« AnteriorContinuar »
she might have no reason for granting the same privilege to the United States and yet be willing to concede some others, without prejudice to her interests, and still convenient to the United States.
That would be the case of an entente between Canada and the United States in comparison with Europe. The United States in the interest of her people should seek her own best trade relations independent of what other nations do among themselves.
The "maximum" tariff has awakened various nations to retaliatory methods in order to strike back at the ultra protectionist policy of the United States. Following the steps taken by this country, it would be a practicable expedient for them to raise their own tariff on many items of exclusive American exportation, call it minimum, as American legislation did with Payne Act; the United States would bear alone the burden of increased duties in exporting their wares without being entitled to protest, nor being permitted to assess the extra duty of 25 per cent. on the importation from the countries having adopted the system of the minimum tariff. In such an event the "maximum" clause would be a dead letter, as far as the using of it as a sword with only one keen edge, is concerned.
The prompt removal of the "maximum" clause would engage the countries, which are now arranging for tariff revision, to look upon taxing American products with more liberality. Said clause should be done away with, making room for reciprocity clauses, so that nations caring for special concessions from the United States could offer their good will, giving American products the chance of being introduced with facility into all parts of the world, and to American consumers the benefit of getting at reasonable rates such goods which the United States cannot easily produce or supply to their advantage.
Respectfully submitted by the
Italian Chamber of Commerce in New York,
The PRESIDENT.-The chair will recognize Mr. HAMLIN, of Boston.
Mr. HAMLIN, of Boston.-Mr. President, I can say I think that I agree with every word of the resolution and brief, so far as I heard them, of the Italian Chamber of Commerce; but I do not believe in the theory of the maximum duty, which is something that must be paid by the people of the United States. I want to call attention to the fact that there is to-day a very serious controversy with
the Government of Germany over the potash question, and a great many of our citizens are endeavoring to impress upon the Government the necessity of applying this maximum duty to meet the alleged evils of this specific question raised by the potash merchants of. America. Therefore, although I personally agree with every word he said, I think the only result of such a resolution inight.be to embarrass the State Department, and therefore I move that the resolution be laid upon the table.
The motion of Mr. HAMLIN was agreed to.
Mr. CARHART, of New York.-Mr. President, the resolution being laid on the table, I wish to offer another resolution which will accomplish the purpose of our friends. The way they put it this afternoon was that the tariff law is never amended in part. To touch the tariff law would involve the reopening of the whole tariff question, and we do not wish to report a resolution of that character to this body, but we did suggest to our Italian friends, that if they would move to add to the resolutions, as reported by the committee, a clause similar to this, they would accomplish their purpose. The resolution that we adopted a moment ago reads:
Resolved, That the National Board of Trade is in favor of reciprocity with Canada and an exchange of products on the basis of equality of tariff rates.
We suggested to them that if they would add to that resolution another clause reading
And it also is in favor of the general principle of reciprocity treaties with all nations,
they would accomplish their purpose, and I move that that clause be added to the resolutions already adopted.
Mr. HARVEY.-I second that motion.
Mr. ASPEGREN.-I would not want it understood for a moment that I am in favor of the present tariff law, and I do not believe ten merchants out of one hundred in this country believe that the present tariff law is doing this. country any good for a single day. We have the maxi
mum and the minimum clause inserted in the present tariff law. It has been substituted for reciprocity. Now, our tariff has been in existence for about a year. We have never enforced our maximum tariff, and pretty nearly every country in Europe knows we are not going to do it; we are afraid of it. Really, ever since that tariff was adopted, we have been discriminated against, and we cannot help ourselves. I know that, for instance, the great country of Italy is imposing upon one product, that I happen to export, a 50 per cent. ad valorem duty, and England lets it in free. Still, when one country gives us so much better treatment than another does, as Italy is giving us the same treatment that England is on goods that come into this country, only reciprocity will allow us to get really equal treatment. The maximum schedule has never been enforced.
We have on hand now a controversy with Germany on the potash question. It may be dangerous to enforce the maximum schedule, because a tariff at the best is always bad. In the case of a smaller country than this, it might have been that Germany would never have provoked the present situation, but the situation is such that business men over the country pretty well understand that we are to expect no benefit from the maximum and minimum clause, and only reciprocity will do it.
Our present tariff is based on the maximum and minimum clause all the way through, and to offer any suggestions of striking out the maximum clause or striking out the minimum clause or striking out any part would mean to open up the whole tariff question, and I think that this moment is not opportune for it.
On the other hand, I think the business men of this country ought to place themselves on a platform favoring reciprocity, so that these countries that treat us nicely should be treated nicely by us, and those that tell us to go to the dickens would get the same treatment from us.
I believe nothing short of that will give us what we want and for that reason I want to second the motion that has been made by Mr. CArhart.
Mr. HAMLIN.—I simply agree with everything the gentleman has said.
The PRESIDENT.-The Chair thinks that clears the atmosphere pretty well; there is no one like my friend CARHART to pour oil on the troubled waters. He has always done that, and that is why we love him so much. Is the convention ready to vote on Mr. CARHART'S motion?
The motion was agreed to.
Mr. MULLEN.-So that the committee will not be misunderstood, I want to call the attention of the Scranton Board of Trade to the fact that the subject number XLVII was not considered by the committee. The resolution refers to an amendment of the Corporation Tax law, so that in clauses one, two and three, paragraph 2, the words "actually paid" and "actually sustained" be changed to read "actually incurred" and "actually ascertained." The committee did not consider this, because they did not have a copy of the corporation tax law before them. I wanted to make this suggestion to our friends on the Scranton Board of Trade. I would suggest to Mr. HITCHCOCK that he obtain a copy of the corporation tax law, and present it, so we can take action.
The PRESIDENT.-We will defer that until Thursday morning, then.
The SECRETARY.-Am I to add to that second resolution presented by Mr. MULLEN'S committee the amendment offered by Mr. CARHART?
Mr. MULLEN.-That is the understanding.
The PRESIDENT.-Yes, that is the understanding.
Mr. CARHART, from the Committee on Railroad Transportation, submitted the following report:
Your committee appointed to consider propositions XLIX to LIV upon the programme of recommendations
and resolutions to be considered at the Forty-first Annual Meeting of the National Board of Trade submits the following resolutions and recommends that they be adopted:
Resolved, That the National Board of Trade protests against the method of settlement of claims for loss or damage, and urges that where property is damaged or destroyed through the negligence of the carrier the owner shall be reimbursed for the actual loss sustained at the point of delivery.
Resolved, That the National Board of Trade strongly favors the passage of H. R. Bill 17,267, known as the Stevens Bill, now before the Committee on Interstate and Foreign Commerce of the Senate of the United States, which has for its object the regulation of the issue of bills of lading in such a way as to prevent irregular methods in connection with their use, the safe conduct of the vast commerce of the country demanding a reform in the present bill of lading, which it is believed will result from the enactment of the Stevens Bill into law.
Resolved, That the National Board of Trade favors the compilation and adoption of a uniform classification of freights, subject to the approval of the Interstate Commerce Commission, both in its adoption and any changes therein.
Mr. CARHART.-I move the adoption of the resolution. The report of the Committee on Transportation was adopted.
INTERNATIONAL COURT OF ARBITRAL
The PRESIDENT.-Is the report from the Committee on Export Trade and Diplomatic and Consular Relations ready?