Mr. DINKINS. Yes, sir; and the other gentleman who is here--I do not recall

Mr. SPENCER (interposing). Escalante?

Mr. DINKINS. Escalante.

Mr. FISHER. When did you first meet Mr. Escalante?

Mr. DINKINS. I think it was last Monday. I am not sure, but I think it was last Monday.

Mr. FISHER. How many times have you ever met Julio Rendon? Mr. DINKINS. I would say about 50.

Mr. FISHER. And Dr. Rendon you have met a great many times, I judge?

Mr. DINKINS. About 250.

Mr. FISHER. How many members of the Reguladora Comision are there now, do you know?

Mr. DINKINS. There are five.

Mr. FISHER. Was not the number changed from 5 to 10?

Mr. DINKINS. I do not know.

Mr. FISHER. Are there not 10, Dr. Rendon?

Dr. RENDON. Yes.

Mr. FISHER. There are 10 members, are there not, Doctor?
Dr. RENDON. Yes.

Mr. DINKINS. I did not know that.

Mr. MAYER. Maj. Dinkins, you were asked, and I should have asked you the question on redirect, but I omitted to do so. You were asked by Mr. Fisher to express your opinion and you said you would prefer not to express any opinion. Do you recall the occasion, once or twice on your cross-examination?

Mr. DINKINS. Yes, sir; I did that on the theory that we were giving all the facts here, and it was a matter for the committee to form its own opinion about.

Mr. MAYER. You know and have known for some time of the letter · written by Peabody & Co., of Boston, which is in evidence, in which the sisal buyers were in effect advised to boycott the Comision Reguladora?

Mr. DINKINS. Yes, sir.

Mr. MAYER. You have seen that letter?

Mr. DINKINS. Yes, sir.

Mr. MAYER. And read it?

Mr. DINKINS. It is my letter.

Mr. MAYER. It is your letter?

Mr. DINKINS. Yes, sir.

Mr. MAYER. It was in. answer to a letter you had sent?

Mr. DINKINS. Yes, sir.

Mr. MAYER. You have stated that you made these visits to the various departments of the Government in November, have you not? Mr. DINKINS. Yes, sir.

Mr. MAYER. You have stated, too, what your ideas or views were as to who had stirred up the controversy and the agitation and the opposition?

Mr. DINKINS. Yes, sir.

Mr. MAYER. You are familiar with what was endeavored to be done by the International officials with at least two banks, the National City of New York and the Continental & Commercial National?

Mr. DINKINS. Well, I am, in the way that I have indicated, that I know absolutely about the Continental & Commercial, and about the National City it is just as I have stated.

Mr. MAYER. Taking all the facts, as you know them, and as you have testified to them, I wish you would answer the question and tell us your view of this situation.

Mr. FISHER. You mean the question he preferred not to answer yesterday?

Mr. MAYER. Yes; just answer the question.

Mr. DINKINS. If you mean whether or not in my judgment these various difficulties and obstructions which you mentioned were inspired or inaugurated from a single source or from two or three sources closely related, I want to say that it is my deliberate judgment that they were.

The CHAIRMAN. And what is your

Mr. DINKINS (continuing). And that some large interests, with powerful connections and a great deal of influence, well managed, resourceful, and with ample capital, have been directing these various attacks against this company in order to defeat its organization and operation, and in order to embarrass Mr. Wexler and myself in our efforts to do the business. That is my judgment, sir.

Mr. FISHER. The chairman has asked you a question.

The CHAIRMAN. I ask you what organizations you had in mind. You have stated that they were powerful organizations; now, tell us, in your judgment, who were the organizations?

Mr. DINKINS. Well, Mr. Chairman, I believe that it was the International Harvester Co. and the Plymouth Cordage Co., and that belief is based on just what I have said to you gentlemen. It may be that I do them an injustice. I do not want to, but that is my opinion.

The CHAIRMAN. Any further questions?

Mr. FISHER. That is all.

The CHAIRMAN. Before you put on another witness

Mr. ORTH. Could I ask Mr. Dinkins a question?

The CHAIRMAN. Yes; go ahead.

Mr. ORTH. You have stated, Mr. Dinkins, that the negotiations with the Comision Reguladora were conducted by you alone for a considerable period before Mr. Wexler and your other associates were called into the negotiations, and that you at first were the only one to discuss matters with Mr. Browne. Will you say what Mr. Browne represented the objects of the Comision Reguladora to be, in seeking financial assistance in this country?

Mr. DINKINS. Yes. He said that the Comision Reguladora desired. to assist the farmers of Yucatan to get a better price for their sisal. Mr. ORTH. Did he give any other reason?


Mr. ORTH. Did he say anything to the effect that the Comision Reguladora intended to prescribe regulations there whereunder they would monopolize the production of sisal?

Mr. DINKINS. No; not that I recollect.

Mr. ORTH. At what time did you first see Mr. Browne?

Mr. DINKINS. It was in the early part of 1915. I do not recollect the exact time.

Mr. ORTH. And negotiations which took the shape of any definiteness did not occur, as I understood from your testimony, until September or October, 1915?

Mr. DINKINS. Well, I did not pay much attention to Mr. Browne for a long time. He wrote a lot of letters, but I did not read the letters. That is the fact of the matter. They used to come in the mails, but we did not seriously consider the proposition until some date approximately as you state.

Mr. ORTH. At that time did you know that the Comision Reguladora had made or intended to make regulations in Yucatan whereby they would control the total supply of Yucatan sisal?

Mr. DINKINS. Well, I do not know whether I did or not.

Mr. ORTH. If you had known it, would it have affected your action in the matter?

Mr. DINKINS. I could not answer that either, that is entirely hypothetical.

Mr. FISHER. Mr. Dinkins, you and Mr. Wexler-in view of this question you were told by Mr. Browne that the Reguladora could not carry out its plans, whatever they were, without getting this financial assistance that you and Mr. Wexler could give it, were you not?

Mr. DINKINS. No; he did not say that.

Mr. FISHER. What was said?

Mr. DINKINS. He said that it would greatly facilitate the Comision Reguladora if they could establish a credit in the United States. Mr. FISHER. And enable them to carry out their plans?


The CHAIRMAN. Mr. Spencer, call your next witness.

Mr. SPENCER. Mr. Chairman, if the committee will permit your reference to the examination of this gentleman from Yucatan, we think it would facilitate and hurry matters along if I were permitted to examine him and let Mr. Fisher cross-examine him later, rather than have him make a statement.

The CHAIRMAN. The committee will consent to that, in view of the fact that these people are from a foreign country and are perhaps not familiar with our language.


Mr. SPENCER. State your full name, Mr. Solis?

Mr. SOLIS. Fernando Solis Camara.

Mr. SPENCER. You are a citizen of Mexico?

Mr. SOLIS. Yes, sir.

Mr. SPENCER. You are engaged in the sisal industry?
Mr. SOLIS. Yes.

Mr. SPENCER. You are a planter?

Mr. SOLIS. Yes, sir.

Mr. SPENCER. How long have you been engaged or been interested in sisal planting in Yucatan?

Mr. SOLIS. All my life. My father was a farmer, and I lived on the farm for a long time, and afterwards I inherited a large part of his business and continued it.

Mr. SPENCER. Are you familiar with the growing and transporting and marketing of sisal?

Mr. SOLIS. Yes, sir.

Mr. SPENCER. Will you briefly, for the information of the committee, describe the operation of creating a sisal plantation, beginning, say, where you go into the virgin land and the operation generally?

Mr. SOLIS. Well, the first thing is to buy the land and to take out the weeds, the trees, to burn it. After burning and cleaning it, you have to place the little plants and place them in a special way, in order that they can get from the earth the necessary amount of sustenance, and you have to, of course, leave them grow during six or seven years, and you have to make cleanings every year, and it is a long task.

Mr. SPENCER. How long does it take from the time you plant the plant before it gets in a condition where you can cut leaves from it? About how many years?

Mr. SOLIS. Regularly seven years; it may be six.

Mr. SPENCER. During all of that time you have no return whatever from your crops?

Mr. SOLIS. No; only expenses.

Mr. SPENCER. Now, the country where these plantations are created, it is heavily wooded, and jungle?

Mr. SOLIS. Not the woods of the very south of the State, but it is fairly wooded.

Mr. SPENCER. And it is necessary for you to keep these plantations clean during the six or seven years?

Mr. SOLIS. Of course, you have to clean them two times a year, and after that one time all the time, until the plant dies.

Mr. SPENCER. What would you say, Mr. Solis, would be the cost of bringing an acre of sisal into full bearing ready for harvesting? Mr. SOLIS. An acre-I think about 13,000 pesos; 14,000 pesos, maybe.

Mr. SPENCER. By that you mean between $600 and $700 an acre? Mr. SOLIS. No. You asked me to state about the cost

Mr. SPENCER (interposing). I mean, how much capital outlay would you have made from the time you bought your plantation to buy your plantation, to fell the trees, to plant it, to clean it, and take care of it and properly fence it, as the law requires, and bring it into full bearing about how much money, including your interest, would you be out of pocket?

Mr. SOLIS. Seven years, it would be about 6,000 pesos, maybe. Mr. SPENCER. I wish you would give that-how much do you mean in American money?

Mr. SOLIS. $3,000.

Mr. SPENCER. An acre? You have made a calculation once before, haven't you?

Mr. SOLIS. Yes, sir.

Mr. SPENCER. Have you got those figures? I believe you made a calculation on the basis of 100 acres, did you not?

Mr. SOLIS. Yes, sir.

Mr. SPENCER. Now, divide the total expenditure by 100 and tell us how much it is.

Mr. SOLIS. It would be 647 pesos.

Mr. FISHER. How much?

Mr. SOLIS. 647 pesos.

Mr. FISHER. 647?

Mr. SOLIS. Yes, sir.

The CHAIRMAN. Do you mean dollars or pesos?

Mr. SOLIS. Pesos. I made the calculation for 100 acres, because that corresponds with our unit in the farming. It is about 64,000 pesos for 100 acres, and about $32,000 or $33,000 for the seven years. The CHAIRMAN. I see.

Mr. SPENCER. In other words, then, an acre would cost in American money about $350?

Mr. SOLIS. Yes, sir.

Mr. SPENCER. Give me the exact figures, if you have reached it, for 1 acre. You said 647.

The CHAIRMAN. That is close enough.

Mr. SPENCER. I do not think I shall go into all these details. Now, were you familiar with the sisal industry in Yucatan, say from 1900 down to date?

Mr. SOLIS. Yes, sir.

Mr. SPENCER. Will you please briefly describe who were the principal buyers of sisal, of the sisal crop of Yucatan, say, in 1900?

Mr. SOLIS. In 1900 there were Molina, the Molina house, the Peirce house, and the Escalante house. They were the principal buyers. Mr. SPENCER. Were there others besides those?"

Mr. SOLIS. Well, more or less there were others who bought very little, almost nothing.

Mr. SPENCER. Now, at that time what was the attitude or the disposition of those houses towards the sisal industry? Were they beneficial or were they prejudicial?

Mr. SOLIS. At that time it was convenient, because the farmers wanted money, and those houses advanced it, so that it was recessary to get some help from them in order to continue the business of hemp, which was of very little productivity.

Mr. SPENCER. Now, after that did anyone or any men or particular set of men obtain the control or monopoly of the purchase of sisal in Yucatan?

Mr. SOLIS. After that; yes.

Mr. SPENCER. Who was it?

Mr. SOLIS. It was Mr. Montes, the successor of the Molina house. Mr. SPENCER. Anybody else?

Mr. SOLIS. Mr. Peirce was entirely at his side. They fixed the price together.

Mr. SPENCER. Did they make the same price or a different price? Mr. SOLIS. Generally it was the same-almost always.

Mr. SPENCER. What proportion, would you say, of the hemp did they control?

Mr. SOLIS. Well, it might be nine-tenths.

Mr. SPENCER. Did they have entire hold on the planters besides the fact that they were merely there purchasing hemp?

Mr. SOLIS. The money that they would loan to the planters made them, of course, very dependent on them.

Mr. SPENCER. When they lent money to the planters, how were the debts to be liquidated?"

Mr. SOLIS. They were generally with fiber.

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