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frankly state, from its emergency angle, I think it is constitutional; I have my serious doubts if it is as permanent legislation. It may be satisfactory to delegate the powers in accordance with the existing conditions, emergency conditions, which are necessary for the Government to function. Now, when we start to transfer from the free to the dutiable and from the dutiable to the free list, it is different.
Mr. McClintic. Let us suppose we had a shipment of cotton on the high seas, and England or some other nation immediately put an importation tax of 5 cents a pound, which would practically destroy our market from the standpoint of the export of cotton. Ought we not to have some legislation which would allow the President to deal with that situation?
Mr. DICKINSON. Section 336 goes a long way. This bill, you see, is primarily devoted to agreements; now, you would hardly be able to put a retaliatory provision on by agreement, because the other party would not agree to it.
Mr. McClintic. The only thought I had in mind was to delegate to somebody sufficient power to handle those articles on the free list. Does section 338 give power to lift the rate?
Mr. DICKINSON. It gives power to stop the importation altogether, Mr. McCORMACK. Section 337 deals with unfair tactics, and 338 with discriminations.
Mr. McCLINTIC. If that is true, I have obtained the information desired.
Mr. McCORMACK. Is it agreed that this is intended as emergency legislation?
Mr. Dickinson. The provision down here was intended to express that intention, down at the bottom of section 2.
Mr. McCORMACK. Yes; so we have a common understanding that this is intended as emergency legislation and that it is felt that the delegation of power is necessary in order to meet the economic conditions confronting the country, with a view to building up foreign trade and providing for the general welfare.
Mr. DICKINSON. Yes.
Mr. McCORMACK. Without going into the mechanics, the language would indicate that it is permanent in character.
Mr. DICKINSON. To which section do you refer?
Mr. McCORMACK. To page 3, subdivision (b); while the agreement should not be for more than 3 years, they may be extended beyond the emergency period?
Mr. DICKINSON. Unless, as you feel, its constitutionality would fall with the expiration of the emergency. You remember the so-called “emergency rent laws," and those laws were upheld as constitutional during the period of the emergency, but without any repeal, they were held to fall with the emergency.
Mr. McCORMACK. That is a constructive thought.
Mr. McCORMACK. That is what I am seeking. The purpose of the bill, of course, was a direction to the President; the purpose of this bill, if it becomes law, to delegate the power to the President in the emergency; there is no question about that. The main purpose, of course, is the general welfare of our own people.
Mr. DICKINSON. Yes, sir.
Mr. McCORMACK. And the preservation of the American standard of living, naturally, is included therein.
Mr. DICKINSON. Yes, sir.
Mr. McCORMACK. Nobody would advocate anything which would be destructive of the continuance of the American standard of living, whatever it might be.
Mr. Dickinson. I would regard that as destructive of the purpose of the bill.
Mr. McCORMACK. There is no objection to putting that in as one of the purposes of the bill?
Mr. DICKINSON. No, sir.
Mr. COOPER. Just one word in connection with the application of section 338; I simply call attention to the provisions of that section relating to additional duties. It provides that the President when he finds that the public interest will be served thereby shall by proclamation specify and declare new or additional duties as hereinafter provided, upon articles wholly or in part the growth of products of, or imported in a vessel of any foreign country, whenever he shall find as a fact that such country imposes or discriminates, etc. That section is to continue as it is now in the existing law?
Mr. DICKINSON. Yes.
The CHAIRMAN. The Chair regrets having to detain the witness any longer.
Mr. DickINSON. That is all right; I am at your service.
The CHAIRMAN. In response to the statement of my colleague and friend, Mr. Knutson, in reading from the Congressional Record about the manner in which certain Members of Congress, including myself, had inveighed against the flexible provisions of the tariff law when the matter was under discussion in the House, I have nothing to recant on that subject. If conditions were similar now to what they were then, I would take the same position, but the precipice which I referred to there is the one which, in my judgment, we are approaching now. The legislation which I would be willing to vote for in war times, or in an extreme national emergency, as I consider now obtains, I would not even contemplate or consider supporting in normal times. That statement was made in normal times, when there was no emergency and no war.
Mr. KNUTSON. It was made in 1930, after fortunes had been swept away.
The CHAIRMAN. Oh, no, not at all.
The CHAIRMAN. We had no such emergency as exists today; there had been no national emergency. It had not been necessary for the Government to appropriate billions to relieve unemployment and to feed starving people; there was no emergency. Moreover my friend should not forget what Abraham Lincoln said about men changing their mind.
Mr. DICKINSON. Might I suggest furthermore, Mr. Chairman, that the present bill is not intended to give the President any broad sweep of power, acting on his own responsibility entirely, but solely as a result of negotiations which have always been in the hands of the Executive Department of the Government.
The CHAIRMAN. It proposes to give potential power to deal with the present emergency conditions, which are unprecedented and which we have been unable to deal with under present law. Again, in response to the statement of the gentleman from New York, than whom no one can present his position more forcefully or more logically,
I believe he took this position, and that is the position of the extreme protectionist, that we should purchase nothing from abroad that we could possible produce in this country; in my judgment, that is what brought us to our present distressed condition. In connection with the question of possible production, suppose a cotton farmer takes the position that he buy nothing except what he cannot produce; he sets up his blacksmith shop and loom; he improvises all kinds of temporary machinery that is not up to date, a great deal of it, and he says he will manufacture his own horseshoes, and plows, shoes for his wife and children; he would not be able to produce enough cotton to pay his taxes, and would be sold out.
Mr. DICKINSON. I agree with that point of view.
The CHAIRMAN. I do not think it is practical to produce all that we can possibly produce; and as far as tariff legislation is concerned, so far as we can reasonably and consistently and profitably produce things, we should produce them; but I also believe that we might import those which we can buy much cheaper than we can produce efficiently, and at the same time utilize our time in producing something that we can produce economically.
Mr. REED. My position is perhaps not any more inconsistent than the position of the gentleman that we should close all of our factories and proceed to trade with foreign countries, because we can buy more cheaply. The CHAIRMAN. I have not taken any such position.
. I Mr. REED. I have not taken any such position as you have suggested. I am talking about producing the things here under reasonable conditions.
The CHAIRMAN. You did not say under reasonable conditions. We will let the record settle that. We will now adjourn until 2:30 this afternoon.
(Thereupon, at 1:05 p.m., a recess was taken until 2:30 p.m. of the same day.)
The committee reassembled at 2:30 p.m., pursuant to recess.
Mr. Hill (presiding). The committee will come to order. The next witness is Mr. John E. Dowsing, of Scarsdale, N.Y. Please give your name and address and the capacity in which you appear, Mr. Bowsing.
STATEMENT OF JOHN E. DOWSING, 11 BRONSON AVENUE,
SCARSDALE, N.Y., REPRESENTING THE UNITED STATES POTTERS ASSOCIATION
Mr. Dowsing. Mr. Chairman and gentlemen, my name is John E. Dowsing, 11 Bronson Avenue, Scarsdale, N.Y. I appear here in behalf of the United States Potters Association of East Liverpool, Ohio.
I wish to preface my remarks by taking the occasion to pay tribute to President Roosevelt and the courage he has displayed in his efforts along the road to national recovery, and to so express my personal sentiments as well as those of the industry I represent, of the high esteem and admiration in which he is held; however, we believe that we may be permitted to differ with his views as we understand the bill H.R. 8430, and to express the honest conviction condemning the proposal to give the President such unprecedented and unlimited authority to negotiate any tariff treaty he sees fit, without giving the domestic industries which will be affected by any lowering of the tariff their day in court, and without ratification by the Senate.
The United States Potters Association represents about 90 percent of the manufacturers of pottery in the United States and are located in some 13 or 14 States. The pottery industry is one of the important industries of the United States. The production of these plants for the past 5 years is as follows:
1929, 30,000,000 dozen, valued at $33,500,000.
1933, 18,194,948 dozen. The 1933 figures are given to you exactly; the others in round numbers, as I did not get the fractions.
You will note a 13,000,000 dozen decrease in production from 1929 to 1932, with an increase of about a million dozen in 1933.
Mr. Hill. You say “dozen.” Will you please state again what you mean? I do not quite follow you. What do your dozens refer to?
Mr. Dowsing. For what year?
Mr. Dowsing. In terms of dozens. That is the way they are figured in the pottery trade. Mr. HILL. Dozens of what?
Mr. Dowsing. Dozens of pottery, of chinaware and earthenware, tableware.
You will note 13,000,000 dozen decrease in production from 1929 to 1932, with an increase of a million dozen in 1933. As labor cost is the largest item in pottery production, being about 60 percent of the cost, there was paid in wages for 1929, $20,100,000; in 1930, $16,500,000; in 1931, $13,980,000; in 1932, $9,780,000, and approximately about $10,000,000 in 1933. By that 13,000,000 dozen decrease in production there was lost to labor some $8,000,000 in wages.
Since 1929, due to the depression and foreign competition, nine plants, operating 186 kilns, were forced out of business, causing loss of jobs to some 7,500 men.
This proposal, H.R. 8430, in its final analysis seems to clothe the President with the power to lower the tariff rates in any given instance 50 percent of the existing rates. Its purpose is to expand the export market by entering into trade agreements. This seems to negative any action to increase the tariff protection 50 percent. You will not trade with a foreign country by offering as an inducement to increase the existing rates by 50 percent. These foreign countries are only too anxious to dump a greater volume of the products of their pauper labor and poorly paid labor into this richest market in the world, and compete here with commodities produced by the highest paid labor in the world.
H.R. 8430 seems to tend toward the usurpation of those guarantees of the declaration signed on July 4, 1776. It has the object of establishing an absolute control over the industries of the United States. It contains power independent of and superior to our courts, and
subjects American business to a jurisdiction foreign to our Constitution, for being deprived, in many cases, of the benefits of trial by jury was one of the items in the bill of complaint causing the colonies to go to war with the King of Great Britain. This bill suspends the power of Congress and invests in probably some bureau, or whoever the President delegates the authority to, the power to legislate on all matters involving the tariff, and thus the very life or death of an industry.
The President now possesses the power, under the flexible provisions of the Tariff Act of 1930, to raise or lower existing tariff rates up to 50 percent. He has the power under section 3 of the National Recovery Act to increase rates, as provided by H.R. 8430, to assist in overcoming domestic unemployment and the present economic depression, in increasing the purchasing power of the American public in the present emergency by simply having section 3 put into effect, limiting the ruinous importations of competitive goods. He has further power under section 338, where foreign countries have raised their tariffs or done some other overt act against this country.
If that is all that is wanted, the law is on the books now and should be invoked and not remain a dead letter as it has been for some 9 months since the passage of the National Industrial Recovery Act. That act was passed in recognition of an emergency existing, and for the purpose of rehabilitating industry and putting men to work and increasing buying power.
This bill ignores the differences in cost of production theory, and in its administration such may be totally disregarded. Foreign labor paid 45 or 50 cents per day, competing against American labor receiving a thousand per cent higher wage must inevitably greatly curtail or kill the American competitive industry. Surely this principle of the protective policy was never more necessary than to day.
I think also that probably this bill will be found to be in conflict with section 333. Under section 333 the Tariff Commission has power to recommend to lower or raise the rates.
Mr. Hill. You say section 333?
Mr. Dowsing. I mean section 336 of the act of 1930. We believe international bargaining with the tariff will mean the undermining of the protective policy and the undermining of our industries. This bill removes the tariff problem from the people as represented by Congress and automatically places the industries of this country in the hands of those who may or may not act wisely. By what right is a man's business to be taken away from him? Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness are his inalienable rights; liberty to worship as he sees fit and liberty in following any lawful pursuit. If a livelihood derived from a business may be taken from a man, it is but another step to take away the professions. If in the execution of this law one may say that such and such businesses are not needed in the community or area; that the business is unnecessary, inefficient, not economically run, by the same token may it not foreshadow the dictatorial power to state that there are too many doctors, too many lawyers, too many dentists in a given area, and proscribe those practicing and force them to close their offices and seek other means of livelihood? Unfortunately I was unable to hear but a part of Secretary Wallace's
Ι statement, but apparently he believes in and advocates the taking away of a man's business in full comprehension of this bill. This