« PreviousContinue »
ment came back with Doctor Dennis's note appended, I thought, of course, he had seen the whole thing.
The CHAIRMAN. I think that Doctor Dennis's testimony this morning was just exactly as he knew it to be.
Mr. BROSSARD. I am sure it is, and I want to say, too, that I think Doctor Dennis testified exactly to the facts as I have stated them here now.
Senator HARRISON. Why did not Mr. Conrad call to the attention of Doctor Dennis such an important and substantial alteration of the original draft?
Mr. BROSSARD. I do not know.
Senator HARRISON. Did you ever call him for not doing it, when you found out he had not done it?
Mr. BROSSARD. I did not find out he had not done it until just now, when Doctor Dennis testified.
The CHAIRMAN. Senator Harrison, do you think there is any difference between “greatly,” and just leaving it with the statement with regard to the 68 per cent?
Senator HARRISON. It makes all the difference in the world in it, and the witness himself said he wanted to draw it to the attention of the country because it was more forcible.
Mr. BROSSARD. No, Senator. I am glad you expressed your interpretation of what I said, because it will give me a chance to correct it. What I said was, and what I intended, was not to draw it to the attention of the public because it was more forcible, but I was anxious to have this statement expressed clearly, in understandable language, what I thought the report showed.
Senator HARRISON. You wanted to put it over, in other words?
Mr. BROSSARD. Yes. What is the use of preparing press releases if the papers will not print them?
Senator HARRISON. That is why you put in it, “Agriculture will be benefited.”
Mr. BROSSARD. Yes.
Senator HARRISON. And when the publicity man came back and said, “Agriculture will be greatly benefited,” you thought that was better?
Mr. BROSSARD. I was a little bit reticent about including it, because I would rather have included the conservative statement, but I was relying on Doctor Dennis catching it if he thought it would be unusual.
Senator HARRISON. Has the matter ever been discussed with Mr. Conrad, as to why he did not bring it to the attention of Doctor Dennis when he carried the second draft back there, having been instructed by you to bring it to his attention?
Mr. BROSSARD. No. You see, I did not know until this morning that Doctor Dennis thought he was signing the original draft.
Senator HARRISON. With all the discussions in the Senate and in the country with reference to this draft, and the criticism of the commission about issuing it, you and Doctor Dennis never have had any discussion about the matter?
Mr. BROSSARD. Yes, we have.
Senator HARRISON. Had you ever informed Doctor Dennis, before now, that you had given those instructions to Mr. Conrad?
Mr. BROSSARD. To revise it?
Senator HARRISON. That you had drawn, yourself, that second draft, and that Mr. Conrad had added to your draft, and so forth.
Mr. BROSSARD. I do not remember whether I had told Doctor Dennis this detail, or not, about Conrad adding that.
Senator HARRISON. Do you not think it would have been proper, Mr. Chairman, to have called his attention to it, in view of the fact that you and he were the committee on publicity to issue these statements for the commission ?
Mr. BROSSARD. Maybe I should have done it. If I should, I am at fault.
Senator SHORTRIDGE. Mr. Chairman, may I ask Doctor Dennis just a question? In response to a question this morning, Doctor, you cited the case of a tariff duty on one of the poultry products, which seemed to minimize the importance of the duties laid on those products. The act here fixes a certain duty on dried, powdered, and frozen eggs, as you know.
Mr. DENNIS. Yes.
Senator SHORTRIDGE. You just mentioned pickled eggs, and seemed to minimize the importance of that.
Mr. DENNIS. No. I mentioned eggs in the shell, of which the imports are pretty nearly infinitesimal.
Senator SHORTRIDGE. But, as to dried, powdered, and frozen eggs
Dennis. I had nothing to say about dried (egs or frozen egys.
Senator SHORTRIDGE. From China ?
The CHAIRMAN. That is one of the items, Senator, that everybody knew, as far as that is concerned, would not be affected. Everybody knew that the importation of that item would not be affected in the least.
Senator SHORTRIDGE. Which item?
The CHAIRMAN. The rate to be put upon eggs in the shell takes into consideration the past experience we have had in the importation of eggs from China, but they wanted to take a regular rate, beginning with eggs in the shell, and, step by step, increase the rate on the eggs, from the shell until they got dried, or in whatever situation they were. That is why it was put there.
Senator SHORTRIDGE. Exactly. One other question. Has your attention, as a commissioner, been called to the fact that importers are trying to circumvent and defeat the present law in respect to the duty on imported sugar, by mixing it with water?
Mr. DENNIS. I certainly have; but only from what I have read in the newspapers. I think the Treasury has attended to that matter.
Senator SHORTRIDGE. That is contrary to the law, is it not, according to your conception?
Mr. DENNIS. It has not been brought officially to the attention of our commission.
Senator SHORTRIDGE. It has not?
The CHAIRMAN. There is no necessity of it, Senator. It had to be settled with the Treasury Department first.
Senator SHORTRIDGE. Precisely.
The CHAIRMAN. In other words, they put water in it until it was less than 50 per cent, and then it comes in as a sirup, and it was about one-fortieth of a cent a pound.
Senator SHORTRIDGE. Precisely. Would you venture an opinion as to whether that was permissible under the law?
Mr. DENNIS. Under the law the Tariff Commission does have jurisdiction over unfair trade practices.
Senator SHORTRIDGE. Precisely.
Mr. DENNIS. The law was invoked in the case of synthetic phenolic resin. The case was pushed through, and we gave a decision. It was contested in the court, and the court upheld the Tariff Commission. Until somebody who is aggrieved brings a case on the melted sugar in water to the attention of the commission, we have not much ground for jurisdiction, particularly as the Treasury Department. took a hand in the case and stopped it, as I understand.
The CHAIRMAN. Yes; they did.
Senator SHORTRIDGE. I just wanted to bring out the fact that the Treasury Department has taken the attitude that that is contrary to the law, and have stopped it.
Mr. Dennis. It was an improper trade practice.
Senator SHORTRIDGE. That was a method of evading the tariff on sugar.
The CHAIRMAN. In my opinion, the wording of the law ought to be changed, however.
Senator HARRISON. I think it ought to be changed to stop those people in Pennsylvania who are bringing in a lot of water, mixed with sugar, but I do not think you ought to use that in order to keep out some people who are really bringing in sirup. If it is used for sirup, it ought to come under the sirup provision. If it is brought in to be used for sugar, it ought to come under the sugar provision, and the law ought to be changed accordingly.
Senator SHORTRIDGE. Under the decisions of the Supreme Court, I think the Treasury Department is perfectly right in its ruling with reference to this particular matter.
Let me ask you in regard to oil. Has your attention been called, or has the commission, on its own motion, taken up for consideration, the question of a tariff duty on crude petroleum?
Mr. DENNIS. We are reporting to Congress, under a congressional order, the facts of competition between domestic oil and Maracaibo oil. That report will be ready within a very short time.
The CHAIRMAN. We have no power to put a duty on it.
Senator SHORTRIDGE. No; but I am asking whether they had acted. There was a resolution passed, I think, was there not, Doctor?
Mr. DENxis. We are acting under congressional resolution.
Senator SHORTRIDGE. Yes; when you have an investigation and a report.
Mr. Dennis. But it is not a matter involving a change of duty. We have no jurisdiction to change the duty, because the oil is on the free list.
Senator SHORTRIDGE. But you are investigating that matter, and are going to report to us!
Mr. DENNIS. Yes,
Mr. BROSSARD. Mr. Chairman, may I make a little statement here? I do not see how much blame can be attached to Doctor Dennis for his signing of this final draft of the press release of May 4, 1930, it having been accomplished, as he stated in his testimony this morning, for the reason that it is so easy to sign something in that way which you think you have gone over previously; and it seems to me, on the other hand, that it was most unfortunate that the change was not specifically called to Doctor Dennis's attention, as I thought it would be before it was initialed by him.
I want to enter also a general denial of any intention on my part of attempting to carry on any political propaganda with respect to the issuance of that statement at that time, or any other statement, for there was nothing further from my mind at all. If I had been thinking of the political significance of it, or if I had an idea that exception would be taken to it, I would have had better sense than to have printed the thing that way, I think, but I was attempting, in the revision made, to make clear what to me appeared to be the fact from the report, and what was included in the previous statement.
Senator HARRīson. Does that statement apply to the speech that you made in July, 1930, on Commercial Policies and Tariffs in their Relation to World Peace, wherein you attempt to show that the protest of many foreign countries at this time is not unusual; that it is about the same as ordinarily; that there has been no retaliation on the part of any of the countries in connection with any of the tariff bills passed? Do you think that was just, and in good faith for the chairman of the commission to say, at the time this bill was pending and being considered, to make such a speech as that, which was strongly political?
Mr. BROSSARD. Senator, the speech, so far as I was concerned, was not political, and I will tell you why. The international relations division of the Tariff Commission had just completed a rather exhaustive report on that very subject, or some 150 or 200 mimeographed pages, and the chief of the international relations division had submitted to me, as the summary of that report, in almost identical language, his material, which he said to me he was willing to stake his own reputation on as being the facts in the case, and I incorporated them again in that speech. So, so far as I was concerned
Senator HARRISON. You expressed opinions here and conclusions from facts, as you state, or alleged facts.
Mr. BROSSARD. But they were drawn from this report that is a report of the Tariff Commission.
Senator HARRISON. Some of us got these same facts, and we draw just the opposite opinion, and when we expressed the opinion that it had caused other countries to retaliate and that these protests that were coming in were more numerous than ordinarily, and more violent in their expression, we expressed our opinion; and when you say that they are no more numerous than ordinarily, and that they are along the same lines as the ordinary protests, and that there has been no retaliation, you are expressing your opinion.
Mr. BROSSARD. It really was not my opinion. It is the opinion of the experts of the Tariff Commission.
Senator HARRISON. These experts of the Tariff Commission did not give the same information to some of us who were seeking to get it while this bill was being considered.
The CHAIRMAN. Senator Harrison, I can give you an opinion, because
Senator HARRISON. I know your opinion. I got the same information, but there were different conclusions reached from it. I talked to your man.
Mr. BROSSARD. Did you talk to Doctor Brower, chief of the international relations division?
Senator HARRISON. I talked to all of them I could get hold of up there.
Senator SHORTRIDGE. We are legislating for the Nation, are we not? Senator HARRISON. We are supposed to be.
Mr. BROSSARD. Senator, let me state that I do not want, and never have wanted, and I think it would be a mistake for a member of the Tariff Commission to attempt to use in any way his position for the purpose of popularizing a tariff bill.
Senator Harrison. Mr. Chairman, you did it in this very speech you made in 1930.
Mr. BROSSARD. If that is your interpretation of it, I am sorry I made the speech, Senator, and I am off making speeches from now on.
Senator SHORTRIDGE. Nobody questions the facts you set out there.
Senator HARRISON. Anyone who will study the proposition will question the facts.
The CHAIRMAN. I have studied it, and I can not question them.
Mr. BROSSARD. I had been asked to make this speech a month or two before it was made, and I thought, when I consented to make the speech, that the tariff bill would be passed and out of the way a long time before this speech was to be made. So I did not have in mind helping out the bill or popularizing the bill, or making a political speech on it at all. I confined my statement about the reaction on the various countries of the world to the summary statement of the Tariff Commission's report.
Senator GEORGE. What is the date of that speech, Doctor?
Mr. BROSSARD. The speech is dated July, 1930. The date in July is not given here.
Senator SHORTRIDGE. When did we pass the bill?
Mr. BROSSARD. At the American Academy of Political and Social Sciences. This speech was made before that, but it was published in July, 1930.
Senator SHORTRIDGE. The speech was made after the act was passed?
Mr. BROSSARD. No; before. But the date is not given on here. Mr. DENNIS. Let me help you. The speech was delivered May 24.
Senator CONNALLY. Do you usually get an honorarium for those kind of speeches!