Image provided by: University of Nebraska-Lincoln Libraries, Lincoln, NE
About The commoner. (Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-1923 | View Entire Issue (June 9, 1911)
i - fV
OPPONENTS OF FREE WOOL WIN
The following Associated Press dispatch tells Its
own story: Washington, Juno 1, The proposed
'democratic revision of tho wool tariff the
.Underwood bill wag unanimously adopted by a
democratic caucus at midnight, twelve hours
after It had been made public by the ways and
means committee. Its endorsement followed
gome rapid maneuvering by tho -democratic house
leaders, who devised a scheme which effectually
disposed of the opposition of the free wool ad
vocates. Through a resolution which leaves the
democratic party open in the future to renew
its advocacy of free trade in raw wool, but which
commits all democrats to the support of the
present bill as a revenue measure, the divergent
Interests were brought together in the caucus
Shortly before midnight and almost unanimous
agreement was reached.
The final vote on the proposal of the Under
wood bill was made unanimous, but the follow
ing members were excused from a pledge to sup
port the caucus action: Representatives Rucker,
Colorado; Ashbrook, Francis and Sharp, Ohio,
and Gray, Indiana.
The resolution agreed on in a conference of
the free raw wool advocates was introduced in
the caucus by Representative Kitchen of North
Carolina, who had advocated free raw wool,
His resolution declared that the support of a
duty on raw wool should not bo construed as an
abandonment of the democratic policy of free
wool. The need for a duty, the resolution
stated, was duo to republican extravagances
which made necessary large revenue.
Speaker Clark took the floor Immediately and
supported tho resolution which had been framed
in the conference participated in by himself and
Representatives Burleson of Texas, James of
Kentucky, Fitzgerald of New York and Kitchin
of North Carolina. The resolution was then
unanimously adopted by the caucus.
Two of the chief speeches in favor of free
wool were made at the night session of the
caucus by Representatives Randell of Texas and
James of Kentucky, members of the ways and
means committee. Mr. James pleaded for the
abolition of the wool duty on tho ground that
it Would directly benefit consumers. He said
that Bryan had been accused of attempting to
dictate to congress on the free wool question,
and denied that Bryan's open statement was
anythirig more than an enforcement of the first
action of the ways and means committee. Thirty
days before Mr. Bryan Issued his statement, Mr.
James said, the committee had voted in favor of
free wool, but later it reversed its position and
adopted the 20 per cent duty.
THE PROPOSED NEW DUTIES
The new duties, together with the present
duties, as figured on an ad valorem basis by
Chairman Underwood, are as follows:
Raw wool, proposed duty, 20 per cent; exist
ing duty, 44.31 per cent.
Noils, waste, shoddies, etc., proposed duty,
20 per cent; existing duty, 39.96 per cent.
Combed wool, or tops, proposed duty 25 .per
cent; existing duty 105.19 per cent
' Yards, made wholly or in part of wool, pro
posed duty, 30 per cent; existing duty, 82.38
Cloths, knit fabrics and all manufactures of
wool, proposed duty 40 per cent; existing duty
97.11 per cent.
Blankets and flannels, proposed duty 30 per
cent, when valued at less than 50 cents per
pound; 45 per cent when valued at more than
50 cents; existing duty 95.57 per cent.
Women's and children's dress goods and simi
lar goods, proposed duty 45 per cent; existing
duty 102.85 per cent.
Ready-made clothing and articles of wearing
apparel, proposed duty 45 per cent; existing
duty 81.31 per .cent.
Braids, ribbons, insertions, laces, embroid
eries, nettings and like articles, wholly or In
APPRECIATED IN VIRGINIA
Frank C. Habern, Wise, Va. Here-
with I am enclosing list of seven sub-
scribers to The Commoner, Ave new and
two renewals. I am heartily in accord
with the progressive policy of The Com-
monor and wish its editor great success
in his battle for the rights of the great
part mad of wool, proposed duty 35 por cent;
existing duty 87.06 por cent.
Axminstor, aubusson, moquotto and chonillo
carpets, proposed duty 40 per cent; existing
duty 62.09 por cont.
Saxony, Wilton and velvet carpets, proposed
duty 35 per cent; existing duty 70.14 por cont.
Brussels carpets, proposod duty 30 por cent;
existing duty 76.29 per cont.
Velvet tapestry carpets, printed In Uio warp
or otherwlso, proposed duty 35 por cont; exist
ing duty 62.46 per cent.
Tapestry, Brussels carpets, printed in tho
warp or otherwise, proposed duty 30 per cont;
existing duty, 64.41 per cent.
Treble-ingrain, three-ply and all chain vel
votian carpets, proposed duty 30 per cont; exist
ing duty 64.34 per cent.
Wool double and two ply ingrain carpots, pro
posed duty 25 per cont; existing duty 62.50 por
Oriental rugs, proposod duty 50 per cent;
existing duty 67.57 per cent.
Druggets and bokings, printed or colored, pro
posed duty 25 per cent; existing duty 66.28 por
Carpets, not otherwise provided for, made of
wool, flax or cotton and mats, netting and rugs
of cotton, proposed duty 25 por cent; existing
duty 49.98 per cent.
Tho bill states:
"Whenever, in this act, the word 'wool' is
used in connection with a manufactured article
of which it is a component material, it shall bo
held to include wool or hair of sheep, cattle,
goat, or other like animals, whether manufac
tured by the woolen, worsted, felt, or any
Tho proposed wool tariff represents a reduc
tion of only $1,350,000 in the revenues of tho
government, according to a statement presented
to the caucus by Chairman Underwood.
Imports of wool for the past year amounted
to $70,744,650 and the democratic leaders esti
mate that the reduction In tariff will so stimu
late Imports that the first year under the pro
posed duties will result in the importation of
$130,882,000 worth of wool.
The duties collected in the last year on wool
imports amounted to $41,904549, while under
the first year of the new duties it is figured
tho revenuo would be $40,556,200.
'AH specific duties, whereby a stated sum is
collected by the government on certain grades
of wool, are changed by the new bill to ad
The general average ad valorem duty on
manufactured wool under tho proposed law is
estimated at 42.55 per cent, while under tho
existing law It Is figured at 90.10 por cent. The
duty on raw wool under the proposed law is
20 per cent, while under the existing law it is
44.31 per cent.
The wool bill was laid before the caucus by
Chairman Burleson. It was the first indication
the majority of the members had been
given of its exact terms. Chairman Underwood
undertook an exhaustive explanation of the
Mr. Underwood declared the duties collected
last year on raw wool amounted to $21,000,000.
The reduction of the raw wool duty to 20 per
cent, "as proposed, would cut these duties, ho
said, to $13,398,000, even under a greatly stimu
lated import trade.
-To reduce these duties further would be im
practicable at this time, he added, even had tho
committee desired to do so.
HARRISON AGAINST THE BILL
Representative Harrison of New York, an
advocate of free raw wool, opened the fight
against the bill.
Representatives who left tho caucus room
after Mr. Underwood had concluded declared
thero was no possibility that the bill would be
amended In any way and that it would be made
a party measure, ratified by at least two-thirds
of the democratic members.
Representative Harrison spoke for nearly two
hours, urging the amendment and defending the
action of Mr. Bryan in his effort to prevent the
adoption by the party of a flat ad valorem duty
on raw wool.
The issue was'clearly drawn in the speeches
of Mr. Underwood and Mr. Harrison with Mr.
Bryan the crux of the argument.
Practical Tariff Talks
An nuthoritativo statement has boon made
by tho democratic majority of tho houso ways
and means committee as to what action will bo
taken upon tho wool schedule. Tho importance
of tho matter justifies tho cautious approach
to Its consideration. Thoro are a great many
angles to tho tariff schedules, and tho necessity
of being ablo to dofend any action takon prompts
a courso that makes sucli dofonso easiest. In
tho whole range of tariff-making thoro Isn't any
thing wherein more downright cruolty and rank
tyranny has been practiced than in tho two
schedules which havo to do with tho clothing
supply of this country, tho cotton and wool
schodules. Clothing is ono of tho absoluto
necessities of lifo in this zono, and yet congress
has placed Its heavlost taxes upon it. When
ono considers how small is tho average incorao
of tho great mass of tho people, tho workors,
and notes how high is tho cost of clothing a
cost that Is mounting stoadily tho wickod in
justice of it becomes apparent.
A heavy tax Is placod upon Imported wool,
in the interest of the sheep-owners of this
country. Figures submitted by tho sheep men
themselves disclose that thero aro not to exceed
22,000 persons engaged In tho Industry, owners,
herders, shearers and all. In view of tho fact
that the wool tariff adds hundreds of millions
to our clothing bill, it would bo a groat deal
cheaper for tho government to pension these
men several thousand a year each. But if it did
that thoro would bo a tumbling In tho protec
tion accorded tho manufacturers that would
evoko their fiercest protests. None of tho farm
ers who own small flocks of sheep have grown
rich over their wool production, but Texas,
Montana, Wyoming and Idaho can furnish a
large number of big sheep men who have
amassed big fortunes within the last fifteen
years .because of tho subsidy tho government,
through its citizon's individually paid them for
their kindness in going Into tho wool-raising
Yet Undor all of this fostering by tho govern
ment thero has been no proof brought forward
that the time will evor come when this country
can furnish sufficient wool to supply the de
mands of tho people at homo. At present half
of our wool must bo Imported, and the heavy tax
paid thereon is added not only to tho price of
what we import but to tho price of what wo
grow, such being tho intent of tho protective
system. The price has been pushed so high, in
fact, that tho greater portion of our people can
no longer afford to buy the substantial woolen
garments of our ancestors. Wool is valuable for
clothing and other uses because of Its warmth
and its durability. The majority of us cannot
get these advantages for two reasons. Ono Is
that tho toll taken by the grower and the
manufacturer is so great that an all wool suit
of clothes, for instance, Is beyond the prico
reach; and tho other is that as tho great ma
jority cannot buy all wool suits the manufac
turers utilize a largo part of their wool In mak
ing cotton mixtures that are passed off as wool.
Every man who buys low or medium-priced
clothing, either with or without tho solemn
assurance of tho dealer that it is all wool, has
noted that few of these suits keep their" shapo
or their appearance long, not nearly so long as
In past years. The explanation Is that they are
either cotton mixtures or cotton substitutes.
Tho American Homestead, a monthly farm
journal of natioxal scope, will be sent to all
Commoner subscribers, who renew their sub
scriptions during tho month of June at regular
rates, when this notice is mentioned.
Miss Ida M. Tarbell, who thoroughly investi
gated this phase of the business, says: "Men's
garments become shabby, lose their shape, in
much shorter time. Women can no longer mako
over with satisfaction the gowns they once wore
a series of winters. The man's suit is no longer
respectable 'as long as It holds together Those
of us who must buy cheap clothes can find them
at the long established popular prices, but we
no longer get the warmth or the satisfaction
from them." Here Is what a Cincinnati clothier
wrote to Congressman Longworth, the letter
being read by him before the houso committee
that was making over the tariff two years ago:
"I never handled cloth of so inferior a quality
as I do now. Laborers, mechanics and farmers
who use ready-made clothing are receiving prac
tically no value for their, money." C. Q. D.
. - ,
Powered by Open ONI