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keep within the law in the conduct of its business. The secretary's
report, in reference to the new "value list" and the "weekly report
of sales," said:

As has been well stated in our President's address these
several new features have not been added to our Association
work without careful investigation from a legal standpoint,
and if any of our members have refrained from contributing
information from fear of legal complications we feel that we can
assure them that their fears are groundless.

The list of grades and values became effective November 1, 1911,
and has been used as a basis list since that date. Concession sheets
were used in connection with this list. The following letter of Novem-
ber 6, 1911, written by Secretary Roper to President Corwin, throws
light on the method of compilation of an association concession

Yours of the 4th, enclosing letter from Mr. Millard received.
I agree with you perfectly in the necessity of having all forms
in connection with the Cost & Value List, Weekly Sales Reports,
and Concession Sheets, approved or recommended by the Costs
& Values Committee and have been acting along that line. The
form of Concession Sheet, which I gave you a few days ago, has
been approved by Mr. Millard and it was not my purpose to
issue a concession sheet to our members until the concessions


named in it had also been approved by him and yourself. I
think in getting out the first of these Concession Sheets we ought
to be very careful and consider it from every possible standpoint.
I have been making up a sheet with my ideas of the proper
concessions and have about half finished it. I compared this
today with the proposed concessions of the Roper Lumber Co.
and found that as a rule my concessions were less than theirs.
They will probably have this sheet ready to issue by the time
we get our new lists from the press and it has occurred to me
that possibly it will be better for the Association not to under-
take to issue a Concession Sheet at once but let the Roper Lum-
ber Co. issue be circulated amongst our members. This per-
haps would bring forth concession sheets from others of the
manufacturers and later on the Association could issue a sheet
made up from these. No doubt you will be passing through
Norfolk again in the near future and we can talk this matter
over more fully at that time.

The issuing of an association concession sheet was still advocated
as late as the November 23, 1911, meeting, according to the report in
the American Lumberman of December 2, 1911, page 43. C. I. Mil-
lard, chairman of the costs and values committee reported that the
secretary was to issue such a concession sheet from time to time.
At the meeting also the report shows that —

President Corwin stated most emphatically to those present
that the present workings of the association were strictly within
the confines of the interpretations of the Sherman law and there
should be no need of fear of prosecution by federal authorities.

The Bureau, however, has no evidence that any association con-
cession sheet was issued at this time.

In a letter dated February 23, 1912, written to Hallowell & Souder,
of Philadelphia, Secretary W. B. Roper says:

In regard to price lists, beg to advise the Association issues
no price list but we can furnish you with as many copies as you
desire of our Lists of Grades & Values at 10$ per copy. These
as you will doubtless understand are used in connection with
concession sheet or discount schedule, which is issued by the
manufacturer and not by the Association.

On March 16, 1912, Secretary W. B. Roper wrote R. S. Kellogg,
of Wausau, Wis., secretary of the Northern Hemlock & Hardwood
Manufacturers' Association, in which he explained the use of the list
of grades and values and concession sheets as follows:

These lists were issued November 1st and I am sending you
several copies under separate cover. Should you have use for
any more, will be glad to supply them. The Association, of
course, does not publish any concession sheets or undertake to
dictate to its members what concessions shall be made. This
matter is left to the voluntary action of each individual manu-
facturer. You will find enclosed herewith copies of concession


sheets recently issued by two of our members in printed form,
also a blank form that the association furnishes its members
which may be filled out either with pen or typewriter. About
three or four times a year, I will individually compile a conces-
sion sheet made up from the sheets furnished by the various
members of the association and representing my individual
opinion as to the current concessions. This will be done simply
as a guide and of course the concessions named on this list will
not be binding upon anybody. If there is any further information
you desire, shall be very glad to supply it.

A letter of April 8, 1912, from Secretary Roper to Secretary Doster
of the Hardwood Manufacturers' Association, also states: "The asso-
ciation does not issue the concession sheets. These are left for the
individual manufacturers to make up as they see fit."

The reason for the temporary abandonment of the proposed asso-
ciation concession sheets was probably a fear of involving the associa-
tion in legal difficulties. When Secretary Roper endeavored to cany
out the project referred to in the latter part of the foregoing extract
from his letter to Secretary Kellogg, he sent out, on July 13, 1912,
letters to several important manufacturers similar to the following
to the Albemarle Lumber Co., of Hertford, N. C:

In reply to our recent request for copies of concession sheets
or price lists, we have received quite a number from our members
among them being one from you.

It has occurred to me that it would be very useful and inter-
esting to our membership to have a tabulated statement show-
ing the concessions allowed by the different members who have
sent us their lists putting them in parallel columns for ready
comparison and on a separate sheet giving the names of the par-
ties so that they can be identified with the different columns.
A statement of this sort is sent out every two or three weeks
by Mr. Geo. K. Smith of the Yellow Pine Mfrs. Assn. and some
of the other associations are publishing the names of their mem-
bers with the prices being quoted. One or two of our members
with whom I nave talked have thought the idea a good one and
say they would be very glad to contribute their prices for that

Purpose and would urge no objection to having then names given,
his, of course, would not be circulated outside of the member-
ship of the association.

Before getting up a statement of this sort, I wish to submit it
to those who have contributed their price lists and obtain then-
consent. I will be glad to have your views as to the desirability
of doing this and also whether you would have any objection to
the plan. Kindly let me hear from you promptly as I am desir-
ous of getting the statement out next week.

Horton Corwin, jr., president of the association, wrote to Secretary
W. B. Roper on July 17, 1912, in which he referred to Secretary
Roper's suggestion as follows :

Now with respect to your letter about having a tabulated
statement prepared showing the concessions allowed by the dif-


ferent members who have sent in their lists. I want to com-
mend your zeal, and as far as the matter is to be considered from
a standpoint of a manufacturer or operator, believe it would be
a good thing. Looking at it, however, from an Association
standpoint think I can detect how it might be construed as an
effort in Association work in restraint of trade, or as a violation
of the spirit and intent of the Sherman Act, besides which, think
it will nave the effect upon some of the members of restraining
that freedom of action in submitting to the members their indi-
vidual lists. You know our plans contemplate that the Asso-
ciation's action in matters of this kind end in the report of the
weekly sales and the tabulating of the same to the membership.
Each operator should, unsolicited upon the part of the Associa-
tion, ask for and receive in exchange of courtesies in the way of
concession sheets from others, and altogether I know you will
upon further consideration of this matter arrive at the same con-
clusion with me, that it will be better not to prepare any tabu-
lated statement that shows the concession sheets of the different

Confidentially I am rather disappointed in Mr. Millard's con-
cession sheet as far as it relates to Box and the low grades. Am
satisfied that it was intended to be prohibitory and that he does
not want to sell any of the low grade lumber, but to utilize the
same for Planing Mill purposes.

Secretary Roper, in his reply of July 18, took issue with President
Corwin's position. In his letter Secretary Roper stated his disbelief
that the proposed concession sheet could be construed as an effort
in restraint of trade; that the proposed action was "simply logically
following out our plans and making them more effective," and he
cited, as example, the issuance of similar sheets by Secretary Smith
of the Yellow Pine Manufacturers' Association. In the light of pos-
sible opposition on the part of members, however, Secretary Roper
decided that the best plan for the present would be simply to publish
the weekly price sales, and added: "In addition to this, I will get up
as I have done heretofore a full concession sheet giving my own idea
from the prices that are sent in to me of present market conditions."

The Bureau has little definite information regarding the use made of
such concession sheets compiled by Secretary Roper. The following
letters, however, indicate that they were sent out to association mem-
bers. On August 8, 1912, Woodson & Graves, of Lynchburg, Va.,
wrote Secretary Roper as follows:

We are obliged to you for the concession sheet #3 applying on
the prices as shown in your issue of November 1st, 1911 "List of
grades and values."

We wish you would mail Mr. H. P. Woodson, Burgaw, N. C. a
copy of the issue of November 1st referred to above together
with a copy of the concession sheet as sent us — #3. Please let us
know what the charge is and we will send stamps to cover.


The following reply, dated August 9, signed, "The N. C. Pine

Yours of the 8th acknowledging receipt of Concession Sheet
No. 3 has been received.

In compliance with your request we are sending to Mr. H. P.
Woodson, Burgaw, N. C, today a copy of our List of Grades &
Values of Nov. 1st, 1911 and also a copy of our Concession
Sheet No. 3, which we trust will be received by him O. K. The
cost of our List to members is 10$ per copy. There is no charge
for the concession sheet.

The following letter was written by Secretary Roper on February
20, 1913, to two prominent manufacturers:

We are desirous of obtaining copies of the most recent con-
cession sheets in order that we may compile an average con-
cession sheet to be sent out from this office to our members.
The last sheet we have from you is under date of December 10th.
If you have published any later than this, will you not kindly
send us several copies, and oblige.

In Bulletin No. 12, of the North Carolina Pine Association, June,
1913, appeared a tabular list of concessions, at the head of which
was the following statement:


The Concessions named below are from the List of Grades and
Values of North Carolina Pine dated November 1st, 1911, and
have been compiled by W. B. Roper, Sec'y- These figures
represent the compiler's opinion of present market quotations
as gathered from price lists and concession sheets sent in to bis
office, together with reports of actual sales, and are issued as
current information.

Association price information not issued in the form of
price lists. — In 1906, as has already been shown, Secretary Walker
secured the adoption of a system of "weekly sales reports," which,
however, was soon discontinued. In 1911 Secretary Roper began the
issuing of a new series. In his letter of April 27, 1911, to Ellington &
Guy (Inc.), a part of which has already been cited (see p. 287), he said:

We are working now on a plan to disseminate information once
a week or perhaps once every two weeks to our membership,
showing prices that are being obtained. This I think will Be
quite valuable as it will show some people who are selling at low
prices that others are doing much better and will inspire them to
ask better figures.

The following correspondence indicates the use which the associa-
tion members made of the weekly sales reports:


Letterhead of the Camp Manufacturing Co.

Franklin, Va., August 18, 1911.
Mr. W. B. Roper, Sec,

North Carolina Pine Asso., Norfolk, Va.
Dear Sir: We haven't been able to move our 2\ and 2>\"
#1 Flooring without cutting the price anywhere from $3.50 to
$4.00. Is this in line with the price that the others are getting ?
I wish you would let me know if this is about in line with the
others. I feel like it is too much. It looks like we ought to be
able to get a better price for it. On #1 Rough lumber we are
cutting the price anywhere from $2.25 to $2.50. I would like to
know if this is about in line with the reports that you are getting.
Yours truly,

Camp Manufacturing Co.,
By J. L. Camp, VP. & GM.

On August 22, 1911, the following reply from the office of the asso-
ciation was made to Mr. Camp's letter:

Replying further to your letter of the 18th instant, regarding

f rices of #1 Flooring and #1 rough lumber, I have to advise that
have received a reply from Mr. Roper and he wishes me to state
to you that he thinks you are selling your #1 Flooring somewhat
lower than the other prominent manufacturers. For your infor-
mation, I am sending you Weekly Sales Reports Nos. 9, 10 and
11, which gives the actual sales of this stock. He also states that
he thinks on the rough lumber you are nearer the mark and about
in line with other manufacturers.

The Southern Lumber Journal, October 15, 1911, page 25, in an
article entitled "A Word to the N. C. Pine Manufacturers," contains
this paragraph:

In the absence of a regular price list for N. C. pine, such as was
at one time issued by the association, it becomes doubly impor-
tant now to the manufacturers as well as dealers to be more
prompt in reporting every week their sales to the Secretary of the
N. C. Pine Association, Norfolk, Va., for use in the compilation
of the Association's Weekly Sales Report, which Secretary Roper
issues every Saturday morning. The list of Cost and Values for
each and every grade of N. C. pine is published in each and every
issue of the Journal for the guidance and direction of all manu-
facturers as well as purchasers and the Weekly Sales report will
show the variation from these figures. There is no great industry
extant today, but what has a cost and values list which governs
all sales in that line of industry.

In the secretary's report at the October 26, 1911, association meet-
ing occurs the following statement:

So much dissatisfaction having been expressed with the old
Market Reports (the last one being under date of March
24, 1910), and many members being in the dark as to the exact
state of the market, it was decided at our meeting in May
to issue weekly reports of sales, gathering the data for these
reports direct from the actual sales made by members. These


reports, therefore, represent the actual condition of the market
and the prices that are being obtained, and for that reason the
members of the Association seem to be more appreciative of their
usefulness as time demonstrates their value. The number of
contributors to this weekly report has now grown to 22, and we
are trusting that within a short time we shall have reports regu-
larly from at least 35 members. The best results can not be
obtained without larger cooperation than we have heretofore

With the institution of our new Value List the weekly report
of sales will be even more essential than heretofore, and will be
used as a basis for the Concession Sheets which it is proposed to
issue in conjunction with the Value List.

On November 8, 1911, Secretary Roper again wrote to President
Corwin in which he explained his method of tabulating the weekly
sales reports as follows:

I have never felt that it was right since instituting these weekly
sales reports to undertake to edit them as it were. I have fre-

Juently, of course, thrown out reports or individual prices when
felt sure they were erroneous, but when every indicationpointed
to the fact that they were correct, I have not considered that it
would be proper to omit them simply because they were low.
The idea in the reports is to reflect actual market conditions and
get the men who are quoting low prices to move up. It is hardly
to be suspected that those who are getting higher prices will be
tempted to quote any lower by the fact that some foolhardy
manufacturer is selling his lumber several dollars less than he
should. Perhaps when you are here Saturday, I shall be able to
tell you the result of the letter which I wrote these people.

With the partial abandonment of the plan for issuing association
concession sheets (see p. 294) the importance of the part played by
the weekly sales report in the association price activities increased.
The following estimate of its value is from a statement made by Sec-
retary Roper at the annual meeting of the association on March 20,

It has been found impossible to get the co-operation of all of
our members in furnishing statistics covering the output, stocks,
etc. Only 25 to 30 contribute to the weekly sales report and
about the same number to the other statistical reports. The
members who do report comprise practically all the large opera-
tors, as well as many of the smaller, and represent, I believe, fully
two-thirds of the output of the association. As these statistics
are published monthly in our Bulletin, it is needless to refer to
them here except to say that they deserve your study and will
be found of much use. Is it not worth something to know
whether stocks are increasing or decreasing at the mills?
Whether we are making more or less lumber than we are ship-
ping ? These are vital facts and have a great deal to do with the
state of the market.

Referring especially to the weekly sales report, while this has
grown steadily in value and has become much more appreciated


than it was a year ago, the number of contributors has increased
but little but there are still many of our members who pay
little if any attention to this weekly tabulation and put it to no
practical use. This fact is evidenced by letters received from
members occasionally asking what prices are being paid for cer-
tain items of lumber. A reference to the weekly report would
have quickly shown them just what prices are being oDtained by
other members of the association. On the other hand, some of
our members realize the value of this information and consider
it the greatest feature of our association work. One member
says he would pay $1,000.00 per year for this information if neces-
sary. The figures given in these sales reports are reliable, fresh,
and accurate and in my opinion they comprise the best available
data as to market conditions. It enables you to compare your
prices with your fellow member or manufacturer and puts you
in position to obtain full value for your product while at the same
time there is an entire absence of agreement and each individual
is free to quote such prices as his judgment dictates.

Attitude of the association toward price lists issued by the
Lumbermen's Bureau. — After John R. Walker, for many years
secretary of the North Carolina Pine Association, had left the asso-
ciation he established a company under the title of "The Lumber-
men's Bureau (Inc.)," with headquarters at Washington, D. C. This
concern has published a series of lumber price lists under the title of
"Monthly market report" purporting to be actual selling prices.
Among the species covered is North Carolina pine. There is some
evidence of opposition to these lists, as being irregular or unauthorized
prices, on the part of various prominent association members.

The following are the first and practically the only mention of the
North Carolina pine reports issued by the Lumbermen's Bureau (Inc.)
which were found during an examination of the trade papers. In the
Norfolk news of the St. Louis Lumberman, of October 15, 1908, was
the following: "The October 1st market report of the Lumbermen's
Bureau showed that air dried edge box was bringing $11.50 at

While in the New Orleans Lumber Trade Journal of the same date
it was stated: "The Market Report of the Lumbermen's Bureau for
October 1 puts air dried edge box at $11.50 at Norfolk and kiln dried
edge box at $12.50."

As has already been shown, on page 279, R. H. Morris, secretary of
the North Carolina Pine Association, was the Norfolk correspondent
for the New Orleans Lumber Trade Journal at this time.

President Fosburgh's address, at the semiannual meeting of the
association October 22, 1908, contained this statement in reference
to the association price work:

Market reports showing these prices and various other infor-
mation will be furnished you from time to time as the market


fluctuates. These prices, and other information, can be defi-
nitely relied upon, and no time should be wasted on, or confidence
attached to any so-called Market Reports emanating from any
source outside of this Association.

Mr. Morris was also the Norfolk correspondent of the American
Lumberman. In the October 31, 1908, issue of this paper, under the
Norfolk news, was the following statement:

The market report of October 22, formulated as a basis of
prices, which is recognized by the North Carolina Pine Associa-
tion and the trade generally, quotes 4/4 kiln dried box edge at
$13.50; 6-inch, $14; 8-inch, $14.50; 10-inch, $15.50; 12-inch,
$17. [Further prices follow.]

An examination of the Norfolk market news, in the papers for which
Morris was correspondent, shows his care when referring to the "mar-
ket reports" of the association to add some such statement as "used
as a basis by the North Carolina Pine Association, and the North Car-
olina Pine trade at large," or "which is the recognized authority by
the trade at large," or "the recognized basis." Such statements do
not occur in the North Carolina pine-market news from other cities.
It is probable that the addition of the words "and is the only official
fist" on the cover of the August 17, 1909, "market report," to the
statement which appeared in the previous association "market re-
port" of December 21, 1908, was due to a desire to distinguish the
association's price lists from those of the Lumbermen's Bureau.
Succeeding market reports have also been designated as "the only
official fist."

The Bureau has made no comparison of the prices shown in the
various "market reports" issued by the Lumbermen's Bureau (Inc.),
either with the prices as shown in the association "market reports"
nor with the prices obtained from records of actual sales. There is
evidence at hand, however, that the prices published were considered
by many lumbermen to represent actual market conditions with con-
siderable accuracy. In a letter written December 14, 1911, by B. A.
Johnson of the Lumber World Review to George K. Smith, secretary
of the Yellow Pine Manufacturers' Association, the following state-
ment is made to the work of the Lumbermen's Bureau (Inc.). Re-
ferring to market quotations on lumber as published in the lumber
press he said:

This condition of constitutional prevarication which has per-
vaded the lumber Press of the country for ten years, received,
about two years ago, a most desperate jolt by the assumption of
two or three young men that they might open a Bureau in an
eastern city, and from that place prepare each month, and send
to the trade, a market report about lumber conditions, which
would be the absolute, unadulterated, brutal facts.

The Lumber Press cried it down; many lumbermen talked
against it, but the work of the. Riirsau went, on. and the purpose


Online LibraryUnited States. Bureau of CorporationsThe lumber industry .. → online text (page 36 of 119)