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BEFORE THE COMMITTEE ON WAYS AND MEANS
OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES,
FIRST PRINT, No. 26.
FRIDAY, DECEMBER 4, 1908.
COMMITTEE ON WAYS AND MEANS,
JOHN DALZELL. SAMUEL W. MCCALL. EBENEZER J. HILL. HENRY S. BOUTELL. JAMES C. NEEDHAM.
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES.
SERENO E. PAYNE, Chairman.
WILLIAM K. PAYNE, Clerk.
WILLIAM BOURKE COCKRAN.
OSCAR W. UNDERWOOD.
0 19 1908
THE COMMITTEE ON WAYS AND MEANS,
Friday, December 4, 1908. The committee this day met, Hon. Sereno E. Payne in the chair. STATEMENT OF MR. MONTAGUE LESSLER, OF No. 31 NASSAU
STREET, NEW YORK CITY.
Mr. LESSLER. I want to say a word on the subject of section No. 455 of the tariff act relative to peat moss, upon which there is a duty of $1 a ton. We are asking to have it placed upon the free list.
Peat moss is a vegetable product, taken from the surface of a special kind of peat bog found in Europe, but none of any account is exported except from Holland. There are no such beds found in the United States which can be used commercially for the same purpose. It is used as a sanitary bedding for horses and cåttle and in the manufacture of hoof stuffing for horses, and is imported by several firms in the city of New York.
For the year ending June, 1907, there were imported 7,605 tons of the value of $44,461, and at the port of New York for the year ending June 30, 1908, 6,740 tons of the value of $39,235 were entered. The duty is $1 per ton.
There is absolutely no domestic raw product with which it competes and no manufactured article which serves quite the same purpose the production of which is hindered, damaged, or injured by using peat moss as outlined herein.
The only effect of the tariff is to increase the cost to the domestic consumer.
It is respectfully submitted that peat moss be placed on the free list.
In the tariff hearings on the Dingley bill originally, under date of January 11, 1897, a gentleman from Chicago, Ill., appeared and stated that this industry, that of domestic peat moss, served a purpose which should have a protection of $1 a ton.
Mr. BOUTELL. What was his name?
Mr. LESSLER. Mr. W. Golden. He appeared it seems for the Wisconsin Cranberry, Moss, and Peat Company and predicted that if this $1 per ton was put on this production, quite an industry could be built up. I am advised that no such industry has been built up, and that on the other hand these peat-moss beds in Wisconsin and out in that country are used now for paper making, and not for the purpose that I have indicated here.
I would like to ask the committee to hear Mr. Durbrow for about two minutes.
The CHAIRMAN. You say that peat moss is used as a bedding for animals?