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Mr. CROWTHER. I think while every witness here is entitled to the courtesy of being heard, and is anxious to be heard, we either ought to work nights or continue the session, and we ought to do something, and we ought to have some views on the matter, and after we get all through with this, some man, such as yourself, who has had experience and knows his business from beginning to end, ought to tell us whether it is a possibility or not for us, as a Congress, to be able to write some legislation which is going to smooth out the kinks and bad places in this industry and be able to shape it up and have it stand the test of law.
That is the question I want to ask you. Do you think it is possible for us to do it?
Before answering that: The last paragraph I read from Mr. Emery's brief, as he presented it, says this:
The state of the law and the character of the problem suggests that the most constructive approach to the elimination of unfair and oppressive methods of unfair competition and the maintenance of fair labor standards is through voluntary cooperation, and encouraged by sympathetic Federal administrative action and under rational Federal regulation.
Have you anything to say about what "rational Federal regulation" should be, and what we might do in order to encompass the idea that the proponents of this bill have brought before us? That is what I am anxious to know.
Mr. FRANCIS. On that subject I was on a committee of coal operators working on that matter since last July. There were very great differences of opinion within the industry. My own opinion is that that matter is not a sound legal basis and that we cannot have compulsory legislation. There must be relaxation of the antitrust laws, with permissive authority for cooperation, provided there is a set-up to make it possible to relax the antitrust laws, and there must be proper consideration given to the public interest when the trust laws are relaxed.
I personally think that under the law as it now stands, that we can go a long ways further than we have at any period in the past in our marketing agencies. I think if we have the right, in addition to what the Supreme Court has given, to have contracts between marketing agencies that would permit those marketing agencies to agree with each other, subject to the approval of the Federal Trade Commission, if you will, and those contracts are not against the interests of the consuming public, that we could sell our coal at a sufficient price to permit us to make a normal return on our investment and to pay reasonable wages and observe adequate hours in the industry.
Mr. CROWTHER. Right there, while that answers that part of it, do you think that there are existing at the present time enough clean, honest contacts with the labor side of the proposition for the operators and the miners to come to final agreements satisfactory to both, without any further legislation?
Mr. FRANCIS. That is always a question of trading on these things. Mr. CROWTHER. Largely a compromise, of course.
Mr. Francis. The operators in this Appalachian area had a meeting day before yesterday, I think it was, and made the proposal to the miners in this Appalachian area that they would renew, subject to the working out of some differential questions, the wage scale that is now in effect and the hours that are now in effect, until next April, the operators' position being that that wage was as much as they could afford to pay and the miners' position-and I hope I state it fairly-being that the present wages and the present hours were not enough.
Always when you consider hours or anything else, there can be an honest difference of opinion as to what is enough. I do not see how, by any legislation, you gentlemen can get up as to what is the proper price for labor. There is nothing in this bill that coerces the miner to accept any wage or any arbitration for wages, even though the bill were passed. There might be just as much disagreement as to what a fair wage would be, after the passage of the bill as before. But I believe that the industry, and I personally, in the industry, would like to continue on the basis of a fair collective bargaining with the miners. I do not see how Congress is going to say whether the wages are $5 now, and should be $6, or $6 and should be $7, and the hours are 35 and ought to be 30, as a matter of statute. I do not think that we can make a wage scale by passing this legislation. I think you might still have the same differences of opinion which you now have. We have a committee now working on this matter, and as to whether or not we can work out before Friday or Saturday a mutually satisfactory wage scale with the miners, I do not know, but I hope we can.
I conferred with my associates in that conference this morning, before coming down here, and I express their hope that they would work out that matter. However, I do not see just how we can do this, because I do not think that the miners would want to consent to put in a bill of this kind that a commission should fix their hours or wages. I think they have always felt that one of their inalienable rights was the right to trade for themselves, and I think that has always been their position, and I do not see just what the Congress can do about it.
Mr. CROWTHER. Do you not think on page 24, section (c), that the Bituminous Coal Labor Board might not be of considerable value in the adjudication of differences between the operators and the miners, or do you think we have at the present time enough machinery for the adjudication of labor difficulties?
Mr. FRANCIS. I think we have enough.
Mr. CROWTHER. You think we have quite enough machinery at the present time?
Mr. FRANCIS. I do. I dc ihink that and why add to the situation?
Mr. FRANCIS. Taking up my statement, there is one statement I overlooked to file, which I would like to file, being a statistical statement showing the percentage of coal from 1917 to 1929, mined in each State, that is, used in the State where it was mined.
Mr. Hill. It may be filed as a part of your remarks. (The statement referred to is as follows:)
Percentage of the total production of certain bituminous coal fields consumed in the
State of its origin, for the years of 1917 and 1929. From Bureau of Mines reports on distribution, issued in 1931 and 1932
! In 1929 all-rail increased from 34 to 63 percent.
Mr. Hill. Mr. W. Clark Adams.
You have 2 minutes.
STATEMENT OF W. CLARK ADAMS, REPRESENTING THE CHICAGO
WHOLESALE COAL SHIPPERS' ASSOCIATION
Mr. Adams. My name is W. Clark Adams, representing the Chicago Wholesale Coal Shippers' Association, of which I am president. We have a membership of 36, which is approximately 85 percent of the coal distributors of Chicago. Referring to section 2 on page 3 of House bill 8479, we are requesting that a distributor be made a member of the National Bituminous Coal Commission of nine to be appointed by the President of the United States, in the event that the bill becomes a law. The greater percentage of coal sold by our organization is shipped in interstate commerce. Thank you.
Mr. Hill. James H. Galloway.
SENTING WHOLESALE COAL GROUP OF MICHIGAN
bill that in part 2, marketing, page 19, lines 20 to 24, page 20, lines 1 to 3, it refers to the wholesaler indirectly but we do not feel that as wholesalers or distributors of coal we have received sufficient consideration as the bill stands. We desire that this subsection be amended to read as follows:
(i) All sales and contracts for the sale of coal shall be subject to the operation of this act and to the code prices herein provided for. The commission, after investigation and full hearing and upon notice to the interested parties, shall prescribe a fair and reasonable price allowance to and receivable by persons who purchase coal for resale and resell it in not less than cargo or railroad lots commensurate with services performed; and shall require the maintenance by such persons, in the resale of coal, of the minimum prices established under this Act.
Distribution or marketing, in my opinion, is a very necessary division of any industry, whether it is marketing of automobiles, clothing, foodstuffs, coal or what not, the article or substance produced must find a market and be sold to a consumer of that article or substance. Distribution or marketing of coal is an integral and an important part of the bituminous-coal industry and it is our thought that the wholesaler of coal renders equally a service to the consumer as does the miner or the producer of coal.
First, we maintain offices, employ help necessary in the proper performance and conduct of our business.
Second, we maintain sales organizations that are constantly in pursuit of business.
Third, we contact trade in smaller communities that often the sales organizations of producers cannot afford to do, or does not contact, because of high selling costs.
Fourth, we maintain combustion engineers who cooperate with consumers in the proper selection of coals for their individual cases.
Fifth, we advance money to mines for pay rolls and carry our own accounts.
Sixth, we concentrate our sales efforts in and close to the communities in which we live, making for better and closer relationship with the consumer.
Seventh, we understand values and qualities of coals and also our markets.
We, as wholesalers in Michigan, market in the State approximately 40 percent of the total tonnage moving into the State, while an additional 10 percent of the total tonnage is sold to consumers in Michigan by wholesalers located outside of the State.
Therefore, may I direct your attention to page 4 of this bill, lines 3 to 10, wherein provision is made for a commission to protect the affairs of the bituminous coal industry. The wholesaler or distributor who, I repeat, is an integral part of the industry, has no representation whatever on tliis commission.
It is our contention that a representative of our association, American Wholesale Coal Association, be appointed on this commission so that in the administration of the bituminous coal industry our problems, as well as those of the consumers in our respective territories, can be properly presented by one who understands them.
When this bill receives your final consideration, we beg your committee to give this suggestion your careful thought.
Mr. Vinson. What is the position of your associates with reference to H. R. 8479?
Mr. GALLOWAY. Our position, as near as I can determine, from the bill as now written, comes under page 19.
Mr. Vinson. What I have in mind is this: Does your organization favor H. R. 8479 or do you oppose it?
Mr. GALLOWAY. Personally, I do favor it.
Mr. CROWTHER. You suggest that you want a representative of the wholesalers on this commission. Is that your suggestion?
Mr. GalLOWAY. Yes, sir.
Mr. CROWTHER. We just heard a witness who wants a representative of the distributors. Is that the same thing?
Mr. GALLOWAY. Distributors and wholesalers I figure are the same thing.
Mr. CROWTHER. Do you want him in addition to the two from the operators and the two from the miners? Would you take one of the five disinterested persons off and put on a wholesaler in the place of one of those, or would you increase the size of the board?
Mr. GALLOWAY. Mr. Crowther, I imagine that that is beyond my knowledge.
Mr. CROWTHER. I did not know but what somebody might come along in a minute and want a representative of the retailers put on.
Mr. GALLOWAY. If the miners and producers are to be represented on this board, in similar fashion I believe that we should be represented on the board or commission.
Mr. CROWTHER. All right.
STATEMENT OF E. W. BRANDENBURGER, REPRESENTING ST.
LOUIS WHOLESALE COAL ASSOCIATION
Mr. BRANDENBURGER. Mr. Chairman, I represent the St. Louis Wholesale Coal Association, all of whose members are also members of the American Wholesale Coal Association.
We are appearing before your committee without any commitment on our part as to whether we are for or against the bill 8. R. 8479, but want to go on record that in event said bill is passed and becomes a law, that proper recognition be given the wholesale coal industry, which we feel is not properly provided for in the biil as it reads today.
We refer especially to page 19, lines 20 to 24, inclusive, and page 20, lines 1, 2, and 3, which section (i) we ask be amended to read as follows:
All sales and contracts for the sale of coal shall be subject to the operation of this act and to the code prices herein provided for. The commission, after investigation and full hearing and upon notice to the interested parties, shall prescribe à fair and reasonable price allowance to and receivable by persons who purchase coal for resale and resell it in not less than cargo or railroad car lots; and shall require the maintenance by such persons in the resale of coal of the minimum prices established under this act.
The St. Louis Wholesale Coal Association members have a situation which we believe is peculiar to the locality in which we operate, being in brief that we represent a number of small operators who have neither