After claiming that the wool duties did not benefit the farmer,
Every dollar of it that is, the duty upon wool has gone into the pockets
of the manufacturer, and will continue to go there. * * * It is nothing
but a bounty that goes to the manufacturer.
In this connection he stated that the profits of a single estab-
lishment, the Arlington Mills, had bean 50 per cent in a single
year; and yet in another portion of his spesch he said:
The general wool-manufacturing industry of the country has gone down.
The men who are the legitimate wool manufacturers have lost money.
It may be profitable to pay some attention to the question
raised by the honorable Senator in regard to the profits of woolen
manufacturers, especially in view of the statements that are con-
stantly reiterated that protective tariff benefits the few at the
expense of the many, and that manufacturers are reaping enor-
mous rewards in all protected industries. The Senator from
Iowa [Mr. ALLISON] will answer in respect to the profits of the
Arlington Mills, and I will invite your consideration to the re-
port of the bureau of statistics of labor of Massachusetts for 1890,
which contains an elaborate examination into the net profits of the
manufacturing industries of that State. As a result of this ex-
haustive examination, it is shown that the average net profits
in establishments producing woolen goods in Massachusetts for
the year for which the statistics were obtained were 5.21 per
cent of the selling price, equivalent to 5.47 per cent of the capi-
tal invested. Similar investigations in regard to the production
of worsted goods showed that the net profits in this industry
amounted to 2.34 per cent on the selling price, equivalent to 2.21
per cent on the capital invested.
The report of the bureau of labor statistics of Connecticut
contains similar statistics in regard to the profit of woolen
manufacturers in that State. This report shows that the net
profits on the capital invested in 1890 were 7.57 per cent and on
the value of goods manufactured 7.19 per cent. In 1889 the
profits on capital were 4.27 per cent, and on the value of goods
3.43 per cent. In 1888, on capital, 4.73 per cent; on goods manu-
factured, 4.83 per cent. In 1887, a loss of seven teen-hundredths
of 1 per cent on the capital, with a profit of two-tenths of 1 per
cent on the value of goods manufactured.
These statistics prove that the average profit to the manufac-
turer of woolen goods for the years covered by the inquiry is not
greater than the average rate of interest, and effectually dis-
pose of the statement of the Senator from Missouri in regard to
exorbitant profits of wool manufacturers. The reports alluded
to contain similar statistics showing that the profits on other
manufactures approximate those in woolen manufactures.
Tt would be perilous for the Senator from Missouri to place
the various parts of his wool tariff argument in proximity.
If, as he asserts, with so muqh assurance in each case, (1) the
cost of wool to the American woolen manufacturer is no greater
than to his foreign competitor; and (2) if labor is even cheaper
he re than abroad; and (3) if the legitimate woolen manufacturers
lose money; and (4) if the tariff on woolens is 100 per cent ad va-
lorem, it must be evident, with annual importations of manu-
factures of wool valued at from forty to fifty millions of dollars,
paying these high duties, that the generous foreign manufac-
turer pays from his own pocket the full amount of the high duty
for the privilege of selling his products to the American people.
The unsoundness of each of the Senator's premises, however,
saves him from an embarrassing choice of absurd conclusions.
The framers of the act of 1890 were confident that the adoption
of its provisions would lead to the establishment of new and the
enlargement and development of old industries. Notwithstand-
ing the fact that the elections of 1890 greatly hindered the march
of improvement in this direction, the result attained has been
satisfactory. Many new industries have been established which
had no existence in 1890. Of these the most notable is that of
the manufacture of tin plate.
No portion of the act of 1890 received such severe criticism
when the measure was under discussion in Congress as the pro-
vision which levied 2.2 cents a pound duty upon importations of
tin and terne plate; and the debate in regard to the wisdom of
this feature of the act continues with unabated vigor. The men
who were active in presenting the case in behalf of the tin-plate
industry to the committees of Congress, and who have been the
pioneers in its establishment, have been subjected to undeserved
villifi cation and abuse . It would appear that in the eyes of a tariff
reformer, to suggest the inauguration of a new industry in the
United States is a misdemeanor, and to achieve even partial suc-
cess in such an enterprise is a crime for which no punishment is
None of the pioneers I have alluded to were rich men, but they
were ardent, enthusiastic, and certainly deserve credit from the
American people for their energy and persistence.
While the bill was under discussion, the principal objection
urged against the imposition of the duty was that the industry
could never be established here; it was said that the people of
Wales had attained such a degree of skill and experience that
it was useless to think of competing with them in a production of
which they were the complete masters. It was further urged
that even if the necessary skill could be secured, that the processes
by which tin plates were made were so unhealthy and degrading
that American workingmen never would engage in them.
These cries of the opposition have been abandoned, and from
time to time new objections, each one more trivial and absurd than
its predecessor, have been discovered by the political or busi-
ness opponents of the tin-plate duties. Notwithstanding all the
clamor and plain downright lying that has been indulged in by the
men who are putting every obstacle in the way of success in the
establishment of this great industry of the United States, the
work of building it up has gone steadily forward. The number
of pounds of tin and terne plate manufactured in each of the
quarters of the fiscal year, which closed on the 30th of June, 1892,
was as follows:
Quarter ending Pounds.
September 30, 1891 826,922
December 31, 1891 1,409,821
March 31, 1892 3,004,087
June 30, 1892 8,225,691
Of the 8,225,691 pounds produced in the last quarter over 5,000,-
000 pounds were made from black plates produced in the United
States. The competent special agent of the Treasury Depart-
ment who has the collection of statistics in regard to tin plates
in charge, estimates in a letter which I submit and will have
printed in the RECORD, that the production for the current fis-
cal year will be at least 100,000,000 pounds, and that by the close
of the year the production will be at the annual rate of 203,000,-
The special agent has also prepared for me a list of the twenty-
six firms and corporations who have produced tin or terne plates
in the last quarter, with the amount produced by each. Seven
of these names appear in the list of producers for the first time,
and Mr. Ayer reports that some eight or ten addition al firms
expect to begin the manufacture within t he present quarter.
Many of the names included in the list represent the strongest
firms in the country, several of whom were among the most ar-
dent opponents of the imposition of the additional duties.
There can be no doubt but that the elections of 1890 and the
possibility of Democratic success in 1892 have much to do with re-
tarding the progress of the manufacture in the United States.
That this is perfectly well understood in Wales is shown by the
following extracts from the Industrial World, published in
Swansea, Wales, the official organ of the Welsh tin-plate work-
ers. The extract is taken from the issue of June 10, 1892:
Do not be deceived. The victory of the Republicans at the polls means the
retention of the McKinley bill, and means the rapidly accruing loss of the
80 per cent of the export American trade. Had there been no Democratic
victory in 1890 the spread of the tin-plate manufacture in the United States
would have been both rapid and bona fide. That victory was a stupendous
shock to the Republicans, and it almost paralyzed the would-be tin-plate
manufacturers of America. Nevertheless they pulled themselves together,
and at once saw that they must make as brave a showing as possible in time
tor the double election of November, in 1892, viz, a new Congress and a
President. * * * They have put up, or have appeared to put up, a good
many works. * * *
Now, I contend that If the masters and men had at once seen the need of a
desperate flght to upset the American programme; had met together, had
sunk their fierce antipathies and jealousies and had boldly agreed to divide
the hardship of the struggle for a few months, a different state of things
would have been in existence now, and fewer American tin-plate establish-
ments would have seen the light. * * * Plates ought to be cheaper as
November approaches and the battle begins. It is not yet too late to do some-
thing to reduce the price of plates. Put them down to 11. per box of 1C,
14 by 20, full-weight basis. Let the workmen take half pay for a few months,
and turn out more. Then let the masters forego profits for the same time.
The merchants will help to save the trade and their skins depend upon that.
This discloses the state of feeling in Wales. On this side the
water, unfortunately, the allies of the Welch manufacturers are
numerous and boisterous. It will be a disgrace to American enter-
prise if the opportunity to establish this great manufacture in
our midst, which is now within the reach of success, is allowed
All patriotic Americans should agree as to the benefits that
would accrue from the addition of this manufacture to the cata-
logue of national industries.
While the Senate tariff bill of 1888 was pending in the Com-
mittee on Finance much testimony was taken in regard to the
relative cost of producing tin plate in Wales and in the United
States. These statements showed that the duty then asked for,
would be necessary in order to thoroughly protect the American
producer. For the purpose of ascertaining what changes if any
had taken place in the relative cost of production, I have re-
quested a gentleman who is thoroughly familiar with conditions
on both sides of the Atlantic to furnish me a statement of the
relative cost of producing tin plates at the present time. This
statement, which I submit, and will have printed in the RECORD,
shows the details of cost in the two countries. These figures
show that the cost of making 1C coke plate to-day in the United
States is $5. 32 per box. and in Wales $3.20 per box.
A close analysis of this table will show that the difference in,
cost is really a difference in the wages paid in the two countries.
To substantiate this more fully, I submit and will have printed
in the RECORD a table showing the wages actually paid per box
in tin and black plate mills in Wales and in the United States.
This table shows the actual difference in the cost of labor in the
production of tin plates from the bars to the finished sheet. They
are the wages established by the Tin Plate Workers' Union in
Wales and by the Amalgamated Association of Iron and Steel
Workers in the United States, and there can be no question about
Statements of the relative cost of production have recently
been published by Mr. J. D. Weeks in the American Manufac-
turer, which show the foreign cost at $2.97 and the American
cost at $4.90. Mr. Weeks's figures do not allow for wastage, and
are made up for Pittsburg, and show a lower cost of bars than
those submitted by me, which take as a basis the cost to Eastern
manufacturers. The estimated difference in cost in the two
countries is practically the same in both cases and establishes
the fact that existing duties are not excessive.
In order to show how completely the Welch manufacturers
control the price of tin plates and how they have been accustomed
to manipulate the market for their own benefit, usually at the
expense of consumers in the United States, I submit herewith a
statement which shows the relative price of I C coke plates and
of Bessemer tin-plate bars and tin at London and Liverpool at
the dates named:
First week in
1C coke tin plate, per box ...
Bessemer tin-plate bars, per ton
Tin, per ton
By this table it appears that while the price of 1C coke tin
advanced between September, 1890, and May, 1891, 65 cents abox,
the price of Bessemer bars declined $1.82 per ton, and the price
of pig tin declined $12.78 per ton.
With the decline which took place in bars alone between Sep-
tember and May, other things being equal, the price of tin plate
should have declined 11 cents per box. Instead of this, there
was an advance of 65 cents per box , made possible by the condition
of affairs in America, the American tin-plate duties going into
effect July 1, 1891; and the profits of the Welsh manufacturers
were increased 76 cents per box in 1891, as compared with 1890.
The price of coal also declined in this period 36 cents per ton.
Wages and other costs undoubtedly remained substantially un-
changed, as the wages paid, union prices, in tin-plate works in
Wales have not changed for fifteen years.
An equally striking exhibition is made in the comparison be-
tween May, 1891, and July, 1892. In this period the price of bars
further declined $1.90 per ton, and the reduction in a box of tin
plates based upon this decline should have been 12 cents a box,
other things remaining equal. Instead of this, the actual de-
cline was $1.03 per box, or a reduction in this casa of the profits
of the Welsh manufacturer of 91 cents per box.
It is evident from these statements that the Welsh prices are
put up and down in responsa to existing exigencies in the United
States. When the prophesies of their allies on this side of the
water in regard to high prices were to be verified, prices were
put up 90 cants per box in the face of a sharp decline in materials;
but when American manufacturers are to be discouraged and if
possible driven out of the market, on the eve of an election, the
price is put down $1.03 per box.
In the absence of an American industry, American consumers
are thus always at the mercy of the foreign producers. It will
be noticed that with the advance in duties of 1.2 cents per
pound there is a decline in the Welsh market of more 'than a
cent a pound on light-weight plates, the present price of these
plates being, as I have already shown, more than a dollar a box
less than the price in 1891, and 3s. Qd. lower than the average
price for the twelve years from 1878 to 1889, inclusive.
From this showing it is very uncertain whether any saving in
cost to the American consumer would be effected by the removal
of the tin-plate duties, as it would probably result in a restora-
tion of price by the Welsh manufacturer.
When the act of 1890 was before the Senate, I expressed great
confidence that within three years, if the tin-plate duties were
imposed, that a considerable portion of the tin plate consumed
in the United States would be of American production. I have
no reason whatever to change the views then expressed. Every-
thing that has transpired since confirms their correctness. The
tin-plate industry of the United States is now an accomplished
fact. But one thing is necessary for its triumphant success, and
that is the maintenance of the protective duties.
The exports from Great Britain to the United States for the
last four years have been as follows, amounts stated in gross
The exports of the last twelve months being 238,365 tons less
than for the previous year; 92,277 tons less than in 1890; and 127,-
732 tons less than in 1889.
Of this amount, however, it should be understood that probably
about 150,000,000 pounds, or about 67, 000 tons, are used in the
manufacture of cans for export. On these exportations a draw-
back is paid to the exporter practically equal to the full amount
of the duties. As long as anything like the present difference
in the cost of production exists between the United States and
Wales the American producers can not hope to compete for this
trade; so that the portion of the market which the American
producer can have any expectations of securing will be repre-
sented this year by an importation of 136,000 tons. Unless we
should have a reversal of the policy of the United States grow-
ing out of the elections next November, it is entirely safe to pre-
dict that within two years from this time very much the larger
part of this amount will be produced in the United States by
The Senator from Missouri, in his speech of June 28, called
attention to a statement made by the Tin Plate Consumers' Asso-
ciation, that the present output amounted to a very small per-
centage of the entire consumption of the United States. If we as-
sume the consumption of the United States for last year to be 600,-
000,000 pounds, or less the amount exported, 450,000,000 pounds,
we should have a domestic production, based upon the returns of
the last quarter, equal to about 7 per cent of the total consump-
tion. Considering the difficulties which the tin-plate manufac-
turers have had to overcome, many of them difficulties which
are inherent to the introduction of any new industry, and taking
into consideration the discouraging effect of the political influ-
ences to which I have referred, it seems to me that the progress
made is very satisfactory and will compare very favorably with
the progress made at the inception of the steel rail manufacture
or in the inauguration of any of the other great branches of the
iron and steel industry.
Another point which was made by the Senator from Missouri
finds a place in the speech of every opponent of tin-plate duties.
It is the claim, which has often been controverted, that the move-
ment to put an additional duty upon tin-plate originated with the
galvanized sheet-iron manufacturers of Pittsburg, whose sole ob-
ject was to advance the price of their own product and prevent
the competition that might arise from the use of tin-plate for
roofing purposes. It is further claimed in this connection that
these gentlemen had no idea of establishing the tin-plate manu-
facture in the United States, and that no serious attempt in
that direction is now being made.
In proof of their alleged purpose, the Senator from Missouri
claims that an advance of 1 cent per pound in the price of galvan-
ized sheet iron followed closely upon the imposition of the addi-
tional tin-plate duties of 1.2 cents per pound. The following list
of prices of galvanized sheet iron, No. 24 gauge, for each of the
yeai's from 1888 -to 1892, inclusive, has been furnished me by the
McDaniel & Harvey Company, one of the largest manufacturers
of galvanized sheet iron in the country.
Average price oj galvanized sheet iron, No. 24 gauge.
[The same proportion holds good for all other gauges.]
65 and 5 per cent
67i and 2 per cent
67* per cent
67J and 5 per cent
1892 (up to July)
70 and 10 per cent .
This statement shows that while the list price was advanced
1 cent per pound, as claimed, that the discounts from this list
were simultaneously increased from 67 and 5 per cent to 70 and
10 per cent, resulting in a net reduction instead of an increase
in price. The table submitted shows a gradual decline in price
from 1888 up to the present time. I will print in the RECORD
the letter of the company referred to transmitting the table.
It disproves in every respect the other allegations contained in
the statement of the Senator from Missouri.
There is another allegation made by the critics of the tin-plate
duty which perhaps should he noticed. It is that a considera-
ble portion of the tin plate produced here is manufactured from
imported black plates. Fortunately, however, the statistics of
production for the quarter just closed state the proportions made
from foreign and domestic plates, and establishes the inaccuracy
of the claim. This allegation was based upon certain compara-
tive statistics of the importation of rolled sheets. This compar-
ison does not take into account, however, the amount of sheets
thinner than No. 25, wire gauge, that were imported prior to Oc-
tober, 1890, as taggers' iron. Most of the thin black sheets im-
ported under the old tariff law were imported as taggers' iron,
whatever might have been their character, on account of the
lower rate of duty on this description. Importations under this
classification were more than 12,000,000 pounds in 1889.
Under the tariff act of 1883 the cotton-ties used in the United
States were imported. Since the enactment of existing law
the American manufacturer of cotton- ties has supplied the entire
demand, and they are said at a lower cost to the consumer.
The imposition of adequate protective duties upon lace window-
curtains, silk and mohair plushes, pearl buttons, and many other
articles has transferred important industries to the United
We are now producing a large variety of the finer and more
expensive manufactures of cotton, wool, and iron, all of which
were imported prior to 1890. Manufacturers are enlarging
their capacity for production, and in every branch of industry
the- greatest activity prevails. Some manufactures, notably
that of woolen goods, were dull and lifeless for a considerable
period subsequent to the adoption of the act on account of exces-
sive competition with the enormous amounts of foreign goods
that had been imported in anticipation of an advance of duties
and prices. These stocks have been largely dispossd of.
The condition of the woolen industry is shown by the following
extract from the Boston Herald, the leading tariff-reform news-
paper in the country, under date of July 15, 1832:
Where is the idle woolen mill to-day? Indeed there is none, or the number
is so few that they are not worth counting. Not only is the great majority of
the woolen mills employed, but many of the manufacturers are contemplat-
ing enlargements and improvements, or such enlargements and improve-
ments are already begun. What does this all mean? It means simply the
greatest consumption of wool that the country has known for years.
In the iron and steel industry the work of expansion is going
on, but prices are very low and profits small.
A comparison of the value of dutiable merchandise imported
in 1892 with the importation of the same articles in 1889 will
furnish an indication of the extent to which the market of the
American producer has been enlarged by the direct operations
of the act of 1890.
The importations of these articles in 1889 amounted in value to
$389,000,000, and in 1892 to $363,500,000, or a decline in three years
of $25,350,000. If the value of the imported articles of this class
had increased at the same ratio with the increase in the value of
all importations, the importations in 1892 would have been $50,-
000,000 greater than in 1889, instead of $25,500,000 less. It would
appear from this comparison that articles of the foreign value of at
least $75,000,000, were produced in the United States in the fiscal
year 1892, which, if it had not been for the adoption of the act of
1890, would have been imported. If we add a portion of average
rate of duty to this sum we should have a value of domestic pro-
duction redeemed from foreign competitors of at least $100,000,000.
This production would furnish employment to 200,000 people and
support nearly a million. All of this is of course an add ition to the
natural growth of our industries.
Perhaps the most extraordinary statement made in either of
the Senator's speeches is the following:
The wool manufacture of the United States is in the hands of a trust.