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Mr. SINCLAIR. Those were pelts?
Mr. Boileau. Pelts; yes sir. Years ago they got out of the breeding business; they started selling breeding stock, but they are now strictly on a pelt basis and it is a big industry. That is the only real large fox farm in that area. There are many other fox farms of substantial size, and there are many farmers who have only a few pairs of silver-black fox; it is a big industry, and the little fellow, who is more or less new in the industry, has no place to go for information.
They could not go to the big concern and expect them to give all the information they need with respect to breeding and ranching; it seenis to me that this one activity of the Department of Agriculture could
very well continue giving this information to enable those men on those farms, who are also conducting dairy farms or some other type of farms, but who have as a side line the breeding of foxes and other fur-bearing animals. It is getting to be a big industry, comparatively new, and it is very difficult for these people, who are just starting, to acquire any information; I know of no place where such information may be obtained except through this agency.
Mr. SINCLAIR. What is the volume of fur business in your State? Mr. BOILEAU. I cannot give the figures.
Mr. SINCLAIR. What State in the Union produces the largest amount of fur?
Mr. BOILEAU. I believe, as far as silver-black fox is concerned, Wisconsin. I do not know with reference to other types of fur.
Mr. SANDLIN. Louisiana is the largest producer.
Mr. BOILEAU. As to fur, but not as to silver-black fox. I think I am correct when I say that Wisconsin has the largest amount of silver-black fox.
Mr. SANDLIN. What percentage of expansion is possible in that silver-fox business and still not glut the market?
Mr. BOILEAU. There has been quite a revolution in the industry. They started out breeding foxes with the intention of selling them for breeding purposes; but we are pretty well caught up on that.
Mr. Hart. That got to be a cacket, did it not?
Mr. BOILEAU. It got to be a racket; now they are going on to the legitimate basis of raising the foxes for pelts and there is a market for them.
Mr. SINCLAIR. Would the market absorb 25 percent more?
Mr. Boileau. I am not prepared to say as to the figures; I do not know; it is a big industry.
Mr. Hart. What do they do with the carcasses?
Mr. BOILEAU. There is no commercial value, unless they use them for fertilizer. Do they use them for any purpose, Mr. Peavey?
Mr. PEAVEY. No. May I say this: Last year, after considerable negotiations, we succeeded in convincing the R.F.C. that domestic fox raising was a domestic enterprise, and that it was recognized by the Department as a domestic animal, and therefore available for loans the same as other agricultural products.
Mr. Hart. Did they secure loans?
Mr. BOILEAU. For several years the laws of the state of Wisconsin have recognized foxes as domestic animals. A few years ago they were not classified as such, but they are now.
WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 7, 1934.
APPROPRIATIONS FOR BUREAU OF BIOLOGICAL SURVEY
STATEMENT OF HON. D. C. DOBBINS, A REPRESENTATIVE IN
CONGRESS FROM THE STATE OF ILLINOIS
Mr. SANDLIN. Mr. Dobbins, we will be glad to hear you on any of the items of the bill that you may be interested in.
Mr. DOBBINS. Gentlemen of the committee, first I would like to submit for the consideration of the committee, and with the request that it be incorporated in the report of your hearings if it be agreeable to you, a letter addressed to me with reference to the proposed appropriations for the United States Biological Survey, the letter being sent by Dr. T. H. Frison as chairman of the conservation committee of the Illinois State Academy of Science. The letter sets forth the reasons appealing to Dr. Frison in support of his advocacy of larger appropriations for this service, than are proposed, as he understands.
Mr. SINCLAIR. Which phase of the Biological Survey work is he interested in?
Mr. DOBBINS. The investigation of food habits of birds and animals, the investigational work on the protection of migratory birds, and the protection of fur-bearing animals.
Mr. SINCLAIR. He is in favor of an increase?
Mr. DOBBINS. He is in favor of increased appropriations in the amounts that he sets forth.
Mr. SINCLAIR. For the fur-bearing animals?
Mr. DOBBINS. Yes, sir; also on the investigation of food habits of both birds and animals, and the investigational work for the protection of migratory birds. (The letter referred to is as follows:)
ILLINOIS STATE ACADEMY OF SCIENCE,
January 24, 1934. Hon. D. C. DOBBINS,
House Office Building, Washington, D.C. DEAR Sir: It has come to the attention of the Illinois State Academy of Science that the proposed appropriations beginning July 1, 1934, would virtually eliminate some of the most basic and fundamental work of this Bureau. Heartily in accord with the varied national conservation efforts as a whole we feel it is inconsistent, unsound and false economy to eliminate essential and most necessary scientific investigations at a time when conservation activities are being pushed at an accelerated speed and when all trained leaders in the program for the intelligent utilization and conservation of our natural resources realize more than ever the actual paucity and serious need of more fundamental data to guide our procedure.
The conservation committee of Illinois State Academy of Science therefore appeals for the restoration in full or great part of the following items in the appropriation bill of the United States Biological Survey: Food habits of birds and animals.
$82, 056 Investigational work under protection of migratory birds.
32, 857 Production of fur-bearing animals.
56, 427 We feel certain that the great value and national need for the work threatened with elimination is not understood by those responsible for the proposed reductions. Your active work and support for the restoration of these items in the budget of the Biological Survey for the coming year will be appreciated. Very truly yours,
THEODORE H. Frison, Chairman Conservation Committee.
Henry C. Cowles, University of Chicago, Chicago, Ill.
Mr. Dobbins. I have had some little experience on the question of the protection of migratory birds, and conditions in Illinois, I know, are such that somewhat stricter supervision and a thorough investigation, I believe, than is being made at the present time will be fruitful for the purposes of this work.
Mr. Sinclair. Is your district on the Mississippi River?
Mr. DOBBINS. My district is not on the Mississippi River, but we send a great many hunters over to the Illinois River, and they encounter many evidences of depredational work.
Mr. SINCLAIR. Are there any bird sanctuaries there?
Mr. DOBBINS. No; there are no bird sanctuaries in the Nineteenth Congressional District, which is in eastern Illinois, and which I represent.
Mr. SINCLAIR. But you do believe that the migratory birds should be protected and their numbers increased, if possible?
Mr. DOBBINS. Yes; and that the work can be effectively done only by the Federal Government; and I believe that Dr. Frison, who resides by the way, in my home city, and who has been very active in this work as a member of the State organization-several State organizations—is of the same mind.
Frankly, gentlemen, so far as I am personally concerned, I do not feel that I possess information qualifying me to advise the committee upon this subject or to aid very much in your own sound conclusions on it, but I do wish to endorse the authoritativeness of this representation that I am presenting.
Mr. SINCLAIR. You do represent the sentiment in your locality, do
Mr. DOBBINS. Yes, sir. I should say the sentiment in that locality would strongly support as complete provision for this work as the committee feels can reasonably be made.
CORN BORER INVESTIGATIONS
Mr. Sandlin. Do you want to be heard on another item?
Mr. Dobbins. Yes, sir; on the question of the corn-borer investigations; and in connection with that, gentlemen, I should like to present to you a letter addressed to me under date of January 24, 1934, by Hon. Walter W. McLaughlin, director of the Department of Agriculture of Illinois, and which Mr. McLaughlin writes with the understanding that there is no appropriation proposed for the next fiscal year for the continuation of corn borer research work. Illinois, as you know, is a very prominent State in the production
Mr. McLaughlin covers this subject rather thoroughly in his letter, and I should like to present this letter in connection with my remarks on the subject, but to add to it this observation of my Own:
I know that there is a great deal of agitation against the prerentive measures against crop pests on the ground that such work is not in harmony with the crop reduction plans that have been undertaken by the Agricultural Adjustment Administration under recent emergency legislation. Even the Secretary of Agriculture went so far as to say in his Chicago speech with reference to corn production that it was “fortunate” that the weather in some parts of the country had taken care of the corn reduction program in 1933; and I think it is true that adverse weather conditions in unfortunate sections did decrease corn production very materially, along with the pests that came with that weather condition. But the unfortunate feature of that, gentlemen, is that that sort of reduction strikes at the individual. Mr. SANDLIN. It is not uniform?
Mr. DOBBINS. It is not uniform. In our part of Illinois and in western Indiana the individual farmers are standing the cost of the corn crop reduction for the entire Nation, while the cost is spread all over the country in the case of cotton, tobacco, and wheat; and, of course, the same thing applies with even greater force to the isolated losses occasioned by the corn borer.
Mr. SINCLAIR. The reduction that comes in that way, by nature, in any crop, bears too heavily on certain individuals and not on the whole number?
Mr. DOBBINS. It bears too heavily on certain individuals; and the same thing applies, of course, to the coming of the corn borer. You cannot tell whether it is going to strike your field or my field or your county or my county next year, and so it is not, of course, a scientific, logical, or equitable way to rely upon for crop reduction.
Mr. SINCLAIR. No.
Mr. DOBBINS. And just to that extent I wish to second and endorse the comment of our director of agriculture upon the subject. If I may offer his letter, I will be glad to do it.
Mr. Sandlin. We will be very glad to incorporate it in the record. (The letter referred to is as fcllous:) STATE OF Illinois DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE,
Springfield, January 24, 1934. Hon. D. C. DOBBINS,
House of Representatives, Washington, D.C. DEAR CONGRESSMAN: I have received information from Washington that according to present plans, no appropriation will be made for continuing cornborer research work during the coming year. In other words, all research work and studies for developing control measures for the European corn borer will be dropped on July 1, 1934.
It seems to me that it would be quite unwise to drop all of the Federal research work on this insect. We have, as a result of past work, acquired a good knowledge of the insect and methods of controlling it, and it is probably not necessary to carry on certain lines of work that have reached a point where they can be discontinued without seriously endangering the work as a whole. There are certain lines of the Federal corn-borer work, however, that I feel personally should by all means be continued. It is entirely impractical for the States to take up the parasite work. This line of work, which would be dropped under the present plan, is one of the most important and I feel very strongly that this research should be continued.
There are several other lines of corn-borer research which I also feel should be continued, including the work on the relative susceptibility of different varieties and strains of corn. This is the line of work in which we have been cooperating with the Bureau of Entomology and agricultural engineers.
With an insect as potentially important as the European corn borer, which is every year invading new territory and is just beginning to be established in the
heart of the Corn Belt, it would seem very unwise to discontinue all research work upon it. We know that potentially it can cause very widespread and extreme destruction and I feel that certain phases of the study of this insect can better be carried on by the Federal Government, where the workers are not limited by State lines, than can be done by the entomological workers within the States.
I am writing to you and to the other Congressmen from Illinois, respectfully requesting your consideration of this problem. I would like to further request that, if after giving this matter careful attention you feel this appropriation is justified, you give your support to a sufficient appropriation to carry on the necessary work of corn-borer research during the coming year so that the great corn crop of our State will be protected. Very truly yours,
Walter W. McLaughlin, Director. Mr. DOBBINS. I thank you, Mr. Chairman.
WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 7, 1934.
RABBIT EXPERIMENT STATION AT FONTANA, CALIF.
STATEMENT OF HON. SAMUEL L. COLLINS, A REPRESENTATIVE
IN CONGRESS FROM THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA
Mr. SANDLIN. Mr. Collins, we will be glad to hear from you now. Mr. COLLINS. Mr. Chairman and gentlemen, I am appreciative of the opportunity of appearing here before you. I realize that in all probability you will have several members of the Biological Survey appearing here with the same view in mind that I have.
I am interested particularly in the Rabbit Experiment Station at Fontana, which is located in my district, the Nineteenth Congressional District of California; and I do not want you, Mr. Chairman, or other members of the committee to feel that I am appearing here only for the reason that that station happens to be in my district. I feel that this activity is national in scope. In my particular district there are, of course, some rabbit farmers, but in your own district there are rabbit raisers, and you know that these rabbit raisers have developed the rabbit which is on the market now for meat purposes, and also they have fur rabbits which have been developed largely through the experiments conducted at the Government station. Mr. SANDLIN. Do you know the volume of the rabbit business?
Mr. Collins. Mr. Chairman, I could not tell you, because there is scarcely a small farmer in my district or in the State of California who does not have some rabbit hutches and does not raise some rabbits for his own use, in addition to having some to sell on the market; and, of course, all the information they get concerning the care and maintenance of rabbits is secured from this one station.
Mr. Sandlin. You say that all the farmers raise rabbits?
Mr. Collins. Understand, not ranchers; but in California and the other Western States, and elsewhere, they have what they call small farms, of 2 or 24 acres, where they conduct intensified farming, possibly doing their own gardening, and having some poultry and some rabbits; and they also raise pigeons. These small ranchers are innumerable. In fact, a good bit of the State is subdivided, giving only 2 or 3 acres, possibly 5 acres, to these various farmers, and they make a living. They call themselves ranchers there, but my term