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About The commoner. (Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-1923 | View Entire Issue (Jan. 1, 1909)
VOLUME 8, NUMBER 61
One of the Chief Beneficiaries of a High Protective Tariff Makes
Bold Confession and Advises Against Tariff Graft for the Future
.Andrew Carnegie, the ironmaster, the
man who, through tho high protective tariff,
grow bo rich that ho seems unable to givo away
his money, told his story on the witness stand
recently. Mr. Carnegie appeared before the
houso ways and means committee and his testi
mony is so interesting and so important that
tho Associated Press report of that testimony
is given in full. I-Iore it is:
Washington, December 21. Andrew Car
negie, famous for the millions made in the steel
business and for his views on economic ques
tions, was an entertaining, if not instructive,
witness beforo the house ways and means com
mittee tariff hearing today. An article on "the
tariff relating to tho steel schedule written by
Mr. Carnegie recently appeared in a monthly
magazine. Owing to the statements made in
that article it became the basis for the ques
tions asked by the members of the committee
at tho hearings on tho steel schedule. As tho
testimony of various steel manufacturers was
at variance with tho statements made by Mr.
Carnegie the committee invited him to givo any
information tho committee could use. As Mr.
Carnegie declined to accept tho invitation he
".'w, ,.was subpoenaed. Mr. Carnegie was to have
i,SariJleard. nearly two weeks ago, but aslced
foKaWpostponement, evidently for the purpose
of haying tho committee secure the testimony
of other steel magnates first
TELLS SOME FUNNi: STORIES;
''''; Although he was on the stand'for 'nearly
eight hours, Mr. Carnegie 'lalighed" an d; joked
good naturedly throughout. He exasperated
several of the "standpatters" with his'opigram
'matic replies, praised the genius of Charles M.
'Schwab, urged the committee to accept' the tes
timony of Judge E. H. Gary as conclusive, and
t6d several funny stbries. He avoided figures,
-however, to such an extent that it was doubtful
if nhe tariff f ramors are any more ' enlightened
on- tho steel question tdnight than th,oy were
before Mr. Carnegie was sworn in at 9:30 this
i .1X, CfVrneEIo,s principal contention was
that tho stool industry needs no more protec
tion; that it has reached a' point in its-development
where the American manufacturers can
compete with the world under freertrade' con
ditions; While he olaimed" that the cost of
labor audi production- of steel'are 'less "in tliis
country than the other countries producing
'.steel, -Mr. Carnegie -gave n6' figures to support
his contentions. " i '
,AVISED: TO "BELIEVE GARY
iHo1! said :Tnriiro nrv fm ,, n.i.
;nat. tho United States Sfoi nmnnM
get along without a tnvlff nn. ua nwwi4-,. ..,i
that should be sufficient evidence for the com
mittee to take off tho duty on steel and iron
Mr. Carnegie's testimony was most unique
and interesting and he frequently caused much
laughter, the joke often being at the expense
of the chairman or some other member of the
committee.. He declared emphatically against
combinations or "trusts," and said he had noth
ing to do with the sale of the Carnegie Steel
company to the United States Steel corporation.
Ho characterized the "stock gamblers" as bo
(ing. the worst citizens a country could have, and
said ho never had one ' associated with him in
Mr. Carnegie dealt largely in theories
and deductions, stating that he was merely ex
pressing his. opinion when his testimony varied
from that of Judge Gory and Mr. Schwab. He
said that these two gentlemen were very truth
ful, but wore interested witnesses and tho com
mittee should not place too much stress m fig
ures supplied by "interested witnesses."
ENJOYS TID3 CROSS-FIRE
. Mr. Carnegie evidently enjoyed the cross
fire of questions, put to him by both republican
,ond. democratic members of the committee, but
frequently expressed regret that he could not
cross-examine members of the committee. He
seemed to devote his energies to making Chair
man Payne and Representatives Dalzell and
Fordney uncomfortable. He called Mr. Dal
zell "John," and eitheH-gdve him such evasive
" ' -
replies to his questions or dealt with him in
such manner as to turn an evidently serious
discussion into a humorous one. Tho member
from Pennsylvania soon subsided into silence.
Mr. Fordney, after having asked Mr. 'Carnegie
many hypothetical questions, gave a somewhat
elaborate account of his views on protection and
then asked the smiling Scotchman: "What do
you think of my opinion on this point?"
"I think you are entitled to hold them,"
was the quick rejoinder, while the spectators
joined the rest of the committee in a hearty
laugh at the expense of Mr. Fordney.
STANDS BY MAGAZINE ARTICLE
The Laird of Skibbo castle testified in sup
port of the statement that ho made in his mag
azine article, declaring that the facts show that
the steel industry needs no protection. As a
witness Mr. Carnegie proved the most interest
ing who has appeared before the committee, in
terspersing his testimony with humorous and
Praising the genius of Charles M. Schwab,
Mr. Carnegie suggested that congress should
extend a vote of thanks to Mr. Schwab for his ,
work in improving the methods of steel making
in this country.
"I never met his .equal," said Mr. Carnegie
In speaking of Mr. Schwab, "and when we were
partners, we were a great team." ,
"That is very apparent," -remarked. Chair
Speaking of the testimony. of Judge. Gar
before '.tlie jC'dmmittoo, Mr, Carnegie said:
"You should not place" any real value. ..on
the testimony pf interested parties.. Judge Gary
said that th United ; States Steel corporation
could .stand for. a reduction in the tariff"' .'on
steel, but that the smaller steel manufacturers
tibuld not survive with lowered duties, -That
is like one of Egop's fabs. Judge Gary is like
the monlsey who 'desired the chestnuts, ' but
wanted the cat to pull them out of the' fire.!' ' !
. KEEPS ROOM IN LAUGHTER
Tho crowded hearing room frequently rang .
With peals o$ laughter at the qujps of Mr. Car
negie, who seemed to be in splendid shape for
the -questions asked by Representatives Dalzeil
and Payne. At one point Mr. Payne leaned
over and whispered to Mr. Dalzell, who sat
at his right. ' '---..
"I wish the chairman would tell me what
he said' to .Mr. Dalzell; I think J. ought to know"!
Mr. Carnegie protested. , " .
There was a roar of laughter throughout
the room, but Mr. Payne made no reply. Lean
ing over with his hand to his ear and his head
cocked to one side, in imitation of the attitude
assumed,, by Mr. Payne in whispering to Mr
-Dalzell, Mr. Carnegie said: ' ' '-
"I should say that your words were, 'the
jig is up.' "
Mr. Carnegie was not willing to deal in '
figures. "The more figures you got, the more
you will be befogged. T do not judge by fig
ures given by interested parties," he said at
another point in his testimony; "I judge by
The former steel magnate said that Judge
Gary had issued an annual statement showing
that the United States Steel corporation had
made a profit of $158,000,000 which he said
equalled a profit of $15.50 a ton on all steel
Mr. Carnegie avoided direct replies to
questions as to whether the cost of producing
steel at the present time as given by Judge Gary
2?h rCWa . COrrect "Mr Schwab's
estimate of the present cost is based on entirely
frnt ideaisi a? iia estlte on tho cost in
1899," was all that Mr. Carnegie would say.
EUROPE CAN NOT COMPETE
Replying to a question from Mr. Cockran,
Mr. Carnegie declared that the removal of the
duty on steel would not necessarily affect tho
prices, because Europe could not successfully
compete with the American product. He also
said that if tho figures given by former wit
nesses were absolutely correct steel stock would
be selling below par.
;' ; ' Mrr.Carriegie spoke of the difficulties ho
experienced with directors ignorant of the steel
business. "I gradually bought them out and
got men like Schwab around me, and we made
the cheapest steel that has ever been made "
"You've been out of steel some time," said
Mr. Payne; 'can you tell us where we can get
tho figures on the present cost of making steel'"
"I don't know whether you can get tho
figures," was his reply. "If a judge was in
terested in a caso you would not respect his
decision, would you?" he asked, referring to
the steel manufacturers who have appeared Ijp
foro the committee.
There was no reply to Mr. Carnegie's
.t "SilenuGJinT ,h0 tourt roonV' he laughed.
Its too bad I have to submit to bo cross
examined and can't get a chance to cross-examine
Mr. Carnegie asserted that at the rate at
which iron ores are being extracted the supply
would be exhausted in forty years. He based his
statement on the best expert opinion he could
obtain, he said. He also said that England
would be in the same condition in seven years.
. REFERS TO JUDGE GARY
The testimony of Judge Gary was frequent
ly referred to in the questions asked of Mr
Carnogie. Reference was made particularly to
a statement that thd' duty on steel could be
taken off as far as the steel corporation is
concerned, and Mr. Carnefgie said this position
should bo accepted by the committee.
An .argument was precipitated by this state
ment between Messrs. Payne and Dalzell on
one side claiming that Judge Gary did not say
the duty could be removed on all steel pro
ducts, and Mr. Cockrah,,on'the other hand,
claiming that Judge Gary's testimony was"o
that effect. v
-"Judge Gary has summarized the "facts for
you?" said Mr. Carnegie, "and" I should' depond
on them. He lias-told you that they don't need
the duty. If the cost of steel rails has' increased
abroad as it has increased here you will find
Judge Gary's statement quite true and' that he
could stand free trade."
"Judge Gary had testified that the price is
as high abroad," said Chairman Payne.
"Then does not that show that you have
nothing to fear from free trade?" was the
Mr.- Carnegie was questioned at length re
garding the cost of producing steel, but the
witness declared that honest' men easily differ
on that question. The steel business, lie said,
was a business by; itself,' and the "cost to one
man was a very different thing from the cost
"When a gentleman of Judge Gary's char
acter, m he said, "comes to you and tells you
he does not need a tariff you ought to" believe
him. - He insisted in reply to questions by
Mr. Bonynge that the railways -svere not paying
too much for steel rails. The steel rail makers
he thought were making a fair profit.
"How about other steel products besides
steel rails?" Mr. Bonynge inquired.
"I have not a word to say," Mr. Carnegie
replied. "That's out of my province."
CALLS SCHWAB A GENIUS
Mr. Ford recited the- testimony of Mr.
Schwab, and was interrupted by Mr. Carnegie
with the remark that "he is a genius."
Breaking in upon a Scotch story which Mr.
Carnegie related and in the course of which
the witness mentioned the name of Judge Gary,
Mr. Payne asked if it was intended to character
ize Mr. Gary as "a Sleek article."
"Oh, no," said Mr. Carner. "On the con
trary, he is a most lovable man. It means that
he is shrewd. It means that he has a delight
fully sweet nature."
"Would you recommend an income tax to
make up the deficit in the revenues?" Mr. Ford
"I believe," replied Mr. Carnegie deliber
ately, "with Mr. Gladstone, who has had more
experience with the Income -tax than any man
of his day that an income tax makes a nation
of liars. Of all the demoralizing taxes that
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