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increase the breeding of food animals and eventually tend to reduce the cost of living for our vast and increasing population.
Now, as to the effect of placing hay and straw on the free list so far as the western and eastern producer in the United States is concerned, the western producer has all the markets of the country safeguarded to him by his natural advantages in freight rates. Canadian hay is barred from all territory in the United States except the Atlantic seaboard by the heavy cost of this rail transportation, except in the case of a crop failure and consequent abnormal prices.
The eastern producer consumes almost his entire product on the farm, only selling an occasional surplus for local consumption or shipping to near-by markets enjoying low freight rates, and securing for himself a very profitable farm value for his hay.
The price of hay in the different markets in the United State is a geographical proposition, affected by local conditions. New England and New York City and the farge manufacturing cities to the south of us and their tributary territory produce little of their food supplies, and it is not a sound economic condition to deprive them of a natural source of supply for such a prime necessity of animal life as hay, compelling them to draw this supply from the far West, when without any injury to the western farmer this supply can be obtained elsewhere at lower freight rates. Then, again, nowhere in the United States is the supply of timothy and clover hay increasing as rapidly as the increase in population. The extension of dairy farming consumes more and more of the hay on the farm. Ten and fifteen years ago timothy hay sold in New York City in normal times at $15 to $18 per ton. Of late years we have seen such prices as $28 to $32 per ton, and at present, with the largest reported crop ever harvested, prices are ruling at $20 to $23 per ton for the regular commercial grades, and all of these are wholesale prices.
The Department of Agriculture has lately reported that while the farmer of the United States has received in the year 1912 as compared with 1902 nearly 70 per cent more in price on the average for the products he sells, he is only paying about 18 per cent more for the supplies he consumes. This hardly looks as though the farmer needed any protection on a product like hay.
The placing of hay and straw on the free list would not deprive the Government of any appreciable revenue and would have little effect on the farm price of hay in any of our large producing States. It would tend to prevent violent fluctuations in our largest consuming cities on the Atlantic seaboard from New England to Florida, which are the most congested parts of the country and where relief from the present high feed. ing cost is most needed. It would enable this part of the country to obtain the benefit of a natural source of supply at low freight rates and short transportation hauls, with the advantage of canal and water transportation for an article of prime commercial necessity, and one which the western farmer shows no inclination to produce in greater abundance even under the stimulus of greatly increased prices.
Anything that will reduce the cost of getting our manufactured articles which we must export to the seaboard is greatly to be desired. A reduction in the present high cost of feeding would tend to reduce the cost of trucking in our large cities, and this is an item which enters into the cost of all manufactured goods.
It is difficult to see why the eastern consumer should be compelled to pay $6 to $8 per ton freight charges on hay shipped from the Mississippi Valley when his supplies can be obtained just across our northern frontier, in the St. Lawrence River Valley, at freight charges not exceeding $3.50 to $4 per ton for rail transportation, and about $1 per ton less than this when the canal system is open, during the spring, summer, and autumn months. The present prohibitive duty simply deprives the consumer of this opportunity to reduce his feeding costs, producing no revenue to the Government, except in abnormal times, but simply encouraging an unnatural and wasteful movement of hay from our western farms to our eastern cities. It also encourages the movement from our western farms of a vast amount of hay which should be fed on the farm to live stock and help to increase the number of food animals on the farms.
There is little doubt but that in the course of a few years the farmers of the United States will be much better off if the supply of hay for the large cities of the Atlantic seaboard could be obtained absolutely from the extensive farming lands both north and south of the St. Lawrence River in the Eastern Provinces of Canada where farm values are much less than in the United States and where there are not the large centers of population such as we find in our Western States ready to use a greatly increased production of the products of more extensive farming than at present prevails.
If a duty is still retained on hay and straw there seems to be little prospect of avoiding continually increasing prices for timothy hay from year to year on account of a decreased production in the United States. The farmer will get little benefit
from these increased prices on account of the long and extensive transportation hauls and the consumer will be paying not only the tax on hay and straw actually imported from the Canadian Provinces, but the increased price on the domestic product caused by high transportation. All of this can be avoided by simply taking advantage of the cheaper transportation furnished by our improved canal system and water rates along our Atlantic coast from New York and Boston to the South.
This is not a political question as it appeals to the business world, but a purely economic question and it is becoming absolutely necessary to obtain relief for the consuming public. There is a wave of public protest spreading over the entire country against these increasing food costs and any unnecessary obstruction to obtaining supplies at the lowest possible cost should not be continued against any section of the country, especially where the burden is felt the most on account of the high transportation costs on an article that railroads even now discriminate against to their utmost when more profitable freight is offered. PARAGRAPH 259.
Honey, twenty cents per gallon.
BRIEF ON BEHALF OF CONSUMERS.
NEW YORK, January 16, 1913. Hon. Oscar W. UNDERWOOD,
Chairman of the Ways and Means Committee, Washington, D. C. DEAR SIR: On behalf of the large consumers of honey throughout the United States I have the honor to plead that the now exorbitant and unnecessary duty on honey be reduced, for the reason that this country does not produce within 50 per cent of what it can consume. The
crop of honey for the past two years has been so short in the United States that it has worked a hardship on the bakers, forcing them to use artificial honey containing styrax, thereby violating the pure food laws and giving the consumer an article of cakes that is not as good as if made with real honey.
There is one baking concern in the United States that uses over 100 cars of honey annually. The crop has been so short in this country that they have run the price up to 90 cents and $1 a gallon. Honey weighs 114 pounds to the gallon.
The reason for using honey in bakery products is not one of economy; it is used rather on account of the excellent result it produces. It has two qualities not possessed by any other sweets. It is more digestible and the goods in which it is used never grow hard. As a preservative it is unequaled.
The West Indies are the great honey producing countries. You have a tariff of 20 cents a gallon from Santo Domingo; no drawback. You have a tariff from Cuba of 20 cents a gallon with 4 cents drawback. Porto Rican honey comes in free. The honey merchant in Santo Domingo criticizes us and refuses to ship his honey to us because his tariff is higher than the Cuban's tariff. The Cuban won't send his honey here because he can get more for it in Germany, Belgium, and Holland. Twenty cents a gallon is a prohibitive tariff; besides depriving the consumer of this country of a good food product which is absolutely necessary. If you had a duty of 5 cents a gallon in the place of 20 cents you would collect more revenue on honey than you do to-day, for the reason that the merchants of the United States can pay more to the Cubans. The Porto Rican honey goes to Spain and other European countries where it went before the island belonged to us. Honey from Jamaica and other British possessions goes to Canada and Great Britain.
The following are the receipts of honey imported through the New York customhouse for the year 1912:
Duty. San Domingo: 3,921 gallons, $1,874, at 20 cents per gallon....
$784. 20 Cuba: 21,903 gallons, $12,317, at 20 cents per gallon.
4,380. 60 Less 20 per cent....
3, 504. 48 That was about all that came to this country. There might have been a little received through Philadelphia.
The consular report from Habana, Cuba, for the fiscal year of 1910 and 1911: “The total exportation of honey from the island of Cuba was 7,526,197 pounds, of which the
United States took less than 15 per cent, Belgium 22 per cent, Germany about 30 per cent, and Holland about 15 per cent, the remainder being divided up among various other countries of the world.
We should be in a position in this country to handle all the Cuban crop and supply the other countries.
Some people claim that high duties are maintained to protect the American workingman, but as the bees do not draw any salary no protection is necessary for the workingman.
Yours, very respectfully,
AMERICAN COUSULAR SERVICE,
Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic, January 9, 1913. The MUTUAL PURCHASING Co., New York.
Dear Sirs: In reply to your letter of the 27th ultimo I have to say that figures for 1912 are not yet available. In 1911 there was exported from Puerto Plata 5,365 gallons of honey, valued at $2,486 (none to the United States); from Monte Cristi 22,610 gallons, valued at $9,844 (none to the United States); and from Samana 3,776 gallons, valued at $1,824, of this 3,156, valued at $1,501, went to the United States. The total value of honey exported from the Dominican Republic in 1911 was $58,846. One shipment of honey to the United States was invoiced from this office in 1910, Done in 1909, 8,267 pounds in 1912. Germany and France, I believe, take most of the Dominican honey.
By April 1 I probably can give you the 1912 figures for the ports of this district is you still require them. Regretting that they are not available now, Very truly yours,
(Signed) CHARLES M. HATHAWAY, Jr.,
American Consul. PARAGRAPH 260.
Hops, sixteen cents per pound; hop extract and lupulin, fifty per centum ad valorem. See Seattle Brewing & Malting Co., page 2718. PARAGRAPH 261.
Onions, forty cents per bushel of fifty-seven pounds; garlic, one cent per pound. For garlic, see Italian Chamber of Commerce, page 2631; and for onions, see also James W. Nye, page 2789.
TESTIMOMY OF JOHN H. DAVIS, REPRESENTING THE SOUTHERN
TEXAS TRUCK GROWERS' ASSOCIATION.
The witness was duly sworn by the chairman.
Mr. Davis. Mr. Chairman and gentlemen of the committee, I have been listening to discussions here on the onion tariff, why we want it, and all those things. I believe Mr. Hancock said that the tariff was a local issue, did he not? I believe that myself, that every one of us in our peculiar sections want something. We have a tariff of 40 cents per bushel on onions, and we tell you that if you take it off we will starve to death.
I want to state that I am representing here what is known as the Southern Texas Truck Growers' Association. Seven years ago we realized that we could not do business at home unless we had some way of competing with the people in the market. For that reason there was an organization of farmers formed, and there is not a man allowed to be on the board of directors of this organization unless he be a farmer and actually engaged in the industry. This organization has sought
to bring together the two ends of what is necessary for success—that is, the market end and the producing end. We found that in the beginning of 1906 the commission men, while they were just as honest as they could be, were getting about all that we produced, and that we were absolutely farming at an expense before 1906. Since that time we have maintained a central office in our State and five other central offices, distributed throughout the United States, in New York, Chicago, Pittsburgh, St. Louis, and several other places. We maintain those offices for about eight weeks during the market season in order to see that the farmer gets what is coming to him; that is, the market price or market value of his stuff; we do not want anything
Now, as to the question of tariff. We have heard, if you will allow me, Mr. Chairman, this evening from Bermuda. A foreign country comes here and asks the Congress of this country to legislate in their behalf. That is something that I believe--I do not know; I may be mistaken-was never done before, and I do not think that such a thing was ever asked before any Congress in the world.
Mr. Hill. Never. Mr. Davis. I can not understand that. Now, I do not know whether it is in order for me to say this, but such men have sold to me onion seed in two sacks and from one sack of seed not a plant came up and the other was no account. I do not know whether that is in order or not, but I could not help saying it. Now, he said that they had been forced to reduce the Bermuda onion crop from a 400,000 crate crop to a 150,000 crate crop, that is, while this tariff has been standing at 40 cents per bushes, and he comes back here and asks you to put back that tariff on American produce and produce growers, so that he may bring his stuff here and continue to sell it to us. Now, some of you may be acquainted with our friend Hanson, over in Mexico. I have a letter in my valise at the hotel in which he says, “Davis, if possible, prevent any reduction in the onion tariff.” Now, gentlemen, you have it from Bermuda, a foreign country, on one hand saying "Take the tariff off," and you have Mexico, on the other hand, saying "Keep it on.” And what do we say? Gentlemen, as the representative of this organization, which is trying to bring the two ends of the industry together, I say “Let it alone." I believe we are thoroughly protected and I believe the law of supply and demand for the farmer, for the manufacturer, and for every other industry that we have among us, will bring about success as long as American energy is behind it.
Mr. Hill. Do we import onions from Mexico ?
Mr. Davis. There is another correction I want to make. The gentleman from Bermuda said the Bermuda onion which they give us is better than the Bermuda onion produced in Texas. Gentlemen, we have just "out-Bermudaed" Bermuda so much that we have run them out of the market. We can produce the finest flavored Bermuda onion ever produced, and that is proven by the fact that we have put the Bermuda onion out of business. Now, answering your question, Mexico has, down along the Tampico coast, some 800 or 900 acres that this year for the first time will be planted in onions. Now, the Bermuda onions from Texas, the Bermuda onions from Mexico, and from the Bermuda Islands come in almost at the same
time. The onions from Bermuda and the onions from Mexico come in 20 days later than the onions from Texas, and those onions fill in that gap; that is, they fill in the gap between the time of the coming in of what is known as the common onion in the United States, in the spring, and the season of the old onions of the year before. The Bermuda onions fill in that gap, and it is a good thing for the country to have them coming in to the market at that time. Now, I do not believe we are going to be so seriously affected if you take this protection off, so far as making something out of our business is concerned, but I do not believe it is just that the American farmers should have something taken away from them and taken out of the values that they have placed in their machinery, and so on, in order to grow onions. It costs about $400 or $500 an acre in southern Texas, where we are growing this stuff, to prepare an acre in which to plant onions. I heard the questions asked about the pumping business there, and I want to say that it actually costs to put our land under irrigation something like $400 an acre. Now, then, we have this money invested in that industry and we have in this organization 2,700 members growing onions to-day.
Now, as to this tariff I do not know just what to say; I am bet wixt the devil and the sea; I am right between and I do not know what to do with it. I do not know whether it will help us to take it off or help us to have it kept on. I just can not say.
Now, talking about that cabbage business. This organization seeks to correct that very thing which you are talking about. Two weeks ago, gentlemen, in Pittsburgh there were 125 carloads of cabbages standing on the tracks. Ten carloads were sold at between $7 and $8 a ton, and the balance of them, gentlemen, rotted, and when asked why they did not put them on the market and give to the people that commodity, the answer was “If we ever get the price down we can never get it up.” That is a peculiar condition, is it not?
The CHAIRMAN. Your time has expired.
Mr. Davis. I say in this little paper which I have prepared that I believe this organization is aiming at the right point, and our office at San Antonio has compiled, for the last 7 years, every possible statistic along every, possible line affecting our business, and I will be very glad to furnish those statistics, or any other information we may have, if the committee should desire them. I thank you very much.
WASHINGTON, D. C., January 20, 1913. The Ways AND MEANS COMMITTEE,
House of Representatives. GENTLEMEN: I am here to present the claims of the Southern Texas Truck Growers' Association. This organization is now marketing approximately 60 per cent of the produce in the territory indicated by the name of the association. It is a cooperative organization, managed and controlled wholly by a board of directors composed of farmers.
Onions is the product for which the marketing agency was originally formed that the growers might, as it were, be protected against themselves.
The question of tariff has not, to this time, entered into our consideration, and we have certainly had troubles enough without having the injection of pauper labor from abroad to contend against.