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STATEMENT OF CHESTER H. GRAY, WASHINGTON, D. C., REPRESENTING THE AMERICAN FARM BUREAU FEDERATION
(The witness was duly sworn by the chairman of the committee.) Mr. GRAY. I am Washington representative of the American Farm Bureau Federation, with offices in the Munsey Building.
I shall make an effort to comply with the request of the chairman, as well as I know the unspoken request of every member of this committee, to be as brief as can be with the variety of things which the membership of the Farm Bureau is interested in and asks me to testify upon in the free list.
We have two or three points of view in approaching the free list, Mr. Chairman and gentlemen of the committee. There are some commodities on the free list that should remain there. Other commodities our membership is interested in having lifted from the free list and placed elsewhere in the structure of the tariff act. And there is a large group of commodities in the free list which we in agriculture have come to know as substitute commodities for those. which we produce on our American farms which should be made dutiable at various rates. So under those three different and varied classifications our membership approaches the free list and considers it, next to Schedule 7, the most important schedule in the tariff act. Referring to paragraph 1604, which is one of agricultural implements, let me briefly state that we will request, as we did on the House side, that it be continued on the free list. That is one of the groups of commodities that we want on the free list. Not that agricultural implements are coming in here much from foreign manufacturing plants. They are not coming in very much at the present time, but we notice that American capital is going abroad. Current reports have it that one of the big tractor manufacturers is now establishing himself in a western European nation to supply not only the western European markets for tractors but the American market as well. Canada is coming to be a great manufacturing center for agricultural implements, too. And we farmers necessarily must look to buying our supplies as cheaply as possible, one of which supplies is agricultural implements; and if our American capital is going abroad to make agricultural implements, and confessing, as I have, that up to the present time this paragraph has not been of any material benefit to us, in the future 10 years it is likely to be of interest to us if continued substantially as it is in the act of 1922.
Senator KING. Before you leave that paragraph, may I ask you what your view is in regard to the provision in line 4, page 282, in dealing with cream separators valued at not more than $50 each?
Mr. GRAY. Our position, stated on the House side, Senator King, was that the paragraph in toto should be kept as it is.
Senator REED. The farmer does not use a separator costing more. than $50?
Mr. GRAY. Not often, with $50 as the import value.
Senator BARKLEY. They might be able to buy them under the new farm relief bill, though, might they not?
Mr. GRAY. I will let the Federal Farm Board answer that question, if I may, after it gets organized and establishes its policy.
Senator BARKLEY. A moment ago did you refer to the Ford Motor Co. as the one that has moved its tractor factory abroad?
Mr. GRAY. That is the one of which we hear current reports of developments in western Europe.
Referring now to fertilizer. Our membership in the Farm Bureau, Mr. Chairman and gentlemen of the committee, repeatedly, and for the last time in 1928, has declared in favor of free entry of plant-food constituents. That applies particularly to paragraph 1684 in the House bill. That is the so-called guano paragraph. In 1922 that paragraph was designed to let in all plant-food fertilizer constituents duty free.
Senator GEORGE. Let met call your attention to sulphate of ammonia.
Mr. GRAY. But the language of the paragraph in the act of 1922 includes these words:
Provided, That no article specified by name in Title I shall be free of duty under this paragraph.
And also contains the other words "not specially provided for." So there are two provisos which let our from the free-trade classification several agricultural fertilizer commodities. And if you will refer back, without turning back, to paragraphs 1, 5, and 7 of Schedule 1 you will find that in Schedule 1 nitric acid and phosphoric acid are both dutiable at specific or ad valorem rates. And if you will turn back to paragraph 5 in Title I you will find it to be a basket clause which substantially puts duties upon most fertilizer plant-food constituents. And if you will turn back to paragraph 7 in Schedule 1 you will find that ammonium chloride, ammonium nitrate, ammonium phosphate, and ammonium sulphate are all dutiable at definitely described rates.
Senator WALSH of Massachusetts. Have they been increased in the House bill?
Mr. GRAY. They have not been increased. The House bill, Senator Walsh, did one very fine thing along this fertilizer line. They lifted urea out of the dutiable list and put it in the free list, much to our gratification.
Senator KING. Well, that had been done, had it not, by the Tariff Commission pursuant to an investigation?
Mr. GRAY. It had recommended it to be done, Senator King.
Senator KING. Yes. I offered a bill at the last session of the Congress for the purpose of putting that on the free list, and my recollection is that the Tariff Commission recommended that, and it was by presidential proclamation put on the free list. I may be in error. Mr. GRAY. I can not remember just exactly those details, Senator King, but I do know that the House of Representatives has placed urea, which is coming to be a well-known and a definitely used nitrogenous fertilizer of high concentration, on the free list. Now the purpose of calling this to your attention is that the so-called guano paragraph No. 1684 be so dovetailed in with paragraphs 1, 5, and 7 of Schedule 1 that the purpose of the guano paragraph to make fertilizers free will be absolutely carried out. And in the brief which I shall file, with your permission, we are submitting the language not
only in the guano paragraph but in these three other paragraphs of Schedule 1 to accomplish the purpose desired.
Senator HARRISON. Is there any important manufacture of urea in this country?
Mr. GRAY. No; I think not, Senator Harrison.
Senator HARRISON. My understanding was that the Union Carbide Co. made urea, and they had a monopoly in this country.
Mr. GRAY. No; there is more urea made in Germany and western European nations than in the United States.
The CHAIRMAN. There is not any produced in this country. No production in the United States.
Senator HARRISON. There is not?
Senator HARRISON. All imported?
Mr. GRAY. And I am calling particular attention to ammonium sulphate, which has carried a duty of one-fourth cent a pound since 1922, or $5.60 a ton, and it is used very largely in fertilizer field operations at the present time. And I am very glad to report, as you will learn later, that the National Fertilizer Association, not only in ammonium sulphate but in a more limited way on this whole fertilizer proposition, is not fully, but very much in accord with what I am presenting representing the American Farm Bureau Federation. Ammonium sulphate ought to be put on the free list or else the language which is being submitted in our brief incorporated in such a way that if it is imported as a pharmaceutical or as a drug, that the duty for that purpose be not applicable if it be imported for fertilizer purposes.
Senator BINGHAM. Is ammonium sulphate manufactured in this country?
Mr. GRAY. Yes.
Senator BINGHAM. Does it give employment to American labor? Mr. GRAY. Yes.
Senator BINGHAM. Would that labor be affected if it were put on the free list?
Mr. GRAY. Not seriously, because ammonium sulphate is a byproduct of another industry, the metal industry. And it would not throw the business of steel production into chaos if the ammonium sulphate from abroad should come in duty free.
Senator BINGHAM. It is merely a by-product of the steel process, is that it?
Mr. GRAY. I understand that so to be.
Senator KING. Is not this the fact with respect to ammonium sulphate, that it is a by-product of the coke industry and is controlled by the Koppers Co., and the Koppers Co. has transferred the sale of it to the Allied Chemical Co., which with the duPonts control very largely the dyes and pharmaceuticals of the United States?
Senator BINGHAM. Well it seems to me, Senator, with all due respect, that you are indulging in the fallacy known as argumentum ad hominem.
Senator KING. Characterize it any way you please. I wanted to state the fact that I supposed you wanted.
Senator GEORGE. Mr. Gray, ammonuim sulphate is one of the chief ammoniates used in this country?
Mr. GRAY. It is.
Senator GEORGE. It is the direct competitor of Chilean nitrate? Mr. GRAY. It is.
Senator GEORGE. On Chilean nitrate of course we pay or cover into the cost something like $12 plus per ton export duty out of Chile in order to obtain it.
Mr. GRAY. That is true.
Senator GEORGE. It is the expensive element in commercial fertilizer.
Mr. GRAY. Yes.
Senator SHORTRIDGE. What was the last item to which you referred?
Mr. GRAY. Ammonium sulphate.
Senator SHORTRIDGE. From what country, chiefly, does that product come?
Mr. GRAY. From Germany.
Referring only briefly, now, to one or two other fertilizers, it is necessary to call attention to paragraph 1604, in which calcium nitrate and cyanamid are now contained, and should be retained, there being some slight efforts from certain sources to take them off the free list and put them under the dutiable section. It is in keeping with our policy in the Farm Bureau that such fertilizers as those two just named should be kept exactly where they are. The same thing is true of gypsum, in paragraph 1740.
Passing on to that great classification of food products known as substitutes for the American products, let me enumerate, firstSenator HARRISON. Before you get to that, you indorsed this clause with reference to farm implements, and said it was all right. Mr. GRAY. Yes.
Senator HARRISON. Does your bureau agree to this action of the House in taking forks, hoes, and rakes, which are agricultural implements, from the free list and putting them on the dutiable list?
Mr. GRAY. No; we have not approved that. Neither have we formally disapproved it.
Senator HARRISON. Those three items are agricultural implements, are they not?
Mr. GRAY. Those things never have been classified in paragraph 1604, although, by an elastic definition, they could be called agricultural implements.
Senator HARRISON. They have been included heretofore on the free list.
Mr. GRAY. Yes.
Senator HARRISON. This is the first time they have been put on the dutiable list.
Mr. GRAY. I think you are right in that, and so far as we are concerned, I am sure I speak the membership thought, although there. has been no opportunity to get the thought since the House took that action-that those minor tools which formerly have been on the free list should be retained there. But I can not say that authoritatively, because there has neen no opportunity to get a referendum of the Farm Bureau on that point.
Senator KING. Mr. Gray, can you see any reason why, if any agricultural implements are placed on the free list, those just mentioned by Senator Harrison should not be on the free list?
Mr. GRAY. No good reason.
Senator BINGHAM. How about other garden tools?
Senator HARRISON. They were included in the general paragraph under agricultural implements; and in paragraph 373, which did not include those items, but now includes them, shovels, spades, scoops, forks, hoes, rakes, and so forth, have been included at a 30 per cent ad valorem rate.
The CHAIRMAN. In paragraph 1604, agricultural implements, there has not been a word changed in the existing law.
Senator HARRISON. But forks, hoes, and rakes, which were included in that proposition, are now specified in the bill as carrying an ad valorem rate of 30 per cent.
Senator KING. In paragraph 373.
Senator HARRISON. In paragraph 373.
The CHAIRMAN. There must be some new language in 373. Let us see what it is.
Senator HARRISON. There is new language.
Senator SHORTRIDGE. It was not an amendment of 1504, Senator, because that language remains. It is now known as 1604.
Senator HARRISON. You will notice that these are new items which are inserted, and the note on page 114 of what I am reading, the notation to paragraph 373, is that forks, except hay forks, hoes, and rakes, have been transferred from the free list under the act of 1922, to this duty.
Senator WALSH of Massachusetts. I suppose they were originally included in the language of "all other agricultural implements and were taken out of that class and named specifically in the dutiable list. Is that the situation?
Mr. GRAY. That is the way I understand it, Senator Walsh.
Paragraph 1604, which is the main agricultural implement paragraph in the free list, has been a matter of controversy and a matter of interpretation and classification as to what goes in as an agricultural implement. Now, on the House side, if I may explain further, they have included
Senator REED. There was nobody before the metals subcommittee. to object to that.
Mr. GRAY. On the House side, to clarify that somewhat, they have lifted over into the metal schedule, schedule 3, forks, hoes, and rakes by specifically naming them. So, the House of Representatives has solved some of the classification problems by naming three garden and farm tools in the metal schedule, thereby taking them out of the classification of agricultural implements.
Senator BINGHAM. Is it not true that their use is more general by commuter than by farmers?
Mr. GRAY. I have not any statistics on that, Senator. I do not know.
Senator SIMMONS. Mr. Gray, is not a hoe one of the most commonly used implements in husbandry?
Mr. GRAY. As the representative of a farm organization, Senator Simmons, I could do nothing else than stand here and say that a hoe, a rake, a spade, a fork, or a shovel is an agricultural implement.