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Report of the Committee on Agriculture and Forestry, Vol. 2

Report of the Committee on Agriculture and Forestry, Vol. 2

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Excerpt from Report of the Committee on Agriculture and Forestry, Vol. 2: On Condition of Cotton Growers in the United States, the Present Prices of Cotton, and the Remedy, and on Cotton Consumption and Production

The Department of State has heartily cooperated with the committee and rendered most valuable assistance in the investigation of the questions of cotton cultivation and the manufacture and consumption of cotton goods in foreign countries. At the request of the committee the Department issued, on August 29, 1892, and on April 4, 1893, circular letters to all consular officers of the United States, asking for the fullest information obtainable upon the above subjects. The letters from the Department of State were as follows:

Department of State, Washington, August 29, 1892.

To the consular officers of the United States:

Gentlemen: The U. S. Senate, at its recent session, authorized and directed its Committee on Agriculture and Forestry to ascertain, in every practical way, the present condition of agriculture in the United States and the causes of the depressed prices which are said to prevail in regard to particular products, etc.

A subcommittee, charged with the special duty of investigating the condition of the cotton industry, was appointed. The chairman of this subcommittee. Hon. James Z. George, has requested the Department to secure, through your good offices, certain foreign statistics which are considered necessary for the completion and full understanding of the subject under consideration, and, in compliance with that request, you are directed to prepare and transmit to the Department, at your earliest convenience, reports in accordance with the following schedule:

1. Cotton-growing. - Statistics showing the area devoted to the cultivation of cotton in each country, the quantity raised, the quantity raised per acre, the quantity consumed in the country and the manner of consumption, the quantity exported and whither exported: quality grown, consumed, and exported; kinds of seed, mode of cultivation, harvesting, marketing, etc.; amount of land in each country adapted to cotton cultivation, the probability of an increase in acreage; the cost, as near as may be, of production per pound; in fine, everything which will aid in showing the condition - past, present, and prospective - of the industry.

2. Cotton consumption. - The importation and exportation of raw cotton, cotton thread, and cotton cloth (pure and mixed) into and from each country, together with the prices of the same in each year.

3. A particular feature of this investigation is that which deals with fibers which compete with and displace cotton. How far does the tendency to such displacement extend, and what means should be taken to substitute cotton for such fibers as wool, hemp, jute, flax, ramie, etc.? Is the tendency toward mixing cotton with other fibers increasing, and does this tendency increase or decrease the consumption of cotton?

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