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H. R. 15275


JANUARY 6, 7, 8, 10, 11, AND 13, 1921

Printed for the use of the Committee on Finance




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Washingtor, D. C.

The committee met, pursuant to call, at 10.30 o'clock a. m., in room 310, Senate Office Building, Senator Boies Penrose presiding. Present: Senators Penrose (chairman), McCumber, Smoct, La Follette, Dillingham, McLean, Curtis, Calder, Sutherland, Simmons, Williams, Thomas, Jones, Gerry, and Nugent.

The committee thereupon proceeded to the consideration of the bill (H. R. 15275), an act imposing temporary duties upon certain agricultural products to meet present emergencies, to provide revenue, and for other purposes, which is here printed in full, as follows:

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That on and after the day following the passage of this Act, for the period of ten months, there shall be levied, collected, and paid upon the following articles, when imported from any foreign country into the United States or into any of its possessions (except the Philippine Islands, the Virgin Islands, and the islands of Guam and Tutuila), the rates of duty which are prescribed by this section, namely:

1. Wheat, 30 cents per bushel.

2. Wheat flour and semolina, 20 per centum ad valorem.

3. Corn Corn or maize, 15 cents per bushel of fifty-six pounds.

4. Beans, provided for in paragraph 197 of the act entitled "An act to reduce tariff duties and to provide revenue for the Government, and for other purposes," approved October 3, 1913, 2 cents per pound.

5. Peanuts or ground beans, 3 cents per pound.

6. Potatoes, 25 cents per bushel of sixty pounds.

7. Onions, 40 cents per bushel of fifty-seven pounds.

8. Rice, cleaned, 2 cents per pound; uncleaned rice, or rice free of the outer hull and still having the inner cuticle on, 14 cents per pound; rice flour, and rice meal, and rice broken which will pass through a number twelve wire sieve of a kind prescribed by the Secretary of the Treasury, one-fourth of 1 cent per pound; paddy, or rice having the outer hull on, three-fourths of 1 cent per pound.

9. Lemons, 1 cents per pound.

10. Oils: Peanut, 26 cents per gallon; cottonseed, coconut, and soya bean, 20 cents per gallon.

11. Cattle, 30 per centum ad valorem.

12. Sheep: One year old or over, $2 per head; less than one year old, 13. Fresh mutton and lamb, 2 cents per pound.

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14. Cotton having a staple of one and three-eighths inches or more in length, 7 cents per pound.

15. Manufactures of which cotton of the kind provided for in paragraph 14 is the component material of chief value, 7 cents per pound, in addition to the rates of duty imposed thereon by existing law.

16. Wool, commonly known as clothing wool, including hair of the camel, angora goat, and alpaca, but not such wools as are commonly known as carpet wools: Unwashed, 15 cents per pound; washed, 30 cents per pound; scoured, 45 cents per pound. Unwashed wools shall be considered such as shall have been shorn from the animal without any cleaning; washed wools shall be considered such as have been washed with water

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only on the animal's back or on the skin; wools washed in any other manner than on the animal's back or on the skin shall be considered as scoured wool. On wool and hair provided for in this paragraph, which is sorted or increased in value by the rejection of any part of the original fleece, the duty shall be twice the duty to which it would otherwise be subject, but not more than 45 cents per pound.

17. Wool and hair of the kind provided for in paragraph 16, when advanced in any manner or by any process of manufacture beyond the washed or scoured condition, and manufactures of which wool or hair of the kind provided for in paragraph 16 is the component material of chief value, 45 cents per pound in addition to the rates of duty imposed thereon by existing law.

SEC. 2. The rates of duty imposed by section 1 (except under paragraphs 15 and 17) in the case of articles on which a rate of duty is imposed by existing law, shall be in lieu of such rate of duty during the ten months' period referred to in section 1.

SEC. 3. After the expiration of the ten months' period referred to in section 1, the rates of duty upon the articles therein enumerated shall be those, if any, imposed thereon by existing law.

SEC. 4. The duties imposed by this act shall be levied, collected, and paid on the same basis, in the same manner, and subject to the same provisions of law, including penalties, as the duties imposed by such act of 1913.

Passed the House of Representatives December 22, 1920.


The CHAIRMAN. We have met this morning to hear gentlemen who appear in relation to the consideration of H. R. 15275, which has been referred to this committee.

Mr. Hagenbarth, do you desire to proceed now?

Mr. HAGENBARTH. Yes, sir.

The CHAIRMAN. If you will proceed, then, Mr. Hagenbarth, the committee will be very much interested in what you have to say.


Mr. F. J. HAGENBARTH. I am appearing here, Mr. Chairman, on behalf of the woolgrowing industry. I am president of the National Wool Growers' Association and the executive officer of the National Live Stock Association. I will try to make my statement as brief as possible.

I would like to have the committee understand distinctly at the outset that the woolgrowers are not here pleading for profit. We are simply pleading for preservation, and hope to make a showing that will convince this committee that conditions have reached a point now in the woolgrowing and sheep-breeding industry, in the Northwest particularly, and in the great West, west of the Mississippi River, where we are not only facing liquidation, but we are actually in the process of liquidating our breeding herds, our ewes; the source of our future wool and meat supply are going to market in order to liquidate the expenses and the losses that have been incurred during the last three years in this business.

There has been a general supposition that the wool men, in common with many other industries of this country, during the war made a tremendous amount of money. I am sure certain members of this committee will remember that when the war broke out the wool men were called to Washington in 1918 by the Council of National Defense and asked to turn their wool over to the Government of the United States on the plea that it was a war necessity, that there was no shipping, and that the Government needed the wool. The woolgrowers did this, and they not only did it, but they

based their prices on which wool was turned over to this Government on the prices obtaining July 30, 1917, going back a year. In the meantime costs continued to advance.

Senator LA FOLLETTE. What were the wool prices in 1917?

Mr. HAGENBARTH. The average price to the grower in 1917 would average around 50 cents a pound, Senator. They were about 18 per cent higher in 1918 at the time this agreement was made with the Government.

Now, by doing that the wool growers shut themselves out from the possibility of making any excessive war profits or building up a surplus to take care of the shock which subsequently came about. It might have been very poor business, but it was at least good citizenship. And it is a fact that this was done.

In the following year, after the armistice was declared, we found the Government with about 400,000,000 pounds of wool on hand. The Government entered into the market as a competitor with the woolgrowers in the sale of its surplus products, so that the prices in 1919 that were obtained were not excessive.

I think you will find in the report of the Tariff Board, if those figures are available, that the cost of production of wool in the West amounted to from 45 to 48 cents a pound, after making all proper credits for the sale of the mutton and by-products pertaining to the industry.

Senator LA FOLLETTE. Did you state the price that was realized in 1919?

Mr. HAGENBARTH. The price that was realized in 1919 varied, Senator La Follette.

Senator LA FOLLETTE. Do you know what the average was?

Mr. HAGENBARTH. The merino wools brought very good prices. The average, perhaps, would be around 60 cents per pound. But unfortunately the lower-grade wools, through a peculiar circumstance which was caused by the Government initially, brought very low prices; in fact, some of those wools were unsalable.

I would like to know, Mr. Chairman, how much time this committee is going to allot, because if these questions are going to be answered intelligently and fully, I would have to be governed by the time allotted.

The CHAIRMAN. Well, Mr. Hagenbarth, you are perhaps just as much interested in brevity as the committee is.

Mr. HAGENBARTH. I want to be brief, but at the same time I want to answer fully and intelligently questions that are asked by members of the committee.

The CHAIRMAN. The committee is anxious to have this bill reported to the Senate and passed at this session, if possible, and the longer the hearings are prolonged the more difficult it will be to pass the


Mr. HAGENBARTH. I might state briefly, in answer to your question, Senator La Follette, so that it will be understood, that the Government served notice on the wool manufacturers and others, that wools suitable for soldiers' uniforms would be used by the Government, and the very fine merino wools in this country were to be used for civilian use only, together with the shoddy and other substitutes. The manufacturers accordingly adjusted their machin

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