페이지 이미지
PDF
ePub

ery whereby the Treasury Department can determine, when the goods are received at the customhouse, whether or not they are such as under the laws of this country are entitled to be received and to enter into the commerce of the country. Therefore, you must set up some machinery.

But my friend Mr. Rainey says that if you set up the machinery that is provided for in the French bill it will be an enormous expense to the people of the United States. I thoroughly sympathize with the desire of Congressman Rainey and the Members of the House, particularly at this time, to limit as far as it is possible for them to do so the expenditures on the part of the Government and not to reach out into new fields requiring additional force on the part of the Federal Government, and expenditures which may amount to considerable. That is a very laudable purpose. But I submit to you, gentlemen, that if you take the pure-food bill, the expense of which, according to the information received by Mr. French, in its enforcement, has amounted to something like $500,000 or $600,000 per annum-I believe that is the amount that you stated, Mr. French? Mr. FRENCH. Yes.

Mr. BONYNGE (continuing). While that may seem to be a large sum, considered in prewar days, at the present time, when we are dealing with billions, it does not seem so large to us; but, even regarding it is a large sum, I ask you, gentlemen of the committee, whether there is any member of this committee, or whether you think there is any Member of Congress, who would to-day vote for the repeal of the pure food and drug act? Are you not satisfied now that the machinery provided for in that bill and its provisions have worked in the public interest and that the expense entailed by the passage of that bill has more than been justified; in short, that the people have received the full benefit of the expenditure of that money? The CHAIRMAN. Mr. Bonynge, I remember when Congress passed the meat-inspection bill, I think in 1903

Mr. BONYNGE. Yes.

The CHAIRMAN (continuing). That the appropriation that was made in subsequent years to carry out its provisions amounted to $3,000,000. I do not know what the amount is now, but presumably it may be larger than that; but the larger expenditure in connection with the meat inspection was due to the fact that at every packery they had to have Government inspection.

Mr. BONYNGE. Yes.

The CHAIRMAN. It seems that it was necessary for the inspector to inspect the meat after slaughtering, in order to see whether the meat was diseased or not. Would it be necessary in carrying out the provisions of the French bill or the Rainey bill, to have at every large factory and producing establishment a Government inspector? Mr. BONYNGE. Absolutely not, Mr. Chairman.

The CHAIRMAN. Then there is a difference between the two measures in the matter of administration.

Mr. BONYNGE. Yes, because, as Mr. Rainey clearly pointed out to this committee, this bill would practically be automatic. The various competitors engaged in the manufacture of fabrics would be watchful of each other. It would be necessary to make an inspection only where some suspicion was cast upon a particular manufacturer. As Mr. Rainey stated, it is not at all likely that one out of a thousand

American manufacturers would violate the provisions of the law and if they did, then and only then would the Government be called upon to make an inspection of their goods. It is always within the power of the Congress to regulate what shall be the expenditures under the bill; but there must be some machinery for its enforcement provided for in the bill itself in cases where it may be necessary. There will be not only the competitors of those engaged in the manufacture of woven fabrics who will be watching each other, but there are numerous civic organizations, such as the vigilance committee of the Allied Advertising Clubs, which is endeavoring to prevent false advertising, which will necessarily be very watchful in such a situation.

Mr. MERRITT. This bill does provide that these inspectors may inspect the books of every person engaged in the manufacture of woven fabrics. May I ask you there, is it not usually true, however, that wherever a department has the right to put in an inspector and inspect books, the tendency is to do it?

Mr. BONYNGE. The tendency of the department is undoubtedly to extend the operations of the law as far as they can. I can not dispute that.

Mr. MERRITT. Do you think it is a good thing in itself to throw open the books of every factory in any line, I do not care whether it is the rule or not, to Government inspection?

Mr. BONYNGE. They are practically thrown open now, under the income-tax law.

Mr. MERRITT. Yes; but not at the suggestion of competitors. Mr. BONYNGE. Not at the suggestion of competitors; no. I do not think it would be. Neither would it be necessary to go to the books, except in unusual cases. In many instances the inspection of the article itself through the Bureau of Standards, or whichever bureau is selected by the heads of departments, as provided for in the bill, may be designated to conduct the inspection, would determine whether the article was different from what it was branded.

Mr. SIMS. Are not the books of private manufacturers now thrown open to inspection under the Federal Trade Commission law, and is it not being actually carried on?

Mr. BONYNGE. I so understand.

Mr. WINSLOW. If you thought it would be safe to rely on the honor of the manufacturers to guarantee the character of woolen textiles to be produced by the manufacturers, would it not be also safe to rely on the manufacturers of those woolens to see that misrepresentation was not held forth with respect to the goods made of the woolens?

Mr. BONYNGE. If it was purely a misrepresentation, that might be true; but there is no misrepresentation in selling shoddy, if it is all wool, as being all wool.

Mr. WINSLOW. Would you rather discuss that now, or wait a little while?

Mr. BONYNGE. I will answer your questions now.

Mr. WINSLOW. I have several questions on that line.

Mr. BONYNGE. I am ready at any time.

Mr. WINSLOW. I want to ask you, not to annoy you, but to find out the fact

Mr. BONYNGE. Certainly.

Mr. WINSLOW (continuing). Would you assume to qualify as an expert on the manufacture of woolens?

Mr. BONYNGE. No; I do not. I can not assume to be an expert on the manufacture of woolens. I have never been engaged in that business.

Mr. WINSLOW. It seems to me that there are two divisions of this question in our minds; the interest of the woolgrower, which we all respect, of course, and the other is the interest of the business man who has to meet the conditions. That I think you will agree to.

Mr. BONYNGE. Yes; but I would have to add another interest to that.

Mr. WINSLOW. Yes?

Mr. BONYNGE. That is the interest of the general public.

Mr. WINSLOW. Yes. Well, that will grow out of either of the others. Now, can you tell me what percentage of woolens would be subject, under present conditions, to any controversy with respect to the ingredients that went into the cloth?

Mr. BONYNGE. I could only answer that by saying that the statistics show that there is not a sufficient amount of virgin wool produced in the world to provide more than one suit of three and a half or four pounds for each inhabitant of the United States and Europe, and that consequently there must be a very large proportion of goods sold as all wool that to-day contain shoddy.

Mr. Redfield when Secretary of Commerce, I believe in a statement or in a letter, stated that the virgin wool crop was not sufficient to produce more than one-third of the annual production of woven fabrics.

Mr. WINSLOw. There must be somewhere in our commercial reports a statement showing what percentage of woolens contain only virgin wool.

Mr. BONYNGE. I do not believe there is any such record. I do not know where it could possibly be obtained.

Mr. WINSLOW. Are there not some grades of cloth that have nothing in them but virgin wool?

Mr. BONYNGE. I assume that is true.

Mr. WINSLOW. You do not happen to know what they are?

Mr. BONYNGE. No; I assume that is true. I assume also, from such investigation as I have been able to make, that it is a very limited amount of goods. I imagine that this suit of clothes which I am wearing, although I think I paid a sufficient price for it to get virgin wool, probably contains shoddy.

Mr. MERRITT. It is a good-looking suit, though.

Mr. WINSLOW. It is your contention that clothes made of virgin wool-all virgin wool-are better than cloths made of shoddy?

Mr. BONYNGE. Not at all. Neither do I think that that is the question, as to the merits of virgin wool and of shoddy. This is a question of fair, honest dealing; of letting the public know whether they get what they purchase. The people will dertermine for themselves, if this bill is enacted, whether virgin wool is better than shoddy; and if shoddy is better than virgin wool, if it has one-tenth of the merit that shoddy manufacturers contend that it has, then shoddy will sell much more readily than virgin wool. Undoubtedly there are some grades of virgin wool that are not as good as some shoddy that is upon the market. I would not for a moment contend

that the coarser grades of virgin wool are better than some of the shoddy that is sold. But it is not the coarse grades of virgin wool that come in competition with the high grades of shoddy; it is only the highest grade of virgin wool that is in competition with the high grades of shoddy. And by reason of the fact that the public can not determine the difference between the high grade of shoddy and the high grade of virgin wool, the manufacturer of shoddy is given the opportunity to, and I think that the price of his goods demonstrates that he does, get the price of the virgin wool for his substitute, which affects not the interest of the woolgrower alone, not the interest of the manufacturer of shoddy alone, but affects the third interest that I referred to in answer to your question a while ago, the interest of the public, which is the special interest that you gentlemen are concerned with.

Mr. WINSLOW. It is only one of them. I do not think it is special at all. You not only have to consider, in manufacturing, what the public would like and what is fair to them, but also whether they can get it; and the manufacturer is of very great importance. Now, to illustrate, I do not know anything about woolens or textiles at all. but I do know something about machinery, and it seems to me-I will have to elaborate this a little-that before the committee can arrive at a conclusion as to the final benefit to come from a such a proposition as you make, they must consider the mechanical part of it as well as to take other views of the question. Now, my idea of machinery would lead me to feel that for this process of weaving into cloth some sort of an article that has not heretofore been a common custom, it would practically mean that every mill in the United States would have to be so reconstructed as to make the mechanical operation a possibility, first of all, and then a possibility which could be operated so economically as not, perhaps, to interfere even with the well-being of the public. Now, I will ask you if in your research with respect to this matter you or any of your associates have come to the point of determining what this meant from the manufacturing end?

Mr. BONYNGE. We have; and we will have witnesses here, as Mr. French stated yesterday, to show that it is entirely possible from a mechanical standpoint, to stamp on the back of every yard of woven fabric the contents contained in that fabric, and that that can be done without remodeling the machinery of the various plants engaged in that manufacture, and at an expense to the manufacturer, as I am advised-and as I expect that the witnesses who will appear before the committee will demonstrate-not to exceed one-fifth of a cent per yard.

Mr. WINSLOW. Does this bill limit the time or indicate the time when it shall go into operation?

Mr. BONYNGE. Yes; and as Mr. French pointed out, it further provides that it shall not apply to the goods that are at present manufactured. The provision in that respect is as follows:

SEC. 19. That this act shall be in force and effect from and after the 1st day of July, 1920, as applied to manufacturers, importers, dealers, or other persons mentioned herein, when manufacturing, importing, or dealing in woven fabric and garments or articles of apparel manufactured from such fabric, or imported into the United States after that date.

Mr. WINSLOW. Is it fair for us to assume that you have gone far enough into this question to be certain that if the bill were passed

to-day on the lines of what you have suggested, every manufacturer of cloth could be properly equipped by the 1st day of July to make these products?

Mr. BONYNGE. Yes; I think it is perfectly fair to assume so, and I think our witnesses will so prove to you.

The CHAIRMAN. Of course the 1st of July, 1920, was inserted by Mr. French at the time he introduced this bill.

Mr. BONYNGE. Yes.

The CHAIRMAN. He introduced the bill in January.

Mr. BONYNGE. Yes.

The CHAIRMAN. Of course the date is subject to change.

Mr. BONYNGE. I think it can be done.

The CHAIRMAN. This is March.

Mr. BONYNGE. But there would certainly be no objection if you made it later than that date, so as to give the manufacturers ample opportunity to comply with that provision without any hardship to them.

Now I have said that the real interest to be considered here is the public interest. Undoubtedly the woolgrowers have their special interest in the legislation, but if that interest conflicts with the public interest, then their interest ought not alone to be considered. I think it can be demonstrated here that the interest of the woolgrower is really the interest of the general public. Probably there are no two objects that Congress desires more to accomplish at this time than to curb profiteering and to encourage the production of the necessaries of life. Both of those objects will be facilitated, in my view, by the passage of this act.

Considering the bill from the public standpoint, regardless of the interests of the wool manufacturers or of the shoddy manufacturers, the real, substantial benefit that would come to all the people of the United States is that by the enactment of this legislation you would destroy the opportunity that is afforded and taken advantage of by shoddy manufacturers to obtain for their goods the price of the original; that is, virgin wool.

Mr. WINSLOW. There, again, I want to ask you, in order to get this straight: You have now made a suggestion that would indicate that the price of shoddy cloth would be less than the other, ordinarily and properly; yet I understood you.to say a few moments ago that that need not necessarily be; that shoddy might be more expensive than virgin wool.

Mr. BONYNGE. It may be.

Mr. WINSLOW. By which the manufacturer would be entitled to get a higher price. Now, which one of those positions do you want to take?

Mr. BONYNGE. I want to take the position, which I think is absolutely correct, that if this legislation should be enacted, the unhampered sway and scope of economic laws will determine that question, instead of our having it determined as now, not by the public themselves but by the manufacturers of shoddy. I am speaking now of the conditions when I say that at the present time shoddy manufacturers are able to get the price of virgin wool,

177735-20-6

« 이전계속 »