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Mr. BAYLEY. He advanced money to your father for many years? Mr. SOLIS. I think he did; I don't know. I suppose that he did. Mr. BAYLEY. And the friendship between your father and Mr. Peirce was well known?
Mr. SOLIS. It was very good, sir. And I myself had a very good friendship with him.
Mr. BAYLEY. That is all.
Senator GRONNA. When you have only a normal crop that can be disposed of at a price that is reasonable to the public and that will bring some profit to the farmers, is it the belief among the planters of Yucatan that that price should be a fixed price and not be a fluctuating price, such as you have described the situation was prior to the formation of your Comision Reguladora? Is that the prevailing sentiment among the planters?
Mr. SOLIS. Yes. We would prefer to have a fixed price covering our cost of production.
Senator GRONNA. Now, I believe you said you were a planter?
Senator GRONNA. I do not want to ask anything about your private business, but would you mind stating how large a plantation you have? Mr. SOLIS. Well, we have-between me and my brothers we had two plantations, among the biggest in the country, but we sold one about two years ago, and we have to-day a fairly good one-a large, productive one.
Senator GRONNA. And when you spoke of your dealings with Mr. Montes or Mr. Peirce, did you mean you were dealing with these men the same as the ordinary planter would deal, or only dealing with him because you had a larger plantation or a larger production, or did you buy from other planters?
Mr. SOLIS. No, sir; we dealt with Mr. Montes and Mr. Peirce only as farmers. We never did a brokerage and never had any special favor.
Mr. MAYER. You did not buy sisal from others?
Mr. SOLIS. Oh, no; we always sold.
Mr. FISHER. You said you had two very large plantations; couldn't you tell us the size? What is the size of the plantation you have now? Mr. SOLIS. The plantation we have now must be the land, you say?
Mr. FISHER. Let us take the land first.
Mr. SOLIS. We might consider-we are several brothers, and we have 7 leagues.
Senator GRONNA. How many hundred acres or hectares?
Mr. SOLIS. I do not know really how many hectares. We never calculated in hectares.
Senator GRONNA. When you speak about leagues do you mean square leagues?
Mr. SOLIS. Square leagues.
Mr. FISHER. Do you mean you own a plantation that is 21 miles square?
Mr. SOLIS. We own a plantation which must be about 6 or 7 leagues square.
Mr. FISHER. And how much of that is planted to sisal?
Mr. SOLIS. It must be 500 or 600
Mr. SPENCER. About 5,000 acres.
Mr. FISHER. About 5,000 acres in sisal?
Mr. SOLIS. It might be.
Mr. FISHER. That is what you own now?
Mr. FISHER. How much did you sell?
Mr. SOLIS. We sold about the same amount.
Mr. FISHER. When did you sell it?
Mr. SOLIS. About two years ago.
Mr. FISHER. How long prior to that had you owned it?
Mr. SOLIS. About 10 years.
Mr. FISHER. How many brothers are there?
Mr. SOLIS. We are six or seven.
Mr. FISHER. Is there anybody else interested in the business except these six or seven brothers?
Mr. SOLIS. Well we are all the owners of it.
Mr. FISHER. Now, you have spent a good deal of time out of Yucatan yourself lately, have you not?
Mr. SOLIS. Yes, sir.
Mr. SPENCER. Áre you going to start this all over again?
Mr. FISHER. Oh, no; you asked the question about Mr. Montes having to leave the country. Of course, you did. We want to see what the significance of these things is.
Have you been out of the country a great deal since this revolutionary trouble started?
Mr. SOLIS. Yes; I have been out of the country a great deal.
Mr. FISHER. Were you governor of Yucatan?
Mr. SOLIS. No: I never was governor.
Mr. FISHER. Were you not in charge down there under Huerta ? Mr. SOLIS. My uncle was governor.
Mr. FISHER. And you were not?
Mr. SOLIS. No.
Mr. FISHER. Have you ever held a position under the Government?
Mr. FISHER. But your uncle
Mr. SOLIS. My uncle was in the Government a few days, I think, on account of the governor leaving the place, and being the official in charge
Mr. SPENCER. The next in rank?
Mr. SOLIS. He took the place, I think; I don't know.
Mr. FISHER. When was that?
Mr. SOLIS. Well, I don't know much about the politics, you know. I don't care much about that.
Mr. FISHER. All right.
Mr. SPENCER. That is all.
Senator GRONNA. We will hear Mr. Lukens.
STATEMENT OF MR. CHARLES A. LUKENS, EDITOR FARM IMPLEMENT NEWS, CHICAGO, ILL.
The CHAIRMAN. Will you please give your full name, residence, and business?
Mr. LUKENS. Charles A. Lukens, Chicago; editor of the Farm Implement News.
The CHAIRMAN. Mr. Spencer, I believe you asked to have Mr. Lukens summoned, and as the committee has not had a chance to find out what he knows, if you would examine him the committee would appreciate it.
Mr. SPENCER. Thank you, sir. Mr. Lukens, how long have you been the editor of the Farm Implement News?
Mr. LUKENS. Ten years as the editor, and seven years before that as associate.
Mr. SPENCER. Prior to your connection with that newspaper what had been your business?
Mr. LUKENS. I was in the wholesale implement business-agricultural implements and farm supplies.
Mr. SPENCER. Were you the agent of any implement concern? Mr. LUKENS. No; I was connected with a company in Peoria, Ill., that was in that business.
Mr. SPENCER. Whose implements did they handle?
Mr. LUKENS. Oh, they handled from various manufacturers.
Mr. LUKENS. Well, I was with them 13 years, and they probably handled implements from 200 or 300 concerns.
Mr. SPENCER. What was the name of that concern?
Mr. LUKENS. Martin & Co.
Mr. SPENCER. Did you handle McCormick machines?
Mr. LUKENS. No; we never handled any McCormick machines at all.
Mr. SPENCER. Or Deering?
Mr. LUKENS. No Deering machines.
Mr. SPENCER. While you were in charge of the editorial department of that paper
Mr. LUKENS. You say "you were."
Mr. SPENCER. I mean you have been
What do you mean?
Mr. LUKENS. For the last 10 years I have been in charge of the editorial department.
Mr. SPENCER. You wrote all the various articles in it?
Mr. LUKENS. I did not write them all. I write the editorials of the paper; I write some of the special articles; I pass upon all the contributed articles.
Mr. SPENCER. You wrote the articles concerning the sisal situation?
Mr. LUKENS. Everything that has been written about that matter, except what was written about the proceedings here in Washington by our Washington correspondent.
Mr. SPENCER. When did you commence writing articles about the sisal monopoly, as you call it?
Mr. LUKENS. The first one was written for the issue of November 25. Mr. SPENCER. Now, where did you get your information in regard to that on which you based that article?
Mr. LUKENS. From whom?
Mr. SPENCER. Yes.
Mr. LUKENS. The news article in the issue of November 25 ?
Mr. SPENCER. Yes.
Mr. LUKENS. I got it first through the office of Milton Daly, and I confirmed it by asking Mr. Daniels, of the International Harvester Co. Mr. SPENCER. Who is Mr. Milton Daly?
Mr. LUKENS. Milton Daly is a fiber broker, or was.
Mr. SPENCER. Where?
Mr. LUKENS. In Chicago.
Mr. SPENCER. Whom did he sell for?
Mr. LUKENS. He sold for Mr. Montes.
Mr. SPENCER. Did you come to the Reguladora for any information on the subject before writing that article?
Mr. LUKENS. No. Dr. Rendon wrote me one letter, and I answered it.
Mr. SPENCER. Did you ever publish the letter Dr. Rendon wrote you?
Mr. LUKENS. No; he did not ask me to publish it. He did not write it for publication. He suggested that I write an article using his letter for data. I did not do so. I ought to be permitted to explain why
The CHAIRMAN. Very well.
Mr. LUKENS. Because Dr. Rendon made statements which I knew were not correct.
Mr. SPENCER. What statements did he make that you knew were not correct? Can you recall any?
Mr. LUKENS. Yes; he stated that he
Mr. FISHER. Perhaps you had better let the witness have the letter to refresh his recollection.
Mr. SPENCER. NO
Mr. FISHER. I am only making a kindly suggestion to you.
Mr. SPENCER. I thought maybe the witness could tell. Can you tell what statements he made?
Mr. LUKENS. Yes; I can remember some of the things.
Mr. SPENCER. What were they, for example?
Mr. LUKENS. I have a copy of the letter that I wrote to him, in which I told him what I considered were incorrect statements. I say [reading]:
You also make certain statements, apparently for the purpose of justifying the comission's plan to secure control of the sisal-fiber market, and suggest that I use these statements as the basis for another article. Some of the statements you make evidently are based upon erroneous information you have received from some source. Never having been in Yucatan I of course am not familiar with all of the details with respect to the manner in which the fiber has been handled, but I have a general knowledge of the business of fiber dealers and buyers. I have never heard of the combination which you term a middle-man monopoly," but assume from what you say that you refer to the several Yucatan houses which have bought fiber for or sold fiber to the American cordage makers.
Mr. SPENCER. Right there. Was that a misstatement on his part? Mr. LUKENS. No; I am coming to that later. If you wish me to read only that
Mr. SPENCER. Yes; I should prefer that.
Mr. LUKENS. I went on to tell him I knew the conditions in the United States [reading]:
You evidently have been told that the small twine makers have been compelled to pay higher prices for sisal fiber than were paid by the two largest producers of twine. You have been misinformed. I know of numerous instances where small mills have purchased a large part of a season's fiber requirements at lower prices than the big producers paid. I know that in some seasons the average fiber cost of some of the small manufacturers has been materially lower than the average of the big concerns. I know that the price of fiber usually declined after the big end of the purchasing had been completed and small manufacturers have been able to buy the bulk of their requirements at the reduced price.
Mr. SPENCER. May I interrupt you there? You considered that a misstatement on his part if he said
Mr. LUKENS. That they had been placed at a disadvantage under the old conditions.
Mr. SPENCER. Well, I will ask you whether you have any knowledge of the situation in the year 1909
Mr. LUKENS. Yes.
Mr. SPENCER. With reference to your statement that "I know that the price of fiber usually declined after the big end of the purchasing had been completed.'
Mr. LUKENS. 1909 was an exceptional year, when the International made that big purchase of 220,000 bales.
Mr. SPENCER. Didn't they put up the price of sisal then?
Mr. SPENCER. Is it not a fact that during that year and immediately after they purchased that large amount of sisal the price of sisal was put up and went up rapidly?
Mr. LUKENS. Perhaps it did, but I could not tell you without , referring to the figures in the market report.
Mr. SPENCER. When Dr. Rendon made that statement, with reference to such a condition, did you verify your figures or look at the figures at all?
Mr. LUKENS. Yes; I looked over the fiber market reports when I
Mr. SPENCER. Have there not been other occasions than the year 1909 in which that occurred?
Mr. LUKENS. Well, there are exceptions to all rules, you know. 1909 was an exception. I am stating here that I know, and when I say that I mean I have been informed.
Mr. SPENCER. Who informed you?
Mr. LUKENS. The manufacturers-small manufacturers. And I have been informed also by Mr. Daly as to prices that were being quoted to small manufacturers.
Mr. SPENCER. Do you know how those prices quoted to small manufacturers actually compared with the prices which were being quoted to the International by the same people?
Mr. LUKENS. I know several instances where they bought considerably lower than the International was supposed to be paying.
Mr. SPENCER. Was that due to the fact that they bought at a. different time?
Mr. LUKENS. Yes-if you will permit me to finish what I started to read [reading]:
These things have happened because the big manufacturers are compelled to buy fiber almost constantly during a long period, while the smaller manufacturers can time their buying according to the fluctuations in price.
Mr. SPENCER. Do you know, as a matter of fact, that in 1909, the Plymouth Cordage Co., and all of the small manufacturers were caught in this rise of prices?
Mr. LUKENS. You are speaking of one exceptional year. I know that; yes.
Mr. SPENCER. That was a fact?
Mr. LUKENS. Yes; I understand.
Mr. SPENCER. Do you mean to say that did not occur in other in the same way?