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the fresh beef, fresh mutton, fresh pork, poultry, butter, eggs, and fish received into cold storage in a year amounts to a weight of at least 1,000,000,000 pounds and very likely to a quarter of a billion more.
The eggs received into storage in a year are approximately 131 per cent of the farm production; the fresh beef is over 3 per cent of the census commercial slaughter of cattle; mutton over 4 per cent of that slaughter of sheep and lambs; fresh pork 114 per cent of that slaughter of hogs; and butter 25 per cent of the creamery production.
This is no indictment of the men who keep foods in cold storage, except in so far as they sometimes speculate, nor need they be indicted for offenses in order that the public economic interest in their business may be made to appear. The foregoing matter, it may be supposed, establishes that. The man who places food in cold storage is somewhat in the situation of the man who forestalls the market. He may not attempt to do so, but the power may be a temptation.
The affairs of such a business as this should have publicity. The public ought to know how much goods are in storage from month to month and what the movements of receipts and deliveries are.
The food warehousemen should be required to send to Washington monthly reports containing the desired information. Here these reports could be promptly aggregated and the results could be given to the public on a previously announced day of the month, somewhat as the crop reports are.
WORK OF THE DEPARTMENT IN 1911.
IMPROVEMENT IN BUSINESS METHODS.
On September 20, 1910, I appointed a committee on economy and efficiency to investigate business methods in the department and to report to me such changes as might seem desirable. After a very comprehensive and thorough inquiry this committee reported that in the main the business methods of the department are economical, adequate, and efficient. Some changes were recommended, which were approved by me and became effective June 21, 1911. While this inquiry was in progress, the committee cooperated to the fullest extent possible with the President's committee on economy and efficiency, and a great deal of critical, analytical, and constructive work was done, and full reports were furnished to the President's committee by the departmental committee and by the various bureaus, divisions, and offices.
CHANGES IN PERSONNEL.
The number of officers and employees on the rolls of the department July 1, 1911, as shown by the report of the Appointment Clerk, is 224 in excess of the number reported for the fiscal year 1910. The employees located in Washington number 2,514, while 10,190 are employed elsewhere. During the year 57,884 changes of every description were made, including the appointment of 33,709 fire fighters in the Forest Service, employed for brief periods, none exceeding six months. The number of persons receiving probationary appointment (equivalent to absolute appointment if the appointee is retained in the service after the probationary period) was 1,168. Ninety persons were reinstated and 60 were transferred from other departments; 694 resigned; 56 died in the service; and 42 were dismissed because of misconduct.
On July 1, 1911, there were 4,068 officers and employees on the statutory roll (comprising positions specifically appropriated for by Congress), and 8,636 were paid from lump-sum appropriations, making a total enrollment of 12,704, not including the temporary employees appointed after January 1, 1911, nor temporary field employees.
OFFICE OF THE SOLICITOR. The fiscal year 1911 marked the period of the greatest activity in the Office of the Solicitor since its creation in 1905. During the year the administrative machinery for carrying out the several regulative acts of Congress enforced through the department has increased in efficiency. The duties of the department under these acts are becoming more sharply defined and better understood; as a result the duties and responsibilities of the Office of the Solicitor have been very largely increased. The more important of these acts of Congress are the statutes regarding the occupancy and use of the National Forests, the meat-inspection law, the food and drugs act, the 28-hour law, the live-stock quarantine act, and the Lacey Act. The normal expansion along existing lines of activity in other branches of the department has also contributed greatly to the volume of the work of this office. The legal work of the Forest Service was placed under the immediate direction of the Solicitor on January 15, 1910, and in the report for the fiscal year 1911 there is included for the first time a statement of the legal work performed by this office on behalf of the Forest Service during a full fiscal year.
WORK FOR FOREST SERVICE. The legal work transacted on behalf of the Forest Service falls naturally into the following divisions: Opinions, contracts, claims, regulations, trespass cases, general litigation, and hydroelectric power permits. The subject “trespass cases” resolves itself into four subdivisions: Grazing, timber, fire, and occupancy cases. During the fiscal year 1911 the Solicitor rendered 56 formal opinions, in writing, to officers of the Forest Service on the legal phases of questions arising in connection with the administration of the National Forests. Four hundred and twenty-three agreements and 196 leases were prepared, and the sufficiency of the execution of the same examined during the fiscal year 1911. More than 2,300 cases involving claims to land within the National Forests have been considered by the office during the year. Twenty-four cases as a basis for criminal prosecution and 12 actions for injunctions as a result of grazing trespasses were reported to the Attorney General. Cordial cooperation with the Interior Department has contributed to the efficient administration of the National Forests. In two cases of timber trespass, decided during the year, the Government recovered $47,000. Railroad companies operating through the National Forests have been compelled by the courts to live up to stipulations for the protection of the forests against fire and other damage. The important case of the United States v. Grimaud, in which the Supreme Court of the United States had divided upon a previous argument, was again presented to the court and a unanimous decision of farreaching effect was secured, approving the administration of the National Forests through the regulations of the Secretary, and sustaining the right of the Government to enforce such regulations by criminal prosecution. Regulations regarding the occupancy of lands in National Forests, the subjects of grazing, special uses, trespass, and timber sales were revised during the year.
MEAT-INSPECTION LAW. One hundred and one violations of the meat-inspection amendment were reported to the Attorney General in the fiscal year 1911. Forty-three cases terminated in favor of the Government during the same period, fines or sentences of imprisonment being imposed, the fines amounting to $3,240. In one case there was a verdict for the defendant, eight cases were dismissed, sentence was suspended in three cases, and in four instances no true bill was returned. Seventyfour cases arising under this statute were pending at the close of June 30, 1911.
FOOD AND DRUGS ACT.
The food and drugs act has been effectively enforced during the year by the department and the United States attorneys. Cordial cooperation has existed between this department and the Department of Justice. The prime object of the food and drugs act was declared in the report (No. 1780, 61st Cong., 1st sess.) of the House
Committee on Expenditures in the Department of Agriculture to be the securing of wholesome food and properly labeled drugs for the people at large. No leniency has been shown in any case based on foods alleged by the Bureau of Chemistry to contain added poisonous or deleterious ingredients which might render them injurious to health. Eight hundred and twenty-five cases were reported for criminal prosecution, and 337 seizures of adulterated and misbranded foods and drugs were recommended; making 1,162 cases or 40 per cent of the whole number of cases reported since the act went into effect on January 1, 1907. There were 683 cases prosecuted by the United States attorneys or about 50 per cent of all the cases brought to judgment up to June 30, 1911. About $16,000 was the amount of the fines imposed, and costs were generally assessed against the defendants. Decrees of condemnation and forfeiture were entered against over 275 shipments of adulterated and misbranded foods and drugs, and it was insisted that in every case where foods were found to consist of filthy, decomposed, or putrid substances or to contain poisonous or deleterious ingredients orders be entered directing the destruction of the goods.
Cooperation with the department by some of the State food and drug officials has continued throughout the year, and cases based upon samples collected and examined by the collaborating officials have been reported to the Attorney General after being considered by the department when the results of the investigations have warranted such action.
Two important cases under the food and drugs act were decided by the Supreme Court during the year. The first was Hipolite Egg Co. v. United States. The case grew out of the seizure of 50 cans of preserved eggs under section 10 of the act in the southern district of Illinois. A decree of condemnation and forfeiture, with costs, was entered by the trial court, and the Hipolite Egg Co. appealed, asserting that the court was without jurisdiction because the eggs had not been shipped for sale within the meaning of the food and drugs act, and, further, that the court was without jurisdiction to assess the costs of the proceedings against the claimant. The decree below was affirmed, and the Supreme Court held that adulterated articles of food which have been transported in interstate commerce are subject to seizure and condemnation as long as they remain in the condition in which they were transported—that is, “in the original unbroken packages.” The jurisdiction of the district court to assess costs was also upheld.
In United States v. Johnson the decision was adverse to the Government. In this case misbranding was alleged of a so-called “ mild combination treatment for cancer,” consisting of several packages bearing statements that the treatment would effect the cure of cancer. The indictment alleged that these representations were false and misleading statements regarding the article and that the drug was misbranded, because analysis showed the treatment to be worthless and ineffective for the pretended purpose. On defendant's motion to quash, the district court for the western district of Missouri held that inquiry under the food and drugs act does not extend to the question whether a product is effective or worthless to accomplish the results claimed for it on the label. The judgment of the district court was affirmed by the Supreme Court. Following this decision the President sent a message to Congress urging the immediate necessity for remedial legislation.
TWENTY-EIGHT-HOUR LAW. Under the 28-hour law 598 instances of apparent violations were reported, 350 cases were disposed of, and 30 cases were decided adversely to the United States. Penalties aggregating $26,075 and costs amounting to $5,783.85 were imposed. Eight hundred and seven cases were pending under this statute at the close of June 30, 1911. During the fiscal year a number of important decisions of the Federal courts were handed down in cases arising under this statute, the most important being the opinion of the Supreme Court of the United States in Baltimore & Ohio Southwestern Railroad Co. v. United States, in which the unit of violation under the statute was finally determined. The opinion of the Supreme Court makes the number of penalties dependent upon the number of times a carrier fails to comply with the statutory duty to unload, whether the particular group of animals not unloaded be one shipment or a trainload of stock. The tendency of courts to assess larger penalties than previously is noteworthy. In only 19 cases was a penalty over $100 assessed in 1910—the minimum fixed in the act—while in 1911 the penalty was more than $100 in 46 cases and the maximum fine was in 3 cases $500, as compared with a maximum of $400 in only 1 case in 1910.
LIVE-STOCK QUARANTINE LAWS. The statutes for the prevention of the spread of live-stock diseases have been vigorously enforced. One hundred apparent violations of these laws were reported to the Attorney General during the fiscal year 1911. Of these 90 were apparent violations of the act of March 3, 1905, and 10 were alleged violations of the act of May 29, 1884. In all penalties amounting to $5,580 were imposed in the 51 cases where a conviction was secured.
During the year four cases arising under sections 242 and 243 of the Criminal Code of the United States, commonly known as the Lacey Act, were reported to the Attorney General. The case against