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tions. If the purpose of the bill's proponents is to prevent deceit and unfair prices that result from the unrevealed presence of substitutes for virgin wool in fabrics, why does the bill handicap the makers of woven wool fabrics by adding to their cost of production, and give a distinct advantage, in a lower cost of production, to their competitors, the makers of knitted fabrics which are rapidly growing in popularity and giving keen competition to woven fabrics? Why cover by the provisions of this bill the one class, and exclude the other? Why deny to users of knitted fabrics the information deemed essential for users of woven fabrics?
2. This legislation would be a direct discrimination against the domestic manufacturer and in favor of the foreign manufacturer in two ways
(a) It would make it impossible for the former, weighted by the additional cost of manufacture which this proposed law would entail, to compete in foreign markets with foreign rivals. He could not honestly mark his fabrics and compete with a man under no such compulsion.
(6) In their own markets it would expose the domestic manufacturers to the ruinous competition of unscrupulous foreign inanufacturers, who could mark their fabrics as they might see fit without the slightest chance of detection, because there is no method known to science by which either by the microscope or any chenical process, unerringly to detect the proportions of reworked wool in woven fabrics.
This has been admitted by the chief propagandist for this bill, Mr. Alexander Walker, who in an address published in the November, 1918, number of the National Sheep and Wool Bulletin declared:
There is no test known to science whereby the presence of all-wool shoddy in a fabric can prior to service surely be detected, or the number of times the shoddy has previously been reworked, be determined.
At the Senate hearings on July 8, 1921, he had the audacity, however, to say:
I think the opponents of this measure will concede that there some percentage of shoddy that could be found by test.
And Mr. F. McGowan, chief of the textile division of the Bureau of Standards, testifying on March 25, 1920, before the Committee on Interstate and Foreign Commerce of the House of Representatives, said:
I do not see the possibility of labeling fabrics, that is, to the extent of how much wool and how much shoddy they contain. It is possible, I believe, to mark a fabric" so much wool," meaning virgin wool and shoddy, and it is possible to mark the percentage of cotton or other fibrous material. As for the identification of fibers in fabrics, chemical and physical analyses show that it is possible to obtain the percentage of cotton and wool, but no methods have been devised whereby virgin wool and shoddy can be detected
not only is it not possible to detect just what the fibers are and the fiber contents and percentage, but I do not believe it (the French bill) satisfies the demands of the question.
This statement by Mr. McGowan, an employee of the Government, is confirmed by the results of an examination of six samples of cloth sent upon request to the agricultural college at Manhattan, Kans. One sample was so well felted that it was not practicable to pull it apart and no return on it was received. In not a single case of the remaining five was a correct result reached, and not even an approximation; and in several cases the warp of the sample was reported to contain large quantities of shoddy, when it did not contain any whatsoever. In other cases they failed utterly to find an approximation of the proportion of new wool (virgin wool under the terms of the bill) used, and their failures were consistent, whether their efforts were directed toward the warp or the weft.
Secure from detection if their fabrics should be dishonestly marked, and we are justified in asserting they would be, and freed from the danger of confiscation of their goods as well as fine and imprisonment, would not unscrupulous German and British manufacturers welcome the opportunity, urged by wool growers and granted by Congress, to get into this unrivaled market and reap rich rewards? Could they not, because of their skill in manufacture, flood this market with fabrics dishonestly marked, deceive purchasers by marks put on in compliance with the tons of the law, and secure the unfair prices which the title of the bill declares it is its purpose to prevent ; and really in the end work an injury to wool growers, themselves, by displacing many pounds of wool needed to make the fabrics imported
? Another objection to this bill is that under section 4 the power “to decide the manner and method of marking fabrics and garments” and to make uniform rules and regulations for carrying out che provisions of this act, including the collection and examination of specimens of woven fabrics and garments, is lodged in the Secretary of the Treasury, the Secretary of Agriculture, and the Secretary of Commerce, officials who are changed not infrequently during an administration and always with a change of administration. Changed officials might, and likely would, change the rules, and as a result there would be no reliable guides for manufacturers by which to direct and carry on their business. Somé Secretaries might be friendly; some might be hostile, and rules and regulations might be altered at the whim of men subject to political pressure. This, it must be evident, would bring uncertainty to the industry which would be disconcerting, if not disastrous.
By section 9 every manufacturer of woven fabrics that contain wool must
mark upon such woven fabric ” the contents of the fabric, stating the ingredients as herein defined, virgin wool, reworked wool, cotton, or other ingredient that is used and the relative proportion or percentage by weight of each, together with the registration number of the person, firm, or corporation making the fabric."
By this provision the woven wool manufacturers would be placed in a position where their trade secrets, obtained by long experience and at great expense, would be laid bare to the inspection of rivals less experienced and less successful. Manufacturers would have to acquire license numbers which would be common property, and by linking up the license number with fabrics obtained in the market and carrying the information required, it would be a simple matter to learn approximately the mixtures used in the fabrication of the cloths. It would be similar to a requirement making it necessary for famous cooks to disclose the recipes on which their livelihood might depend. The proper combination of raw materials is essential to the success of manufacturers and they should not be obliged to lay bare those trade secrets as to blends of materials to the inspection of trade rivals. It would penalize success and aid incompetence.
Another objection to this bill is that under section 4 the Secretary of the Treasury, the Secretary of Agriculture, and the Secretary of Commerce have the power to inspect the plant, raw materials, and the books of all manufacturers of such goods who have secured a registration number, and require reports
from such manufacturers from time to time as they may deem necessary under such rules and regulations as they may prescribe.
This section places enormous power in the hands of three men who are not likely to know the slightest thing about wool manufacture, the materials used, their peculiarities, or the intricate processes by which they are made into cloths. No one supposes that those three men would do that inspection work themselves. It would have to be done by an army of inspectors placed in the individual mills throughout the country. What an excellent opportunity would thus be presented to secure
information concerning formulas and processes used by rivals. Think of opening during political campaigns the books of manufacturers for the examination by inspectors, political for the time being, perhaps employees of rival concerns ! Contemplate the disastrous results which would surely follow!
Exactly these things are possible and are likely to come to pass if this bill is passed.
The wool manufacturers assert both that the presence of shoddyreworked wool-can not be uniformly and unerringly detected in fabrics, and that proportions of such material can not be determined. If that is true (and its truth has been admitted by the chief supporter of the bill, Mr. Alexander Walker, and by the Government expert from the Bureau of Standards), how can a law of that kind be enforced ? Manufacturers have always urged that such tests be made, agreeing that if the results reached by capable bureaus showed that the proportions could be found, the arguments for the bill would be greatly strengthened.
That is was agreed at the Senate hearing in July, 1921, that samples should be tested, is shown by the following extract from the proceedings before the committee at the closing session on July 8, 1921.
At that session, Mr. John P. Wood, president of the National Association of Wool Manufacturers, told the members of the committee in a closing statement that
There are just two questions involved here for the committee's consideration,
To settle the question of the fiber content of fabrics, Mr. Wood renewed the proposal which was made in his brief read to the Senate subcommittee, that
We will submit any desired number of samples and under seal an exact description of their contents, the committee to send the samples of fabrics either to the Bureau of Standards or the Laboratory of the Department of Agriculture or both, and after receiving the reports from those laboratories, to themselves check up the result with the actual components as filed with the committee under seal.
To the above, Senator Watson, of Indiana, who was the chairman, responded as follows:
And that we are going to do. That is one of the very great problems in this matter and it has not been addressed with that degree of directness that we always like to see or hear. There is no way that we can inspect the factory of the foreigner. That is out of the question. We might as well dismiss that from our minds. They would not tolerate that for a minute and as Mr. Hughes (Secretary of State) says in his letter, it is not practicable.
In the next place, if the foreigner sends his goods into the country with a statement of the contents of the fabric out of which the cloth is made, and that statement is not true, and if we can not tell whether it is true or not by an examination of analysis, then our manufacturers are at the mercy of those manufacturers regardless of any tariff. Now, what I want to find out is whether or not we can tell the contents of that cloth or that piece of goods, and if so, how.
After some discussion about the samples to be submitted, and responding to the suggestion made by Senator Gooding, who was present, though not on the committee, that “of course the committee will: go out and select their own samples, as I understand it,” Senator Watson replied:
Either that, or else Mr. Wood on one side and Mr. Walker on the other can go out and do it.
In pursuance of the agreement reached in Washington at the hearings, samples for the proposed tests to determine whether or not percentages of shoddy or reworked wool can be determined by any such tests, chemical or microscopic, were prepared and forwarded on March 22, 1922, to Senator Fernald, of Maine, a member of the subcommittee. This is shown by the following letter sent by former Secretary Paul T. Cherington to Senator Fernald: Hon. BERT M. FERNALD,
United States Senate, Washington, D. C. MY DEAR SENATOR FERNALD: To-day I am sending you by parcel post two sets of samples for testing by the Bureau of Standards of the Department of Commerce and the Bureau of Chemistry of the Department of Agriculture, or such other agencies as you may designate for this purpose. This is in accordance with the agreement at the hearings on the Capper bill, S. 799, held last
We have kept a reference set of the samples here, and we have made a record of the more important facts about these fabrics.
The key sheet containing this information we shall be glad to send, under seal, to any disinterested depository you may designate. If you care to have it sent, for example, to some trust company in Washington, we shall be glad to defray any expense that might be involved in sending and keeping it there.
In making the tests and examinations we believe that it would be desirable not only to ascertain the fiber content, but to arrange for a comparison of this with such tests as are available for showing the strength and wearing properties of the fabrics. Yours very truly,
PAUL T. CHERINGTON, Secretary. To this letter from Mr. Cherington, Senator Fernald replied as follows:
MARCH 24, 1922. Mr. PAUL T. CHERINGTON, Secretary, National Association of Wool Manufacturers,
Boston, Mass. MY DEAR MR. CHERINGTON: I have your favor of the 22d and note you are sending me samples for testing by the Bureau of Standards and the Bureau of Chemistry and possibly one or two other agencies.
On arrival, I will see that these are sent to the proper parties and will endeavor to get a report on them at the earliest possible date. I think it might be well for you to send the key sheet in this matter under seal to me and it shall be kept until the report is made and will be opened only in the presence of the other members of the subcommittee.
Thanking you for the trouble you have taken in selecting these goods and passing them on, I am, Very truly yours,
BERT M. FERNALD,
United States Senate. On March 31, Mr. Cherington sent to Senator Fernald the list of samples to be tested as is shown by the following letter sent to Senator Fernald:
MARCH 31, 1922. Hon. BERT M. FERNALD,
United States Senate, Washington, D. C. MY DEAR SENATOR FERNALD: Inclosed I am sending you, under seal, in accordance with your request, a list of the fabric samples which we sent to you for analysis in connection with the branding bill, S. 799. Yours very truly,
PAUL T. CHERINGTON, Secretary. On April 3, 1922, Senator Fernald acknowledged receipt of the list, as the following letter shows:
APRIL 3, 1922. Mr. PAUL T. CHERINGTON, Secretary National Association of Wool Manufacturers,
50 State Street, Boston, Mass. MY DEAR Mr. CHERINGTON: I have your favor of the 31st inclosing list of fabric samples in connection with the branding bill, S. 799, under seal, which I will hold, under seal, for further use. Yours very truly,
BERT M. FERNALD,
United States Senator. From that day until the day the subcommitee which held the hearings reported the bill without recommendations to the full commitee of the Senate, no request whatsoever was received by the association for other samples, and the association's officers and members, reposing confidence in the good faith of the committee, thought that the tests proposed to determine the practicability of the law if enacted, would be made and would have an overwhelming influence on the action both of the subcommitee and the final action of the full committee. This was based upon what was announced at the hearings by the chairman of the subcommittee and confirmed by a later newspaper statement, wherein the chairman was quoted as having said that upon those tests will depend the recommendation to be made by the smaller body to the full committee.
Notwithstanding all these statements—both at the hearings and given publicity in the newspaper press—and although the samples were prepared as requested, and delivered to a member of the committee, no tests have ever been made; the bill has been reported without any recommendation whatsoever by the smaller body to the full committee, and the supporters of the bill are vigorously opposing now-as they have done in the past-the making of these tests. Does the knowledge that proportion of shoddy can not be determined explain why the Senate subcommittee failed to have the samples, reposing in their possession since early in April, submitted for analysis? And is it the reason proponents of this measure so vigorously oppose the testing of samples to inform the legislators whether the contention of the manufacturers, that neither the pres