Слике страница
PDF
ePub

stitute to any one of the various lobbies that infest this Capitol. I never presented it to anyone until it became public property, and I did this purposely, because I expected some man would charge me with having had it written by some other person. I do not know my supposed friend Tom Martin, that my friend Almon spoke about the other day. but the gentleman does him an injustice if he says or suggests that he wrote my bill, because he never saw it, and I never saw him.

Mr. ALMOX. I did not sny he did. I said that would be my guess.

Mr. SXELL. Now, in regard to my amendments, the only criticisms I have heard so far in regard to my substitute that were legitimate criticisms were that it did not provide enough power to do what I want done. I think this is perhaps a reasonable criticism and I have offered a perfecting, amendment that will provide whatever power is necessary in order to carry out the provisions of sections 9 ami 10 of the bill. In my judgment a large amount of the secondary power can be used for the provisions carried in this bill.

As to the question of interest charge, I have also stricken that out and made it without interest.

Another criticism that was raised by my friend from Michigan [Mr. Jamhs]—and he raised it again here to-day—was that under the provisions of my substitute the Secretary of Agriculture would have to do tlk> work of making these experiments and of manufacturing the nitrates or fertilizer, provided fertilizer was manufactured under my bill. I have amended the substitute to meet this criticism by providing "or any other designated agent." This means the President of the United States can designate the American Oyanamid Co., If he wants to, to make the experiments in the cyanamide plant at Muscle Shoals.

Mr. .TAMES. Will the gentleman yield?

Mr. KNELT.,. For a short question; yes.

Mr. JAMES. Will the gentleman explain lines 4 and 5 on puge 2?

Mr. SXELL. I have not the time to do that, and the gentleman knows It. ,

Mr. JAMES. That is the gist of It.

Mr. SXELL. Now, as a matter of fact, the only charge that has been made against my substitute has been that it ia a power bill. Let me simply say, gentlemen, that if selling power and taking the revenue from such sale and using the revenue to perfect the manufacture of nitrates, in order that we may give the farmers of this country cheaper fertilizer, means a power bill, then my bill is a power bill, and that is all the "power" there is In It, because it does not do a single thing for any of them except that.

Under the amendments which have been adopted the only thing Members of the House can do—provided they want to manufacture fertilizer at Muscle Shoals—is to vote for my substitute. Furthermore, the substitute I have offered does not provide for any additional appropriation. It does away with the conflict between the States as to the control of power, and in a word simply uses the property we own at Muscle Shoals at the present time for the benefits that it: was originally created for. and that is the experiments in the manufacture of nitrates and for the sale of power. I feel that this is a real practical substitute and I hope it will be adopted by the House. [Applause.]

Mr. JACOBSTEIN. Will the gentleman yield for a question?

Mr. KNELL. I yield to the gentleman from New York.

Mr. JACOBSTEIN. What might be behind the telegram that I have received this morning from the New York Farm Bureau Federation which says that unless the Snell bill is used to make fertilizer

Mr. SNELL. Oh, I know nothing about it. I have received 50 telegrams to-day and I know they are all propaganda, because my initials were wrong in every telegram. [Laughter.]

Mr. McSWAIN. Mr. Chairman and gentlemen of the committee, the issue now is very sharply drawn. I say with all due respect to the gentleman from Xew York—and I do respect him sincerely—that the bill that he has introduced, knowing the situation as I have acquired knowledge of it in the committee for the last five years—and I am going to ask members of the committee who are acquainted with the situation whether I am correct in this or not—that the substitute offered by the gentleman from New York will function in actual practice under the powers delegated to the Secretary of War to lease power and under the power delegated to the Secretary of Agriculture to make so-called experiments in agriculture will be a complete frustration of the original aim of section 124 of the national defense act and will amount purely and simply to a power proposition. [Applause.] Not only that, but it will amount to the delivery of power into the hands of the Alabama Power Co. at its own sweet price.

That company alone is in position to take the power and bid for it, and therefore will alone be in a position to fix the price.

Mr. SNELL. My bill provides for the Federal Government to lease the lines or build their own.

Mr. McSWAIN. Who is going to administer the law? The Secretary of War and his representative and the Secretary of Agriculture and his representative and we know their psychology and what will be the outcome.

Mr. SXELL. The gentleman does not think the Secretary of War will be changed next year?

Mr. McSWAIN. When it comes to administering this bill it will be done by some major or captain who will administer it In the name of the War Department.

Now, gentlemen, the issue is plain. Under the bill as it has been amended by the efforts of the gentleman from South Carolina I am satisfied that it meets all of the requirements of the fertilizer companies, because they will get cheaper nitrogen. The farmer will get some benefit from the bill as amended. The fertilizer companies will be sure to go into competition with each other and give thereby the benefit to the farmer in the reduced price of nitrogen.

Furthermore, this bill, if we vote out the committee substitute, and if we vote down the Snell bill and send the bill to conference, it will be in conference, and any inconsistencies and conflicting provisions between the Norris bill can be ironed out and the bill as brought back by the conferees will settle, I hope, forever the question of Muscle Shoals, which has been agitating Congress for the past 10 years. So we are asking you to vote down the power proposition of my friend from New York and let us send this bill, which has been very badly mutilated but ia still in the race, to conference when we may get something for the benefit of the farmers through the manufacture of nitrogen and nitrogen products. [Applause.]

So friends of the farmers will help vote down the Snell bill and support the committee bill as amended.

Mr. WELSH of Pennsylvania. Mr. Chairman, I offer the following amendment, which I send to the desk.

The Clerk read as follows:

Amendment by Mr. Welsh of Pennsylvania: Page 17, line 5, after the word "States," add "and such fertilizers, after distribution among the several States, shall be subject to the tax that may be imposed by the several States upon fertilizers produced therein."

Mr. GARRETT of Texas. Mr. Chairman, I make the point of order against the gentleman's amendment. It is not germane to the bill. It seeks to invoke the taxing power of the Government. That is not in this bill at ail. The gentleman seeks to deal with the power of the Federal Government to levy taxes, or with the States to do the same thing. I make the point of order that it is not germane.

The CHAIRMAN. The Chair sustains the point of order.

Mr. Laguakuia. Mr. Chairman, I offer the following amendment, which I send to the desk.

The Clerk read as follows:

Amendment offered by Mr. Lagdabdia: Page 16, line 12

Mr. RAMSEYER (interrupting the reading). Mr. Chairman, I rise to a point of order. The gentleman from New York [Mr. Wain Wright], a member of the committee, has been demanding recognition.

The CHAIRMAN. The Chair can not recognize gentlemen simply because they are members of the committee. The Chair recognizes gentlemen who offer amendments and those who oppose amendments that have been offered. The Clerk will report the amendment offered by the gentleman from New York.

The Clerk read as follows:

Page 10, line 12, after the word "power" strike out the period, insert the following: "Pmtided, That preference shall be given to States, counties, and municipalities in the sale of such surplus power."

The CHAIRMAN. The gentleman is recognized for one and one-half minutes.

Mr. Laguaruia. Mr. Chairman, this section provides for the distribution of surplus power to States, counties, municipalities, corporations, partnerships, and individuals. My amendment provides that preference should be given to the States, counties, and municipalities in accordance with the express wishes of the gentleman from New York and in accordance with the purpose of the bill. If this power is to be used in order to bring down the cost of power, unless we adopt this amendment, which is taken from the Norris bill, we will simply be producing power to turn over to the Alabama Power Co. This amendment should be adopted.

The CHAIRMAN. The time of the gentleman from New York has expired.

Mr. WAINWRIGHT rose.

The CHAIRMAN. The Chair recognizes the gentleman from New York [Mr. Watnweioht] for one and one-half minutes.

Mr. WAINWRIGHT. Mr. Chairman, the way in which the committee bill has now be?n amended, leaves comparatively little to choose between it and the Snell substitute. They nre both pure Government operation measures, both provide for Government operation of both the dam and the nitrate plants, •but In my judgment of the two the committee bill offers the more effective medium for Government operation. It provides for the operation of the various plants through the medium of a Government corporation, which is preferable to delegating that responsibility to the Secretary of War and the Secretary of Agriculture as is provided in the substitute. The committee bill also provides for a fund to conduct the operation.

Mr. FROTHINGHAM. Mr. Chairman, will the gentleman yield?

Mr. WAINWRIGHT. I can not yield. It provides a working capital to conduct the operation whereas under the Snell bill both the Secretary of Agriculture and the Secretary of War would start without a cent at their disposal. If we are really now to turn to Government operation as the alternative to abandoning these plants, we must at least put this corporation in funds to conduct the business. If gentlemen are now willing to favor Government operation of these plants at Muscle Shoals, then the committee's bill, in my judgment, affords the better method. Much as I would like, if I consulted my personal preference, to support the plan offered by a gentleman for whom I have so high a regard as my distinguished colleague from New York, I can now find no sufficient reason for breaking uway from my committee and supporting this Snell substitute.

The CHAIRMAN. The question is on the amendment offered by the gentleman from New York [Mr. Lagijardia].

The amendment was agreed to.

Mr. SNELL. Mr. Chairman, I now offer the amendment for a vote which I presented for information.

The CHAIRMAN. The Chair would suggest that there are several amendments to the committee amendment, which would probably be better disposed of in the first instance. The Chair recognizes the gentleman from Connecticut [Mr. Merbitt].

Mr. MERRITT. Mr. Chairman, I offer the following amendment, which I send to the desk.

The Clerk read as follows:

Page 27, line 3, strike out section 19.

The CHAIRMAN. The question is on agreeing to the amendment.

The amendment was rejected.

Mr. McMILLAN. Mr. Chairman, I have several perfecting amendments which I desire to offer.

The CHAIRMAN. The gentleman from South Carolina offers certain perfecting amendments in line with the amendmerit already adopted by the committee. The Clerk will report the amendments.

The Clerk read as follows:

Amendment offered by Mr. McMiLLAN: Page 17, line 0, after the "words "price of," strike out the words "fertilizeTM and."

The CHAIRMAN. The question is on agreeing to the amendment.

The question was taken; and on a division (demanded by Mr. Mokin) there were—ayes 128, noes 84.

So the amendment was agreed to.

The CHAIRMAN. The Clerk will report the next amendment.

The Clerk read as follows:

Amendment offered by Mr. Mcmillan: Page 17, line 18. after the words "users of," strike out "commercial fertilizer" and Insert In lieu thereof "fixed nitrogen."

The CHAIRMAN. The question is on agreeing to the amendment.

The amendment was agreed to.

The CHAIRMAN. The Clerk will report the next amendment.

The Clerk rend as follows:

Page IS. line 3, after the word "sell," strike out "the fertilizers, or the fertilizer" and insert In lieu thereof "fixed nitrogen or its ingredients."

The CHAIRMAN. The question Is on agreeing to the amendment.

The amendment was agreed to.

The CHAIRMAN. The Clerk will report the next amendment.

Th» Clerk read as follows:

Page 18, line 14, after the words "and sell," strike out "fertilizers" and insert in lieu thereof "fixed nitrogen."

Mr. OLIVER of Alabama. Mr. Chairman, what amendments are these?

The CHAIRMAN. These are all amendments introduced by the t;entlemnn from South Carolina [Mr. McMn.i.AN]. The question is on agreeing to the amendment.

Tlie amendment was agreed to.

The CHAIRMAN. The Clerk will report the next amendment.

The Clerk read as follows:

Page 10, line 2, strike out "concentrated fertilizers" and insert in lieu thereof "fixed nitrogen."

The CHAIRMAN. The question is on agreeing to the amendment.

The amendment was agreed to.

The CHAIRMAN. The Clerk will report the next amendment.

The Clerk read as follows:

Page 10, line 7. after the word "nitrogen." strike out the comma and the remainder of the paragraph and insert a period after the word "nitrogen."

The CHAIRMAN. The question is on agreeing to the amendment.

The amendment Whs agreed to.

The CHAIRMAN. The Clerk will report the next amendment.

The Clerk read as follows:

Page 19. line 18, after the word "of," strike out " said fertilizers in" and insert in lieu thereof "fixed nitrogen."

The CHAIRMAN. The question is on agreeing to the amendment.

The amendment was agreed to.

The CHAIRMAN. The Clerk will report the next amendment.

The Clerk read as follows:

Page 1!), line 20. after the words " use of," strike out " said fertilizers" and insert "of the same."

The CHAIRMAN. The question is on agreeing to the amendment.

The amendment was agreed to.

The CHAIRMAN. The Clerk will report the next amendment.

The Clerk read as follows:

Page 20, strike out all of lines 0, 7, 8, and 9.

The CHAIRMAN. The question is on agreeing to the amendment.

The amendment was agreed to.

The CHAIRMAN. The Clerk will report the next amendment.

The Clerk read ns follows:

Page 23. llnu 3. after the words "power or," strike out "fertilizers or fertilizer" and Insert the words "fixed nitrogen or its."

The CHAIRMAN. The question is on agreeing to the amendment.

The amendment was agreed to.

The CHAIRMAN. The Clerk will report the next amendment.

The Clerk read us follows:

Page 23. line 7, after the words " used in," strike out the word "fertilizer" and Insert the word "nitrates."

The CHAIRMAN. The question is on agreeing to the amendment.

Mr. WRIGHT. A division. Mr. Chairman.

The CHAIRMAN. The gentleman from Georgia demands a division.

The committee divided: and there were—ayes 108, noes 80.

So the amendment was agreed to.

The CHAIRMAN. The Clerk will report the next amendment.

The Clerk read as follows:

Page 27, lines 12 and 23, strike out the word "fertilizers" and insert In lieu thereof "fixed nitrogen."

The CHAIRMAN. The question is on agreeing to the amendment.

The amendment was agre^l to.

The CHAIRMAN. There lx>ina: no other amendments to the commit Ip>* nmendinent, the Clerk will report the first amendment to the Snell substitute.

Mr. SNELL. Mr. Chairman, I think it would be better to put tliat in the order in which it comes in the bill.

The Clerk read as follows:

On page 2, Hue 22, after the word "except," strike out "for a continuous output of 12,uOO kilowatts" awl insert in lieu thereof "such amount of cither primury or secondary power as may Op required from time to time under sections 9 and 10 herein."

The CHAIRMAN. The question Is on agreeing to the first amendment to the Snell substitute.

The question was taken ; nnd on a division (demanded by Sir. Hill of Alabama) there were—ayes 117, noes 95.

So the amendment was agreed to.

The CHAIRMAN. The Clerk will report the next amendment.

The Clerk read us follows:

Page 3, lino 2, after the word "Agriculture," insert "or other designated agent."

In line 17, the same amendment.

Page 6, line 5, the same amendment.

Page G, line 0, the same amendment.

The CHAIRMAN. The question is on agreeing to the amendment.

The amendment was agreed to.

The CHAIRMAN. The Clerk will report the next amendment.

The Clerk read as follows:

Page 6, line 14. after the word "production," strike out the words "including a reasonable rate" and Insert in lieu thereof the word "exclusive."

The CHAIRMAN. The question is on agreeing to the amendment.

The amendment was agreed to.

The CHAIRMAN. The Clerk will report the next amendment.

The Clerk read as follows:

Page 7, lines 3 and 11, after the word "Agriculture," insert "or other designated ageut."

The CHAIRMAN. The question is on agreeing to the amendment.

The amendment was agreed to.

Mr. HOCH. Mr. Chairman, I offer an amendment which I have sent to the Clerk's desk.

The CHAIRMAN. The gentleman from Kansas offers an amendment, which the Clerk will report.

The Clerk read as follows:

• Amendment offered by Mr. Hoch to the Snell substitute: On page 3, line 7, strike out the period after the word "used," insert a semicolon, and add the following: '• Prorided, That in any contract of sale of power under this act the purchaser shall agree that any resale of such power to the ultimate consumer shall be at a price that Is rensonablo, Just, and fair, aa determined by the tVdenil Power Commission."

The CHAIRMAN. The question is on agreeing to the amendment.

The amendment was agreed to.

The CHAIRMAN. The question now recurs upon the Snell substitute as amended to the committee amendment.

The question was taken; and on a division (demanded by Mr. MoKtN) there were—ayes 119, noes 151.

So the Snell substitute was rejected.

The CHAIRMAN. The question is now upon the committee amendment as amended to the Senate resolution.

The question was taken; and on a division (demanded by Mr. Mobix) there were—ayes 153, noes 61.

So the committee amendment as amended to the Senate resolution was agreed to.

Mr. MORIN. Mr. Chairman, I move that the committee do now rise and report the resolution back to the House with the amendment, with the recommendation that the amendment be agreed to and that the resolution as amended do pass.

The motion was agreed to.

Accordingly the committee rose; and the Speaker having resumed the chair, Mr. Newton, Chairman of the Committee of the Whole House on the state of the Union, reix>rted that that committee, having had under consideration Senate Joint Resolution 46, providing for the completion of Dam No. 2 and the steam plant at nitrate plant No. 2 in the vicinity of Muscle Shoals for the manufacture and distribution of fertilizer, and for other purjwises, had directed him to report the same back to the. House with an amendment, with the recommendation that tin; amendment be agreed to and that the resolution as amended do pass.

Mr. MORIN. Mr. Speaker. I move the previous question on the resolution and amendment to final passage.

The previous question was ordered.

The SPEAKER. The question is on agreeing to the amendment.

Mr. GAHRETT of Tennessee. Mr. Speaker, on that I ask for the yeas and nays.

The SPEAKER. The gentleman from Tennessee demands the yeas and nays. Those in favor of ordering the yeas ami nays will rtee and stand until counted. [After counting.] Thirty-six gentlemen have risen; not a sufficient number.

So the yeas and nays were refused.

The SPEAKER. The question is on agreeing to the amendment.

The amendment was agreed to.

The SPEAKER. The question is on the third reading of the resolution.

The resolution was ordered to be read a third time, and was read the third time.

Tlie SPEAKER. The question is on the passage of the resolution.

The question was taken ; and on a division (demanded by Mr. Mown) there were—ayes 251, noes 165.

So the resolution was passed.

On motion of Mr. Momx, a motion to reconsider the vote by which the resolution was passed was laid on the table.

EXTENSION' OF REMARKS MUSCLE SHOALS

Mr. AIcSWAIN. Mr. Speaker, in view of the conflict of opinions relating to the action of both the House and the Senate upon Muscle Shoals, I offer some suggestions and observations for the clarification of the issues and to let the public know just what the issues now are, and just what the Congress has in mind with reference to Muscle Shoals.

NATIONAL DEFENSE

It ean not be too often repeated nor too much emphasized that the primary object of Muscle Shoals is the safeguarding of the national defense. When in 1916 the Congress enacted the great national defense act which incorporated section 124, it was based upon the truth that without nitrates with which to manufacture explosives, our country would be utterly helpless in time of war. We have within the bounds of America, though rich in many mineral resources, absolutely no natural deposits of nitrates. Consequently, we have been forced to rely throughout our history upon Chilean nitrates. Even when the Panama Canal is open. Chile is a long way off from the Atlantic seaboard ; and if an enemy fleet or enemy airplanes should destroy the locks of the Panama Canal, we would be cut off from Chilean nitrates and our battles-hips would lie futile and our Annies helpless without explosives. Furthermore, during the World War it took 20 per cent, which is one-fifth, of all of our American shipping to transport nitrates from Chile to the United States. This cost us $550,000,000, of which $97.000,000 went to the Chilean Government itself as an export duty. The American taxpayers in time of war and the American farmers in time of peace have virtually maintained the Chilean Government by this export duty, without the imposition of any taxes by the Chilean Government upon the people of Chile.

DOMESTIC SUPPLY OF NITROGEN

It was therefore natural and reasonable that all thinking men should realize the necessity of having a domestic supply of nitrogen. For that reason section 124, i>roviding for the establishment of such a plant as Muscle Shoals, was enacted in 1910. For the same reason General Pershiug in his final report, dated March 29, 1920, called attention to the Muscle Shoals nitrate plant and commented upon the happy circumstance that this essential feature of making war may be used for the commercial manufacture of nitrogen in time of peace so as to return a reasonable profit on the investment and at the same time keep the plant in good condition for military purposes.

In fact, the truth is that the more nitrogen we fix in time of peace to be used as fertilizers and for other commercial purposes, the better equipped must our plant be in experience and in training, for the fixation of nitrogen in time of war. Furthermore, we can not afford to depend upon private industry to supply us with nitrogen in time of war. It is true that two or three private plants in this country are in oi>eration, but no such nitrogen goes into fertilizer at the present time. Furthermore, the amount of nitrogen consumed in time of war increases more and more with each war, and we may anticipate that, the next war, which will drop bombs from airplanes in vast quantities, will employ larger guns than ever and will use hand grenades and various other forms of explosives, and so will consume much more nitrogen, perhaps many times more per unit of time and per soldier, than any previous war. For illustration: The American Expeditionary Forces in its 110 days of fighting in France used more explosives than did all the Union Armies during the four years of war between the States of the North and the States of the South. Furthermore, the single battle in France of St. Mihiel useil more explosives than did the Revolutionary Armies during the .seven years of fighting. In fact, the small American Army is now using each year more nitrates as explosives, in the form of powder and other charges, just for target practice and experimental shouting, than did the American Armies use in fighting during any one year of the Revolutionary War.

MUSCLE SHOALS IS A WAI1 PLANT

So it is manifest that Muscle Shoals is an indispensable asset of national defense, just as a navy yard in Charleston, just as an artillery camp at Fort Bragg, N. C., just as an infantry camp at Fort Benniug, Ga., just as the arsenal at Rock Island, just as the airplane factory at Dayton. Ohio, and just like any other activity of either the Army or the Navy in the cause of national defense. As previously stated, the $700.000,000 a year that we are spending for the Army and the Navy, for sailors and soldiers, for battleships and cannon, for pistols and rifies, would be worse than thrown away without an ample and abundant supply of nitrates with which to discharge the cannon, to fire the rifle, and to construct the bomb weighing 2,000 pounds or more to be dropped from the airplane.

WIIKKK ACKICULTITRK COMES IS

But it so happens that this same nitrogen, so essential and Indispensable for war, is the most vital plant food and that which is most needed in the American soils and especially in the soils of the Atlantic States and the South Atlantic States, which have been longest in use. Nitrogen is the vital and valuable part in nitrate of soda. It is the valuable part in every form of compost, or cottonseed meal, or fish scrap, or packer trimmings. This nitrogen is necessary to produce the vegetation and the grain, which in turn feed and fatten the animal, which in turn supports and sustains the life of man. Fortunately, therefore, this element of nitrogen, which constitutes NO per cent of the atmosphere we breathe, may be employed in times of peace to multiply the products of the soil anil thereby multiply animal life. This inert nitrogen we breathe, when fixed in combination with other elements such as oxygen, calcium, and various chemical combinations, is what the farmer needs most to hasten and hurry his crops to maturity. There is no by-product of the navy yard that is useful to the farmer; there is no by-product of the Army arsenal that is useful to the fanner; there is no by-product of any other military activity useful to the farmer. But, fortunately, the by-product of keeping Muscle Shoals in first-class condition for the manufacture of nitrates for war is highly valuable to the farmer and can make him independent of the producers of Chilean nitrates and of the Government of Chile that has lived upon the product of the labors of the American farmer.

WILL THIt FAIIMKR «ET ANV BENEFIT?

While the action of the House of Representatives prohibits the manufacture of a finished fertilizer at Muscle Shoals and confines the activities of the corporation organized by the bill to the fixation of nitrogen and to the production of other forms of nitrogen, yet the farmer is bound to get much benefit from the production in mass quantities of nitrates at Muscle Shoals. How and why? For illustration, if the corporation operates to its capacity the existing plant, it can fix at least 40,000 tons of nitrogen per year, and perhaps 50,000 tons. This nitrogen can be sold and will be sold at less than one-half of what the fertilizer manufacturers are now paying for the nitrogen they import from Chile.

Since they can obtain this essential and highly valuable ingredient of fertilizers from Muscle Shoals at less than one-half of the present prices they are now paying for nitrogen, they must and will give the fanner the benefit of this reduced cost of producing finished fertilizers. There will be competition among the various manufacturers, bidding for the farmer's trade, and in this way the farmer will benefit. But if the fertilizer manufacturers should fail to permit this reduction in the costs of nitrogen to be reflected in the prices of the finished fertilizers, the farmers have it within their power to compel the fertilizer, manufacturers to come to terms. The fanners can cooperate HJid combine their requirements and buy carload lots of nitrogen at Muscle Shoals. In the same way they can buy carload lots of phosphoric acid and of kainit containing potash, and the cooperative association can rig up a rather inexpensive mixing plant, and combine these three ingredients in the right proportions and distribute them among the cooperative associations. Furthermore, other States can follow the example of South Carolina and authorize some State officer just as South Carolina has authorized the warehouse commissioner to buy fertilizers or fertilizer ingredients and sell them to the farmers at actual cost. Thus the States can come in, and using the cheap nitrogen purchased at Muscle

Shoals, help their farmers to cut in a very substantial way the present prices of fertilizers.

PLAN PROPOSED la PRACTICAL

Mr. Speaker, I have been amazed at some of the propaganda literature which has been put out by the National Fertilizer Association. This literature tries to make the impression that the proposal contained in the substitute of the House Military Affairs Committee, and known as the Morin bill, is radical and novel and unexpected, and therefore constitutes a harmful surprise to the fertilizer industry. Let us look at the facts.

The Norris bill is in several respects more far-reaching and more destructive of the fertilizer industry than the Moriu bill. Just why the fertilizer manufacturers did not raise a howl of protest against the Norris bill when it was in the Senate and after it, passed the Senate, while it was before the Committee on Military Affairs, is difficult for me to understand. The Norris bill authorized the construction and operation of fertilizer factories not only at Muscle Shoals, "hut anywhere in the Uulted States." Thus, the number was unlimited and might be placed anywhere in the United States. The Norris bill did not confine activities at Muscle Shoals to mere experimentation, but authorized the "production of fertilizers in the largest quantities practicable and shall be disposed of at the lowest prices practicable." Furthermore, under the Norris bill all the money derived from the sale of power would constitute a special fund to be used for "the developing, manufacturing, and introducing of improved fertilizers and fertilizer practices for the purpose of reducing the cost of production and of increasing the efficiency of such fertilizers on American soils." This was a dedication of the proceeds of the sale of power for all time to come. Contrast that with the Moriu bill.

Under the Morin bill the proceeds of power are to be used only during the first five years, which will manifestly be the experimental period when the cost of production per unit will be higher. Thereafter, for the next five-year period, one-half of the proceeds of power sale only shall be used in reducing the cost of producing fertilizers, and thereafter the fertilizer business shall not only be absolutely self-sustaining, but shall pay a profit upon the capital stock employed of 4 per c"nt.

The Norris bill does not contemplate any dividend upon the $10,000.000 capital stock which it authorized. Thus under the Norris bill the manufacture of fertilizer might become and could become a nation-wide activity. There could be 11 Government factory for the manufacture of finished fertilizers under the Norris bill in every State in the Union and in different parts of the same State. However much power might be produced and sold and however much revenue might be derived from the sale of power at Muscle Shoals, the same would be. employed for all time to come in cheapening the costs of producing fertilizer. This provision in the Norris bill would l>e a perpetual and unlimited subsidy. For my part I believe that fertilizers after the experimental period is past should be upon a self-sustaining basis. The evidence before the special commission appointed by the President in 1925 was that it would take a campaign of education lasting from three to five years to instruct and educate the farmers in the proper and profitable use of concentrated fertilizers. Therefore the period of five years fixed in the Morin bill for the distribution of 5 per cent of the product is reasonable and the amount authorized to he donated is reasonable in the cause of education.

FEDERAL CORPORATION USUAL AND REASONABLE

Mr. Speaker, the effort has been made to produce the impression that the proposal of a corporation governed by five directors, as contained in the Morin bill, is radical and revolutionary. The very contrary is the case. The fact is that on April 19, 1920, Secretary of War New'on D. Baker appeared before the Military Affairs Committee in support of H. U. 10329, which was a bill contemplating the creation of a corporation-almost identical with the proposal in the Morin bill. That bill will be found at page 831 of part 4 of the Muscle Shoals hearings printed in 1927. Furthermore, the commission, appointtnl by the President of the United States on March 2«. 1925, in its report recommended virtually the same thing.

The majority of the commission, including John C. McKenzie, formerly an honored member of the House of Representatives, and former chairman of the Committee on Military Affairs and living in the State of Illinois: former Senator Nathaniel B. Dial, from South Carolina; and Mr. R. F. Bower, of Virginia, recommended that if no satisfactory private lease of the property could be negotiated, that a Government owned and controlled corporation be set up and the commission outlined in its report the structure of such corporation, and the Committee on Military Affairs followed that suggestion very closely In framing the Morin bill. Furthermore, Federal corporations to exercise Federal powers are too common to cause any surprise or shock. Since the establishment of the first national bank of the United Slates in 17SW to this pood day. the Federal Government has used the power to incorporate organizations to carry on Federal projects. The various Federal land banks, the Intermediate credit banks, the Mississippi Barge Line, the Kinergeuey Fleet Corporation, the United States Shipping Board, the War Finance Corporation, the United States Housing Coriwration. the Panama Canal Railroad, and other corporate agencies that do not now come to my mind, are abundant proof that the proposal to operate Muscle Shoals by a corporation under the management of five directors is no reason to claim surprise.

KEBTIUIBK8 O1IGIXAIJ.T CONTEMPLATED

Again, Mr. Speaker, a diligent and energetic effort has been made by the National Fertilizer Association to make the impression that the determination of the Committee on Military Affairs, as contained in the Morin bill, to manufacture fertilizers at Muscle Slioals, was an unexpected proposal and a great surprise to the fertilizer industry. There can be no Just reason for any such contention. In the first place, as previously shown, the Norris bill, which had passed the Senate by more than a 3 to 1 vote, was a more broad fertilizer proposition than the Morin bill.

In the next place, in the act of June 3, 1910, known as the national defense act, in section 124 the- word "fertilizers" was expressly used twice. The common and usual understanding of "fertilizers" is not a single element of plain food, but two or uiore elements mixed and finished in proper proportions and ready for use by the farmer. Again, on April 24. 1922, the Committee on Military Affairs made its report, which became a part of the public records of the country, and section 2 of that report provided that whoever might "use the property at Muscle Shoals" should be "obligated in the strictest terms to the manufacture and sale to the public of fertilizers in time of peace."

This report was signed by such men as Hon. Frank L. Greene. Dow Senator from Vermont; Hon. John F. Miu.er. still u Rej>resentutive from the State of Washington ; Hon. Richard Wayne Parker, then a Member of Congress from New Jersey; the Hon. Percy E. Quiw. from Mississippi; and the Hon. William C. Wright, from Georgia.

Then, on March 20, 1925. the President of the United States appointed a commission to investigate Muscle Shoals, and that commission, consisting of five men, included the Hon. John C. McKonzle, formerly a Member of Congress from Illinois; and the Hon. N. B. Dial, formerly a Senator from South Carolina. That commission appointed by the President made its report, dated November 14, 1925, and the concluding paragraph of that report is as follows:

It la with great reluctance that we turn toward Government operation, being well advised of all of the Infirmities Inherent In Biich an undertaking. The great Investment of the Government at Muscle Shoals, however, the Importance of Its continued mnlnteunnee as a part of our national dcfemie. the crying need of agriculture for more nnd cheaper fertilizer, and the. favorable opportunity for meeting that need, all compel us to disregard our prejudices, for we are convinced that to permit longer this greiit investment to stand Idle when it can be of such Krent sorvlco to our people would be little less than a public calamity.

This commission of the President in 1925 plainly advised the public, including the National Fertilizer Association, that the Government might any day turn to the manufacture of "fertilizers" to supply the "crying need of agriculture for more nnd cheaper fertilizers."

Again, a committee consisting of seven members of the Military Affairs Committee was appointed to hear and consider proposals for the lease of the Muscle Shoals property in 1927, and that committee made a report on March 3, 1927, which was approved by the full committee, and reported to the House and printed in the Congressional Record, and became n part of the records of the Nation. That report contained the following juiragraphs:

1. That the property shall at all times be subject to the absolute right and control of the Government for tile production of nitrates or other ammunition components of munitions of war and that nitrate plant No. 2 must be kept available therefor by the purchasers, lessees, or users of the property.

U. That the purchasers, lessees, or users of the property shall he obligated in the strictest terms to the manufacture and rale to the public of fertilizers in time of peace.

3. That any proposal for the purchase, lease, or use of the Muscle Shoals property of the United States Government must be for the entire property except the so-called Gorgas plan and the transmission Line therefrom.

4. In the consideration of any offers for Muscle Shnulfl that It be a prerequisite that such offer contalu a stipulation that the lessee,

! operating ajsmcy. or owner, as the rase may be, be required to return

to, or account for to, the Government cither In mnh or b.v way of

reduction in the price of the fertiluter manufitctuml. th« prontx from

the sale of power which would have been uatxl .In the raatiufacturv of

fertlliier In case there had been no discontinuance In the manufacture

I thereof; that the manufacture of fertillaer may be discontinued only

I when there ahall be such excess accumulation of fertiliser stocks aa

I shall be In excras of the reasonable or prospective demands for *ueh

feriillBer. and mrh manufacture shall be resumed upon reduction to a

reasonable degree of such accumulated stock of fertlliier,

5. That any bid must contain a provision for the forfeiture of the

power rights and fertlltter provision! If there in auy failure to produce

nitrates In the amount of at least 4Q.OOO tons per year, provided tout

such forfeiture as may not be due to the neglect, misconduct, or fault

of the lessee, shall not Include the loss of the reasonable value of the

property at the time of the forfeiture, but the leesee shall be reimbursed

by the Government for the reasonable value of such property then and

I there belonging to the lessee and essential to the operation of (ho

'plants.

Furthermore, when the Henry Ford proposal was before Ibe t Congress, surely every man. woman, and child in the 1'nited States heard that proposal discussed, and the main and essential feature thereof was that Henry Ford promised to manufacture "cheap fertilizers" at Muscle Shoals, and proposed to carry on experiments to see if Ihe electric furnace and electrochemistry could not do for the " fertilizer business" what they have done for industry, and especially for the automobile Industry; that is, to see if it would not be [xissible to produce in vast and unprecedented quantities plant food in concent rated form that could bo shipped to great distances with slight freight, costs and at very low prices, so that agriculture might receive the benefit and assistance of modern science.

The Ford offer bill passed the House of Representatives and went to the Senate, and. while the same never passed the Senate, the Senate did pass a hill which provided for the manufacture of fertilizers. Furthermore, the Hon. Oscar Underwood, then a Member of the Senate, was the author of a bill that contemplated the manufacture in mass quantities of "fertilizers" at the lowest ix>ssible costs.

KK.SULT (IK IIUVIKW

Therefore, Mr. Speaker, this brief review of the history of the legislation relating to Muscle Shoals must show that from the very beginning the plan and purpose was to manufacture "fprtilers," and that plan was kept constantly before the country by the Ford offer bill of 1922 and by the recommendations of the President's commission in 192f> and by every other step that has been taken by Congress looking to the disposal of Muscle Shoals property. Therefore it can not be fairly and Justly claimed that there was any surprise In the projiosal of the Morin bill to manufacture fertilizers. If the fertilizer manufacturers did not np]M>ar before the House Military Affairs Committee and demand hearings with respect to the Norrls bill, how oould It be expected or anticipated that they would desire to be heard on the Morin bill? As a matter of fact, everybody must understand that the Morin bill Is technically and In a parliamentary sense, as well as In a broad nnd logical sense, a mere amendment to the Norris bill. The Norrls bill proposed to use the power at Muscle Shoals to "manufacture fertilizers," either directly b.v the operation of the machinery at Muscle Shoals or Indirectly b.v the use of the money derived from the sale of power at Muscle Slioalw to establish "fertilizer factories In any part of the United States." When that hill came In-fore the House committee It was either to bo turned down In totu or to be amended In part or to bo amended by a siilmlltule.

The committee decided to set up n prncllcal, businesslike corporation with restrictions nnd limitations thai should have made the Norrls hill far more acceptable to the House of Representatives. The committee bill, known as the Morin bill, took Ihe operation of the Muscle Shouts pro|M>rl.v and Ihe various other fertilizer factories that It contemplated out of the hands of the Secretary of Agriculture, who is a mere Cabinet officer, |icrhaps with no business experience, and certainly too busy with jMillllch and general administration to Imi.v any proper Hllenllon to the Muscle Shoals property. The Morin hill placed Ihe admlnlstratkm In the hands of live competent business men, constltntlm/ a continuing hoard of directors, who would he pnld on a per diem basis and not on a yearly salary biisls. Furthermore. Ihe Morin bill confined the activities for the manufacture of fertilizers to Muscle Shonls alone and cut out all reference to fertilizer plants elsewhere In the United HtatfiM. Furthermore, the Morin bill did not approve that part of the Norrlx bill which contemplated the dedication of the net proceeds from the sale of power at Muscle Shoals to the subsidizing of fertilizer* forever. On the contrary, the Morin bill provided that such NiibMldy should be continued during the period of starting up and ex

« ПретходнаНастави »