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IIIDES, LEATHER, AND SHOES.
[Paragraphs 437 and 438.)
WILLIAM TAYLOR, OF LYONS, N. Y., THINKS THAT DUTY ON
HIDES SHOULD BE REMOVED.
LYONS, N. Y., November 19, 1908. Hon. SERENO E. PAYNE, M. C.,
House of Representatives, Washington, D. C. DEAR SIR: I address you at the present time relative to the duty on hides, and I do not take my position as a tanner only, but for that which will be of the most benefit to the great majority of the people,
The present duty benefits the butcher and large packers only; it enables them to combine and virtually say what prices shall be paid and
very injudicious. It does not benefit the farmer by adding any increased price to his cattle, but works to his disadvantage on prices he is compelled to pay for his harness, shoes, and other leather articles, and this is true of every person, laborer, artisan, and all.
Therefore, as one of your constituents, I hope you may see your way clear to use your influence for the placing of hides on the free list, from which they, in my opinion, should never have been taken. Yours, truly,
CHAS. N. PROUTY, SHOE MANUFACTURER, OF SPENCER, MASS.,
THINKS THAT DUTY ON HIDES SHOULD BE REMOVED.
SPENCER, Mass., November 20, 1908. Hon. Sereno E. PAYNE, M. C.,
Washington, D. C. Dear Sir: Please allow me to express my opinion in regard to the We are, as tanners and shoe manufacturers, feeling very sensitive about this duty on hides. It seems to be an unwarranted thing to have this duty. Unless the necessity for revenue demands it, there small and the expense of collecting the revenue is such that it is not considered even in that respect very commendable. You see, there is an absolute shortage of hides in this country. Hides are a byproduct, and the duty does not encourage raising cattle for the purpose of the hides, so that the benefit ordinarily enjoyed by the duty to encourage a trade is not realized in this case, but is very injurious to the industries of tanning and shoe manufacturing in our country, Leather is shipped abroad and would be shipped just the same if the We are the great country for tanning leather, and a great deal o i tured product the Government gets no revenue, so that between the fact that we are not benefited by the duty in the encouragement of
duty on hides.
the raising of cattle and that we get no benefit from the duty when leather is shipped abroad, there does not seem to be any good argument for the duty at the present time. We have the leather product for our own use, and what we do not need we can ship, and the Government is equally as well off so far as the shipment is concerned with or without a duty.
Now, another argument, the hide that is imported, when made into leather and the duty rebated, the foreign manufacturer gets his leather cheaper than the home manufacturer, which is a very unjust thing for our own people.
Another thing, this duty is most all on heavy hides. The lighter hides, under 12 pounds, as I understand it, are not dutiable, and that makes the heavy goods, the workingman's shoes, bear all the burden of this duty, which is another very objectionable thing.
Considering these facts, it seems to be a very unreasonable thing to retain this duty, and I hope you may exercise your influence to have it removed. While I am a protectionist from every reasonable point of view, I think this duty on hides has been a most unwise thing and should be removed for the benefit of every class of manufacturers, and more especially for the working people, who wear the heavy goods.
I think we should take a broad view and not put on a duty where it is not justly applied, especially in this or any case of a by-product, when it hampers a great industry instead of encouraging it. We were without it for thirty years and it was a compromise when put on to appease the western farmer, who really gets no benefit from it and has to pay a higher price for his foot wear. Very respectfully,
CHAS. N. PROUTY.
CERTAIN RETAIL SHOE MERCHANTS OF CHICAGO, ILL., PETITION
FOR REMOVAL OF THE DUTY FROM HIDES.
CHICAGO, ILL., November 21, 1908. COMMITTEE ON WAYS AND MEANS,
Washington, D.C. GENTLEMEN: As citizens of Illinois and retail shoe merchants of Chicago, we wish to ask you to do all in your power to have the tariff taken off of hides. As the supply of our domestic hides is by far too small to furnish raw material for our tanneries, free hides would be a very substantial measure of protection to all the industries connected with leather. The farmers do not derive any benefit from duty on hides; it goes to the packers, and they are surely not infant industry.
The principle of “protection” can not be made to apply to hides, because they are not an article of manufacture made in response to demand, but result incidentally from the slaughter of cattle for food, and by being put on the free list would give employment to the people on the large quantities of leather that would be manufactured into shoes, harnesses, belting, etc.
The prices of leather are higher to-day than they have ever been in · the history of the business.
This is the result of manipulation by the packers, who control the sources of supply, which would be obviated if the duty on hides was removed.
Trusting you will aid in having the tariff on hides removed, we remain,
Very truly, yours,
street; Foreman Shoe Company; O'Connor & Gold-
THE CARRIAGE BUILDERS' NATIONAL ASSOCIATION PUTS ITSELF
ON RECORD AS FAVORING FREE HIDES.
WILMINGTON, DEL., November 23, 1908. COMMITTEE ON WAYS AND MEANS,
Washington, D. C. GENTLEMEN: At the Twenty-ninth Annual Convention of the Carriage Builders' National Association, held in Cincinnati, Ohio, October 22, 23, and 24, 1901, the following resolutions were unanimously adopted:
Whereas in 1872 Congress, after a thorough and careful investigation, remored the duty of 10 per cent which had been put on hides to meet the exigencies of the civil war and placed imported hides on the free list, where they remained twenty-five years undisturbed by the tariff bills constructed by McKinley, Wilson, and Dingley.
Whereas the placing of an import duty of 15 per cent on hides in raw mate rial on equal terms with other leather-producing countries, and so decreased cost of production as greatly benefited our users of leather, and so stimulated the export of leather and leather fabrics that they showed the largest percentage of increase of the twenty-four staple manufactured products exported from 1868 to 1898, being an increase of 0.1392 per cent.
Whereas the placing of an import duty of 15 per cent on hides in 1897 was not favored by either of our great national parties, was against the strong protest of Hon. James G. Blaine in 1830, was omitted from the McKinley bill, also the original Dingley bill as adopted in the House, and was only incorporated in the tariff bill of 1897 through an amendment of Senator Jones, of Nevada, and adopted as a caucus compromise to secure the vote of silver Senators thought necessary for its adoption.
Whereas this compromise placed a heavy burden on all our population, as all our people are in some way affected by the increased cost of leather, has disturbed our home trade, bas interfered with our export trade of leather and leather fabrics, and is now causing such disturbance of values as is becoming dangerous to those manufacturing interests which are large users of leather.
Whereas the tariff bill refunds to the tanner the duty paid if the resulting leather is exported. Our foreign competitors are able to purchase our leather at so much less than our home manufacturers as to place us at serious disadvantage in competing with them on foreign trade.
Whereas foreign hides are a necessity in the production of leather for carriage manufacturers, our country not producing suflicient for requirements; to Increase cost of our material is to the prejudice of the labor element in production.
The duty is not needed for revenue, nor does it furnish protection; does not increase the home production of hides, but increases the cost of leather fabrics and becomes a burdensome tax on our own people. The true status of the question was clearly and forcibly stated by that wise statesman, the Hon. James G. Blaine, in his letter to the chairman of the Ways and Means Committee in 1890, when a duty on hides had been suggested : “ It is a great mistake to take bides from the free list, where they have been for so many years. It is a slap in the face to the South American with whom we are trying to enlarge our trade. It will benefit the farmer by adding 5 to 8 per cent to the price of his children's shoes. It will yield a profit to the butcher only—the last man that needs it. The movement is injudicious from beginning to end-in every form and phase. Pray stop it before it sees light. Such movement as this for protection will protect the Republican party into a speedy retirement.” Therefore, be it
Resolved, That the Carriage Builders' National Association in convention assembled at Cincinnati, Ohio, this 23rd day of October, 1901, earnestly petitions our national Congress, at the earliest opportunity to remove this unnecessary duty on imported hides, and again place them on the free list.
Resolved, That a printed copy of the preamble and resolutions be mailed by the secretary to each member of the Senate and House of Representatives on the convening of the national Congress in December.
These resolutions were again adopted at the convention of the association in Atlanta, Ga., October 23-25, 1906.
And at the thirty-sixth annual convention held in Chicago, Ill., on October 13–15, 1908, the matter of the tariff on hides was again considered and the following resolutions were adopted:
Resolved, That we indorse and reaffirm the resolutions adopted by this association at the conventions held in Cincinnati in 1901 and at Atlanta in 1906, urging the national Congress to remove the duty now on imported hides and have same placed on the free list.
Resolved, That the secretary of this association be instructed to send copies of this resolution and attach thereto copies of those resolutions hereby indorsed to each member of the special tariff committee appointed at the last national session to consider and report on tariff revision. Yours, sincerely,
HENRY C. MOLEAR, Secretary Carriage Builders' National Association.
THE CHICAGO FURNITURE MANUFACTURERS' ASSOCIATION RE
SOLVES THAT HIDES SHOULD BE PUT ON THE FREE LIST.
CHICAGO, November 25, 1908. WILLIAM K. PAYNE, Secretary Ways and Means Committee,
House of Representatives, Washington, D. C. DEAR Sir: The members of our association, a number of whom are large users of leather in the manufacture of their product, feel that the duty of 15 per cent now imposed on cattle hides imported into this country is unnecessary and unfair, and that in the revision of the tariff now under consideration that the duty should be entirely abolished and raw hides put on the free list.
A special meeting of our association was held on the 24th to consider the matter, at which time the following resolutions were adopted :
Whereas the furniture manufacturers use a great quantity of leather in the manufacture of upholstered furniture, chairs, desks, tables, and kindred goods, all of which leather is manufactured of cattle hides; and
Whereas the duty of 15 per cent imposed upon cattle hides by the Dingley tariff law of 1897 is unfair and works great harm to the industries mentioned by increasing the price of tanned cattle hides; and
Whereas we believe the removal of said tariff on hides will result beneficially to the masses of people of the country by lowering prices on all articles of furniture on which leather manufactured of cattle hides is largely used : Therefore be it
Resolved, That the Chicago Furniture Manufacturers' Association and its members hereby respectfully request the honorable Ways and Means Committee of the House of Representatives to recommend to and urge upon Congress that the said duty of 15 per cent on hides be abolished.
I was instructed to forward you a copy of them, with the request that they be presented at the hearing of this matter, which I understand is set for Saturday, the 28th. I also inclose a list of the membership of our association.
That I may be sure that this reaches you safely I would thank you for the courtesy of an acknowledgment. Very truly, yours,
P. D. FRANCIS, Secretary Chicago Furniture Manufacturers' Association.
Membership of the Chicago Furniture Manufacturers' Association.—Art Bedstead Company, F. J. Barnes, Balkwill & Patch Furniture Company, Chicago Mission Furniture Company, Columbia Feather Company, Commercial Furniture Company, Empire Mattress Company, Findeisen & Kropf Manufacturing Company, Louis Hanson Company, Hafner Furniture Company, Johnson Chair Company, S. Karpen & Bros., Kinley Manufacturing Company, Kimball & Chappell Company, National Parlor Furniture Company, Louis F. Nonnast, A. Petersen & Co., George L. Peterson & Co., Schultz & Hirsch Company, Simmons Manufacturing Company, Tonk Manufacturing Company, Valentine-Seaver Company, Adams & Westlake Company, Bauerle & Stark Company, the Clementsen Company, Central Manufacturing Company, Century Parlor Furniture Company, Chicago Mirror and Art Glass Company, Ford & Johnson Company, Green Manufacturing Company, Haggard & Marcusson Company, Heywood Bros. & Wakefield Company, A. J. Johnson & Sons Furniture Company, Ketcham & Rothschild, Theo. A. Kochs Company, H. Z. Mallen & Co., H. C. Niemann & Co., Olbrich & Golbeck Company, Peck & Hills Furniture.Company, the Seng Company, Schram Bros., Tyler & Hippach Company, Union Wire Mattress Company, Windsor Folding Bed Company.
HON. F. C. STEVENS, M. C., FILES LETTER OF W. A. HARDENBERGH,
WASHINGTON, November 25, 1908.
Ilouse of Representatives.