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Letter Accepting the Resignation of Henry P. Fletcher as Chairman of the United States Tariff Commission.

November 17, 1931

My dear Chairman Fletcher:

I have your letter of November 17th tendering your resignation as Chairman of the United States Tariff Commission, to be effective November 30th.

In accepting it I wish to express the keen appreciation I have for the great public service you have rendered. Under your Chairmanship the work of the Commission has made great progress in consummation of the hopes which were placed in its reorganization and increased authority. That a large number of cases have been considered and disposed of and the heavy docket for the year almost completed, all bespeak the devotion and effectiveness of the Commission's work.

Yours faithfully,


[Hon. Henry P. Fletcher, U.S. Tariff Commission, Washington, D.C.]

Note: Mr. Fletcher served as Chairman of the United States Tariff Commission from September 1930 until his resignation. His letter of resignation and a memorandum on the work of the Commission, both dated September 17, 1931, and released with the President's letter, follow:

Dear Mr. President:
I hereby tender my resignation as Chairman and Member of the United States Tariff Commission effective November 30 next.

I enclose a memorandum summarizing the work accomplished since the Commission was reorganized fourteen months ago. This memorandum shows that with one or two exceptions all the investigations requested by Senate or House Resolutions have been completed. The petroleum, copper, and vegetable oil investigations are in final form and will be submitted, as requested by the Resolutions, to the Congress when it assembles next month. The most important investigation now pending is that relating to raw and refined sugar which was recently ordered and which in the nature of the case may be protracted as growing as well as refining costs both at home and abroad are involved. Work on this and all other pending applications and investigations is proceeding as rapidly as circumstances permit.

The recent depreciation in exchange in a number of countries exporting to the United States has rendered our cost data, secured before these countries departed from the gold standard, inapplicable in view of the present instability of exchange values and negative reports were sometimes unavoidable in cases where the exchange factor entered. The facts gained in our investigations, however, are all assembled and can be utilized in case further investigation may become necessary.

The Commission has been completely reorganized and is, I believe, thoroughly equipped to perform its important functions.

It is a pleasure to express my appreciation of the loyal and efficient cooperation and support I have received from my colleagues on the Commission and from every member of its staff.
Faithfully yours,

[The President, The White House]




Since the Tariff Commission was reorganized, its work may be briefly summarized as follows:
By November 30, the effective date of the Chairman's resignation:
--39 separate rate investigations, covering a very large number of items, and different rates of duty, will have been completed and reported upon under Section 336 of the Tariff Act.
--11 important surveys (not involving rate changes) will also have been completed.
--Of the 9 investigations discontinued, 8 were dismissed by Senate Resolutions.
--5 applications were withdrawn by proponents.
--28 applications were dismissed by the Commission after careful preliminary investigation.
--Thus 92 cases will have been disposed of.

There remains on the Commission calendar 10 rate investigations and 1 survey, all in response to Senate Resolutions, and 8 rate investigations of other origin, making a total of 19 investigations and surveys in progress.

Twenty-one applications for investigations are on file, some of which may be granted and some denied, depending upon the facts developed by preliminary investigation by the Commission.

Thus the Commission has 40 investigations, surveys, and applications on its books compared with 92 disposed of since reorganization.

The Commission is, of course, engaged in other routine work assigned to it including the American Valuation study called for under Section 340 of the Tariff Act of 1930, investigations under Section 337, Surveys, etc.

The first seven of the following surveys have been completed and the reports published, while the last four are practically completed and reports are being prepared for submission to the Congress next month:


Investi- Resolution or
Commodity gation Application
No. No.

Crude petroleum production cost Survey Tariff Act of 1930.
Sugar differential do Committee on Ways
and Means.
Anthracite coal industry of Soviet
Russia do Do.
Fish and other marine products do S. Res. 314.
Cigar-wrapper tobacco do
United States-Philippine tariff
and trade relations do
Census of dyes and of other
synthetic organic chemicals do
Petroleum, crude and refined
products thereof do H. Res. 391.
Copper do S. Res. 434.
Vegetable oils do S. Res. 323.
Creosote oil do S. Res. 470.


The following rate investigations (See. 336) have been completed.


Investi- Resolution or
Commodity gation Application
No. No.

Pigskin leather 16 S. Res. 313.
Woven wire fencing and netting 4 S. Res. 295.
Ultramarine blue 8 S. Res. 309.
Wood flour 12 S. Res. 313.
Wool floor coverings, nspf 18 S. Res. 313.
Straw hats 21 S. Res. 313
Maple sugar and maple sirup 23 S. Res. 313
Fourdrinier wires and cylinder wires 22 S. Res. 313.
Wool felt hats 17 S. Res. 313.
Tomatoes, prepared or preserved 28 S. Res. 324.
Smokers' articles 14 S. Res. 313; application 21.
Cherries, sulphured or in brine 27 S. Res. 324; application 30.
Edible gelatin 38 Application 47.
Pig iron 10 S. Res. 309.
Bentwood furniture 36 Application 5.
Hides and skins 24 S. Res. 309.
Cheese 26 S. Res. 324; application 59.
Bells 3 S. Res. 295.
Organs 13 S. Res. 313; application 18.
Dried eggs 42 S. Res. 389; application 29.
Hemp cords 56 Application 8
Olive oil 25 S. Res. 324.


Hearings have been held and reports are being prepared for submission to the president before November 30 in the following investigations:


Investi- Resolution or
Commodity gation Application
No. No.

Tomatoes in their natural state 4 S. Res. 414; application 7.
peppers in their natural state 46 S. Res. 414; application 6.
Peas, green or unripe 47 S. Res. 414.
Beans, snap or string, green or unripe 58 Application 82.
Lima beans 50 Application 32.
Eggplant in its natural state 48 Application 31.
Cucumbers in their natural state 49 Application 31.
Okra 51 Application 33.
Pineapples 41 S. Res. 397; applications 34
and 44.
Pens 39 S. Res. 360 and 438.
Window glass 20 S. Res. 313.
Crin vegetal, spanish moss, flax tow 54 S. Res. 468.
Cement 5 S. Res. 295.
Lumber and timber 19 S. Res. 313 and 321;
applications 38 and 5.
Gauge glass tubes 57 Application 79.
Crude feldspar 63 Application 90.
Boots and shoes 1 S. Res. 313 and 295.
Blown glass tableware 35 S. Res. 330; application 28.
Furniture of wood 2 S. Res. 295; application 2.


Another list of more than 30 applications have been carefully investigated by the Commission and applications either denied or dismissed without prejudice, or withdrawn by those who made the original applications. The following items appear on this list:


Denied and dismissed Number

Hats, bonnets, hoods, manu-
factured by machine. 49
Wool, waste, shoddy, rags, etc 4
Hemp yarn 8
Men's and boys' woolen clothing. 19
Incandescent lamps 22
Tulip bulbs 24
Cut flowers 39, 57
Rough tanned walrus leather 50
Paintings, pastels, drawings, etc. 77
Collodion emulsion 64
Cylinder watch parts, Swiss 48
Grapefruit 35
Pipes and smokers' articles of
clay. 52
Sugar cane in its natural state 85
Soybeans 46
Men's silk and opera hats 41, 42, 61
Hot rolled diameter tubing 37
Cork insulation 83
Woven fabrics of flax, etc. 73
Jute paddings and interlinings 74
Calf and kip shoe leather 81
Antifriction steel balls 89
Springrings 91
Yarn guiding apron (Sec. 337) 36
Lumber and timber (See. 337) 109
Ground pumice stone 102-10-15-16
Ground chicory 111
Raw lime juice 93


Withdraws........................................ Application Number

Bamboo handle
toothbrushes 11
Crude barytes Ore 45
Artificial flowers 70
Parachlormetacresol 16
Live cattle 108


The following is a list of investigations undertaken mostly in response to Senate Resolutions, which were rescinded and dismissed, before public hearings were held, largely in response to withdrawal of Senate Resolutions:


Investi- Resolution or
Commodity gation Application
No. No.

Shoe lacings 7 S. Res. 308.
Laces 11 S. Res. 311.
Reptile leather 15 S. Res. 313.
Sugar candy and confectionery 29 S. Res. 324.
Matches 32 S. Res. 325.
Cigarette paper 33 S. Res. 325.
Refined sugar 34 S. Res. 309 and 325.
Cocoa and chocolate 40 S. Res. 380.
Soups 37 Application 1.


The following investigations called for by Senate Resolutions are under way at the present time, and in most cases the investigations are nearing completion. The investigations in progress are as follows:


Investi- Resolution or
Commodity gation Application
No. No.

Umbrellas 9 S. Res. 312, 309.
Infants' wear of wool 31 S. Res. 325.
Agricultural hand tools 6 S. Res. 295.
Laminated products 30 S. Res. 324
Velvets and velveteens 52 S. Res. 440.
Casein 43 S. Res. 390; application 40.
Nonedible gelatin and glue 53 S. Res. 458.
Dried beans 44 S. Res. 411.
Lead Survey S. Res. 441.


Some of these, the Commission has been informed, will be dismissed by the Senate.
Other investigations in progress, based upon applications, include:


Investi- Resolution or
Commodity gation Application
No. No.

Alsimin 55 43.
Candied fruit 61 62.
Flaxseed and linseed oil 62 17.
Sponges 64 92.
Mackerel, fresh, salted, etc 65 94, 95, 98, 99, 100, 101, 103,107
Sugar and molasses 66 94, 95, 98, 99, 100, 101, 103, 107.
Cherries, sulphured or in brine 59 Request of President.
Tomatoes, prepared or preserved 60 Do.


There remains on the calendar the following applications for investigation under the provisions of section 336 of the Tariff Act of 1930. These applications are receiving the usual preliminary study at the present time:



Commodity Application Number

Lemons 80
Dried or fresh mushrooms, prepared or tinned 60, 96
Barley malt 53
Pulpboard in rolls for use in manufacture of wallboard 10
Filaments and yarns of rayon, etc 69
Linen huck towels 51
Gloves of leather 58
Towels and napkins of flax, hemp, ramie 75
Crepe and tissue paper hats, etc 88
Whole eggs, etc., frozen, prepared, preserved, etc 86, 87
Fluorspar 97
Chocolate, sweetened, in bars, etc 104

Canvas rubber-soled footwear, waterproof 105
Rubber insulated wires and cables 106
Wooden and aluminum folding rules 112
Crude sperm oil 113
Ribbon fly catchers 114
Long staple cotton 117, 119, 120, 121
Upholsterers' nails, thumb tacks, chair glides 118
Bicycle chains 122
Antimony oxide; antimony regulus or metal 123

Herbert Hoover, Letter Accepting the Resignation of Henry P. Fletcher as Chairman of the United States Tariff Commission. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/206881

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