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has been a national shame and a national crime for years, what has been happening in the coal industry.
Prior to N. R. A. I could count on the fingers of both of my hands the number of substantial coal-producing companies in this country who were solvent.
Why, the Pittsburgh Coal Co., one of the greatest coal companies in this country, in a 9-year period lost $35,000,000. They lost an average of 30 cents a ton for 9 years on every ton of coal that came out of those mines.
Mr. VINSON. What is their position with respect to this bill?
Mr. LEWIS. Why, they are against the Guffey bill, although the enactment of the N. R. A. and the Bituminous Coal Code and the collective bargaining wiped out that 30 cents a ton loss and put them in the black for the first time for 9 years, and they are against the Guffey bill now.
Mr. VINSON. What was their attitude toward the original GuffeySnyder bill?
Mr. Lewis. They were for it. They worked for it. Their lawyers sat in conference, their officers sat in conference with representatives of the United Mine Workers, and other operators.
They served on the operators' committee, and urged it, and they have recently withdrawn and become opponents of the bill.
Mr. VINSON. Do you know what caused their change of attitude? Mr. LEWIS. I do not. Mr. VINSON. Were there changes made in the bill that was originally drafted?
Mr. LEWIS. I think that the representatives of the company now say that they are displeased with certain provisions of the marketing clauses that have been recommended here by the committee of operators, which are now in the bill, with which the United Mine Workers had nothing to do, but be it said for the Pittsburgh Coal Co., as I know them, if anybody can survive under those marketing clauses, and if anybody can secure any good from this rapacity, the Pittsburgh Coal Co. will get all that is coming to them, because they always do.
Mr. VINSON. In the original bill, as I understand it, there were certain statutory allocations, were there not, and in the present bill, the revised bill, that is omitted?
Mr. LEWIS. That is right. I do not know whether the question of allocation alone is responsible for changing their attitude, and I doubt that the provisions of the marketing feature really are responsible for changing the attitude of the Pittsburgh Coal Co. I do not know. Perhaps Mr. Mellon changed his mind. He has at times changed his mind for instance when the Pittsburgh Coal Co. repudiated an agreement with the United Mine Workers of America, and evicted all the members of our organization from the company houses, and imported strike-breakers, and took the jobs and houses of the strike-breakers because they were willing to work at a lower wage. They do these things. We resent them. They employed coal and iron police, and have practiced every atrocity upon my people. The Pittsburgh Coal Co. is dominated by the Mellon family, the same as the Consolidation Coal Co. is dominated by the Rockefellers. They want the unrestrained right to do as they please, of course. We are against it, because it does not consider the public interest, and it does not consider the interest of the employee.
Why, Mr. John Morrow, one of the officers of the Pittsburgh Coal Co.-Mr. Morrow is president-had a salary increase, and there were many large bonuses paid, because of the wonderful prosperity which had come to the Pittsburgh Coal Co., under the Bituminous Code, under N. R. A.
Mr. VINSON. Do you know of any weakness in the constitutional framework of the revised bill that could have brought about that change in attitude?
Mr. LEWIS. I confess that I do not.
Mr. VINSON. The point I want to make is, when they were supporting the original Guffey-Snyder bill, we heard-at least, I heardno constitutional objection raised by them to it, and certainly, with all the study that has been made, and the changes which have been mentioned, strengthening the constitutionality, their change in attitude toward the revised bill certainly would not be on constitutional grounds in my humble opinion.
Mr. LEWIS. I agree with you, Congressman, entirely, but this is the story as I heard it. About 2 weeks ago the executive committee of the Pittsburgh Coal Co. had a meeting in Pittsburgh, and Mr. Don Rose, who is general counsel of the Pittsburgh Coal Co., reported to the executive committee that he had discovered that the Guffey bill was unconstitutional, and the Pittsburgh Coal Co., being desirous of doing nothing that is unconstitutional, except evicting a family from a company house, or using coal and iron police to beat them up, promptly decided that they would not support the Guffey bill.
That story has been somewhat changed by officers of the company telling me that they are not really against the bill, but they do not like the marketing clauses, and I do not know what their attitude is. I know that they ought to be for the bill, that they ought to make that much of a contribution to western Pennsylvania and to those communities there. The miners in Allegheny County, where the Mellon fortunes were made-I know that Andrew Mellon ought to make that much contribution, out of his billions, and go along with a proposition that is going to give something to the people who helped him to build up his fortune, 'the men in the mining industry.
He pays Mr. John Morrow, president of that company, according to the Securities and Exchange Commission, $74,000 a year. He pays the executive vice president $29,000, and the production vice president $27,000, and the sales vice president $27,000. They paid all those salaries under N. R. A. and still operated in the black.
Now they are bidding for business 20, 30, 40, 50, and 60 cents below the accredited code prices for coal, and the Pittsburgh Coal Co. is enthusiastically going back into the conditions that existed prior to N. R. A., when they lost $35,000,000 of Andrew Mellon's money in a period of 9 years.
Mr. TREADWAY. I would like to ask one more question of you, Mr. Lewis.
Mr. LEWIS. Yes, sir.
Mr. TREADWAY. It is getting a little late, and you have been on the stand a long time. I was considerably impressed, I must admit, with
some testimony we had here that are provisions of this bill, would close the coal fields in certain areas. I think that is particularly applicable to southern Illinois. Would you care to touch on that argument?
Mr. LEWIS. Delighted, Congressman, I do not know how this bill could close up any area.
Mr. TREADWAY. There is a provision in it for the purchase of land, of course.
Mr. Lewis. Yes; but the only way for any area to be closed up is for the Government to buy them up and give them value received. I do not know how it could be said that that at the present time, in any one area, more than another, would be true, because that would be left to the judgment of the Commission, upon a scientific investigation of the facts and conditions existing there, but I do not know why anyone would want to buy any of those mines in southern Illinois, around the Belleville district, for any reason. They are just little hodge-podge patches of coal, left there, and they are now mined in small pieces, by small operations, after the larger mines, over a period of something like 75 years have worked out the high-class mining areas in that seam. What happened there is that
a large number of very small mines are in operation supplying the St. Louis (Mo.) market by truck, and the coal is mined from the small mines and mined in small acreages.
There would be no point in their purchase, so far as I can see, because they merely serve a local domestic market, going over the bridge to St. Louis in trucks, in great numbers, and we cannot see how in the world anyone would think that that area is going to be put out of business under this bill.
As a matter of fact, there is nothing in this bill or in the Bituminous Coal Code that would bring a hardship to the small producer or the small businessman.
The Bituminous Coal Code was a godsend for the small producer in this country. It brought into life literally thousands of them, developing new small mines and delivering by truck; and they deliver over great areas. By the way, someone said here that perhaps 100 miles was a fair radius on those distributions from those small mines. Perhaps it is on the real small ones with poor equipment, but we have trucked coal going from the Tuscarorus field of Ohio into Detroit in trucks hauling with a trailer 30 tons, 225 and 250 miles.
One thing that is happening to the railroads, they keep on raising freight rates. They raised them recently on coal, and they drive more business to these trucks.
There are anywhere from 30 million to 40 million tons of that smalltruck production being produced throughout the country. Much of it has been brought into being by the N. R. A. and the higher prices because those small mines without any fixed overhead or taxes, bond issues, or management or engineers, are able to live and flourish at any price the commercial operator can live on.
So I think that the point that was stressed by some of the witnesses here that any particular area was going to be punished under this bill is rather far fetched; at least, that is not the intent insofar as we can understand it.
Mr. JENKINS. What is your opinion about this title II? Do you think that as a general rule increase in the price of coal causes a lot of new small mines to open? Is that right?
Mr. LEWIS. Yes.
Mr. JENKINS. Do you think this title II would prevent that old rule operating?
Mr. Lewis. I do not know how far title II would do that thing at all. I think title II is directed, very largely directed, at retiring some of the high-cost uneconomic mining operations that are now trying to live and produce coal. There was a gentleman on the witness stand here this morning suggesting the fact that he did not want under this bill to accept a high price for his low-cost mine with a low freight rate into Chicago. His mine, by the way, is an open-surface mine, Congressman. You scoop it off with steam shovels or electric shovels, and load it with machinery. One man produces probably 30 to 35 tons a day under that kind of arrangement.
Mr. TREADWAY. It is very seldom anyone objects to getting more.
Mr. LEWIS. Exactly so. But these high-cost uneconomic mines with obsolete equipment and poor management and poor quality of coal, with a high cost of production, make it necessary to charge a high price or else they will claim it will run them out of business. It
will be a very definite contribution to the industry under this act to purchase some of those mines and retire them and permit a lowering of the general sales price of the industry.
Mr. JENKINS. You are thoroughly familiar with the conditions in southern Ohio?
Mr. LEWIS. Quite.
Mr. JENKINS. You know that over a period of 40 years coal fields work themselves out quite completely in some instances. Take for instance Jackson County, Ohio. Forty years ago Jackson County, Ohio, was one of the banner counties in the State in production.
Mr. LEWIS. Yes.
Mr. JENKINS. Today its production is limited altogether to small mines. There are probably 300 small mines in that county producing anywhere from 50 tons down to 5 tons a day on an average.
What would be your judgment as to whether the Government would ever find it necessary or convenient under this title II to buy up that kind of land and close down production?
Mr. Lewis. I do not know of anything of less consequence under this bill in relation to the whole general picture than Jackson County, Ohio. There are about 1,200 men that get about 3 months work & year in those little mines, and they serve a local purpose there.
Mr. JENKINS. Then it is not the intention at all to put that class of people out of work?
Mr. LEWIS. The intention was to use this money to concentrate the production of the industry into fewer mines by retiring some of these high-cost uneconomic properties and also at the same time to permit a lowering of the price to the public.
Mr. Chairman, one of the young men from the Twin Cities who testified for the retailers here said that strikes had driven anthracite out of the Northwest. Whoever sent the young man here suffered & total loss on his train fare, because he did not quite understand that subject and was not competent to testify on it. Anthracite was
zoned out of the Northwest by Dr. Harry A. Garfield of the Fuel Administration when operating under the Lever Act during the war. It was zoned out to save the cross haul and to save the railroad equipment, and to be used in its restricted area and let bituminous serve that country. And anthracite never was able to recover that territory after it was zoned out for the war period. That was the story of anthracite there.
The anthracite industry might complain that the bituminous industry came into New England during some strikes that they had there, because the anthracite industry refused to renew a wage scale with the mine workers in 1925 and closed the industry down for 6 months, while they sent their engineers and their young men up to New England to teach the New Englanders to burn bituminous, much to the aggravation of my friends from the low volatile fields of the south and central Pennsylvania.
Mr. TREADWAY. I never understood before why you could buy bituminous up in our country for perhaps $5, and as a result of that strike it went to double that and never has gone back down again. Is not that about right?
Mr. Lewis. That is right, substantially so. The mine workers did not get any increase out of that strike. They went back to work at the same wages.
Mr. TREADWAY. The poor old consumer, though, had to pay the bill.
Mr. LEWIS. Let me tell you what the railroads do. This might interest Dr. Duncan if he is here. The railroads take that difference. The anthracite coal-carrying railroads charge twice the ton-mile carrying charge for carrying anthracite what the railroads do for carrying bituminous, and the spread between the mine cost of the anthracite at the colliery to your consumers in New England is just three times, 300 percent in many instances; and the railroads and the distributors take it, and the miners do not get it.
Again, our railroads are levying all the traffic will bear, but at the same time they are denying the right of the suffering, stricken coal industry to ask the Government even for moral assistance and the extension of a little credit on a self-liquidating bill that they bring in here.
Mr. TREADWAY. Is it not likewise true that some of the cost of that anthracite in New England goes to the charities sponsored by the Girard trust?
Mr. LEWIS. Oh, yes. Royalties are being paid on an exorbitant basis to the Girard trust and other holders of coal mines there, who secured the coal generations ago for practically nothing and who are now asking anywhere from 40 cents à ton to as high as $1.40 a ton royalty, a fixed charge for the coal that leaves the mine.
Mr. TREADWAY. And that money goes into charity?
Mr. LEWIS. It goes into charity. They take it out of the purses of your workers in New England and they give it to some benevolent enterprise to run a school or something of that kind.
I want to show the members of this committee two statements of two employees of the Dawson Daylight Coal Co. in west Kentucky, who are represented here by a representative of their company union, the Independent Miners Union, and these are typical and characteristic.