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which it was produced was in proper sanitary condition, and the handling of the product was sanitary.
Now, it is just as impossible, and that same contention was made then, just as impossible to determine the character or the condition of the animal from which a piece of bacon or beef was produced as it is to determine whether woolen fabrics are made partly of new wool and partly of reworked wool.
Now, it seems to me that it is not a long stretch of the imagination to say, or to provide~ I am not granting all these contentions about the impossibility, that it is naturally unsettled, and very doubtful, I am inclined to think it is possible or will become possible for experts to determine the percentage of the ingredients in a woolen or mixed fabric-but on the assumption that it is impossible, it seems to me, it would not be very largely burdensome to provide some sort of inspection. A manufacturer can easily know how much shoddy or cotton or some other material he mixes with his wool. It is only a matter of running it across the scales, where he could weigh it, and show so many pounds of this, and so many pounds of that, and he could be made to show his books, as to how much of this reworked wool and other materials he is using, and it would have to show up somewhere in his fabrics, and that would be brought out by this inspection by the Government officials. If they are worrying too much about the impossibility of ascertaining, I think it will be easy to find a way to settle that question to their satisfaction. I don't mean they will be satisfied with the settlement, but it will settled to their satisfaction.
Now, I am just going to call attention to one or two things in both of the bills.
Senator COUZENS. Can you tell us what is the difference between the woven and the knitted goods? There is no difference provided in that bill. It only refers to woven goods.
Mr. ATKESON. If it is knitted, of course, it is knitted from the yarn, and you would have to know what goes into the yarn. That would have to be taken care of by the man who produces the yarn, and I think that is provided in that bill, isn't it, Senator Capper?
Senator CAPPER. I think so; yes.
Mr. ATKESON. Where wool is sold in the form of yarn, it should carry the same guaranty as if it was woven into the fabric. If it is sold to ordinary purchasers in the form of yarn, and may be hand knitted, the purchaser ought to know whether she is using virgin wool or new wool, or whether it is mixed with shoddy, and if the woolen manufacturer manufactures knitted goods—that is, a fabric out of yarn that he purchases, wool that he purchases in the form of yarn which is sometimes done then the responsibility should be on the manufacturer of the yarn, because, presumptively, the manufacturer of the product must be able to know how much shoddy there may be in the yarn; that is, the original manufacturer of the product.
Senator COUZENS. But when it goes into a suit of clothes, how do no requirement that they shall be markeä, as I understand.
Mr. ATKESON. I believe that none of the bills do require that. My impression is that they should.
Senator COUZENS. That ought to be in this bill, ought it not, if you are going to protect knit goods and woven goods?
Mr. NEVINS. The difference is in the process of producing. The knit fabrics, in a commercial or wholesale way, are produced on knitting machines; the woven fabrics are produced on looms. The same conditions apply to both. Your objection that the knitted goods are omitted is very valid. We think this should apply just as much to the knitted as to the woven.
Senator COUZENS. That is what I wanted to bring out. Senator CAPPER. I think the bill reported out by the committee of the last Congress attempted to take care of that by requiring that a tag or statement accompany the package delivered by the manufacturer.
Senator COUZENS. That is not in your bill, is it, Senator?
The CHAIRMAN. One of the witnesses said it omitted garments, and I notice“ woven fabric” used all the way through the bill.
Mr. ATKESON. It includes the knitted fabric.
Mr, ATKESON. It could easily be made to do so. I am not undertaking to write the bill.
Senator Couzens. How can you make knitted goods and be sure the markings are reliable? That is, that they are not transferred from one garment to another.
Mr. ATKESON. It would depend on the character of the knitted goods. If it is manufactured in a manufacturing establishment you could ascertain to the same extent that you could with a woven fabric.
Senator COUZENS. How do you determine the relative grades of wool under this bill? For instance, Mr. Wood has probably eight or ten samples.
Mr. ATKESON. Yes.
Senator COUZENS. I do not yet understand, if a piece of goods is marked "all wool," how it can be told whether it is a high-grade wool or a low-grade wool, and I think that unless that is provided that the public will be done more harm by marking the garments " all wool” than they are under the present conditions.
The CHAIRMAN. Would this include it? 66 That has never been previously spun or woven. What is the significance of the word spun
» ? Mr. ATKESON. Well, spinning is the manufacturing into yarn. The CHAIRMAN. That has nothing to do with knitting?
Mr. NEVINs. It is the initial stage. It is spun, then made into yarn, and then into the fabric.
The CHAIRMAN. I don't believe the bill includes knitting at all. . Mr. NEVINS. It does not.
Seantor COUZENS. Can you explain how these different grades of wool will be taken care of?
Mr. ATKESON. Yes; I am interested in that, because I am a wool producer. It has been stated before numerous committees that some grades of reworked wool will produce a better fabric than some grades of pure wool, and I think every sheepman and every shoddy user will agree that that is true. Even the same sheep will produce three or four decidedly different grades of wool on the same carcass. The best part of the wool comes from, on most sheep, near the shoulder, the fore part, and above the middle line of the sheep, and the shorter and coarser parts of the fleece are usually about the legs and the lower part of the belly.
It is a peculiarity of sheep that when they lie down in the pastures to rest or to sleep that they lie on their belly, not on their sides, or their back, and on the damp ground this short wool on the under part of the body and about the legs is more or less damaged by moisture. It might even reach the point where it is comparatively worthless, but you can not weave that wool into a fabric as whole wool and not be able to tell the defference. Senator Gore could tell the difference without any trouble. That is, a blind man could tell the difference by feeling the fabrics. I will guarantee that.
Senator COUZENS. Could you not mix the wool so that it would still be all wool and have more of those grades than the better grades?
Mr. ATKESON. I don't think so. If you are first guaranteed that it is new wool, the purchaser will be able to make distinctions and determine the fineness and quality of the fabric by feeling it. The finer qualities of wool and different grades of wool are used for different purposes, and the lower and cheaper grades of wool are used for other purposes, and of course if they are mixed, it would have a tendency to cheapen the feel and appearance of the product. I haven't much but what we would take care of ourselves as purchasers of “ all wool.”
Senator COUZENS. I would like to have some proof of that. I would like to see how I could tell in purchasing an all wool garment whether it was of high or low grade.
Mr. ATKESON. If we had some samples here I think we could demonstrate that. I don't think you would have to see it at all. You would only have to feel it. That is, the short fibered, cheaper wool, from the carcass of the sheep, would make itself easily an. parent. Different sheep produce different degrees of fineness, and you find that in the higher priced and higher qualities of woolen goods, grading from the coarser and rougher fabrics up to the finesi ladies' wear goods. The different parts of the fleece are selected for these different purposes. Of course, it is susceptible, or it is possible to mix these different wools; take the whole fleece and mix it all together, and while you may raise the value of the goods produced from the coarser or cheaper parts of the fleece, you will certainly lower the value of the goods that may have been produced from the upper part of the fleece, so I think the manufacturers will agree we need not worry much about the mixing. Senator COUZENS. But they don't agree. Mr. ATKESON. Well, I am not responsible for their disagreement. Senator COUZENS. But you said they would agree.
Mr. ATKESON. No; I said it is a fair presumption they would agree; that is, I hope they would agree.
Now, as to these bills, there is just one outstanding difference. If I were writing the bills I would very decidedly change both of them. The Lodge bill covers too much territory. The Capper bill deals with this question of woolen fabrics only, and the problems involved, while the other bill deals with a lot of other things, many or most of which are covered in pure food legislation and other legislation anyway.
When I saw that the Senator had introduced this bill, coming from New England, and a manufacturing State, in the first place I was a little surprised, and then in the second place I knew that there must be a reason. That is just the human factor involved, and then I began to look into the bill, and I find that it legalizes the one thing we were trying to prevent. In other words, in plain terms, it legalizes the only contention our people care to make. It legalizes the use of shoddy or reworked wool, when it is represented to the public as all wool, and when you pass a bill with that provision in it, we are worse off than we are now.
The CHAIRMAN. Where is that provision?
Mr. ATKESON. You have absolutely legalized the use of shoddy and authorized manufacturers to put it off on the public as all wool, if they can, and have written that into a statute legalizing that offense against ordinary honesty.
The CHAIRMAN. Where is that? Mr. ATKESON. Subdivision E, on page 2, of the Lodge bill: The term “ virgin wool” and “new wool” means sheeps' wool, lambs' wool, and the hair of the Angora and Cashmere goat that has never previously been spun into yarn, woven into cloth or felt, and is without a mixture of cotton, jute, hemp, silk, reworked wool or any other fabric than new wool.
With that much we are in accord.
The term “all wool ” means sheeps' wool, lambs' wool, and the hair of the Angora goat and Cashmere goat, that has no admixture of cotton, jute, hemp, silk, or any other fabric.
You see, in the definition that he has included in the second one he has omitted " reworked wool.” The second subdivision, when the goods are sold as all wool, absolutely legalizes the only thing for which we are contending. Now, some lawyer would get around thật proposition.
Senator COUZENS. Does not paragraph E and paragraph F conflict, then?
Mr. ATKESON. No; they are defining different things. In the first place it is virgin wool and new wool, and in the second place it is all wool, using identically the same terms of description except in the second case omitting reworked wool. That legalizes the selling, in the name of all wool, of goods that may be of reworked wool. That is “the colored gentleman in that wood pile."
We are not contending, or dealing with the question of whether it will raise the price of goods or lower the price, of goods. It has been argued that if that legislation is enacted that the consumers will have to pay more for their goods. If I were buying a suit of clothes, as I do occasionally, and I wanted to buy clothing that was all new wool or virgin wool-I do not like the term “virgin wool” myself. It has a sound to it that is not nice and does not mean anything in this connection, and I prefer “new wool ” as counter to“ reworked ” wool. I am not particular about those terms, but the average buyer of woolen goods, when it is represented to him as all wool, the purpose is to deceive him; he buys what he believes to be goods that are "all wool and a yard wide," as we used to say, and it is fraudulent on the face of it to sell a man something as all wool which absolutely is not all wool in the sense that the buyer expects it to be.
The CHAIRMAN. Mr. Atkeson, let me get this clear. The term "all, wool" under subdivision F would not only include virgin wool that has none of these elements of admixture-cotton, jute, hemp, and so
Mr. ATKESON. Yes.
The CHAIRMAN. But would include reworked wool which has an admixture of cotton, jute, hemp, and so on. That is your contention?
Mr. ATKESON. That is the so-called shoddy or reworked wool.
Senator Couzens. Why do you call reworked wool “shoddy.” if, it is all wool?
Mr. ATKESON. That is the old term--that is, reworked wool and, shoddy are the same thing, to my mind, and to the mind of the average person.
Senator Couzens. But reworked wool might be all wool?
Mr. ATKESON. Yes; and so might shoddy, and generally it is true that it is.
Senator COUZENS. But shoddy might include some of these other elements, such as jute, cotton, and so on.
Mr. ATKESON. But we are using the term " reworked wool” now more generally than the term “ shoddy.” It is a little more polite. Everything got to be shoddy after the introduction of the shoddy, but reworked” wool is being used now as a substitute, or as being synonymous with the term “shoddy” as
as formerly used, and it means the reworking of woolen rags.
Senator COUZENS. Can you tell me just what damage is done by reworking the wool?
Mr. ATKESON. What damage is done?
Mr. ATKESON. That is another thing that I think even the manufacturers agree—that it does some damage.
Senator COUZENS. You don't know how much?
Mr. ATKESON. No, sir. It would depend on whether it had been reworked more than once. Take a fabric that is half reworked wool, and then when the garments are thrown aside they are reworked again and again, and every time they are reworked they become of less and less value, and worn goods that have been worn and perspired in and more or less decayed would produce a very much less valuable reworked commodity than if it was made from scraps from a tailor shop, fabric that had never been worn at all, and that kind of reworked wool would produce a better fabric than some of the cheaper grades of sheep's wool of the lower part of the body.
We all appreciate the difficulties of all those problems, but if you draw the line at the wool that has never been woven, or between that which has never been woven and that which is reworked once or oftener, it is about as far as we can hope to go, and some may contend that we can not go that far.
As far as our people are concerned, when they passed the resolution that I read into the record, they had in mind the Capper-French bill. I think Senator Lodge's bill had not been introduced. There had been some other bills, like the Rogers bill, introduced in former, sessions of Congress, but I feel perfectly certain that the people I represent, our organization, is not trying to do anybody any harm. It is trying to insist that it is perfectly right and legitimate that the American Congress, so far as possible, should guarantee the purchasers