Mr. JELKE. You handle that?
Mr. HABECKER. I do, sir ; have you got anything to say against it?
Mr. JELKE. That is all, sir.
Mr. KAUFFMAN. Mr. Chairman, the next gentleman who wishes to
address you is Mr. Joseph C. Sharpless.
STATEMENT OF JOSEPH C. SHARPLESS, OF PENNSYLVANIA.
Mr. SHARPLESS. Mr. Chairman, I have only a few words to say. As
Mr. Kauffman stated, I am a creamery man. I put up most of my
butter in half-pound prints with my full name on them. My attention
was called a little while ago to some butter that was found in the mar-
ket with my name on it, a half-pound print, and when I came to exam-
ine it it was oleo. Somebody had gotten that block made and gone
and printed oleomargarine with my print, whereas if the stuff had
been white, as we want it to be, and not colored in imitation of our
goods, the people would not have bought it as my butter. I simply
wanted to make that statement.
Mr. SCHELL. Mr. Chairman, may I ask a question, please? I would
like to ask the two gentlemen whether, if a law could be prepared
which would compel colored oleomargarine to be sold for what it is,
they would then object to the color in the oleo?
Mr. HABECKER. How is that?
Mr. SCHELL. Would you object to colored oleomargarine being on
the market if some law could be framed by which the dealer would be
compelled to sell it for what it is ?
Mr. HABECKER. It could not be.
Mr. SCHELL. Well, if it could be?
Mr. HABECKER. I do not think that is the question.
Mr. KAUFFMAN. I will answer that question, if you please.
The ACTING CHAIRMAN. We will defer the answer to that question
until the turn of this gentleman to speak, because I imagine that ho,
who is trained in the law, will perhaps know more about statutes than
the gentlemen who are trained in the creamery business.
Mr. SCHELL. I understand; but that simply goes to the question of
whether or not such a law can be made. I want to get at the intent of
the people who are actually in the business, and who are here advocat-
ing this bill. I want to know whether they want colored oleomargarine
stamped out, or whether they simply want it subjected to such restric-
tions as will insure its being sold for what it is.
Mr. KAUFFMAN. I will answer that question when my turn comes.
You can ask me all the questions you please, and I will be glad to
The next gentleman who will speak is Mr. Isaac W. Cleaver, who is
manager of 65 grocery stores in the city of Philadelphia.
STATEMENT OF ISAAC W. CLEAVER, OF PHILADELPHIA, PA.
Mr. CLEAVER. Mr. Chairman, I represent the Acme Tea Company,
which operates not 65 but 63 retail stores in Philadelphia.
We are known as cut grocers. Consequently, we think that we reach
the masses of the people. It has been our desire and our policy, and
our practice, to conform strictly to all the laws with respect to pure
food. We have found that we were beaten by our competitors, who
sold an imitation or a counterfeit for butter at about a cent a pound less
than we were selling it. We know this because we bought it from
them as butter, for butter, had it tested, and it proved to be oleo-
About two years ago we were asked to join the Pure Butter Pro-
tective Association, whose object was to enforce the laws against the
illegal sale of oleomargarine. We at once united with them, and have
been paying our money and using all possible efforts to have these
laws executed so as to stop the illegal sale of oleomargarine for butter.
We have not been successful.
We are in no way interested in the manufacture of butter; only in
the sale of it. If we could sell oleomargarine legally and there were
a demand for it, we would just as lief sell it as we would butter.
With reference to whether or not there is a demand for it, I have
only this to say : We have a printed slip, with questions on the slip
which must be answered every week by every manager in each of our
stores. One of those questions is this: "Has there been any thing-
asked for during the week that we do not keep ? If so, what ? " We
have yet, from all those 63 stores, to have an inquiry for oleomarga-
rine or butterine. Consequently, we are convinced that the masses of
the people in Philadelphia do not want oleomargarine or they would
ask for it.
Mr. SPRINGER. Is the sale of oleomargarine prohibited by law in
Mr. CLEAVER. No, sir; it is not.
Mr. JELKE. What is the law in Pennsylvania relating to the sale of
Mr. CLEAVER. I do not know exactly what the law is. All that I
know is that we have been assisting, in every way in our power, with
our money and with our efforts, to have that law enforced, and without
success. We still find that our competitors beat us, right alongside
of us, because they offer for a penny less something that they sell for
This is all, I believe, that I have to say, unless questions are asked me.
Mr. KNIGHT. About how much butter do you sell a day?
Mr. CLEAVER. We sell from 4,000 to 6,000 pounds of butter per
Mr. JELKE. Have you ever handled process butter?
Mr. CLEAVER. We do, as process butter. We handle it in con-
formity with the law every package stamped. In everything con-
nected with pure food we adhere to the law strictly, both literally and
Mr. SCHELL. Do you have calls for process butter?
Mr. CLEAVER. Yes, sir.
Mr. SCHELL. Is it distinguished as such ? When the customer asks
for it does he say, "Let me have some process butter"?
Mr. CLEAVER. Every package is marked, "Renovated butter."
Mr. SCHELL. I know; but when the customer, the consumer, comes
in does he ask for "process butter" or "renovated butter"?
Mr. CLEAVER. Renovated butter.
Mr. SCHELL. Does he specify that he wants that kind ?
Mr. CLEAVER. That I can not answer. You understand, I am the
buyer and the manager of the butter, egg, and cheese department. I
am not in the stores, you know. I am the general manager, with my
office at the headquarters, at our warehouse, and I do not know about
all those little details. But I am familiar with these questions, be-
cause the same sheet contains any complaints that are made. So I say
that any complaints that are made about butter or eggs come to me on
those sheets, in the way I have stated.
Mr. JELKE. Do these sheets specify that you have calls for reno-
vated butter ?
Mr. CLEAYER. Oh, we keep that, you understand. We keep that.
The question I refer to, you must understand, is this: " Have we had
calls for anything that we do not keep?" Now, we keep renovated
Mr. KNIGHT. To what class of trade do you cater ?
Mr. CLEAVER. I think I said that we are known as cut grocers, and
of course we reach the masses, those who want good goods for little
money. Of course our aim is all the time to improve our quality, but
we are known as cut grocers, and of course our customers want goods
cheap. I should suppose, therefore, that if these dear people who are
said to want oleo are anxious for it they certainly would come to us
Mr. SPRINGER. You would not sell that which the law prohibits you
Mr. CLEAVER. Well, there is no way that they would know our rep-
utation in the pure-food line except by coming and finding out. We
do not publish to the world that we are strictly reliable and straight-
forward. They would have to find it out by coming and asking.
Mr. SPRINGER. You doubtless have a good reputation in the com-
munity where you live ?
Mr. CLEAVER. Well, we try to have.
Mr. KAUFFMAN. Mr. Chairman, the next gentleman will be E. D.
Edson, who is one of the largest wholesale butter dealers in the city
STATEMENT OF E. D. EDSON, OF PHILADELPHIA, PA.
Mr. EDSON. Mr. Chairman, I can only indorse the sentiment that
has been expressed by those gentlemen that have preceded me. As a
business man and a butter dealer, I can but add to what they have
already stated, that in a business of eighteen years I have been in con-
stant touch with the creamery men, the dairymen, and the butter
makers throughout the East and the West, and right in touch with
the retail butter dealers, a great many of whom during the past sev-
eral years have sold oleomargarine. Recently a number of them have
gone out of the oleomargarine business, on account of the prosecutions
in Philadelphia. And in almost all cases, without any exceptions,
those men with whom I have discussed this oleo question have admitted
to me that they could not sell oleo unless they sold it as pure butter.
Now, as a matter of business, if the public wanted oleo, every rep-
resentative butter house in Philadelphia would sell it to them if it could
handle it legally. I might venture to say that there is hardly a respect-
able commission butter house to-day in Philadelphia which would
entertain the idea of selling oleomargarine, because they all have the
knowledge before them that the} r can not sell it legally. That is, if
they were to sell it legally, they would have to sell it as oleomargarine,
and they know that they can not do that, and they also know that the
retail dealers to whom they would sell this oleomargarine would have
to sell it as butter in order to dispose of it.
Now, in order to get at the marrow of this oleo business, just com-
pare the way the farmers or the butter makers dispose of their prod-
act with the way the oleo manufacturers dispose of theirs. The butter
makers make their butter and send it to reputable commission houses,
where it is disposed of for the account of these shippers on a commis-
sion basis. The oleo dealers, after having exhausted every means in
their power to interest the respectable element in the butter trade,
and induce them to handle their oleo, without avail, with the aid of
expert salesmen encourage illiterate people, this low class of Russian
Jews, men who have been unsuccessful in business, who can not com-
pete legitimately with up-to-date business men, to embark in this trade,
with the guilty knowledge before them that these men to whom they
are selling this oleo must violate the law in order to dispose of their
I think that speaks for itself. If the people wanted oleo, every
butter man in Philadelphia would endeavor to get it for them, if he
could sell it legally.
I believe that is all I have to say.
Mr. JELKE. Just one question. You have been in the butter busi-
ness eighteen years?
Mr. EDSON. Eighteen years; yes, sir.
Mr. JELKE. Have you ever sold oleomargarine?
Mr. EDSON. Yes, sir; I have.
Mr. JELKE. How long ago?
Mr. EDSON. Not for the last ten or eleven years. I should be very
glad to answer questions here for an hour, as far as I am concerned,
Mr. KNIGHT. Mr. Edson, why did you cease selling oleo ?
Mr. EDSON. Because it was against the law to sell it.
Mr. SPRINGER. Do you not recognize this difference, Mr. Edson?
The law prohibits the sale of any imitation of butter, colored any-
thing colored in imitation of butter. If the dealer were to sell it for
either butter or oleomargarine, he would be guilty of violation of
Mr. EDSON. No; the law, as it stands now, as I understand it, per-
mits him to sell it if he sells it for oleomargarine.
Mr. SPRINGER. No, sir; no sir!
The ACTING CHAIRMAN. The law of Pennsylvania prohibits the
manufacture or sale of oleomargarine made in semblance of butter.
Mr. EDSON. Oh, the law of Pennsylvania! I did not know you
Mr. SPRINGER. So, Mr. Edson, if they sell it for oleomargarine,
they confess that they are guilty ?
Mr. EDSON. Yes.
Mr. SPRINGER. If they sell it for butter, the burden of proof, on*
the other hand, is upon the Government to show that what they sell is
not butter, but oleomargarine ?
Mr. EDSON, Yes, sir.
Mr. SPRINGER. So that it is to their interest to sell it as butter unless
they want to confess themselves guilty ?
Mr. JELKE. Just one question, please. Do you sell process butter?
Mr. EDSON. Yes, sir.
Mr. KAUFFMAN. Mr. Chairman, the next speaker will be W. F.
Drennan, who is also one of the largest butter dealers in the city of
STATEMENT OF W. F. DRENNAN, OF PHILADELPHIA, PA.
Mr. DRENNAN. I would like to state my reasons for being in favor of
the Grout bill; and I will try to confine my reasons to facts.
As a commission merchant, of course I might be called somewhat
selfish in the handling of genuine butter. We used to handle oleomar-
garine many years ago. We handled it largely up to the time the first
law was enacted, and we have handled it pending the decision on the
constitutionality of our State law. After it became a settled fact that
we could not handle it without violating the law, we quit it.
As a dairyman, as a land owner and a man interested in the dairy
business, I am in favor of the Grout bill, because 1 think it offers the
best protection to the legitimate industry of butter making.
I also would be glad to offer what testimony I can give you as to
some points which I have heard discussed here to-day, and which I
have seen through the medium of the press. One is the claim that
olemargarine is largely sold for what it is; that the people demand it
and want it, and that the manufacturers and wholesale dealers are
anxious that it shall be sold for just what it is.
Now, I deny that in toto. Our experience, which I will try to verify
here to-day, has been exactly to the contrary. After being in the
commission butter business over twenty years I can call to mind only
one instance in which a consumer .ever admitted that he bought it
willingly or bought it for what it was. That may seem very strange
to you, and yet it is true. I repeat that I can recall but one instance in
all my lifetime where any person admitted that he bought it knowingly
for what it was because he wanted it on his table.
Now, then, I think the facts will bear me out in that. As chairman
of the executive committee of the Pure Butter Association, we were
compelled two years ago to enforce our State law through the medium
of what money we could raise on the street and through appointing
our own attorney and our own detectives. After having purchased
about 161 samples and having them analyzed, and having those pur-
chases recorded in a book where we could have access to them, the
question came up: "How many purchases were made in which the
vender gave them to the purchaser for oleomargarine ? " Butter was
asked for, of course. Out of 161 cases, one was sold for exactly what
it was. The 160 were sold for butter and at practically butter prices.
Now, are those facts sufficient to convince anyone here that these
goods are not sold for what they are ? Less than 1 per cent in that
particular, instance was sold for what it really was.
You can have those facts if you want them. It has been stated here
on this floor to-day that there is only a small percentage of oleomar-
garine sold for other than what it is or what it purports to be. I
think that this case disproves that claim, and even if it does not, I have
enough knowledge of the oleomargarine business to know that it is
not sold for what it is; that there is no wholesaler who wants it sold for
what it is, and that in fact there is no manufacturer who really wants
it sold for what it is, for the reason that he can make a great deal more
out of it and sell a great deal more of it through having it sold for
My friend Mr. Jelke, here (a man whom I have known a long time,
and whom I respect), would probably tell you that he would prefer
1 hat these goods should be sold for what they are. I think that the
Grout bill gives such men the opportunity of building up their
industry on its own merits, and that it simply draws the line so that
every human being can tell exactly what he is buying.
It may be a hard job to do that just at once. And yet there is
nothing unfair about the Grout bill, unless you take the stand that
you can not make or introduce white oleomargarine or oleomargarine
without color. But even that is nothing. If that is the fact, then let
it stand on its own merits instead of posing as pure butter.
There is not a man here who, if he went to a dealer's stand and
asked for butter and was given oleomargarine after he had paid the
pure-butter price, would not kick. Mr. Jelke himself would do it.
Any gentleman who has spoken to you would do it.
Now, I state this fact, that according to my positive knowledge
there is not over 1 per cent of oleomargarine sold for what it is in our
market. I would not make the statement if I could not prove it.
If there are any questions anyone wishes to ask me, I will try to
Mr. SPRINGER. This is in Philadelphia, is it not?
Mr. DRENNAN. Yes, sir.
Mr. SPRINGER. Is what you have stated due to the fact that if the
merchant sold it for anything but butter he would confess himself
guilty of a violation of the law ?
Mr. DRENNAN. I have not any doubt that that has a very great
bearing; but even that is no argument.
Mr. SPRINGER. It explains the fact, however, that men do not go
into the community and say, "I am guilty of violating the law by
doing this." If a dealer sells it for oleomargarine, the law prohibits
that, and he confesses himself guilty. If he sells it for butter, the
State has to prove that what is actually sold is oleomargarine in order
to convict him.
Mr. DRENNAN. Yes.
Mr. SPRINGER. People do not convict themselves, as a rule.
Mr. DRENNAN. My experience as a man and as a merchant for the
last twenty years has taught me positively that the average buyer of
butter does not want oleomargarine, and that when he buys oleomar-
garine he gets it when he asks for butter, and he would not have it
did he know it. Now, then, I will admit that it is possible to work up
a trade for oleomargarine on its merits. That is all we ask them to
do. The Grout bill gives them the opportunity to do that. It
removes part of the tax. It leaves the color out. It puts it squarely
on its merits. There is no one who can deny that.
Then there is another thing: We have a lot of irresponsible dealers
who take up oleomargarine because of the immense profit in it. I do
not need to stand here and tell you what it costs to make it or what it
costs to put it into the hands of the wholesale dealer. We all know
that. Everybody knows that. But when the retailer, in its colored
condition, can bring it up to within 1 or 2 cents of the price of genu-
ine butter and sell it to the customer at that price, he has a profit of
anywhere from 10 to 12 cents. Therefore he is bound to go into that
business if there is any such business; and just- as long as there is
color in it we can not reach him.
You may talk about the Wadsworth bill. I am sorry to say that
the revenue department of our city does not enforce the revenue law.
It will prosecute a case if we will make it and bring it to the depart-
S. Rep. 2043 15
ment with the evidence; that is all. But it is the worst law we ever
could have enacted, according to my best judgment.
Mr. KNIGHT. You mean the Wadsworth bill?
Mr. DRENNAN. The Wadsworth bill.
Mr. JELKE. Just one minute, Mr. Drennan. Do I understand you
to say that you have had no call for oleomargarine as oleomargarine ?
Mr. DRENNAN. Why, while we were in the business we had a great
many calls for it. We were in exactly the same position, Mr. Jelke,
that you were. We could not sell it for butter if we had tried to sell
it for butter. We kept it stamped in our own house for sale. The
man who came there, if he wanted it at all, wanted it as oleo. He
would do the other work.
Now, then, I do not want to forget anything. I came near forget-
ting a point that I wished to make. We formerly sold to one man
perhaps $50,000 worth of high-grade oleomargarine every year. That
man had a rule behind his stalls, where he had four cutters, that if
one of them ever gave away the fact that oleomargarine was being sold
in that stall he did it at the peril of his position, and he maintained
that rule for years. I can think of three gentlemen in Camden who
bought it and sold it, and they will tell you to-day that a pound never
went out of their possession except for genuine butter, and they would
not dare do it, and they would not do it. They sold it all for butter.
Now, those are the facts. I would be glad to be permitted to sell
oleomargarine if there were any demand for it as such. But 99 per
cent of it is sold fraudulently. That is absolutely my candid convic-
tion, and it is what I gather from facts that have come under my own
knowledge. Every dealer to whom we sold oleomargarine would tell
you that he never could sell it, or would not sell it, except as butter,
for the reason that he would not want his trade to know he was han-
dling oleo. If he did, the customer would say, "Why don't you let
me have it at a reasonable price?" The dealer would sell it at a price
about a cent below that of fancy butter; hence the enormous profit.
Now, that is the way the thing is run in our market. There are
wholesale dealers there who would contradict me, but I know that
those wholesale dealers and you may take the most respectable of
them have insisted that our trade, in coming to us and buying butter,
must take up the oleo. They have said, u lf you will only take it up
we will see that you are not at one cent expense for legal matters.
We will bear all the expense. We will stand behind you and protect
you as regards that part of it. Go in. You might as well go in and
sell it as somebody else. We will stand back of you." If one man
has said that thing to me in the last six months, in the endeavor to
urge us into handling oleo, fifty have done it, and everyone with
assurance (whether or not it would have been carried out I do not
know) that they would stand back of us and protect us.
That is the way it is sold in Philadelphia, and there is not a man
here in the business but what knows it.
Mr. JELKE. Mr. Drennan, just one question. You handle all kinds
of butter, do you not?
Mr. DRENNAN. Yes, sir; pretty much.
Mr. JELKE. Process butter?
Mr. DRENNAN. No, sir; we do not.
Mr. JELKE. Renovated butter?
Mr. DRENNAN. No, sir. We do not handle it; not because we have
any scruple against it, but because we have no particular trade for it.
Mr. JELKE. Well, you know how it is packed or put up, do you 9
I refer to process butter, renovated butter.
Mr. DRENNAN. Yes. We have handled it in years gone by; but
Mr. JELKE. It is put up in these same square prints and round prints,
just the same as creamery butter?
Mr. DRENNAN. Yes.
Mr. JELKE. And dairy butter?
Mr. DRENNAN. Yes, sir. I suppose every man here knows what
renovated butter is. In the course of my business I have sold millions
of dollars' worth of this dairy butter real butter, put up in tubs,
re washed, and repacked. We have sold it for what it was. We have
sold it for dairy butter, sold it for ladle butter, and all that sort of
thing. We have sold carloads of it every week. Now, then, the dif-
ference between that and process butter is that they simply take that
raw material and render it and take out a great deal of filth, although
you understand I do not handle it, and I am not speaking for it myself.
Our law in Pennsylvania compels them to stamp it for what it is; but
it is a much better product than it originally was. Still, I do not han-
Mr. JELKE. The process removes the filth in the butter?
Mr. DRENNAN. Yes, sir. I do not know of anything under heaven
that has more of it than common butter the ordinary roll butter,
such as is not made in the creameries. I think it is filthy.
Mr. EDSON. Mr. Drennan, you do not wish to convey the impres-
sion that all dairy butter has the rancidity of which you speak?
Mr. DRENNAN. Oh, no. You will allow me to qualify that. There
is a gentleman here from Chester County who makes butter in such
a way that the finest product in the world could not be made an}^
finer, and there is no finer product than dairy butter. I am speaking
simply of the butter that is brought by the average country farmer
throughout the West to the store and traded off for goods. It gets
rancid. Some of it is dirty; some of it is clean.
Mr. KAUFFMAN. Now, Mr. Chairman, these gentlemen are but a few
of those who are here. I think I can safely say of the wholesale
dealers here that they represent three-fourths of the wholesale butter
trade of the city of Philadelphia; and they, of course, will indorse
what these two gentlemen have said as their views in relation to the