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inhibited exports of rice from that country at all. Another thing, conditions in this country are on a very much higher plane, and the importer has found it impossible to get the goods he wants.
Mr. HARRISON. That practically is the situation ?
Mr. BREAUX. Well, of course the figures you give are bound to be correct. The year 1899 shows abnormally large, being followed in 1900 by a diminution of nearly $700,000 for total rice; since that year the revenue has about been maintained. It is not fair in presenting statistics for imports to segregate the different kinds unless you touch upon their relative value and relative per cent of the total crop.
Mr. HARRISON. But my deduction from them is correct—that the rate is more and more becoming prohibitive ?
Mr. BREAUX. No; I do not agree with that premise for this
Mr. HARRISON (interposing). In order that we may secure revenue from rice we will have to lower the rate and stimulate imports ?
Mr. BREAUX. I think this, that if the Asiatic countries this next year or two years make a large crop, and a condition comes about such as we fear, that there may be a very large crop made, that they would then put that rice to this market, seeking the United States as a market, and we would consume some of their goods. But the question of lowering the tariff per se in my opinion would have absolutely no effect in increasing the revenue and stimulating importations, any more than it would decrease the price.
Mr. HARRISON. Do you mean that if we even took the tariff off we could not get more importations?
Mr. BREAUX. You would not get very much more. But the result of that would be
Mr. HARRISON (interposing). Then, why are you afraid of that? Mr. BREAUX. I do not quite grasp that proposition.
Mr. HARRISON. If we would not get any more importations, why are you afraid of our taking the tariff wall down?
Mr. BREAUX. I was talking from the standpoint of revenue, and you have jumped over to another side of the question. You commenced by telling me the revenues had decreased, and suggested that by reducing the tariff we would increase our revenues.
Mr. HARRISON. Well, would it reduce the price to the consumer to take the tariff off ?
Mr. BREAUX. I do not think it would.
Mr. BREAUX. Because we believe if you remove the duty entirely rice will come in so freely that lands we have bought and put to growing rice would go back to grazing again, and that the growing and distribution of rice in this country would not be possible in years when there was plenty in the Orient.
Mr. HARRISON. Can you not make more than $2 an acre from grazing lands?
Mr. BREAUX. No, sir; because it takes a matter of 10 or 12 or 15 acres to take care of one cow, and you can not divide that many acres into one cow and make $2 an acre when a cow is worth only about $20.
Mr. HARRISON. Looking at the other side, what about exports of rice from the United States? I have the figures of the Treasury Department for the last three years, and they show we exported:
Now, does that not seem to you, from the other side, to be an argument that the cost of production has lessened so in the United States that we can afford to take this tariff down, and must take it down, in order to get the same revenues we used to get from rice?
Mr. BREAUX. If you take the tariff down you would not have any revenue at all.
Mr. HARRISON. I am not talking about taking the tariff off entirely, but about taking the tariff down and stimulating importations.
Mr. BREAUX. No, sir; five years of development in the industry increased the production very much, and we had a surplus in this country, and we were in a condition of distress, and that condition brought about a price of 80 cents per bushel to the farmer because of the fact that we made two or three large crops and the distributive end of the industry did not keep up to the agricultural end, and that forced us to the attitude of exporting some of the rice, due to the fact that the foreign crops were a serious failure, thus giving us an opportunity to export to supply the deficiency, under abnormal market conditions, which have never occurred in the world's history before.
Mr. HARRISON. On that point I quoted some figures that showed we were growing largely as an exporting nation in rice, and that this year we exported nearly 27,000,000 pounds. How much rice is sent from Louisiana to Porto Rico?
Mr. BREAUX. I do not call that exporting. Mr. HARRISON. No; but give me those figures. Mr. BREAUX. In round figures there were sent to Porto Rico about 1,000,000 packages of 100 pounds each.
Mr. HARRISON. One hundred million pounds of rice are sent from Louisiana to Porto Rico ?
Mr. BREAUX. Yes; and if it had not been for that condition, of getting the Porto Rico market, we believe we would have gone broke.
Mr. HARRISON. So that to the Porto Rico market alone we ship nearly twice as much rice as the total imports into the United States?
Mr. BREAUX. Yes, sir. The point I make about imports of rice into the United States is that the character of rice brought here is for a specific purpose. I want to get the people of the United Statse educated up to the point that they will understand rice is a vegetable and should be eaten and used in this country and all over this country just as are potatoes and corn.
Mr. HARRISON. I hope you may succeed in doing that. I do not think
you need fear importations when our exportations are increasing 78959°-VOL 313
by leaps and bounds, and we are only getting one-half the revenue that we got 12 or 13 years ago.
Mr. BREAUX. In that document you have, does it show where this rice goes to, the points it goes to ?
Mr. HARRISON. No; it does not.
Mr. EAUX. Because it might mean Hawaii, Porto Rico, and other such places?
Mr. HARRISON. No; these are exports to countries outside of our tariff wall, where we compete with the nations of the world.
Mr. FORDNEY. Do you not export largely to Cuba?
Mr. LONGWORTH. You have no doubt observed the tender solicitude the gentleman from New York (Mr. Harrison) expresses for revenue, and yet he is one of the gentlemen who wanted to put sugar on the free list. Let me ask you what you think would be the effect on the present prosperity of Louisiana by putting rice and sugar on the free list?
Mr. FORDNEY. Yes; and especially with the boll weevil breaking out now and then.
Mr. LONGWORTH. Well, leaving the boll weevil out of consideration.
Mr. BREAUX. I would rather leave out sugar. While I love the sugar people and all that, I came here to represent the rice growers.
Mr. LONGWORTH. You surely have some idea of the effect if rice and sugar were put on the free list and do not come here willing to have sugar go on the free list and your own industry protected ?
Mr. BREAUX. Well, we believe there should be a duty on rice and also on sugar; that the sugar people should have protection, too. But I am here in behalf of the rice growers, and it will cost me trouble enough to represent them, will it not?
Mr. LONGWORTH. That may be. You can hardly come before this committee on tariff and ask to have a protective duty maintained on rice unless you also consider that the State of Louisiana needs & revenue and protective duty on sugar.
Mr. BREAUX. There is no question about that. In other words, we need to be consistent, and we are consistent.
Mr. LONGWORTH. Yes. What effect on the prosperity of the State of Louisiana would the taking off of the duty on sugar and rice have?
Mr. BREAUX. I believe that the industries of sugar and rice are united in Louisiana, or would be affected so seriously that they might just as well be united, that if the duty were taken off the State of Louisiana would be in a state of distress such as has not been known since the Civil War, because we all know that in the northern part of Louisiana these lands are being turned into rice as fast as possible, and we know that in western Louisiana in certain territories, where Mr. Pujo is, for instance, that the lands there have been developed to bloom like the rose and land values have gone up in leaps and bounds, because the rice came in. Now, although we think those lands will raise anything, rice is really about the only crop that we can be sure of, and as a matter of fact conditions for the last two years have started rice on the road to prosperity, and we want those conditions maintained.
Mr. LONGWORTH. Can you tell me what the retail price of rice in Europe is?
Mr. BREAUX. No; I can not say. I know that if the New York price is 54 cents the European price is 31 cents, which is the New York price less 2 cents per pound duty.
Mr. FORDNEY. I have some recent figures on prices in European countries which show that rice ranges from 5 cents to 15 cents per pound, retail.
Mr. BREAUX. That makes my argument all the better. Let us increase this crop; let us continue our present development, or the development that we hope to have; let us make this crop 6,000,000 instead of 3,000,000, and then the lands that we have can be opened up to further development.
Mr. FORDNEY. Isn't it true that the price of rice to the consumer in this country has materially gone down since we have had a
protective duty on rice, and don't you think home production has lowered the price to the consumer and that home production has been stimulated by the tariff ?
Mr. BREAUX. Yes, sir; rice is selling for less to-day in the market than it used to. The result has been that when the duty was put on we increased production and then we reduced the price.
Mr. HARRISON. If you reduce revenues, you reduce protection incidentally with the revenue.
Mr. LONGWORTH. Aren't the revenues higher to-day than they were under the lower duty? Under the Wilson tariff bill, where the duty is lower than it is now, the revenues at the highest point under that tariff were lower than they are to-day?
Mr. BREAUX. I think you are correct.
Mr. HARRISON. But three years later, in 1899, they were twice as much as they are now.
Mr. PAYNE. If you will take the statistics furnished by the committee, on page 225, you will find that the duties from revenue collections on rice for the years 1896, 1905, 1910, 1911, 1912, taking all the calculations—cleaned rice, uncleaned rice, rice paddy, rice flour, and total rice, rice flour, etc.--you will see that the revenues have largely increased from what they were in 1896, or 1905, and I think you ought to add that to your brief in this case, in view of the question asked by my colleague, which includes only two or three kinds and might be misseading on that point. When the committee comes to decide on the revenue under this bill they will find that they are getting much larger revenue than they were getting under the former duty.
Mr. HARRISON. If my colleague will excuse me, I included the only two kinds of rice of any commercial importance, cleaned and uncleaned. The other two--paddy rice, which is insignificant, and brewer's rice, or rice flour—and the figures which I gave to the witness include all that may be commercially known as rice.
Mr. Payne. Rice flour, Table 240, page 225—the duties collected in 1896 were $172,000; in 1905, $162,000; in 1910, $357,000; in 1911, $330,000, and in 1912, $291,000. Then you come down to total rice, rice flour, and so forth, and that gives the duty by taking the
tables, 1896, $983,000; 1905, $797,000; 1910, $1,458,000; 1911, $1,381,000; 1912, $1,232,000. You will find that in Table 240. That seems to be the whole thing:
Mr. HILL. I find that the foreign value of the imported rice is about double this last year, 75 per cent more in preceding. years than the figure you have just stated you sell your rice for in Louisiana. Why is that? Is it a different article ?
Mr. BREAUX. No; it is not a different article.
Mr. HILL. Do they compete, and, if so, how can they compete with the foreign importations at double what you sell yours for?
Mr. BREAUX. I do not construe it that way.
Mr. Hill. In 1896 the value of the imported rice was 2.9, which is practically 3 cents; in 1910, it is 3.10; in 1911, 3.2; in 1912, 3.7. You say you sold your rice for 93 cents a bushel, which is practically 2 cents a pound.
Mr. BREAUX. That was in the rough.
Mr. Hill. Well, rice in the rough was 2.3 cents in 1905, 2.4 cents in 1910, 2.6 cents in 1911, and 3.3 cents last year, landed in New York without the payment of the duty, 50 to 100 per cent higher than you say you sell your rice for. Now, where is the competition!
Mr. BREAUX. Except as I say, when I talk about 93 cents, I mean per bushel; I mean a bushel unhulled, on the plantation, and when you talk about 3.7 cents imported, you mean cleaned, the manufactured product.
Mr. Hill. No; I mean rice, uncleaned, or free of the outer hull, but having the inner cuticle on it.
Mr. BREAUX. In that condition, our rice sells for about 4 cents. That is hulled rice.
Mr. HILL. How can there be a difference of 2 cents a pound in simply hulling it?
Mr. BREAUX. That is on account of the loss in weight. You take a bushel of rice, which weighs 45 pounds, and you do not get but about 28 or 30 pounds of hulled rice from it. The other 15 pounds is chaff, polish, bran, and the by-products, which are worth very much less money. So when you take a bushel of rice and mill it you lose from 5 to 30
cent. Mr. Hill. And so you add about one-third to the price, so it would be about 27 beyond imported rice, which last year was 2.3. It seems to me you are underselling the foreign market now without any duty.
Mr. BREAUX. We do not understand ourselves, because when we talk about the bushel price, and those are the figures I gave, I am speaking about the rice in the rough state; you are speaking about the finished product. The prices that you gave me, as I understand it, and the prices the importers quote us are on a basis of 3.7 cents, and that is the manufactured rice.
Mr. Hill. Then it is not because it is a different quality; it is actually a competing article?
Mr. BREAUX. Yes, sir.
Mr. Hull. It is true, is it not, that the consumer pays about twice as much for our annual output as the raiser or grower gets for it in the first place?