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COMMITTEE ON WAYS AND MEANS,
The committee met at 10 o'clock a. m., Hon. Oscar W. Underwood in the chair.
Present: Messrs. Harrison, Kitchin, James, Rainey, Dixon, Hull, Hammond, Peters, Palmer, Ansberry, Payne, Dalzell, Hill, Needham, and Longworth.
The CHAIRMAN. The committee will come to order.
Gentlemen, a resolution of the Ways and Means Committee has been passed directing the chairman to swear the witnesses in the hearings hereafter.
The following briefs were submitted and ordered to be printed in the record of the hearing:
BRIEF ON THE PART OF F. A. CHASE & CO. AND OTHERS, CONCERNING WIRE Heddles OR HEALDS.
This brief is submitted on behalf of F. A. Chase & Co., of Providence, R. I., and others, manufacturers of wire heddles.
First. These persons are interested in paragraph 135, Schedule C, metals and manufactures of, of the present law, which paragraph as related to wire heddles now reads: "Wire heddles or healds, 25 cents per thousand, and, in addition thereto, 40 per cent ad valorem."
Second. Wire heddles are used in the weaving of certain varieties of textiles and constitute a small proportion of the supplies used in the manufacture of such goods. Samples of heddles duly marked have been forwarded to the committee, and leave is craved to refer to the same as part of this brief.
Third. This style of heddle, known as the twin wire heddle, is at present largely used in American weaving, and is of German origin. These were until 1903 imported entirely, since which time their manufacture has, under the protection accorded by the tariff laws, been developed extensively in the United States. Much capital has been invested and skill of a high degree has been introduced, with the result that the prices have been materially reduced to the consumer over those prevailing when the market was in control of the foreign manufacturer.
Fourth. Owing to the advances made in the art of the heddle manufacture to-day your petitioners believe that the tariff can be moderately reduced without injury to the domestic industry, and therefore pray your honorable committee that the clause covering the duty on wire heddles, at the end of paragraph 135, Schedule C, be changed to read in the new law as follows: "Wire heddles or healds, 25 cents per thousand, and, in addition thereto, 25 per cent ad valorem.” The change proposed consists in the reduction of the ad valorem duty from 40 per cent to 25 per cent.
Fifth. Owing to the high relative proportion of labor in the cost of production, your petitioners aver that a combined specific and ad valorem duty, as above specified, to be fair and equitable alike both to the American producer and consumer and at the same time securing a maximum amount of revenue. This rate of duty will insure just and reasonable prices to the consumer, enable the present standard of wages to be maintained, and permit the normal development of the industry.
Sixth. Labor is the principal factor involved, as a careful study by your petitioner of the shop practice, wages, costs, and equipments of the heddle makers in Germany, England, and Belgium show as efficiently organized plants as are to be found in the