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PARAGRAPH 203-VENEERS, CABINET WOODS, ETC.
In paragraph 343 of the free list of the customs tariff of the Republic of Cuba it appears the undressed pine lumber imported into Cuba from the United States does not pay any duty, though said lumber competes in Cuba with the national product. Should the pine pay duty in Cuba the cedar would be used instead of the pine in the making of packing cases, as their prices, though close, are in favor of the pine. If you should consider further that the kind of Spanish cedar that grows in Cuba does not grow in the United States, and that besides it does not compete with any other wood that grows in this country, because of the special properties of the cedar for packing tobacco, it seems fair and proper that if the pine imported in Cuba from the United States does not pay any duty the cedar boards which are not dressed whatever, but simply sawed lumber, should pay no duty when imported into the United States, particularly is this so if we have in mind Article VII of the commercial agreement between the two countries, which reads as follows:
"It is agreed that similar articles of both countries shall receive equal treatment on their importation into the ports of the United States and the Republic of Cuba, respectively."
If the new customs tariff would classify the cedar boards in the free list, or even if it would class them as dutiable at $1.25 per 1,000 feet, the importation of the cedar boards will increase, helping greatly in the reduction of prices in the manufacturing of cigar boxes, for on my part, for instance, I would naturally give the consumer the entire benefit of the reduction of the tariff.
I have the honor to remain,
Yours, very respectfully,
R. M. DE MORA.
BRIEF OF GEO. M. SPIEGLE & CO. (INC.), PHILADELPHIA, PA.
Hon. OSCAR UNDERWOOD,
United States Capitol, Washington, D. C.
PHILADELPHIA, January 29, 1913.
DEAR SIR: Your attention is respectfully called to the fact that mahogany and foreign hard woods are being brought into this country with no duty on the logs and a prohibitory duty on the sawed lumber.
These woods are all high-priced, expensive woods, and it seems to me that they ought to pay some revenue and the duty on sawed lumber should be reduced so that it would not be prohibitory. If the duty on sawed lumber was reduced to 5 per cent ad valorem, the sawed lumber could be imported direct into this country.
In the case of logs being brought direct there is an economic waste in paying the steamship companies for 20 per cent waste, as the logs weigh fully 20 per cent more than the lumber into which they would be converted. The ocean freight is from 8 to 15 per cent of their value, so that, you see, 20 per cent of the freight is a total loss.
In addition to this, smaller dealers who have no sawmills of their own are obliged to use custom mills at the port of import and are obliged to pay, in the case of New York, a lighterage fee of $1.75 and a sawing bill of $10 per 1,000 feet, and then when having an inland point they are furthermore obliged to pay the rate of freight to the point of destination, or, in a place like Philadelphia, which has no custom mills, we are obliged to import all this lumber to New York and pay a local rate of freight to Philadelphia, whereas if we could buy it sawed into lumber we could import it direct, therefore making a further saving of $4 per 1,000 feet.
Calculating mahogany at the price of $100 per 1,000 feet ad valorem, which I think is a little less than the average, you will readily see that there is a saving of about $2 per 1,000 feet in freight and $4 per 1,000 feet in sawing, making $6, so that the duty on mahogany sawed lumber if it was reduced to 5 per cent, or $5 per 1,000 on $100 value, or $6 per 1,000 on $120 ad valorem value, would bring the duty to $5 or $6 and allow us to compete and incidentally bring in revenue to the Government.
If you are interested and I can give you any further information about this question, please advise and I shall be glad to answer any questions you make concerning it.
I am not familiar as to the rates of duty. I only know that logs are free of duty and that the duty on sawed mahogany lumber is so prohibitive that we can not bring the lumber in sawed. GEO. M. SPIegle.
PARAGRAPH 203-VENEERS, CABINET WOODS, ETC.
OF T. J. MOFFETT, OF THE MALEY, THOMPSON & MOFFETT CO., CINCINNATI, OHIO, WITH REFERENCE TO MAHOGANY LUMBER.
The placing of a duty upon mahogany lumber some years ago seems to have been done without any good and sufficient reasons and at this time there are many reasons why this duty should be removed and mahogany lumber placed upon the free list, the same as mahogany logs, upon which there is no duty whatever.
There is no mahogany timber in this country, and therefore it can not be argued that protection must be afforded against foreign competition. The amount of mahogany lumber imported is comparatively small and the percentage cost of manufacture is not large, so it can not be said that protection is afforded the workingman by assessing duty upon this commodity.
The duty assessed is added to the price and is eventually paid by the consumer. We sell our mahogany lumber in Canada upon the basis of the prices in the United States less the duty.
The placing of mahogany lumber upon the free list will aid in the conservation of our own hard woods, and this certainly is strong argument why it should be done.
The amount of money received by the Government from the duty upon mahogany
First. Because the duty affords protection to no one in the United States.
Third. Because by so doing the Government will aid conservation of our forests.
Fifth. Because the cost of collection of the duty exceeds the revenue received. And, lastly, because the delays and annoyances of the obsolete customhouse regulations hamper our business, delay our shipments, and cause us unnecessary and heavy expenses, which the results to the Government and the people of the United States do not justify.
T. J. MOFFETT.
BRIEF OF WESTERN HARDWOOD LUMBER CO. RE JAPANESE WHITE OAK.
LOS ANGELES, CAL., January 20, 1913.
Hon. WM. D. STEPHENS,
House of Representatives, Washington, D. C. DEAR SIR: * ** A decision was rendered in our favor, permitting Japanese white oak in the log to enter free as cabinet wood, which ruling had the effect of imposing a duty of 15 per cent ad valorem on white-oak sawn lumber.
This has prevented the importation of oak lumber manufactured in Japan and stimulated the importation of logs, so that instead of lumber being manufactured with the cheap labor of Japan it is now manufactured in sawmills on this coast, which give employment to a large number of men.
We are quite sure that the Japanese will make a vigorous effort to secure a reduction of the tariff on sawn lumber through certain interests to whose advantage it would be to import manufactured lumber, not having sawmill facilities to handle the logs; but we believe it will be greatly to the advantage of the Pacific coast industries to maintain the tariff on the lumber and to permit logs to enter as now.
It might be argued that, on account of the diminishing supply of hard woods in this country, it would be in the interest of conservation to allow cabinet-wood lumber to be imported free, but we believe the same result will be accomplished by allowing the logs to enter free and have the lumber manufactured here; therefore no good could be accomplished by allowing the lumber to come in free.
The imported manufactured lumber without a duty would be sold on this market at about the same price at which lumber now manufactured from the log is being sold, as the present duty is just about sufficient to permit us to operate our mills. If our mills were obliged to close, there is no question but that the Japanese would advance the price of their sawn lumber to what the market would stand.
Under present conditions the importation of logs relieves the drain on our forests; the consumer is not injured, but, on the contrary, benefited, as he is able to get cheaper
lumber, and Pacific coast industries are protected. In fact, a number of flourishing furniture factories have been established, and have prospered, by being able to secure lower-priced hardwood lumber for their needs. These factories are exclusive of the sawmill industries, and their product is entirely new to this coast.
If sawn lumber is admitted free, our forests will not receive any more protection than from the importation of logs, the consumer will not be benefited, as lumber prices will not be reduced, and about the only result will be the closing of the Pacific coast sawmills, depriving a large number of men of employment.
The same conditions regarding prices of lumber and protection of American sawmill industries exist in respect to the importations of mahogany and other hard woods from Mexico and Central American States, although in the case of these woods there is no question about protection of our forests, no such woods being produced in our country.
We are anxious to prevent a reduction of the duty of 15 per cent ad valorem on cabinet woods imported as sawn lumber, white oak coming under this heading, according to the ruling of the Board of General Appraisers.
Yours, very truly,
WESTERN HARDWOOD LUMBER Co.,
Paving posts, railroad ties, and telephone, trolley, electric light, and telegraph poles of cedar or other wood, ten percentum ad valorem.
Clapboards, one dollar and twenty-five cents per thousand.
Hubs for wheels, posts, heading bolts, stave bolts, last blocks, wagon blocks, oarblocks, heading blocks, and all like blocks or sticks, roughhewn, sawed or bored, twenty per centum ad valorem.
Laths, twenty cents per one thousand pieces.
Pickets, palings and staves of wood, of all kinds, ten per centum ad valorem.
Shingles, fifty cents per thousand.
OPPOSITION TO REDUCTION OF DUTY.
Hon. OSCAR W. UNDERWOOD,
SEATTLE, WASH., January 11, 1913.
Chairman Ways and Means Committee, House of Representatives:
We, as shingle manufacturers, are opposed to a reduction in the tariff on shingles. Any reduction will be very harmful to our industry, which is one of the most important in our State. It will encourage American capital engaging in the manufacture of shingles in British Columbia rather than at home. There are about 400 mills operating in Washington, most of them small plants operated by the owners, employing about 10,000 men, not including those employed in getting out the timber. The British Columbia mills are anxiously awaiting a reduction in the tariff, as their home consumption only enables them to operate about half capacity. They have an ironclad association, apportioning the consumption of Canada amongst the mills in their association, stifling free competition, and the mills are hoping that they can use the United States as a dumping ground for their surplus. A lowering of the tariff would be a great loss to us and a great gain to British Columbia, employing oriental labor; also a great detriment to our white labor.
RED CEDAR SHINGLE MANUFACTURERS' ASSOCIATION.
PARAGRAPHS 210-211-BOX SHOOKS.
Casks, barrels, and hogsheads (empty), sugar-box shooks, and packing boxes (empty), and packing-box shooks, of wood, not specially provided for in this section, thirty per centum ad valorem.
Boxes, barrels, or other articles containing oranges, lemons, limes, grapefruit, shaddocks or pomelos, thirty per centum ad valorem: Provided, That the thin wood, so called, comprising the sides, tops, and bottoms of orange and lemon boxes of the growth and manufacture of the United States, exported as orange and lemon box shooks, may be reimported in completed form, filled with oranges and lemons, by the payment of duty at one-half the rate imposed on similar boxes of entirely foreign growth and manufacture; but proof of the identity of such shooks shall be made under regulations to be prescribed by the Secretary of the Treasury.
BRIEF FILED BY CHARLES M. STEWART, OF BANGOR, ME.
BANGOR, ME., January 15, 1913.
To the honorable members of the Ways and Means Committee of the House. GENTLEMEN: I respectfully advocate and urge the following changes in the tariff: Paragraph 211 now reads: "Boxes, barrels, or other articles containing oranges, lemons, limes, grapefruit, shaddocks, or pomelos, 30 per cent ad valorem: Provided, That the thin wood, so called, comprising the sides, tops, and bottoms of orange and lemon boxes of the growth and manufacture of the United States exported as orange and lemon box shooks may be reimported in completed form, filled with oranges and lemons, by the payment of duty at one-half the rate imposed on similar boxes of entirely foreign growth and manufacture; but proof of the identity of such shooks shall be made under regulations to be prescribed by the Secretary of the Treasury."
To further aid the fruit-box shook industry of the State of Maine, regarding which I filed a brief January 20, upon Schedule G, relating to lemons, copy of same hereto attached for purpose of reference, I would suggest that the present paragraph 211 be made to read, viz:
"PAR. 211. Boxes, barrels, or other articles containing oranges, lemons, limes, grapefruit, shaddocks, or pomelos, 30 per cent ad valorem: Provided, That the thin wood, so called, comprising the sides, tops, and bottoms of fruit boxes of the manufacture of the United States exported as fruit-box shooks may be reimported in completed form, filled with fruit, by the payment of duty at one-half the rate imposed on similar boxes of entirely foreign manufacture; but proof of the identity of such shooks shall be made under regulations to be prescribed by the Secretary of the Treasury." My reasons for this are: The present law admits packages containing oranges and lemons only to benefit by this clause, while I consider it no more than just to permit it to apply to all of the fruit named in the paragraph.
Under paragraph 500, which reads: "Articles the growth, produce, or manufacture of the United States [and then it goes on to enumerate the articles that can be admitted free from duty], including shooks and staves when returned as barrels or boxes"-thus you will notice the complete box of United States manufacture may come in free, the paragraph reading "growth, produce, or manufacture," while paragraph 211 requires that the thin wood may be reimported provided it is "of the growth and manufacture of the United States.'
It sometimes happens that these mills for manufacture of fruit-box shooks in the State of Maine are located not many miles from the border of New Brunswick, and we are frequently offered hardwood logs the growth of New Brunswick, upon which there is no duty imposed as they come from the stump. These could be made into fruit-box shooks for export were it not for the wording of paragraph 211. Now it becomes necessary to haul them to other factories to be converted into something besides fruit-box shooks.
When brought in as logs, the American laborer has an opportunity to obtain employment manufacturing said logs into whatever finished product they may be converted. Why not permit us to put them into fruit-box shooks? It would aid the American manufacturer and injure no person, Respectfully submitted,
CHAS. M. STEWART,
PARAGRAPHS 210-211-BOX SHOOKS.
[Hackett Shook Co., successors to Hathorn, Foss & Co., manufacturers of orange and lemon box shooks.] BANGOR, ME., September, 1911.
To whom it may concern:
GREETING: As president of the Hacket Shook Co., duly incorporated under the laws of the State of Maine, I desire to call your attention to the following facts:
In the year 1859, at the request of Thomas J. Stewart, of Bangor, Me., I personally made the first package of fruit-box shooks ever produced in America for export to Sicily, Italy, to be filled with oranges and lemons and shipped to the United States. I have been connected with the manufacture of such box shooks from that time to the present. During that interval may others have also been engaged in the same business; there was a time when there were 10 or more mills engaged in that industry. Possibly you are not aware that Maine is the only State that has ever exported a cargo of these shooks to Italy or Spain. It is a fact.
For more than 50 years I have been in this business; to-day the Hackett Shook Co. have two mills equipped to produce these fruit-box shooks in Aroostook County, Me., each with a capacity of producing sufficient "thinwood" (so-called) tops, bottoms, and sides (without the ends and middle partition of thick material) for between 1,500,000 and 2,000,000 boxes during each season. These plants are quite expensive. To start new, erect mill, equip with best machinery, stock and manufacture these shooks it requires an expenditure of over $100,000 per mill before a single dollar can be received from the product of same.
In 1909 we manufactured shooks for about 3,000,000 boxes, which were sold at 5 cents (United States currency) per box, aggregating $150,000 brought into this State of Italian capital, distributed (after the stumpage bill was paid) to laborers in Maine for their services in producing and shipping these shooks. There have been shipped in the past as high as 4,000,000 boxes in one season.
In 1910 we did not sell a single bundle of shooks. Why? Because of the increase in duty by the Payne-Aldrich tariff act of one-half cent per pound upon lemons. That duty and nothing else is responsible for closing our mills and driving us out of business after all of these years of toil in that very line of manufacture.
Please realize the cash we have been paying out for labor all of these years was not American capital, it was foreign, brought into this country by this fruit-box shook industry, and now we and every other manufacturer in the State are forced to discontinue; that capital is going into Austria, where the present supply of shooks for the Italian markets is drawn from, and American laborers are being deprived of just so much wages in consequence.
How could Members of Congress feel justified in voting for that increase in duty upon lemons? California did not need it to enable them to market their product of of lemons, for it is well known that only about 40 per cent of the consumption of lemons in the United States are raised in this country. There is a ready market for two lemons for every one raised in the United States.
We believe it is a conservative estimate to say the population and consumption of lemons in the United States will increase faster during the next 10 years or more than it will be possible for the United States to increase its production of lemons to meet same.
Why, then, retain that duty? Why not repeal it, and by such act enable us to again start our mills and manufacture fruit-box shooks for the foreign trade and protect American laborers who are employed in manufacturing and shipping the shooks we produce?
The man from California may say he wants you to protect American laborers who work in the cultivation of lemons in his State. Tell him, which is a fact, the large majority of laborers employed there in that work are Japs and Mexicans, not American citizens and voters, as is the case in Maine.
If we do not have an opportunity to continue the manufacture of these shooks, our property is practically a dead loss to us; situated as it is, it is not adapted for any other purpose.
It was constructed specially for making fruit-box shooks for Italian markets.
We have always had the Austrian manufacturers as competitors in the Italian markets, part of the requirements have been procured from us and part from them. Since the passage of the Payne-Aldrich tariff act in 1909 the entire requirements for the Italian markets go to Austria and Maine is shut out and our industry annihilated. If the duty now placed upon lemons is abolished, we have assurance from the foreigner who ships them and the merchants in the United State who import them that they will use none but American shooks for all shipments of fruit sent to the United States, which would give us a much larger percentage of the requirements