tion of the Department of Agriculture, giving a statement of the national
and State dairy laws.
Mr. MILLER. Mr. Chairman, I will say here for the benefit of Mr.
Bond that there is a law in Tennessee, but it is practically inoperative.
The ACTING CHAIRMAN. That is to say, the oleomargarine manufac-
turers and dealers violate it! Is that the idea?
Mr. MILLER. The goods are sold in the State as oleomargarine by the
retail dealers as well as by the manufacturers. There is no attempt at
violating the law. The goods are sold exactly on their merits.
The ACTING CHAIRMAN. But the law seems to prohibit the sale of
the article if it is made in imitation of yellow butter and not made
exclusively from pure milk and cream. It is stated here that any arti-
cle which is in imitation of yellow butter, and not made exclusively
from pure milk or cream, is prohibited.
Mr. MILLER. Well, Mr. Chairman, as you know, there are thousands
of laws on the statute books which are offensive to the mass of the
people and are not enforced. That is one of them.
The ACTING CHAIRMAN. There ought not to be any law in the State
of Tennessee which would be in violation of material interests such as
our friend here has described, I should say.
Mr. CONLEY. Mr. Chairman, I would like to call your attention to the
Mississippi law for a moment. Have you it?
The ACTING CHAIRMAN. I have it here. In Mississippi the law pro-
vides that packages of oleomargarine or similarly manufactured but-
ters shall be plainly labeled with the correct name of their contents,
and the product shall be sold by that name. A privilege tax of $5 is
imposed upon persons selling the article named.
Senator HEITFELD. That is simply a label law.
Mr. CONLEY. I merely wanted to call your attention to the fact that
the Mississippi law does not prohibit the sale of colored oleomargarine.
Mr. PERSON. It recognizes its legality.
Senator HEITFELD. Oh, yes ; you can sell oleomargarine of any color
The ACTING CHAIRMAN. Now, in South Carolina, which is one of the
great cotton-producing regions of the country, I notice that the State
has enacted a law which says that any article not made wholly from
pure milk or cream, and in imitation of pure butter, is prohibited; but
oleomargarine, colored pink, arid in such form and sold in such manner
as will advise the consumer of its real character, is permitted.
Now, do you expect Congress to deal more tenderly with the cotton-
seed industry than the legislature of South Carolina has?
Senator HEITFELD. What is the date of that act, Senator?
The ACTING CHAIRMAN. That seems to be the present Jaw.
Senator HEITFELD. The present law given here is different from
Mr. KNIGHT. This is a later one, Senator.
Senator HEITFELD. What I have here is the law of 1896.
The ACTING CHAIRMAN. This publication is dated 1900. It is a
compilation by Jft. A. Pearson, well known as an expert on the dairy
Senator HEITFELD. What I have is the report of the House hearing.
They have the last year's law.
Mr. KNIGHT. That report was printed last March, and this one was
just printed in the last few days, Senator.
The ACTING CHAIRMAN. Now, the point made by me is whether or
not the cotton-seed industry will be disturbed if oleomargarine is put
upon a basis which will not disturb the butter business that is to say,
if it is put upon the market in such packages as would not, by the imi-
tation of butter, deceive the community as to the character of the
goods. That seems to have been the view taken by these Southern
Mr. BOND. Yes, sir. As I said in that paper, I do not believe the
cotton-seed oil interest will sustain any further loss after this year,
because they will throw it upon the man who sells the cotton seed.
They will take care of themselves. They will not pay him as much for
the seed; that is all.
The ACTING CHAIRMAN. But it seems to me that the legislature of
Tennessee ought to be looking out for the raisers of seed, too.
Mr. BOND. How is that?
The ACTING CHAIRMAN. Would not the legislature naturally be tak-
ing care of the interests of the agricultural population of the State?
Mr. CONLEY. Mr. Chairman, allow me to interrupt you. Are not all
those laws old laws, enacted six or seven years ago ?
Senator HEITFELD. Oh, no. The law of South Carolina is that of
189G; Tennessee, 1895. They are not old laws. Virginia has a color
law which was passed in 1898. Louisiana has a law passed in 1888;
Florida, 1881; Georgia, 1885. Now, the Georgia law, according to this
synopsis, is :
Imitation butter and cheese are denned as any article not produced from pure
milk or cream salt, rennet, and coloring matter excepted in semblance of butter
or cheese, and designed to be used as a substitute for either. Shall not be colored
to resemble butter or cheese. Every package must be plainly marked " Substitute
for butter" or u Substitute for cheese," and each sale shall be accompanied by verbal
notice and by a printed statement that the article is an imitation, the statement
giving also the name of the producer. The use of these imitations in eating places,
bakeries, etc., must be made known by signs.
Mr. KNIGHT. That is an anticolor law.
Senator HEITFELD. Of course; but it does not prohibit the sale of
Mr. KNIGHT. It does if they are colored.
Senator HEITFELD. Yes; you are right about that.
Mr. MILLER. Mr. Chairman, I would like to say just here that about
three weeks ago Governor Hoard was down in Georgia trying to stir
up some sentiment in favor of the Grout bill, and incidentally he got a
few people in Atlanta to introduce a bill placing further restrictions on
butteriue. The cotton-seed oil people found it out and killed the bill
in a few days. That happened three weeks ago.
Mr. CONLEY. I was going to state, Mr. Chairman, that if you will go
back a few years in the South everybody had prejudices against the
use of cotton-seed oil in cooking. They raise it there, and as I stated,
it comes from the waste. We used to throw it away and never made
any use of it. Everybody was prejudiced against it, and it is only in
the last year or two that it has become so notoriously healthful a food.
Since then I am satisfied the laws have not been changed; but at the
same time the product and the article are sold in all those States right
along without any interruption.
The ACTING CHAIRMAN. That would simply indicate the lawlessness
of the business.
Mr. CONLEY. How is that 1 ?
The ACTING CHAIRMAN. That would indicate a disposition on the
part of those interested in the business to disregard and violate the
statutes. That is not a healthy sign.
Mr. CONLEY. Well, 1 think any one of our Southern States can vio-
late a statute when they want to do it, you know.
The ACTING CHAIRMAN. I should think that was so.
STATEMENT OF WILLIAM PERSON, REPRESENTING AMMON &
PERSON, JERSEY CITY, N. J.
GENTLEMEN OF THE COMMITTEE: In speaking to you of the subject
under consideration, it will perhaps be difficult to present it to you in
any way more convincing than it has already been given to you by
those who have heretofore had your patient and courteous attention.
llepresenting a firm reputed to be one of the largest and let me
here impress upon you at all times legitimate dealers in oleomargarine,
I may be pardoned for the belief that as a dealer i can give you some
facts which will merit your full consideration, if not your indorsement.
In our State, New Jersey, we have several hundred retail dealers in
the product duly licensed and under the constant espionage and con
trol ot the revenue department of this great Government, and as is
conceded by the Commissioner, with ample means in men and money
to rigorously enforce every requirement of the severe regulations which
have from time to time been promulgated. Besides this, New Jersey
has a dairy commissioner, who, as his title indicates, is clothed by law
with full authority to control the sale of all butter substitutes within
the State. Let me here say that New Jersey has the exceptional dis-
tinction of being about the only State the law of which closely dove
tails or harmonizes with the Federal law in requiring every seller of
oleomargarine to convey with each sale his full name and address,
together with the amount and nature of the article he sells as a sub
stitute for butter.
As proof of this I desire to have go in the record these examples of
tickets commonly used by dealers throughout New Jersey :
10 Ibs. oleomargarine,
Aminon & Person,
138-140 Ninth street,
Jersey City, N. J.
By the last census you will find that the State of New Jersey is not
far behind those which lead in the magnitude and variety of its manu-
factures, which leads mo to suggest that in this continuing controversy
between oleomargarine and butter (good or bad) the mechanics, oper-
atives, artisans, or other workers for a modest wage have rights which
a white man is bound to respect, be he butterman or Congressman,
and should at least be permitted to exercise his God given and Consti-
tutional right to cater to the normal requirements of his inner man.
This brings me to the point I wish to make, that butter, the best of
it, is now retailing at 28 to 30 cents per pound, and in some instances
double and treble these figures when sold under the mark of cattle
which carry the pretensions and prestige of a long lineage and small
fortunes invested in them because of their pedigrees. As contrary to
this condition, consider the prices of the "poor man's' 7 butter, which
under a name designed to hinder its sale steadily and continously sells
at a much lower price to the everlasting credit of the little French
chemist, who first evolved it from the fat of the steer and gave to the
cattle interests of the United States an added impetus and value, and
to the world at large a food product, which, measured in the light of
coming generations, will be beyond human calculation or measurement
in its benefit to mankind.
This may seem like an overdrawn statement from an enthusiast, yet
let us probe into the future a trifie to see how far away we are.
In the hundred years intervening between 1790 and 1890 the popu-
lation of the United States increased from 3,929,214 to 62,622,250
people, or an increase of 1,493 per cent.
Is it a wild proposition to suggest that in the next hundred years
our population will increase half as much as it did in the preceding
hundred years, or, say, 700 per cent? If you will concede this, let me
mirror the future for you in four sections of time and you will have in
Now, let us bear these figures in mind while we consider their rela-
tion to the question of butter versus butterine. If the estimate of
future population is correct, I am bold to assert that in the period
between 1925 and 1950 there will be no milk available for the making
of butter, which of course would be no great hardship, provided you
or your successors do not tax butterine out of Existence. You may
smile at the gloomy outlook, yet it is a fair prophecy in saying that if
the present rate of increase of population is maintained with the esti-
mated shortage of the cow supply, the supply of milk in the coming
years will all be required for table purposes, invalids, and let us hope
as a saving and salvation for our race butterine.
In confirmation of this I may cite Secretary of Agriculture Wilson,
who stated a short time ago that there are 10,000,000 less cattle in
this country than there were ten years ago. Think of it, a decrease of
1,000,000 a year. His reason for it was the conceded impoverishment
of the grazing lands, which he stated would only feed the present num-
ber of cattle at best.
Some of you gentlemen will recall the drought of last summer, espe-
cially in the eastern section of the country, when many farmers sold a
part of their herds because of lack of pasturage and feed, the effect of
which is still felt in an enhanced cost of those products largely depend-
ent upon a good grass crop, of which may be instanced condensed
milk, of which one factory alone was short 1,000,000 cases of 4 dozen
cans each which they had sold but were unable to deliver because of
the milk shortage. The denuding of the forest lands has in many
instances lowered the beds of the rivers, and an open winter such as
we are now experiencing, with a lack of snow, often results in poor
crops and poor pastures. Such conditions mean great scarcity of milk,
with invariably high prices for butter. Will it not does it not follow
logically that people of limited or moderate means will be compelled to
use some substitute because of their inability or unwillingness to pay
a high price for the cow product?
This line of thought prompts an answer to the question put by one
of the committee at a previous session, as to whether "the continued
production of butteriue will tend to decrease the price of milch cows?"
An answer may be found in the Orange Judd Farmer, which is author-
ity for the statement that in 1891 there were in the United States 268
cows to every 1,000 inhabitants, and that the average value of these
cows was $21.62 each. The figures given for 1900 are 259 cows, at an
average valuation of $31.12 each, an advance of 44 per cent in cost
and a decrease of about 3J per cent in ratio of increase.
If this is so, as I think our friends on the cow side of the fence will
be forced to admit, the predictions for the future must be taken as
more than conservative. Further authority is found in the Sussex
Independent, of Deckertown, N. J., published in a county which sup-
plies one-fifth of the total milk product of that State, and in its issue
of February 2 explains the scarcity of cows as follows:
The time was, and not far distant either, that the butter-making farmers of these
grass-growing midland counties made it a point to raise the greater portion of their
calves and sell off those they did not want in September and October for prices rang-
ing from $3 to $5 a head. Of late years they feed the calf well until it is six or
eight weeks old and get about double for it what they did when they kept it from
four to six months under the old style. The new method has had a great deal to do
with making the supply of cows less, and there is not half the number of cows
from up this way marketed in Orange County that there was fifteen years ago.
In further confirmation of the proposition that the supply of cows or
milk will not keep pace with the increase in population, it will not be
gainsaid that the increased demand for milk in the cities has already
caused a tremendous decrease in the production of butter in all the
States known as the eastern and middle divisions, and has caused the
milk to flow from the farms to the consumers in the cities and towns of
those States. Indeed, so much is this the case that statistics of the
railroads known as milk roads will show that the average haul of milk
has doubled, and in some instances trebled, in the past ten or fifteen
years, showing beyond cavil how widely the territory has extended
which contributes to the milk supply of the centers of population.
Are there any who will hazard a prediction that in twenty-five years
butter will not be a luxury and butterine more of a necessity than it is
even now? If, as I believe, the future has this in store for us, why not
prepare for it, and make ready for the inevitable condition which will
confront those who will come after us, but who, if this tax is permitted
to become a law, will certainly not build monuments to your states-
manship or pronounce eulogies on your foresight. If these suggestions
do not meet your approval, let me in all seriousness ask your approval
of a plan which I am sure will quickly have the indorsement of every
farmer in the land and will certainly relieve you gentlemen of all pres-
sure from your constituents to vote for the present bill.
Remove all tax on oleomargarine and instead leave to the States
such regulations as will permit the farmer to work up his milk with the
materials which are also raised on the farm and which go to make oleo-
margarine, and so render him independent of the creameries, which
are rapidly growing into a monopoly or trust and who pay what they
like to the milk producer.
Another reason, and a strong one, for the removal of taxes, espe-
cially the special tax of $48 per annum on retail dealers, is the inabil-
ity of small storekeepers to pay it. The larger ones do not find it a
hardship, but the poor widow or old man struggling to eke out a bare
living does not ordinarily have $48 in a lump at one time; besides,
does not sell sufficient to make the $48 in the course of a year. On the
other hand, he can not compete with large tea and grocery companies,
who, with hundreds of branch stores, buy butter in large quantities
and retail it at cost price as an advertisement to draw customers for
tea and coffee, which yield large profits. Thus the poor people trading
with the lone widow and old man are prevented by law from sharing in
one of God's richest blessings in the shape of a healthful, wholesome
To a layman, it would seem that oleomargarine is no more an object
of Federal taxation than any other of the thousands of food products,
original and simulated, all of which are susceptible of proper control
by State legislatures. In disposing of this feature of the question , let
me ask, is it not crowding the mourners pretty close, especially in dis-
tricts where butter is not made, to compel its residents to pay tribute
to Uncle Sam who now has an annoying surplus of quickly acquired
wealth, and to the private firms engaged in the creamery business?
Doing business in a State where the law is regulative, not prohibi-
tive, our experience in the selling of oleomargarine may be different
from those who do business in States where its sale is not permitted at
all. In New Jersey, with its thousands of mechanics, mill operatives,
and other earners of small wages, there has been developed a large
and widely distributed trade in oleomargarine, which is called for and
sold as such, bearing every mark and label called for by both the Fed-
eral and State laws.
That the trade is large and constantly growing larger is due to the
fact that we advertise our goods constantly and extensively, and per-
sonally urge upon the grocers of the State the merits of our goods as
a cheaper and better article than the process or other grades of butter
that their class of trade permits them to purchase.
The ACTING CHAIRMAN. Will you allow me to interrupt you just at
this point to ask a question?
Mr. PERSON. Certainly, sir.
The ACTING CHAIRMAN. It appears that the law of New Jersey pro-
vides that any article made wholly or partly out of any fat, oil, etc.,
not from pure niilk or cream, artificially colored in imitation of pure
yellow butter, is prohibited.
Mr. PERSON. Yes, sir.
The ACTING CHAIRMAN. How do you manage to do business in yel-
low oleomargarine in New Jersey, then?
Mr. PERSON. We have had that question settled by the courts, Mr
The ACTING CHAIRMAN. What was the settlement?
Mr. PERSON. I can not recall just what the decision of the court
was, but it was sufficiently in our favor to enable us to sell the goods
as we sell them.
The ACTING CHAIRMAN. What was the decision of the court?
Mr. PERSON. The decision of the court was that if the goods carried
any artificial color they were not to be sold, but we have goods in our
market made from a richer oil that gives us a color that will sell in
The ACTING CHAIRMAN. Then you find it possible to get a good
trade in oleomargarine that is not colored in imitation of pure yellow
Mr. PERSON. No; our goods have a color.
The ACTING CHAIRMAN. But is it the color of pure yellow butter?
Mr. PERSON. It is the color of yellow butter. I will show you the
colors directly, Senator, if you will allow me to go on.
The ACTING CHAIRMAN. I was simply curious to know how you did
such a good business there with that law.
Mr. PERSON. This is the situation in our State, and has made many
of the grocers ready converts to the sale of oleomargarine, and, being
in close touch with customers in their neighborhood, has helped to
popularize oleomargarine in all the large cities and towns of the State,
while even in strictly farming sections farmers are buying it openly
and above board, and blessing their lucky stars they can sell their milk
and for a part of its returns purchase an article which they admit is
better and more uniform than they could themselves produce.
Let me now speak of the color phase of the question. If you gentle-
men could get out and among the dealers of a great State, as we do in
our business, I am sure you would get some new and peculiar ideas of
the so-called color of butter. Like the human race, butter is of all sorts
of colors and conditions, with sufficient and varying shades of color as
to well typify almost every race on the globe, except our African
brother, the black. I have here fourteen different standard shades of
yellow (and there are still others) which you can find reproduced in the
butter of commerce.
[Mr. Person at this point exhibited samples of color to the committee.]
Mr. PERSON (continuing). Every one of those, Senator, is a yellow.
The ACTING CHAIRMAN. Do you find it possible to sell oleomarga-
rine of that color [indicating very dark shade] in New Jersey?
Mr. PERSON. No, sir.
The ACTING CHAIRMAN. That is labeled " 95 D."
Mr. PERSON. But I will promise you, on the word of a man, that
those are all honest, straight yellow colors or shades.
The ACTING CHAIRMAN. But do you find it possible to sell oleo-
margarine in New Jersey of the color indicated upon that slip?
Mr. PERSON. No, sir; not here.
Mr. JELKE. But it is sold in Cuba.
Mr. PERSON. In the French islands, in Martinique, and Porto Rico
they demand a very high, rich color.
The ACTING CHAIRMAN. This [indicating another color] appears to
me to be a light orange.
Mr. PERSON. Yes, sir.
The ACTING- CHAIRMAN. Will oleomargarine colored in that shade
Mr. PERSON (interrupting). We have seen some of the high-priced
Sharpless butter in the height of the season that was I think I may
fairly say, colored as highly as that; was it not, Mr. Jelke"?
The ACTING CHAIRMAN. What I mean to inquire is, can you sell
oleomargarine that is colored in that shade?
Mr. PERSON. Yes, sir.
The ACTING CHAIRMAN. In New Jersey?
Mr. PERSON. Yes, sir.
The ACTING CHAIRMAN. Without any prejudice on the part of the
Mr. PERSON. Oh, there is some prejudice as to that, because that is
a very high color.
Mr. JELKE. I have seen that color of oleomargarine and butter both
sold in St. Louis.
Mr PERSON. But I do not think the majority of people would care
to have it as highly colored as that.
Mr. JELKE. Of course that is not a reasonable color.
Mr. PERSON. No; that is what we would call a highly colored butter.
Mr. JELKE. Those are only a few shades, practically.
The ACTING CHAIRMAN. Will you point out the color there which is
salable in New Jersey 1
Mr. PERSON. That [indicating sample] is about it, is it not, Mr.
Mr. JELKE. I think that would be nearer [indicating another sample].
Mr. PERSON. We have a very light yellow there.
The ACTING CHAIRMAN. What I want to get at is this: Your law
there seems to prohibit the sale of oleomargarine if it is artificially
colored in imitation of pure yellow butter. That seems to be prohibited.
Mr. PERSON. The trade in our State is in the highest quality of goods.
We require the highest quality.
The ACTING CHAIRMAN. But I want to know what decision your
courts have made which enables you to sell oleomargarine in New
Mr. PERSON. We are permitted to sell it where the State can not
prove, by analysis, that the goods carry an artificial color.
The ACTING CHAIRMAN. But you do not color the goods'?
Mr. PERSON. We have them made for us.
Mr. ADAMS. Mr. Chairman, I have a reference to that decision, if the
gentleman will permit me to give it.
Mr. PERSON. Not until I am through, if you please.
The ACTING CHAIRMAN. I would like to see it.
Mr. PERSON. I am perfectly willing that you should show it to the
The ACTING CHAIRMAN. You can proceed, sir.
Mr. PERSON (continuing his remarks). I have here 14 different