connecticut will greatly appreciate everything that you can do in protecting their legitimate interests, I am, Yours, very truly,
H. STUART HOTCHKISS,
PARAGRAPH 466–COCOA-FIBER MATTINGS. PARAGRAPH 464.
Manufactures of gutta-percha, ivory, vegetable ivory, mother-of-pearl and shell, plaster of Paris, papier-mâché, and vulcanized india rubber known as "hard rubber," or of which these substances or any of them is the component material of chief value, not specially provided for in this section, and shells engraved, cut, ornamented, or otherwise manufactured, thirty-five per centum
ad valorem. See Geo. Borgfeldt, page 5224. PARAGRAPH 465.
Masks, composed of paper or pulp, thirty-five per centum ad valorem. PARAGRAPH 466.
Matting made of cocoa fiber or rattan, six cents per square yard; mats made of cocoa fiber or rattan, four cents per square foot.
BRIEF CONCERNING MATTINGS MADE OF COCOA FIBER.
The COMMITTEE ON WAYS AND MEANS,
House of Representatives, Washington, D. C We, the undersigned, manufacturers of cocoa fiber and rattan mats and mattings, request that no change be made in the rates of duty on these articles, which are prescribed in Schedule Ñ, section 466, of the tariff of 1909, as follows:
"Matting made of cocoa fiber or rattan, 6 cents per square yard; mats made of cocoa fiber or rattan, 4 cents per square foot."
The present rates of duty furnish the most vigorous competition from foreign manufactures, as is evidenced by the increase of 60 per cent in the importations of these goods which took place from 1908 to 1912.
The manufacturers who have signed this brief employ free labor-all told, about 500 persons and they have to contend not only against the increasing tide of foreign competition, but against the competition of convict labor in this country, the most serious of it coming from the large mat and matting factory operated at Allegheny by the State of Pennsylvania.
Because or these conditions we do not see how it will be possible for us to continue this industry if competition is made any more severe by the further increase of importations which would surely follow a reduction from the present duties on these goods.
There is no foreign market open to the American manufacturer for the export of cocoa mats and mattings because of the extremely low prices made possible to foreign manufacturers by cheap and Eurpoean and Indian labor. Respectfully submitted.
Heywood Bros. & WAKEFIELD Co., Wakefield, Mass.
Joseph WILD & Co., New York.
New YORK, January 29, 1913. The COMMITTEE ON WAYS AND MEANS,
House of Representatives, Washington, D. C. GENTLEMEN: Referring to Schedule N, section 446, tariff of 1909, as follows: Matting and mats made of cocoa fiber.
We wish to indorse views expressed in brief presented by Messrs. Heywood Bros. & Wakefield Co., of Wakefield, Mass., and Messis, Joseph Wild & Co., of New York, regarding retaining the present duty on these goods, viz, 6 cents per yard on matting and 4 cents per foot on mats. We are, gentlemen, Your obedient servants,
DARRAGH & SMAIL.
PARAGRAPH 467-STRINGS FOR MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS.
Musical instruments or parts thereof, pianoforte actions and parts thereof, strings for musical instruments, not otherwise enumerated in this section, cases for musical instruments, pitch pipes, tuning forks, tuning hammers, and metronomes; strings for musical instruments, composed wholly or in part of steel or other metal, all the foregoing, forty-five per centum ad valorem.
STRINGS FOR MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS.
BRIEF OF M. E. SCHOENING, NEW YORK, N. Y., REQUESTING
CHANGES IN PARAGRAPHS 467 AND 529.
NEW YORK, N. Y., December 21, 1912. Hon. Oscar W. UNDERWOOD, Chairman of Ways and Means Committee,
House of Representatives, Washington, D. C. DEAR Sir: I take the liberty to address this letter to you as the chairman of the Ways and Means Committee, begging you to kindly call the attention of the committee to correction that should be made in the present tariff bill, Schedule N, paragraphs 467 and 529.
1. Paragraph 467 reads: * * "Strings for musical instruments not otherwise enumerated in this section. * * Strings for musical instruments composed wholly or in part of steel or other metal, forty-five per centum ad valorem."
2. Paragraph 529 reads, in free list: "Catgut, whípgut, wormgut unmanufactured.”
3. Catgut is defined in the Standard Dictionary as a kind of cord, very thin, strong, and slender, made from dried intestines of sheep or other animals, used for strings for musical instruments, tennis rackets, etc.”
4. In Webster's Dictionary as “a tough cord, made of the intestines of animals, especially sheep, used for strings for musical instruments, for sutures in closing wounds, etc."
5. Hence, it would seem that the intention was to admit strings for musical instruments of catgut free.
6. Paragraph 529, however, has no meaning, as there is no such thing as crude catgut or catgut unmanufactured. Catgut is a manufactured article and a finished product; the crude form are the intestines or guts of sheep or other animals, which no doubt the framers of this paragraph had intended.
7. The guts are saponified and bleached, and, as a rule, cut or split in two parts, right and left sides, then cut in lengths, loops are made on each end, one loop is put on a stationary hook, the other on a hook on a wheel and the guts are twisted and then allowed to dry, after that they are rubbed down to make them smooth. This finished productis commercially known as catgut, and is the only form in which catgut appears.
8. The Board of General Appraisers decided that catgut strings for musical instruments were dutiable at 45 per centum ad valorem. On the other hand, they decided that spinning gut was free, although they are the same, and all spinning gut can be used in condition as imported as strings for musical instruments.
9. Under decision Davis, Turner & Co. v. U. S. (115 Fed. Rep., 232), catgut for surgical purposes is admitted free.
10. There is absolutely no difference in the material used, process of manufacture, and the final product, catgut, for whatever purpose it is to be used. Strings of like gauges are interchangeable for all uses. Three manufacturers of catgut so testified in C. B. Richard & Co. v. U. S., No. 746, filed with Court of Customs Appeals, October 30, 1911.
11. All catgut should either be entered free or all catgut should pay duty. 12. Paragraph 529 should read, “Crude gut," and not catgut, un manufactured.
13. And, as catgut is a manufactured article, there is no reason why it should not pay duty.
14. American manufacturers of catgut are not protected by a duty on catgut for spinning, surgical, and other purposes, and are able to compete with foreign manufacturers. On catgut, when imported as strings for musical instruments, the protection is 45 per centum ad valorem, according to decision of the Board of General Appraisers.
15. Catgut, if imported under other designation than strings for musical instruments, as a rule are passed free, and then can be used for any purpose, including strings for musical instruments.