There is no credible evidence to show that oleomargarine is innocuous; no evi-
dence to show that when eaten continuously in place of butter it is not harmful.
But there are reports in great abundance to the effect that oleomargarine is harmful.
Mr. Edmund Hill, a member of the Somerset County council, England, reports
that the great bulk of oleomargarine, or "margarin," as it is called there, is eaten
in public institutions, convents, schools, etc. At the Wells Asylum, with which he is
connected, the inmates receive oleomargarine. In the asylums of Dorset, Wells, and
Hants the adjoining counties butter is furnished, and the death rate at Wells is 30
per cent higher. At the Taunton Hospital there were 11 deaths in thirteen months.
Oleomargarine was substituted, and in nine months the deaths rose to 22.
This accords with the experience in France, where its use in hospitals is forbidden.
In the United States, in institutions for the blind and for girls, it has been noticed
that the use of oleomargarine lowered the vitality of the inmates very perceptibly.
Hon. G. L. Flanders, assistant commissioner of agriculture of New
York, throws some light upon this question on page 129:
I now turn to the report made by Dr. R. D. Clark upon the heaitiiiuiness of oleo-
margarine. He is a chemist and medical man of twenty years' standing, and I want
to say here and now that our opinion in the State of New York, after having given this
subject a great deal of study and thought and after having obtained the very best advice
we could get, is that a chemist is not, by virtue of his chemical knowledge, a com-
petent man to tell about the healthfulness of food products. A chemist's province
is to take a commodity and take it apart, and tell what is in it. It is no part of his
work to tell what effect that article produces upon the human system. That is a
physiological question. Dr. Clark, a physician, says, relative to the healthfulness oi
"We now come to the all-important aspect of the subject, Is artificial butter a
wholesome article of food? We answer it in the negative, on the following grounds:
"First. On account of its indigestibility.
"Second. On account of its insolubility when made from animal fats.
" Third. On account of its liability to carry germs of disease into the human system.
"Fourth. On account of the probability of its containing, when made under certain
patents, unhealthy ingredients."
A full report of Dr. Clark's statement is contained on pages 129, 130,
131, and 132 of the Senate testimony.
But this is a question the discussion of which would occupy volumes,
with no possibility, apparently, of an agreement of authorities, except
that the chemist appears to be on the side of oleomargarine and the
plrysician on the side of pure butter.
AS TO GOVERNMENT INSPECTION.
As producers bearing a large share of the burdens of taxation for
the support of the Government, we feel it no more than just that the
impression which the makers of oleomargarine seek to convey, that
their product has the stamp of approval of the Government and that
its purity is certified to by the Internal-Revenue Department, should
We desire to call your attention to the statements of various wit-
nesses upon this subject, which statements convey a wrong impression,
as also shown by the records. Rathbone Gardner, representing the
Oakdale Manufacturing Company, of Providence, R. L, said on pages
18 and 19:
As I have said, I believe it is the one substance which is, as no other substance
possibly can be under existing laws, certified by the Government of the United States
to be absolutely pure. * * * It seems unnecessary to argue this point. I pre-
sume the members of this committee know the conditions under which oleomargarine
is produced that there has to be a regular formula; that there is a chemist main-
tained at the expense of the Government who examines samples; that representatives
of the Internal-Revenue Department stand in the doorway of every oleo manufactory;
that they know exactly what comes into the building and what goes out of the building.
And on page 37 entered into the following discussion:
Mr. GARDNER. To see what ingredients go into oleomargarine. The manufacturer
is required to make a monthly statement, under oath, of every pound of ingredient
he uses in the manufacture. It is the duty of the inspector or the deputy inspector,
as I understand it, to verify that report and under oath to say that the manufacturer's
statement is correct or incorrect.
Mr. HOARD. Do you believe that the manufacturer always states the truth con-
cerning the ingredients of olemargarine?
Mr. GARDNER. Yes, sir; the manufacturers of which I know anything. That is
my belief; it is not worth much one way or the other.
In his testimony on page 111 Judge Springer, representing the
National Live Stock Association, said:
Let me call your attention to several statements made by gentlemen at that time.
You will hardly believe that such things could have been. There were several bills
pending, and the Hatch bill was finally passed. It provides for placing a tax of 2
cents a pound upon oleomargarine, and for a general inspection, through the Depart-
ments of the Government, of every part of the article manufactured, so that when
you see oleomargarine manufactured in this country you see an article that the officers
of the Government have inspected from its inception to the time it passes away from
the factory in the original packages. They certify to its condition.
Mr. HOARD. You mean that the law provides for the inspection?
Mr. SPRINGER. Yes, I do.
Mr. FLANDERS. That it may be done.
Mr. SPRINGER. It provides "for it.
Mr. HOARD. It may be done.
Mr. SPRINGER. It provides for it.
Mr. HOARD. You do not assert that it is done?
Mr. SPRINGER. No, sir; I do not assert as to whether or not anybody performs his
duty, but the law presumes that every officer of the Government does his duty, and
until the contrary is shown I assume that they have done their duty. The law
assumes that everybody is honest, and especially does the law assume that the officers
of the Government and of the States do their duty. I hope they do. If they do not,
they ought to be taught to do it.
On page 262 the following will be found in the remarks of Mr.
Charles E. Schell, representing the Cincinnati Butterine Company,
Again, the factories must be ready at all times for Government inspection. The
local people, it will perhaps be claimed, could be provided against. They would
know them, and perhaps would know of their coming. Fellow-citizens of the same
town are not apt to take undue advantages, possibly; but the Government, the rev-
enue officers, have their secret agents who go about from time to time, and the manu-
facturers know not the day nor the hour when they are going to appear. They must
be ready at all times.
And on page 149 the following discussion, Mr. Pirrung being the
manager of a butterine concern at Columbus, Ohio:
Mr. KNIGHT. Another thing. In speaking of the inspection of the Government in
the oleo factories, do you mean to infer that the Government does inspect the oleo
Mr. PIRRUNG. Most decidedly.
S. Rep. 2043 54
Mr. KNIGHT. Do they make chemical analyses of the oleomargarine right along?
Mr. PIRRUNG. Yes, sir; the Bureau of Chemistry of the Agricultural Department
does that for them.
Mr. KNIGHT. How many factories are there in the United States?
Mr. PIRRUNG. I think about twenty-five or thirty.
Mr. KNIGHT. And about how many inspections do they make of the products you
Mr. PIRRUNG. I can not state for other manufacturers, but perhaps they come to
us five or six times a year. They do not only require samples from the factories for
the inspection; they go all over the United States, or States where our product or
any other manufactured product is sold, and take up samples unknown to us.
Mr. KNIGHT. Do they analyze them?
Mr. PIRRUNG. Yes.
Mr. KNIGHT. That is done among the retailers?
Mr. PIRRUNG. Yes; I presume so, and among wholesalers as well.
Mr. KNIGHT. There are about 10,000 retailers in the country, according to the last
Mr. PIRRUNG. I do not know. You are better posted on that than I am.
Mr. KNIGHT. What is the penalty if anything is found hi your product that is not
Mr. PIRRUNG. I have always understood the Government would be compelled
to close up our factory.
Mr. KNIGHT. You are not acquainted with the law very well, then, are you?
Mr. PIRRUNG. I thought I was.
Mr. CLARK. They would not only close it up, but would confiscate it.
Mr. KNIGHT. They would confiscate the goods that they find.
Mr. PIRRUNG. They will close up our factory. If you will read the law, you will
On page 493 will be found the following statement made before the
committee by your orator:
Now let me show you another case. These people have said a good deal to your
committee down here about the inspection of the Internal-Revenue Department, and
about how they are compelled to report every ingredient, and that they are compelled
to do this that, and the other.
As a matter of fact, the present oleomargarine law can not compel them to do any-
thing that they do not want to do. All that they need to do is to hide behind their
constitutional right and claim that the evidence called for will incriminate them.
Here is a case which is entitled u ln re Kinney, collector of internal revenue."
The heading is ' ' Examination of books. ' '
"W. F. Kinney, collector of internal revenue, district of Connecticut, issued a sum-
mons, under section 3173, Revised Statutes, against the Oakdale Manufacturing
Company, a corporation engaged in the manufacture of oleomargarine. The parties
refused to comply with the summons, and the collector petitioned the United States
district judge for an attachment against F. M. Mathewson, president of the company,
directed to the United States marshal of the district, commanding him to arrest said
Frank M. Mathewson and bring him before the judge to show cause why he should
not be adjudged in contempt and punished according to law, as provided by section
3175, Revised Statutes."
In t!; Is connection it may be said that this talk about these people being compelled
to make a return of the materials and products is all bosh. They can not be made
to do it if they do not want to. They make the return if they wish, and if they do
not wish they will not do it, and they do not have to, according to this decision.
The decision of the judge was adverse to the collector. He held that
"The provisions of Revised Statutes, section 3173, authorizing a collector of internal
revenue to summon before him for examination any person charged by the law with
the duty of making returns of objects subject to tax, do not apply to persons required
under the oleomargarine law to make returns of materials and products. Such pro-
visions relate only to objects of taxation upon which the tax is collected by the
method of return and assessment, and not to those upon which the tax is required to
be paid by a stamp; and a collector has no power under section 3173 to compel a
person to appear and testify to the correctness of the returns made under the oleo-
margarine law." (102 Fed. Rep., 468.)
It will be noted that the above is the concern represented by Mr.
Your committee can hardly believe men engaged in a business in
which they have thousands of dollars invested can be so ignorant of
the law as to unintentionally make such statements.
But in order to fully settle this matter we refer to the testimony of
the honorable Secretary of the Treasury, upon pages 564 and 565 :"
The ACTING CHAIRMAN. Your revenue agents, Mr. Secretary, are expected to visit
these factories and to take observations with respect to the quality of the ingredients
constituting oleomargarine, are they not?
Secretary GAGE. Yes, sir.
The ACTING CHAIRMAN. What are their opportunities for observation in that
Secretary GAGE. Oh, they are ample in these large establishments. They are all
open to our agents.
Senator BATE. Have you scientific inspectors to investigate what the component
parts of this product are?
Secretary GAGE. No; I do not think we have. We put it to the test frequently,
however. We get samples and have analyses made of the product. That is to say,
we have done so in the past; I do not know what we are doing just at this moment.
Senator ALLEN. Your agents, however, are not all experts in the examination of
oleomargarine, are they?
Secretary GAGE. Oh, no no.
Senator ALLEN. So that they might be imposed upon, as well as the ordinary
Secretary GAGE. Very easily.
Senator ALLEN. They might walk into a place and call for butter, and oleomarga-
rine might be handed to them as butter; and unless they took it to some person
competent to make an analysis of it, they might not know the difference?
Secretary GAGE. That is quite true.
Senator BATE. Do you keep agents at any of these large establishments?
Secretary GAGE. I do not think we do keep any regular watch on them.
* * * * * * *
Senator ALLEN. Then you do not keep such agents in these large establishments
which manufacture oleomargarine?
Secretary GAGE. No.
Senator ALLEN. The only thing with which you are concerned is the tax?
Secretary GAGE. That is the main thing, of course.
Senator MONEY. The remark you have just made, Mr. Secretary, suggests this ques-
tion: You say the greater the tax the greater the incentive to fraud. The same rule
would apply here, would it not?
Secretary GAGE. Undoubtedly.
The ACTING CHAIRMAN. Do the instructions of your Department, Mr. Secretary,
require the agents who visit these manufactories to report to you with respect to the
purity of the ingredients used?
Secretary GAGE. No; I do not think so.
And to show the utter absurdity of this claim of inspection your
attention is called to the following statement of your orator on
There are in the United States over 9,500 dealers, I believe, and 30 manufacturers
of oleomargarine. The report of the Commissioner of Internal Revenue for the year
1900, which I hold here, shows that during the year 1900 the chemical department
of that bureau made 177 analyses of oleomargarine. You can figure the proportion
177 bears to nearly 10,000. That will show you how many times a year they get
around to these retailers and inspect their goods, and inspect the wholesalers, and
inspect the factories.
AS TO POLICY.
The dairymen are not asking paternal protection for the sole pur-
pose of fostering their great and important industry. They only ask
the Government to use its strong arm to protect them against an
illegitimate fraud which has proven itself to be beyond the reach of
But in the evidence a number of points have been brought out which
are worthy of consideration by your committee.
Along this line Secretary Wilson says, on page 415:
The dairy cow is the most valuable agent of the producer, and her milk is one of
nature's perfect rations. She gives profitable employment to all who care for her or
her products. She gathers her food from the fields without intervening help in
summer, and turns cheap forage into high selling products in winter. The grasses
that grow for her in her pasture return humus to worn-out lands, enabling them to
retain moisture and resist droughts, in addition to inviting nitrogen from the atmos-
phere through the agency of the legumes upon which she grazes. She is the mother
of the steer that manufactures beef from grasses, grains, and the by-products of the
The farmer who keeps a herd of dairy cows returns through the herd to the soil
all the crops he gathers from it, except the products of skill that take little plant
food from the soil. The lint of cotton and the fine flour of wheat are among our
leading exports, and take little from the soil; the fats of the cow and the plants take
nothing whatever. The cow and her calf are prime necessities in reclaiming worn-
out land. The cotton-growing States that have reduced fertility by too much crop-
ping can bring back the strength of the soil by growing the grazing plants and feed-
ing the meal of cotton-seed to the dairy cow and her calf, but the farmers of no part
of our country can afford to keep cows for the sole purpose of raising calves, except
free commoners on the public domains, whose privileges are being contracted to
such an extent by injudicious grazing that every year fewer cattle are found on the
ranges of the semiarid States.
The meats to feed our people in future must come, in large measure, from the high-
priced farms east of the one hundredth meridian of west longitude. The feeding steers
will be bred on those farms from the dairy cows that are now and will become more
and more a necessity.
Hon. John Hamilton, secretary of agriculture for Pennsylvania,
is reported as follows, on pages 157 and 158:
Careful examination should be made into the effect which this will have upon the
dairy industry of the Commonwealth, which has now become one of the leading and
most profitable branches of our agriculture. If, upon examination, it is found that
oleomargarine will to any considerable degree drive out the dairy interests from the
markets of the Commonwealth, it would seem to be only wise public policy to first
make sure that the industry that is to replace this branch of our agriculture shall do
more for the Commonwealth in the way of substantial and permanent support than
the important occupation that it proposes to supplant.
The admitting of oleomargarine in competition with the dairy products of the State
endangers a great industry that is now a part of our system of agriculture more widely
distributed than any other. We have now about 1,100,000 cows in Pennsylvania.
Their product is about 90,000,000 to 100,000,000 pounds of butter per year, and
according to the census of 1890 the milk product was 437,525,349 gallons. These
cows are distributed among 211,412 farmers' families, consisting of over 1,000,000
persons, or about one-fifth of our entire population. The income of the farming
people of Pennsylvania last year from butter alone amounted to between eighteen
and twenty millions of dollars; and the milk product, at 8 cents per gallon, amounted
to $35,000,000 more. This vast sum is a new product each year, adding this much to
the actual wealth of the State, and is distributed all through the Commonwealth,
going to the support of overl,000,000 people, enabling them to maintain themselves in
comparative comfort. The loss of such a sum as this by the agricultural people of
the State would be a calamity, particularly because much of the material that is
used in the feeding of these dairy cows would, if the industry were destroyed, be
left on the farmers' hands valueless.
And on page 134 will be found the following from Hon. G. L. Flan-
ders, assistant commissioner of agriculture of New York State:
Do you know that in the great State of New York there are 1,600,000 cows? Do
you know we have 250,000 persons engaged in farm work? And yet you seek to come
into our market and drive us out and ruin that industry. Is there anything fair about
that? We ask you to stand up like men and sell your commodity for what it is. Then
if you can compete with us we will stand it like men. Not many years ago we were in
the meat market. We raised cattle in New York and sold them for meat. We sold
cereals. The Genesee and Rochester valleys were great wheat fields. Then the wheat
fields of the Mississippi Valley were opened up, cultivated by machinery. Then
South America opened up her wheat fields and produced grain at 37 cents a bushel
on shipboard, Australia opened up her wheat fields, and now Russia is opening up
Siberia to the production of the cereals. We are driven entirely out of the cereals
market. We have been driven out of the meat market, and there has not been one
word of complaint. It was done among men in open competition; but we do com-
plain when you take all that is left and seek to do it by fraud. I can not conceive
how any man who has had any experience anywhere that gives him a knowledge of
ethics, can sustain the man who has placed upon the market a commodity looking,
smelling, and tasting like another, as that other, and then say when we ask him to
stop it that we are trying to down a healthy competition. It is not competition. It
is downright robbery.
And from Hon. W. D. Hoard, president of the National Dairy Union,
the following on page 413:
This law is demanded in the interest of a broad public policy, for the protection
of legitimate industry against illegitimate counterfeiting and fraud. Compare the
policy pursued by the United States with that of Canada. The Dominion government
fuards the purity and honesty of her dairy products to the extent of absolute prohi-
ition of any adulteration or counterfeiting of the same. As a result her export of
cheese to England alone has grown in twenty years from $3,000,000 to $20,000,000,
while ours has declined nearly the same amount, because we did not place the strong
hand of the law on the adulterated product, filled cheese, until we had lost the con-
fidence of the foreign consumer.
The fears of the dairymen from the encroachment of the oleomar-
garine fraud find good voice in the following extract from Judge
Springer's statement on page 91:
The total production of oleomargarine in the United States for the year ending
June 30, 1900, was 107,045,028 pounds. This was a consumption of only 1.4 pounds
per capita. Without repressive laws in any of the States the consumption might have
been as great per capita as in Rhode Island. This would have increased the demand
for oleomargarine for consumption in the United States per annum to over 600,000,000
pounds. It is not surprising, in view of these facts, that the friends of the pending
bill desire the enactment of the first section, which will place oleomargarine under
the repressive laws of 32 States in the Union, with a fair prospect of securing equally
oppressive legislation in the remaining 13 States.
As the dairymen's market for butter in this country only amounts to
about 800,000,000 pounds outside of the producer, who consumes
700,000,000 pounds of the 1,500,000,000 pounds of butter produced, it
would seem that conditions do warrant their present alarm.
EVIDENCE INTRODUCED UNDER FALSE PRETENSES.
We deem it our duty to call the attention of the committee to the
evidence of Francis W. Lestrade, of New York City, who appeared
before this committee in the interests of oleomargarine.
The record (p. 164) shows that he introduced himself as follows:
Mr. LESTRADE. Mr. Chairman and gentlemen of the committee, I wish to state on
the outstart that it is seldom I am called upon to speak in public.
The CHAIRMAN. You are interested in the manufacture, are you, or are you acting
Mr. LESTRADE. No; I was about to say that I am nothing more than a practical
everyday butterrnan. I have been in business for twenty years, and what I say
before you is entirely from a practical standpoint, not a theoretical standpoint, and
not from any scientific* point of view, but from what has come under my observation
as a butterrnan ever since I was a boy.
I am a member of the firm of Lestrade Brothers, New York City. I am an owner
of and interested in dairy farms, both in the West and in the East. I am also inter-
ested in cows. I am also interested in three different creameries. I am also, and
this is our chief business in the city, an exporter, a packer of butter and cheese to
the hot countries as well as to the Continent, but mostly to the hot countries. Our
business extends over all the hot countries that is, the tropical climates, consisting of
the West Indies, the East Indies, South Africa, China, South America, and even now
into the Philippine Islands.
So what I have to say is entirely in my own interest, and more particularly as an
exporter of the genuine butter that goes out of this country to foreign climates.
And to further impress upon the committee the cause of his interest
in the bill he stated on page 177, as shown by the discussion in the
The question may arise in your minds, gentlemen, why am I opposed to this bill,
as all my interests my money, what little I have, or the greater part of it are in