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The CHAIRMAN. That applies to some other branches of industry.
Mr. CARRINGTON. Yes, sir. We represent, Mr. Chairman, the tobacco dealers and manufacturers everywhere except the cigar interests. We do not have anything to do with the cigar interests. We do, however, represent all the other tobacco, except Maryland, possibly.
The CHAIRMAN. That is, the dealer?
Mr. CARTINGTON. Yes. We have manufacturers in this association; in fact, we have all the assocaitions formed for the protection of the tobacco interest and to promote its interests. We have members from Kentucky, West Virginia, Ohio, Tennessee, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia.
Now, the tobacco that we represent, outside of cigars, is practically all that is grown in the United States, except a small quantity in Maryland, the great bulk of which is exported to France.
The dark crop of Virginia and Kentucky runs anywhere from 300,000,000 to 400,000,000 pounds. The Burley crop runs anywhere from 300,000,000 to 325,000,000 pounds. The bright tobacco runs from 2,500,000,000 pounds up. So, you see, there is a great variation
in the crops.
We have done some figuring and we find that 67 per cent of the bright tobacco is exported, 75 per cent of the dark tobacco is exported, and the Burley is exported only when certain types of it are very low and it can be taken as substitutes on account of its low price. The balance of it is practically used here by our manufacturers.
Senator NORBECK. The Burley tobacco is used for what purpose?
Mr. CARRINGTON. It is used for blending cigarettes and smoking tobacco, the Velvet and Prince Albert and those types. A little of it is chewed, like Drummond Natural Leaf and Star and Horseshoe. That class of tobacco is altogether Burley. There is considerable used in the blending of cigarettes. With one or two exceptions, all cigarettes are blended. Senator NORBECK. Does it go into cigars?
Mr. CARRINGTON. No, sir; none of it ever goes into cigars. The bright is nearly all exported except what is used for snuff.
Senator NORBECK. What kind of tobacco are cigars made out of?
Mr. CARRINGTON. They are made out of tobacco grown throughout the northern tier of States.
Senator NORBECK. And it is known as what in the trade?
Mr. CARRINGTON. It is known as cigar tobacco. They have technical names for it which I am not familiar with, Little Dutch and Big Dutch and things of that sort. But we find that 67 per cent of the bright tobacco is exported, about 75 per cent of the dark tobacco, and that only 10 per cent of the tobacco is bought by strictly dealers. The balance of it is bought by manufacturers and the bulk of the tobacco that the manufacturers buy is stemmed as soon as it gets on the floor and it is blended. They will buy tobacco there from $12 to $20 and blend that tobacco, making the poor quality to be absorbed by the good quality.
This bill does not allude to strips at all. The strips consist of tobacco with the stems pulled out and put away ready for use. The manufacturers find it very economical to stem this tobacco while it
There is less waste to it. So they start stemming it as soon as the tobacco comes in, and the only tobacco that they put up in the leaf form is what they have time to stem during the winter season. So the amount of tobacco that would be reported under the proposed bill would be a very small quantity, about 10 per cent, by the dealers and possibly 10 per cent by the manufacturers outside.
Therefore, when you analyze it you will find that the operation of this bill would give a minimum reflection on what existed. We do not know what stocks are in Europe, how much they carry, except in England, and in that case we know that they always carry about two years' stock.
Senator NORBECK. If you will pardon an interruption, as a member of this committee I have come to realize that these Government reports are always incomplete. There is a difference of opinion as to their value. I am still of the opinion that they have considerable value. As I understand it, your contention is mainly that they are not complete, and, therefore, they may not portray the whole situation. But what are the objections to getting even a part of the information?
Mr. CARRINGTON. This is so far incomplete from our point of view that we do not see any use in it. Here are 127 grades of bright tobacco, 167 grades of dark tobacco, and 40 or 60 grades of Burley tobacco. Each leaf is separate and it takes an expert to know how to blend thoses tobaccos. That has got to be done by one mind.
I know something about it because the first year of the operation of the cooperative association down South I was on a committee to value the tobacco for the banks. It was some job. But I quit after that year. I saw what those fellows were doing in the way of putting the farmers in so bad that I got disgusted with the whole thing and quit. We feel sorry for the farmers for the way they were being handled.
The CHAIRMAN. Let us discuss the merits of the bill, Mr. Carrington. Senator Norbeck asked you & very important question. Do you think this bill would mislead the grower?
Mr. CARRINGTON. It would give the grower no idea at all as to a man's crop. He goes by what he buys the past year. The grower when he puts out his tobacco does not know what sort of tobacco he is going to raise.
The CHAIRMAN. Would it hurt the dealer?
The CHAIRMAN. In what particular? He would, of course, go to a little trouble in making out these reports.
Mr. CARRINGTON. Yes; and he would not know how to make them out. The grading of tobacco has to be done by one man.
The CHAIRMAN. What else would it do to give you trouble? Would it affect your business in any way?
Mr. CARRINGTON. No; I do not know that it would.
Mr. CARRINGTON. It would mean that we would not know how to grade this tobacco.
The CHAIRMAN. Yes; I understand that contention.
Mr. CARRINGTON. That is the reason that we do not think it would accomplish anything because somebody would have to oversee that grading and we have to take an oath that we have graded that tobacco according to the assembly set up by the Government. : The farmer blends his crop by what he sees in the statistics, but he does not know what the crop is going to be, because the season absolutely determines that, and we think it would give them the wrong view and a very small percentage of it would be sorted.
Senator NORBECK. On the theory that a little knowledge is a dangerous thing, this might be a bad bill?
Mr. CARRINGTON. I do not say that it is a bad bill, but I think it is a useless bill. It has not the cooperation of the dealers and it is a very bad proposition to get people working on a proposition that are not going to work with you in a cooperative way. The only way we we could get it would be to have the Secretary go around and see that we graded this tobacco accordingly to his assembly. We all have different ideas of the tobacco and we just do not see the necessity of the bill. It would just give us a lot of trouble and work, as far as I can view it. The farmer's crop depends on the seasons, absolutely.
The CHAIRMAN. If the statistics were complete, would that then be an advantage to the growers, in your opinion?
Mr. CARRINGTON. No, sir. The grower makes up his mind on what he is going to do by what he gets the previous year for his crop of tobacco. Not one man in a thousand reads these reports unless he is connected with a cooperative association and reads the report given out by the association.
The CHAIRMAN. Your position is that under the reporting of the statistics it would under no circumstances be of any value to the farmer?
Mr. CARRINCTON. Yes, sir.
The CHAIRMAN. And also that it would impose upon the dealers and manufacturers a lot of additional work?
Mr. CARRINGTON. Yes; they could not do it intelligently at all. The CHAIRMAN. Those are the two points that you desire to make? Mr. CARRINGTON. Yes, sir.
The CHAIRMAN. I thank you, Mr. Carrington. Now, Congressman Gilbert.
STATEMENT OF HON. RALPH GILBERT, A REPRESENTATIVE IN
CONGRESS FROM THE STATE OF KENTUCKY
Representative GILBERT. Mr. Chairman, I wish to thank you for giving me this opportunity. The Government is committed to the obtaining of crop statistics and the dissemination of that information.
Tobacco is a very peculiar crop. On account of its different types it has to be more so than corn or wheat. Corn and wheat are both used for bread. One kind of tobacco might be used for smoking, another for chewing, and another for snuff. They do not come in competition with one another.
Take even the smoking tobacco; some is used for wrappers and some for fillers. It has many divisions, and to know how much tobacco is on hand is no information whatever. The Director for the Census has said that the statistics that he is now obtaining are absolutely worthless.
At the instance of the cooperatives of the United States gathered here in Washington four years ago, and representing one of the largest tobacco-growing districts in the world, I began this labor of trying to work out bill that would give the grower information and would not be unfair to the dealer. I worked on that proposition for four years and introduced three bills. We have had exhaustive hearings in the House, the objection coming at all times from the dealers and part of the time from the departments.
My bill required at first too much information, and the objections that the gentleman has made this morning were thought of sufficient importance at that time by the House Agricultural Committee to receive consideration.
We agreed to let the Department of Agriculture work out a situation that would be fair to the grower, give him information to which he was entitled, and at the same time be fair to the dealer. This bill was written by me in cooperation with the Department of Agriculture, and as their report shows it is workable.
In other words, instead of separating it into all the different grades that the gentleman has referred to, which would entail a great deal of complicated work, and which might be too complicated for value, the Department of Agriculture suggested, and its reports shows, that it can be practically done by grouping the grades so that the man who wants to blend smoking tobacco or cigarette tobacco, such as Burley, will know what tobacco is on hand in competition with him. The Department of Agriculture has already solved that to its own satisfaction, that this would give information and that it would be valuable information and would not entail too much difficulty on the part of the dealers. Therefore, I discarded my first bill and got this bill up, with the assistance of the Department of Agriculture.
Now, the gentleman's statement is totally inaccurate when he says that there will be only 10 per cent affected by this bill. On the contrary, it not only requires reports of the dealers but manufacturers, growers, cooperative associations, warehouse headquarters, holders, owners; it embraces everybody except the few that handle a stiff leaf tobacco. Up in Pennsylvania a lot of the people raise little backyard crops and at night after supper roll cheap cigars. The amount of their product is so small that it would not affect the market, and we made an exception of certain small dealers just for the purpose of saving so many reports by small growers that would come under this bill.
In the opinion of the Department of Agriculture, as well as iny own and Mr. Kehoe, who perhaps has had a greater experience in tobacco than anyone else, a former Member of Congress, and the legislative agent of the Burley Tobacco Association and others, this will give all the information that the growers need.
With that premise we introduced another bill and the dealers still complained. We met their objections. I thought that practically all of the trade was now agreed on this bill. I know the cooperatives all over the United States are.
Here is a letter from the Dark Tobacco Cooperative Association asking that the bill be passed. Here is a letter from the Connecticut Agricultural College, signed by Professor Davis, saying:
Personally, I believe that it is a very sound and progressive measure and one which is very decidedly in the interests of the tobacco industry.
The CHAIRMAN. Will you offer those for the record, Mr. Gilbert?
Representative GILBERT. Yes. Here is a letter from the secretarytreasurer of the Wisconsin Tobacco Growers, stating:
Resolved, That the Northern Wisconsin Cooperative Tobacco Pool, through its board of directors, hereby approve the provisions of said bill and urge its passage at an early date, etc.
All of these came to me unsolicited.
The CHAIRMAN. Have you any affirmations from dealers and manufacturers?
Representative GILBERT. Yes. After we got together the last time we worked out a bill which the dealers admitted before the Agricultural Committee of the House was fair. At first I had gone too far into their business. I am willing to admit my enthusiasm. I wanted to go as far into their business as I could get because my interest in this matter is whole-heartedly for the grower, but I realized that others are entitled to certain rights, and I was forced to retreat to a proposition where we arrived at a point with the cooperation of the Department of Agriculture which said that here is a bill fair to the dealers, fair to the growers, workable by the Department of Agriculture, and should be passed.
(The letters referred to by Congressman Gilbert are copied into the record in full as follows:) DARK TOBACCO GROWERS COOPERATIVE ASSOCIATION (Inc.),
Hopkinsville, Ky., January 24, 1927. Hon. RALPH GILBERT,
House of Representatives, Washington, D. C. DEAR MR. GILBERT: I have always heard that great minds run in the same channel. Evidently our minds ran in exactly the same channel in regard to your tobacco bill.
I assure you that it meets with my hearty approval and if there is anything that I can do to help you in passing it, please let me know. It will be a tremendous help to us if you can get this bill enacted into law. Wishing you every success, I am Yours very truly,
GEOFFREY MORGAN, General Manager.
Whereas Hon. Ralph Gilbert, of Kentucky, introduced a bill (H. R. 16350), in the United States House of Representatives during the last session of Congress; and
Whereas this bill was passed by the House of Representatives but could not be brought up in the United States Senate during the short session of Congress; and
Whereas the author of said bill has introduced the same bill in the first session of its Seventieth Congress; and
Whereas the said bill (H. R. 53) provides for the establishment of tobacco standards and the gathering of reports on tobacco stocks by standard types and groups of grades which would be of great service to this association and the trade generally; and
Whereas the provisions of this bill could be carried out economically and efficiently by the experienced tobacco specialists of the United States Department of Agriculture in connection with their present work in tobacco standardization: Therefore be it
Resolved, That the Northern Wisconsin Cooperative Tobacco Pool, through its board of directors, hereby approve the provisions of said bill and urge its passage at an early date; and be it further
Resolved, That copies of this resolution be forwarded to Representative Gilbert, the House Committee on Agriculture, and the Secretary of Agriculture. Board of directors adopted resolution unanimously.
A. S. JOHNSON, Secretary-Treasurer.