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hearings which opened on April 15, 1941, on the proposed International Convention of the Copyright Union, I shall appreciate it if you will include this letter as a part of the record of the hearings before the subcommittee.
When the convention was being considered in former hearings, the question arose as to the possible effects of the adoption of the convention on the employment of printing-trades workers in the United States. Such a subject is of course within the range of problems regularly handled by the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the Department of Labor as a fact-finding agency. Upon request by the Department of State, the Bureau of Labor Statistics therefore undertook to obtain available information on the subject. We have gone over the estimates formerly made and have found no reason for making any significant modification.
An estimate of the amount of labor employed in manufacturing books in English by non-American authors required information relating to the amount of manufacturing of the specified types of publications; and from the Library of Congress were obtained estimates of the number of books published, the average size of the volumes, and the average size of the eaitions. An approximetion of labor cost in manufacturing such books was then obtained from the Government Printing Office. These two sets of estimates, together with figures of hourly rates of pay in the printing trades, regularly collected by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, made possible an approximation of the amount of labor expended in the manufacturing process.
The amount of labor thus employed varies from year to year with the number and types of books published and with the nature of the processing. The amount of basic data available for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1937, made possible a comparatively adequate estimate for that year. If it is assumed that all of the non-American books in English printed in that year under the copyright provision were printed from type or plates, the amount of employment required was about 410 man-years, assuming a 40-hour week and a 50-week year per worker. Insofar as an offset process was used, this estimate would be reduced.
These figures, it is recognized, are not exact measurements but approximations, which are derived, however, from the best available information. It is important to note that the figures are estimates of the amount of labor actually employed in manufacturing books in English by others than Americans under the copyright provisions. If it expected that the demand will be considerable, economic considerations alone may suffice to cause the printing of American editions, even if manufacture in this country should be waived as a condition of copyright. It is possible, also, that the removal of the manufacturing requirement would lead to the printing in this country of some books that are not printed under existing law. Books printed abroad might then be imported merely to test the demand without sacrificing copyright privileges, and if the demand appeared to be considerable, American editions might be issued, whereas at present American editions are issued only when publishers are willing to take chances on an untested market demand. In addition, and perhaps more important, the removal of the manufacturing requirement might stimulate reciprocal relations to such an extent as to increase the export of American books. Very truly yours,
A. F. HINRICHS, Acting Commissioner of Labor Statistics.
DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE,
Washington, April 15, 1941.
United States Senate, Washington, D. C. MY DEAR SENATOR: A letter dated April 4, 1941, from Mr. Carey R. Sutlive, assistant clerk of the United States Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, addressed to Mr. James L. Brown of the Bureau of Foreign and Domestic Commerce, advising that the subcommittee of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations would open hearings on the proposed International Convention of the Copyright Union on Monday, April 14, 1941, was inadvertently delayed. It is my understanding that this hearing was postponed until this morning.
In view of the fact that it will not now be feasible to have a representative of this Department appear before the committee, I consider it pertinent to state that the Department of Commerce, in a letter dated April 6, 1935, to the Honorable F. Ryan Duffy, chairman of the subcommittee of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, and in a subsequent letter dated August 6, 1937, to the Honorable Key Pittman, chairman of the United States Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, expressed itself as favoring the entry of the United States into the International Copyright Union. At this date I see no reason for this Department to change its view in this matter. Sincerely yours,
WAYNE C. TAYLOR, Acting Secretary of Commerce,