We are what might be termed an infant industry, in our swaddling
clothes, perhaps. We have had some pins sticking in us years since,
and they are pricking us now. We do not ask for protection; but we
do ask to be let alone.
The cotton -seed oil industry is a comparatively new one. Thirty
years since it was practically unknown. We have to-day some four
hundred mills throughout the South; and in the State from which I
come we have some 112 or 120, including the Territories.
The development of the industry, I think, has shown more progress
than anything in the industrial line in the South, and has become one
of its leading industries. The products that are made are practically
new to the manufacturing and commercial world, and they naturally
displace articles of kindred nature in the various channels into which
they have gone.
The chief channels in which the oil has been consumed have been
developed since the recent large development of the industry. The
consumption of cotton-seed oil is very large as an admixture of lard
for use as a cooking oil and as a component part in the manufacture of
oleomargarine or butter substitute. We naturally have to find new
outlets to keep pace with our increased production, and while the busi-
ness has grown considerably in this country it has increased to a greater
extent abroad. The uses to which it is put there are chiefly as a sub-
stitute for higher-priced oils, and for the manufacture of what is termed
there "rnargarin," which is identical with the oleomargarine or butterine
of this country.
We want to protest against anything that interferes with the use of
our product where it is legitimately employed on the same ground that
we think the paper which is made from the wood of the forest to-day
is entitled to as great a position in the commercial world as the paper
made from rags by our forefathers. We consider that we are in the
same line of advancement and development as other industries of a
progressive country, and I want to say that the trend of those in the
manufacturing business generally in the commercial world and in the
arts has been toward improvement in whatever line they are follow-
ing. In our particular line our aim has been to produce from an article
that has been wasted in past years something that is good and whole-
some as an article of human diet. We think we have succeeded.
Cotton is grown, not for the seed, but for the lint it produces. The
progress in the development of its culture once made the South rich.
JSince the civil war the growth has increased until, at this time, the
whole world relies on that part of the country for its main supply of
cotton. The seed is a by-product, and a bulky one; and it was formerly
a burden to the planter. It was burned or dumped into the river to
get rid of it; and frequently the gins were compelled to move to get
out of the way of the accumulation of seed.
Some ingenious mind discovered that cotton seed contained oil; and
he who first made oil from cotton seed became, to my mind, a bene-
factor of the race. Cotton-seed oil plants were Jbuilt for the production
of this vegetable oil, which was found to be pure and wholesome, and
as an article of human diet, in the various trades and manufactures in
which it entered into consumption, it at once found favor. It is used
in itself as a cooking fat. The prejudice that formerly existed against
cotton seed or any of its products has so far prevented it from coming
forward for what it is a pure and wholesome article of human diet. It
is used largely as an admixture to olive oil. The various grades of
olive oil produced in the south of Europe require the use of an article
of this character to mild and blend them down. The people themselves
use it. And while in Italy (as Mr. Tompkins noted this morning) a
practically prohibitory duty was imposed on the article, the exporta-
tion of olive oil to other countries from that country has in no wise
decreased its consumption for that particular purpose; and I think the
time will come when we shall have cotton oil put up as a pure vege-
table oil, on an equality with olive oil. Its character is about the
same, so far as its organization is concerned. It is a matter purely of
an acquired taste purely. An article of high grade, refined cotton
oil is as good for human diet as is olive oil, the latter being used in the
south of Europe very extensively as an article of diet, and largely as a
This product, as I have said, also enters into and is part of the com-
position of oleomargarine, or butterine; and I want to say that the man
who tirst produced oleomargarine was, in my opinion, a benefactor to
the race. The ingredient of cotton oil that enters largely into the
manufacture of oleomargarine, butterine, or butter substitute, as is
shown, is a pure and wholesome vegetable oil, free from any possibility
of disease. The people of other countries have gone into this subject
more fully than our own.
In Great Britain I think the question of pure food has been given
more attention than perhaps in any civilized nation in the world; and
anything that is pure and good and wholesome and healthful for human
diet is welcomed there by the people ot the country anything in the
food product line which will lessen the cost of living to the mass of
people. The colonies of Great Britain have been very large producers
of butter, notably Australia and New Zealand. I think they have
subsidized boats with refrigerating apparatus in order to bring that
product to Great Britain for the purpose of lessening the cost of that
food to its working people.
The butter countries of the Continent, especially Holland, produce
more " margarine," as they call it, than they used to produce of butter.
The organization of that product or article is about the same as that
produced in this country. That produced in those countries is exported
and sold in all the large manufacturing towns of Great Britain by the
side of butter. If they are able to frame a law which will protect the
butter manufacturer there, why can not we 1 ? If there is anything
deleterious in it, the scientific men of that country would certainly find
it out. I think they have not more stringent laws than we have,
although they have given more attention to the subject; and the prod-
uct is sold openly for what it is, of course margarine. And by its
means the mass of people are able to obtain a food product that is at
once as healthful and good and wholesome as butter itself.
It seems to me that the claim which has been made here that a law
can riot be framed which will protect the interests of the butter maker
and of the maker of the butter substitute can not be well founded. I
do not think that in any country of the world is the Government as
zealous of the health of its people as that of Great Britain. In the
shops in all the manufacturing towns and the other large towns of that
country where butter and kindred products are sold there are dis-
played side by side for sale butter and what they there term u mar-
garine." In the countries in which it is manufactured it is used in the
same way. Its manufacture has become a great industry; and that
industry is being developed and fostered. When I was in Rotterdam
last spring I visited a very large " rnargarin-fabrick," as it is called,
and the proprietor took especial pains to show me a tablet in marble
that had just been placed there in commemoration of a visit of Queen
Wilhelmina, of Holland, showing that it has the approval not only of
the mass of the people, but of the Government. Its manufacturer
contributes very largely to the work of the people there, and the
export business is a great source of income.
We want to protest against the passage of such a bill as is before
your committee as being hurtful to our interests at large, and espe-
cially hurtful to those mills in which I and my friends are directly
interested. They are located in Texas, where there is produced a
quality of oil that averages better than that made in the other Southern
States. And while in the aggregate the total production of oil used in
this particular line may seem small, to us it is very large.
Mr. Bond stated that in his opinion, if I am correct, about 40,000
barrels of cotton oil were used in the West in the manufacture of oleo-
margarine, or butter substitute. I do not think that nearly covers it.
In fact, the mills in which I am directly interested would, if that is
correct, have supplied 25 per cent of that quantity.
The total production of oil of all grades, I think, equals from
1,500,000 to 2,000,000 barrels per year. Of that quantity I think there
are consumed in this country, for oleomargarine purposes, from 125,000
to 150,000 barrels. There are exported for the same purpose about
300,000 barrels, showing that the total quantity used in that particu-
lar line is equal to at least 25 per cent of the whole.
Mr. TILLINGHAST. Will the gentleman pardon a moment's interrup-
Mr. CULBERTSON. Certainly.
Mr. TILLINGHAST. Will you explain to the committee how you get
the better butter oils and the lesser grades of cotton oil?
Mr. OULBERTSON. All right; I will touch on that in a minute.
The exportation of this large quantity of oil has been brought about
by hard work on our part, by the development of other businesses, par-
ticularly in the oleomargarine line. And if you gentlemen frame a law
that is practically prohibitory of an article that has the Government
stamp of approval on it in the shape of the 2-cent tax, how can you
"expect us to maintain our export trade 1 ?
The exportation of cotton oil for that particular purpose forms a
small part of our exports. What is to become of the trade in oleo oil
or in neutral lard? The countries that make this product rely on this
country for its ingredients. What is to become of that business, that
has taken years for us to work up, if you gentlemen pass a prohibi-
tory, unjust, and vicious tax on something that has been approved by
this Government? I think there ought to be some consistency in
things of that character. We have at times been importuned to join
export associations for the development of export trade, on the ground
that our export business would be increased and that our business
would be enlarged It seems to me they could turn their attention to
the development and maintenance of their domestic trade. It seems to
me that legislative bodies like yours should not be called upon to protect
internally one interest as against another.
We hear of oleomargarine. What is oleomargarine? When the
stamp of approval of the Government was put on it it was an article
that was sold for what it was or supposed to have been. You want to
take out now one ingredient, that of the butter color, an article that
has been produced and manufactured since butter was made. Have
they a patent right to that particular thing for their particular mixture?
The butter color, as I understand, was originally made, and the vehicle
by which it was carried was olive oil. They found they could lessen
the cost of the production of that article by using cotton-seed oil, so
that, as Mr. Tompkins has stated this morning, every pound of butter
June butter, if you may so call it, made in December has cotton oil in
it, where it is colored. 1 do not see why the butter people should
claim a patent right to that particular ingredient. It seems to me that
the butter-color manufacturers would cry out against such a procedure.
You might just as well compel by law the elimination of any other
principal ingredient in oleomargarine or butterine, or butter substitute,
whatever you may call it.
The ACTING CHAIRMAN. Would it disturb you if I should ask a
question on that point?
Mr. CULBERSON. No, sir.
The ACTING CHAIRMAN. It lias been stated here that the butter
color could be produced without the addition of coloring matter, by
taking advantage of certain grades and states of the cotton-seed oil
and other materials. What grade of cotton-seed oil is used in the
manufacture of oleomargarine?
Mr. CULBERSON. What is known as butter oil.
The ACTING CHAIRMAN. Refined oil?
Mr. CULBERSON. Refined oil.
The ACTING CHAIRMAN. What is the color of it?
Mr. CULBERSON. The color of it is straw or light yellow.
The ACTING CHAIRMAN. And would the use of that proportion thai
enters into oleomargarine give that color to the product?
Mr. CULBERSON. The light-yellow color?
The ACTING CHAIRMA.N. Yes.
Mr. CULBERSON. No.
The ACTING CHAIRMAN. Is there any possible mixture of the oil and
other materials, in the absence of other distinct coloring matter, that
would produce the butter color?
Mr. CULBERSON. I think not.
Mr. SCHELL. Mr. Chairman, on that subject allow me to suggest
that one of rny clients is the oldest man in the oleomargarine business
in this country, and he bas experimented all his life with the idea of
avoiding the use of any artificial color: and, so far, his efforts have
The ACTING CHAIRMAN. He ought to consult with this firm that
furnishes it for New Jersey. [Laughter.]
Mr. TILLINGHAST. The gentleman will pardon me a moment; but
the use of your cotton- seed oil does give to the oleomargarine a slight
Mr. CULBERSON. Perhaps so, but not sufficient color to bring it to
the color that the Government approved at the time they taxed it.
I would like to know what the butter makers of the country colored
their butter with before this butter color was manufactured? Our
grandmothers, I take it, used carrots. If this is an improved method,
why should it be confined to butter itself? Why should any legislative
body give to any manufacturing enterprise a patent right to use that
exclusively? I can not see it. Oleomargarine or butterine has always
been made with a certain amount of color butter color, if you will. I
think the manufacturer of that color considers it just as much an oleo-
margarine color as a butter color, because it is used for such, and why
it should be restricted to one branch of trade to the exclusion of every-
thing else I can not see.
What shall wo say of this free and liberty-loving country and people
drafting measures practically forbidding the manufacture of an article
because it comes in competition with an article with butter and con-
demning it because it is used as a substitute for butter, and thus rob-
bing the mass of poor people of a substitute that is at once pure and
wholesome and good, and has been so proved.
Mr. TILLINGHAST. As you are from Texas (I do not remember
whether we have anyone else from that State or not), cairyou tell me
how oleomargarine is placed on the market there, and whether you
have any opinion as to how much of it is sold for butter, if any?
Mr. CULBERSON. In Texas?
Mr. TILLINGHAST. In Texas.
Mr. CULBERSON. I must confess that I am not fully posted on that
matter. I do not think there is any law governing its manufacture or
The ACTING CHAIRMAN. There is none.
Mr. CULBERSON. There was an attempt made a year or two ago to
frame a law, which was defeated. An attempt was made to follow some
of the laws of the North and East in that respect, but the venture did
not go through.
Mr. TILLINGHAST. Do you hear any complaints about it being sold
for butter in your State? A. No. I think I have mentioned in regard
to a certain percentage of the total quantity of oil produced as being
used for butterine or oleomargarine purposes. At some of the mills
in which I am directly interested one-half of the production of those
particular mills is sold either in this country to butterine manufacturers
or is exported for that same purpose, so that the passage of this bill
would hurt us very materially.
Mr. KNIGHT. Will you pardon a question 1 ?
Mr. CULBERSON. Yes, sir.
Mr. KNIGHT. Are you a refiner of cotton-seed oil?
Mr. CULBERSON. We have refineries at our plants; yes, sir.
Mr. KNIGHT. Do you use any chemicals in refining cotton-seed oil?
Mr. CULBERSON. There is no other way to refine it other than by
Mr. KNIGHT. What chemical is used ?
Mr. CULBERSON. Various.
Mr. KNIGHT. What is the principal one?
Mr. CULBERSON. The same chemicals that have been used ever since
cotton-seed oil was refined.
Mr. KNIGHT. I am not a cotton-oil man, so I do not know what those
are, and 1 do not think the committee does.
Mr. CULBERSON. We use caustic soda in diluted form. We further-
more have our own processes by which when the oil is finished it is
perfectly neutral. There is absolutely no sign of chemical or of color-
Mr. KNIGHT. You can refine cotton-seed oil and make it absolutely
white make what they call a winter oil?
Mr. CULBERSON. Yes; that can be done.
Mr. KNIGHT. Do you think it is possible that any of that caustic soda
will be left in the oil after the refining?
Mr. CULBERSON. It is possible, but not for butter oil purposes.
Mr. KNIGHT. Then in all of the oleomargarine that we eat we eat an
oil that has been through a process of refinement by caustic soda or with
Mr. CULBERSON. Not necessarily.
Mr. KNIGHT. Well, some other chemical equally strong.
Mr. CULBERSON. Not necessarily. There are other processes. I tell
you what we use.
The ACTING CHAIRMAN. Are there others to be heard this afternoon ?
Mr. JELKE. Mr. Chairman, it was expected that Mr. Tompkins, who
spoke this morning, would continue this afternoon, and there has been
no provision made for a further speaker. Mr. Tompkins was called
away to Richmond at half past 3.
The ACTING CHAIRMAN. Then on behalf of the committee, thanking
those who have spoken for their attendance upon the committee, we
will stand adjourned until to-morrow morning at half past 10 o'clock.
The committee, at 4.32 p. m., adjourned until Wednesday morning,
January 9, 1901, at 10.30.
WASHINGTON, D. C., Wednesday, January 9, 1901.
The committee met at 10.30 a. m.
Present: Senators Proctor ( chairman ), Foster, Money, and Allen.
Also Charles Y. Knight, secretary of the National Dairy Union; Frank
W. Tillinghast, representing the Vermont Manufacturing Company, of
Providence, R. I. ; Charles E. Schell, representing the Ohio Butterine
Company, of Cincinnati, Ohio; John F. Jelke, representing Braun &
Fitts, Chicago, 111.; J. J. Culbertson, representing the Continental
Cotton-Oil Company, of New York City; Henry E. Davis, representing
the National Butterine Company, of Washington, D. C.; John F.
McNainee, representing the Columbus Trades and Labor Assembly,
Columbus, Ohio, and others.
Mr. DAVIS. May it please the committee, it has been my wish, in
behalf of the oleomargarine industry, to appear before you ; and I have
several times endeavored to make an arrangement for a brief part of
your time that would be consistent with the convenience of the committee
and of the gentlemen who are here from other cities.
I learned from the newspaper this morning that it is the purpose of
the committee to close this hearing finally to-morrow. That being so,
I would, still yielding to the convenience of those who are from other
cities, ask the committee to do me the favor to specify some hour at
which I can take a little of your time. My special justification for this
request is the fact that, although oleomargarine is not manufactured in
any Territory of the United States, a large establishment is under
process of construction here which will involve an outlay of several
hundred thousand dollars. It is manifest to the committee, without
argument, that that industry is peculiarly within the reach of Con-
gressional legislation, which makes it proper, it seems to me, that some
suggestions on this subject which have occurred to my mind should be
laid before the committee.
The CHAIRMAN. There is no objection on the part of the committee
to your going on to day at any time.
Mr. DAVIS. I want to accommodate myself to the convenience of
these other gentlemen, and I am at the command of the committee so
far as the time is concerned.
Senator ALLEN. Mr. Chairman, so far as I am concerned, I can sit
here all afternoon.
Mr. JELKE. I spoke to Mr. Knight this morning, and he has some
gentlemen here from outside of the city who would like to be heard
The CHAIRMAN. Who is there here who wants to be heard this
morning in behalf of oleomargarine?
Mr. JELKE. There is Mr. McNamee, of Ohio, and Mr. Peters, of
The CHAIRMAN. Why can not Mr. Davis go on now?
Mr. JELKE. If Mr. Davis thinks he will have time, I can see no
objection to that; but these gentlemen are from outside of the city,
while Mr. Davis lives here.
The CHAIRMAN. That is true; but he says he will not require a great
deal of time.
Senator FOSTER. How much time will you require, Mr. Davis?
Mr. DAVIS. I shall be very brief. 1 can save time, however, if the
committee will give me a later hour, for the reason that in conversation
with Judge Springer
Senator FOSTER. Then how would it do for you to come in at half
Mr. JBLKE. I believe if Mr. Knight's friends are heard this morning
and Mr. Davis comes on in the afternoon Mr. Knight will be satisfied.
The CHAIRMAN. We would rather have the dairy interest heard from
to-morrow as far as possible and the oleomargarine interest to-day.
Mr. JELKE. These gentlemen are from outside of the city, if you
The CHAIRMAN. We will try to accommodate them, but the oleomar-
garine interest has the right of way to day.
Mr. KNIGHT. Senator, as to the matter broached by Mr. Jelke, we
will not want over ten minutes' time.
The CHAIRMAN. All right ; you can have that. Let Mr. Davis come
in at half past 2.
STATEMENT OF JOHN F. McNAMEE, VICE-PRESIDENT AND CHAIR-
MAN LEGISLATIVE COMMITTEE COLUMBUS TRADES AND LABOR
ASSEMBLY, COLUMBUS, OHIO.
Mr. McKAMEE. Mr. Chairman and Senators, it has not often been
my privilege in the capacity I occupy to appear before a committee
representative of so dignified a body as the Senate of the United
States. I am not a manufacturer of oleomargarine, nor, in fact, a manu-
facturer of anything. I bear from the Central Labor Union of the city
of Columbus, Ohio, officially known as the Columbus Trades and
Labor Assembly, credentials which, with your permission, I will read
to you :
COLUMBUS, OHIO, January 5, 1901.
To whom it may concern:
This is to certify that the bearer, Mr. John F. McNamee, vice-president of the
Columbus Trades and Labor Assembly, is authorized and empowered by said body
to exert every effort and use all honorable means in accomplishing the defeat of a
measure now pending in the United States Senate, and known as the Grout bill, the
object of which is to destroy a legitimate industry in the interest of its competitors,
said Grout bill being regarded by said Trades and Labor Assembly and all it repre-
sents as a gross injustice, class legislation, an invasion of citizenship rights, and a
serious menace to the best interests of all citizens, particularly those in moderate
Any courtesies extended to our representative, Mr. McNamee, will be fully appre-
ciated and remembered by the Columbus Trades and Labor Assembly.
[SEAL.] FRANK B. CAMERON, President.
WILLIAM F. HATJCK, Secretary.
Senator MONEY. Mr. Chairman, I have to go to the Committee on
Foreign Relations. A bill is under consideration there in which I am
very much interested the reciprocity treaty. Mr. Bate and Mr.
Warren told me that they had to attend the session of the Military
Affairs Committee. At any rate, they are not here; I thought they
would be here. Mr. Heitfeld told me he had to attend the meeting of
the Committee on Patents, where a bill involving filtered water for the
District, I believe I do not know just what it is is to come up. I hope
there will be no vote taken in the committee about the final hearing or
The CHAIRMAN. We do not expect to take any.
Senator MONEY. All right.
Mr. MoKAMEE. Gentlemen, if the labor organizations of the United
States were possessed of sufficient capital to enable each one of them
to send a representative here to convey to you their sentiments regard-
ing this Grout bill, I assure you that you could not possibly conclude
this hearing before the next Presidential election. This letter of intro-
duction which I have presented represents but faintly the bitter
antagonism which prevails in the ranks of organized labor to said
When any class of men are organized, matters bearing upon their