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The CHAIRMAN. We are very glad to get this out of the way. If you want a tariff on hides, you are interested in hurrying us along?
Mr. PRYOR. That is right.
The CHAIRMAN. You have as much interest as we have in shortening the hearings.
Mr. PRYOR. Yes, sir. I am going to file this brief with you; it gives absolutely concrete reasons. May I read one paragraph of that brief?
The CHAIRMAN. Go ahead.
We have in the United States 20,000 millionaires, judging from the income tax records. This estimate is based on the assumption that each individual who pays taxes on an income of $50,000 or more is the owner of a million dollar estate, and it is very probable this estimate is a conservative one.
More than 6,000 of these millionaires live in New York State and probably 90 per cent of the others live north of the Mason and Dixon line and east of the Mississippi River. How many of these men made their millions in farming? Whoever heard of an "honest-to-God" millionaire farmer? “No such animal.” How did most of these millionaires make their money? The answer is, in the manufacturing business. Who furnished the raw material for their plants? The live-stock raiser furnished the cattle, sheep, and hogs from which they produce beef, mutton, and pork to feed the world. They furnish the hides and wool, which the manufacturer converts into leather and cloth to shoe and clothe the world. The farmer furnishes the cotton from which the manufacturer creates cloth to make clothing for the people. They also furnish the grain from which to create flour, meal, and cereals to feed the people.
That comes out of the ground; that is where the manufacturer gets it.
Here is exhibited the community of interest, one absolutely dependent upon the other, which should be a 50-50 proposition instead of-well, I can't even guess what per cent the farmers and ranchmen receive for their so-called raw material as compared with what the manufacturer receives for the finished product.
(The brief submitted by Mr. Pryor is here printed in full, as follows:)
BRIEF SUBMITTED BY IKE T. PRYOR, San Antonio, Tex., REPRESENTING AMERICAN
NATIONAL LIVE STOCK AssociATION AND TEXAS & SOUTHWESTERN CATTLE RAISERS' ASSOCIATION, DECEMBER 13, 1921.
The farm and ranch industry of this country is the very life and vitals of its existence. It should have a superior claim because its prosperity is the Nation's best . protection.
By the very nature of this business it is more exposed to adverse influences and has much less protection against losses than any other business of similar importance.
Hence, the farmer and ranchman should have credit in larger proportion than has been extended him in the past. Increase their credit and they will increase their production, provided they receive fair treatment as to a tariff on their products.
The farming and live-stock interests are suffering from competition with raw material from foreign countries imported into this country free of duty; they can not compete with cheap labor employed to cultivate or raise stock on cheap land and maintain our standard of living and property values. If they are forced to do this, then poverty is their heritage. The farmers and the ranchmen are as much entitled to a tariff on the so-called raw material as the manufacturers are on their finished product.
Why should they be compelled by law to sell their products in a free market and buy in a protected one? It is an unjust discrimination.
The tariff affords a degreee of protection and at the same time produces a revenue thus reducing our tax burden just that much and the less taxes we pay the more cash we can lay aside for a rainy day.
We talk about a tariff of least a sufficient amount to equalize the cost of production here and abroad. Who knows or can find out the exact cost of production?' Take the cattle business for example. It costs less to produce a beef in south Texas ready for
slaughter than it does in north Texas. It costs less to produce a beef in Texas than in Nebraska, and less in Kansas than in Illinois. One year it can and does often cost 25 to 50 per cent more to care for an animal than the previous year, or the year following, hence the cost of production will vary all over the United States, according to local conditions, etc.
We should, however, place a tariff sufficiently high on live stock and the products of live stock to cover the maximum cost of production, compared to that of foreign countries, plus a reasonable profit, and at the same time not so high as to create a monopoly in this particular branch of agriculture.
We should not ask for favors in any form but oppose favors in all forms. It is asking no favor to put us on an equal footing with foreign importers, and when we don't receive that consideration from Congress then the favor is extended the foreign producer of raw material and not the home producers, which is absolutely unfair.
To better understand the importance of protecting our live-stock producers by a proper tariff, the following statistics should be studied carefully:
The four competitive countries mentioned are known to consume less meat per capita than our people and their population is less than 40 per cent of that of the United States
, yet they raise nearly 40 per cent more beef and four times as much mutton as we do, and consequently export the bulk of their meat.
Argentina has more than 4 cattle and 10 head of sheep per capita, while we have but little more than half a beef per capita and less than half a mutton per capita. The great markets of this country are in large cities, most of which can be reached by water transportation. In other words, at least one-third of the American people to-day can be reached from foreign countries by water transportation and when the great canal is built which will connect the lakes with the Atlantic Ocean, thus permitting ocean going ships to reach Chicago, one-half of the American people can be fed by water transportation from foreign countries.
COST OF ARGENTINE LABOR.
From the Pan American Union statistics it develops that farm laborers in Argentina receive from $10 to $20 per month and board, so it is plain that with our farm labor being paid from $30 to $40 per month and board, our labor cost of production must be more than two or three times as great as Argentina.
It should also be considered that these competitive countries still have enormous tracts of free range, and the cost of raising cattle is much less than here. Land values and pasture charges are much lower than in this country, and there is hardly an item of expense incident to the live-stock siness that is not very much less in competitive countries than here.
Live-stock receipts at market centers declined more than 10 per cent in 1920, as compared to 1919. On such a decline in receipts why didn't cattle, hogs, and sheep increase in price? The answer is, imports of meats free of duty is various forms took up the slack and prevented the advance; on the contrary, pressed the market downward. Cattle led in the decline of agriculture products in 1919 and has been on the toboggan ever since. Each month live stock has dropped a little lower than the previous month; now 7 cents per pound live weight looks as good to us as did a 15-cent live weight in the spring of 1919.
Over 80,000,000 pounds of mutton and lamb was imported into this country in 1919 and 1920.
Putting the average mutton carcass at 40 pounds, it seems there were the equivalent of more than 2,000,000 sheep brought into this country free of duty during said period and of this number three-fourths arrived during the year 1920.
BEEF AND VEAL IMPORTS.
More than 100.000 carcasses of beef and veal were also imported into this country free of duty in 1919 and 1920, making a total of over 3,000 carloads of cattle and about 10.000 carloads of mutton and lambs. This vast amount of meat was brought into this country in ships which entered our harbors from the high seas without the expenditure of one single dollar in this country before it reached our large consuming centers. When sold, at least 95 per cent of the proceeds was returned to some foreign countrypractically little or no benefit to our commerce in any way. This is the direct result of no duty.
What is this 3,000 cars of cattle and 10,000 cars of mutton and lambs had been marketed from our farms and ranches in this country? Our railroads would have received freight on 13,000 cars of cattle and sheep, the charges for switching and bedding the cars, feed. yardage. attendance, war tax, also a commission charge would have been distributed among the various interests named and finally, and most important, the net proceeds would have been deposited in our home banks or applied on some hard pressed cattle or sheep man's paper. This would be the result of a protective duty on imports. Which do you want and which will do the most general good? It does not take a Solomon to answer this question.
Had it not been for the World War the Underwood bill would have wrought destruction to agriculture, also brought grief to the Democratic Party. Immediately after this Underwood bill was passed dressed or frozen beef and mutton began to be diverted from Europe to this country in large and increasing quantities. Only the war and the great demand for meat in the war zone gave us temporary relief from the imports from South America. Shortly after the armistice was signed these great foreign ocean-going vessels began loading---not only meats, but other agricultural productsin great and increasing amounts. On January 5 of this year two ships reached the l'nited States loaded with 270.262 carcasses of mutton, and three other foreign ships were en route to this country loaded with mutton. Five ships in one month containing about 675,655 carcasses, or 34.687,580 pounds of meat, coming in free of duty is a staggering blow to the meat producers of the Cnited States.
NO MILLIONAIRE FARMER.
We have in the United States 20.000 millionaires, judging from the income-tax records. This estimate is based on the assumption that each individual who pays taxes on an income of $50,000 or more is the owner of a million-dollar estate, and it is very probable this estimate is a conservative one.
More than 6,000 of these millionaires live in New York State, and probably 90 per cent of the others live north of Mason and Dixon's line and east of the Mississippi River. How many of these men made their millions in farming? Whoever heard of an “honest-to-God” millionaire farmer? “No such animal.”' How did most of these millionaires make their money? The answer is, in the manufacturing business. Who furnished the raw material for their plants? The live-stock raiser furnished the cattle, sheep, and hogs from which they produce beef, mutton, and pork to feed the world. They furnish the hides and wool, which the manufacturer converts into leather and cloth to shoe and clothe the world. The farmer furnishes the cotton from which the manufacturer creates cloth to make clothing for the people. They also furinsh the grain from which to create Hour, meal, and cereals to feed the people.
Here is exhibited a community interests, one absolutely dependent upon the other, which should be a 50-50 proposition, instead of-well, I can't even guess what per cent the farmers and ranchmen receive for their so-called raw material as compared with what the manufacturer receives for the finished product.
I respectiully 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 with Mexico and Central and South America.
First. That you exact a 20 per cent ad valorem duty on all cattle hides imported into this country.
Second. That you collect a 20 per cent ad valorem duty on all live stock importal into this country.
Third. That a duty of 20 per cent be placed on all fresh and prepared meats brought into this country, subject, however, to a minimum of 4 cents a pound.
EXHIBIT I. EXPLORATION AND DEVELOPMENT OF New Cotton FIELDS WITHIN THE BRITISH
[By Mr. W. H. Himbury, general manager of the British Cotton Growing Association.) The slump now being experienced in cotton may probably cause those readers of this paper who are planters of American and Egyptian cotton, or some spinners who are not au fait with the statistics of cotton production previous to the war, to think seriously as to the necessity for increasing the supplies of the raw material. It may, therefore, be advisable to preface my remarks by pointing out that the present unfortunate position is entirely abnormal, and has been brought about as a result of the late war.
It is undoubtedly a fact that to-day we are faced with the position that there is more cotton available than the trade can consume. Prior to the war when the spindles of the world were working full time there was a shortage of many thousands of bales, and this shortage was increasing annually. With settled conditions these spindles will some day be again running and the shortage will once more recur. There fore the question of obtaining suflicient supplies of the raw material is a vital one for Lancashire, if not for the world, as it is not a question of to-day only; one has to look ahead 10, 20, or 30 years hence. Furthermore, America is rapidly developing into an industrial nation; textiles form such an important feature of her work that she is now a large consumer of her own product. Another factor must be taken into consideration. Great Britain possesses an enormous tropical Empire, containing many millions of souls for whose well-being and development she is responsible, and there. fore it is the duty of the mother country to enable that Empire to evolve and to improve the status of its population; otherwise as trustees she will have failed in her trust.
Large areas in these tropical countries undoubtedly lend themselves to the growing of cotton. This is a very valuable commodity and one which can bear transport charges, which many other products can not afford. Furthermore, in improving the condition of the people we are providing ourselves with potential customers for our manufactured goods.
Whereas in 1895, out of an average crop of American cotton amounting to 8,345,000 bales America herself used 2,607,000 bales, or an average of 31.2 per cent, the United States consumption for the year 1917–18 had increased to 7,073,000 bales out of an average crop of 11,865,000 bales, equal to 59 per cent of the whole crop, so that with a short crop and a normal demand for cotton the position of the Lancashire industry would not be enviable. The vagaries of the American climate and the fluctuating production have also to be taken into consideration in measuring the desirability of opening up new fields.
WHAT HAS BEEN ACCOMPLISHED TO DATE.
The subscribed capital of the British Cotton Growing Association is £470,000, the major part of which was found by the cotton trade including the operatives; but it is not my intention to occupy time in explaining the formation and the organization of the association, but to give you a short account of survey of the inquiry, experimental and development work carried out under its direction.'
I propose, therefore, primarily to deal with Africa, upon which our main energies have been expended, and in which lie our most sanguine hopes for the future, and commence with the West Coast.
Having little personal knowledge of cotton-growing, we engaged a number of cotton planters and experts from agricultural colleges in America, and cotton was cultivated in fairly large areas on the plantation principle—this being the original policy of the association, and we had not only to prove where cotton could be grown successfully
1 For full details read: The Work of the British Cotton Growing Association, by J. Arthur Hutton, and the British Cotton Growing Association annual reports.
but also where it could not. We further had to decide the most suitable methods for producing the crop.
In the Gambia Protectorate the natives preferred to continue their old ground-nut industry, and the economic conditions of the country were not suitable owing to its size and insufficient population to run both industries. In Sierra Leone the experiment also proved unsuccessful, and we were forced to admit that a country with a rainfall of 150 inches was unsuitable for cotton. In the Gold Coast the experiments were a success, and there is no doubt that good cotton can be grown; but where transport is available the natives prefer to cultivate cocoa, which is a more remunerative commodity. I should like to mention that this colony now produces more cocoa than any other country, the industry having developed enormously during a very few years, and it is entirely a native one.
In Nigeria, the area of the whole territory is 336,000 square miles, and the population roughly 17,000,000. It contains the largest tropical population under the rule of the British Crown-India excepted. Itis more than five times the size of England and Scotland, and about one-third that of British India, and the northern provinces especially have been proved eminently suitable for cotton growing.
We developed plantations on the Sobo Plains, in southern Nigeria, not far from the sea coast, also at Ibadan, 123 miles from Lagos. The operations of the Sobo Plains resulted in failure. At Ibadan the yield was poor, and unsatisfactory, but may possibly be due to the fact that the land was only a few miles from the town and was in consequence exhausted. Labor was also difficult and costly.
I may state that in Nigeria there are large towns such as Abeokuta, Ibadan, Ilorin, Zaria, Kano, Sokoto, Bida, etc., which have a population of from 150,000 to 300,000 earh, so that the land in the immediate vicinity has been exceedingly well cultivated, and in some cases is naturally worn out. This being the case in order to take up larger areas for planting it would be necessary to go further afield, and labor difficulties would inevitably become more acute. The African does not indigenously work on plantations as a hireling; somewhat unconsciously he has absorbed the white man's characteristic of a liberty-loving subject. The country is also rich in forest products such as palm oil, kernels, rubber, timber, etc., so that he can always procure a natural and unaided living. At the same time there are many who become keen on selfdetermination, and failing congenial employment in their home districts flock to the coast towns. A similar process takes place in Europe.
The land question is also a very important one. In Nigeria, and, in fact, in West Africa generally, the land is held in trust by the chiefs for the people, and the individual can only lay claim to the site of his father's house. He is, however, allowed as much land as he can cultivate, and in those districts where there is a surplus-after all the legitimate claims are granted—the land may be leased to the stranger. The labor and land difficulties, combined with the fact that Nigeria is not altogether a white man's country, eventually compelled the council of the association to devote its main energies to the establishment of cotton growing as a native industry.
Seed is provided gratuitously to the growers, and a market is guaranteed, the highest possible price is paid for the seed cotton, and it is ginned, haled, and shipped home by the association. For several years a fixed price has been guaranteed to the growers.
The crop last year was 16,000 bales (of 400 pounds), representing a value of between £500,000 and £510,000. A much greater quantity of cotton is grown, probably 100,000 bales, but a large proportion is used for the local spinning and weaving industry, which has been in existence for many centuries, and has recently received a considerable fillip from the high prices ruling for European goods.
The possibilities are great, but in order to get a more satisfactory quantity of cotton grown, the railways and roads must be extended and a larger and better equipped agricultural staff installed. At present the Nigerian Railway runs from Lagos to Kano, a distance of 704 miles. When the Eastern Railway is completed there will be a further 581 miles, and there are, in addition, two short railways, one from Minna to Baro of 111 miles and the other from Zaria to Bukuru of 143 miles.
Now. I should like to see a line extending from Kano due cast to Maidugari, which lies 70 miles southwest of Lake Chad, a distance of 330 miles. The approximate cost would be about £2,000,000. With this completed the total mileage to the seaport would be about 1,040 miles. There is an alternative proposition to connect with the [di coal fields, but this would mean about 690 miles of new construction, and the total mileage to the seaport would be 795 miles. The cost would presumably be £5,500.000, or about £7,000 per mile. We do not care which scheme is primarily adopted, as undoubtedly both lines will eventually have to be constructed.
Another line should also go northwest, from Zaria to Sokoto, a distance of 246 miles, at a constructional cost of about £1,500,000.