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The day book. (Chicago, Ill.) 1911-1917, August 18, 1914, LAST EDITION, Image 11

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

Persistent link: http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn83045487/1914-08-18/ed-1/seq-11/

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By Gilson Gardner.
Washington, Aug. 18. "Specula
tion and not war is responsible for
the suddenly increased cost of living
in the United States' said Represent
ative M. Clyde Kelly of Pennsylvania,
author of the resolution presented the
house directing an investigation of
high cost of food question.
"I am convinced," said Kelly, "that
there is 'no occasion for the advance
in prices seen during the past week.
This advance is startling. I have just
completed a tabulation showing the
percentage of increase in price of 12
of the 15 principal articles of food
consumed in the average working
man's family. This shows that in a
single week there has been an ad
vance in the necessities of life aver
aging 22 per cent.
"There is more food in the country
today than ever before and the pros
pect of more remaining here for
many months.
"By all legitimate economic rules
food should be cheaper rather than
higher. Speculation is the only pos
sible explanation.
"The beef trust is putting meats in
to cold storage to hold for famine
prices in Europe, while gambles in
wheat and breadstuffs are forcing
prices up on the prospects of rich
hauls when the starved nations of
Europe shall at last begin calling for
their supplies of grain.
"To speculate in people's hunger
at a time like the present is little
short of criminal. To take unfair ad
vantage of our own home people here
for the purpose of extorting at some
future time famine prices from other
suffering people is despicable.
"The pause of this thing is the un
regulated private control of the pub
lic's food supply. The desire for il
legitimate profit is responsible.
"I want to see this thing unearthed
and I want the secretary of com
merce to get right on the job and use
the power which he now possesses
under the Underwood act to go into
the matter of cold storage of meat
stuffs, and into the speculation in
grain on the Chicago Board of Trade,
where, I am informed, more grain is
traded in a' single day than is raised
in the whole country in a year.
"I want to see these things brought
to light and the responsibility for this
situation on the persons where it be
longs. Then we can get after the
remedy which, in my opinion, ought
to be drastic government regulation
of cold storage, prohibiting storage
cJe. Many
beyond a certain length of time or
storage for speculation, and the ab
solute prohibition of trading in
"If this does not accomplish re
sults, then more drastic government
control ought to be had. The people's
food supply ought to be in the con
trol of the people and not of greedy
private interests."
Representative Kelly's resolution
directs the secretary of commerce to
use the power of the bureau of cor
porations to make these inquiries. It
is the most drastic ofa number of

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