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TAKEN BY THE
SUBCOMMITTEE ON THE TARIFF
SENATE COMMITTEE ON FINANCE
IN CONNECTION WITH
THE BILL H. R. 9051, TO REDUCE TAXATION AND
IN FOUR PARTS.
GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE.
No. 1.-CHAIR CANE.
STATEMENT OF CHICAGO RATTAN AND REED COMPANY.
CHICAGO, January 5, 1889.
DEAR SIR: We desire to call your attention to the fact that we are manufacturers of chair cane and reeds, and that in the manufacture of these goods we annually consume a large quantity of rattan and employ a large number of hands. Since the act of 1883 chair cane and reeds have paid an ad valorem duty of but 10 per cent., whereas it was formerly 25 per cent. We are thus without any adequate protection and desire a specific duty, as since 1883 we have been subjected to a constantly-increasing competition from German and Chinese sources, which is having a serious effect on our business.
Our case was recently presented before the Senate Finance Committee by Messrs. Cowperthwait and Lang, of the Union Rattan Manufacturing Company of New York, and the Wakefield Rattan Company, respectively, and we now earnestly beg you will personally intercede with the committee, to the end that their recommendations as to a specific duty may be favorably reported.
Rattans are now free, which is right, being raw material.
We desire a duty of 5 cents per pound on reeds and $15 per bale of 100,000 feet on chair cane, both of which are products of rattan, in order that we may be adequately protected.
By reference to our argument, presented before the committee, we feel sure you will become convinced of the justice of our cause.
The opposition encountered at the hearing was confined, so we are informed, to a party representing German manufacturers and Chinese importers, whose interests are of course identical, and to Governor Gear, of Iowa, who numbers among his constituents the Fort Madison Chair Company of that State, who are contractors for the convict labor in the penitentiary located at that point. We are menaced by heavy and increasing importations from Germany and China, which will greatly contract the output of our home manufacturers and reduce number of hauds employed.
Hon. C. B. FARWELL,
CHICAGO RATTAN AND REED COMPANY.
Washington, D. C.
UMBRELLA AND PARASOL STICKS.
STATEMENT OF MONTGOMERY FORD, MANUFACTURER OF UMBRELLA AND PARASOL STICKS.
JANUARY 1, 1889.
DEAR SIR: At the suggestion of Hon. Charles O'Neill, member of Congress, Philadelphia, I take the liberty of addressing you regarding the duty on parasol and umbrella sticks, finished, which are now 30 per cent., while the best grades umbrellas (silk umbrellas) are 50 per cent. There are quantities of umbrella and parasol sticks imported (finished) and all for the better grades, or rather for the best grades of parasols and umbrellas; and we feel that, as the difference is caused by the higher wages we pay, we should have at least an equal protection with the high-grade umbrella. As it is now. we can not compete in finer grades on account of wages, and the only remedy is to either reduce the wages or have more protection. More fine sticks and handles are imported every year, and the stick manufacturers here are getting down to the cheap and common grades made of native woods, and the business has become notoriously unprofitable; in fact, not worth carrying onthe employés and the parties who furnish the material getting pretty near the whole of the proceeds. We do not see how wages can be reduced reasonably, and therefore do not feel that the protection asked for is an undue one.
An umbrella maker, recently returned from abroad, made the remark that if the trade knew what they could do on the other side there would be still more imported. Will you kindly consider this, and if this can be amended, give any suggestions as to how to present it.
DEAR SIR: A letter has been written to you by Mr. C. L. Woodbridge, a large importer of pearl buttons in this city, in which he mentions our name as being the chief movers in the matter of advancing the tariff on pearl buttons. In answer, would say Mr. Woodbridge is entirely mistaken. We are not the chief movers; in fact, although we are manufacturers of pearl buttons, have had nothing to do in the matter at all; have not been to Washington; are in sympathy with the other manufacturers, but knew nothing about their bili until we saw it in print. Some time ago one of the large importers stated to us that he was importing large quantities of pearl buttons made from convict labor; at the present time could not get them, but no doubt others are getting