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Williams, E. A., Crescent City, Fla.; citrus fruits..
SCHEDULE D.-WOOD, AND MANUFACTURES OF.
COMMITTEE ON WAYS AND MEANS,
Monday, January 13, 1913.
The committee met at 10 o'clock a. m., Hon. Oscar W. Underwood in the chair.
Present with the chairman: Messrs. Harrison, Shackleford, Kitchin, James, Rainey, Dixon, Hull, Hammond, Palmer, Payne, Dalzell, Hill, Needham, Fordney, and Longworth.
The CHAIRMAN. The committee will come to order.
Gentlemen, we have two schedules to-day. The first is Schedule D, wood and manufactures of. We would like to dispose of this schedule this morning, and then take up Schedule L, silk and silk goods, this afternoon.
Timber, hewn, sided, or squared otherwise than by sawing (not less than eight inches square) and round timber used for spars or in building wharves, one-half of one cent per cubic foot.
Sawed boards, planks, deals, and other lumber of whitewood, sycamore, and basswood, fifty cents per thousand feet board measure; sawed lumber, not specially provided for in this section, one dollar and twenty-five cents per thousand feet board measure; but when lumber of any sort is planed or finished, there shall be levied in addition to the rates herein provided, the following:
For one side so planed or finished, fifty cents per thousand feet board measure; for planing or finishing on one side and tonguing and grooving or for planing or finishing on two sides, seventy-five cents per thousand feet board measure; for planing or finishing on three sides, or planing and finishing on two sides and tonguing and grooving, one dollar and twelve and onehalf cents per thousand feet board measure; for planing and finishing on four sides, one dollar and fifty cents per thousand feet board measure; and in estimating board measure under this schedule no deduction shall be made on board measure on account of planing, tonguing, and grooving.
TESTIMONY OF MR. GREEN, REPRESENTING NORTHERN WHITEPINE INTERESTS.
Mr. Green, having been duly sworn by the chairman, testified as follows:
Mr. GREEN. While I represent the Tonawanda white-pine interests specifically, I am also authorized to speak for the Saginaw district, the Albany district, and the Cleveland district; and I believe what I have to say will express the sentiment of all the concerns doing a white-pine business along our northern tiers.
Now, this statement may surprise you; but so far as the duty on rough lumber is concerned it is a matter of total indifference to our
interests, in so far as it may affect our business, as to whether the duty is raised or lowered or cut out altogether, for this reason, that the market is in the United States. The United States fixes the price, and the price which the Canadian manufacturer gets for his lumber is the American price, less whatever amount of duty may be put upon it. No further proof of this is needed than this fact that the Canadian manufacturer to-day, in contracting for the sale of his lumber, to be delivered into the United States during the coming season, in view of a possible tariff reduction, has almost in every case provided in that case that by far the larger per cent, and in most cases all, of any possible reduction shall be added to the purchase price under the contract.
Now, our point is just this, that we do not care, because it can not possibly lower the cost of our stock to us, and therefore it can not possibly lower the cost of our stock to the United States consumer. The loss which the Government suffers in revenue thereby will have to be made up by the consumer in some other manner, but he can not draw the profit.
Now, as to the dressed-lumber end of the proposition, very different features are presented. All along the Canadian border, on this side, are scattered planing mills, box shops, and woodworking mills for the dressing of the lumber. Practically every concern doing business on this side has, either its own planing mill or one where it can have the lumber dressed. Lumber is brought here from Canada at a low rate of freight, put on to docks, and placed in our yards. About 50 per cent of that lumber is then shipped to the customer in the United States in the rough. The remaining 50 per cent is run through the planing mills and dressed and delivered to the consumer in a dressed condition.
Now, I wish to emphasize this point, that without that dress end of our business we can not exist, because that 50 per cent which we ship dressed must be dressed before the consumer can accept it, because the varying uses to which it is placed demand that it must be dressed before it can be shipped to our customers.
Now, in Canada to-day they are building planing mills in every section where there is a sufficient cut of timber to warrant the investment and for the purpose of competing under the present tariff with the planing-mill man of the United States, and the advantage which the present tariff gives to him lies merely in the fact that lumber, when it is dressed, weighs less than lumber in the rough. White-pine lumber weighs 2,300 pounds per thousand feet. That same lumber dressed to seven-eighths will weigh approximately 2,000 pounds.
Now, a manufacturer in Canada, having a 15 or 17 cent rate can save practically all, or in some cases, more than the duty imposed, owing to the difference in the amount of freight which he will have to pay. If the duty on dressed lumber is reduced, that advantage is going to be so much the greater, and we can not possibly compete owing to that advantage which those Canadian millmen have.
Now, in the first place, that may appear to be of advantage to the consumer; but I do not think it would be so, for the reason that we can not do business and have 50 per cent of our stock left on our hands unmarketable. We can not exist. Now, while we are being forced out, the consumer may have the benefit of the competition which