Sivut kuvina
PDF
ePub

PARAGRAPH 201-LUMBER.

Mr. HILL. Will you kindly prepare in your brief a price list of North Carolina pine-I am not referring to North Carolina alone; I am in favor of the same policy in reference to lumber all over the United States that I am in North Carolina, and that is free lumber.

Mr. JONES. Yes, sir.

Mr. HILL. Will you kindly publish in your brief a price list of January 1, 1912, and one of January 1, 1900?

Mr. JONES. I do not know that I can do that, sir; I think the secretary of the association can.

Mr. HILL. Well, you can get the figures for 10 years ago.

Mr. JONES. There is no official price list for North Carolina pine; there is no concert among manufacturers.

Mr. HILL. I am only asking you for the prices.

Mr. JONES. I have the present prices, but I have not for 10 years

ago.

Mr. HILL. Just a moment; I want to ask you another question. Are the mills in North Carolina to-day getting this pine from virgin forests, or from regrown lands?

Mr. JONES. From both, sir.

Mr. HILL. Both?

Mr. JONES. But largely from regrown lands.

Mr. HILL. I suppose so.

How long does it take in North Carolina for land that is cut over to get in a condition where it again becomes fit for cutting?

Mr. JONES. Well, sir; there is a wide difference of opinion as to that.

Mr. HILL. I suppose so, but what is the general opinion?

Mr. JONES. And there is a wide actual difference, occasioned by soil difference and difference in climate. I have known it to be done in 10 years or 15 years.

Mr. HILL. That is one-half of what I supposed; I had supposed 20 years. Now, I understood in the beginning of your remarks that you had no objection to free lumber, if the things you used were put practically on the same basis?

Mr. JONES. Yes, sir.

Mr. HILL. Ten years ago the tariff on the things you used was much higher than it is now under the Payne law?

Mr. JONES. That is my idea, sir, that lumber has all been unfairly discriminated against.

Mr. HILL. I say the tariff on the things you use was much higher then than it is now under the Payne law. The price of lumber, at the same time that the tariff on things that you used has been reduced, has doubled, has it not?

Mr. JONES. The price on lumber has doubled?

Mr. HILL. Yes.

Mr. JONES. No, sir; lumber is no higher to-day than it was in 1906. Mr. HILL. Well, how about 10 or 15 years ago?

Mr. JONES. I can not name it for any particular year.

Mr. FORDNEY. Give him the prices of 1906; that is the year he wants them for.

Mr. HILL. No, I do not want the year of 1906, or any time in particular. I have sold millions of those roofers at $12 in Connecticut. Mr. JONES. And we, possibly, have done the same thing, sir.

PARAGRAPH 201-LUMBER.

Mr. HILL. Well, now, is it not the fact that high prices of lumber to-day are due to the high prices of stumpage, and that the tariff on lumber to-day, owing to the restricted supply, is solely for the benefit of the speculator in stumpage?

Mr. JONES. No, sir.

Mr. HILL. Now, is that not so?

Mr. JONES. No, sir; I differ absolutely from the gentleman.

Mr. HILL. If the stumpage was reduced 25 per cent in value, you would reduce the price of lumber, would you not, regardless of the tariff?

Mr. JONES. If what, sir?

Mr. HILL. If the stumpage was reduced 25 per cent in value, you would reduce the price of the lumber manufactured from it, regardless of the tariff?

Mr. JONES. No, sir. To be very frank, sir, if the stumpage was reduced 25 per cent and we were getting $20 for lumber to-day, and we could get $20 for it tomorrow, we would get $20.

Mr. HILL. Then the tariff would not have any effect, whether it was on or off?

Mr. JONES. The point I was making was that I have heard the argument made that if the tariff were taken off it would have no effect on the sawmill men; that we would get just the same price for our lumber. Then it seems to me sir, the obvious answer to that is if that is true and we get the same price for our lumber and it has no effect, and the consumer pays the same price for his lumber, why when this Democratic Congress is now legislating for their revenue, why should we give away the million and odd dollars revenue that we get from lumber when it does nobody any good and has no effect except to save it for the Canadian? I should be very much disappointed I think

Mr. HILL (interposing). The change in the price of stumpage, then, would not affect your product, but the change in the tariff would?

Mr. JONES. Either; anything. On the one hand, an increase in the cost of stumpage, or, on the other hand, an increase in the tariff— anything that tends to increase the cost of our lumber, if we can not increase the price we get for it, will reduce our profits.

Mr. HILL. Well, why would not the reduction in the price of stumpage reduce the price of lumber?

Mr. JONES. That is what I say.

Mr. HILL. Well, then, the tariff to-day works right back to the owner of the stumpage, does it not?

Mr. JONES. To some extent, yes, sir.

Mr. HILL. Exactly.

Mr. JONES. And I want to say, sir, that if I were a Congressman from some district in the West, where it is-I do not mean any disrespect to the gentleman-I have heard of these big timber-holding companies; but if there were any timber-holding companies that were working an injury and a harm to the consumer, I could find it consistent to favor something that would lower their stumpage, if they have got their values up by improper means; but if I were a Congressman from a territory where the stumpage was held by poor men, by farmers, by small, poor people who farmed for a hard living, I would favor a high value of stumpage. I think I can venture to say

PARAGRAPH 201-LUMBER.

there have been a hundred cases where I myself have paid the mortgage; where the buying of the timber has enabled the farmer to pay his mortgage. If I were a Congressman from such a territory as that, and the removal of this duty would affect the cost of the stumpage and prevent that poor farmer from realizing a proper value for his stumpage, I would never agree to take that tariff off. Mr. HILL. Democratic platform or not?

Mr. JONES. I do not understand, Mr. Chairman, that the Democratic platform is seeking to make a "goat" of the sawmill men; to make them a vicarious sacrifice to anybody else.

Mr. HILL. I think you will perhaps agree with the distinguished gentleman who said that the Democratic platform was not a program-whatever that may mean.

Mr. JAMES. Well, you stated that this tariff here went back to the stumpage owners. Is it not true that you bought stumpage at 50 cents and $1 when the tariff was $2 a thousand?

Mr. JONES. I have bought stumpage myself, sir, for $1 a thousand. Mr. JAMES. When the tariff was $2?

Mr. JONES. I presume, sir; I am not familiar with it. My business

is not stumpage.

Mr. FORDNEY. May I ask a question here? Mr. Hill, of Connecticut, says that he is a Republican, and favors free lumber. Now, I am for nothing free that is not a product of the farm. That is the difference between him and me. When the Payne law was up he voted for a tariff on things manufactured in Connecticut, but voted for free lumber; while I voted for protection on both. Now, I want to be fair with you and with him. You say that if you were a Congressman from certain places, you would vote in such a way. If you were a Congressman, you would vote for a duty on various articles produced in various States of the Union; you would vote in the interest of all the people, and not one particular section, would you not? Mr. JONES. I would try to do justice to every community, and every product. It is a hard argument

Mr. FORDNEY (interposing). Let me ask you this question: You stated a while ago that much of the timber was in the hands of farmers, and so on. A modern mill costs to-day, with the plant and equipment necessary, from $100,000 to $500,000, does it not?

Mr. JONES. We have a great many in our country that cost a great deal less than that. We have got ground mills

Mr. FORDNEY (interposing). A mill that would saw 150,000 feet a day would cost from $100,000 to $500,000, would it not? I am speaking of the entire plant; your planing mill and your offices, and your logging operations, and everything?

Mr. JONES. Locomotives; yes, sir.

Mr. FORDNEY. It is very bad policy for any set of men to invest that much money in a mill without any timber back of the proposition without knowing whether they can get the timber, is it not? It is necessary, is it not, for them to group up the timber before they put their money in the mill?

Mr. JONES. Yes, sir.

Mr. FORDNEY. That is why so much of the timber is in the hands of mill men, is it not?

Mr. JONES. To some extent.

PARAGRAPH 201-LUMBER.

Mr. FORDNEY. You stated a while ago that your cost of production was about $15?

Mr. JONES. That is about the average cost at the mill; yes, sir. Mr. FORDNEY. That includes your stumpage?

Mr. JONES. That includes the stumpage.

Mr. FORDNEY. What proportion of that is cost of production, not including cost of stumpage?

Mr. JONES. From $12 to $12.50; about $3 for stumpage on that

basis.

Mr. FORDNEY. When Mr. Hill speaks of what he has handled in roofers-I do not know what roofers are-but at the time he handled lumber, 10 or 15 years ago in Connecticut, he was nearer the point of manufacture than he is now. That is to say, at that time Michigan, New York State, and Pennsylvania were producing large quantities of lumber that have now passed away, and that lumber is now being manufactured at a point far distant from Connecticut, and freight must be added, which adds largely to the cost of lumber in Connecticut, does it not?

Mr. JONES. Yes, sir; that is true. The transportation problem is the biggest thing in the lumber industry.

Mr. FORDNEY. It is true, I believe, that every thousand feet of lumber pays $7.50 freight?

Mr. JONES. As an average, I have no doubt that is true, sir.

Mr. FORDNEY. So that if Mr. Hill were buying roofers to-day, which were manufactured in Louisiana, Mississippi, Georgia, Alabama, or any of the Southern States, he would pay anywhere from $8.50 to $15 on that lumber for freight, would he not?

Mr. JONES. Yes, sir; he would.

Mr. FORDNEY. So that when he refers to 10 years ago, when he purchased lumber that was manufactured near by his home, nearer than to-day-it is hardly a fair comparison, is it, with the price that he would have to pay to-day, because of the large amount of freight that be would have to pay, and the added value of stumpage? Mr. JONES. Yes, sir.

Mr. FORDNEY. Is not this true, Mr. Jones, that the quantity of timber in the country is decreasing rapidly, and the demand for lumber is increasing?

Mr. JONES. Yes, sir.

Mr. FORDNEY. That would, by natural consequences, increase the value of stumpage, no matter whose hands it is in?

Mr. JONES. The stumpage has not increased proportionately to other commodities in the last 20 years.

Mr. FORDNEY. That is all.

Mr. JONES. The point I wanted to make, and this is one point I want to make because I think it is necessary

The CHAIRMAN (interposing). I wish you would come back to the tariff on articles that you use in the manufacture of lumber.

Mr. JONES. I wish to say, sir, as to the proportion of the stumpage in the hands of the farmers in North Carolina, I said that in my opinion that it was 50 per cent. The State forestry department, in its estimate, says, "Fifty-four per cent of the standing timber is in the hands of farmers and rural-district residents in the State of

PARAGRAPH 201-LUMBER.

North Carolina," so that I will simply congratulate myself that my own opinion is so near to the truth.

Mr. KITCHIN. What report is that? Just give us the page of it. Mr. JONES. To be very frank with the gentleman, I do not know or I would tell him. This statement has just been handed to me and I am giving it for what it is worth. The simple statement is made that the State Forestry Department of North Carolina states. what I have just read to you. I have no doubt that this can be verified, but I do not know. I have not seen the official figures and so I was only giving you my individual opinion.

Mr. KITCHIN. The truth is that there is very little there, anyway, owned by the lumber dealers and the farmers together?

Mr. JONES. Well, sir, it is decreasing rapidly.

The articles that we use, Mr. Chairman-I will give you some of the principal ones, and they are in my mind because we have the data down here. We use more things than I can dream of myself now. We use to a tremendous extent

The CHAIRMAN (interposing). I do not mean every little thing you use. I want to know what the main things are.

Mr. JONES. We use structural iron to some extent; we use brick; we use cement; we use lime; we use large quantities of hardware; we use steel rails in tremendous quantities; we use locomotives more and more every year; we use logging cars; we use steel wire. Year by year the railroad equipment of the big sawmill operators grows larger and larger, as we have to go farther away for the timber. We use it to a tremendous extent. I expect in our territory we are the biggest users of forage, corn, oats, and hay. Of course we use circular saws and band saws, and we use machinery of all kinds, and we use a great deal of leather belting. In fact it seems to be the unfortunate lot of the sawmill people to have to use very largely all of those things which have the highest degree of protection. I do not know why it should be so. I wanted to speak of one thing in particular to-day

The CHAIRMAN (interposing). Well, let us see, then. Do you use things that have the highest degree of protection? Most of the products that you purchase are in the iron and steel business. The average rate of protection in the iron and steel business has been 34 per

cent.

Mr. JONES. Yes, sir.

The CHAIRMAN. This committee cut that protection down in the bill that passed the House, and the President vetoed, on the iron and steel schedule, something like about 20 per cent. It cut it more than they will cut you if you are put on the free list.

Mr. JONES. Not comparatively, Mr. Chairman, because if you take all a man has away from him, you can not do much more than that. The CHAIRMAN. Well, you might have a 1 per cent duty; if we take it all away from you it would only be a loss of 1 per cent. If you cut 10 per cent away from another man it would be a cut of 10 per cent.o Mr. JONES. But, Mr. ChairmanThe CHAIRMAN (interposing). Wait a minute. I just wanted to bring out that fact. The rate on iron and steel, the average rate, was 34.51 per cent in 1911. The bill this committee sent to the President, and which was vetoed, cut this to an average of 22.42 per cent, so that you see the whole cut there was about 12 per cent on the things that

« EdellinenJatka »