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STANDARD OF WEIGHTS AND MEASURES FOR CERTAIN
COMMITTEE ON COINAGE, WEIGHTS, AND MEASURES,
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES,
January 25, 1924.
The committee this day met, Hon. Albert H. Vestal (chairman) presiding.
The CHAIRMAN. The committee will come to order.
It seems this morning that practically all the members of this committee are engaged in listening to evidence in other committees that they happen to be members of, and there are not very many of us here, but if there is no objection on the part of the committee, we will proceed as though a quorum were present. I think I have said to this committee before there is always a quorum present when the chairman is here, unless there was objection.
I called the committee for the purpose of hearing testimony relative to H. R. 3241, a bill to establish standard weights and measures for certain wheat mill, rye mill, and corn mill products, namely, flours, hominy, grits, and meals, and all commercial feeding stuffs, and for other purposes.
Probably, if it was not for the fact that there are quite a number of new members on this committee, it would not be necessary to hold any hearing, as this bill is practically the same bill which has been before the House twice or three times, and passed by the House with practically a unanimous vote, but from the fact there are a number of new members on the committee, I felt we ought to have some hearings and get the testimony of the men who know more about the subject as to whether or not there has been any change in the situation from what it was two years ago.
I think I will ask Mr. Husband, of Chicago, to take charge of the testimony here, and hear what he has to say, and then we will hear what other witnesses have to say, in the order in which he desires to call them.
We will now hear from Mr. Husband.
STATEMENT OF MR. A. P. HUSBAND, SECRETARY MILLERS'
NATIONAL FEDERATION, CHICAGO, ILL.
Mr. HUSBAND. My name is A. P. Husband, and I am secretary of the Millers' National Federation at Chicago, an organization of wheat flour millers having an organization scattered throughout 33 States in the United States.
In view, Mr. Chairman, of the fact that there are so many new members of the committee, perhaps time would be saved and progress made by my reviewing the situation that obtains, and that has grown up, which prompted us to ask for this legislation. I will proceed on that basis.
The present generally accepted standard barrel of flour in the United States, which contains 196 pounds, has never been dignified by congressional action. It is an inheritance that we received from the old English custom of 14 stone, of 14 pounds each, or 196 pounds.
While Congress has never legislated upon the barrel of flour, and its proper divisions, practically all the States have, and as is quite common, they have gone off at all sorts of tangents, so that as a result interstate business in flour, meals, feeds, etc., has become very much involved.
I want to read the weights of flour packages, as required by the laws of the States, or accepted as correct by the food commissioners of those States. By that last phrase, I mean the State of Connecticut, for instance, has no specific law regarding proper weights of packages of flour, so I am advised, but the commissioner of that State already has and does to-day accept the true divisions of a barrel.
Let me say that practice in the trade is to sell flour in wood packages, 140-pound packages, which I will explain later on, half barrels, quarter barrels, sixteenth barrels, down to at present it is seven, five, etc.
Now the States, which list I am going to read, you will notice the varying packages as prescribed by their laws, or accepted by their food commissioners. Alabama : 196, 98, 48, 24, and 12 pounds net.
I should explain that by saying that the true one-quarter of a barrel is 49 pounds, the true eighth is 241 pounds, and the true sixteenth is 124 pounds.
Arkansas: True weight must appear on each package.
Iowa: A barrel of flour is 196 pounds, a sack of flour is 49 pounds. Effective January 1, 1918. The department is of the opinion that flour can be sold in 98-pound, 24-pound, 10-pound, 5-pound, and other weight packages, so long as they are not styled