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Mr. MOLLIN. I can speak from the experience of what happened after the last war. The outfit I was with in Nebraska
The CHAIRMAN. You said that was World War conditions, not the tariff.
Mr. MOLLIN. I am speaking about 1920 and 1921. Immediately following the war the outfit I was with in Nebraska lost almost half its invested capital in those 2 years. I don't want to see anything like that happen again.
The CHAIRMAN. How much loss was there in 1931, 1932, and 1933, and how many people lost their homes, lost everything they had !
Mr. MOLLIN. That's right—due to the world depression.
The CHAIRMAN. Don't say what it was due to; you just answer my question. I asked you, what is the greatest number since you have been a living man that lost what they had; even lost their homes.
Mr. MOLLIN. That's right.
The CHAIRMAN. Did you ever know an era like it in your lifetime?
Mr. MOLLIN. No; and I hope we don't have another one.
The CHAIRMAN. You were speaking of foot-and-mouth disease, and you said you had heavy importations under the Smoot-Hawley Act, before we had a Reciprocal Trade Act. If we had heavy importations, raising the tariff wouldn't have anything to do with that.
Mr. MOLLIN. You must have misunderstood me. The heavy importations I referred to were of canned beef, and there is no danger of foot-and-mouth disease from canned beef.
The CHAIRMAN. I just didn't understand why you mentioned footand-mouth disease if you are not fearful
Mr. MOLLIN. The reason I mentioned it is because if the State Department had the power today to write a trade agreement containing a clause that would cancel the embargo, they would have done so. They have already made such an agreement and it has been reposing in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee ever since May 1935. It has been over there for 8 years without ratification.
The CHAIRMAN. Don't you think our public health laws would protect you?
Mr. Mollin. This Argentine Sanitary Convention was written for the purpose of evading the law that we now have.
The CHAIRMAN. Now come back to the question. Does that have anything to do with reciprocal trade?
Mr. MOLLIN. I took that as an example of why we don't want those economists and professors down there in the State Department to do these things that could ruin the industry.
The CHAIRMAN. Whom do you want?
The CHAIRMAN. Yes. Now about this foot-and-mouth disease. Let's go a little further.
I have a son who buys and sells and breeds registered Hereford cattle, and he buys cattle in Colorado and he buys some from Texas and Kansas City, Mo., and he frequently gets cattle with foot disease. They develop foot disease before they get off the train.
Mr. MOLLIN. I don't know what you are talking about. It isn't foot-and-mouth disease. If it was, the B. A. I. would be down on you in a hurry. I don't know what disease you are talking about. It is probably shipping fever, Mr. Chairman. That is a disease that cattle get frequently when they are shipped, particularly young eattle, but it is not foot-and-mouth disease. The last outbreak of that in this country was in 1929.
The CHAIRMAN. That is a long way back, isn't it?
The CHAIRMAN. That was before reciprocal trade agreements, wasn't it?
Mr. MOLLIN. Yes.
The CHAIRMAN. That was one of the troubles you had before you had reciprocal trade agreements?
Mr. MOLLIN. That is right.
Mr. MOLLIN. I think you misunderstood the purpose of my mentioning the fact.
The CHAIRMAN. I am trying to get you straightened out.
Mr. MOLLIN. I don't need any straightening out. I understand the situation. We would have had it if we had taken the agreement the way they wanted to write it. I have a copy of it right here.
The CHAIRMAN. But we have not been having trouble, you say, since 1929.
Mr. MOLLIN. Who?
The CHAIRMAN. You had the trouble before you had the reciprocal trade agreements, and you don't have it now.
Mr. MOLLIN. The record will show the point I am making.
The CHAIRMAN. I am not speaking about the record, I am asking you. If we did have it before we had reciprocal trade agreements, and we don't have it now since we have the reciprocal trade agreements
Mr. MOLLIN. I will restate my position, if that is what you want. The CHAIRMAN. I am asking you.
Mr. MOLLIN. I am trying to tell you, if you will let me state it. We don't want the authorities that write the reciprocal trade agreements to have the power to write into those agreements a provision that will nullify the sanitary embargo, and that is what they tried to do in this Argentine Sanitary Convention, negotiated by the officials of the State Department, lying in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee unratified for the last 8 years.
The CHAIRMAN. You are talking about foot-and-mouth disease now?
The CHARMAN. I don't think you have at all. I asked you if you are alarmed about what they might do on the basis of anything they have done about foot-and-mouth disease. That is a fair question, I know.
Mr. MOLLIN. I used the reference to foot and mouth as parallel, Mr. Chairman, to the power of those people in the Trade Agreements Division to write into agreements things that would be very detrimental to the livestock industry. Now, they tried to do that in this Argentine Sanitary Convention.
The CHAIRMAN. They didn't do it.
Mr. MOLLIN. That is not saying they are not going to do it. It is just & question of their not knowing enough about the business to protect American industry. That is what I am talking about.
The CHAIRMAN. Well, if they have protected you so far, isn't that some evidence that they may do it in the future?
Mr. MOLLIN. We have protected it by keeping this thing from being ratified. So far as they are concerned in the State Department, they put out propaganda in 1935 and in 1937 trying to get this document ratified.
The CHAIRMAN. It hasn't been ratified. We are under one that has been ratified, and you haven't suffered.
Mr. MOLLIN. No; because they couldn't get the job done that they wanted to get done.
The CHAIRMAN. And you haven't been hurt. I think we have plenty of opportunity to criticize bureaus and administrators in different departments for things they have done, without criticizing them for things we think they might do.
Mr. MOLLIN. They tried to do this, Mr. Chairman.
The CHAIRMAN. It looks more like a scarecrow to me than anything else.
Are there any further questions?
Mr. KNUTSON. They tried to do something to the cattle industry, but didn't succeed. Isn't that right?
Mr. MOLLIN. That's right, sir.
Mr. KNUTSON. And they believe in the old saying, “If at first you don't succeed, try, try again.” What you are afraid of is that they are going to try again, and probably put it over on you, is that right?
Mr. MOLLIN. That's right.
May I just read a little paragraph from this Sanitary Convention, to see what they are willing to put up with?
Mr. KNUTSON. Who told you hoof-and-mouth disease was stamped out in 1929 in Argentina ?
Mr. MOLLIN. It never has been stamped out.
Mr. MOLLIN. They had the worst outbreak last year they have had in many years.
Mr. KNUTSON. As a matter of fact, they have states in quarantine against other states. Do you recall an epidemic that we had out in the Corn Belt in 1913 ?
Mr. MOLLIN. 1914.
Mr. KNUTSON. We had to kill thousands of head, didn't we? Mr. MOLLIN. It spread to 22 States and the District of Columbia.
Mr. KNUTSON. I am not surprised to hear you say that it spread to the District of Columbia.
Mr. MOLLIN. It did.
Mr. KNUTSON. They dug trenches longer than this room, and onethird as wide, and they dumped their cattle and hogs into them and covered them with quicklime and covered them up?
Mr. MOLLIN. Yes, sir. Mr. KNUTSON. What you are trying to do is to prevent a repetition of that occurrence?
Mr. MOLLIN. That's right.
Mr. KNUTSON. And that is the reason they are jumping on you here, is it?
Mr. MOLLIN. I don't think the Chairman understood what I meant. I just used it as a parallel. I didn't say there was anything in the Argentine trade agreement that did that, but I just referred to the negotiation of that agreement, the Argentine Sanitary Convention, as an example of the damage that could be done to American industry by people in the State Department who don't know enough about people in the industry.
Mr. KNUTSON. The Argentine sanitary agreement has been in the Senate for years.
Mr. MOLLIN. Eight years.
Mr. KNUTSON. And the State Department every year tries to get them to put it through under the good-neighbor policy.
Mr. MOLLIN. I am glad to say that since the Rio Conference, a little over a year ago, I haven't seen any activity in that direction, but prior to that time there were frequent efforts.
Mr. KNUTSON. That is all.
Mr. JENKINS. One question in connection with that: If it were not for the activities of your organization and the others associated with you, it is likely that that would have been adopted, is it not?
Mr. Moulin. I think so, and many of the Members of Congress were very actively opposed to it—those from the livestock-producing States.
Mr. JENKINS. Do you think if this law providing for the agreements is extended that it will be well to have a provision that they should be ratified by the Congress? If they were required to be ratified by the Congress it would not be likely that they could get such provisions ratified.
Mr. MOLLIN. That is right.
Mr. JENKINS. You can easily base your argument, as I see it, on the fact that you are opposing the extension and assign that as one reason, that it is likely, if it is granted, unless somebody stands on the watchtower all the time, that they will do the very thing you are talking about.
Mr. MOLLIN. Two years ago the president of our association went to Argentina, and on the boat coming back there was a young Argentine lad coming up here to go to agricultural college, and they were discussing the matter of the embargo, and this young fellow was very frank. He said, "We would like to see the Argentine Sanitary Convention ratified, so that some place could be declared clean, so we could ship our cattle there for export to the United States.” They are very frank about it.
The CHAIRMAN. Mr. West?
Mr. West. I am afraid our distinguished chairman doesn't know what hoof and mouth disease is, in view of the fact that he was saying that his son bought cattle in Texas, Kansas City, Mo., and so forth, and they arrived with a hoof disease. I wish you would explain to him that that is known as shipping fever, brought about in shipping, and explain that in hoof and mouth disease the hooves fall off the animal, and the mouth gets sore and they can't eat.
The CHAIRMAN. We have had that, too. I don't see any immediate connection.
Mr. West. They have lots of it in South America, and we want to keep it out of here and if you raise the sanitary embargo on South American cattle you will have it here and you will have to kill millions and millions of cattle in this country.
Now, on this reciprocal trade agreement with Mexico, have you any figures to show the difference in cost of production of cattle in the United States as compared with the cost of production of cattle in Mexico ?
Mr. Mollin. I havn't any specific figures with me, but in just a general way you know better than I do the difference in the cost of labor in Mexico and in this country.
Mr. WEST. The price of the grazing land on which these cattle run is probably from ten to twenty times as much on this side of the river as it is in Mexico.
Mr. MOLLIN. Yes. Another thing, they pay only one tax. They might keep a cow to be 10 years old. They pay one tax and get a tag and that is all the tax they pay.
Mr. West. And they don't pay an income tax down there, do they? Mr. MOLLIN. I don't think so.
Mr. West. Can you tell us the approximate number of cattle wo had in the United States on January 1, 1943?
Mr. Mollin. On January 1, 1943, it was reported as 78,170,000, I think.
Mr. West. Have you seen the Department of Agriculture's estimate on the number of cattle they expect it to increase to by the first of '44!
Mr. MOLLIN. I haven't seen an official figure, but their estimate on beef production this year is less than last year's, and that inevitably means a substantial increase in numbers.
Mr. West. I am advised—this is not official-that they expect an increase in cattle in the United States this year of 3,500,000 head, to run the total number up to 81,500,000 head.
Mr. MOLLIN. Well over 81,000,000; that's right. Yet we marketed last year, total slaughter, almost 28,000,000 head of cattle and calves, yet increased the number over 3,000,000 head last year and we are on the way up. Of course we are getting out of balance with the feed now. We are going to have to start liquidating some of these days.
Mr. West. If the O. P. A. continues the regulations they now have in effect, when we have more cattle than we have ever had in the history of the country, and rationing meat as they are, the chances