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ident, on these requests we consider it is mandatory and go ahead.
Senator SHORTRIDGE. And in arriving at your conclusion you would apply the same rules and the same reasoning in respect to a petition for an investigation, I mean if a resolution were passed by the Senate, as you would if it came from some other source!
Mr. FLETCHER. Yes, sir. We give notice of a hearing, we order a hearing and give notice of time for hearing, so that anyone can come and present their case. We invite it. These rules have been adopted with the idea of facilitating the presentation of facts which the commission should have in arriving at a recommendation.
The CHAIRMAN. If that is ali, Mr. Fletcher may be excused.
Senator KING. Mr. Fletcher, in the matter of your emplovees. do you select them from the civil-service list?
Mr. FLETCHER. Yes; where we can. But in many cases, such as economists and the higher grades, we look around.
Senator King. You would feel that the United States Tariff Commission ought so far as possible be nonpartisan?
Mr. FLETCHER. Oh, ves.
Senator King. And absolutely free from politics or political control or political suggestion! Mr. FLETCHER. Yes, sir.
Senator King. And in the personnel that you select the same care should be taken as would be taken in the selection of the commissioners themselves, that they would be free from bias and from politics?
Mr. FLETCHER. Yes; and up to this time we have not inquired of the economist whether he was a Republican or a Democrat. We wanted to get a man who knew the business.
Senator SHORTRIDGE. I am very deeply interested in that thought. Say here is an economist who has viewed it from the standpoint of a sincere, able, free trader, for brevity's sake, if I may express it that way.
Mr. FLETCHER. All right.
Senator SHORTRIDGE. Or, on the other hand, suppose he were viewed as a protective-tariff economist.
Mr. FLETCHER. Well, if he were too set in his views, I don't think we would take him.
Senator SHORTRIDGE. Would you take these things into consideration at all?
Mr. FLETCHER. I think we would go over his record and see what he had done and see about the integrity of his conclusions.
Senator SHORTRIDGE. But ultimately you would be governed by the facts, I assume? Mr. FLETCHER. Oh, ves, sir.
Senator COUZENS. I believe Doctor Page is the next one to be heard.
The CHAIRMAN. Dr. Thomas W. Page will come around.
Senator SIMMONS. Just one minute: Mr. Fletcher, you said the commission did not consider the question as to what political affiliations of the applicant might be. Did you mean by that that you did not consider that in open session?
Mr. FLETCHER. I did not quite understand you?
Senator SIMMONS. That you do not in open session take into consideration the question of political affiliation of the applicant?
Mr. FLETCHER. No; we do not have any–we do not do it that way. Applications are made and they are referred to this personnel committee, the temporary committee, composed of Mr. Page and Mr. Coulter, and they examine the qualifications, and that is all that I know about it. After they have made their recommendations it comes up in commission meeting, and we canvass the qualifications of the applicant. So far as I know there has not been any question raised whether a man was a Democrat or a Republican.
Senator SIMMONS. I understood you to say that you did not discuss these things in the commission. Did you mean when it was in session?
Mr. FLETCHER. Yes, sir.
Senator SIMMONS. I should like to ask further, and the point of my questions is: Do you know of any practice of the majority members, or the minority members, taking up among themselves the question of what the political affiliation of the applicant is?
Mr. FLETCHER. I do not know about that. We usually, as I say, just have an informal meeting
Senator SIMMONS. Since you have been there, have there been any discussions among the majority members, of which you are one, as to the political affiliation of the applicant?
Mr. FLETCHER. No, sir. And might I correct that inquiry, Senator Simmons, by saying that we are evenly divided. There is no majority and no minority. There are supposed to be three Democrats and three Republicans on the Uni ed States Tariff Commission.
Senator SIMMONS. Well, I will change my question. Has there been since you have been there any conference among the Republican members on the commission not in open session? Mr. FLETCHER. Do you mean in secret session? Senator SIMMONS. Yes. Mr. FLETCHER. No, sir; not that I know of.
Senator SIMMONS. Or in any other session or meeting of the members of the majority?
Mr. FLETCHER. Not that I know of. I think everybody has been. actuated by proper motives, toward getting the best people we can. There is no question about that. I am certainly unconscious of any influence of that kind in any way.
Senator SIMMONS. There has not been since you have been with the commission any understanding among the majority members themselves as individuals with reference to the
Mr. FLETCHER (interposing). Do vou mean the Republicans? Senator SIMMONS. Yes. Mr. FLETCHER. Well, there is no majority. It is three and three. But I do not know of anything of the kind you speak of. For the moment I might say the Republicans are in majority because Mr. Dixon is ill.
Senator SIMMONS. Well, I will say Republican members. I was talking about the old law.
Mr. FLETCHER. I can give you one instance: We waited until Mr. Dixon came to join us so that there might be three and three, and every action taken has been unanimous. There has been no question about anything that I know of in that way. The spirit
of the commission has been excellent. We have run along as a very happy family up to the present time.
Senator CONNALLY. Mr. Fletcher, you say you took an active part in the campaign of 1920 ? Mr. FLETCHER. Not very active; no. Senator CONNALLY. You made some speeches? Mr. FLETCHER. Two speeches, I believe. Senator CONNALLY. Where did you make them?
Mr. FLETCHER. I made one at Shady Gap, up in Pennsylvania, in the mountains, against the League of Nations. I do not know whether I made another one or not now.
Senator HARRISON. And both places went Democratic?
Senator Harrison. With reference to the subject of the majority or Republican members of the commission not having any secret meetings; of course, if you should be confirmed you would not sanction any such practice? Mr. FLETCHER. I would not sanction any secret meetings.
Senator HARRISON. Of course, there will never be a time while you are chairman of the United States Tariff Commission that the Republican members will get together and agree among themselves? Mr. FLETCHER. I think not. Senator HARRISON. I hope not. Senator Watsox. What about the Democratic members? Mr. FLETCHER. I do not think it would occur with them.
Senator WATSON. But that would be legitimate, no doubt, in Senator Harrison's view.
Senator HARRISON. We are in agreement.
Mr. FLETCHER. I think you better ask some of our colleagues about that matter.
The CHAIRMAX. If you will take the trouble to go do down there I think you will find the most of the organization are Democrats.
Senator Con XALLY. Judging by the statement of the chairman I would say there has been some inquiry made.
The CHAIRMAN. It has not been necessary. I think that is a well-known fact.
Senator HARRISOX. Everybody hopes that the tide has changed You will see what two years have brought about, and two years more will bring a bigger change.
The CHAIRMAN. I do not know about that. But in reply to the statement of Senator Connally I will simply say that I have heari that the employees themselvs have said what the situation is.
Senator HARRISON. Mr. Fletcher, will you have given to the committee the publicity statement that was prepared during the discussion of the tariff bill, which was signed by Mr. Brossard and Mr. Dennis, saying that agriculture would be greatly benefited by
the passage of the bill? I should like to see the original statement. · Mr. FLETCHER. If it is on the files of the Commission, you shall have it.
Senator BARKELEY. Senator Harrison, do you mean by the original the one that was drawn up first, or after it was changed by one member of the commission!
Senator HARRISON. I want both of them. There was one word left out as Senator Smoot said on the floor.
The CHAIRMAN. It was the word "not" as I remember it. Mr. FLETCHER. I do not know anything about that, but will try to get it.
Senator HARRISON. Do you think that Mr. Brossard and Mr. Dennis gave out a statement saying that they did not think agriculture would be benefited by the bill?
Mr. FLETCHER. How was that?
Senator HARRISON. I understood the chairman to state that the word “not” was left out. Mr. FLETCHER. Well, I do not know about that.
The CHAIRMAN. Get the statement and you can then tell what it applied to. It was not what Senator Harrison suggests now.
Senator BARKLEY. I should like to ask the chairman of the United States Tariff Commission if he could make a note that he have all of the members of the Finance Committee furnished with a copy of these new regulations.
Mr. FLETCHER. I shall be very happy to have them sent right up to you, and to anybody else interested. They are attached also to our annual report, which has been sent to the Congress.
The CHAIRMAN. All right, Mr. Fletcher; you are excused. (Thereupon Mr. Fletcher was excused.)
The CHAIRMAN. Next we will hear Thomas W. Page, of Virginia, nominated for the term expiring June 16, 1935.
STATEMENT OF HON. THOMAS W. PAGE, NOMINATED AS A MEM
BER OF THE UNITED STATES TARIFF COMMISSION
The CHAIRMAN. Mr. Page, for how many years have you served on the Tariff Commission; I mean before this recent appointment?
Mr. Page. Well, I served on the tariff board while President Taft was in office. That was before the new commission was created. As well as I can remember I served there two. years or a little over. Then I was appointed on the Tariff Commission in March, 1918, as well as I can remember, and I served until, I think it was the spring of 1922. I don't remember the exact time when I left the commission.
Senator GEORGE. Were you chairman of the commission, Mr. Page?
Mr. Page. Well, I was chairman, I think, from about 1919 until a couple of months before I left there.
Senator REED. From what State do you come, Doctor Page?
Senator BINGHAM. Have there been many cases where the commission has divided three and three on a decision as whether to recommend a rate, either a raise or a decrease?
Mr. PAGE. Do you mean since I went back to the commission in September.
Senator BingHAM. Oh, no. In your experience on the commission, and you have been with the commission for a great many years, as I understand it.
Mr. Page. We never had a divided report at all while I was on the commission before. Every report that we made was unanimous.
Senator Walsh. He has not been a member since 19:22, Senator Bingham.
Senator Bingham. Oh, all right.
The CHAIRMAN. The reports were unanimous during the time the Democrats were in power as Mr. Page states. Every decision was unanimous, did I so understand you, Doctor Page, while you were a member?
Mr. PAGE. They were. But I ought to remind you, Senator, that we made no recommendations with regard to rate making at that time.
The CHAIRMAN. That is not the prerogative of the commission to-day.
Senator GEORGE. What you mean is that the flexible provisions, so called, came in in 1922.
Senator WATSON. They suggest a rate and the President proclaims it under the existing law. You understand that the law invests you with the power to suggest a rate to the President?
Mr. Page. Yes, sir.
Senator SHORTRIDGE. You reach your findings and make certain recommendations is that your understanding of the law?
Mr. PAGE. That, I think, is the substance of the law; yes, sir.
Senator WALSH. Apparently there is no opposition to Doctor Page's confirmation, Mr. Chairman, and therefore I suggest that we call the next witness.
The CHAIRMAN. I know of none.
Senator BixGHAM. I should like to ask the commissioner what conditions would lead him as a member of the United States Tariff Commission to recommend an increase in a rate?
Mr. Page. It would be very difficult, Senator, to specify or describe conditions which would lead to a decision for either a higher or a lower rate. It would depend upon many things, which would be different for different industries. That would have to occupy considerable time and I should like to get my thoughts rather more definitely organized for an expression before I undertake to reply to your question.
Senator BingHAM. Well, that would be applicable to any specific rate, of course. But I was curious to know what general principle in your mind would underlie the possibility of an increase in a rate.
Mr. Page. If an American industry was suffering from depression, and that depression were due to foreign competition, I should feel justified in recommending an increase in the rate on the merits of the case that brought that state of depression to the American industry.