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STATEMENT OF MR. W. P. H. MCFADDIN, OF BEAUMONT, TEX.
Mr. McFaddin. Mr. Chairman, by reason of adjournment last night, I was crowded off the docket, you might say, and I would like to know this morning whether I hold my place, in talking with reference to meat, as I did not get a hearing yesterday.
The CHAIRMAN. I thought you attended the hearing.
Mr. McFADDIN. No; I was down for a hearing on rice, but not on meat. I was down on the program for both meat and rice, but I did not have an opportunity to say anything to the committee on meat or cattle. I stayed here until you adjourned last night, because I understood you wanted to get through with the program.
I have been here at every roll call, and I got my name on the program as soon as I appeared in the city. I will only take up a few minutes of your time, if you will allow me to talk a little while this morning.
The CHAIRMAN. I did not know you were down twice on the list. I thought it was an inadvertent duplication on the list.
Mr. McFaddin. No, sir; I was the two last names on the list last night.
The CHAIRMAN. It is against our rule to run one hearing into another, but if there was a misunderstanding on the part of the chairman, and if you will limit yourself to 10 minutes, I will recognize you this morning.
Mr. McFaddin. I will endeavor to confine myself to that time, Mr. Chairman.
I am going to talk on the subject of meats and cattle. I want to state first that there is only one proposition that we are afraid of in the United States—the cattle men and the beef men—and that is dressed beef from the Argentine Republic. I will admit, to begin with, that we have a shortage of cattle in the United States. It has been increasing year by year. I think the shortage is here, in spite of a statement to the contrary made by a witness here yesterday.
We have had better prices in the last few years than we ever had before, and it is one time that we can say that the cattle men, as it were, are on top, just like the farmer and all other businesses through the country. We are in a season of prosperity and having good prices. What we want to do is to keep this prosperity and progress in our country. If we have to have a reduction in meat or cattle, it would be better to have the reduction in cattle rather than in dressed meats, for the reason that cattle brought into this country would have to be grazed or fattened or herded, which would give employment to a great many people, and the farmer would dispose of his products in order to fatten the same. It would pass through two or three hands before it ever got to the packer or the consumer.
On the other hand, if we go ahead and import dressed beef from the Argentine Republic into the United States, there is no one to-day that is able to do that but the packers of the United States, because they have the packing concerns already over there.
In order to ship dressed beef it would have to be dressed over there and put in refrigerating establishments which they already have there, and if that dressed beef is brought into the United States it
will be brought in by the packers themselves of this country. Therefore, it would not benefit the consumer one single iota if the packer did not see fit to benefit him, because he would make the same price. Not only that, but there is the question of the Beef Trust. They call it the Beef Trust. There is no such thing as a Beef Trust, only in reference to the producer, for the reason that the packers do not control the prices to the consumer. Down in my country, in my town, and I reckon in your towns, you can buy pretty good dressed beef-not the best quality, however—for 61, 74, or 84 cents by the carcass. That goes to the retailer at that price. You go into the retailer's establishment, and you find the prices of beef there from 12 to 25 cents a pound. You would think, at first glance, he was making too much money, but if you will go there and watch the little business that he does, using only three or four or five carcasses a day, and the expense that he has and the deliveries he has to make and the competition he has to encounter, you would understand he does not make so much money.
Mr. Hill. He had all that when prices were much lower, did he not?
Mr. MCFADDIN. Yes, sir; he had all that when prices were much lower, only we have now a little more extravagance about our expenses and delivering, and the people have got more extravagant about wanting the best meats.
Another thing is this: There are only certain choice cuts on each steer. The balance is not so good; it is common. Every man to-day that goes in wants a sirloin steak or a tenderloin steak, and there are not enough to go around, and consequently when you say prices are high, they are only high on a few cuts.
As I was about to say, with reference to this retail man, you would think he was getting rich, but very few of them are making more than a living. Why is this?
The competition is so great that he sells his meat on credit, and 15 to 20 per cent of what he sells on credit he never gets paid for; consequently the man that buys the 70 to 80 per cent of the product has to pay for the fellow that does not pay for the 20 per cent.
Mr. Hill. The same condition existed when prices were lower, did it not?
Mr. McFADDIN. Yes, sir; the same condition.
Consequently, you will see that the retailer is the man that puts up the price to the consumer, and not the packer. If it were not for the packing establishments of this country, our meats would be still higher, because to-day by using the offal, the hides, the feet, the bones and everything they can use, they can do an amount of business on such a large scale that even on that basis they make a fair profit.
Another thing. You took the tariff off of hides a few years ago. They were bringing 14} cents at that time. Six or eight months after that they went down to 71, and we lost $3 on every animal killed in the United States, but leather and shoes went a little higher than they ever were before. Since that time hides have gone up some. That did not benefit the producer, and it did not benefit the consumer one single iota.
Therefore, I contend that you should not have anything on the free list at all as long as we have to have a tariff for revenue. The man that raises the cow is just as much entitled to a tariff on cattle as is the man who manufactures the leather or the man who manufactures the shoes. Let us all have a little of it. Let us not have this thing one-sided. If we want to be honest, let us give a little of it to all of
Let us put a tariff on everything. With reference to coffee, for instance, a few years ago we had a tariff on coffee. They said, “We do not produce any coffee in this country and we will put it on the free list,” and immediately the Brazilian Government put an export duty on it, and it resulted in the same thing to the consumer in the United States. I was in Canada a few years ago and was talking with a representative up there, and he said, “You people are talking about putting a duty on pulp wood. Whenever you do that, we will put on an export duty up here, and we will put it so you can not ship the pulp wood into the United States and you will have to come over here and manufacture it."
Consequently the reduction of the tariff or putting things on the free list does not always make it cheaper to the consumer.
Mr. JAMES. You live in Texas?
Mr. McFADDIN. I do not know. We have such a wide and varied interest in Texas. Texas is purely and simply an agricultural State, and they raise cotton down there. If we had an empire raising as much cotton as we are raising in the United States, every cotton farmer in Texas would be for protection against this cotton.
Mr. JAMES. Did not the members of the House and both of the Senators from Texas vote for and advocate free cotton bagging and ties?
Mr. McFadden. I think they did, unless it was Mr. Dies from my section of the country. I think he voted for a tariff on everything.
Mr. James. Then they are mistaken in representing their people in that way and they are not in keeping with the sentiment down there?
Mr. McFaddin. Here is the idea about that: The cotton farmer is there, and he is approached by the demagogue, the fellow who goes around and preaches, “We will take it off of cotton ties and we will take it off of cotton bagging, and give it to you cheaper.” Ile does not take into consideration
Mr. James. So you think there is a demagogue before the people ?
Mr. McFaddin. Yes, sir; I think there is. I think we have more demagogues in the South than any other place on the face of the earth; we actually do.
Mr. James. I will say for your Texas delegation and for the South generally that I do not agree with that statement, and I think it is entirely gratuitous on your part to come from the South and stand
here and reflect upon southern people, who have as much honor, as much integrity, and as much courage as any other people in the world.
Mr. McFADDIN. I think so, too. I think we have some of the best
Mr. McFadden. I did not say anything about cheapening it.
Mr. James. You are dodging the issue. You said there ought to
Mr. MCFADDIN. No, sir; I did not say that. I said they went before the people and talked that way down there. I did not say it would cheapen it. It is all owing to the price of bagging and ties, and it is owing to where they are imported from.
Mr. Hill. With your consent, Mr. Chairman, I desire to insert the following quotation from the report of Consul General Griffiths, of London, showing that the prices of food products have increased all over the world, regardless of a free market or a dutiable market.
INCREASED COST OF LIVING,
The official returns for the past 15 years show a large increase in the prices of foodstutis as shown by the following table comparing the prices of foodstuffs imported in 1911 with those of 1897 (hundredweight of 112 pounds):
(From report of Consul General Griffiths, London, published in Daily Consular and Trade Reports,
Jan. 16, 1913.)
i Per dozen.
PARAGRAPH 228_MUTTON AND LAMB.
The following communication was filed with the committee at a later date:
WASHINGTON, D. C., January 22, 1913. Chairman UNDERWOOD AND THE WAYS AND MEANS COMMITTEE.
GENTLEMEN: I regret exceedingly my remark this morning in which I unintentionally stated that there were more demagogues in the South than any other place. I wish to have the same expunged from the record, as I have done my people a great injustice. Being a Texan born, my sentiments are always with them and unthoughtedly I may have expressed myself too harshly, and it might be misunderstood. I beg your indulgence, and remaining, Most respectfully,
W. P. H. McFADDIN. PARAGRAPH 226.
Swine, one dollar and fifty cents per head. PARAGRAPH 227.
Horses and mules, valued at one hundred and fifty dollars or less per head, thirty dollars per head; if valued at over one hundred and fifty dol
lars, twenty-five per centum ad valorem. PARAGRAPH 228.
Sheep, one year old or over, one dollar and fifty cents per head; less than one year old, seventy-five cents per head.
MUTTON AND LAMB.
DUTY ON MEATS.
SALT LAKE, Utah, January 20, 1913. Hon. Oscar W. UNDERWOOD,
Chairman Committee of Ways and Means, Washington, D. C. On behalf of the National Wool Growers' Association representing the sheep industry of the United States I desire to protest against any reduction in the duty on meats. The chief argument offered for a reduction of the duty on mutton is to cheapen this meat to the consumer. We contend this end could not be accomplished in this manner for the reason that the wholesale price of live sheep and lambs, as well as dressed mutton and lamb, is already very low. The average price paid for all kinds of sheep and lambe in the Chicago market for year 1911 was but $5.39 per hundred pounds. This price is approximately the cost of production on December 2. The wholesale price on No. 1 dressed mutton in Chicago was but 74 cents; No. 2 grade, 6} cents; No. 3 grade, 54 cents; giving a general average for all mutton of but 64 cents per pound. The price of No. 1 dressed lamb was 1l cents per pound, No. 2 dressed lamb 10 cents per pound, or an average of 104 cents per pound. Unfortunately this meat reaches the consumers at double the price, due entirely to the charges of the retailer and method of distribution which can not be reached by the tariff. The conditions would still make the price regardless of whether the meat was produced at home or abroad. We have a supply of sheep in this country fully adequate to supply all the demands of the people; therefore any mutton or lamh that is imported will merely displace that produced at home and drive the American farmer out of the sheep business without any corresponding benefit to the consumer. In the name of the sheep industry of this country I respectfully urge that no change be made in the duty on mutton and lamb.
F. J. HAGENBARTH, President National Wool Growers' Association.
S. W. McCLURE, Secretury. PARAGRAPH 229.
All other live animals, not specially provided for in this section, twenty per centum ad valorem.