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simplification bill of 1953 (H. R. 5106), which is now under consideration by the House committee.

This is not a routine letter, I can assure you. The Delgado Museum has invariably been hamstrung every time it has had occasion to import works of art or arrange exhibitions of artistic and educational material from abroad. This unwitting sabotage has occurred through no lack of cooperation on the part of customs officials, but rather from the garbled wording and ambiguity of the Tariff Act of 1930. As a matter of fact, there is pending right now a suit by the Delgado Museum versus the United States Government to recover $1,350 duty we were obliged to pay on the importation of a bronze sculpture some 3 years ago, which should have been entered duty-free according to the obvious intent of paragraph 1807, Tariff Act, 1930. Although the money involved is very important to us in light of our inadequate budget, we have spent more time, effort, and money than our possible recovery is worth, simply to set a precedent in this matter, which is so important to us and to other museums. For instance, when you study these recommendations of the museum committee, you will note that lithographs not over 20 years old are denied free entry because they are not listed specifically by that name in that paragraph. I mention this among other inconsistencies because I recently had a most ludicrous experience with this provision which I think will point up the reasons for revision: In passing upon a dozen or so lithographs which the museum was importing from Sweden, the customs examiners in New Orleans could find no reference to lithographs specifically under works of art, but after lengthy study we found lithographs mentioned in another paragraph which obviously referred to processed building material.

This provided for a certain duty on a per ton basis. So, we weighed the dozen sheets of paper which contained our lithographs, soberly divided this into 2,000 pounds, and I solemnly wrote out a check for 1 cent duty.

I think you will agree that it is unnecessary for me to go further in pleading that you and the other gentlemen of the Ways and Means Committee give most favorable consideration to the proposals for liberalizing tariff laws for works of art, as presented to your committee by the American Association of Museums Committee on Customs.

Very sincerely,



NEW YORK, N. Y., May 27, 1953.


Chairman, Committee on Ways and Means,

House of Representatives, Washington, D. C.:

The international trade section of the New York Board of Trade favors H. R. 5106, customs simplification bill, as a fair bill acceptable to the membership of the international trade section and recommends favorable action by your committee and final enactment into law.

The section particularly emphasizes the advantages of this bill in that the Federal Reserve Bank of New York will continue to indicate the values of foreign moneys for ascertainment of rates of exchange to be used in computing the valuations in dollars for imported merchandise.

FRED J. EMMERICH, Chairman, International Trade Section, New York Board of Trade.



NEW ORLEANS, LA., May 29, 1953.

Chairman, Committee on Ways and Means,
House Office Building, Washington, D. C.:

At a meeting of the board of directors of the Export Managers' Club of New Orleans held on Thursday, May 28, it was decided by a unanimous vote to go on record in favor of the customs simplification bill, H. R. 5106, by Representative Hon. Thomas A. Jenkins.

DAVID A. KATTAN, President.




Ways and Means Committee,


Princeton, N. J., June 9, 1953.

House of Representatives, Washington, D. C.

DEAR MR. REED: I am writing you concerning H. R. 5106, which was recently introduced by Congressman Jenkins of Ohio, and which is known as the Customs Simplification Act of 1953.

Section 17 (d) is of special interest to me for the reason that it recommends that the value of shipments allowed to come in under informal entry be raised from $100 to $250.

Last year, when a similar effort was under way, it was urged that books in shipments for libraries come in up to $500. Actually when the bill was reported by the House Ways and Means Committee the ceiling had been taken off for libraries. That was most gratifying, but unfortunately the bill was pigeonholed in the Senate committee and died at the end of the 82d Congress without Senate committee action. Section 17 (e) is also of special interest.

It is most helpful to libraries, if we cannot have provision without a ceiling, to raise the figure as high as possible, for this one thing saves libraries a great deal of money. The lower the limit the more shipments have to be handled at ports of entry by customs house brokers, and their charges, whether they are great or small, just make the cost of the importations that much greater. It can happen that the cost of an English book can be increased by 10 to 20 percent when the brokerage charge is added to the cost of the book itself. When that is duplicated throughout a period of time, and involving libraries throughout the country, it is obvious that the costs of these clearances add a large sum of money to the outlays of the libraries. I must repeat, therefore, that the higher the limitation for entry without formality the better off libraries will be.

Sincerely yours,

Associate Librarian.


Los Angeles 21, Calif., June 1, 1953.

Chairman, Committee on Ways and Means

House Office Building, Washington 25, D. C.

MY DEAR CONGRESSMAN: We note that there is before the House, an administrative measure, H. R. 5106, known as the Jenkins bill. We are heartily in favor of any measure that will implement trade between nations.

The writer is of firm belief that trade between nations might eliminate some of the caustic conditions that is a forerunner of any totalitarian system such as communism and its ilk.

With that in mind, we urge you and the members of your committee, as well as Congress as a whole, to pass the new Customs Simplification Act of 1953, as a step in the right direction.

We will be very happy to be placed on your list to receive information pertaining to the progress of this bill and any other data which your committee and Congress has to further world trade.

Yours very truly,



United States Congress,

New Orleans, La., June 12, 1953.

Chairman, Ways and Means Committee,

Washington, D. C.

MY DEAR CONGRESSMAN REED: We note with interest the pending H. R. 5106, customs-simplification bill of 1953.

We strongly endorse this bill and trust that you will press its enactment into law.

With our respects and best wishes,


General Manager.

(Whereupon, at 11:30 a. m., the committee was recessed subject to the call of the Chair.)


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