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The day book. (Chicago, Ill.) 1911-1917, August 21, 1914, LAST EDITION, Image 7

Image and text provided by University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Library, Urbana, IL

Persistent link: http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn83045487/1914-08-21/ed-1/seq-7/

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FOOD PRICE BOOSTERS ARE IN
FOR IT, SAYS RUMOR-
From Washington comes a Jeak
credited to a high source that with
in the next few days the department
of justice will secure indictments
against food price boosters.
It is understood that the depart
ment of justice has about completed
its probe and has found evidence very
damaging against several food hogs
who are shoving the prices with the
war cost excuse.
Attorney General McReynolds will
not give out any statement at this
time.
President Wilson recently ordered
the attorney general to get busy on
the investigation.
In the meantime, the investigation
here halted abruptly when District
Att'y Wilkerson left town abruptly
for Pentwater, Mich.
Wilkerson and his friends are said
to be indignant over the sudden man
ner in which Chas. P. Clyne was
chosen as his successor while Wil
kerson was in the midst of important
work. '
Stacked up in Chicago cold storage
.houses are hundreds of thousands of
pounds of rice, put away since the
big war broke.
Joseph P. Geary, chief investigator
for State's Att'y Hoyne, states that
his seventeen men who are making
a hunt for food hogs, find immense
quantities of rice in many of the larg
est cold storage houses.
This is the most peculiar condition
so far uncovered by the "state's at
torney's office. Rice doesn't need ice
or any sort of frozen atmosphere,
they are told by experts. Rice will
keep in any kind of a dry place. Let
it lay in' the direct rays of the" sun
and it wouldn't change in days.
"Why then should rice be packed
away along with eggs, spring chick
ens, Michigan -peaches and California
oranges?" asks Geary. "It looks as
though some fellows had to 'have
storage space all of a sudden and
were willing to pay extra cold stor
age rates in order to put over a big
clean-up of profits."
Shipments of large quantities of
rice northward from Chicago and in
quick time over the Canadian bor
der have been made in the last two
weeks, according to Geary. He said
he does not know what date his re
port will be ready for the grand jury
probe into forestalling. His view is
that the best service the investiga
tion will render will be pubhc ex
posure of facts. The offenders, if
found guilty, can only be convicted
of a misdemeanor and can easily pay
their fines out of a day's profits on
food hogging.
Banker Charles G Dawes, who de
clared in his Wednesday night speech
that it would be "un-Christian, un
American demagougery" to stop ex
porting food supplies to "our broth
ers at war in Europe," got his "an
swer last night from a meeting of 600
grocers and butchers at the Hotel
LaSalle.
Speculators and wholesalers were
blamed for war prices and xesolu
Cions were passed calling for all ex
ports to be stopped until prices go
down to normal. Sol Westerfield of
the National Association of Retail
Grocers introduced -this resolution,
adopted by unanimous vote:
"Present prices of foodstuffs, par
ticularly those of domestic origin,
such as flour, beans, meat, and sugar,
are witnout doubt unduly inflated.
Reported buying of foods for export
has resulted in placing means of in
flating prices in the hands of unscru
pulous holders. We urge President
Wilson and congress to prohibit the
exportation of foodstuffs until nor
mal conditions return.
"We recommend that all boards of
trade whose options are bought
and sold for speculative purposes be
closed except for transactions of buy
ing and selling for actual delivery.
"If quick action is taken it would
at once restore normal market conr
ditions. We recommend that all ex
portation of foodstuffs for Bed Cross.
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