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Mr. BARROWS. The price of the No. 8, which is the legal-sized envelope, is $2.26 per thousand.
Mr. Fitch. And if you go on the market you pay $3 or $3.50 a thousand for the same envelope right along.
LIMITED INDEMNITY ON LOST PIECES OF MAIL.
The CHAIRMAN. “For payment of limited indemnity for injury or loss of pieces of domestic registered matter, insured, and collect-ondelivery mail, $120,000.”
Mr. BARROWS. As has been explained a number of times, this is largely guesswork, and since these estimates were submitted we have found our estimate is very much under what we expected. The increase has been phenomenal.
The CHAIRMAN. The increase in your losses?
Mr. Barrows. The increase in business with a proportionate increase in the losses.
Gov. Dockery asked me to apologize for his nonappearance, which is caused by reason of the fact that he is sick in bed, and he wished me to assure you that he would be here if he could. He asked that the amount which was saved on the stamped paper estimates be added to this.
The CHAIRMAN. We can not do that. You tell the governor that we have not changed our rules since he was on this committee.
Mr. BARROWS. Then he asks that this estimate be increased $50,000.
The CHAIRMAN. We can not do that unless he transmits an estimate through the Secretary of the Treasury.
Mr. Barrows The unfortunate part about that is, Mr. Chairman, that when we are short of money like we are now the public suffers. We have been out of money since some time in May.
The CHAIRMAN. Before this bill becomes a law there will be ample time to submit an estimate through the regular channels.
Mr. BARROWS. Very well, then, we will get that estimate over here.
The CHAIRMAN. What is the value of the approved claims against this appropriation?
Mr. BARROWS. Fifty-five dollars of indemnity claims have been passed and are ready for audit since the appropriation was exhausted. Our estimate was $238,000, and it was cut to $200,000.
The CHAIRMAN. You are still asking for
Mr. BARRows. For very much in excess of that, because the business has increased over 50 per cent. The indications from the returns which are in for the past fiscal year show that the insured business has increased more than 50 per cent over that of the previous year.
The CHAIRMAN. What I do not understand is that you say you have already passed claims amounting to fifty-odd thousand dollars. Mr. BARROWS. Yes, sir.
The CHAIRMAN. That will leave you about $170,000, and you are asking for $50,000 more. Why do you anticipate the need for that additional money?
Mr. Barrows. On account of the increase. The claims can be filed any time within six months after the expiration of the fiscal year, and the cases are still continuing to pour in at a very heavy rate.
The CHAIRMAN. Is the payment of these indemnity claims still profitable !
Mr. BARROWS. Yes, sir; last year we made a profit of one million two hundred and some odd thousand dollars, and we estimate the profit this year to be more than $2,000,000.
Mr. GILLETT. Profit on what?
Mr. BARROWS. On this one feature of insured mail. It was so large that during the fall and winter the Postmaster General was working upon a plan to decrease the rates; but the sudden demand for revenue became so apparent that that matter has, of course, been dropped for the time being.
The CHAIRMAN. I saw a statement that in Great Britain the introduction of a lot of new people in the Postal Service on account of the regular employees going to the war had resulted in tremendous losses of postal matter.
Mr. BARROWS. That is not apparent in our work, Mr. Chairman. The CHAIRMAN. You have not had many employees taken out yet?
Mr. BARRows. We have lost a great many people from the department, and we are very short and are running overtime and everything of that sort, but, of course, it has not been felt yet. The loss of insured mail has only run about 1 in 1,000 pieces.
Mr. GILLETT. Is this all first-class mail!
Mr. Barrows. No, sir; fourth-class only, parcel-post mail. Included in here also is the indemnity for registered mail, but that is comparatively small.
Mr. GILLETT. Then this is nearly all parcel post?
Mr. Barrows. Yes, sir. The allotment for first-class registered mail was $38,000, or about one-fifth of the appropriation.
TUESDAY, JULY 17, 1917.
STATEMENT OF MR. A. B. FOSTER, SUPERINTENDENT DIVISION
OF EQUIPMENT AND SUPPLIES.
EXPENSES OF SHIPMENT OF SUPPLIES, ETC. The CHAIRMAN. “For defraying expenses incident to the shipment of supplies, including hardware boxing, packing, cartage, freight, and the pay of one carpenter at $1,200 per annum and nine requisition fillers at $840 each per annum, for assignment in connection therewith, $8,000.”
How do you happen to get a deficit in this kind of an appropriation?
Mr. Foster. That is principally due to the increased quantity of supplies that we shipped, and an increase due to the fact that we had to ship about 600 canceling machines; that is, 1.200 canceling machines altogether. You see we put into the service July 1, about 600 Government-owned machines to replace rented machines, and we paid the express from the factory to the post offices, and then the freight on the old machines back to the company.
The CHAIRMAN. Was that contemplated when you made up your estimate?
Mr. Foster. We had not contemplated bringing back the old machines until after July 1.
The CHAIRMAN. Why did you do it before that time?
Mr. FOSTER. Because some time in May we were given notice that there would be a 15 per cent increase in the freight rate and to take advantage of the present freight rate we got them all ready before the first of the year.
The CHAIRMAN. Does that account for this deficit?
Mr. FOSTER. That is one item. It was not all used for that purpose.
The CHAIRMAN. How much was that?
Mr. FOSTER. In our contracts for supplies, especially paper and facing slips, the contractors desired to make shipment during June for next year. They would not give us a contract any other way, and we had to have these supplies shipped some time in June, so that their warehouses would be cleaned up before the 1st of July. That applied also to about 317,000 pounds of paper. That one item cost us about $1,000 in round numbers. We shipped 23 carloads of twine to our depositories throughout the country. We got that started before the 1st of July to get this advantage in freight rates. It was necessary to keep our depositories stocked up with twine. That am unted to about $2,000. Then there is an item that we set aside for the auditor for the payment of drayage on all kinds of supplies. The drayage receipts go to the auditor and he adjusts with postmasters direct, and we allotted to him about $3,000 for the last quarter, for the purpose of paying for this drayage on various things. That does not include freight, but is for drayage from the station to the post office. In addition to that we had shipped about seren carloads of blank facing slips, which is another item from the paper contractors. That went to the depositories, and some of it here to Division of Equipment and Supplies.
The CHAIRMAX. They go out every year, do they not?
Mr. FOSTER. Well, our principal reasons, in connection with those things, were that the present contract under which we are working requires us to place our tentative orders in June. We could not draw the official order until July because the appropriation was not available, but we told the contractors that we would place the orders on July 1 for such items and they could ship them when they were ready. We let them ship them on Government bills of lading, being f. o. b. In that way our appropriation was depleted.
WEDNESDAY, JULY 18, 1917.
DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE.
FEDERAL HORTICULTURAL BOARD,
STATEMENTS OF MR. W. D. HUNTER, IN CHARGE OF SOUTHERN
FIELD CROP INSECT INVESTIGATIONS, BUREAU OF ENTOMOLOGY; MR. C. L. MARLATT, CHAIRMAN OF THE FEDERAL HORTICULTURAL BOARD, DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE; MR. C. S. SCHOFIELD, DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE; AND MR. ED L. AYERS, CHIEF INSPECTOR TEXAS STATE DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE.
CONTROL OF THE PINK BOLLWORM.
The CHAIRMAN. The provision in the bill relative to the pink bollworm is as follows:
On account of the menace to cotton culture in the United States arising from the existence of the pink bollworm in Mexico, the Secretary of Agriculture, in order to prevent the establishment and spread of such worm in Texas and other parts of the United States, is authorized to make surveys to determine its actual distribution in Mexico; to establish, in cooperation with the States concerned, a zone or zones free from cotton culture on or near the border of any State or States adjacent to Mexico; and to cooperate with the Mexican Government or local Mexican authorities in the extermination of local infestations near the border of the United States. For rent outside of the District of Columbia, and for the employment of such persons and such means in the city of Washington and elsewhere as the Secretary of Agriculture may deem necessary, $500,000, to continue available until expended.
Who is in charge of that!
Mr. HUNTER. Mr. Marlatt, who is just now busy on the telephone, is chairman of the board; but I think we can proceed, if you are ready, by permitting me to make a preliminary statement.
The ground I expect to cover deals in an explanatory way with what the pink bollworm is, how it affects cotton, and what the situation is in Mexico at the present time. I would also like to say a few words about what the introduction of the pink bollworm in the United States would mean to our cotton culture.
The pink bollworm in one stage is a moth, and I have a specimen of it here. These moths deposit their eggs on the fruit of the cotton plant. The eggs hatch into larva, which in a few days bores inside of the cotton fruit. If it happens to be a form or square it falls to the ground, and so the crop is lost, but if it happens to be a boll, the boll does not drop, but a portion of the interior, or, in many cases, all of the interior is destroyed. So that, regardless of the stage of the cotton plant which is attacked, the fruit is directly or indirectly destroyed.
In the summer time this insect develops from the egg to the moth in about 10 or 15 days, and consequently an enormous number of individuals, or an enormous number of generations, are developed in the course of a single season. They may become so numerous toward the close of the season that they destroy all the crop as it forms. Later on in the season, however, instead of developing into the moth stage again, the larva or grub become quiescent, and in that stage they may last for at least two years. Consequently, there
is every opportunity for the shipment of this insect from one part of the world to another in its quiescent stage, in which it is contained in cotton seed.
Now, what I have said indicates the two respects in which the pink bollworm affects cotton. First, it reduces the production of the fruit, and, second, on account of the injury to the fruit, it reduces the amount of oil that can be obtained and reduces the quality of what is expressed. From observations made in Egypt, it was determined that from 10 to 30 per cent of the oil content was lost on account of the ravages of this insect in the seed.
At the present time the pink bollworm is found in Egypt, where it was intreduced about 10 years ago; in South America, where it was introduced more recently; and in India, where for ages it has been an important cotton pest. It also occurs in the Hawaiian Islands, where it was introduced some years ago from India. In 1911, in connection with the exploitation or culture of Egyptian cotton in Mexico, some 10 tons of infested Egyptian cotton seed was brought to Monterey. Naturally the infestation was rather low, and the insects did not show themselves conspicuously in the crop of the next year. In fact, the Egyptian cotton produced a very good crop, and that cotton sold at Mexico City at a higher price than any other cotton ever brought in that market. The planters naturally found out about it, and there was a sharp demand for the seed produced for planting purposes. Some of those seed went into the Laguna district, where perhaps four-fifths of the cotton in Mexico is produced. That is an area of about 1,200 square miles, something like 200 miles from our frontier. Our investigations have shown that the insect is thoroughly distributed over that Laguna territory, and our records indicate that quantities of the infested seed may have been shipped within the last few years from the Laguna district to regions much nearer the United States.
As you know, Mr. Chairman, we have a boll weevil in this country which affects the cotton plant in somewhat the same manner that the pink bollworm affects it. While we have the boll weevil, the other countries have the pink bollworm, and in that way the two insects operate to equalize the difficulties in production. The situation that confronts us now is such that unless something is done the United States is pretty certain in a very short time to get this second very destructive cotton pest. Then the United States will be suffering under the handicap of the boll weevil in the first place, and further from this most destructive cotton pest. Then, it is very doubtful, with the conditions now obtaining in this country, with the high price of labor and the diversion of labor to other industries-it is very doubtful whether under this double handicap the United States would be able to maintain competition with the other cotton-producing counties of the world. In that view of the situation, the Department of Agriculture considers that the crisis which confronts us is a most serious one. Just to-day, Mr. Chairman, we received the latest information from Egypt concerning the damage from the pink bollworm there. I have here a publication of the Egyptian ministry of agriculture which gives the records of the infestation by the pink bollworm in central, lower, and upper Egypt.