Mr. MAYER. Is Mr. Orth counsel for the International Harvester Co. or for anybody but his own firm?

Mr. FISHER. I understand he is representing the Reguladora. [Laughter.]

The CHAIRMAN. He requested permission to come here to represent himself, which the chairman of the committee told him he could do. Go ahead, Mr. Orth.

Mr. ORTH. Mr. Solis, have there not at times in the past been many mortgages on plantations in Yucatan?

Mr. SOLIS. Yes, sir.

Mr. ORTH. Are there more mortgages now at the present time than there were, say, five years ago?

Mr. SOLIS. I think not, in a general way. Of course, I can not say, but in a general way I think many farmers paid their mortgages on account of the inflation of the currency.

Mr. ORTH. Do not the majority of the planters in Yucatan live in what we here call "good style"? In other words, do they spend large sums annually for living expenses?

Mr. SOLIS. No; they are not brokers in New York City; they are only farmers.

Mr. ORTH. I said "planters." I meant to ask you-putting it more simply, perhaps are there not many wealthy planters in Yucatan?

Mr. SOLIS. NO; I do not know of any that might be considered wealthy. There are some that can live a little decently, but I do not know of any of great wealth.

Mr. ORTH. Do you know of any planters in Yucatan whom you would call wealthy?

Mr. SOLIS. Not wealthy; no.

Mr. ORTH. In regard to the present taxes in Yucatan, Mr. Solis, did I understand you to say that the export tax is 1 cent a pound? Mr. SOLIS. Yes.

Mr. ORTH. Gold?

Mr. SOLIS. I think it is a cent a kilo.

Mr. ORTH. A cent a kilo, gold?

Mr. SOLIS. Mexican gold.

Mr. ORTH. That is half a cent American gold?

Mr. SOLIS. Yes, sir.

Mr. ORTH. Did I understand you to say the tax was deducted from the 4 cents a pound which the Comision Reguladora is now paying for your hemp?

Mr. SOLIS. NO; I did not say that. I don't know-we receive 4 cents.

Mr. ORTH. Is it not true that the Comision Reguladora takes your hemp at 4 cents and pays the Federal export tax, and that you receive the 4 cents?

Mr. ORTH. We receive the 4 cents.

The CHAIRMAN. Mr. Town, won't you kindly give us a little information? We are doing this, gentlemen, because Mr. Town is a public official and wants to get home.

28201-VOL 1-16- -24


The CHAIRMAN. Please state your name and your official position in the State of Wisconsin?

Mr. Town. Henry Town.

The CHAIRMAN. And what is your position?

Mr. Town. I am warden of the Wisconsin State Prison.

The CHAIRMAN. I am going to ask Senator Gronna to question


Senator GRONNA. Will you kindly state to the committee the amount of sisal hemp used by your institution during the year? Mr. Town. About 8,000 bales.

Senator GRONNA. About 8,000 bales. That is what?

Mr. Town. That is, of Mexican sisal.

Senator GRONNA. And do you use some Manila hemp?

Mr. Town. Yes, sir.

Senator GRONNA. How much, about?

Mr. Town. Well, the Manila and the East African and the Java would take up about 4,000 bales more.

Senator GRONNA. So that the total capacity, then, of your plant is about

Mr. Town (interposing). About 12,000 bales.

Senator GRONNA. About 12,000 bales? .

Mr. Town. Yes, sir.

Senator GRONNA. And will you also state to the committee, or can you give the committee the average price of sisal per year?

Mr. Town. I have got all of it right here in my pocket that has ever been bought at the institution.

Mr. MAYER. And from whom bought?

Mr. Town. And from whom bought?

Senator GRONNA. I wish you would give the figures to the committee for such years as you have, so that we may incorporate them into the record.

Mr. Town. We are new in the business, have not been at it very long. We are small. Do you want it for this year?

Mr. SPENCER. Suppose you start at the very beginning.

Senator GRONNA. Yes.

The CHAIRMAN. Start at the beginning. It would be more logical, and bring it down.

Mr. Town. All right. September, 1912, 807 bales at 5.70, from Hanson & Orth; 21st, 193 bales, 5.70, from Hanson & Orth; 500 bales on August 12, at 5.70, from Montes; 500 bales on November 9, at 6.90, from Hanson & Orth.

Mr. MAYER. What date was that?

Mr. Town. November 9, 1912.

Mr. MAYER. 6.90.

Mr. Town. November 11, 500, bales at 7.55, from Montes; November 25, 1,000 bales from Hanson & Orth, at 7.40; December 12, 1,250 bales from Montes, at 7.62; May 28, 1913, 1,000 bales, at 7.25, from Hanson & Orth; June 10, 1,000 bales, at 6.84, from Montes;

June 23, 200 bales, at 7.15, from H. W. Peabody; July 24, 300 bales, at 7.15, from Peabody; August 13, 250 bales from Montes, at 6.93; August 19, 2,000 bales, at 6.69, from Hanson & Orth; September 9, 500 bales, at 6.60, from Montes; October 7, 498 bales, at 6.60, from Montes; October 8, 500 bales, at 6.12, from Montes; October 14, 500 bales, at 6.121, from Montes; October 25, 500 bales, at 6.44, from Montes; October 29, 500 bales, at 6.44, from Montes; November 4, 1,000 bales, at 5.90, from Montes; December 24, 1,000 balesThe CHAIRMAN. That is, 1913?

Mr. Town. 1913, 1,000 bales, at 5.90, from Montes; January 6, 1914, 500 bales, at 5.52, from Hanson & Orth; June 16, 1,000 bales, at 5.50, from Peabody; July 28, 497 bales, at 5.24, from Hanson & Orth; September 15, 594 bales, at 4.12, from Hanson & Orth; September 18, 410 bales, at 4.12, from Hanson & Orth; September 28, 191 bales, at 3.40, from Peabody; November 9, 1,500 bales, at 4.25, from Peabody.

Mr. MAYER. What date was that?

Mr. Town. November 9.

Mr. MAYER. November 9?

Mr. Town. Yes, sir. November 9, 300, at 4.121, from Peabody. Mr. SPENCER. Is that all in current sisal?

Mr. Town. That is all white sisal.

Mr. ORTH. Are those prices delivered Waupun?

Mr. Town. That is all Waupun.

The CHAIRMAN. At what point?

Mr. Town. Waupun, Wis. October 6, 1,000 bales, at 3.64, from Hanson & Orth; November 19, 1,000 bales, at 4, from H. W. Peabody; November 19-this is 1914-700 bales, at 4.12, from Peabody; September 8, 1915, 500 bales, at 5.75, from Montes; October 14, 1915, 471 bales, at 5.15, from Hanson & Orth. December 8, 1915, 500 bales, at 6.86, from the Comision Reguladora. That ends it.

Senator GRONNA. About what would the average price be?

Mr. Town. I could not say. It is a long string, and I could not average it for you.

Senator GRONNA. How do you dispose of your twine?

Mr. Town. We sell to the dealers and to the farmers both. The farmer clubs.

Senator GRONNA. And what do you generally add as cost of production?

Mr. Town. The manufacturing cost is a little less than a cent.
Senator GRONNA. A little less than a cent?

Mr. Town. Yes, sir.

Senator GRONNA. We had a statement before us here this forenoon where it showed that a certain prison added 2.18 as cost.

Mr. Town. That would take in the overhead and the charge to depreciation and the interest on the investment. I think that would be somewhere pretty near right.

Senator GRONNA. That would be about right?

Mr. Town. Yes, sir. I was speaking of the mill cost before. Senator GRONNA. The figures I referred to would be the total cost, would it?

Mr. Town. The total cost-the collections made, discounts, and charges to profit and loss, and such things as that.

Senator GRONNA. How do you fix your prices? Is that fixed by the prison board?

Mr. Town. That is fixed by the board of control and warden. That is one board. The warden sits with them and he has a vote with them in making the price. The statute provides for that.

Senator GRONNA. What do you take as a basis for fixing this price? Mr. Town. The cost of the raw material, of course, and the labor and the interest on the investment, depreciation, and everything that any other manufacturer would take.

Senator GRONNA. Nothing else is taken into consideration in fixing the prices to the consumer or to the dealer with whom you deal? Mr. Town. No, sir.

Senator GRONNA. Can you tell the committee if your prices have been the same or lower or higher than the prices for the same grade of twine?

Mr. FISHER. By other manufacturers?

Senator GRONNA. By other manufacturers.

Mr. Town. I think we are a little lower.
Senator GRONNA. A little lower?

Mr. Town. I think so.

Senator GRONNA. Could you dispose of more twine than you are now manufacturing?

Mr. Town. Yes, sir.

The CHAIRMAN. Do you attempt to reach out of your own State? Mr. Town. Oh, yes; we go into several States.

The CHAIRMAN. Do you make more than your own people can consume?

Mr. Town. No; we do not make anywhere near; not a quarterjust about a quarter of what we consume. We make about 4,000,000,

or a little over, and the State consumes about 16,000,000, I think. The CHAIRMAN. Is it the effort of your board to make any serious profit or important profit on this or just to furnish work for your convicts?

Mr. Town. We are trying to make a profit, so that we can return to the State their investment eventually. We want a small profit, a reasonable profit-not an excessive profit.

The CHAIRMAN. You are simply trying to handle these unfortunate convicts in a manner that will take reasonable care of them?


Mr. Town. The convicts all get a portion of this money. The CHAIRMAN. They get a portion of that profit? Mr. Town. Oh, yes; they all get a portion of the money. could have disposed of 2,000,000 of our product last week when we made the price, and we could have disposed of it all in two lots.

The CHAIRMAN. The committee does not propose, gentlemen, to turn this witness over to counsel for cross-examination at this time, particularly as the time is so very short. However, if any counsel on any side of the matter wishes to ask any questions of him they may do so through the committee.

Mr. MAYER. Will the committee ask the witness about the difference in price of African and manila hemp as compared with the sisal? The CHAIRMAN. Can you state that?

Mr. Town. I did not understand the question.

The CHAIRMAN. The difference in price for the African and manila hemp and what you have paid for sisal.

Mr. Town. There is a difference of about 50 per cent. is worth about 2 to 1 of what the African is to-day.

The manila.

Mr. MAYER. Will the committee ask if the warden has ever endeavored to purchase direct in Yucatan?

Mr. Town. No; never.

Mr. MAYER. And will the committee ask whether the warden would prefer to deal direct with Yucatan rather than with brokers or middlemen?

The CHAIRMAN. Have you any preference about that?

Mr. Town. I do not know whether there would be any. We are after getting the fiber as cheap as anybody else.

Mr. MAYER. Will the committee ask the warden whether he is familiar with the present or prospective workings of the Comision Reguladora?

Mr. Town. I know nothing of it at all. I have made a purchase from them.

Mr. MAYER. Was it promptly delivered?

Mr. Town. It was.

Mr. MAYER. And did I understand the warden to say that he would like to buy his sisal as cheap as anybody else buys it?

Mr. Town. That is all we ask.

Mr. MAYER. And will the committee ask the warden whether he, when he bought from Peabody and Montes, knew he was buying from agents or those who represented the International Harvester Co. and the Plymouth Cordage Co. ?

Mr. Town. I did not know that they represented the International Havester Co.

Mr. MAYER. Or the Plymouth Cordage Co. ?

Mr. Town. I did not know that they represented the Plymouth Cordage Co.

Mr. WEXLER. May I ask one question of the gentleman?

The CHAIRMAN. Certainly.

Mr. WEXLER. Do you deem it an advantage to constantly have a supply of sisal in the United States, available to you at all times, stored in warehouses for you to purchase in whatever quantities you desire, and at such prices as anybody else could buy it?

Mr. Town. When we go to work and buy it we buy as much as we can and put in the warehouse, and we have got a warehouse that will hold all that we can use for a year, all that we can make into twine for a year, and we try to protect ourselves by buying as low

as we can.

Mr. WEXLER. But it is desirable to know that you can get it at any time that you want it at a price such as anybody else would pay for it?

Mr. Town. We have never been in a position where we could not get it when we wanted it.

Senator GRONNA. You have had no difficulty in securing all of the sisal hemp that you wanted at any time?

Mr. Town. No; there never has been any.

Senator GRONNA. And this new association has not refused to sell you?

Mr. Town. Oh, no. They have quoted me every time I have asked them.

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