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Mr. TOWNSEND. Yes.
Mr. TOWNSEND. We have a statute; we have a decision of the Supreme Court holding that it is illegal to issue it; but it is issued just the same.
Senator Hawes. Then in each of the States they have mining laws and laws relating to labor and the payment in currency and the regulation of hours. There is some State statute relating to nearly every detail that you speak of with relation to these contracts, and so forth. I was surprised to find that scrip was used, because I know they can not do it in my State.
Mr. TOWNSEND. Oh, it is used everywhere in the coal fields of West Virginia.
Senator HAWES. And there is a statute there prohibiting it?
Mr. TOWNSEND. I would not undertake to say that there is a statute which expressly prohibits it, Senator.
Senator Hawes. If there were a statute expressly prohibiting it, it could be stopped, of course?
Mr. TOWNSEND. Why, certainly.
Senator Hawes. That is one remedy you would have with the State, then ?
Mr. TOWNSEND. Yes. There are many remedies that you might have with the State that would not go to the full extent of the relief sought in connection with this measure.
Senator GLENN. I was called out. You may have covered this subject, but I should like to ask this question :
We have had, in southern Illinois, some very bad pay-roll robberies. I remember one in Williamson County two or three years ago, where fifty or sixty thousand dollars in cash was being transported from a little town there toward Dewmaine, I think. Is there a real objection to the payment of these men in checks which in turn are payable only in cash? Would there be any objection to that?
Mr. TOWNSEND. No; there would not be any objection from our standpoint, and I can not see how there could be any objection from anybody's standpoint.
Senator GLENN. You know how it is down there. There are a lot of mines with no town for some miles around, and there have been some robberies.
Senator WHEELER. You mean just ordinary checks—the mining company's checks, payable at the bank?
Senator Glenn. Yes; you can go to the bank and cash it.
Mr. LEWIS. We frequently make local arrangements with coal companies for payment by check where facilities are available for the cashing of checks, and in principle we are quite in accord with that suggestion wherever it is mutually convenient.
Senator GLENN. I recall that in the case of the Mitchell mines at Royal, they came to Murphysboro and made an arrangement with the City National Bank to get the money in cash, and they had to send 10 or 12 guards to accompany the train, at some considerable expense. I just wondered if there was any real objection to payment in checks which in turn were payable in cash.
Mr. LEWIS. I think we probably have several thousand mines throughout the country now, Senator, where, through local arrangements with our organization representing the men and the companies, they pay by check; and wherever there are conditions that seem to require that we are quite favorable to working that out.
Senator GLENN. I did not suppose there was any real objection.
Senator COUZENS (presiding). Our permanent chairman is ill. If the hearings and arguments are closed, I will confer with him about the appointment of a subcommittee to study the record and suggested amendments to the bill, and report back to the full committee. Do I understand that everybody is through and satisfied with the hearings we have had ? Mr. LEWIS. Quite so, Senator. We are very appreciative.
Mr. TOWNSEND. We ought to, and we do on our side, thank you for your courtesy and your patience.
Mr. BELCHER. Of course we want to do the same thing.
(Letter and affidavit of John Brophy, 251 Morrison Ave., Mt. Lebanon, Pittsburgh, Pa., in answer to certain testimony of Lew McGrew, of Pittsburgh, Pa., in volume 2, page 2517, of the hearings before the Committee on Interstate Commerce on conditions in the coal fields of Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and Ohio is here printed in full, as follows:)
Mr. LEBANON, PITTSBURGH, PA., January 18, 1929. Hon. JAMES E. WATSON,
United States Senate, Washington, D. C. DEAR SENATOR : During the closing sessions of the coal-strike hearing before the Senate Committee on Interstate Commerce last fall, Lew McGrew, of Pittsburgh, in his testimony, accused me of having had dealings with the Pittsburgh Coal Co. in connection with the strike and of having received a large sum of money from them through an agent, Joe Vichestain. This testimony was absolutely false, and I immediately denied it in the public press and forwarded an affidavit to your committee and asked that in fairness to me I should be given a hearing before the committee and be allowed to defend myself. This opportunity was not granted.
Later I wrote to you, to Senators Wheeler and Wagner in an effort to have my denial incorporated in the record of the hearings. The fact that Congress had adjourned and the different Members returned to their respective homes, seemed to present a difficulty, and to date I stand accused on the records of. something which I have had no opportunity to deny.
According to the press your committee is now in session, and I am making another effort to have my affidavit, copy of which is inclosed, appear in the records; or better still, secure an opportunity to appear before your committee and answer the lying charges of McGrew.
It surely is not asking too much for a citizen to desire that he be given an opportunity to answer charges impugning his honesty and integrity. Will you not see to it that this request of mine is granted. Yours very truly,
The statements made by Lew McGrew before the Interstate Commerce Committee of the United States Senate, copy of excerpts of which is attached hereto, is a malicious lie in every particular and has not the slightest basis in fact.
I never called Vichestain on the telephone. I never had the conversation with McGrew or anyone else which he purports to have had with me and in which I was supposed to have been under the impression that I was making certain arrangements to meet Vichestain.
I was not at the Seventh Avenue Hotel at any time during the month of March. I never met Vichestain at the Seventh Avenue Hotel nor anywhere else. I never had any conversation with him regarding circulars or miners or money or the Pittsburgh Coal Co. or Bill Foster or Jack" Lewis.
I never received any money from Vichestain or any representative of his, nor from the Pittsburgh Coal Co. nor any of its agents, either directly or indirectly. STATE OF PENNSYLVANIA,
County of Allegheny, ss: Before me, the undersigned authority in and for said county and State, personally appeared John Brophy, who, being duly sworn according to law, deposes and says that the statements contained herein are true and correct.
JOHN BROPHY. . Sworn and subscribed before me this 25th day of June, 1928. [SEAL.]
MARY C. ANSTEAD, Notary Public.
EXCERPTS FROM TESTIMONY BEFORE THE INTERSTATE COMMERCE COMMITTEE
OF THE UNITED STATES SENATE
Senator WHEELER. Who, if anybody, has been financing the new movement in Pennsylvania ?
Mr. McGREW. Well, these coal operators are helping them.
Mr. McGREW. We saw Joe Vichestain pay Brophy money. The way we got onto it was this, that Brophy called my office and he was calling Joe Vichestain's office. And I told your law partner, Rose, and he did not deny it.
I will read you what I have. And I have a man here who will verify time, and you can call him to do it if you will [reading] :
On or about March 10 a call came in on our telephone, about 12.30 noon, The man on the other end of the phone said: 'Is that you, Joe? Don't you know my voice? This is John Brophy. Say, Joe, the balance of that money is due to-day. I would like to meet you at the Seventh Avenue Hotel on the second floor just outside of the ladies' parlor at 2.30. How about it?' I answered, “I'll hold the line.' John B. Cooper was in my office at the time and I requested him to get Joe Vichestain's number quickly. Joe Vichestain is the editor of the National Labor, Tribune. I then said to Brophy, 'This is Henry; Joe will talk to you in 10 minutes at 4225 Court. Now, you can subpæna Henry O'Neill, and Henry made this deal with the Pittsburgh Coal Co. and he has been getting money out of it, and there is a fuss about *** Henry O'Neill has been getting 20 per cent paid to Vichestain and he told me himself. He not only told me, but McCullough told me.
“Mr. Cooper and I then talked the matter over and we decided to set a trap for this meeting. Cooper went to the Seventh Avenue Hotel and looked the ground over. Then at 2 o'clock he stationed himself in a small wash-andsink room just opposite the ladies' parlor, where he could look out and see what was going on. He came back and gave me the lay of the ground. I then located Vichestain as he came from his office and followed him.
“ He went to the Oliver Building and came out at about 3.15 with a small brown satchel and a young man with him and went immediately to the Seventh Avenue Hotel. I followed him. After he got up the stairway and turned to the right I went up the stairs and stood at the head of the stairs where I could look back. Vichestain was seated at a desk facing John Brophy. Vichestain then said: 'Mr. Rose and Mr. Lesher have talked this over and we want you to put this paragraph in the circular.' Vichestain had the circular in type. written copy and he showed Brophy where he wanted the paragraph, reading the paragraph, which read as follows:
“ This call is addressed to all unorganized miners, except those who have taken the jobs of striking miners.'
“Now, why should Brophy not want to call Pittsburgh coal miners out if he is promoting a national strike and not getting money?
“ Vitchestain then said: “John, Mr. Lesher wants you to be sure not to disturb any of the nonunion mines in the Pittsburgh district now on strike,
particularly our mines. Now, you won't double-cross us on this, will you? I am not to pay over this money until you give us full assurance.'
“ Brophy then said: “Joe, you can depend upon me. You know I have Bill Foster to contend with, but I'll go through with the arrangement in every detail.'
"And Bill Foster had his headquarters in the Seventh Avenue Hotel and had a press agency there working on this call directing this thing.
“Joe then took the brown satchel from man with him and handed Brophy a large roll of bills, which Brophy counted. Vitchestain then got up and said : * Now, John, we are depending on you to do a good job. We will need some of these men you're going to call out.'
"I had to hurry down the stairs as Vitchestain was handing out his parting shot, something about Jack Lewis, which I couldn't hear. I went to the back end of the lobby and in a few minutes Vitchestain and the man with the satchel went out the front door of the hotel and down the street.
I then waited until Mr. Cooper came down, when we both left for our office, where we compared notes.
“It will be noted that the official circular sent out by the save the union committee verified Vitchestain's statement to Brophy in detail.”
Mr. GOFF. Was this all done in your presence?
Mr. McGREW. Well, as I went up the stairway, which was this way [indicating] and there was a hall this way [indicating) and I stood at the partition over this way [indicating). Joe Vichestain has a shrill voice and I expect I was 40 feet from them and they were sitting down at a desk. I had occasion to get a photograph and I ought to have brought it down here, but I have been out of Pittsburgh for about a week.
GOFF. How could you see the money taken out of the satchel?
I could be there very easily because I was watching out to see that they did not see me. I could look cater-cornered right back where they were.
WHEELER. Where did this take place?
Mr. MCGREW. At the Seventh Avenue Hotel in the hallway about the lobby right outside the ladies' parlor. Mr. Cooper was stationed right as far as from here to that wall from them.
WHEELER. Who is Mr. Cooper ?
MCGREW. He is here. He was in a little washroom where he could pull the door open and see what they were doing and hear every word that was said.
GOFF. How do you explain a transaction of that character, Mr. McGrew, that they would do that outside in the hall? Why did not they go into a room at the hotel?
MCGREW. Well, I can not tell you that, Senator Goff. I can not tell you why they did not go into a room. If I was doing it, that is what I would have done.
McGREW. On April 24, I called Mr. Lesher at the Pittsburgh Coal Co. offices in the Oliver Building. When I got him on the line I said to him, “Mr. Lesher, this is John Brophy. Can you use any nonunion miners?”
Lesher then laughed and said, "Are you sure it is John Brophy?” I said, “Well, I'm telling you. Can I meet you at the Seventh Avenue Hotel?” Lesher then said, “Hello, John, I couldn't meet you, but come up here'
LES HER. I deny that I said that.
MCGREW. Lesher said, We have plenty of miners. Are you sure they are good ones?" I then said, “Mr. Lesher, couldn't I meet you at a hotel room? I can supply you with a couple thousand miners, good ones. You know I want some jack
Lesher laughed heartily and said he couldn't go to a hotel, and I said, “I'll have a certain party see you." Then Lesher dropped the line, for what reason I do not know.
Mr. Rose (Pittsburgh Coal). Mr. Chairman, publicity is being given to this statement and I do not think it fair that a statement like that should be made
and we not have a right at least to say now that we deny absolutely any such statement. I want to say that the Pittsburgh Coal Co. has had nothing whatever to do, either directly or indirectly, with the “ save the union" movement. As to John Brophy, I do not know him, never saw him. Mr. Lesher never saw him but once and that was at the Hungry Club, when he was pointed out to him.
There is just nothing to this statement. It is absolutely malicious. I do not think that Mr. McGrew thinks there is anything to it. And it is so ridiculous when you think of it, because why would we help in a movement of that kind ?
MCGREW. Listen here, Don---
I could put stuff on here that would sink the ship. If I should tell all that I wanted to this ceiling would drop in.
The above story was corroborated by Mohn B. Cooper, of 2131 Bodella Street, Pittsburgh, an employee of the Labor World for, 21 years.
McGrew earlier in his testimony definitely said “John Brophy is a communist."
OUTLINE OF STATEMENT OF HON. JAMES J. DAVIS, SECRETARY OF LABOR
Condition of industry.--Most of our great industries have come under scientific management and operation, but coal continues to be the outstanding exception, remaining where the other industries were 50 years ago. This fact is known to be the entire country and was, but a short period ago, reported to Congress, along with the other full information regarding the mining and marketing of bituminous coal, by a coal commission of which Hon. John Hays Hammond was chairman.
The market yet exists and the industry has the coal ; but between the vast demand and the rich supply chaos prevails, with men and their families frequently facing hunger, in some sections, and operators bankrupt.
Causes of condition.-Lack of leadership and a general condition of overdevelopment (or underconsumption, as it is sometimes called) form the principal ills of the coal industry. The latter-named ill has been particularly apparent since the close of the war. Modern fuel adaptations of oil and gas, together with water power, as substitutes for coal, have also reduced the market for coal. Price-cutting, as a result of competition, has also reduced coal markets and lowered wages. Too many miners employed receive but part-time work, with low wages. In some sections wages range from $3 to $4 and $6 a day. Thus purchasing power is lessened.
Until unity of view and effort can be achieved in the different localities and as to the different operators and other interests, the coal industry will remain in strife. Wasteful mining methods and wasteful methods in the marketing of coal are contributing to the already ill situation.
Overdevelopment.--Consumption will never catch up with maximum production. Thus overdevelopment or underconsumption is ever present, the chief menace to the industry. It is my belief that the less profitable mines should be closed, but I recognize that it is impossible to induce the owners of the lessprofitable mines to accept a loss; and neither will the industry at large tax itself by a small immediate amount to effect this large ultimate gain.
Lost man-days.-In 23 years, 1900 to 1922, inclusive, 207,414,000 man-days were lost as the result of strikes in the coal fields, the bulk of the loss being due to suspensions during wage negotiations. In the same period, in the same fields, 1,282,670,000 man-days were lost through other causes.
Output.-According to the United States Geological Survey, at the beginning of the twentieth century our annual output of bituminous coal was about 212,000,000 tons. To-day it is approximately 525,000,000 tons in a normal year.
Coal substitutes.—The use of fuel oil and crude oil burned direct as fuel increased from 296,000,000 barrels in 1920 to 411,000,000 barrels in 1925. This increase is equivalent to a loss of 30,000,000 tons of coal.
Labor-saving machinery.--Operators are constantly introducing labor-saving machinery into the mines, which lessens the number of necessary miners. We have now in the bituminous coal mining industry 24,000 more miners than are needed; and with the spread of labor-saving machinery, I am of the opinion that from 50,000 to 100,000 miners will soon be dropped.