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or similar articles, and a cent is too large a unit to permit of the reduction of the price by so much as 1 cent. That is one of the reasons that a reduction even in the wholesale price would hardly reduce them to the retailer.
Mr. Dixon. How many sizes do you make of them?
Mr. BELL. We make the four sizes that you see here, and we make two larger sizes, which are called “torches" and are put in wooden sockets and carried in torchlight parades. The larger of those burn six minutes and sell for 10 cents apiece, and the next smaller size burn approximately half that time, and sell' for 5 cents apiece. These are articles which are not made by the Germans at all. They are used in Hindu ceremonies in India-religious ceremonies. I would like to show you our waterproof sparklers. They are all covered, you see, by a coating of aluminum. You can dip it in water and light it afterwards.
The CHAIRMAN. Is that all, Mr. Bell?
Mr. BELL. Yes; unless there are some questions to answer. Any that I can not answer, I will try to get the information on. Shall I leave these with you?
The CHAIRMAN. No; it is not necessary.
Fulminates, fulminating powders, and like articles suitable for miners' use, twenty per centum ad valorem; all other not specially provided for in
this section, thirty per centum ad valorem. PARAGRAPH 435.
Gunpowder, and all explosive substances used for mining, blasting, artillery, or sporting purposes, when valued at twenty cents or less per pound, two cents per pound; valued above twenty cents per pound, four cents per
pound. PARAGRAPH 436.
Matches, friction or lucifer, of all descriptions, per gross of one hundred and forty-four boxes, containing not more than one hundred matches per box, six cents per gross; when imported otherwise than in boxes containing not more than one hundred matches each, three-fourths of one cent per one thousand matches; wax and fancy matches and tapers, thirty-five per centum ad valorem.
TESTIMONY OF WALDO PECK ADAMS, OF NEW YORK CITY.
The witness was duly sworn by the chairman.
Mr. ADAMS. Mr. Chairman and gentlemen of the committee, I have prepared a brief, which I believe has been distributed, regarding Schedule N, on matches. I wish to supplement that brief with the statement that I am about to make, and also make a demonstration of matches to illustrate some of the points that are brought out in the brief.
In connection with and supplementing the brief which I have submitted to the committee, I wish to say that the subject of safe matches for the American people is one worthy of your serious consideration.
The retail price paid by the consumers of this country for matches approximates $50,000,000 yearly.
As set forth in brief, the National Fire Protection Association, while in convention in Chicago in May last, are reported to have gone on record in favor of legislation to curtail the enormous losses from fire caused by matches, which they stated amounted to $36,000,000 a year in the United States, and kill more people each year than all the dynamite manufactured in the country.
The Esch-Hughes regulations insure the manufacture and importation of matches that are less dangerous as a fire hazard, on account of the fact that the temperature at which they ignite by friction or otherwise is much higher than that required for white phosphorus matches.
The yearly destruction of property by fire with the attendant loss of human life in killed and injured that results from the manufacture, warehousing, storage, transportation, handling, and use of unsafe matches is of much greater importance than loss of life due solely to the use of white phosphorus in match manufacture which called for the Esch-Hughes legislation.
The amendments to the tariff regulations recommended in the brief I have submitted are designed to prohibit the importation of dangerJus matches. This will require a classification of matches in type and kind.
The match industry in the United States has been practically dominated by one concern for the last 40 years. The industry is a glaring illustration of special privilege that has been fostered by an unjust and discriminating tariff.
Fire insurance statistics, together with the information brought out in connection with the bearings before your committee on white phosphorus matches, is sufficient proof that the common type of American household matches, such as have been on the market during all these years, has been a dangerous hazard, both from poison and fire.
It was brought out in the hearings above referred to and it is generally admitted that matches of European manufacture, as a rule, are superior to the American-made product. This can be demonstrated by actual comparisons.
As stated on the fifteenth page of the brief submitted, the correctness of the ad valorem unit costs under the Payne tariff is questioned, particularly when importations have been made in boxes containing over 100 matches each. One American manufacturer is placing matches on the New York market at the wholesale price at less than 3 cents a thousand matches. These matches are sold to the retail trade at 31 cents a thousand matches and to the consumer at 5 cents.
I submit for the consideration of your committee, in the form of Exhibit A, cuttings from New York City newspapers showing the attitude of the majority of American manufacturers of matches to the restrictive legislation incorporated in the new match law of New York City that went into effect January 1, 1913. This law is a model of excellence.
There is also submitted a copy of the suggested State law referred to on page 7 of the brief submitted.
There is also submitted samples of matches of both foreign and domestic manufacture that have been labeled to show type and kind.
I will not take up your time in reading more than one or two items from this Exhibit A, which are clippings from the New York papers with reference to matches. The first I will read is in reference to a suit of the Tariff League against 0. C. Barber for dues (reading):
That Ohio Columbus Barber, organizer and former president of the Diamond Match Co. owes the American Protective Tariff League $1,840 in back dues is alleged in the complaint of a suit filed against him to recover that amount by the league's attorney in the Supreme Court yesterday.
The papers assert that since Mr. Barber joined the league in 1888, upon the payment of $100, he has not paid a single assessment, except one of $2 in 1910. That was to pay for a souvenir issued by the league.
Although George W. Carr, of No. 29 Wall Street, has been trying to do so for more than two years, he only succeeded in serving a summons on Mr. Barber on Tuesday. (New York World, Oct. 31, 1912.)
Here is an article cut from the New York Globo, undated:
BOASTS HE CONTROLS WORLD'S MATCH TRADE.
0. C. Barber, president of the Diamond Match Co., returned from Europe to-day on the Mauretania, He said he doesn't care who is elected President. No one man is capable of spoiling the business of the United States, he added.
"It looks as if we are going to have an improvement in business generally,” said Mr. Barber.
"In illustrating how his company controls the world's match business, Mr. Barber pulled a box of matches from his pocket and offered them to those who stood around him.
• They're from Sweden,' he said. "If you don't like them try these. They are from Germany, and he drew a second box from his pocket. He said he carried matches, made by his trust, that came from many different parts of the world.”
Mr. HILL. Is this an attack on Mr. Barber?
Mr. Adams. I represent myself. I am in the fire insurance business in New York.
This sindicating) is a package that I referred to as selling at 3 cents a thousand in the wholesale trade. It is marked 1,000 and is supposed to contain that amount.
This match is outlawed under the new ordinance of New York City which went into effect January 1, for the reason that it is made of white phosphorus and the splint is not impregnated with a compound and subsequently coated with paraffin, so as to insure carbonization of the wood and prevent the afterglow, which is the fire-creating hazard in matches that I would like to have prohibited in importations. That will burn (witness having lighted and then blown out the match) until the tip drops off. When the match is extinguished people throw it away and think the match is out, and this is what causes many fires.
This match [indicating] is made in Sweden, "The Lancer.” This is one of the best matches made, with a poisonous tip, with an impregnated splint. Under the Esch-Hughes law they can not import this match after January 1 of this year. When that match (witness having lighted same) is blown out it is out; it still holds the ash.
Mr. HARRISON. By the way, I understand the Swedish law forbids the manufacture of those matches for use in Sweden, but permits the manufacture of them for export to the United States.
Mr. ADAMS. There are a few factories in Sweden and Belgium that make unimpregnated matches for export. They do not sell any in
Europe, custom and law combined prohibiting their sale or use. I have the match referred to, which is sold on the East Side in New York in large quantities.
I have here a sample box of European safety matches with unimpregnated splints. The importation of this match should be prohibited. It is a modern match in every other respect, and it would cost about 1 cent per 14,000 matches to impregnate them. This sindicating) is a match made in Russia
and sold in England, the tariff being too high upon household matches to permit of its importation into the United States. It is free from white phosphorus; it is made at Goldingen, Russia; is nonpoisonous: “To prevent fires use only Lanark matches, which will not drop the ash." These are sold in Great Britain in competition with matches made by the Bryant & May Co., a corporation in which the Diamond Match Co. have a large interest, according to information published in their annual statement.
This match [indicating) is a sample of the American nonpoisonous household matches of which the splints have not been impregnated, and leave a dangerous fire-creating afterglow, or live coal. This will be the common type of American matches that will be placed on the market in conformity with the Esch-Hughes legislation.
Unimpregnated matches should be prohibited by law through excessive taxation. This match is nonpoisonous. I have to take their word for it. I will eat certain of them.
This particular match is made with a large, round splint. It is supposed that a match of this description caused the Equitable Building fire in New York. A man entered the building at 5 o'clock in the morning and lighted a match, using it as a torch, and walked to the office in the storeroom. He blew out the match and threw it in the waste basket. Eighteen minutes later a second employee entered and found the wastebasket, desk, etc., were in flames, it being at the foot of the elevator shaft. Reference is made to that in my brief.
Here is a sample box of matches [indicating) of the common American type, poisonous, and unimpregnated—"Birdseye—the safety strike-anywhere match.” “Birdseye double dip. Noiseless protected tip. Safety head. Prevents fire from side friction. The safe match. A strike-anywhere safety match.” I am reading from the box.
The danger of the tip of the match is that it ignites very easily. The white phosphorus that is used in the tip is very explosive, and in factories has to be kept under water. When it is put into the tip, a little glue and filler binds it, and slightly reduces the temperature at which it will ignite. It is possible under the Esch-Hughes law to sell these matches in the United States for two years, but they can not be imported; that is, matches that have white phosphorus, can not be imported into this country after January 1. That is the common type that was outlawed.
This sindicating] is a sample box of European matches, nonpoisonous, with imperfectly impregnated splints. This is an excellent match, and if more care bad been used in the impregnation process, it would be a better and safer match than the so-called "safety strike on the box match.” Matches of this description are nonpoisonous.
The poisonous match has approximately a fortieth of a grain of white phosphorus in each match. 'It is said a twentieth of a grain will kill a child. In hearings before the committee on the EschHughes bill, it was claimed that the lives of thousands of infants had been destroyed from sucking the heads of poisonous matches. (The records of 40 deaths of this kind were filed with the Ways and Means Committee). Rats and mice gnaw white-phosphorus matches, causing many fires, because they are luminous and attract their attention, and are sweet. Phosphorus is the principal constituent element of rat poison. Notwithstanding, matches made with white phosphorus as an ingredient can be sold in the United States for two years.
The matches I have just been showing you of European make, are nonpoisonous and can be eaten with impunity (witness placing the heads of the matches in his mouth). These matches will strike either wet or dry [witness lighting the matches). The tips of whitephosphorus matches will dissolve much more quickly than those that are nonpoisonous.
This indicating) is a similar match made in the United States which made possible the New York City match law, and the Esch-Hughes regulations, as being something more than a theory. These matches are also nonpoisonous. The salesmen eat them in making demonstrations. Witness proceeds to place matches in his mouth and then to strike them. They strike anywhere.
Mr. Palmer. Perfectly safe for children to play with.
Mr. Avams. Perfectly safe for the children, being nɔnpoisonous and do not ignite too readily. When the match is extinguished there is complete carbonization of the carbon that was ignited and under combustion.
I will leave these samples with the committee.
The matches that are used in the House and Senate are the poisonous and unimpregnated or the common American type that was outlawed by the Esch-Hughes regulations. I found some in the committee room. It is the same match I exhibited a few minutes ago.
My contention in my brief is that the wording of the present paragraph No. 436 is ambiguous and deceptive. It permits the importation of matches packed in boxes containing 100 or less, at the rate of 6 cents per gross of 144 boxes, which would mean the equivalent of 14,400 matches for 6 cents. The household type, which is a superior match on account of the ability to strike anywhere, and which the American people are habituated by custom to use, is taxed at threequarters of a cent per 1,000 matches. In fact, in boxes containing 500, or five times as much as a small box, or for 72,000 matches, there would be a duty of 56 cents, as compared to the equivalent duty of 30 cents on the small-sized package. The small-sized package of safety matches is a luxury. It is used by smokers, in cigar stores, hotels, and cafés, while the other is a necessity in the household, and as a matter of fact, should not be taxed at all.
Mr. Harrison. The ad valorem equivalent of the tax upon the other kind of match is reported in the Treasury book to be only a little more than 10 per cent, but as practically none of those came in, 1 presume it is prohibitive as to most of them.
Mr. Adams. You are speaking of the small match ?