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Dr. Rosa is so explicit regarding the accuracy with which the count of yarn in cloth can be determined, as to create the suspicion that he is wrong, and this suspicion becomes a certainty when we consider that the yarn count by which he defines the variation in yarn sizes, is not an absolute standard of weight or measure, but is the ratio between weight and measure; in other words, the cotton yarn count is the number of 840-yard lengths in a pound of yarn. That being the case a variation of one count on coarse yarn, say 6s for example, is much greater than a variation of one count on fine yarn, say 80s. A variation of one count from 68 to 58 means the important increase of one-sixth in the size of the yarn, from 5,040 yards to 4,200 yards per pound; whereas a variation of one count from 80s to 79s means the unimportant increase of one-eightieth in the size of the yarn, from 67,200 yards to 66,360 yards per pound. And yet the Bureau of Standards tells the Ways and Means Committee that the count of yarn in a fabric "can be determined accurately within one-half count for warp yarns and one count for filling yarn." Moreover, Dr. Rosa assures the committee that "a variation of four counts either way is usually accepted in the trade." A variation of four counts from 8s to 4s means doubling the size of a yarn, which would not be permissible in the manufacture of any kind of goods, while a variation of four counts from 80s to 76s would be an increase of only one-twentieth in the size of the yarn and would prove negligible in many
ADVANTAGES OF THE YARN-COUNT BASIS.
The inaccuracy of Dr. Rosa's reply to question 1 does not, however, mean that the count of the yarn is not a good basis for classifying cloths for tariff purposes. Any basis will necessarily be more or less arbitrary, whether it is the set or threads per inch, the square yards to the pound, the value per yard, the yarn count, or a combination of these factors. The question is, Which is the best? In searching for the best basis the yarn count is found to possess many advantages. It provides an excellent automatic adjustment to the cost of converting cotton into yarn, and it offers far less difficulty in application than does the present compound system of set, weight and value. In applying the yarn-count system, however, it is necessary to begin with an accurate definition of the count as a basis. It is out of the question to adopt the spun count as a basis for tariff classification because there are too many variable factors arising between the spun yarn and the finished cloth. Some processes of finishing and dyeing may cause a loss of as much as 5 per cent in the weight of the spun cotton; others may cause a gain of 5 per cent. And it is impossible for anyone to determine from the finished cloth whether there has been a loss or gain or to what extent. That being the case it follows that if cloths are to be classified for tariff purposes by the size of the yarn, the basis must be the size of the yarn as it is found in the cloth without regard to loss or gain in weight during the previous processes of manufacture. The spun count is a standard for the mill, and even if it could be determined, it would provide no better basis for tariff classification than does the finished-cloth count.
THE QUESTION OF TAKe-up.
Having necessarily decided on the finished count as a basis, without regard to the spun count, the remaining questions relate to the practicability of determining the yarn count from the finished cloth. Aside from the question of take-up there is no doubt but that the finished-yarn count can be determined with as great a degree of accuracy as can the set or square yards of cloth to the pound, both of which must be found under the Payne tariff. An exception to this statement may arise in the case of goods made of different sizes of yarn and in which the basic yarn is found in so small a quantity as to make a determination of the size difficult. The question of take-up presents a more difficult problem. If the yarn is to be measured in a stretched condition in order to allow for the take-up the possibility of error and probability of protests in administering the tariff will be greatly increased. But is it necessary to determine the count of the yarn in a stretched condition? Why would it not serve every purpose to base the tariff classifications on the count of the yarn as it lies in the cloth on the assumption that a thread extending over a yard of cloth is a yard in length? There is an old adage about the wisdom of letting sleeping dogs lie, which might be heeded to good advantage in this connection, and we offer the suggestion that if the yarn count is to form the basis for the tariff classification of cotton cloths, the take-up be disregarded and the count be accepted aз the yarn lies in the cloth. If this is done then the basis can be determined with as great a degree of accuracy as can the set and weight per square yard under the present system.
FINDING THE YARN COUNT IN CLOTH.
Questions 2, 3, 4, and 5 addressed to the Bureau of Standards deal with the work involved in determining the yarn count.
The method suggested by the Bureau of Standards is clumsy and difficult.
The best method is the "straight-line" process, which we have repeatedly explained and which is based on the fact that the cotton count is the number of 840-yard lengths to the pound, or the equivalent, the number of 4.32-inch lengths to the grain.
The number of threads in an inch of cotton cloth is equal to the number of 4.32-inch lengths of yarn in a sample of the cloth measuring 4.32 square inches (1.8 inches by 2.4 inches).
It follows from these facts that the count of the yarn in a sample of cotton cloth is found by dividing the number of threads per inch by the number of grains in the weight of a sample of 4.32 square inches ( square yard). This is so simple that even the nontechnical legislator has no excuse for not knowing how to determine the yarn count for classifying cloths under the Underwood cotton bill. It is so simple that anyone with ordinary intelligence and without a diploma from a textile school can perform the operation.
Take for illustration a cloth having 96 ends of warp and filling per inch and of which a sample measuring 2.4 inches by 1.8 inches weighs 4 grains. Dividing 96 by 4 we get 24, the average count of all the yarn in the fabric. If the count of any portion of the yarn, say warp or filling, is wanted, that portion of the yarn is raveled and weighed separately and the count calculated in the same way, by dividing the number of threads of that yarn per inch by its weight in grains. This simple operation gives the finished cloth count with what amounts to scientific precision. If a larger sample is preferred, it can be made a multiple of 4.32 square inches.
If adopted as a basis for tariff rates, the yarn count thus obtained reduces to a minimum the opportunity for disputes over the accuracy of the assessment. If, however, the Underwood cotton bill becomes a law without an exact definition of this yarn-count basis, the Treasury Department and the importers may be involved in hopeless confusion and endless disputes over the take-up of yarn in weaving and the loss or gain of weight in dyeing, bleaching, mercerizing, and finishing. All this trouble can be avoided by a few lines in the law providing that the rates shall be based on the count of the yarn as found in the finished fabric from which the sizing material has been removed, the count to be determined by taking the length of the yarn to be equal to the distance covered by it on the cloth.
OBJECTIONABLE DIVIDING LINES.
Objection has been made to the Underwood and the Parker-Langshaw schedules because of the dividing lines at which the rates are changed. The Parker-Langshaw schedule provides for the following sliding scale of rates on gray goods made of ply yarn:
1 to 9...
10 to 19.
20 to 39.
40 to 59.
60 to 99.
Ad valorem rate.
100 and over...
If the yarn count as found by analysis falls near the dividing line, a slight change in the size may mean an important change in the duty. For example, if the yarn count is found to be No. 59 in a cloth valued at 10 cents a yard, an increase of one-half count would mean an increase of 163 per cent in the duty from 3 cents to 34 cents a yard. This is not only unjustifiable from an economic standpoint, but increases the temptation to fraudulent collusion between importers and customs officers. These objections, however, are easily overcome by eliminating the dividing lines from the schedule and making the rates increase with the increase in the yarn count. The framers of the Parker-Langshaw schedule began with 15 per cent ad valorem on cloths made of No. 1 yarn and, by jumping the rates at five dividing lines, finally reached a rate of 40 per cent on cloths made of yarn finer than No. 99. That is, the rate was increased 25 per cent in five installments as the yarn count increased from No. 1 to 100. Our suggestion is that the increase in the rate of duty be made to keep step progressively and proportionately with the increase in the yarn count. In the case cited this would mean an increase of per cent for every increase of one number in the count of the yarn. The objectionable dividing lines would be eliminated and the rate would adjust itself to the count, whatever the latter might be. Our
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suggestion will be made clearer by the following comparison of our method with that adopted for the Parker-Langshaw schedule, the rates being used only to illustrate the method of progression and not as an indorsement of their adequacy or inadequacy for protection or revenue:
The rates by our progressive method are in some cases higher, in other cases lower, than by the Parker-Langshaw jumping process, but the superiority of our adjustment is so clear that any further attempt to explain its advantages is superfluous.
This examination of the subject shows beyond question the wisdom of our recommendations regarding the new cotton schedule, which are:
1. Base the classifications on the yarn count as found in the finished cloth without allowance for take-up or for changes in preceding processes of manufacture.
2. Make any progressive increase in the rates in proportion to the increase in the yarn count, eliminating dividing lines.
3. Fix the tariff rates so that any existing inequalities and burdens may be removed, and no domestic industry may be injured.
Hon. OSCAR W. UNDERWOOD,
Chairman Ways and Means Committee,
House of Representatives, United States.
WASHINGTON, February 1, 1913.
MY DEAR MR. UNDERWOOD: I am handing you with this a letter from W. N. Conoley, secretary of the Chamber of Commerce of the city of Live Oak, Fla., which is self-explanatory.
I desire to say in addition that seven counties in my district are engaged in raising sea-island cotton as their principal product. As you doubtless know, our lands are thin and it requires considerable fertilization to produce a good quality and a paying quantity of sea-island cotton.
Our principal competitor in the American market at the present time is the grower of Egyptian cotton in the Valley of the Nile. While the Egyptian cotton growers pay their laborers a fraction over 13 cents a day, the Florida cotton grower can not procure the commonest kind of field labor for less than $1 a day and board. While the Egyptian is not of such long staple and is not so fine in texture as is the Florida, Georgia, and South Carolina sea-island cotton, at the same time it can be used as a substitute very effectively.
We also come in competition with cotton grown in Peru and the West Indies, and a duty of 4 or 5 cents per pound on Egyptian and other long-staple cotton would produce a revenue to this Government of some $5,000,000 or $6,000,000 annually. The people of Florida believe that this cotton ought to be placed upon the dutiable list for several reasons.
First. It is a cotton out of which the finer and more expensive fabrics are manufactured, such as thread, lace, mercerized silks, and the webbing for automobile tires. Second. The duty we are asking is distinctively a revenue duty and would be in perfect keeping with the Democratic policy on the tariff.
Third. We now pay heavy tariff duties on everything which enters into the production of sea-island cotton, which aids in marketing the crop, and also heavy duties upon everything manufactured from this cotton.
We are not asking for any special privilege in order to protect our particular production; we are simply asking that we be treated fairly and not be discriminated against.
I sincerely trust that your committee may see its way clear to either removing the duties from everything which the sea-island cotton grower is forced to use in the production of the cotton and in marketing it, and the duties upon everything manufactured from this cotton, or that you place Egyptian and other long-staple cottons upon the dutiable list at such a rate as will produce revenue, and at the same time put us upon a plane of equality with the other sections of the country.
If your committee desires I will be very glad to appear before it and submit such data and arguments as I may be able in support of the contention herein made. Yours, respectfully,
THE CHAMBER OF COMMERCE,
DEAR SIR: You will receive a marked copy of the Cotton Record which contains an editorial entitled "Only a square deal." Please read this carefully.
We are confronted in this county with a very perplexing and annoying problem with reference to sea-island cotton.
At present there is about $100,000 tied up in sea-island cotton in this county. Although the production is at least 60 per cent less than last year, the price is not near so good, and there is simply no market for it at all.
Our farmers are seriously discussing abandoning sea-island cotton altogether and planting short cotton instead.
This is, as you know, the very heart of the sea-island belt, and it will mean quite a revolution to give up planting sea-island cotton. However, if we can not get relief in some way, it looks as if our people will be forced to give up what has long been the chiefest factor in our commerce.
If you can do anything to help the situation, it will bring relief and rejoicing to every farmer who plants sea-island cotton. Should you think a representative or delegation to present the case of the sea-island-cotton growers would be able to accomplish anything in Washington, so advise me, and I will see what can be done in this direction.
W. N. CONOLEY, Secretary.
BRIEF ON PARAGRAPHS 212, 466, 543, AND 713.
HEYWOOD BROS. & WAKEFIELD Co.,
Mr. DANIEL C. ROPER,
Clerk Committee on Ways and Means,
House of Representatives, Washington, D. C.
DEAR SIR: We beg to acknowledge receipt of your esteemed favors of the 13th and 29th ultimos, the latter inclosing copy of your letter to the Hon. Wm. H. Wilder.
We thank you for your promptness in responding to our communications, though, because of our delinquency in acknowledgment, we feel some embarrassment, it being due, however, in some measure, to reasons beyond our control. We now wish to state that we accept your arrangement for our hearing of 30 minutes on the 31st instant and will probably be represented in Washington on that date by Mr. Fred M. Cleaveland, who is entirely familiar with the subjects in which we are interested. You have asked us to advise you what our attitude is to the present tariff, and, generally speaking, we may say that it seems fair to most interests. We are believers in the protective system to a reasonable extent and, so far as our own industry is concerned, will be satisfied to have such protection as is represented by the difference in the cost of labor here and in other countries. We will take up here the schedules and paragraphs in which we are interested:
First. Schedule D, paragraph 212: "Chair cane or reeds wrought or manufactured from rattan or reeds, ten per centum ad valorem."
This small duty gives our competitors abroad, principally in Germany, an unfair advantage, because of the much cheaper cost of labor, and it also enables them to place an unfair valuation on a large product manufactured from rattan, which is being shipped into this country in ever-increasing quantities. The duty should in fact be made specific, but, as we may perhaps assume no change is likely to be made from ad valorem, we suggest that a duty of 20 per cent would fairly represent the difference in cost of labor if the goods were properly invoiced.
Second. Schedule N, paragraph 466: "Matting made of cocoa fiber or rattan, six cents per square yard. Mats made of cocoa fiber or rattan, four cents per square foot."
There may be those who will advocate raising this duty; but although we are considerable importers of matting and mats, as comprehended by this paragraph, which come mostly from the Far East, we are satisfied to let this paragraph stand as it is.
Third. Free list, paragraph 543: "Coir and coir yarn."
We are extensive importers of this material, which we import from Ceylon and India and in the manufacture of which we employ a large force at this place. There is nothing of the kind produced on this continent, and there appears to be no reason to us why it should not remain on the free list.
Fourth. Free list, paragraph 713:
Reeds, unmanufactured, should be stricken from this paragraph entirely, as they are covered by a duty imposed under the first schedule and paragraph above referred Reeds are manufactured from rattan, and should pay a duty. We wish rattan itself to remain on the free list, as it is not produced on this continent and comes principally from the British and Dutch East Indies.
Thanking you for your consideration, we remain, yours, very truly,
List showing a number of articles for which a reduction of the duty might be found well