Page images
PDF
EPUB

*

parties, that this is the justification for its classification. I do not know that I need go any further with that, need I, Senator Sackett?

Senator SACKETT. That is all right. Mr. WARRUM. I will now take up section 3 of the bill: No merger, combination, or consolidation of two or more corporations engaged in the production and shipment of bituminous coal in interstate commerce shall be lawful without a license therefor granted by said commission

But I want to close my argument by noon and I see that I will not do it if I go on with the details of the bill. Let me just deal in a general way with one or two matters.

Senator Couzens (presiding). Take your time. We are not crowding you.

Mr. WARRUM. If they want to come in under the primary license, they are permitted to do so, and enjoy these privileges which Mr. Greever says is the hub of this whole thing, and it is because they will all want to come in and enjoy these rights.

Senator COUZENS. If that is true, why do they oppose the bill if they will all want to come in?

Mr. WARRUM. They oppose the bill because they say it is unconstitutional, because it interferes with the “yellow-dog" contracts.

Senator COUZENS. And the advantages in coming in do not overcome the advantages of the “yellow-dog” contract ?

Mr. WARRUM. Certainly not. There is a psychology of the operators that ought to have manifested itself—and I suppose that is a psychology of the miners, so far as that is concerned--but there is certainly a psychology of the operators that

Senator GLENN (interposing). Is that the real difference of opinion between the miners and the operators?

Mr. WARRUM. Do you mean is that the hostility?
Senator GLENN. Is that the real bone of contention here?

Mr. WARRUM. I ought not to try to speak for the operators, but I do think that is the bone of contention.

Senator GLENN. Is that the ultimate object desired through the bill, and is that the real basis of the opposition to it as you see it!

Mr. WARRUM. Oh, no. We drafted this bill, of course, representing labor, but we feel that any benefit that may come in the matter of the deflated wages of miners can not come directly; it has got to come through a restoration and stabilization of the bituminous-coal industry. We have sense enough to know that the miner can not be paid a living wage unless the operator is making a living himself. is making a profit out of his capital investment. We know that, and we want to have the coal business restored.

I want to say that in all this proposed legislation we have spread the table and laid the bed for the operators. All we ask is that when they go in to the feast and repose upon the cushions of congressional privilege, that we be not compelled to stand like a valet outside the door. We realize that we might have to sit like a poor relation, below the salt, but we do want to be inside. That is why this primary license, in essence, means to give the coal operator the right to develop and to advance his economic strength, to coordinate their disorganized forces without fear of prosecution. And I want to say that they have prosecuted us under the Sherman Act in every

Federal district where soft coal is mined until they are haunted themselves by the fear that they carry about the Sherman Act in its effect upon them. We should like to relieve them of it, but we want 10 be relieved ourselves.

Senator GLENN. I was not opposing your object, if that is your object, but was trying to find out the situation. There are a lot of words on both sides, and I was trying to find out, if it is to be found out, what the real differences are between you people. If it is union and antiunion, I should like to know that, and if there is anything back of it I should like to know that.

Mr: WARRUM. When the bill provides for mergers, combinations, and marketing pools, and provides that the provisions of the Sherman Act and the Clayton Act shall not apply to such consolidations, and so forth, it would seem to me, and I should like to ask your reaction to it, if it would not be that the operators ought to desire that?

Senator GLENN. How was that?

Mr. WARRUM. Would not your impression be that the bituminous coal operators would hail that with glee!

Senator GLENN. Well, I should think they would.

Mr. WARRUM. Well, I should think they would, and why should they grope around, as you have, Senator Glenn, for a reason why they do not grab it? We are trying to advance the bituminous coal industry. And we are allowed under the provisions of this same bill to advance our economic power by collective bargaining in dealing with them.

Senator WHEELER. Senator Glenn, when the hearings were on last year there were a number of operators who came before us, and some of them said that the real trouble in the bituminous-coal industry was that by reason of the Sherman and Clayton Acts they could not make their combinations; was not that said, Mr. Warrum?

Mr. WARRUM. Yes.

Senator WHEELER. And as I recall there were a number of them who came before us and made the statement that they wanted it.

Mr. WARRUM. Yes.

Senator WHEELER. I do not think there was anything very serious to that, in view of the rulings of the court and in view of the attitude of the Department of Justice and of the Federal Trade Commission. Nevertheless, that was one of the principal contentions that they made before us in the original coal hearings.

Senator GLENN. I was not here.

Senator WHEELER. Yes, I know, and that was one reason why I made the statement.

Mr. WARRUM. That was one provision it was explained that would help stabilize the bituminous coal industry—not that all of the extra labor could be disposed of, Senator Couzens, because you have asked that question; not that all of the ills could be cured, but that according to the statements of economists, there should be some rehabilitation of the industry, some stabilization of it, some attempt to give it countenance in the houses of investment bankers and financiers, to give it some credit, to enable it to command the industry rather than be commanded by the purchasing power; to enable it to meet this

highly organized consuming interest like utilities, that they themselves admit fix the price of coal; to enable the industry to get out of what Senator Watson called a producers' market and live in a sellers' market.

Senator Hawes. I take it that we will close this day's hearing at 12 o'clock, and I should like to ask one question.

Senator COUZENS (presiding). We are going on to-morrow.
Senator Hawes. Maybe I can ask it now.
Senator COUZENS. Sure. Go ahead.

Senator Hawes. We have about 18 men on this committee. I want to say that I have honestly tried to attend as many hearings as I could, but we Members of the Senate have conflicting meetings continuously. Now, I do not believe we have ever had a full attendance at a meeting of the committee.

Senator COUZENS (presiding). We have had two and three members present recently, and we have been having hearings for nearly a year, I believe.

Senator WHEELER. The other hearings were taken before a subcommittee. A subcommittee was appointed by Chairman Watson to take the testimony with reference to the strike conditions.

Senator HAWES. That was at the mines?
Senator WHEELER. Yes; and in the Senate here.

Senator COUZENS. Oh, no; I think you are wrong about that, Senator Wheeler. It was the whole committee that was to take the hearings here.

Mr. WARRUM. It was a subcommittee for the hearings on the bill, I believe.

Senator Hawes. What I wanted to get at was this: We have before us here to-day a brief on the law. I suppose the operators have filed a legal brief.

Mr. WARRUM. Yes: here is a bunch of them.

Senator Hawes. Now, Mr. Chairman, it is not humanly possible for even those members who have attended the hearings to follow the facts consecutively by devoting two hours a day or one hour a day at odd times to these hearings.

I understand there are many legal arguments. I am wondering if it could be possible or if it would be agreeable, rather, to both sides, for our benefit, to have a digest of the facts. We have had some witnesses before us who have taken hours in testifying to things that, in my opinion at least, were of little or no importance. I do not believe that there is a man on this committee who is going to go through all those hearings; he has not got the time, and he is not going to do it, so just let us be frank about it. But I believe that if a digest of the testimony given on both sides, put in brief form, could be prepared, of what this witness testified to and that witness testified to, the important points; if that could be prepared for the committee, in addition to these legal briefs, it would be very helpful.

Senator WHEELER. Would he read it after it is made?

Senator Hawes. Well, he won't read it this way. And here is a new member of the committee (Senator Glenn) 'asking, and very properly so, of the differences between the parties, so to speak.

Senator Couzens. Might I suggest that we take this up in executive session and allow Mr. Warrum now to finish his argument?

Senator Hawes. The committee might decide that it would like to have that kind of a document, but whether the operators and mine workers would feel justified in doing that work, which would be a work of some proportions, I do not know, but I suggest it might clear up this matter.

Mr. WARRUM. We will be perfectly willing to do it. We will be glad to do anything that will assist the members of the committee.

Senator HAWES. How many volumes of testimony have we?

Mr. WARRUM. There are two big volumes, and then there will be another one half as big.

Senator SACKETT. Three thousand four hundred and fourteen pages of printed testimony.

Senator WHEELER. If it went over for that to be done there would not be enough time for any action to be taken. It would not get back here for six weeks, I suggest.

Senator Hawes. If two men on each side, acting together, could not do this work in six weeks, when do you think a member of the committee who has not heard it, could go through and get the testimony and the discussion?

Senator WHEELER. That was not the fault of either side to the controversy. The members have not attended the meetings.

Senator HAWES. But I do not think that wast he fault of the Senators. You must remember that we all have many

other committees to attend.

Senator COUZENS. I should like to suggest that I think this should be threshed out in executive session.

Senator Hawes. I was simply trying to thresh it out before we bring it up for settlement in executive session. I should like to know whether it would be agreeable to both sides to do that, or whether it would be possible, I should like to know that before we adjourn. I should like to know whether the operators and the mine workers would agree to do that, or whether they would want to do it.

Mr. WARRUM. We shall be glad to do it if you desire. It is now 12 o'clock, and I should like to have 10 or 15 minutes in the morning to conclude my statement.

Senator COUZENS. Certainly.

Senator Black. I should like to suggest one thing to be done in the morning if Mr. Warrum is to have 10 or 15 minutes more. Of course your primary object is to benefit the miners, that is your primary object, I take it.

Mr. WARRUM. Yes; I might say that, but of course there is only one way to do it, that the whole industry should be benefited.

Senator BLACK. I should like to know first how you propose to do it by stabilizing the industry. I should like to have you state in the morning just how you believe under the actual workings of this bill the miner would be guaranteed any benefit by the creation of a commission and the operation of the matter under a commission.

Mr. WARRUM. In the morning?

Senator BLACK. Yes; it would be perfectly all right if you will do it in the morning.

Mr. WARRUM. I can do it now, but I would not have time.
Senator BLACK. You have not the time now, I realize.

Mr. WARRUM. You will be here, Senator Black, to-morrow morning?

Senator Black. Yes; I would like to hear you fully on that.
Mr. WARRUM. All right.

Mr. GREEVER. Mr. Chairman, I should like to say that so far as we are concerned anything that will assist the committee in the way of boiling this

record down will be gladly done by us. Senator COUZENS (presiding). Very well. We will adjourn now until 10 o'clock to-morrow morning.

(Whereupon, at 12 o'clock m., Tuesday, January 22, 1929, the committee adjourned until 10 o'clock the following morning, Wednesday, January 23, 1929.)

« PreviousContinue »