Mr. FISHER. Do they fix it more than once?

Dr. RENDON. I have been told they fix it twice and sometimes once only.

Mr. FISHER. Then the fluctuations in price of binder twine that go up and down here [indicating on chart] do not relate in any way to the prices of the large producers of binder twine if they are fixed twice a year, does it?

Dr. RENDON. Surely.

Mr. FISHER. If they fix the price twice a year, how can it go up and down every month?

Mr. SPENCER. Where do they get the different quotations?

Mr. FISHER. I suppose somebody on the market with small quantities of sisal arranges it-I am merely guessing something like that.

Mr. WEXLER. You fix the various prices that you see fit once or twice a year, and the middle man who sells under you fixes the price at this price he gets in the trade?

Mr. FISHER. I am only asking the witness, Dr. Rendon, what his understanding is.

Mr. WEXLER. He tells you he does not know anything about it. Mr. FISHER. He told me he understood it was fixed twice a year, and yet he produces a chart which shows its fluctuation up and down.

Mr. WEXLER. Fixed by whom?

Dr. RENDON. I think the International Harvester Co. fixes it twice a year, generally in March they fix the price, and I was told that last year it was fixed in

Mr. FISHER. May I have that?

Mr. SPENCER. I think so; that is just a copy; you will understand that that is not an accurate copy.

Mr. FISHER. I will just mark it "Subject to check."

Mr. SPENCER. And the consequence is the lines may be out of


Mr. FISHER. Certainly.

The CHAIRMAN. I believe Mr. Orth stated yesterday, if I understood him, that he had furnished the information on which this was made up.

Mr. FISHER. I do not think what he said relates to this particular table.

Mr. ORTH. We supplied the Cordage Trade Journal with the prices only on hemp.

The CHAIRMAN. Not the binding twine?

Mr. SPENCER. I understand the International Harvester Co. is the one which furnishes the Journal with figures on twine. That is my impression. You can find out from Mr. Delano.

Mr. FISHER. Mr. Spencer, you may have more information about

that than I have.

Mr. WEXLER. Mr. Delano can be subpoenaed to testify.

Mr. FISHER. In event he can not come here we are clearing it up as nearly as we can.

Senator GRONNA. The quotations you refer to are manufacturers' prices!

Mr. FISHER. I suppose so; that is what we understand from Dr.


Dr. RENDON. I understand that the prices are sold to one-
Mr. FISHER. One or two manufacturers?

Dr. RENDON. I suppose it is from jobbers and dealers.

Senator GRONNA. Manufacturers' prices to dealers, I suppose.
Dr. RENDON. Yes; or dealers to the public.

Mr. FISHER. What is your understanding, Doctor, as to that?
Dr. RENDON. Mr. Delano will tell us about that.

The CHAIRMAN. I think the committee would like to have the gentleman who made this table up explain it at this time. I believe it would make the subject clear. If there is no objection, Mr. Meehan will explain that."


Mr. MEEHAN. As to the question put by Mr. Fisher, the idea that the chart should not show any rise and fall of binding twine for an entire year is erroneous, because the Cordage Trade Journal, of which Mr. Fisher seems to have copies, will show that they are quoting prices of binding twine now, the prices made by the independent manufacturers and guaranteed against the prices to be fixed later by the International and the Plymouth, for the reason that the International and the Plymouth do not set their prices now. The Farm Implement News in September published that a large western manufacturer of binding twine had set a price for the 1916 season of 81 cents, but the International has not set its price yet, as I understand it.

Senator GRONNA. For sisal or for manila?

Mr. MEEHAN. For sisal. I went over with Mr. Delano, who is the editor of the Cordage Trade Journal-we went to Mr. Delano because they print that paper twice a month, and, so far as we have been able to find, it is the only cordage paper in the country which carries from issue to issue the prices and detailed information concerning binding twine. So we asked Mr. Delano if he would prepare these prices taken from each issue of his paper of twice a month, and those are the prices that have been printed in the Cordage Trade Journal, of New York, each two weeks during the years mentioned.

And, as I say, while the International Harvester Co. might set a price only once a year, the situation is this to-day, and I think that issue of January 20 that Mr. Fisher refers to will show it. The Cordage Trade Journal wrote letters to each binding-twine manufacturer, so Mr. Delano told me, about the first of the year to find out what the price of sisal binding twine or manila binding twine would be this year. They got some replies, some of which were published, and the Cordage Trade Journal stated that one independent replied, "We are quoting binding twine at 9 cents"-I believe-" or 93 cents, guaranteed against the price to be fixed later by the International Harvester Co. and the Plymouth Cordage Co."`

Mr. FISHER. You mean that if the International or the Plymouth should fix a lower price they would come down accordingly? That is what you mean; or do you know?

Mr. MEEHAN. I asked Mr. Delano what was meant by that, and he said it meant this: That I, for instance, an independent twine

manufacturer, would quote you a price in December of 9 cents a pound on binding twine and include in my contract with you the statement, "guaranteed against the price to be fixed later by the International and Plymouth companies." In the event you sold binding twine at 9 cents, why, of course, I was all right; but if you fixed a price

Mr. FISHER. You mean the International?

Mr. MEEHAN. Yes, sir; the International. If the International fixed a price of 9 cents I would still be compelled, as I understand, to deliver to you at 9 cents; but if the International fixed a price at 8 cents I would be compelled to lower my price to you. That is what I understand from Mr. Delano. Whether that is correct or not, I do not know.

I went around to Mr. Delano's office and went over the Cordage Trade Journals with him and checked them, and those prices in that chart were the prices that he printed in the Cordage Journal each two weeks during the period from 1900 to 1915.

The CHAIRMAN. Both for sisal and for twine?

Mr. MEEHAN. For sisal and for twine-no; as to the sisal quotations. Mr. Delano furnished the quotations on sisal, I believe, from 1901-may I see that chart just a minute [examining chart]?

We had a chart which had been published by H. S. Lent & Co., of New York, sisal brokers, and it was their chart which showed fluctuations of manila hemp, sisal, and New Zealand hemp from 1902 to 1912. That being a reputable firm of brokers in New York and these charts having been issued at a time when there was no question such as is up to-day between us and the International, we accepted those figures as being substantially correct; and from 1902, I believe, to 1912, inclusive, the fluctuations on sisal fiber represent the fluctuations as shown by the chart of H. S. Lent & Co., fiber brokers, of New York.

For 1901, that was furnished by Mr. Delano, of the Cordage Trade Journal, and from 1912 to 1915 the prices on fiber were furnished by Mr. Delano. The prices on binding twine are all Mr. Delano's figures, and taken each two weeks from the Cordage Trade Journal. Mr. WEXLER. Mr. Chairman, may I ask him one question? Mr. Meehan, have you ever heard whether the International Harvester Co. or the Plymouth Cordage Co. ever disputed the quotations in the Cordage Trade Journals or claimed they were incorrect? Mr. MEEHAN. No.

Mr. WEXLER. Have you ever heard whether they have ever disputed the chart of Lent & Co. ?

Mr. MEEHAN. I never have.

Mr. WEXLER: Or questioned their correctness?


Mr. FISHER. I do not know what it would tend to prove.

Mr. WEXLER. Just whether they have ever disputed them or not. Mr. FISHER. Well, I don't think it tends to prove that.

Senator GRONNA. What is meant by these quotations? Do you mean they represent the price of the manufacturer to the dealer, or what do you mean?

Mr. MEEHAN. The quotations for binding twine are in cents per pound, as shown by the chart, for carload lots. And I believe Mr. Delano told me the price for western delivery was one-quarter cent

higher. I am not sure about that. That is the price from manufacturers to dealers in carload lots, f. o. b. New York or eastern factories.

Mr. FISHER. Mr. Meehan, did you talk with Mr. Delano about what these prices on binder twine meant? I mean, did you discuss with him the question of the fixed price once or twice a year by the larger producers as compared with the fluctuating prices of these other people who guaranteed against the price of the large producers?

Mr. MEEHAN. Well, I had never heard, Mr. Fisher-when I went around to see Mr. Delano about these figures he told me that the big companies had not fixed their price yet for binding twine, and Ĭ asked him then where he got his quotations. He said he got them by appealing to the different binding-twine factories. For instance, he said that he did not quote prison twine at all, for the reason that prison twine is usually lower in price than the prices fixed by the International and Plymouth. He only quotes the prices of independents, the International and the Plymouth. But the explanation he gave to me of that part of the contract between the independentsthat is, the small twine manufacturers-and the dealers was substantially as I stated it just now; that is, guaranteed against the prices to be fixed later by the International and the Plymouth.

Mr. FISHER. Then the prices which he gave you which fluctuate with the months were the prices of the smaller independent dealers which were guaranteeing against the more uniform price of the larger dealers?

Mr. MEEHAN. No, Mr. Fisher. The prices represented by that chart are the prices printed each two weeks in the Cordage Trade Journal.

Mr. FISHER. Yes; but I am getting back of that. What are the prices printed in the Cordage Trade Journal? Are they anything at all but the prices of the independent producer who is making these contracts with the guarantee against the larger concerns? Are they anything else but that?

Mr. MEEHAN. I think they are, Mr. Fisher

Mr. FISHER. What can they be?

Mr. MEEHAN. I think they are; but I would rather have Mr. Delano testify about that.

The CHAIRMAN. State your explanation of it.

Mr. MEEHAN. My idea is that, for instance, I believe you people usually fix a price about February or March-I mean the International. So I judge that after this next month the prices carried in the Cordage Trade Journal will be the prices fixed by the International and the Plymouth.

Mr. FISHER. And then they would be uniform for the rest of the year?

Mr. MEEHAN. No. If you people are not selling in August and September and an independent is selling, the Cordage Trade Journal will give the trade the benefit of the fact that the prices are down

or up.

Mr. FISHER. Let us see if we can not clear it up. Suppose that in a given year in March the International Harvester Co. should announce that so far as its purchasers are concerned it will sell twine at

a certain price, which will be uniform to everybody for the rest of the season. That price would not fluctuate?

Mr. MEEHAN. It does, Mr. Fisher. And I believe that in the testimony given by Mr. Daniels in the case of the United States Government against the International Harvester Co., the antitrust suit, Mr. Daniels testified that you people in 1909, I believe, had a fightwhich, I understand, was something rather unusual-with the Plymouth Cordage Co. And he said that in 1909 you people set a price in the fall of the year, and the Plymouth Cordage Co. cut your price a quarter of a cent or half a cent, and later you came to that price; so that those two prices the International fixed within a short time. Mr. FISHER. In 1909?

Mr. MEEHAN. In 1909. And according to Mr. Daniels's testimony, an effort was made a little bit later-or according to testimony, I do not remember exactly who gave it; either Mr. Groendyke or Mr. Daniels-an effort was made a little bit later to have the International and Plymouth come together and agree to raise the price of twine and put it back where you people had put it when you first announced your price.

Mr. FISHER. Now, let us get the facts if we can. You say it is your understanding that the International Harvester Co. or the Plymouth Cordage Co., as the case may be, announced a price at the beginning of the season?

Mr. MEEHAN. Well, not every year. I believe, from the information I have that is my understanding-that it is customary to announce a price somewhere between February and March; somewhere along there.

Mr. FISHER. Now, does that price remain uniform for the rest of the season, as far as those two concerns go, respectively?

Mr. MEEHAN. As I said, in that particular case in 1909, I know that it did not; but whether it does all along, Mr. Fisher, I do not know. Mr. LORING. What was the date when the price was changed? Mr. MEEHAN. It was in 1909, Mr. Loring.

Mr. LORING. What was the season of the year?

Mr. MEEHAN. I think it was in October or November.

Mr. LORING. When does the twine season end?

Mr. MEEHAN. I am not acquainted with that fact.

Mr. FISHER. I really do not think we need to waste much time on it as far as this point is concerned, because the chart shows there was no change from May to the end of the year in either the price of sisal or the price of binding twine, in 1909.

Mr. MEEHAN. Well, there was a change in price of sisal in 1909. Was there not quite a rapid rise there [indicating on chart]? Mr. FISHER. Yes; the red line is the sisal fiber.

Mr. MEEHAN. Right here, where this appears

Mr. FISHER. Give the month.

Mr. MEEHAN. In April, 1909, the price of sisal was 43 cents.

Mr. SPENCER. Those are prices in New York, are they not?

Mr. MEEHAN. Yes; the price in New York. Then that shows a rise of from 4 to 63 cents, the line being almost double. The CHAIRMAN. In what month?

Mr. MEEHAN. In May, 1909. According to the testimony given by Mr. Daniels, and according to other testimony brought out in this

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