« AnteriorContinuar »
I want to tell you this, that during the war I was appointed by the Agricultural Department as a textile specialist, and I have been over the country in contact with the farm bureaus, with women in their homes, with the other work. I know the agricultural colleges all over the United States, and spoke in them. I have spoken against the Capper bill in them, and have had them come to me in numbers after, both men and women, to know my reason.
I, therefore, perhaps more than many of you, realize that the consumer is very easily swayed by a talker, and they say, “Why, we want that bill if it is going help us. The great question my mind is, Will it help? The consumer needs help, wishes to have help, because he feels that he wants to do the very best he can in buying. Therefore they say, “Give us all the help you can.” They also
We do not want to spend any more; our money does not go far enough now."
The question I am bringing before you is the Home Economics Association, which covers 4,500 people, home makers, demonstrators, who not only are in the colleges and agricultural stations, but also in the business houses; they are with the laundrymen; they are with many of those places where they are having textiles, so that they really, as demonstrators know and are interested in the home economics question and wish to have the very best legislation possible.
The Home Economics Journal, which has spoken on this bill, both bills, again and again; that is, this class of bill, has a circulation of about 7,000, and I am told that there is no magazine which is more in demand for help all over the United States.
In 1917 I was chairman of the legislation
The CHAIRMAN. Mrs. Woolman, I do not want to interrupt, but we do not care anything about that. We do not want to have your lecture given to us. We want to avoid that. What we want to know is, what is the objection to this bill? What is the objection or reason for either bill? Let us have it succinctly, so that the committee can act on it.
Mrs. WOOLMAN. Would you be interested to know that I have been against this bill since 1914, and even before, and as chairman of the organization opposed to this class of bill. That is, the same class of legislation?
The CHAIRMAN. Confine yourself to the data on the bill for or against; not so much about what you have done.
Mrs. WOOLMAN. I am trying to get away from myself. I am trying to tell you what the Home Economics Association has done. They have ben opposed for years. It is the attitude of our association that I was trying to get at. They are opposing it. They know the very things which General Wood has put before you to-day. I was, just two weeks ago, in one of
their great laboratories, where they have all that they have in the Bureau of Standards, showing that they are going deep into this question, just as deeply as the National Research Council or the Bureau of Standards, and they are unalterably opposed. I want to get away from what I have done and go into the Home Economics Association, because I am representing the consumer.
One of the statements has been that there are a great many of the consumers of the United States in their leagues who are for this bill. Here is a trained consumer against it
two trained consumers. What they want I have just stated. What will they get now from this Capper bill?
The CHAIRMAN. That is what we want to know.
Mrs. WOOLMAN. That is what I am trying to give you now. They object thoroughly to the branding provided in the bill. What use is there. of the brand ? They know how many things go into a blend. They know that the ignorant public is not aware of what it means if they get it, and they do not know what it means by a certain percentage of noils; they do not know what it means when they see it. They do not know what it means when they see a notation of reworked wool, and they get the wrong impression if they see that there is a certain percentage of some other material which is of a waste order. If they would see no real wool, they would feel worried. That large recipe, which is to them like a cook's cake recipe, they do not read. They know that it will add to the expense. They know that every statement that would go into every piece of cloth which is put into the selvage will make it run over, and they know that if it does run over it is going to be a tremendous expense, because the requisite machinery to put on a statement on a plain piece of cloth slows down the operation and adds to expense.
The CHAIRMAN. So that the branding would be an objection on that account, the increased expense?
Mrs. WOOLMAN. Increased expense, and also the fact that it would not be understood. I am trying to tell you what might be in the blend. It could not be understood.
Therefore, in the branding alone, they say, "We do not want branding if it is going to be in the body: How can we turn the cloths over for our children, our own clothes, for our little boys and little girls to wear, and have all this branding material outspread on it? What good will it do to put on something that chemically can be removed, if it is just merely put on?" If it is a label, it can be taken off. How can it go into the wearing clothes, if it can not be removed? All those things to the trained consumer are extremely important.
So that in regard to the branding they object to this bill.
Now, as there is no way of honestly knowing the difference, because these consumers of the association have done the testing themselves, they know that you can not get it even when you look through the microscope, technically; you can not know the difference. Consequently, they say that there is no use of putting those things on, because “Who can prove it? It is merely going to add tremendously to the expense without being of any service to us. Is it any better, if we did buy that, that there was reworked wool, if we did see that there was virgin wool? Are we any better off? What makes the cloth wear? It is the way the yarn is spun, largely. It is the way the cloth is constructed. It is the way the cloth is finished."
So that if you saw cloths of all virgin wool, it would not exceed there again the trained consumer says:
“It is not possible to have truth in statements about such a thing."
“It will add tremendously to our expense, and it will not give us any information we want, because what we need to have is information as to whether that cloth will endure. We, personally, do not care about the content, just so it will endure," and that must be the
» way it is considered, which we would never get from this particular point of view. So again we say that we do not want this sort of a bill, and for years and years we have been opposing this measure and · now hope that it will not go through.
Now, what about the worsteds ? Every particle of worsted will be marked, and yet it is not in the worsteds. It is in only about one-half of the woolens. What is the use of having the horrid expense when so few pieces of cloth have it, and even those may be perfectly enduring?
So again they say, “Why should we have this bill?” What will they say about the Lodge bill? “We must have expensive clothes. We must, because we can not afford to have anything else. The expense will be difficult for us. We want it, and we know that reworked wool will wear perfectly well, and we know that some of the virgin wool will not wear well."
We have in Boston the Better Business Commission, which will help us. The Better Business Commission in Boston has been of very great use to the home economics women, as well as the consumer, because they have gradually brought about the comparative prices; their misstatements, wrong statements, have passed away. You would be surprised if you would look at the records, and if you were intereted in the consumer and the purchaser as I am, to look at the window displays in the town that have come about by the Better Business Commission.
Also they know from frequent visits abroad how much the merchandise marks act has helped in the truth in statements in England. They know that Mr. Lodge's bill is of the same order as the merchandise marks act. There will be no branding. There will be no ünnecessary expense. They will get the truth, and it will gradually come about in the States as it has in Boston-honesty; the punishment has gradually brought about'a different feeling.
Therefore, I speak for the consuming public, that the consumer does not think this sort of bill can possibly help. She thinks it will add to the expense. She thinks the other one will help. She believes the definitions are going to help, and she believes that those things will become positive to everybody. Therefore, she feels that the Lodge bill as it stands will do for her what she has been fighting for since 1914.
The CHAIRMAN. Are there any questions, Senator?
STATEMENT OF H. H. COHEN, SECRETARY AND COUNSEL OF THE 1. PENNSYLVANIA KNITTED OUTERWEAR ASSOCIATION, REPRE
SENTING THE NATIONAL KNITTED OUTERWEAR ASSOCIATION.
The CHAIRMAN. Just give your name to the reporter, will you please, and your position?
Mr. COHEN, H. H. Cohen, representing the Knitted Outerwear Manufacturers' Association. * I desire to place on record this communication addressed to the chairman of the Committee on Interstate Commerce:
Relative to bill No. S. 1188, after very careful consideration of the so-called Capper and Lodge labeling bils, our national association desires to communicate to your committee its emphatic disapproval of the Capper bill and its indorsement of the Lodge bill.
We do not desire to enumerate at length the many reasons and considerations which have led to this conclusion for most of them have already been presented to your committee by the joint committee of the wool manufacturers associations, with which we have the privilege of being associated.
However, on behalf of the knitted outerwear industry, with an annual business of over $500,000,000, we wish to state our position and support of the statement of that committee.
We sincerely believe that Congress should, while insisting upon honest merchandising, refrain from adding to the burden of commerce by compelling a method of labeling which ofttimes is unfair to the manufacturer and of no value to the consuming public. Respectfully submitted.
NATIONAL KNITTED OUTERWEAR ASSOCIATION,
STATEMENT OF DAVID KIRSCHBAUM, PRESIDENT A. B. KIRSCH
BAUM CO.; PHILADELPHIA, PA.
The CHAIRMAN. Give your name and your position to the reporter.
Mr. KIRSCHBAUM. David Kirschbaum, president A. B. Kirschbaum Co. I simply want to state that after a careful study of both bills—that is, representing the clothing manufacturers of the United States in fact; that is, that group that we belong to—that the Lodge bill would unquestionably be a great benefit for the whole country and the buying public, and would not entail any hardship or any additional expense in these days when all manufacturers have to meet the viewpoint of the great consuming public, by whom they are misunderstood. It would not entail any additional expense which the Capper bill would by this method of labeling, and so forth.
Not only would the Lodge bill serve its purpose in protecting the people against exaggeration and misrepresentation as regards garments or wearing apparel, but as I understand, it will cover a wide range of subjects, covering practically everything that the consumer buys. I am foreseeing what the lady said as regards the bill under consideration. This bill would help other business bureaus all over the United States in the work that they are trying to do. Some communities have yielded very much more than others in bringing about the elimination or comparative prices and forcing certain ethical standards in merchandising goods at retail.
Our great difficulty in the United States to-day is that there is a wide range of standard between the newspapers and the magazines. You can not put an exaggerated statement into the best magazines of this country, but the newspapers, possibly in the haste and hurry in making up the copy, publish it. This bill would put a moral restraint on every retailer and every manufacturer.
Just one word more and I have finished. The buyer of men's clothing in particular is practically protected a 100 per cent to-day. There is not a manufacturer of any reputation that does not make good anything that might go wrong as to the fabric or the tailoring or any other part. The buyer only has to bring it back. He either gets his money or a new garment. So he is fully protected without anything else. That seems to be an American institution.
Now, as to the arguments against the Capper bill, I will respectfully refer the committee to statements made by Mr. Lang, yica president of the Fashion Park Co., of Rochester, N. Y., in last year's reports, pages 326–335, part 1, hearings Sixty-seventh Congress, and also to another statement of Sigmund Sonneborn, president Henry Sonneborn & Co., Baltimore, at pages 334-343, part 1, Senate hearing, Sixty-seventh Congress.
STATEMENT OF EUGENE H. MAHLER, PRESIDENT KNITTED OUTER
WEAR MANUFACTURERS' ASSOCÍATION, WESTERN DISTRICT, MILWAUKEE, WIS.
The CHAIRMAN. Identify yourself to the stenographer. Mr. MAHLER. Eugene H. Mahler, president Knitted Outerwear Manufacturers' Association, western district.
I would like to have this resolution made a part of the record : Whereas thorough study, consideration, and hearings on the Capper “truth in fabric” bill during the last session of Congress, brought forth convincing proof that this proposed measure could not possibly be honestly and practicably enforced, and would only add to the cost of wearing apparel by imposing additional“ burdens upon manufacturers, without accomplishing the purpose aimed at; and
Whereas the Government Bureau of Standards at Washington has expressed the opinion that the provisions of the Capper bill are impracticable of enforcement; and
Whereas the Lodge “honest merchandise” bill, also pending before Congress and under consideration jointly with the Capper bill, will serve a real purpose in eliminating dishonest merchandising in the wearing apparel field: Now, therefore, be it
Resolved, That the Knitted Outerwear Manufacturers' Association, western district, representing 60 knitted outerwear manufacturers in the States of Michigan, Illinois, Wisconsin, Minnesota, and scattered members in other States farther west, does hereby express its disapproval of the Capper bill and urges approval of the Lodge “honest merchandise bill, Respectfully submitted. KNITTED OUTERWEAR MANUFACTURERS' ASSOCIATION
(WESTERN DISTRICT), H. L. ASHWORTH, Business Manager. In this connection I just desire to read a very short letter addressed to Senator Lenroot by the Bureau of Standards: DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE, BUREAU OF STANDARDS,
Washington, January 16, 1923. Hon. I. L. LENROOT,
United States Senator, Washington, D. C. MY DEAR SENATOR LENROOT : In answer to your letter of January 12, I regret to inform you that this bureau can not at present determine the relative content of virgin and reworked wool in fabrics. Furthermore, we do not know of any laboratory which makes a pretense of making such determinations. I fear that this information is far from what you would like and it is also far from what we would like to give. Very truly yours,
F. C. BROWN, Acting Director. Senator MAYFIELD. I received a communication from the Sheep and Goat Raisers' Association of Texas outlining their views of the Capper measure. I would like to incorporate that in the record.
The CHAIRMAN. That will be incorporated.
Del Rio, Tex., March 1. 1924. Hon. EARL B. MAYFIELD,
United States Senator, Washington, D. C. DEAR SIR: It is my information that what is known as the Capper truth in fabric bill has been referred by the Senate Committee on Interstate and