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Mr. KANN. I do not believe that he answered the question intelligently. The reason that the glazing glass does not come into competition is that the factories make a certain product, and when they make their product, before it is cut into a specific size for a given opening, it is called a stock sheet; or, rather, it is the sheet of glass as it comes from the machines, and it is put into stock. The jobbers and the retailers located in this country can either draw their supplies from the factories by cut sizes or they can carry those sheets in stock and have them cut from them; but if they had to import their glass in that condition from abroad they would have to take a chance on the cutting loss to cut down to the specific size, you see. That is the reason that the gentleman you refer to said that the tariff is prohibitive, because that sort of glass does not come in. They can bring it in under the price just the same as they can the cut size, but they would be simply inviting an uncertainty or a loss in doing that, which they do not need to take, because they can buy the cut size, which is a portion of this large importation, and that comes along and is used for glazing, more or less of it.
Mr. LONGWORTH. Did you state that it costs more to make a small pane of glass than a large one?
Mr. KANN. Yes, sir. Mr. LONGWORTH. For instance, it costs more to make a square foot of glass than a piece of glass 10 feet square ?
Mr. KANN. Not in that sense. The foot cost of making the glass is the same.
Mr. LONGWORTH. Of course I mean relatively.
Mr. LONGWORTH. Would it cost less than one hundred times as much to make a piece of glass 10 feet square, 10 feet on each side, as it would to make a piece of glass 1 foot square?
Mr. Kann. A piece of glass 10 feet on each side is a very large piece of glass, you know.
Mr. LONGWORTH. I know it is.
Mr. Kann. But a piece 10 feet square is not a very large piece of glass.
Mr. LONGWORTH. I am referring to one 10 feet on each side. I want to know where it would stop.
Mr. Kann. If you take the factories which are constructed so that they can make large glass, they can make that large glass much cheaper than they can the small glass, because they have the facilities for making it. It is one operation, and they have a fewer number of men. They actually have a fewer number of men for the larger operation. It is done mechanically, by machinery, etc. The grinding and the polishing and the handling are done by machinery, so that if they do not have any bad results, which result in the breakage and the cutting down, they will make that large piece of glass for less money, comparatively, than they will the small piece.
Mr. LONGWORTH. What is the largest piece of glass you make?
Mr. Kann. We can make glass that contains about 180 to 185 square feet; and we have part of our facilities so arranged that we can make glass close onto 200 square feet. But the bulk of our product is glass that would average probably 165 feet if we got the plate out
whole into stock-if we did not have the results that have been spoken of here in the way of breakage either by accident or cutting defects. But to give you an insight into the general proposition, I will say that a factory that is built along the lines of intentionally making glass of, say, i85 feet to the plate would probably have to go into stock less than 20 square feet per plate the year round.
Mr. LONGWORTH. Is this a new development, that it costs less to make a large piece of glass than it does a small one? What I mean is, at the time the Dingley bill was passed it evidently cost more to make a large pane of glass than it did a small one.
Mr. Kanx. I should like to say that I have always been at a loss to know who was responsible for the framing up of that bill or the one ahead of it, and what actuated that conclusion, unless it was the general principle that at that time there was very little demand for small glass here and the Belgian people, who were plate-glass makers of late years, did not value that at very much. They broke that up. You see, this demand for small glass has only sprung up in this country inside of the last ten or twelve years.
Mr. DALZELL. That classification as to sizes goes away back in the tariff laws for years and years.
Mr. Kann. Yes, I know that; but when they did frame the duty up they were beginning then to make small glass and bring it over, and I can not see upon what it was based. Of course the early efforts here were on large glass, and they wanted to have a protection on that, I suppose.
Mr. Pou. I should like to ask you a few questions, if you please. I see there are eleven of these companies that you represent here.
Mr. Kann. Yes, sir. Mr. Pou. Can you give us about the aggregate capital stock of all of those companies? How much capital do the eleven companies represent!
Mr. Kann. I think they are capitalized for in the neighborhood of twelve or fifteen million dollars.
Mr. Pou. Which one of the companies are you identified with?
Mr. KANN. Our company is a private corporation and our stock is not quoted; but I believe you could have bought some of it below par if you had desired.
Mr. Pou. All of these companies are engaged in the manufacture of the same kind of glass, are they not? Mr. KANN. Practically; yes, sir.
Mr. Pou. The prices quoted by all of them are practically the same, are they not?
Mr. KANN. No, sir.
Mr. Pou. Can you buy any cheaper from one than you can from the other
Mr. KANN. Yes; without very much difficulty at present. There has been an effort
Mr. Pou. What I want to ask now, as a matter of fact, Is there any material difference in the price list of one of these companies as compared with the price list issued by another?
Mr. Kann. Not knowingly. Of course there are not very many companies in this business, and there are not very many buyers from them. They are jobbers that buy this product, and there is a very easy way of comparing prices without design probably.
Mr. Pou. Yes.
Mr. KANN. Of course we try to get as much for our product in competition with the other man as we can.
Mr. Pou. Certainly.
Mr. Pou. Yes. That is so with reference to all these eleven companies? Mr. Kann. Yes; I should think it would be.
Mr. Pou. And the price which is listed by these eleven companies is practically the same as the price which the Pittsburg Plate Glass Company lists; is it not?
Mr. KANN. No; I think that has very little Mr. Pou. There is very little variation in the price between any of you?
Nr. Kann. If you will let me explain, the Pittsburg Plate Glass Company are more largely distributers of their own products, and do not sell, as a rule, to the jobbing trade; and probably the price to which the gentleman referred this morning was a price to a jobber.
Mr. Pou. Yes. And a jobber that wanted to buy plate glass could get it about as cheaply from one of these eleven companies as he could from another; could he not?
Mr. Kann. It would all depend upon how good a buyer he was. I have known of cases when there was as much difference as from 5 to 7 per cent on a very low price.
Mr. Pou. But as a rule there has been no very material difference, I believe you said awhile ago?
Mr. Kann. Well, no; I did not mean to say that. I meant to say that there was no material difference at present.
Mr. Pou. I beg your pardon; I misunderstood you.
Mr. KANN. Yes, there have been times when there has been no material difference, and there have been times when there has been a very great difference. And anticipating your further question on that line, if you will pardon me, I will say that we have constantly made efforts to get good prices and better our condition. It has been a desperate case many times. We have done that by all sorts of ways of trying to raise the price, without having any way to do it.
Mr. Pou. The importation from abroad is what has kept prices down?
Mr. KANN. Yes, sir. That has been the governing thing, although there has been quite some accumulation from time to time. Some factories that were probably a little more eager to run full to keep their men employed, or what not, or probably keep together and keep their organization going to prevent them from going to pieces, or something of that kind, would run, and run full, and make a little cheaper product than the other fellow would make.
Mr. Pou. Have the representatives of these 11 companies engaged in any concerted effort to put up prices!
Mr. Kann. These 11 companies ?
Mr. KANN. Yes. They would meet together in conference, and so forth; but they have never been successful in doing anything else but just holding a price when there was demand enough for the product.
Mr. Pou. And the only thing that has kept you from consummating that effort—that is, the only thing that has kept these eleven companies from putting up the prices-has been the importation of this glass from abroad?
Mr. Kann. Oh, no, sir; I did not say that, and I do not want the committee to understand that.
Mr. Pou. I am asking that question.
Mr. KANN. No, sir. It has been by competition among themselves that the price is controlled—the governing price.
Mr. Pou. But did I not understand you to say just a minute ago that you had met together for the purpose of putting up prices?
Mr. KANN. No; I beg your pardon. I do not believe I said that. I would like to have the notes read if you think so.
Mr. Pou. If you did not say that I am willing to be corrected.
Mr. KANN. I did not intend to; and if I did I should want to correct myself. I say that we have met on the price question as we have on others pertaining to our interests, etc., and we have attempted to put up prices, but have never been successful in doing it because of competition.
Mr. Pou. Well, you tried ?
Mr. KANN. But we did not meet for the purpose of putting up prices.
Mr. Pou. But after you did meet you made the effort to do that?
Mr. Kann. We have no such association as would govern the prices. We have no organization which makes the price binding upon each company, or the enforcement of any price.
Mr. Pou. But these eleven companies did meet, and did attempt to put up prices in harmony with each other, in cooperation with each other? Is that true or not?
Mr. KANN. From time to time, in the course of years, they have made every effort to better their price.
Mr. Pou. Yes. Mr. KANN. And probably such an incident as the gentleman spoke of was the result of such an effort.
Mr. Pou. Yes. Now I will ask you if the principal reason which caused you to fail to put up prices was not the importation from abroad
Mr. Kann. That had a very material effect on the question as to what the price should be if they should put it up-how high it should be put up. But there was many times quite a margin before we would
reach—those were trade disturbances, which, of course, do not enter into this question. That was wholly to meet competition among the manufacturers themselves.
Mr. Pou. I have no other questions.
Mr. LONGWORTH. Mr. Kann, you will pardon me for going back to this question of the little and the big pane, but I want to get it through my head. What can you profitably make a square foot of glass for?
Mr. KANN. A small foot, a foot of small glass, or a foot of general glass of all sizes?
Mr. LONGWORTH. A foot of plate glass, such as a good store wants.
Mr. KANN. You would have to take that as a collective proposition. You can not specifically say what you could make a foot of large glass for, because, as I have stated and would like to make clear, your foot production, your unit cost per foot or per thousand feet, as we figure it, is the same of all sizes. We take all the square feet produced at the various stages or at the final stage and divide it into the total cost of producing it, taking labor, material, fuel, factory superintendency, and all that; and if you go up the line to get the complete cost, taking insurance, depreciation, and all your overhead charges, your foot of glass will cost, then, so much a foot.
Mr. LONGWORTH. What I am getting at is this: How much would you sell a plate-glass window 20 feet long by 10 feet wide for! I understand that your factory can produce such a piece of glass.
Mr. Kann. Are you in the market for such a piece of glass?
Mr. LONGWORTH. No, sir. I want to know whether you would sell that for 200 times as much as you would a square foot of glass?
Mr. KANN. Oh, yes.
Mr. Kann. A plate of glass or a sheet of glass as big as you describe is a very unusual piece of glass. There is very little demand for it, to begin with.
Mr. LONGWORTH. Then I will cut it down to 10 feet by 5.
Mr. Kany. That is a little more within keeping. Of course it would not make the same difference there, because that is an ordinary requirement.
Mr. LONGWORTH. What I am trying to get at is this: You ask for a flat-rate duty on the ground that it costs more to produce 1 foot of glass than a larger quantity of glass. I want to know as to the selling price. If 20 by 10 is too much, I will make it 15 by 8.
Mr. KANN. That is 120 feet.
Mr. LONGWORTH. Would you charge one hundred and twenty times as much for that pane of glass as you would for 1 square foot of glass?
Mr. KANN. Oh, no. In order to bring it down to an actual transaction, probably
Mr. LONGWORTH. Yes; that is what I want.