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PARAGRAPH 474-PHOTOGRAPHIC PLATES.
TESTIMONY OF F. ERNEST CRAMER, ON BEHALF OF THE
G. CRAMER DRY PLATE CO., OF ST. LOUIS, MO.
The witness was duly sworn by the chairman.
Mr. CRAMER. Mr. Chairman and gentlemen of the committee, I am appearing in behalf of the photographic dry plate industry, an industry which is contributing considerable toward the revenues of the Government in the shape of duty on window glass, of which we import hundreds of thousands of boxes a year, on which the duty ranges from $1.10 up to $3.50 per case, and also on thousands of cases of gelatin, on which the duty averages about $40 a case.
Notwithstanding the fact that neither one of these articles is made in this country, there was an increase of almost 50 per cent in the duty on window glass in the Payne-Aldrich bill as compared with the Wilson bill, and about 40 per cent on gelatin in the PayneAldrich bill as compared with the Wilson bill.
However, we realize the fact that it requires a certain amount of revenue to run the Government, and we are willing to have the duty, although it is really exorbitant on these two articles, remain as it is, provided this committee will rectify an injustice which was done to us in having the duty on the finished product, on the dry plates, reduced from 40 per cent to 25 per cent, the result of which has been that English plates have been brought into this country in large quantities and are competing with American plates to a very large extent.
Take the 5 by 7 size, which is the standard, as an example; they cost us about 53 cents a dozen to make. English plates a e sold here in this country at 50 cents a dozen. The 34 by 4 lantern slides, English make, are sold at 22 cents a dozen in this country, whereas it costs us about 27 cents a dozen to manufacture. You gentlemen can therefore readily appreciate the fact that we are placed at a marked disadvantage in trying to compete with foreign goods. All we ask is that the committee rectify this injustice which has been done us.
I do not know that I have anything else to say, Mr. Chairman. I know that your time is valuable and I do not want to trespass.
The CHAIRMAN. You have covered all these points in your brief ?
Mr. CRAMER. I will do so. How soon do you want to have the brief?
The CHAIRMAN. To have it printed in the record-and it is better to have it printed in the record-you should file it by Saturday. If it is not printed in the record we are apt to overlook it.
Mr. CRAMER. The only reason I am not prepared to file that brief now is because I want to get the exact amount of imports of the English plates, showing how they have increased since the PayneAldrich bill was enacted, and in order to do that I will have to go to New York and get the information right from the customshouse.
The CHAIRMAN. Furnish it to the clerk of the committee by Saturday and it will go in the record. Mr. CRAMER. Yes, sir. I am very much obliged.
PARAGRAPH 474-PHOTOGRAPHIC PLATES,
BRIEF OF F. ERNEST CRAMER, St. Louis, Mo.
New York, January 13, 1913. Hon. Oscar W. UnderWOOD, Chairman, Committee on Ways and Means,
House of Representatives, Washington, D. C. DEAR SIR: Confirming the argument made by myself before your honorable committee yesterday afternoon, and in compliance with your request to file a brief embodying my statements to you, I respectfully submit the following facts bearing on the question of the duty levied by the United States Government on foreign dry plates, under the Payne-Aldrich tariff:
Taking the 5 by 7 plate, which is the standard size, as an illustration, the figures show that the English plates of this size are being billed at a list price of 3 shillings, or 72 cents per dozen. From this the dealer receives a discount of 50 per cent, making the net price 36 cents per dozen. Adding to his the ad valorem duty of 25 per cent fixed by the present tariff bill, brings the price to the dealer at 45 cents per dozen, enabling him to sell these plates at 50 cents per dozen, whereas our actual cost on the same size is 53 cents per dozen, this being due to the fact that we are obliged to pay heavy duties on our raw materials, such as glass and gelatin, neither of which is made in this country, and due to the further fact that the wages paid in England amount to only 25 per cent of those which are paid in America for the same class of work. You can therefore readily appreciate the fact that the difference between the price at which 5 by
7 English plates are sold in this country, namely, 50 cents per dozen, and the price of 58 cents, which is our selling price, discriminates largely against the American manufacturer. As a further evidence of the inroads which are being made on our business by the foreign plates, I desire to submit the following figures, which I obtained this morning from the collector of customs in New York. You will note that same show a constant increase in the amount of English plates imported into this country during the last five years.
1908. 1909 1910 1911 1912.
$66, 162.00 121,880.85 134, 883.00 178, 141.85 210,510.85
Every dollar of sales represented by the foreign plate means just that much less revenue for the American manufacturers, who are supporting this Government by contributing largely to its tariff in the shape of duty on raw materials, corporation tax, and other items, and therefore claim your protection against goods of foreign manufacture.
I tried this morning to find out the exact price at which the English plates were being imported into this country, but was unable to get this information from the appraiser here on the ground that this was confidential and that he could not impart it to me except by your directions. The importers here also refused to give me this information. I therefore immediately wired you asking for this authority, so as to enable me to embody an accurate statement of the importation of foreign plates in this brief. Up to the present time I have received no reply from you to this message, and therefore can not wait any longer in as much as you asked to have this information by to-morrow. However, I have every reason to believe that the information contained above is accurate. Mr. Higgins, the local appraiser, promised to write you, giving you the full data, which you will have doubtlessly received by the time this letter reaches you.
The Canadian Government has established the following duty on dry plates, according to Schedule A, Item 659 of the Canadian tariff; 20 per cent on the English plates, which list at 72 cents per dozen in the 5 by 7 size and are billed at 50 per cent off to the dealer, making the total to the dealer 43 cents per dozen, whereas the American plates are billed at discounts of 35 and 10 per cent off the list price of $1.10 for the 5 by 7 size, making 65 cents, on which the Canadian importer is obliged to pay a duty of 30 per cent ad valorem, amounting to 19 cents, which, added to the price at which the plates are billed to him, brings the cost up to 84 cents per dozen, as compared with 43 cents, the price of the English plates, or almost twice as much. You can therefore see that the Canadian Government is protecting the English manufacturers PARAGRAPH 474-PHOTOGRAPHIC PLATES.
as against the American manufacturers. In fact the difference in duty has practically killed the sale for American plates in Canada.
In view of the facts stated above, and as a representative of the dry-plate interests in this country, I would respectfully suggest that the new tariff on dry plates be placed at 50 per cent ad valorem instead of 25 per cent as heretofore. Even at this rate we will sti at a disadvantage as compared with the English plate, but the difference will not be near as great as it is now.
Submitting the above to your careful consideration and thanking you for the courtesy extended to me by your honorable committee, I remain, Respectfully yours,
F. ERNEST CRAMER.
St. Louis, Mo., February 7, 1913. Hon. OSCAR W. UNDERWOOD,
Chairman Committee on Ways and Means,
House of Representatives, Washington, D. C. Dear Sir: Referring to the letter which I wrote you on January 31 from our New York office, and also my brief, which was prepared at the same time, I desire to say that I am just in receipt of information from Mr. F. A. Higgins, the appraiser at the port of New York, in which he advises me that the wholesale foreign market value of 7 by 5 photographic plates is 28. 9d. per dozen less 40 and 5 per cent discount. This would make the net cost of these plates, after adding the 25 per cent ad valorem duty, amount to 47 cents per dozen to the importer, instead of 45 cents per dozen as I mentioned in my brief.
The information which I embodied in my brief was based on the knowledge which was at my command at that time, and having now received the correct figures, I would respectfully ask that the change be made in my brief, so as to have the net price of the dealer show 47 cents per dozen on the 7 by 5 size instead of 45 cents.
With the exception of this slight correction, I see no reason to make any other change in the brief which was mailed you on January 31. Yours, very truly,
F. ERNEST CRAMER. TREASURY DEPARTMENT,
New York, N. Y., January 31, 1913. The CHAIRMAN COMMITTEE ON WAYS AND MEANS,
House of Representatives, Washington, D. C. Sir: I beg to state that Mr. F. Ernest Cramer, vice president of the G. Cramer Dry Plate Co., St. Louis, Mo., called upon me to-day, stating that he had appeared before your committee on the 30th instant, and that he had been requested by the committee to ascertain for it the foreign market value of photographic dry plates, size 7 by 5 inches, and also the foreign market value of lantern slides.
I explained to Mr. Cramer that under the practice and restrictions of this office I was unable to furnish him the foreign market value of these goods as imported through this office, but that the information would be sent direct to the committee for such use as it deems proper.
I therefore have to advise that the present wholesale foreign market value of 7 by 5 photographic dry plates is 2 shillings 9 pence per dozen, less 40 and 5 per cent discount. These goods come from England.
The foreign market value of lantern slides, also from England, is 1 shilling per dozen, with 40 and 21 per cent discount. Respectfully,
F. A. Higgins,
THE RAW FILM SUPPLY CO., NEW YORK, N. Y., CONCERNING
TARIFF ON MOVING-PICTURE FILMS.
New YORK, N. Y., January 29, 1913. The COMMITTEE ON WAYS AND MEANS,
House of Representatives, Washington, D. C. GENTLEMEN: We would respectfully ask this committee to consider the question of the tariff on the importation of raw film used for the manufacture of moving pictures. As an importer of this article we pay a duty of 25 per cent on the value, and this amount we charge to all the manufacturers of moving-picture films who are buying the film they require from us.
PARAGRAPH 474-PHOTOGRAPHIC PLATES.
We beg you to consider that the reduction of the tariff would help all these American manufacturers who are not buying their film from the Eastman Kodak Co., of Rochester, the only concern in the United States that manufactures this film, and consequently the reduction of tariff would be of no damage to anybody outside of the Eastman Kodak Co.
We therefore ask you to consider if this duty could be taken off, on the ground that it is a protection for the interest of only the above-mentioned concern and would be of benefit to the general trade. Trusting this matter will receive your kind attention, we remain, Respectfully, yours,
Raw Film SUPPLY CO.,
BRIEF OF THE MINNESOTA NATIONAL EXCLUSIVE FILM
EXCHANGE, MINNEAPOLIS, MINN.
MINNEAPOLIS, MINN., February 24, 1912. Mr. UNDERWOOD, Chairman, Committee on Ways and Means,
Washington, D. C. Dear Sir: I wish to acquaint you with a few facts concerning the cost of movingpicture film to prove that the present duty of 14 cents a linear foot is very exorbitant.
Film sells abroad at 8 cents a foot. Here it sells for 10 cents. I am referring to new film which is sold for the first time after produced. Such film is known to the trade as "releases." "Cold copies" is new film which has never been run through a machine, but released some time before. Used film is film that has been shown already, but for some reason, chiefly lack of trade or additional customers, a buyer has no further use for it and will therefore sell it. Used film can be bought abroad at from 1 to 3 cents a foot, but when the duty is 50 to 150 per cent it is impossible to buy it and make anything on it.
European manufacturers make a higher class film, use as good film (Eastman Co.'s goods), have a better class of actors. Bernhardt and Rejane act for motion pictures. Did you hear of an actress of the class of Maude Adams or Viola Allen acting for. American-made moving pictures?
The supply of film in this country is in the hands of two trusts, only one of which will sell at all to anybody who wishes to buy; but no one can buy less than $1,200 a week, and no one buying less than $2,100 a week can buy any film elsewhere. If one should buy only $1,200 a week and some manufacturer would make a splendid subject somewhere I would not be able to buy any more film, while my big competitor could buy it and increase his prestige among the renters of film at my expense. This trust not only dictates to buyers, but also dictates to manufacturers who are not in it. It is using Standard Oil methods there. It squeezes both the producer and consumer.
I would suggest that in the interest of liberty of trade and to loosen the hold on monopoly which will ultimately grip the business, and that very shortly, unless the European product is brought within reach of those who would engage in the business, that 20 to 25 per cent should be made the duty on used film.
Conditions in the trade are such that film used is mostly secondhand. It passes from one exhibitor to another, and gets somewhat damaged in use. The more it is used the less its value. First, it loses in value because of its age (people have seen it already and the large theaters will not use any film which has already been shown), then it loses in value on account of physical condition. It takes about $50,000 with which to start in the film rental business if one is to buy new film; and if he does he takes the large risk of having the film depreciate in value through age alone. For example, if I buy a reel of film for $100 and rent it to only one man as soon as I got it and have no other customer for 30 days that film has lost half of its value because it is in use by others for that length of time.
You can readily see that the losses are tremendous in this business (from the buyer's position), and yet the buyer has no chance to get films elsewhere. With the duty at the right figure I can import film which has never been used or film if used has never been shown in this country. Old film will not depreciate in value as rapidly as new, and consequently because of its more safer nature there will be more buyers and the public will have better entertainment. Truly, yours,
L. GILBERT COHEN.
PARAGRAPH 475-PIPES AND SMOKERS' ARTICLES.
BRIEF OF THE PHOTOGRAPHERS' COPYRIGHT LEAGUE OF
New York, January 28, 1913. Hon. Oscar W. UNDERWOOD,
Chairman Ways and Means Committee, Washington, D. C. SIR: We respectfully submit the following facts regarding the importation of photographic negatives or dry plates exposed or developed and ask the removal of duty from this article and its inclusion in the free list:
1. This article is included in paragraph 474 of Schedule N of the present law under the phrase, “Photographic: Dry plates or films not specially provided for, 25 per cent ad valorem."
We request that the phrase have added to it the exception, except photographic negatives or transparencies developed or exposed,” and that the free Îist include the phrase, “photographic negatives or transparencies developed or exposed.”
2. These articles are brought here for the sole purpose of manufacturing prints therefrom in the United States. Three cases occur. The first is that of the developed negative, which is used directly without further manipulation as a printing tool from which to make photographic prints. The second case is that of the exposed or undeveloped negative. In that case the development is completed within the United States and the resultant developed negative is used for printing as in the first case.
The third case is that of the transparency, which is generally made from a foreign existing negative and then imported for the purpose of making what is called a “duplicate negative," so that the printing may be performed here by such duplicate negative in case the original can not be imported. All of these articles are imported for the purpose of performing the print manufacture within the United States instead of doing the print manufacture abroad and then importing the prints.
3. In the case of all foreign scenes, such as an architectural view of a cathedral or abbey or an art reproduction of a statue or a painting in which the original is located abroad, it is absolutely necessary that the dry plate, or photographic negative, be exposed abroad. Neither the painting nor the cathedral can be moved within the United States to do this work. The photographer must go to the place. The imposition of a duty upon these articles tends to prohibit the American manufacture of such reproductions. In the case of carbon photographs, which are commonly used for art reproductions and fine architecturals, the American maker not only pays the duty on the negative, or working tool, with which the printing is done, but he also has to import his carbon tissue and pay a duty on that, and, in addition, pay a much higher wage scale. The result is that fully 90 per cent of the prints of that description which are used in this country are made abroad.
4. Reduction of duty will not injure any existing industry, but will increase the making of prints in the United States. Very respectfully, yours,
B. J. FALK, President.
Pipes and smokers' articles: Common tobacco pipes and pipe bowls made wholly of clay, valued at not more than forty cents per gross, fifteen cents per gross; other tobacco pipes and pipe bowls of clay, fisty cents per gross and twenty-five per centum ad valorem; other pipes and pipe bowls of whatever material composed, and all smokers' articles whatsoever, not specially provided for in this section, including cigarette books, cigarette-book covers, pouches for smoking or chewing tobacco, and cigarette paper in all forms, sixty per centum ad valorem.
PIPES AND SMOKERS' ARTICLES.
BRIEF OF THE AMERICAN CLAY PIPE WORKS (INC.).
AMERICAN CLAY PIPE WORKS, INC.,
January 25, 1913. The Honorable Oscar W. UNDERWOOD, Chairman of the Ways and Means Committee,
House of Representatives, Washington, D. C. DEAR Sır: With the understanding that your honorable committee has under consideration the revision of the present tariff, we herewith beg to submit to you statements of the relative cost of manufacturing our product, namely, clay tobacco