Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

now.

Mr. DALLINGER. The Sugar Equalization Board, when they found this shortage coming in June and July prohibited the refiners from taking any more export orders. They did not interfere with their filling orders already taken, which † understand now have practically all been filled. But that prohibition of the Sugar Equalization Board has not prevented the continued export of resale sugar. What I mean by that is this, that after the refiner sells to some jobber in this country, that sugar can go from broker to broker_and be sold by some broker in this country for sale in Hamburg, or Paris, or Brussels, or London, and the sugar will go out of this country and there is absolutely no way of stopping it. And there is a lot of sugar going out. I do not mean an increased amount, relative to the total consumption, but you must remember that to the small householder, to the supply of these small householders, a million pounds of sugar, or 10,000,000 pounds of sugar, one ship load, is a great deal of sugar. Now there is a great deal of talk about this English sugar; we must not put on any kind of an embargo, no matter how qualified, upon the export of sugar, because this sugar is going to England and France; that under an agreement a certain part of the sugar crop was bought for them and is refined in this country and exported. It is easy enought to trace that, because it would

go right from the refiners. But once before, when there was a stringency, the Sugar Equalization Board borrowed 50,000 tons of this English sugar.

In other words, they took it and said to the Englishman, "We will pay you back later." If they did it then, they can do it

Now, I am here pleading here before you for the small householder, who is not getting any sugar at all at the present time that you do something so that some board will have the power, just for these few weeks, in this emergency, to have the right to prohibit exports and, if necessary, to borrow some of that foreign sugar again. We have done it once; they borrowed 50,000 tons. They do not need to borrow as much as that now. Fifty thousand tons would give 2 pounds of sugar to 50,000,000 households. And I think that Congress, before it adjourns for the Christmas recess, ought to do something to meet this emergency. There are people here in Washington who can not get any sugar for their families, and I think something ought to be done immediately. You ought to put something in this bill to give it teeth; there ought to be some amendment put in this bill that will relieve the present situation.

The CHAIRMAN. But the bill in its present form would not give immediate relief. Can you point out wherein it would give any relief? The authority to buy this Cuban sugar does not give control over the dealers or wholesalers.

Mr. DALLINGER. No; but it would give them a chance to increase the supply of sugar.

Mr. ANDERSON. May I ask a question?
Mr. DALLINGER. Certainly.

Mr. ANDERSON. I have not examined this situation recently. My understanding is whatever the authority is, that the Equalization Board is the agency created by the President under the authority given him in the food control act. And so long as the Food Control Act is in effect the President can confer upon the Sugar Equalization Board any of the powers contained in the food control act, provide

a

do so.

a

we do not specifically provide they shall not have that power in this legislation. If that is true, it is sufficient to continue the legal existence of the Sugar Equalization Board, assuming that the legal effect of the food control act also continues. Am I correct about that?

Mr. DALLINGER. Yes, sir; that is right.

Mr. McLAUGHLIN of Michigan. That is what I said a few moments ago, Mr. Dallinger, that the food control act of August 10, 1917, contained all this power--the power to license. When Mr. Palmer was before us a few weeks ago asking that a penalty be attached to section 4 of that food control act, I asked him why he did not undertake to control under another section which provided for licensing and for the operations of the Food Control Board. But he said he did not want to do that; he wanted this penalty put on so that he could go on in sort of a spectaular way in making arrests and carrying on prosecutions. He did not want any kind of a corrective, preventive, or regulatory proposition at all. Now, that food control act is still in force; just as Mr. Anderson says, it contains the power to license and the President can invoke that power if he wishes to

Mr. DALLINGER. Do you understand, Mr. McLaughlin, that the Food Control Act gives the right to the President or to anyone delegated by him to stop the exportation of sugar for a limited time?

Mr. McLAUGHLIN of Michigan. I do not remember as to the export particularly. But it can be done by license. A license can be issued to any dealer whose annual sales are $100,000 or more, and one of the terms of that license that may be issued to any dealer, or anybody handling sugar, could be that he shall not export it.

Mr. TINCHER. This sugar board is incorporated, is it not?

Mr. DALLINGER. Under the laws of the State of Delaware, I understand.

Mr. TINCHER. Who are the stockholders of the corporation ?
Mr. DALLINGER. The President is the sole stockholder.

Mr. TINCHER. The President is the sole stockholder. For that reason the whole matter is checked to him for control. Now, there is not anything in the food control act to prevent them making any condition to the issuing of any license, that the license holders should not export sugar, is there?

Mr. DALLINGER. No. Of course, Mr. Chairman, the President did not act; he did not follow the recommendations of the Sugar Equalization Board on this important matter, and it is a question now whether Congress ought not to take some action.

Mr. McKINLEY. How are you going to take action? The President has finally to pass on this resolution, and if he won't do it now, how are we going to compel him to act?

Mr. CANDLER. There is some justification for the President's action. It is true on August 20 that the Sugar Equalization Board did recommend to the President that action be taken on this matter, and the President was considering it. This board, however, is divided. It is true, I understand, that he accepted Prof. Taussig's advice, who recommended that no action be taken at that time.

The CHAIRMAN. One out of eight opposed it?

Mr. CANDLER. Yes; one out of eight opposed it. The President was considering it at the time, but at that very time, or about that very time, as we all know, he was taken seriously ill and never considered anything.

Mr. McKINLEY. He was taken seriously ill on the 26th of September-eight weeks afterwards.

Mr. CANDLER. He was taken ill, and he did not take action. That statement is just to him and ought to be considered in this matter.

Mr. TINCHER. They had time before that, I will state, on a similar board that has control of the wheat of the United States, when we had an over supply of wheat in the United States, more than there was any chance in the world to use for our local consumption, under the same kind of a law and the same kind of a system, to put an embargo upon the exporting of wheat, in order to keep the price of it down.

Mr. CANDLER. Action possibly ought to have been taken on this matter, as was suggested a moment ago, but it was not, and that is some explanation of it at least. But that water has passed over the wheel and the question is what is to be done now.

Mr. McKINLEY. You say 5,000,000 tons are available. Why not buy some of it now?

Mr. CANDLER. That is what I suggest.
Mr. McKINLEY. He has the power; why not exercise it?

Mr. CANDLER. I want to state the statement I made a little while
ago was taken from the speech of Senator Gay, of Louisiana.
Mr. TINCHER. It is the quotation of a sugar grower?
Mr. CANDLER. Yes; from a Louisiana sugar producer.

Mr. Jones. Has the President power now, under the existing law, to buy this surplus sugar?

Mr. DALLINGER. I do not understand he has.

The CHAIRMAN. There can be no question about the President's having authority, nor can there be a question about the President being responsible for the delay.

Mr. DALLINGER. They can not buy now.

The CHAIRMAN. And as a result of the delay two prices are being paid for sugar, much more than they would otherwise have to pay. Nobody has undertaken to defend the action.

Mr. CANDLER. The Senate commenced hearings on this proposition on October 3, and thay have had time to take some action up

to this time, and at least the Senate has some share of the blame.

The CHAIRMAN. But if he ignored the law and the opportunity at that time, what can we expect in the future? Certainly, by passing this act, we can not compel him to take action.

Mr. DaLLINGER. I want to correct my answer to the question of Mr. Jones. I did not understand your question. I suppose he has until December 31 the right to buy up last year's crop, the old crop; but he has not the right to buy anything more.

The CHAIRMAN. The corporation is given certain powers,

Mr. Jones. The corporation, then, would have the right to buy the surplus existing crop without this amendment?

Mr. LEE. The old crop.
Mr. DALLINGER. The old crop; yes.
Mr. Jones. Why has that surplus not been bought in your opinion?

Mr. TINCHER. He could have purchased the new crop. They recommended to him that they be given the authority to buy the crop, and the authority was not given.

Mr. McLAUGHLIN of Michigan. The corporation had the right to buy in the old crop, because the President had the right to authorize them to buy that crop. The corporation would have had the right to buy the i919 crop if the President had authorized them to buy it?

Mr. DALLINGER. Yes.

Mr. PURNELL. They asked for the authority and he refused to give them the authority.

The CHAIRMAN. He has the authority under the existing law to make the purchase, has he not?

Mr. PURNELL. Of course he has. It is because he did not want to; that is all.

Mr. DALLINGER. Mr. Chairman, so far as the political question is concerned, you can rest back and say the President is responsible for this whole thing. And I am perfectly willing to acquiesce in that. But the question is whether Congress is going to take the attitude of not trying to do anything themselves to help

the people in this situation. "I have heard a great deal of criticism of Congress since my bill was put in for not doing something. It may be the President would veto anything you pass, but that does not relieve us as Members of Congress, in the eyes of the people, from trying to do something.

The CHAIRMAN. The President has had the authority all along. By renewing it or extending it can we hope for action ? İs it not fair to assume he will do as he has done in the past-ignore the authority that was given to him by Congress ?

Mr. DALLINGER. I had hoped in some way that your committee could so amend the McNary bill as to give this power to the board which it asked for last August, to stop the exportation of sugar, and to give them the power direct.

The CHAIRMAN. If any legislation is enacted, it should at least give the power asked by the board ?

Mr. DALLINGER. It ought to be given to this board to do it rather than to give it through the President or anybody else. Mr. Jones. Have you prepared an amendment to this McNary bill ?

Mr. DaLLINGER. No; I have not. My bill prohibits the export of sugar for a period of six months, and gives the President the right to extend that.

Mr. TINCHER. You have not had any hearings on it at all?

Mr. DALLINGER. No. The hearing on my bill is set for to-morrow before the Committee on Interstate and Foreign Commerce. The reason I came here is that I realized the chance of my bill being reported and going through is remote if Congress takes its Christmas recess on Saturday.

Mr. TINCHER. Your theory is you would like to have this committee put an amendment onto the senate bill, putting an embargo on the export of sugar for a fixed length of time?

Mr. DALLINGER. Yes; I would like to have some authority given to this board.

Mr. TINCHER. They are simply the officers of the corporation in which the President is the sole stockholder ?

Mr. DALLINGER. So I understand.

Mr. TINCHER. That is the complication that comes up.' What you want is to have something passed so they will have to put an embargo on?

Mr. DALLINGER. Yes, sir; that is what I want. I am simply making this suggestion to the committee.

Mr. TINCHER. How would you go about enforcing that embargo? I suppose a legislative body would be slow, without giving some one rights, just to pass a law making an embargo ?

Mr. DALLINGER. Of course, you can protect the English and the French if you want to, and say whatever they were given in a solemn agreement they should be allowed, and let them have it. But it seems to me you ought to stop the other kind of sugar going out-the resale sugar.' We ought to try it. I do not know that you can do it. 'I do not know that under the rules of the House vou can report an amendment of that kind on this Senate bill. But if you can see your way clear to do it, I hope you will consider the matter while you have the thing before you, because in my opinion the only hope of getting any legislation at this session lies in this committee, and I hope something can be done to stop this sugar going out of the country.

The CHAIRMAN. There really is no remedy in purchasing the sugar outside of the United States. The domestic sugar supply for this year is only 1,991,000 tons. We need, all told, about 5,000,000 tons. We must buy 3,000,000 tons outside of the amount produced in the United States,

Mr. DALLINGER. The point is, I am pleading for the ordinary householder for these few weeks. We are told that we will have plenty of sugar by the 1st of February; that the supply will be ample. We do not know what the price is going to be, but they will be able to get it. The point I am making is the ordinary householder in the eastern part of the country can not get it now at all; the ordinary householder in the eastern part of the country can not get it at any price. The absolute bare necessities of the people ought to be considered. That is what I am pleading for. And if there is any way, by putting an embargo provision in this bill, or giving some power to somebody to check up the wholesalers, so that the small retailer would be assured of getting his supply to take care of his individual customers, that will accomplish what I am seeking to accomplish. It is an emergency matter, for a few weeks now, during this shortage, and I would like to see Congress show a disposition to try to do something. I have no pride of opinion in my bill or any other bill: I do not care whether my name goes on it or not, but I do want to have something done, because I know the situation is very serious. The situation is serious in the line of dissatisfaction with the Government. We are going through a crisis here.

crisis here. We have men who are trying to overthrow this Government, and when you have the laboring man working on the docks at Boston, New York, or Philadelphia loading sugar by the thousands and millions of pounds into these steamers to go across the water and they can not get one single teaspoonful of sugar for their own families, those men are pretty apt to be resentful against the Government that allows that sort of thing to go on. I want to have Congress try to do something- to show a disposition to do something to deal with the present emergency along the eastern coast of the United States.

Mr. TIMBERLAKE of Colorado. Why do not the American refineries buy up this Cuban crop as they did before the war?

Mr. DALLINGER. I do not know, sir.

« AnteriorContinuar »