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Mr. Whittier. Misbranding. For instance, in the furniture industry there is misbranding as to the character of the article, such as describing as mahogany, furniture-made of some other, cheaper wood.
The Chairman. I do not want to interrupt you, but we nave had all of that explained to us in hideous detail.
Mr. Whittier. I think, Mr. Chairman, in carrying on this work to meet the needs of the industries, the provisions of the Rogers bill will be helpful. Section 5 of the Rogers bill defining what shall be considered misbranding or misleading can be applied to furniture, underwear, clothing, shoes, and cigars.
In the case of paragraph 2 of section 5 relating to the contents of a package, where the covering shall have been removed, that evil is found in such articles as automobile tire chains, where one quality is put out under another and a different cover by an unscrupulous dealer, the wholesaler, in many cases
The Chairman (interposing). We have been all over those things. Will you kindly tell us the features in the bill you do not approve of?
Mr. Whittier. We would say amen to the Rogers bill.
The Chairman. If there is anything in it you do not like, let us know what it is.
Mr. Whittier. There is nothing in the Rogers bill that we do not like, because that is advantageous from the standpoint of the public interest, as we see it.
With respect to the French-Capper bill, the truth in fabrics bill, Mr. Davies has already indicated our attitude and given the reasons therefor.
We have been convinced that it is unworkable, because of the lack of ability to determine the composition of a piece of woolen goods, and also for the further reason that there would be no way of checking up on importations, over which our Government would have no opportunity for inspection at the source, which is essential in the determination of the matter.
The Chairman. Your general purpose is to indorse the purposes of the Rogers bill, and there is nothing in it you object to?
Mr. Whittier. We are heartily for the Rogers bill and believe that the French-Capper bill is impracticable.
St. Louis, Mo., April 11, I9g/h Foreign Commerce Committee,
House of Representatives, Washington, D. C. Gentlemen: We are informed that on April 15 your committee will hold a hearing on H. R. 4141, which requires the stamping or tagging of shoes in which substitutes for leather are used.
We favor the principle of this bill, believing that it gives protection to the public and is not unfair to the manufacturer of shoes.
1. Shoes are a necessary article of wear, yet very few people know the vital parts of a shoe or are capable of judging its intrinsic value. Most people buy their shoes on the unconscious assumption that all the structural parts are leather.
2. Substitutes for leather, such as leatherboard and fiber board, when used, generally appear in the inner taps of the heels, in the insoles and in the counters of shoes. These are essential, vital parts of a shoe and can not be readily inspected by the purchaser.
3. These substitutes for leather are so colored as to resemble sole leather, thus making it difficult for the public to distinguish them from genuine leather. If these substitutes were colored with some distinctive dye, the purchaser would not be so easily misled, but it is probably not practicable for Congress to make such a requirement.
4. Leather, properly tanned, is a mass of short, closely-locked animal fiber. It will bear the severe grinding and constant bending to which the insoles, heels. and counters of shoes are subjected. These substitutes for leather do not have this interlocked fiber and shoes in which-they are used give the wearer less service than all-leather shoes. These substitutes are not used in order to conserve leather, but to cheapen the shoe.
The use of these substitutes lessens the production cost of shoes to the manufacturer, but at the same time the service value of the shoe to the wearer usually is disproportionately lowered.
5. The purchaser of articles of silver or gold is protected by a stamp indicating the quality and intrinsic worth of the article. Shoes are not a luxury, but a necessity and, in our view, the public is entitled to a similar protection concerning the essential materials used in the shoes which are offered to them and which they must buy.
6. Most of the shoes used in this country now bear some kind of distinguishing brand or mark, impressed in the sole or lining. An additional stamp, indicating the use of substitutes for leather, would not te impracticable or impose an appreciable cost on either manufacturer or consumer. If for any reason a stamp could not be used, a tag could be readily attached to the shoes.
7. The principle in this bill would not prohibit the use of substitutes for leather in shoes. It would not be a burden to the manufacturer. It would be an aid to the public in a matter where they are easily misled. They are entitled to the same protection in buving their shoes as in purchasing certain luxuries and foodstuffs.
Yours very respectfully,
International, Shoe Co.
Chairman of the Board.
Salt Lake City, Utah,
April 21, 1924Congressman Burton L. French,
House of Representatives, Washington, J). C. In connection House committee hearings, fabric bills. I request that testimony, printed pages 68 to 72, 1920 hearings, be introduced present hearing for National Woolgrowers' association. Have authorized Farm Bureau Federation voice objections of National Woolgrowers' Association to present form Lodge Bill and to express our preference French-Capper Bill, with modifications, section 9, if desired.
F. M. Marshall, Secretary, National Woolgrowers' Association.
STATEMENT OF ME. F. M. MARSHALL, SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH, REPRESENTING THE NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF WOOLGROWERS
Mr. Marshall. My name is F. M. Marshall, Salt Lake City.
Mr. Chairman and gentlemen of the committee, I am here to-day representing the National Association of Woolgrowers. I intend to take just a very few minutes of your time. I realize how wearisome some of these proceedings are. Our association has its headquarters in Salt Lake City. Our membership is composed chiefly of largorange sheep raisers, located in Wyoming, Idaho, Montana, and in practically all the 11 range States. They represent, altogether, an ownership of somewhere, as near as can be told, between eight and ten million sheep, which is probably one-fifth or one-sixth of the sheep now in the United States. These members whom I represent to-day are very much interested in this question, as evidenced by this resolution, which was passed at their last annual convention held in Januarv:
Resolved, That we the National Woolgrowers' Association, earnestly urge the protection of both the public and the wool growers of this country; that the Congress of the United States shall, at, its earliest possible moment, enact legislation making it compulsory to make known the presence of substitutes for virgin wool, especially shoddy and substitutes in fabrics purporting to contain wool and .apparel made from such fabrics.
I feel that I also owe the committee somewhat of an explanation for not having our views, and our material which we think should be
Eresented, in better form. The fact is that the secretary's office has een vacant during the last two months. I have not been in the office since I was appointed, and the material has not been put in such shape as the importance of the matter demands. However, with the argument and data which has been already presented to you, and which covers the situation, I feel there should be no lack on that side.
We are not stipulating regarding the details of the bill, because we believe the committee is better qualified to judge as to how the principles shall be carried out in framing the law. Mr. Chairman, we feel that although we are here representing growers of wool, the buyers of clothing are the ones who are principally interested in Mr. French's bill. We feel that there is very little argument as to the right of the public to know what they are getting when they get textile goods, especially woolen clothes. We feel that the public has a right to know what they are buying. They certainly need to know.
The growers' interest is secondary. We do not know whether it will raise the price of wool or not. We are not disposed to talk very much at these times with regard to the price of wool, although I would strongly corroborate what Mr. McDowell and Mr Hamilton have said, that in spite of the apparently high price of wool, the profit in producing it is not so much as compared with what it used to be. I will franlky confess that we do not know what the effect of the French bill would be in that respect. We feel that growers are entitled to any indirect benefit that may come to them through giving the public a right to buy fresh or virgin wool if they want it, or something else if they want it, but we believe the public is the party of first interest, and the woolgrowers come second.
We are more concerned with the reputation of our product than we are with the prices under present conditions. We feel that, with the condition as it is coming to exist now, the public in a very large degree are getting a very wrong ('(inception of the value of wool for clothing purposes. We feel that the reputation of our product is in danger and that this legislation is only designed to put the wool sold by growers into fair competition with other materials.
As evidence of the situation in this matter, there is the matter that someone mentioned this morning, regarding the action of the New Jersey Retail Clothiers' Association. The retailer is the man who first gets the reaction of the public as to any dissatisfaction in buying clothes. It has been stated in public meetings by representatives of retailers' organizations that they can not continue in business with the character of goods they have to offer their customers. It was for that reason that a resolution was passed in January, last, asking for legislation to make known the contents of fabrics pur
Sorting to contain wool. I think that action of the New York etail Clothiers' Association was very significant in support of my argument that the public are vitally interested in this question and are the parties of first interest, and that the situation has reached a critical stage when the retailers of those goods will go on record in support of this legislation, to which the manufacturers from whom they buy, so far as I know, have been generally opposed.
As we understand the question which is before you, it is not the expectation that the use of shoddy and remade and reworked woolen products will be absolutely stopped. We do not think that is the intention. But the intention is that the public shall have the means, as they have the right, to know what it is they are buying. At the present time they are in very large degree misled in buying "all wool" and other fabrics which are presented to them in a way to lead them to suppose that they are the best quality, when as a matter of fact they are very inferior, often because they contain an amount of reworked wool which the purchaser can not detect.
It was stated this morning that the public now has a chance to exercise its right to know the content of what it is buying on the way of food and drugs and in the way of insecticides—as it was stated, "bug powders." We feel that that statement is entirely right and that there is no principle of law to be violated by giving them the same right and opportunity in respect to the clothing that they buy. The gentlemen who made that statement this morning. I believe, overlooked one consideration. They not only have the right to know the content of the product in the case of food, drugs, and insecticides, but also in the case of automobile tires. There was a case handled by the Federal Trade Commission right along the line of the question presented in Mr. French's bill. I shall not read any description of the manner in which the remade tire was constructed. It was a remade tire, reworked from partially worn tires and made over to look like a new tire. The order of the commission was that this company and its employees should cease and desist from "making representations by verbal statements, or statements in advertising matter, or otherwise, which are calculated and designed to create the belief and impression among the consumers of automobile tires that rebuilt and reconstructed tires, restamped with new names and brands, are new tires manufactured from new and unused material," and also to cease and desist from "selling or offering for sale rebuilt and reconstructed automobile tires unless it is plainly and prominently indicated on the said tire that it is reconstructed or rebuilt.''
Mr. Merritt. That was under the general law?
Mr. Marshall. That was under the law in regard to unfair competition, I presume. Therefore, we believe, under our laws and Constitution, that it is quite within reason to give the public the chance to know when they are buying remade or reworked wool goods as well as other products.
It has been stated here that this proposed legislation is also a protection to the honest manufacturer. I do not quite agree with stating it that way. I do not like to appear to support any implication that the men who do not now mark the amount of shoddy in their wool are necessarily dishonest. I do not think that would be a fair statement, but we are stating that the manufacturer who wants to put in all fresh wool or virgin wool in his manufactured garments now meets unfair competition in that other goods on the market can have just as strong representations made regarding them as he can make regarding his own goods which are of a decidedly superior character.
There are many questions which will rome up in regard to the technical and other phases of the question in these bills. Much may be said regarding the possible merit of some shoddy and the possible low value of some virgin wool. I recognize that it is a hard question to draw the line as to what is shoddy and what is not, but it has to be drawn somewhere. I have no doubt that a remade automobile tire may be a better tire than a new tire, but they are required to be marked as reconstructed tires. No doubt oleomargarine and some other food products sold under a specific mark are at times better than the original. But the principle has been established that the line has to be drawn between material in its original form and after being reworked or processed. It seems to be only logical in this case to draw it as provided in Mr. French's bill to require the plain marking of material that has been previously spun or woven into cloth.
Now, you have the same thing again in renovated butter. I think we all agree and we all know that some renovated butter that has had a lot of material removed from it is actually superior to some of the original butter. Nevertheless, the law requires that it shall be marked and sold as renovated butter. The law also requires that it shall pav a tax, but nothing of that kind has been mentioned in this bill. Whatever may be said about the inferiority of some of the virgin wool and the superiority of some of the shoddy, I can not see where you can draw the line except between reworked wool and virgin wool.
Now, Mr. Chairman, we can not admit that there is any room for argument on the principles in this bill. The other bills that have been presented are before you and we believe that, so far as they go, most of them are good, but we do not think they go far enough. We think that the public and, secondarily, the growers are entitled to whatever may be the result of marking these goods to show what they contain. We are not concerned with the details and technicalities of the matter. We feel that you are more competent to handle those details than we are to suggest them, and our members are relying on the judgment of the committee to give us a law that will give the public its rights and the woolgrowers whatever benefit may come from the operation of a law which allows the public to know clearly and at all times what it is buying.
Mr. Jones. How far do you think the Government ought to go in protecting the purchasers of necessary articles?
Mr. Marshall. I think the principle has been established pretty clearly in the pure-food act.
Mr. Jones. It is a question of how far you could go and how far you would have to go.
Mr. Marshall. I believe the principle of fair labeling of fabrics is identical with that of labeling food and drugs. Unless provision can be made for doing both, it would only be consistent to repeal the food and drugs act.
Modified Copy Op Letter Addressed By James Chittick, Consulting TexTile Specialist, New York City, To Senator Myers, On March 12, 1914.
The bill which is before me defines "pure wool" and differentiates between this and wool which has been previously used in the manufacturing of any other articles, goods, or fabric. It provides that goods not wholly composed of pure wool, cotton, linen, or silk are to be known as "mixed goods"; that mixed goods shall not only be so marked, but that the marking "shall designate accurately the