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Mr. SPENCER. Advertisements directly and indirectly come to you' from the International?
Mr. BAKER. There is no advetrising, except what comes directly from them, because the International sells practically nothing but its own goods.
Mr. SPENCER. Did you sell any of these articles to the International Harvester Co. ?
Mr. BAKER. Not any.
Mr. SPENCER. And of these circulars?
Mr. BAKER. None whatever.
Mr. SPENCER. Did they obtain a supply of these from you?
Mr. BAKER. Not one copy.
Mr. SPENCER. Special copies of your paper, extra copies?
Mr. BAKER. Not any more than the usual number.
Mr. SPENCER. Why did you go to all the trouble of printing and distributing 10,000 of these circulars?
Mr. BAKER. For the purpose of increasing our subscriptions. We often print articles in the same way, in order to get subscribers; other papers do the same thing.
Mr. SPENCER. You were not serving anybody but your own selves in doing that?
Mr. BAKER. Absolutely no; we did not have the remotest suggestion.
Mr. SPENCER. Did you ever do that in regard to any other industry? Did you ever attack the Harvester Company in the same way? Mr. BAKER. We have attacked the Harvester Company; yes.
Mr. SPENCER. Did you ever print 10,000 circulars and send them out in regard to the Harvester Company?
Mr. BAKER. Not in regard to the Harvester Company, but we have in regard to many other matters. We have printed 20,000 and 25,000 at one time.
Mr. FISHER. At one time?
Mr. BAKER. Twenty-five thousand at one time; yes.
Mr. SPENCER. Did you at any time, previous to this year, ever attack anybody for having a monopoly of the sisal business?
Mr. BAKER. Why, Mr. Lukens can answer that better. That relates to the editorial department of the paper. I think we never have, because we have never believed anybody did have a monopoly. Mr. SPENCER. How much did it cost you to print and mail all of these circulars you send out?
Mr. BAKER. Our subscription returns from that 10,000 lot was used exclusively for subscription purposes. Those were not distributed to public men or newspapers or anything of the kind.
Mr. SPENCER. Those were sent to implement dealers all over the country?
Mr. BAKER. Yes; outside of those on which we received returns and profit, the total expense was, perhaps, $10.
Mr. SPENCER. What profit did you get?
Mr. BAKER. The subscriptions.
Mr. SPENCER. How much did your subscriptions increase on account of that?
Mr. BAKER. Enough to more than pay the expense of getting them out. It is hardly possible to determine what we received subscription returns from.
Mr. SPENCER. How much did your circulation increase from the time that you sent those circulars out until, say, the present time? Mr. BAKER. Oh, I do not think there was any radical or material increase, but we received a number of new subscriptions that apparently came from that. It is impossible to trace the exact source.
Mr. SPENCER. Was it a very large number or small number?
Mr. BAKER. Oh, I do not think more than two or three hundred at the most.
Mr. SPENCER. As much as that?
Mr. BAKER. Possibly, but you can not trace, because we are constantly in the middle of the winter circularizing the dealers, because that is the time to get subscriptions.
Mr. SPENCER. Do you make returns of circulation to the Post Office Department?
Mr. BAKER. No, sir.
Mr. LUKENS. Trade papers are exempt.
Mr. MAYER. Trade papers and farmers generally.
Mr. BAKER. I am willing to tell you.
Mr. SPENCER. What is your circulation?
Mr. BAKER. The smallest circulation is 8,000 copies; not a very dangerous number.
Mr. SPENCER. Could you tell us what it was on, say, the 1st of January?
Mr. BAKER. Well, since these sisal articles were published? That is what you wish to learn?
Mr. SPENCER. Yes, sir.
Mr. BAKER. We have not printed any issue of less than 8,000 nor over 9,000. One issue was 9,500.
Mr. SPENCER. I am not talking about the number of papers you printed, but what your circulation was.
Mr. BAKER. You mean-we circulate the same number, except office copies.
Mr. FISHER. You mean paid subscriptions?
Mr. SPENCER. I mean paid subscriptions.
Mr. BAKER. Oh, the paid subscriptions were perhaps well, it is something under 8,000-7,500 or 7,600.
Mr. SPENCER. Would you be willing to furnish us the statement of paid subscriptions on the 1st of January, and the paid subscriptions on the 15th of February?
Mr. BAKER. I could not do that, because we have no, system of accounts that covers that.
Mr. SPENCER. Were these the only articles you circulated in this way-the ones you have given me?
Mr. FISHER. You mean on this subject?
Mr. SPENCER. Yes; on this subject.
Mr. BAKER. Yes.
Mr. MAYER. I want to ask some questions, but I would rather have Mr. Spencer finish with Mr. Lukens.
Mr. SPENCER. I notice that in your issue of December 16 you published a number of letters from different persons. Who is Mr. H. J. Hodge?
Mr. LUKENS. He is secretary of the National Federation of Implement and Vehicle and Hardware Dealers' Associations.
Mr. SPENCER. What is his business?
Mr. LUKENS. He is an implement dealer at Abilene, Kans.
Mr. LUKENS. He represents those from whom he buys and sells agricultural implements.
Mr. SPENCER. Is he an agent of the International Harvester Co. ? Mr. LUKENS. I do not know whether he handles International lines or not.
Mr. SPENCER. Who is Mr. C. I. Buxton ?
Mr. LUKENS. Mr. Buxton has been, until the past week, an implement dealer at Owatonna, Minn.
Mr. SPENCER. Did he represent the International Harvester Co. ? Mr. LUKENS. I do not know. He is the secretary of the Minnesota Implement and Vehicle Dealers' Association, and he retired from the implement trade last week.
Mr. SPENCER. Who is Mr. Thomas N. Witten?
Mr. LUKENS. Mr. Witten is an implement and hardware dealer at Trenton, Mo.
Mr. SPENCER. Does he represent the harvester company?
Mr. LUKENS. I do not know. I am not sufficiently familiar with the business of those dealers to tell you what lines they handle. Mr. SPENCER. Did you attend any of these implement manufacturers' conventions in regard to this propaganda?
Mr. LUKENS. Dealers' conventions?
Mr. SPENCER. Yes.
Mr. LUKENS. Yes; I did.
Mr. SPENCER. Which ones did you attend?
Mr. LUKENS. I attended one at Peoria, Ill., of the Illinois Implement Dealers' Association, and the Wisconsin Implement Dealers' Association at Milwaukee, and the Western Vehicle and Hardware Dealers' Association, at Kansas City.
Mr. SPENCER. And did you attend the Minnesota Implement Dealers' Convention?
Mr. LUKENS. No; I did not attend the Minnesota Implement Dealers' Association.
Mr. SPENCER. Did you attend the one held in Omaha?
Mr. LUKENS. No, I did not attend that.
Mr. SPENCER. Did you attend the North Dakota Convention?
Mr. LUKENS. No.
Mr. SPENCER. Did you attend the Mid-West?
Mr. LUKENS. No; that is the Omaha Convention.
Mr. SPENCER. The Mississippi Valley Convention?
Mr. LUKENS. No.
Mr. SPENCER. The Colorado?
Mr. LUKENS. No; I have mentioned the only three that I have attended this season. I have attended very many in former seasons. I make a practice of going to certain of these conventions.
Mr. SPENCER. You made a speech in Peoria?
Mr. LUKENS. Yes.
Mr. SPENCER. Did you prepare the resolutions that were offered
Mr. LUKENS. They did not adopt any resolutions on the subject at Peoria.
Mr. SPENCER. Are you not mistaken on that?
Mr. LUKENS. No. I was requested, by the chairman of the resolutions committee to make a statement to the convention in regard to the sisal fiber situation, and I did so. Then, they adopted a motion instructing the secretary to record the opposition of the association to this monopoly, and to communicate the fact that the association was opposed to it to all Illinois Representatives in Congress. That was the action taken at Peoria.
Mr. SPENCER. Was any action taken at Milwaukee?
Mr. LUKENS. Yes; they passed resolutions.
Mr. SPENCER. Did you have anything to do with that?
Mr. LUKENS. I wrote them.
Mr. SPENCER. You wrote those resolutions?
Mr. LUKENS. By request of the secretary of the association.
Mr. LUKENS. I wrote them there by request of the chairman of the resolutions committee.
Mr. SPENCER. You were very active, were you not, in this campaign?
Mr. LUKENS. Yes, sir; apparently I have been.
Mr. SPENCER. Did you write or send out or communicate with the Michigan association in your attempt to get them to adopt resolutions? Mr. LUKENS. I do not remember. I may have done so. I wroteI remember of writing to the Mid-West, suggesting that they adopt resolutions, and to the North Dakota association's secretary.
Mr. SPENCER. And to the Omaha?
Mr. LUKENS. Yes; I think I wrote the secretary of that.
Mr. SPENCER. And the Colorado?
Mr. LUKENS. I do not believe I wrote the Colorado. I do not remember about it. I admit that I have written to a number of them.
Mr. SPENCER. So that in addition to your activities in writing articles in your own paper, and in sending out these special articles, you have been engaged in attending these conventions or inducing action by them?
Mr. LUKENS. Yes, sir; I have been attending these conventions for many years. I have not missed a convention of the Illinois association in 17 years. I have only missed two of the conventions which met at Kansas City, and I have attended about 7 of the 10 or 11 that have been held in Milwaukee. It was not a special thing to go to these conventions. I go to them all the time.
Mr. SPENCER. Was it not somewhat special for you to undertake to write to all these conventions and get resolutions passed? Mr. LUKENS. Yes; that was special, of course.
Mr. SPENCER. That was special, was it not?
Mr. LUKENS. Yes, sir.
Mr. SPENCER. As I understand you, that was done without any pay?
Mr. LUKENS. Yes.
Mr. SPENCER. Or without any hope of reward?
Mr. LUKENS. Hope of reward? We might get some increased circulation or prestige for the paper. The action was taken, as I told you, on my own initiative.
Mr. SPENCER. Without consultation with any one?
Mr. SPENCER. Without reference to the International Harvester at all?
Mr. LUKENS. Absolutely nothing.
Mr. SPENCER. Or any of its officials, and at your sole expense? Mr. LUKENS. The expense of the Farm Implement News Co., whatever expense there has been. I do not pay it out of my own private purse, as Dr. Rendon says he could not imagine that I did; and he is right. [Laughter.]
Mr. SPENCER. Whom were you doing this for, in whose behalf? Mr. LUKENS. I did not get that.
Mr. SPENCER. Whom were you doing this strenuous work for? Mr. LUKENS. First, as a newspaper man, the first thing was to give our readers the news; that is our principal business, to give the implement trade the news of the implement business, and anything having a bearing on the binder twine situation is an important matter, because it is a big thing in the trade.
Next to that I was convinced that the result of this deal of the Reguladora control of the sisal fiber would result in exorbitant prices for binder twine to the farmer. That was a conviction with me, and I undertook to pass that along to the dealers, so that they might communicate it to the farmers.
Mr. SPENCER. You urged them to do it, in fact, did you not?
Mr.. SPENCER. Did you make any row in your paper when the International Harvester Co. threatened to withdraw its guaranties on its binder machines if people used prison fiber?
Mr. LUKENS. I never knew that they did that.
Mr. SPENCER. Prison twine?
Mr. LUKENS. I never knew that they did that.
Mr. SPENCER. Here is a small article in your paper, dated November 25, 1915:
During the harvest of 1915 a farmers' association in Ohio bought a lot of twine from one of the State-prison plants.
Mr. SPENCER. What association was that?
Mr. LUKENS. I do not know. That item was based upon a letter that I received from a dealer telling me about it. I wrote that from the data given me in his letter. I can not remember his name, however.
Mr. SPENCER. You do not know what State prison it was?
Every member of the association was entitled to the desired quantity of twine at cost and freight plus a small fee for expenses, but the association did not supply twine to all of its members. Some of the latter who expected to buy the prison twine changed their minds when they read in the local papers the advertisement of the leading implement dealer of the community withdrawing the guarantee on all binders sold by him except to such farmers as used a good grade of twine. The farmers evidently had their doubts about the quality of the prison twine, for many of them canceled their orders and bought a high grade of free-labor twine from the dealer. The advertisement thus saved the dealer's twine trade.
Mr. LUKENS. You said from the International Harvester Co. The item was to warn him they would not warrant the machines unless they used good twine.