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Montana labor news. [volume] (Butte, Mont.) 19??-1951, April 28, 1932, Image 1

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Committees on Relief Committee Request to Meet
Published By the Silver Bow Trades and Labor Council—Weekly— In the Interests of Organized Labor
Montana Labor News
The American standard of
living must be maintained
in order that American in
stitutions may not be sub
ject to perils of discontent.
There can be no prosperity
without justly high wages,
learnings of working people
are th. basis and index of
progress in any community.
Vol. VIII.
No. 7
3 tPiSS
6 7 t
(Continued from last edition.)
The foregoing facts taken from our own domestic copper mining
industry prove conclusively that we can export large quantities of
■hen the industry is rigidly protected, yet prevent the
flooding of the domestic market by the foreign product except
during excessive domestic copper prices, which was the cause of the
1873 importation.
Copper Tariffs 1816-1894.
We note that the first copper ingot tariff was laid in 1846, practically
nth the recorded beginning of our domestic copper mining in
This ingot duty was repealed in 1867.
We find that the first ore-to-ingot copper tariff was passed in 1861,
which laid a duty of five per cent as against copper imported in ores, 1.6
cents per pound for old copper and two cents per pound for copper im
ported in ingot form. These duties prevailed until 1869, except that in
1864 the ingot duty rate was raised to 2.6 cents per pound.
In 1869, we ascertain that the duties were increased to three cents for
copper in ores, four cents for copper in regulus also old forms, and five
cents per pound for copper imported in ingot form. These duties were in
effect until 1883 except for a ten per cent reduction during 1872-4.
The tariff act of 1883 fixed a rate of 2.5 cents for copper imported in
3.5 cents for copper imported as regulus or old, and four cents per
These duties remained in effect
pound for copper imported in ingot form,
until October, 1890.
The McKinley Bill of 1890 practically destroyed the effective copper
duties prevailing since 18C1, by reducing the duty on copper imported in
ores to one-half cent per pound; and the duties to one cent per pound for
copper in regulus or old forms; and to one and a quarter cents per pound
for copper imported in ingot form. These non-protective duties were in
effect until August, 1894.
The Wilson-German Act of 1894 removed all duties from ore-to-ingot
stage, thereby placing all the domestic copper miner's product within the
free list; the copper miner's ingot, after nearly 48 years of continuous pro
tection, was again placed in the economic arena of merciless and devastating
All the tariff acts passed from 1894 to 1930 have monotonously retained
the domestic copper miner's product within the free list, yet accorded ever
increasing and exhorbitant duties for the manufactured copper article.
Domestic Internationalists.
It was a coterie uf Americans after securing control of certain Canadian
copper and nickel deposits in 1886, who through specious, sleek and sleazy
pleas finally secured the near destruction of all copper ingot duties as of
1890. I am firmly convinced that prototypes of these forty-years-ago
domestic internationalists are now suavely, persistently and with the same
degree of calloused cunning trying to convey the impression that the pres
ent day competition from Canada, Chile and Africa is inconsequential.
The domestic copper miner realizes full well the dangerous tariff intrigues
of the present day domestic interaationalist, for it was this type, a garner
of profits irrespective of national origin and human oppression, who placed
the copper miner's product on the free list forty years ago and has kept
it there ever since.
These domestic internationalists now control the domestic copper mining
industry and its ore reserves; also the foreign copper mining industry and
its ore reserves. A selective right of domestic or duty free foreign-mined
copper for their highly protected domestic copper manufacturing industry
is a most menacing threat directed against the domestic copper mining in
dustry. The tendency trend of these internationalists is to persistently cur
tail their high cost domestic copper output, yet continuously increase the
output of their low cost foreign production. They can loftily inform the
Chileans and Rhodesians that if they interfere unduly with their monopolis
tic copper perquisites they will forthwith mine within their United States
ore areas. Conversely, if these internationalists feel that our domestic
citizenship, institutions, communities, stales and government oppress them
unduly, they can contemptously disregard same by securing the total cop
per requirements for their excessively protected domestic manufacturing
plants from their foreign slave, peon, and pauper-labor ore estates.
I submit that such a right of selection of duty-free, foreign-mined copper
is most destructive of American labor, industry, institutions and com
munities, and a parallel thereto cannot be found within any other of the
thousands of major highly protected domestic manufacturing industries.
I am desirous of calling attention to the "vertical integration" or "mine
to consumer" production policy of the United States Steel Corporation
when formed by its banking sponsor thirty years ago. Said corporation,
from its very inception, has always secured its total iron requirements from
domestic ore areas, consequently aided in developing and increasing our
domestic iron ore reserves, likewise maintained American ciitzenship, com
munities and industry.
The "vertical integration," or "mine to consumer" policy indulged in by
our leading highly protected domestic copper manufacturing corporation, is
to ship in free of duty most of its copper requirements from the oppressed
labor areas in Chile, and Mexico. A "vertical integration" practice of this
type is distinctly un-American and is not permitted to exist within any
other major domestic industry.
The constant and unusual tariff immunity so solicitously accorded this
domestic distributor of Chilean and Mexican copper the past decade has
not alone emboldened it to constantly increase its destructive copper im
portations but seemingly generated a precedent now being eagerly followed
by domestic banking agencies exploiting the jiuge African copper reserves.
I insist that so far as this copper importing activity is concerned, even
though it is carried on decorously, quitely, yet with machiavellian political
and publicity thoroughness, likewise affording excessive profits to the do
mestic copper manufacturer, its end destructive effect is just the same as
against the livelihood of the domestic copper miner as if he were directly
replaced by the African negro and the Chilean peon.
This form of "mine to consumer" integration is viciously destructive of
American labor and American communities and ample American copper ore
reserves for national defense purposes. It is not allowed in any of the
thousands of rigidly protected domestic industries, and it will not be tol
erated or allowed to exist within the partially protected domestic copper in
dustry whenever the constrictive practices of these domestic internationalists
arc exposed.
The unusual and un-American congressional tariff immunity accorded the
domestic internationalist the past decade in connection with his huge im
portations of foreign pauper-produced copper, has given hint the brazen
courage to attack the domestic tariff structure as a whole. These domestic
internationalists have been exporting billions of dollars worth of domestic
(Continued on page four)
Saturday, April 30, 7:30 p.
Carpenters' Hall
SALT LAKE CITY—Two thousand names representing approximately
100,000 voters in the state are attached to a petition to the Utah congres
sional delegation at Washington, urging that the copper mining industry in
the United States be given full protection from foreign competition. Plans
are under way to have the lengthy document taken to Washington by Harry
S. Joseph, Salt Lake City mining engineer and political leader. Joseph
stated that congressional delegations from Idaho, Montana, Arizona, Cali
fornia, Oregon, Wyoming, Washington, Tennessee, Michigan, Nevada, New
Mexico, Colorado and Minnesota also will be urged to favor protective legis
lation by their respective constituents.
Reports Support.
Joseph, who has canvassed the state in behalf of satisfactory congres
sional legislation during the last two months, reported that he has obtained
support of the movement from practically every field of endeavor in the
state. He mentioned the names of Heber J. Grant, Dr. Richard R. Lyman,
Dr. Joseph F. Merrill, former Gov. Charles H. Mabey, Dan B. Shields, Ernest
Bamberger and F. R. Marshall as indicative of the high caliber of indi
viduals interested.
In addition to the support of city, county and state officials, including
Gov. George H. Dem, chambers of commerce, civic clubs and fraternal or
ganizations, Joseph stated that outstanding representatives of the following
organizations have aligned themselves in favor of giving domestic copper
adequate protection:
Utah Cattle and Horse Growers' association, Utah Lumbermen's associa
tion, Utah State Farm Bureau federation, the Utah State Federation of
Labor, the Utah Manufacturers' association, the Utah State Woolgrowers'
association, the Utah Canners' association, the American Legion and the
Salt Lake Executives' association. In addition, Mr. Joseph stated that he
had obtained the support of 800 individual members of the Salt Lake Cham
ber of Commerce to a copper tariff as well as the unanimous support of
the Salt Lake Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks, of whjch he is
exalted ruler.
Mr. Joseph stated that the question at issue in the tariff discussions is:
"Are we going to compel the American copper miner to continue a life and
death struggle in competition with labor in Africa and South America ? All
that copper is asking for, and al l t i het those dependent upon it seek, is
for the right to share in the traditional tariff policy of the United States."
Raw Copper Unprotected.
"Copper in manufactured forms," Mr. Joseph continued, "is protected by
a tariff, but raw copper has no such protection. Tariff protection also is
granted to lead, zinc, aluminum, iron and steel, and since one-half of the
total operating costs in the United States is represented by labor we feel
that an adequate tariff is necessary."
The petition which Joseph will take to Washington, follows;
"While economic depression has blighted commerce and industry through
out the United States, the domestic copper mining industry is suffering from
double adversity. To the general condition of economic stagnation, copper
mining has the added burden of meeting a competition unprecedented for
magnitude and pemiciousness. Conditions of unemployment in the nation
are serious but distress among copper miners and their dependents is
"Twenty-two hundred families or about 10,000 persons, are destitute at
Butte, Montana, looking to charity for food, clothing, shelter and medical
attention: about 17,000 are in the same condition in the copper mining
communities of Arizona, and in Salt Lake county there are 36,000 persons
whose immediate needs are a public problem. A fund of |100,000 is being
raised at Salt Lake City for the benefit of the unemployed. Situations are
similar in other mining districts.
"It is obvious to those of us who live in copper mining states, and who
are familiar with present social, political and economic conditions, that an
emergency of sufficient magnitude is existent that ought to be given special
attention of congress.
Can Work Out Salvation.
"Distress in the copper mining industry among its workers and those
dependent upon them should be considered immediately and separate and
apart from other problems and issues. Conditions are paramount to the
Belgian devastation, Japanese earthquake and other calamities to which
Americans have contributed millions for relief, but unlike sufferers from
those foreign catastrophes, the American copper miner can and will work
out his own salvation if relieved of the oppression of competition of imports
of duty-free, foreign-mined copper. The American copper miner wants
work, not charity.
"It is patent that the closing of copper mines is causing not only copper
miners great distress, but that deplorable conditions have been brought about
in farming, livestock raising, railroading, business, commerce, public utilities
and other industries, in the supporting of schools, hospitals, churches, other
institutions of public welfare, menacing public health and safety and threat
ening to undermine our social systems and political governments.
Remedy in Protection.
"The remedy for all these dangerous conditions lies in protecting the
copper mining industry of the United States from the uncontrolled compe
tition given in our own country by the cheap labor copper of foreign coun
tries. The expeditious and feasible method of control may be had by proper
and immediate tariff legislation. We earnestly urge you to exert yourself
to the utmost to secure adequate tariff protection for our copper miners,
so that the present emergency may be passed without risking a complete
breakdown of that which we have built up during the half century past."

The efforts of the Murray Hospital to appeal the decision of the Supreme
Court of the Angove case met with failure. They were denied the appeal.
This case was reported in full some weeks ago and is a history maker in so
far as compensation legislation is concerned.
The Engineers' Union of Butte, and Attorney Lewis Brown are to be
the fine piece of work they have done in this case.
They have made an everlasting contribution to the welfare and protection
of the working classes, not only in Montana hut in the United States us
a whole. The Supreme Court is also to be commended
Interpretation of the Compensation Laws, favoring labor.
its unanimous
Considering the number of competing meetings of public interest, being
held last Tuesday Night, the Council was very well attended. We missed
v any of the lady delegates but we hope they were attending another meet
ag of vital importance to the public welfare.
The Council endorsed Chas. Whiteley for Utility Engineer of School
District No. 1. We hope that Charley is accepted for if there is one man
in Butte that deserves the support of Independents that man is Whiteley.
The Missoula Council sent information to the effect that the FLORENCE
HOTEL of MISSOULA is UNFAIR to organized labor. All labor sym
pathizers please take note when attending conventions or visiting in Mis
The Council endorsed a protest against wage cuts in our State Schools and
Institutions. Such cuts would effect only the low salaried workers and
teachers and not the high salaried officials.
The Street Car Men reported that they were to be cut 10 cents per hour,
beginning May 1.
The Machinists' Union and the Council protested the action of Senator
Walsh in endorsing the appointment of "Injunction" Wilkerson for Judge.
Peterson, Watson and Young were appointed as a committee from the
Council to meet with committees from the locals to consider the propo
sition for open shop, presented by the so-called Relief Committee.
The committee for the State Federation Convention was enlarged, Davies,
Krabler, Bradley and Sterns being added to the present committee.
President Graham made a stirring address on conditions in Montana
which will be reported in full in the next issue of the paper.
I the revenue bill and appeals for new levies were heaned before
finance committee today by a stream of witnesses.
Both sides of the copper tariff question were presented. A. F. Petermann
of the Calumet & Arizona Copper company, said a 6-cent tax on copper
imports was necessary to save the industry. Heath Steele of the American
Metal company of New York, a firm which has some foreign copper inter
ests, argued the duty would increase rather than decrease unemployment at
the mines.
The committee also heard opposition to an 8 per cent levy on the amount
paid for transportation of oil by pipe lines.
Urges 5-Cent Duty.
A. E. Petermann of the Calumet & Arizona Copper company urged the
committee to approve a 5-cent a pound tax on copper imports, which is being
advocated by Senators Hayden (D., Ariz.), Wheeler (D., Mont.) and Van
denberg (R., Mich,).
Petermann related that the tariff commission had reported foreign copper
cost less at American ports than the domestic metal.
"So far as I know," Petermann said, "there has been no opposition to a
copper tax on the part of any American producer."
After telling the group that the copper industry must have some relief,
Petermann continued:
"The end is right now. Unless something is done, most of the mines will
be closed in six months and the workers will have to have relief from either
from the state or Federal government.
"These people arc facing a disaster just as real to them as a fire or
flood. They know this is a permanent condition unless something is done."
Petermann said he felt the tax was germane to the bill, and asserted "the
industry is on the way to destruction—in fact, it's already commenced."
Foreign Competition.
This is due "entirely to new foreign competition which has come into
the picture" since 1928, he added, citing increasing imports from Canada and
South America, and saying the African fields were taking European markets.
Senator Reed (R., Pa.) said he was convinced a "prima facie ease for
a copper tariff" had been made, but he expressed doubt on the rate which
should be levied.
"We think a 6-cent rate will protect a large part of American producers,"
said Petermann, "but, even so, many producers still will have to pass out
of the picture."
Steele asserted that not one pound of Congo copper has been sold in this
country. Replying to Senator Hull, the witness said there is an agreement
among world producers to curtail the output 20 per cent.
Philip D. Wilson of the United States Metal Refining company, Carteret,
N. J., joined in opposition, arguing the copper import tax would involve
changes in forty-four tariff items and "still fail to help the condition of
copper producers."


WASHINGTON, April 19.—(AP)—Complaints against taxes already in
the senate
A meeting of all the committees, from the locals, Central Council and
Building Trades Council will meet Saturday Night, April 30, at 7:30 o'clock
to consider the Open Shop request of the Relief Committee to organized
member the date.


A convention of the Silver Bow County precinct Committeemen of the
Socialist Party will be held at 227 W. Aluminum St., Butte, Montana, Tues
day. May 10, 1932, at 7:30 o'clock, P. M., for the purpose of electing eight
delegates and eight alternate delegates to the Socialist Party State Con
vention to be held in Helena, Montana, Tuesday, May 17, 1932.
Chairman County Central Committee Socialist Party.
Butte, Montana, April 26, 1932.

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