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REGULATIONS GOVERNING THE SALE OF MILK, CREAM.
AND ICE CREAM IN THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA
TUESDAY, MAY 23, 1939
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES,
THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA,
Washington, D.C. The subcommittee met at 1:30 p. m., Hon. William T. Schulte (chairman) presiding.
Mr. SCHULTE. The committee will come to order. We will now take up H. R. 6316, entitled “An act to regulate within the District of Columbia the sale of milk, cream, and ice cream, and for other purposes.'
(The subcommittee had under consideration H. R. 6316, which is as follows:)
[H. R. 6316, 76th Cong., 1st sess. ]
A BILL To amend the Act entitled “An Act to regulate within the District of Columbia the sale of milk, cream, and ice cream, and for other purposes”, approved February 27,
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That section 2 of the Act entitled "An Act to regulate within the District of Columbia the sale of milk, cream, and ice cream, and for other purposes”, approved February 27, 1925 (D. C. Code, title 20, sec. 1252), is amended to read as follows:
"SEC. 2. (a) No person shall keep or maintain a dairy or dairy farm within the District of Columbia, or produce for sale any milk therein, or bring or send into said District for sale any milk, without a permit so to do from the health officer of said District, and then only in accordance with the terms of said permit. Said permit shall be for the calendar year for which it is issued and shall be renewable annually on the 1st day of January of each calendar year thereafter. Application for said permit shall be in writing upon a form prescribed by said health officer, and shall be accompanied by such detailed description of the dairy or dairy farm or other place where said milk is produced and handled, sold, or offered for sale, as the said health officer may require, and shall be accompanied by a certificate signed by an officer of the Health Department of the District of Columbia, the United States Department of Agriculture or some veterinarian authorized by the United States Department of Agriculture or the Health Department of the District of Columbia detailed for the purpose, certifying the cattle producing such milk are physically sound, and shall in addition be accompanied by a certificate signed by one of the officials aforesaid certifying the cattle producing such milk have reacted negatively to the tuberculin test as prescribed by the Bureau of Animal Industry, United States Department of Agriculture, within one year previous to the filing of the application: Provided, That as used in this Act the words 'person' or 'persons' shall be taken and construed to include firms, associations, partnerships, and corporations, as well as individuals : Provided, however, That the health officer may accept the certification of a State or municipal health officer: Provided further, That final action on each application shall, if practical, be taken within thirty days after the receipt of such application by the health department.
“No person shall keep or maintain in the District of Columbia any plant or place of manufacture for the manufacture of ice cream nor bring or send ice cream into the District of Columbia for sale or storage thereon in said District, without a permit so to do from the health officer of said District, and then only in accordance with the terms of said permit. Said permit shall be for the calendar year only for which it is issued and shall be renewable annually on the 1st day of January of each calendar year thereafter.
"(c) Cream, conforming to the definition hereinafter stated, shall be admitted into the District of Columbia for sale therein for any purpose: Provided, That the dairy outside of the District of Columbia shipping such cream into said District shall hold a permit from the health officer of said District so to do: said permit shall be for the calendar year only for which it is issued, and shall be renewable annually on the 1st day of January of each calendar year thereafter. Application for said permit shall be in writing upon a form prescribed by said heath officer, and it shall be accompanied by such detailed description of the dairy farm where said cream is handled as the said health officer may prescribe; that said permit shall be granted by the health officer when it has been established to his satisfaction that the said dairy holds a permit from an authorized medical milk commission or State board of health; that such application shall be further accompanied by a statement from such medical milk commission or State board of health that all of the cows producing the milk from which such cream is separated have been tested in accordance with the State laws in which the said cows are located, and have reacted negatively to the tuberculin test. and that said test was made in accordance with the laws of such State; that all such cream brought or sent into the District of Columbia shall be received and thereafter maintained in said District at a temperature no higher than 50 degrees Fahrenheit, shall contain no coli bacillus or visible dirt, shall contain no foreign substance or adulterant, and shall contain not more than fifty thousand bacteria."
Mr. SCHULTE. Does anyone wish to appear on this bill?
STATEMENT OF W. L. KING, GAITHERSBURG, MD.
Mr. King. Mr. Schulte, I would like to ask a question.
STATEMENT OF HON. HOWARD SMITH, A REPRESENTATIVE IN
CONGRESS FROM THE STATE OF VIRGINIA
Mr. Smith of Virginia. I have not studied the bill. Is that the same bill you have heretofore introduced ? There are a number of producers here who would like to be heard.
I think Mr. King would like to be heard in opposition to the hill.
Go ahead with your testimony and your opposition to the bill, and your proposition, whether for it or against it.
Mr. Smith of Virginia. Maybe I better ask him some questions.
Mr. King, will you state your name, where you reside, and what your occupation is?
Mr. King. My name is W. Lawson King. I live in Gaithersburg, Md., and I am a farmer.
Mr. Smith of Virginia. I believe you are a producer on this Washington milk market, are you not!
Mr. King. Yes, sir.
Mr. King. Well, I have been familiar with the shipping of milk on the Washington market for about 34 years.
Mr. Smith of Virginia. Mr. King, you are familiar with the regulations in the market in Washington, are you not, the District health regulations!
Mr. King. I am.
Mr. Smith of Virginia. I suppose you have sort of more or less grown up with them, have
not? Mr. KING. I have.
Mr. SMITH of Virginia. Would you care to make any comment about those regulations, the rigidity of them, or any other subject?
Mr. King. The only thing I would like to say about the regulations is this: That I do not think we are inspected quite as often as we should be by the inspectors.
Mr. Smith of Virginia. Now, Mr. King, the way this market operates now, as I understand it, and you have had a great deal of experience, there are no shippers' anywhere, no producers anywhere, who comply with the District regulations, who are excluded from this market, are there?
Mr. KING. They are not.
Mr. Smith of Virginia. Have you ever known of a shipper being excluded from the market who could conform to the health laws of the District of Columbia when he applied for a license?
Mr. KING. I do not.
Mr. SMITH of Virginia. Now, will you state to the committee-and something has been said lately, for instance, about requiring medical inspection and sterilizing of utensils by live steam and various other things that are required—from your experience, what the desirability or undesirability of those precautions are for health purposes?
Mr. KING. By visiting other markets, other than our own—and we will take, for instance, the one I am most familiar with, which is the Baltimore market, where they use different things other than live steam. They use chemicals. I think our method of using steam is much easier. It is less expensive and more practical than anything that I have ever seen in the way of sterilizing and caring for the milk utensils on this market or any market.
Mr. SANDAGER. May I interpose a question, there, Judge ? Mr. SMITH of Virginia. Certainly. Mr. SANDAGER. I am not so very familiar with the milkshed in Washington. Roughly, how far does it go into Maryland ?
Mr. KING. Just as far as you can meet the requirements of the milk on this market.
Mr. SANDAGER. In other words, there is no line drawn around it? Mr. King. No line; no, sir.
Mr. SANDAGER. In other words, a man, say, over in Havre de Grace, could ship milk into Washington ?
Mr. King. If he comes up to the requirements.
Mr. SANDAGER. There is no definite milkshed for the city of Washington ?
Mr. King. None that I know of. Mr. SCHULTE. Not if he joins that organization, the WashingtonMaryland Producers' Association.
Mr. King. If he joins or does not join.
Mr. SCHULTE. Is it not true that they have got to have a 100-percent closed market against independent producers ?
Mr. King. Not necessarily.
Mr. SCHULTE. Not necessarily, but it is the rule, is it not?
Mr. King. Not to my knowledge. There are different methods as to that. I am really not familiar with it. I do not want to go into it, but I belonged to the association a long time. Mr. SMITH of Virginia. I want to go into it.
Mr. King. Then I was influenced and offered a better proposition to get out of the association and go independent, which I did, and I stayed with them about 212 years.
One morning I got a milk check with a statement enclosed with it, telling me that my milk prices, instead of being on the contract price I sold at, was on a 50–50 basis, and I made a trip to the distributor, who was a Washington distributor at that time.
Mr. SMITH of Virginia. Who was the distributor?
Mr. SCHULTE (interposing). Let me say this as chairman of this committee: We are not going into any other phases of this thing except the merits or demerits of this bill.
Mr. SANDAGER. I think, Mr. Chairman, I may have led the witness off a little bit by my request for general information, which is for my own information only. Mr. SCHULTE. That is 0. K. Let us get down to the bill.
Mr. SMITH of Virginia. Mr. Chairman, I believe you said I would have the privilege of examining these witnesses.
Mr. SCHULTE. Not “these witnesses", not in the plural, but this witness.
As a Member of Congress I am chairman of this subcommittee. We are going to talk about the merits of this bill. The other things do not have anything to do with it.
Mr. SMITH of Virginia. Let us know the procedure before we start.
Mr. SCHULTE. The procedure is to confine all our activities to this bill. Any other witnesses who care to appear before the other committee today certainly have that privilege. I would like to talk on H. R. 6316.
Mr. SMITH of Virginia. In my judgment, that is what we are talking about.
Mr. SCHULTE. I did not think so.
Mr. Smith of Virginia. That is for the committee to determine, always.
Mr. SCHULTE. Always, yes; and not you and I.
Mr. SMITH of Virginia. At the same time I wish to take this opportunity at this point in the record to again repeat my protest against this subcommittee dividing itself into two committees.
Mr. SCHULTE. This subcommittee has a right to do whatever it saw fit as long as it meets with the action of the committee.
Mr. Smith of Virginia. May I make a statement for the committee, or may I not?
Mr. SCHULTE. No; I think you better take the floor, Judge. I think they will be more sympathetic.
Mr. Smith of Virginia. I wish to make one statement; namely, I protest the holding of two hearings by this subcommittee and the other at the same time, when it is obviously impossible for those interested to be at both hearings.
Mr. SCHULTE. I wish to emphasize this fact, Judge Smith: We are here for this afternoon, tonight, tomorrow, tomorrow night, and Thursday and Thursday night, if necessary.
Mr. Smith of Virginia. My people are farmers, you know.
Mr. SCHULTE. Not all of your people are farmers. You have some consumers in Alexandria.
Mr. SMITH of Virginia. As far as the consumers are concerned, they can perhaps be here whenever you wish them, but I think you should show the farmers the courtesy of hearing them in the daytime, and not at night.
Mr. SCHULTE. The situation is, we are going to talk on H. R. 6316.
Mr. SMITH of Virginia. I doubt if any of us are very familiar with the bill.
Mr. SCHULTE. Any of your producers can take it home with them, and we will be glad to hear them tomorrow or tomorrow night or Thursday or Thursday night.
Mr. SMITH of Virginia. We appreciate that, and a good many of us will want to take advantage of that opportunity.
Now, Mr. King, a good deal has been said here about shipments of milk from the West into this market. I take it you do not know anything about the price of milk in the West ?
Mr. King. Only from information that I have sought, when this investigation started, and that is that the cream that is coming on this market is not the fluid creams of those markets. It is merely the cream that is sold for butterfat at a ridiculously low price that can afford to come on this market.
The fluid cream channels of the western milk could not come on this market and compete with us.
Mr. Smith of Virginia. Now, the object of this bill, as I understand it, not having had the opportunity of studying it, is to open up the Washington market for western shippers. Under the present law do you know of any reason why any legitimate shipper, who can comply with that law and get his dairy inspected by the health officer here, do you know of any Chinese wall or other obstacle to his coming onto this market and selling here?
Mr. King. I do not.
Mr. SMITH of Virginia. As a matter of fact, you were asked by Mr. Schulte whether or not independent shippers were not excluded from this market. As a matter of fact, in your State, on what is known as the Eastern Shore, are there not quite a large number of shippers who have recently come on this market?
Mr. King. From the best understanding I can get, more independent producers have come on this market in 1937 and 1938 than there were cooperative producers coming on this market.
For that reason, I cannot see where there has been any wall against any producer coming on this market, whether he be small or big.