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Mr. WEAREN. No, sir.
Mr. MOORE. Do you see anything wrong in a number of business men of large establishments, with large overhead expense, getting together with the object of improving their business?
Mr. WEAREN. No.
Mr. Moore. It is a fair proposition that the Congress ought to hear from its constituents, is it not?
Mr. WEAREN. I think so.
Mr. Rainey. You can put that in the record.
Mr. MOORE. I shall do so. This speech was made by the Hon. Henry T. Rainey, on September 23. It was addressed to a number of people, who are interested in this question of mixed flour, and at the close of the speech in very persuasive terms, because he is a man of great eloquence, he said:
Now, how can you be of service? You can be of service by writing your Member of Congress, asking him to vote for the bill which repeals this burdensome tax. Ask him to act for his constituents and against the Food Trust. If one constituent of a Member of Congress writes to him on this subject, he can do more with him than I can by talking to him for hours about this. This is a representative Government of ours. Members of Congress are elected for short terms, and they must be quickly responsive to the demands of their constituents. This bill can not originate in the Senate. It affects the revenues, and it must originate in the House, and can't originate anywhere else under the Constitution of the United States. If Members commence to hear from their constituents, just as soon as they do they commence to get enthusiastic on the subject. I have left the Chamber of the House myself dozens and dozens of times, refusing to listen to technical discussions on some subject, and I have received a letter from a constituent of mine telling me how he or she was interested in that particular subject that the Member was discussing, and I have gone to the Congressional Record and looked up his speech, have read it carefully, and have hecome enthusiastic on that subject, just because one of my constituents called my attention to it. A Member of Congress is compelled to discharge so many duties that he overlooks many things unless his constituents call his attention to them. Now, that is all I ask you to do; pass the word along to your friends, ask them to interest themselves in this subject, and this meeting will not have been held in vain.
Do you see anything wrong in a Member of Congress exhorting his constituents to get busy with other Members of Congress, with a view of passing a bill either for or against the interests of his constituents? [Laughter.]
Mr. WEAREN. I would say this, in conclusion, that I would be glad to have the chairman visit our next meeting, and give us some points of interest, and see what is going on.
Mr. MCORE. Do you think there is anything wrong in the deliverance of a speech like that to people who ought to be enlightened on a public question by a distinguished public man?
Mr. WEAREN. I do not know that I catch you exactly on that.
Mr. MOORE. If the gentleman delivering that speech had been invited to come to a dinner toward the close of the day, at the close of his arduous work of informing the people on any subject, do you think it would have been wrong for him to sit down at that dinner, provided there had been no Kentucky moonshine at the dinner?
Mr. WEAREN. I think not. [Laughter.]
Mr. LANNEN. You have quite an efficient food department in Kentucky, have you not?
Mr. W'EAREN. I suppose we have. We have a college there that is supposed to have things of that kind. Mr. LANNEN. Do you know R. M. Allen down there? Mr. WEAREN. What does he do? Mr. LAXNEN. He is chief of the food division. Mr. WEAREN. I am not personally acquainted with him.
Mr. LANNEX. That food division is in the Agricultural Experiment Station at Lexington, is it not?
Mr. WEAREN. I understand so.
Mr. LANNEN. Is it not true that your State food law provides that an article shall be deemed to be misbranded if the package or label bears any statement purporting to name any ingredient or substance as not being contained in such article, which statement shall not be true?
Mr. WEAREN. I do not know.
Mr. LANNEN. You do not know whether that is the food law of your State or not?
Mr. WEAREN. No, sir.
Mr. FORDNEY. My friend, Rainey, is opposed to all sorts of monopoly except the monopolized vote in his Congressional district.
Mr. Lind. Now, Mr. Kelly, will you come forward again.
STATEMENT OF MR. E. M. KELLY-Resumed.
Mr. KELLY. I believe the members of the committee were asking questions, especially the chairman, when I suspended my statement.
Mr. Rainey. I have forgotten what I was asking now.
You say a blender could mix wheat flour and corn flour at a profit to him of 60 cents a barrel?
Mr. KELLY. I say I believe that it is possible for a blender to mix flour-put up mixed flour-containing 40 per cent corn flour and label it 20 per cent corn flour only and make 60 cents barrel additional profit.
Mr. RAINEY. Sixty cents additional ? Mr. KELLY. Additional profit; yes, sir. Mr. Rainey. Suppose he makes the ordinary mixture—80 per cent and 20
cent? Mr. KELLY. Then his barrel of mixed flour would cost 60 cents less than the barrel of pure wheat flour.
Mr. RAINEY. And he would keep the entire 60 cents ?
Mr. KELLY. No; I do not think he would keep the entire 60 cents. He would pay 4 cents revenue tax on that, and he would get as much profit as he could and give as little to the next man as he could. He would sell it as close to the price of pure wheat flour as it would be possible for him to get.
Mr. RAINEY. And only controlled by the question of competition in the business?
Mr. KELLY. Of other inixed flours; yes, sir.
Mr. RAINEY. Then there would be a competition between mixed flours?
Mr. KELLY. Yes; I think so.
Mr. RAINEY. And other things being equal, the mixed flour that the consumer could buy for the least money would be the flour he would want to buy?
Mr. KELLY. Yes; if the consumer knew positively the real amount of cornstarch in there, I think that would govern him somewhat in his preference.
Mr. RAINEY. If the consumer knew the real amount?
Mr. Rainey. That would be an advantage to the consumer to know the real amount?
Mr. KELLY. I think he would be better posted and better able to tell which one to prefer.
Mr. RAINEY. What is there in the present law that conveys to the consumer the real amount of cornstarch that there is in mixed flour?
Mr. KELLY. The present revenue law does not convey to the ultimate consumer what per cent of cornstarch is in there, but it only advises him that there is some in there.
Mr. Rainey. The proposed bill would also advise the consumer just the same, would it not, that there is corn flour in there?
Mr. KELLY. If it was interstate business it would. Your bill would not apply to intrastate business.
Mr. RAINEY. Neither does the present law.
Mr. KELLY. Yes, it does. The revenue law applies everywhere in the United States.
Mr. RAINEY. Intrastate?
Mr. RAINEY. Then, that would be a matter for the State to regulate and control?
Mr. KELLY. Yes.
Mr. RAINEY. And being a Tennesseean, you are rather in favor of the State controlling those matters?
Mr. KELLY. Oh, yes, sir. We have not been entirely reconstructed.
Mr. RAINEY. Then, so far as the interstate business is concerned, the proposed law would convey to purchasers the same information as the existing law, to wit, information that the package contained cornstarch or corn flour?
Mr. KELLY. Yes; the proposed law would convey to the purchaser of flour in interstate trade that information. It would have a label on it saying that there was so much cornstarch mixed in this flour. Now, the bill is fairly protective of the buyer, but the trouble is
Mr. RAINEY. Is it not better than you have now?
Mr. KELLY. I do not think so. I do not think it is as good. Now let me tell you why I say that.
Mr. RAINEY. All right.
Mr. Kelly. It is just for this reason, that I can label 20 per cent cornstarch in flour, and I can put 30 per cent cornstarch in mixed flour, and the consumer will not know it and the pure-food law people will not know it.
Mr. RAINEY. Will they know it now, under the existing law?
Mr. KELLY. They do not know. There is only one source that knows how much is in there, and that is the internal-revenue people. They do know.
Mr. McGillICUDDY. Would not that appear in the bread?
Mr. McGILLICUDDY. What inducement would there be for a man to put into his flour something that would adulterate his product so that nobody would want to buy it because it was so poor in quality ?
Mr. KELLY. Well, a man would take a chance and hope to market the flour as a poor product at a reduced price.
Mr. McGILLICUDDY. Would he want to market a poor product that nobody would want?
Mr. KELLY. Oh, people will buy such a flour at a reduced price, sometimes.
Mr. McGILLICUDDY. Not if it made a poor bread. Mr. KELLY. They will buy some of it. Mr. Casey. Did you not say he would give as little as he could of his profit to the next man?
Mr. KELLY. The manufacturer would keep as much as he could. That is human nature.
Mr. MOORE. How would the consumer know that it was of inferior quality ?
Mr. KELLY. I do not think that a large mixture of corn flour with wheat flour will make a flour that will bake as well as pure wheat flour.
Mr. MOORE. If it is inferior and the inferiority would show in the finished loaf, would not the loaf nevertheless sell for just the same? Do you think the customer would share in the profit from the difference in quality!
Mr. KELLY. I think there is where the consumer would find it out, quick. It would be in the quality of the loaf. It would not make as good loaves.
Mr. Dixon. You mixed some flour last spring ?
Mr. Dixon. What difference did you make to the consumer to whom you sold?
Mr. KELLY. Different differences, 40 and 60 cents; just what my competitors forced me to make.
Mr. Dixon. Just what your competitors in the same business forced you to make?
Mr. KELLY. Yes.
Mr. Dixon. Did you know anything about the prices they got from the consumers ?
Mr. KELLY. They sell to the merchants.
Mr. KELLY. Our salesmen would run up against their traveling salesmen every now and then, and it did not take me long to find out.
Mr. Dixon. How much difference was there to the merchants in the price?
Mr. KELLY. You mean in the different mills?
Mr. KELLY. Sometimes it was 10, sometimes 20, and sometimes 30 cents a barrel.
Mr. Dixon. Then you could go along further and trace it to the merchants selling to the consumer? What difference would there be ?
Mr. KELLY. The merchant would sell it for the pure-wheat flour price if he could. That follows all through.
Mr. Dixon. Then, so far as the ultimate consumer is concerned, he pays relatively the same price?
Mr. KELLY. Yes; I think so.
Mr. RAINEY. Then the present law does not protect the consumer at all?
Mr. KELLY. In what way? It only lets the ultimate consumer know that it is an adulterated flour. That is all the protection he gets.
Mr. RAINEY. That is all he gets?
Mr. Rainey. No; under this proposed bill. It is required that the article shall be labeled what it is. He would get the information, would he not?
Mr. KELLY. If it was interstate business, he would.
Mr. RAINEY. If it was interstate business. Now, you believe millers would sometimes take a chance and violate the pure-food law quicker than they would take a chance and violate this present law?
Mr. KELLY. I think so.
Mr. KELLY. Because the revenue people are severe. I know they treat our “moonshiners” down there pretty strenuously. They always put them in the penitentiary. I guess they would do the same with the flour blender. The pure-food people would not.
Mr. RAINEY. Because the penalties under that law are not severe enough?
Mr. KELLY. No, sir.
Mr. Rainey. If the penalties were made severe enough, do you think that would meet the conditions among your millers in Tennes
Mr. KELLY. It would have a tendency to have that effect.
Mr. Rainey. Do you understand the pure-food law is operating against flour as against all other food products?
Mr. KELLY. How is that?
Mr. Rainey. Do you understand that the pure-food law is now operating against flour so as to preserve its purity?
Mr. KELLY. Oh, yes. It affects flour.
Mr. Rainey. And your State pure-food law does, as well? It protects the consumer of flour?
Mr. KELLY. I know of no specific State law affecting flour, at all, in our State.
Mr. Rainey. Have you not a law in your State affecting all food products?
Mr. KELLY. They have laws affecting feeds and food products.