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FRIDAY MORNING, APRIL 17, 1908.
The Association met in Huntington Hall at 10 A. M., President HARTSHORNE in the chair.
The PRESIDENT. The meeting will please come to order.
Mr. LOUIS SIMPSON. Mr. President, might I ask you to kindly allow me to make an explanation before the business of the meeting commences.
Last summer I was asked by our esteemed Secretary to write a paper on some subject that would be likely to cause a discussion amongst the members. I am, as you are aware, a pretty busy man, but I have so much at heart the interests of the Association that I thought over all possible subjects. I thought that a subject of vital interest to every member of this Association who is really interested in the cotton industry would be the new automatic stop appliances which have been invented during the past few years for use on the power loom. I therefore wrote a paper, not with the purpose of stating my own views, but a paper which I thought would cause the whole questions to be thoroughly and impartially discussed. I am myself, on that question, a seeker after truth. It is quite true that years ago I thought so well of the automatic loom that in the mill.
in which I was then and am now manager I put some of those looms, but I was far from being satisfied that those looms were capable of manufacturing to the best advantage all kinds of goods, and as I was too busy, living as I do in Canada, to come around here and find out the truth for myself, I thought that by starting this discussion I, and all of you would also be able to learn some truths. Therefore, I wrote that paper. I am not a literary man, I am a manufacturer, and it may be that in writing that paper I used some words not quite correctly as to their true English sense. One of the vice-presidents of this Association, Mr. G. O. DRAPER, took exception to one word I used, namely," axiom." At the meeting at Washington, he made a personal attack upon me. I was unfortunately unable to attend the meeting. Instead of discussing the question touched upon in my paper, he took this opportunity of making upon me a more or less personal attack. He insinuated that the looms which I had put in years ago into the mills of the Montreal Cotton Company at Valleyfield, Canada, were being used for the manufacture of fine goods. It is not true, gentlemen. Those looms are today weaving exactly the same description of cloth as they were ordered for, years ago. Now, my position is rather a peculiar one, because although I am a believer in the Draper loom for certain kinds of goods, Mr. G. O. DRAPER thought it right to attack my paper as if I were an enemy. We had some correspondence together and in the course of that correspondence he justified his action by stating that he had to protect the well being of 2,500 mechanics at Hopedale. Now, gentlemen, I have no objection to Mr. DRAPER looking after his own work people, but so long as he is a vice-president of this Association I hold that it is his place to consider the interests of this Association before the interests of 2,500 mechanics at Hopedale. And I think that instead of trying to quash discussion on that most important matter, it was his place, as a vice-president of this Association, to have helped on the discussion. I sent him a challenge which he has not accepted. He said that he would. accept it provided his partners did not object. Well, as I heard
nothing further I could only believe that his partners did object. But as Mr. DRAPER has now left that firm I am hoping that he will see his way to accept my challenge and give the information that I ask. It is for this reason that I have asked permission to say these few words, as I desire that my challenge shall be printed in the proceedings of this Association. I asked Mr. DRAPER to furnish a statement. I will read what I wrote.
"I now challenge you to publish the cost of manufacturing a cloth of a stated quality, say 40 inches wide, 96 ends per inch, 60's twist and 96 picks per inch of filling of 70's pin cop, under each of the following conditions:
In a weaving mill of 1,000 looms of best construction, old
In a weaving mill of 1,000 looms, old style, to which stop motions are applied.
"C. In a weaving mill of 1,000 Northrop looms.
"You will state the capital invested in each mill; the number of cuts produced, working the same hours in each mill.
"The weaving price paid in each case. "The proportion of seconds expected.
"The cost of drawing-in or twisting.
"The cost of loom fixing.
"The cost of repairs, general and special, such as shuttle repairs. "The percentage of waste.
"The cost of interest and depreciation."
Also whether an amount should not be debited against the loom to which automatic appliances are affixed because of the extra quality of yard required as admitted by the advocates of the stop motion.
"It may then be possible to decide whether the extra cost of interest depreciation, repairs, loom fixers' wages, the extra work and perhaps the extra number of seconds, combined with the cost entailed by having to use an extra quality of yarn, may or may not have eaten up most, if not all of the saving effected in the amount paid to the weaver for weaving."
That, gentlemen, was my challenge, and I hope, now that Mr. DRAPER has time upon his hands, that he will accept my challenge and that we shall be placed in possession of facts to enable us to judge whether it is advantageous for us to weave our cloths in the old fashioned loom, or in the old fashioned loom with the stop motion applied, or in the new Draper loom with the stop motion applied, or in the new Draper loom or Stafford loom. We are here seeking for truth, and I hold this, that if a thing is true it will bear the light of full investigation.
The PRESIDENT. This subject, of course, would be of interest if the information could be obtained; but as it stands now it is simply a personal matter, as I understand it, between this gentleman and Mr. DRAPER, and therefore unless there is unanimous consent granted for further discussion I will consider the matter closed for the present. We have other papers that should really come before this meeting at the present time. Does Mr. DRAPER wish to make any personal explanation for the moment?
Mr. GEORGE OTIS DRAPER. Pardon me?
The PRESIDENT. Does Mr. DRAPER wish to make any personal explanation?
Mr. GEORGE OTIS DRAPER. Why, Mr. President, I have some doubt as to whether my personal differences with Mr. SIMPSON are a matter of interest to this organization. I will say for Mr. SIMPSON'S benefit that in response to a letter received by me and also sent at the time to all the leading trade journals, I did write a long reply which was ready for publication, and I will say that my associates, after looking into the matter and reading what I had prepared, decided that the public were probably not so much interested in this discussion as we were ourselves, and they decided not to have the reply circulated. I am not prepared at this minute to answer Mr. SIMPSON'S questions; it would take more or less investigation to reply to
them, but I might say here, now, that it is very easy to challenge a party to produce information that may exist, but which it is very difficult for him to get at. I know very few mills in this country that are willing to give me their costs and the details of their manufacture. I know very few mills that have one thousand looms running on any one definite class of goods that can be compared with another mill with a thousand looms running on similar goods. It would take a long while to get at such information and I should have to have the cooperation of the mills themselves. If Mr. SIMPSON would aid me in getting at the figures I might accommodate him, but I will not attempt to take up a challenge of that nature without first ascertaining whether I can get at the information necessary to reply to it. In challenges of a more mortal nature it is not the place of the party challenging to choose the weapons, and I might stand on my rights and decide that I would myself determine more as to the nature of the evidence which would meet the question between us. I think that is all that is necessary to say now. I am perfectly willing to reply to any questions about which I can furnish immediate information.
Mr. LOUIS SIMPSON. I have no war with Mr. DRAPER in this matter; I am speaking for truth, and I shall be willing to give all the help I can to Mr..DRAPER so that the truth may be put before the members of this Association. I have nothing against MR. DRAPER in this matter; all I want to find out is how I can best and cheapest manufacture a certain line of goods, and it will be of advantage to every member of this Association if reliable data are put before them.
The PRESIDENT. The next paper will be read by the Secretary in the absence of its author, Mr. WILLIAM HOWORTH of Bolton, Eng., who is a representative of several associations engaged in cotton manufacturing representing a capital of over eight million pounds sterling which has interested itself particularly in the cultivation of cotton in West Africa.