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BOIES PENROSE, Pennsylvania, Chairman. PORTER J. MCCUMBER, North Dakota.



PETER G. GERRY, Rhode Island. GEORGE P. MCLEAN, Connecticut.

JAMES A. REED, Missouri.

DAVID I. WALSH, Massachusetts

W. B. STEWART, Assistant Clark





Washington, D. C. The committee met, pursuant to adjournment, at 10.30 o'clock a. m., in room 312, Senate Office Building, Hon. Boies Penrose presiding.

Present: Senators Penrose (chairman), McCumber, Smoot, La Follette, Dillingham, McLean, Watson, Calder, Sutherland, Simmons, and Walsh.

The CHAIRMAN. Senator Reed has brought a gentleman here who desires to be heard, in order to get away, and Mr. Reed being a member of the committee I will call on Mr. Pryor. Mr. Pryor will you state for the information of the committee your full name?




Mr. PRYOR. My full name is Isaac Thomas Pryor.
The CHAIRMAN. Where do you reside?
Mr. PRYOR. San Antonio, Tex.

The CHAIRMAN. Will you proceed to address yourself to the question of hides, which I understand you want to be heard on?

Mr. PRYOR. Well, my address is going to be on the subject of the tariff, and hides in particular, but beef hides and the products of cattle.

I have stated here in brief, and I claim without fear of contradicdiction from any source, that the agricultural interests of this country is the basis of all of our prosperity, when it comes down to real prosperity.

The CHAIRMAN. We admit that, Mr. Pryor, without further argument.

Mr. Prior. I claim that to compete with foreign countries in the raising of cattle, which is a branch of agricultural industry, that we have got to have some degree of protection. I will hurry along by saying that in four countries I will give to you there are 41,000,000 people, and 91,000,000 cattle. In this country we have 106,000,000 people and 67,000,000 cattle. The salaries and the wages of those people in those four countries-Argentina, Uruguay, Brazil, and Australia—are nothing like the salaries paid the people in this country for raising these cattle..

Senator Smoot. Mr. Pryor, will you tell me, briefly, just what you want, so that I can have it here to refer to quickly? What do you want on cattle less than two years old ?

Mr. Pryor. Here is what I want: I respectfully submit for your careful consideration the following schedule of import duties, that in my opinion will be necessary to stimulate the production of live stock in this country as well as place it on an equal footing.

Senator Smoot. What is it?

Mr. PRYOR. With Mexico, Central and South America, that you enact a duty of 20 per cent ad valorem on all cattle hides imported into this country. Cattle hides are now 20 per cent ad valorem; that you enact a 20 per cent ad valorem duty on all live stock imported into this country.

Then, that a duty of 20 per cent ad valorem be placed on all fresh and prepared meats, subject, however, to a minimum of 4 cents a pound. Limit the dressed beef to 4 cents a pound, but make it 20 per cent ad valorem.

My reasons for that are these: I live on the border in Texas. I am interested in Mexico largely in the way of land. I can look you men right in the face and tell you that in Mexico we pay our helpers $15 a month in Mexican money, and they feed themselves. That would be $7.50 a month in our money. That is going on to-day,

On this side of the river in Texas we pay our cowboys $30 a month in Arizona and furnish them everything.

Now, can we compete--and that is parallel to all these South American countries-and raise cattle and be encouraged to raise cattle? That is the first point and the second point is rent and taxes on the land. On this side of the river the taxes are almost equal to the rent of the land on the south side of the Rio Grande River. I will tell you why. I have concrete cases.

My son-in-law has recently leased 650,000 acres in what is known as one of the most beautiful countries on the face of the globe. This land lies in a valley 40 miles long and 10 or 15 miles wide, with mountains on both sides. He has leased it for 15 years, at what! I have seen the tract. He leased it for 1} cents an acre for the first five years, 3 cents an acre for the second five years, and 5 cents an acre for the third five years.

Senator SMOOT. That is in Mexico?

Mr. Pryor. That is in Mexico; and that is parallel with conditions in those southern countries, as a rule, We are leasing our lands in our country all the way from 15 to 40 cents an acre.

I am interested in one property in Mexico, 170,000 acres, that we get $1,000 a year for; that land on this side of the river would lease for $10,000 or $50,000 a year. I am giving those figures so that you may understand why we need a tariff on cattle.

I have been in the cattle business for 52 years.

Senator MCLEAN. What is the matter with the Mexicans that they do not get more rent for their property?

Mr. Pryor. There is nobody to buy their property but Americans, and the reason we do not buy anything down there is fear of the stability of the Government.

Senator MCLEAN. I should think there would be competition among Americans that you could get pasture at that rate.


Mr. PRYOR. You would think so. I am now preparing to move 3,000 cows across the border into that country, in January.

As I told you, I have been in this cattle business 52 years. I have seen the cattle go up; I have watched the tariff under the Dingley and the Underwood bills. Gentlemen, it is my honest opinion that if it had not been for this World War the Underwood bill would have brought destruction to the cattle industry in this country.

The CHAIRMAN. And to every other industry.

Mr. PRYOR. It would have brought that, and the Democratic Party would have been put out of power on account of that. I know that for this reason, that immediately after the Underwood bill was passed I was importing a good many cattle from Mexico. I was paying the United States Government 20 per cent ad valorem. I would bring over 10,000 in a year. Immediately after the Underwood bill was passed we brought this in free, and the Mexican Government put 20 per cent on and they got the money and we did not.

And then the beef from South America began to come into this country in increasing quantities, and would have come in here in sufficient amount to have ruined us if it had not been for the war and the demand for beef in the war zone that diverted it from South America over to Europe.

Immediately after the armistice was signed, what happened? They began to load these ships in South America with beef and mutton for the United States, and they brought into this country in 1919 and 1920 a sufficient number of mutton and beef which, when put into carload lots, would make 13,000 carloads. I have worked it it into car lots, and for this reason: I wanted to show the difference. You take 10,000 cars of mutton and sheep from the various ranges all over the United States and ship them to market. The railroad companies get the freight. The shipper on the train and the stockyards and every interest, besides what the farmers have used to produce this beef, get something out of it. When the check is given for the beef it goes back to some country bank or is paid on some hardpressed cattleman's paper.

Compare that transactoin to 13,000 carload lots of beef brought in from foreign countries. It slips into our country without ever spending one dollar in this country. It goes unloaded in these ports, put into the trade, 90 or 95 per cent of it, I will say,


back to some foreign country. This farmer and nobody gets any benefit, and the consumer gets little, if any, benefit.

, , That is the difference between free trade and duty, that will keep us out except what is needed.

I said awhile ago that the tax on the land in the United States is almost equal to the price of the land in Mexico. If you should go down there and pay the taxes prevailing in this country, you would own the land in Mexico; and that is the same in all those South American countries.

I say to you, gentlemen, that after 50 years experience that this country has never been touched, when it comes to producing cattle and hogs and sheep, in the matter of capacity. We can take care of, produce, and put out 100,000,000 cattle a year in the place of 67,000,000, if we have the encouragement to do it. Every farm in the country ought to have cattle on it.

The greatest farming county in the United States is Lancaster County, Pa. That makes it the most fertile land and the best farms in the United States. They feed cattle every year in Lancaster County. They buy them in the markets and take them there and feed them. For what? To get the droppings and manure on their farms. If that was done in all the other counties and in all our range country, we would produce 100,000,000 cattle; would feed the American people with 75 per cent of that or less than we are paying to-day, probably, taking 25 per cent and shipping it abroad.

That is better than to discourage us and make us cut down our holdings.

The markets of Fort Worth alone this year, which is only a State market—it is not a big market like Kansas City and Chicagoshipped up to a month ago 145,000 more calves than they did last year. Why? They are discouraged. The tariff has always discouraged them. They have other things that discourage them. I will touch on that in a moment. I do not mean to lay all of the discouragement to the low tariff, but the low tariff did start us down. Cattle was the first to start on the downward tendency in this country, and the imports of meat brought into this country is what did it. Then there was the stringency of the market.

I am going to give you a little illustration of how sheep and cattle are as compared with a year ago: This is a personal illustration. This will be astounding to you gentlemen, who know much about the reduction of cattle. I have one ranch that I put a man on, and I gave him $300,000 in hard cash for four years. He had been with me 18 years, and I wanted to help him some, and I said, “Now, Chapin, you take this herd of cattle and stay with it on at least one 100,000acre ranch, and when I get my money back, with 7 per cent interest and the expenses, one-fourtń of all the profits are yours." He worked on that up to a year ago. He had $100,000 margin, which would give him $25,000. He put a thousand choice cows into pasture by themselves, and each one of them had a calf. Each one was a white-faced cow with a white-faced calf. A large cattleman came along and saw these cows in this pasture, and he went down and met this man and offered him $100,000 for the 1,000 calves.

Chapin came to San Antonio, my home, to consult with me, and here was his argument: He said, “Pryor, you do not need this money. You can invest it in something else; it is out at 7 per cent interest, and these calves will bring $10 a head in St. Louis. That would reduce the cow to $60 a head. The next year there would be another thousand calves and that will reduce the cow to $20." It was a good argument. It caught me. I said, “I guess you are right about that. I do not need that money.

We will not sell these cows, but you ship these calves, as we do not want to get overstocked.”

He shipped the calves. They brought $42,000. He shipped another thousand this year that brought $14,000, and the calves were just as good as last year. There is a 60 or 70 per cent decline.

I am not telling you gentlemen that the tariff did all of that, but it started that and did part of it, and if I believed that you were going to give us a low tariff I would never move a cow to Mexico, and I would branch out and increase instead of cutting dow::.

I have taken up as much of your time as you will let me. I could talk all day.

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