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ence of shoddy in fabrics can be detected unerringly nor the approximate proportion of reworked wool, is correct or fallacious ?
Is it possible that the United States Senate will act favorably upon a bill regulating minutely the manufacture and distribution of fabrics, the making of which involves many intricate and most difficult processes about which Senators, unless carefully instructed, know nothing and can not be expected to enlighten their fellow members of the full committee on the whole subject and place in their hands convincing reasons either for the approval of the bill or its rejection?
How can Senators satisfy themselves that they are dealing fairly with wool manufacturers and the public generally by passing a bill about which they have no recommendations from the committee that heard the witnesses ?
How can Senators justify favorable action on a bill whose enforcement and workability depend upon tests which can not be successfully and accurately made ?
How can Senators repudiate the testimony of F. R. McGowan, of the Bureau of Standards, the Government's expert, who testified that “I don't think it (the Capper bill) tells the public anything, and that it is practically impossible to determine the actual percentage, whether 40 per cent shoddy or reworked wool and 60 per cent virgin wool ? "
Asked what he thought as to the practicability so far as the public is concerned, of marking goods, say, 50 per cent of virgin wool, 25 per cent of shoddy, and 25 per cent of cotton, would that give any useful information to the customer except the mere fact of the percentage? ' Mr. McGowan answered:
I do not believe it would. I do not believe it would help him out in buying or selecting his fabric. I do not think the information would help him to buy a suit of clothes.
Mr. McGowan declared that The legislation as proposed by the French bill has in it a great number of complications. Not only is it not possible to detect just what the fibers are and the finer content and percentage, but I do not believe it satisfied the demands of the question. I believe that a bill of this sort is a great many years ahead of its time, for the reason that the people have got to be educated to buy what they want, and to tell them what the French bill-identical with the Capper bill—proposes would tell them nothing practically as to what they would really want. Without any question, if a person goes to a store to buy a suit of clothes it is my contention that he wants to get a good suit of clothes and he buys them for wearing quality and not upon whether they contain shoddy or virgin wool. Personally, when I go to a store, I do not demand an all-wool fabric, although I am somewhat familiar with the all-wool fabric business. Price is perhaps the important consideration, but I do not demand an all-wool fabric, and I think the public, when they buy a suit of any fabric, want to buy it on its qualities for endurance and wear and not upon its price or what it contains.
How can Senators vote for a bill which, as Senator Smoot, who has had some textile-manufacturing experience, has said can not be administered? A year ago he was quoted in the papers of December 22, 1921, as saying, “ To administer it would likely require placing a Government inspector in every woolen, mill in the country, and even then there would be no way to prevent the practice of the frauds the bill is intended to stop in imported fabrics." He was convinced that "it can not be administered."
How can Senators vote for a bill which one of the subcommittee, Senator Smith, who in the papers of December 8, 1922, was quoted as having said:
This bill needs considerable amendment besides changing the definition of shoddy or striking out the word and using the term reworked wool. It is: my opinion that further hearings will be necessary.
In my opinion the measure is far from workable and there will have to be further changes: made.
How can Senators vote for a bill to which the chairman of the Senate subcommittee has put himself on record as so strongly opposed ? Under date of April 13, 1922, in a letter to P. H. Crane, secretary of the Indiana Federation of Farmers' Associations, Senator Watson of Indiana, among other things, is reported in September number of the American Sheep Breeder and Wool Growers, as having written:
I have not reported on the "truth in fabric” bill for the reason that the hearings were never concluded and that as far as they have gone I am against the bill, and I shall remain against it unless additional evidence is submitted to: satisfy my mind as to the matter of the proposition.
We have no way of reaching the foreign fabric manufacturers and the bill could not be enforced with foreign fabric manufactures unless the presence: of shoddy can be detected in cloth.
There is no way known to science by which shoddy can be told from virgin wool and because of inability to detect shoddy in cloth, the “ truth in fabric” bill could not be enforced with the foreign fabric manufacturers.
Another and, a very grave reason why I am not for this bill at this time is that there is not wool enough produced in the United States to clothe onethird of the people. Thus two-thirds of the people would naturally buy all of the one-third and force the other two-thirds to wear clothes made of either shoddy or cotton, or a mixture of the two. Two-thirds of the people would be compelled to wear clothing made of shoddy, while only one-third would be able to wear clothing made of virgin wool.
It can not be told whether or not it (the fabric) is part shoddy and part wool, because shoddy is wool. We had displays before us made from all shoddy or noils which are classed as shoddy because they are the results of the first process in the manufacture of woolens.
And yet those fabrics showed stronger and better and were certified to give longer service than some made of mostly wool and part shoddy.
Bills have been introduced in Congress for this proposition occasionally for the list 30 years and no committer: has yet been found to report fåvorably after full investigation. The same condition presents itself to the Committee on Interstate Commerce of the House at this time.
When Senator Cummins, appointed me to succeed Senator Frelinghuysen as chairman of the subcommittee having charge of this investigation, he said to me that he thought that this would be a good bill, if it was found to be workable, but that it was not and could not be made so. He said that he had studied the subject at some length and was satisfied that this was the situation.
At the conclusion of the hearings, on the “ truth in fabric” bill, the other two Senators who sat with me, Fernald of Maine, and Smith of South Carolina, were to go and complete the hearings by having the tests that we agreed on to be made at the conclusion of the hearings. Those tests have not been made, though Senator Fernald told me last week that he was now going forward with the arrangements.
One of my objections to the form of the Capper bill is that I believe it to be impracticable; it will be found impossible to fulfill some of the requirements of the bill. It will place an enormous burden on the manufacturers; it will injure the industry very much, and that I won't go into any further, because there will be representatives of the industry here to give you the detail of that better
than I could. It is not to the interest of the woolgrower to injure the wool manufacturer, and vice versa, and I always believe, and I have stated it in the Senate many times, that I regard the protection of wool as one of the most important things in our economic system. It is an absolute necessity to grow wool and to have enough wool, if possible, for our own clothing.
If we should ever have the misfortune of going to war again, we must remember that it is just as important to clothe our soldiers well as it is to arm them well, and I always believe that industrial independence in regard to the raising of sheep is one of the most important things that this country has to consider. There has been a decline in the woolgrowing industry of this country and it is largely owing to the change going on in the settling of the great areas of the West. What we want to do in this country is to encourage the development of the small flocks by the farmers. Take the State of Ohio: When I first came into public life, Ohio was a great wool State. It was the State that led the fight always for the
wool producers. Now, the growth of wool is not considerable in Ohio.
The CHAIRMAN. It is nothing like it was. Senator LODGE. And it is owing to the failure of the small flocks. I have always tried to do everything I could to aid the woolgrowers, the raisers of sheep, and I have been much criticized in my own part of the country because they thought I stood for too high protection of the woolgrower and it is with no desire to injure the woolgrowers that I am here. I believe also in the utmost protection to the consumer, but I prefer my own bill in the first place, because it is more extensive. It covers everything. In the second place, it is more practical
But, as to the detail concerning the wool, if that is the principal subject of discussion, I want an opportunity of bringing in the men who understand this subject, and there is no desire on my part, I assure you, to injure the woolgrower, the sheep raiser. Therefore, I will invite at once gentlemen who represent the manufacturers and others, and ask the committee to give them a hearing.
The CHAIRMAN. We will do that a week from to-day, Senator, at 10 o'clock.
(Whereupon, at 12 o'clock noon, an adjournment was taken until Thursday, March 6, 1924, at 10 o'clock a. m.)
TRUTH IN FABRIC AND MISBRANDING BILLS.
THURSDAY, MARCH 6, 1924.
UNITED STATES SENATE,
Washington, D. C. The subcommittee met, pursuant to adjournment, at 10 o'clock a. m., Hon. Simeon D. Fess presiding.
Present: Senators Fess (chairman of subcommittee), Mayfield, and Couzens.
Present also: Senators Capper and Pepper.
The CHAIRMAN. For the benefit of representatives of various organizations who desire to be heard on these proposed measures, I ought to make this statement: That in the last Congress there was an assemblage of information that made up a fairly good record pro and con on the legislation, and it was not the intention of the committee to open up the question this year for further hearings, but to take what we had in the last Congress.
Senator Lodge, the proponent of one of the bills, said that if Senator Capper was desirous of pushing his measure he wanted additional hearings and, quite naturally, when any Senator asks for hearings on any bill that he is the author of the hearings are always allowed, but we had hoped not to make the record so exhaustive, and therefore I, as chairman of the subcommittee, suggested to Senator Capper that we would call such people as he wanted to be heard on this measure, and we would do likewise with Senator Lodge. Then, after we were through with those, to anyone who wanted to be heard in opposition to both the way would be open, but our purpose was not to extend the hearings indefinitely; in other words, not to prolong these hearings, for that would do nothing more than duplicate what was done last year.
Some of the representatives or associations must have gotten the idea that the subcommittee was going to make the hearings rather one-sided. There was not any purpose of that sort. The hearings to-day were to be on the Lodge bill, under the direction of Senator Lodge. To-morrow the hearing will be on both of the bills for or in opposition as the hearings will develop as we go along to-day. We can not well sit in the afternoon because of the sessions of the Senate.
My purpose is to conserve time as much as possible, and Senator Lodge has given me a list of persons he said would be here and whom he would like to have me call upon. I would much prefer if some one like the Senator himself would designate the parties in the order in which they will come, and if he does not do that himself if some one will do it for him.
Mr. NEVINS. I would be very glad to do that.
The CHAIRMAN. I also would like to have the material placed before the committee in as concise a form as possible so as to get the information sought without unnecessary duplication and also without the unnecessary consumption of time.
Mr. NEVINS. I would like to introduce Gen. John P. Wood as the first speaker.
STATEMENT OF GEN. JOHN P. WOOD, REPRESENTING THE NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF WOOL MANUFACTURERS AND THE MANUFACTURERS' CLUB OF PHILADELPHIA, PA., AND THE NATIONAL WHOLESALE DRY GOODS ASSOCIATION.
Mr. Wood. I represent the National Association of Wool Manufacturers, with offices at No. 50 State Street, Boston, Mass., and because of the announcement of the chairman that it was desired to concentrate as much as possible the testimony of the representative of the Manufacturers' Club of Philadelphia has asked me to speak for the club, as has also the representative of the National Wholesale Dry Goods Association. I am not connected with either of the last two organizations, but their representatives have desired to be re«corded as approving of what I have to say.
The CHAIRMAN. If anyone desires copies of the bill under consideration, there are copies here on the table.
General, if you can put the material in as concise a form and in as brief a form as possible, it will be appreciated by the committee.
General Wood. That is what I would like to do. I have been before so many hearings on this matter, that for the greater part a reference to the previous testimony will suffice you although as I will say most of what will be said this morning, the other gentlemen here intending merely to relate their views as applied to their particular part of the industry, I may take a little more time than at first might be considered necessary,
The CHAIRMAN. Take all the time that is essential to a proper presentation of your views.
General Wood. During the past 20 years many bills embodying a provision for branding fabrics to show the component materials have been before Congress. Numerous hearings by committees have been held, and an extensive literature upon the subject has been printed. I shall, therefore, endeavor to make my statement as concise as possible. If you desire, at your convenience, to examine a more extensive discussion, I suggest a reference to my testimony before the subcommittee of the Senate Interstate Commerce Committee, which can be found in the printed report of the hearings on Senate bill No. 799, Sixty-seventh Congress, first session, in part 1, at pages 183 to 220; in part 2, at pages 466 to 472; and in part 2, at pages 487, etc.
It is an interesting fact that although successive advocates of a law providing for compulsory marking of goods have been persuaded that such legislation would be futile and harmful, the idea is periodically rediscovered by new enthusiasts who in turn sooner or later abandon it as impracticable.
Although it is being now advocated on behalf of the woolgrowers, many of the woolgrowers who have given long and careful consideration to the subject are convinced that such a law would benefit