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divisions each. There are some 65 possible subdivi
sions in the Brand grading scheme, although none of the country markets can show an elevator with bins £or more than a dozen grades and subgrades. That three cars of wheat graded No. 3, for differ ent reasons, can be mixed and graded as No. 1 when they reach the Minneapolis market the buyer and miller get the extra profit represented by the spread in prices between the first and third grades. That Doctor E. F. Ladd of North Dakota has shown that between the best No. 1 northern and a no-grade wheat weighing 45 pounds to the bush el, the difference in value of the products after milling is only 11 cents, and may be as low as 7 cents on the bushel, whereas the present difference in price on the grades is 20 cents, and it has been us much as $1 on the busheL That the farmers and the state officials^ and the co-operative elevator companies want grading rules that will enable the farmer to get the milling value of his wheat, thereby wiping out one more premium on grain gambling. Secretary. Meredith indicated a lively interest in each point made, asking numerous questions and Pairing no definite attitude as between his bureau of markets staff and the farmers and state officials until the whole matter had been gone over. Then he expressed his conclur sions. The delegations from the North west were satisfied that he would go ahead and sensibly revise the grades, their confidence being strengthened by the fact that he invited them to stay and help him with their expert advice. Of course the visitors could not overlook the opportunity to remind the new secretary that they remembered the previous hostile attitude of the de partment. Several of them said that they were glad that the department had a new secretary and a new head for the bureau of markets. Year after year they had come to Washington and pointed out the manner in which thousands of wheat growers were put into the power of the grain buyers by the rules fixed by Mr. Brand, but they BY A. B. GILBERT ANY farmers in answering the recent government questionnaire as to farm conditions reported inability to get hired help at wages which would en able the farmer to break even in his farming. Relatively higher wages and the lure of social excitement in the cities were drawing the farmhands away. However, would the farmer be any better off if, as the papers so frequently suggest, city labor were getting lower wages and working longer hours? The farmer might under such conditions keep the hired man, but this is not all there is to the problem of farming. The farmer also needs a market. His market consists of the working classes here and in west ern Europe. Europe has been practically cut off for the last four or five months by the adverse rate of exchange and nearly all the consumption of the farmers' product has taken place at home. If the workman had not gotten higher wages, he could not have bought so much of this produce. Price declines for the farmers would have been more serious than they have been. Instead of finding it hard to get the hired man, the farmer might find it impossible to continue farming. An illustration may make this point clear. Be fore the war, let us say, the X— company was pay ing an ordinary workman $2 a day. Out of this $2 he must find foodj clothes and shelter for his fam ily. War conditions doubled and trebled the prof its of the company. The owners of its stock had far more to spend but they bought no more food and probably no more wool, leather and cotton prod ucts than they did before. The farmer thus gets no appreciable addition to his market from their increased buying power. labor, on the other hand, remains at $2, the laborer must meet mounting costs by cutting down the amount of food and clothes he buys. And. the farmer thus loses part of his market, while he must pay the increasing prices charged for sup plies. But if the laborer's wage keeps pace with the rising general costs, the X— company will have less profits and the laborer will be able to Congressman John M. Baer of North Dakota had come in vain. Now they came once more, hold ing out to themselves the hope and trust that anew man in the secretary's chair, a man from the West, with some understanding of the conditions in the wheat area, would take enough personal'interest in the issue to see justice done. Precedent and personal organization within every department of the government at the capital make it a herculean task to uproot and cast aside a re actionary policy on the part of any bureau. For mer Director Brand of the bureau of markets— now enjoying $20,000 a year from a promotion by one branch of the southern fruit and vegetable combine—ruled not only his bureau but almost the entire department by a personal organization. A majority of his henchmen are still in the bureau of markets and in other bureaus. They will resist, as a matter of self-defense, any official repudiation of "his schemes. But today the indications are very strong that they will have to submit to certain changes. This revision of the wheat grades is the first reform. In view of the great sum involved—the saving on grades and hence on prices which the farmers will receive from fair grading—the victory achieved is the more remarkable. T.KAntraS IN GRAIN GRADES FIGHT Doctor E. F. Ladd of North Dakota Is Labor Responsible for Increased Cost of Living? keep up his normal buying of food and clothing. In the one case th^ farmer gets nothing out of the distribution of the business gains in the other he gets a large part of them. Labor spends about 40 per cent of its income for food. Would the prices the farmer pays for supplies of all kinds be any less if labor had consented to remain on pre-war wages Let us think about this question a minute. It challenges the whole theory that increasing demands of labor produce high prices. Labor does not sell direct to the farmer or to any other class of buyers. Labor does not manage the mining and manufacturing business of the country any more than the farmers manage the marketing of their products. Those that do man age operate always on one fundamental principle— "Get all you can get." Consequently when the war produced scarcity .conditions, these managers did not say, "We can sell for so much because labor costs us so much." Not at alL The guiding thought was that the market warranted a higher price—"We ask so and so because we can get so and so." We would have paid just as much for coal, steel, sugar, gasoline or any other monopoliz ed necessity if labor by some miracle had been able to work for nothing. The recent increases in prices for sugar, painful ly familiar to all, took place after the farmers had been paid for their beets, labor paid for refining, and a big manufacturing profit taken out of the old price of around $10 a hundredweight. The great increases in trust prices early in the war likewise appeared long before wages showed any appreciable increases. Government statistics show that the general in crease in the cost of living between 1913 and Oc tober, 1919, was 83.1 per cent. Food costs in that time increased 80.70 per cent and clothing 139.30. During this period wages lagged a good way be hind these price increases and by the end of the period had reached a maximum increase for union labor of 55 per cent. Other labor -dependent en tirely on the condition of the labor market had gained somewhat less. The differences between the two percentages is 28.1 and this represents rough- PAGE FOUR Senator Magnus Johnson •f Minnesota Credit for whatever changes are made is due primarily to the fight that has been made against the grades by Doctor Ladd of North Dakota and the Nonpartisan league. With the advent of TMx. Meredith as secretary of agriculture early in Feb ruary Congressman Baer wrote various state offi cials in North Dakota, asking their views of the situation. On February- 6, J. A. McGovern, chief deputy grain inspector, replied, saying that the federal grain standards law is fairly satisfactory, but that the system of grades for wheat established by Secretary Houston under authority of that law was very far from satisfactory.. He considered that if the secretary were to establish a reasonable set of grades, "based on the quality and production of flour, a few grades on the test weight and the condition of the wheat as to its flour production," no amendment of the law would be necessary. Under date of February 7 Doctor E. F. Ladd, president of the North Dakota Agricultural col lege and chief grain inspector, wrote "I am strongly in favor of federal inspection. It is the only satisfactory way. Grain inspected in North Dakota ought to be the same grade as in New York, New Orleans or Buffalo. Federal grades only can bring this about. But I have never been satisfied with the present federal grades, as they work injustice to the producer and benefit the speculator and the mil ler. There are too many grades and too many opportunities for spread between the various grades when they come to export grain or when the miller comes to be the buyer and he does not consider anything like the number of grades that the farmer has to deal with who produces the grain." Mr. Baer then wrote the new secre tary, Mr. Meredith, suggesting that he hold a public hearing on the revi sion of the wheat grades. These grades were first established in 1917, and somewhat revised in 1918. He asked Secretary Meredith to listen to the farmers' views on the right system of wheat grading. The announcement of the hearing followed shortly. ly what labor has lost in the desirable things of life since 1913. It represents also the decrease in labor's power to buy the product of the farm. The talk of the better conditions of those who work with their hands in the cities applies only by comparison with other classes of workers. The hand workers have lost 28.1 per cent of their buy ing power since 1913, but other classes such as clerks, bookkeepers, teachers, professional men, have lost between this figure and the full increase in the cost of living of 83.1 per cent. The condi tion of the latter classes, who work directly for and have generally allied themselves with the large business element, is pathetic. They skimp and struggle along even to the extent of putting one or two of their children in homes to keep up ap pearances and to keep body and soul together. Their condition, which is contrasted so unfavorably with that of the hand workers, is breaking their pride and forcing them into organizations and al liances with the hand workers against the interests which profits so greatly from their labor. Another factor which has increased the apparent prosperity of the hand worker is the increased em ployment of women. Scarcity of labor to tend ma chines has made an opening for the wife as well as steady employment for the husband. And the workman's wife, with no prejudice against work as such which the middle class women have, has taken this opportunity to piece out the declining in come of the husband. Recent official reports in dicate that about 80 per cent of the working class families are dependent on bread-winning activities of some other member or members of the family. Where the wife has gone to work, the combined family income is larger than it ever was before. But the gain is made at the expense of that strong American institution, the home. Home life, as the farmer likes to think of it and as the workman likes to think of it, ceases to exist when the wife works as long as the husband in the factory and leaves the children to bring them selves up on the streets of the city. Our working people in the long run will pay dearly for extra income so obtained, and the country will lose much.