Title Meat Export Trade - Report (with Appendices) of Royal Commission (Mr. Justice Street)
Source House of Reps
Date 02-12-1914
Parliament No. 6
Tabled in House of Reps 02-12-1914
Parliamentary Paper Year 1914
Parliamentary Paper No. 33
System Id publications/tabledpapers/HPP052016003596

Meat Export Trade - Report (with Appendices) of Royal Commission (Mr. Justice Street)




MEA.1_, 'fRADE.





Presented by Command; ordered to be printed, 2nd December, 1914.

[Cost of Paper.-Prepara tion no t given ; 1,050 copi es; approximate cost of printing a nd publishing, £36.

Printed and Published for the GO VERI\MENT of the o f A u STRALIA b v A LBERT J. ]vf uLL!:TI,

Government Printer for the State of Victoria.

No, 33. - F. l 648 l.




GEORGE THE FIFTH, by the Grace of God of the United Kingrlmn of Great B ritain and !?-eland and of the British Dominions beyond the Seas, King, Defender of the Paith, Emperor of India :

THE HONOURABLE PHILIP WHISTLER STREET, A Puisne Judge of the Supreme Court of the State of New South Wales:


KNOW YE that We do, by these Our Letters Patent, issued in Our name by Our Governor-Gen eral of Ou1· Commonwealth of Australia, acting with the advice of Our Federal Executive Council, appoint you to be a Commissio ner to inquire into and 1·eport as to the operations of any person, cpmbination, or trust tending to create any restraint 6f trade or monopoly in connexion

with the export of m eat f rom Australia.

AND WE require you with as little delay as possible to report to Out· Go vernor-General i n and over Our said Commonwealth the result of your inquiry into the aforesaid matters.

IN TESTIMONY WHEREOF We have caused these Our L etters to be made Patent and the Seal of the Commonwealth to be affix ed thereto.

(L. S. )

WITNESS Our R ight TTusty and Well-b e3oved SIR RONALD CRAUFURD MuNRO FERGUSON, a )l,fember of His Majesty's Most Honourable Privy Council, Knight Grand Gro ss of the .1.Wo st Distingttished Order of Saint M ·ichael and Saint George, Governor-Geneml and Commander­ in-Chief of the Commonwealth of Australia, this fifth day of June, in the year of Our I.rt:;rd

One thousand nine hundred and fourteen, and in the fifth year of Our reign.

(Sgd.) • R. JJ!J. FERGUSON.

Go vern or- General.

By His E xcell ency's Command, (Sgd.) JOSEPH COOK.

Entered on record by me in R egister of Patents, No. 6, page 22, tkis fifth day of June, One thousand nine hundred and fourt een .

(Sgd.) M. L. SHEPHERD.

To His Excellency the Right Honorable SIR RoNALD CRAUFURD lVfuNR6 FERGUSON, a Member of His Majesty's Most Honorable Privy Council, Knight Grand Cross of the Most Distinguished Order of Saint Michael and Saint George, Governor-Genercr:l and Commander-in-Chief of the Common­

wealth of Australia.

MAY IT PLEASE YouR ExcELLENCY:-I have the honour to present herewith my Report in respect of the Inatters which I was directed to inquire into under You.r Excellency's Commission bearing date the 5th of June last.

The task imposed upon me was to inquire into, and report as to, the operations of any person, combination, or trust tending to create any restraint of trade or monopoly in connexion with the export of meat frmn Australia. ·

The limited nature of my duties is made apparent by this statement of them. I was directed merely to inquire into and report as to the facts, and I was not asked to make any proposals in respect of the difficult question of how to deal effectively, by legislation or otherwise, with any detrimental combination or monopoly, if anything

of the kind should be proved to exist. · ·


My investigations were practically confined to matters relating to the export trade in beef, veal, mutton, and lamb. The export trade in pigs, and pig products, has hitherto been small and unimportant. I know of no features in connexion with it calling for special inquiry, and no representations were made to me from any source suggesting the existence of anything of the kind. It appears from the QJ!icial Year-Book of the- Commonwealth that tb.ere is a s1nall export trade in frozen pork, most of which

probably goes to eastern countries, and there is a small export trade in hams and bacon. The principal exporter of hams and bacon is the J. C. Hutton Prop. Ltd., and :J\ir. White, the company's accountant, says that their product goes principally to the United King­ dom, and that there is not much immediat'e prospect of the expansion of the trade, in view of the fact that pigs can be raised much more cheaply in Ireland and Denmark than in Australia. It is possible that an export trade in pig products may be developed with

the United States of America in the future.


In the course of my inquiries I visited, and took evidence in, the States of Victoria, New South vVales, Queensland, and South Australia. In each State which I visited I took evidence in the capital city, i.e., in Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, and Adelaide ; and in Queensland I visited and took evidence in the following additional towns, i.e., Townsville, Rockhampton, and Toowomnba. If it had appeared that any

useful purpose would be served by visiting any other towns, either inland or on the seaboard, I should have done so, but nothing which was disclosed, in the course of the evidence or otherwise, afforded any ground for supposing that any material facts could be elicited in any particular town, and a roving inquiry throughout the towns of the different States without any clue indicating one rather than .another a likely source of information would have involved an unjustifiable expenditure of time

and money. . .

In this connexion I may mention that, in dealing with vanous rumours regarding certain alleged transactions in live-stock and in land, I caused letters to sent t? .the stock and station agents in the various towns of the different States whiCh I asking for replies to certain specific questions put to them. This is a Inatter W:hich I

shall have to refer again. with Inore particularity at a later. stage, I mention It now for the purpose of saying that nothing in the replies wh1ch I sugges.ted the desirableness of visiting any country town. Mr. Dunn's eVIdence con?ermng the stories, which he heard at Coonamble, as to the purchaJses and plans of Morns and Coy.,


! '



of Chicago, and of other American companies, may be put out of consideration. Perhaps he lent too credulous an ear to stories which others were ready to tell him, but, however this may be, the statements to ·which he apparently gave credence cannot be taken seriously. It so happened, in point of fact, that, at about the same period of time as that spoken of, Mr. Mark Morris, a wholesale meat salesman of Melbourne, ·who sells entirely to the local trade, was drawing the greater portion of his supplies of live-stock from t he Coonamble district.


I did not visit either Western Australia or Tasmania. There is n o export trade in meat from either of these States, and though there is some export of live -stock from vVestern Australia, it is small and unimportant in character. The foll owing figures were supplied to me by the Department of Trade and Customs :-

ExpoTt of Live-stock fmm Westem Austmlia. Cattle- Number. Val no.

1912 To Java 4,315 £19,257

Philippines 9,625 29 ,968

- - -

13,940 £49,225

1913 To Java 5,491 £25,137

Philippines 8,373 25,033

Singapore 1 15

13,865 £48,185

Sheep__:_ 1912 To Singapore 22,295 £10,942

Java 40 30

- - -

22,335 £10,972

- - -

1913 To Singapore 27,360 £15,156


Before proceeding to deal with the evidence it may be convenient to refer shortly, at this stage, to the conditions under which the trade is carried on, the available supplies of live-stock, and the persons, firms, and companies engaged in the trade.

REGULATIONS AFFECTING THE MEAT ExPORT TRADE. No restrictions are placed by the law in the way of persons who desire to engage in the trade. Subj ect to compliance with the provisions of the Legislature, and of the regulations made under legislative authority, there is nothing to prevent any person possessed of · the necessary capital and enterprise froni entering into it. Nor has the Legislature, in the conditions which it has prescribed governing the export of meat, interfered further than appeared reasonably necessary for the purpose of insuring that

meat exported from Australia should be free from disease, and fit for human consumption. RuLES UNDER CoMMERCE ACT. By virtue of a proclamation issued under section 112 of the Customs Act 1901-1910 the exportation of meat from Australia is prohibited, unless it has been certified to be fit for export by an inspector appointed under the CommeTce (Tmde DescTiptions) Act 1905. In the case of meat intended for export the procedure prescribed by the regula­ tions framed under the Commerce (Trade Descriptions) Act is shortly to the following effect.

Power is conferred upon the Comptroller-General of Customs to appoint, in writing, certain places where goods intended for export may be inspected and examined. Such places are known as "appointed places." All slaughtering premises at which live-stock is slaughtered for export are made appointed places, and an inspector is stationed at each whose duty it is to inspect and examine all stock so slaugh_ tered.


Slaughtering and freezing are not always done at the same establishment, but all meat, if passed for export, must, except in the case of preserved meat, be placed in some cool store which has been made an appointed place, and kept at a temperature not exceeding 20 degrees Fahrenheit. It cannot be removed from the store in which it has been placed without the authority of a departmental officer. All meat passed as fit for export is marked with a stamp. If it is not under fair average quality it is marked as" approved for export," and if it is under fair average quality it is marked merely as "passed for

export." In addition, in the case of carcass meat, the inspecting officer certifies, in each case, that the meat is free from disease, and suitable in every way for human consumption. The regulations provide that the mark or stamp may be applied to that portion of the goods or covering which bears the trade description prescribed by the Act, but, in practice, in the case of carcass meat, a tag or label is affixed to the carcass. On one side of this tag or label the prescribed trade description is printed, while the other side contains the mark or stamp and the certificate. Any person intending to export meat must give written notice of his intention to the Customs, and no exportation can take place until an export permit has been issued by the examining officer. is not issued until the of the regulations have been complied with, and before it is issued the meat is, if necessary, examined again in the cool store.

These provisions, and in particular the prohibition against the removal from the cool store, without the authority of a departmental officer, of meat which has been placed there after being examined and passed for export, clearly indicate that the framers of them did not contemplate or intend that departmental control should cease as soon as

meat had been examined and placed in a cool store. It was somewhat surprising, therefore, to find that Mr. Maison, of the Melbourne I ce Skating and Refrigerating Co., Ltd., and Mr. Sennitt, of Sennitt and Sons Prop. Ltd., two companies which freeze and store meat in Melbourne for exporters, both spoke as though, in the case of meat tagged and passed for export, the owner's authority was all that was required to enable it to

be removed from the cool store. Obviously this is not so. If the regulations are strictly observed, the authority of a departmental officer is necessary, in addition to that of the owner, before removal. It would seem, too, that the regulations, if strictly complied with, ought to be

sufficient to obviate the possibilities of danger spoken of by Dr. Johnston, the State Supervising Officer of Meat in Victoria under the Commerce (Trade Descriptions) Act. Meat, which has been inspected and passed for export, cannot go directly into local consumption, but must, within twelve hours after inspection, go into a cool store at an

appointed place, and, as it cannot be removed from the store without the authority of an officer, any possible misuse of the tags or labels can be prevented by taking them off before authorizing the meat to be taken out of store for local consumption_.


Before passing away from the regulations a circumstance in connexion with. them came under my notice, to which I think I should call attention. 1ssued

under the regulations, certifying that meat is suitable for human consumptiOn,. state bhat it has been "examined and found by ante-mortem and post-mortem inspectiOn to be free from disease and suitable in every way for human consumption. " In New South Wales the supervision and inspection of meat for export is undertaken by the State Department of Public Health under an arrangement with the Commonwealth Govern­

ment, and Mr. Thorpe, the Veterinary Inspector in charge of meat export in that State, stated in his evidence that no ante-mortem inspection of sheep is made by his I subsequently wrote to Mr. Thorpe, asking for precise information as to the practice adopted in respect of the ante-moTtem inspection of sheep and cattle for

export, and at the same time I wrote to Dr. Johnston, the State SuperVIsmg Officer of Meat in Victoria, to Mr. Kerr the Chief Veterinary Inspector in Queensland, and to Mr. Pope, the General Manager of,the Government Produce Department in South asking for similar information. The replies which I received that practice adopted in respect of sheep varies in the different States. In and m queens­ land, ante-mortem inspection takes place. In New South Wales IS no official ante­ mortem inspection, and in South Australia, t hough an inspector occaswm1lly goes

the pens, ante-mortem inspection is not rigidly carried out. If certificates are to contmue • I find that evidence to the same effect wa• giv en by Mr. Vyner,, the Chief Veterinary Inspector of the Department, before the Comm ission appointed by the Queensland Government to inquire into matters relatmg .to the meat mdustry. uce De Ot

t At the present time the whole of the stock slaughtered for export m South Austraha ts slaughtered at the Government Prod P ·



to be issued in their present form, it is imperative that the practice in South Wales and South Australia should be brought into line with that in the other States. Certifi­ cates should not be misleadivg as to the facts certified to. ·. Mr. Thorpe's remarks in his letter (Appendix A) as to the ante-morte1n )nspection in New South Wales of cattle which are slaughtered for export, but which do not pass through the saleyards at Flernington, are also deserving of attention.


A tabulated statement showing the numbers of cattle and sheep in the several States and Territories of the Commonwealth at the close of each year from 1904 to 1913 inclusive is set out in Appendix B hereafter. In respect both of cattle and of sheep the figures for 1913, taken as a whole, show a substantial increase over those for 1901, but the increase has not been continuous from year to year, and there have been very marked fluctuations attributable to the ravages of drought and other causes. In New South \Vales, which possesses more sheep than the aggregate number in the other States engaged in the meat export trade, and upwards of 46 per cent. of the total number in the Commonwealth, it is noticeable that there was a steady decline in numbers from 1909 to 1912, and, though the numbers rose again in 1912, they are still very much below those of 1901. In that year there were upwards of 41,857,000 sheep in the State. Queensland possesses more cattle than the aggregate number in the other States referred to, and more than 46 per cent.

of the total number in the Commonwealth, but, though the numbers in that State show an increase in each year from 1904 onwards-except in 1911, when there was a smalf decrease-they are, as Mr. Bunning pointed out, still consideraqly lower than the numbers of 1894. In that year there were upwards of 7,000,000 cattle in the State.

If, too, it is the case, as Mr. A. H. Wittingham, the President of the Pastoral Employers' Association of Central and Northern Queensland, stated in his presidential address last May, that in order to maintain the pastoral industry in a sound position the average annual increase-after allowing for natural losses, local consumption, and export-should be, for cattle, at least 10 per cent., and, for sheep, at least 15 per cent., the position cannot be regarded as satisfactory. If a period of. ten years from 1904 to 1913 be taken it will appear that, in respect both of cattle and of sheep, this average .annual increase has not been maintained either in the Commonwealth as a whole, or in

any one of the four States engaged in the export trade in Ineat.


Unsatisfactory, however, as the increase in his herds and flocks may to the pastoralist, it is, I think, indisputable that the production of beef, mutton, and lamb suitable for export has not hitherto been commensurate with the capacity of the Commonwealth. The statements set out hereafter in Appendix C show the total export of these products from the Commonwealth, and from each of the four exporting States, for the years 1904 to 1913 inclusive, and for the first four months of the present year. The quantities exported to the United Kingdom, and to the United States of America, are shown separately, but those to all other countries are grouped together. Detailed information in respect of these was supplied to me, but as the inforn1ation is available in the Commonwealth Trade Interchange I do not think that it is necessary to print it as an appendix to this Report.

A falling off in the supply of home-grown beef, mutton, and lamb to the markets of the United Kingdom, the opening of a new market in the United States· of America, and a general shortage in the world's supplies of meat, led to an increase in the prices paid by exporters, which was responded to by a very large increase in the exports from Australia in 1913. The figures speak for themselves, and W. \Veddel and Co. Ltd., in their Annual Review of the Frozen Meat Trade for that year, referring to the imports into the United Kingdom from the Commonwealth, say, "The arrivals of beef and mutton from that source during 1913 established fresh records, while the quantity of lamb imported in 1913 has only twice been exceeded.''


Frozen meat is lower in price in England than either chilled meat or home-grown meat. The demand for it comes therefore very largely from the poorer classes, and their prosperity is a material factor in the development of the export trade with the United


Kingdom. Mr. Shaw, the managing director of the Gladstone Meat Works, Mr. A. A. Elder, the acting director in Victoria of John Cooke and Company, Mr. Balderstone, the manager in Victoria of Thomas Borthwick and Sons, and Mr. Nevanas, of S. V. Nevanas and Company, all expressed the opinion that the increased demand for imported meat in England was due to the increased prosperity of the people, and Mr. Shaw submitted

some figures, said to have been extracted from official publications, purporting to show an increase in the consumption of fresh and refrigerated beef and. mutton imported into England, between 1907 and 1913 inclusive, altogether out of proportion to the increase in population during the same period. I do not think, however, that the inference of a

strikingly large increase in consumption, which Mr. Shaw sought to draw from the figures, is borne out on closer investigation and more careful scrutiny. He evidently took his figures as to the .annual imports of fresh and refrigerated beef and mutton from the annual statements of the trade of the United Kingdom, compiled in the Statistical Office

of the Imperial Customs and Excise Department, but in drawing the inference that there was an increase of consumption proportionate to the increase in these imports he omitted to take two factors into consideration. He made no allowance for the re-export of imported beef or mutton, whereas the fact is, as appears from the same statements, that

the export of fresh and refrigerated beef from the United Kingdom grew from 660 tons in 1907 to 12,659 tons in 1913, and the export of fresh and refrigerated mutton grew in the same period from 282 tons to 662 tons; and he omitted to take into consideration the fact that the importation of refrigerated meat was very largely increased by the

diminution in the importation of live-stock for consumption. According to the figures published by W. Weddel and Coy. Ltd. their Annual Reviews of the Frozen Meat Trade, the supply of'meat from imported live-stock dropped in the case of beef from 151,719 tons in 1907 to 4,739 tons in 1913, and in the case of mutton from 2,828 tons to

13 tons. According, moreover, to the same figures the total importations in the form of live-stock, fresh killed, chilled, and frozen meat- without making any deductions for re-export- only increased, in the case of beef, from 438,469 tons in 1907 to 464,904 tons in 1913, an increase of 26 ,435 tons, or a little over 6 per cent. ; and, in the case of mutton,

from 232,434 tons in 1907 to 266,932 tons in 1913, an increase of 34,498 tons, or about 10! per cent. Important, therefore, as the prosperity and purchasing power of the English people have been, and must be, as factors in the growth and development of the export trade in meat, it is apparent that there has not been anything like so large

an increase in consumption · in the United Kingdom as that suggested by Mr. Shaw. Taking again the figures published by W. Weddel and Coy. Ltd. in their Annual Review, the total supplies of beef, mutton, and lamb from all sources, including home-grown produce-but again without making any deduction in respect of meat re-exported­

only grew from 1,771,183 tons in 1907 to 1,827,136 tons in 1913, an increase of 155,953 tons, or a little more than 8. 8 per cent. During the same period the population increased by a little over 5 per cent.


Until the present outbreak of war in Europe intervened to disturb all calculations and forecasts as to the future, both pastoralist and exporter were looking forward to a continuation of a strong den1and, and a continuation of a higher level of prices. It does not fall within my province to discuss this phase of the matter in any detail, but it is a matter of common knowledge that the growth of the export trade and the increase

of smaller holdings, as a result of closer settlement, have combined to bring about a recognition of the value of good mutton producing, as well as wool producing, qualities in the breeding of sheep, and the consequent production of a class of sheep and lamb possessing a carcass suitable for export. the bulk of the supplies of mutton

and lamb has come from the southern States, principally from New South Wales and Victoria; and it is probable that under normal conditions the export trade in mutton and lamb from these States will be very largely developed in the future. The exports of mutton and lamb from Queensland have not been very considerable in the past ,

but, as the country becomes more closely settled, it is probable that that State take a very much larger part in the export trade in mutton and lamb than she has done. · · . ·- "'-

In respect of beef it is improbable that the southern States will take a in the export trade in future. The production of beef cattle in those l S giVIng way to the production of dairy cattle. In fact, though the figures comp1led by the Stock Branch of the Department of Agriculture in New South Wales show a s1n all



increase in the number of cattle in that State for 1913, differing in this respect from the figures compiled by the Commonwealth authorities,* Mr. Symons, the Chief Inspector for Stock in the State, says that, though for some years until 1912, there was a steady increase in the number of cattle, the increase was in the dairying district.s, and there was a marked decrease in beef cattle. The figures relating to live stock, set out in Appendix B, show that at the close of 1913 Queensland possessed more than 46 per cent. of the cattle in the Commonwealth, and the figures in Appendix C relating to the quantities of beef exported show that in that year out of a total export of 218,918,606 lbs. of beef, valued at £2,652,275, Queensland's share was 188,538,120 lbs., valued at £2,231,972, or, in other words, upwards of 86 per cent. of the total quantity exported from the Commonwealth, and upwards of 84 per cent. of the value of that export. As the stock-carrying capacity of the country increases with development, it is probable that jn the future the supplies of beef cattle for the export trade will be derived principally from the central and northern parts of Australja. Mr. Bunning, a Queensland grazier, and a member of a Royal Commission appointed in 1912 by the Queensland Government to inqune into a number of matters relating to the meat industry in Queensland, expressed the opinion that two-thirds of the area of land in Queensland capable of carrying stock is practically unoccupied, and that the number of sheep and cattle in the State might be doubled. Mr. Robert Archer, of Gracemere, a grazier of large experience in the Central district of Queensland, also expressed the opinion that, with develop1nent and an increase of smaller holdings, Queensland would be capable of carrying twice as many cattle as it is now doing, and both he and Mr. Bunning said that the increased prices of stock were encouraging past oralists to increase their herds. Mr. Archer breeds bulls for sale to pastoralists who raise beef cattle, and he has never known the demand for bulls to be so keen as it has been during the last eight or nine months.

The confidence of exporters in the development and permanence of the trade is indicated by the activity which has been manifested, during the last two years, by an extension of the capacity of existing works and by the entrance of new competitors into the trade. Within approximately that period of time the following new works have been established in Queensland:-


(1) Thomas Borthwick Sons (Australasia) Ltd. have erected the Moreton Freezing Works on the Brisbane River. These works were opened in April, 1913. They have a killing capacity of 230 cattle a day, or 140 cattle and 1,000 sheep a day, and a storage capacity of 1,000 tons.

. (2) The Rosewarne Queensland Ltd., a recently formed company, was established for the purpose of carrying on the business of meat preserving at Brisbane, and 1began business there about July, 1913. It is capable of handling 150 cattle a day. (0) The Biboohra Meat Export Coy. was formed in September, 1912, for the purpose of acquiring a meat works at Cairns which had ceased to be in operation for some fourteen years. The company carries on the business of meat preserving, and, according to the evidence of lVIr. Kerr, the Chief Veterinary Surgeon for the Comrrwnwealth in Queensland, is capable of handling from 80 to 100 cattle a day. Mr. Warner, the chair­ man of directors, puts the capacity at from 120· to 150 a day.

(4) The Australian Meat Export Coy. Ltd.-as to the connexion of which with Swift and Coy., of Chicago, I shall have something to say later-has been established, and has erected works on River, which were opened at the beginning of

last June. Although already: in operation they are not yet completed, but when finished they will have a killing capacity of 500 cattle and 2,500 sheep a day, and a storage capacity of 1,700 tons. Within approximately the same period of time the following companies carrying on business in Queensland have increased their killing_ capacity :-The Queensland Meat Export and Agency Coy. Ltd., the Gladstone Meat Works, of _Queensland Ltd., the Burdekin River Meat Preserving Coy. Ltd., John Cooke Coy., and the Central

Queensland Meat Export Coy. Ltd. The increase in each case was in respect of the capacity to handle cattle, and it amounts in all to an'" increase in killing capacity of 975 cattle a day. In addition to these increases Meat Export Coy.

purchased from the North Queensland Meat-Export Coy. its meat preserving business • As explained in t he Annual R ep ort of the Stock Branch of the Department of Agriculture, and by Mr. Symons, this differen-ce in number!! arises from a difference in the. method of collectin g ret urns. For st atistical purposes returns are collected by the police, whereas the figures of the Stock Branch of the Depart ment of Agriculture are based upon the stock returns submitted by Stock Inspectors under the Pastures Protectioll -.,A.cts, and, as a rule, terms are only sent to fersons who have a sutficiept nup:1b er Qf stoc¥: to renqer tl!em to asseSSPleJlt,


at Alligator Creek, near Townsville. The works are at present capable o£ handling from 200 to 240 cattle a day, but they are being enlarged, and refrigerating machinery is being introduced, and when these extensions and improvements are completed they will have a killing capacity of 500 cattle and 2,000 sheep a day and a storage capacity

of 1,300 tons.


I may mention, too, in this connexion, that :Mr. Angliss, of \V. Angliss and Coy., has bought land .at Townsville with the object of erecting freezing works, but before proceeding with them he is awaiting to see how the trade will develop; and that Morris and Coy., of Chicago, have exercised their option of purchase-spoken of by Mr: Uhlmann

and Mr. Cameron, in giving evidence at Brisbane-over 420 acres of land on the Brisbane River, adjoining the Moreton Freezing vVorks.


In addition, moreover, to this evidence of activity in the trade in Queensland, Vestey Brothers, of Smithfield, London, who are largely interested in the Union Cold Storage Coy. and in W. and R. Fletcher Ltd., propose to establish freezing works at or near Darwin, in the Northern Territory, and have recently entered into an agreement with the Minister of State for External Affairs in connexion with the facilitation of their plans, under wliich they have agreed to begin the erection of the works not later than the 1st of lVIay next, and to expend upon them not less than £100,000. Either the same

firm, or the Union Cold Storage Coy., has recently purchased pastoral properties in the Northern Territory, said to contain about 12,000,000 acres and about 240,000 cattle.


In Victoria, Thomas Borthwick and Sons (Australasia) Ltd. are duplicating the slaughtering capacity of their Brooklyn works, and when the alterations are completed, as they probably are by this time, the capacity of the works will be 6,000 sheep, or lambs, a day. . ·


In considering the evidence as to the additional facilities recently provided in Queensland for the treatment of cattle at meat works it has to be borne in mind that, as the pastoral industry is at present carried on, supplies of cattle suitable for the export trade are not available all the year round. Though some works may be more or less busy for longer periods, there is, generally speaking, an annual season of from five to seven months, during which stock are in the best condition for export, and during which the meat works are employed to the fullest extent of their capacity in order to absorb the available supplies of live-stock before they begin to lose condition. The table, set out hereafter in Appendix D, giving particulars relating to the firn1S engaged in the meat export trade, shows that the daily killing capacity of the meat works in Queensland is 4,370 cattle, and, according to the figures supplied by lVIr. Kerr, 452,760 cattle were

slaughtered at the various meat works last year. Some of these, no doubt, went into local consumption, but, taking the figures as they stand, they represent supplies for killing for a little over 100 days. Tested in this way the existing facilities would appear to be more than adequate for present requirements, and in fact more than one witness took this view and looked forward to an era of more strenuous competition, with increased

prices for the pastoralist and the possible exclusion from the trade of the weaker com­ petitors among the exporters. Others took a brighter view of the future. They thought that there was room for great expansion in the supplies of cattle , and that the expansion of the export trade, and the higher level of prices likely to prevail, would prove a . sufficient inducmnent to pastoralist s and farmers to provide increased supplies. :More than one witness looked forward to the development of fattening as a distinct occupatio?­ from that of breeding stock, and foresaw a large increase in the supply fr om the culti­

vation, by farmers and small holders, of artificial grasses and crops on coastal and lands adapted for fattening purposes. If this development should come about, 1t will lead to an extension of the period during which fat stock suitable for export can be J?Ut upon the market ; and, in fact, Mr. Malkow, the managing director of the Australian

Meat Export Coy., stated that he was going to try and work all the year round, and that



he hoped to make it successful. When asked if the conditions in the industry were such that he could count with any degree of confidence on getting a regular supply of stock, he replied, " I think it must come in time. If the Queensland pastoralists realize that they must handle their stock so that it can be marketed the year round, only then can a regular established Australian meat industry be built up, which will warrant them expecting the prices for their live-stock which are obtained in other parts of the world.

H you want to build up a market for the Australian product in England or the United States of America, you will have to keep going the twelve months round , or otherwise they will have to draw their supply from sources where they can have them regularly."

Nor did Mr. Malkow share the fears entertained by other witnesses as to the capacity of the railways to handle larger numbers of stock. He thought that this was a matter which would take care of itself, and that, if the people produced pastoral products which they wanted transported over the railways, fa cilities would be provided to cope with the production.


Although the matter does not, perhaps, fall properly within the scope of my inquiries, I wish before passing away from the evidence bearing on the question of supplies of cattle to call attention to the evidence given as to the growth of the export of veal and as to the necessity- if the herds of this country are to be kept up to their proper numbers-of placing some restriction upon the slaughter of female calves.

The export trade in this product hitherto has not been of sufficient magnitude to lead to the recording of separate statistical information in respect of it. In the English market prices have, as a rule, been insufficient to induce shipments. In the United States, on the other hand, the demand for it is said to be very great, and in some quarters the excessive slaughtering of calves is regarded as a material factor in the diminution in numbers of the cattle herds in that country.

In a report on the conditions of the beef industry in the United States in 1908, by Mr. George Young, the Secretary in charge of Commercial Affairs at the British Embassy in Washington, it is stated that "the growing demand for veal, combined with the growth of dairying and the increased cost of maize has also tended to increase considerably the percentage of calves slaughtered, which must in time and probably already has affected, the supply." I find that a similar view as to the effect

of the demand for veal is held by Swift and Co., of Chicago. Mr. Pearse has shown me a copy of that company's Year-Book, published in January, 1913, in which the matter is dealt with as follows :-One of the most effective methods of increasing the beef supply of the country and thereby lessening the prevailing-high prices of beef would be the restriction of the sale of veal.

The United States is the greatest veal-consuming country in the world. Its demand for veal is so great that the number of calves slaughtered has increased 100 per cent. in the past decade. In the United States during 1911, there were slaughtered 8,000,000 calves. These 8,000,000* calves did not average over 70 pounds. If they had be en allowed to live one year they wo uld have averaged 600 pounds of good beef, and would have given to the country 4,800,000,000 pounds of beef, instead of only 560,000,000 pounds of meat . According to a conservative estimate, this 4,000,000,000 odd pounds would furnish a city of 350,000 people with its total meat supply for over 50 years. This gives some idea of the country's immediate loss of beef supply by the slaughter of calves.

South America is, or was, previously a close second to the United States in the consumption of veal. This country long since recognised the danger in destroying the basis of future beef production and took measures for the conservation of the live stock industry. Laws were enacted making it an offence, subject to a severe penalty, to slaughter female calves, heifers, or cows under six years of age .

The purpose of these laws was to increase the breeding herds. The results have been altogether beneficial, and in no sense deleterious.

I have been unable to obtain a copy of the legislation referred to in Swift and Co.'s Year-Book, or of the Act imposing an export tax on calves referred to by Mr. Pearse in his evidence.

• I ha ve been unable to obtain any statistical records of the United States for the purpose of fi gures, but the nuJ?ber is

surprisin gly large. Mr. Cherry in his report says that the number of cattle slaughtered under Federal mspectwn m the Umted States .m 1911 was 7, 781,030, and tile number of calves 2,219,908. I do not know how many cattle are slaughtered otherWi se than under Federalmspectwn.


The figure_s contai_ned in the following table have been supplied by the supervising officers for meat m the drfferent States, and they show the exports from Australia during recent years. The information supplied to me in respect of Victoria does not go further back than July, 1911. There was no shipment from South Australia prior to the 1913-

1914 season. Apparently there has been no export from Queensland. .


New South Wales. Victoria. South Aust.ralia .

. - .. - Total Exports. To U.S .A. Total Exports, Total Exports.

1910 (July-December) .. . . 2,329 1,288 . . . .

1911 . . . .. 10,637 851 2,758* . .

1912 . . .. 16,238 3,671 3,355 . .

1913 .. .. . . 13,971 5,037 5,049 . .

1914 (January-June) .. . . 9,174 7,757 7,296t 1,429:j:


• July-December only. 'i' J anuary-May only. t Season 1913-1914.

The shipments from South Australia all went to the United Kingdom.

I have not been able to obtain official information as to the quantities shipped to the United States from Victoria; but, from a return handed in by Mr. Crowe, the Superintendent of Exports in Victoria, it appears that 4,443 carcasses were shipped to New York in March and April of this year, and shipments have been made to the west coast as well as to the east.

The figures indicate that, though the total export is not very considerable in quantity, there has been a very considerable increase in the exports to the United States since the removal of the import duty. Mr. Cordner, the chairman of the Stock Sales­ men's Association in Melbourne, says that since the beginning of the year the supplies

of prime young veal have been insufficient to meet the demand, and that it has been rumoured among the salesmen that export inquiries were accountable to some extent for the increased demand. Mr. Angliss also spoke of the big demand for veal. Mr. Pearse is very emphatic in his belief that, if the unrestricted slaughtering of female • calves is allowed to continue, the effect on the future of the meat export trade will be

very serious, and he feels so strongly on the subject that in June last he wrote to the Prime Minister calling his attention to the matter. Mr. Shaw and Mr. Elder both think that the unrestricted export of female calves is likely to Teduce the cattle breeding capacity of the countq, and that it should be prohibited. Mr. Sharpe, the member for the Oxley Division in the House of Representatives, is also of opinion that legislation

should be passed to prevent the wholesale slaughteTing of young breeding calves. On the other hand, Mr. CordneT and MT. Angliss both think that the increasing demand for veal involves no danger to the supplies of cattle.

It is outside the scope of my duties to express an opinion in the matteT, and I have not sufficient information to enable me to do so, but, having regard to the opinions entertained by the witnesses whom I have mentioned as to the danger of allowing un­ restricted slaughteT of calves, I think that the matter is sufficiently serious to call for fuTther consideration with a view to action, if necessary, of a preventive character.



A list of the principal firms, companies, and in the

in meat which is as accurate as I have been able to make It, will be found m Appendix D. It particulars as to the nature_ of the on each case, and,

in addition, where it is available, informatwn as to diStnbutmg agenCies.

It does not include small or occasional exporters. Carcass butchers who sell dead meat to expOTters, slaughtering which for exporters

who buy on the hoof but have no works ?f then own, and stores,

freezing is done for exporters, are also om1tted. These subsidiary mstrumentahtles



cannot be classed as exporters. I have, further, omitted firms which act solely as commission agents, such as Elder, S1nith, and Coy ., Gibbs, Bright, and Coy., and Harrison, Jones, and Devlin Ltd.


· Among the companies mentioned, the following, in addition to purchasing stock for treatment and export, are also the holders of pastoral properties in Queensland from which they draw a proportion of their supplies :- Thon1as Borthwick and Sons Ltd., Central Queensland Meat E xport Coy. Ltd., Gladstone l\1eat Works

of Queensland Ltd., and ,Queensland l\1eat Export and Agency Coy.

The Fitzroy Estates Ltd., an English company, has recently purchased, l\1r. Hopper, the manager of the Central Queensland Meat Export Coy. Ltd., a pastoral property in Queensland in the Clermont district containing about 1,000 square miles of country. I do not know in what precise relation these two companies st and to one another, but the principal shareholders in each are the same persons. It has been rumoured that the property in question was purchased on behalf of an American company, but Mr. Hopper gives this an emphatic denial, and I no reason to doubt his word.


The following information, relating to the different activities of the companies and firms mentioned in the list , and to the associations and community of interests which exist in some cases between different exporters, or between exporters and distributing agencies abroad, is interesting in its bearing upon the question of existing fa cilities for effective combination or control in one direction or another.

William Angliss and Coy. Ltd.-This ·company carries on a retail butchering_ business in Melbourne in addition to its export business. It also holds a one-third interest in the Riverina Meat Company Proprietary Limited.

Australian Chilling and Freezing Coy. Ltd.- The Colonial Consignment and Dis­ tributing Coy. Ltd., the distributing agent of this company in England, is also the distributing agent of the Central Queensland Meat Export Coy. Ltd., and Sir lVIontague Nelson is on the directorate of all three companies. The Colonial Consignment and Distributing Coy. Ltd. holds 5,000 shares in the Australian Chilling and Freezing Coy. Ltd. .

Australian Meat Export Coy. Ltd.- This company, which is regist ered in Queens­ land, is a subsidiary company to the Swift Beef Coy., of London. Except for :five small holdings of ten shares each, which stand in the names of officers or Australian directors of the company, the whole of the 200,000 shares which have been issued are in the hands of eight shareholders, all of whom are resident in the United States of America, i.e., six members of the Swift family and two other gentlemen who are interested with them. The members of the Swift family who are ·are also interested in the

Swift Beef Coy., of London, and in Swift and Coy., of Chicago.

Baynes Brothers.-This firm, in addition to exporting canned meat and selling dead meat to exporters, is also engaged in the wholesale and retail butchering trade at Brisbane. Birt and Coy. Ltd.- The managing director of this company is also the managing director of the Burdekin River l\!Ieat Preserving Coy. Ltd. The Stock Realization Coy. -a company registered in England- holds the majority of the shares the Burdekin

River Meat Preserving Coy., and Birt and Coy. holds the n1ajority of the shares in the Stock Realization Coy. The remaining shareholders in this company are the British India Coy., the Federal Steam Navigation Coy., and Turnbull, Martin, and Coy., the owners of the Shire steam-ship line. The ships of the two last-named companies carry frozen meat, and they are represented in New South Wales by Birt and Coy.

Thomas Borthwick and Sons (Australasia) Ltd.-This is a subsidiary company to Thomas Borthwick Ltd., an English company. Its business is to. provide supplies for the English company which has six stalls at Smithfield and carries on the business of general distributors throughout England. The Australian company holds one-third of the shares in the Riverina Meat Company Proprietary Limited.


R,iver Meat Preserving Coy. Ltd.-1 have already called attention to

the li:J?-k between this company and Birt and Coy. John Cooke and Coy. also hold a substantial interest in it, upwards of one-third of the shares being held by lVIr. Cooke and lVIr. Elder, two of the directors.

Central Queensland Meat Export Coy. Ltd.-I have already called attention to the links between ·this company and the Australian Chilling and Freezing Coy. in Australia and the Colonial Consignment and Distributing Coy. in England. The Colonial Consignment and Distributing Coy. has two stalls at Smithfield, and dis­ tributing depots throughout England, Ireland, and Scotland.

John Cooke and Company Proprietary Lirnited.-This co1npany holds a one-third interest in the Riverina Meat Con1pany Proprietary Lin1ited, and upwards of one-third of the shares in the Burdekin River Meat Preserving Coy.

In addition to carrying on the business of exporting it has a controlling interest in a wholesale and retail butchering business carried on in 1\!l:elbourne and suburbs under the name of T. K. Bennett and Woolcock Proprietary Limited, and it carries on a retail business in Brisbane under the name of F. J. Moore and Coy.

W. and R. Fletcher Ltd.-This is an English company with a branch in Australia, which it uses for the purpose of purchasing, freezing, and shipping supplies for its English business. In England it owns between 400 and 500 shopt; and it deals in frozen meat wholesale and retail. The controlling interest in the company is held by the firm of Vestey Brothers, who also hold a controlling interest in the Union Cold Storage

Coy., and who, as I have mentioned previously, propose to establish freezing works in the Northern Territory. · . ·

J. W. Harding and Coy.-:-Mr. vV. A. the owner of this business, is one of the three principal shareholders in Rosewarne Queensland Ltd .

. Robert Little and Ooy.-This firm is part owner of the Kensington Preserving Con1pany Proprietary Limited. r

Queensland Meat Export and Agency Coy. Ltd.-This company is one of a group of four which appear to be closely related to one another, the other three being G. S. Yuill and Coy. Ltd., of Sydney, and Yuills Ltd. and the Stockbreeders' Meat Coy., of Ep_gland. According to the evidence of Mr. Colman, the general manager of the Queensland Meat Export and Agency Coy., the product of that company is handled in England by Yuills Ltd., which passes it on to the Stockbreeders' Meat Coy., a subsjdiary distributing company, with a stall at Smithfield and six or seven depots in different parts of England.

The Stockbreeders' Meat Coy. belongs practically to the Queensland lVIeat Export and Agency Coy. Mr. G. S. Yuill is the principal in the Queensland Meat Export and Agency Coy. and in G. S. Yuill and Coy. Ltd., and Mr. Lethbridge, the manager of the latter company, is on the directorate of both. G. S. Yuill and Coy. Ltd. holds the majority of the shares in Yuills Limited.

· The Riverina Meat Company Proprietary Limited.-The head-quarters of this company are at Deniliquin, in New South Wales, and I have already pointed out that the shares in it are held in equal proportions by W. Angliss and Coy., Thomas and Sons (Australasia) Ltd., and John Cooke and Coy. Originally started as a co­

operative concern amongst the stock-raisers in the district it was unsuccessful, and its property and plant came into the market for sale. Each of the three companies who are now the co-owners was anxio,us to buy for itself, but each apparently entertained doubts as to the profit-earning capacity of the business in the hands of ?ne if

to the competition of the other two. They agreed, therefore, to buy 1n conJunctwn with one another, and ajter carrying on the business in partnership for two converted it into a comp.:any. The powers contained in the memorandum of assoc1atwn are wide enough to enable the company to carry on the business of a meat exporter in any part of Australia, but, though it exported its product in the it has not done so since, and its operations are at present confined to hve­

stock, slaughtering it, freezing it, and delivering it f.

company lies in its treatment of the by-products, and 1n 1ts to treat and deliver the stock at a lower cost than the estimated amount allowed to 1t for that purpose by



the shareholders, and the net result of its operations during the two completed seasohs- ·· 1910-1911 and 1911-1912-that it has been at work, since it was acquired by its present owners, has been a profit so small as to be negligible. It limits its purchases of live­ stock to a specified area fixed by the directors wjthin the Riverina district in New South

Wales, -and only buys outside that area in the event of the supplies of stock within it becoming exhausted. So far as sellers of stock are concerned, the practical result of this combination of interests is that within the area from which supplies are drawn the number of buyers is reduced by two, but there is no evidence to suggest that this partial elimination of competition injuriously affects the prices obtained. It is well known to sellers that the three companies concerned do not compete against one another, but there are other buyers competing in the same area, and, probably, all prudent and business-like sellers adopt the same course as that spoken of by Mr. Falconer, the n1anager of the Australian Mercantile, Land, and Finance Coy. Ltd., and refused to sell at prices which are relatively" lower than those obtainable in Sydney or Melbourne. Mr. Falconer says that his cornpany protects itself in this way, and that, in his experience, there is no difference between the level of prices obtainable · within the district round about the Riverina works, and those obtainable elsewhere.

I cannot, of course, predict what use the company n1ay make in the future of its very extensive powers, but as its business is at present carried on it is apparent that the combination of the co- owners is limited to the preparation of the product for export. In respect of the exportation of its share each acts independently of, and is in competition with, the others. Mr. Angliss says that his company has never made a profit on the sale of its share. He attributes this to the increased cost of working in the country, and he regards the inability to work as economically in the country as in the n1etropolis as the obstacle which stands in the way of making'a financial success of the Riverina works.

Rosewarne (Queensland) Ltd.-Mr. Rosewarne, one of the three principal share­ holders in this company, is practically the proprietor of the Cumberland Packing Coy.

G. S. Yuill and Coy. Ltd.- This co1npany, as I have already mentioned, holds the majority of the shares in Yuills Ltd., and both companies are associated with the Queensland Meat Export and Agency Coy. Ltd.


In turning to consider the evidence relating to the existence of any restrictive combination or attempt at 1nonopoly in the export trade in meat it would be idle to ignore the fact that, although no names are 1nentioned in my commission, this inquiry had its origin in the belief that some of the American companies belonging to the group popularly known as the American Beef Trust were entering into the export trade in meat frmn AustraJia, and in the further belief that, having regard to the past history of the

Beef Trust, its elimination of competition, its control of prices both to the producer and to the consumer, and its vast resources, this incursion into the Australian trade consti­ tuted a menace to its healthy development and a danger to the community.

I propose therefore to consider first the evidence relating to the American companies and afterwards to deal with that relating to other combinations.


In speaking of the American Beef Trust I refer, of course, throughout to the An1erican companies which in the United States and elsewhere have been commonly grouped together under that name. I have made no independent investigation of my own into the facts of their past history, and their operations outside Australia. These matters have been the subject of inquiry both in the United States and in England, and for the purposes of this inquiry it seemed to me sufficient, and I have been content, to rely upon the information so acquired by others. Before referring to the operations in Australia of the companies concerned I propose to refer briefly to information obtained as to their past history, and to some of the conclusions arrived at concerning them and their operations, in other inquiries made elsewhere.

In the first place, it is material to consider what companies have, from time to time, been grouped together and designated as the Beef Trust.


In compliance with a resolution of the House of Representatives of the United States of America the Commissioner of Corporations (Mr. James Rudolph Garfield) made a report in 1905 upon various matters relating to the beef industry. In chapter II., section 1, he says:-

The investigation of the beef industry by the Bureau of Corporations has necessarily been mainly confined, so far as the packing-house business is concerned, to a few of the larger companies. Particular attention has been paid to the following concerns, three of which-Armour and Co., Swift and Co., Nelson Morris .and Coy., with the G. H. Hammond Coy. (the last now included in the National Packing Coy.)­ were for years known throughout the trade as the " Big Four," and the entire group of which is not infrequently designated as the "Big Six." The authorized capital stock of each of these companies is

also given :-

Armour and Coy., Illinois Swift and Coy., Illinois Nelson Morris and Coy., Illinois, a partnership including­ Fairbank Canning Coy., Illinois

Morris and Coy., Maine National Packing Coy., New Jersey Schwarzschild and Sulzberger Coy., New York Cudahy Packing Coy., Illinois ..

Authorized Capital Stock.


20,000,000 35,000,000*

3,000,000 3,000,000 15,000,000 5,000,000t


An idea of the importance of these six companies is suggested by the figures of authorized capitali­ zation just given, and amounting in the aggregate to $88,000,000, exclusive of $5,000,000 bonds of Swift and Coy., a figure which, as indicated elsewhere, is probably well below the actual resources of the group. The gross business of these six companies is, practically, $700,000,000 per year.t


The National Packing Co. (which has now gone out of existence) was what is known as a" holding company," and most of its constituent properties had been originally purchased by Armour and Co., Swift and Co., and the Morris interests mentioned above. These three concerns were all represented in its management.

The figures contained in the report submitted to the shareholders in Swift and Co. at the annual meeting in January, 1914, extracts from which are quoted in Mr. Cabburn's report to the High Commissioner,§ illustrating the magnitude of the company's development are striking. It appears from the report of the Commissioner

of Corporations referred to above that the company was incorporated in 1895 with a capital of $300,000 (£62,500). In 1905 this had been increased to $35,000,000 (£7,291,666), and in 1913 it had been increased to $75,000,000 (£15,625,000) fully paid in cash. Its resources, or assets as we should call them, amounted to $178,114,080

(£37,107,100) in 1913, and the surplus over its liabilities (including share capital) was $33,000,000 (£6,875,000). Its sales for the year exceeded $400,000,000 (£83,333,333), an average profit of 2i per cent. being made on every dollar's worth of produce sold, and its net profit for the year, after paying interest on bonds, amounted to $9,250,000

(£1,927,083). The dividend declared was at the rate of 7 per cent. per annum. In speaking of the volume of its sales for 1913 it is neCe§sary to point out that, though these showed an increase over the previous year of about 30 per cent., a large proportion of this is said to be accounted for through the acquisition of a portion of the business of

the National Packing Coy.

I have no information illustrating the development of the other companies belonging to the group, and I cannot say whether it has been on a scale cmnmensurate with that of Swift and Coy.


In the year 1908 a Committee was appointed by the Board of Trade in England to inquire how far and in what manner the general supply, distribution, and price of meat in the United Kingdom were controlled or affected by any combination of firms or companies. It was alleged that, though the American firms engaged in the in England were apparently competitors, they were in fact acting in combination w1th

*Not including $5,000,000 bonds.- · -"[Not including 85,000,000 preferred stock, the issuance of wh ich has been. delayed by -t Obtained from statements of the companies to the Bureau.--§ A report as to the growth, extent, and operatwns of the Beef Tru st by Mr. John Cabburn, of Lindon.



one another, and that the object of that combination was to obtain control o£ the market for beef in the United Kingdom. In dealing with those allegations the Committee said, in the course of its report:-24. We come then to what is known as the "United States Beaf Trust." Among the firms who are said to constitute this Trust in the United States are Armour and Coy., Swift and Coy., Morris and Coy., and the National Packing Coy. There are also two other firms of something approaching to the same importance, and engaged in the same trade, viz., the Cudahy Coy., and Schwarzschild and Sulzberger.

Of these firms the first four are represented in the United Kingdom by English companies brought into existence in order to sell in this country the products of the American firms.

25. These four English firms are Armour and Coy., the Swift Beef Coy., the Morris Beef Coy., and the Hammond Beef Coy., the last-named representing the National Packing Coy. The Cudahy Coy. does not appear to have any such re gular representation in this country, nor is it concerned to any extent, at least at present, in the sale of fresh beef, so that its proceedings are of no great moment to this inquiry. Schwarzschild and Sulzberger are represented by Archer and Sulzberger, an English partnership firm. The English member of this latter firm, Mr. Archer, appeared before us and claimed that Messrs. Sch warzschild and Sulzberger we re not members of any Trust in the United States, and that the English

Coy. has now no relations with the companies representing United States firms di ffe rent from those which it has with other purveyors of meat on the English market. We were told by others that the opinion commonly held in the United States is that Messrs. Schwarzschild and Sulzberger ceased to fo rm part of the Beef Trust some five or six years ago, and have since then been acting independent! y. We have not received any evidence which induces us to doubt that Mr. Archer was justified in claiming that his company occ upies an independent position in this country.

33. Owing to the meagre nature of the direct evidence as to the proceedings of the American companies in the United Kingdom, considerable importance must be attached to the position and action of the Beef Trust in the United States. That Trust has been the subject of several official inquiries and some judicial proceedings ; the most important of the inquiries were those by the United States Senate in 1890, and the .!federal Bureau of Corporations in 1905. Copies of t he Reports of these inquiries have been furnished to the Committee, and they have also been assisted by an elaborate and able report prepared for the purposes of the present inquiry by the Secretary in Charge of Commercial Affairs at His Majesty's Embassy in ·washington (Mr. George Young).

34. Broadly speaking, the outcome of these various investigations seems to be that in the United States a combination does exist, and has existed for two decades, in fact if not in form, between Armour and Coy., Swift and Coy., Morris and Coy., and the National Packing Coy.; that it is doubtful if Schwarzschild and. Sulzberger now form part of the combination; that the Cudahy Coy. probably does ; that each of the four companies first mentioned controls a number of subordinate concerns ; that

the combination has in its hands more than 50 per cent. of the whole beef trade. of the United States; that by reason of special transportation facilities, into the details of which it is unnecessary to enter here, the trust is in a position to compete on very favorable terms with local slaughterers and butchers ; that in the result there is little or no real competition, either for the purchase of cattle in Chicago or in the other great western stockyards, or in the sale of dressed beef (i.e. , carcasses of beef prepared and chilled)

throughout a large part of the United States; and that, though it wo uld be untrue to assert that all the businesses of the various companies are conducted as a single undertaking, yet they are worked in such concert as to eliminate all serious competition, and to enable them to act in unison against any formidable trade rival.

35. The consideration of these facts makes it very difficult to believe that the English companies representing these United States firms can be competitive to the full extent. It is said and with great truth, that it is almost incredible that Armour and Coy., Swift and Coy ., and Morris and Coy., should be in combination in the United States · and in competition in the United Kingdom; and the case is even stronger with regard to the fourth English company-the Hammond Beef Company. 'l'hat company, as already indicated, represents in this country the American National Packing Coy. Now, the capital

of the National Packing Coy . is, undoubtedly, subscribed by the other three packing firms just mentioned; and the Board of Directors controlling the National Packing Coy. are all representatives of Armour, Swift, and Morris. It appears utterly improbable that the Hammond Beef Company-representing a company which is itself entirely owned and controlled by three other American firms-should yet be in serious competition with the representatives of those firms in this country.


At the time that this Departmental Committee was making its investigations the importations of live-stock, and of dead meat, from the United States were already a diminishing quantity. The diminution in the importations of cattle on the hoof was no doubt attributable in a measure to the fact that it had been found to be more profitable to ship dead meat than live cattle, but this contraction was not counterbalanced

by an expansion of the imports of refrigerated beef, and the Committee point out in' their report that during the preceding four years the Argentine Republic had taken the place of the United States as the principal source of supply. In the succeeding years the United States not only did not recover its position as the principal supplier of beef to the United Kingdom, but by the ·end of HH3 it had practically ceased to export


and had become an importer. In a report on the Beef Trust recently submitted to the Comptr?ller-General of Customs by Wir. Cherry, the Veterinary Inspector for the Common­ wealth m England, he says that, according to the records of the United States, there was a decrease of 30 per cent. in the number of beef cattle in that country between 1907 and the end of 1913, while during the same period the population increased by 12,000,000. This change in the situation is well illustrated by the following table

contained in a recent memorandum prepared by the Board of Trade concerning the op:rations of the " Beef Trust " in the Argentine Republic. H shows the imports of chilled and frozen beef into the United Kingdom from the principal countries of for the years from 1908 to 1913.


Imports from PrincJpal

Year. Total Import•.

Argentine U.S .A. • •New Zealand.t Australia.t · ·

cwts. cwts. cwts. cwts. cwts.

1908 .. . . . . 5,611,441* 3,570,974 1, 446,994 347,872 112,583

1909 .. . . . . 6,078,198 - 4,208,155 856,216 454,368 409,397

1910 . . . . . . . 6,958,564 4,898,869 477,147 532,830 878,469

1911 .. . . . . 7,351,768 6,111,018 174,350 256,466 708,388

1912 . . . . . . 7,992,044 6,594,897 6,111 261,733 892,334

1913 .. . . . . 9,200,884 7,171,875 1,462 244,168 1,347,464


• Including a small quantity of fre sh beef. t Frozen beef only.

· In this connexion the following extract from Wed.de] and Coy.'s Review of the Frozen Meat Trade for 1913 is also of interest:-The eventual disappearance of the United States of America as a source of supply to the British market has been anticipated for many years past ; but the actual cessation of exports has come more suddenly and dramatically than most people looked fo r. Whereas seven years ago (1907) the United States was the largest supplier of meat to this country (in the form of beef and live cattle), the weight of the import from that source being then equi valent to 231,599 tons, last year only about 800 quarters of beef and 10,093 head of cattle arrived, representing in all only 3,316 tons. At the end of 1913, the position is that the United States has become a free importer of Australian and South American meat, receiving shipments into both Western and Eastern ports, no less than 6,621 tons having been actually re-exported from England in order to meet the requirements of the New York and Boston markets.


In considering this change in the · situation as regards foreign supplies to the United Kingdom it is of interest to note that, though marked variations took place in the quantities drawn from the various sources, there does not appear to have been any substantial variation in the dependence of the United Kingdom on supplies from foreign sources. The figures set out in the report of the Departmental Committee of the Board of Trade show that the percentage of home supplies to total supplies varied in the case

of beef and veal from 63.3 per cent. in 1898-1899 to 60.8 per cent. in 1907- 1908, and in the case of mutton and lamb from 61 . 2 per cent. in 1898-1899 to 55.9 per cent. in 1907 - 190S. In 1913 this percentage was 63 . 22 for beef and veal, and 52 . 58 for mutton and lamb, while home-grown beef, veal, mutton, and lamb taken together represented practically 60 per cent. of the total consumption. t

In Weddel and Coy.'s Annual Review for 1912 the proportion of home-grown meat to the total consumption is put at 62 .39 per cent.

In considering the figures bearing upon the proportion of to foreign meat consumed in the United Kingdom, the 'fact must r:ot be lost sight that th.e home­ grown meat is not distributed uniformly through the different markets m the Kmgdom. At the that the Departmental Committee its home-gro.wn meat repre­

sented only about 20 per cent. of the total commg !nto. the Srmthfi.eld market, and, whatever variations may have taken place m the percentage of

home-grown meat at Smithfield last year was only slightly m excess of that for 1909.


t See the t able at p. 22 post B



This is illustrated by the following analysis of supplies to the Smithfield market for 1913 extracted from the annual report on the London Central Markets, and referredito by Mr. Cabburn in his report :-

Source o! Supply.

nited Kingdom u A N s


ustralasia ..

orth America* .. outh America ..

ontinent, &c. -· Totals

·- -

- . . ... . . ... '"'

- . . .. . . . . ..


Beef and Veal. Ratio per Cent. Mutton and Lamb.

•rons. Tons.

.. 48,348 20 •9 29,695

. . 15,948 6 •9 83,516

. . 5,744 2•5 25

. . 154,503 66•6 18,306

. . 7,268


3•1 7,072

. . 231,811

I 100•0 138,614

• Includes the Dominion of Canad a and the Un it.crl States of Ameri ca.

Ratio per Cent.

21•4 60•3 •02 13•2

5 •1


This is an important circumstance because of the large influence which, notwith­ standing any growth that there may be in direct shipments t o provincial ports, is still exercised by Smithfield prices on prices throughout the country:


With two markets to cater for it is not likely t hat the American companies trading in the United States and the United Kingdom were blind to the change which was taking place in the situation, or to the necessity of seeking for supplies of beef outside the United States. Dealing with this aspect of 'the matter, the Departmental Committee of the Board of Trade say in their report :-

68. Until lately the supplies of the United States firms tracling in the United Kingdom have been drawn solely from the United States. In saying this we put aside the allegation i;hat they control part or the whole of the imports of live cattle from Canada, since the evidence on this point is too vague to afford any certain ground for a definite opinion. But recently, in the summer of 1907, Swift and Coy. bought

out one of the largest Argentine companies, the Plata, and still more recently another, the La Blanca, has been purchased. We are credibly informed that this latter purchase has been made by the National Packing Coy., and that the supplies sent to this· country are consigned to the Hammond Beef Company, which divides them for sale between the Armour, Swift, and Morris Coys., and itself-a fact which throws further, though indirect, light upon their probable relations to each other in the United States and in this country. It seems certain also that other negotiations, having for their object the acquisition of existing works in Argentina by United States firms, are procee ding. There have also been inquiries by representatives of United States firms in Australia and New Zealand.

69. It seems, therefore, to be within the limits of possibility, to put it no higher, that the United States firms will acquire very considerable interests in Argentina, and perhaps elsewhere . If this should be the case, it is not improbable that the methods of combination, which have been adopted so effectively in the United States, might be extended, at any rate to Argentina. I t is true that, so far as we can judge, the estancieros of that country are very much opposed to such an invasion from t he United States, fearing that the prices for their cattle will be affected by the absence of competitive buying. It is also true that the estancieros are men of considerable wealth, and consequently able to protect t hemselves ..

On the other hand, the ge neral course of the Argentine railways, converging as they do on Buenos Ayres, and the consequ ent tendency towards the establi shment of the works in or near that town, create a condition not unfavorable to some combination amongst the owners of such establishments. Such a combination has existed in a rudimentary form, as we have pointed out, in the past, and, · under the vigorous and experience d guidance of the United States firms, it might be brought to a much higher state of development in the future.

At the time that the Departmental Committee made its report in 1909 there were seven companies in the Argentine Republic engaged in the meat export trade, arid not­ withstanding the negotiations for the acquisition of other works spoken of in the report, the La Plata works and the La Blanca works continued to be t he only works controlled

by American companies until the year 1912. The National Packing Coy. voluntarily dissolved in that year, and its assets were distributed among t he constituent companies to which they belonged, in the proportion (it is said) of 46 per cent. to Swift and Coy., 40 per cent. to Armour and Coy., and 14 per cent. to Morris and Coy.* · On the dissolution the ownership of the La Blanca works passed to Armour and Coy. and Morris and Coy.

• See Mr. C'herry's report, a special articl e on the River Plate Meat Companies in the London Times of 17t-h June, 1913. My information as to the proportions is derived from that article.



. the two or three years the American companies have increased their

m elsewhere in South America, and the following list of freezing

IJ?- taken from the Report on Argentina for the year

by H1s MaJesty s Mm1ster at Buenos Ayres Illustrates the present position. The

hst shows the establishments in order of their formation, their capital in 1908 and 1912, the names of their factories and the locality of each factory whether in or outside Argentina.*

Company. Capital, 1908. Capital, 1912. Name of Factory. Locality.

S Gold. S Gold.

1. River Plate Fresh Meat Coy. (18 82) .. 2,250,000 2,250,000 Campana .. Province of BuenosAyre s 2. Sansinena Meat Freezing Coy. (1 884) .. 3,000,000 4,500,000 1. La Negra " " " 2. Cuatreros " " " 3. Frigorifico Republic of Uruguay Uruguaya 3 . Las Palmas Produce Coy. Ltd. (1886) 2,500,000 2,500,000 Las Palmas .. Province of Buenos Ayres t4. La Blanca Argentine Meat Freezing Coy. (1902) -1,500,000 1,500,000 La Blanca .. " " " t5. La Plata Cold Storage Cey. Lt d . (1904) 2,000,000 5,000,000 1. La Plata .. " " ,., 2. Montevideo Republic of Uruguay 6. Smithfield and Argentine Me-at Coy. 1,000,000 1,250,000 Zarate .. Province of Buenos Ayres Ltd. (1904) t7. Frigorifico Argentino (1905) (now pur- 1,250,000 2,000,000 Argentino .. " " " . chased by Messrs. Sulzberger and . Sons) tS. New Patagonian Meat Preserving and .. 2,608,607 1. Rio Gal- Patagonia Cold Storage Coy. Ltd. {part of the legos La Plata Cold Stor! ge Coy.) 2. San Julian Argentina t Denotes North Am erican Companies.


Of the foregoing companies, the La Plata Coy. and the New Patagonia Meat Preserving Coy. are controlled by Svvift and Coy. ; the La Blanca Coy. by Morris and Coy., and Armour and Coy. ; and the Frigorifico Argentino by Messrs. Sulzberger and Sons. This last-named firm is popularly supposed to be in opposition to the Beef Trust.

Armour and Coy. are building a factory adjacent to Swift and Coy.'s factory at the port of Buenos Ayres, and it is said that the La Blanca works will be acquired entirely . by Morris and Coy.t If this should take place, each of the three large American companies popularly identified at the present day with the Beef Trust will possess its

own works in Argentina. In the memorandum recently prepared by the Board of Trade, to which I have already referred, it is stated that the only freezing establishment which existed in Uruguay up tilll912 was the Frigorifico Uruguayo, a branch of the Sansinena Coy., of Buenos Ayres, but that after S·wift and Coy. opened the Frigorifico de Monte­

video in that year the Frigorifico Uruguayo suspended operations. The River Plate Fresh Meat Coy. and the Las Palmas Produce Coy. (the Argentine branch of Messrs. James Nelson and Sons Ltd:) have recently amalgamated under the name of " The British and Argentine Meat Coy. Ltd.''


·In 1911 the seven freezing companies carrying on business in Argentina, feeling the pressure of competition, came to an agreement amongst t hemselves in respect of the quantities to be exported, but this proved to be of short duration. The story of its brief career, "its termination, and the results that followed •are told in the Board

of Trade's Memorandum in the following terms:-Towards the end of 1911, however an aareement was entered into by aU the firms shipping mea t from Argentina to the United Kingdom,' the proportions to be shipped by the United States firms and firms of other nationalities, respectively , were fix ed. This agreement, which ap_Pears have resulted in more remunerative business for the British and Argentine firms concerned, contmued m force

until April, 1913, but was then denounced by the United States companies, and unrestricted co mpetitiOn again commenced. I t was stated in the Argentine press that t he agreement. brok_ e clo wn because the La Blanca and La Plata Companies had recently increased considerably the capae1ty of then works and cltd

• A very nsefullist of all refri gerating works emplo yed in the frozen and chilled meat export trade in Sout h America, giving the approxim"te d ail y frecr.ing and storage capacity, will be found in t he issue of The P cutoral Revuw for 15th August 1914. See the article in Th' Timu previously refer red to.



no t to place further restriction on theit output, and it was also allege d that the probability that the Um te d States market would soon be opened to the dut y free importation of meat made it imperative for the United Stat es fi rms to strengthen their hold on the Argentine supplies as much as possible. . The result of the renewal of unrestricted competition was that, in May, 1913, as compared with pnces and stocks for the corresponding period of 1912, prices for cattle in Arge ntinfl had increased by a bout 50 per cent., f.o.b. prices for meat at the River Plat e by roughly ld. per lb. ; on the other

ha.nd, stock ?f Argentme meat available in the United Kingdom had increased by over 75 per cent., and pnces at had declined by about ld. per lb.

VIew of protests of the Argentine and British companies against t he alleged unfair

compet itiOn of the Umte d St ates companies, the Argentine Government considered the possibilit y of steps the event ual success of t he latter in obtaining control of the Arge ntine Bee f Supply. Opinion

m Argentme ':as! ho wever, divided as to the advisability or practicability of intervent ion. It was alleged t hat. any by t he Arge ntine Government of the output of the companies would be illegal without and further, Argentine stock-breeders were opposed to any action which would diminish

the competitiOn m the Argentine cattle market and lower t he prices paid for cattle. !or these reasons, and also because they were not satisfied that the existence of a Meat Trust in Argentma had been definitely proved, the Argentine Government eventually decided to t ake no action m the matter.

At present it would appear that the British and Arge ntine companies are more prosperous than recently seemed probable. His Majesty's Minister at Buenos Ayres states, in a despatch dat ed lith Decem?er last, that since the opening of the United Stat es market to Argentine me at he has received no complamt from the British companies, and that he has been informed by them tha t they " now have some hopes of weathering the storm." ·

The following comparative statements of shipments and prices at the end of September, 1912, while the agreement was still in force, and at"the end of September, 1913, after it had come to an end, taken from t he Annual Report on Argentina for 1913 by His Majesty's Minister at Buenos Ayres, are interesting:--

Argentine Shipments of Chilled :B eef.

. January to J anuary to

Sept em ber, 1912. September , 1913.

Quarters. Quarters.

1, 764,580 2,209,980

Shipment by American companies Shipment by all other companies

Totals ..

Prices in t he United Kin gdom .

September, 1912. September, 1913.


8. d.

. I 8 • d.

3 6 3 2


Price of Cat t le in B uenos Ayres.

Sept ember, 1912.


Dollars. 120

January to September, 1912.

1,020,838 743,742


September, 1913.

Dollars. 166

J anuary to September, 191 3.

1,475,359 734,621


The buying war, as it is called in Weddel and Coy.'s Annnal Review for 1913 , , which broke out on the cessation of the working agreement, and which led to so large an increase in the price of live-stock while at the same selling values at Smithfield declined, has, according to what Mr. Cherry heard before leaving England, come to an

end and a fresh agreement has been entered int o. Mr. Nevanas, who left England last April, said that there was a meeting before he left and that it was stated that some arrangement had been made again to restrict the output. He added that he thought it must have taken effect, because prices had been such as to show a margin of profit.


In May, 1913, so much alarm was felt by other companies at the inroads of the American freezing establishments into the meat industry in Argentina that the Argentine Government was approached in the matter, and the British Minister at Buenos Ayres informed that Government that the British Government would watch with sympathetic concern any action which might be taken for the purpose of preventing the establishment of a monopoly in the meat export trade. A special · Committee of Congress was appoint ed t o study and report on various proposals put forward, and that Committee presented three Bills to Congress . The first aimed at preventing the establishment of any harmful trust in the republic, t he second provided for an immediate census of all


animals in the country, and the third provided for an examination into the details of tne home meat trade. Apparently, however, for the reasons mentioned in the recent of the Board of Trade, in a passage which I have already quoted,* the

Argentme (_iovernment eventually deeided to take no action in the matter. The opinion express_ed m the memorandum that, at the time of its preparation, the British and Argentme companies were more prosperous than had been thought probable is supported by a statement in the British Minister's report for 1913. Speaking of the representations made by the Anglo-Argentine companies, after the termination of the working agreement of 19ll, to the effect that the existing condition of affairs was exposing them to severe

loss, he says :-At the end of the year it was stated on good authority that the La Plata Cold Storarre Coy., one of the American establishments, will pay a dividend of between 6 and 7 per cent. for 1913. Sh 0

ould this prove

to case, the presumption will be that the apprehensions of the Anglo-Argentine companies were not JUStified.

It may be, as Mr . Cherry and Mr. Nevanas say, that the Anglo-Argentine and the North American companies are now working amicably t ogether again in South America, but the financial resources of the latter group, and the fact that last year they exported than half of the total output, demonstrate their powers of effective combination,

If they are minded to act in concert and to suppress competition.


In dealing with the holdings of the American companies in Smithfield markets and with allegations that they had secured a very large proportion of the shops either in their own names or in those of their nominees, the Departmental Committ ee of the Board of Trade reported as follows in 1909 :-

55. The facts appear to be that in the Central Markets there are 210 firms, comprising 340 tenants, occupying 344 shops. The Swift Beef Coy. have six shops, Armour and Coy. have four shops, the Morris Beef Coy. have three shops; Archer and Sulzberger have three shops; and the Hammond Beef Coy. have three shops in their own name, and one which, under the name of H. S. Scott, the secretary to the company, is professedly carried on as an independent concern. Beyond these, the business of J. W. Curry and Coy.

Ltd., who have five shops, is carried on at least in very close business connexion with one or other of the American companie s. This, however, appears to be an exceptional case , and beyond it the charge t hat the American companies have control of stalls held in the names of other firms or individuals appears to rest upon no better foundation than market gossip . No doubt there are many stall-holders who would

be very averse from quarrelling with the American companies, since they are dependent upon them for a very large part of their supplies of beef. In this sense the American companies may be said to have some control over them, but apart from this we are not satisfied that the allegations as to their real (as distinct from admitted) holdings in the market are well founded.

The Hammond Beef Coy . was the representative in England of the National Packing Coy. and on the dissolution of the latter its holdings no doubt passed to one or more of its constituent companies.

The witnesses who evidence before me were unable to testify as to the present holdings of the American companies , but useful information in this respect is contained in Mr. Cabburn's report to the High Commissioner, and, as it is based upon a return prepared by the Central Markets Committee of the Corporation of the City of London showing t he holdings as on 27th January last, its accuracy may be relied upon:!

The American companies have increased their holdings in recent years. In 1909 the Swift Beef Coy ., Armour and Coy., the Morris Beef Coy., and the Hammond Beef Coy. held between them seventeen shops in all, including that held under name of Scott. In January last the Swift Beef Coy., Armour and Coy., and the Morns Beef Coy. held 27 shops, an increase of ten. The holdings of J. W. Curry and Coy. Ltd. have

been increased from to six, but I cannot, of course, say whether that company still has any business connexion with any of the American compani:s. Mr . Cabburn says-'-t hough the fact does not appear in the return- that Schwarzsch1ld and Sulzberger hold two shops. If so, and if that firm is identical with Archer and Sulzberger, there

has been a reduction of one.


A comparison of t he holdings of the with th?se

of some of the firms engaged in the Austrahan export trade IS mterestmg. BorthWick

• See pp. 19-20 ante. h Co 't te b t ·t ended to t he Commit tee'•

t The return appears to have been prepared confidentiall y for the use of members oft e . mm1 e, u I was app r eport to the Corporation, from which Mr . Cab burn quotes as thm• gh the contents were publi c property.


and Sons Ltd. have nine shops; Fletcher and Coy. Ltd. have seven shops ; and the Colonial Consignment and Distributing Coy. have four shops. Th ese three firms, therefore, hold twenty shops between them.

Mr. Cabburn after stating the holdings of the American companies adds, "Alto­ gether there are 344 stalls, so that 27 Trust stalls does not appear an unduly high proportion. But, as stated, the Trust indirectly controls other firms, firms indeed which are assumed to be essentially British. Thus, the influence of the Trust firms cannot be gauged by their actual holdings, although the view is gaining ground that a limit should be placed upon the number of stalls which should be allocated to Trust firms.''


He says further that" to-day the Beef T-rust of America fixes the price at which meat shall be sold at all the markets of the United Kingdom." No doubt the American firms exercise an influence on the market, and it may be that they aim at an increase of that influence, but, in the absence of further evidence than is contained in Mr. Cabburn's report, a statement of so sweeping a character should, I think, bereceived with caution. Mr. Nevanas says that ever since the American firms came into England their policy has been to break down the influence of the Smithfield market, and to establish selling organizations in every town of any consequence. He does not consider that they fix the prices in the London market, but he thinks that they manipulate them to some extent. l\1r. Walker says that the opinion of his managers in England is that the American companies do not fix the price of meat, and that they are not in touch regarding prices in the same way as they were in the days of chilled 1nea t from the United States.


At this stage the following table, analyzing and comparing the various sources of supply of beef, mutton, and lamb consumed in the United Kingdom in 1913, will be found of interest. It is taken from a table appearing in vVeddel and Co.'s Annual Review for 1913, with the addition that the percentages for beef, and £01: mutton and lamb, have been worked out separately.



Frozen-Australia .. .. ..

New Zealand .. ..

South .A,merica .. ..

Total Frozen .. ..

Chilled-South America .. ..

U.S. and Canada .. ..

Total Chilled .. ..

Total Frozen and Chilled ..

F oreign Live Stock and Fresh killed

Total Importations into U.K.

H omegrown .. .. ..

Total Consumption in U.K. ..

B eef. Mutton and Lamb.


Q) •



o;l..-. -+"



1;l"b'g s




67,373 14·65

12,208 2·65

117,662 25 ··58

-- -- 197,243 42 ·88 --262,400 57·04 401 0·08 -- -- 262,801 57·12 460,044 100 · 00 --4,860 .. 464,904 .. 799,300 .. 1,264,204 .. 5 · 32 83,293

97 110,026 31 67,298

31·96 14·7 42· 22 19·5 25· 82 11· 9


O· 5

9· 6

15· 61 260,617 . . 46·3 0

20· O·





63 ·

100 ·

66 03


30 260,617 100 .00 46.30

48 6,315 1·12

78 . . 266,932 . . 47·42

22 . . 296,000 . . 52. 58

00 . . 562,932 .

. 100. 00

Beef, :t\rutton, and Lamb.

d r:l Q) 0



150,666 20·59 8·25 122,234 16·70 6·69 184,960 25·27 10·12 -- 457,860 62·56 25 · 06


262,801 35·91 14·38 -- 720,661 98·47 39 ·44 11,175 1·53 0·61 731,836 100·00 40·05 -- 1,095,300 . . 59·95 -- 1,827,136 .. 100 ·00 Several facts of material importance from a consideration of these figures ,



_ It will be noted that 40 per cent. of the meat consumed in the United Kingdom came from abroad, and that South America supplied 6I ·I8 per cent.* of the imports, and 24· 50 per cent.* of the total quantity consumed. Australia's contribution was 20 ·59 per cent. of the imports, and 8 · 25 per cent. of the consumption.

Taking ,m?-tton and lamb separately from beef, South supplied 25 · 82 , per of the Imports and II· 96 per cent. of the total consumption, while Australia 3.I· 96 per cent. of the inports and I4· 79 per cent. of the consumption.

The Importatwns under this head from South America decreased below those of I9I2 by I8,478 tons. . In respect of beef South America supplied 82 · 62 per cent. of the frozen and cl:nlled imported into the "United and 29 · 97 per cent. t o£ the total

consumptwn .. Australia's contribution, consisting of frozen beef only, was 14·65 per cent. of the Imports and 5 · 32 per cent. of the consumption . . These figures, these comparisons, illustrate forcibly the important position occupied by South Amenca as a source of supply of in1ported meat to the United l{ing­

dom, and the figures which follow, and which again are taken fron1 vVeddel and Coy.'s Annual Reviews for I912 and 19I3, demonstrate the power which the North American companies, with freezing establishments in South America, possess of dominating the markets in the United I\ingdom, if they con1bine for that purpose. In I9I2 the total

quantity of beef, mutton, and lan1b, shipped from the La Plata and the La Blanca works was I63,973 to.ns or 38 · 3 per cent. of the South An1erican output. Of this amount 3I ,324 tons or 19 ·I per cent. of the South A1nerican output represented mutton and lamb, and I32,649 tons, or 39 per cent. , of the output represented beef. I am unable to give any figures as to the shipments of mutton and lamb from these two works in I9I3,

but the shipments of beef for that year amounted to I92,4I5 tons, or 50· 6 per cent. of the total South American output, an ,increase of Il per cent. over the previous year's shipments. - It is an interesting fact, as pointed out in v\Teddel and Coy.'s Annual Review for I9I3, that the shipments of beef in I9I3 fron1 these two works in Argentina owned

by North An1erican firn1s exceeded in weight the total shipments of beef, mutton, and lamb, combined, from either Australia or New Zealand. It does not seem to have been without reason that the writer of the Review for I912, commenting on the situation remarks:-" South America is undoubtedly the key

to the situation as regards Britain's supply of imported meats; and, for better or for worse, the key is already largely in foreign hands."



In turning to the activities in Australia of American firms popularly grouped together under the description of the Beef Trust/, It. be obser:ved that, of the firms making up the group formerly known as the Big Six, those whiCh popularly grouped together at the present day as the Trust are SWift Coy.,

Armour and Coy., and Morris and Coy. The Natwnal Coy. has. been dissolved and its assets distributed an1ongst these three companies ; and doubts appear to be entertained whether Schwarzschild and Sulzberger, of New York, and the Packing Coy. are any longer associated them. The Departmental of

the Board of Trade in 1909 thought that It was doubtful whether Schwarzschild Sulzberger formed part of the that. the Cudahy Coy. did.

Mr. Cherry, giving evidence before this Cominisswn, sa1d that both firms supposed to act more independently than the other members of the group. The wnter of special article in the Times, to which reference has already been of Swift

and Coy., Armour and Coy., and Morris and Coy. as together :vhat IS referred to as the Beef Trust. Mr. Cabburn, in his report the High says that

the firms which are generally recognised as compns1ng th_ e Beef Trust In England are the Swift Beef Coy., the Morris Beef Coy., and Armour and Coy.; and that Schwarzs-child and Sulzberger are doubtful members. · · f hill d at from the Unit ed Stat es of .America and Canada ahould have

• These percentages are not strictly accurat e. The lmportatwn o c. e. me . de ble t hat t he error is t oo small t o be of any impor tance. been deducted before making the calculations, but the quantity- 401 tons-;-ls so n the t otal consumption is given as one-fifth ( Cli p. 5) .

but tlut

of 1,262,204 to'?s.

,, 1,



I desire again to make it 'plain that I am expressing no independent opinion of my own on the question whether these three firms are, or have been, acting in com­ bination in the United States, the United Kingdom, or Argentina. It is the fact, however, that in 1909 the Departmental Committee of the Board of Trade came to the conclusion ·that previous investigations established that they were worked in such concert in the United States as to eliminate all serious competition, and to enable them to act in unison against any formidable trade rival, and that the consideration of those facts made it very difficult to believe that the English companies representing them could be competitive t o the full extent. It is a further fact they are still grouped together in the popular belief as :firms which are working in combination in the United Kingdom and in Argentina; and they are the firms which are displaying the greatest interest in the Australian trade, and are manifesting a definit e intention of engaging in it on a large scale.


In speaking of the manifestation of an intention on the part of the American firms to engage in the t rade in Australia I refer of course to something more than the mere fact that purchases of the Australian product have been made, either in Australia, or through distributing agents abroad. Mr. Harvey, of the firm of Robert Little and Coy., Mr. Cox, the n1anaging direct or of Birt and Coy., and Mr. 1\!Ialkow all point out that the American fi rms have been buying in London for years past for the purpose of supplying their English trade, and since the removal of the import duty the United States

Government at the latter end of last year very considerable shipments have been made direct to the United States. ·

A very large proportion of the meat exported from Australia is exported under contract, and in many cases the contracts are entered into by distributing agents abroad. The exporter does not in all cases know the name of the purchaser for whom the meat is destined, and, without further information than is available in Australia, it would probably be difficult, if not impracticable, to compile complete information as to the firms among whom it is distributed in the United Kingdom. In the case of direct shipments to the United States, which are all of recent date, it might be more practicable to do so. I do not think, however, that any useful purpose would be served in this inquiry by the collection and presentation of detailed information as to past purchases by A1n erican firms, from exporters of the Australian product, in order to meet the re­ quirements of the English or the American market. Trade purchases of this character, made in the ordinary course of business, and in competition with other buyers, wh.ether made from distributing agents abroad or direct from the exporters, afford no evidence of combination or of an attempt to obtain control of the exporting agencies.


Some of the American firms belonging to the so-called Beef Trust participate in the import trade in connexion with the importation of sausage skins, hog casings, and similar by-products. GoUin and Coy. have acted as import agents for Armour and Coy. since .1902; W. Balchin Ltd. is the import agent for Swift and Coy. ; and B. Singer and Coy. act in a similar capacity for Morris and Coy.* There is no evidence to show that the Cudahy Packing Coy. have made any imports to Australia of a similar character, or that they have any agency here in connexion with such imports. Schwarzschild and Sulzberger apparently have no representative in Australia, and have taken no part in connexion with either the import or export trade. Mr. Pearse, who has recently been in the United States, says that he spent an hour with Mr. Sulzberger's manager at Chicago discussing the prospects in the Northern Territory.

In 1911 the Swift Beef Coy., of London, purchased through W. Balchin Ltd-. 100,815 carcasses of mutton and 2,297 carcasses of lamb, and, through the agency of the same firm, about 70,000 cases of preserved meats have been bought since 1911 by Libby, McNeill, and Libby, a subsidiary company owned or controlled by Swift and Coy. With this exception the firms mentioned, whatever purchases of the Au; tralian product they made abroad from importers, confined themselves in Australia to the import trade until recently.

• Gollin and Coy's. agen cy covers t he whole of Australia, but I am not clear whether or not the other s are limited to New South Wales, anq w4ether other agencies are emplor ed in other St at es, · · · · · · · ·

( ·



The exhaustion of the supplies of cattle from the United States, which led them to turn their attention to Argentina led them also to consider the expediency of gaining a footing in Australia, and within the last six or seven years a representative of each has visited Australia and has made a close examination of the conditions. Mr. Malkow visited Australia as the representative of Swift and Coy., Mr. Hodgkinson came on behalf of Armour and Coy., and I\1r. Farris came as Morris and Coy.'s representative.


Mr. Malkow visited the country some seven years ago. His object in coming was, to quote his own words, " To see what there was here, to see what the cattle supply was, and what they were selling for, to see if they could be bought and slaughtered here, and shipped to our outlets to make a profit; and we found such conditions that we thought that was the case; that is that cattle could be bought here at a price to make a profit." He paid a second visit, at an interval of about a year or eighteen months after the first, and a third about six months after the second. During his visits he investigated the condition of affairs in all the States and in the Northern

Territory, and inspected various meat works with a view to a possible purchase, but in the result, instead of purchasing any existing works, a site was acquired on the Brisbane River, in Queensland, and a company was formed for the purpose_._ of erecting works and carrying on business. The company was incorporated in Queensland on 15th July 1912, under the name of the Australian Meat Export Coy., and the powers contained in the memorandum of association are of the wide and comprehensive character customary with modern companies. No significance of any kind attaches to the fact that the signatures to the memorandun1 of association are those of the solicitor employed and

some of his clerks. This is ordinary everyday practice in connexion with the formation of companies, and, with the exception of ten shares for which Mr. Thynne signed and he retains as his qualification to act as a director, the shares subscribed for by

tP-e signatories since been transferred to a member of the Swift farnily.


In point of fact the company is owned and controlled by the Swift family, and is a subsidiary concern to Swift and Coy., of Chicago, and to the Swift Beef Coy., of London . . As any one may see for himself by inspection of the list of members filed with the Registrar-General at Brisbane the shares are all held by members of that family and by two others associated with them, except ten each held as a director's

qualification by the directors, IVIr. Thynne, Mr. Hemsley, 1\!fr. \Voodruff, Mr. Malkow, and Mr. Collingwood. Under the articles of association provision is made for preventing the transfer of shares to a stranger as long as a member is willing to purchase, and for transferring shares to a nominee of the directors in the event of the death, bankruptcy,

or lunacy of a shareholder. Mr. Malkow is the managing director, and l\1r. Collingwood is secretary and treasurer. Mr. Woodruff, who is resident in England, is connected with the Swift Beef Coy., Mr. Thynne is a member of the firm of Thynne and l\1acartney, the company's solicitors in Brisbane, and Mr. Hemsley is a member of the firn1 of Allen Allen and Hemsley, its solicitors in Sydney. I do not think that I arn overst ating the fact s of the

case in saying that Mr. Malkow is the effective manager of the company, that he act s under the direction of the Swift Beef Coy., and that the other directors take no real part in guiding or controlling the company's affairs. Mr. has ye.t attended a meeting of directors, though he has been on the board since the Inception of the

company. The share capital of the company is £200 ,000 divided into 200 ,000 shares of £1 each. In addition to its property on the Brisbane River it has also purchased the Alligator Creek canning works at TQwnsville from the North Queensland l\feat Ex:rort ­ Coy. On its property on the Brisbane River it has erected works. for freezing, and preserving, and for the treatment of by-product s, whiCh· when entuely completed, ate estimated to cost £500,000. The Alligator Creek works when consisted only of a preserving plant, but freezing stores are being built and machinery is being installed, and Mr. Malkow estimates that the expenditure will amount to between £200 000 and £250 000. The sum of £40 ,000 was paid for the works . . . . . ' '


I• !


as a going concern, and in addition the supplies on the premises were taken over at a valuation. I do not know what was paid for the land on the Brisbane River, and I do not know whether Mr. Malkow included the purchase money in his estin1ate of the expenditure on either property. The necessary funds over and above the share capital are being provided bythe Swift Beef Coy. at interest, but no security has been taken over the assets of the company.

The alterations and additions to the works at Alligator Creek are not yet completed, and at present the works are only used for slaughtering and preserving. The product, consisting of canned meat and n1eat extract, is shipped to 'the United Kingdom, partly to Libby, McNeill, and Libby, and partly to Mr. C. J. Piggott, the selling agent of the North Queensland Meat Export Coy. The tallow is shipped to another firm in the United Kingdom. ·

Mr. Malkow says-and there is no reason why his statement should not be accepted-that the Australian Meat Export Coy. has no interest in any pastoral properties or in any meat works except those at Brisbane and at Townsville. Operations were begun at the works on the Brisbane River on 1st June last, and, when giving evidence on 17th July last, Mr. Malkow said that the slaughtering had been at the rate of from 900 to 1,000 cattle a week. A shipn1ent was made in June to the Swift Beef Coy. in England, and were made for shipments

in August and September to the Pacific Coast of North America. The September shipment was afterwards diverted to England. Notwithstanding rumours that have been in circulation as to purchases of an unusual character and at unusual prices by American firms I am satisfied that no purchases of this description have been made by or on behalf of the Australian lVIeat Export Coy. Beginning operations after the season was well advanced it 1nay have had to purchase in some cases on less advantageous terms than if it had been earlier in the field-and in fact its average of prices is higher than that paid by other firms during the same perio1d-but c01nparison with the prices paid by other finns does not lend any encouragement to the hopes entertained by some sellers that unusually high prices are to be looked for from it. In its purchases up to the present time it has apparently been guided by precisely the same business considerations as other exporting firms.


Mr. Hodgkinson is, I believe, a director of Armour and Coy., of London. I do not know whether he visited Australia on behalf of Armour and Coy. more than once, but he came here in 1913, and his visit extended into the present year. While here he expressed an intention of buying a meat works, and more than one establishment was placed under offer to him. The Biboohra works, and the works at Bowen belonging to Bergl Australia Ltd., were two that were mentioned. No sale was effected, and he told Mr. Cox that Armour and Coy.'s policy in Australia was not to erect meat works, but to buy supplies from the existing works; and that, as long as other meat works could supply its requirements, the company did not intend to acquire works of its own in Australia. This attitude is also testified to by Mr. Brodie, who is well acquainted with Mr. Hodgkinson, and who placed the Biboohra works and the Bowen works under offer to him. He not think that Mr. Hodgkinson had much intention of buying any works.


Whatever change the future may produce, the attitude spoken of by Mr. Cox accords with the actual transactions entered into by Armour and Coy. in Australia up to the present time. vVith some small exceptions the whole of Birt and Coy.'s output of frozen meat for the first seven months of this year has gone to Armour and Coy., part being shipped to the United Kingdom consigned to that company for sale, and part being sold to that company but shipped to the United States; and the major portion of the Burdekin River Coy.'s output of frozen beef for this year, up to the middle of last September, has been sold to Armour and Coy., of London. Mr. Cox is, as previously pointed out, managing director of both of these companies.

Within the last year or so shipments . of frozen meat amounting in all to a considerable quantity have been made to Armour and Coy. by John Cooke and Coy., the Central Queensland Meat Export Coy., and the Queensland Meat Export and Agency Coy. These shipments, some of which went to English and some to American ports, were made in fulfilment of contracts entered into by the distributing agencies abroad of the exporting firms.

·" •,,


· In all cases in which meat whether frozen or preserved has been shipped from these shores to Armour and Coy. it has been openly identified as the property of that company by marks or brands on the tags, and cases.

In considering sales of this character, whether made to Armour and Coy. or to any other American firm, it must be borne in mind that they have no direct effect on the price of live-stock. · The purchases are of meat not of liv-e-stock, and in most cases, probably in all, as :Mr. Cox, points out, the negotiations are in respect of the meat from live-stock previously contracted for by the meat works.

·In addition to their purchases of frozen meat Armour and Coy. have made purchases of preserved meat-amounting to 2,500 cases"-from Baynes Bros. through the agency of Birt and Coy., and, through the agency of the same firm they have recently arranged for the purchase of the output of the Rosewarne works in Queensland.

Mr. Rosewarne says that the arrangement is a fortnightly one, that is to say, that he fixes the price each fortnight and that, if it is agreed to, the whole of his output for the following fortnight- with an agreed minimum of 6,000 cases and a n1aximum of 10,000 ?ases-:-is taken. In addition Gollin and Coy., within the last year or so, have purchased

Ill this market and sold to Armour and Coy., of Chicago, upwards of 27 ,000 cases of preserved meat, all of which, with the exception of a small shipment to London, was shipped to North American ports.


Negotiations are at present taking place between Armour and Coy. and Birt and Coy. with a view to an agreement being come to for the exportation of meat fron1 Australia on a joint account. Mr. Cox supplied me with copies of the proposals and counter-proposals that have been made, but, as the matter still rests in negotiation, he asked that the contents should not be made public. It is not at all improbable that the proposals may undergo considerable modification before finality is reached, if an

agreement is in fact entered into, and I think that this request is reasonable. There is no element of impropriety on the part of Birt and Coy. in entering into a working agreement with Armour and Coy. in connexion with the export of meat; and, however much the business competitors of Birt and Coy. might benefit by the knowledge, no useful purpose, from the point of view of the public, would be served by comJ>elling the disclosure of the details of the negotiations. It must be borne in mind, however that Armour and Coy. have acquired practically the whole of Birt and Coy.'s output

for this year, and a large proportion of the Burdekin River Coy.'s output, and though, as Mr. Cox says, the present negotiations only relate to Birt and Coy.'s output, and, if complet,ed on their present basis, will only confer certain rights in connexion with a portion of that output, the movements of Armour and Coy. in Australia, taken as a

whole, suggest that that company is desirous of obtaining control over some portion of the Australian supplies, and it may be that, in establishing relations with Birt and Coy., it is aiming ultimately at some sort of control not only over Birt and Coy.'s outp_ut, but also over that of the Burdekin River works, of which Mr. Cox is the managing

director, and over that of the Ocean Beach works in New Zealand, which are the property of the Federal Coy., a company associated with Birt and Coy. , and by Birt and Coy. in Australia. The acquisition by an American if acting in combination with other con1panies-of a control over supplies by acquinng the output of an Australian works is, as Mr. Cherry points out in his report, a matter requiring serious consideration. Mr. Cox, however, emphasizes the fa ct

agreement may be arrived at his company has no intention of abandoning .Its Indi­ viduality or the . control of its own business , and if this position is adhered to It sh?uld be a protection against the absorption of its business in a combination of Amencan companies.


In last February or March Mr .. Hodgkinson suggested to Mr. Sims, of Sin1s, Co?per, and Coy., that Armour and Coy. _should take the whole of their output .sell It on joint account in London1 but the proposal was not acceded to and negotiations have been dropped.. . · · ·



The only remaining incursion of Armour and Coy. into the Australian trade is in .connexion with a purchase of cattle from Mr. Sidney Kidman, which has created a good deal of discussion. The following are the facts. In November of last year l\1:r. Kidman entered into an agreement with l\1r. Hodgkinson for the sale to Armour and Co., of London, of 5,000 fat bullocks, to be delivered free at the works of the Govern­ ment Produce Department at P ort Adelaide in South Australia. Eight hundred were to be delivered before the end of January last, 200 in February last, and the balance thereafter in monthly l0ts of 400. Under the contract all slaughtering and other arrangements are to be made with the Department by the company at its own expense, and it is also to make the necessary arrangmnents with the manager of the Department for the grading of the carcasses. Any which are not passed for export are to be rejected

and others supplied in their place. Thosepassed for export are to be graded into two grades, and no carcass is to be certified as' of "A" grade unless it is of good average quality and its dressed cold weight is from 650 . to 900 lbs. Bullocks classed as " A ·" grade are to be paid for at the rate of 25s. 100 lbs. dressed weight, and " B " grade bullocks are to be so'd by the company as agent for Mr. Kidman on a com1n ission of 5 per cent. Mr. Kidman is entitled t o draw £7 l Os. on account of each " B " grade

carcass on presentation of the certificate to the bank, and the balance, whichever way. it may be, is adjusted when account sales are rendered. The meat is all branded "Armour and Coy." at the Depart1nent, and is all shipped to London. Up to 30th June last 2,227 head of cattle had been supplied under the contract , of which 1,436 were certified as " A' grade and 791 as " B" grade. lVIr. Kidman says that cattle were cheap at the ti1ne of the contract, and that the price paid under it was better than the

market price at the time. · ·

The South Australian Government Produce Department was established in 1895 for the purpose. of opening up and developing oversea n1arkets for the products of the State not then being shipped. _ It takes delivery of live- stock at its works at Port Adelaide, slaughters them, and does all the work required to put the meat on board ship in a frozen state, charging for its services according to the rates in its published scale of charges. It slaughters for any one tendering stock, and, ip. m,aking arrangements with Mr. Hodgkinson, he was treated on exactly the same footing as any other client would been. In order that sufficient space might be for other clients,

the slaughterings on his account were limited to 100 a week. 1\'Ir. Sharpe thinks that the action of the Government in treating cattle fo r what he calls a speculator is open to criticism. That is a matter of policy for the Government to consider, but in view of the interest which has apparently been taken in the transaction I think it right to say that Mr. Hodgkinson received no exceptional treatment of any kind, but was dealt with in exactly the same way as any other client, whether grower or speculator, .would have been.


1v1r. Farris, the representative of Morris and Co., has been in Australia quite

recently. He appears to have displayed some desire to purchase a meat works, and inquiries were made on his behalf by l\1r. Parkes, a land agent at Townsville, in respect of the Bowen works, the Gladstone meat works, the Central Queensland Co.'s meat works, and the Torrens Creek meat works. The Torrens Creek works were placed under offer to .him for a period, but he decided that they would not suit him. Before leaving he arranged that Mr. Parkes .should inform him if any meat works came into the market.


In addition to these inquiries concerning meat works he inspected various properties on the Brisbane River in company with Mr. W. F. Cameron, of the firm of Cameron Brothers, and eventually, through the agency of that firm, secured an dption of purchase over a block of land, about 420 acres in area, belonging to Mr. Uhlmann. He told Mr. Kerr that, if his company purchased, it would probably erect works with a • capacity of 300 head a day. The land adjoins the works of Borthwick and Co., and is in close proximity to those of Baynes Brothers and the Australian Meat Export Coy. The option extended to about the middle of last September, and in the meantime Mr. Farris, though he had left Australia, remained in communication with Cameron Brothers in connexion with various matters relating to the clearing of the land and its profitable use. Since I left Brisbane I have been informed by Cameron Brothers that-the property

has been sold to the Morris Beef Co. Ltd., of London. It may be assumed, therefore, this company intends to establish its own works, and to engage in the export trade

Ill meat from Australia. This is its only manifestation of activity in that direction up to the present time, though, like other firms, it has n1ade purchases of the Australian product through distributing agencies abroad.


Within the last year or so shipments of frozen meat have been made to the Cudahy Packing Co. in the United States, in addition to large shipinents of preserved 1neat. Negotiations are in progress for the appointment of Messrs. Robert Little and Co. as its agents in Australia, and through their agency it will probably continue to make

purchases for its trade in the United States. There is no other evidence of activity on its part in Australia.


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In the course of n1y inquiries I found that various rumours were or had been in circulation respecting alleged purchases by the American companies of pastoral properties, alleged purchases of unborn stock, and the alleged acquisition of an option over stock for future delivery at maturity by the payment of a cash -deposit. Many

witnesses were able· to tell me of the run1ours and nearly all scouted then1 as ridiculous, but I was unable to trace any of them to their source, except that relating to the purchase of unborn stock, which, owing to information supplied to me by J\1r. Sharpe, I was able to investigate, and which, as I shall show presently, was a transaction entirely between pastoralists.


In view of the prevalence of the rumours, and in order that I might, in some way, if I could, get upon the track of their origin, I caused a circular to be sent to all stock and station agents-other than those firms from the members of which I received oral testimony-in the four exporting States, asking for replies to the following specific

questions :-1. Has your firm, or any member of it, acted as agent in connexion with the sale of any live stock to any of the following companies or to any representative of any such companies, i.e., Swift and Coy., Armour and Coy., Morris and Coy., Cudahy and Coy. (all of the United States), or the Australian Meat

Export Co. Ltd., of Queensland 1 2. If so, please give particulars as to date, of transaction, and price paid. 3. Were the prices paid on such sales, if any, in excess of ruling rates at the time, or were the tions in any other respect different from ordinary transactions?

4. Has your firm, or any member of it, acted as agent on behalf of any of the above-mentioned companies, or on behalf of any other company, firm, or person engaged· in the meat export trade, in connel:ion with negotiations for contracts-(a) For the purchase of unborn stock.

(b) For the purpose of securing an option over stock for future delivery at maturity by the payment of a cash deposit of £1 (or some other sum) per head ? 5. If so, please give particulars of any such transaction.

6. Has your .firm, or member of it, acted as agent connexion with the sale. of any pastoral property to any of the companies mentioned in the first questwn or t o any represe ntatives of any such companies? 7. If so, please give particulars, stating whether the transactions were in any res pect different from on the sale of pastoral properties .

In reply I received information as of live-stock to Meat

Export Coy., but in all other respects the Inquuies were answered Ill the negative.

I am satisfied that none of the companies referred t o-including, in the case of the American companies, their associate or subsidiary compani_es in purchased any pastoral property in Australia, or Into any

in respect of live stock of the character of those mentwned In the abo ve quest iOns.

The information received in respect of purchases by the Au_stralian Meat Export Coy. shows that in no case were the prices :raid in excess _of ruhng rate., or wa s the transaction in any respect different from ordinary transactiOns.



The rumours as to the purchase of unborn stock had their origin, I have no doubt, in the following facts. In June, 1913, the Rockhampton branch of the Australian Estates and :Mortgage Coy., acting on behalf of the Beak Pastoral Coy., sent out a circular in the following terms to a number of pastoralists :-

vVe have a buyer prepared to purchase now No. 3 steers for delivery between June and December next year, at £3 per head and so on for two or three years ahead. If you will, therefore, give us by return mail a firm offer of the whole drop of your No. 3, 4, 5, and 6 steers for delivery between June and -December following the year they are calved, we expect to be able

to do business for you without our buyer even inspecting.

rrhe numbers 3, 4, 5, and 6 refer to the years 1913, 1914, 1915, and 1916, and the offer was to take the whole of the calves calved in each year, and to pay for them at the rate of £3 a head on delivery between June and December in the following year. The registered office of the Beak Pastoral Coy. is in Rockhampton. There are 4,000 shares in the company, of which 3,900 are held by Mr. Beak and ten are held by each of his nine children and by Mr. Bromley, the secretary of the company. No shares or interests are held by any rneat company. Mr. Bromley, who is a stock and station

agent, says that before the circular in question was issued he effected a sale of a similar character to the company; and before authorizing the issue -of the circular the company must presun1ably have been satisfied that from t.he point of view of the pastoralist a speculation in future values of that character was worth entering ·into. The circular was sent to about 100 pastoralists, and Mr. Caswell, the manager in Rockhampton of the Australian Estates and Mortgage Coy., and Mr. Bromley, both say that though the speculation might appeal to a pastoralist it would not suit a meat works.

SrMs, CooPER, AND Co.

Another matter which may be conveniently dealt with at this stage is the suggestion that has apparently been made in some quarters that the firm of Sims, Cooper, and Coy. is either financed by, or is associated in some way with, the American Beef Trust, or Swift and Coy.

This partnership firm-the n1embers of which -are Mr. Arthur Sims and Mr. Arthur Ernest Cooper-has been engaged in the frozen meat trade since 1905. Begin­ ning in a small way in Australia it now exports from Australia and from New Zealand, and during the last two or three years its output in Australia has increased very largely.

It buys in three States, i. e., New South Wales·, Victoria, and South Australia, but slaughters only in two, i.e., South Australia and Victoria. In South Australia its slaughtering is done by the Government Produce Department. In Victoria it possessed no works of its own until recently, but in June of last year it acquired working rights over the Corio Freezing \Vorks from the Geelong I-Iarbor Trust for a period of two years, and these rights have since been extended for a further period of seven years. For these rights payment is made at the rate of 7 per cent. per annum on the capital value

of the works, which is estimated at £92,000.

I do not think that I am saying anything unjust or unwarranted in -suggesting that, by some at least of the exporting firms, the introduction into the trade of a new and perhaps a formidable competitor has .not been hailed with any marked degree of cordiality.

Mr. A. E. Cooper is in England and will not return to Australia for three years. At time that I was taking evidence ir Melbourne Mr. Sims was in New Zealand. Mr. H. L. Cooper, who was in charge of the business during his absence, gave evidence denying the existence of any connexion between the firm and any American firm, but, as it appeared to me that he was not as fully informed in all respects as the members of the partnership would be, I stated that if Mr. Sims cared to forward to me a statutory

declaration bearing on the matter, and giving information as to the constitution of the London Produce Coy- the selling agents in London of the firm- I would consider it. This course was adopted, and I received from Mr. Si1ns a statutory declaration in the terms of Appendix E. I also received at a later stage a complete list of all sales of frozen meat by the London Produce Coy. for the years 1911, 1912, 1913, certified to as accurate by 1\!Iessrs . F. W. Smith, Riches, and Coy., a firm of chartered accountants.

Later on Mr. Sims returned to Melbourne, and at my' request he came to Sydney and gave evidence.


N 0 EVIDENCE OF IDENTIFICATION "WITH AMERICAN FIRM. I have to report that no evidence has been adduced before me to justify the suggestion that the firm is financed by, or in any way bound to, any American company. Mr. Sims' own words to were, "We are absolutely free and are independent of any

one, whether in England or America, or in fact any place to-day." In his statutory declaration he says, ''My firm has no connexion either direct or indirect with any other firm whatsoever, English or American."


Mrs. Si1ns and Mrs. Cooper are two of the four co-owners of or shareholders in the London Produce Coy., and probably there is a very close association between the two firms. The fact that, as J\tlr. Sims says, a great proportion of the output of his firm has gone to Swift and Coy. may have led to a misconstruction of the business relations

between the two firms, and may have led to an inference being drawn of a closer relationship than in fact exists, but there is nothing before me in the shape of evidence to detract from the weight to be given to :Mr. Sims' denials of any connexion. Swift and Coy. is undoubtedly a large buyer of the product imported into England by Sims,

Cooper, and Coy., but it is not the only large buyer. In saying that a great proportion went to that company Mr. Sims was no doubt referring to the year 1913, in which Swift and Coy/ s purchases increased very largely, but, unless it is to be assumed that the position of the London Produce Coy. is that of a mere distributor for Swift and Coy.­

an assumption for which nothing adduced before me affords any justification- the sug­ gestion that the whole of Sims, Cooper, and Coy.'s output goes to Swift and Coy. is unfounded. Mr. Cherry says that he has never heard any rumours to th(t effect that the firm

is connected with the Swift Beef Coy. Mr. Hill, the chairman of the Geelong Harbor Trust, says that the run1ours got as far as Parliament in Victoria and that as the Harbor Trust is (as he described it) a semi-Government body it had to assure Parliament-before granting rights over its works-that the firm was not in league with any American Trust. Because of the rumours provision was made in the agreement for forfeiture of the rights conferred in the event

of the firm entering into any understanding or arrangement of the character of those mentioned in the agreement. The prohibitory clause is in the following terms :-20. The Contractor shall not combine, whether as principal or agent, or conspire, or collude, or agree, or enter directly or indirectly, orally or by writing, into any understanding or arrangement with any other person, partnership, corporation, or trust or association or combination of persons, partnerships,

corporations, or trusts carrying on or intending to carry on, business in the State of Victoria in commodities of a kind treated or produced at the works of the Commissioners, or purchasing in the markets of the Commonwealth of Australia, live stock, butter, eggs, or fruit for treatment at the works of the Commissioners or at works similar thereto, with the intention or ultimate object of or the natural effect of which will operate in limiting or reducing market values of such commodities, including such live-stock, butter, eggs, or fruit within the Commonwealth or any part thereof, or by any means whatever preventing competition, either public or private therefor, or the Contractor or any other body or person acquiring a monopoly,

whether complete or partial, in the whole or any part of the Commonwealth in the purchasing, marketing, or distribution of or in the treatment for preservation or for export, or in the export of such commodities. Upon any question or difference of opinion arising regarding the observance of this condition, the onus of proof shall rest upon the Contractors.

As will be seen, it relates only to agreements or understandings with firms carrying on or intending to carry on business in the State of Victoria, and as a matter of con­ struction it does not appear that a sale of the output from the works to a firm .carrying on business in the United Kingdom or the United States of America would come within the scope of its provisions.

The evidence which was given to the that the possession ?f suverior resources was indicated by the fact that S1ms, Cooper and Coy. pa1d h1ghe! pnces at times for live stock than their competitors could a:fford to vay, than pnces London market would iustify, does not call for senous cons1deratwn. The ac<],Uls1t10n

of their own slaughtering and freezing establishment has led to a very large in their buying, and it may be, as Mr. H. L. Cooper says, that the freez1ng profit whiCh they are able to make enables them to pay slightly higher prices than in other sea?ons. In addition, it happens occasionally to all firms that, in order to they

have to buy at prices higher than is warranted by market rates at the But this may be, Mr. Angliss, who is not, I think, disposed unduly to chan1p10n the of Sims, Cooper, and Coy., says that their buying does not give. rise. to any suggestiOn that they are assisted by any one else, and that per pound then pnces do not exceed

on the whole rthe prices paid by other freezing firms. .



Another run1our, which m'ay conveniently be disposed of at this stage in order to clear the air a little further, is that which charges the Australian Meat Export Coy. with having made a substantial contribution t o the funds of a political organization in Queensland. There is no truth in this. The unsubstantial foundation on which it rests is the fact that certain contributions to party funds, raised by sympathizers in New South Wales and in Queensland, happened to pass through the hands of Messrs.

Thynne and l\1acartney, who are the solicitors for the company. No part of these contributions came, either directly or indirectly, from the Australian Meat Export Coy. or, as far as is known, fron1 any other meat company. The evidence of Mr. Denham, the Pren1ier of Queensland, of TVIr. Macartney, and of l\1r. Malkow conclusively disproves the rumour.

No EviDENCE oF CoMBINATION IN AusTRALIA. In the transactions of the American companies-including the Australian Meat Export Coy.-in Australia up to the present time there is no evidence of anything in the shape of concerted action. Whatever suggestion of a common design may be conveyed by their practically contemporaneous appearance on the scene, and whatever combination may be contmnplated or may be developed in the future, if they become firmly established here in a large way of business, the nature and extent of their operations up to tlie present time negative the suggestion that in their actual buying in Australia they have been acting in combination.

It is manifest, however, that their advent into the export trade on a large scale heralds an era of strenuous competition for exporters and high prices for producers, and, like the estancieros of South America, the pastoralists of Australia have not been slow to realize the immediate advantage to themselves which is likely to follow fron1 this addition to the number of the buyers. The evidence given before me indicates the existence of a belief that sellers have not been generously dealt with in the past, and _ t here appears to be a very prevalent opinion an1ong pastoraJists that there has been a ce:'tain an1ount of combination between exporters for the purpose of fixing the prices to be paid by buyers. .It is not surprising, therefore, that many pastoralists watch the introduction of the American firms into the trade with equanimity.

Exporters do not regard the prospect with similar complacency. They anticipate an inadequate supply of live-stock to meet the increased demand, and they fear the long purses and the elaborate organization of the American companies.


The increased con1petition which will inevitably follow from the introduction of the American companies into the slaughtering and freezing business in Australia must lead to increased efficiency and increased economy in working methods, and, though this may mean the elimination of the weaker and less progressive competitors, any stimulus of this character must be beneficial in the development of the trade. If the advent of the American companies meant nothing more than this, their appearance would probably be dreaded by no one except their competitors, but an extension of their activitier to the Australian field is feared by others because of a belief that their past history elsewhere teaches that their appearance on the scene, whatever the im1nediate result may be, will lead in the end to the suppression of competition, with a reduction in price to the producer and an increase to the consumer. Viewed from this aspect, their incursion into Australia is one of serious concern to the whole community, but their operations have not yet been developed to a sufficient extent to afford material for anything more than a speculative opinion as to the probability of concerted action being taken for the purpose of fixing prices or controlling in the Australian market.


The suppression of competition, and the control over supplies, is not only a matter of serious concern to Australia, but it is also a matter of Imperial concern. It is improbable that t_he Ameri?an any intenti_?n of the

distributing trade 1n Austraha. Their obJect In coming here 1s to obtain supphes for their trade in the United I{ingdom and in the United States, and, assuming the existence of a desire to exercise a determining influence on prices in the markets of the United Kingdom, the advantage of a control over Australian supplies is obvious.

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At the time that the Departmental Committee of the Board of Trade made its report in 1909, the American firms were not concerned in the supply of mutton to the United Kingdom, but the Committee can1e to the conclusion that they controlled the whole of the supply of chilled beef from the United States-which amounted to

one-quarter of the imports of chilled and frozen beef in 1908-and in addition owned a large proportion of the cattle imported on the hoof, and were said, apparently with truth as the Committee thought, to have some control over the whole or nearly the whole of it. The Comn1ittee did not think that they attempted directly to control prices in Smithfield, but thought that they arranged with one another to some extent

as to the amount of supplies which each should place upon that market so as to prevent the placing upon it of such quantities as would unduly depress the price of beef. Since then, as has been pointed out, the United States has ceased to be an exporter to the United Kingdom either of eattle on the hoof or of refrigerated beef, and the foreign supplies eonsist of refrigerated meat frmn South Ameriea and from Australia.

The American eompanies did not at first make sueh rapid progress in South Ameriea as the Departmental Con11nittee antieipated, but, as previously stated, by 1913 the footing acquired was such that they exported rather more than one-half of the total export fron1 South Ameriea, and they are enlarging their interests in that country.

If, to their inereasing interests in that eountry there are added very considerable interests in Australia, their ability, if acting in eon1bination, to exereise a determining influence upon priees in the English market will beeome a n1atter of very serious eoneern. If faeilities and opportunities for effective eombination exist it is not

improbable that they may be made use of. In his reeent report Mr. -Cherry says that in the United States it is fairly evident that the representatives of Armour and Coy., Swift and Coy., and Morris and Coy. have at least a mutual understanding as to priees. Mr. Cabburn is of opinion that the A1neriean eompanies already fix the priee of meat

in all the markets of the United Kingdom, and Mr. Nevanas, without going so far as this, thinks that they manipulate the London market to some extent; but, whatever the extent of their existing influence may be, an increase of control over foreign supplies must inerease their power of fixing priees, if they combine for that purpose. If takes plaee the situation so ereated will be one of grave eoncern to the United Kingdom

and to Australia, and eoneerted aetion of some kind may be necessary to eope effeetually with it. SHIPPING RATES.

No preferential treatment of any kind exists in respect of shipping rates, and there is nothing in the shape of rebates. The shipping emnpanies have an understanding among themselves as to the rates to be eharged-whieh appears to be strietly observed in practiee-and all eomers are treated alike. No eon1plaint was made by exporters that the rates eharged were unduly burdensome, but they have been raised sinee the war

began. No useful purpose would be served by embarking upon a speculative whether the eonditions which exist in Australia are sueh as to eonstitute an effeetive obstaele in the way of an attempted monopoly of the export trade. For such an attempt to be successful it would be neeessary that eontrol should be obtained over the refrigerating spaee in steamers. The danger of a eombination aiming at is,

however, so manifest that every stage in the development of the interests of the companies in the Australian export trade should be elosely watched for evidence of the exhibition in aetio:d of a eommon interest and a common design.


The form whieh legislation should take for the purpose .of preventing the ment of detrimental eombinations is a matter whieh fall s outside the scope of my Inquuy. The Bill presented to the Chamber of Deputies in the Argentine Republic all eontraets or eombinations of any kind regarding eommerce or transport, the obJeet. of

whieh was (1) to produee artifieial alterations in the prices of articles of eonsumpt10n or prime neeessity to the prejudiee of the eonsuiner, or (2.) to affe ct the .normal eou!se of eommeree between the different provinces and between the ReJ2U:bhc and fore1gn nations in food products and artieles of prime necessity . Authonty w.as conferre.d upon the exeeutive to make agreements with foreign Governments ha.Vlng

object the prevention of international operations forbidden by the B1ll. Th1s B1ll, as I have already stated, was not proeeeded with. F.I6.81. c




A combination which came under my notice in the course of my inquiries, is that in connexion with the contracts entered into from year to year ·yvith the Govern1nent of the United States for the supply of frozen beef and mutton for the use of the United States Arn1y at Manila, in the Philippine Islands.


Tenders are called for by the United States Government for each fiscal year ending on 30th June, and I am informed that the Consular Department in Australia distributes copies of the printed forn1 for tendering, or circular-proposal, as it is called among the exporting companies. For some six or ten years past an agreen1ent has been come to each year between the Queensland Meat Export and Agency Coy. and five other c01npanies, that the Queensland JVIeat Export and Agency Coy. should submit a tender in its ov;rn name and that each of the six cmnpanies concerned in the agreement should furnish a specified proportion of the supplies under the contract, if obtained by the Queensland JVIea t Export and Agency Coy. The other companies concerned are John Cooke and Coy., and Coy., Bergl Australia Ltd., the Burdekin River 1\1eat Preserving Coy., and the Central Queensland Meat Export Coy. 1\!Ir. McGhie, who was the manager of the Queensland Meat Export and Agency Coy. when the agreement was first come to, says that it practically amounted to an arrangement that the other associated companies should not tender. The quantities called for under the proposal for the year ending 30th June, 1915, are lbs. of frozen beef, and 200,000 lbs. of frozen rnutton, viTith the right on .the part of the Governn1ent either to decrease the an1ount on reasonable notice to the contractor or to increase it with his consent. A copy of the agreement between the associated con1panies for this year has been furnished to me. Clause 2 is in the following terms :-

2. If the company's tender for beef and for mutton C.I.F.E. be accepted, they may enter int o formal contract or contracts with the U.S. representative, and arrange for freight and freight contracts, insurance and exchange, and make all such arrangements by them deemed necessary for the proper fulfilment of the contract, in the company's name, but for the benefit and at the risk and expense in all things of Associated Parties concerned, who are interested therein, in the following respective proportions,


(a) One-twentieth of the whole (to be taken in such shipments amd times as they deem fit) is reserved to the Q.M.E. and A. Coy. Ltd. (b) Of the residue (viz ., 95 per cent. of the whole contract) there is reserved as follows:-To Queensland Meat Export and Agency Coy. Ltd. 33 · 64 per cent

,, John Cooke and Coy. 19 ·oo

, Birt and Coy. Ltd. 16 ·oo

, Central Queensland Meat Export Coy. Ltd. 15 ·OO

, Burdekin River Meat Preserving Coy. Ltd. . . 8 · 51

, Bergl Australia Ltd. 7 ·85


lVIr . 1\1cGhie, when giving evidence, said that the United States Government looked for a substantial contractor who could supply the whole quantity, and that the Queensland l\1eat Export and Agency Coy . -vvas in a position to do so. 1\1r. Marshall, the manager in Queensland for Bergl Australia Ltd., said in his evidence that his con1pany could not supply the whole of the requirements and that the other con1panies could not do so. 1\1r. Colman, the general manager of the Queensland Meat Export and Agency Coy ., writing to me on 11th August last, said -

The beef portion of this contract calls for hindquarters only, to be s_hipped trimmed and to be of certain weights, and the deliveries of the meat are made monthly. Inasmuch as none of the meat companies operate during the whole of one year, it would be almost impossible for any one company to carry out the , whole of the contract under the -special conditions, and for this reason about six of the companies supply certain proportions of the total quantity. My company supplies by far the greater quantity, and the others ship during the months when they arc killing.

1\1r. Marshall's statement that none of the companies could supply the quantities required is inconsistent with Mr. McGhie's statement that his company could supply the ·whole of it, and in fact Mr. McGhie says that in one year the contract was secured by another Australian contractor. On the basis of the total output of each of the six associated companies for 1913 any one of them could have supplied the necessary

quantities, but it 1nay be that, as monthly supplies are called for and as none of the


coll?-panies ?perate throughout the whole year, this is not a fair basis on which to estimate therr capamty. I do not see, however, why, if adequate storage facilities are available, arrangements could not be Ina de for setting aside a sufficient portion of the season's output t? the contractual requirements. But, however this may be, if Mr. McGhie's Is accurate, the United States Government have apparently been influenced

In accepting the Queensland lVIeat Export and Agency Coy.'s t ender by the belief that could provide the whole an1ount required, and it is evident that they

not Intend that the contrqct should be farmed out. This is shown by the provision

In clause 25 of the specifications, which says " Transfer of contract or interest in it is prohibited by law." '

The between the associated companies that all but one shall refrain

fro:n tendenng, and that that one shall tender ostensibly for itself, but really on behalf ?f Itself and tl.le others, is not only a violation of the specifications on which the contract IS based, but Is an agreement in suppression of competition. Whether It has resulted in a higher price being paid by the United States Govern­ ll_lent than would otherwise be the case, I cannot say. lVIr. Colman and Mr . McGhie

both say that t_here is no cohesion between the different companies eoncerned in purchasing supphes to fill the contract, but that they buy in c01npetition with one another.



. l\1r. Francis Clarke, a member of the Legislative Council of Victoria, giving evidence in Melbourne, said that it was the general opinion throughout Victoria that there was a limitation of competition ainongst exporters, and that he did not recollect ever having n1et a man in the pastoralist's business who did not believe that there was limited competition. He added, very fairly, that after reading the evidence previously given he felt that he should modify that statement to some extent. Mr. Falconer, also giving evidence in M:elbourne, said that it was the conviction of pastoralists that

prior to the time when Siins, Cooper, and Coy. came into the n1arket in a large way competition was regulated and limited, particularly for lambs. The firms , which in his opinion were concerned in this understanding, were Angliss and Coy., John Cooke and Coy., and Borthwick and Sons, and his opinion is that they did not bid against one another and that lambs knocked down ·to one firm were divided afterwards with the

others. He considers, however, that at the present time there is unrestricted competition, and that sellers are getting full prices for their stock. · The evidence, taken as a whole, does not support these broad assertions of a regulation and of prices. In purchasing for export, li1nits, based upon

London prices, are given by the exporting firms to their buyers, and the . buyers naturally try to keep within them as much as possible. This very often results in an agreement being come to by buyers either to take alternate pens, or to divide pens when buying at the sale yards, particularly after local needs are supplied and the exporters

are the only buyers left in the market, but it does not follow that in so arranging they are acting under instructions from their principals. J\tir. Cordner, the chairman of the Stock Salesmen's Association in Victoria, does not regard this as any evidence of illegiti­ mate combination. He says that buyers have always divided large lines of stock as far as his experience goes, and that a decrease of 2,000 or 3,000 sheep in the market

causes men who have been friends one week to oppose each other hotly the next. Mr. Clarke, who generally sells his lambs on the ground·, says that he cannot rival buyers to attend at the same time, and make competitive offers for lambs, but thiS IS not a customary way of doing business . It does not follow that there is such. unanimity

among buyers that the same price will be offered by all who inspect, and In fa ct Mr . Clarke's manager speaks of an occasion last year when John C?oke and Coy.'s buyer offered a better price than Sims, Cooper, and Coy. f?r lambs. which .the _latter firm had previously inspected. The fact must not be lost s1e;ht of, 1n an

inference of pre-arrangen1ent is to be drawn fron1 evidence of pnce, that

where purchases are being made for the same market, liinits of pnces are by competent men thoroughly instructed as to the conditiOns _of that ·market, It I S not likely that there will be much range of variation. lVIr. A!lghss, Mr . A. A. Elder, and Mr. Balderstone all emphatically deny that, so far as theu knowledge , the firms which they represent have ever had an as regard pnces.

the area fron1 which the Riverina Coy . draws Its supplies they do not compete Wlth 0 2



one another, but there is no evidence in support of the rumours referred to by Mr. Niall, the general manager of Goldsbrough, l\1ort, and Coy., to the effect they_ allocate other areas to one another as non-competitive. Outside such areas, Mr. Niall thinks that there is competition. Mr. lVIacrae, the joint manager in Melbourne of. Coy., says that he has never had any evidence of a restriction of competitiOn erther In the saleyards or in the country.

:Mr. Graham, in giving evidence, estimated that a profit of 2s. 5d. a head made by John Cooke and Coy. on a purchase of 641 lambs from lVIr . Clarke early this year, and l\1r. Clarke, in a letter which he wrote to the Argus newspaper- a copy of which he sent me- went into figures, and calculated that a profit of at least 2s. 6d. a head must have been n1ade. Mr. Ferguson afterwards stated that he had been able to get a very accurate staten1ent of the actual profit made, and he put the figures before me with a request that they be not made public. On these figures the profit made was nothing like 2s. 5d. a head. None of the lambs actually realized as much as 5!d. a lb. , and even if all had realized that amount the profit, on the figures put before me, would not have been anything like 2s. 5d. a head.


l\tir. Clarke is a strong advocate of the merits of co-operative works in country districts as a valuable weapon against a combination or threatened monopoly, and as a n1eans of enabling the grower to dispose of his stock to the greatest ::dvantage. put forward so1ne interesting figures which he had prepared illustrating the relative cost of working on the seaboard and in the country, and he referred to the-fact that the Wimtnera Inland Freezing Coy. was able to pay a' dividend of 6! per cent., although, _as he said, prices were 2s. a head higher in the districts from which it drew its supphes than in t he surrounding districts. The matter was only touched on incidentally in the course of my nquiries, but the opinion of those exporters who discussed it appeared to be that the irregular seasons experienced in Australia constitute a difficulty in the way

of country works, and that they can only be successfully carried on if thejr have a large district to draw supplies from, good seasons, and a long working period in each ye.ar. The statement that prices were 2s. a head higher in the Wimrnera district than outside it cannot be relied upon. It was made to l\1r. Clarke by Mr. Bennett, the former secretary of . the con1pany, and by the present secretary, but it was apparently mere hearsay on their part, and the figures supplied to me by Mr. Balderstone and l\1r. Ferguson in respect of the 1913- 1914 season show that in ,each case their purchases in the Win1mera district cost less on the average than their purchases in the remaining districts of Victoria.


I found a strong body of opinion among Queensland pastoralists to the effect that, in past years, it was the practice of the exporters to fix a unifonn level of prices to be paid for cattle at the beginning of each season and to adhere to it whatever fluctuations there might be elsewhere in the prices of meat or of by-products . . It is admitted by the exporters, or at all events by most of them, that attempts have been 1nade from tin1e to time to arrive at an understanding for the purpose of allotting

different districts to the different groups of works-northern, central, and southern­ froin which to draw supplies, and for the purpose of fixing a uniform price within each district so allotted ; but the witnesses examined before me varied very much in their recollection of the nature of the arrangen1ents made, of the time over which they

3xtended, and of the extent to which they were observed in practice. It is unnecessary to discuss the evidence in detail, as there is a general consensus of opinion that, whatever efforts may have been made in the past to eli1ninate competition, nothing of the kind exists now. Within the last two years or .so new buyers have come into the field, the demand has increased, prices have hardened, and keen competitive conditions have prevailed.


It must be borne in mind, however, that the circumstances that there are no public abattoirs in Queensland, and that the slaughtering of 1neat for export is practically confined to the meat works of the exporting firms , these being the only appointed places under the Commerce (Trade Descriptions) Act, create a condition of affairs which places very great power in the hands of the exporting companies, if they choose to combine for the purpose of crushing competition. Stock have treated in the past for other


exporters at Birt and Coy.'s works, and the other meat works are prepared to treat stock for pastoralists-but for pastoralists only-if sufficient notice is given, and if satisfactory arrangements can be made, but this degree of readiness to assist -the pastoralist if he wishes to export on his own account does not detract from the dangerous facilities

afforded for ·a monopolistic combination. The experience which :Mr. W. A. Thompson, of the firm of W. A. Harding and Coy., underwent in his .endeavours to establish an exporting business in Brisbane in 1911 illustrate the difficulties with which a person desirous of exporting, but having no slaughtering or freezing works of his own, is confronted in Queensland.

F AGILITIES FOR EXPORT IN OTHER STATES. In the other States the difficulties are not so great. In South Australia the work of slaughtering, freezing, shipping, and if so desired, selling in the English market is undertaken by the Government Produce Depart1nent, an institution which appears to me to afford an excellent illustration of useful State enterprise.

In Victoria and in New South Wales pubFc abattoirs provide facilities for slaughtering, and in addition dead meat may be bought from carcass butchers. . In New South \Vales an exporter, who does not possess his own slaughtering establishment and who buys on the hoof, ,must slaughter either at the abattoirs at Glebe I sland or at the Australian Chilling and Freezing Coy.'s works at Aberdeen, on the Hunter River. This company undertakes the work of slaughtering, freezing, and shipping for others as a part of its ordinary business, but its capacity is

of course limited, and its situation renders it of service only to those who draw their supplies from the northern districts of the State. The accommodation at Glebe Island is limited, and it is the practice to lease the killing houses from time to time to the highest bidder. The majority of the occupants are themselves engaged in the export trade. Under normal conditions, with fair supplies of stock coming forward, the killing

space is fully occupied, and a new-comer in the trade might find a difficulty in securing space in competition with an established firm. No evidence was given of anyth.ng of this kind having actually happened, but the existing conditions undoubtedly facilitate combinations for the purpose of suppressing competition. New abattoirs are being built at Homebush, but, in the interim report on the supply and distribution of 1neat presented by the New South Wales Commission of Inquiry as to food supplies and prices, it is stated that the accommodation provided is quite inadequate for the requirements of the metropolitan area.

No evidence was given in Victoria as to the existence of any difficulty in obtaining slaughtering accomn1odation in that State. ·

Both in New South Wales -and ip. Victoria there are freezing establishments which freeze and store for others. In Victoria, in addition, cool stores have been built by the Government. Mr. Crowe, the Exports Superintendent, says that the object of the Government in building then1 was to provide facilities for those who wished to export

on their own account, and, after their require1nents were served, to treat meat on behalf of any exporter as long as there was space.

SYDNEY MEAT PRESERVING COl\1PANY. Another matter which came under observation in the course of my inquiries wa s the effect upon the export trade of the operations in the market of the Sydney Meat Preserving Coy. . . . _

This con1pany sells carcass mutton to exporters fron1 to time, but pnmary business is that of canning meat. Its product, which has, I _b eheve, earned a high reputa­ tion in the market, is partly disposed of in Western Austraha, and partly exported to the United Kingdom and to the Pacific I slands.


For some years past it has been in receipt of a sub_sidy from 'V:ho

sell at Flemington, of lOs. per cent. on the of theu sales . The sub. ·Idy, which is paid by nearly all selling pastoralists, is descnbed as voluntary, but the fact that a certain degree of compulsion exists is shown by Mr . Gee'_s statement that company refrains frmn buying from a pastoralist who does not pay It. In for th1s payme?t­

it is said that the company considers the of more of It

shareholders in its buying, and that out of for those Interests, In or_der

to regulate the level of prices, it buys, or at all events bids for more stock than 1t requues


for its trade. It is said on behalf of the company that the inducement to pastoralists to pay the subsidy is that it protects them from combinations of buyers, and fr01n sacrifices of their stock in times of glut in the market. On the other buyers

complain that the receipt pf the subsidy enables the. company to pay lngner :pnces its competitors, and that in deliberate exercise of this power and n order to force pnces up it bids for all classes of stock coming into the market.


Those exporters, who referred to the Inatter in giving evidence Ine, expressed the opin;_ on that the company's operations did at times tend to res.tnct the export trade, but that with the higher range of prices which has prevailed dunng the last two . .years the effect of their buying in this direction has not been so noticeable. · Every buyer in the market tends, of course, to raise prices, and, if he is in t!w of not being compelled to study the market so closely as his h1s competitiOn . is the more formidable; but, though, to this extent, the presence In the field of the Sydney Meat Preserving Coy. must interfere with the prices which exporters· are com­ pelled to pay, the evidence adduced before me does not suggest that, so far as the export trade is concerned, this interference, taken as a whole, has been of a very serious character. lVIr. Gee says that, in ordinary circumstances, probably not more than 20 per cent. of the meat which he purchases is suitable for export as frozen meat.

Mr. Sidney Kidman, a pastoralist who does not pay the subsidy, considers that it may have been useful in times gone by, but that there are now plenty to buy and sell, and that pastoralists do not require the assistance of the company to enable thmn to obtain fair prices for their stock. :Mr. T. A. Field and Mr. Agnev\r are also of opinion that without it the pastoralist would generally get a fair return for his stock.

The effect of the subsidized buying of the company-more particularly in its effect on the local n1eat trade-was gone into very fully and carefully by the New South Wales Commission of Inquiry as to food supplies and prices, and the matter is dealt with at some length in its interim report presented last year on the supply and distribution of meat. The majority-not a large one-of the members came to the conclusion that the existence of the company as the exclusive recipient of a subsidy from the pastoralists was on the whole detrimental to the meat trade of the State; that it was unnecessary to secure to the pastoralist a fair return for his stock ; that its tendency was to increase the price to the consumer or to force an inferior quality of meat upon the local market; that it hampered the export trade in frozen mutton; that its operations interfered with free and fair competition in the stock market; and that the conditions under which the meat trade was carried on would be improved if the subsidy were discontinued.

They recommended that the Government of New South Wales should take the question of its payment into consideration, \:vith a view to taking such steps as might be deemed desirable. ·

The dissentient minority did not consider that the evidence sufficiently estab­ lished these detrimental tendencies, and they thought that, if the subsidy were abolished and the company pursued its operations without it, the effect in raising prices would probably be very much the same as it then was.

I do not know whether any, and if so what, action is contemplated by the 0overnment. of New South Wale.s, but it will no doubt adopt whatever measures it con­ siders for the protectiOn of the local meat trade, and it may be that these

measures will afford any necessary protection to the export trade. I do not think, the as to the existing condition of affairs establishes any restric­

tiOn on or Interference with the export trade of such a character ·as to call for action by the Government of the Commonwealth. The allegations made by Mr. Hughes to the effect that since the outbreak of the war the Meat Coy .. has altered its methods and that its operations

show an IntentiOn of trying to estabhsh a monopoly in the sale of carcass meat to exporters cannot be I have no that Mr. Hughes believed in the

truth of the whiCh he made, and It Is the fact that the company is buying

lambs for the first time In Its career, but the only departure which it has made from its ordinary methods is that it has. contracted to supply F. J. Walker and Coy. with 6',000 carcasses of sheep, 2,000 of which are to be lambs. Mr. Walker says that he required that number of carcasses to complete an order for the Unite·d Kingdom, and that he

could not obtain supplies from the carcass butchers. price paid was in accqrdan,ce with the ruling rates at .the - -




In the foregoing pages I have endeavoured to deal with every feature of importance brought under my notice in the course of my inquiries, and, so far as the circumstances permit of definite conclusions being arrived at, it may be convenient to sun1marize those at which I have arrived.

1. American companies trading in the United Kingdom which belong to the group popularly known as the American Beef Trust have been purchasers of Australian meat, through distributing agencies abroad, for some considerable time. 2. Since the removal of the import duty on meat by the United States Govern­

nlent last year these companies, and others engaged in the trade in the United States, have made purchases through distributing agents in Australia and elsewhere for shipment to the United States. 3. All the foregoing purchases have. been Inade in the ordinary course of business, and is nothing to indicate that they were not made under ordinary competitive conditions.

4. The three English companies representing the three American firms most prominently identified in recent years with the so-called Beef Trust are extending their activities to Australia. (a) The Swift Beef Coy., of London, under the guise of the Australian Meat

Export Coy., a company registered in Queensland, has established \Vorks in that State and has begun exporting. (b) The Morris Beef Coy. of London has purchased a site on the Brisbane River, in Queensland, with a view to the establishment of a meat


(c) Armour and Coy., of London, is purchasing frozen and canned meat through the agency of Birt and Coy., and otherwise. It has also been in negotiation for the acquisition of an interest in the output of more than one meat works, and it has purchased 5,000 cattle

on the hoof, which are being treated and shipped, on its behalf, by the Governn1ent Produce Department of South Australia. 5. There is no evidence of anything in the shape of combination, or concerted action, on the part of these companies in Australia.

6. The rumours that these companies, or some of them, have (a) purchased pastoral properties, (b) paid higher than ruling rates for live-stock, (c) endeavoured to purchase unborn stock, and (d) endeavoured to secure an option over young stock for future delivery at maturity, are all without any foundation in fact.

7. The past history of the so-called Beef Trust in other countries renders it necessary that the development of the activities of these three companies in Australia should be carefully followed, and I recommend that for this purpose the Government of the Commonwealth should communicate with the Governments of the several States, and invite their co-operation.

8. It is improbable that any one of these three companies has any present intention of engaging in the local trade in Australia. Their immediate object in coming here to increase their supplies of refrigerated meat for distribution in the course of theu trade in the United l{ingdom and the United States.

At the present time they control upwards of one-half of the beef exported t o the United I{ingdon1 from South A1nerica, and if , in addition, they control over. a large part of the output of frozen meat frmn Australia , the power whiCh .they said to possess already , jf acting in combination, of infiuencj ng prices in the U:nted will be very largely increased. If they c01nbined. for the purpose, theu organizatiOn

and financial resources would probably enable them to ac quire control over a large proportion of the output from Australia. .

'The matter is one of Imperial and Argentine, as well as Austrahan , concern, I recommend that the Government of the Commonwealth endeavour t o arrange With the Imperial Government, ancl with the Government of the Argentine Republic, for a frequent interchange of communications and opinions in w.ith future develop­

ments, with a view to concerted action, if necessary and practicable, In the event of any detrimental combination of for ces being reported. ·

· _ 9. As there is no· evidence at present of anything in the of an atte1npted

restraint or monopoly in connexion with the trade from Australia on part of three companies mentioned, it does not appear to me that anY: ?f a special

character is necessary at present, over and above any legislation wbich It 1nay be



proposed. to for the purpose of deali,ng generally with detrimental monopolies or combinations. . ·

10. The Cudahy Packing Coy. has made purchases in Australia for its business · the United States, and contemplates appointing Messrs. Robert Little. and Co.y. as Its agents in Australia. This is the full extent of its activities in Austraha, and In all its transactions it has acted independently of other firms. .

11. The ownership in common of the Riverina meat works by Anghss an4 Coy., Borthwick and Sons, and John Cooke and Coy., though,in effect it removes two petitors fr01n the area from which supplies are drawn, does not injuriously affect price.s, or operate in any way to the prejudice of producer or consumer.

12. The agreement between the Queensland Meat Export and Agency Coy. and five other exporting companies, by which that company tenders for the supply of frozen meat to thE< United States Anny in the Philippine Islands, and the others share in providing the necessary supplies under the contract , is, by its e1imination of the element

of competition, an agreement in restraint of trade. I do not know whether the effect· is to increase the price to the United States Government, nor do I know whether that Government is aware of the practi.ce that is adopted. I apprehend that it is not. 13. Although the operations of the Sydney Meat Preserving Coy. at times may · have affected the export trade in mutton to some extent, the interference has not been

sufficiently serious to call for any special action on the part of the Commonwealth Government, over and above any action that may be contemplated by the Government of New South Wales. 14. It has not been shown that there is at the present time any agreement among exporting firms for the purpose of suppressing con1petition or fixing · or regulating prices. The practice, occasionally adopted by buyers in the markets, of taking alternate pens or of dividing pep.s is one which probably exists in all stock markets, and does not indicate a combination on the part of their prinicpals.


I desire to express my thanks to Mr. Knibbs for the statistical information relating to the prices of live-stock and of meat in the markets of the United States, the United Kingdom, and Australia, with which he supplied me. Useful as it has been for various purposes during my inquiries, I have not found it necessary to refer to it in the preceding pages in view of the course taken by the evidence and of the conclusions at which I have arrived. In face of the limited extent of the operations in Australia of the American firms hitherto, a comparison of prices for the purpose of throwing light on their methods became unnecessary. The information will, I believe, be made Pvailable in statistical publications, and it is unnecessary therefore to print it as an appendix to this Report.

I also desire to thank the Consul-General for the United States, the State Statisticians, and other Government officials, to whom I applied for information, for their readiness to assist me. · · ·

I desire, in addition, to acknowledge gratefully the use which I have made of the various reports and documents from which I have quoted in the foregoing pages. The examination of witnesses was undertaken by :Mr. Bavin. His professional capacity, and his familiarity with the study of economic problems, ma4e his assistance especially valuable. ·

I have also to acknowledge the valuable assistance which I received from Mr. W. H. Clarke, who acted as my secretary until shortly after the outbreak of the war, when his services were required for departmental duties in Melbourne. The secretarial and clerical duties were from thence onwards undertaken solely by l\1r. S. F. Chubb, and I desire particularly to express my recognition of his ability and untiring industry, and my indebtedness for the assistance which he has given me.

A list of the various documents put in evidence will be found appended to the evidence. These, as might be expected, are of a very varied character. Many of them furnished me with much valuable information, and I have appended to my Report, or embodied in it, such of them as it seemed necessary or desirable to publish.

I have the honour to be, Your Excellency's obedient servant, P. W. STREET,

Sydney, 14th November, 1914,





Department of Public Health, Sydney, 6th October, 1914:.


With reference to the inquiry in your letter o.f 3rd October regarding ante-mortem inspection of cattle and sheep intended to be slaughtered for export, I have to inform you that sheep receive no official ante-mortem i:u..sp_e_ ction. ·

In regar9- to cattle, a ca_ ref\].1 veterin?-ry inspection is car;ried out at Fle.mington saleyar.ds by n').yself or Mr . Assistanp Veterinary Inspector ·walters every sale day. Cattle judged to be unfit. for food are condemned and shot at yants. Cattle showing only slight signs of di.sease,, or cattle S\ls,pected of being or unfit for food ,' marked with green paint and are required to be slaughtered at Glebe Island ab.attoirs. The final disposition of carcasses in this case is decided by the post-1rwrte_ m inspectiQn at Glehe Island. At premises where cattle are slaughtered for expbrt, but where the supply of docs not pass through Flemington S!lleytj.rds, the lay meat inspector at the works carries out ante-mortem inspection.

This is, how.ever, in my opinion, of little sanitary significance, and cannot be

regarded as satisfactory for the following reasons :-(1) In many cases, proper facilities do not exist for conducting the work. (2) No separate place to slaughter " suspects" is provided. (3) 'fhe lay meat inspector, even if he possesses the ability to do so, does not care to

take the responsibility of condemning cattle at the ante-morte-m examination.

I am,

Yours faithfully,


Veterinary Inspector in 9f ;Meat Export.




Territories. . . I : I

Y New South y- . 1 South Wes tern I _______ _

----ea-r. ____ _ :: _s._ Northern. F eder a L

Common­ wealth.

No. No. No . No. No . No. No. No. No.

1904 2,149,129 1,685,916 2,722,340 272,459 561,490 201,206 247,920 7,840,520

1905 2,337,973 1,737,690 2;96a,69f5 304,027 631,825 206,2,11 346,910 8,528,331

1906 2,549,944 1,804,323 3,413,919 325,724 690,0ll 211,117 :354,371 9,349,409

1907 2,751,193 1,842,807 3,892,232 334,671 717,377 215,523 374,683 10,128,486

1908 I 2,955,934 4,321,600 340,376 741,788 205,827 407,992 ' 10,547,679

1909 3,027,727 1,549,64r0 4,711,782 :344,034 793,?17 199,945 414:,046 11 ,040,391

1910 3,140,307 1,547,569 1 5,131,699 384,8G2 1 825,040 201,854 1 5 13 ,383 .. 1 11 ,744,714 1911 3,185,824 1,647,q7 5,073,201 393,556 843,638 217,406 459,780 8,412 11 ,828,954 1912 3,033,726 1,508,0&9 5,210,891 383,418 806,294 222,181 405,5§2 7,108 11,577,259 1913 2,836,801 1,528,553 5,271,746 352,905 829,489 *222)81 *405,552 t ,p1,447,227 Sheep. 1904 10,843,470 5,820,301 2,853,424 1,557,460 5-t,6/8 1 65,823 ,91 8

1905 39,506,7Ej4 11,455,115 i2,535,231 3,120,703 1,583,561 G1,730 74,540,916

1906 12,937;440 14,886,438 6,624,941 3,340,745 1,729,394 36,276 83,687,65 ;)

1907 44,461,83,9 14,146,734 16173§,0-!7 6,829,637 3,68_4,974 1,74:4,800 44,232 87,650,263

1908 43,370,797 12,545,742 18,348,851 6,898,451 4,097,324 1,728,053 54,048 87 ,043,266

1909 46,202,578 1?,937,983 19,593,791 6,432,038 4,731,737 1,734,761 43,393 91,676,281

1910 45,560,969 12,882,665 20,331,838 6,267,477 5,158,516 1,788,310 57,240 .. 92,047,015

1911 44,722,523 13,857,804 20,740,981 6,171,907 5,411,542 1,823,017 50,983 224,764 93 ,003,5 21

1912 38,855,861 11,892,224 20,310,036 5,481,489 4,596,958 1,862,669 75 ,808 188,641 83,263,686

1913 39;842,518 21,678,729 5,073,057 *75,8Q8 I t t85,064,865

• liH2 figures, 1913 particulars not yet t Included with New South Wales, not yet available separately. + Subject to notea • and t.





United Kingdom .. Far East Other Countries ..


United Kingdom .. U.S. America Far East Other Countries ..


United. Kingdom . . Far East Other Countries . .


Unite¢!. .Kingdom .. Far East Other Countries ..


United Kingdom .. Far East ..

Other C;mntries ..


United Kingdom . . Far East Other Countries ..


United Kingdom .. Far East Other Countries ..


United Kingdom .. Far East Other Countries ..


United Kingdom . . U.S. America Far East ..

Other Countries ..


United Kingdom .. U.S. America Far East Other Countries ..


New South Wales.

lbs. £

267,387/ 3:783

544,464 7,004

320,691 14,760 424,659 1,308,255


61,418 845,965 2,772,035


784,437 436,168 911,234


25,080 298,506 402,237


467,985 262,496 291,683


7,467,450 381,558 896,353


4,359,060 284,098 2,651,672


3,875,528 289 777,368 3,244,646


7,147,502 3,727,862 538,477 6,758,734



3,016 123 4,800 15,720


400 9,986 30,439


7,206 5,084 12,115



4,136 4,636


5,ll7 3,098 3,731


83,432 4,027 10,419

97,878 .

43,437 2,931 29,812


38,315 5

8,958 50,966


91,680 50,021 6,726 99,507

247,934! I


Victoria. Queensland.


20,446 62,685 909,245


11,410 ..

37,466 1,324,588


295,295 176,585 770,508


442,151 308,859 451,429


928,122 426,325 255,587


1,381,782 77,648 157,547


3,437,912 11,769 638,604


2,230,266 866



2,241,012 ..




8,119,579 52,590 6,000 1,844,079




£ lbs.


334 3,648,401 823 7,231,407 14,398 24,674,294

15,555 35,554,1051





3,138 2,158 9,658


4,529 4,273 5,975


9,624 5,6g2 3,727


1905. 1,271,094 ..

13,509,422 25,302,741


1906. 1,349,673 20,874,277 14,415,496


1907. 7,133,559 20,818,740 20,764,015


1908. 11.290,257 20,803,954 6,140,731



13,460 50,927,346 1,266 12,474,827 1,988 5,100,981

16,714 68,503,154


38,238 80,345,374 161 11,248,676 5,831 4,999,832

44,230 96,593,882

1911 .

'27,022 74,9ll,734 14 12,732,426 18,117 9,641,435

45,153 97,285,595


28,247 102,290,153 .. ..

16 15,737,282 26,531 11,222,003

54,794 129,249,438


123,588 152,946, 114 950 1,257,317 68 17,225,928 21,500 17,108,761

146,106 188,538, 120j


35,298 81,143 303,437


13,615 . .

147,597 238,730


12,358 220,033 146,285


76,168 228,603 231,779


122,202 233,403 65,943


514,467 137,293 52,790


845,992 140,605 50,441


742,934 143,764 94,101


1, 173,992 ..

179,856 118,863


1,801,924 15,867 214,694 199,487

2,231 ,972

South Australia.

lbs. £

.. ..

.. ..

.. ..


.. ..

.. ..

.. . .

.. ..

.. ..

.. ..

.. ! ..

.. i .. .. I ..


I· ..

.. ..

.. ..

.. ..

.. ..

140,717 1,895 .. . .

.. ..

140,717 1,895

.. . .

.. ..

.. . .

.. ..

.. . .


.. ..

.. ..

.. I .. I

.. I .. .. I


.. . .




480,167 4,982 . . ..

.. ..

.. . .

480, 167 4,982

1,750,096 20,786 0 . ..

. . ..

435,567 5, 477

Common wealth.



3,668,850 7,561,479 25,860,616

I 37,090,945 I 1,603,195 14,760 13,971,547 27,935,584


1,706,386 21,896,827 17,958,039


8,360,147 21,563,767 22,126,678


12,384,176 21,528,785 6,798,555


52,777,113 12,814,971 5,550,2ll


91,250,726 11,642,003 6,534,789


81,501,060 13,017,390 14,267,967


108,886,860 299

16,515,750 16,807,177


169,963,291 5,037,769 17,770,405 26,147,141


35,632 85,749 321,055


16,788 123

153,025 271,989


15,895 232,177 186,382


87,903 237,960 249,869


134,014 243,231 74,306


533,044 141,657 58,509


967,662 144,793 66,691


813,393 146,709 142,030


1,245,536 5

188,830 196,360


2,037,978 66,838 221,488 325,971

2,185,663 26,263 1

218,918,606 I




United Kingdom Far East ·Other Countries


United Kingdom Far E ast ·Opher Countries


United Kingdom Far East •Other Countries


United Kingdom Far E as t ·Other Co untries


United K ingdom F ar E ast ·Other Co untries


United K ingdom Far East ·Other Countries



New South W ales. Victoria.


15,662,753 738,841 6,235,048


35,344,473 1,076,976 12,286,368


31,230,404 1,307,750 18,434,617

50,97 2, 771

40,636,058 1,542,658 13,652,703

55,83 1,41 9

36,877,335 1,137,3 74 6,622,783


184, 645 9,749 80,833


12,416,626 91,301 1,150,080

275,227 13,658,007

4.18,083 12,302 145,848

17,600,947 9,558 491,519

576,23 3 18,102,024

321 ,899 14,374 202,498

26,485,319 9,299 910,833

538,771 27, 405,451

438,410 17,939 158,647

32, 11 t-l,082 27,139 1,405, 134

614,996 33,516,355

440,483 13,0!4 72,893

27,4 2i,72 8 ll8,0J l 220,671

Mutton and Larnb.

Queensland. South Australia.


191,706 1,220 17,496


95,209 200,575 4,362,676

210,422 4,658,460

267,615 119 6,753

2,332,818 435, 816 9,79 0,514

274,487 12,559,148

373,221 126 10,358

905,777 185,687 2,592,527

383,705 3,683,991

462,602 407 16,703

5,66 7,746 443,743 3,470,418

479,712 9,581 ,907

39 7,454 1,299 3,1 30

6, 763,52[) 241,753 925,811


1904. 1,958 2,560 56,367


6, 700,537


60,885 6, 715,619

1905. 28,157 4,961 107,357


140,475 7,427,305

1906. 10,95 21 2,037 26 ,367


39,356 8,614,360

1907. 64, 342 4,914 37,024



10 6, 230 9,898,118

1908. 83, 294 2,8 27 10,0::>3

11 , 1. 50,956













West ern Australia.


lbs. £

15,812 292

15,812 292

369,958 5,586

369,958 5,586

95,235 1,366

Tasmania . Commonwealth.

---------- -------·--

lbs. • I






£ lbs.

35,069,929 1,030,717 11,762,886


488,830 13,529 155,002

2,441 47,863,532 657,361

980 62,767,593 1,522,350 22,568,401

834,629 17,382 .259,958

980 86,858,344 1,111 ,969


67,251,672 1,502,736 21,937,977

839,360 16,537 239,223

90,692,385 1,095,120

88,676,913 2,Q13,540 18,537,304

1,141,718 23,260 212,524

109,227,757 1,377,502

82,341,131 1,497,218 7,769,265

1,115,908 17,170 86,029

44,637,492 526,423 27,763,190 401 ,883 7,936 ,03! 96,124 11 ,150,966 192, 763 95,235 1,366 24,347 548 91,607,614 1,219,107

51,694,187 814,484 3,875,883


502,327 7,539 41, 93 0

31,0!1,582 31,535 86,886

55 1,796 31,1 60,003

400,983 299 1,094

17,915,6'16 85 1,629 1,116,317

402,376 19,883,592

1909. 141,065 7,858 10,840


159,763 9,487,490



After 1909, mutton and la mb were recorded separately.

- - - --1-----

ll0,138,905 1,697,648 5,079,086

1,161,475 15,696 53,864

116,915,639 1,231,035



United Kingdom . . Far East ..

Other Countries . .


United Kingdom .. Far East Other Countries


United Kingdom .. U.S. America Far East ..

Other Countries . .


United Kingdom . . U .S. America Far East Other Countries . .


United K ingdom . . Far East Other Countries . .


United Kingdom . . Far East Other Countries ..


United Kingdom .. U.S. America Far East Other Countries ..


United Kingdom . . U .S. America Far East Other Countries . .


U nited Kingdom .. U.S. America Other Countries . .


United Kingdom .. U.S. America Other Countries . .





Mutton .

New South Wales. Victoria. Queensland. South Australia. Common wealth.


70,872,887 621,834 4,973,861

76,468,582 I


741,272 5,921 55,717



22,107,287 .40,262 72,244


£ lbs.


258,018 28,490,653 386 ' 1,014,691 638 1,179,548

259,042 30,684,892


44,473,483 472,596 26,181,428 316,747 6,170,441 1,386,418 14,357 8,590 200 685,006

4,635,052 57,780 912,648 9,312 375,761

50,494,953 544,733 27,102,666 326,259 7,231,208

29,375,949 359,601 1 1,312 20

1,358,536 17,496 2,690,625 37,891 /

33,426,422! 415,0081 I

68,554,073 885,317 451,765 5,904

786,622 9,776

6,078,238 88,552

75,870,698 989,549 I

13,887,483 199,643 223,480 2,948

149,931 2,382

14,260,894 204,973

8,833,948 128,099 402,704 5,897

217,384 3,298

9,454,036 137,294 I

7,979, 126 129,970 739 15

511,285 8,476

120,256 2,088

8,611,406 140,549

12,935,233 214,484 52,894 1,059

554,265 9,765

46,689 1,021

13,589,081 226,329




45,854,581 1 ..

. .



34,995,170 26,065 97,899


27,725,013 15,875 47,682


23,296,998 . .




34,603,015 ..

. .


34,751,11 2


338,325 15,197,649


8,073 826,705

346,398 16,431,636


627,547, 24,742,418 I

66,349 . . . . I 850,314 29,884, 2,008,050 I 657,431 1 27,667,131 L amb. 1910. 499,999 467,282

306 172,135

1,228 16,308

501,533 655,725


471,378 296,417

223 85,575

648 7,135

472,249 389,127


41.4:5541 184,419' ..

.. 35,235

1,392 2,915

415,946 222,569


636,826 1,258,919, .. ..

. . 58,709

2,484 ..

639,310 1,317,628

£ lbs.

243,975 3,761,945 9,636 ..

9,469 76,075

263,080 3,838,020

56,009 2,364,361 7,029 ..

3,362 . .

66,400 2,364,361

180,0651 2,974,655 . . I

5,2601 . .

10,432 32,724

195,7571 3,007,3791

281,6741 ' 2,395,535 1 830 . .

. .

21,447 191,223

312,740 2,586,758

4,903 6,973,890 2,242 . .

185 8,400

7,330 6,982,290 .

3,630 4,711,988 1,248 ..

95 32,386

4,9731 4, 744,374

2,171 " 3,217,283 .. . .

607 ..

48 49,875

2,826 3,267,158

19,682 1,096,364 ..

1,068 .. 33,390

20,7501 1,129, 754


31,539 ..



19,230 ..




125,232,772 1,676,787 6,301,728


1,274,804 15,943 66,289

--- - -1----133,211,287 1,357,036 79,189,713 864,582 2,080,014 21,586

5,923,461 70,454

87,193,188 956,622

30,068 . 73,878,346 1 908,059 . . 1 1,312 20

• • 1 1,765,818 22,756

257 i 4,244,669 1 56,653

30,325 987,488

30,870 . .

. .



90,583 ..






44,894 ..

. .




. 522


141,546,607 518,114 1,636,936 10,442,551

1,825,408 6,734 18,565 142,632

154,144,208 1 1,993,339

56,323,825 421,680 272,538

57,018,043 I

795,128 5,496 3,853

- - ---

1 804,477

41,567,366 1 665,051 504,154 7,368

304,587 4,581

42,376,107 / 677,000 l

34,677,826 591,589 739 15

546,520 9,083

256,751 4,203

35,481,836 604,890

49,893,531 887,274 52,894 1,059

612,.974 10,833

228,176 4,027

50,787,575 903,193

FIRST FouR MoNTHS, 1914. B eef.

7,203,057 100,168 12,974,084 207,261 5,466,566 82,835 1,800,352 28,710 1,232,960 17,872 35 5, 442 5,029

13,902,583 200,875 15,129,878 241,000


24,811,596 6,392,072





1 11 utton and Lamb .

20,319,927 287,596 18,105,152 369,679 1,315,269 21,397 826,610 13,631

921,413 14,222 9,151 ,308 159,951 I

3,397,666 89,079 471,561

22,556,609 323,215 28,083,070 543,261 1 3,958,306

318,155 3,536,930 76,927 ..

100,610 ..

495,692 3,536,930

47,388 423,323 1,021 . .

7,398 . .

55,807 423,323 I

46,975 ..



5,377 . .

. .

5,377 I

48,525,667 13,658,990 9,028,465


42,246,068 2,230,958 10,544,282


672,559 188,472 123,511


710,040 36,049 181,571






Name of Firm or Company. State or States in which Business is

carried on.

Nature of Business carried on.

Abbotsford Packing New South ·wales Buy dead meat hnd can at own works Coy. Anderson, M. G. South Australia. . Slaughters and freezes at Govern­

ment Produce Depot

Capacity of Works. •

Distributing Agencies.

Killing. Storage.

.. .. .. .. Yuills Ltd., London

Angliss and Coy. New South ·wales As lessees of Daroobalgie Freezing 1,500 sheep a 5,000 carcasses

l \Vorks, slaughter and freeze day mutton Victoria­Imperial Works, Footscray Bourke-street, Melbourne Slaughter, freeze; and can at own works 7,000 lambs a 90,000 carcasses and Coy. day lamb Free·zing only . . 1,000 lambs a 20,000 carcasses London South Australia .. Slaughter and freeze at Government Produce Depot Buy canned meat day .. lamb I .. .. . . J Arkell and Douglass New South ·wales Australian Chilling New South Wales and Freezing Coy. Slaughter and freeze at own works ; slaughter and freeze for others 100 cattle and 60,000 carcasses Australian Chilling and 3,000 sheep mutton a day Australian Meat Coy. New South ·wales Slaughterand can at own'works Australian Meat Ex- Queensland-. . 5,000 cattle a year port Coy. Brisbane Townsville Slaughter, freeze, and can at own works Slaughter, freeze, and can at own works Balchin Ltd. . . New South Wales Buy dead' or canned meat Barnes, J . • • New South ·wales Buys dead meat and cans at own Baynes Bros. Queensland Be rgl Australia Ltd. Queensland B irt and Coy. .. Queensland-Murarrie Musgrave Biboohra Meat Ex- Queenslai1d port Coy. Borthwick, Thomas, Victoria-works . . Slaughter and can at own works ; slaughter and sell carcasses .. Slaughter, freeze, and can at own works .. Slaughter and freeze at own works ; slaughter and freeze for others; buy dead meat .. Freezing only . . .. . . Slaughter and can at own works .. 500 cattle and

2,500 sheep a day

500 cattle and 2,000 sheep a day

100 cattle and 1,000 sheep a day

1,700 tons

1,300 tons

140 cattle a 1,500 tons


160 cattle, or 1,030 tons 100 cattle and 600

sheep a day 120 cattle, or 800 tons 2,400 sheep a day

100 cat t.le a


Freezing Coy., Lon­ don, and Colonial

Consignment and Distributing Coy. London . . Australian Meat Coy.


. . Swift Beef Coy., Lon don

c. J. Piggott, an d

Libby, McNeill, an d Libby, London Libby, McNeill, an d Libby, Lon don

. . Stephenson and Pae

and Weddel and Coy., London . . Bergl Australia Ltd.


. . } Birt, Potter,

Hughes Ltd., . . don

and Lon-

and Sons Brooklyn Slaughter and freeze at own works 2,500 lambs a 20,000 carcasses

Works, Foots-


South Australia ..

Burdekin River Meat Queensland Preserving Coy.

Slaughter and freeze at own works ..

Slaughter and freeze at own works ..

Slaughter and freeze at Government Produce Dep0t Slaughter and freeze at own works ..

da.y lamb

1,000 lambs a day 230 cattle, or 140 cattle

and 1,000

sheep a day

300 cattle, or 100 cattle and 1,000 sheep a day

20,000 carcasses lamb 1,000 tons

800 tons

Thomas Borthwick Ltd., London

Byron Bay Co -opera­ tive Canning and Freezing Coy.

New South Wales Slaughter and can at own works . . 80 cattle a day . . R. and W. Davidson,

L ondon

Central Queensland Meat Export Coy. Queensland Slaughter, freeze, and can at own 350 cattle, or_ 2,000 t ons

works 200 cattle

and 1,200

sheep a day

Co-operative Export. South Australia .. Slaughter and freez e at Government P oduce Dep0t Coy.

• In all cases the cap1i.clty is that supplied from offi cial eources.

. . Co lonia l Con signment and Distribut ing Coy., Lond on

. . General Produce Coy ., London



State or States

Capacity of Works.*

Name of Firm or Company. in which Business is carried on. Nature of Business carried on.

--------- -------'------------

CooKe, John, and Coy. New South Wales Slaughter and freeze at own works ..



Slaughter and freeze at own works ..

Slaughter, freeze, and can at own works

Cumberland Packing New South 'Vales Buy dead meat and can at own works Coy. Field, T. A. New South Wales

Fletcher, vV. and R., Victoria Ltd. Gladstone lVIeat Queensland

Works of Queens-land, Ltd.

Slaughters at abattoirs and freezes at other works; slaughters and sells carcasses Slaughter and freeze at own works ;

buy dead meat Slaughter and freeze at own works ..

Glen Packing Coy. .. New South Wales Buy dead meat and can at own >vorks GoUin and Coy. New South 'Vales Buy canned meats

Government Produce South Australia .. Department Harding, J. W., and Queensland Coy.

Haughton, Wm., and South Australia .. Coy. Hunter River lVIeat New South Wales Coy. Kensington Prosorv- Victoria

Slaughters, freezes, and cans for exporters Slaughters at own works and freezes at others ; slaughter and sell car­

casses Slaughter and freeze at Government Produce Depot ; buy dead meat Slaughter at other works, and can at

own works Buy dead meat and can at own works

ing Coy.

Kielman, Arthur New South VYales Buys dead and canned meat

Lilyfield Packing Coy. New South Wales Buy dead meat and can at own works

Little, Robert, and New South Wales Coy.



Moss, .J. W., a,ud Coy. New So uth Wales Victoria

National Coy. Packing New South Wales Nevanas, S. V., and



South Australia ..

Pacific Coy. Commercial New South Wales I

Buv dead and canned

slaughter and freeze at

works Buy dead and canned

slaughter and freeze at

works Buv d ead and canned meat Buy dead and canned meat Buy dead and canned meat

meat; other

meat· othe;

Buy dead meat and can at own

works Slaughter and freeze at other works ; buy dead and canned meat Slaughter and freeze at Govern­

ment Produce Depot ; buy dead and canned meat Buy dead and canned meat


150 cattle and 5,000 sheep a day

3,000 lambs a a day

400 cattle or

280 cattle

and 1,600 sheep a day

1,600 lambs a clay 320 cattle, or 100 cattle

and 1,500 sheep a clay

8,000 lambs a clay 120 cattle and 20 sheep a


Distributing Agencies .

. storage.

100,000 car-

casses mutton

60,000 carcasses lamb Wedclel and Coy.,


150,000 car-

casses mutton or 39,000

quarters beef R. and vY. Davidson London ·

Gordon, Woodroffc, and Coy., London

28,000 carcasses W. and R. Fletcher lamb Ltd. London

1,200 tons

200,000 car-

casses mutton

Gollin and Coy., Lon­ don

Morrison and Coy.,

London; -. Os­ borne, Glasgo w H aughton and Coy., London

Gilbert, Anderson, ani Coy., London R. a.nd vV. Davids:m, London Hudson, Polley, and

Coy., London (frozen meat only) McKerrow Brothers, Liverpool (canned

meat only )


London Produce Coy., and Gordon, Wooclroffe, and Coy., London R. and W. Davidson,



S. V. Nevanas and Coy., L ondon

Pastoral Finance Association Ltd. New South Wales Sla ughter at abattoirs and freeze at own works ; slaughter and free ze

for others ; buy dead meat

75,000 carcasses Pastoral Finance Asso-

Queensla nd lVIeat Ex- Queensland-port and Agency Brisbane



Slaughter, freeze, and can at own works

Slaughter, freeze, and can at own works

Riverina lVIeat Coy. New South 'Vales Slaughter and freeze at own works ..

Riverstone Meat Coy. New South Wales Slaughter at own works, and freeze at others ; slaughter and sell car­ casses

Rosewarne Queens­ land Ltd. Queensland Sims, Cooper,


and Victoria

South Australia ..

Speakman, H. J., and Victoria Coy. I

Buy dead meat and can at own works

Slaughter and freezes at own works, and at other works Slaughter and freeze at Government Produce Depot Slaughter and freeze at other works

325 cattle, or 250 cattle and 1,000

sheep a day 725 cattle, or 500 cattle

and 2,000 sheep a day 1,500 sheep or 2,000 lambs

a day

180 cattle and 4,000 sheep a clay H50 cattle a


4,000 sheep or lambs a day

• In all cases the capacity is that supplied from official sources.

mutton ciation, London

105,000 car-

casses mutton, or 32,000

quarters beef 140,000 car-

casses mutton, or 42,000

quarters beef 40,000 carcasses mutton

Yuills Ltd., London

B. Richards and

Sons, London

77,500 carcasses } lamb London Produce

Coy., London

·--------- - ---·-




State or States Capacity of Works.*

N arne of Firm or in which Business is Nature of Business carried on. Distributing Agencies. carried on. Company. Killing. Storage. Sydney Meat New South Wales Slaughter and can at own works ; 14,000 cattle . . .. Sydney Meat Preser v-

ing Coy. slaughter and sell carcasses and 310,000 ing Coy., London

sheep a year

Torrens Creek Meat Queensland .. Slaughter and can at own works .. 100 cattle a

Export Coy. day

Union Meat Coy. of New South Wales Slaughter and can at own works of Australia Walker, F. J., and New South Wales Slaughter and freeze at other works ; .. .. .. ..

Coy. buy dead and canned meat } 1'. J. Walkec a

Victoria .. Buy dead and canned meat .. . . . . .. .. Coy., London

Queensland .. Buy dead and canned meat . . . . . . .. ..


Wilcox, G., and Coy. Australia . . Slaughter and freeze at Government Produce Depot

\Vimmera Inland Victoria . . Slaughter and freeze at own works . . 2,600 lambs a 35,000 carcasses

Freezing Coy. day lamb

Yuill, G. S., and Coy. New South Wales Buy dead and canned meat . . .. .. .. . . Yuills Ltd., London

* In all cases the capacity I S that supplied from official sources.


IN THE .MATTER OF A ROYAL COMMISSION ON THE MEAT EXPORT TRADE, AUSTRALIA. . I, ARTHUR Snvrs, of Christchurch, in the Dominion of New Ze aland, Merchant, do solemnly and sincerely declare as follows :-

(1) The firm of Sims, Cooper, and Coy., Merchants, is a partnership, Arthur Ernest Cooper and myself being the sole partners. (2) I was advised here that "sole partners " is a technical phrase, meaning that our business is owned entirely by Mr . Cooper and myself, that all the capital in the concern is our own, and that we are

an entirely independent firm, operating on our own account. At any rate, it was in this sense that I used the phrase "sole partners" in my letter of the 2nd day of July, 1914. (3) lYiy firm has no connexion, either direct or indirect, with any other firms whatsoever, English or American. I am bringing in " English firms" as well, because we do not care to associate ourselves

with what we think the unreasonable attacks made on this American market in many quarters. vVe ourselves are attaching a lot of importance to this market, for meat, woo l, and pelts in particular, and it would be absurd for us to go about decrying the very people with whom we are anxious, at all times, to do business, if the same is satisfactory.

(4) As far as our London agents, The London Produce Company, are concerned, the shareholders in that company are "\V. Whittingham, -. Whatton, Mrs . A. E. Cooper, and Mrs. A. Sims. None of these shareholders represent, directly or indirectly, any American or English meat interests. The London Produce Company is a company independent absolutely of any outside party . It owns no stalls, depots,

or retail shops; but it sells to firms who have these means of distribution, or to speculators. So far, it has sold little or no meat to the European Continent, or any of the smaller places of the world where, I understand, other people have done business. They have, however, sold a limited amount of meat to New York, but have apparently not been able to get in touch ·with purchasers for the ·western side of North

America. We have asked them to ke ep a keen eye on the American trade in wool and me at, in view of the increased demand that will probably ensue from that country for both these products through recent changes in the American Tariff. (5) In other words, The London Produce Company's business and method of distribution are on

exactly the same lines as, we assume, are followed by other meat brokers in London. And I make this solemn declaration, conscientiously believing the same to be true, and by virtue of the provisions of The Statutory Declarations Act 1835. Declared at Christchurch, in the Dominion of New Zealand, the 25th day of July, 1914.

Before me, F. WILDING, Notary Public.


PriatcJ aml Published for the GOVERNMENT of the COMM ONWEALTH ?f by ALBERT J · :f.l LLET

1 ',

Go vernment P rinter for the State of V1 ctorLa.