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TO BBABSBOIKN nOTES
Don 't Get the Profit Look E. A. CALVIN He represents the cotton producers in W ashington, and declares that they get little if any profit; that the middle men get practically all of it. D Elsewhere, " Says the Cotton Grower By H. 0. BISHOP ID YOU ever hoar a man say he was going own to the haberdasher's to lay in a new supply of "ctton." or going home to change his "cot ton"? New! He invariably talks about getting new "linen," or changing his "linen." And was there ever a housewife anywhere in this blessed land of our who referred to her sheets and pillow cases a anything but her bed linen; or to her tablecloths and napkins as other than her table linen? Strange, isn't it. when we all know that linen articles are as scarce in the average household as are blonde maidens in Japan or brunettes in Sweden? One wonder- why we Americans are so averse to referring to any of onr wearing apparel as cotton, especially since nearly all commence wearing cotton clothing a few day after their advent upon earth, and, as a rule, they make their earthly exit dressed in a cotton shroud. America raise Mxty per cent of the world's cotton crop. I therefore think it well behooves Americans to be proud of cotton ami call it by its real name instead of eternally dubbing it "linen." We fool no one, least of all, ourselves. The average man and woman of this country have an exceedingly fanciful idea about cotton. They seem to entertain a picturesquely romantic belief that the on planters oi the South are all fabulously wealthy and lhf in beautiful white mansions with huge white pillars across the front, and 25 or 30 acres of lawn filled with beautiful shade trees, flowers and ham mocks, and not a blessed thing to do except eat fried chicken, dance, visit the neighbors, go horseback riding and sleep until well nigh noon every day. Alas, how very different is the cotton ,r wer in reality ! W hen yon get right up close to him yon will find that instead of being a "planter" he is jnst a farmer, and that he and his family live mostly on corn bread and hog and hominy. It will be found that the entire fam ily father, mother and all the kiddies get up at sunrise and generally work in the fields as lung as they can see. At least a thou sand homes without a single tree or column in front of them will be found, to one of the "romantic" kind. With a large percentage of the cotton farmers it is merely a question of existence from one year to another. Upon reading this article up to this point, the readers, particularly those who live in the North, East or on the Pacific Coast, are pretty apt to begin to flare up and more than likely will burst forth with: "I don't believe it. Those cotton farmers down South must be rolling m wealth. Just think what we have to pay for everything at the stores made out of cotton dress oods, stockings, underwear, handkerchiefs, shirts and bedding! W hy. the prices for cotton goods have never been SO high in the history of the world I know perfectly w ell that s me one is making a lot of money out of cotton, and if it is not the man who produces the cotton, who on earth is it?" Brings Socks and Ginghams to the Senate NOW such a statement would be the most natural thing in the world for almost any man or woman to make, for they all know that they are paying almost unbearably high prices for their clothing. Hut they cannot understand why this should be. nor who gets the additional money they are obliged to dig Up even time they go shopping. The big advance in cotton goods is added some where between the time the farmer sells his bale of cotton and the time the manufactured article is handed over the counter at the store to the consumers, ac cording to the cotton growers' representative here. E. A. Calvin, of Texas, recently presented the farmers' side of the question to a committee of the United States Senate that was investigating the high cost of living. Mr. Calvin is perhaps the best quali fied man in this country to talk on that subject. He was a cotton farmer himself for many years; was state president of the Farmers1 Union of Texas served as the first president of the National Earmers' Union, and is now the Washington. D. C, represent ative of the Cotton States Marketing Board There fore what he says on this subject is well worthy of careful consideration. The investigating committee was composed of Senators L Heislcr Bait of Delaware, chairman: Arthur Capper. Kansas; Davis Elkins. West Virginia: Morris Sheppard, Texas, and Nathaniel B. Dial, South Carolina. Somebody Always Gets It JUST prior to appearing before the committee, Mr. Calvin went on a shopping expedition in Washington. He took his purchases and a pair of scales to the Capitol in order to give proof to the Senators. Mr. Calvin : "I want to talk for a little while about cotton, because we have got to wear clothes as well as eat, and I want to tell you something about cotton and cotton farming. Here are six yards of gingham, Mr. Chairman, that 1 bought this morning at one of the leading dry goods stores in this city. I paid 75 cents a yard for it. It weighs 15 ounces precisely. It cost me $4.50 in cash. The farmer got IS1- cents for the cotton in that $4.50 worth of ging ham. The average price of cotton last year was 27 cents per pound. Sixteen ounces to the pound makes 1.7 cents per ounce. Multiply 15 ounces by 1.7 cents, and you have 25 1 j cents, the amount received by Mr. Cotton Earmer. "I am not going to tell you who got the difference J N AN exhibit made before a committee of the United States Senate, the cost of cotton in articles of merchandise and the articles themselves were compared. The following is the result: Cost of Cost of the the Cotton Article A Piece of Gingham .25 $4.50 A Piece of Voile .195 3.48 One Handkerchief .015 .25 Two Pair Socks .045 .SO between the 2Sy2 cents and $4.50. Somebody got it." Senator Capper; "How much a yard did you say you paid for it?" Mr. Calvin: ' 'Seventy-five cents. After 1 bought it, I looked around, and noticed the store was pretty full of folks. I asked if there was a sale on and was told that such was the case, and the clerk explained to me that I would not have gotten the gingham at that price only on account of the sale. Being just a mere man I was not supposed to know that. I do not know what I would have paid for it if there had not been a sale on." Senator Capper: "All these goods arc still going up?" Mr. Calvin: "Yes. Senator, and every now and then somebody raises a lot of sand about the cotton farmer profiteering and getting rich. I want to tell you that the price of cotton today is cutting absolutely no figure in the price of cotton goods. It is not even considered Here is a piece of what the ladies call voile. I believe. It cost me $3.48. or 58 cents a yard -six yards of it It weighs exactly 11 ounces. The armer got or the cotton in this six yards of goods 18.7 cents, the goods that I paid $.V4H fa, this very morning. I did not overlook the men when was re membering tin- ladies, and 1 got some SOCka bought two pairs of cotton socks. They weigh 2) .ices. I paid 40 cents a pair 80 cents for the two pa rs. The farmer got 4'4 cents for the cotton in thes I vo pairs of SOCks, Renu mber 1 paid 80 cents for tlx m. Only $b50 fir Each Family 441 HAVE some handkerchiefs here, Senat oi I saw 'them in I window oh the way up and asked the price of them. They looked like good handkerchiefs, and I was told that the price was 25 cents a pie They weigh 4!4 ounces. In other words they w a little less than an ounce each. The farmer got less than Vi cents for the cotton in each one of those hand kerchiefs. "I will give you one of them, Senator Mail, to remember the cotton farmers by. That is a twenty five cent handkerchief for which the farmer who grew the cotton received less than 1)1 cents. "In this connection 1 want to say tins, a- applied to the cotton farmers: that many people do not icesi to appreciate the situation they are in. The Census Bureau shows that there are 2,000,(KX) families m the South engaged in cotton production. The average is a fraction over five to the family. Last year the pro duction was a little less than 12,000,000 bales, making six bales to the family as the average production Assume that they got M) cents a pound for it. which they did not get. According to the government figures they received an average of 27 cents per pound Six bales of cotton at 30 cents a pound would be (M to the family. Everybody that knows anytl about cotton knows that it is an all the year p : I crop, from January to December, and there is ab ut an average of three out of a family who work in the cotton fields, and they work for $900 a yea: to pro duce six bales of cotton, when cotton is 1 "ents a pound. I do not think that any one would want them to work for less than that. Sixty-two pi cert of cotton producers are tenant farmers, and th ij one fourth of all they make to the landlord. That leaves them approximately $650 a year for a fam oi five, and three of them work in the field, on the a ragt "I only say these things hen because there sr a lot of folks that irom different parts of the United States that do not seem to understand th- tuation in the South. Mr. Chairman, i e aver age northern man could go S itlj travel through Georgia, Alaban Missis sippi, Louisiana and Texas ai see the hovels that the average cott farmer lives in, he would never complain any more about the cotton farmer get! rtg more than he ought to have for his c ton. ' I have traveled over the PenasyJ" vania system from here to Chi ago and to St. Louis, and I want to tell u that it is like traveling through paradise trorn thm vtjiwlt.itit of tlm linmps. as COfllPSr with travel in the South; bccaiM cotton farmer has always been a slave until receottT a slave to cotton. He is doing better now. e trouble is that we are afflicted with the tenant sys tem down South. It is an evil system man who has his land worked exclusively by t ei intS cat produce cotton just as cheaply when labi is ? a day as he can when it is 50 cents a day. because he does not supply any of the labor. Bm 11 has gone high enough yet and probably never for the average tenant to make money at rs, cotton. The landlord can make money on this basi , there is no questioning that fact." Chairman Ball: "This would have been a SW interesting matter carried on down to the COOS J in order to find out how much of this cost went to manufacturer and how much to the retailer. deed. I .1 t-A . t i .... II 1 C i inougnt, Mr. L,nairman, inai ymt . ctoot i l,4t.. it ii nl.t, tttic line and let MM i a niiii agiiauoii .ikuik wmmmm w ..w. . i i! in Mr. Calvin : it wouia De very - o o - croinR known, let the country know just what is K just how much more the consumer is having than the farmer gets, somebody would have to f t,u. across and state who is getting the lion s share profits."