Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

they possibly will come out and demand their rights at the opportune time, if an agreement cannot be reached between them.

Mr. COOPER. What I am trying to get at is this: Do you feel that the present situation existing between the operators and miners for whom you speak is encouraging for continuing operations between them?

Mr. DoWELL. Yes; I think it is.

Mr. COOPER. You do not anticipate now any difficulty developing between the operators and the miners for whom you speak?

Mr. DoWELL. No, sir; not so far as the organization which I represent is concerned.

Mr. COOPER. Do you anticipate any difficulty arising by reason of any attitude that may be assumed by the operators?

Mr. DoWELL. At the present time, no, sir.

Mr. TREADWAY. Earlier in the hearing we were told that 65 percent of the miners favor this legislation. What part of the remaining 35 percent compose your organization?

Mr. DoWELL. Well, in Illinois, I can only refer to the coal reports.
Mr. Hill. It was 65 percent of the tonnage.
Mr. TREADWAY. And not of the numerical number of employees.
Mr. Hill. Not of the membership, but of the tonnage.

Mr. TREADWAY. The figure was 65 percent, and I assume, as the chairman corrects me, that was 65 percent of the tonnage. What percentage of the tonnage do these 35,000 men you represent turn out?

Mr. DOWELL. About 40 percent in Illinois. Mr. TREADWAY. Forty percent of the 65 percent remaining? Mr. DoWELL. In Illinois, out of the total tonnage. Mr. TREADWAY. Forty percent of the Illinois tonnage only? Mr. DOWELL. Yes, sir. Mr. TREADWAY. That is what the men you speak for represent? Mr. DoWELL. Yes; I would say that it is that approximately, without being accurate.

Mr. TREADWAY. Of course. That would indicate then that there are a good many miners employed in mines who favor this legislation.

Mr. DoWELL. I can only speak for the miners whom I represent, and others whom I have talked to from different localities of the country.

Mr. TREADWAY. As to the price of the coal which is the product of the mines employing the men you represent, is that coal sold in the market on the same basis as other coal, or is it sold at cut prices?

Mr. DoWELL. It is sold on a competitive basis on the markets, along with other coals.

Mr. TREADWAY. How does it compare in quality?

Mr. Dowell. Much of it is the same coal, but some of it is not of as good quality.

Mr. TREADWAY. But the averag run of it would be as good as anybody else's coal?

Mr. DoWELL. I think so.

Mr. TREADWAY. And there is no real reason, so far as your testimony goes, why the 35,000 miners in your organization should be put out of business?

Mr. DoWELL. We cannot see that there is any reason, and that is why we are objecting to this bill.

Mr. TREADWAY. Is it a fact that the coal produced in the mines where the men whom you represent work provides a larger supply than is needed?

Mr. DoWELL. No, sir; I do not think so. Some of it is located within a radius of 50 or 60 miles of the third largest city in the United States, St. Louis.

Mr. TREADWAY. So there is no trouble about marketing the product?

Mr. Dowell. No, sir, there is not any more trouble than in marketing any other product of coal mines.

Mr. TREADWAY. You spoke of a competitive basis. Perhaps somewhere there are going to be indicated the mines that the board, as a legislative authority, is going to put out of business.

Mr. Dowell. The mines which we represent are what we might term “independent mines.” They are mines, many of them, owned by the highly mechanized utility companies; they are, many of them, privately operated by the highly mechanized utility companies. That is where the installation of electric machinery has taken place, and even in many places the producer does not use his own coal for the production of his product.

Mr. TREADWAY. Let me understand that. Your miners are employed in mines not highly mechanized?

Mr. Dowell. Not highly mechanized.

Mr. TREADWAY. In other words, there is more labor employed there than there would be in some of the other mines?

Mr. DoWELL. Yes, sir.
Mr. TREADWAY. It is labor that we are trying to employ.
Mr. Dowell. May I answer that question in this way?
Mr. TREADWAY. Answer it in any way you want to.

Mr. DowELL. As I understand this bill, it looks to me like a gravy train. It looks to me like it is legislation that is trying to get à charter from the Government whereby a number of persons can get on and ride through and get rid of properties, and one organization of labor can control the entire labor situation in this mining industry, and a certain amount of tonnage of the operators control the production of coal, and thereby create a monopoly in the coal industry. That is what I get from the bill.

Mr. Treadway. That is just the reverse viewpoint of some people. You are afraid that this bill sets up a monopoly, and all the other people are saying that it means a stabilizing of the industry.

Mr. Dowell. I cannot see a national stabilization of the coal industry in this bill. I can see only a part stabilization, so far as defunct properties are concerned, disposing of them, selling them to the Government.

Mr. TREADWAY. Your properties are not defunct?
Mr. DoWELL. No, sir.

Mr. TREADWAY. You do not want to sell them to the Government?

Mr. Dowell. I do not know of any operator who wants to sell.

Mr. TREADWAY. The operators are getting along pretty well, earning an honest living?

Mr. DoWELL. Yes, sir.

Mr. TREADWAY. And paying dividends to their stockholders?

Mr. Dowell. I assume so. I am not interested in the companies; I am only interested in the labor end of it.

Mr. TREADWAY. Let me finish my inquiries with this reiteration, to see if I have it right.

You say the miners are employed at as high wages as are paid in any bituminous mining field in the country?

Mr. DOWELL. I think so.
Mr. TREADWAY. And perhaps higher?
Mr. DoWELL. Yes, sir.

Mr. TREADWAY. And that they are satisfied so far as you know, with their employment?

Mr. DoWELL. Not with

Mr. TREADWAY. I do not mean 100 percent; that would not be humanly possible.

Mr. Dowell. They are satisfied with their employment, yes, qualifying that as to employment in the mines, not as to wages and hours.

Mr. TREADWAY. But the working conditions in the mines where your members are employed are, in your judgment, as satisfactory as those in other mines?

Mr. DowELL. Yes, sir.

Mr. TREADWAY. And the quality of the product of those mines is as good

as other people's coal? Mr. Dowell. Yes, sir. Mr. TREADWAY. And you have ample markets for your product? Mr. DoWELL. Yes, sir; that is, consideringMr. TREADWAY. The competition? Mr. DoWELL. Considering the condition of the coal business.

Mr. TREADWAY. As far as you know, the operators are willing to take their chances in those markets in selling their product?

Mr. DoWELL. I am informed that they have already filed with this committee their disapproval of this bill, some of them, and possibly all of them.

Mr. TREADWAY. I have been interrogating you for some minutes, and I am the kind of a Yankee who likes to ask questions, and as yet I cannot find any reason why this legislation should be urged, with the view of having the Government buy up these lands, and then having them unused, and moving away 35,000 miners and their families. I do not find the slightest favorable evidence for that procedure in your testimony.

Mr. Dowell. I do not either, Congressman, and I cannot see why it should be done, except for the purposes I have stated.

Mr. REED. I did not get your name.
Mr. DowELL. George W. Dowell.

Mr. Reed. Have you been giving any attention to the program of electrification by the Government?

Mr. DoWELL. Yes, sir; in a general way. Mr. Reed. Do you think it will help the coal miners and operators of this country to have the Government establish dams and develop hydroelectric power, without any cost-accounting system, such as is carried on in different businesses, and undersell not only the other utilities, the electric utilities, but to have the coal miners and operators in the field of competition with other competitive fuels?

*

*

*

Mr. Dowell. Do I think that will help the coal industry?

Mr. REED. You do know that this administration is carrying out a large program, all the way from Passamaquody down through the Tennessee Valley and in other parts of the country. Do you think that is going to help the coal business?

Mr. DoWELL. It will not.

Mr. REED. It only accentuates the very difficulty that the proponents of this bill say it is going to overcome; is not that true?

Mr. Dowell. I cannot see where any competitive fuel will help the coal industry.

Mr. REED. I want to read this statement that was made by Thomas Edison in 1929, to see whether or not you concur in his views. Mr. Edison said:

We shall steadily require more power, but a great deal more fuss is being made over hydroelectric power than its intrinsic value warrants. The first and best source of power is coal. The amount of coal available is not limited, but for all practical purposes it is limitless. We can probably use coal at our present rate for a thousand years or so without any danger of exhausting our supply, and it is highly improbable that we really know our supply.

The development of hydroelectric power is very important, but also it is very expensive and usually requires an auxiliary coal steam plant. Some of the best water power is too far away from our manufacturing centers to make its utilization wholly practical.

Water power is a political issue, not a business one. It can never at the best mean very much to us except as something to talk about. The monopolizing of water power is also just a political idea.

There is far more danger in public monopoly than there is in private monopoly, for when the Government goes into business it can always shift its losses to the taxpayers. If it goes into the power business it can pretend to sell cheap power and then cover up its losses.

The Government never really goes into business, for it never makes ends meet. And that is the first requisite of business. It just mixes a little business with a lot of politics and no one ever gets a chance to find out what is actually going on.

Mr. REED. Do you concur with his view on that?
Mr. Dowell. May I answer that in a qualified way?
Mr. REED. Yes.

Mr. Dowell. I know of one utility company, the Union Electric Co. of St. Louis, Mo. They own a mine in Jackson County, Ill., by the name of the Union Colliery Co. That same utility company owns a water-power generating plant in Missouri not far from St. Louis.

At this time their mine is working very little, if any, due to the fact that there is plenty of water and they are generating their energy by water.

Mr. REED. That only goes to prove that if the Government goes into the development of hydro-electric power with the taxpayers' money and undersells the people that produce coal, it only accentuates the difficulty that the proponents of the bill are seeking to overcome.

Mr. DoWELL. Yes. And may I make this other statement, that competitive fuels are the cause of the sick condition of the coal industry today, oil, gas, and electric energy. The installation of hydroelectric power machinery operated by the oil, gas, and electric energy concerns has caused the coal industry to be in the shape it is in, and, in my judgment, if the operators or producers of this country who are working in collective bargaining with their employees would stand in concerted activity against the competitive fuel, they would be able to cure their business of the sickness which it is suffering from now.

Mr. VINSON. Potential productive capacity enters into the ailments of the industry, does it not?

Mr. DOWELL. Yes.
Mr. VINSON. That is all.
Mr. Hill. We thank you for your statement.

Mr. Hill. The next witness is Mr. James A. Emery, representing the National Association of Manufacturers.

STATEMENT OF JAMES A. EMERY, GENERAL COUNSEL, NATIONAL

ASSOCIATION OF MANUFACTURERS

Mr. Emery. Mr. Chairman and gentlemen of the committee, I am speaking on behalf of the president and board of directors of the National Association of Manufacturers of the United States, composed of many thousands of manufacturers engaged in various acts of industrial production throughout the States of the Union. They are large consumers of bituminous coal. The manufacturing industry consumed about 35 percent of that product in 1932 and has therefore a direct interest in the measure as a consumer as well as in the principles of control proposed to be established and the precedents created thereby.

We therefore beg to present to your honorable committee a brief summary of our views with respect to the legal aspects and economic effects of the proposed measure.

And may I say, Mr. Chairman, that we will file with the committee a printed brief, a copy of which has been furnished to each member of the committee, which will include, in addition to the authorities cited and the propositions presented to you an examination of the economic aspects, made by Mr. Noel Sargent, the economist of the association.

Mr. Hill. Do you want to put that in the hearing?
Mr. EMERY. The brief?

Mr. Hill. Would you like to have the brief and the statement on the economic aspects of the bill in the record?

Mr. EMERY. Yes, sir.
Mr. Hill. Without objection, it is so ordered.

(The matter referred to will be found at the conclusion of Mr. Emery's statement.)

Mr. EMERY. As a preliminary to the discussion, Mr. Chairman, we presume that the committee would first desire to remove any doubt as to its authority to enact regulation in this field. Secondly, that, assuming it has the power to do so, it believes it necessary to exercise it, and, thirdly, that the policy proposed will operate to practically accomplish the advantageous results desired, and which it is asserted would follow its enactment.

Since grave doubts have been expressed with regard to the validity of the pending proposal, we venture, in approaching the discussion of the constitutionality of this important measure, to recall to the committee what we presume is the attitude of the legislator in approaching the consideration of a subject so serious as this one in the realm of the exercise of questioned power.

It is thus stated by Cooley in his Principles of Constitutional Law, at page 160:

Legislators have their authority measured by the Constitution; they are chosen to do what it permits, and nothing more, and they

« AnteriorContinuar »