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Mr. ZUCCA. Twenty cents. The Regina cheese, which is a better class of cheese, is cheaper on account of the supply and demand. Therefore I believe it would be a good thing for this committee, if they thought wise, to reduce the duty on cheese, and if they do not think it right to take off the duty entirely to take the duty off at least on that class of cheese which is used by the poor.
Another article that I wish to talk about this morning is lemons. I am really ashamed to speak of it, because yesterday you had so much of it, and I was dreaming myself of lemons. The consumption of lemons in the United States amounts to about 4,000,000 boxes annually; 2,000,000 are imported from Italy, and the balance are supplied by California. The present tariff of 14 cents per pound is exorbitant and nearly prohibitive were it not for the necessity felt by the people for this hygienic and medicinal fruit. Some of the countries have lowered the duty on lemons and others have placed the same on the free list, as it was done, for example, by our neighboring Canada. California lemons are fine in appearance, but lack the acidity possessed by the fruits from southern Italy. However, the production increases annually and in time will yield a supply sufficient for the entire United States and even for export. I believe in about 10 years we will have enough lemons from California to export. The disadvantage with California lies in the fact of its climatic changes. For instance, this year California has suffered from a heavy frost; consequently the crop will be reduced one-fourth or perhaps even one-fifth of its customary quantity.
As a result of this, the price of lemons advanced $2.50 per box over former prices, and will probably keep advancing, to the disadvantage of the people, who are compelled to pay exorbitant prices. On the last auction sale in New York, Tuesday a week, they advanced from $2.50 to $3 right away. California lemons, good lemons, went up to $7 a box, and of course the people, the users, will have to pay these high prices, and it will be some time before we can import enough lemons to supply the country. With a reasonable tariff lemons could be imported freely into this country, and the masses would reap the benefit in buying this hygienic fruit at a low cost. In my humble opinion, I believe lemons should be on the free list. Let them come from all parts of the world where grown. Let California produce all she can, and let the people have all the lemons that they can use at a cheap price, and by benefiting their health they will have less doctors' bills to pay. The inhabitants of the crowded districts, who have not the opportunity of going in summer to the seashore or mountains, should at least be able to enjoy a good pitcher of lemonade. I will state that a letter from Los Angeles, printed in the trade paper in New York, states that the frost in California really is more severe than it was at first thought. This letter is dated January 17, from Los Angeles, and states that not only is the crop destroyed to at least one-fifth for this year, but even for next year; and therefore, of course, lemons will be high in price, because they can not supply the demand of the United States from the other side, and on account of the high duty they can not come in very large quantities; and therefore the people will have to pay 5 or 10 cents
each for lemons, whereas I believe they really ought to be 20 or 25 cents per dozen all the time.
So far as oranges are concerned, it does not matter if you put a duty of $5 a box on them or whether they are placed on the free list. They will never be imported to this country any more, as our crops are abundant and are increasing. California produced 11,000,000 boxes last year, Florida 4,000,000, and Porto Rico 365,000 boxes, and Porto Rico next year will have about 1,000,000 boxes. Last year we exported about 1,500,000 boxes, a large part of them going to Canada, a good many to England, Germany, France, and Russia. I believe if you place oranges on the free list they will not be imported here, but that it will probably be an inducement for other countries to put things on the free list that can not now be imported in large quantities on the other side. The recent frost in California will naturally reduce the crop of oranges, although oranges do not suffer from frost as do lemons, and the supply will be sufficient for this country.
Mr. Zucca also filed the following brief:
COMMITTEE ON WAYS AND MEANS,
NEW YORK, January 20, 1913.
House of Representatives, Washington, D. C. SIRS: In regard to changes in the tariff of Schedule G (agricultural products and provisions), the hearing of which is before your honorable committee to-day, I will state that my remarks will be restricted to two articles, in which I have had the experience of many years as an importer and distributor of each, namely, cheese and lemons, and I will endeavor in my remarks to be as concise as possible."
In asking for a reduction in the tariff on cheese, I will not be as radical as my good friend Mr. Julius D. Mahr, president of the New York Mercantile Exchange, who in his address at the annual meeting of the association advocated the removal of the tariff existing on butter, cheese, eggs, meat, and poultry, not only in this country, but in all the countries of the world, stating at the same time that this would be the only way by which the necessities of life could be sold at prices within the reach of the masses, as the interchange between the countries having a large production and those having a small poduction would assimilate prices, keeping them down, making the present high cost of living an impossibility.
I realize that the Government must have a revenue to carry its expenses; therefore I believe in a reasonable tariff, and I would suggest that the duty on cheese should be no more than 2 or 3 cents a pound. As a matter of fact, some kinds of imported cheese are rich men's delicacies, but on the other hand, we have some varieties, such as Swiss and Roman, used by the working classes, which are as good as the poor people's meat, containing all the elements necessary to sustain life.
The importation of Swiss cheese last year consisted of about 30,000 tubs, or 18,000,000 pounds. The States of Wisconsin, Ohio, and Pennsylvania, inclusive, produced an imitation of Swiss cheese, amounting to 20,000,000 pounds, which is larger than the quantity imported, but not of as fine flavor as that imported, this being probably due to the rich pasturage of Switzerland. The domestic Swiss is a good cheese, and is sold at high enough prices as to need no protection; a reduction on the present tariff of 6 cents per pound to 2 or 3 cents per pound would undoubtedly stimulate the producers to make a better cheese when in competition with the imported.
Roman cheese is absolutely used by the Italian immigrants and workingmen. The importation of this variety of cheese amounts to about 10,000,000 pounds annually, and a reduction in the tariff to 2 or 3 cents a pound would lower the price here, with a sure benefit to the poor people. This kind of cheese is made of sheep's milk in the Roman Campania and Sardinia; is very nutritious, and is not produced in the United States. I sincerely hope that your honorable committee will make such reduction in the tariff on cheese, or at least on such varieties used by our working classes.
As for lemons, the consumption in the United States amounts to about 4,000,000 boxes annually, 2,000,000 of which are imported from Italy, and the balance are supplied by California. The present tariff of 14 cents per pound is exorbitant and
nearly prohibitive were it not for the necessity felt by the people for this hygienic and medicinal fruit. Some of the countries have lowered the duty on lemons, and others have placed the same on the free list, as it was done, per example, by our neighboring Canada. California lemons are fine in appearance, but lack the acidity possessed by the fruit from southern Italy; however the production increases annually and will in time yield a supply sufficient for the entire United States and even for export. The disadvantage with California lays in the fact of its climatic changes; for instance, this year California has suffered from a heavy frost; consequently the crop will be reduced to one-fourth or perhaps even one-fifth of its customary quantity; as a result of this, prices on lemons advanced $2.50 per box on former prices, and will probably keep advancing, with the disadvantage to the people who are compelled to pay exorbitant prices. With a reasonable tariff, lemons could be imported freely in this country, and the masses would reap the benefit in buying this hygienic fruit at a low cost.
In my humble opinion I believe that lemons should be on the free list. Let them come from all parts of the world where grown, let California produce all she can, and let the people have all the lemons they can use at a cheap price; by benefitting their health they will have less doctors' bills to pay. The inhabitants of the crowded districts, who have not the opportunity of going in summer to the seashore or mountains, should at least be able to enjoy a good pitcher of lemonade to benefit their health. In reference to oranges, it matters not if they pay a duty of $1 per box or they are placed on the free list. They will never be imported here from abroad, as our crops will be abundant, ever increasing, and we can export them to Europe. California produced 11,000,000 boxes last year, Florida 4,000,000 boxes, and Porto Rico 365,000 boxes, of which there has been exported in the same period 1,600,000 boxes, the larger part having gone to Canada and the remainder to England, Germany, and France. The recent frost in California will naturally reduce the crop, as oranges do not suffer from frost as much as lemons, but the supply will be sufficient for this country. Oranges are in demand in the north of Europe, where high prices are obtained. A low tariff on oranges, however, would be reciprocated by European countries, who would probably reduce their duty, benefitting our exportation.
MEMORANDUM FROM THE NORWEGIAN MINISTER.
The Hon. OSCAR W. Underwood,
DEPARTMENT of State,
Chairman Committee on Ways and Means, House of Representatives. SIR: At the request of the Norwegian minister at this capital I have the honor to inclose for the information of your committee a copy of a memorandum alleging that in the existing tariff act the classification of certain Norwegian importations will be found to have led to results which were not intended. I have the honor to be, sir, Your obedient servant,
The legation of Norway ventures to draw the attention of certain Norwegian specialties for which the prevailing classification of goods in the existing tariff act certainly will be found to have led to unintended results.
Whey cheese (tariff act, sec. 246).-A special Norwegian product is cheese manufactured from the whey of the milk. Though it is a cheap product, it is a wholesome and highly nutritive food. In the United States it is exclusively used by the population of Norwegian extraction. As far as is known it is not at all manufactured in this country. This product being made out of the cheapest part of the milk-the wheyit ought not to pay so high a duty as real cheese. Nor is it cheese in the true sense of the word.
Norwegian sardines, in oil, in tins (tariff act sec. 270).—When the rate of the duty on fish in oil, in tins, was fixed regard was probably taken principally to French and Portuguese sardines, which command higher prices than the Norwegian sardines.
Since then the sardine industry of Norway has developed to a considerable extent, but the importation of Norwegian sardines into the United States has unfortunately not developed on a normal basis. The Norwegian sardines which sell at a moderate price are in the United States chiefly used by the laboring classes, and the importers claim that the tin must sell at a price not higher than 10 cents. The consequence of this has been that to a great extent the poorer qualities of Norwegian sardines are imported into the United States, it being impossible to produce the better qualities of Norwegian sardines at 10 cents, including the existing import duty.
As the best qualities of Norwegian sardines contain up to 18 per cent fat, while the poorer ones contain only 8 to 9 per cent fat, the difference in quality denotes as far as this article is concerned not only a difference in flavor and appearance, but a great difference in nutritive value.
The bulk of sardines imported into the United States being at the present time probably Norwegian sardines, it will certainly be found just that the lower price and the class of consumers of this article are taken into consideration when the duties are fixed. All other fish in tins (tariff act, sec. 270).-If we go only a few years back, we will find that the cheaper kinds of fish were not packed in tins, this package being reserved for products having the character of fancy or luxury and used by people in easy circumstances. In later years a great change has taken place in this respect, tin package being now employed even for the cheaper qualities of fish products used as ordinary food by the laboring classes. This is at least the case as far as products of Norwegian fisheries are concerned. Even salted codfish (splitfish) is exported in tin packages, especially to countries with hot climate, but the splitfish is for this reason not changed into a new or a fancy product, being able to support higher duty. The reasons for a special high duty on fish in tins therefore seems to have diminished.
Salted codfish (splitfish) (tariff act, sec. 273). In the existing tariff the same duty per pound has been fixed for salted as for dried fish, the salted fish having thus to pay an extra duty for the salt and water contained in it. The salted fish being very heavy, on account of the salt and water it is holding, the duty has proved to be completely prohibitory to the importation of Norwegian salted fish.
The minister of Norway should appreciate very much if a copy of this memorandum could, through the kind intervention of the State Department, be transmitted to the Committee on Ways and Means.
EXTRACT FROM THE COMMERCIAL REVIEW.
The COMMITTEE ON WAYS AND MEANS,
Washington, D. C.
NEW YORK, December 28, 1912.
GENTLEMEN: I take the liberty of inclosing herewith a clipping from this month's issue of the Commercial Review of an article written by me, which will show you my attitude toward the revision of the tariff, and as an American citizen engaged in the importing and exporting business I beg to state briefly my opinion concerning desirable changes that may be advantageous in the interest of all concerned, viz:
Schedule A, Olive oil: The present rate of 50 cents per gallon on packages containing less than 5 gallons does not seem to be at all justified, both from the point of view of domestic competition, as the production is such that can not be considered a factor, nor from its consumption, because it is essential as an edible as well as a medicinal article, hence can not be classed as a luxury. I don't believe it is necessary for me to go into any explanation of its use, because as a matter of fact it is an article consumed by the people at large, and its beneficent effects are too obvious to mention; therefore the price should be within the reach of the consumers, particularly among the poor class, and in view also of the prevailing conditions of the crops in the various places of origin, which of late years have been very short, the cost is kept at a very high level, it would be advisable that the duty be reduced to 25 cents per gallon.
Schedule G, Cheese: There is no valid reason why foreign goods should be taxed to the extent of 6 cents per pound, equivalent to about 30 to 35 per cent of the value according to the quality and cost, which is undoubtedly exorbitant, considering, first, that this country exports cheese to a great extent to foreign countries; second, that most of the varieties, particularly coming from Italy, can not be imitated or manufactured in this country, thus it serves only to enhance the cost to the consumer; therefore I would suggest that the duty on cheese be reduced to 3 cents per pound. Schedule G, Canned vegetables: I would particularly refer to preserved tomatoes and prepared tomato sauce in cans. Same are now subject to 40 per cent ad valorem and
at the present prices the market value of Italian tomatoes here is nearly 100 per cent higher than the domestic goods; and as to the sauce, it is not even manufactured in this country; same is now selling from $4.75 to $5 per 100 tins, weighing about half a pound each; however, considering that it is used mostly by working people, it becomes a luxury, although a necessary ingredient for their meals, consequently I would recommend that the duty on both of said products be reduced to 20 per cent.
Free list: I would also recommend that all raw materials as well as semimanufactured goods be free of duty, for the reason that whilst it would tend to reduce the cost of the products to the consumers, it would enable the manufacturers to favorably compete in foreign countries with the object of expanding the foreign commerce of the United States.
Maximum rates: The provision calling for maximum or countervailing rates has undoubtedly not responded adequately to the expectation, having been rather a source of constant trouble and embroilment with foreign countries, because it is impossible to provide for all contingencies, and rather than create any friction it would be preferable to abrogate that provision and substitute in lieu of it a clause for the stipulation of special treaties with those nations that may offer reciprocal advantages. Respectfully submitting the above for your kind consideration, I remain,
Very truly, yours,
Milk, fresh, 2 cents per gallon; cream, 5 cents per gallon. PARAGRAPH 248.
Milk, preserved, or condensed, or sterilized by heating or other processes, including weight of immediate coverings, 2 cents per pound; sugar of milk, 5 cents per pound.
TESTIMONY OF LOUIS J. AUERBACHER, REPRESENTING THE AMBROSIA MILK CORPORATION, NEW YORK CITY.
The witness was first duly sworn by the chairman.
Mr. AUERBACHER. Mr. Chairman and gentlemen of the committee, I come here to protest against the maintenance of the duty on preserved milk at the present tariff rate, which is 2 cents per pound duty. In the present tariff there is a duty of 2 cents per pound on dried milk, or preserved milk, as it is listed, which is equivalent in the liquid to about one-half cent per quart. I do not know whether the members of this committee are conversant with the great feature of preserved milk and the great rôle it is playing in the milk supply in this country to-day. Health authorities and physicians and all people conversant with milk are doing their utmost to encourage the drying of milk, which is one of the large industries of Europe to-day, and the one logical way to handle milk. It enables you to pay a little more for the milk to the farmer; it enables you to charge a little less to the consumer. Why? Because you are not paying icing charges; you are not paying transportation charges on seven-eighths of water; and you are bringing in a germ-proof product which is not contaminated. I believe it is wrong that we should tax this product, which is being used, especially amongst the poor, to a great extent for feeding their babies, as it is found superior to the liquid product, and it is used a great deal amongst the hospitals, and it is a product which in the future will play a very large rôle in the milk supply of this country, as it is playing abroad. We are bringing it in from France, as well as starting to manufacture it here, and there is no reason why, when the milk shortage occurs here, as it does periodically every year, we should not