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BOSTON PUBLIC LIBRARY /\ I 

Illllilllilli '^' 

3 9999 06542 020 8 



OFFICE OF NATIONAL RECOVERY ADMINISTRATION 
DIVISION OF REVIEW 



WORK MATERIALS 
No. 31 

THE FISHERY INDUSTRY AND Tffi FISHERY CODES 



Prepared by 
JOHN R. ARNOLD 



.. • .-. 






\ 



Industry Studies Section 
Januaiy, 1936 



POSEWORD 



This report on "The Fishery Industry and the Fishery Codes" 
was prepared "by Mr. John H. Arnold of the Industry Studies Section, 
Ivir. M. D. Vincent in charge. 

The report is concerned primarily nith the IT, R. A. Fishery 
Codes, hut the specialized character of the Fishery Industry has 
made it necessary to give considerahle attention to the industrial 
"background. The first half of the report deals mainly with this 
"background, while the second half is concerned primarily with the 
codes, their administration, and effects. The Fishery Industry, as 
defined for I]. E. A. purposes, included the wholesale distrihution 
and processing of fish and shell-fish, as well as fishing in the 
strict sense. Besides the ivlaster Code or National Code, there were 
twelve approved supi:)! ementary codes, and two or three independent 
codes for certain suhdi visions. This complexity has made it ex- 
pedient to treat details concisely,, and to examine especially the 
"broader aspects of the suliject matter. 

The Appendix on "The Earnings of Fishermen and of Enterprises 
in the Fishing Industr;r" is the first study of the kind to "be at- 
tempted. It has been largelj^ drawn on in writing the report on the 
codes. 

"The Fishery Industry and the Fishery Codes" presented herein, 
was not carried to the point originally contemplated due to curtail- 
ments of personnel unforeseen when the work was "begun. Nevertheless, 
mimeographing of the material which was prepared is Justified as an 
aid to further work in the field. 

At the "back of this report a "brief statement of the studies 
undertaken "by the Division of Heview will "be found. 



L. C. Marshall 
Director, Division of Review. 



Fe'braarj'- 1, 1936. 



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IIAJBLE OF COKTEH TS 

Chapter Page 

I - SCOPE OP THE STUDY AIJD lESCRIPTIOH OP THE IKDUSTRY 

Definition of the Industry 14 

The Code Stmcture 14 

Scope' f the' Repo rt 14 

Orgaxiization' of the !7hol'e sibling and Processing Indus- 
tries. 14 

Participation of Wholesalers and Processors in the 

Prilnars'- Pi-oduction 15 

Specialized SuhiridMstries. 16 

Detai'le'd Classification of the Suhindustries and the 

Codes. ....<. 16 

Perishability of Products and the Trade Organization 18 

Distri'bution of Nonperisha'ble Products 18 

Retail Distrihution of Fishery Products • 19 

' ' ■ Exclusion of 'Certain Groups frora the Pisherj'" Code 

''Industry ..., 19 

The Factor of Interstate Trade - The East 20 

' "The Pacific Coast and Interstate Trade 21 

Trade 'Organi zations 21 

Advantage of a Code Sj^stera Trith Respect to Trade 

Organization. . , . , , 22 

'la'bor Organization '- General .-.■ 22 

lalidr Organization in the Processing and Wholesaling 

Industries 22 

Lahor Activity in the Fisheries Proper 23 

II ■- THE PRODUCT I Oil 'OF THE INDUSTRY 

The 'Gross •■Volume of Business , 24 

■ The Primary Production Since 1929 24 

■ 'The "Outstanding Species , 26 

■ The Escport ' Trade 27 

The Competition of Imports 27 

The Per Capita Demand for Fishery Products 31 

Decline in Consumer Demand in the Nineteenth Centurj'' 31 

Unfavora'ble Comjjetitive Position and Possible Remedies 32 

The Natural Supply and the Prohlera of- Conservation 32 

Thfe Conservation Pro'blem and the Codes. 33 

III ■- THE PRICES OF FISHERY PRODUCTS 

Prifces to Primary Producers 34 

■ Prices' to Wliolesalers and processors , 35 

■ The Pi-ice Deflation and the Financial Position of 

Fishery Enterprises 36 

Relationship of Fish and Meat Prices 36 

The Stud;;- of Mackerel and Lieat ' Prices . . ; . 37 

Bearing of the Comparison on the Control of Fishery 

Price s ......•.;...,... 37 

The 'Spread Between Prices to Producers and to Consiiniers. . . . 38 



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TaTjle of Contents (Cont'd) 



Chapter 

III - 
(Cont'd) 

IV - r-. 



Eie Price Spread in an Illustrative Case... 
Relative Al)sence of I.Ionopolistic Practices. 

ES11A3LI.SHMEHT S. MD. MTESPRISES 



Pai£;e 

. 38 
. 39 



.Tlie. .Vessel,, 3.o.at .and .Shore. Pisheries 41 

The Humter of Pishing Vessels 41 

. .The .Qraiership, .o.f .Pishing .V.G.ss.els................ 41 

The Life and Age of Pishing Vessels 42 

. The .ll-umljer .and .Ownership, .o.f, .Pishing Boats. 42 

. .The -Size of Jlishing .pnte.rp.r.iqes 42 

Wholesaling and Processing Establishments 43 



V . .-. , P.ERSOMEL AKD VOLUl/IE OP ElvIPLOIlIEITT 



.... P.ersonnel .o.f .The Primary Producing Industrj^ 46 

Regalar and Casual Pishermen 47 

Characteristics o.f ,the .Personnel of the Pisheries 47 

The .Size .of .Pishing Crews 47 

.... The .Productivity of Pishing Lahor ..■...■ 48 

Periods .of .ActiYQ .EiijplQSTnent .in ,the Pisheries. 48 

Infrequency of Su.ppleraentary Employment or Earnings 48 

Employment .in ,the .lilholesaling .Epad ^Processing Industries. ... 49 

Seasonality ,of .EoplojOTent-,, • 51 

Total Personnel of the Pishery Industry. 52 

VI . .-r . .HOURS , OP .lAUOR . . • " ', ' ' ■ ." ' ' 



Hours in the Primary Producing Industry............. 54 

Hours in the Processing and Wholesaling Industries 54 

.Average . Hours .in . the .Wholesaling Trades. 55 

.Hours. in. the .Canned. Salmon Industry 55 

Hours, in the. California. Sardine Industry'-. 55 

.Hours, in. the .Presh. Oyster, Industry, ,,,.... 56 



VII 



. EARNINGS . OP . THE PERSOMEL 



.Modes of Compensating Pishermen 61 

. The . Share System 61 

. The. Employee . Status in the Pisheries........ 61 

Earnings of Pishermen in 1933 63 

Share Earnings in 1929 and 1934. 63 

Changes in Earnings from Wages 65 

.Pishermen' s. Earnings. and, the Price Cj'-cle ...... -i ■ 65 

.Abuses, in. the. Administration of Lays.. 66 

The Pishermen Emplojred by Alaska Salmon Canneries. 66 

.The. Total. Volxune. of . Compensation, i^l 'the Pisheries 67 

.PrerCode. Wages. in, the Wholesaling and Processing 

. . . Divisions. .,,,,.... 68 

Wage Volune of the Wliolesaling and Processing Indus- 

. . tries. ,,,,..,,..,,,,,,,....,,.. f ,, t ft ;f ! t ! r f r 68 

Grand Total Wage Volume of the Pishery Industry....... 68 



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. -ai- 



TaMe bK Contents (C ont'd) 

Chapter ■ . Page 

VIII - THE PISHEEY CODE STHUCTUSS iHD THE WHITINO OF THE COEES 

Administrative Control of the . Codes 72 

The National Fishery Code 72 

Administrative Bodies Under the National Code 72 

Defects of the National Code Set-Up 73 

What the National Code Pro2,Tai'i Should Have Been 73 

Development of the Supplenenta.rjr Codes 74 

Causes' of the' Delay in V/riting Sup;;>lementary Codes 74 

The Problem of Supplementary Code Areas 75 

Office Memorandum No. 228 and the Fishery Codes 76 

The Delay in Writing Codes for the Fisheries 76 

A Practicaljle System of Fishei-y Codes. 77 

A Program for the Preparing and Yi/holesaling Trades 78 

I 
IX - THE ADMINISTEA.TION OF THE CODES 

Handicaps -of -the Code Bodies 79 

■ ■ ' ■ "The Proolein of Code Finance 79 

Finances- of ■ the National Code Authority 79 

Collections and Expenditures of the Committees 80 

The' Compliance Pro'blem in General 80 

Code- Enforcement Regarded as a Government S.esponsi'bility. . . 80 

Actual Developments with Hespect to Conpliance.. 82 

Exceptional- Cases of More Effective. Administration 82 

' ' ' Few Cases of Highhanded Action "by Code Bodies 83 

The Code Bodies and the Collection of Statistics...., C4 



X " 'CODE -PROVISIONS EELATIITG TO HOURS OF LABOR 

No Restriction of Ho-ars in the 2'isheries Proper. 85 

Restriction of Hours in the Preparing and Wholesaling 

Trades 85 

Restriction of Hours in the Canning Industries 87 

The Canned Salmon Code and Hours of Lahor 87 

The Aggregate Spread of EiiiplojTnent in the Fishery 

Industry , 87 

" Compliance with the Maximum Hour Provisions 88 

XI - MINIlIUlvi WAGE- PROVISIONS 

■ Share Fishermen and the Minimum Wage Program 89 

■ The- Minimum Wages and the Wage Fishermen 89 

• ■ • Wages, in the Oyster Fishery 91 

Wage s on the Great Lake s 91 

- Wages In the Menhaden Fishery 91 

■ . Minim-um Wages in the Preparing and Wholesaling Trades...... 92 

■ ■- - -The .Wages of Oyster Shuckers and Cra'b Pickers..., 92 

Minimum Wages in the California Sardine Industry. 93 

Minim-UTQ Wages in the Canned Salmon Industry 93 

The Minimttm Wages of Emploj'-ee Salmon Fishermen 93 

Wages in the New England Sardine Industry 94 

Compliance with the Minim-um Wage Provisions 94 

Effect of the Minimum Wage Provisions 95 



9581 



-^ixi- 



Table of Contents (Cont'd ) 
Chapter 
XII - THAJDE PHICTICS PHOVISIOIS 



Pa^e 



XIV 



General, pharacteri sties 96 

Classif ipation oif Provisions Affecting Prices 96 

Prohibition of Destructive Price Cutting 97 

The Piling of Open Prices 97 

Prohibition of Sales Below Individual Cost... 98 

Effect of the Sales Below Cost Provisions 99 

Minimum Costs and Prices in Emergencies 99 

The_ ProhilDition and Reg-olation of Consignment Sales 100 

peculiar Practices in Handling Consignments 100 

Effect of Consignment Selling on Prices 101 

Effect of the Provisions Relating to Consignments 101 



XIII - TRAjDE PRACTICE PROVISIONS: CONTINUED 



The, Prohihition of Discriminatory Prices 103 

,The Regulation of Credit Terms. . 103 

Bases of Price Quotations and Settlements 103 

Allowcinces on Claims "by Customers 104 

The Diversion of Brokerage. 104 

Provisions for the Benefit of Primary Producers 105 

Payment for Purchases from Fishermen 105 

Provisions Relating to Abuses in the Administration of 

rs , 106 



Lays 



Provisions Relating to the Competition of Imports 106 

Complaints and Proceedings with Respect to Import Com- 
petition 107 

Conservation Provisions in the Fishery Codes..... 107 

Provisions Designed to Establish G-rades or Stajidards 108 

Minor Trade Practice Provisions , 109 



THE CONTROL OP THE ATLANTIC MACKEREL CATCH 

The Mackerel Season and the Ports of Landing 110 

The Eresh, Freezing and Salting Markets and the Import 

Trade.^.^.'. ."..'.'.'. ..'. ..'.'.'..'.'.'.'.....'•..'. .'.'.'.'.'..' , . ...110 

The Volunie of the Catch 110 

The Price of Mackerel to the Fishermen.,. - Ill 

The Costs of the Mackerel Fleet Ill 

■Earnings .of the Mackerel Fishermen in 1932. 112 

The .Genesis .of the Production Control Provision..... 112 

.The .Purposes and .Methods .of the Control 112 

The .Control .and the .Quotas .in .1934. 113 

■ The Application .for .an .Em.ergency Price and the Control 113 

.The Results of the Control : ,. 114 

■ The Control and Other Price-Governing Factors ......115 

• Statistical Evidence of Price Relationships 116 

.Conclusion with Regard to the Production Control.. 116 



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LIS T Q- J? TABLES 

T alkie Page 

I - G-ross Volume of Sales of the Fishery Industry "by Main 

Divisions, 1929 and 19G3 24 

II - Q,uantity and Value of the fishery Ca-tcii, ty Area, 

1908, 1929 and 1933 25 

III - Quantity and Value of the ITishery Catch, "by 12 Im- 

portazit Species, 1908, 1929 md 1953 28 

IV - Exports of Fishery Products, "by Kind of Product, 1929,. 

1933 and 1934 29 

V - General Imports of Fishery Products, "by Kind of 

Product,'^1929-,-1933 and 1934 .' 30 

VI - Per Capita Consumption of Fish and Shellfish in Certain 

Countries in Recent Years , 31 

VII - Average Price per Pound of the Fisher^f Catch, "by Area, 

1908, 1929 and 1933 34 

VIII - Decline in Average Prices for the Catch of the 12 

Most Important Species, 1929-1933 35 

IX - Distri"bution of 15 Companies Operating the Largest 

Fishing Fleets, "by Value of Catch, 1933 43 

X - ]SIum"ber of Establishments in the Fisherj"-, Wholesaling 

■ and Processing Industries, 1929, 1931 and 1933 44 

XI - Distri'bution of Fish Canning 8n.d Preserving Esta'blish- 
ments in the United Sts„tes Proper According to Their 
Value of Prod-uct,- 1929 . 44 

XII - Distri'bution of the Principal Salt Water Preparing and 
Wholesaling Firms in lew York City, According to 
their Gross Sales, 1930 and .1933 45 

XIII - llum"ber of Persons Engaged in the Fisheries Proper, 

"by Area, 1908, 1929 and 1933 46 

XIV - Estimated Monthly Variation in the Uum'ber of Persons 

Engaged in the Fisheries Proper, 1933.. 49 

XV - Employment in Fish Canning and Preserving Esta'blish- 

ments in the United States Proper, 1899-1933 50 

XVI - Nura^ber of Persons Engaged in the Fishery Processing 

and Wholesaling Industries, "by Area, 1929, 1931 and 

1933 51 

XVII - Monthly Variation in Enplojrment in the Fresh Oj'-ster 

Industry, "by Area, 1933 52 



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List of Ta"bles (Cont'd ) 

Tat)le Page 

XVIII - Average Pre-Code Weekly Hours of Labor in the Pishery 

■■■ 'Preparing 'aiid Tftiolesaling Trades, First Half of 1933..... 57 

XIX - Pre-Code 'Weekly Hours of Male Employees in Seven 

■'■ Calif (irilia'Sd,Mirie Plants, Season 'of 1933-1934 59 

XX - Hours Worked Per Week in the Presh Oyster Industry, 

■ • 'Dec6ra'b6r, 1933; ■....; 60 

XXI - Principal Types of Laj'-s or Share Agreements in Use on 
■ • Fishing "Vessels in 1933, dud Their -Relative Im- 

po r tance 62 

XXII - 'Average 'Earnings 'Of 'Vessel Fishermen for the Year 1933, 
Weighted According to the Total N^umljer in Each 
Fishery, by Area 64 

XXIII - Estimated Average Annual Earnings from Sliares of 

Fishermen on Share Vessels for the Years 1934 and 
•■ ■ '1929 , ■ Compared with 1935, by Area. 65 

XXIV - Average Pre-Code Weekly Earnings in the Fishery Whole- 

sdling'and Processing' Industries, First Half of-1933 69 

JDCV - Distribution of Plant Employees in Certain Fishery 
' ■ ■ liTliolesaling and Processing Industries, by Pre-Code 

Wage Bates.. 70 

XXVI - 'Total 'Voltime of Wages and Salaries of the Fishery 
Processing and Wholesaling Industries, by Area, 
1929 , 1931 and 1933. . 71 

XXVII - Advancfe Estimates of the 'First Year Income of Certain 

Fishery Code Bodies, Assuming 100 Per Cent Collection 

of Assessments 81 

XXVIII - Maximum "Hours 'of the Fishery Codes, with the Estimated 

Resulting Spread of Employment 86 

XXIX - MiniifiuitiWage'Eatfes of the "Fishery Codes, with the Es- 
timated Pesiilting Increase in Ann\ial Wage Volume 90 

XXX -^ Effect Of the 'Control of the Catch of the Atlantic 

Purse Seine Mackerel Fleet , 1934 11.5 

XXXI -* "Quant itjr, Value and Average Price of Mackerel Landed at 
Boston and Gloucester, 1913-1934, in Relation to 
Wholesale Meat Prices 117 



Chart I - Average Daily Hours Worked per Employee in Selected 

Salmon Canneries in Alaska, July and A'ugust, 1933 58 

9581 -vi- 



-1- 

THS ITISHEHY IMDU STEY AIID lEZ TISIISRY CODE S 

SLlfllAIlY 

SCOPE OP TEE STUDY AND .•pESGRIFTIO'N 0? TUn IlDUS'niY 

The Pishery Industry as defined for code purposes covered not only 
the fishing industry proper, or the fisheries in the ordinary sense, hut 
a-lso the v;holesaling trades a.nd the canning and reduction industries. 

The original plan T7as that this Indiistry should he covered hy a 
single naster' code, with supplementary codes for the subdivisions. Certa,in 
canning industries, however, petitioned out of its jurisdiction. The 
present study has dealt \7ith the Pishery Incxistry in the sense in nhich it 
".-as origins^lly intended that the master code should supply. 

The enterprises which handle the wholesale distrioution of fresh 
ano- frozen fishery products are quite distinct from the wholesale grocery 
trades. They also do a considerahle ve.riet;" of simple processing, \fhich 
T-as designated for code purposes "preparing". 

TTliolesalers and processors own fishing cre.ft, and gear on a scale 
large enoiTgh to account for not less thc-n 35 OJ-" ^0 per cent of the quantity 
caught. 

That the wholesale distribution of fresh fish and shellfish is so 
specialised is , explained primarily hy the e::trenae perishability of the rav; 
product. The cost of distribution mounts ra,picly with the radius, ajid in 
the interior of the country this has nM.ch affected the development of the 
consumer demand. 

Canned and other nonperishable processed fishei^/ products are naanly 
sold b;' the processors to the gener8.1 v/holesale grocery trade. Such oper?.- 
tions vere specifically excluded from the jurisdiction of the fisher^/ codes. 

All retail trade was also excluded fro:.: the jurisdiction of these 
codes, though an association representing the seafood dealers of greater 
iTe',7 York. petitioned for inclusion. 

Arproxinate figares^ - the only ones availa^ble - indicate that not 
less than two-thirds of all fishery products, and probably more, move at 
least once in interstate trade. 

Tre,de associations in the Pisher;'- Indu.str" have been numerous, but 
Eiostlj' local and neither efficient nor infliiential. Most of the fev.' na- 
tional associations had shown little vita,lity. Pew subo.i visions except the 
Canned Salmon and the lorth Atlantic Oyster Industries have been well 
organized. A large proportion of the r.ssociations that presented fishery 
codes were created for the purpose. Host of these are nov/ dormant if not 
disbanded. The encouragement of the habit of trade organization SJid co- 
operative activity was an important potential advantage of the code system 
to the Pishery Industry, which as things xieiit was not realized. 



S5S1 



~2- 

Tlie Industry has also had fe-.7 influentir.l la-tor organizaticns, the 
e:cceptions "being mainly confined to the crzining industries. Most fisher- 
men's organizations resemble trade associr.tions more than labor unions. 
They tend to represent the interests of prinary producers against dis- 
tributors rather than those of workers crrlnst oxinevs. 

Tirs piio::ucgioiT of the industhy . • . . - 

In 192s the gross sales of the Industry, including primary production, 
wholesa.le distribution and processing, uere probably not much less than 
$550,000,000. In 1933 the corresponding fi-ure rras about $350,000, 000, and 
ii ICGA -^e-j-hrps $45':' , 000 , OOC . 

The primary production of the fisheries rxiounted in I929 to about 
three and a half billion pounds, valued p.t 122 million dollars. Pron ths,t 
year to 1333 "tl^s quantity fell off about I9 per cent, and the value about 
51 per cent. 

The catch of edible fishery products is :.ia,de up of about I50 species. 
Tnelve of these, ho^jever, account for e.bout GO per cent of the tota,l. 
These 12, in order of their importance, are sa-lnon, pilchard or California 
sardine, haddock, herring, oysters, shrimp, cod, mackerel, flounders, tuna, 
hs,libut and crabs. . ■ 

The j'ishery Industry is not no-v a contributor of the first importance 
to the ereport trade of the United States. Iiiportations, however, are so 
distributed as to constitute serious comipetition for certain branches of 
the Industry. The fresh fish and shellfish come chiefly from Canada, and 
the cejined goods and fish meal from Japan. Prozen produ^cts are received 
from both countries. 

The per capita cons^omption of fishery products in the United States 
is small in comparison with that of most other im.portant countries, and is 
less no',7 than it was 5O years ago. The chpjige has been due to the increase 
in the proportion of the population T/hich lives in the interior of the 
continent, and which has lost the habit of including fishery products in its 
diet. 

This situation affects the Industrj^ adversely with respect to compe- 
tition with other protein foods. So f?-r as this disadvantage can be over- 
come, the end will have to be sought pp.rtly by publicity and partly by 
improvements in the methods of distribu.tion. 

Conservation problems of importance have arisen in the case of 
fisheries in enclosed or semi-enclosed waters, of sessile species like 
oysters and clams, and of those the propagation of which is dependent on 
annual migrations into rivers to spavm. "ith respect to most free— swimming 
pelagic species, however, there seems a,t present to be no conclusive evi- 
dence of eneroacliment on the supply. 

THE PRICES. OF JISHERY PHOSUCTS 

The average price of fishery products to the primary producers fell 
from 1929 to 1933 by approximately 35 per cent; but in the case of seven of 

95S1 



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the 12 me.joT. species the decline exceeded ^-l-O per cent. It '.7as this fall 
in the ujiit. price that chiefly accounted for the shrinkage in the dollar 
■volume. Little information is availahle v/ith regard to the selling 
prices of wholesalers and processors. Ovfing to factors of inelasticity 
in distrihuting costs \7holesalers' prices did not decline to the sane ex- 
tent as those received by fishermen; "out, the deflation v/as nevertheless * 
severe. 

The effect of the price deflation frov.i 1S29 to 1933 on the finan- 
cial position of the numerous enterprises, mostly small, which are engag- 
ed in the Fishery Industry was little short of ruinous. It was this 
situation that supplied the first and the strongest incentive to present 
fishery codes. The proponents' interest, consequently, centered on 
direct and (Sa-astic measures to maintain or to control prices. The v/riting 
of these codes was delayed, however, until the Adininistration had hecome 
less willing to approve such provisions. The resulting controversies 
affected adversely the Industry's attitude toward the code system. 

It has usually heen assumed that some relationship exists "between 
the. prices of fishery products sjid those of neat or livestock. A prelin- 
*inary study of the Atlantic mackerel ce.tch leaves little doubt that the 
latter the factor chiefly accounting for the price received by the fisher- 
riein, next to the quantity landed. Other influences seem to be secondary. 
A serious doubt therefore arises as to hov; far it is possible to control 
the prices of fishery products, either directly or by manipulating the 
quant it3- of the catch alone. 

The tie-up between the price of fish and the cyclical movement in 
meat prices i..s, disadvantageous to the Industry under consideration. Short 
of a program which v/ould iron .out those novenents, hov/ever, it is doubtful 
whether the prices received by fishermen can be improved, unless the 
rela-tive preferences of the American consiiner can be modified. 

r 

There is a wide spread between the prices-received by the primary'' 
producers of fishery products and those paid bjr the consumer. It is un- 
likely that this is due to monopolistic or profiteering tactics. 

As a rule, indeed, the largest distributors do not seem to have been 
in a position, before the establishment of the K.R.A., to monopolize busi- 
ness or to injure their smaller competitors "hj improper means. In a few 
insta.nces, however, groups of large wholesa^lers took advantage of their 
position' as proponents of codes to offer provisions apparently designed to 
protect themselves from' the competition of small enterprises. 

JSTABLISmiEMTS AMD EKTEBPEISES 

Du-ring the past 25 years the number of fishing vessels of five net 
tons capiacity and over has greatly incree.sed on the Pacific coast and on 
the Grea.t Lal:es; but this has only partly offset a decrease on the 
Atla.ncic and Gulf coasts. A large majority/ of all fishing vessels are 
owned singly by individuals or partnerships. The number of fishing boats 
of less than five net tons capacity has. recently been in the neighborhood 
of 70 J 000, These small craft account for a,bout 57 P^r cent of the 
production. 



Q 



5S1 



■■-•4- 

As the foregoing statements suggest, the enterprises operating 80 
to 90 per cent of all fishing craft are very small. ' In the wholsaling 
and processing industries there have recently "been 2,900 to 3 jOOO' es- 
tablishments, of which 500 to 600 are engaged in canning and preserving, 
and the remainder in preparing aiid wholesaling. The nur.i"ber of estal)- 
lishmentS' is nearly the same as the number of enterprises. These con- 
cerns also run relatively small. 

PERSOrijEL'MI) VOLUIvlH] OF avIPL0YI',IE]UT 

The total number of persons engaged in the fisheries proper has re- 
cently been from 115,000 to 1258000, From 1929 to 193" tte re was a de- 
cline of only . seven per cento Tiie problem of outright unemployment was 
consequently ' of rainor importance. 

0nly39:per cent of the personnel of the fisheries proper are em- 
ployees in any sense, and 51 per cent are entrepreneurs - mostly on a 
very snail scale. 

■ The. personnel of the "orimary oroducing industry is characterized 
by a high average age, a, low turnover j' and conservative habits. During 
the depression there has been little tendency for fisherman to migrate 
• to obtain additional or' substitute employment. G!hey work in small 
groups. Tlie average vessel crew is only seven or eight, and of the per- 
sonnel of the boat fisheries more than half operate one-man craft. 

Hie gross output per man of the fisheries proper puts a low mo,:d- 
mum limit on' the earnings of the mass of the personnel. Over the past 
25 or 30 years, hovrever, a decrease of 15 or 17 per cent on the person- 
nel has accompanied an, increase of 40 or 45 per cent in both the quan- 
tity and the value of the catch, Segular fishermen are actively engaged 
in fishing for only eight or ten months of the year. Circumstances, 
however > prevent them, as a class, from supplementing their earnings to 
any considerable extent by engaging in other employments. 

In 1931 there were about 72,000 persons employed in the processing 
and wholesaling industries, of whom about 8,600 vere employed in canning 
and preserving, and the remainder in the preparing and wholesaling trades. 
The 1929 and 1933 figures are incomplete; but the decline from the former 
to the latter jeax is' believed to have been moderate. The average annual 
employment in the processing and T/holess-ling indiistries is about half 
that at the seasonal plateau. These workers, as a class are employed 
only about half the year, . 

The total nianber of persons engaged in the Fishery Industry in 1929 
was probably betv/een 200,000, and 210,000, while in 1933 it was about 
188,500, The decline due to the depression, therefore, was quite moder- 
ate, 

HOURS OF LA30H 

The restriction of the working hours of fishermen with a view to 
spreading emploj^ent v/as never regarded as practicable. Hours, of labor 
in the wholesaling and processing industries did not escape restriction; 
but their irregularity is such that ' the problem was difficult and the 
results v/ere not very satisfactory. Average working hours for plant 
9581 



-5- 

eraployees in most of these industries in 1933 ran from 45 to 55 'oer week, 
with the' mean rcther under 50., Only in the southeastern states did 
these hours reach 60 per week, Tkie hoitrs of oyster shuckers, owing to 
the contraction of the volume of "business, averaged fnder 25 per week. 
Everywhere, in addition to the seasonal concentration, there were heavy 
short-time fluctuations'; hut the available evidence does not suggest 
that the proportion of very long working weeks and days was really large, 

EifflNIlTG-S 0? THE FERSOKrJE L 

Three- quarters of the 40 per cent of the personnel of the primary 
producing industry who may he classified as employees work on shares, A 
small proportion are paid on a piece basis and only 20 or 25 per cent 
work on fi::ed wages. Hiere appears to be no general tendency for wages 
to supplant the share system. 

In most cases the crew share is the residue that remains after oper- 
ating ejcpenses and the share assigned to the vessel or boat have been 
deducted from the value of the ca-tch. All overhead costs are charged 
•against the vessel or boat share. 

The agreements or "lays" that govern the distribution of shares have 
changed but little during the pa.st generation, or even since the eight- 
eenth century, A large majority have never been reduced to writing. As 
a result they constitr.te perhaps the most informal and at the same time 
the most stable class of economic relationships in the country. 

The co'cjrts ha.ve long regarded fishermen who work on shares as em- 
.ployees in the sajae sense as factory wage earners. Except in the case of 
large corporation-owned vessels, however, this legal doctrine i.s unreal- 
istic. The a,vailable evidence in.dica,tes strongly that the real position 
of share fishermen is intermediate between that of small entrepreneurs 
or stocldiolders and of ordinary employees. 

Precise data for the earnings of fishermen are a.t present confined 
to the vessel fisheries. In 1933 the weighted average for share vessel 
crews was $649, and for wage vessel crews $510, For share vessels in_ 
individ-oal a^reas the average varied from $847 in California to $399 in 
the South. Ihe avera^ge net income of boa.t and share fishermen in 1953 
can hardly have exceeded $300, About a third of these latter, however, 
derived at least half their money income from occupations other than 
fishing. 

Estimates of the earnings of share fisherm_en in 1329 and 1934 indi- 
cate that the average per man declined from the former year to 1933 by 
57 per cent, and rose in 1934 by 52 per cent; but that it was then still 
abotit 35 per cent below 1929, Eixed wages declined much less from 1929 
to 1933 than -did earnings from shares, and rose much less in 1934, 

Erom 1929 to 1933 the average earnings of share fishermen fell more 
sharply than the corresponding value of the catch, and from 1933. to 1934 
they rose more sharply, Hiis was largely an indirect result of the 
relation of the concurrent changes in the prices of fishery products and 
of those of the commodities tha.t chiefljr accoimt for the operating ex- 
pense of fishing craft. It seems abnormal and somewhat demoralizing how- 
ever that the earnings of a class vdiose incomes are so small should vary 
9581 



more e::treinely than the gross sales volume of the enter^orise for which 
they v/orko 

Investigations in connection with the codes "bro"Utght out ' charges of 
abuses in the administration of share' acreements. The matter needs fur- 
ther investigation and probahly some remedial action. 

The total volume of comioensation in the primary producing industry 
is at present unlcnown* In the vessel fisheries it was ahout 31 mllion- .:•■.■• 
dollars in 1929, ahout nine and a half million in 1933, and not quite 13 
million in 1934. The 1953 volume represented ahout 38 per Cent -of the 
value of the vessel catch of that year, Tliis ratio appears to:have- 
changed. ver3'" little for many years* ": 

Except in the ca.se of a few special classes of worker the availahle 
informa.tion indicates that the wholesaling and. processing industries, 
just before the institution of the ILHoAo, were paying tolerable wages, 
with a.verages running from $18 to $26 per week. The total wage volume 
of these industries was about 45 million dollars in 1929, ajid 30 million 
in 1933. 

The grand total volume of vrages aiid shares, in 1933, of all persons 
in the Fishery Industry f/ho may in some sense be called employees may be 
estima.ted provisionally at $47,500,000. 

THE FISHEaY CODE STaUCTUBE ASD THE WRITIE& GIT THE CODES ■ 

The writing of the fishery codes '-ms originally subject to .the Agr-ic-jl. 
tural Adjustment Administration. When they were transferred back to the 
K.H.A. in Januarjr, 1934, however, none had been ap'oroved. 

In the N.S.A. the plan was to concentrate first of all on a master 
code for the whole Industry. This was approved on February 26, 1934. 
Its provisions Mere deliberately made rather general, in the belief that 
the special problems of individioal subindustries would have to be dealt 
with in the supplementary codes. 

The master Code provided for a Hational Code Authority to be elected 
by the National Fisheries Association, and for executive Committees in 
the various subdivisions. It also provided for a uniform assessment of 
one-tenth of one per cent of the previous year's sales of each member.' 
These were to be collected exclusively by the Executive Committees, who 
were to turn over 25 per cent for the use of the Code Authority. 

The general idea of bringing the whole Industrjr under a master Code 
as a first step had decided merits; but the details of the actual plan 
involved serious errors of judgment. Tlae National Fisheries Association 
was not sufficiently representative to be entrusted with the election of 
the Hational Code Authority. The Administrative functions of the latter 
were not well distinguished from those of the Executive Committees, and 
there was widespread objection to the assignment to the former of 25 per 
cent of the assessments. 



9581 



-7- 

It now seems clear that the National Code structure should have heen, 
to begin with, a much raoro modest one, and that it should have he en built 
from the bottom up ojid not from the top do\?ii. 

Hearings on all the supplementary codes vvhich it was proposed to es-^ 
tablish for the wholesaling and processing industries had been held vrithin 
a few raonths of the approval of the National Code, By June, 1934, five 
of the latter had been aoproved; but from that time delays began to devel- 
op. Of the seven regional codes -oroposed for the general preparing and 
wholesaling trades three were still unapproved at the time of the Schechter 
decision. Ihe Supplementary Code for the Atlantic Mackeral Fishery was 
the only one approved for the primary producing industry, though hearings 
were held on five others. 

These delays were the resiJ.t, primarily, of two things - the large 
size and artificial character. of the areas to which the Administration in- 
sisted that these codes should apply, and the promulgation in June, 1934, 
of Office Hemorand-Lun IJoc 228. Little if any of this./lack of progress vras 
the i-esu-lt of conditions in the Deputy Administrator's office. In the 
case of the proposed codes fo,r the priiaarj'' producing industi'yi bowever, 
there were also delays due to controversies regarding conservation pro- 
visions insisted on by the KoR.A., and to the f2.ct that in _ some cases the 
proponents' interest centered on the restriction of, competitive imports. 

The statement that the promulgation of Office Memorandum lOo 228 was 
a cause of delay in the writing of the supplementarj;- codes is not meant 
to imply any question as to the advisability of the policy involved. The 
fact tha.t the Memorandum had a discouraging effect on the proponents of 
these codes, however, was too latent for dispute. 

It novr seems certain that a. code system for the primary producing in- 
dustry could, not have been set up with a strict adherence to the standard 
procedure of the N.R.A. 7ith a modified procedure, however, an orgsxiza- 
tion could probably ha,ve been established v/hich would in time have had 
very beneficial results, 

THE ADMIITI STRATI OH OF THE COIES 

The bodies set up to administer the fisherjr codes "undertook the work 
under serious handicaps. Previous organization had been lacking, and there 
was a consequent scarcity of trained staff. It proved exceedingly diffi- 
cult to collect assessments sufficient to provide even for minimum necessi- 
ties. Under the special conditions of the Industry it was hard to estab- 
lish a ha,bit of compliance with the codes. Additional difficulty ajrose 
from intergroup jealousies in some of the artificially large code areas. 

Members of this Industry were unaccustomed to paying dues for common 
purposes, eaid a large proportion of them Tjere in very low financial water. 
The Administration's requirements v/ith respect to code finance v/ere be- 
coming more strict, and in the absence of reliable data delay was caused 
by the submission of budgets based on overestimates of the funds likely 
to be available. The National Code Authority was especially affected by 
the fact that it was to receive its income indirectly. It proposed at 
the beginning, moreover,, a far too grandiose spending program* When its 
original estimates had to be heavily cut, its prestige stiff ered according- 
ly. 
9581 



-3- 

Of 13 fishery code bodies for which budgets '.".'ere a"0"oroved the esti- 
mated individ^ial income of six was less than 10 thousand dollars, and 
that of 10 was less than 20 thousand. Even so, only tv/o instances are 
IcnoTOi in which most of the estiraa.ted receipts v/ere actually collected. 
It is doubtful whether in sJiy other case the collections reached 25 per 
cent of the estimate. 

The problem of obtaining compliance vras conditioned by the fact that 
these codes affected large numbers of small enterprises, which had not 
been trained to the habit of working cooperatively. A majority of the 
Executive Committees were not established until the first interest in the 
code system had begun to subside. These bodies^ moreover, v;ere absorbed 
in the primary'' work of getting orgaiiized, of preparing budgets, and of col- 
lecting bare minimums of funds. Apart from all this, however, their ef- 
forts to obtain compliance v?ere affected by their conviction that the 
responsibility for the enforcement of the code.s, as for any sort of police 
activity, belonged to the G-overnnent alone. Actually, therefore, their 
activities for the purpose a.3iiounted to little. 

Ihere were a few exceptions to this general lack of effective adminis- 
tration, including the Canned Salmon Code Authority,'', the Committees admin- 
istering both the California and the Hew England Sardine Codes, and the 
temporary Committee administering the national Code in the northern Ca-li-— 
fornia area.. Information is lacking, however, for a detailed report on 
the work of these bodies. 

This situation with resoect to the axTiainistration of the fishery codes, 
however, had com^^ensating features. There vrere few applications for stays 
and almost no.ne for exeK.ptions; and the number of cases of alleged high- 
handed or coercive action on the rart of the Executive Committees was 
negligible. 

Conditions did not favor the collection of statistics by the fishery 
code bodies while the codes were in existence, and very little in that 
direction was done* 

PHOVISIOMS BELATIKG TO HOURS OE LABOR 

In the preparing and v;holesaling trades the fact that really long 
hours' had been sporadic only led to a. belief that the additional employ- 
ment created by restricting them viould be small and irregular, and that it 
would represent a trifling- contribution only to the solution of the main 
problem. 'The Eiaxiraum hours finally agreed upon varied little from 45 per 
week. 

In the canning industries conditions varied. The hours of the Nation- 
al Fishery Code were ultimately reapplied to the California Sardine In- 
dustry, while in the case of the Canned Salmon Industry it was felt that 
more harm than good would be done by an attempt to restrict hours for the 
purpose of spreading emplojonent. 

There are' practically n.o detailed figures to show the actual effect 
on eraployment of the restriction of hours in the Fishery , Industry, About 
68 per cent of the personnel, however, \7ere in branches in which conditions 

9581 



-9- 

m'-.de reritriction iuiracticable. In ttie case of the renn.inder the aggre- 
gate s'oread cr.m ccarcely have ajioionted to rore than eight or nine per cent 
of the pre-code voliome, Hiis rather -unsatisfactory resiilt, hovrever, must 
Tae regarded in the raoAn as an inevitahle consequence of the very special 
conditions of the Industry, 

Hie compliance problems 'which arose from these ma;-inun hour orovisions 
v/e.re not very serious. The restriction they \7ere probahly not observed 
rigidly, "but there is no positive evidence of deliberate or widespread 
noncompliance. 

MIMfclUlA 7fA&E PEOYISIOMS 

Ihe National Fishery Code set the precedent of excepting fishermen 
working or shares from the benefit of a minimum \7age rate. There v/as 
merit in the arguments on v/hich this policy was based; but it v/as a defect 
of the Code that it did not establish the principle tha.t this large group 
was entitled to some equivalent guarantee o 

Hie minimum wage rates of the National Code did a-'ply to the 20 per 
cent of all fishermen v/ho work on a wage basis; but the rates- were not 
high enough to benefit most of those affected very grea„tly. 

Hie minin-um wage rates of the National Code also applied to the pre-* 
Tearing and T,h.olesaling trades in the three regions for v/hich supplementary 
codes were never aporovedc 

Except in the case of piece workers in the Eresh Oyster an.d Blue 
Crab Indtistries minim\i!Ti rates at least up to the general code standard, 
and in' nost cases' higher, vrere agreed upon with little controversy for 
the prepa^ring and '..holesaling trades for which supplementary codes v/ere 
written. 

The rates foi: o^'-ster shuckers in the North Atlantic area were reason- 
able, though the];- did not benefit ma<,ny T/orJ^ers. In the Chesapeake area 
the minim-urn rate left earnings very low, and even so it was not generally 
lived up to. The fairly satisfactory minimum rate of the Blue Crab Code 
was never enforced in Virginia.. Hie best available information indicates 
that the smaller packers both of oysters and crabs in this area were ill~ 
sit-ua-ted financially to pay the Code rates. At the sa.rae time earnings 
were scandaJousl;'- lov;. The problem was difficult and what the solution 
sho-uld have been is not clea.r even now. 

The minimum rate ultimately applied to the California Sardine Indus- 
try raised the wages of five-sixths of the workers abo-at 10 per cent. 
In the Canned Salmon Industry about 40 per cent of, the shore workers had 
been "Orientals", employed ''oj Chinese and Japanese labor contractors, v/ho 
had paid them very Iot; wa.ges. The Cojined Salmon Code abolished this systemi 
Since the contractors ha.d in -Dractice been malcing excessive profits the 
abolition is believed to ha.ve been beneficial .to the canning companies, 
and may be expected to be maintained. Hie Code minim.-uun rates raised, the 
earnings of the Oriental employees '^o:/ about a third. 



9581 



-10- 

Hie 'bodies adr.:inistering the fisher^'- codes '.vere not in a position 
to do much to insure compliance v/ith the \-;are provisionso In the case of 
the piece workers in the Fresh Oyster and Blue Crab Industries in the 
Chesapeake area the fact of ;7idespread noncompliance v/as notorious o 
Othervase, however} the situation ap^iears to have heen fairly satisfactory. 

In increases in wage volume v/hich were expected to result from the 
the minimum wage provisions of the fishery codes ran from 12 or 13 to 35 
or 40 per cent, and averaged ahout 20 per cent. No reason is knov/n for 
supposing that these increases were not epproximately realized. 

TRADE, FEACTICE PROVISIONS 

Tlie interest of most "branches of the Industry;- centered on trade 
practice provisions for the maintenance or control, direct jor indirect, 
of the prices of fishery products. 

The National Fishery Code contained a general prohibition of des- 
tructive price cutting. This provision was so thoroughly safeguarded 
that it could scarcely have done any harm. Tlie procedure provided for, 
however, was cuiabersume , and except for its noral effect the prohibition 
could, hardly have accomplished any useful -ourpcse. 

Eleven codes contained provisions for the filing of open prices, six 
of them in the form stipulated in Office Memorandum No. 228. The sS'stem 
was apparently fa-irly workable in the case of the canning industries, but 
probably not in that of the preparing and wholesaling trades. It is be- 
lieved that after the initial filing the members of the latter genereily 
failed to comply with the open price requirements. 

Five codes approved before the promulgation of Office Memorandum 
No. 228 contained provisions prohibiting sales below members' individual 
costs. The latter were to be determined "pursuant to the principles" of 
cost finding systems to be s.pproved by the Administration. One such sys- 
tem was ajpproved temporarily for the California Sardine Industry. The 
Executive Committee of tlie latter regarded the provision as 'highly bene- 
ficial, but nothing is known in detail of the way it worked. 

Except in the case of the Atlantic Mackerel Fishery not even an rttant 
TEi.Ei.rceto put into effect any of several provisions providing for the es- 
tablishment of emergency minimum prices. It is believed, however, that 
the New England Sardine Industry might have shown grounds for the approv- 
al of such a tempcirary price floor, if the codes had been continued in 
effect in the suminer of 1935. 

The practice of shipping on consignment to the large \7holesale 
centers is very common on the part of fishermen and of small primary 
dealers located at outlying ports. . In 1932 and 1933 a large proportion 
of such shippers became convinced that this practice i7as accentuating 
the current price deflation. Seven of the codes, consequently, included 
provisions vrhich, in varj'^ing form, _ prohibited or restricted consignment 
selling. 

There is no question that wholesalers in several lojrge centers had 
developed -oractices in handling consignment shipments v/hich v/ere peculiar 
9581 



-11- 

and not strictly le^al, Tliere is much, truth, hov/ever, in the contention 
of these concerns th8,t no other coiu'se v;as feasihle., . It is also proTDalDle 
that neither the practice of consignment selling in itself nor the deal- 
ers* methods really made rauch difference in the prices paid. The whole- 
salers' practices, however, v/ere liahle to ahuse, and remedial action 
would he desirable, •* 

Si:: fishery codes contained provisions limiting the periods for which 
credit might he given hy Industry raemhers. Seven prohibited price quota- 
tions and settlements except on an f.o.h. or delivered "basis. Tv7o ap- 
proved codes limited the alloT/ances tha.t might he made on claims from 
customers, s,nd others which were not approved proposed to do the same. 
Little or nothing specific is at present 1-niown of the effect of these 
three grou]ps of provisions'; hut it is unlikely that they vfere generally 
complied \7ith. 

Almost .all the wholesaling and processing codes contained provisions 
prohibiting the diversion of brokers' commissions to customers. The 
Canned Salmon Industry attached special importance to this, and the Code 
Aaithority made conscientious efforts to enforce it. The conditions were 
so difficult, however, that the provision vras finally stayed at the 
Industry' s request. 

Since only one supplementary code was approved for a fishery proper, 
few trade practice provisions were designed for the advantage of the 
primary producer. A provision to protect fishermen against nonpayment 
or dela^y in payment by dealers, however, was Tirritten into all the vfhole- 
saling and processing codes. It wouJLd not appear that the abuses vfhich 
caused this to be done, were at all widespread; but there is reason to 
thinlv that the provision was desirable on genera^l principles. 

The Atlantic' Mackerel Fishing Code included a provision designed 
to prevent a,buses in connection with the administration of lays or share 
agreements. It was proposed to v.'rite the same provision into other sup>* 
plenentary codes for the primejy producing industry. ■ 

Hie National Fishery Code made it a duty of the E::ecutive Committees 
to inform the Administration of the importation of competitive foreign 
products into the United States in subs.tantial quantities or in increas- 
ing ratios to domestic production. It was intended to include similar 
provisions, with specific reference to Section Z {^) of Table I of the 
Hecovery Act, in the supplementary codes for some other primary produc** 
ing industries. The only complaint Y/hich was follo\7ed through under the 
authority of that Section, however, vfas of minor importance and was 
dismissed. T'./o other petitions were docketed for relief, but were both 
withdrawn. 

The conservation provisions included in fishery codes, unfortunately, 
did harm rather than good. The insistence of the 5f.Il. A. on including 
conservation provisions in the proposed G-reat Lakes Pishing Code played 
a considerable part in discouraging its proponents. 



9581 



-12- 

Tlie Constuncr's Advisers assigned to the fisher2" codes Iwere success- 
ful in having provisions for the esta'blishi.ient of grades -or standards in- 
cluded in all of then. In the case of the canning industries these pro-r 
visions are helieved to have been workable , thou,gh not mu9h is kno\7n \7ith 
regard to their effect. In the case of the preparing and wholesaling 
codes, however, the clauses relating to gra,des and standards vrere assented 
to reluctantly, and little was done to carry them oiit. 

THE COIITHOL OF THB ATLANTIC UACEERSiL CATCH 

The last chapter of the report deals in deta.il with the control of 
production provision of the Atlazitic Mackerel Fishing Code, ajid its hack- 
gro'und and effects. 

The heavy increase in the catch of this fishery from 1925 was inevi** - 
tatly accompanied "by a drop in the price to the producers; hut the decline 
was probably accentuated by the relatively large number of vessels 
fishing. The catch of 1932 was the largest in 50 years, and brought an 
average price 55 per cent belov; that paid for appro :;imately the saine 
quantity in 1929. In the face of this decline the operating expense of 
the mackerel fleet fell off from 1929 to 1932 by only about 22 per cent, 
while its overhead e::pense remained practically unchanged. In 1932 the 
gross profit accruing to a group of typical vessels amounted to only 37 
per cent of the overhead cost and depreciation. The crews of these ves- 
sels earned an 8,verage of only $6e40 per week per man for the mackerel 
season of about 30 weeks« ■ 

It was this situation that led the mackerel fishery to propose at an 
early stage a code containing a provision to permit the regulation of the 
catch. The Code was not a^pproved until May 3, 1934; but in the meantime, 
during the 1933 aoason, severa.l consecutive voluntary agreements for the 
control of the production had been ejgjerimented vfith. None of these he.d 
lasted any considerable tine, but they had reduced the catch substantially, 
V7ith a corresponding 'increase in the unit price. 

The control of production provision wa.s -out into effect early in 
June, 1934, 'The a.ggregate weekly caiota x;;\s at firnt set at 700,000,000.pounds 
Late in June, however, it was increased to 1,100,000 and early in August 
to 2,200,000 pounds. This latter dra.stic increase, which was made be- 
cause of an ercoected deficiency in the foreign-- salt mackerel available 
for importa.tion, raised the quota so near to the current supply tha.t for 
practical purposes there ceased to be any restriction of the production 
from that tine on. 

Ear^-y in August the Industry applied for the a;pproval of aji emergency 
minimum cost which, if enforced, would have raised the average price re- 
ceived diiring August and September from 1,31 to a^bout 1.75 cents per 
potmd. The Executive Gonunittee' s interpretation of the term "emergency" 
however, vfas at variance with the Administration's understanding, and'the 
application was disallowed. 

This action \ics received by the Industry with resentment. For the 
reasons indicated above, hov/ever , it is unlikely that it affected mater- 
ially the results of the control. 

95cl. 



-^13- 

For the tv/o months dioring which the control of the mackerel catch 
had any actiial effect, of.cpii-rse, it: raised., the tuiit price. Owing, 
however, to the lov? level of meat prices at the time the increase ws.s 
not sitfficient to compensate for the restriction of the .quantity. This 
attempt of the mackerel fishery to solve its prohlems of iinrem-unerativei, 
prices azid of suhnormal earnings hj/ limiting its production was therefore, 
prohahly, oji irapra.cticahle one. Ihe attempt, however, v/as made in good 
faith, Tinder strong provocation, and does not seem in practice to have 
caused serious injury to the consuiner. 



9581 



-14- 

THE FISHaRY industry MP THE FISHZiRY 
'■ ■ CODES 

CHAPTER I 

' SCOPE ,GP THE STUDY AM) DESCRIPTION OP THE INDUSTRY 

DEFINITION OP THE INDUSTRY 

The N.R.A. fishery codes \7ith which this study is concerned covered 
a field consideralDly more extensive than that of the Pishing Industry or 
the fisheries in the ordinary sense. The Industry as thus defined falls 
into three suhdivisions: 

(1) The fishing Industry proper 

(2) The preparing and wholesaling trades 
(?.) General 

(h) Specialized 

(3) The specialized, canning and reduction industries 

The fishery codes did not covery any part of the retail trade in 
fishery prodiicts, 

TIiE CODS STPUCTURE 

The original plan was that the whole Industry as thus defined, 
shou].d he covered "by a single master code, with sup'oleraentary codes for 
the various suhdi visions. By the time the master code had heen written, 
however, opposition to inclusion within its jurisdiction had developed 
on the part of some "branches, es;Decially certain canning industries. 
There ws,s consequently inserted a -orovision (Article IX, Section 4) which 
permitted such groups to petition out of the Code Industry, This pro- 
cedure v/as taken advantage of "by the Can.ned Salmon Industry, which ul- 
timately received an independent code, and hy the canned tima, shrimp, 
oyster and clam products industries, which preferred to be placed ujider 
the Canning Code. 

SCOPE OP THE REPORT 

The sttidy the results of v/hich are s^oiamarized in the present report, 
has dealt with the Fishery Industry in the h-c-oad sense, to which it was 
originallj'" intended that the master code should aroply. That is, it in- 
cludes the Canned Salmon Industry, which ultimately had an independent 
code. It refers only incidentall-v, however, to the c^?,nning industries 
which were placed under the Canning Code, 

ORGANIZATION OP THE ^.IKOLESALIHG MD PROCESSING INDUSTRI ES 

The fiuictions and economic relations of the first of the three main 
subdivisions of the Fishery Industry - the fishing industr-y proper - are 
too ODvious to demand description. In the case of the wholesaling and 

9581 



-15- 

procecisin/;;; divisions, horever, these functions and interrelations are 
somev/liat corqDlex, and require further explanation. 

The v.fholesale distribution of fishery products cestined for con- 
sumption in a fresh or frozen state are liandled hy specialized enterprise^ 
which are qtiite distinct from the wholesale grocery trade, and which, 
with ninor exceptions, are not concerned ivith anything except fishery 
products. These wholesaling trades, moreover, comhine with their distri- 
butive function a considerable variety of processing. 

As a ma.tter of convenience this minor processing was designated for 
code purposes "preparing". The term covers such operations as the fill- 
eting cjid packaging and the drying and salting of fish, the shucking of 
oysters a,nd clams and the heading and peeling of shrimp. 

The pirej^aring and vrholesaling of all finny fish and of some shell- 
fish and miscellaneous products are carried on by unspecialized trades, 
between which the only practicable distinction is a geogranhical one, 
A highly varying but substantial part of the business of each of these 
is within its own area, though by no means exclusively within its own 
state. There is, however, a considerable overlap in the operations of 
these regional trades, which was the cause of complications from the 
standpoint of code writing and administration. 

In the case of a few snoecies, particularly^ oysters, crabs and lob- 
sters, the 2">i'ocesses of production and preparation are so distinct that 
the trades concerned with their primary distribution may be regarded as 
constituting a specialized group, separate from the general Drepa.ring 
and wholesaling trades just described. 

Practically all fish and shellfish destined to be canned, as dis- 
tinguished from other methods of preservation, are bought by the proces- 
sors direct from fishermen, and do not pa.ss through the hands of the 
wholesaling trades. These canning industries, therefore, constitute a 
distinct division of the Code Industry. 

PAHTICIPATIOl'- QP MQLESALERS AlID PROCESSOaS IS THE F-:i:lAP:Y PRODUCTIOl'T 

Hot only do the preparing and wholesaling trf^des and the canning 
subindiistries constitute the sole large scale customers of the industry 
proper, bu.t there is in many cases a closer connection, arising from the 
ownership of fishing craft or gear by distributors or ijrocessors. This 
is true of a substantial proportion of the Kew England groundfish (*) 
fleet, of the vessels in the cultivated Oyster and the Memhaden Indus- 
tries, of the red snapijer fleets operating out of Pensacola and Galves- 
ton, of ina-ny^ smaller fishing cre^ft in the South, particularly in Elorida, 
of the tre.wling fleet operating out of San Prancisco, a,nd of the craft 
engaged in supplying the salmon canneries of the Pacific l^orthwest and 
Alaska, 



(*) "G-roimdf ish" is the collective term for the principal commercial 
flatfishes - cod, liaddock, liake, cusk, pollock and to some extent halibut 
and flounders, 

9581 



-16- 

Tlie proportion of the priiaary production of fish .and shellfish ta]-en 
"Dy craft tlms ov/ned ty distributors or processors 'is not known vdthaccur^ 
acy; otit it can hardly amount to less thpji 55 or 40 per cent of the total 
quantity. The proportion of fishing; craft by niim'oer which are o-'7ned in 
a corresponding manner is much lovrer - prohahly ahout 20 per cent in the 
case of vessels of five net tons capacity and over, and still less in 
the case of "boats of less tiia.n five tons capacity, 

SPECIALIZED SLIBIKDUSTRIES 

In addition to the three main suhdivisions of the Fis-hery Industry, 
as defined for the purposes of the present study, a fev? .specialized cases 
of secondary importance should he mentioned. Two industries in the South- 
eastern states are engaged in catching, preparing and distrihuting in- 
edible jDroducts' - sponges and the fish meal or scrap and the oil manu- 
factured from the small herring-like species lcnoT,TO. as menhaden. The meal 
and scrap have heen raa,inly used as fertilizer, hut some now goes into 
poultry feedc A secondary processing industry is engaged in crushing 
oyster shells, also for use as poultry feed, 

A highly specialized and minor branch of the primary producing in- 
dustry is that engaged in the artificial propagation of small fresh water 
fish, particularly trout. This industry produces primarily eggs and 
small fr" for stocking gaihe preserves; but of recent years its output 
of mature fish for immediate food purposes has become relatively im- 
portant, , ' 

DETAILED CLASSIPICATIOW OE TIIE SUIilHSUSTRIES AI\tD THE CODES 

On the basis of the foregoing de.scription the following detailed 
classif ics-tion of the fishery subindustries and of their code status may 
be made: 



Divisions AiTD SLIBIKDUSIRLSS 



CODE STATUS 



Fisheries Proper 

Regular Pood Fisheries (*) 



Unless Otherv/ise Stated, 
National Code Only 



Atlantic Mackerel 
Oyster 
Blue -Crab 
Great Lakes 
Alaska Herring 
Pacific Halibut 
Pacific Cra.b 
Florida 
Lobster 



Supplementary Code Approved 

i; " I' (Fresh Oyster) 

ft n I! 

Supplementary Code Heard but not Approved 

F? II II II II IT 

XL II It 11 It it 

It n It n (I n' 

U It II II U II 

H II II H II It 



(*) Onljr the fisheries for which supplementary codes reached public 
hearing a,re listed under this head. The total number is much larger. 



9581 



-17- 



InecLi''ole Products fisheries 

lienhaden ' .National Code Only 



Sponge 



t! ir H 



Oyster Cultivating SuTd- 

industry . Supplementary Code Approved (Fresh Oyster) 

Fisli Propagating SulDindustries 

TroLit Panning ' ■ Supplementary Code Approved 

Pre paring and Fholesaling Trades . . 
General, rath G-eographical Su"bdivisions 

Nev.' England Supplementary Code Aroproved 



Middle Atlantic 
Miduest 



II n II 

II . n ■ II 

Soutiiea,st . Supiileme'ntary 'Code Heard "but not Ap-nroved 

Gulf South • ' » ;•■"' " " " « " 

North-.Test s.nd Alaska Sup-olementaty Code Approved 

South^r/est ,-■■ Supplementary Code Heard tut not Approved 

Preparing and WIriolesaling Trades (Continued) 

Specialized (*) 

: Oyster Sui3"olementary Code AiToroved (iPresh Oyster) 

Blue Crah ■ it ■ ii ■ ii 

Lo'Dster Sup'olementarj'- Code Approved (Wholesale 

Lohster) 
Sponge " " ■ »■ » 

Alaska herring Supplementary Code Heard hut not Approved 

Specig-lized Processing Suhindu-stries 

Canning 

Salmon Independent Code Approved (Canned Ss,lmon) 
Sardine 

mexi England 3tipplementa,ry Code Approved 

California , '^ " " 

Tuna Canning Code 

Clsjn Products • " , » 

Oyster .. "- , " 

Shrimp ' ■ ' , - n - .- h 

California Mackerel Supiolementarjr Code Heard ''out not Approved 

Alaska. Crg.h Included .under JSortb-^est and Alaska Prepar- 
ing and Wholesaling Code 

(*) Onl]" the suhindustries of this group for which specific supplemen- 
tar3'- codes reached public hearing are listed imder this head. All the 
others vrere grouped ?,dth the general preioaring and wholesaling trades of 
the various regions, 

9581 



■ -IB- 



Reduction {*) 



Sardine Supplementaxy Code Approved (California Sardine) 

Alaska Herring ' Supplementary Code Heard 'but not Approved 
Menhaden ITational Code Only 

Secondary Processin^'^ 5u"bindustries 

Oyster Shell Crushing Independent Code Approved 
Processed or Refined 

Pish Oil (**) " » " 

PERISHABILITY OP PRODUCTS AM) THE TPJLDE ORGANIZATION 

The fact which chiefly explains the specialized organization of 
the vrholesale distrihution of fishery products, and the intimate connec- 
tion hetween wholesaling and certain kinds of processing, and tetween the 
latter and the primary production, is the extreme perishability of the 
raT/ product. Pish and shellfish intended to be canned must in general he 
processed on the das'" on which they are landed. Pishing craft which 
operate for anything hut the most local distribution are obliged to carry 
ice to prevent the deterioration of their catches, as they used in sail- 
ing vessel days to carry salt. Practically all fresh fish and shellfish 
must be packed in ice for .land shipment, and must be transported by rail- 
way express or some equally rapid service. 

These cono-itions cause the cost of distributing fishery products 
not cp»nne6,, smoked or salted to mount rapidlj'- with the radius, and put 
the distant s'lipplier at a disadvantage in comparison with those nearer at 
hand. They have also greatly affected the development of the consumer 
demand for these products, as an increasing proportion of the population 
of the United States has come to be located at a distance from the oceaJi 
or other iiqportant fish-producing, waters. 

DISTRIBUTIOII OP KOIffERI SUABLE PRODUCTS 

The nonperishable processed products of the fisheries - that is, 
canned, smoked and salted fish and shellfish - are mainly sold by the 
processors to the general wholesale grocery trade, and not to the special- 
ized fish-distributing trades above described. These operations were 
specifically excluded from the jurisdiction of the National Pishery Code 
and its supplements by paragraph ( d) of Section 1 of Article II. This 
provision, slightly paraphre.sed, states that the Pishery Industrjr includes 
the wholesaling of fish and all other commercial products of aquatic life 

(*) A reduction plant converts fishery products into meal and oil, as 
distinct from food for human: consumption. The raw material may be the 
by-products of a, cannery, or the reduction plant may operate independent- 
ly and utilize whole fish. 

(**) This sub industry is included in the classification because its Code 
was associated with the fishery codes for administrative purposes. It 
can^hardly be said, however, to be a fishery industry, and will not be 
discussed further in this report. 

9581 



-19- 

onlj if the handler or distribntor hr.s ?lso done the processing. Since 
the wholesale grocery concerns that distrihute canned, smoked and salted 
fishery proCLUcts have not done any processing in connection with the 
latter, they were excluded "by definition. The term processing, for this 
purpose, was defined as including the operations described above as pre- ^ 
paring, and also free?;ing and packing in ice for shipment. 

A substantial proportion of all fishery products pass throiogh the 
hands of more than one wholesaler. In many cases the two are situated, 
respectively, at, or near the port of landing and at some more central 
distributing point. In the larger cities of the- country, however, there 
is also a cla.ss of secondary wholesalers who specialize in supplying 
hotels, restaurants, clubs, institutions and railroad and steamship com- 
panies. These are soiuetimes known bjr the special narae of "purveyors". 
As a rule the secondary as v/ell as, the primary wholesalers' who distribute 
fresh or frozen fishery products ha^ndle the latter only. 

EETAIL DISTBIB'UTIOIT OF FISHSEY PRODUCTS 

The retail trade in fishery products is partly carried on by 
specialized establishments handling little or nothing except fish and 
shellfish, and partly by the general r etail grocery trade. .According to 
the Census of Distribution of 1929 there were in that year 6,077 special- 
ized seafood stores in the United Sta~tes, with a volxime of sales amount- 
ing to $83,700,000,. The number of retail grocery stores and meat markets 
handling fish and shellfish along with other lines in that jeax is not 
known, but was ma.ny times larger. The specialized seafood stores tend to 
be concentrated in the metropolitan areas, especially on the seacoa.st, 
"and in other communities ?/here fishing is an important local industry. 

All retail trade was excluded from the jurisdiction of the fishery 
codes. An' association representing the specialized retail seafood dealers 
of greaoter Uew York petitioned for. the placing of this part of the retail 
business within the jurisdiction of the national Code (*) 

It is understood, however, that an adverse decision was rendered. 
There seems to be no record of , this decision in the files, but it was ap- 
parently on the ground that the drawing of sUch a distinction between the 
specialized seafood stores and the general retail grocery trade was not 
practicable. 

EXCLUSIOIf OF CSHTAIU GROUPS MOM THE FISHERY CODE INDUSTRY 

It has already been stated that certain of the canning subindustries 
expressed their xmwillingness to be Included in the Fishery Industry for 
the purposes of the ITatlonal Code. Ultimately, petitions for exclusion, 
under the authority of Article IX, Section 4, of the latter, were granted 
to the salmon, tuna, shrimp, oyster and clam products canning groups (**) 

(*) Fisherjr Section files: national Code, Classification Folder, letters 
of May 25 and August 13, 1934. 

(**) The dockets relating to the granting of these petitions are in the 
Fishery Section files: National Code, Exceptions Folder: Canned Salmon 
Industry, May 26, 1934; CanJied Tuna, Shrimp and Oyster Industries, Septem- 
ber 24, 1934; New England Clam Canning Industry, November 14, 1934. 

9581 



-20- 

Tiie Canned Salnon Indiistry desired and received an independent code. 
It was contended that its size and iinportn.nce justified such a coiu-se, 
and that the 6.istinctness of its prohlens raade it unlikely that it would 
derive advantage from 'ohe activities of the National Code Authority. It 
was later found that the latter feelinf';; er.isted heneath the surface in 
other hranches of the Industry also, thoUi.°;h it did not in those cases re- 
sult in an effective demand for independent codes. 

The petition of the Tuna, Slirimp, Oyster and Clan Canning Industries 
was that they he made suh.iect to the Canning Code. The granting of these 
petitions was recomiTiended ty the Divisional Administrator mainly on the 
ground that the desires of the groups concerned should riile. There \7as 
reason to thiiiLc, however, that a wish to tal^e advantage of the relatively 
long Yrorking hours and low minimum wages established hy the Canning Code 
was actuallj'' the chief motive. So far as this was correct there is some 
question whether the granting of. these petitions was consistent with the 
hasic policies of the W.R.A. 

On an impartial view it is hard to avoid the conclLision that, while 
the sales problems of these fish and shellfish canning industries are much 
like those of the Yvvlt -and Vegetable Canning Industry, their raw material 
and to a great extent 'cheir manufacturing problems liiik them more closelj'' 
with the j'ishery Industry. They really constituted therefore, a,n inter- 
mediate clo.ss. :It would probablsr have been wisest to treat them as an 
independent industry or group of in6u.stries; but a well-integrated 
organization wotild certainly tal-:e accoimt of the linlcs that connect them 
both with the fishery and with the Pruit and Vegetable Canning Industries. 

THE FACTOa 03? HfTBHSTiTE T HADB - THE EA ST 

The proportion of the products of the fishery industry which moves 
in interstate trade is very substantial, tho'ogh it varies greatly from 
one branch to another, and is at present kno\7n only approximately. 

Prom information obtained in part at public hearings, but mainly 
from subseqiient conferences with industry members, it would appear that 
of the total volume of fisherjr products landed in Massachusetts not less 
than 70 or 75 per cent is subsequently shipped in a fresh or prepared 
condition to other states. Of the volu'ne handled bjr the wholesale trades 
of the T.ev lork metropolitan area fully 90 per cent come from without the 
State, b\it probaily not more than X5 or 20 per cent are again shijjped 
outside. 

The State of Pennsylvania, including the greater part of the Phila- 
delphia metropolitan area, drav/s almost its whole supply of fishery 
products from outside its borders. The Baltimore market is believed to 
draw about half its supply from outside Maryland, and reships over the 
state line not much less than that proportion. 

At least 80 per cent of the large fisherj?- production of Florida 
goes outside the state. For the remainder of the South there are no pre- 
cise figures. The interstate movement must be s^^bstantial, however, 
because the largest centers of population, except New Orleans, are located 
at considerable distances inland, and are not in Horth Carolina, Florida, 

9581 



-21- 

Mississippi or Louisiana - the southern states most important for their 
fishery output. 

THE PACIFIC COAST AIID IMTEBSTATE TRA.-DE 

Of the volume of fishery products landed, in California 60 to 55 per 
cent are consumed "by canneries and reduction plants. A very large pro- 
portion of the canned production ~ prohably not less than 80 or 90 per 
cent - is shipped to other states or exported. The same is true of the 
fish oil. A large part of the fish meal is consumed "by the California 
Poultry Industry;, hut a suhstantial and increasing proportion is shipped 
to other states. The 35 to 40 per cent of the production of the Cali- 
fornia fisheries which is not canned or reduced to meal and oil is mainly 
consxijned vdthin the^ state. 

An overwhelming proportion of the fishery production of Washington, 
Oregon and Alaska consists of salmon, herring and halihut, with the minor 
species caught incidentally hy the halihijit fleet. Prom 70 to 75 per cent 
of the Alaska production is accounted for hy the salmon consumed hy the 
canneries, and another 20 per cent by the herring, which are to some 
extent used for "ba,it and to some extent salted for human consuinption, hut 
are largely reduced to meal and oil. Almost all this 90 or 95 per cent of 
the prod\iction is ^shipped out of the Territory. 

Of the salmon production of Washington and Oregon ahout 25 per cent 
is canned, and of this at least 95 per cent is shipped out of the state 
in which it was produced. Of the salmon production which is cons"uuned in 
a fresh, mild-cured or smoked state, and of the halihut catch (which is 
all consumed fresh or frozen), ahout 75 per cent is shipped to other 
states. 

On the "basis of- these approximate figures it may he estimated rough- 
ly that not less than two-^thirds of the fishery production of the "[Jnited 
States, and prohahly more, moves at least once, at some stage of its 
preparation or vrholesale distri'bution, in interstate trade. 

TRADE ORG-AIIIZATIOHS 

Trade organizations in the Fishery Industr;;- "before the institution 
of the U'.H.A. were numerous; hut T;ith few exceptions of consequence they 
were neither efficient nor influential. Most of them were very local in 
scope. This v/as due, of course, to the limitations on large scale dis- 
trihution imposed- "by the perishability, of fishery products, and to the 
great number and small average size of the enterprises composing the 
Industry. 

On the whole the national associations that had been established 
had shown little vitality. This was true of the United States Fisheries 
Association, which had for some time, been nearly or quite dormant when 
it was reorganized for the purpose of sponsoring the national Code. The 
individualistic psychology of the Industry's members had always made it . 
difficult to obtain cooperative section and to collect dues for common 
purposes; and this latter difficulty was of course accentuated by the 
financial condition of most of the component enterprises during the de- 
pression. 

9581 



The lar^ost concerns in the Canned Salmon Industry were memlDers of 
an affiliate of the National Canners Association, though there was also 
another local association in the Pacific llorthy/est . The Fresh Oyster 
Industry had an association of long standing (The Oyster Growers and 
De-alers Association of Eorth iunerica). A large proportion of the other 
trade associations which presented fisher^ codes, however, were created 
for the purpose. Little information is at present available as to what 
has hecorne of these associations, other than the small minority of well 
established ones, since the codes were suspended. The impression is, 
however, that most of them are dormant, if not practically disbanded. 

AJVAllTAGE OF A COM SYSTSi.i WITH HESPECT TO TRADE ORGAI^riZATlOM 

One of the chief potentia^l advantages that the code system promised 
for the Eisherj'- Industr;- was the encouragement of the habit of trade 
organization and of cooperative activity. If the codes had been in exist- 
ence longer, and if their administrative bodies had got well organized 
and had had a reasonable period of smooth sailing, it is likely that these 
habits vrould hs,ve become established, independently of the codes. As 
things vrere, however, the 6.isappointment with the results of the latter 
adverselj'' affected the associations as well. 

It seems doubtful whether, under the unfavorable conditions of the 
Industr;^, efficient trade organization will now develop spontaneously 
in the Fishery Industry. Yet hardly any industrjr is more in need of co- 
operative organization for dealing with its problems. Some system 
analogous to the II. R. A. , even if the element of coercion were largely 
discarded, might still prove of great value in supplying an incentive for 
such a development . ■ 

LABOR ORgMTIZATIOE '- GEI^IERAL 

The conditions just described as accounting for the weakness of 
trade associations in the Fishery Industry also explain in part the rela- 
tive lack of influential labor organizations. The latter fact, however, 
is also due partly to the comparatively small prop-ortion of the personnel 
who can be described as employees, and to the fact that a great many even 
of those who may be so designated merit the description in a qualified 
sense only. The perishability of the products of the Industry, moreover, 
and the small size of most of its units have made it comparatively easy 
for workers to obtain concessions from their employers without much 
formal organization or resort to prolonged strikes. 

LABOR ORGAMIZATIOII IIT THE FROGESSIIIG Alg). WHOLESALING IHDUSTRIES 

, The woi-kers in some of the fishery canning industries are organized 
in labor unions of the ordinary type. In the case of the Canned Salmon 
Industry the situation is complicated by the divergent conditions' in the 
canneries in Alaska and in the United States proper, and by the distinc- 
tions between the white and the Oriental workers brought from the United 
States, and between these and the Alaska resi6.ents, a third of whom are 
Indians. As a result a number of different labor organizations have been 
active in this laartic-alar field. 



9581 



-23- 



The enrployees of the preparing and wholesaling trades in some of 
the large eastern centers, particularly New York City, are strongly xmion— 
ized and in consequence receive relatively high wages. 

LAEOa ACTIVITY IN TIIE FISHERIES PROPER 

In the parts of the primary producing industry in which the status 
of einployees approxiraa.tes most closely to that of wage earners in the 
ordinary sense, and particularly in the New England groundfishery, there 
has heen a good deal of activity on the part of fishermen's "bodies which 
may he called lahor unions. 

Most other organizations of fishermen, however, while partaking of 
the characteristics of hoth trade associations and lahor unions, verge 
rather toward the former. If they do not include fishermen working on 
shares as well as owners of fishing craft in their memhership, they have 
heen looked on as representing more or less the interests of "both class- 
es. At the hearing on the proposed Siipplementary Code for the Florida 
Fisheries the cleavage of interest and of opinion was ohviously not 
"between the owners of fishing "boats and their crews, "but "between the 
independent "boat owners and their employee fishermen on the one side and 
the wholesaler "boa,t owners on the other. 

Except in those tranches of the Industry in which a "beginning 
has already "been made in building -up la'bor organizations in the ordinary 
sense, it is doubtful whether further spontaneous development in that 
direction is to "be looked for. Insofar as t"he pro"blems of a majority of 
fishermen who work on shares can "be descri"bed as la"bor pro"blems at all, 
they would proha"bly be most effectively dealt with, along with those of 
the owners of the small enterprises that eniploy them, loj trade associa- 
tions including both classes, provided only that the latter were 
organized with s-'off icient flsxibility" for the purpose. 



9581 



"24- 

CEAPTER II 

THE PEODTjCTIOI-T OE THE INDUSTRY 

TIIB GR OSS VOLn^E OF BUSIEESS • • ■ 

Since the Fishery Industry, as defined for code purposes, included 
the wholesaling and processing industries as well as the primary produc- 
tion, the volume of "business that came within, the jurisdiction of these 
codes represented the handling of almost all fish and shellfish at least 
twice, and to a considerahle extent three times. 

The available data for the gross volume of "business covered "by these 
codes are shoTsn, for 1929 and 19.33, in Ta'ble I. These figures, however, 
are not very satisfactory, and some ejcplanation is necessary to prevent 
the dra.wing of incorrect conclusions from them. 

The volume of sales reported oj the Census of Distri"bution for 1929 
covered only 1,448 esta'blishments, whereas the Bureau of Fisheries for 
the sa;ne year reported data for ahout 2,000 v/holesaling units, and this 
total in its turn is known not to have "been quite coroplete. The volume 
of wholesale distri"b\ition in 1929 viras therefore somewhat in excess of the 
$243,582,000 sho\7n in Ta'ble I. ' 

TjffiLE I 

GROSS VOLUl'IE OF SALES OF THE FISEEHY IlipUSTRY, 
, , BY- MAIN DIVISIONS, 1929 MD 1933"' 

Division . . ; "Qnit Sales ' ' ■ 

.■ , . (in thousands) 

1933 ■' 1929 ■■ ■ ■ ■ . 

Total $334,082 a/ $504,911 

primary production 60,113a/ 123,054 t/ 

Wholesale Distri"bution 156,585 243,682 

processing 107,384 c/ 138,175 h/ 

Source: Bureau of Fisheries, Fishery Industries of the 

United States , 1930 , pp. 133, 142; 1934 , p. 115. 
Census . of Wholesale Distri'bution , 1953 , 
Vol. I, p. A-3. 

a/ Estimated in part "by the author, 

^/ Data for the Mississippi River area included in these 

figures are for 1922; 1929 data for this area are not 
available. 

c/ Data for the South Atlantic and Gulf and the Great Lakes 

preas, included in these figures are for 1932; those for 
the Mississippi River area are for 1931, 
9581 



"25- 

For 1933 the CensTis of DistrilDution reported data for 1,880 whole- 
sale seai"ood estfLblishments. The actual nura'ber certainly did not increase 
to say such extent from 1929 to 1933, ejid nore protahly decreased. The 
only likely explanatioii of the discrepancy is that the 1933 canvass was 
considera"bly more complete than the earlier one. Moreover, though some 
of the items of cost which account for the spread bet^^een the prices paid 
for fish and shellfish to primary producers and those received "by whole- 
salers are knoT?/n to he very inelastic, this fact would prohahly not he 
sufficient to account for the increase in the ratio of the latter price 
to the former from approximately two for one in 1929 to nearly three for 
one in 19 33, 

It is fairly certain, therefore, that while the gross volume of 
sales of the Pishery Industry as shown in Tahle I is too low for "both 
1929 and 1933, the figure for the latter year is relatively a good deal 
higher than that for 1929., and is consequently not comparahle with the 
latter. The true totals are unknown, hut estimates of $550,000,000 for 
1929 and of $350,000,000 for 1933 would prohahly not he far wrong. 



Tor the sales volume of the preparing and wholesaling trades there 
are no data more recent that those for 1933; hut the gross total for the 
Industry in 1934, coi^Tparahle with the figures just given, may not have 
heen far from $450,000,000, with totals for the country at large, for 
1933, 1929 and 1908. The latter was the year of the last countrywide 
survey prior to 1929. The figures for the South Atlantic and Gulf, the 
Great Lslces and the Missipsippi River areas for 1933 have had to he 
estimated. 

TABLE II 

QPMTITY MB VALUE 01 TI-IE EISHEEY CATCH, 
BY ABEA, 1908, 1929 At^D 1933 
(in Thousands of pounds and Thousands of Dollars) 



Area 


1933, 




1929 


1908 




Qjiantity 


Value 


Qp.antity 


Valu-a 


Quantity 


Value 


Total 


U.S.*. 












and Alaska 2,908,004a/ 


60,113a/ 3 


,567,277 


123,054 


2,111,267 


57,389a/ 


New England 499,936 


13,486 


694,286 


29,072 


( 




I'iiddle At- 169,753 


4,811 


190,773 


14,138 


( 




lantic 










( 




Chesapeake ■ 272,380 


5,961 


274,674 


11,581 


(1,462,388 


40,299 


South Atlantic 








\ 




& Gulf 


335,000h/ 


6,938h/ 


535,395 


14,904 




Great L; 


alces 65,000h/ 


4,671h/ 


85,389 


6,788 


106,632 


3,767 


Pacific 


860,161 


13,988 1 


,034,434 


25,038 


176,150 


6,839 


Kississip-oi 75,000h/ 


2,000h/ 


100,903c 


/ 4,449c/ 


148,284 


3,125 


River 














Alaska 


630,774 


9,158 


651,423 


17,084 


217,813 


3,359L/ 


Source: 


Bureau of the Census, Fisheries of 


the United 


States, 1908 


pp.26 




and 299; Bureau 


of Eisheri 


Bs, Eishe 


ry Industries of the United 




States, 1930, p. 


133; 1934 


, p. 98 








a/ 


Estimated in part \)j the author. 








^ 


Estimated hy the author. 










c/ 


1922 figures; 1929 figures 


not aval 


lahle. 






9581 















No compiled figures for the landings of fishery products in 1934 
are as yet available. From prelim nary data,- hov/ever, the total quan~ 
tity may te estimated at 3,350,000,000 pounds, and the value at" $79,500,- 
000. These figures indicate- an' increase of approximately 16 per cent in 
quantity and of 33 per cent in' value from 1933. They are only ahout 
seven per cent helow the quantity of 1929, but 35 per cent "below the 
value. 

If the quajitity landings of fishery products from 1929 to 1934 are 
averaged, it appears that there has "been an increase of ahout 44 per 
cent since 1908, This is a substantial gain; but it has been- distrib- 
uted very unequally betvireen the various sections of the country, 

Prom 1929 to 1933 the quantity of fishery products fell off by 
approximately 19 per cent. This was a substantial decline for a staple 
class of foodstuffs, and points to a competitive situation unfavorable 
to the Fishery Industry under depression conditions, 

THE OUTSTMDIHG SFEGIES 

The total landings of fish and shellfish are made up of about 150 
species or group's of species. The backbone of the Industry, however, 
consists of 12 such groups, which account for -about 80 per cent of the 
annual total of edible species (*), Table HI shows the quantity and 
value of these 12 groups in 1933, 1929 and 1908,- ' 

The following quotation from Fishery Industries of the United 
States, 1929 (**), summarizes the, manner in which these major fishery 
products are uti^lizea, and -the parts of- the couatry with which their 
production is associated.- 

"Of first importance is .the salmon, which forms the basis of 
a va.luable canning industry on our Pacific coast from California 
north to the Bering Sea. Of second importance is the pilchard, 
which is utilized in California for the canning of sardines. Had- 
dock, which is taken on our North Atlantic seaboard, is third in 
importpnce, and is used mainly for manufacture into fillets, which 
is the basis of the rapidly, expanding fresh and frozen package 
fish trade. Sea herring arg fourth in importance. These- fish are 
used extensively in Maine for canning as sardines, in Alaska and 
lew England for salting and. smoking, and large quantities also 
are frozen, for use as bait. 

"Oysters arefifth in importance. : These are- taken commercial- 
ly in nearly every seacoast • State, Those taken in the more northern 
latitudes generally are marketed fresh, while those taken in the 
sou.thern states form the basis for an extensive canning industry. 
Shrimp are sixth in importance and f oi-Tn- the basis- for the rapidly 
growing canning industry along the South Atlantic and Q-ulf coasts, 

* The only inedible species of major inroortance is the- menhaden. If 
the catch of the latter is subtracted from the totals- of Table II, 
the totals of Table III represent approximately 80 per cent of the 
remainder, 

** Bureau of Fisheries: Fisheries Document No, 1095, pages 727-728, 

9581 



-27- ■ 

Cod, wliich is seventh in importance, is talcen mainly in the vessel 
fisheries prosecuted from the Hew England States, and is used ex- 
tensively for salting. Mackerals, eithth in importance, are taken 
in our iTorth Atlantic sections and also in California. Those on 
the Atlantic sea„l)oo.rd are majrketed ma,inly fresh and frozen; al- 
though considerable quantities are salted and canned; while those 
taken in California are used almost entirely for canning, 

"Flounders, which rank ninth in importance, are talcen in the 
marine fisheries of all sections. Tuna and tunalike fishes, 
tenth in importance, are native to the waters of California, and 
the high seas of the Pacific south from that State to Chile. These 
fishes form the hasis for an important canning industry in Califor- 
nia. Halitut, which are of eleventh importance in volume, are 
taken principally in the North Pacific, ajid are distributed in the 
fresh and frozen condition to all parts of the coiontry. Crabs, 
which a„re of twelfth importance, are taken chiefly in the Chesa- 
peake Bay region, where thej form one of the most important fish- 
eries there." 

The prominent position of salmon and pilchard in Table III, and in 
■less degree tha„t of tuna and halibrat , is a measure of the great relative 
importsiice at the present time of the fisheries of the pacific coast 
axid Alaska. The growth of these Pacific fisheries to their present 
position is in large part a development of the past 25 years. Prior to' 
1910 or thereabouts the relative importance of the cod, haddock and 
ma,ckeral fisheries of Hew England, of the oyster fisheries of Rhode 
Island and Connecticut, the Middle Atlantic coast and the Chesapeake 
area, and of the menhaden and shrimp fisheries of the South, was 
substantially greater than it is now, 

THE EJCPORT THA33E 

The Fishery Industry is not, a contributor of the first importance 
to the export trade of the United States. The nearest to an exception 
to this statement is supplied by the exportations of canned salmon and 
sardines. These have contributed to the cheap seafood supply of the 
Orient, Latin America ;and the Mediterranean countries, and have to a 
considerable extent replaced on the list of our exports the salt cod- 
fish at one time so extensively shipped to the same destinations from 
Hew England. Exportations of fresh or frozen fishery products are 
very limited. 

Table IV presents the outstanding figures for the export of 
fishery products for recent years. 

THE COIIPETITIOH OF IIilPORTS 

Importations of fishery products into the United States are not an 
extremely inroortant item in our inward foreign trade; but they are so 
distributed as to constitute competition of a, serious kind for certain 
branches of the Industry. Save for one or two items practically all our 
imports of fresh and frozen fishery products come fron Canada. The ex- 
ceptions consist of the frozen svrordfish and tuna, which of recent years 
ha.s been brought in on an increasing scale from Japan, 

9581 



-28- 



T13LS III 



QUMTITY Al'ID ViilUE OF ..THE nSIST/ CATCH, 3Y 12 
IMPOHTiaTT SPECIES. 1908, 1929 j\iID 1933 

(in Thousands of pounds and Thousands of Dollars) 



Species 



1953 



Quantity V;ilue 



1929 



1908 



Qiiantity Value 



Quant i t y Value 



Total, all 
Species 2,908,004a/ 



60,113a/ 3,567,277 123,054 2,111,267 57,389a/' 



Total, 12 














Group s 2 


,119,511a/ 


39 , 164a/ 


2,573,741 


80,196 


971,430 


29,065 


Salmon 


574,066 


12,172 


584,539 


20,464 


. 289,371 


5,5301)// 


Pilchard or Call 


_ 












fornia Sardine 


509,805 


1,505 


■ 651,802 


3,588 


4,638 


30 


Haddock 


168,613 


3,894 ■ 


261,653 


9,142 


59,^988 


1 , 308 


Herring 


202,234 


1,110 


283,355 


2,480 


168,265 


1,809 


Oysters 


• 70,808t/ 


5,715h/ 


152,143 


17,074 


178,293 


12,721 


Shrimp 


102,633d/ 


1 , 919;b/ 


■ 113,263 


4,575 


19,080 


494 


Cod 


123,998 


2, 231 


115,652 


3,541 


115,455 


3,049 


Hacker el 


111.152 


•1,321 


122,094 


3,277 


11,842 


864 


Flounders 


60,716 


. 2,103 


75,329 


3,479 


23,354 


538 ; 


Tuna 


■ 71,026 


2,977 


75,524 


3,938 


359 


12 


Hal i tut 


42,639 


2,537 


55,297 


6,413 


40,133 


1,718 '■ 


Crats 


81,821 


1,630 


82,089 


2,225 


60,651 


942 

















Source: 
a/ 

9581 



Bureau of the Census, Fisheries of the United States, 1908 , pp. 30 
and 298: Bureau of Fisheries, F ishery industries of the United 
States.' 1930 , pp. 38, 139, 140; 1934 , pp. 103-6. 

Fstime.ted in part "by the author. 

Estimated "by the author. 



-29- ■• 

Tlie fisheries of New England have to' meet the .conipetition of ground- 
fish, mackeral and lobsters imported from the maritime provinces of 
Canada. The American craft on the G-reat Lalres have to meet that of the 
Canadian -products of the same "bodies of water and of the interior lakes 
of the prairie provinces. The halihut fishery of the Pacific northwest » 
has to fcope the coriipetition of the British Columtia, catch. 

TABLE IV 

■ EXPORTS OE FISHERY PRODUCTS, BY KIHi) OE PRODUCT, 
1929, 1933 AKD 1934 • 
(Values Expressed in Thousands of Dollars) 

f — — 

Kind of Unit of 1934 1933 1929 

Product Quantity -: ttt ~~ .7 771 ~ 7 177 77 

■Quantity Value Quantity Value Qjiantity Velue 

Total Value ' — 14,032 8,512 24,275 

Eish ajid Shell- 
fish, Eresh or 

.Frozen 1,000 lbs. 17,349 1,461 16,294 1,458 18,179 2,510 

i;ish and Shell- 
fish, Canned, 

Preserved, 1,000 Ihs. 98,826 10,542 64,072. 5,917 195,130 20,991 

etc. 

Eish Oils 1,000 lbs, 6,364 194 ■ 5,849 163 1,120 95 

Sponges 1,000 lbs. 83 ' ' 93 72 68 124 152 

Oyster - " ■ . 
shells 1,000 lbs. 114,699 360 127,680 385 95,867 444 

Eish Meal 
for Feed 1,000 lbs. 50,995 1,172 17,736 346 . 

Pearl or Shell 
Buttons 1,000 gross 753a/ 210a/ 792a/ 175a/ 242 83 

Source: Foreign Commerce and Navigation, 1930 , pp. XVIII and XL; Monthly 
Suiimary, December, 1933 , pp. 3, 4, 16; Honthly Summary, December , 
1934 , p. 6. ' 

a/ Includes other buttons. 

Underlying conditions make .this Canadian competition more serious 
than might appear on the surface. The population of the parts of Canada 
in which the fisheries of tha,t country are localized is much less dense 
than tha± of the adjoining portions of the United States, This means 
that the Canadian fisheries have in general been less depleted, so that 
they provide relatively larger sttpplies with less expenditure of effort. 



9581 



-30- 

The domestic market for the Canadian production is relatively less im- 
portant than' in the case of our oT/Ti industry. The Canadian fishing dis- 
tricts, moreover, tend to he characterized' by a sinii.)le standard and a 
low cost of living, ■ : . ; 



The recent development of an import tra,de in 
tuna from Japan has "been mentioned. That country 
United States consideraDle quantities of canned fi 
has recently developed a trade in fish meal for us 
as p 011.1 try feed. Japan has a much denser populati 
domestic consuiiiption of fishery products than has 
eries and the industries affiliated with them have 
intelligently developed, and it has the advantage 
lahor at low wages. 



frozen swordfish and 
also ships to the 
sh and shellfish, and 
e as fertilizer and 
on and a far larger 
Canada; hat its fish- 
heen intensively and 
of ahundant skilled 



Tahle V sixmmarizes the outstanding figures for the development of 
the import trade of the United States in fishery products. 

TABLE V 

GEIJERAL IMPORTS OF FISHERY PRODUCTS, BY KIIID OP PRODUCT, 
. .. - . 1929, 1933 ittlD 1934 . 

(Values Expressed in Thousands of Dollars) ■ 



Kind of 
Product 



Unit of 
Qp.antitj'' 



1934 



1933 



1929 



(Quantity Value Quantity -Value Qp.ahtity Value 



Total Value 29,559 

Pish & Shellfish, 

Eresh or frozen 1,000 lhs.l37,?87 9,118 118,665 
Fish & Shellfish, 
Canned, pre- 

1,000 ros.148,365 14,008 169,746 
1,000 gals. 8,019 3,775 6,463 



served, etc. 

Fish Oils 

Shells, Unmanu- 
factured 

Siponges and 
Manufacture s- 

Pearl or Shell 
Buttons 

Fish Scrap aiid 
Fish iieal 



1,000 Ihs; 9,010 ..•973 ■.■9,503 

1,000 Ihs. 479 388 465 

1,000 gross ■■ 849 ' 301 1,030 

1,000 Ihs. 79,905 996 59,418 



27,090 53,230 

,7,650 193,211 15,787 

14,498 176,346 23,985 

2,365 17,983 8,971 

1,186 : 17, 693 2,918 

375 965 1,183 

326 830 436 

689 



Source: Foreign Conroerce and Navigation, 
lionthly Summary, Deceinher, 1933 , 
Secemher, 1934 , pp.. 19 and 28. 



1930, pp. XLI and XLIII; 

pp. 17 and 27; Monthly Summary , 



9581 



1- 



THE ?E?. CiPITA SEMimP FOE FISHERY PRODUCTS 



The per capita consiimption of fi 
is small in corp arisen V7ith. tha.t of m 
is iDrought out "by the data in TaDle V 
in the fact that a relatively larre p 
at the present tine lives at a dir.'.t;u 
products in large quantities. Irnprov 
commodities can he shipped into the i 
keeping them from spoiling in troiisit 
overcoming this difficulty. The cost 
durirg shipment, however, mounts rapi 



shery products in the United States 
ost other incort'Mit countries. This 
I. The erplanaticu, of course, lies^ 
ronortion of the Ajiericnn popula,tion 
ce froa weters supplying fishery 
eiients in the speed with which such 
ulterior, and in the facilities for 
J have accoiuplished something toward 
of the preservation of fresh fish ■ 
dly \7ith the distance. 



TIe earliest settlers, during the first lean years hefore they 
"became well esta"blished as farmers tuid stock raisers, were relatively 
dependent for food on the a"bundant and easily exploited supplies of fish 
and shellfish available in their new homes. Froni the Indians they learned 
"both methods of catching these products and the ha"bit of giving them a 
prominent place in their diet. Later there developed an important export 
trade in salt fish with the West Indies and Latin America. 

DBCLII-IE m COWSmiER DEMAND IK THE KIl^TEEiJTH CEIITUHY 



Until the 1870«i or the 1880' s there continued to he a relativelj'' 
large con swap t ion of salt fish away from the sea'board. With the develop- 
ment of the large-scale distri'bution of fresh neat in refrigerated ca.rs, 
however, and with the rise in the West of generations vhicli had never had 
access to siipplies of fresh fish, and which had lost the habit of includ- 
ing then in their diet, the demand for such salted products fell off. 
The ITorth Atlantic mackerel catch, which may be taken as an illustrative 
Ciise, had exceeded a hundred million pounds in abo-at h<?.lf the years from 
1845 to 1885. From the latter date to 1925, ho-.7ever, this catch never 
reached 50,000,000 pounds and exceeded 25,000,000 in onl3^ five or six 
years, 

TABLE vl 

PEH CAPITA COFSUliPTIOil OF FISH A?"D SHELLFISH 
m CEHTAIH CCUITTFJSS IIT RECSIIT YEARS a/ 





per 


Capita 






per Capita 


Country 


Con 


suraption 


Country 




Consumption 




(P 


ou-nds) 






(Founds) 


Japan 




55 


S-pain 




16 


Sweden 




52 . 


France 




14 


Norway 




44 -^ 


Ul'ITED STATES 


13 


Denmark 




39 


■ Australia 




13 


Portugal 




S7 


Uiuguay 




12 


England ; 


?nd Wales 


35 


Ai-gentian 




10 


Canada 




29 


Italy 




9 


lletherlai 


ads 


29 


Chile 




8 


Germany 




18 


Egypt 




7 


Belgium 




17 








Source: 


Fishing G-azette, Febru.ary, 


1935, -pp. 9, 


10. 




a/ 


The United States figure is as of 1931; 


the figures for other 




countries as 


of various re 


cent years. 






9581 













-32- 

Within the past 20 years the development of the Pacific coast fish- 
eries and the growth of large cities in that part of the coiontry have 
done something to offset the conditions just descrihed. This is why the 
per capita demand for fishery products during recent years has "been great- 
er than that indicated hy the Census of 1908. It is not likely, however, 
that the average has "been as large at any tine during the past two gener- 
ations as it was earlier in the nineteenth Century. 

mimVOIlABLS C0MPETITIV3 FOglTIOlT MP POSgiELS IM.IEI)IES 

This decline in the relative importance of fishery products in the 
American dietary has put the Industry in an unfavorable position in com- 
petition with other protein foods, v/hen price relationships have been 
adverse. So far as this disadvantage can he overcome, it will have to he 
done partly by publicity and by the encouragement of the consumer to de- 
sire more fish and shellfish, and partly by improvements in trade organi- 
zation and in the facilities for distribution from the ports of landing 
over an increasing radius. The development of the packaged fish trade 
out of Boston has already, within the last 15 years, brought about a def- 
inite improvement in the latter respect. 

THE miUBAL SUPPLY AIID THE PROBLEM OB"' GOITSEEVATIOU 

The natural supply of aquatic life from which the production of the 
fisheries is drawn is not unlimited. In certain directions the activi- 
ties of the Industrjr have, during the past generation or two, encroached 
on it seriously. 

The greatest danger of such encroachment exists, first, in the case 
of enclosed or semi-enclosed waters like the Great Lakes sjid Chesapeal-e 
Bay; ^lecond, in that of sessile species like oysters and clams; and third, 
in that of fish the propagation of which is dependent on njigration into 
rivers to spama, as in the case of salnon, shad and sturgeon. The extent 
of the danger of encroachment on the supply of free-swimming pelagic 
species is a matter of controversy. In the case of the groundfisheiy on 
the Newfoundland banks, which have been exploited over a long period in 
relatively shallow waters, the fishing fleets have of late years had to 
move the main center of their operations several hundred miles further 
from the Horth Atlantic ports than was formerly the case. With respect 
to most of these pelagic species, however, there seems at present to be 
no conclusive evidence of encroachment on the supply in the waters ex- 
ploited by American fishermen. 

Conservation laws on the. part of Hew England states to protect the 
supplj;- of lobsters date back many years. Provisions on this subject were 
incorporated in the Wholesale Lobster Code, with little controversy ex- 
cept with regard to details. The facts as to the supply of blue crabs in 
Chesapealne Bay, and the problem of preserving it, have been complicated 
by a controversy between the States of Maryland and Virginia. This con- 
troversy - s.ccentuated by the probably unwise insistence of the Adminis- 
tration (*) on the writing of certain conservation provisions into the 
Blue Crab Code - played a large part in the wrecking of the latter. 

(*) The word Administration, here and wherever else it is used in this 
report, refers to the .National Recovery Administration. 

9581 



-33- 

The seriousness of the conservation protlein in the case of the Great 
Laices is shown "by the decline in the catch of the American fisheries in 
those waters from 107,000,000 pounds in 1908 to 85,000,000 in 1929. The 
total catch of American and Cana,dian fleets in the Pacific halitut fish- 
ery is restricted lij an International Commission appointed as the result 
of a treats'- signed in 1924. 

Very serious encroachment on the supply of salmon in Alaska uas ter- 
minated, also in 1924, iy the passage "by Congress of the White Act, which 
gave to the Bureau of Fisheries extensive powers of control. Since that 
time the Alaska salmon fishery has "been rigidly regulated, and the catch 
to a considerahle degree stabilized. 

The increasingly extensive operations, during the last few years, 
of two floating sardine reduction plants just outside the territorial 
waters of California, in d.efiaxLce of the state conservation laws, led to. 
allegations of the depletion of the supply?- of this species.' The state- 
ments on the suhject in connection with the writing and administration 
of the California Sardine Code were more or less "biased, and it is dif- 
ficult to determine the real facts. On the whole the evidence now avail- 
able seems inconclusive, with the burden of proof rather on those who 
allege that- depletion ha.s occurred. ; 

THE COHSBEVATIOE PROBLEM AITS TIIS CODES 

There is no doubt of the seriousness of the conservation problem in 
the case of several of the fisheries above mentioned. The difficult 
question is the extent to which it was or should have been feasible to 
■ solve the problem through the medium of the codes. The only really ef- 
fective action that has been talcen toward the conservation of fishery 
products in the past has been bj^ means of penal legislation by Congress 
or, in a few instances, by individual states. The proponents of fishery 
codes, on the whole, showed little interest in the subject, and little 
willingness to cooperate in the solution of the problem. Such conserva- 
tion provisions as were written into these codes were put through by the 
insistence of the Administration, Hiere was abundant justification for 
such insistence in principle, but a serious question whether, under all 
the circumstances, it was wise. 



9581 



-34- 
CHAPTEH III 
THE PRICES OP PI SHEET PRODUCTS 



PRICES TO PRI!',tAEY PRODUCERS 

Pigures have teen given in Table II for the quantity a.nd value of the 
fishery catch landed in the United States in 1908, 1929 and 1933. Tahle 
VII shovis the average price per pound received "by the primary producers in 
each important -area and for the country at large for the same years. 

This tahle indicates that the average price to producers fell from 
1929 to 1933 T3y approximately 38 per cent. This was not much more than the 
decline over the same period in the average ,of all commodity prices, Tahle 
VIII, however, shows that for several important species the falling off 
from 1929 to 1933 was suhstantially in excess of 38 per cent. The average 
price of California, sardines declined "by a ha.lf , sxi5. those of shrimp and of 
mackerel between 50 and 60 per cent. The avera^ge price of salmon, of hep- 
ring, of cod and of halihut dropped hetv/een 40 and 50 per cent. In the 
case of crahs, oysters, tuna and flounde'rs, on the other liand, the decline 
was relatively moderate, 

Ta-hle II has shorm that the landed value of all fishery products - 
that is, the gross revenue of the fishery industry proper - fell from 1929 
to 1933 "by 51 per cent, while the quantity declined hy 19 per cent. These 
figures indicate' that, while the contraction in the quantity demand during 
the downward pliase of the depression was hy no means negligible, it was 
the decline in the unit price that accounted for the greater part of the 
shrinkeige in the dollar volume, 

TJ\3LE VII 

- AVERAGE PRICE PER POUIID OP THE PISHERY" CATCH, 
BY AREA, 1908, 1929 and 1933 



Average Price 
Area. (Cents Per Pound) 
1933 1929 1908 

Average for the U„S» 

and Alaska 2.1 3,4 2,7 

Hew England 2,7 

MidaJLe Atlantic ' 2,8 

Chesapeake 1,9 

South Atlantic & Gulf 2.1 a/ 

Great Lakes 7,2 a/ 

Pacific 1.6 

Ilississippi River 2,7 a/ 

Alaska 1. 5 

Soua-ce: Computed from data shown in Table II, 

a/ Based on author's estimates. 

b/ 1922 price, 
9581 



4,2 


( 




7.4 


( 


2.8 


4.2 


( 




2.8 


( 




7.9 




3.5 


2.4 




3.9 


4.4 b/ 




2,1 


2.6 




1,5 a/ 



— oo" 



Ti^LS VIII 

DECLiiiE Hi -ayhilge psicss ?cr tie catch of the 

12 LiCST IlvIPOHTAUT Sx'ECiSS, lS29-19o3 







Avsr 


a£'e Price 


Per Cent 


Species 




(Cents 


per Po-and) 


Decline 






1933 


1929 


1929 to 1933 


Average for 


Specified 








G-roups 




1.8 


3,1 


42.0 


Salmon 




2.1 


3.5 


40.0 


Pilchard or California 








Sardine 




0.3 


Oo6 


50.0 


Haddo clc 




2-3 


3.5 


34.3 


Herring 




0o5 


0.9 


44.5 


Oysters 




8,1 


llo2 


27,7 


Shrimp 




1.9 


4c 


52.5 


Cod 




1,8 


3,0 


40,0 


Mackerel 




1.2 


2.7 


55.6 


Plounders 




3o 5 


4,6 


23.9 


TTina 




4„3 


5.2 


19o3 


Halitut 




5c 9 


llo5 


48o7 


OralDs 




2c 1 


2,7 


22,3 


gource: Compi 


j-ted from data. 


Sh0'.7n 


m Ta'^ole HI, 





The dJTOp from 1929 to 1933 of 40 to no;:?:!/ SO per cent in the average 
price of the majority of the most inycrtanb s^iecies shortld "be compared- not 
only uith the falling-off , as meastir'.'d "by the 3. L. S. index, of ahout 31 
per cent in general commodity prices over the riaiae period, "but with the 
decline of 54 ]per cent in the price of meat; the most closely competing 
class of foodstuffs. The drop in the averc^ge prices of California sar*- 
dines, of shrimp, of mackerel and of h.ali"but v/as greater tha.n the decline 
in the price of meat; while in the case of herring the falling off was 
about the saiiie, 

PHI CBS TO r.?HCLESALI]IlS AlH). PIlOCaSSOHS 

The availa"ble information with regard to i^holesalers' selling prices 
for fish ejad shellfish and the prices of processed fisher^r jDroducts is un- 
satisfactory. The price of canned salmon, however, declined ahout 40 per 
cent from 1929 to 1933. Because of the inelasticity of important elements 
of distri"buting cost, such as railvray express rates, ice and la"bor, the 
fall in the wholesale prices of fresh and frozen products did not parallel 
the decline in the prices received "bjr the primsry producers, Becajuse of 
the xDorishahility of these coimmodities, hov;everj together with the severe 
competition of the large . nxijii"ber of relatively small units in most "bra^nches 
of the vrholesale tra-de, the difference in the decline of the two sets of 
prices v;3.s proha'bly a good deal less than might "be inferred from a consid- 
eration of costs alone. 

9531 



-36- 

t/hen the N. R. A. was first organized^ it was the ahnormal price 
deflation is some loranches of the Fishery Industry that supplied the 
initial incentive to associations and other groups to come forward as 
proponents of codes. The remedies first asked for were of a direct and 
drastic soft, though perhaps no more so than in the case of many other 
industries. If these proposals had heen put into effect at an early 
stage of the program, as similar ones were in other instances, the 
history of. the fishery codes \7ould have "been very different from vrha^t 
it actually was. 

As things were, the writing of these codes was delayed till the 
Administration had "b.ecome less willing to approve drastic provisions 
for the regulation of production and prices. The resulting controver- 
sies affected adversely the psychological attitude of the Industry to- 
ward the codes, the willingness of its mem'bers to comply with the pro- 
visions ultimately written, and their readiness to pay assessments, 

THS FHICS EB3JI.ATI0IT AIID THE ITIHAIICIAL FOSITIOH 0? ?ISHEaY EKTEEPHISES 

Tlhe effect of the deflation in the prices of fishery products from 
1929 to 1933 on the financial position of the numerous enterprises, 
mostly, small, which are engaged in the Industry was very serious. In 
the case of the primary production the N, R, A, study of fishermen's 
earnings showed, for the vessels reported on, a decrease over the four 
yes.rs of 53 per cent in the average value of catch per vessel, 'and of 
48 per cent in the average vessel share of gross profit. As against 
these declines the princip)al items of overhead expense remained nearljr 
or quite unchanged. As' a result, the. average overhead per vessel in 
1933, after depreciation, was $7,952, while the .average vessel share, 
against which the overhead is charged, v^as only $4,340, A sulDstantial 
average net loss wa,s shovm in 1933 "by every, geographical area except 
California, where the average gross profit ajid overhead per vessel were 
ahout equal. The .loss wa,s particularly heavy. in the North Atlantic 
fisheries and. on the Grea,t LaJ-ces, 

In the case of the wholesaling and processing divisions there are 
few definite figures Tflth regard to the financial effect of the price 
decline d-ujing the depression. The aggregate net current assets of a 
group of 21 of the principal wholesale' dealers in New Yorl<: City, how- 
ever, fell off from 1930 to 1933 hy more than 25 per cent, and the net 
worth of the sajne group dropped "by 30 per cent. There was a decline in 
the net current a,ssets of 17 of the 21 firms over the three years, in- 
cluding all the larger' ones, and a decline in the net worth of 18 of the 
21, The general complaint, at the time the fishery codes were present- 
ed, of a shortage of. working capital in the preparing and wholesaling 
trade suggests a similar situation in other centers of distrihution, 

RgLATIOHSHIP OF FISH AMD LEAT PRICES ' 

Since provisions for the regulation of prices v/hether directly or 
indirectly 'bj means of' a control of production, hulked so large amoP-g 
those originally desired hjr representatives of, this Industry, it "becomes 
a ma.tter of special interest to inquire to v.rhat eztent the prices of 
fishery products appear to vary independently of. the economic situation 

9581 



-37-- 

outside the Industry itself, and, consequentljr to "be susceptible of such 
regulation, 

THB STUDY OF t/iA.CI{i3HEL AED IIMT :P?J05S . 

It h3.s heen generally conceded Toy those l)est acquainted nith the 
Industry tha^t some relationship exists betvreen the prices of fisherjr 
products and of meat. Until the present study was made, however, little 
or nothing had "been done to analyse the relationship statistically* 
Such an analysis is a, complex task, since the price of every important 
fishery products appears to hehave, in part, independently. 

So far it has heen practicable to study the relationship only in 
the case of the mackerel catch of the Atlantic coast. This particular 
fishery vras selected tecause of the "bearing of the price received for 
its products on the working of the production control provision of the 
Mackerel Fishery Code, Hot/ever, there is no reason to suppose that the 
relo,tiojiship with the price of meat (*) in this case is not illustra.tive 
in an approximate p/ay of the general situation. 

The charts and ta'oles pertaining to this study of the relationship 
of mackerel and meat prices are too voluminous to present as a psxt of 
the present report. The evidence,, however, leaves no doulDt that the 
two principal factors accounting for the price received hy the mackerel 
fishermen at any given time are to quajitity landed and the price of 
meat. The Quantity of other species of fish caught a.t the same time, 
the quantitj^ of mackerel imported, and the number of vessels fishing in 
proportion to the catch, are a.lso factors, but only secondary ones. It 
is reasonabljr certain that a foi"m\ila can be ^'rorked out v/hereby, if these 
factors were known, the price which would be paid for a. specified quan- 
tity of mackerel landed in a. given month could be forecase within fairly 
narrow limits of accuracy, 

BEAaiirC- OF THE CQlJPiaiSO]g Oil THE COHTEOL 0? FISHESY PaiCES 

If this is the case, a serious doubt at once arises as to how fax 
it is possible to control the price of any fishery product, either 
directly or by manipulating the quantity of the catch alone. Something 
further vrill be said on the subject in discussing the production con- 
trol larovision of the Mackerel Fishing Code, 

The price of meat is subject to cyclical fluctuations more ex- 
treme than those of commodity prices in genera,l. The prices of some 
importa/nt species of fish, including m_ackerel,' show variations even 
more extreme than in the case of meat. Such a situation is plairly 

(*) The immediate competition is between fish and. meat; but there is 
some reason to thinlc that the variations in the prices received by 
fishermen correspond more closely to the movement, of the prices 
paid to faA-mers for livestocl: and poultrjr. It does not appear, 
however, that a coriiparison of the latter instead of the price of 
neat with fish prices \70uld affect materipAly the statement in the 
text, either here or in Cha,pter XIV. 

9581 



- ■ ■ ; -38- ' . . ■ 

disadvantageous to the prcducer of fish; and tha Fishery .industry r/ould 
gain sulDstantially from the success of. efforts -to -iron out the long-time 
fluctua.tions in the supply of livestock and in the price of meat,. 

This presupposes a prograjn of economic coordination .much "broader 
than TTOuld he possible in connection with a code or a group of codes for^ 
any one fndustry. Short .of such a program, ho^jever, it is douhtful 
whether^ anything can he done to improve the prices received hy fisher- 
men, unless the relative preference of =the American consumer for fish 
in comparison with meat ca.n he modified. Something has alreadj"- heeh 
said as to the possihilities in this latter direction, ,. 

THE S?IBAD.,.BBTV/EB]J EHICES TO-PaOBUCEHS AIID TO COKSTOiEES , , 

During the existence of the fishery codes the pfohlems raised hy 
the spread "between the prices received "by primary producers and those 
paid "by the consumer "became >a matter of cohcern to the Consumers' Ad- 
visory Board, There was s. tendency to feel that these spreads-, which 
had admittedly heen. suhstantial, i:.rplied profiteering on the part of 
the preparing, and distributing tra.de s, 

' ' ■' ■ ' ' ' ''" . 
The perishability ef fishery products, however, with the. intense- 
competition resulting from the large number of enterprises of small 
average size engaged in these trades, creates a situation so unfavor- 
able to monopolistic or profiteering ta,ctics as to justify skepticism 
with regard to. any such hypothesis, ViTith the evidence at. present 
avails.ble' the controversy cannot be settled conclusively; but the fol— . 
lov;ing summary of a paper prepared 'hj an official of one of the large 
New tork whole sali-ng companies (*) t"hrows some light on .3,t, - 

THE PaiCS'SPEEAD IH AN ILLUSTMTIYE CASE ..,....--- 



This paper traces a shipment of fish caught in Florida and distri- 
buted through the Uew York wholesale -market, for which the fishermsji 
received four cents per pound, \7hile the ultimate consumer paid about 
25 cents. The following figures reffer to a standard barrel of 200 
pounds. 

For such a barrel the wholesaler in Florida paid the fisherman 
$8,00, He was obliged to malce an allowance of five per cent for 
shrinkage in weight while the. fish were in transit to New York, The 
barrel and the ice for packing tiie' shipment cost hiin $1,50, the la,bor 
and overhead, charges, a.ssuraing a normal • volume of business, $1,00, and 
the trucking 25 cents. The cost of. these fish at the time of shipment 
from Florida, consequentljr, was a,pproximately $11,15, 

The express charge from Florida, to Jersey City wa,s approximatel;'" 
$3,00 per barrel, and the cost of trucking in the New York City area 
40 cents more. For the New Yorlo wholesaler to brea,k even, with his 
customary margin of 12-'; per cent', he must have sold this barrel of fish 
for $16,25 to $16,50, or rather more than twice its original value to, ' 
the fisherman, 

(*) Stanley de J, Osborne, Atlantic Coast Fisheries Company, New York 
City, 

9581 



-39- 

A retailer who paid the price just mentioned for this "barrel, and 
who sold an average of a thousands pounds of fish per xtee'k, concentra- 
ted mainly in two of the seven days, would "be obliged, according to this 
paper, to raise his purchase price 20 per cent, in order to net two per 
cent on his fish husiness. This would bring the price of the "barrel up 
to approximately $49 for the 200 pounds, or 24-1: cents per pound. These 
figures, moreover, assume that, the, fish in question were weighed for 
sale to the consuner "before cleaning, and that there was no loss from 
spoilage. 

It is not contended that these illustrative figures finally settle 
the pro"blem of price spreads in the fishery trades. The informant from 
whom the data cited were o'btained, however, is "believed to "be relia'ble, 
and the data are pro"ba"bly quite, representative of conditions in an im- 
portant section of the Industry, 

SSLATIVE A3SMGE OF MONOPOLISTIC PRACTICES 

The relatively small size of the typical enterprise in the Fishery 
Industry would in any case tend greatly to reduce the likelihood of 
monopolistic practices. In New York, Boston, Pensacola, Seattle, San 
Francisco and a fevi other places the small groups of comparatively large 
wholesale concerns account for su"bstantial proportions of the total 
volume of "business, and especially of the sales outside the immediate 
localities. The relative importance of these larger concerns, more- 
over, is enhanced "by the fact that a considerable proportion of the 
smaller ones tend to come and go, "because of their financial insta"bil- 
ity. 

Before the institution of the l\r,E.A, , however, these larger whole- 
sale concerns do not seem, as a matter of fact, to have "been in a posi- 
tion to monopolize "business or to injure their smaller competitors "by 
means that could "be descri"bed as illegal or improper. They were un- 
popular vi/ith the fishermen; "but this appears to have "been chiefly "be- 
cause they were the most prominent customers of the latter, and tended 
therefore to "be held responsi'ble for the deflation in prices. 

Almost inevita'bly the larger wholesalers took a prominent part as 
proponents of the fishery codes. In the case of the National Code this 
fact, as will "be more fully explained, had unfortunate effects. There 
were, moreover, a fev/ instances in which these groups, more or less 
deli"berately, took advantage of their position as proponents of codes 
to offer provisions apparently designed to protect themselves from the 
competition of small enterprises. The most important case of the sort 
came up in connection with the price control provisions of the proposed.. 
Supplementary Code for the Southeast preparing and Wholesaling Industi-y, 
The larger wholesalers with established ]places of business in Pensa,cola 
and other cities were unquestionably desirous of restricting the activi- 
ties of the small truck distributors of that area. It was the effort to 
do this, primarilj'-, that so delayed, the writing of the Code referred to, 
that it had not been approved at the time of the Schechter decision. 

The competition of the small truck jobbers, who biiy directly from 
fishermen and distribute from their own vehicles to inland wholesalers, 

9581 



■ , "40- 

retailers or customers, sometimes -over radii of several hmidred miles, 
has xmquestn.ona'bly caused great '.difficiiltj;^ f-fii*' fee esta'blished old-line 
wholesalers in a niimljer of fishing ports*- The provisions designed to 
cAxrh this competition plainly had a monopolistic tendency and were such 
as the Administration could -not approve „ 

Prom the standpoint of the old^line dealers, however,' the provi-" 
sions were of a defensive character: the importance attached to them 
reinforces strongly the impression thac under normal conditions such 
groups of large concerns had not "been in a position even to maintain 
their traditional share of the husinessof their areas,' to say nothing 
of increasing it, "by monopolistic ^practices of the ordinary sort. 



9581 



■■CIIAPTSl lY 

ESTABLISIU.IEiiTS AIZ) S1ITIIKPIIIS3S 

THE TGSSEL, 30AT AID SHOIiB PISHZPII IS .» 

In disciissi-ng the n'OJi'ber and charr,cter of the enterprises conposing 
the fishery industr;r, and the mraorr of persons engaged in it and their 
corapensation, it is necessary to trJre accbimt of a distinction custonar- 
ily dravm hetr/een the -vessel, the ooat and the shore .fisheries. The dif- 
ference "between a vessel and- a "boat is one of size - the former heing 
docLTJiented craft of five net tons capacity or more, nhile the latter are 
■umdocirnented craft of less than five tons capacity. The distinction "be- 
tween the vessel and the "boat fisheries lies in the scale on which they 
operate, while the shore fisheries, which work without "boats or use then 
only incidentally, are on a, still smaller scale. The three classifica- 
tions of course fade into one another; yet the distinction is practical 
and convenient. 

Tlie nearest eq\ii valient of an "esta"blislinent " in the fishing industry'- 
proper is an individual vessel or ""ooat vrith its gear, or in the case of 
the shore fisheries an individual operator with his gear or im"olements. 

THE MI3M 01 PISHIHG- "VESSELS 

The num"'Der of fishing vessels in operation in 1929 was reported "bjr the 
Bureau of Fisheries as 4,367. In 1933 it had fallen to a"bout 3,650, l)ut 
in 1934 had proba'bly risen again to 4,000 or thereo,"bout s. There has "been 
a considera"ble decline in the nurnher of these vessels since 1908, when it 
stood at 5,148. The mmi"ber on the Pacific coast and on the Great Lakes 
has risen su"bstantially ; hut this has only partly offset an e::tensive de- 
crease on the Atlantic and Crvlf coasts. 

Uore thpji half this latter decline is accounted for "by the falling 
off in the production of oysters, of which more will "be said later on. 
The remainder is due chiefljr to the suhstitiition of motor propelled for 
sailing vessels. Ilotor vessels, "being a"ble to mal:e much- qnoicker ojid more 
n-umerous trips, can ca.rr;;'- ice, and therefore "bring in fish which formerly 
had to "be salted as soon as they were caught. The increase in the propor- 
tion landed fresh has in its t-'orn forced a concentration of the business 
in the larger ports, which alone have the facilities for handling these 
verj^ perisha"ble products on a large scale. All these conditions have fav- 
ored the carrying on of the operations of the Industry "by a smaller nimher 
of more efficient units. 

THE 0Ti":3RSHIP OP EISHIMG iraSSELS 

A large majority of all fishing vessels are owned singly by individ- 
uals or partnership^, and in the co.se of 90 per cent of these the owner or 
one of the owners is also the ce-ptcdn. Of the vessels reported on for the 
purposes of the study of fishermen's .earnings, which was made in connec- 
tion with the codes njider discussion, about 30 per cent were ovmed in fleets 
of two or more. The corresponding proportion for all fishing vessels, 
however, is certainly smaller - probably around 20 per cent. About 28 per 
cent of all fishing vessels are orrned 'by corporations; b\it if Alaska 

9581 



■"42- 

is 3::cl\ided the -oroT^ortion foJJ-s to 20 por cent. The vessels ormed in 
fleets .'^.re of coiurse largely the sane as thoce o\-m.ed 07 corporations, 

THE LIZE All) AGE OF ? IS HI:T& ^/^^SSELS 

The a.'^e of fishing vessels in use runs up to 60 years or even more. 
■The average age, horrever, is only al)OLit 15 years, DJid. the average life 
ahout 20. There is alijays a proportion of old and relatively -onseaworthjr 
vessels in existence; and for this reason it is normal for 12 or 13 per 
cent of the vessels registered at a giveii tine to "be idle. At the worst 
stage of the depression, however, the proportion of idle vessels was proh- 
ahly not lass than' 25 per cent, 

TEE ITUIfflER AID OUlIEaSHIP OP PISHIIiq BOATS 

The nriKher of ^ fishing boats is ver^' niich larger than the n-onber of 
vessels. In recent years it has heen in the neighhorhood of 70,000. 
Since the avere.ge vessel, however, is 10 or 12 tines as efficient as the 
average "boat, the relative importance of the "boat fisheriesi'frora the 
standpoint of their production is "by no means as great as these figures 
night seem to inply. In 1933 the vessel fis-heries accounted for about 
43 per cent of the total valae landed; and this proportion seems to have 
changed very little over the last 25 or 30 years. The n-umher of fishing 
boats in use has fallen off dm-ing this period, b\it not as nuch as the 
number of vessels. 

At the tine of writing no fig-ores are available with respect .to the 
ownership of 'fishing boats, their age, their nornal life, or the propor- 
tion of idle craft. It can, however, be asserted safely that the propor- 
tion of boats owned in fleets of two or mgre is substantially b elow the 
20 per cent aropl^ying in the case of vessels. T}.ie ownership of boe.ts "bj 
corporations is confined to cases where they are owned on the side by 
wholesaling or processing concerns. 

T HE SIZE 0? EISHIITG EITTEEPSISZS ' ' 

The foregoing statenents are enough to indicate that the enterprises 
operating 30 to 90 per cent of all fishing craft are small. Even in 1929, 
according to computations based on Bureau of Fisheries datr., the average 
gross operating reveraie .per vessel or boat failed to reach $3,000 in any 
area. In tlie Chesapeake and the South Atlantic rhd G-'olf sto.tes, even in 
that year of great economic "activity and rel^atively high prices, the value 
of the catch of an average vessel was only a little over $800. In 1933 
the average did not reach $2,000 for any area,' and for the Chesapealce 
states it sanlc below $400, 

Tlie average gross operating revenue of fishing vessels is of course 
nuch larger than that of vessels and bofts ta]':en together. Te^ the data 
obtained in connection with the il.Bu.A. study of fishermen's earnings show- 
ed, even in the case of Hew England and of California, where the propor- 
tions of large vessels are highest, en average output per reporting vessel 
in 1933 of less than $25,000. The avei'age tonnage of these vessels, more- 
over, was above the general average for the areas mentioned. 



9581 



. -43- 

TalDle IS slions the dis trio lit ion of ths value of the fishery products 
landed in 1933 "b;- individual firns uhich suhriitted reports in connection 
with the aoove mentioned study. This tahle includes funs'" two-thirds of 
all the concerns, other than salmon canning companies in Alaska, nhich 
own fleets of five or more fishing vessels. The dollar volume reported "by 
some of these is of course large in comparison v'ith that of the hulk of 
fishing enterprises; hut the proportion of the totei.1 .for the Industry for 
which they account is comparatively sns.ll. Table IX includes only con- 
cerns ovming fleets of two or more vessels, A considerahle nimber of 
vessels owned singly had catches in 1933 valued at nore than $50,000. 
The highest such value reported in connection with the studj"-, however, 
was ujider $80,000. 

WHOLESilLIlTC- AirO FEOCSSSIIIG- ESTABLISH.iZL^TTS 

Tahle X sho\7s the nijmhers of wholesaling and processing establish- 
ments reported in connection v;ith the surveys of the Bureau of Fisheries 
for 1929, 1931 and 1933, and also the nijjnher of establishments engaged in 
the conning and preserving of fish- and shellfish, as shovm by the Censiises 
of ilanufact risers for the same 3'-ears, The 6.ifferences between these two 
sets of figures, which s.re shown in the third column represent rotighly the 
number of establisliments engaged in the wholesaling of fresh and frozen 
fish, and in the minor forms of processing v;hich have been classified for 
present p"arposes as preparing. These latter figures, howeyer, are some- 
what too small, since the Biu-eau of Fisheries has not covered wholesaling 
establisliments located at inland points vrhere no actual fishing OTjerations 
are carried on. 

TABLE IX 

BISTrJBUTIOlT OF 15 COLIPAIIIES OPEBATDTG THE LARGEST FISHIHG 
lilLEETS, BY VALUE OF CATCH, 1933 



Value of Catch llumber of Comioanies 



Total 15 

$750,000 to $1,000,000 1 

500,000 to 750,000 

250,000 to 500,000 - 3 

100,000 to 250,000 3 

. 50,000 to 100,000 8 



Source: Q,u.estionnaire data collected b"" the Research and Plsiming 
Division, ilELA.. 



9581 



-44- 

TABLE :; 



iraiiBUR OF ESTASLISmvISKTS III THE riSHISY miOLESALIlia AllD PROCESSING 
IllDUSTRIES, 1929, 1931 AIHD 1933 



Year 



All trnolGsaling 
and Processing 



Canning and 
Preservin," a/ 



Preparing and 
■Wholesaling ^/ 



1933 


c/ 


1931 


2,992 


1929 


2,922 



488 
530 
610 



c/ 

2,462 
2,312 



Source: _i"urean of Eislieries, -L'i shery Irid''j-s tries o f the United States , 
1930, p. M?-^ 1932 . p. 175. Census of liaii-uf actm-es. 1929 . Vol. 
I, p. 22; 1931 , "Suianar;'- for States and Industries, " p . 8; 1933 , 
"Sunnar-^ "by Industries, " p. 4. 

a/ In the case of the estalilishnents in the United States proper 
these products valued at less than $5,000 for the jec^r are not 
included. In the case of Alaska all estahlishnents sxe includ- 
ed, 

h/ Pi;'<;ures obtained Ivf svhtracting Canning and Preserving estahlish- 
iiients from All Uliolesaling and Processing esto-hlishraents, 

c_/ Data not availaTDle for the South Atlantic and C-olf, Great Lalces, 

and Ilississippi River areas. 

: / . TABLE ]:i ■ 

DISTRIEUTIOIT OE PiSH CA17r IIJG AilL PEiESE-IVIilG SSTABLISEISETS III THE UIJITED 
STATES PP-OPER, AGCOlffilllG TO TnEllL VALUE OE PEODUCT, 1929 a/ 



Value of Product 



ITimlier of Estahlislimsnts 



Total 

$2,500,000 to $4,999,999 

1,000,000 to 2,499,999 

500,000 to 999,999 

250,000 to 499,999 

100,000 to 249,999 

50,000 to 99,999 

20,000 to 49,999 

5,000 to 19,999 



348 

4 
13 
22 
38 
89 
62 
66 
54 



Source: C ensus of Manufactxires . 1929 . Vol. I, p. 74. 

a/ Esta"blishinents whose "products were valued at less 
than $5,000 in 1929 not incliided. 



9581 



-45- 



A limited niun'ber of canning' concerns, especially'" in the Canned 
Salmon Industry, and a very few large wholesaling companies operate more 
than or.e establishment in different places. The proportion of such cases, 
however, is so small -that- the numbers of establishments given ahove are 
nearly the same as the nupihers of firms engaged in the wholesaling and 
processing divisions of the . Industry. 

Tahle XI shoT/s the .distrihution of fish and shellfish canning and 
preserving establishments in the United States proper hy size, as repre~ 
sented "by the value of the product in 1929. These are the most recent 
figures available. They are s-'officient to indicate the general situation, 
though the fact that each of the half dozen biggest salmon canning 
companies operates several establishments results in an •onder-representa- 
tion of the size of the largest concerns in that particular branch of the 
Industry. 

There are no corresponding data to show the size of the enterprises 
in the wholesaling and preparing trades. Table XII, however, gives 
similar figures for a group of wholesale concerns in Hew York City in 
1930 and 1933, This grotip accounts for about 80 per cent of the whole- 
sale volume of the New York metropolitan area, and includes all the 
larger units. In no other center of the Industr''' e:ccept Boston would the 
proportion of enterprises in the higher ■ ranges be as large as it is here. 

'-' " ■ ■ ■ > 

These data, while incomplete, are sufficient to indicate the 
small size of the mass of enterprises in the wholesaling and processing 
divisions of the Fishery Industry, and the very moderate proportion 
accounted for by the relatively large concerns. 

TABLE ZII 

DISTRIBUTION OF THE PHIKGIPAL ^/ SALT WATER PREPARING- 

IND WHOLESALING Pi:;i/iS IN NEW YORIC CITY, 

ACCORDING TO TIISIR GROSS SALES, 1930 AND 1935 

Number of Finns 
Gross Sales ' • 1933 1930 



Total 28 21 



$500,000 and over 4 9 



400,000 to 499,999 2 6 

300,000 to 329,999 '41 

200,000 to 299,999 ' 9-... 4 

100,000 to 199,999 5 1 

Under 100,000 4 

Source: Unpublished data compiled by Stanlejr de J. 
Osborne, Atl-antic Coast Fisheries Company, 
New York City, 

a/ IncltLdes the 28 largest companies in the 

New York City salt water wholesale market 
in 1933, and the 21 largest in 1930. 



9581 



-46- 

CHAPTEE V 

PERSOm.^SL AKD VOLUlvIE OF EMPLOYMENT 

FBRSOME L OP TIIS PHIMABY FRODUCIM& IIIDUSTRY 

The total numlier of persons engaged in th'e fisheries proper, .either- 
as entrepreneiars or as employees, has "been in recent years between 
115,000 and 125,000. Table .XIII shows the distribution of this personnel 
by area for 1933 and 1929, with comparatiye figures for 1908. Over the 
last 25 or 30 years the number has declined by 16 or 17 per cent. Prom 
1929 to 1933, however - that- is, throughout the downward phase of the 
depression - the decline was, only about seven per cent. At the time the 
N.a.A. was established, the problem of outright unemployment was evident- 
ly, in the case of fishermen, of rather minor iniportance. 

Approximately 22 per >cent of the personnel of the primary producing 
industry are engaged in the vessel, about 60 per cent in the boat, and 
18 per cent in the shore fisheries. 

The proportion of entrepreneurs or independent' operators among,,' 
fishermen is relatively large - approximately 15 per cent in the vessel 
fisheries, 74 per cent in the boat and shore fisheries, and 61 per cent 
in the primary producing industry as a whole. (*) Of the latter figure 
about one-third are employers of others, while two-thirds fish with boats 
or gear operated by single persons or by small groups of partners. This 
high proportion of small entrepreneurs in the Industry has an important 
effect on the psychology of its personnel, and tended strongly to condi- 
tion their reaction to the original H.R.A. program. 

TABLE XIII 
KUl^ffiER OP PERSOITS EHGAGED IN TEE FISHERIES PROPER' 
BY AREA, 1908, 1929 A KD 1953 a/ 

Area 1933 1929 1908 



Total, U.S. and Alaska 


118,069 




126,730 




141,499 


Uew England 




17,073 




17,150 




r 


Mi(iri1e Atlantic 




8,574 




10,491 




\ 103,479 


Che s ape alee 




20,142 




18,470 






South Atlantic and 


G-ulf 


22,127 


W 


26,643 






Great Lalces 




6,940 


V 


7,159 




8,094 


Pacific 




18,673 




19,992 




13,380 


Mississippi River 




15,884 


9J 


15,884 


,c/ 


11,570 


Alaska 




8,656 




10,921 




4,976 



Source: Bureau of Census, Fisheries of the United States, 19C8, pp . 14 and 
Bureau of Fisheries, Fishery industries of the United States , 
1930 . p. 134; 1934, p. 99. 
a/ Exclusive of a relatively small number working on transporting 

vessels, 
b/ Estimated by the author. 

c/ 1931 figure. The change from 1929 to 1933 was probably not 
significant. ' 

* See footnote on following page. 
9581 



-47- 

EBGULAa Aim CASUAL FISHEBIvffilT 

Por the Atlantic and G-ulf coasts and the Great Lakes there are 
Btireau of Fisheries figures segregating the classes of regular ajid of 
casual fishermen, the latter "being those who derive the major portion of 
their incomes from occupations other than fishing. In these areas taken 
together ahout one-third of all boat and shore fishermen fall in the 
casual class. In New England and in the Middle Atlantic area this pro- 
portion increased somewhat during the depression, apparently as a result 
of unemployed persons taking to part-time fishing as a means of obtaining 
a small income in default of ajiything better. In the Chesapeake area and 
on the South Atlantic and G-ulf coasts, however, the proportion varied 
little from 1929 to 1933. 

liore than half of all the casual fishermen reported are in the 
Chesapeal^e area and in the South, where the fact that some important fish- 
eries are most active in the winter makes it possible to combine fishing 
with the work of small farmers or of farm laborers. There are no data 
for the numbers of regular and casual fishermen on the Pacific coast; but 
in the country at large the latter class probably constitutes somewhat 
less than one-third of the boat and shore personnel. 

CHARACTERISTICS OF THE PBHSOmiSL 0^ THE FISHERIES 

The personnel of the fisheries proper is characterized by a high 
average age and a low turnover. Fishermen constitute an essentially con- 
servative class, which sticks to its own mode of living, to its own 
enterprises and to its own social groups. There has been little tendency, 
during the depression, to migrate for the purpose of obtaining additional 
or substitute employment. These men had been, as a class, fairly well 
adjusted to programs of work that kept them busy at their own calling 
most of the year; and when market conditions cut down heavily the periods 
during which it paid them to engage in fishing other employment also be- 
came hard to obtain. 

The working personnel of the fisheries proper is practically all 
male. In New England, in the northern Middle Atlantic states and on the 
Great Lalces it is all white and predominantly of long settled Anglo-Saxon 
stock. The same is largely true in the South, though in some branches 
there are considerable numbers of negroes. On the Pacific coast the 
fishermen are mainly of immigrant nationalities - Norwegians and Finns 
in the Pacific Northwest and Alaska, and Italians, Yugoslavs, Portuguese 
and Japanese in California. 

THE SIZE OF FISHING CEEWS 

The maximum crew of a fishing vessel consists of about 40 men. 
Crews in excess of 30 are very exceptional, and those exceeding 20 are 



(*) These percentages are based on the assumption that all fishermen who 
are compensated by shares, but who do not own their craft and are not 
consulted regarding the sale of the catch, are employees. The point, 
which is open to argument, is further discussed in Chapter VII. 

9581 



-48- 

confinecl to three or four large fisheries. The average vessel creT/ con- 
sists of seven or eight men, while the average to a toat is only one and 
a half. Of the personnel of the "boat fishei^ies in. 1933 about 51 'per cent 
operated one-man "boats, atout 41 p<ir cent two-man "boats, and only eight 
per cent "boats with crews of three or more. . . , 

THE PRODUCTIVITY OP FISHIITG LABOH 

The gross output per man of the fisheries pi-oper is such as. to put . 
a low naximuj'j limit on the earnings of the mass of the personnel.-. In 
1929 this gross average per man failed to reach $1,700 for the year in aaiy 
part of the country. For the Great Lalces it was under $ 1,000, for the 
Chesapealce area a little over $600, and for the South .Atlantic and G-ulf 
area a"bout $550. In 1933 a gross average of $1,000 per- man was. slightly 
exceeded in Alaska only. For the South Atlaaitic and Gulf area the cor— ■ ■ 
responding figure was under $400,' and for' the Chesapeake area only a"bout 
$250. Even in the case of the relatively large vessels covered "by the 
recent stud;?- of fishermen's earnings the gross output per man in 19,33 did 
not rea.ch $2,400 for any area. In the Great Lalces it was .only $1,200 and . 
in the Sou.th $550. ' 

Over the last 25 or 30' years, however, a decrease of 16 or 17 per 
cent in the numher of persons engaged in the fisheries has accompanied an 
increase of 40 or 45 per cent in "both the quantity and the value of the 
catch. Evidently, therefore, there has "been a su"bstantial improvement in 
the productivity of fishing la'bor during the past generation. 

PERIODS OF ACTIVE ElffLOYLrEM IM THE FISHERIES 

In normal years regular vessel fishermen a,re actively engaged in 
fishing, on an average, for a'bout 10' months of the year. In the case of 
regular "boat fishermen the normal period of employment is shorter - per— . 
haps six to eight months. In a depression year like 1933 vessel fishermen 
were not active, on an average, for more .than seven- or eight months, and 
the employment of "boat fishermen was curtailed at least proportionately.. . 
Little is known with regard to the periods of employment of casual fishery 
men, "but they are as a rule shorter than those just indicated. 

IMFREQ.UEI^TCY OF SUPPLEIvIENTARY EMPLGYMMT OR EARIJIINGS .:■.■ ■■ - 

The time of regular fishermen when they are not engaged in fishing 
is in some degree talcen up with the overhauling of" their craft and gear. 
At present no systematic information is availa'ble as., to the extent 
which such men supplement their money earnings from their main occupation 
hy other emplojnnents. Such evid.ence as there, is, however, indicates that 
siipplementary earnings of the kind amount to very little. Regular fisher- . 
men are accustomed to highly specialized work,' which tends to unfit them 
for most other occupations. The strenuousness of much of their la'bor 
while actually fishing hreeds a tendencj?" to rela.xation, which might some- 
times "be called loafing, daring the off season. In the northern half of 
the United States the active sea„son in most of the fisheries tends to 
collide with that in man.uf acturing industry and in agriculture. The 
casual, fishermen in that part of tiie country find their chief supplementary 
eiirplojT.ient in the summer resort and tourist trades. 

9581 



-49- 



Tlie seasonal fluctuation in the to 
ducing industry which results from this 
ment throughout the year is reduced by 
fall, to a considerable extent, at diff 
fisheries and sections of the country, 
net seasonaJity, which was prepared by 
on the basis of suggestions made by the 
method was used which may perhaps cause 
seasonal movement somewhat. Probably, 
the situation. 



tal personnel of the primary pro- 
lack' of continuous active employ- 

the fact that the active seasons 

erent times in the various <, 
Table XIV shows an index of this 

the American Federation of Labor, 
Fisheries Unit. A simplified 
the index to exaggerate the 

however, it gives a fair idea of 



EIIPLOYI.EMT II-I THE WHOLESALING- AJ'ID FROCESSIKG lEDUSTRIES 

No data exist for the volume of employment in the wholesaling and 
processing divisions of the Fishery Industry prior to 1929, except those 
of the Census of Manufactures. The latter, which are averages for the 
year, relate to the canning and preserving industries only. 'They are 
shown in Table XV for the census years from 1899 to 1933. With some allow- 
ance for the effect of the economic cycle this volume of employment may 
be regarded as having been extraordinarily stable over the period of 34 
years. 



■ TABLE XIV ■ 

ESTIliATED MOIOTHLY VARIATIOI IN THE imrBEH OF PSESOKS ENG-AGEI) 
IN THE FISHERIES PROPER, 1933 



(Average of 12 Months - 100) 



Month 


Index 


Month 


Index 




Number 




Number 


JsJiuary 


71.0 


. Jioly 


110.5 


February 


76.0 


August , 


132.5 


March 


76.5 


September 


129.5 ■ 


April 


86.5 


October 


.121.0 


May 


111.5 


November 


94.5 


June 


120.0 


December 


70.5 



Source: Unpublished index prepared by the American 
Federation of Labor. 



9581 



r50-: 



TABLE XV 



EIviPLOYIiEM IN PISH CAKt^IHG AKD PEESERVIKG 
"ESTABLISffliiElTTS IN THE UNITED STATES PROPEH, 
1890 - 1933 a/ 



Year 



Wage 
Earners 



Salaried 
Eraploj'-ee's b/ 



Total 



1933 


9,993 


1931 


8,591 


1929 


. 13,612 ■ ■ . 


1927 


12,650 


1925 ■• 


10,530 . 


1923 .■ 


• 9 , 144 


1921 


■ 7,946 • 


1919 


12,437 


1914 


11,155 


1909. 


9,926 


1904 


: •■ 8,445 


1899 


12,593 


So-orce: 


Census of luamrfactures. 



707 


10,700 


0/ 




1,158 


14,770 


1,194 


13,844 


1,109 


11,639 


1,359 


10,503 


910 


8,856 


1,373 


13,810 


1,123 


12,279 


901 


10,827 


796 


9,241 


537 


13,185 



a/ Data for establishments with products valued at less 

than $5,000 for the year are included in, 191? and prior 
years, but not in 1921 and subsequent years. 

h/ Salaried officers of corporations, are not included in 
the 1933 figures, . but are included in the figures for 
other yeai's. 

c/ Not available. 



The existing data for employment in the preparing and wholesaling 
trades in 1929. are incomplete. In the Bureau of Fisheries' figures for 
that year there was confusion between the gross total employment and the 
average for tne'.year or season. The published figures apparently repre- 
sented neither one nor the other, but something between. In the returns 
for 1930, 1931. and 1933 this defect was remedied. (*) The result is that 
the 1929 data are not comparable with the later ones. The true total 
for the earlier year is not known, but there certainly was not the in- 
crease from 1929 to 1931 which appears on the face of the published 
figures. 

These Bureau of Fisheries data are shown in Table SVI. They of 
course include the employment in the canning and preserving industries 
which were shown in Table XV. The fact that the figures both for 1929 

(*) The returns for these later years are meant to be averages for the 
active season, but are probably, in practice, nearer the gross total, 
for the seasonal plateau. 



9581 



-51- 

and 1933 were incomplete, though for different reasons, makes it impossihle 
to he certain as to the extent to vvhich the whole volume of wholesaling 
and processing employment fell off during the depression. It would appear, 
however, that the decline was very moderate. 

TA2L3 XVI 

MJI^EBER OF PERSONS ElIGAGED III Ti^] ?ISffiilEY PH0CE3SIKG 
AMD WI-IGLESALIIG IIIDU3TEIES, EY AREA, 
1929, 1931 and 1933 a/ 



1933 



1931 



Area 



19S9 h/ 



Processing Processing 

and and 

Fnolesaling Wliolesaling 



Processing 
Processing Wholesaling and 

Wholesaling 



Total, U.S. 
















and Alaska 


— 


71,912 


42,440 




21,575 




64,015 


Kew England 


9,177 


10,273 


7,872 




3,995 




11,867 


Middle Atlantic 


5,631 


4,989 


815 




3,747 




4,562 


Che sap e alee 


11,596 


12,333 


1,459 




6,498 




7,957 


South Atlantic 
















and Gulf 


c/ 


13,635 


4,908 




3,394 




8,302 


Pacific 


11,993 


11 , 651 


10,304 




1,373 




11,677 


Great Lalces 


c/ 


2,202 


253 




1,352 




1,605 


Mississippi 
















River 


cj 


4,834 


183 


A/ 


1,216 


i/ 


1,399 d/ 


Alaska 


11,756 


11,995 


16,646 




ey 




16,645 


Source: Bureau 


of Fisheries 
.. 142; 1932, 


,. Fisher^'- 


Iniur-trie 


;s of 


the United 


States, 


1930, V 


p. 175; 2 


.954, V. 110. 









a/ Includes proprietors, salai'iec einkiloj^'ees and iTage earners. Wage 

earners in 1931 and 1933 v-ere taken approximately at the seasonal 
plateau. 

h/ Incomplete, though the precise hasis of the figures is unlcnown. 

The true total in 1929 was certainly ahove that for 1931. 

c/ Not available . 

d/ 1922 figures. 

ej Wholesaling as a separate business is negligible in Alaska. 

SEASONALITY OP EMPL0Yi\ffilS 



For the jears 1930, 1931 and 1933 the Bureau of Fisheries' publica- 
tions, in addition to the figures in Table XVI, show the average eniploy- 
ment for the year. For the country at large this latter figure is just 
about, half the eraplojonent at the seasonal plateau.. The indications are 
that T/orkers in these industries are eiiiployed, on an average, about half 
the year. A high seasonality of employment is normal in most cajining 

9581 



-52- 

indiistries. The fact that the average seasonality is so extreme in the 
present case, however, is largely due to the short season of the Salmon 
canneries in Alaska. For most other "branches of the wholesaling and 
processing divisions the average period of eniployment is more than half 
the year. 

In the preparing and wholesaling trades the seasonality of employ- 
ment is less pronoimced than in the canning ind\istries. Most of them 
have a nucleus of workers employed the year round, together with a larg- 
er hodj whose work is seasonal. Oyster shuckers and crah meat pickers 
are tj'ipical of the latter class. 

The Presh O^^ster Industry is the only one of these wholesaling and 
preparing trades for which exa.ct data exist on the seasonality of 
eniplojTnent . These figures are shown in Tahle XVII They are for 1933 
only, hut are telieved to he fairly tjTpical. 



TISLE XVII 

MOIITHLY VJmiATIOK IN EI^ffLOYMElOT IK THE PHSSH OYSTER 

IHDUSTRY, BY AEEA, 1933 

(Average of 12 Months - 100) 







Ifew England., 
















Hew York and 




Chesapeake 


Southern 


Pacific 


United 


Month 




Uew Jersey 




Bay 


States 


Coast 


States 


January 




139.4 




161.4 


151.2 


112.9 


144.2 


ITehrtiaxy 




132.5 




137.6 


150.1 


105.7 


133.8 


March 




113.9 




■ 104.8- '■ 


130.1 


■ 100.4 


112.6 


April . 




85.5 




44.1 


52.8 


112.9 


73.9 


May 




63.3 




8.3 


22.3 


91.4 


46.7 


June 




53.7 




8.3 ■ 


24.6 


78.9 


40.8 


July 




49.6 




6. 6 


24.6 


50.9 


36.5 


Aug-ust 




35.5 




14.3 


21.1 


60.9 


30.6 


SepterJoer ■ 


100.5 




66.1 


64.5 


107.5 


88.0 


Octoher 




138.3 




185,2 


154.7 


112.9 


150.0 


Kovenher 




149.5 




229.3 


195.8 


130.8 


173.7 


Decenher 




137.2 




234.1 


207.5 


125.4 


169.3 


Source; 


Q,uestionnaire data 


reported hy 54 


establishments and 


contained 




in 


E.R.A. Research 


and Planning Division re; 


port: Survey of 




Enployment, Wages and 


Hours in the Fresh Oy 


ster Industry, pre- 



pared hy John R. Arnold. 



TOTALPERSOKHEL OF THE FISHERY IlIDUSTRY 



When the figures cited in the present chapter are summed up, they 
show the total numher of persons engaged in the Fishery Industry in 1929 
to have heen ahout 191,000, and in 1933 ahout 188,500. As already point- 
ed out the 1929 figure is incomplete, and the true total for that year 



9581 



was probs.tly 'between 200,000 sxid r;10,00p. In any case, however, the 
decline over the fo'or years was relatively moderate. 

It has already "been pointed out tliat onljr 40 per cent of the per- 
sons engaged in the primary producin,';; industry are employees even in a 
qualified sense. The figures which have been given for erraloyment in 
the preparing and wholesaling trades also include \7orking entrepreneurs, 
but the proportion of the latter is only tln-ee , to. f ive per cent. Of 
the 200,000 to 210,000 persons' engaged in the S'ishery. Industry in 1929 
approximately or 61 per cent, were ejrployecti in spne -r^ense of the word, 
while 79,000 were entrepreneurs, mostly o:n. a very small scale. 



9581 



-54- 

CHAPTEH VI 
HOimS OP LifflOR 

HOURS IH THE PRIIIABY raODUCING- IKDU5TRY 

In view of the large proportion of individual entrepreneurs in the 
fisheries proper and the small decrease in the total personnel during the 
depression, the question of restricting working hours with a view to 
spreading enrplojinent in this division of the Industry never caine up for 
very serious discussion. The hours of fishermen, of course, are irregula.r 
and at times long; liut these conditions are universally accepted as in- 
herent in the joh. The income of most fishermen was so heavily cut during 
the depression that no considerahle numher of them would have been 
inclined to run the risk of incurring additional loss hy cutting down 
their v/orking time. 

HOURS IF THE PROCESS IITG AIID THOLESALIITG IHDUSTRIES 

Hours of laloor in the wholesaling and processing divisions of the 
Fishery Industry did not, like those in the fisheries proper, escape 
restriction under the codes; hut their irregularity has "been such a,s to 
defy condensed, statistical t reatment . 

Hours In The Canning Industries 

In most of the canning industries there is at once a seasonal rise 
and fall in working hours, due to the fact that the raw material is most 
ahitndant during the middle of the season, and an irregularity from week 
to v/eek aiid from day to. day, due to short time fluctuations in the supply. 

This latter state of affairs is rather less marked in the case of 
salmon cajining, hecause of the shortness and the concentration of the 
active season. In the California Sardine Industry, ho\?ever, the short 
time irregularity is increased "by the fact that the fishing is restrict- 
ed to moonless nights, the fishermen heing dependent on to seeing their 
prey "by its phosphorescence under a dark sky. The raw material of the 
Tuna Canning Industry is in large part caught at long distances from the 
southern California ports where the canneries are situated, and the 
arrival of the vessels is inevitably irregular. These are merely saiiples 
of the conditions that exist. 

Hours In The PreToaring And Wholesaling Trades 

In the case of the preparing and wholesaling trades the situation 
is somewhat different. Here there is a decided weekly fluctuation in the 
volume of products handled, with the peal^ on Thursday and the low point 
on Saturdaj-^ or Monday. In the large eastern wholesaling centers, more- 
over, there are special peaks during Lent and at the time of certain 
Jewish holidays; and other irregularities result from random fluctuations 
in the landings of the products handled. 

In addition to the variations from time to time within each "branch 
of the Industry, the average hours per week and the proportions of long 
weeks and days vary greatly from one "branch to another. 

9581 



"55- 



AVERAGE HOUSS TS TEE 'fflOLESALIITC- THADE S 

Tatle XVIII summarises the average working hours before the institu- 
tion of the I.E. A. in 1933, in the oreo-.ring and wholesaling trades for 
which such information could De obtainedo Averages, however, in cases 
like these, give a very inadequate notion of the prohlen involved in the 
attempt to restrict' hours x'rith a view to spreading employment, ', ' 

In the case of the Canned Salmon, the California Sardine and the , . 
Fresh- Oyster Industries, some detailed fi;T..>.res \;ere obtained on pre-code . 
working hours. These- three, therefore, my he taken as tjrpical of the 
situation under highly varying conditions. 

■ HOURS IH THE CAIIIOD ' SALIIOH lEDUSTEY 

The Canned Salmon Industry has a short .and concentrated season, with 
only about 12 i^eeks of actual canning operations, llearly half the shore 
workers in Alaska, which produces 80 per cent of the pack, are. brought 
up from the United States by the canning companies each season. In view 
of this there w.as a disposition, in writing the Canned Salmon Code, .to 
pdmit the contention of the Industry that it was not practicable to spread 
eraployment by shortening hours. To do so r,'0uld have meant bringing to 
Alaska many men who lyould, during a considei-able part of the time, have 
been idle under demoralizing conditions, while they rould h.ave h.ad to be. ^ 
furnished continuously with quarters a.nd board. In the case of this 
Industry, therefore, the sole practical question was whether the working 
hours in salmon canneries were so long as to call for restriction on 
general humanitarian grounds. 

It ""'as admitted that very long days '--ere worked at times. In order 
to find out how much this really amoujite-d to reports of the daily work- 
ing hours at a number of tj^pical canneries daring the 1933 season were 
obtained. These are plotted in Chart I, Each gra,ph on this chart 
represents the hours in a single establishment. 

These graphs suggest that working hours in the Canned Salmon Industry 
did not, on the vmole, run to excessibe lengths over considerable numbers 
of consecutive d.ays. The normal working day was fairly long. The workers, 
however, are all men and the canning season Lasts only about three months. 
In view of this, and of the fact that the restriction of hours for the 
purpose of spreading employment was probably not practicable, it seemed 
doubtful whether any regulation was called for, beyond some measure to 
discourage excessive hours on occasional d.ays. The most feasible means of 
accomplishing this pta-pose was apparently a provision for the payment of 
overtime, 

HOURS I1\F THE CALIFORIIA SARDIl'IE I1J)USTRY 

In the case of the California Sa,rdine Industry a complete statement 
of the daily working hours of individua.1 employees during the 1933-1934 
ses^son was obtained from seven concerns, representing more than half the 
total pack. The irregularities brought out by these st-,tenents were so 
extreme as to make it impossible to condense them into a single table. 

9581 



-56- 



The three sections of Ta"ble XIX, hoi-ever, give the 'oest idea prr^cticatle ■ 
of the average hours worked in these plaiits -^nd of the proportions of 
long days and long v/eeks, during the season in question. 

Since the original object of this analysis was to test the assertions 
of memhers of the Industry that it had heen necessary to work long hours 
with considerahle frequency, these tabulations were confined to male 
employees. It raa;jr "be ass'-amed that the working hours of female employees 
ran somewhat shorter. 

Even with this tias, these tahles indicate a ra.ther small proportion 
of long days and weeks. The irregularity was so great, however, as to 
make it ohviously difficult to fit any formula for the restriction of 
hours to the facts. The additional emplojTnent that would he created "by 
any such restriction, moreover, would inevitahly he limited and undependahle, 

HOURS I IT THE FESSH OYSTia IIIDUSTEY 

Tahle 1\X summarizes the d-ta ohtained with regard to pre-code work- 
ing hours in the Fresh Oyster Industry. A glcance at this tahle is 
sufficient to show that here the difficulty lay in the shortness of the 
hours alrea.dy resulting from the subnormal volume of "business of the 
Industry, especially in the case of the shuckers, who constitute 50 or 
60 per cent of all the emploj^ees. These shuckers are piece ^"orkers. The 
numher employed was not materially reduced from 1929, to 1933;: "but their 
working hours were so niich cut down "by the- contraction of the. volume, of 
"business that they suffered an average decline in earnings of nearly 30 
per cent, ,, 



9bcl 



-57- 



Ta3LE XVIII 

iVIILflGS PHE-CODE 'ffiEKLY HOURS GF LiSOH IjI THE FISHERY 
PSEPAEIIIG Al© .JHOLESALIKG TRADES, 
FIRST IIALE OF 1933 



Industry 



Avero°;e Hours loer Vfeek 



^ f f ice 
Employees 



Plant 
Employees 



Preparing and Vrnolesaling Trades 
General: 



New England 

Liddle Atlantic 

IvIid-'.-rest 

Southeast 

G^llf South 

northwest and Alaska 

Southwest 



39.9 

45.9 

a/ 

48.0 

43.0 
a/ 



45.2 
46.6 
56.0 
57.5 
60.0 
49.1 
55.0 



Specialized: 

oyster 

Shuckers 

Others 
Blue Crat 
Lotster 
Sponge 
Alaska Herring. 



42.6 



52.0 

46,0 
a/ 

43.0 



22.sk/ 

48.9 
46.0 
50.5 
54.0 
49.1 



Secondary Processing Industries 

Cyster Shell Crushing 
Processed or Refined Fish Oils 



a/ 
a/ 



42.0 
52.0 



Source: Q,uestionnaire data furnished hy estatlishments and tes- 
timony of industry representatires at Code hearings, 
contained in E.E. A. Divison of Research pnd Planning 
reports prepared oy John R. Arnold. 

a/ Hot available; numher of office employees snail. 

t/ Estimated on the hasis of data for shuckers' piece work 
in 17 tjrpical estahlishments. 



9581 



CHART I 



58- 



AVERAGE DAILY HOURS WORKED PER EMPLOYEE IN 
SELECTED SALMON CANNERIES IN ALASKA 
JULY AND AUGUST 1933 




' 6 n is 2i 26 31 



15 — as — Z5 

AUGUST 



CANNERY "G" 




6 II 16 21 26 31 S 10 15 20 23 

JULY AUGUST 



CANNERY "B" 





'l 6 II 16 21 26 31 5 10 15 20 25 

JULY AUGUST 



CANNERY "C" 




CANNERY 




-J /—^ 



I 6 II 16 21 26 31 5 10 15 20 25 

JULY AUGUST 



CANNERY °J" 










A^/^ 











I 6 II 16 21 26 31 5 10 IS 20 2S 

JULY AUGUST 



CANNERY "K" 



AtH- 



-yx^^ 



6 II 16 21 26 31 5 10 IS 20 25 

JULY AUGUST 



CANNERY "F" 



1 1 








-jy—^/fj\y^Vj 









I 6 II 16 21 26 31 5 10 IS 20 25 

JULY AUGUST 



CANNERY "L 



:^j:dM:?-=vM^ 



'I 6 I I 16 21 26 31 5 10 15 20 25 

JULY AUGUST 



SOURCE' RESEARCH AND PLANNING DIVISION, NRA, IN 
COOPERATION WITH NATIONAL CANNERS 
ASSOCIATION 



NRA 

DIVISION OF REVIEW 

STATISTICS SECTION 

NO. 454 



TABLE Xn 

PEE-CODE WEEKLY HOURS OF MALE EMPLOYEES IN 7 CALIFORNIA 
SARDINE PLANTS, SEASON OF 1933-1934 





(1) Average Hours of 


Employees 


in 7 Plant 


s for 


• eaoh Week of Season 




Week Ended : 


Hours per 

Week 


Week Ended: 


Hours pe 

Week 


r 


Week Ended: ^""'"^ P^*" 
Week 


Aug. 5 


33.6 


Oct, 


. 14 


22.8 




Dec. 


23 


51.6 


12 


21.2 




21 


32.6 






30 


23.2 


19 


39.7 




28 


35.8 




Jan. 


6 


28.8 


26 


40.4 


Nov. 


. 4 


21.1 






13 


36.9 


Sept. 2 


29.8 




11 


30.3 






20 


30.1 


9 


31.8 




18 


37.9 






27 


32.7 


16 


34.4 




25 


32.1 




Feb. 


3 


35.4 


23 


28.0 


Deo. 


. 2 


23.1 






10 


54.4 


30 


23.5 




9 


28.3 






15 


40.3 


Oct. 7 


26.7 




16 


30.1 




- 


- 


— 




Weighted Average for Season, 7 Plants - 


32.3 








(2) Proport 


ions of Employees in 


Individual 


Plants, by Average Weekly 


Hours 


Hours per Week 








Plant : 


Humbe 


r 








1 


2 


3 


4 




5 


6 


7 


Total 


lOO.OjJ 


100.0^ 


100. C^ 


100.0?? 




100.0^ 


100. 0?S 


100. OJJ 


36 and Under 


50.6 


31.5 


68.9 


60.5 




69.7 


41.9 


73.9 


36.1 to 40 


4.7 


— 


5.9 


3.3 




1.6 


5.8 


5.2 


40.1 to 44 


4.2 


9.6 


5.4 


3.3 




5.3 


8.1 


2.1 


44.1 to 48 


5.6 


5.5 


3.6 


2.0 




4.5 


3.2 


4.2 


48.1 to 54 


5.6 


53.5 


3.2 


6.6 




7.6 


6.4 


5.2 


54.1 to 60 


3.3 


— 


3.2 


16.4 




5.3 


6.4 


2.1 


60.1 to 70 


2.2 


— 


5.0 


3.3 




2.5 


9.7 


6.3 


Over 70 


22.1 


. — — 


4.5 


4.6 




3.8 


18.5 


1.1 




(3) Niimbers 


of Weeks 


During which the Ave 


rage 


Hours of 


Employees 








in Individual Plant 


;s Exceeded 


Certain Hours 






Number of Weeks 
Worked in 






Plant Number 








Weighted 
Average, 


Excess of: 


1 


2 


3 


4 


S 


6 


7 


7nPlants 


Total Weeks in 


















Season 


29 


15 


28 


29 


29 


29 


26 


26.6 


40 Hours 


17 


3 


2 


7 


4 


16 


2 


6.3 


44 Hours 


11 


S 


2 


7 


2 


14 


1 


4.6 


48 Hours 


10 


- 


- 


5 


2 


8 


1 


3.2 


54 Hours 


2 


^ 


•• 


4 


1 


7 


1 


1.7 


Source: Data supp] 


.ied by seven 


concerns accounting 


for half the ou 


tput of the California Sardine 


Industry' 
• Report on 


contained m NRA Division of Research and Planning^ report - Supplementary 
Hours and Wages in the California Sardine Processing Industry, prepared by 



-SO- 



TABLE :cK 

Hi URS WUEKED PER ':,'EEE IIT THE FEESH OYSTER 
liuDUSTRY, DECSLSrE, IS 33 



Plant Employees 

Hours Office Employees 

per Week (Per cent of Total) Sliucke r s a/ Others 

(Per cent (Per cent 
of Total) of Total) 



Total 100.0 

10 or less 11,1 
10,1 to 20 
20.1 to 25 
25*1 to 30 

30.1 to 35 2.8 

35,1 to 40 33.3 

40.1 to 50^ 41.7 

50.1 to 55 2.8 

55,1 to 60 5,5 

Over 60 2.8 



Source: (Questionnaire data conta,ined in the N.R.A. Research and 
Planning Division report - Survey of Employment, Wa;qes 
and Hours in the Fresh Oyster Industry, prepared by 
John R. Arnold, 

a/ Estimated on the basis of data for shuckers' piece work 
in 17 typical establishments, 

b/ Due to an error in reproducing the schedule for the 
collection of the data, the frequency 40.1 to 45 was 
omitted. 



9581 



.00.0 


100.0 


«- 


18.1 


37.3 


— 


18.6 


— 


3.6 


, — 


3.8 


3.5 


32.5 


19.0 


4.2 


38.8 


^ 


3.4 


— 


15.5 




1.7 



-61- 

CHiPTEH VII 
EAEKINGS OF THE PEHSGMEL 



MODES OE COMPENSATING FISHEEMEN 

Of the 40 per cent of the -oersonnel of the fishing industry proper 
who may "be classified in some sense as employees atout 75 per cent 
receive their compensation in the form of shares in the value of the 
catch. A small TDroiDortion are paid on a piece hasis and. only 20 or 
25 per cent receive fixed wpges. From one-half to two-third of the 
fishermen on the Great Lakes work on the latter hasis; hut with this 
exception the payment of w^.ges in confined to a few fisheries operating 
under somewhat special conditions. There appears to he no general 
tendency for the w^ge system to supplant the share system. 

THE SHARE SYSTEM : ■ 



m 



In nearly all cases the crew share, out of which the individual 
emhers of a crew working on shares are compensa-ted, is a residual 
figure, "being what remains of the T5roceeds from the sale of the catch 
after the current operating expense an.d the share assigned to the 
vessel or hoat have heen deducted. The vessel or hoa,t share represents 
the gross -orofit or gross income of the enterprise; and all overhead 
expense (repairs and upkeep, insurance, taxes, current replacements of 
gea,r, ajid usually the loss on trips that fail to yield any net share 
for the crew) is charged against it. 

In the case of share vessels the tendency has "been for the current 
operating expense, the vessel share and the crew share each to represent 
ahout onet?third of the value of the catch. If the crew, share falls 
much ■'oelow this proportion, the men are likely to he adversely affected. 

The agreements or "lays" which govern the su'bdivision of the value 
of the catch of share fishing craft, and which determine the extent to 
which operating expenses is charged against the vessel and the crew 
jointly or against thelatter al'One, are numerous, though they can he 
distrihuted among a comparatively small numher of well-defined types. 
Tahle XXI gives a tentative classification of the kind, hased on the 
recent U.S.A. study of fishermen's earnings. (*) .-The important lays 
have changed hut little during the past generation, or even since the 
Eighteenth Century. A large majority have never heen reduced to 
writing; and as' a result they constitute perhaps the most informal 
and at the same time the most stahle class of economic relationships 
in the country. 

THE ElvEPLOYEE STATUS IN THE FISHERIES . ; 

The courts have long regarded fishermen who work on shares, hut 
who do not participate in the sale of the catch of their craft, as 

* The classification is based on data for vessels only. The extent to 
which it is applicable to hoats is at present unknown, 

9581 



-62- 



TiSLB XXI 



PEIWCIPAL TYPES OF LAYS ■ OR SHifiE AGIIEEL3]1TS IN USE ON FISHING- 
VESSELS IN 1933, ANE THEIR RELATIVE IMPORTANCE 



Terius of Lay 



Proportion of 
Reporting Vessels 
(per cent) 



Terms of Lay 



Proportion of 
Reporting Vessels; 
(per cent) 



I. Crew shpjre a fixed percentage 
of the value of the catch: 

20 or 25 per cent, 
50 -oer cent 
Total (l) 

11. Crew shajre the r'esidual item: 

A-Yessel shpre a fixed per- 
centage of the value of 
the catch: 



1.1 
2o4 
3.5 



Under 20 per cent 


1.6 


20 per cent 


: 6.8 


25. ^er cent 


4,4 


30 or 33 1/3 per cent ' . 


2.4 


40 -oer cent 


5.7 


Total (II-A) 


20.9 



S-Vessel share a fixed per- 
centage of the net stock a/ 

(a) Joint expense includes 
replacement of lost 
gear only: 

Vessel share 20 per cent 

(h) Joint expense inqludes 
"bait only: 

Vessel share 20 to 40, per 
cent 

(c) Joint expense 50 to 
75 per cent of total 
operating expense: t_/ 



13.8 



6.3 



Vessel share 25 per cent 2.2 

Vessel share 50 per cent 11.4 

Total (lI--B-(c')) 13.6 

(d) All operating expense 
Joint: 

Vessel share 20 per cent or 

less 1.6 
Vessel share 30 or 33 l/3 

per cent 9,5 

Vessel share 40 per cent . 6.8 

■ Vessel share 50 per cent 11.5 

Total (lI-B-(d)) 29.2 

Total (lI-B-(a) to (d)) 62.9 

C-All operating expense Joint 
ahd vessel receives a fixed 
numher of shares in the net 
stock: a/ 

One share ' 4.2 

■Two Shares 1.4 

Three hut less than four 

shares 1.4 

Four hut less than five 

shares 1.9 

Six or seven shares 3.8 

Total (II-C) 12.7 

Total, -phere vessel share 
is a fixed percentage of 
the net stock:a/ (II-A to 
C) 96.5 



Grand Total 



100.0 



9581 



Source: N.R.A. , Division of Re- 
search and Planning study 
of fishermen's earnings. 

a/ Value of the catch less joint 
expense (i.e., operating exoense 
charges to the vessel and the 
crew jointly). 

h/ Re guar ly includes fuel and luh- 
ricants and often ice, salt, and 
hait, hut not food or wages. 



-63- 



employees in the same sense as wage earners in a factory; and this is 
also, naturally, the point of vieijr of large fleetowners. The economist,^ 
on the other hand, is likely to think that the dependence of share 
fishermen for their compensation on a residue of the operating revenue 
of the enterprises with which they T-^ork makes them -oroperly entre- 
preneurs. In the case of corporation-owned vessels, the legal doctrine 
is, for practical purposes, not far from the truth. But with respect to 
a majority of the class it is unrealistic, and the economic theory is 
nearer the facts. .... 

A large pro-oortion of fishermen working on shares, and especially 
of those composing the crews of small craft, do not really regard them- 
selves as employees. The difference is p,axtly psychological and 
partly a matter of the ownership of fishing gear, and of other privi- 
leges .and responsihilities inconsistent ?rith a strict employee sta,tus. 
During the worst years of the depression, moreover, fishermen were 
frequently forced to wait for the liquidation of their shares, when 
the purcha^sers of the catches of their craft were unahle to make pay- 
ment within the time stipulated. Such men cannot he said to have 
enjoyed effectively the "benefits of an employee sta.tus. It seems hard 
to avoid the conclusion that for pra.ctical purposes the position of 
most share fishermen is intermediate between tha^t of small enterpreneurs 
and of employees in the ordinary sense. ' • . 

EAMIHG-S PIT PISSSmtEN IN 1955 

Almost the only available data with regard to the earnings of 
fishermen are those resulting from the N.R.A. study of the subject, 
made in connection with the fishery codes. The completed portion of 
this study covered the vessel fisheries only. Table XXII summarizes 
the results by geographical area and by vessels working on a share, 
a wa.ge and a piece rate basis. The averages indicated in this table 
have been weighted to allow for the fa.ct that the original da,ta fur- 
nished considerably larger saraples. in the case of some fisheries than 
of others. 

With respect to the boat and shore fisheries it can only be said 
for the present that the average gross income for the former in 1953 
was about $500 per boat, and for the latter about $225 per man. Since 
there are on an average one and a half men to a fishing boat, the 
gross -income per man was proportionately lower. The average net in- 
come of this large class can at present only be guessed at; but in 
1955 it can hardly have exceeded $300 for the year. About a third 
of these xnen, of course, are casual fishermen who derive at least 
half their money income from occupations other than fishing, 

SHARB EARMIvGS IN 1929 MP 1934 

The questionnaire sent out in connection with the study of 
fishermen's earnings called for data with regard to the year 1955 
only. It has been possible, however, by supplementarjr calculations, 
to estimate the corresponding earnings per man on share vessels in 
1929 and in 1934. These figures are shown in Table XXIII. They in- 
dica.te an average decline of 57 per cent from 1929 to 1933, and an 
average increase from 1933 to 1934 of 52 per cent. In the latter yeax 
the average was still about 35 per cent below the level of 1929. 
9581 



~64-r.. 



TIBLJ] XXII 



AVEMaE E£RlvI3gGS OE "VES'SEL EI SHEEIviEH • FOR TEE' YEiEM933,. WBIGHOISD 
■■ . ■■ACGOHI)IN(i TQ THE TOTAL' IfUlViBEH' IK EACH EtSHEEY,' 'BY AREA 



"'"■,^ ,'■'■ "./:'.■■■ >Vf,;. ; -Qn, Share Vessels 

•^®^ /•■•''.' "','.,,■„;' -■ :' ' ■ - ::■.:.. r :, \ . .,,.'' ';^''' •'- ■ ' ■ ■ . . On W0,ge 

- ■;••. ,^',.[ '"" ' '■-■ From ■ Erom • ., JFroin Share s Vessels 

...,■,,... . :,.[ ■ , Shsires '■:• Wages a/ _... arid Wages 



Averalge,' U. S. ' Sind Alaska. ■$63.9'-,,,,. "$75S'-'' ' 
New England ••■■■:. - vo.- ■•, Sals'"'.? ' SOi''--"--^-' 
Middle Atlantic: '^^ ;;. , '''■'.607.,'^J;'^'^-l'96 ' 
South 398"' ? •6i& ■■■ 

Great Lrkes ■ 525 500. :..-. 

California' ....". 9,33 '. 85% 

Northwest and Alaska ,■. ', •. .,66.6 ._ 332' 



$649 . . 


$'510 


..6-79 ., 


, 711 


612 . 


730 


:399 


391 


679 


658 


. 847 


1,389 


/.606. 


■ 525 



Source: IT.R.A. , Division of Research and Planning, study of fishermen's 
G2.rnings, 

a/ . In addition to or in lieu of shares., , Such wages are paid 

chiefly to .persons having special .duties or responsihilities, 
such as mates, pilots, engin,e,6rp,, .radio 9perators and cooks, 

' ' They do not. Include' percentage ■'bonuses paid to captains. 



"9581 



-65- 



TiBLE XXIII 



ESTIMATED AVERAGE ANIIUAL EARNINGS FROM SHARES 
OE EISHERIvEEN ON SHARE VESSELS EOR THE YEARS 
1934 AN3D 1929, COMPARED VfJTH 1933, BY AREA 



Area 



1934 



1933 



1929 



Average, U. S, and Alaska 


$969 


$639 


$1,498 


New England 


1 , 030 


653 


1,914 


Middie Atlantic 


503 


607 


1,867 


South 


466 


398 


■ 1,600 


Grer.t Lalces 


760 


525 


822 


California 


1,720 


923 


1,439 


Northwest and Alaska 


733 


606 


1,267 



Source: N.S.A. , Division of Research and Planning, study of 
fishermen's earnings. 



CIIAUGES IN EARNINGS FROM WAGES 

The data obtained in connection with this study did not permit the 
making of comparahle estims,tes of the. 1934 or 1929 earnings of fishermen 
receiving compensation on a wage basis. Prom fragmentary evidence, 
however, it is apparent that earnings from wages fell scarcely half as 
much from 1929 to 1933 as did earnings from shares, and that the former 
rose scarcely one-fifth as much as the latter from 1933 to 1934. That 
the latter recover;- was so small Tfas presLi::ia"bl;' due iifoart, of coui'se, 



tc the r,cce;.)ted ts: 



idenc^^ for 



restriration of '.7:-^'Z,es to Ir.-., behind 



"cJ^e 



revivrl of ou.siness on an upv^ard nove^ieiat from p. deorer; sion, 



7rom these facts it is clear that average earnings from wages n,re-. 
norn?lly on a decid'ely lower level than earnings from shares. This is 
due more to special conditions in the fisheries whose employees are com- 
pensated on a wage basis than to deliberate policy; but it goes for to 
explain the manner in which fishermen who have been accustomed to share 
compensation' stick to that method by preference, even though in times 
of severe depression it has affected them adversely, 

FISHERliEN'S EARNINGS AMD THE PRICE CYCLE ' 

From 1929 to 1933 the average earnings of share fishermen fell more 
sharply than the corresponding value of the catch, and from 1933 to 1934 
they rose more sharply. That this was the case was mainly an indirect 
9581 



-66- 

result of the relation "between the concurrent changes in the prices of 
fishery products, ■ and in those of foods tuff s,. pe.troleum products, coal 
and ice, the commodities which accoimt for the greater part of the cost 
of operation of fishing craft. It seems abnormal, however, and somewhat 
demoralizing that the' earnings of a class' whose income is as small as 
that of most fishermen should vary more extremely, on the rise and fall 
of the "business cycle, than the gross sales volume of the enterprises for 
which they work, 

Talcen together, these considerations suggest the desira'bility of 
suhstituting some compromise "between straight share and straight wage 
compense.tion for the traditional share system of the fishery industry 
proper« 

ABUSES m THE AJLilNISTIiATIOIT OF LAYS 

At hearings and conferences on codes proposed for the primary pro^ 
ducing industry charges were made of a'buses in the administration of share 
agreements.) Later the La'bor Adviser on these codes made an investiga- 
tion of the situation in Boston, and collected prima facie evidence of 
the existence of such a'buses. (*) Ihe charges were "brought against in- 
dividual vessel owners in their capacity as commanders rather than as 
owners;, 'and in the case of vessels operated "b;;- corp.orations the immediate 
responsibility was put on the captains and wharfmasters rather than on 
the companies as such. Tne abuses alleged to exist \7ere in the nature of 
failure to give the _crews the benefit of quantity discounts on the pur- 
chase of supplies, of charging the share accounts with 'tw'o or three fill- 
ings of vessels' fuel tanlcs for single trips instead of one, etc. 

This whole matter needs further investigation and, probably some 
remedial action. In this country there has been practically no public 
supervision of the administration of fishing last's, whereas in Great Bri- 
tain, for example, such regulation dates back at least to the Act of 
Parliament of 1894, The matter seems proper for action under a code 
system; but remedies Gould presumably be applied by Federal legislation 
even in the absence of codes, 

THE FlgHEffl/IEI\r EivIFLOYED BY ALASICA SALMOirCAirilSEiaS 

The stud^r of fishermen's earnings to which reference has been made 
did not cover the so-called employee fishennen of the Canned Salmon In- 
dustry in Alaska, These are the fishermen who work with craft or gear 
owned or leased by salmon canning companies. For code purposes they 
were, treated as employees of the Canned Salmon Industry, and not of the 
Fishery Industry, 

, This class accounted for nearly three-fourths of the 6,227 fisheiv- 
men engaged in supplsj-ihg Alaska salmon canneries in 1934, Almost a half 



(*) Statement based on a conversa,tion with the Labor Adviser. No re- 
port on the subject has been found in the files of the Labor Ad- 
visory Board, 

9581 



-67- 

of these employee fishermen aie 'bro-aght up from the United States for the 
season, 15 per cent are white residents of Alaska, end. 35 per cent are 
Indians or Eskiraosi The proportions, ho\7ever, vary greo.tlv in the dif- 
ferent psxts of the Tei-ritory, These men^ are nearly all employed in "boa^t 
fisheries. .. , 

The "basic method of compensating employee fishermen in Alaska is at 
a piece rate of so much per fish caught. In the Bristol Bay district of 
Western Alaska, however, this piece payment is comhined r/ith a sua 
called "run money", which, is supposed to "be compensation for labor pe3>- 
formed at the .c-ijineries "before and after the fishing season projier, an.d 
while the recipients are in traaisit "between the United States and Alaska. 
This extra work includes the, loading and unloading of the trajnsporting 
vessels ajid the overhauling, of fishing gear. 

The average earnings of employee fishermen in the Salmon Canning 
Industry appear, .from the "best information availa'ble, to have amoroited 
in 1934 to a'bout $750. for the season, including run money, and in 1933 
to a"bout $520, The accuracy of the a,vaila"ble figure for the corres- 
ponding ea,rnings in 1929 is douttfrJL, 

The earnings of employee fishermen are materially higher in TTestern 
Alaska than in other parts of the Territory, ond higher in Central Alas- 
ka than in the Southeastern division. This is largely a consequence of 
the rela.tive scale of the fishing OTjerations; "but it is also associated 
with the varying percentages of United States and local residents, and 
of whites and natives. 

These earnings a,re a.lso considerahlj*- higlier in the case of the can- 
neries operated l),y the hig companies than in that of the smaller est3."b- 
lishir.ents. In the Bristol Bay District, where the fishermen are prac- 
tically aJl employees and are all emploj'-e.d lyj large concerns, the aver- 
age in 1934 v;as ahout $1,075 for the season, and in 1933 about $750. 
Cases of individuals who have earned $2,000 in the course of a. season 
under favora'ble circuii stances are said to have been not uncommon. 

TH3 TOTAL VOLUJ/IB OF COIIPBrSATIOlT 11: TKB ?ISI-ISRIES 

It is not possible at present to give a figure for the volume of 
compensation received "by all the persons employed in the primary pro- 
ducing industry. The data. o"btained in connection with the study of 
fishermen's ea.rnings imply a total volume for the vessel fisheries in 
1933 of a'bout $9,476,000, In 1934 the corresponding figure was approx- 
imately $12,826,000, and in 19.29 about $21,153,000. ■- 

The volume of compensation juF5t given for the vessel fisheries in 
1933 represented 38 per cent of the value of the vessel catch in that 
ye.ar. The returns of the Census of 1908 i.ndicated a totpl compensation 
for vessel crews of $8,230,000, excludinji Alaska, This represented 37 
per cent of the value of the corresponding catch. If figures for Al3.ska 
had been included, the percentage xYOuld have been revised a little. There 
has a"rparently, however, been e-tremel^r little change in the ratio of 
workers' compens?tion to the value of the fishery catch over the past 
25 or 30 years. 

9581 



PKE-CCDB TTAGES .IH T?IE WHOLE SALIxTG- AlID PROCESSING DIVISIOloS 

. ■" . - , . , J- 

The situation '.vith respect to wagfes in the '..holesali-ng and proces- . 
sing divisions of the fishery industry was less complex.and, less contro-- • 
versial than in the C3.se of the pritdsry -oi-o duct ion, ■ TaMe XXIV sum- 
marizes the available data on average pre-code earnings in the pipincipal 
branches. Table XXV shows the distribution of employees earning wages 
within various ranges in the case of a few groups for which such data, 
were obtainable, ■ ■., • 

The evidence is that, outside the Gulf : 'states, for, which little 
information could be obtaihed the wages, paid in, thesei. -wholesaling and 
processing industries, justbefore the institution of the. N.Pl.A. , up to 
or rather o.bove the general level, trere and' that the ..proportions, of their 
employees who were receiving ct^mpensation' at dis.tinctLj'- low rates were 
small. The principal exceptions to this statement in Table XXIY are the 
wages for office employees iii the Southeast Preparing aJid Wholesaling 
Trade, for oyster shuckers in the ■Chesapeake, area, and ..for the employees 
of the California and New England Sardine Canning Industries. The av- 
era,ge shoMm for the first of ' these groups may not be .representative, and 
in any case it is in the South, In the other exceptional cases the low 
wages were largely the result of short time, due in its turn to a heavily 
reduced. volume of business, , .■ , 

ITAGB VOLTJivIB OP TI-IE T^^GLESALIHGAflD Pg.QGESSING INDU.STEIES • 

Table XXlV shows, by area, the Bureau of Fisheries data for the 
total wage volume of the processing and wholesaling, divisions of the In- 
dus tr;?-. 

The 1923 figures in this t.able are incomplete and not strictly com- 
par.able with those for the later s'-ears. Dpta for. 1933 are lacking in the 
case of areas accounting in the aggregate for almost 25 per cent of the 
total-. The' real extent of the decline in the wage volume of these in- 
dustries during the dexDression, therefore, is not loioiTno - 

Fifteen or 20 per cent of the tote.I vol'ome of wages shovm by Table 
SXVI is accounted for by the canning and preserving industries, and 80 or 
85 per cent b;'- the preparing and wholesaling trades. 

GIi4:-S TOTAL T7AGE VOLIMB 

Exa.ct fi;gu.res for the boat and shore fisheries are &i present lack- 
ing, but the grand total volume of wages and shares, in 1933, of all per- 
sons in the fisheries. proper who might be looked on in some sense as 
employees may be estimated provisionally at $13,000,000, Por the Pish-- 
ery Industry as a whole the total vol'om.e of employees' earnings in the 
same 3-ear may be put in a similar tenta'tive manner, at $47,500,000, 



9581 



-69- 
TABLE XXIV 

IVEEAG-E PRE- CODE WEEKLY SAEl^IK&S IK THE FISHERY 
WHOLESALING AMD PROCESSING liTOUSTEIES 
EIRST HALF OF 1933 



Industry and Group Office Plant Erajjloyees 

Employees 



Per Week Per Season 



Preparing and Wliolesaling Trades 

General; 

Nev/- England 

Middle Atlantic 

Mid\7est 

SoTitheast 

Northwest and Alaska 

Southwest 

Specialized; 



24.28 


$21.36 


31.73 


23. 57 


24.51 


21.15 


13.54 


24.12 


26.29 


18.69 


20,00 


24,52 



Fresh Oyster 


29.33a/ 





Shuckers t/ 





10.43a/ 


Cullers bj 


^ — 


22.08a/ 


Other Plant Employees 





20,09a/ 


Wholesale Lobster 


24.15 


26,19 


Sponge preparing and Wholesaling 


oj 


15,00d/ 



Processing Industries 

Canned Salmon 

Residents of the U, S: cj - — - — 

Whites $224, 52e/ 

Orientals 164,55_e/ 

Residents of Alaska 100* OOd/ 

California Sardine c/ lO.OOd/ 

New England Sardine c/ 9,00d/ 



Source; Q;aestionnaire data and statements of industry representatives at 
Code hearings, contained in ICIA Division of Research and Plan- 
ning reports prepared "by John R, Arnold. 

a/ Figures for December, 1932, 

b/ Piece workers. 

cJ No data; number of office employees small. 

d/ . . Approximate only. 

ej These workers receive quarters and board in addition to the 

money wages specified, 
9581 



TABLE XXV 

DISTRIBUTION OF PLANT EMPLOYEES IN CERTAIN FISHERY 
WHOLESALING AND PROCESSING INDUSTRIES, BY PRE-CODE WAGE RATES 



California Sardine Industry, 
Season of 1933-1934 



Cents per Hour 



Total 



iPer Cent of Total 
Plant Employees) 



100.0 



Fresh Qyster Industry, 
December, 1933 



Dollars per ISfeek 



Total 



Cullers and 
Shuckers 



Other Plant 
Employees 



(Per cent of Total 
Employees) 



100.0 



100.0 



30 


cents 






35 


cents 






40 


cents 






45 


cents 






50 


cents 






55 


to 59, 


,9 


cents 


60 


to 69. 


,9 


cents 


70 


cents 


and over 



Dollars per V/eek 



83.2 
8.1 
4.7 

.8 
1.7 

.1 
1.3 

.1 



Under 10.00 
10.00 to 14.99 
15.00 to 19.99 
20.00 to 24.99 
25.00 to 29.99 
30.00 to 34.99 
35.00 and over 



42.3 


17.8 


32.8 


19.5 


11.6 


26.5 


7.5 


13.2 


1.1 


7.5 


1.3 


2.9 


3.4 


,12.6 



General Preparing and Wholesaling Trades, June, 1933 



Middle Atlantic 



Southeast 



Midwes 



ta/ 



Northwest 
and Alaska 



(Per cent of Total Plant Employees) 



Total 



100.0 



100.0 



100.0 



100.0 



Under 5.00 
5.00 to 7.49 
7.50 to 9.99 
10.00 to 12.49 
12.50 to 14.99 
15.00 to 17.49 
17.50 to 19.99 
2D. 00 to 22.4^ 
2<i.50 to 24.99 
25.00 to 29.99 
30. eO to 34.99 
35.00 and over 



25.4 

,13.0 

2.1 

5.5 

3.0 

T.-8- 

2.^ 

13.0 

8.4 

19.6 



1.8 
10.7 

7.1 
33.9 
21.4 

3.6 
14.3 



3.6 

3.6 



6.5 


2.2 


.9 


1.1 


1.9 


9 .3 


2.8 


12.0 


6.5 


.6 


12.1 


29.0 


11.2 


1.0 


4Sv9^ 


9.3 


TT.z 


2b"2 


17.9 


7.6 


10.3 


5 .5 


2.8 


2.2 



^ 



Canned Salmon Industry, 1955 Season 



White Residents of United States 



Dollars per Month 



(Per cent of total 
Plant Enqjloyees) 



Residents of Alaska 



Cents per Hour 



;(Per cent of total 
Plant Employees) 



Total 



Und 


ler 


30, 


,00 




30. 


,00 


to 


34, 


.99 


35, 


.00 


to 


39, 


.99 


40. 


,00 


to 


44, 


.99 


45, 


.00 


to 


49. 


.99 


50, 


,00 


to 


59. 


.99 


60, 


,00 


to 


69, 


.99 


TfiO, 


,00 


to 


79, 


.99 


80, 


.00 


to 


89, 


.99 



100.0 



5.0 



15.7 
9.0 
12.8 
23.9 
33.6 



Total 



Under 


15 


cents 


15 


to 


19. 


.9 


cents 


20 


to 


24, 


.9 


oentd 


25 


to 


29, 


.9 


cents 


30 


to 


34, 


.9 


cents 


35 


to 


39, 


.9 


cents 


40 


to 


44, 


.9 


cents 


45 


to 


49, 


.9 


oent» 


50 


cents 


and over 



100.0 

3.5 
7.4 
9.4 
39.7 
20.7 
9.8 
8.0 
1.5 



Source: Questionnaire data supplied by establishnents and statements of industry representatives 
at Code hearings, contained in URA. Division of Research and Pleuming reports, prepared 
by John R. Arnold. 

a/ Data from one large company having branches in various parts of the Midwest territory. 

These data are believed to be fairly representative of the i.nduot»y . 



-71- 
T£BLE XXVI 

TOTiL YQLVim OP UAGES 11© SALAIHES OF THE FISHERY 
PSOCESSIlvTG AND FriOLESALIKG IlIiDUSTHIES, BY AEEA, 
1929, 1931 and 1933 

(in tiioxisands) 

j^Pea 1933 1931 1929 a/ . 

Processing Processing Processing TThole- Proces- 

^^•^ ^^^ saling sing 

¥aolesaling ^ole saling ana 

Wholesaling 



Total, U, S. 


and 
















Alaska 







$37,120 


$21 , 914 


$ 


21,122 


$43,036 


New England 




5,410 


7,113 


3,651 




5,286 




8,937 


Middle Atlantic , 


6,086 


7,043 


891 




5,348 




6,239 


Chesapealce 




2,367 


2,802 


599 




2,727 




3,326 


South Atlaaitic 


















and G-ulf 




^ . 


2,822 


2,320 




1,836 




4,156 


Great Lalces 




ty 


2,610 


277 




2,469 




2,746 


Pacific Coast 




6,095 


6,751 


6,860 




2,301 




9,161 


■Mississippi River 


^ 


3,080 


208 


£/ 


1,154 


£/ 


1,362 c/ 


Alaska d/ 




3,289 


4,899 


7,108 




£/ 




7,108 



Source: Bureau of Fisheries, Fishery Industries of the United States , 
1930 , po 142; 1932 , p. 175; 1934 , p. 110. 

a/ Incomplete though the precise tasis of the figu.res is unlcnovm» 
The actual decline from 1929 ^jas somewhat greater than that 
indicated, 

'h/ Kot availatle, 

c/ • 1922 figures, ' \ . 

d/ Unpulslished data of the Bureau of Fisheries. 

ej t?holesaling as a separa^te "business is negligible in Alaska. 



9531 



-72- 

CHaPTER VIII 
the' FISHERY CODE SIRUCTOEE AI\!D THE' TmiTIlTG OP THE CODES 



ADMINI ST RATIVE COICTEOL : OP THE CODES ^^ ^ •:-,;,■,■ 

By the. President's Executive Order Uc 6132 of June 26, 1933, the 
writing of codes for the Fishery Industry, along with that of axl others 
for food producing and processing industries, was transferred to the 
jurisdiction of the Agricultural Adjustment Administration, A staff was 
setup to deal with fishery codes; but when the latter were transferred 
"back to the N. R. A. "by the Executive Order of Janu'^ry 8, 1934, none had 
"been approvedo 

THE HATIGUAL FISHERY. CODE 

A public hearing was held at, an early stage on a Supplementary. Code 
for the Atlantic Mackerel Fishery; "out the plan of those immediately 
responsible was to concentrate first of all on the xrriting of a master 
Code for the whole Industry, A hearing on the latter had already been 
held on December 11, 1933, before the fishery codes' were transferred 
back to the National Recovery Administration* A number of difficult 
points remained to be settled, however, and the Code was not approved 
until February 26, 1934, It went into effect on March 22» . 

This master code, \7hich has .usually been referred to as the National 
Fishery Code, contained basic labor and trade practice provisions, which 
were, to apply to all members of the Fishery Industry not expressly ex- 
cluded, except in so far as they night be modified by supplementary 
codes, '.The provisions were deliberately ma,de, rather general, in the 
belief that i t was not practicable at that stage to deal with the special 
problems of individual sub industries, 

ADMINISTRATIVE BODIES 



The National Code Authority was to be elected by the National Fish- 
eries Association, the sponsor of the Code, independently of the subordinate 
administrative bodies, provided for. No rules were laid down as to the 
representation of geographical areas or of f-unctional subdivisions in 
the election of the National Code Authoritjr; though the Administrator 
was given (Article VIII, Title A, Section 1) -fairly wide powers for see- 
ing that this body wp.s, in his judgment, sufficiently representative. 

The National Code also provided for divisional Executive Committees 
to administer it in the geographical areas and for the- specialised groups 
for which it was planned to write supplementary codes. These bodies, 
however, were to be set up, under the name of Temporary Executive Com- 
mittees, in advance of the approval of such codes. 

The National Code provided for an assessment of one-tenth of one 
per cent of the previous year's sales of each member of the Fishery 
Industry, These assessments were to be collected by the Executive Com- 
mittees, the National Code Authority having no power to raise fxmds 

9581 



-73- 

directly. Twejaty-five per cent of the collections were to "be transmitted 
to the National Code Authority to cover its expenses, while the reinaindeiv 
was to be retained for the administration of the National and supplementary 
codes within the subdivisions. 

DEFECTS OF THE NATIONAL CODE SET-UP . 

The conclusion now seems inescapable that these arr'angements involved 
serious errors of .judgnent. The plan of bringing the whole Industry with- 
in the code system ,s.s' a first step, indeed, had distinct merits. Ex- . 
perience in the Agricultural Adjustment Administration, moreover, had 
shown that the process of writing individiial codes for the numerous sub- 
divisions of the Fishery Industry as a start, and of then building an 
integrated structure upon them as a foundation, would be very prolonged. 
But though the principle of an initial master code ought probably to have 
been retained, the defects of the system actvially set up were serious. 

The National Fisheries Association, which was entrusted with the 
election of the Code Axithority, was not sufficiently representative of 
the fishing industry proper, or of the wholesaling and processing divisions 
outside' the large northeastern centers. Even in New York City, influential 
representatives of thfe local trades were opposed to the institution of a 
national code body with the powers Find income actually assigned it. The 
Administrator was obliged to disapprove the Code Authority as first elect- 
ed, in order to insure some representation of the primary producing in- 
dustry; and after this had been done the latter was represented by only 
two out of a total of 11 members. 

The administrative functions of the Nationa.l Code Authority, as 
distinct from those of the divisional Executive Committees, were not well 
defined; and there was a widespre.id feeling - not realized by the Admin- 
istration at the tirae - that it was unreasonable to assign it as much as 
25 per cent of the assessments, 

mAT THE NATIGNiX'CODE PHOGRAM SHOULD HAVE BEEIT ' [ 

It now seems clear that the National Code structure should have 
been, to begin with, much more modest. The provisions of the Code itself 
should, perhaps, have been fewer and simpler than they were. All this 
instrument could be expected to accomplish was to bring the Industry at 
large within the code system, and to maice plain to its numerous members 
that they were expected to meet the main items of the Administration's 
program with respect to the hours a,nd wages of labor. 

If any National Code Authority was needed before the esiablishment 
of the divisional Executive Committees, it should have been a provisional 
body, and should not have been elected by an organization of such dubious 
representativeness as the National Fisheries Association, It should have 
been frankly realized that this national body could be, at the beginning, 
a little more than decorative, since practically all the actual work of 
administration would have to be done by the divisional Committees, 

It should probably have been provided, moreover, that these latter 
bodies should themselves elect the permanent Code Authority, Much greater 

9581 



«74- 



pains should have Ijeen taken, to make sure that the latter was thoroughly- 
representative, geographically and functionalljr. It should probahly 
have "been larger than the Code Authority actimlly provided, with the 
realization that, to T3egin with at any rate, it had hest meet only once 
or twice a year; that it would he primarily a hody of delegates' of the 
local Committees; and that its functions during the earlier stages of the 
code program would he chiefly to, discuss and advise. , i'or the purposes of 
such a National Code Authority a smaller proportion of the assessments 
than the 25 per cent actijxilly stipulated shoixld have been sufficient. 

DEVELOPmHT OF THE SU?PLSI.iE;iTAP.Y "CODEa 

Before the National Code was approved puhlic hearings had "been held 
on supplementary codes for the Fresh Oysters the TiTholesale Lobster, and 
the New England Preparing and Wholesaling divisions of the Industry, . The 
writing of su;oplementary codes continued to he pressed. By the first 'week 
in June, 1934, five had oeen ap^'sroved, as veil a,s an independent code for 
the Oyster Shell Crushers Indxistry. The five :7ere the Fresh C^'^ster, the 
■<7holesale Lobster, the California-Sardine Processing, the Atlantic Mackerel 
Fishing and the Blue Crab Codes, ■/All these except the Atlantic Mackerel 
Fishing Code were for specialized preps.ring rnd wholesaling trades or for 
canning industries. The Atlantic Mackerel Code Applied to a. primary 
producing, indiistry; and the Fresh. Oyster a.nd Blue Crab Codes included, 
along with the preparing and wholesaling trades concerned, the, specialized 
fishing industries producing those particular products. 

In the course of a trip talcen by the Deputy Administrator/in charge 
of the fishery co6.es and his advisers during April, and May, 1934, ..hear- . 
ings were held on ten additional supplementary codes. 

During the sumrier an independent Code was approved, for the Processed .,' 
or Refined Fish Oil Industry, and a Supplementary Code for the Eastern 
Section of the Trout Farming Industry - a very specialized subdivision. 
The Sujjplementary Code for the Uew England Prepe.ring and TiTholesaling 
Industry, on which a hearing had been held in February 1934, was not 
approved till September, He■^ring.s on the other six codes for the general 
preparing o,nd wholesaling trades had been held by the first week in June, 
None of these, however, _ was approved until after the beginning of 1935, 
a,nd three of them, had not been approved at the time of the Schechter 
decision. 

Public hearings were held on five other supplementary codes, for 
branches of the primary producing industry - the G-reat Lakes Fisheries, 
the Pacific Halibut Fishery, the Pacific Crab Fishery, the Lobster Fishery, 
and the Florida Fisheries; but none of these had been approved at the 
time the codes were suspended. , 

CAUSES OF THE DELAY IN TffilTIlIG SUPPLEilEHTAEY CODES 

From this summary it is evident, first, that after five of the 
proposed supplementary codes had been approved, there began to be great 
delay in the writing of the remainder; second, that .this affected par- 
ticularly the codes for the general preparing and ?/holesaling tra^des and 
the fishing industries proper; and third, that the change in conditions 

9581 



-75- 



to which these delays \'7ere due occurred a^bout Jiiiie , 1934. 

This state of o^ffairs "/as primarily the result of two things - first," 
the large si^ie and artificial char~.cter of the areas to which the Admin- 
istration insisted that the supplementary codes for the general preparing 
and wholesaling trades and the primary producing industry should apply » 
and second, the promulgation on .Jxuie 7, 1934, of Office Memorandum No. 
228, which defined the provisions vdth regard to price filing and price 
control that the Administration was prepared to a jprove in future codes« 
The delays due to these causes, however, themselves tended to "breed fur- 
ther delay, since it xDOstponed the writing of additional fishery codes 
until the first interest in the code program and the first confidence in 
its practicahility had subsided. 

It should be stated emphatically that little if any of this delay 
was the result of conditions in the Deputy Administrator's office. In 
fact, had, it not been for the patience and persistence displayed 'by the 
two Deputies successively in charge of these codes and by their staff, it 
is unlikely that any of those approved after the early summer of 1934 
wo-oldhave come into existence. 

THE; PROBLEM OF SUPFLEIIENTABI CODE AP-EAS ' 

The problem of the areas to which the general preparing and whole- 
saling and the less specialized fishing codes should ap.ily wps a difficult 
one. The perishability at some stage of all fishery products, the small 
size of the typical enterprise, and the lack of efficient large scale trade 
organization before the II.R.A. was instituted, combined to cause the mem- 
bers of the Industry to think of their interests in terras of comparatively 
small areas. The number of fishery codes originally proposed X7as in the 
neighborhood of 80, Both from a practical administrative standpoint, and 
because, in the ca,se of the preparing and wholesaling trades, the smaller 
the areas covered by the supplementary codes the greater would have been 
the difficulty resulting from overlapping trade relationships, it was 
essential to reduce this number considerably. 

The difficulties created by the size and artificial character of 
nearly all the seven regions finalljr insisted on by the Administration 
as a basis for the supplementary codes for the general preparing a.nd 
wholesa,ling trades were, ho?rever, serious. It was possible to obtain 
assent to codes for some of these regions only by agreeing to a more or 
less elaborate system of subcommittees for different parts. 

In several instances the trade org,anization which presented the code 
originally set for hearing was not and could not be representative of the 
larger aroa. Conscientious efforts were made by these groups and by the 
Deputy Administrator's office to obtain a.ssent from additional concerns. 
But the somewhat forced inclusion of gtoups vfhich were conscious of no 
strong bcoids of common interest with the original proponents diluted the 
feeling in favor of a code system for the Industry, and worked against 
the effective enforcement of the approved provisions, 

A parallel insistence by the Administration on the writing of singr.e sup- 
plementary codes for all out the most siacialii^ed fiplieries of rel.::t;ively 

9581 



■ -76- 

l,n,rge areas w.asof itself enough to prevent even a good start in the case 
of the primary producing industry. 

OFFICE IvEEMORAICDm Wo 228 AM) TilE FISHER Y C ODES 

The statements already made with regard to the prominence of pro- 
visions for the maintenance and control of prices in the fishery codes 
originally submitted, as a result of the severe defla.tion in the prices 
of many fishery products from 1929 to 1933s suggest why the promulgation 
of Office Iviemorandiim Eo., 228 proved a further cause of delg^^, particularly 
in the case of the preparing and vjholesaling tradeso The proponents of 
these codes' were more interested in provisions to prohibit destructive 
price cutting and to permit the setting of minimum prices, with or with- 
out emergencv limitations, than they were in the filing of open prices. 
The former," however, were precisely the types of code provisions that 
were banned or rigidly limited in scope and effectiveness by Office 
Memorandum Wo, 228, and by manner in which it was interpreted, . ■■ 

it is not intended to raise any question as to the advisability of 
the policy set forth in this Memorandum; -but the fact that it had the 
effect of a bucket of cold water on the proponents of mpst of the fishery 
codes, and adversely affected th& interest taken by the Industry. in. the 
N.E.A, program, was too patent for dispute by any one familiar with the 
factse 

TILE DELAY ^IH ffRITINa CODES FOR THE FISHERIES 

The limitations on the approval of price control provisions which 
were set forth in Office Hemorandum No. 228 wefe a cause of delay in the 
writing of supplementary codes for the primary producing industry also. 
Here, indeed, controversies with regard to proposed conservation provisions 
and to the restriction of competing imports from Canada, under the author- 
ity of Section 3 (e) of Title I of the Recovery Act, played considerable 
parts, ■ 

In the case of the Atlantic Mackerel Code, however, - the only su;;j"ile>^ 
mentary code approved for the fishing industry proper - the proponents' 
interest had centered on clauses to permit the regulation of production 
and the setting of emergency minimun priceso At the hearing on the pro- 
posed Florida Fishing Code, again, and in preliminary correspondence re- 
garding a code or codes for the unspecialized fisheries of the southern 
New England and Middle Atlantic coasts, the primary desire of the sponsors 
was for r.vovii-i'ais to a'intain or Cij:^itrol prices "o^ crude .-nd clr. atic v:.ctho<lB, 

In the case of the proposed codes for the F.'^cific Halibut Fishery 
and the fisheries of the Great Lakes, which had also not been approved at 
the time of the Schcchter decision, the policj?' set forth in Office Memo- 
randTjm Ko, 228 was not a pri;nar3^ catise of delay. 

The total catch of both the American a.nd the Canadian halibut fleets 
ha'R. been limited since 1924 under an international convention. The draft 
code for this fishery proposed a secondary regulation of the landings 
over short periods, without touching the total. It proved impossible, 
however, to obtain the ,•: ssent of the Canadian interests, and as a result 

9581 



-77- 



the draft vas in effect withdra^wn. 

* 
In the cr.se of the propossd Code for the Great Lalies Fisheries, 
interest centered largely on the restriction of competitive imports from 
Canada. Wlien it iDecame apparent thn.t to ohtain such restriction would 
te a difficult and time-consuming matter, the desire to go a,head with 
the code subsided rapidly. 

There was also involved in this case the question of including in ■ 
the code a conservation provision which would apply uniformly to the 
whole area' of the Lalces, and v/ould supersede the conflicting and in 
large part ineffective laws of nine different states* .The desire of the 
Deputy Administrator, who represented the views of the Bureau of Fisheries 
on the suhject, to ottain assent to such a provision was commendable in 
principle. It is hard, however, to escape the conclusion that the carry- 
■ ing out of .the Bureau's conservation policy could not, as a practical 
matter, he made a part of the fishery code program, and that the insistence 
of the Administration in the matter was a serious factor in causing the 
proponents of the Great Lakes Fishing Code to lose interest in it, 

A PR.1CTICABLE SYSTEM OF FISHERY CODES 

From the foregoing survey it is evident that the obstacles to writ- 
ing codes for the primary producing industry were ra.ther formidable. 
It is at least certain that the thing could not be done with a strict 
adherence to the standard procedure of the Administration, and with a 
continued insistence on the plan of a limited n-'omber of supplementary 
codes for relatively large areas. 

If another attempt were made to bring the fishing industry proper 
within the scope of an industrial statute of the type of the Recovery 
Act, representatives of the Government should, as a rainiraun, contact on 
the ground organizations representing the fishermen of relatively small 
areas. Codes or their equivalent should be established to begin with 
for these small divisions, and coordinated into groups of larger scope 
as a secondary step. 

The codes for the primary areas should be of the simplest possible 
description. They should be administered by small committees of local 
men, who should be assisted by Government advisers. Such committees 
should confine themselves at the outset to accustoming tlicir groups to 
the idea of organized effort, and to the carrying OLit of simple programs 
involving as little controversial matter as possible. 

The secondary bodies representing larger areas should be thoroughly 
representative of the primary committees, and free from domination by 
the wholesR,le trades. As much use as possible should be raade of the un- 
paid pa.rt-time services of members of the Industry and of unbiased out- 
siders who might be willing to give cooperation. Assessments should be 
kept to a bare minimun, and meetings sli ould be planned to avoid the 
imposition of expense for traveling on a class ill-prepared to incur it. 



It has already been intima.ted that the development of a code 
9581 



-78- 

program of this tj^pe for the fisheries i^rould require a substantial period 
of time; and another essential would he inexhaustible patienceo 

A PR0G-HAlv4 FOR THE PBEFARIiIG AID TOOLESALIHG 'TBADES 

This description of what experience suggests would he the sole 
ultimately feasible program for bringing the fishing industry proper 
within the scope of an industrial organization of the type of the N.S.A. 
applies also, though with reduced emphasis, to the general wholesaling 
and preparing tradeso To mention one illustration, the Supplementary 
Code approved for the Ivliddle Atlantic region attempted to bring ujider 
the jurisdiction of a single Executive Committee eight groups in the New 
York' metropolitan area alone, which subsequent experience showed were 
ill-prepared to work togethero The wholesale trades of the Philadelphia, 
Baltimore and Washington areas were brought under the jurisdiction of 
this code only by conceding them a separatee Executive Committee» 

The specialized preparing and wholeso.ling trades and the canning 
industries were relatively well fitted to work with codes- of the standard 
typeo The fishery industries whose codes were most successful all belong--* 
ed in these groupso 



-79- 

CHAPTER IX 
THE ADMIMISTRATIOIJ GF THE CC3ES 



HANDICAPS OF THE CODE BODIES . . 

The bodies established to^ administer the fishery codes undertook the 
work -under serious handicaps. The most important of these were: 

(1) The lack of previous organization in the Industry, and the con- 
sequent scarcity of .trained ^taff familiar with the problems to be dealt 
with; 

(2) The difficulty of collecting assessments in sufficient volume 
to provide for any staff at all or for other administrative necessities; 

(3) The difficulty of establishing a habit of compliance with the 
codes under the special: conditions of the Industry; 

(4) The difficulties arising from competition and jealousy between 
groups in some of the a.rtif icially large code areas, 

THE PROELEtrOF CODE FIUAlvICE ^ : 

The problem that arose- in connection with the financing of these 
bodies had its roots in, the fact tha^t the enterprises concerned were un- 
accustomed to paying dues for- association or other common purposes, and 
that at the time the first of their codes were ap'oroved a large propor- 
tion were in very low financial water. The provision for the payment of 
25 per cent of the assessments collected by the divisional Executive 
Committees for the use of the iJational Code Authority did not meet with 
general approval, and added to the unwillingness to contribute, 

;..ost of these fishery code bodies were being organized at a time 
when the Administration's requirements with respect to assessments and 
budgets were becoming progressively more strict. The making of estimates 
of collections and of budget needs, moreover, was hampered by the lack 
of reliable data with regard to the Industry's recent volume of business. 
In the absence of such figures several Committees submitted budgets which 
were found to involve serious overestimates of the funds 4ikely to be 
available. 

FIHAUCSS OF THE MTIONAI, CODE AUTHORITY 

The National Code Authority was affected by this financial situation 
even more, relatively, than were the divisional Committees^ since it was 
to receive its income indirectly from the collections made by the latter. 
This body, moreover, ' proposed at the beginning a far too grandiose program 
of spending,, This error of Judgment had unfortunate consequences, since 
the National Code Authority, for reasons already explained, was from the 
first none too popular in parts of the Industry, The publication of its 
first proposed budget led to strenuous protests from fishermen's organiza- 
tions; and when a revised estim§,te of th^ funds likely to be available made 
i't necessary to cut the program heavily, the prestige of the national body 
wa.s damaged still more, 

9581 



-80r- 

COLLECTIOITS MD EXPENSI TUSES OF TES COMuITTEES 

Ta^ble XXVII shows the estimated first year income of the fishery 
code bodies for which "budgets were approved, assriming a 100 per cent 
collection of assessments. There are ■unfortunately no reliable or 
comparable figiires to shovr what proportions of these amounts were actually 
paid in. It is understood that the Executive Committees for the South- 
ern area of the Middle Atla.ntic, and for the Northern area of the South- 
west Preparing and Yfliolesaling Industries took in something like the 
estimated totals. It seems doubtful, however, whether, in any other 
case, collections amounted to as much as 25 per cent of the estimates. 
Applying these statements to the figures in Table ZXVII , it becomes evi- 
dent that hardly any of these committees had funds sufficient to enable 
then to institute more than a skeleton organization, or to undertaJce 
anything but a bare minimum of activities, iloreover, the indispensable 
work of obtaining approval of a budget, and of getting in as large a 
vol-ume of assessments as practicable, in itself a,bsorbed a disproportion- 
ate part of the time and energy of the snail staffs that could be es- 
tablished. 

In the case of some fishery code bodies there is room for criticism 
of the salaries which it was proposed to pay to e::ecutive officials sJid 
to legal counsel. The difficulties of the work undoubtedly called in 
principle for the em.plojTnent of the most conpetent persons obtainable; 
but it would have been more realistic to recognize, under the peculiar 
circtunstances, that as much as possible of the initial work would best 
be done by members receiving no pay, or to employ other persons tempor- 
arily at more modest salaries, with the ejg^ectation that the latter 
would be raised 8.s soon as circumstances permitted. It should be stated, 
however, that the persons to whom these somewhat uneconomical salaries 
were promised continued. in most cases to carry on their work conscien- 
tiously^, even when their' compensation fell in arrears. 

THE COi^lPLIAHCE PHOBLEM m GEMSAL ' 

After the foregoing discussion it is probably enough to summarize 
the conditions that made the problem of obtaining compliance with the 
fishery' codes more than usually difficult. These codes affected large 
numbers of enterprises,' most of which were small, and which had not 
been trained in the habit of working cooperatively. The divisional Com- 
mittees, which were the real working administrative bodies, were for the 
most part not established till the first interest in the code program 
had begun to subside. This psychological difficulty was complicated 
by the feeling v/ith respect to the Administration'. s policy on the con- 
trol of prices. The code Committees themselves, with inadequate staffs, 
were absorbed in the primary work of getting orgajnised, of preparing 
budgets that could be approved, and of collecting bare minimums of 
funds . 

CODS] ElPOaCEMSMT BEGA3I)ED AS A GOVBUMvISHT RESPONSIBILITY 

Apart from these conditions, however., the activity of these code 
bodies in endeavoring to obtain compliance was affected by their mental 
attitude as to the part the Administration should pl3.y. 

9681 



-81- 

TABLE XnU 

ADVAIICE ESTIiylATES OF TIiE FIRST YEAIl lilCOi.iE OP CERTAIN 
FISHERY CODE BODIES, AS SUlvi II JG 100 PER CEI:T COLLECTIOII OF 

ASSES SI^IEKTS 



Code Income 



National Fishery 




$46,000 


Fresh Oyster 




22,200 


Blue Crab ' . , 




19,950 


Midwest Preparing & Wholesaling 




13,500 


Atlantic Mackerel 




3,450 


•.iiddle Atlantic Preparin>7: and Whole 


ssaling: 




Northern Area 




40,000 


Southern Area 




7,500 


Trout Farming 




2,600 


Wholesale Lohster, 




18,350 



Southvirest Preparing and Wholesaling 

Northern Area _ 4,600 

Northvrest Pret)a.ring and \"Jholesaling 

Northern Area _ . 4,650 

Great Lakes Fishing 7,540 

Southeast Preparing and Wliolesaling 13,000 



Source: Approved hudgets of fishery code bodies. 



9581 



-82- 

The Industry had few large corporations accListomed to influencing 
government policy and to controlling local police administration. Its 
members vrer6 representative rather of the great mass of the conjitry's 
smaller enterprises, which have taken it for granted tha.t responsibility 
for any sort cjf-oolice activity rests on the established political author- 
ities alone. These concerns assented to codes, therefore, on the tacit 
assumption that the Administration proposed to accept that responsibilitj'". 
As the fishery code bodies got organized, ajad as the first cases of non- 
compliance were brought to their attention, they reported them to the 
N.R.A., v.dth the expectation that decisive action ?:ould follov; promptly. 
When, instead of this, they met with indecision and delay, they v/ere 
unprepared to talce substitute action on their own account. 

liembers of these bodies whose opinion has been soiif^ht are practical- 
ly ujianinous in holding that at the outset there need have been few cases 
of the actual punishj.ient of members for noncomplia.nce. The essential 
thing, they contend, was a prompt and unmistalcable indication from the 
Administration that it proposed, to stand no nonsense. ' They believe, in 
other words, that it v/ould have been possible to bring all or nearly 
all those who were disposed to be recalcitrant into line by a sufficient- 
ly impressive bluff,. In vie^^ of the unanimity with which, this view is 
held it probably represents what should have been tried, if the best 
possible chance of obtaining compliance ?iith these codes was to have 
been taken. 

ACTUAL SEVELOPIvlENTS WITH BSSPECT TO C0MPLIAMC3 

As things actually were the activities of the fishery code bodies 
in endeavoring to obtain compliance e.mounted to very little. All of 
them, it is believed, took the requisite initial steps to bring the ]pro- 
visions of the codes to the attention of their members, and to report the 
first cases of noncompliance. As their financial difficulties increased, 
however, and as it became 3.pparent that the Administration was not in a 
position to act promptly on the cases brought before it, most of the 
fishery code bodies, metaphorically speaking, threw up their hands» 

EXCEPTIOHAl CASES OF 11055 EPIECTIYE ASi.IIIvTISTaATIOM ,. 

There were a few exceptions to this general lack of effective admin- 
istration of the fishery codes, confined for the most paxt, to the can- 
ning industries. The Comjnittees o,dministering the Canned Salmon and both 
the Ca-lifornia and Ee\7 England Sardine Codes are believed to have made 
a record of relative efficiency. Tnese were industries with limited 
numbers of members, located in two or three states at most, utilizing 
single species of fish, and producing small varieties of nonperishable 
products. Their members v;ere more accustomed than were those of the 
primary producing industries or of most of the preparing and wholesaling 
trades to wo rkih.'^ cooperatively, and there were no important problems aris- 
ing from inter-group competition and jealousies. 

It is unfortunately impossible, however, to report in detail on the 
adrainistra-tion of these codes. There has not been much chance to confer 
with members of the Committees concerned since the codes were approved; 
and their records a.re located, in two of the three cases, on the other 
side of the continent, and in the third in a small community in a remote 
section of Maine. The files in Washington contain little relevant 
9581 



-83- 

material. A proper report on the adraini strati on of these codes would 
involve, at the very least,, the circulation of special questionnaires, 
supplemented "by conferences with lea.ding members. 

It is believed that a similar record of efficiency was made by the 
Temporary Executive Coraiiiittee a.drainistering the Fationo.1 Code in the 
Northern California area; but for the same reasons as in the case of the 
other Pacific coast industries little detailed information regarding its 
activities is B.t present available. This bodj" was promoting a Supple- 
mentejr;;- Preparing and Hiolesaling Code for the Southwest region of the 
United States, but the latter had not been aoproved at the time of the 
Schechter decision. 

OSiis situation virith respect to the a,dministration of the fishery 
codes, of course, had its comiiensating features. It ejqplains, for one 
thing, why there were so few (iases of stays or' exemptions. Applica.tions 
for the latter, indeed, were negligibly fev/. The- Executive Committee of 
the Presh Oyster Industry did apply for- a stay of the price filing pro- 
. visions of its Code, The Canned Salmon Code Authority also, under some- 
what siiiilar circumstances, asked for a. stay of Hule 3 of Article YII, 
which prohibited the diversion of brokerage fees to customers. These 
matters are further discussed in Chapter XII sjid XIII. 

PEW CASES OP HIGHHA1\T)ED ACTIOI-I BY CODE BODIES -. 

Another compensating result of the situation with respect to the 
administration of the fishery codes was the infrequency of charges of 
higliiia.nded or coercive action on the part of' the Executive Committees, 
One would natiorally be inclined to look for such' cases, if anywhere, in 
the exceptional industries above mentioned, whose administrative bodies 
made records of relative efficiency. There were a few, but so few as 
almost to prove the rule, ■■■'""■' ■ ; 

In the case of the Temporary Committee 'administering the National 
Code in the ilorthern California area there was one flagrant instance of 
highhanded action. (*). A salmon canning and wholesaling company 
reported the receipt from thife body of minimum price lists, for which 
the I'Jational Code provided no authorization. 

Tliis protest was mad.e in April, 1934, Ihen the Deputy Administrator 
arrived in San Prancisco the following month, to hold a hearing on the 
proposed preparing and vfholesaling code for the SouthvTest area, further 
oral reports of these price-fixing activities were received. At the hear- 
ing the committee's attention vras called to the complaints and to the 
limitations of its pov/ers in aclministering the National Code, llo further 
protests were received; but there seems to be no direct evidence in the 
files as to v/hether the activities complained of were discontinued or not, 



(*) The correspondence relating to this ca^se, with samples of the mini-* 
mum Drice lists .and the instructions from Committee, are in the files of 
the Consumers' Advisory Board, Southwest Preparing and vTholesaling Code. 
Polder, 



9581 



-84- 

There ff„re slight indications that the Executive Committee administering 
the California Sardine Processing Code stepped over the line in a similar 
though much less pronounced fashion in administering the provision of 
its Code uhich prohibited sales "bolow members' individuauL cost* Por the 
reasons indicated above, however, it is impossible to form 8. conclusive 
opinion vdth the information at "oresent available. 

Iliere seems to be no evidence that either the Co.nned Salmon Code 
Authoritjr or the Executive Committee of the Hew England Sardine Industrjr 
overstepped the proper boundeCries of its authority in its administrative 
activities. 

The only other kno\?n allegation of highhanded action on the paxt of 
a fisher;'- code body came to light through correspondence with the Division 
df Stondards and Purchase of the Execiitive Department of the State of 
New York (*). It was intiraa^ted that bids on eggs for the state hatcher- 
ies had afforded indications of collusion on the part of members of the 
Trout Farming Industry. The complainants were given the opportunity to 
submit further evidence; but as far as known they did not do so. 

THE CODE BODIES AITO THE COLLECTION OF STATISTICS 

In closing this survey of the administration of the fishery codes 
a word should be said with regard to the collection of statistics. The 
development of this work, while perhaps not a primarj/ or immediately 
pressing duty of the code bodies, was a potentially important one. The 
Bureau of Fisheries, which has been the only Government agency to pub- 
lish systematic statistics with regard to the Industry, has scarcely 
touched any phase of the subject except production and the volume of 
eraplojrment; and it has been so badly behind in the work as greatly to 
reduce the value of its data in connection with the codes. 

Unfortunatelj'-, however, the National Code Authority and most of 
the Executive Committees failed to make even a beginning in this task. 
They were badly handicapped, of course, by the absence of previous or- 
ganization for the purpose within the Industry, by the great number and 
'small size of the enterprises concerned, and by lack of staff and funds 
for anything beyond the barest essentials. 

The Executive Committee of the California Sardine Processing Indus- 
try did make ,a good beginning in collecting and submitting monthly data 
on production and inventory. The Fresh Oyster Industry cooperated ef- 
fectively in a survey of pre-code labor conditions. For the most part, 
however, it would have been necessary, if the codes had continued in 
force, for the Administration to take the initiative in developing a 
program of statistical work, and to give the code bodies substantial 
cooperation in so doing. Even so, no rapid progress coiild have been 
expected. 

As things stand, there is an. almost total lack of precise figures 
on the condition of these industries duxing the existence of the codes 

and since their suspension. . -. 

J^ The correspondence in this matter v/as handled by meri)irect£>r of \he>- 
Research and planning Division. Copies are in the file of the Fishery 
. Un^t,i Trou t . Farming:. F-XPlanfitions . Fo lder. _ , . , — ^ 

9581 



-85- 

CHAPTER X 

CODE PROVISIONS EELATING TO HOURS OF LIBOR 

The previous discussion of working hours in the Fishery Industry hs^s 
explained v/hy the writing of the code provisions on the subject should 
have involved a great deal of controversy, and why they shotild have fail- 
ed to yield very satisfactory results. 

WO R5STRICTIC1\" OF HOURS IN THE FISHERIES PP.OESR 

In the case of the Fishing Industry proper there was a disposition 
to agree fron the "beginning that the restriction of working hours was im- 
practicaole. It was also felt that, as there had heen no large contre^c- 
tion in the volume of employment since 1929, the Industry was not vmder 
imperative ohligation to participa.te in that part of the program. 

RESTRICTIOlv! OF HOURS IN THE P:IEPjffilATG AIxTD Y/K0LESALI1\TG 'IRASES 

In the case of most of the prepa.ring and wholesaling trades the fact 
that really long hours ha.d been sporadic only led to a. feeling that little 
spread cf employment would he brought about by any practicable degree of 
restriction. It was obvious that the additional employment created vrould 
in most instances be for short and irregular periods, and often only for 
a few houjTs at a time. The volume of employTient of most of these trades, 
moreover, is not large; and the maximum addition that could have been made 
by shortening hours would have constituted a relatively trifling contribu- 
tion to the solution of the main problem. The adjnini strati ve and account- 
ing comolicrtions involved in a really thoroughgoing restriction of hotors 
were such as to appear out of the question. 

In the case of the piece workers in the Fresh Oyster and Blue Crab 
Industries the hours of labor tended already to be so short, as a result 
of a red^iced volume of business, as to maJce any further restriction for 
the purpose of spreading employment seem impracticable. Such a reduction 
would either have cut doiivn earnings which were already below a decent 
standard, or would have placed on the shoulders of many small members of 
the industries concerned an additional financial burden which they proba- 
bly could not have borne. 

The maximum hours finally agreed on for the preparing and wholesaling- 
trades are shown in Table XXVIII, omitting exce;otions in favor of special 
groups. In most cases the basic maximum week varied little from 45 hours. 

Because of the lack of detailed figures and the irregularity of the 
hours worked before the institution of the N. R. A,, it was hard to es~ 
timate the effect of these restrictions. In the Fresh Oyster and the 
Blue Crab Industries it was obvious that there would be little or no 
spread of emiDloyment, In the preparing and wholesaling trades in the 
South pre~code working hours had been so long that, if the proposed 
supplementary codes had been a.pproved, the additional employment -.rould 
have been relatively considerable. In the other trades of this group 
the best practicable estimates indicated that the spread would be rather 
small and very spotty, and scarcely such as to justify the controversy'' and 
delay to which the attempts to reach agreements on the subject had led, 

9581 



TABLE XXVm 



MAXIMUM HOURS OF THE FISHERY CODES. WITH THE ESTIB/IATED 
RESULTING SPREAD OF EMn,OIMENT 






Maximum Hours of Labor 

Plant Employees Offiod Employees 
(Hours per Week) (Hours per Week) 



Es-ttimated Spread of 
EmjJloymsnfc 

Number of Workers (Pe/r Cent) 
(Plant and Office) 



Fishery Industry (Hational Code) 

Preparing and Wholesaling Trades; 

General; 

New England 

Middle Atlantic 

Midwest 

Southeast 

Gulf South 

Northwest and Alaska 

Southwest 

Specialized: 

Oyster 
Blue Crab 
Lobster 
Sponge 

Primary Processing Industries! 

Canned Salmon 

New England Sardine 

Male 

Female 
California Sardine 



90 */ 



48 

45 / 
90 1/, 
40 o/ 
48 21 
48 , 
48 1/ 



48 i/ 
48 , 

60 £/ 
40 



60 

** / 

90 2/ 



40 



40 
40 

40 , 
40°/ 
40 2/ 
44 - 
40 V 



40-44 •/ 
44 
44 
40 



40 



40 



500 

1300-1400 

1800 

400-500 

i/ 



b/ 

40 
80 



1^ 



b/ 



19-25 
30-55 

30 
12-13 



To 

10 
20 






Secondary Processing Industries; 

Oyster Shell Crushing 
Processed or Refined Fish Oil 

Fish Propagating Industries: 

Trout Farming 



40 
36 



90 2/ 



a/ 



40 
40 



40 



165 
150 



10 



33 
20-25 



10 



Source; 

s/ 

c/ 
2/ 



IpJA, Division of Research and Planning ^ reports on the fishery oodei. 

90 hours in any two consecutive veeks. 

Spread of employment negligible. 

Proposed hours; supplementary code not approved. 

48 in towns of over 2,500; 90 in any two consecutive weeks in towns of 2,500 and loss. 

40 hourw from April to September; 44 from October to March. 

48 hours without overtime pay; 60 hours with overtime payj 90 hours maximxim in any two 
consecutive weeks. 



£/ 



There were no effective maximum hours for plant workers in the Canned Salmon Industry, 



-87- 

Specific estimates of the spread of employment v/hich vrere thought 
likely to result from the ms-ximum hours vrritten into the codes for the 
preiDaring and wholesaling trades are also shovm in Tahle XXVIII. 

BESTRICTIOlxf OF HOURS IN THE CAI^IWING INDUSTRIES 

In most of the canning industries the situation was similar to tha-t 
just discu.ssed. Since, at the time the Supplementary Code for the Cali- 
fornia Sardine Industry ivas written, the opening of the next active season 
was three months in the future,, it. .was, perhaps unwisely, thought "best to 
leave the negotiations witli regard to, maximum houl's to "be continued after 
the Code had "been approved.. There follo.wed a prolonged controversy which 
never reached a conclusion. Ultimately, after some weeks of the 1934- 
1935 season had already expired, the Administrator, with the tacit con- 
sent of. the industry, restores the maximum hours originally applicable 
under the National Code, The result was only fairly' satisfactory hut 
prohahly as good as anything that could have heen put through. 

The New England Sardine .Indtis try a.greed to a schedule of maximum 
hotirs which was somewhat more satisfactory from" the N.H.A. standpoint 
than that of the Canning Code, to which it had heen subject during most 
of 19S4. It would not appear that anything more could ha-ve heen ac- 
complished, 

THE CANl^P SALIiON COnS AND HOURS OE LABO'R 

In the case of the Canned, Salmon Code it was realized, as already 
pointed out, that it woul.d do more harm than good to attempt, to restrict 
the hours of labor for the jjurrjose of spreading employment, though this 
hardly justified the coaplicated and not wholly straightforward provi- 
sions on the subject which were s.ctually included in the Code. 

There v.as inserted a. clause (Article IV, Section 3) for the pa3'-fflent 
of overtine for hours worked in excess of 10 laer day in canneries outside 
of Alaska, As it stood, this provision involved discrim.ination against 
those working in the latter Territory, The reason for this has never 
been made i.Tholly clear. It does not appear, however, that the companies 
operr.ting canneries in Alaska were unwilling to pay overtime; and in fact 
a clause providing for it was later inserted in the standard employment 
agreement dra.r.'n up in accordance with Article YI, Section 8, paragraph 
(k) of the Code, 

It is fairly certain that, if the Code had continued in operation, 
this matter would have been adjusted. If that had been done, and if the 
basic provisions with respect to working hours had been simplified and 
more frankly stated, there wouD-d not have been serious ground, in view 
of the peculiar conditions of the Industry, for criticising that part of 
the Code, 

THE AGGHEGAOIB SEREAD OE EMFLO'fl\CENT IN THE EISHERY INDUSTRY 

There are practically no detailed figures to show the actual effect 
of the restriction of working hoiirs in spreading emplojnnent in the Eisher3r 
Industry. Up to the time the codes were suspended none of the bodies a.d- 
ministering them had had the funds or facilities for making surveys on 
the subject. The employment data collected by the Bureau of Fisheries 
9581 



were not suf I'iciently ui^ to date to 1)6 of value for the purpose. Ho\;- 
ever, t.lie situation is sufficiently clfear to permit of a general state- 
ment. 

Of the 188,500 persons, approxima.tely , who were engaged in the 
Fishery Industry in the middle of 1933, 118,000 were in the primary pro- 
ducing industry, and ^-ere consequently excepted from restrictions on 
their working hours. The same was true of ahout 10,000 shore workers in 
salmon canneries in Alaska. In the case of ahout 68 per cent of the 
personnel of the Industry, therefore, there was, from mere force of 
circiuistances, no attempt to spread employment. In the case of the other 
32 per cent - that is, ahout 60,500 vrorkers - the aggregate spread can 
hardly have exceeded 5,000, or a little over eight per cent. This was 
certp.inly not, from the standpoint of one of the fundamental ohjects of 
the P.ecover;/- Act, a verjr satisfaxtory result. In the main, however, it 
must he rego-rded as an inevitable consequen.ce of the special conditions 
of this particular Industry, 

C0J.gLIAlTCE 171 TH THE MAXIMUM HOUR PROVISIONS ■ • 

The compliance problems that arose from the maximuin hour provisions 
of the apjiroved fishery codes were not serious. The restrictions were 
mostly not drastic and vrere likely to create hardship only in the case 
of occasional days or weeks. As the extent to which these Torovisions 
were observed in practice there is at present no detailed or conclusive 
informe.tion. There is no positive evidence of widespread or syste-natic 
noncompliance. Since, however,' the raaxirauin hour provisions were regard- 
ed. by the Industry as somewhat academic and superfluous, it may be that, 
especially during the latter part of the existence of the codes, they 
were not observed rigidly. 



9581 



-89- 

CHAPTSR XI 
MIUIIJOT;! T7AGE PHOVISIOES 



TaTsle XXIX shows in a simplified form the minimum -wage rates 
written into the approved fishery codes. Exceptions affecting special 
groups have "been omitted. 

SHA.ee FISHErd.IEH AMD THE MIHIIIUT.I WAG-E FROGEAI/I 

The National S'ishery Code estatlishcd the precedent of excepting 
fishermen working on shares from the benefit of a minimum wage rate. 
The contention of the pro-oonents was that a guarantee of a minimum 
share compensation would he luifair to owners of fishing craft unless 
acconrpejaied h;?" a mariratun limita.tion; a,nd that the latter "ould he op- 
posed hy the fishermen. 

This argument undoubtedly had merit; and the situation, admittedly, 
was not one to which it wa.s iDracticahle to apply the standard minimum 
wage policj'- of the Administration offhand - especially in view of the 
nearly complete lack of information with regard to actual earnings of 
fishermen in the past and at the time. It was nevertheless a defect 
of the Code that it did not establish the principle that this large 
group of iTorkers was entitled to some equivalent guarantee. 

The Code did stipulate (Article VIII, Title B, Section 1, para- 
graph (d) and Title C, Section 1, paragraph (a) that. the National Code 
Authority and the Executive Committees jointly should make a study of 
the share s3''stom and the earnings of share fishen-nen. The procedure 
provided for, however, wa.s cumbersome; and it soon became apnarent that 
the pi-ospect of b. com-prehensive a,nd disjoassionate report within any 
measurable time was negligible. 

It was then that it "a.s decided to undertake, in the Research and 
Planning Division of the II.R.A, itself, the study of fishermen's earn- 
ings to which frequent reference has been made, a,nd which, indeed, has 
supplied practically the sole information availalDle on the subject for 
the purposes of this report. As the facilities for the work were limit- 
ed, however, the survey was still not ouite completed at the time the 
codes were suspended; and there had been no op'oortunity to raise the 
question of amending the National Code to provide some guarantee of 
minimum earnings for share fishermen. 

How much could have been accomplished if the codes had been con- 
tinued in force is uncertain. The UT)turn in the value of the fishery 
catch which developed in 1934 would undoubtedly, for the tim.e being at 
a.ny ra.te, ha-ve diminished the interest taken in the matter by the fish- 
ermen themselves. 

3S AlO THE mC-E EISHSSl,iE]:T 



The ninimun wage rates of the National Code did apply at the out- 
set to the 25 per cent of all fishermen, approximately, who work on a 



9581 



TABLE XXK 



MINBIUM WAGE RATES OF THE FISHERY CODES, WITH THE 
ESTIMATED RESULTING INCREASE IN, WAGE VOLUME 



Code Minimunj Rate 
Plant Employees 



(Cents per 
Hour) 



(Dollars per 

Vjeek) 



Fishery Industry (National Code) 

29-36 



13.00-16.00 



Preparing and Wholesaling 






Trades : 








General: 








New England 




424 


^mm 


Middle Atlantic 


— 


24.00 


Midwest 




224 L/ 


20.00 


Southeast 




15.00 i/ 


Gulf South 




~ 


Northivest and 


Alaska 


40 


20.00l±/ 


Southwest 




~ 


Specialized: 








Oyster 




25 £./ 


^^ 


Shuckers 




__ 


Other Plant 


Employees 


— 


16.00 


Blue Crab 




18 


„ 


Lobster 




~ 


20.00 


Spon,'^e 




— 


18.00 



Office 
Employees 

(Dollars per 
Week) 



16.00 



16.00 
18.00 
18.00 
15.00 V 
15.00 £/ 
18.00 
16.00 V 



16.00 



16.00 
17.50 
16.00 



Estimated Increase in 
V/age Volume 

Plant and Office 
Employees 

(Dollars) (Per Cent) 



-v 
-v 

-7 

a/ 
a/ 



a/ 


24 


500,000 


124 


625,000 


24 


375,000 


30-35 


a/ 




520,000 


12-13 


150,000 


144 



30 
d/ 

To 

15-20 

40 



k 



Primary Processing 
Industries : 

Canned Salmon 

Alaska 

United St-itissV 
California Sardine 
New England Sardine 

Secondary Processing 
Industries : 

Oyster Shell Crushing 
Processed or defined 
Fish Oil 



35 1/ - ' 

374 £/ y 


75.00 l/l/i/ 
75.00 1/1/ l/ 


75.00 £/£/ 
75.00 2/ £/ 


1 


— 


16.00 


16.00 


a/ 


25 


~ 


15.00 


a/ 



30 
45 



16.00 
16.00 



y 

V 



26 



20 
25 



Source; IJRA, Division of Research and Planning^ reports on the fishery codes, 
a/ Data insufficient for an estimate. 

Proposed rates; supplementary codes not approved. 

Rate for the North; rate for the South 20 cents per hour. 

No increase. 

Dollars per month. 

Rate 'here board and quarters were not furnished. 

Rate for cannery (indoor) v/orkers. For outdoor employees^ the corresponding rate v^^as $95 per month. 

Rate for male employees. The corresponding rate for females was 32g cents. 



L/ 
£./ 
1/ 
2/ 
£/ 



-91- 

wage or piece rate "basis, A su'bsta.ntial rnpgorit:/ of these are in the 
oyster and menhaden fisheries and on the G-rea.t Lakes. The Fresh Oyster 
and the proposed Great Lakes Fishing Codes merely continued the minimum ^ 
rates of the National Code, 

WAGES m THE OYSTER FISHERY 

The wage fishermen of the Fresh Oyster Industry are mainly emploj'-ed 
hy the oyster-cultivating companies of the North Atlantic area. . In 
1933 they earned on an average atout $725 for the year. Few of them 
were receiving less tha,n the minimum rates of the National Code, In 
the South, however, a limited numher of employee oyster fishermen nrolDahly 
henefited from the latter, 

WAGES PIT TIIE GREAT LAKES 

The t^st available information indicates thr.t in 1933 nearly two- 
thirds of the fishermen on the Great Lakes were coiroensated on a wage 
"basis. There are no detailed figures as to how many. were receiving 
less tha.n the minimum rate estahlished "by the National Code, The imr- 
pression is tha.t a considera.'ble percentsge were heing paid helow this 
rate, "but in most cases not very much less, 

WAGES IN THE ICENHADSII FISHERY 

The ordinary fishermen employed "by the Menhaden Industry of the 
,South Atlantic coast arc almost all colored. Before the N,R,A, in 1933 
these men were receiving an average money wage of not more than $10 a 
week, and the rates were s^dmittedlj not raised to comolywith the re- 
q^iirements of the National Code, This was a.lmost the only fishery in- 
dustry which wa-s never, at any stage, desirous of a code. Its noncom- 
pliance rdth the minimum wa.ge provisions of the National Code, especial- 
ly in the State of "Virginia, was notorious; "but no effective action was 
taken "by the authorities concerned (*), 

These menhaden fishermen are given "board and quarters during the 
short a.ctive season of the fishery, in addition to the money wages a"bove 
mentioned. It is possi"ble that, if the vaolue of the former were ta.ken 
into a.ccoun.t, it could he held that the minimrum wage requirements of the 
Na.tional Code had "been met. 

The Code itself was silent on the -'hole question of the part pay- 
ment of fishsrmen in mediums other than money. In the case of the Men- 
haden Fishery, the issue was never forinplly raised. It did come up, 
however, with reference to certain emnloyee'H of the Salmon Fishery in 
Alaska and of the Ojrgter Fishery in the South (**-^. The Legal Adviser 
then took the position that, unless an axiendment on the su"bject were to 
"be a.dded to the National' Code, 'the money valxie of such "board and quarters 
shoxild "be ta]:en into account in determining the fact of corrpliance oi- 

\*) Correspondence on this suhject is in the Deputy Administrator's 
file! Menhaden Fisher;'-, Comnents, 

(*>*) Corres-iondence on this su'bject is in the Dex)utjr Administrator' s 

file: National Code, Ejcplanations Folder. 
9581 



-92- 

noncomoliaiice rfith the minimuin wage provisions. It is not Relieved that 
this ^7as, the intention of the Administration at the time the Code was 
written; "bxit it did not prove practicahle to take up the question of an 
amendjnent to cover the point. 

MIHItilUlJ WAGES IN THB FHEIPARIIT& MP WHOLBSALIITG TRADES 

The minimum wage rates of the National Code were intended to apply 
temporarily only, to the preparing and wholesaling trades; hut as things 
worked put they were never superseded in the case of the Southeast, the 
Gulf South and the Southwest areas. In the latter instance the propor- 
tion of employees who had heen receiving less than the National Code 
minimum must have "been negligihle. In the southern areas the situation 
is not so clear, hut the nuraher henefited was prohahly appreciahle, 

. "fith in^iortant exceptions in the case of the piace workers in the 
I'resh Oyster and Blue Crah Industries, minimum rates at least up to the 
general code standard, and in most cases higher, were agreed upon. for 
the prepa,ring and wholesaling trades for which supplementary codes were 
written, wi"6h very little controversj'". The greater part of the employ- 
ees concerned were heing tolerahly paad heforo the H,P.,A. , and the pro- 
. portion that henefited even from the relatively high rates adopted was 
small* 

THE WAGES OP OYSTEE SHUCICEHS AND CEAB PICEES 

Eifty-five or 60 per cent of the employees in the Fresh Oyster In- 
dustry are shuckers who are paid on a piece hasis. The same is true of 
crah meat pickers, who account for not much less than 90 per cent . of the 
gross volume of employment in the Blue Crah Industry, 

The Eresh Oyster Code estahlished for shuckers a piece rate of 25 
cents per gallon in the North and 20 cents in the Chesapeake area and the 
South, with a guarantee of 25 or 20 cents per hour on a time hasis. 
Since it is practicahle to shuck, on an average, more than two gallons 
per hour of the cultivated oysters -oroduced in the North Atlantic area, 
the 25 cent rate gave satisfactory results. The numher of workers 
henefited hy it, however, was negligihle, and there was practically no 
motive for not complying T^ith it. 

With the type of oyster chiefly ohtained in the Chesapeake area an 
a,verage shucker can open onlj a little over a gallon an hoiir. At the 
Code rate, therefore, these workers were very nearly limited to earnings 
of 20 cents an hour, -Even so, the 20 cent rate was not generally lived 
up to in Chesajjeake area. 

In the case of the Blue Crah Industry, seven-eighths of which is 
concentrated in the Chesapeake area, a relatively satisfactory piece 
rate of six cents per poimd, with a time rate minimum of 18 cents per 
hour, was agreed upon. These rates were generally lived up to hy memhers 
of the Industrsr in Maryland, hut not hy those in Virginia. 

The recalcitrant attitude of the Virginia crah packers was closely 
connected with the controversy regarding the conservation r)rovisions of 



9581 



-93- 

the Blue CralD Code. Such data as could "be obtained tended to indicate 
that the smaller packers in the Chesapeake area, toth of oysters and of 
crabs, uere ill-situated financially to pay the rates provided for shuck- 
ers and pickers in the codes. At the same time, however, the earnings of* 
most of these workers were scandalously low. The situation was ex- 
traordinarily difficult; and up to the time of the suspension of the 
codes no solution had heen found for it. 

MIMLIUM WAGES lU THE CALIFOIffllA SAIU3IHB IMDUSTEY 

The minimum wage 'schedule originally proposed for the California 
Sardine Processing Industry would have raised the rate of 30 cents fji hour, 
which \7as "being received ty atout five-sixths of the workers, to 35 cents, 
or 16 2/3 per cent. Ultimately, as a result of the ahove-mentioned con- 
troversy with regard to the restriction of hours, the minimum wage rate of 
the National Code was reapplied to this Industry, and the increase was re- 
duced to 10 per cent. 

MIEIIiUi,! I7AGES lit THS CAIJKED SAIIilOl^ IlIDUSTRY 

In the case of the Canned Salmon Industrj?- the situation with respect 
to minimum compensation was complex. Before the institution of the N.R.A. 
ahout 40 per cent of the shore workers had "been so-called "Orientals" 
(chiefly Filipinos), who were employed and paid ty Chinese and Japanese 
lator contractors, and not directly by the canning companies. The latter 
paid the contractors for the canning of so many cases of salmon, and in 
-Some instances did not even know what vrages the Oriental workers in their 
establishments received. 

Section 9 of Article V of the Canned Salmon Code abolished the con- 
tract lahor system. A report made ''oy the deputy Administrator for Alaska 
und.er date of April 16, 1935 (*), indicates that the abolition was effecr- 
tive. It had already been suggested, in the economic report on the Cede, 
submitted before the latter was approved, that the Industry would find 
the change financially beneficial, because the contractors seemed in 
practice to have been making excessive profits. This was confirmed by 
the report just mentioned; and the fact gives a pretty reliable basis for 
thinlcing that the Industry will not return to the contract labo'^ system, 
now that the Code no longer exists. 

Because the wages actually received by the Oriental workers before 
the H.E.A. had been dependent on the Oriental contractors and had conse- 
quently been lo?/, the minimum rate for indoor workers written into the 
Canned Salmon Code represented an increase in earnings of about one-third 
for practically the whole of the class. 

THE MHJlILMr WAG-ES OF ElVlPLOYEE SALIvIQH FISHEBIvtBIT 

The Canned Salmon Code provided (Article VI, Section 8, paragraph 
(1) ) that within six weeks of the effective date the Industry should 
malie recommendations for the minimum compensation of employee fishermen. 

(*) This report is in the Deputy Administrator's file: Canned Salmon, 
Comments. 

9581 



. -94- 

Tlie term "employee fishermen" was not defined in the Code; "but an under- 
standing was later reached that it should mea,n fishermen who worked with 
craft or gear ovmed or leased "by a canning company. Such fishermen 
sp'peax to constitute ahout three-fourths of the total number engaged in 
supplying salmon canneries in Alaska. In the United States proper the 
class is not important. 

The piece rates at which these fishermen are paid vary with the 
location of the canneries and the species of salmon; and the task of work- 
ing out a minimum schedule proved e::ceedingly complex. For the sea,son of 
1934 it was necessary to. put temporary rates into effect. 

In advance of the 1935 season strenuous efforts were made to work 
out a more satisfactory arrangement; hut up to the' time the codes were 
suspended the prohlem had not "been satisfactorily solved. TThether a 
solution could have "been found is doubtful. The evidence tends to indi- 
cate that these fishermen had, as a class, heen pretty well paid. Excep- 
tions seem to have "been infrequent and to have been due mainly to natural 
deficiencies in the supply of salmon, which were financially injurious to 
the canning companies as well as to the fishermen. There is a question 
whether the loss of earnings resulting from such conditions would not 
"better "be tal^en care of "by means of an insurance fund than "by a minimum 
wage rate of the ordinary sort. 

WAGES IIT THE IISW EUG-LAIID 5AHDIHS IxiDUSTRY 

So little information is at present availa'ble with regard to pre- 
cede wages in the New England Sardine Canning Industry as to make it 
iii'ipractica'ble to express a conclusive opinion on the minimum rates written 
into the supplementary Code. The impression is that while these rates 
were not high, they were not unreasona'ble for a canning industry, the 
esta'blishnents in which are located mainly in small communities, and in a 
section of the country where the cost of living is moderate. 

GOLIFLIAITCE WITH THE MIITIIJUIvI WAGE PROVISIOIilS 

Eor the rea,aons alread",'' eiqplained the "bodies administering the 
fishery codes were not in a position to do much to insure compliance with 
the la"bor provisions. The widespread noncompliance in the case of the 
piece workers in the Eresh Oyster and Blue Cra"b. Industries in the Chesa- 
pealce area has alreadjr "been commented on. 

With respect to compliance with the la'bor provisions of the other 
fisher-'- codes there is little exact information. The impression is, how- 
ever, that the situation was fairly satisfactory. In most of these 
industries, indeed, the temptation to nonconTpliance was not great. They 
had "been used to tolera'ble standards of wages, and their more prominent 
mem"bers were in sympathy with the minimum wage policy of the Administra- 
tion. There was not mucli occasion for attempts at drastic changes in 
wages, save in the case of the Oriental workers in the Canned Salmon In- 
dustry; gjid there the financial advantage .to the comrrjanies of the 
a"bolition of the contract la'bor S3''sten seems to have more than offset the 
cost of the substantial increase in earnings. 

9581 



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EFFECT OP THE MIHIIuTJI/I WAG-S FHOV .I SIOl' TS 

The information at present availaole permits only a fevj general 
comments on the effect of the miniraiiin T,/age provisions of the fisherj'- 
codes, individ-ually or in the aggrege.te, on the, total compensation of 
enployees. The increases which it was estimated that certain of these 
codes would "bring ahout ai-e shown in Tp.hle XSIX. The3'- were very rough 
computations; hut there seems to "be no res,son for supposing they were 
not approximately realized. 

The only information now at hand with regard to the wages paid in 
the Fishery Industry'" since the codes were suspended has "been obtained 
orally from members of the former administrative "bodies. Leaving aside 
the special situations in the Eresh Oyster, the Blue Crab ajid the 
Menhaden Industries, these informants are unanimous in holding that the 
miniLiun wage standards of the codes have been maintained without ntrnier- 
otLS or important exceptions. ' Ox course, the upward turn in the prices 
of fishery products since 1933 has facilitated such action. In the 
case of the Canned Salmon Indu.stry, moreover, the eirrplcyment contracts 
for the 1935 season had already been made before the codes v/ere, suspend- 
ed. 



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CHAPTER XII ' 

THADE PRiiCTIOE PROVISIOIIS 

GENERAL OHAHA-CTERISTICS 

In considering the trade practice provisions that were written into 
the fishery codes it is desirahle to "bear three points in mind: 

(1) The primary interest of most 'branches of the Industry centered 
on provisions for the maintenance or control, direct or indirect, of the 
prices of fishery products. The reasons for this have already heen point- 
ed out. ■ 

(2) Host of the fishery codes were -out in forn for hearing after the 
early t;/pical codes for manufacturing industries had "been approved, hut 
while the prestige of the latter was still high. There was consequently 

a tendency to copy provisions from existing codes, sometimes without much 
reference to their suitability to the special conditions of the Pishery 
Industry. 

(3) There wo.s room for including in these codes some provisions de- 
signed to deal with specialized prohlens of the Industry, hut for which 
there had heen no need in other codes. This was done to a limited extent; 
hut on the whole little thought was given, in writing these codes, to the 
long-time needs of the fisheries themselves. 

This is to be ercplained, of course, by the proponents' absorption in 
their immediate difficulties and by the emphasis put by almost everyone at 
the tim-e on the temporary and emergency aspects of the code program. If 
another industrial organization analogous to the K.R.A. were to be estab- 
lished and applied to the Pishery Industry, it would be highly desirable 
to put greater stress on its special and long-time needs. 

CLASS IPI GAT lOU OP PROYISIOIJS APP::::CTINC- PRICES 

In the following discussion of the trade xaractice provisions of the 
fisher?/ codes those relating directly or indirectly to the maintenance or 
control of prices will be treated first. They may conveniently be dis- 
cussed under the following headings: 

(a) Control of production 

(b) Destructive price cutting 

(c) Open prices 

(d) Sales below individual cost 

(e) Sales below minirauia prices in emergencies 

(f) Consignment sales 

(g) Credit terns 

(h) Bases of price quotations and settlements 
(i) Allowances on customers' claims 
(j) Diversion of brokerage 

The Atlantic Mackerel Code was the only one containing a provision 
for the control of production. The operation of this provision attracted 
an amount of attention which was probably out of proportion to its real 
importance. The fact that it did receive so much publicity, however, has 



9581 



■ made it seera desirr.'blo to disn.iss tlie mnttor sor; oTrlir.t fiilly in this re- 
port. The provision is theiefure treated separately in Chapter XIV. 

PH0HI3I'TI0I\r OF DSSiaUOTIi/E P:.?TG? CUT'j ?T::IG 

The IJational Pighc-";'' Code made it an -nfair trade practice to en- 
gage in destructive price cub:ing. In its original form this provision 
TiTOuld have given the lii'atlonal Code Authority almost i-nlimited potrers of 
•enforcement. -As finally approvedj hovrever, the pronihition (Article VI, 
Section, 1, paragraph (c)) vjs.s accomvDajaied h;" a clause (Article VIII, Title 
D, Section 4) inposin.'r on the Divisional Executive Committees the duty, 
on receipt of information from relialjle soiu-ces regarding alleged cases 
of destructive price cutting; to hold hearings aid to report the results 
to the Adrainistrator, \7ho might take, such action as he sa\7 fit. 

So far as laio\Tn there was only one formal hearing of the kind. This 
Yias held hy the Eiiiecutive Committee for the ITortjiern area of the Middle 
Atlantic Preparing and \7holesaling Indu^jtr:'. as a result of a complaint 
from the Suhcommittee for the lotel S\to":ply Section (*;, The Committee re- 
ported that no conclusive e"vidence of delioerate destructive price cutting 
had heen adduced, and there was consequently no occasion for action on the 
part of the Administration . 

The procedure, provided for safeguarded this destructive price cutting 
clause' so thoroughly that it could scarcely, have done an^r harm. The 
method of dealing with complaints, however, was so cijjuhersome tiis,t except 
for its moral effect the provisions could hardl;r have .accomplished any 
useful pur-QOse. 

THE PILim OF OPaSi PaiC-JS 

Provisions for the filing of open prices werewritten into the Can- 
ned Salmon, the Fresh Oyster, the Wholesale Lohster, the California Sar- 
dine, and the Blue Crah Codes (**), in vai-:^''ing forms, "before the promul- 
gation of. Office, iiemorandnm ITo. 228. Several of the codes suhsequently 
approved incorporated the open price provisions of the liemorandum (***), 

Little detailed information is at present availahle with regard to 
the working of th.ese open price provisions. The Chairman of the Canned 

(*) The documents are in the Leputjr Adsninistrator ' s file, i.Iiddle Atleua- 
tic Preparing and Wholesaling Code,, under the name of "Jalter T. Mc- 
G-roory, who was then Chairman of the Sxibcommittee. 

(**) Canned Salmon Code, article VII, Pule 1; Fi-esh Oyster Oo.de, Article 
VI, Title A,' Section .1, (l); Wholesale Looster Code, Article VI, 
. Section 1, (g) ;. Calif ornia ■ Sardine Code, Article VI, Section 1, (j); 
' Blue Crah Code, Article VI, Section 1,. (l). 

(***) Trout Farm.ing, Code Article VI, Section 1, (j); iTew England Prepar- 
ing and Wholesaling Code Article VI, Section 1,. (d); l\Few England 
Sardine Canning Code, Article VI, Section 1, (f); Midwest Preparing 
and Wholesaling Code Article VI, Title A, Section 1, (h) ; Middle At- 
lantic Preppxing and "Wholesaling Code, Article VI, Title A, Section 
l,(a); processed or Hefined Fish Oil Code, Article VI, Section l,(q). 



Saljaou Code Authority, in a letter to the Deputy Administrator under date 
of ITfe'bruary 5, 1935, (*) stated tliat the open price provisions of that 
Code had operated for the henefit of the Indiistry, and advised their main- 
tenance. It was suhsequently asserted from private sources that these 
provisions had "been extensively circumvented "by suhterfuge; hut the ac- 
curacy of the statement cannot he vouched for. 

The .Executive Committee of the .?resh Oyster Industry, under date of 
July 26, 1934, applied for a stay of the price filing provisions of its 
Code "in the Hdrth Atlantic, Chesapeake and Southern areas. The Pacific 
coast merahers desired the provisions to he maintained. The stay was grant- 
ed, in the form requested, on September 29 (**). 

The diverse recommendations in these tvro ca,ses suggest that the de- 
vice of open price filing may have heen relatively -^Torkahle in the canning 
industries, hut less so in the preparing and T/holesaling trades. The chief 
difficult^'-, in the case of the latter, arose from the variety and perish- 
ahility of their -oroducts, and the consequent necessity of filing numerous 
prices and of changing them frequently. 

' Ho\7 far these ohstacles could Imve heen overcome hy better adminis- 
tration is not entirely clear. All the Executive Committees concerned 
"brought the requirements that "oriceshe filed to the attention of their 
memhers, and there 'seems to have heen fairly general initial compliance. 
The requirements that subsequent changes he filed, however, were never 
well observed. The Committees, for reasons already exolained, did not 
follow the matter up effectively. On the whole it seems unlikely that 
open price filing could have been made to work satisfactorily in most of 
the preparing and wholesaling trades. 

FHOHIBITIOK OF SALES BELOW IiaiVISmL COST . 

The Canned Saltoon Code contained. no provision with regard to sales 
below nerahers' individual costs. Prohibitions of such sales, however, were 
written into all the earlier supplements" to the ilational Code, including 
those for the- Ere sh Oyster, the 'Tnolesale Lobster, the California Sardine, 
the Atlantic Mackerel, and the Blue Crab Industries (***). These codes, 
moreover, imposed on each of the Ejcecutive Committees concerned the duty 
of formulating "an accounting system and methods of cost finding and/or 
estimating capable of us by all members of the. ............. industrj?"", 

(*) Deputy Administrator 's file: Canned Salmon Code, Coiimients Eolder. 

(**) Administrative Order 308-A-9. 

(=***) Eresh Oyster Code, Article YI, Title A, Section "l, (k) ;, TFliolesale 
.■ Lobster: Code, Article YI, Section 1,, (h); California Sardine Code, 
Article VI, Title A, Section 1, (l); Atlantic Mackerel Eishing Code; 
Article VI, Section 1, (b); Blue Crab Code, Article VI, Section 1, 



9581 



The use of all these ooct fi'iding nystcins, ^hen aroroved, Tras to he 
mandatory on the memhers of th.j inluGtries coacerned; in the sense that 
the codes inade it an -onfair trj.de practice to sell helo'T indiA'-idiial cost 
as determined "p-'arsuaivb to the "orincJT.lec" of the systeiis. It had he- ^ 
come evident .at an early stage that tno r. ass of fishery enterprises were 
pec-uliarly ill-fitted to ha-"-e rigid or co.'ivyi.ic.ated methods of cost find- 
ing imposed on thenio The lanr^jage just qu'Jted represented an effort, in 
response to this sj.tuation, to impart a:i element of fZ.exihility to the 
administration of the code provisions prohihiting sales helow individual 
cost. 

Proposed cost finding ST/stems were suhmitted hy the Executive Com- 
mittees fcr the ITresh Oyster,, the 7;holesale Lohster, the California Sar- 
dine and the Atlantic Mackerel rndV'stries,. Of these the system of the 
California Sardine Industry alone was approved for temporary use. The 
others were still awaiting action ty the Adi'unistration at the time the 
codes were suspended„ 

EFFECT 0? T'f lB SAL'^^S B ?.LC^ COS T P3.Q\'ir: 7- GITS 

Uo detailed information is ava:l2o"ble i,7ith respect. to the use made hy 
the Eicecutive' Committee of the California Sardine Industry of its cost find- 
ing system. The Committee steadily maintained that the system, and the 
prohihition of sales helow individual cost in connection with which it was 
used, had proved highly henoficial. When, 'at' the hoginning of 1935, the 
California Mackerel Caiining Industry, which has substantially the same 
memhership as the Sardine Industry, applied for a supplementary fishery 
code, it Stated that i't .would he unwilling to assent to any instrument that 
did not ■ include a sales'-helow cost provision. No corrohoration of these 
statements was suhmitted; "but in'ctny'case it would prohahly he impossihle 
to distinguish the effect of the' code provision, if it had any, from the 
-iinprovement 'in the prices of the Industry's products due to other causes. 

Since no cost finding system ?/as approved for aJiy of the other indus- 
tries- whose supplementary codes contained prohibitions of sales helow in- 
dividual costs, no yardsticks were' available for determining whether the 
provisions had been violated' or not. As far as kn.own, the Executive Com- 
mittees concerned took no active steps to enforce them; and it is uiilikely 
that there was any serious effort at compliance.' 

MiHiivraivi COSTS Aim peices m mvisr&eijgies ■ ■ ■ 

The Atlantic llackerel Code, besides a prohibition of sales helow in- 
dividual cost, contained, in the older form suggested for use in codes prior 
to the promulgation of Office Memorandum Uo. 228, a provision (Article VIII, 
Title C, Section 1, paragraph (h)) which permitted the Executive Comm.ittee 
to determine, suh.ject to the approval of the Administrator, the existence 
of an emergency due to destructive price cutting, and to fix a lowest rea- 
sonable cost helow which the Industry's product might not he sold. The. at- 
tempt which was -made to apply this provision will he .discussed in. Chapter 
XIV, in connection with the control of the mackerel catch under the same 
Code.' , . • 

After the promulgation of Off ice .Memorandum Ho. 228 all the supple- 
mentary fishery codes 'incorporated its provisions with reforence to 

9581 



-100- 
destriictive' -irice cutting: and an emergency "basis foi- ;orices. 

T'.:.e . atte::nt to olstain avjproval of a, lo'^est reasonaDle cost for the 
I'.iacl:erel Sisliery involved an interpretation of the term "emergency" that 
d,iffered -::ld.elj from the ujiderstandin^: of the Administration, Whether 
the csxie ■"■.-Gtild have "been the. case in other branches of the Industry it is 
imoo.GSible to say, since no similar application '7as, ma.de under the codes 
that contained the clauses stipulated in Office Memorandum Wo, 228, 

If the code system ha.d been continued in effect, however, it seems 
likely tlmt an. effort, to a"TOly the emergency price provision of the -Hew 
Engls^nd Sr.idine Code would lia.ve been made in the sumner of 193,5. In 
that case the Industry's understanding of the term emergency seemed not 
to differ v;idely from the Administration's intemreta^tion; and it mif;ht 
consequent!]'- b_ave been possible to approve a temporary -Drice floor. The 
matter, however, was never brought to an issue, 

TH3 F.aOEI3IgIOW MW BECrllLATIOI OP CGllSIGmiEHT SALES 

A substantial proportion of the small enterprises that make up a 
grea.t pa,rt of the Fishery Ind-ustrj'- are located at points remote from the 
larger, centers of the wholesaie trade. Since these concerns deal mainly 
in ver3r. T)erishable products,- and since, in the case of the primary pro- 
ducers, they are absent much of the time on fishing trips and out of, 
touch. Y/i,th the marke,t,s in which their products must be disposed of, it 
is liard for- them to sell at, fixed prices knoi,m in advance. It has con- 
sequently been common for fishermen, and also for many concerns in the 
preparing and wholesaling trades - such as live lobster dealers, ojrster, 
crab and shrimp packers, and small fresh fish wholesalers at outlying 
ports - to Tiake their shipments to the main wholesaling centers on con- 
signment, ■■■ ■ • 

As. the prices of fishery products declined from 192S.to 1933, a 
large proportion of such shippers became convinced tlict this mode . of 
making their sales was accentuating the deflation. In a majority of the 
supplement ar]!- fishery codes, consequently, there were included provisions 
which) invarjj-ing form, prohibited or regulated consignment selling, (*) 

EEOULIiiR ggJCTICES IK HAITOLBtg COHS I GCTIvEKTS 

There is no doubt ths^t the procedure followed by the wholesalers in 
several large centers, in accoimting for the sale of' goods shipped to them 
on consignment, has been peculiar, and not in accordance with the strict 
law on. the subject,- 

The vdiolesalers in the. Pulton Market in New York City have univer- 
sally assumed a right to .buy in such shipments for their own account, for 

T*l (Eresh Oyster, Article VI, Section 1, (e); iTholesale Lobster, Arti- 
cle-'tl, Section 1, (e); Blue , Crab, Article VI, Section 1, (b); Trout 
Eejrning, Article VI, Section 1, (a); New England Preparing and TThole- 
saling. Article VI, Section 1, (k); Middle Atlantic Preparing and 
Wholesaling, Article VI, Section 1, (h), (r), and (v); Northwest 
and Alaska Preparing and Wliolesaling, Article VI, Title A, Section 1, 
(j). 

9581 



-1 Jl- 

the pujrpose of mailing iro s-necial o.ssort.ients of species aiid sizes. Wlien 
they have taken over consi-^rjiieiit shipments in this manner, they h^,ve ac- 
counted for them to the shippers a,t the average nrices "bro-ught "by the ^ 
SDecies and sizes concerned on the dr.ys on ^diich the transactions occur- 
red. It is understood tha.t this practice of averaging returns on consign— 
ment shipments has also "been com}non in Pbiladel-ohia. In the Chicago 
market the wholesalers ^appear to have accoiinted to fishermen viho shipped 
them on consignment from the Great Lakes ports at aroitrary prices v;hich 
they regarded as fair, 

Wlien ohjections were raised to these practices, the dealers invaria- 
hly contended that it T7as imp.racticci.'ble to dispose individually of the 
sma.ll mirced lots shipped to them "by many fishermen and 'by small whole«. 
salers oi- "oackers at ou.tlying ports, a;id to account for them in accord- 
ance uith the strict law relabing to consignment sales. 

The question is a complicated one; "bat there is undouhtedly much 
truth in the dealers' content icn„ The desirable course would pro"bal)ly 
he to modify the law of consigniient sales for applica-tion to transactions 
in these perisliahle products. If, however, such pro,ctices as buying- in 
and avera^'inf; on consignment shii^ments of fishery products were to be 
legalized, a„s the Middle Atlantic Preparing and ITholesaling Industry has 
persistently urged, some power of supervision shoiild be lodged with an 
impartiaol av.thority, perhaps the Btireau of Pisheries. Recourse to civil 
suit or to complaint to the Federal Trade Coinraission is of no vaiue to 
the mass of fishermen. Some simplified adrainistrative procedure to check 
abuse of the extended powers of the dealers who act as agents in these 
cases would be called foro 

EFESCT or CONSIGIlviElv'T SILLLIHG 01\T miCS S 

To what extent, however, if at all, these practices in connection with 
consignment shipments resulted in poorer retijxns to the shippers tha,n 
would hs,ve been the case if the latter could have kept themselves iriformed 
of t'lie state of the great wholesale markets, and had then sold at fixed 
jjrices, it is impossible to ssjy from the data now available. The matter 
has been discussed with representatives of the trades concerned; but their 
opinions were found to vary widely, and it is doubtful whether they really 
had data on which to base reliable conclusions. It seems likely, on the 
whole, that neither the practice of selling on consignment itself, nor the 
wholesalers' methods of disposing of such shipments and of accounting for 
them, ma.de much difference in the prices received. Till more data are 
available, however, it is impossible to be certa.in. 

EPE3CT Qg THE PROVISIONS RELATIInIG TO COWSIGM/IENTS 

In the light of the foregoing statements the provisions of the fisli*. 
ery codes which prohibited or restricted sales on consignment were at best 
not easy to enforce. Whether desirable or not, they proposed to change 
practices having a basis in conditions that made difficult both sales at 
fixed prices and consignment sales in strict accordance with the lax? on 
the subject. Since the conditions governing the ac'jninistration of the 
fishery,'' codes were imfavorable to the enforcement of provisions that v.'ere 
new to the menbers concerned, and that affected adversely their interests 

9581 



-102- 

or their convenience, there \7as little ground for expecting much suc- 
cess in ootaining connliance xiith the provisions relating to consignnents. 
The direct evidence now available is slight; tut as far as it goes it 
indicates tliat , in the ahsence of systematic enforcement hy either the 
code bodies or the Administration, little or no attention was paid them. 



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-103- 

CHAPIER XIII 

TRADE •PHACT ICE PHOVISIONS: COlTTrilU ES 

THE H^OHIIilTIOiJ 0? DISQPJMIWATORY PRICES 

The National Fishery Code contained (Article YI , Section 1, para^ 
graph (d) a provision of a t-^pe frequently met with, which made it an 
unfair trade practice "to secretly pay or allow rebates, refunds, crev.its, 
or unearned discounts,, either. in the form of money or otherwise; or to 
secretly e::tend to certain pui-cliasers special services or privileges", 

Forne.l complaint of the violation of this provision was made in at 
least one ca.se, which cane to the attention of the Compliance Office at 
Charleston, South Carolina (*). The accused wholesaler defended himself 
on the ground that he had quoted high prices to the complainant "because 
the la^tter had proved a had credit risk. On the tentative ass-umption that 
this was a fact the Compliance Office, sup"^orted by the Deputy Adminis trac- 
tor, held tliat the above quoted provision had not been violated. So far 
as known the ' complainant did not press the matter, and the facts were not 
further investigated. The position taken by the compliance office and 
the Deputy was apparently reasonable, 

THE REGIILATION OE CREDIT TERMS 

The Eresh Oyster, the f/holesale Lobster, the California Sardine and 
the New England, Middle Atlantic and Noi'thwest Preparing and Wholesaling 
Codes (**), all contained provisions limiting the periods for which credit 
might be given by members of the industries concerned. In all these cases 
the complaint was that during the depression the granting of long credit 
teriTis load lieen carried to extreines by the less stable dealers, \7ith a re- 
sult equivalent to -undercutting prices of the more conservative firms, 

BASES OP PRICE QTJOTATIOl'S AKD SETTL3t£EITTS 

Most of the fishery codes (***) also contained, in slightly varjdng 
forms, jprovisions making it "an unfair trade practice to quote prices or 
make settlerfents on any basis except f .cb, shipping point or cost ajid 

(*) Deputy Administrator's file: National Fishery Code, Complaints, 

(**) Presh Oyster, Art, VI, Title A, Sec. 1, (b); Wholesale Lobster, Art, 
VI, Sec. 1, (b); California Sardine, Art. VI, Title A, Sec. 1, (i); 
New England .Preparing and liilholesaling, Art. VI, ^Sec. 1, (b); Middle 
■ -Atlantic Preparing and Wholesaling, Ai't , VI, Title A, Sec. 1, (n); 
Northwest and Alaslra Preparing and Wiiolesaling, Art. VI, Title A, 
Sec. 1,, (i). ^ • ■ 

(***)presh Oyster, Article VI, 'Title A, Section 1, (a); Wholesale Lobster, 
Article VI, Section 1, (a); Blue Crab, Article VI, Section 1, (a,); 
Trou.t Farming,, Artrcle' VI, . Section 1, (h); New England Sardine Can- 
ning, Article VI, Section. 1, (b); New England Preparing and Whole- 
saling, Article VI, Section 1, (a); Middle Atlantic Preparing and 
Wholesaling, Article VI, Title A, Section 1, (g); Oyster Shell 
Crushers, Article VI, Section 1, (k). 

9581 



-104- 

freight destination. In the case of quotations or settlements on the 
latter oasis it was also required, in some cases, that the cost of pack- 
ages and original ice "be included. The ohject was, of course, to prevent 
concealed price reductions as a resu]-t of the quotation of delivered 
prices that did not include all major items of packing and transportation 
cost, 

ALLOITMCIES OR CLAIMS BY CUSIOIIBES 

The Blue Cra"b, the Trout Farming and the Midwest Preparing and 
Wholesaling Codes (Article VI, Section 1, paragraph (g), in each case) 
contained -oi-ovisions limiting the allowances that might he made "by deal«. 
ers as a result of claims from customers that shipments were not up to 
st)ecified or standard quality. In their original form most of the other 
preparing and wholesaling codes contained similar clauses; and a good 
deal of effort vras expended in attempting to put the latter into a shape 
that v/ould sa-tisf;/ the reasonahle desires of the proponents, without 
exposing tliem to serious ohjection. It is ohvious that, in the case of 
commodities as perishable as fresh fishery products, there is a strong 
temptation for purchasers, when the market has turned against them, to 
make unjustified claims on sellers, and tha,t it is very hard for the 
latter to be sure of the facts. 

Nothing specific is at present Icnown of the effect of these pro- 
visions relating to credit terms, to price bases, or to allowances on 
claims. In the absence, however, of systematic efforts to enforce' the 
fishery codes on the part either of the code bodies or of the adminis- 
tration, it is improbable tliat they r'ere generally complied with, 

THE DIl/SRSIOlI OF HROKEEAGE 

Almost all the wholesaling and processing codes contained provisions 
prohibiting the diversion of brokers' fees or commissions to customers 
(*), The question nas regarded as particularly Important by the canning- 
industries, since the proportion of canned fish and shellfish sold by 
the processors through brokers is very large. The preparing and whole- 
saling trades, however, vrere also interested in the question. 

Little or nothing specific is known of the effect of these provi- 
sions except in the case of the Canned Salmon Code, This Industry 
attached special importance to the diversion of brokerage, because of 
the e::tent to which large buyers of its product, especially chain grocer^'' 
organizations, had made a practice of placing their orders, whether direct 
or through brokers, with producers who agreed to make what were in ef- 
fect price reductions 'by permitting part or all of the customary com- 
mission to be deducted on payment of the invoices, 

(*) Fresh Oyster, Article VI, Title A, Section 1, (f); California Sar- 
dine, Article VI, Title A, Section 1, (h); Blue Crab, Article VI, 
Section l,(c); Hew England Preparing'and Wholesaling, Article VI, 
Section 1, (n); New England Sardine Canning, Article VI, Section 1, 
(e); Middle Atlantic Preparing and Wholesaling, Article VI, Title A, 
Section 1, (j)j Northwest and Alaska Preparing and Wholesaling, 
Article VI, Title As Section 1, (g); Canned Salmon, Article VII, 
Eule 3. 

9581 



-105- 

It seens likely that this situation really reflected a basic change 
in the methods of distrilDuting canned salmon which, while -unfavorable to 
the interests of some brokers and producers, could not be reversed or 
arrested "oy means of the code provisions anproved for the purpose. The 
Canned SaJraon Code Authority for some time made conscientious efforts to 
enforce the prohibition. Diff icul.ties were created, however, by the 
status of the brokers with reference to the Code, by uiicertainties as to 
the proper treatment of the patronage dividends of cooperative purchasing 
organizations of varying degrees of legitimacy, and above all by the in- 
fluence e-erted by the large chain grocery organizations as buyers of the 
Industry's products. 

The Code Authority finalljr reconnended a stay of the provision and 
the application was granted on May 6, 1935 (*). 

Exce;-)t, possibly, in' the case of the California Sardine Industry, 
it is unlikeljr that the other provisions prohibiting the diversion of 
brokerage were generally complied with, 

HIOVISIOITS FOR TH3 BEICEPIT OF HlIIvIARY ERODUCERS 

Since only one supplementary code was approved for a fishery proper, 
comparatively few trade practice provisions were designed for the s,d- 
vantage of the primary producer. A;oart from the provision for the con- 
trol of the Atlantic mackerel catch, hoi^ever, there were a few s-oeoial 
provisions for the benefit of fishermen, which were of course peculiar to 
these codes, 

FAIMBNT FOR PURCHASES FROM FISHEBI-TEM 

At the public hearing on the Fresh Oyster Code testimony was of- 
fered to the effect that, at least in the Mississippi and Louisiana area, 
it had been common, during the depression, for dealers to delay payment 
for oysters purchased from -fishermen, or to fail to make such payment at 
all {**) , As a result a provision was inserted in the Code mentioned, 
which made it an ijnfair trade practice to fail to pay for piirchases from 
fishermen on delivery, or without f-ornishing a written acknowledgment 
containing all information necessary to an understanding of the transac- 
tion, and agreeing to make payment not later than 10 days after delivery. 

The Labor Adviser followed this matter up, and at subsequent hear- 
ings on sirrplementarj'- codes endeavored to obtain evidence as to the con- 
ditions existing with respect to payments to fishermen. It did not ap- 
pear that the abuses described as rife in parts of the Fresh Oyster In- 
dustry were at all general, though it must be remembered that most of the 
testimony came from purchasers and not from fishermen themselves. The 
Labor Adviser, however-, requested the inclusion in all the other whole- 
saling and processing codes of a similar provision; and this was agreed'to 

(*) Adjninistrative Order 429-20. 

(**) Transcript of Public Hearing on the Fresh Oyster Code, page 181-132. 



9581 



-106- 
without nuch controversy. (*) 

Notliing sioecific is Icnoi.^m of the effect of these provisions. The 
adrainistro.tive bodies of the wholesaling and processing industries had 
little or no incentive to lool': for violations. Prices had turned uprard, 
and there he/', prohahly ceased to he much occasion for fishermen to malce 
complaints. At the same time the provisions in question were proper ones, 
which it v.'o.s prohahly desirahle to have in the fishery codes on general 
principles, 

PROVISIOIS RBLATIJ\TG TO ABUSES IN THE ADMIKISTRATIOM OP LAYS 

?LefGr:-nce has already heen made, Chapter VII to the ahuses alleged 
to exist in the adjninistration of fishing lays or share agreements. In 
the Atlantic Ma.ckerel Pishing Code there was included a provision (Arti- 
cle VI, Section 1, paragraph (e) ), which made it sn unfair trade practice 
"to accept, in connection with any lay or other profit-sharing entei'prise, 
any gratuity, payment, allowance, rebate, refund, credit, or unearned 
discount, e::cept as lorovided for in the lay or other profit-sharing enters- 
prise agreement." It was proposed to '-^rite the same lorovision into other 
supplemente,ry codes for the primary loroducing industries. It is not linown 
that these abuses were common in the Atlantic Mackerel Pishing Industry; 
and no specific information is available as to the effect of the provi- 
sion in that case. It is probable that no comrjlaints on the subject were 
made during the life of the Code, 

PEOVISIOUS '5ELATI1\[& TO THE COMPETITION OP It/gORTS 

Previous reference has also been made in Chapter II to the interest 
of the primary producing industry in provisions to restrict the competi- 
tion of imported fishery products from Canada or Japan, under the author- 
ity of Section 3 (e) of Title I of the Recovery Act. 

Tlie National Fishery Code (Article VIII, Title D, Section 5) made it 
a duty of the divisional Executive Committees to "inform the Administra- 
tor of facts concerning the importation into the United States of Prod- '■ 
uct^ :. conpetitive with products of the Industry in substantial quantities 
or in increasing ratio to domestic production, " and to "urge proper ac- 
tion for the purpose of correcting such condition". In the case of the 
Atlantic liackerel Pishery the competition of imports has not been of great 
importance in recent years, and no provision on the subject was inserted 
in the Code. It was intended, however, to include such clauses in the 
sup■^lementar;'• codes for other primary producing industries. These pro- 
posed pi-ovisions differed from the one just quoted from the National Code 



(*) Presh Oyster, Article VI, Title A, Section 1, (d); Wholesale Lobster, 
Article VI, Section 1, (d); Ca3.ifornia Sardine, Article VI, Title A, 
Section 1, (n); Blue Crab, Article VI, Section 1, (i); New Englejid 
Preparing and Wholesaling, Article VI, Section 1, (t); New England 
Sardine Canning, Article VI, Section 1, (p); Middle Atlantic Pre- 
paring and Wholesaling, Article VI, Title A, Section 1, (l); North- 
Uest and Alaska Preparin-^ and Wholesaling, Article VI, Title A, 
Section 1, (f); Pishery Industry, Article VI, Section 1, (n), 

9581 



-107- 

onl7 in tlir.t they specifically authorized the Executive Committees con- 
cerned to invoke-'Section 3 (e).- 

COMPLAIiTTS iilD EROCEEDIMGS WITH EESFBCT TO IMPORT COMPETITION -* 

The AiTx'ic-altural Adjustment Adi-QinistrG,tion, when it had chs.rge cf the 
fishery codes, and subsequently the W.E.A., and the Tariff Com:.iission, 
recei-ved a considerahle nijmher' of complaints ij^ith respect to the compe- 
tition of imported fishery products. The complainants irere advised that 
if theyrrere operating under approved codes or the President's Heen-^loy- 
ment Agreement they might make formal representations under Section 3: 
(e). The only such complaint that was followed through, however, was a 
minor one, filed on Jiily 24, 1934, "by three producers of pearl essence - 
a liquid made from fish scales and used principally in the manufacture of 
imits.tion pearls and of lacquers. It was decided to take no action. 

Two other petitions, relating respectively to imports of canned 
and of frozen tuna, were docketed for relief under Section 3 (e). Both 
these, however, were withdrawn - the former on August 17, 1934, as a re- 
sult of tha increase of the duty from 30 to 45 per cent ad valorem,, af- 
ter an investigation "by the Tariff Commission under the provisions of 
Section 336 of the Tariff Act of 1930, and the latter "because the Jap- 
anese ejnorters had expressed a v/illingness to limit, their shipments to 
the United States, in view of the poor tuna catcli in Japan in 1934 (*). 

OQWaEaVATIOM PROYISIOI'TS IN THE FISHERY CODES 

Reference has already heen made in Chapter II to difficulties cau.sed 
"by the inclusion in fishery codes of provisions designed to assist in 
the conservation o-f the natural supply of the Industry'' s products. The 
conservation provision of the ^.^olesale Lohster Code merely incorpora.ted 
the suhstajice of laws already in existence in some or all of the princi- 
pal producing states. The Executive Co^amittee of the Industry was not 
in a position to render su"bstantial assistance in enforcing these measures; 
"but they led to no serious controversies. 

The fact that the prohihition of the taking of sponge cra"bs (**), 
which was inserted in the Blue Cra"b Code, played a considerable part in 
wrecking the administration of the latter has already heen mentioned in 
Chapter II. The life cycle and ha"bits of the species are such tha.t the 
sponge cra^hs are taken commercially only from the waters of the State of 
"Virginia, The writing of the prohibitory clause into the Code, there- 
fore, had tlie aiopearance of discriminating against the interests of tlia.t 
State snd in favor of Maryland. ■, The provision was desira"ble in princi- 
ple; hut its inclusion, under all the circumstances, must "be regarded as 
dou"btful judgment, 

(*) The statements in this section are taken from a memorandum of llov— 
em"ber 20, 1935, on imports of fish. and fishery products, from the 
Eoreign Trade Studies Section, and its enclosures. The memorand-om 
is in the file of the Fisheries Unit Industry Study, Foreign Trade 
Polder, 

(**) Female cra'bs in the egg- "bearing stage, ■ 

9581 



-108- 

P ROVISIorS DESIGNED TO ESTABLISH aHAIiES OH STAITOARDS 

The first of the Deputy Administrators ifho had charge of the fish- 
ery codes, as a member of the staff of the Bureau of Fisheries, was 
strongl3r interested not only in the conservation of the products of the 
Industry, hu-t also in the- estahlishment of grades and standards of quality. 
In this he v/as vigorously supported "by the Cons-jiners' Advisory organiza^ 
tions, at first of the A, A. A. and subsequently of the N.R.A. 

The pre-oaring and whole salini^; trades and the proponents of the ¥.d^ 
tional Code, who were largely wholesalers, assented to provisions ob- 
ligp-ting their administrative bodies to establish grades or standards 
only \7ith reluctance. They were nearly or quite unanimous in holding 
the grading of fresh fishery products, beyond certain distinctions of 
size a,nd the determination of a lot as fit or unfit for human consump- 
tion, to be impracticable, ' because of the time and labor involved and 
the difficulty of applying objective standards in distinguishing the 
grades. The question was discussed'at length (*) at ' the hearing on the 
Natione.1 Fishery code, however; and the proponents, somewhat under pro»- 
test, finally assented to Article YIII, Title B, Section 1, paragraph 
(f), V7hich obligated the National Code Authority and the divisional Ex- 
ecutive Committees to investigate the feasibilitjr and wisdom of establishj- 
ing a grading system. 

The Eresh Oyster Industry voluntarily included in its Code a schedule 
of size s;oecifications. The Chairman of the" Exec-Jtive Committee later 
stated unofficially, however, that considerable doubt head arisen as to 
the' fea.sibility of appl3'"ing the schedule in. -practice. 

The proponents of the Blue Crab Code voluntarily included a schedule 
of grades and standards for all products of the Industr;^. To what extent 
this provision would have improved the situation if the Code had been 
normall:'- effective over any considerable period it is impossible to sa;^. 
As things were, the schedule, like the rest of the 'Sode, cannot realljr 
be said ever to have been in effect. 

At a meeting of the National Code Authority early in June, 1934, i-e- 
newed doubts of the feasibility of establishing grades for fresh fishery 
prodticts were expressed. The Code Authority indicated its intention of 
proceeding cautiousljr to discharge the duty imposed on it; but if any 
other steps were taken there appears to be no record of them. It is be- 
lieved that the conditions, already discussed, which rapidly destroj-ed 
the effectiveness of the National Code Authority as an administrative 
body prevented further action. 

At the hearings on the codes for the general preparing and whole- 
saling trades the representative of the Cons-umers' Advisory Board con- 
tinued to raise the question of establishing grades or standards: and 
ultimately provisions on the subject were \7ritten into all these supple- 
mentary documents. In the standard form finally worked out this clause 
obligated the industries to appoint committees to collaborate with a:p- 
propriate Federal agencies and with the National Code Authority toward 
establishing standards of quality, and to submit their findings and re- 
commendations to the Administrator within 60 days after the effective 

dates of the codes, 

(*) Transcri-ot of Public Hearing on the Fishery Code, passim, 

9581 ^ _ 



-109- 

Becan.se of the conditions hampering the organization of these E::- 
ecutive Coixaitees and the development of their work, however, none of 
thera a-.Toears to have heen in a position to comply v/ith this requirement," 

MINOR nZRADE PliACTICE PROVISIONS 

The fishery codes contained some trade practice provisions, in 
addition to those descrioed ahove , which represented genuine attempts to 
deal uith "orohlems of the Industry, hut nhich v/ere of secondary importa,nce 
and cann.ot "be discussed in this report. Apart from these there were a.lso 
a rather long list of minor provisions, which were largely copied from 
earlier codes, hecause of a va;jue "belief in their desirahility, 

The'qe cla.uses -oenalized such o"bviously undesira'Dle , and in part al~ 
readj- illegal, practices as mishranding, commercial hrioery, the intimida- 
tion of cor.petitors, the use of false measures, the rendering of dishon- 
est accomits of sales, etc. Sone other provisions of the class he.d ''oeen 
.of more or less consequence to the manufacturing industries w'hich haxl OD- 
tained codes at an earlier stage, "but "^'ere of little practical importance 
to the IPishery Industr;^. This was true, for e::amole, of the regulation 
of -ujiearned service pajr;;ients and of the prohihition of com"bination sales 
(Article VI, Section 1, paragra;phs (e) and (f) of the National Code), 

Fnile it is inadvisa"ble to condemn all these minor trade practice 
provisions offhand, it is fairly certain that if the greater part of them 
had heen omitted the f isherjr codes would have "been somewhat more worka'ble 
than they were. 



9581 



CHAPTER nV 

THE COITEOL 0? THE ATLAl'TIC LIACKEEEL CATCH 

Tlii^ chapter has 136611 reserved for the discussion, in soiae detail, 
of the control of production provision of the Atlantic Liackerel Eishing 
Code, of its industrial, technical and statistical 'bachground, and of its 
effects. 

THE i.IACEEBEL SEASON AMD THE PORTS OE 3:Al\]I)II'ia 

The vessels which talce atout five-sixths of the Atlantic mackerel 
catch are ovmed mostly in Gloucester, Masse^chusetts. This fleet starts 
its mackerel fishing in southern waters ahout the middle of April, To 
tegin \7ith the catch is landed in New Jersey or at l\fev7 York City. The 
schools of mackerel, however, move north as the season advances; and dur- 
ing the latter part of liay and in June considerable quantities are landed 
at New Bedford and other ports in southern New England, During the height 
of the season, which reaches its peak in Augu.st or Septerater, the catch 
is landed chiefly in Boston, The fleet operates into December, but after 
October the quantities landed are compa,ratively small. During the winter 
the same vessels engage in the southern trawl fishery off the Virginia 
capes; but these operations were not governed by the Mackerel Code, 

THE ERESH. EBBEZING MI) SALTING IVIARKETS AND THE ILiPORT TRADE 

The mackerel catch of April, May and June, and the bulk of that of 
July and August are sold for fresh consumption, A small proportion of 
the midsummer landings are put into cold storage for the winter, A large 
part of the catch of late August and September, however, when the fish 
are most plentiful, is sold for sa,lting. Salt mackerel, though a much 
less important commodity than it used to be, is still a staple winter 
foodstuff in the South. 

Up to a dozen years ago 80 per cent or more of the country's mack- 
erel consumption consisted of salt imiDorts from Europe, After the pas- 
sage of the Eordney-McCumber Tariff Act in 1922, however, the imports 
both of salt and of fresh mackerel became so small as to cease to in- 
fluence the market to any considerable extent. 

THE VOLUIvIE OE THE CATCH 

During the dozen years preceding the war the annual Atlantic mack- 
erel landings at all ports varied from 4,000,000 to 17,000,000 pounds. 
In 1916 and 1917, when the European supply of salt mackerel was largely 
cut off. The domestic catch rose to 20,000,000 o-r 25,000,000 pounds. In 
1921 and 1922 it had again sunk 7,000,000 or 8,000,000. In 1925, how- 
ever, it j-umped suddenl;?- to 34,000,000 pounds, in comparison with 18,- 
000,000 during the year preceding. Erom 1926 to 1932, except in two 
sub-normal j'-ears, it ran in the neighborhood of 45,000,000 pounds. 

This recent recovery in the Atlantic mackerel catch accompanied an 
increase in the landings of groundfish, which was due mainly to the 
development of the New England packaged fillet trade, and to the re- 
sulting exroansion in shipments of fresh fish to the Middle T7est, 

9581 



-Ill- 
Mackerel itself has not been filleted, save to a linited extent in verv 
recent jeprs; but riJi additional- market for it was created "by the enlerg- 
ed demand and the realtively increased prices for cod and haddock, » 

Ihe n-uriber of vessels in the main ma.ckerel fleet hp.d been aroinid 
100 Just before and during the war, but fell to 50 or 60 in 1921, 1922 
and 1923, In 1925 the nninbGr iras again more than 100. In 1928 it "ms 
about 175 and in 1929 nearljr 250, I>aring the depression, hov^ever, the 
nujBber fell off considerablv, and in 1934 and 1935 was again not much 
over 100. 

IKS Pill CD OF MACKBaEL TO THE FISIIEa/iEII 

The increase in the mackerel catch from 1925 was inevitably a.c— 
companied by a drop in the price to the fishermen. The decline was prob- 
ablj accentua,ted, moreover, by the relatively large number of vessels in 
the fleet. The catch of 1932 was the largest since 1885, and brought 
the lowest average price on record (*) - 1,65 cents vev pound, as com- 
pared with 3.72 cents for landings onljr tv/o per cent smaller in 1929. 
This price represented a decline over the three years of about 55 per 
cent, 

THE COSTS OF THE I/IACKEBEL FLEET ' 

In the face of this decline in the "orice of its product the oper- 
ating e^qi^ense of the mackerel fleet fell off from 1929 to 1932 by only 
about 22 per cent, ¥/hile its overhead exoense remained -oractically un- 
changed. . • ' , 

In the summer, of 1934 cost data, were obtained for a group of 12 
typical mackerel vessels (**)., which sold their 1932 ca.tch for a gross 
total of $89,935. The operatintT e:tpense- of these vessels wa„s $37,700, 
or 42 per cent of the gross. ' Of the remaining net stock of $52,235 the 
vessel o'Tners received in some cases one-half and in others one-third, 
depending on the lay in the use. Altogether the owners took $26,501, 

Against this gross profit there had to be charged, before depre- 
ciation, overhead costs amo'binting to $40,491, More than half ^his item 
represented repairs and maintenance and more than half the remainder 
marine and liability insurance. Actually, of course, there was a heavy 
deficit. Insurance was in mai).?/ cases reduced or allowed to lapse, and 
the bonuses to which the captains of these vessels are entitled, in ad- 
dition to their shares in the lay, were not paid, 

(*) Hecords from which the prices received by mackerel fishermen can 
be determined go ba.ck only to 1901, 'Estimates of the qiiantity landed, 
however, have been made back to 1804. 

(**) These data were assembled ^oy the Secretar;- of the Executive Com- 
mittee of the Atlantic Mackerel Industry, at the instance of the Admin- 
istration Member. They are in the file of the Fishery Unit: Atlantic 
Mackerel Fishing Code, Statistics Folder. The analysis indicated in 
the text wa.s made by the writer. 



9581 



-112- 

To this total of out-of-pocket o^7ner' s e:rpeuse a fvi-11 allowance for 
depreciation, calculated ty a uniform formula on the "basis of the "best 
practice of the We;? England fisheries, would have added $31,530, In 
1932, hov/ever, not one of these vessels earned any depreciation. 

EAaivTIHGS OF MCK5REL FISHEBI/ISN IK 1932 

Ihese 12 mackerel vessels were manned, in 1932 by a total of 132 
persons, who received an average of $192 apiece for practically continuous 
service during the season of ahout 30 vreeks. These men earned perhnps 
as much more while their vessels were engaged in the southern trawl fish- 
ery during the winter; hut the average compensation of approximately 
$6,40 per week for the mackerel fishing season was of course far "below 
any reasonable ste^ndard, even after allowing for the fact that the men 
received their ovm food during the 30 week period. 

THE GEliESIS OF THE PROPUCTIOE COJIIROL PEOVISIOHS 

With this hackground it is not hard to see why, when the National 
Hecovery Act came up for discussion in the spring of 1933, a movement 
should have "been started "by the owners of these vessels to o"btain a code, 
with provisions which they believed wouJ.d resu.lt in raising the price 
of their product. Such a code was su"braitted, and a hearing - the first 
on Bjij fishery code - held early in August, Ovdng to the general condi- 
tions which delayed action on these codes, hov/ever, nothing was settled 
till the following spring. 

In the meantime, during the 1933 season, the industrj/- e>:perimented 
with several successive voluntary agreements for the control of the catch. 
None of these was effective for onj considera"ble time. Collectivelj'-, 
however, they were the controlling factor in reducing the catch of the 
main mackerel fleet from 36,000,000 pounds in 1932 to 21,000,000 for . 
the follo\7ing season; and this reduction \7as of course associated with 
a .corresponding increase in the unit price. 

As the opening of the 1934 season approached, however, the issue was 
raised -again » and on May 3 a supplementary Code containing a provision 
for the regulation of the catch was approved. 

THE PURPOSES AND MTHQDS OF THE CONTROL 

The purpose of this regulation was stated in the Code (Article "^rill. 
Title C, Section..!, paragra,ph (c) ) to "be : 

"To conserve natural resources "by the elimination of conditions 
leading to gluts in the mackerel market and consequent wastage through 
dumping of mackerel at sea, and "by the development of the maximum 
usable yield compatible with future productivity through prevention 
of the take of small mackerel during those portions of the season 
when larger sizes are available to supply the demand for mackerel, 
and to rehabilitate the mackerel fishery by. maintaining a reason- 
able balance betvreen the production of mackerel and the consumption 
of mackerel, and by assuring minimum prices for mackerel not below 
the cost of production." 

9581 



-113- .. ■; 

Hiere are understood to have "been cases of the diunping of mackerel 
in the face of the large supply and the low prices of the^l932 and 19,33 
seasons, hut there is no precise information as to .the qiaantities thus * 
wasted. It is probably fair to say that the putting of conservation as 
a primary justification for the writing of these control provisions into 
the Maclcerel Code was a prete;:t, though a legitimate one as far as it 
went. 

The Code further provided (Article VIII, Title C, Section 1, para- 
graphs (c), (d) and (e) that the Executive Committee of the Industry 
should fromtime to time estiraate the consumer demand for mackerel, talc- 
ing all important factors into consideration, snd then determine, sub- 
ject to the approval of the Administrator, whether the catch shoutd be 
limited, Ihis might be done either by allocating trip poijndage auotas 
to the mackerel vessels, or be requiring portions of the fleet to stay 
in port at given timeso 

These provisions applied only to the catch of the purse' seine ves- 
sels, which account for about four-fifths of the units of vessel size, 

THE COIJTROL AUD THE Q1J0TA.S. IN 1934 

The Executive Committee, about June 1, 1934, submitted for approval 
reguJ-ations applying these production control provisions. These measures, 
which were approved on June 9, restricted the catch to 700,000 pounds a 
week. Dujring the two weeks , ending on June 23 the actual landings averaged 
only 512,000 pounds; but this shortage is believed to have been an axciden- 
tal result of biological and weather conditions. 

From the vreek ending June 30 the quota was raised to 1,100,000 
pounds a week - though, owing to a misunderstanding with respect to pro-' 
cedure, the revision T;as not approved b3' the Administration thtil Jioly" 
14. On AT3g:ust 6 the quota was doubled to 2,200,000 pounds (*) . 
There would in any case have had to be a substa.ntial increase at this 
time, as a result of the seasonal movement. Apart from that,, however, 
information had been, received that the ustial supply of salt mackerel for 
importation from Europe during the winter of 1934-1935 was not likely 
to be available. The very sharp jump in the quota on August 6, therefore, 
was made to talce care of the estimated additional needs of the domestic 
salting trade. 

THE APPLICATIOlNf EOR AM EIJBaGEI-JCY PRICE MD THE COKTaOL 

The Atlantic Mackerel Code contained, in addition to the provisions, 
for the regulation of the catch, a clause (Article VIII, Title C, Section 
1, paragraph (h) ), which permitte(^- the setting, subject to the a.pproval 

(*) The original control W3.s covered by Regulations 1 and '2 of the Execxi- 
tive Committee, under date of Hay 25, 1934, and was approved by the Admin- 
istrator in Administrative Order 308-IS-4 on June 9. The revision of the 
quota to 1,100,000 pounds per week was ai^proved in Administrative Order 
308-L-5 on July 14. The revision to 2,200,000 pounds per week wa.s approved 
in A?jiiinistrative Order 303-I>-7 on August 6, The control \7as finally re- 
scinded bj- Administrative Order 308-I!-9 on October 22. Regulations 6, 7 
and 8 of the Executive Committee proposed alterations in the machinery of 
the control. These Regulations are in the files of the De-outy Adminis- 
trator: Atlantic Mackerel Fishing Code, Trade Practices Folder. 
95R1 



-114- 

of the Administrator, of a lowest reasona"ble cost as a "basis of sales in 
an einergencj'-. The E3;ecu.tive Comraittee, interpreting the term emergency 
as apioljring to the conditions Y/hich had existed in the fishery continuous- 
ly since the season of 1932, submitted for approval, on August 2, 1934, 
a regulation setting a lowest reasonahle cost of three cents per pound on 
mackerel for the fresh market, with tolerances for sales to the freezing 
and salting trades. Tliis scale would have resulted in an average price 
of about 1.75 cents per pound. Ihe average actually realized hy the 
fishermen during the seven weeks ending Septemher 29, 1934, was 1.31 cents. 
If the proposed minimum price had been approved and enforced, consequent- 
ly, the producers would have realized a more than negligible advantage, 
though not an enornous one. 

The Industry's interpretation of the term "emergency" in making this 
aDplication for the setting of a minimum price, was of, course entirely 
different from that which had for some time been adopted by the Research 
and Planning Division, and which, in August, 1934, was on the point of 
acceptance as the official policy of the Administration. As a result 
the application was disapproved on September 6, 

The Committee, including the Administration Member, has steadily 
contended that the disappointment and resentment^ of the fishermen which 
resulted from the denial of this application, affected compliance with 
the production quotas so adversely that the control practically broke 
down. The real probability is that all the controversies on this subject 
after the early part of August were a waste of, breath. After the quota 
had been raised, to 2,200,000 pounds per week it was not more than 10 or 
12 per cent, at most, below the current supply. There was one week, short- 
ly after the .denial of the supplication for the setting of a lowest rea- 
sonable cost, when the landings greatly exceeded the quota. It appears 
to be true, moreover, that from that time the Executive Committee made 
little effort to obtain compliance with the control. But after the first 
of September actual landings exceeded the q^uota only slightly if at all; 
and it probatily made little or no difference whether the control contin- 
ued nominalljr in effect or not, 

THE BESULTS Pg THB CONTHOL 

Table XXX summarizes the quotas which were in effect during the 1934 
season, the relation of the actual landings to them, and the average 
prices realized. 

It is apparent that from the latter part of June the landings of 
ma.ckerel kept very close to the qiiotas. Some excess trips are knoiim to 
have been landed at southern l^ew England ports, f/here the Executive Con>- 
mittee did not have representatives to enforee the Code; but these cannot 
have aiiiouated to much. 



9581 



-115- 
TiBLE XXX 



EPS^CT OF TI-EE CONTROL OP THE CATCH OE THE 
ATIAKTIC PUUSE SEIKE MAGKEZEL ELEET, 1934 



2 weeks 7 weeks 7 weeks 

ending ending ending 

Jtuie 23, Aug, 11 Sep, 29, 

1934 1934 1934 



Total Quantity landed (pounds) 1,023,600 7,876,400 15,140,900 

Total value lajided . ' $40,206 ^ $179,493 $197,982 

Average price per per pound 

to fishermen (cents) 3^93 2»28 .- 1..31 

Average quantity landed per wk. 511,800 1,125,200 2,162,900 



/ 

/ 



'pounds) 
Weekly production quota (pounds) 700,000 1,100,000 2,200,000 



Source: Data supplied Tdv 0. E. Bette, Bureau of Fisheries, CaLatridge, 
.Massachusetts. 

It may Tse concluded that for ahout two months the regulation of the 
mackerel catch under the Code wa,s approximately effective. It had no 
effect during the latter part of the season? hut this was due to circum~ 
stances heyond anyone's control. The question therefore remains whether, 
during the two months of the existence of a real limitation on the catch, 
the effect was such as to Justify the expectations of the Industry in 
asking for the approval of the control provision, 

THE COIITROL MD OTEIER PHICE-GOVESHIMG FACTOES 

It has already "been pointed out that the price paid for a given q^^an- 
tity of mackerel appears to he governed- rather rigidly hy the price of 
meat ^long ¥ath some other factors of secondary importance. If this is 
the case, the expectation would "be that at a- given low price of meat a 
restriction of the catch could not hy itself raise the price of mackerel 
to the level where it had heen at a high meat price. 

The impracticahility of so doing, moreover, is enhanced "by two other 
considerations. In the first place a detailed sjialysis of the price of 
mackerel over a period of more than 20 years has sho\ifn that while sma„ll 
scale lajidings hring higher imit prices than landings on a large scale, 
the price does not increase in proportion to the cut in production. That 
is, if the q-uantity of mackerel marketed in a given month is cut in half 
the price is not thereby dou"bled, while an increase of 50 per cent in 
tfi§ landings is accompanied "by a decrease in the price of less thsji one- 
third, 
9581 



-116- 

¥ith this relationsliip is a,ssocia,tecl a second, fact - that when 
mackerel landings are large the ratio of tiie nrnn'oer of vessels fishing 
to the quojitity landed, and also the intensity of the competition to 
dispose of the catch, tend to be low; while with relatively small land- 
ings this ratio is norraaJ.ly high and the competition is more intense. 
Unless, therefore, a restriction of the catch vrere associated with a lim- 
itation on the mimljer of vessels engaging in the fishery, it could ;oro"b- 
ably not he ex;oected to raise the price proportionately to the reduction 
in the quantity. 

STATISTICAL EVIKEWCE OF PBICE BELATIOKSHIPS 

Complete sta,tistical proof of these statements would take too much 
'space ajid v/ould he too technical for inclusion in this report. Table 
XXXI, however, shows what has happened during the past 22 years to the 
gross va.lue ,of mackerel landings at Boston and Gloucester, at descending 
levels of the price of meat. 

In this table the value of the catch does not fall with perfect 
regularitj" as the index of meat prices goes down; but reasons are laiown 
for 8.11 the important exceptions. The value of the cs,tch for 1921 ajid. 
1922, and in a less degree for 1919, 1920 and 1923, vras pulled down by 
the abnormally small landings in all but a few months. The dispropor- 
tionately high value of the 1931 catch was associated with a sharp de- 
cline in the landings of other species of fish at Boston and Gloucester. 
The high value for 1916, and in a less degree for 1915 and 1917, was 
associated v/ith the heavy reduction in imports of salt -mackerel during 
the War, 

Tllien allowance has been' made for these secondary factors, Table 
XXXI makes it fairly clear that a cut in the quantity of mackerel land- 
ed, though normally acompanied by an increase in the unit price, has 
never raised the gross value of the calch, at a given level of the price 
of meat, to a figure comparable with the values realized at much higher 
levels, 

COIICLUSIOIm UITH ISGARD to the PRODUCTION COirTROL 

In the light of these considerations it is hard to avoid the con- 
clusion that the attempt of the mackerel fishery to solve its problems 
of unremuner active prices and subnormal earnings by limiting its produc- 
tion was an impracticable one. The attem.pt however, was made in good 
faith, under strong provocation, and it did not, in practice, cause ser- 
ious injury to consumers. The whole matter was less important than it 
was held to be in some quarters, and hardly justified the publicity it 
received or the controversies that centered about it. 



9531 



-117- 



TABLS XXXI 



Q,UAi:TITY, VALUE MD AVEa^i&E PRICE OP IvACKEHEL LAl'IDEB 
AT BOSTON AMD GLOUCESTER, 1913-1934, IN RELATION TO 
WHOLESALE ivIEAT PRICES 







B. L. S, 


» 












Index Ninnbers 










Year a/ 


of Wholesale 












Heat Prices 


■Qj^antity 


Value 


Ave 


;rage Price 




(1926=100) 


(Poimds) 


(Dollars) 


(Ceni 


;s per Pound) 


1919 


117.6 




5,501,393 


$ 514,516 




9.35 


1918 


115.2 




9,435,139 


l.:108,922 




11.75 


1929 


109.1 




35s 744. 004 


1 5,329, 491 




3.72 


1920 


108.0 




7,166,397 


748,682 




10.45 


1928 


107,0 




23,517,261 


1,321,005 




5.62 


1926 


100,0 




34,279,563 


1,347,373 




3.93 


1930 


98.4 




32,784,777 


1,129,564 




3.45 


1925 


93.3 




25,413,103 


1,164,167 




4.53 


1917 


92.9 




16,334,633 


1,410,546 




8.38 


1927 


92.7 




30,898,475 


1,280,155 




4.13 


1921 


77.4 




2,884,780 


283,489 




9.83 


1922 


76.6 




3,681,500 


245,266 




6.66 


1925 


76o2 




10,576,729 


453,466 




4.29 


1924 


75.7 




9,259,494 


519,403 




5.61 


1931 


75.4 




27,208,754 


1,165,440 




4.28 


1916 


66e4 




15,144,347 


1,010,410 




6,67 


1934 


62.9 




29,301,196 


539,241 




lo84 


1914 


62.3 




6,688„850 


354,725 




5.30 


1913 


59.8 




5, 575^922 


347,068 




6.11 


1932 


58.2 




36,328,707 


599,253 




1,65 


1915 


57.6 




10j918.402 


614,079 




5,62 


1933 


50.0 




21,394,461 


485,216 




2.27 


Soiorce: 


Biireau of 


Lator 


Statistics, vlholesa 


,le Prices, ann-ual 


reports. 




Biu-eau of 


Fisheries, Annaa.l reoort 


of the Coram: 


ssioner of Pish- 




eries and 


Pishery Industries of tlie 


United Stat 


es. 





a/ Hie years are arranged in the descending order of the price 
index num'bers. 



9581# 



OFFICE OF THE MA.TIOML HECOVERY ADMIHISTRATION 
THE DIVISION OP REVIEW 

THE vfORK OF THE- DIVISIOH OP REVIEW 

Executive Order No, 7075, dated Jirne 15, 1935, rstatlished the ^Division 
of RevietT of the National Recovery Administration, The pertinent part of the 
Executive Order reads thusi 

The Division of Review shall assemble, analj'-ze, and report upon 
the sta,tistical information and records of experience of the 
operations of the various trades and industries heretofore suTd- 
ject to codes of fair competition, shall study the effacts of 
such codes upon trade, industrial and la^hor conditions in gener- 
al, and other related matters, shall make availahle 'for the prt>- 
tection and promotion of the puhlic interest an adequate review 
of the effects of the administration of Title I of the National 
Industrial Recovery Act, and the principles and. policies put in- 
to effect thereunder, and shall otherwise aid the President in 
carrying out his functions under the said Title, 

The study sections set up in the Division of Review covered these areasl 
industry stiidies, foreign trade studies, lahor studies, trade practice studles»- 
statistical studies, legal studies, administration studies, miscellaneous 
studies, and the irriting of code histories. The materials which were produced 
hy these sections are indicated "below. 

Except for the Code Histories, all items mentioned helow arc schicojJ.cL to te i 
ninoosra.phed form "by April 1, 1936. 

THE CODE HISTORIES 

The Code Histories are documented accounts of the formation and adminis- 
tration of the codes. They ccntain the definition of the industry and the 
principal products thereof; the classes of memhers in the industry; the history 
of code formation including an account of the sponsoring organizations, the 
conferences, negotiations and hea.rings which were held, and the activities in ^ • 
connection with obtaining approval of the code; the history of the administra^ ' _ 
tion of the code, covering the organization and operation of the code authority, 
the difficulties encountered in administration, the extent of conrpliance or 
non-compliance, and the general success or lack of success of the code; and an 
analysis of the operation of code provisions dealing with wages, hours, trade 
practices, and. other provisions. These and other matters are canvassed not 
only in terms of the materials to he found in the files, hut also in terms of 
the experiences of the deputies and others concerned with code formation and 
administration. 

The Code Histories, (including histories of certain NRA units or agencies) 
are not mimeographed. They are to he turned over to the Department of Commeroe — 
in type\'iTitten form. All told, approximately eight hundred and fifty (850) 
histories will he completed. This mzmher includes all of the approved codes 
and some pf the unapproved codes, (in Work Materials No. 18. Contents of Cods 
Histories , will he fo-und the outline which governed the preparation of Code 
Histories.) 



9631 



- 11 - 

(In the case of all approved codes and also in the case of some codes not 
cart-ied to final ap^^i-oValj there are in MA files further materials on indus- 
tries. Particularly worthy of mention are the Volumes I, II and III which 
constitute the material officially submitted to the President in support of *the 
recommendation for approval of each code. These volinnes set forth the origina- 
tion of the code, the sponsoring group, the evidence advanced to support the 
proposal, the report of the Division of Research and Planning on the industry, 
the recommendations of the various Advisory Boards, certain types of official 
correspondence, the transcript of the formal hearing, and other pertinent 
matter. There is also much official information relating to amendments, in- 
terpretations, exemptions, and other rulings. The materials mentioned in this 
paragraph were of course not a part of the work of the Division of Review.) 

TBE wore: MATERIALS SERIES 

In the work of the Division of Review a considerable number of studies 
and compilations of data (other than those noted below in the Evidence Studies 
Series and the Statistical Materials Series) have been made. These ai'e listed 
below, grouped according to the character of the material, (in Work Materials 
No. 17, Tentative Outlines and Summaries of Studies in Proces s, these materials 
are fully described). 

Industry' Studies 

Automobile Industry, An Economic Survey of 

Bituminous Coal Industry under Free Competition and Code Regulation, Economic 

Survey of 
Construction Industry and KRA Construction Codes, the 
Electrical Manufacturing Industry, The 
Fertilizer Industry, The 
Fishery Industry and the Fishery Codes 
Fishervien and Pishing Craft, Earnings of 
Foreign Trade under the National Industrial Recovery Act 

Part A - Competitive Position of the United States in International Trade 
1927-29 through 1934. 

Part B - Section 3 (e) of IIIRA and its administration. 

Part C - Imports and Importing under NRA Codes, 

Part D - £>:ports and Exporting under MA Codes. 
Forest Products Industries, Foreign Trade Study of the 
Iron and Steel Industry, The 
Knitting Industries, The 
Leather and Shoe Industries, The 

Lumber and Timber Products Industry, Economic Problems of the 
Men's Clothing Industry, The 
Millinery Industry, The 
Motion Picture Industry, The 
Migration of Industry, The! The Shift of T\7enty-Five Needle Trades From New 

York State, 1926 to 1934 
National Income, A study of, 
Paper Industry, The 

Production, Prices, Employment and Payrolls in Industry, Agriculture and Rail- 
way Transportation, January 1923, to date 
Retail Trades Study, The 
Rubber Industry Study, The 
Statistical Baclfground of NRA 

Textile Industry in the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Italy, and Japan 
Textile Yarns and Fabrics 
Tobacco Industrj'-, The 
Wholesale Trades Study, The 
Women's Apparel Industry, Some Aspects of the 



- Ill - 

Trade Practice Studies 

Coraraodities, Information Concerning: A Study of HEA and Related Experiences 

in Control 
Distriliution, Manufacturers' Control of: A Study of Trade Pra,ctice Provisions 

in Selected KRA Codes .• 

Design Piracy: The Protlem and Its Treatment Under MA Codes 
Electrical Mfg. Industry: Price Filing Study 
Fertilizer Industry: Price Filing Study 

Geographical Price Relations Under Codes of Fair Competition^ Control of 
Minimum Price Regulation Under Codes of Fair Competition 
Multiple Ba,sing Point System in the Lime Industry: Operation of the 
Price Control in the Coffee Industry 
Price Filing Under IIRA Codes 

Production Control Under iffA Codes, Sone Aspects of, 
Resale Price Maintenance Legislation in the United Stc?.tes 

Retail Price Cutting, Restriction of, v.dth special Emphasis on The Drug Industry, 
Trade Practice Rules of The Federal Trade Commission (1914-1936): A classificatioj 

for comparison with Trade Practice Provisions of HRA Codes. 

Lahor Studies 

Employment, Payrolls, Hours, and Wages in 115 Selected Code Industries 

193S-1935 
Hours and Wages in Americaja Industry 
Lahor Program Under the National Industrial Recovery Act, The 

Part A. Introduction 

Part B. Control of Hours and Reemployment 

Part C, Control of Wages 

Part D, Control of Other Conditions of Employment 

Part E, Section 7(a) of the Recovery Act 
PRA Census of Employment, June, October, 1933 
Puerto Rico Needlework, Horaeworkers Survey 

Administrative Studies 

Administrative and Legal Aspects of Stays, Exemptions and Exceptions, Code 

Amendments, Conditions! Orders of Approval 
Administrative Interpretations of W.A Codes 
Administrative La,w and Procedure under the UIRA 
Agreements Under Sections 4(a) and 7(1)) of the ITIRA 
Approved Codes in Industr;;/ Groups, Classification of 
Basic Code, the — (Administrative Order X-6l) 
Code Authorities and Their Part in the Administration of the NIRA 

Part A. Introduction 

Part Bb Nature, Composition and Organization of Code Authorities 

Part C. Activities of the Code Authorities 

Part D, Code Axithority Finances 

Part C, Summary and Evaluation 
Code Compliance Activities of the NRA 
Code Making Program of the l^IRA in the Territories, The 
Code Provisions and Related Subjects, Policy Statements Concerning 
Content of NIRA Administrative Legislation 

Part A» Executive and Administrative Orders 

Part B, Labor Provisions in the Codes 

Part C, Trade Practice Provisions in the Codes 

Part D, Adminis tractive Provisions in the Codes 

Part E, Agreements under Sections 4(a) and 7(b) 

Part F, A Type Case: The Cottom Textile Code 
Labels Under NRA, A Study of 
9631 - -. -• 



4 



- IV - 

Model Code and Model Provisions for Codes, Development of 

National Recovery Administration, The: A Review and Evaluation of its 

Orcanii^ation and Activities ,» 

NRA Insignia 

President's Reemplojonent .Agreement, The 

President's Reemployment Agreement, Substitutions in Connection with the 
Prison Lahor Prohlera under KRA and the Prison Compact, The 
Prohlems of Administration in the Overlap"oing of Code Definitions of Industries 

and Trades, Multiple Code Coverage, Classifying Individual Merahers of Inr- 

dustries and Trades 
Relationship of MA to Government Contracts and Contracts Involving the Use of 

Gbvernment Funds 
Relationship of IIRA with other Federal Agencies 
Relationship of IIEIA with States and Municipalities 
Sheltered Workshops Under KH.A 
Uncodified Industries: A Study of Factors Limiting the Code Making Program 

Legal Studies 

Anti-Trust Laws and Unfair Competition 

Collective Bargaining Agreements, the Right of Individual Employees to Enforce 
Provisions of 

Commerce Clause, Possiole Federal Regulation of the Employer-Employee Relation- 
ship Under the 

Delegation of Power, Certain Phases of the Principle of, v/ith Reference to 
Federal Industrial Regulatory Legislation 

Enforcement, Extra-Judicial Methods of 

Federal Regulation through the Joint Employment of the Power of TaJKation and 
the Spending Power 

Government Contract Provisions as a Means of Estahlishing Proper Economic 
Standards, Legal Memorandum on Possioility of 

Intrastate Activities Wliich so Affect Interstate Commerce as to Bring them 
Under the Commerce Clause, Cases on 

Legislative Possibilities of the State Constitutions 

Post Office and Post Roa.d Power — Can it he Used as a Means of Federal Indus- 
trial Regulation? 

State Recovery Legislation in Aid of Federal Recovery Legislation .j-' 
History and Analysis 

Tariff Rates to Secure Proper Standards of Wages and Hours, the Possibility of 
Variation in 

Trade Practices and the Anti-Trust Laws 

Tready Making Power of the United States 

War Power, Can it "be Used as a Means of Federal Regulation of Child Labor? 

THE EVIDEEGE STUDIES SERIES 

The Evidence Studies were originally undertaken to gather material for 
pending court cases. After the Schechter decision the project was continued in 
order to assemble data for use in connection ?7ith the studies of the Division 
of Review, The data are particularly concerned with the nature, size and 
operations of the industry; and with the relation of the industry to interstate 
commerce. The industries covered by the Evidence Studies account for more than 
one-half of the total number of workers under codes. The list of these studies 
follows: 



9631 



-V- 



Automotile Mantifacturing Industry 
Axitomotive Parts & Equipment Ind, 
Baking Industrjr 

Boot and Shoe Manufacturing Ind» 
Bottled Soft Drink Industry 
Builders' Snjpplies Industry 
Canning Industry 
Chemical Ifenufacturing Industry 
Cigar Ifentifacturing Industry 
Coat and Suit Industry 
Construction Industry 
Cotton Garment Industry 
Dress Manufacturing Industrj'' 
Electrical Contracting Indxistry 
Electrica-1 Manufacturing Industry 
Eahricated Metel Products Mfg. Ind, 

and Metal Einishing and Metal 

Coating Industry 
Fishery Industry 
Furniture I<ianufacturing Ind. 
General Contractors Industry 
Graphic Arts Industry 
Gray Iron Foundry Industry 
Hosiery Industry 

Infant's and Children's Wear Ind^ 
Iron and Steel Industry 



Leather Industry 

Lumber and Timher Products Ind. 

Mason Contractors Industry 

Men's Clothing Industry 

Motion Picture Industry 

Motor Vehicle Retailing Trade 

Needlework Industry of Puerto Rico 

Painting and Paperhanging Ind, 

Photo Engraving Industry 

Pl-iorahing Contracting Industry 

Retail Lumher Industry 

Retail Trade Industry 

Retail Tire and Battery Trade. Ind. 

Ha"bT3f?r Manufacturing Industry 

Ruhher Tire Manufacturing Ind» 

Shipbuilding Industry 

Silk Textilo Industry 

Structural Clay Products Ind, 

Throwing Industry 

Trucking Industry 

Waste Materials Industry 

Wholesale and Retail Food Ind. 

Wholesale Fresh -Fruit and Vegetahle 

Ind, 
Wool Textile Industry 



THE STATISTICAL MJLTERIALS SERIES 



This series is supplementary to the Evidence Studies Series. The reports 
include data on estaldishments, firms, employment, payrolls, wages, hours, 
production, capacities, shipments, sales, consumption, stocks, prices, material 
costs, failures, exports and imports. They also include notes on the prin- 
cipal qualifications that should he ohservcd in using the data, the technical 
methods employed, and the app] icahility of the material to the study of the in- 
dustries concerned. The follo\7ing numhers appear in the series! ; 



Asphalt Shingle and Roofing Industry 

Business Furniture 

Candy Manufacturing Industry 

Carpet and Rug Industry 

Cement Industry 

Gleaning and Dyeing Trade 

Coffee Industry 

Copper and Brass Mill Prod, Ind, 

Cotton Textile Industry 

Electrical Manufacturing Ind, 



Fertilizer Industry 

Funeral Supply Industry 

Glass Containor Industry 

Ice Manufacturing Industry 

Knitted Outerwear Industry 

Paint, Varnish, and Lacquor Mfg, Ind, . 

Plurahing Fixtures Industry 

Rayon and Synthetic Yarn Producing Ind, 

Salt Producing Industry 



9631# 



I 



•« 



r'