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HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES,
Monday, January 23, 1928. The committee met at 10.30 o'clock a. m., Hon. E. Hart Fenn (chairman) presiding.
There were present before the committee: Mr. A. M. Loomis, secretary of the American Dairy Federation; Dr. Joseph A. Hill, Arthur J. Hirsch, Leon E. Truesdall, William L. Austin, and Fred A. Gosnell, of the Bureau of the Census, Department of Commerce.
The CHAIRMAN. We are ready to proceed, gentlemen. We will first hear Mr. Loomis of the American Dairy Federation.
STATEMENT OF A. M. LOOMIS, WASHINGTON, D. C., SECRETARY
OF THE AMERICAN DAIRY FEDERATION
Mr. Loomis. Mr. Chairman and gentlemen, I would like to say that I am not very familiar with this particular committee and its work, but I have been here in Washington for nearly 10 years, up to this last year connected with the National Grange as Doctor Atkeson's, assistant, so I feel somewhat of a familiarity with this committee's work.
I was elected secretary of the American Dairy Federation three years ago, and this is the first time a census matter has come up since the American Dairy Federation has been organized.
The American Dairy Federation is an organization made up of the 17 national organizations in the dairy industry-I will put a list of those in record, if you wish me to—formed for the purpose of studying the problems between the various parts of the industry and to take care of legislative governmental matters.
We discovered only recently that we had what we thought were somewhat important interests in this next census, and so at a meeting of our executive committee held here last Thursday and Friday they commissioned me to come up here just to make a few suggestions. Part of these suggestions, if I am not going to take too much time I will try not to—are for the purpose of getting them into your record so that they may be before the Census Bureau and other people working on the census.
I want to say also that before coming here I had a rather long conference with the committee in the Department of Agriculture to which census matters are referred-Dr. L. C. Gray, Dr. O. B. Baker, and they called in some others who were familiar with livestock matters.
I am a little embarrassed over what to say about one particular matter, and that is the census of distribution. I am familiar in a very limited way-only in a very general way--with what is contemplated in the census of distribution. It is rather a new thing. I have looked the bill over with some care, and I find no mention. of what there may be to it or what it contemplates, with the single exception of the fact that in the opening paragraph there is a census: of distribution authorized.
I might say that all the branches of the dairy industry which are federated in the American Dairy Federation will be very much interested in what is contemplated in the census of distribution, and I think perhaps I ought to take that up later when I have read the record and see what has been said, with which I am not familiar now. For instance, one of the members of this association is the American Association of Creamery Butter Manufacturers. Members of that organization make more than half of all the creamery butter made in the United States.
Mr. RANKIN. May I make a suggestion? I have an amendment which I have prepared, which I will offer at the proper time. I will read it. It is an amendment to section 4. On page 4, following the word “distribution" insert the following sentence:
The census of distribution shall include the distribution from the farm, warehouse, and other place of storage and sale of agricultural products of wheat by grades, corn by grades, cotton by grades and length of staple, wool by grades and condition, tobacco by type, sugar cane and sugar beets by grade, cottonseed by grade, dairy products by kind and grade, and rice by grade; and the distribution from the factory, warehouse, and other places stored for sale, of the manufactured products of wheat flour and other wheat products, corn meal and other corn products, cotton goods, woolen goods, tobacco products, cottonseed products, automobile, iron and steel products, sugar of all grades. And also the Director of the Census may add such other agricultural and manufactured products to the census of distribution as he may deem practicable and desirable.
Now, I just wonder if that amendment there, carrying this item with reference to dairy products, would meet with your approval or comply with your suggestion in this matter?
Mr. Loomis. May I ask you to read again just the opening sentence?
Mr. RANKIN (reading):
The census of distribution shall include the distribution from the farm, warehouse, and other places of storage and sale, agricultural products of wheat by grades, etc.
And with reference to dairy products I used these words: “Dairy products by kinds and grades."
The CHAIRMAN. You will confine that to the date that may be determined in the bill?
Mr. RANKIN. Well, yes, this amendment merely goes into the bill, you understand.
The CHAIRMAN. I mean, but you confine the plan to the date when the census shall be taken? It would not be continuing. We can not put that into the census bill very well-I mean as a continuing thing. Mr. RANKIN. You mean to be taken in the next census?
The CHAIRMAN. Your distribution of farm products would be taken every five years. What I mean is this: There are certain dates mentioned in this bill when the census shall be taken. Mr. RANKIN. You mean every 10 years?
The CHAIRMAN. Every five years. Agriculture is every five years. But the dates are mentioned in this bill when that census shall be taken. In other words, you would not have then be taking censuses every January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November and December?
Mr. LOZIER. Your question goes to the point as to whether or not this is a continuing power?
The CHAIRMAN. That is just it. I mean whether they shall be ascertaining this all the time. Mr. RANKIN. You mean every year?
The CHAIRMAN. Every year, etc. Will you confine your amendment to the limitations prescribed in the bill as to date? Mr. RANKIN. Certainly.
The CHAIRMAN. But you would not want that in the bill in that language?
Mr. RANKIN. Well, I don't know whether we could put anything into the bill—if we could get an amendment into this bill and make it so it would stand the parliamentary test, to require this census of distribution every year I would do it, because I am going to start in now and serve notice
Mr. Johnson (interposing). But you are going beyond the power of this committee.
Mr. Rankin. That is what I say. It would not be proper in this bill.
Mr. Johnson. A general census is one thing and these detailed reports come from the departments, and that is a different matter.
The CHAIRMAN. Such as tobacco, cottonseed, and all that.
Mr. RANKIN. But so far as this amendment is concerned, this comes under the provisions of this bill here, but I was going to say that so far as these reports are concerned I expect to prepare and introduce another bill to also have this census of distribution given along with these census reports that are made monthly or once a year, whichever it is.
The CHAIRMAN. These are made monthly, I believe.
Mr. RANKIN. In that connection, Mr. Johnson, if you will excuse me, I particularly am going to try to get a bill passed to require the Census Bureau in publishing these reports here to give the grade and staple of the cotton on hand at all time, to keep the country informed as to what kind of material it is.
The CHAIRMAN. That is in the act. Mr. LOOMIS. Mr. Chairman, this discussion has clarified the situation so far as my mind is concerned. In view of what has been said, I do not think that there is a thing that I care to say now relative to a census of distribution. When the other bill comes up we may want to be heard as to what may or may not be included.
Just in passing, I think it would be very difficult to have a census of dairy products by grades, but that is a matter of study and I will not say anything with reference to it.
Mr. RANKIN. I wondered if that expression that I read with reference to dairy products was full enough. It merely provides for dairy products by kinds and grades. I wonder if you would like to have that amplified in this amendment.
Mr. LOOMIS. No; I think not. Now, as to these specific suggestions which have come as a result of our discussion in our own committee and my study of the bill, we are concerned with the agricultural census and particularly with the most accurate possible enumeration of livestock.
Secondly, and almost as strongly, are we concerned with a statement of the livestock on farms, first, as to date. The censuses of 1920 and of 1925 were as of January 1, prior censuses have been of different dates and we have had great difficulty in attempting to correlate the results of those two censuses—the enumerations of livestock—with the preceding censuses which were of different dates. We are extremely anxious that nothing shall happen to make that difficulty carry on during the next 10 or 20 years. We want this enumeration of livestock to be of a date which is comparable with the situation as of January 1. That does not mean necessarily that we insist on the January 1 date, but in the general economy of the livestock industry of the United States there is a pretty definite closing of a livestock year. That date comes during the period from November to January 1, and so we do not find serious objection to the date set up here in this bill as written. There will not be much difference between the situation that will be found as of November 1 or November 15 or December 1 or January 1. There may be some. But when it comes to any consideration of making the date of the livestock enumeration at any material period later than January 1, then we will find difficulties which are absolutely insurmountable in our work of correlation and comparison. So I want to say that positively we want a statement, a census of livestock enumeration as of January 1 or earlier. I do not believe I need to go into the reasons for that further than I have done.
Mr. MOORMAN. I would like to hear them, if you don't mind stating them.
Mr. LOOMIS. They involve both the fact that tenant farmers are leaving and new men coming on the farms shortly after the 1st of January, which raises a large question as to the accuracy and completeness of your enumeration; and secondly, the fact
Mr. MOORMAN (interposing). Excuse me do you mean enumeration of the tenants or livestock?
Mr. Loomis. Of the whole business of the farm, of which the livestock is a very important part.
And, secondly, that the new crop of calves, as the dairy industry is organized, begins to come shortly after the 1st of January, so that any delay after the 1st of January begins to give you a new crop of calves and change the age of all the livestock which you are enumerating, and while it may be accurate as of that particular time
The CHAIRMAN (interposing). Change the average age? Mr. LOOMIS. It changes the average age and ceases to be comparable with the results of the two preceding censuses, which is a most important thing, because, after all, trends are as important for us to know as actual numbers. So much for the date.
The CHAIRMAN. Right there, if my rceollection serves me right, I believe that there was some discussion in this committee that the date of the census, the last census, was not a good one. Am I right in that? That is, the enumerators could not get to the farms, and so forth.
Mr. LOOMIS. I appreciate the physical difficulties of taking a census during the month of January in certain northern States.
The CHAIRMAN. We had that question up in this committee, particularly in relation to the reapportionment bill that was before the committee in the last Congress and the preceding Congress, and it has been alleged here several times in this committee that the
(interposing); average agging censuses
. the census figuresion to populationo_m
The accuracy of the these dates. I hou could
time when that census was taken-not so much in reference to livestock as it was in relation to population—was an inappropriate one, and the census figures were disturbed to a large extent on that account. What are we trying to do is to get a date that will make the best census. That is our idea and our information.
Mr. LOOMIS. I don't want to go into the question of population, because I have no interest in that.
The CHAIRMAN. But the committee has to take consideration of that, of course, serious consideration of the population census, which is probably of the highest interest to the people at large-and that is not invidious to agriculture.
Mr. Loomis. Well, if this question is raised, I don't like to take your time here, Mr. Chairman, because I know there are other very busy people waiting.
Mr. MOORMAN. If you have any good reasoning along that line to support your date, I would like to hear it.
Mr. LOOMIS. Comparability is my first reason, and accuracy as to the thing in which we are interested is my second reason.
Third-and this I wish to say is brought on only by the questionI have had the experts in the Department of Agriculture checking and rechecking their figures as to that, and we think that the question of accuracy of the census as to population will not be seriously involved as to any one of these dates I have mentioned.
Mr. LOZIER. Do you think you could get anything like an accurate livestock or farm census of date November 1st and preceding?
Mr. Loomis. I do not.
Mr. LOZIER. And then, in order to get an accurate census of livestock, an accurate farm census, isn't it desirable to have this census taken as of a date as nearly as possible to coincide with the date when the enumerators engage in the work of taking that census?
Mr. LOOMIS. Absolutely.
Mr. LOZIER. Then again, do you think that throughout the United States the livestock period closes any time in the month of November or December. Isn't it a fact that throughout the great middle west the livestock year practically ends and begins in the spring of the year?
Mr. Loomis. I am unwilling to say. It may end a little later than January 1, but I would say that in the dairy industry the livestock. year ends before the end of winter.
Mr. LOZIER. Isn't it true and universally recognized that in the great middle west livestock is put on feed in the month of November, the latter part of October and November, and they are kept in the feed lots until March and April, and that there are fewer cattle in the feed lots, fewer hogs in the feed lots, in the month of April than in any other month of the year, because the last year's business has been wiped out, closed out, and the new year's business has not yet begun?
Mr. Loomis. I am frank to say I am very poorly informed as to either the beef or the swine industry. I am thinking in terms of the dairy industry. And in support of that statement I wanted to say, and I should have said earlier, that we find that the dairy industry at the present time supplies just a little over 25 per cent of the total