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PARAGRAPH 244-BISCUITS, BREAD, ETC.
Mr. O'BRYAN. That was exactly the point raised, that these were confections
Mr. KITCHIN (interposing). Did the court lay down any rule by which to distinguish between a confection and a sweetened biscuit? Mr. O'BRYAN. They did give some
Mr. KITCHIN (interposing). Or simply say this article under consideration is confectionery?
Mr. O'BRYAN. They gave the reason in this decision.
Mr. KITCHIN. And you do not recall that decision?
Mr. O'BRYAN. I do not recall the particular decision, but can get it and send the committee a complete copy thereof.
Mr. KITCHIN. All right; I wish you would do so.
Mr. HARRISON. Is not, in your opinion, the amount of sugar in one of these articles that which renders it a confection instead of an ordinary biscuit?
Mr. O'BRYAN. I do not consider any of Huntley & Palmers' biscuits to be confections.
Mr. HARRISON. Do you not manufacture these sweetened biscuit yourself?
Mr. O'BRYAN. No, sir; these are all manufactured in England. Mr. HARRISON. There is a similar article manufactured in this country?
Mr. O'BRYAN. Oh, I understand there is an imitation article manufactured in this country.
Mr. HARRISON. Are you manufacturers of these articles?
Mr. O'BRYAN. No; we are simply the United States of America representatives of Messrs. Huntley & Palmers (Ltd.), Reading, England.
Mr. HULL. This National Biscuit Co. sells wafers and other like products in packages, does it not?
Mr. O'BRYAN. Yes, sir; they have biscuit sold in packages and also in bulk.
Mr. HULL. They have reduced the number in a package in the last few years without diminishing the price, have they, or not?
Mr. O'BRYAN. I am not certain as to this.
BRIEF ON BISCUITS AND CRACKERS.
Hon. OSCAR W. UNDERWOOD,
NEW YORK, January 16, 1913.
Chairman of the Ways and Means Committee, Washington, D. C. DEAR SIR: You have on these products one of the most iniquitous duties in the whole tariff list. Biscuits value at not more than 15 cents a pound. You have 3 cents a pound duty and 15 per cent ad valorem, which makes about 35 per cent duty. The custom appraisers in Boston and New York add the cost of the tin container, so that it makes all biscuits costing 13 cents to 14 cents enter at a duty of about 35 per cent. On biscuits costing over 15 cents a pound the duty is 50 per cent ad valorem on all kinds of biscuits, you would collect a great deal more duty than you do. You would not only benefit the Government, but would benefit the consumer, because English biscuits are much more palatable than the ones produced in this country; if we had some competition from England on biscuits it would stimulate our manufacturers to produce a better article. There are biscuits produced and sold in this country that if a man was to eat them for two months without eating anything else with them, he would become an anemiac.
The above statement is proven by our consumption in the United States, which is only about 80 cents per capita annually. Canada consumes $2.50 per capita, because
PARAGRAPH 244-BISCUITS, BREAD, ETC.
they produce their biscuits the same as in Great Britain. Australia consumes about $2 per capita; Great Briatin and Continental Europe about $4 per capita.
You go on to the Isthmus of Panama and you will see that nearly all of the biscuits sold there are made in Edinborough, Scotland, and Dublin, Ireland; through Central America and West Indies we virtually have no biscuit trade, because we do not produce goods that will keep. If we had more European competition here it would stimulate our manufacturers to produce a class of biscuits that would suit West Indies and Central America.
Your tariff, we presume, has usually been regulated by the influence of the biscuit company known as the Cracker Trust. They commenced business about fifteen years ago with $25,000,000, 7 per cent preferred and $30,000,000 of common stock, which they gave away to the preferred stockholders. The common stock sold last year as high as $1.61 on the New York Stock Exchange, and the preferred stock sold as high as $1.34. The preferred stock has been a continual 7 per cent dividend earner, and the common stock paid the first year 4 per cent, and for the last few years has been paying 8 or 9 per cent; besides, they have accumulated an actual surplus of twelve to fourteen million dollars. When they were at first consolidated you could have reproduced what they possessed in the way of buildings, tools, and equipment for less than $10,000,000. They have conducted a most expensive advertising campaign.
When the last tariff bill was enacted, someone who was interested must have influenced the committee to believe that any biscuits that contained a cream center like these little wafers served for afternoon teas should be classed as confectionery-which carried a duty of 50 per cent. They are not confectionery-they are biscuits, crackers, or cakes.
In addition to the large cracker company referred to, there is another one in existence in this country doing a business of ten or twelve million dollars, that has been most successful, and they have recently published a notice in the newspapers that they are going to erect a plant in Winnipeg, Canada, estimated to cost over a million dollars. This is evidence enough that the duty is too high.
Take the ordinary soda cracker sold for 5 cents in packages containing about 5 ounces. If this same cracker was sold in bulk it would not bring over 7 cents per pound on the outside to the jobber, with a discount of 10 per cent from that which would enable the retailer to sell 3 pounds for a quarter, but in selling them in packages they bring about 15 cents or 16 cents a pound. The manufacturers claim to get a yield out of each barrel of flour of 670 packages of crackers, but estimating they get 650 packages, they are sold at 50 cents a dozen to the retailer, who in turn gets 5 cents from the consumer; the 650 packages, at 4 cents, which will bring $26 for the barrel of flour.
Estimating a barrel of patent flour at about.
Deduct this from $26 and you have $17.85 left.
While I have estimated $1 for labor on a run of soda crackers in a large plant, the labor would never amount to more than 50 cents a barrel.
From the above statement, can you believe there is any necessity for such a high tariff?
PLEAS FOR RETENTION OF TARIFF ON DOG BISCUITS, ETC.
NEWARK, N. J., January 27, 1913.
Our chief customers are the wealthy classes who can afford the luxury of keeping a number of dogs and feeding them on specially prepared food. We manufacture foods for domestic animals only and not for man.
The man having one or two dogs has sufficient waste from his own table without buying our foods.
The farmer while he sells indirectly to us the grain, etc., from which our biscuits are made is not a customer for the finished product. He has other sources of supply for the feeding of his dogs.
We are large and increasingly large consumers of only American flours, and thus are supporters of the home farm industry. The same is true of meat.
PARAGRAPH 244—BISCUITS, BREAD, ETC.
To take the tariff off unsweetened biscuits and leave it on sweetened biscuits would not benefit us at all, for we do not put sugar in ours for the reason that it is believed by us and those who have made a study of such matters to be injurious to the dog. This is the opinion held by the English company from whom we purchased our name and trading rights and who, with a great number of others, would be in the best position to drive us out of our own market if their goods are allowed to come in duty free or at a lower tariff.
We purchased name, trading rights, etc., from an English company about 30 years ago. After exteremely uphill work and manufacturing at first at a heavy loss the company had to be reorganized. We moved from New York to New Jersey, and thereafter very slowly got on to a paying basis.
We are pioneers in our particular industry, and at first while it was a losing venture were the only manufacturers of dog biscuits in the field. Eventually, however, a number of similar but competing industries arose in several other States, and now the total output of dog biscuits and the number of persons employed is very considerable. At our own plant and at the various dog and poultry shows that we have fostered we employ some hundreds of hands. Neither this company nor any of the companies above referred to is in any sense a monopolist, and there is nothing to prevent similar industries springing up in every State of the Union, excepting only the lack of demand or the lack of a protective tariff.
In our own case if the present tariff is taken away we shall actually be in a position of being unable to compete with the very European company from whom we originally purchased our trading rights.
SPRATT'S PATENT (AMERICA), LIMITED.
NEW YORK, January 29, 1913.
Biscuits for dogs, horses, and other animals are principally used by the wealthier classes, who can afford the luxury of buying specially prepared food for their pets. Most owners of pets feed them on the waste from the family table, and do not as a rule buy specially prepared foods for them. In the farming community baked biscuits for animals are regarded as a joke. The largest use of prepared animal foods are confined to the larger cities and wealthier population.
In England and other European countries are many factories baking ship breads, the by-products of which are sold as foods for dogs and other animals, whereas in the United States there is no volume of like business.
A number of English concerns are now exporting various prepared dog breads and animal biscuits to this country and selling their goods in our market at favorable prices.
We consume raw materials of domestic origin exclusively and thus support home industries. It would not be fair to take the tariff off unsweetened biscuits and leave it only on sweetened biscuits, as sugar is not commonly used in the manufacture of biscuits for dogs, horses, and other animals, and European manufacturers would take advantage of this condition, which is a vital point in our affairs.
The dog biscuit industry is a comparatively new one, and the use of biscuits for dogs, horses, and other animals is not common throughout our country, there being sections where such products are practically unknown, and in developing the industry we need the protection of a tariff.
F. H. BENNETT BISCUIT Co.
STATEMENT OF POTTER & WRIGHTINGTON, BOSTON, MASS.
Hon. WILLIAM F. MURRAY,
Congressman, Washington, D. C.
BOSTON, January 30, 1913.
DEAR SIR: We have been engaged in the manufacture of dog bread for many years with a bakery in Charlestown district, and have built up a large business in the same goods.
At the present time there is an import duty of 20 per cent ad valorem on these goods (Schedule G, par. 244). That it is far from prohibitory is shown by the fact that English baked bread for dogs is imported by several manufacturers into this country
PARAGRAPH 246 CHEESE.
which has at times been sold at prices below the American market, even with the duty paid. Within the past year English bread has been sold in New York at 34 cents per pound.
Dog bread is a specialty. It is baked by several concerns in the United States, and domestic competition is active and sharp. The wholesale price averages about 4 cents per pound, of which price about two-thirds represents the cost of labor and materials, and the remaining third covers all other expenses, including selling, with liberal advertising of the special brands, and the profit. The duty gives the American manufacturer an advantage of four-fifths of a cent per pound.
The principal ingredients are flour and meat. Both of these can be bought to-day cheaper in Liverpool than in Chicago, flour from 25 to 50 cents a barrel. Our labor costs us much more than it does the foreign manufacturer. Our bakers are paid from $18 to $22 per week and other help in proportion.
We would respectfully urge upon the committee that the present rate of duty remain unchanged. If any change in the duty is to be made, it should be increased, not as a protective measure, as we are content with the present rate, but because dog bread may be classed as a luxury. Only the wealthy can, and do, afford to buy a special food for their dogs, and the owners of fancy kennels who now buy the English baked bread, do so largely on its name, and an increase in its price would hardly affect such demand. The man who keeps one dog generally feeds him with the scraps from his own table.
On the other hand, a reduction in the duty would be a serious menace to our business. Yours, respectfully,
POTTER & WRIGHTINGTON.
Butter and substitutes therefor, six cents per pound. PARAGRAPH 246.
Cheese, and substitutes therefor, six cents per pound. For cheese, see also Italian Chamber of Commerce, page 2680.
TESTIMONY OF ANTONIO ZUCCA, NEW YORK CITY.
Mr. Zucca was sworn by the chairman.
Mr. ZUCCA. Mr. Chairman, I have here a small pamphlet giving all the history and I will ask permission to give it to the members of the committee. I do not know whether it is proper or not, and that is the reason I ask your permission.
The CHAIRMAN. The clerk will take the pamphlet.
Mr. ZUCCA. Mr. Chairman and gentlemen of the committee, I come before you to say a few words regarding two articles in Schedule G, two articles that I buy and sell quite largely and I am familiar with the consumption. The first that I will speak on will be cheese, and the second possibly will be lemons. My good friend Julius Mahr, president of the New York Mercantile Exchange of New York, last week in his address to the meeting of the association said this:
Cheese, eggs, meat, and poultry, not only in this country, but in all the countries of the world, should be on the free list, and then the problem of the high cost of living will be solved.
Because, he stated, that in many countries they have more of some articles than they need, and in other countries they have not got so much, and therefore it will be only the cost of transportation to equalize the prices all around the world for the benefit of the masses. I know I am not so radical as my friend Mr. Mahr, and I know that the United States Government needs revenue, and therefore I only ask you that it will be proper in my opinion, that cheese
should be reduced from 6 cents to about 3 cents, to 2 or 3 cents per pound. At one time it was 3 cents, and under the McKinley Act it was 4 cents.
I have divided cheese into two tables, cheese for the rich man's table and cheese for the poor man's table. The rich man's table includes Roquefort, Camembert, and Regina cheese. Cheese for the poor man's table includes Roman cheese and Swiss cheese. Roman cheese is imported to this country about 10,000,000 pounds annually, and it is used entirely by Italian immigrants and Italian working people. It is very nutritious, and you can see in the morning an Italian going down to work in the subway or the railroad station in New York and he has a big loaf of bread, a piece of cheese, and an orange, and that sustains him for the day. This cheese is not used by any other nationality but the Italians. Swiss cheese contains exactly the the same nutriment as meat and is imported to the extent of about 18,000,000 pounds-30,000 tons annually. It is very nutritious and has a very fine flavor and is probably a good deal better than domestic cheese made here. In Wisconsin, Ohio, and part of Pennsylvania is made a Swiss cheese, an imitation Swiss cheese, which is very good. They make about 20,000,000 pounds annually. This cheese probably has as high a flavor as the imported and sells higher, a few cents a pound. I do not believe it needs any protection, and probably if you reduce the duty to 3 cents a pound the factories will try to make better cheese. In the West they sell it for 21 cents.
The CHAIRMAN. You say that the cheese that the poor people use in New York is Swiss cheese and Roman cheese?
Mr. ZUCCA. Yes, sir.
The CHAIRMAN. If it was put in the tariff bill in that way, would that convey to the customs officers the exact kind of cheese? Would that be a sufficient designation just to say "Swiss cheese" and "Roman cheese"?
Mr. ZUCCA. I do not quite understand.
The CHAIRMAN. What I wanted to know is, does the trade understand those terms? Do you understand distinctly when you say "Roman cheese" and "Swiss cheese" just what is meant?
Mr. ZUCCA. I do not think the history of the Government hereI do not think that cheese for the rich and cheese for the poor has been separated.
The CHAIRMAN. I know, but what I wanted to get was, whether what you call Roman cheese designates a particular kind of cheese that would be distinguished from a Camembert or Roquefort cheese, for instance.
Mr. ZUCCA. This is a round cheese, and you can tell if, of course. It comes from the Roman Campania, where to-day it sells higher than the best cheese, for the reason that there is more demand, I suppose more poor people who eat cheese than rich people.
The CHAIRMAN. What is the import price of Roman cheese at the port of New York, excluding the duty?
Mr. ZUCCA. Excluding the duty it is 23 cents a pound, the import price.
The CHAIRMAN. What is the price of Swiss cheese?