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reported uses the wording “wearing apparel, containers primarily designed or intended for containing foods, feeds, or fertilizers.”
In section 2, which attaches to section 4 the penalty recommended by the Attorney General, adds the following provisos:
Provided, That this section shall not apply to any farmer, gardener, horticulturist, vinyardist, planter, ranchman, dairyman, stockman, or other agriculturist, with respect to the farm products produced or raised upon land owned, leased, or cultivated by him: And provided further, That nothing in this act shall be construed to forbid or make unlawful collective bargaining by any cooperative ass ciation or other association of farmers, dairymen, gardeners, or other producers of farm products with respect to the farm products produced or raised by its members upon land owned, leased, or cultivated by them.
Section 3, which is as follows: That sections 8 and 9 of the act entitled "An act to provide further for the national security and defense by encouraging the production, conserving the supply, and controlling the distribution of food products and fuel," approved August 10, 1917, be, and the same are hereby repealed: Prorided, That any offense committed in violation of said sections 8 and 9, prior to the passage of this act, may be prosecuted and the penal. ties prescribed therein enforced in the same manner and with the same effect as if this act had not been passed.
The change in section 1 is a slight alteration of phraseology.
In changing section 2 the provisos were added because the recommendation submitted by the Attorney General, if enacted into law, would not give immunity to farmers or retailers, as in section 5 of the food-control act, which imposes for profiteering a penalty in the following language:
Any person who, without a license issued pursuant to this section, or whose license shall have been revoked, knowingly engages in or carries on any business for which a license is required under this section, or willfully fails or refuses to discontinue any unjust, unreasonable, discriminatory and unfair storage charge, commission, profit, or practice in accordance with the requirement of an order issued under this section, or any regulation prescribed under this section, shall, upon conviction thereof, be punished by a fine not exceeding $5,000, or by imprisonment for not more than two years, or both: Provided, That this section shall not apply to any farmer, gardener, cooperative association of farmers or gardeners, including live-stock farmers, or other persons with respect to the products of any farm, garden, or other land owned, leased, or cultivated by him, nor to any retailer with respect to the retail business actually conducted by him, nor to any common carrier, nor shall anything in this section be corstrued to authorize the fixing or imposition of a duty or tax upon any article imported into or exported from the United States or any State, Territory, or the District of Columbia: Provided further, That for the purposes of this act a retailer shall be deemed to be a person, copartnership, firm, corporation, or association not engaging in the wholesale business whose gross sales do not exceed $100,000 per annum.
Clearly the present act prohibiting profiteering is accompanied by a penalty in section 5, the license section, notwithstanding statements to the contrary.
Extracts from statement of Mr. John D. Miller, New York City, representing the National Board of Farm Organizations, in hearings held on the proposed amendments, are quoted:
Mr. Miller. My name is John D. Miller, and my business is located at 303 Fifth Avenue, New York City, which is the office of our farm organizations.
I appear here, Mr. Chairman, as representing the National Board of Farm Organizations, having affiliated with it about 2,000,000 of the organized farmers of America.
I note by the memoranda that accompany the suggested amendment-
Mr. MILLER. Yes, sir—that the learned Attorney General thinks that this amend. ment would be of material assistance to him in his efforts to reduce the high cost of living.
Farmers, however, have been the poorest of salesmen. The foods that they have produced in the years past, with so much care and toil, have been marketed in a form and in a manner that has left to them a price almost continuously less than the cost of its production.
To remedy this defect, farmers have learned that it is necessary, in a measure and so far as they can, to market their own product. It did not take them long to learn that, singly, they could do nothing; they must market collectively or they could not market at all; they must bargain collectively or they could not bargain at all—they could only accept the price which the great organizations of middle men that control the agencies through which their food must go to the consumer dictate to them.
Therefore, all over this country, from the Atlantic to the Pacific, there are growing up these farmers' cooperative organizations, organized and engaged in the business of making collective sales of their farm products.
I say to you, Mr. Chairman--and I am saying it with a full sense of the responsibility that I'incur in making the statement-that upon these farm organizations having full liberty under the law depends, in a measure, the adequacy of the future food supply of this country.
Mr. Chairman, as emphasizing the importance of having a clear right, a right that will be unchallenged, to make these collective sales, I am going to ask you to let me take a few minutes to tell you a story of things that have been done in the immediate past. The story will take you from California to New York. I am going to try to tell this story dispassionately; I am not going to express opinions on it, but will ask you to characterize it as, in your better judgment, you think it deserves, and if any remedy is needed that you will know what remedy.
If you find from the story that I tell you that there is any concert of action between the organized middlemen of this country and certain officials of our State departments of justice--for in this story you will find figuring milk dealers, organized middlemen; you will find State prosecuting attorneys, and in one or two instances Federal district attorneys--we are going to ask you to decide what these facts mean.
In June the organized farmers of California engaged in the business of making collective sales of their milk were arrested. The sensational newspapers of California branded them as criminals. They were indicted-for what? Not for profiteeringu oh, no; but for simply making collective sales of farm products.
Mr. Young. Was that in the State or the Federal courts?
Mr. Miller. That was in the State courts, under the State law. They were tried, and on the 31st day of July were promptly acquitted. But that was an expensive trial. Farmers can not afford to be continually and perpetually fighting lawsuits to justify their right or defend their right to make collective sales. A few such victories will bankrupt that organization.
Let us next go to Chicago. In the fall of 1917 the organized farmers that supplied the Chicago district with milk were indicted. The investigations which led up to those indictments were oppressive in their character. They were indicted as having violated the State antitru law.
About that time it became necessary, however, for Mr. Hoover, our able Food Administrator, to deal with farm organizations, and where they were not organized, to see that they were, in order to helpin the solving of the great and important problems with which he was wrestling.
And so this very organization in Chicago was called to his assistance. Well, they soon saw that it would be ironical to be trying those men over on Fifteenth Street for committing acts which, at the very time of the trial, over on Fourteenth Street they were doing with the acquiescence, by the consent, and with the cooperation of the Federal Food Administration. So the prosecution of the indictment under the State laws was postponed.
After the armistice, however, it was revived; and they commenced to get ready for trial. It was postponed from time to time for reasons which it is not necessary here to relate; and it is now fixed for the 15th of September.
In April, however, it was thought that that indictment would come on for trial in May; and by a method which seems to be largely peculiar to the city of Chicago and the city of New York, in order that those men, accused of having the temerity of agreeing with their fellow farmers as to the sales of their milk, there emanated from the office of the State district attorney columns of interviews in the newspapers to the effect that they were going after those men-all of this, of course, in order that the prospective jurors who were to try that case might have full knowledge in advance of the iniquities of these accused men and might at the trial be prepared to do them exact justice.
And by what, I am sure, was a coincidence, just at that time, in April, the Federal district attorney of that district got busy and commenced investigations of the same men under the Federal antitrust act.
Mr. YOUNG. Under the Sherman law? Mr. MILLER. Under the Sherman law; yes, sir; the Sherman and Clayton laws. The method of that I am going to relate to you; I am going to try to relate it dispassionately; and it is for you to characterize it.
At a given hour on a given day, say 10 o'clock in the forenoon, there appeared in the office of the secretary of that farmers' organization two of the special agentsdetectives, we assume-with a subpena duces tecum, commanding them to appear forth with before the Federal grand jury.
A subpæna duces tecum was served commanding them to bring forthwith a large volume of their records, books, and papers. At the same hour two sleuths appeared at the office of the president of the organization in the same building with a like subpoena.
Now, that was very carefully staged; for, at the same hour of the same day, at about 35 points in that great territory supplying Chicago with milk, the special agents subpænaed the local officers of the local associations with a subpæna duces tecum to proceed forthwith to Chicago with all of the books, correspondence, and records in their possession.
Now, I am going to tell you one way in which what in police circles is sometimes called the "third degree" was applied: One of these men was taken to an upper room where two of the detectives were. They were questioning this man in regard to everything connected with the matter and many things not connected with it. By and by one of them, with a significant look at that farmer sitting there, with some ostentation pulled a revolver out of his pocket and laid it on the desk. He went on asking questions, and the man answered them the best he could. By and by the detective took the revolver up again, twirled the cylinder-twisted it around, or something like that. Does this make you nervous? No—that was not in Russia; it was in Chicago.
You can characterize that as you think best; I am not going to do so.
Let us go on to Ohio; as I told you at the beginning, this thing is extending from San Francisco to the Atlantic Ocean. In Ohio last week the officers of the farmers' milk-selling organization were indicted—not for profiteering, but for fixing prices and making collective sales. There was no claim that the price was too high; there can not be.
Mr. YOUNG. Was that under the State or the National law in Ohio? Mr. MILLER. Under State law. Some of these gentlemen who were indicted learned of it by telephone messages along the course of the evening. They telephoned the sheriff: “We hear we are indicted; we will be there in the morning and give bail." “All right," the sheriff said. “I am sorry that the deputies have already started to arrest you; but when they get there, you tell them what I say that you can come in to-morrow and give bail. Because the sheriff knew every one of those men; he knew they would never be fugitives from justice; every one of them was a man of repute in his locality; they were men of standing, occupying high positions in their localities, and sometimes holding positions of trust and confidence in their communities.
But when the deputy sheriffs came back and reported to the district attorney, he started them off again, late at night, in automobiles; and they went around over the country in automobiles and reached some of the men in the middle of the night.
Those men finally reached the jail at Cleveland at 4 o'clock in the morning. They were taken into the warden's office; they were searched and their personal belongings in their pockets were taken. One of them, Mr. Ingersoll, who is present here this morning, called the warden's attention to this: He said, "Mr. Warden, that bunch of keys that you are taking are the keys of the bank.” Mr. Ingersoll is vice president of the local bank. He said, “Those are important keys, necessary to the bank." But they were all taken, nevertheless.
They thought they would spare these criminals the ignominy of placing them in cells; and they were told that they might have the use of a hospital ward. They were put into a hospital ward reeking with vermin. In the morning, they had breakfast brought in that, both from its quality and from the containers in which it was brought, they could not taste or touch,
While they were there a photographer was introduced into the jail to take the pictures of these criminals in jail. They protested against the indignity; but it was insisted upon; and so they turned their backs and the photographer got an elegant view of the back of the heads of each one of those gentlemen.
Now, they were prepared early in the morning, as soon as they could reach their friends, to give bail; they could give any quantity of bail that might be required. It was not convenient, however, for the district attorney to arrange for bail to be taken until about noon.
They were kept in jail until about noon, and then taken into the courthouse; there they had to wait about half an hour or more and if I am not stating the facts correctly, Mr. Ingersoll will correct me. There a photographer came into the court room and took a picture of the judge sitting on the bench with those six or seven men lined up in the prisoners' dock. They then gave bail.
Mr. Chairman, these men were not accused of murder, or bomb throwing, or anarchy, or treason. This did not happen in Russia or in the Middle Ages. These men were simply accused of combining with their fellow farmers to make collective sales of their milk.
Again, I am not going to express any opinion, but will ask you to characterize it.
Let us now turn to New York City, where we reach the Atlantic coast, and then I will take no more of your time upon this subject:
In January, 1918, under a State law, the officers of the farmers' organization there were indicted. The State law which it was claimed they had violated was the antitrust law, and the penal code containing the same provisions. There were no acts of oppression or intimidation in the arrest of those men; they were treated courteously.
They gave bail. Incidentally it cost them---as soon as they found that they were indicted they sent to a surety company to look up these seven men and be ready to go their bail. Well, they did it; incidentally it cost the association two or three hundred dollars premium to the surety company. But that is a mere bagatelle; it cost them $15,000 to fight their way out of the trouble.
They immediately asked for a change of venue. That was refused by the Chicago people. But the judge in New York at once discovered that it would be almost a travesty upon justice to try those farmers, brought in from the country charged with fixing milk prices-to have them tried by a jury of men buying that milk and consuming it in a city; and he very promptly directed a change of venue to up the State. They did not take the case to a dairying county or an agricultural county, but to a mixed county-Oneida County, in which the city of Utica is located, which is one of the largest up-State cities; a city which has a larger population than the rest of the county, and larger than any agricultural county.
About that time the legislature was convened. The matter was called to their attention, and they immediately passed a law amending the antitrust law and the penal code of the State so as to permit collective bargaining by farmers. Thereupon the district attorney caused these indictments to be dismissed, stating as a reason that the law having been amended the farmers had a clear right under the State law to do what they were doing.
About the 1st of December last, however, a milk investigation was commenced in the office of the district attorney. Subpænas were issued from time to time to the officers, clerks, and employees of this farm organization, commanding them to bring down to the district attorney large numbers of records, papers, minute books, checks, vouchers, expense accounts, and correspondence. More and more were called for from time to time; and they were held several months, although a part of them were material, or, at least, would have been very convenient to have in the office.
Now, Mr. Chairman, such members of your committee as are lawyers—I take it that the thought will immediately flash into their minds, What has become of our constitutional provision against seizures and compelling the production of papers? But we did not invoke that; we did not want to-that organization did not. We wanted to give them all the information possible. But they are still holding some of
If we grant clearly their right to compel the production of those papers and to hold them, beyond all question the only purpose for which they should be used is in judicial proceedings. What has been done? They have been turned over to a sensational newspaper in New York City, photographed, and last week there appeared an article under a heading—I am not sure I remember the exact wording; but, anyhow, it was something about “The Dairymen's League Branch of the Milk Trust," and these checks, vouchers, telegrams, and letters are printed. Down under that is a picture of an emaciated baby and the words, "The victim."
The district attorney, if he is quoted correctly by the newspapers, has stated repeatedly during this investigation since last December that the Dairymen's League had succeeded in obtaining a law which shielded them under the State law, but that they could still get them under the Federal law. We have heard nothing that indicates that the Federal district attorney in that State is investigating it at all; we do not know whether he is or not, but we have not heard that he is.
Also extracts from the statement of Mr. H. W. Ingersoll, of Elyria, Ohio, president Ohio State Dairy Association, in the hearings on the proposed amendment.
Mr. INGERSOLL. Mr. Chairman, I have been asked to say a word, and I want to say first that I appreciate very much the opportunity to be heard on this matter. I am one of the men who was indicted, as Mr. Miller has told you.
What I say to you I say from personal experience. We have an organization known as the Ohio Farmers' Cooperative Milk Co., which is composed of farmers producing milk and delivering it in Cleveland, Ohio. We do not control 65 per cent of the milk that goes into the city. We have been meeting from time to time and laying before the various dealers the conditions under which we were producing milk, and we have asked them to advance our price. During the month of July we got 74 cents a quart for milk, and it was sold in the city at 15 cents a quart. In August we have conditions which were so changed that we were compelled to pay about $25 a ton or more for all varieties for feed, and we have been paying as high as $100 a ton for oil meal.
About the 1st of August the wave of cutting down of the high cost of living spread over the country, and a special grand jury in Cuyahoga County, Ohio, was convened, and at that meeting some of the dealers appeared, and the producers' executive committee, of which I am chairman, were indicted. This news was spread abroad over the wires, and I at once got in communication with the sheriff and suggested that it was a physical impossibility to get in there on that day, and said that we would report at 9 o'clock the next morning, and I would see that all of the indicted men were present in his office. Deputies were sent out and notified us, and returned to the city without action except to notify us that we were wanted in the morning.
The deputy went back to his oflice in Cleveland, the one who gathered up four of us who lived west of Cleveland, and, as he expressed it, he got the most severe hawling out he ever got because he did not bring the prisoners in. He started back and called up Mr. Clark, in Medina County, about midnight, and he was caused to leave his fainily; and he came on and took one of the other men, and then he came on to Elyria, where I was taken, and we were all taken to Cleveland about half past 4 o'clock in the morning into what was known as the hospital ward of the jail, and there the conditions were certainly deplorable; and there were vermin in there and also insane, and we were associated with them. We were there from about half past 4 in the morning, the four I was taken in with; the other three were taken in there about half past 2 in the morning. We remained there until about half past 10 or 11 o'clock. Then, through the assistance of an attorney, we were allowed to be taken before the judge and allowed to give bail and came out.
These men, two or three of them, came from east of Cleveland, and they were taken out of the fields at 4 o'clock in the morning, and they are men of exemplary character, some of them township trustees, and holding other positions of trust, and they were taken to the city and not permitted to have food that night, and did not get anything until they got out the next day.
The families of all these men indicted and brought of course were heartbroken. We had one man, a county commissioner elect, taking his office in September. We had a deputy sheriff of the county and court bailiff, and that shows the character of the men.
The result is that the producers in that vicinity are simply up in arms, and I want to say right here that the rank and file of the producers are continuing to furnish their milk to the city of Cleveland, and the inhabitants of Cleveland as a class are not opposed to our organization or its workings.
We have never had costs of production at any time, and according to the best evidence we can get, according to the records that have been kept by our own producers, we are not getting them now. We did ask an advance for that reason and we have been indicted.