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protected, because of all that material we can make baskets right here in the United States. They ought not to be imported.

Now, that other kind of basket, what we call art baskets, fancy baskets for flowers, they can come in even free of duty if you want them to, as far as we are concerned. We don't care about them. Or you can also leave them out, whatever you want to do with them. The main thing to us is

Mr. KITCHIN (interposing). I understand you now. You just want a tariff on the baskets that you are making, and want it raised, and as far as you are concerned never mind about the other?

Mr. SOPUSNIK. Yes, sir. Well, I would say that because there are some baskets that I just mentioned, art baskets, they can not be made here in the United States. It would not pay for us to make them, because women and children make them at home. They make quite a difference, and it would not pay men to make them. Therefore we are not interested in art baskets, because we never make them. But the baskets we are making here, that is the main point what we want. We don't want anything else.

Mr. KITCHIN. I see now.

Mr. SOPUSNIK. Because there are different materials, like straw, and we can not make those baskets. It is impossible for us to make them, because women and children make them at home in winter time, and summer time they work the farm. So you see they work probably for nothing. We do not make those baskets; haven't the material here to make them out of. We only want the baskets protected with a higher duty that we have the material so we can work on them here in this country.

Mr. KITCHIN. All right.



SYRACUSE, N. Y., January 27, 1913.

Chairman Ways and Means Committee, Washington, D. C.

DEAR SIR: Understanding from newspaper accounts, etc., that as chairman of the Ways and Means Committee you are conducting an investigation with the idea of submitting a draft of a new tariff bill to be submitted at the next session of Congress which convenes on March 1, the writer desires to call your attention to an industry which was established in this country some 40 or more years ago and which up to 10 or 15 years ago reached its heights of prosperity, but since that time for one reason or another has been gradually dying out, but the principal reason has been that the workers have had to compete against imported goods which are made in several States of Germany.

I am writing in reference to the domestic willow-basket industry and which at one time there was close to 35,000 or 40,000 dozen baskets made in the village of Liverpool, N. Y., in a year, but which at the present time there are only between 20,000 and 25,000 baskets made a year, and this decline has been caused on account of imported willows and manufactured goods being admitted at such a low rate of duty that it is practically impossible for the workers in Liverpool, N. Y., to compete against same, and in addition it does not pay a farmer to raise green willows, considering the care necessary to obtain a successful crop and the price he receives for same.

While I am well aware that the Democratic platform of the national convention pledged itself to a reduction of the tariff, I do not think it is the intention of any fairminded American citizen to legislate for the benefit of foreign workmen or farmers to the detriment of our American citizens. Our workmen at the present time at piecework are compelled to work from 10 to 15 hours a day (according to the skill of the workman) to make from $1.50 to $2 a day, and we (dealers of willow goods) can not


afford to pay a greater rate because we are compelled to compete against foreign goods, of which it is estimated on willow clothes baskets in particular there are from 50,000 to 75,000 dozen brought into this country each year at a low rate of duty and the writer feels that as the legislative bodies of Washington were created originally with the idea of exercising a parental influence over the welfare of the citizens throughout the country that it is an injustice to our American citizens who manufacture domestic willow goods to be compelled to compete against foreign labor especially considering the fact that some of the imported clothes baskets are made in penal institutions, and I feel justified in asking you that you investigate thoroughly this matter and when drafting the new tariff bill which is under your supervision that a heavy import duty be placed on these foreign willow goods, and thereby help build up which is now an infantry industry in this country, and thereby justify the farmers of the country in replanting the fields of willows which they have abandoned and also assist the dealers in this class of goods to pay the makers a higher price for their labor than they have in the past 10 years.

Trusting to have the pleasure of receiving a reply to this letter, I remain,


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DEAR SIR: We are manufacturers of a line of furniture which is constructed solely of imported willow osiers. This raw product is subject to a 45 per cent import duty at the present time.

In spite of the fact that the tariff upon this class of material is fairly high, we respectfully submit to your committee a somewhat novel proposition, viz:

We recommend that the duty upon willow osiers be increased 10 per cent. Unlike most manufacturers in the United States, we are willing to assist in the reduction of the tariff upon the so-called necessities of life, and in order to enable you to bring this about we will cheerfully submit to a reasonable increase in the tariff upon willow osiers in order that you may lower the tariff upon other goods which are used by the masses. Our goods are used chiefly by the "well-to-do" class, and therefore can not be termed a 'necessity.'

In case your committee decides upon a reasonable increase in the duty upon our raw material, we still agree to maintain the present prices upon our finished product. By taking this position we hope to become the pioneer among manufacturers of the United States in submitting to an increase in duty upon our raw material so that you may be assisted in revising the tariff for the benefit of the majority.

Yours, respectfully,

M. S. WILLIAMS, President.




BROOKLYN, N. Y., January 8, 1913.

Chairman Ways and Means Committee, Washington, D. C.

DEAR SIR: Paragraph 212. You will notice that the present tariff allows chair cane and reeds manufactured from rattan to come into this market at the extremely low duty of 10 per cent, which is certainly a great injustice, owing to the following facts: Transportation.-We have no direct communication or no shipping facilities whatsoever to obtain our raw material, rattan, from direct ports, but are depending upon foreign bottoms and transshipment via Europe, which entails an extra expense; and, furthermore, we are at the mercy of a combination of steamship companies who dictate certain rates of freight, and who only recently have raised this rate of freight, from which we have no redress, as they simply control this carrying trade, whereas the European and Asiatic manufacturers enjoy the best facilities possible for obtaining their raw material at a low rate of freight, and can also market their supplies to this


country at a very low rate of freight, owing to the fact that their carrying lines give them such a low rate of freight so as to induce the business and compete in this market. From the above you can recognize that we are unable to enjoy this low rate of freight, but, to the contrary, are compelled to pay the maximum rate, which enters very largely into the cost of our raw material, rattan.

As example, we call your attention to the following: The Asiatic and European manufacturers receive large quantities of their raw material, rattan, from the Celebes Islands by direct steamer, approximately 250,000 to 300,000 piculs per annum (a picul being 136 pounds), whereas the United States do not receive anything, owing to the absence of transportation facilities, as, in order to obtain such stock, we would have to pay enormous rate of freight and rehandling expense on account of transshipment, etc., which would advance the cost to such a degree that it prohibits the importation. This quality of rattan is the cheapest known and the most advantageous to handle, and the reeds manufactured from same are coming here in large quantities, of which those from one-fourth inch and larger pay no duty, and those under one-fourth inch diameter pay only a duty of 10 per cent. And it may be of interest to you to know that fully 80 to 90 per cent of the consumption of this market is supplied by Asiatic and European manufacturers, owing to the disadvantages that the American manufacturer is laboring under, as above explained. To impress this more emphatically, we would state that Europe can ship their manufactured material to this market at the rate of $5 to $6 per long ton, whereas we are compelled to pay more than double this rate in case we export, by the same carrying line.

Labor. We do not wish to enter into this question, as your honorable committee are quite well aware of the enormous difference in the amount of wage of the Asiatic and European labor as compared to American labor.

We therefore request a duty of 20 per cent ad valorem on chair cane and reeds manufactured from rattan or reeds.

Free-list paragraph 713. From the words, "reeds unmanufactured," you would infer naturally that it is a reed of a natural growth, but such is not the case, as these two words were inserted in this paragraph so as to allow reeds manufactured and wrought from rattan one-fourth inch diameter and larger to come in free, which is a great injustice, as, no matter what the size diameter of the reed that is wrought from rattan, it owes its creation to the same process of labor and manufacture and to the same expense. This we consider class legislation, as we notice that the manufacturers of baskets, whips, furniture, etc., who are the consumers of this reed one-fourth inch diameter and larger, are fully protected to the amount of 25 to 45 per cent on their manufactured product, such as baskets, whips, furniture, etc., and we see no reason why this class legislation should exist. There is as much labor and manufacturing expense attached to the producing of a reed of one-fourth inch diameter and larger as there is to a smaller diameter, and, no doubt, certain pressure has been brought to bear to have these two words inserted in the free list.

We therefore request that these two words, "reeds unmanufactured," be expunged from the free list.

Revenue. We are fully in accord with a proper equitable revision of the tariff, as to our minds there is no doubt that quite a number of schedules should be investigated and revised, and a proper revenue should be obtained from products manufactured from rattan. Undoubtedly the Asiatic and European manufacturers, to meet this revenue that our Government should require, would readily be compelled to reimburse themselves by obtaining a higher price for their product in their respective countries than what they do at the present time. For example, in the city of New York there are many articles that are manufactured in foreign countries that you can purchase here for less money than you can in their home market, and this is no doubt owing to the fact that the business is wanted from America to keep their manufacturers baisy, and they insist upon their home markets supporting them to make a profit. This certainly can be verified throughout the different sections of the world and to apply to almost every country that is exporting goods to this country, as the writer has had personal experience of this condition.

Very truly, yours,





House of Representatives, Washington, D. C.

Section 212, Schedule D, of the tariff act of 1909 reads in the first section as follows: "Chair cane or reeds wrought or manufactured from rattans or reeds, 10 per cent ad valorem."

We respectfully request that the rate of duty on these articles be increased to 20 per cent ad valorem. We make this request because we sorely need the additional protection to help us to compete against the rapidly increasing volume of imports, which for the last three fiscal years have been as follows:




$246, 475

460, 573

575, 063

Our own business in these articles has fallen off in these same years so that for 1912 the importations exceed the volume of business that we were able to retain.

We feel that there should be specific duties on the various kinds of reeds and chair cane that are imported, which would yield a revenue of 20 per cent on American market values of the commodities, but an ad valorem duty of 20 per cent would come nearer than the present rate to equalizing the cost of foreign production, and would furnish a fair revenue from a business which under the present rate does not yield what it might legitimately produce.

Yours, respectfully,




NEW YORK, February 11, 1913.

Chairman Ways and Means Committee, Washington, D. C.

DEAR SIR: Our attention has been called to the testimony given before you by the American Rattan and Reed Manufacturing Co., of Brooklyn, N. Y., and the Heywood Bros. & Wakefield Co., of Wakefield, Mass., on chair cane or reeds wrought or manufactured from rattans or reeds in Schedule D, paragraph 212, at 10 per cent ad valorem; reeds unmanufactured or not further advanced than cut into lengths suitable for whips in the free list, paragraph 713; and we note that the usual attempts before every tariff committee have been made to lead you astray by misleading and false statements.

Among the misleading kind is the oft-repeated phrase of the American Rattan and Reed Manufacturing Co., of "Asiatic and European competitors," conveying the impression that they are up against Chinese competition, when in truth China exports yearly only about $35,000 worth of handmade broom reeds, but nothing whatever of either chair cane, chair reeds, or whip reeds.

Another such is the statement of the Heywood Bros. & Wakefield Co. that the wording of the present tariff makes a conflict between the present paragraph 212 in Schedule D and paragraph 713 in the free list. It does nothing of the kind, because paragraph 212 covers small round, flat, oval, and square reeds turned from large reeds, while the free list covers large round reeds only, such as one-fourth inch and over, which are not manufactured and not advanced at all from the state in which they leave the saw after the chair cane or the bark has been stripped from the rattan. These unmanufactured large reeds are the raw material of the whip makers, and as such they have always been free as reeds unmanufactured or not further advanced than cut into lengths suitable for whips.

The further statements made to you for the purpose of an increase of duty we beg to contradict as follows: They claim that

(1) They have no direct communication for their raw material. (A. R. & R. M. Co., book No. 7, p. 1421.) Comment: Rattan comes chiefly from Singapore and is shipped by direct steamer from Singapore to New York. The rate of freight is at most times cheaper from Singapore to New York than from Singapore to Europe.

(2) They are at the mercy of steamship companies, whereas the European and Asiatic manufacturers enjoy low rates for obtaining the raw material. (A. R. & R. M. Co., book No. 7, p. 1421.) Comment: We have shown in the foregoing that the Asiatic may be left out of this discussion, because none compete in chair cane, chair


reeds, or whip reeds; but that the manufacturers in Europe are in every way just as much at the mercy of the steamship companies as those in America is proven alone by the fact that the steamers belong to the same line or combination, and it is plain that under such circumstances rattan would not be shipped at a low rate for one and at a high rate for another. All are suffering alike at the hands of this trust.

(3) Eighty or ninety per cent of the consumption of this market is shipped by Asiatic and European manufacturers. (A. R. & R. M. Co., book No. 7, p. 1421.) $750,000 worth is manufactured here; $913,000 is imported. (H. B. & W. Co., book No. 25, p. 4745.) Comment: The two applicants for higher duty sadly disagree with one another herein, and we abstain from comment thereon.

(4) The difference in the cost of the Asiatic and European labor as compared to American labor is enormous. (A. R. & R. M. Co., book No. 7. p. 1422.) Comment: The labor in Europe and America amounts to hardly anything in the working of rattan, because it consists chiefly in feeding automatic machinery, in proof of which the A. R. & R. M. Co. even exports to Europe.

(5) Certain pressure has been brought to bear to have whip reeds inserted in the free list. (A. R. & R. M. Co., book No. 7, p. 1422.) Comment: They have been in the free list as long as we can remember, though the members of the former rattan combination have tried to get them expunged from it before every tariff committee. We have no doubt that the pressure to which our friends refer is the simple fact that Congress, as well as the Senate, have always listened to the appeals of the whip makers to give them their raw material free.

(6) Our friends, the Heywood Bros. & Wakefield Co., argue, on page 4743, book No. 25, that they want cocoa yarn or fiber to remain on the free list, because it is their raw material for cocoa mats and matting, yet in the same breath they clamor for a duty on whip reeds, though it is the raw material of the American whip makers. Strange logic. Comment: The fact is that both of the two concerns which have petitioned you for a higher duty have become millionaires under the tariff as it has been for more than 30 years and is now under paragraph 212 and paragraph 713, and the real reason why they want a higher rate crops plainly out on page 4475, book No. 25, in answer to Hon. Oscar W. Underwood's question, "Why do you care whether it is protected or not?” "For the reason that the importations keep our prices down to a level which is too low."

It is the oft-repeated, old-time secret; in other words, please exclude whip reeds by a duty, and we have all the whip makers in the States at our mercy. However, we have no doubt that such clamor will not prevail, and we petition your honorable committee to reduce the duty on chair cane or reeds, wrought or manufactured, from rattans or reeds in Schedule D, paragraph 212, from 10 per cent to 5 per cent ad valorem, and to leave whip reeds in the free list, as now.

Yours, very respectfully,

O. GERDAU, President.



Chairman Committee on Ways and Means,

House of Representatives, Washington, D. C.

SIR: The undersigned beg to call your attention to the following facts in relation to chair cane, rattans, and reeds, all of which we respectfully submit:

Chair cane, rattans, and reeds, wrought and manufactured from rattans, as embraced in paragraph 212, and whip reeds, in paragraph 713, of the tariff act of August 5, 1909. We do not know whether there is any agitation at the present time by American manufacturers of these articles for a higher duty. Beg to say, however, that an increase in the rate of duty on these articles would make the importation of chair cane and reeds prohibitive and would necessarily stop all importations, thereby giving to about five concerns a monopoly or depriving the Government of revenue; also at the expense of hundreds of American manufacturers who employ thousands of hands in the manufacture of whips, chairs, baskets, carriages, baby carriages, hats, harness, corsets, and demijohns, etc.

The raw products used by these manufacturers are so-called rattan and reeds, now before your committee. This industry needs no protection, because the manufacturers are all doing a fine and growing business and considered among the trade as being very prosperous. They offer us sharp competition in all lines. It is a wellknown fact that in addition to their domestic business they are able to export and sell

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