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Mr. HARRISON. And that is 1 cent per pound?

Mr. COMSTOCK. Yes, sir.

Mr. HARRISON. And I started to say lemons also, but I see the rate on lemons is 1 cents per pound.

Mr. COMSTOCK. Yes, sir.

Mr. HARRISON. In the statistics of the Treasury Department, oranges, limes, lemons, grapefruit, shaddocks, and pomelos are all listed together, and all these importations were $26,390,000. Do you know what the importations of grapefruit into the United States were in the year 1912?

Mr. COMSTOCK. Very small.

Mr. HARRISON. You say they were very small?

Mr. COMSTOCK. Yes, sir. And I think pineapples are included in that.

Mr. HARRISON. No; pineapples are not included under that head. What is the production of grapefruit in the United States?

Mr. COMSTOCK. The most of the groves in Cuba are young. We started planting in 1907, and our trees are only from 3 to 5 years old, and we are just commencing to get some fruit now.

Mr. HARRISON. Aside from your plantations are they all young? Mr. COMSTOCK. Some of the other plantations are two or three years older than ours.

Mr. HARRISON. Is it a new industry?

Mr. COMSTOCK. Yes, sir; and almost entirely by American capital. Mr. HARRISON. Is it isolated in Cuba or is grapefruit grown in other islands of the West Indies?

Mr. COMSTOCK. Porto Rico grows some grapefruit, and they have a rate to New York. To get from the plantation to San Juan it costs probably from 15 cents to 20 cents per box.

Mr. HARRISON. The Porto Ricans get their grapefruit into this country free.


Mr. HARRISON. And you have to pay 1 cent per pound less 20 per cent?

Mr. COMSTOCK. Yes, sir; but outside of the cost of laying from their groves into New York, which does not exceed 50 cents.

Mr. HARRISON. The unit of value upon imports of oranges, limes, grapefruit, shaddocks, and pomelos is 1 cent per pound, and from that is it your duty to tell the value of grapefruit per pound or the customhouse, and can you tell us?

Mr. COMSTOCK. The rate is 1 cent per pound.

Mr. HARRISON. No; the value per pound of grapefruit imported into the United States. Do you send them in by the pound or by

the box?

Mr. COMSTOCK. They are taken by the pound; yes, sir.

Mr. HARRISON. What are they worth per pound before you pay the duty?

Mr. COMSTOCK. Well, do you mean by worth what they will sell for in these markets?

Mr. HARRISON. At what sum are they valued in the customhouse in New York before the duty is paid?

Mr. COMSTOCK. Well, there is no value pr upon them except by the pound. There are 80 pounds to the box.


Mr. HARRISON. The customhouse takes the gross value and divides it by the rate and thus establishes a unit of value. It is not easy to decide where there is this situation whether there is a low or a high rate upon grapefruit unless they know what the unit of value is at the customhouse. Can you tell us what that is?

Mr. COMSTOCK. I do not quite catch your question?

Mr. HARRISON. What do you suppose grapefruit is worth per pound when you export them from Cuba? Supposing somebody came along there and bought your grapefruit at your port of export in Cuba, how much per pound would he have to pay you for them? Mr. COMSTOCK. They are sold entirely by the box, and the boxes average 80 pounds each..

Mr. HARRISON. How much by the box?

Mr. COMSTOCK. They ought to sell at, we will say, $2 per box at the grove.

Mr. KITCHIN. And they weigh 80 pounds to the box?

Mr. COMSTOCK. Yes, sir.

Mr. HARRISON. That is 2 cents per pound?

Mr. COMSTOCK. Yes, sir.

Mr. HARRISON. Grapefruit, instead of being 1 cents per pound, as the average of articles imported under section 277 of the tariff act, are worth 24 cents per pound?

Mr. COMSTOCK. At the grove, yes.

Mr. HARRISON. Or at the port of New York before entry?

Mr. COMSTOCK. Yes, sir.

Mr. HARRISON. The rate of 1 cent per pound is not as much as 60 per cent ad valorem?

Mr. COMSTOCK. I have the actual figures here. The average is 64 cents per box. It is 80 pounds, at 1 cent per pound, less 20 per cent, which makes 64 cents net.

Mr. HARRISON. The ad valorem upon the value at the customhouse?

Mr. COMSTOCK. It is not on the value, but a flat rate.

Mr. HARRISON. Well, for what purpose is the ad valorem? It is not as much as or not more than 32 per cent?


Mr. HARRISON. Well, then, the rate of duty of 1 cent per pound is not as heavy upon grapefruit as it is upon the other articles in paragraph 277 is what I was trying to ascertain.

Mr. COMSTOCK. Oh, well, the point I was trying to get at is the fact that it is costing us from three to four times as much to get our commodities into our markets as it does the grower in Florida.

Mr. HARRISON. Does a grapefruit weigh as much as a pound?

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Mr. COMSTOCK. Some do; yes; and son will weigh 2 pounds and as much as 3 pounds.

Mr. HARRISON. Do you sell them at 24 cents per pound?

Mr. COMSTOCK. They are not sold by the pound at all, but by the box.

Mr. HARRISON. Well, we find out by a mental calculation that it is equal to 2 cents per pound?



Mr. HARRISON. You may be interested to know that I have bought grapefruit and paid as high as 85 cents for one grapefruit at the St. Regis Hotel in New York.

Mr. COMSTOCK. I do not doubt that. On the other hand, this same boat that our shipment came on brought in two other shipments, one of 492 boxes and the other of 192 boxes, and they did not bring the freight and duty.

Mr. JAMES. Do you think that to reduce the tariff would increase revenue?

Mr. COMSTOCK. Do what? Oh, yes, it would.

Mr. JAMES. Do you think to reduce the tariff would reduce the price of grapefruit? I am just trying to get at what you wish. To reduce the tariff would it stimulate imports and reduce the price of grapefruit to the consumer, or are you just trying to get the tariff reduced so as to put the reduction into your pocket?

Mr. COMSTOCK. If the tariff were reduced it would put us on a competing basis with our competitors, and would give the American people a fruit that is not equaled. The peach or lemon or things of that kind do not compare with the grapefruit; in fact, there is not another fruit grown to-day that almost every physician in the United States would recommend to his patients.

Mr. JAMES. They do not down my way; as to grapefruit, it is a luxury, of course.

Mr. COMSTOCK. Well, we are trying to grow them so that

Mr. JAMES (interposing). I am not much on grapefruit as far as I am concerned, but am trying to find out whether or not you are advocating a reduction of the tariff in order to increase revenue or to increase your profits?

Mr. COMSTOCK. No, sir; it is to meet competition and so we can live.

Mr. JAMES. So that you may ship more grapefruit in here?

Mr. COMSTOCK. Yes, sir; so we can live. We can not ship any in at all hardly under present conditions.

Mr. JAMES. And if we reduce the tariff you can bring them in? Mr. COMSTOCK. We will be able to put into this market our grapefruit from the island of Cuba, which we can not do to-day under present conditions.

Mr. JAMES. Of course, grapefruit is a luxury?

Mr. COMSTOCK. The highest rate from Florida points into New York City-or, I will take Chicago, all rail--is 56 cents per box, while it costs us $1.482, nearly three times as much, to get our Cuban grapefruit into that market. The Florida grower can undersell us a dollar per box.

Mr. JAMES. Do you advocate this reduction of the tariff on the theory that grapefruit is a luxury or a medicinal necessity? Mr. COMSTOCK. No, sir; but it has medicinal properties. Mr. JAMES. Do you think it really has medicinal properties? Mr. COMSTOCK. Oh, absolutely so; no question about that at all. If you do not like grapefruit, but will give it a trial, you will

Mr. JAMES (interposing). Do you think it will increase my weight any if I eat grapefruit? [Laughter.]

Mr. COMSTOCK. I do not know. I do not want to increase mine, but it will aid your digestion.


Mr. JAMES. I wanted to know whether or not I should dodge grapefruit.

Mr. KITCHIN. The kind that Mr. Harrison bought at the St. Regis Hotel is a luxury, but the kind you are trying to bring into this market is for the people generally?

Mr. COMSTOCK. Yes, sir.

Mr. KITCHIN. What are shaddocks?

Mr. COMSTOCK. The original of grapefruit.

Mr. KITCHIN. They are not shipped in here now?

Mr. COMSTOCK. No, sir; grapefruit were only bred from the shaddock.

Mr. KITCHIN. What are pomelos?

Mr. COMSTOCK. That is grapefruit. Grapefruit is a fictitious name given this fruit by the American people.

Mr. KITCHIN. Í see there were shipped in from Cuba a value of $119,880 at 1.6 cents per pound, of shaddocks, pomelos, and grapefruit all together?

Mr. COMSTOCK. No, sir.

Mr. KITCHIN. No pomelos were imported?

Mr. COMSTOCK. No, sir.

Mr. KITCHIN. And no shaddocks were imported?

Mr. COMSTOCK. No, sir.

Mr. KITCHIN. All were grapefruit?

Mr. COMSTOCK. Yes, sir.

Mr. HARRISON. We exported nearly $2,000,000, and from that fact I do not see that we are having any serious competition from imports. Mr. COMSTOCK. We actually ship California fruit into Habana. Mr. KITCHIN. The hearings in 1909 showed that the American producers of oranges and grapefruit had practically a monopoly of this market.

Mr. HARRISON. But this gentleman, Mr. Kitchin, is not an American producer; his plantation is in Cuba.

Mr. COMSTOCK. I will file a brief a little later.

The CHAIRMAN. All right. You will have until the end of the month in which to do so, if you wish that much time.

The following letters were presented to be printed in the proceedings following Mr. Comstock's remarks:


Youngstown, Ohio, January 15, 1913.

House of Representatives, Washington, D. C.

HONORABLE SIRS: As we American growers of citrus fruits for American people have learned by experience that the tariff duty now in force on citrus fruits from Cuba to the United States is such that we are not on a fair competing basis with the American growers in Porto Rico on our right and Florida on our left, we have requested Mr. John K. Comstock, president of the Eastern Cuba Development Co., to represent us before your honorable body on the 20th instant.

We have 1,100 acres of land, about 400 acres of which are planted principally to grapefruit, all accomplished by American capital, and you no doubt know that almost the entire fruit industry of Cuba owes its existence to American capital invested for the benefit of American people.

We therefore earnestly ask you to consider the claim Mr. Comstock will make and trust that you may be instrumental in putting us on an equal basis by a reduction


of the duty on citrus fruits from Cuba to the United States which will enable us to more fully accomplish what we have anticipated for all concerned.

Very respectfully,


C. F. MATTESON, Secretary.


Minneapolis, Minn., January 14, 1913.

House of Representatives, Washington, D. C. GENTLEMEN: This is to inform you that I am president of the El Caimital Fruit Co., whose grove is located in Pinar del Rio Province, Cuba, half way between the towns of Los Palacios and Paso Real, the Western Havana Railway passing through our property. We own over 1,000 acres of land, nearly 200 of which has been planted to citrus fruit trees, including grapefruit, oranges, and lemons, their age ranging from 5 to 7 years. We have about 7,000 orange trees, 6,000 grapefruit, and 2,500 lemons. We simply ask that we be placed upon a basis where we may have a fair chance as compared with the growers of Florida and Porto Rico. I presume that you are aware of the fact that almost all of the citrus fruit groves of Cuba are owned by American citizens. In fact, I know of none that are owned by citizens of any other country.

In view of the fact that killing frosts are not infrequent in Florida, and from recent experience it seems they prevail also to an alarming extent in California, it seems more than ever that the people of this country should be able to supply their wants from Cuba, where frost never prevails, rather than to be obliged to pay a high tribute to obtain a very necessary article of food.

Mr. J. K. Comstock, of Chicago, has been asked to represent us before your committee, and he will undoubtedly present facts and figures which ought to be convincing regarding the reduction of the duty upon citrus fruits.

Very respectfully, yours,


Clerk Committee on Ways and Means,

E. J. PHELPS, President El Caimital Fruit Co.

House of Representatives, Washington, D. C.

CHICAGO, January 27, 1913.

DEAR SIR: Replying to your favor of the 23d, I wish to add to my petition dated New York, January 15, 1913, the following rates of freight from shipping points in Florida on oranges and grape fruit to New York and Chicago as a base and freights and duties from shipping points in Cuba to New York and Chicago as a base.

Rate from Jacksonville, Fla., to New York via water 35 cents per box plus rail rate from shipping station in Florida to Jacksonville varying from 10 to 23 cents per box, making a total of 45 to 63 cents per box for Florida growers to deilver their fruit in New York City.

Rail and water rate from Cuban points to New York City 47 cents per box, plus duty-64 cents per box, making a total cost of $1.11 per box for Cuba to deliver her fruit into New York City.

Cuba's cost over Florida is approximately 100 per cent greater.

Cost of freight from Jacksonville to Chicago 56 cents per box, plus 10 to 25 centsper box from shipping stations in Florida to Jacksonville, Fla., making a total cost for growers in Florida to deliver in Chicago 66 to 78 cents per box.

The cost to growers in Cuba to put her fruit in Chicago markets $1.11, New York plus freight and handling charge to Chicago, 37 cents per box, equals $1.48 per box. Approximately 100 per cent greater cost for Cuba growers versus Florida.

Porto Rico can deliver her fruit into New York for 30 cents per box, plus cost 10 to 20 cents per box from the grove to the boat at San Juan, making a total of 40 to 50 cents per box New York plus 37 cents to Chicago per box, or 77 to 87 cents for Porto Rico to deliver her fruit in Chicago. Thus, making Cuban growers' cost about 100 per cent more than Porto Rico.

Therefore we contend that the duty should be entirely eliminated from Cuba, as we Cuban growers are all Americans and stand identically with the Americans growing fruit in Florida. As the disposition of America is to aid Cuba, we trust that this action will be taken.

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