THE BUREAU OF STANDARDS
"Under free government trade must be free, and to be of permanent value it ought to be independent. Under our standard we do not expect the government to support trade; we expect trade to support the government. An emergency, or national defense may require some different treatment, but under normal conditions trade should rely upon its own resources, and should therefore belong to the province of private enterprise."--President Calvin Coolidge, address to the Pan American Commercial Congress; The Nation's Business, May 20, 1927.
STICKING TO THE BASE
In the great national game, theft is an importantelement of success. The man who reaches first must stick to his base as long as thefirst baseman is at the sack. When the first baseman goes off to quite a distance,the runner leaves his place of safety and goes as far as he dare toward second. Hemust keep a keen eye, however, as either the catcher or the pitcher may return theball to the first baseman, who has crept up unawares, and the runner is "out."If the basestealer is put out he is booed; if he succeeds he is wildly cheered.
In general it is the first principle of safetyto stick close to your base. An army that leaves its base too far may run into danger.Its supply of provisions and munitions may be cut off. The enemy may send an armedforce to cut off retreat.in case of defeat. Upon the whole, sticking to one's baseis not only considered a mark of good judgment, but often of honesty of purpose infulfilling the duties imposed upon a player. Stealing bases in scientific mattersis quite another story.
RISE OF BUREAUCRACY
While the bureau is an important element in Governmentactivities, it also affords an opportunity for ambitious directors (and all directorsshould be ambitious) to leave the base on which they are supposed to stay. I do notexcept even the bureau over which I presided for nearly thirty years from havingat various times had attacks of this grasping disposition. The Honorable Frank A.Lowden says, in World's Work, December, 1926:
"The Government official is inclined to exaggerate the importance of his office. He is constantly endeavoring to expand its scope. He is properly jealous of his authority. * * * I think that this tendency is inevitable. * * * Where, however, the enterprise is a vast one, as in Government, or as in a great business organization, these tendencies, if left uncontrolled, are likely to inflict serious injury upon the service. * * * The original purpose of the creation of the Bureau is finally lost sight of and it is likely to seem to those who direct it an end and not a means."
It would be well to add to the warnings of PresidentCoolidge and Governor Lowden in regard to mixing up business with Government, theopinion also of another expert along the same line. Mr. Merle Thorpe, editor of Nation'sBusiness, published under the auspices of the National Chamber of Commerce, madethis interesting statement before the National Association of Real Estate Boardsheld (Sept. 18, 1927) in Seattle, Washington. The title of his address was "FromBottom Up or Top Down."
"Because of our failure to do things for ourselves, we are calling upon the government to do everything under the sun. Statute books are groaning. Regulations are myriad. Bureaus and commissions spring up overnight. Taxes are mounting, and naturally, because every one of the laws we put upon the statute books requires administration and more people on the tax payroll. To-day it is estimated that each ten families in the United States feed and keep another family on the tax payroll. Two months' production of each man, woman, and child, out of the twelve, now go to keep up the tax payroll.
"'Let the Government do it!' is our favorite panacea. Of course, the politicians do not object. In fact, there have been occasions where they have been known to encourage legislation and join in the national anthem, 'There ought to be a law--'
"The waste and inefficiency and mounting costs, however, are not the greatest penalties we pay for doing the nation's work from the top down. Most of the legislation is directed at business and business is no longer the simple act of trade and barter it once was. It has become most complex. Business is so interrelated, so interdependent, that a law regulating this industry reaches out and out and affects scores of us thousands of miles away.
"It is a wise man indeed, who can see through and through to its conclusion a simple piece of economic legislation. We shall never know how much the orgy of lawmaking has slowed down the legitimate task of furnishing food and shelter and clothing, to say nothing of the luxuries of life, to those who need and want them, but it is safe to say it has done a great deal.
"The breaking point will come. Already there have been four parliamentary governments overthrown and dictators rule to-day. As Mussolini says, 'Democracy, with its endless talk and politics, has miserably failed.' We may never come to that situation of dictatorship in the United States, but we may reach a stage where democracy and its accredited representatives are discredited. That would be disastrous, for democracy is based upon confidence.
"Disastrous, too, for it would destroy the one thing which has made this country great, 'individual reward for individual initiative.' Every time we ask government to do something which we as individuals, or groups, or communities, can do better for ourselves, we are striking at that individualism which has given us our strength."
Bureaus are either created by Act of Congressor by executive order. In the latter case Congress must approve the executive actby appropriations for specific purpose. By specific legislations Congress also assignsto certain bureaus special duties which presumably can not be abrogated by executiveorders. It follows that all expansive work must lie in the scope of the bureau andin harmony with problems already allocated.
In Science, July 19, 1927, page 103, isfound a proposed code of ethics for scientific men. No. 2 of this code reads as follows:
"Exemplify in your conduct and work a courageous regard for the whole people, and not alone some powerful and influential faction thereof with which you come in close personal contact."
This is most excellent advice in connection withthe above observations.
The American Chemical Society has no printedcode of ethics. There is, however, an unwritten code which every member of the societyis under obligation to respect.
There are two cardinal principles involved inthe unwritten code of ethics of the American Chemical Society. The first is thatno member of the society shall seek by improper means to deprive any other chemistof his employment. The second is that a field of investigation which is already occupiedshall not be entered by an outsider without full cooperation and agreement with theparty already occupying the field of investigation. These two fundamental principlesguide and control the relations of the members of the Society toward each other.
A much younger association of chemists, namely,the American Institute of Chemical Engineers, has already adopted a code of ethics.Inasmuch as some of the activities of the Bureau of Standards are essentially thoseof chemical engineers, it is probable that most of the chemists in the Bureau ofStandards are members of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers. This codeof ethics is not very long but it is very pertinent. The principal elements of thiscode are the following:
1st. That in all their relations, they shall be guided by the highest principles of honor.
2nd. The upholding before the public at all times of the dignity of the chemical profession generally and the reputation of the Institute, protecting its members from misrepresentation.
3d. Personal helpfulness and fraternity between its members and toward the profession generally.
4th. The avoidance and discouragement of sensationalism, exaggeration and unwarranted statements. In making the first publication concerning inventions or other chemical advances, they should be made ithrough chemical societies and technical publications.
5th. The refusal to undertake for compensation work which they believe will be unprofitable to clients without first advising said clients as to the improbability of successful results.
6th. The upholding of the principle that unreasonably low charges for professional work tend toward inferior and unreliable work, especially if such charges are set at a low figure for advertising purposes.
7th. The refusal to lend their names to any questionable enterprise.
8th. Conservatism in all estimates, reports, testimony, etc., especially in connection with the promotion of business enterprises.
9th. That they shallnot engage in any occupation which is obviously contrary to law or public welfare.
10th. When a chemical engineer undertakes for others work in connection with which he may make improvements, inventions, plans, designs, or other records, he shall preferably enter into a written agreement regarding their ownership.
The 4th, 7th, 8th and 9th sections of the abovecode of ethics are not italicized in the original.
PURPOSE OF ESTABLISHING THE BUREAU OF STANDARDS
The object of establishing the Bureau of Standardsis luminously set forth in the hearings before the comittee on weights and measuresand in the debates in Congress on this measure.
I desire to call attention to a bureau in whichit appears that the desire to get control of all forms of activities has developedinto a megalomania, and to point out some of the crimes it has committed or attemptedto commit against the battered and bleeding food law.
Professor Edward Murray East, eminent biologistof Harvard University, says:
In our most cherished beliefs, from the earliest ages to the present, there is a great deal to justify the opinion of the cynic that man is to be distinguished from the apes not by his lack of a tail, but by his megalomania. Since becoming the dominant animal on the surface of this cosmic atom, he has never, until recently, had the slightest doubt concerning his supreme importance in the general scheme of things.
I am not looking into the activities of the Bureauof Standards in any way which would reflect upon any member of the Bureau, eitheras to his capacity and ability, or as to his honesty. I assume, and I believe thedisease of megalomania is to some extent epidemic; it attacks people against theirdesire and will. We do not lose our esteem for those who are ill of influenza orhigh blood pressure. We might attach some personal blame to those who suffer fromtyphoid fever. We should regard megalomania as a sad misfortune.
It is not in any way my purpose to review allthe expansive activities of the Bureau of Standards. I will confine my remarks tothose activities which affect scientific ethics, public health, and adulterationof foods.
The Bureau of Standards was intended to be anatural enlargement of the old office of Weights and Measures. This office for somemysterious reason was connected with the Department of the Treasury. The enlargementof the office and its change of name to the Bureau of Standards was first publiclysuggested by the Secretary of the Treasury, the Hon. Lyman J. Gage (50th Congress,first Session, House of Representatives, Document No. 625.) The general purpose ofthe new Bureau is outlined by the Secretary of the Treasury in the following language:
The functions of the bureau shall consist in the custody of the standards; the comparison of the standards used in scientific investigations, engineering, manufacturing commerce, and educational institutions with the standards adopted or recognized by subdivisions; the testing and calibration of standard measuring apparatus; the solution of problems which arise in connection with standards; the determination of physical constants, and the properties of materials when such data are of great importance to scientific or manufacturing interests and are not to be obtained of sufficient accuracy elsewhere.
Under the head of conditions which necessitatedthe establishment of a National Standards Bureau the Secretary makes, among others,the following remarks:
Throughout our country institutions of learning, laboratories, observatories, and scientific societies are being established and are growing at a rate never equaled in the history of any nation. The work of original investigation and instruction done by these institutions requires accurate reliable standards, which in nearly every case must be procured from abroad, or can not be procured at all. * * *
The recent acquisition of territory by the United States more than proportionately increases the scope and importance of the proposed institution, since the establishment of a government in these possessions involves the system of weights and measures to be employed. During the near future large public improvements will be undertaken in these countries; schools, factories, and other institutions will be established, all of which require the use of standards and standard measuring apparatus.
The National Academy of Sciences endorsed themovement in the following resolution:
Whereas the facilities at the disposal of the Government and of the scientific men of the country for the standardization of apparatus used in scientific research and in the arts are now either absent or entirely inadequate, so that it becomes necessary in most instances to send such apparatus abroad for comparison: Therefore, be it
Resolved, That the National Academy of Sciences approves the movement now on foot for the establishment of a national bureau for the standardization of scientific apparatus.
The American Chemical Society approved the measure:
Resolved, That the Congress of the United States be urged to establish a national standard bureau in connection with the United States Office of Standard Weights and Measures, which shall provide adequate facilities for making such verification of chemical measuring apparatus and for stamping the same as are provided by foreign governments for similar work."
Prof. Simon Newcomb, U. S. N., said:
I do not think that anything I could do or say is necessary to emphasize the practical and scientific importance of introducing the highest standard of efficiency and precision in the work of such a bureau.
Prof. Albert A. Michelson (head of departmentof physics, University of Chicago) made the following statements:
It gives me great pleasure to indorse the measures proposed regarding the importance of the establishment of a central bureau of weights and measures, the functions of which shall be:
(1) The calibration of all standards and measuring instruments used in scientific or commercial work.
(2) The investigation of problems which arise in connection with standards or standard measuring apparatus.
(3) The determination of physical constants and the properties of materials.
A large number of eminent scientists joined inthe same general way in urging the enactment of the measure. Wherever reference wasmade to foreign institutions they were institutions for standardizing weights andmeasures of various kinds in all the different countries.
When the measure went before the Senate (50thCongress, Second Session, Document No. 70), the Secretary of the Treasury appearedalso before the Senate Committee. Among other reasons which he advanced are the following:
In this particular of standardizing weights and measures and testing apparatus of every kind the older countries are far ahead of us; in fact, it may be said that there is no comparison between us. We are dependent utterly upon Germany, perhaps France to some extent, and England for our measurements and those standards which we are obliged to resort to in testing and comparing when we enter into competitive work against them. * * *
Now the establishment of a bureau like this, where the Government is the custodian and the originator of these standards of weights and measures as applied to all the higher scientific aspects of life which we are so rapidly developing in, has, to my mind, a value far and above the mere physical considerations which affect it, although those physical considerations are fundamental and most important. Nothing can dignify this Government more than to be the patron of and the establisher of absolutely correct scientific standards and such legislation as will hold our people to faithfully regard and absolutely obey the requirements of law in adhesion to those true and correct standards.
Before the Senate, as was recorded in the documentabove mentioned, many scientific men appeared and all in the same strain stressingthe importance of standards of accuracy for all kinds of weights, measures and instrumentsof precision. Among those was Mr. 0. H. Tittmann, Superintendent of the United StatesCoast and Geodetic Survey, and Professor H. A. Rowland of Johns Hopkins University.
The Association of Official Agricultural Chemistsadopted the following resolution:
Resolved, That the Association of Official Agricultural Chemists most heartily indorses the movement in progress for the establishment in this country of a national standardizing bureau, and hereby declares that the absence of facilities such as would be provided by the proposed bureau has seriously hampered the work of this Association, owing to the difficulty of obtaining in this country, with official certificates of accuracy, the flasks, burettes, pipettes, weights, thermometers, polariscopes, and other apparatus needed in the work of official chemists. The use of apparatus which bears the official stamp of the Government would eliminate one element of dispute in commercial analyses, thus preventing the expense of litigation, and would, in general, increase the value of the work of this Association by facilitating the attainment of uniform results.
Not only were scientific men all over the countryinterested in the establishment of standards invited to give testimony, but the headsof departments in which scientific work was carried on were also asked their opinionsrespecting the proposed legislation. The Secretary of Agriculture asked the headof the bureau most interested to prepare his paper. Mr. Southard, in introducingthe discussion in the House said:
Mr. Speaker, the functions of the present office of weights and measures are confined to the ordinary measurements of mass, length, and capacity. That was sufficient, perhaps, when that office was established. In the early days the standards in question were the pound, the yard, the bushel, and the gallon. Now, however, the progress of science and the complexity of industrial processes resulting from it require derived standards of a thousand and one kinds--all kinds of measuring apparatus--volumetric apparatus used in the chemical laboratories of the Government and similar laboratories all over the country--standards of measurement for high and low degree of temperature, etc.
I must stop here to indicate some of the different kinds of measuring apparatus. They are barometers, thermometers, pressure gauges, polariscopes, instruments of navigation, steam-engine indicators, and instruments of a thousand different varieties. That the graduations and indications of these instruments should agree with the fundamental standards is a question of most vital importance, and without the facilities for such tests and comparisons the public is deprived of the greatest benefits to be derived from the standards recognized by the Government. We have in this country to-day no means of testing these different instruments of precision. The result is, we have to send them to Germany or France or England or somewhere else to have them tested and calibrated.
The bill has been enthusiastically indorsed byall the heads of Department of the General Government having scientific bureaus,as well as by all the chiefs of such bureaus. As furnishing an illustration of thenecessity and value of this proposed bureau to the General Government, I will quotefrom the statement of the Secretary of Agriculture:
"I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of April 24, and beg to assure you that the establishment of a national standardizing bureau, having the function outlined by you, will be of the highest value and importance, not only to the scientific bureaus, offices, and divisions of this Department, but to the country at large. Its influence will be felt wherever the quality and value of substances are fixed by chemical and physical tests, whether this be in connection with scientific investigations, in connection with manufacturing and other industrial processes, or in connection with commercial transactions.
"Speaking for this Department alone, I wish to say that it has been our policy to patronize the American manufacturers of scientific apparatus whenever practicable without hampering our investigators by compelling them to use apparatus of an inferior grade. The art of the construction of scientific apparatus has been brought to such a high degree of perfection under the fostering care of European govemments--notably Germany--that we have been compelled to send abroad a large proportion of our orders, either directly or indirectly, through importers. The greatest disadvantage resulting from this state of affairs is not the delay, inconvenience, and expense connected with making purchases abroad; nor is it to be found in the danger of injury to delicate and expensive apparxtus during transportation across the sea.
"It is the necessity of importing the certificate of a foreign government whenever an official certiflcate of accuracy is desired with apparatus. In Germany an order can be issued for apparatus with the specification that the goods delivered must be of the quality and accuracy recognized by the regulations established by the standardizing bureaus of the Imperial Government. Apparatus made in accordance with these regulations are regular commodities, and are described in the catalogues of all the apparatus makers and dealers. When the goods are received the purchaser is able to send a proper proportion of the shipment to the government standardizing bureaus and base his acceptance or refusal of the goods upon the results of the official tests. For the accommodation of customers who need certified apparatus for immediate use most of the dealers keep in stock apparatus bearing the official stamp.
"The disadvantage under which American scientific workers--notably chemists--labor is evidenced by a recent experience of the Division of Chemistry of this Department. The confusion of standards and carelessness which has characterized the manufacture of graduated chemical glassware in the past is notorious. Some months ago the Division of Chemistry issued to an American dealer and importer an order for graduated glassware, to be made in accordance with the regulations of the German Imperial Testing Commission.
"While all this apparatus was to fulfill the requirements in point of construction and limits of error in graduation of the regulations named, certain pieces were to bear the official stamp of the Imperial commission. At the special request of the American dealer to whom the order was sent permission was granted to import only the pieces of apparatus requiring the official stamp and to supply for the remainder of the order apparatus of American manufacture, but made in accordance with the regulations named. After considerable delay the goods were delivered. The certified pieces were eminently satisfactory; the uncertified ones were quite the opposite. They were unsatisfactory both in the form of construction and in regard to accuracy.
"As an example of the degree of inaccuracy, it may be stated that a flask marked to contain 100 cubic centimeters was found to contain 100.3 cubic centimeters. I do not believe that this experience was due to unworthy motives on the part of either the manufacturer or dealer. This experience is simply the result of the absence in this country of any well-established and authoritative standards governing the forms of construction, the system of graduation, and the allowable limits of error for apparatus of this kind. The mere adoption of regulations relative to the character of apparatus admissible for stamping by a national standardizing bureau will cause a revolution in the apparatus manufactured and give to it that highly important quality, uniformity.
"As a further illustration of the great desirability of such an establishment, I may call your attention to the contention which has arisen in the courts in the United States in the last few years concerning the regulations prescribed by the Treasury Department governing the polarization of imported sugars. These regulations were prepared by a joint commission consisting of the Chemist of the Department of Agriculture as chairman, a representative of the Coast and Geodetic Survey, Office of Weights and Measures, and the Chemist of the Bureau of Internal Revenue.
"The regulations were based upon the most careful scientific determinations and the apparatus and utensils employed by the customs-house officers standardized by the Office of Weights and Measures of the Coast and Geodetic Survey. Nevertheless, the accuracy of these officials has been called into question by the importers, and the question is now the subject of expensive and tedious litigation. The existence of such an office of your Department as you propose to establish would have avoided all sueh trouble by the weight of its authority. This is only one of the many instances where the utility of such a bureau would prove of practical advantage to official operations."
It is not because of any desire to claim creditfor supporting the campaign to establish the Bureau of Standards, but for other reasonswhich are important that the Chief of the Bureau of Chemistry at the time mentioneddesires to state that he was the author of the letter signed by the Secretary ofAgriculture.
It is a matter of some interest to know thatthe importers of sugar paid import duties under protest according to the regulationsabove cited. The case finally reached the Supreme Court. The Chief of the Bureauwas asked by the Solicitor of the Treasury to write the scientific part of the briefbefore the Court. It was unanimously decided in favor of the Government. Nearly amillion dollars were saved by this decision. It would be illuminating to cite manyother cases but the records of the discussion of this bill are all on file and thosewho are interested in the matter can find them in the references given. The CongressionalRecord of Feb. 1, 1901, pages 1793 to 1795, and March 2, pages 3473 to 3478 in theHouse; and 3487 and 3515 in the Senate may be consulted.
The wonderful unanimity of scientific men insupport of this measure is best illustrated by the words of Mr. Southard's addresson page 1794 of the Record above referred to:
Shortly after the reference of the measure to the Committee on Coinage, Weights and Measures that committee received a deluge of indorsements, most commendatory in character. They came from almost every Department of the Government and from the different bureaus in the various Departments. They came from the governors of States and from the departmental officers in the States. They came from scientific bodies, from scientific men, and from associations of scientific men. They came from men engaged in educational pursuits everywhere. They came in the form of resolutions adopted by the faculties of universities and colleges throughout the country. They came from the great railroad corporations, many of which maintain, as gentlemen know, chemical laboratories in connection with the operation of their roads. They came from the great iron and steel industries of the country and from the manufacturers of electrical machinery and appliances, and they came from agricultural associations and from other sources. In other words, they came from almost everywhere. and I may say that these were no mere perfunctory indorsements, but were characterized by a remarkable zeal and earnestness, indicating clearly and strongly the desire, in this connection, of the people making them.
The attitude of all these supporters of thismeasure, who practically represent all the scientific men of this country interestedin physics and chemistry, shows that they all understood the bill exactly the sameway; it was to be a real bureau of standards, of all weights and measures. Therewas no hint of extending the functions of this bureau to standards of purity of foods,drugs, soaps, or anything else; nor was there the least hint of the Bureau of Standardsengaging in manufacturing, or promoting manufacturing in any way except by furnishingaccurate standards of measurements for all the processes that go on under the guidanceof accurate measurements in official industrial and commercial activities. To invadethe domain of agriculture and to furnish plans for building dextrose manufactorieswere never even suggested.
Rarely has any topic been presented to Congressin which members of the committees considering the measures, and witnesses broughtbefore them, and speakers on the floor of each house, have shown greater unanimitythan was exhibited in connection with the establishment of the Bureau of Standards.The character of the work was fully understood by all participants in these discussions.The standards which were to be established were those in every case of precisionand accuracy for the use and enlightenment of all parties needing standards of measurementof all kinds. Only one witness, Professor Rowland, saw in the wording of the proposedact any possibility of departing in the activities of the bureau from the basic purposefor which it was organized. Professor Rowland, with that keen sense of accuracy anddefiniteness for which he was so renowned, pictured some future Director, who, bymisinterpreting the spirit, and also the words of the act, might proceed to explorefields of investigation entirely foreign to its purpose. In his testimony beforethe Committee of Coinage, Weights and Measures, Professor Rowland made the followingsuggestion:
There is one point that is left out in this bill, and I do not see how it can be covered, and that is with regard to the kind of standards that are to be adopted. Shall the director of this standardizing bureau have the right to introduce any standards he pleases, or shall they be more carefully defined?
Many of the activities of the Bureau of Standardsillustrate the prophetic wisdom of Professor Rowland's foresight. As an illustrationof how far the Bureau of Standards has departed from its base, a few quotations fromthe budget submitted for the fiscal year 1928 will show.
THE BUDGET FOR 1928
(Page 369) For structural materials, such as stone, clays, cement, etc., and for collecting and disseminating approved methods in building, planning and construction, economy in the manufacture and utilization of building materials and supplies, and such other matters as may tend to encourage, improve and cheapen construction and housing.
For the authority to do this the original Actof March 3, 1901, is quoted.
(Page 371) For investigation of fire-resisting properties of building materials and conditions under which they may be most efficiently used, and for the standardization of types of appliances for fire prevention.
The original act is also quoted as authorityfor this investigation:
(Page 375) "To study the methods of measurement and technical processes used in the manufacture of pottery, brick, tile, terra cotta, and other clay products, and the study of the properties of the materials used in that industry." The original Act is again cited.
(Page 376) "To develop methods of testing and standardizing machines, motors, tools, measuring instruments,. and other apparatus and devices used in mechanical, hydraulic, and aeronautic engineering. " The original Act is cited.
(Page 377) "To investigate textiles, paper, leather and rubber, in order to develop standards of quality and methods of measurement." Original Act cited.
(Page 380) "For investigating the conditions and methods of use of scales and mine cars used for weighing and measuring coal dug by miners for the purpose of determining wages due and of conditions affecting the accuracy of the weighing or measuring coal at the mines." Original Act quoted.
Again on the same page: "For metallurgical research, including alloy steels, foundry practice and standards for metals and sand; casting, rolling, forging, and the properties of aluminum alloys; prevention of erosion of metals and alloys; development of metal substitutes; as for platinum; behaviour of bearing metals; preparation of metal specifications; investigation of new metallurgical processes and studies of methods of conservation in metallurgical manufacture and products; investigation of materials used in the construction of rails; wheels, axles, and other railway equipment; and the cause of their failure." Again the original Act is cited.
(Page 381) "For laboratory and field investigations of suitable methods of high temperature measurements and control in various industrial processes, and to assist in making available directly to the industries the results of the Bureau's investigations in this field." Same Act is cited.
(Page 382) "For the investigations of the principles of sound and their application to military and industrial purposes." Same Act cited.
(Again on the same page) "For technical investigations in cooperation with the industries upon fundamental problems involved in industrial development following the war with a view to assisting in the permanent establishment of the new American industries." Same Act cited.
(Page 384) "To enable the Bureau of Standards to cooperate with Government departments, engineers and manufacturers in the establishment of standards, methods of testing and inspection of instruments, equipment, tools, and electrical and mechanical devices used by the industries and by the Government, including the practical specifications of quality and performance of such devices and the formulation of methods of inspection, laboratory and service tests." Same Act cited.
(Page 388) " During the fiscal year, 1928, the head of any Departmed or independent establishment of the Government having funds available for scientific investigation and requiring cooperative work by the Bureau of Standards on scientific investigations within the scope of the functions of that Bureau, and which the Bureau of Standards is unable to perform within the limits of its appropriations, may, with the approval of the Secretary of Commerce, transfer to the Bureau of Standards such sums as may be necessary to carry on such investigations."
These transferred funds in 1926 amounted to $173,250.They were used to investigate oil pollution, radio direction for the coast guard,helium recorders, chromium plating, corrosion, fatigue and embrittlement of duralumin,electrically charged dust, optical glass, substitutes for parachute silk, goldbeatersskin, storage batteries, internal combustion engines, fuels, lubricants, photographicemulsions, stresses in riveted joints, machine guns, bomb ballistics, rope and cordage,chemical and metallurgical tests, wind tunnel tests of models, aircraft engines,velocity of flame in explosives, etc.
According to Industrial and Engineering Chemistry,one of the largest publications of the American Chemical Society, the Bureau of Standardshas just completed an investigation of the suitability of caroa fiber for paper making,also the development of suitable lubricants for glass stopcocks.
Since the publication of budget estimates, asupplemental grant of funds to the Bureau of Standards has been submitted by thebudget authorities, to the amount of $50,000, to enable the Bureau of Standards toinvestigate farm wastes. These illustrations show how in nearly all cases the Bureauhas introduced the word "standardization" or "measurement" insome way to connect these miscellaneous investigations into everything under theskies with the original Act. This Act is cited as authority for these universal studieswhich can in no way be connected with the basic idea of the standards implied inthe hearings.
DISCOVERY OF A NEW PRODUCT
In the annual report of the Bureau of Standardsfor the fiscal year ended June 30, 1920, page 129, is found the first report on acommercial process for manufacturing pure dextrose. In this report it was announcedthat for the first time dextrose had been separated from a water solution. It isstated:
"Previous methods for the preparation of the pure substance have demanded the use of alcoholic solvents."
It is stated further down on the same page:
"In carrying this investigation to a successful conclusion the Bureau has -virtually created a new industry of great magnitude. * * * The magnitude of the commercial possibilities of the new sugar is shown by the fact that one of the largest corporations in the country requested the Bureau to design a large scale experimental plant costing approximately one-half million dollars. This has been done and the plant is now practically completed."
A careful re-reading of the original bill whichwas enacted into a law, fails to find any warrant for, the architectural excursionswhich the Bureau of Standards confesses to have made. Let us examine for a momentsome authorities relating to this discovery. In Industrial and Engineering Chemistry,issue of July 10, 1924, News Edition, on page 2, Ifind the following copied froman address made by T. B. Wagner, for many years chief chemist for the Corn ProductsCompany, the corporation for which the Bureau of Standards designed a half-milliondollar factory. It was on the occasion of the presentation to the Chemists Club ofNew York City of a portrait of Dr. Arno Behr, for many years chief chemist of theCorn Products Company, and one of the most eminent carbohydrate chemists this countryhas produced. Dr. Wagner said, in speaking of the earlier investigations of Dr. Behr,some Menty or twenty-five years prior to the new discovery of the Bureau of Standards:
"It was while engaged in the refining of cane sugar that Dr. Behr turned to a study of the chemistry of corn and while following these pursuits he discovered a simple method of producing without the aid of alcohol, crystallized, anhydrous dextrose of great purity and beauty. * * * That was over forty years ago, and it is curious therefore to note the Director of one of,the important Government Bureaus in Washington coming forth at so recent a date as July 1, 1920 with the announcement * * * that * * * the Bureau has shown that a pure, white dextrose may be obtained by crystallization from a water solution and may be easily separated from the mother liquor by using a centrifugal machine. Previous methods for the preparation of the pure substance have demanded the use of alcoholic solvents.
Dr. Wagner adds:
"These are almost exactly the words employed by Dr. Behr in his patent specifications of 1883. Being on the subject I will be pardoned, perhaps, for commenting upon another discovery pertaining to the discovery of pure dextrose and described in the same report in the following language:
'Two processes were investigated. In the one which met with almost immediate success the converted starch liquor was boiled in a vacuum until concentrated to 42° Baumé, and was then dropped into a crystallizer. It was then inoculated with pure crystals of dextrose and agitated until the crystallization was complete.'"
Dr. Wagner then continues as follows:
"That is the substance of U. S. Patent 835, 145, issued on Nov. 6, 1906, of which I happen to be the author. "
The Bureau of Standards sent a representativeto a large glucose manufacturing company to apply the process on a large commercialscale of operation. It is interesting to inquire whether the Bureau's process, whichwas discovered about one hundred and thirteen years before the Bureau discoveredit and had been practiced in commercial production frequently, succeeded in makingthe new discovery practical in the special factory costing a half million dollars,which was built upon architectural plans supplied by the Bureau of Standards. Aswe are dealing here with United States patents there is no harm in calling names.Mr. Newkirk, who was the man sent to introduce this new process, which was to establisha new industry on a magnificent scale, succeeded in doing so with the knowledge heobtained in working out these plans in the Bureau of Standards. It was not long beforehe resigned from the Bureau of Standards to accept the position of chief dextrose-makerfor the Corn Products Company. After he left the Bureau of Standards Mr. Newkirkbegan to take out patents on the new process of manufacture. He filed an applicationfor a patent on Nov. 16, 1922, and the patent was issued to him, No. 1,471,347, onOctober 23, 1923, and assigned by him to the Corn Products Refining Company, a corporationof New York. The title of the patent is "Method of Making Grape Sugar."He says in this application:
"I have found that by making a radical departure from the methods usually employed in the manufacture of grape sugar, a sugar of very close to absolute purity can be produced by a process which is relatively simple and is economically practical."
This shows, if it shows anything, that the methoddevised by the Bureau of Standards wouldn't work economically. He clinched this conclusionby continuing:
" Dextrose or grape sugar of high purity has been made heretofore, but never, so far as I am aware, on a commercial scale by methods which can be regarded as feasible from its economic point of view."
The Bureau of Standards' own expert in this languagedenies that the great discovery which founded a new industry was economically workable.
Mr. Newkirk continues his assertions of the failureof all previous processes, as follows:
"Failure of previous experimentors to realize the importance of these considerations accounts for the practical unworkability of many of the processes described in the literature for manufacturing high purity grape sugar. By accident when conditions were just right a satisfactory product might be produced. But there was no certainty that another batch, treated in apparently the same way, would not prove a failure. Obviously manufacture on a commercial scale under these conditions was impossible. Other processes, theoretically possible, have proved too expensive for commercial utility. Hence a literature disclosing apparently repeated successful solution of a problem, which as a matter of fact, has not prior to the present invention received any satisfactory solution."
It seems, therefore, that the Bureau of Standardswas somewhat mistaken in having claimed to make the only discovery which put thisgreat industry on its feet. Either a mistake was made by the Bureau, or Mr. Newkirkhas done the Bureau of Standards a grievous wrong.
The Bureau of Standards not only claims the discoveryof a process which has created, or will create a new industry, but it specifies particularlythe things which it has discovered. Before their experiments, which evidently werecarried on immediately prior to 1920, they stated that all previous preparationsof dextrose were from alcoholic solutions. In a patent, No. 256,623, dated April18, 1882, issued to Arno Behr, he makes the following statement:
In carrying out my process I form a watery solution of grape-sugar containing, say, thirteen per cent. of water and deposit the same in a suitable tank or vessel, and maintain it at a temperature of about 90° Fahrenheit for a period of one to two weeks, or until thorough crystallization has taken place. * * * In order to somewhat hasten crystallization, I introduce into the concentrated solution a minute quantity of finely-divided crystallized anhydrous grape-sugar previously prepared."
Thus it is seen that two of the discoveries ofthe Bureau of Standards, one, that dextrose could be crystallized from an aqueoussolution, and the other that it could be hastened by the addition of previously crystallizeddextrose, were known and patented forty years prior to this great discovery. Thefact that the temperature should be kept up to or, above blood heat for the purpose,of making anhydrous dextrose is clearly pointed out in the patent issued to T. B.Wagner (No. 259,794, dated June 20, 1882). He says:
"Prior to my invention it was known that crystallized anhydride of grape-sugar could be produced by dissolving grape sugar in strong alcohol and crystallizing it from the alcoholic solution; but in this process it is difficult to entirely free the resulting product from all traces of alcohol and from an unpleasant flavor resulting from impurities contained in commercial alcohol. My improved product,, which consists of pure crystallized anhydrous grape-sugar, entirely free from all traces of alcohol, may be made in various ways from water solutions of grape sugar."
The claim he makes is as follows:
"I claim as my invention a new article of manufacture, crystallized anhydrous grape-sugar, free from any trace or flavor of alcohol or its impurities, produced from a watery solution of grape-sugar.
In a patent issued to T. B. Wagner, No. 835,145,dated Nov. 6, 1906, the following purpose of the invention is described:
"The object of my invention is to produce anhydrous grape-sugar from corn or other analogous farinaceous material by a method in which the yield of sugar is larger, its quality is purer, the time required for its production is shortened, and the amount of labor required is materially lessened. I have found that all of these results may be obtained by abandoning that part of the present process which has heretofore been considered neeessary--that is keeping the crystals during the process of generation in as quiet and still a condition as possible, and on the contrary employing the principle of crystallization in motion."
From the above citations it seems plain thatthe claims made by the Bureau of Standards as the original discoverers of this greatindustry are, to say the least, contrary to historical evidence.
ATTEMPT TO MODIFY THE FOOD LAW
While the foregoing is interesting as a sampleof bureaucratic ethics it serves solely as a background to an assault on the foodlaw.
The most objectionable effort of the Bureau ofStandards was in trying, by the great weight of its authority as the original discoverers,to force this product upon the American people under the guise of real sugar.
A bill was introduced into the House of Representativesby Mr. Cole, on December 7, 1925 (H. R. No. 39), providing that the Food and DrugsAct be amended so that the presence of dextrose in food products would not be regardedas a misbranding and would not require any notification of its presence. The samebill (S. 481), was introduced into the Senate of the United States by Mr. Cumminson Dec. 8, 1925.
The Senate bill was considered by the Committeeon Manufactures, beginning Thursday, January 7, 1926. There was no very great publicitygiven to this hearing and the only persons who appeared, besides the members of theCommittee, were Senator Cummins, Representative Holaday, and Representative Cole.Senator Cummins said to the Committee:
"Introduction of that paragraph into the law would avoid the charge that any article of food in which corn sugar is used is either misbranded or adulterated."
Mr. Holaday said:
"Mr. Chairman, I should like to voice my approval of the measure before you, and the feeling is somewhat general throughout the agricultural regions of the country that this bill may be of benefit to corn producers. The fact that the producer of goods sweetened with cane sugar is not compelled to place anything to that effect on his label, while the manufacturer who sweetens with corn sugar is required to mention that fact on his label, creates an unjust impression in the minds of the people."
Representative Cole stated:
" The difference between dextrose and sucrose, a chemist has told me, is as small as a molecule of water.
"Now what does that mean? It means that it will be used very largely, especially in the case of sweetened fruits. You buy canned peaches, sweetened apples, in many cases too sweet, in fact they have to put in so much cane sugar in preserving these fruits that they become almost like a sirup. In using corn sugar that degree of sweetness would not be obtained, but still the preserving power would be there.
The Committee, after hearing these witnessesand no one appearing in opposition, made a favorable report and as a result of thisreport the Senate unammously passed the bill.
LEGALIZING ADULTERATION OF FOODS
When these bills came before the House, the Bureauof Standards appeared as the chief protagonist of this effort to mutilate the FoodLaw. At the time the hearings were begun on March 2, 1926, a formidable array ofopponents to the measure was on hand. Among these were Mr. George S. DeMuth, representingthe bee-keepers, the Hon. Franklin Menges, representative in Congress from Pennsylvania,Mr. W. G. Campbell, chief of the Regulatory Service of the Department of Agriculture,Dr. George M. Kober, .eminent physician and Dean of the Georgetown University MedicalSchool, and Mr. Harvey W. Wiley, farmer. Among the protagonists of this measure wasMr. Frederick Bates of the Bureau of Standards. Following is a brief outline of histestimony.
He said he did not feel it would ever be necessaryto defend the creation of industries of such momentousi importance, and when theBureau of Standards created crystallized dextrose, a carbohydrate of great food value,great stability, great purity, and great cheapness, it was deemed a waste of timeto attempt to take out a basic patent on a subject in which the process of manufacturerequires so many individual steps. .He called attention to the fact that the Bureauof Standards for the first time in one hundred years had successfully crystallizedmanite and dextrose from.a water solution, and that is the crux of the whole matter.
He referred to the fact that there had been,he presumed, several hundred patents on the subject of dextrose. As an example hecited Mr. W. B. Newkirk, a practical sugar-maker.
"He was the man I sent to the Corn Products Refining Company to perform the first experiment, and he threw down four thousand pounds of chemically pure crystallized dextrose after forty years of failure."
Mr. Bates grew more enthusiastic as he was questionedin regard to whether Mr. Newkirk in his patents had mentioned any of the things discoveredby the Bureau of Standards. Like the men in Buckram, these patents "grew apace."Finally (page 122) Mr. Bates said:
" I suppose 500 would be a conservative estimate of the number of patents on dextrose processes now in existence. Possibly there are 1000."
These patents must have been granted in foreigncountries. Very few are found in our patent office, even including the six takenout by Mr. Newkirk after he left the Bureau of Standards.
NUMBER OF PATENTS
A careful search was made in the archives ofthe patent office, aided by the experts employed therein, to determine the numberof patents issued in the conversion of starch into other products, and particularlyto dextrine, gums, glucose and grape-sugar or dextrose. Possibly a few patents mayhave been overlooked, and perhaps two or three may have been included which do notbelong to this category. A total of 64 patents treat of making dextrose or grape-sugarfrom starch. It is curious to note that the greatest activity in taking out patentswas in the years 1880 to 1886 inclusive, during which time 27 patents were issuedfor this purpose. This was at the time the glucose industry was attracting publicand financial attention, and naturaJly marked the era of greatest activities andinventions.
As has already been shown, all the principalmethods used, with the exception of those covered by the patents of Mr. Newkirk,included substantially the processes employed in all dextrose factories at that timeand subsequently. There seems to be nothing fundamentally new in any of the patentstaken out by Mr. Newkirk since his resignation from the Bureau of Standards and hisemployment by the Corn Products Company. The patents taken out by Mr. Newkirk wereat first assigned to the Corn Products Company, but later ones were assigned to theInternational Patents Developing Corporation, of Wilmington, Delaware.
RELATIVE SWEETNESS OF SUCROSE AND DEXTROSE
The Bureau of Standards claims a relative sweetnessfor dextrose of about 75 per cent. of the sweetening power of sucrose.
Dr. C. A. Browne presented a paper to the ThirtiethAnnual Conference of the Association of Dairy, Food and Drug Officials of the UnitedStates in Washington, October, 1926. On Page 6 of the printed proceedings I findthe following:
"Gottloeb Kirchof about the year 1806 discovered that the starch of cereal grains from heating with acid could be converted into a crystallizable sugar. * * * The process as originally described by Kirchof consisted in beating 100 pounds of starch with 400 pounds of water and 1-1/2 pounds of strong sulphuric acid, boiling for a period of 25 hours with constant renewal of the evaporated water. After clarification the neutralized mass was evaporated to a thick syrup, set aside for several days until crystallization was complete. The inventor, Kirchof, made the following observation :
'Although starch sugar does not have the sweetness of ordinary sugar, the ratio of its sweetness to that of the latter being only 1 to 2-1/4, it can nevertheless replace cane sugar for many purposes.'
Dr. Browne continues (page 11)
"Certain advocates of 'corn sugar' have employed, as their measurement of its sweetness, the recently determined value of Biester, Wood and Wahlin for pure anhydrous dextrose which is 74.3 per cent of the sweetening power of sucrose. . This value is much higher than any reported by previous investigators. The values in the literature for the sweetness of anhydrous dextrose range from 40 to 74.3 per cent, the variations being due to the differences in the methods of determination and to differenes in individual taste perception. In such cases the only legitimate procedure is to take the average of the results of all observers and this average, including the very high figure of Biestor, Wood and Wahlin, for the nine determinations which I have found in the literature is 54.4 per cent. This value when corrected for the 8.43 per cent of water in 'corn sugar' gives a true value of 49.81 per cent for the sweetness of the product as compared with sucrose. In other words 'corn sugar' is only about one-half as sweet as cane and. beet sugar and twice as much of it must be used in food products as of cane or beet sugar, if the same degree of sweetness is to be obtained.
This discussion of the subject by Dr. Browneis in strict conformity with scientific ethics and leads to a conclusion entirelydifferent from that assumed by the Bureau of Standards. If dextrose is used for sweeteningpurposes, twice as much of it is required as.for ordinary sugar. If it is used asa, filler, that is an adulterant, the more you put in the better the purpose of itsuse is secured. This is the kind of sugar which the committee decided, chiefly underthe influence of the Bureau of Standards, was the proper thing to offer the Americanconsumer without notice of its presence. What a remarkable change from the attitudeof the members of the Interstate and Foreign Commerce Committee at the present timeto that which characterized their deliberations in 1906!
CAN OTHERS DO IT?
The following question was propounded to Mr.Bates, Page 127. Hearing, before the Interstate Commerce Committee:
Is it possible for any one else to produce corn sugar that you know of now, profitably, that is this crystallized dextrose sugar without using the process that was perfected .in your laboratory and subsequently patented by the men that represent you?" To which Mr. Bates answered, "Yes."
Another embarrassing question is found on page130;
"Right here let me ask, was your study of dextrose instigated by the Corn Products Refining Company?" to which Mr. Bates replied, "Oh, no, they had nothing whatever to do with it."
Evidently, however, the first mass experimentmade by the Bureau of Standards' process was not made in the Bureau at all. On thesame page Mr. Bates said:
"Our contribution was to demonstrate to the world that a man could take ordinary sugar-making machinery and throw down pure crystallized dextrose on a factory scale. We made 4000 pounds on the first experiment."
On the same page the question was asked:
"The Corn Products Refining Company had been unable to do that?"
To which Mr. Bates replied:
"They.had spent about $6,000,000 in effort to make dextrose. They had built one factory in Chicago costing $1,500,000 and had abandoned it many years before, after attempting to operate it. for a year or two."
Mr. Bates finally acknowledged that dextroseis not a new sugar, and in answer to a question he said:
"There is nothing new in the product. It is a new sugarin the sense that after forty years of failure by the anufacturers who are interestedin utilizing corn we have sueceeded in throwing down the material from water solutions."
The fact is that Kirchof in 1806 described theprocess and Dr. Arno Behr, in 1882, took out a patent for producing dextrose fromwater solution, and Dr; Wagner in 1906 described in detail the technique of crystallizingand how to secure anhydrous crystals.
According to the records of the Bureau of Standards,their experiment in creating this new industry was made in 1919. In 1923 Mr. Newkirkhad already been in the service of the Corn Products Company for about two yeaxs.In. 1922 he filed his first application for patents which were assigned to the CornProducts Company. Mr. Bates informed the Committee that according to the best figureshe had available, so-called corn sugar, that is dextrose, can be produced under presentmethods at about 2 cents per pound, when corn is a dollar a bushel. He told the Committteethat there is no pure corn sugar produced in the world today on a commercial scaleexcept that produced by Americans, and that this fact is entirely due to the initiativeof the Congress of the United States, which provided the funds to make this workpossible. When asked to give some idea of the future of the industry, Mr. Bates replied:
"Experience has taught me that it is better to remami silent. But I leave it to your experience and knowledge as to what happens when any basic material of great stability, purity and cheapness can be produced."
In point of fact, the members of the Committeeon Interstate and Foreign Commerce had very little confidence in those who appearedin opposition to the pending bill. In the report of the sub-committee, which wasadopted by the whole committee, it is stated on the first page:
"In arriving at this conclusion we have had the benefit of conferences and frequent consultations and advice with the Bureau of Standards, the Department of Agriculture, and with the legislative Counsel, to all of whom we acknowledge our obligation. We are, however, under special obligation to Dr. George K. Burgess, Director, and to Dr. Frederick Bates, of the Bureau of Standards, and attach hereto as a part of our report their concise and clear statement regarding these new sugars which were first developed by their department, and call your especial attention to a definite statement made therein by eight of the leading medical authorities of the United States as to the complete wholesomeness of these sugars, which opinion is supplemented by a letter dated March 18, 1926, from Dr. H. S. Cumming, Surgeon General of the United States Public Health Service, which we also attach with this report. We call attention also to the numerous citations of authorities furnished us by the Bureau of Standards in support of their position."
Not a syllable is said concerning the luminousopposing data presented by the Honorable Franklin Menges, Member of the House, Mr.George DeMuth, representing the bee-keepers, Mr. W. G. Campbell of the RegulatoryService of the Department of Agriculture, and H. W. Wiley, in defense of the FoodLaw. The only quotation from the Department of Agriculture is the Secretary's approvalof the amended bill.
REQUEST BUREAU OF STANDARDS FOR HEALTH DATA
In securing this information the Bureau of Standardsentered on a new activity, namely as promoters of the public health. Director Burgessin his letter of March 28, 1926, said:
"In addition we would state for your information that the Bureau of Standards does not deal with the subject of foods in relation either to health or to physiologic action in their primary aspect. Investigations of the character involved in these subjects belong to the realm of medical science."
The above is a most important statement. Thereis one field of activity in which the Bureau of Standards has not yet entered. Neverthelessthey have made a fine beginning and the nose of the camel is now under the edge ofthe, tent. It is to be expected that within a short time the Bureau of Standardswill assume all of these medical investigations in which they have made already avery considerable start.
When the Bureau of Standards was asked to dothis public health work by the committtee, it looked around to see where it couldbest direct its efforts. Dr. Burgess says:
"In deciding upon the sources from which to obtain the information you requested, the staffs of various Government institutions, such as the United States Public Health Service, the Hygienic Laboratory, the Army Medical School, and the Bureau of Home Economics have been consulted, and their able suggestions followed. And it may pertinently be noted at this point that in our search we have failed to find a statement by a single authority that is detrimental to the use of dextrose and levulose as human foods, or that their use as foods would cause diabetes mellitus. On the contrary we have found that all authorities are positive as to the desirability of these sugars as human foods. Their commendation of the Bureau's work on the sugars, whenever they have. had occasion to comment, has been unstinted.
This investigation into the realms of publichealth made by the Bureau of Standards, at the request of the Committee on Interstateand Foreign Commerce was due to a statement I made before the Committee in regardto the undesirability of increasing the amount of prechewed and predigested foodsin the American dietary.
On page 113 of the hearings I said:
Now let me give you just a few more words about another feature of injury. You understand that we eat starch and fruit sugars. We digest those. If the sucrose has not been digested we digest it. If the starch has not been digested we digest it, with the functions which we have achieved in this life, and then the sugar enters the blood stream. Now what becomes of the levulose? We never find levulose in the blood stream. We find only dextrose. The sugar that is in the blood and goes to the tissnes and there is burned is always dextrose, it is never levulose. I wish I knew what became of levulose. I do not; but it is possible that there may be an enzyme, a digestive enzyme, that converts levulose into dextrose. Suppose you have too much starch and too much sugar. You cannot burn it all at once. It is converted into an inert substance called glycogen and is stored up in this condition in the liver and in the tissues. The burning of the sugar in the blood is activated by the pancreas. Now if we flood our stomachs with dextrose, then we will need half a dozen artificial pancreases to take care of it, and there is the real danger, the threatening danger, as every wise physiologist will tell you, from that source. So that both by reason of paralysis of our digestive apparatus through lack of functioning that is a threat in itself, and by reason of the increase of the amount of dextrose which we ingest far above what we need we endanger our health in the most serious way. So that I voice now, and with all the emphasis I can put on it, my disagreement with every other person, except Dr. Menges, who has testified here, and it has been unanimous almost, who has said that this predigested and prechewed dextrose is harmless. I deny it and I think I have most scientific grounds to convince you, gentlemen, that it is not a harmless substance. In closing, Mr. Chairman, I want to say that I labored for 22 years before I saw the fruits of my labors in the Food and Drugs Act. I did not give myself the name ' but I am universally acclaimed as the father of the Food and Drugs Act, as I am universally acclaimed as the father of the Beet Sugar Industry. I see both of my children threatened, and I have a parental love. Now I have lived long enough to see my two alleged children grow up almost to their majority. Twenty years old they are. I do not want to live long enough to see them crucified."
INJURY TO HEALTH
The activities of the Bureau of Standards insecuring expressions from various eminent medical authorities to the effect thatlevulose and dextrose as found in honey and in invert sugar are not prejudicial tohealth was a work of supererogation. I can not find in any of the hearings beforethe committee, or otherwise, that any such question was under consideration. Evidentlythe purpose of this investigation by the Bureau of Standards into the region of healthwas to counteract the statements I made before the committee that predigested starch(glucose), in such quantities as was suggested by the Bureau of Standards, was areal threat to health.
I desire to refer to page 135 of the hearingson Interstate and Foreign Commerce on H. R. No. 39.
MR. HOCH: "Are you familiar with the quotations that Mr.Cole makes from medical authorities?"
DR. WILEY: "Certainly, I am. I do not deny the virtue ofdextrose as a medicine for any man who cannot digest his own food. It is a valuableremedy; for use in a hospital. I should hate to see dextrose moved out of the hospital,because people in the hospital usually have poor digestive faculties and need bloodsugar."
MR. HOCH: "If corn sugar should be used generally throughoutthe country instead of cane sugar or beet sugar what would be the effect upon thehealth of the country?."
DR. WILEY: "I have no quarrel for use of dextrose in hospitals,and if you should use dextrose in place of sugar that would be all right as to foodbut all wrong as to conservation of natural digestion."
I quote here two statements, one from a physiologicchemist and one from a celebrated physician. Dr. Albert P. Mathews, Professor ofPhysiological Chemistry, University of Cincinnati, under date of Jan. 11, 1927 says:
"As regards the effect of lack of use of our digestive apparatus by eating predigested food, I dare say the point you make is correct. It seems to be the general experience throughout the animal kingdom that the use of an organ increases its efficiency and keeps its health. What you say as to the quantity of this new sugar which would probably be consumed staggers me, but it is true that it can't be told by its appearance from a good grade of granulated sugar, and if it is cheaper I have no doubt it would drive the other out of the market, which would be a great calamity."
The other authority, the eminent physician, isDr. E. L. Fiske, Director of the Life Extension Institute of New York. Writing underdate of Jan. 21, 1927, he says:
"I concur in your views that it is unwise to make any change in the present law requiring that dextrose should be so labeled. While it is quite true that dextrose is just as available a fuel as sucrose, indeed more available because of the fact that the action of digestive enzymes is not required, I feel that the present consumption of sugar is far beyond the physiological needs of the population and tends to narrow the diet. I believe that food sugars should be drawn from natural sugars, such as fruit sugars and sucrose. Statistics would indicate that diabetes is increasing in this country and I can see some point in your caution that the use of a predigested sugar may in itself not be in the interest of public health. In regard to no other food is predigestion looked upon as a physiological advantage, but rather the contrary, except in the emergencies of illness."
These opinions of these two eminent experts wouldbe supported by every competent physiologist and dietitian in the country not underthe influence of the Bureau of Standards and the Corn Products, Company. Predigestionof our foods to the extent indicated would tend to undermine and destroy public health.
In regard to the quantity of sugar I quoted toDr. Mathews the statements before the committee that if this bill (39 H. R.) shouldpass, permitting dextrose to be used in food. products without notice, as much astwo billion pounds would enter into the stomachs of the American public annually.In a book entitled "What Price Progress?" by Hugh Farrel, page 183, referenceis made to the work of the Bureau of Standards and of the Corn Products RefiningCompany, stressing somewhat gingerly the importance of "If."
"Did you ever think about the word "if" as a shock absorber? Probably not. "If" is usually used as a license for loose talk. If I couldn't use "if" in telling you about the probable effects of recent scientific research on the sugar industry, I would keep quiet, I wouldn't say anything. I'm not timid, not to speak of, but I wouldn't like to. assume the responsibility for a bald statement that researches of chemists in the employ of the Bureau of Standards and of the Corn Products Refining Company meant the beginning of the end of the cane and beet sugar industries, I wouldn't like to make that a flat-footed statement even though it might be and probably would be true."
This enthusiastic follower of the Bureau of Standardsmakes the Bureau's modest estimate of 2,000,000,000 pounds look like the prognosisof a piker, by predicting a possible 40,000,000,000 crop.
It is of interest to know that while the CornProducts Company was perfectly satisfied to leave its case with the Bureau of Standards,it was in deep sympathy with this measure. In the American Food Journal ofJanuary 1927, Page 24, is an article entitled "Some Facts About Corn Sugar,"by W. R. Cathcart of the Corn Products Refining Company, New York City. In this articleMr. Cathcart says:
Of course the production of dextrose in commercial quantities did not remain hidden under the bushel. Corn sugar soon figured conspicuously in the public press, particularly in papers circulating in the corn growing, states, and dextrose entered the political arena. It was clear that an increased market for corn sugar meant an increased market for corn. The movement for the relief of the corn grower was strong in the corn growing states and several measures were introduced into Congress to meet the situation. Identical bills were introduced by Senator Cummins and Congressman Cole to amend the Pure Food Act so that a product could not be deemed misbranded or adulterated if it contained corn sugar. Hearings before the House Committee developed opposition on the part of the Department of Agriculture and Dr. Harvey W. Wiley, former Chief of the Bureau of Chemistry. It was denied by Dr. Wiley that dextrose is a wholesome product. * * * The Corn Products Company is a strong supporter of the Pure Food Law and has no desire to change from this position. Speaking as the representative of that industry, we intend to work in harmony with the constituted authorities and obey the prescribed regulations. We believe in hard common sense. We will continue to present arguments which we know to be economically and scientifically sound. We are confident that eventually reason and well established facts will overcome fanaticism and misstatement."
The persons who manufacture commercial glucoseand commercial dextrose may not engage in adulterating foods therewith, but theydo furnish the raw materials which adulterators use. The predecessor of the CornProducts Company manufactured "Flourine" which was used to adulterate wheatflour. To correct this abuse it was necessary for Congress to pass the mixed flouract. This effectually stopped the use of "flourine" in wheat flour. Itwas the Corn Products Company that secured the change of label for one of its products,namely glucose, to "corn sugar," a clear violation of the food law. Thenatural sugar of corn, both in the stalk and in the ear, is sucrose and the law forbidscalling any other object or product by the same name as one already established.The Bureau of Standards also referred to dextrose as the ideal filler. To a foodadulterator the ideal filler is a cheaper substance which he can substitute for adearer substance. Mr. Cathcart's statement that the Corn Products Company does notdesire to misbrand or adulterate any product is hardly borne out by well known facts.Glucose and its near relations have been, are and will continue to be the championadulterants.
FINAL DISPOSITION OF THE SO-CALLED CORN SUGAR BILL
The committee on Interstate and Foreign Commercerejected the Senate bill which would open all foods indiscriminately for the useof dextrose without limit and without notice to the purchaser. The committee reportedthe bill in which the permission to use dextrose in this way was limited to frozenproducts, such as ice cream, and to bakers' products and meat products. This billwas approved by the House of Representatives but only with a very small majority.The opposition to it had grown to enormous proportions.
. The bill, as it passed the House, was enteredon the Senate calendar and it was understood that when it was called up the Senatewould not insist upon its own measure, but would be content to adopt the measureas it passed the House. It was called up on the 2nd of July, 1926, just two or threedays before both houses of Congress had voted to adjourn. Unless it could be actedupon on this occasion there would be no additional time in which it could be consideredby the Senate.
Senator Neely of West Virginia had become convincedthat this was a vicious measure. He felt also that if it came to a vote the Senate,having already passed a more drastic bill, would probably concur in the bill as modifiedby the House. He therefore determined to defeat the measure by a lone filibuster.He secured the floor of the Senate and openly announced his determination to holdit until the hour at which the bill could be considered had passed. He held in hishand A copy of Good Housekeeping, and read from time to time paragraphs therefrom,showing the enormity of the crime intended. By that time, however, a large numberof Senators had seen the error of their way and expressed their sympathy with SenatorNeely who was trying to prevent a national crime.
I addressed to Senator Neely after his successfulfilibuster the following letter:
"The country owes you a vote of thanks for your heroic and successful endeavor yesterday to block the approval of the so-called 'Corn-Sugar' Bill. * * *
"As determined by Dr. C. A. Browne, the sweetening power of corn sugar is only 50% of that of sucrose. It is much more insoluble. It leaves a very disagreeable, bitter after-taste. To foist this sugar upon the American public without knowledge is a crime of the deepest dye. I sincerely hope you will be on your guard if any subsequent attempt is made to rush this legislation through the Senate.
To this letter Senator Neely, on the 3rd of July,replied as follows:
"I regret to confess there are no words in my vocabulary sufficiently vigoious to convey to your mind my sincere appreciation of your more than gracious letter of the second day of July. Frankly, whatever service I have rendered the country's consumers of sweetened food products, I have been able to perform solely by virtue of the information contained in your illuminating article which recently appeared in Good Housekeeping.
"Sincerely hoping that the public may be thoroughly informed as to the menace of the pending legislation on the subject of corn sugar before Congress reconvenes in December, I am, with the best of wishes and the kindest of regards, always,
(Signed) M. M. Neely."
On December 16th, 1926, I wrote Senator Neelyas follows:
"I am writing to ask if there is any immediate prospect of the so-called Corn Sugar Bill being taken from the calendar and considered by the Senate? I am preparing a document which I wish to submit to each member of the Senate when it is likely that such consideration will take place. Your work last summer in blocking this legislation was most notable and successful. I hope you have not lost any of your enthusiasm in this case and will be on guard, with the other Senators who stood by you on that occasion, to prevent any mutilation of our food law."
To this letter Senator Neely on the same dayreplied as follows:
'Replying to your very acceptable letter of the sixteenth day of December, I regret to inform you that it is quite probable that the so-called 'Corn-Sugar Bill' will-be 'called up' at almost any hour of any day.
"Yesterday, a Senator from a western state inquired of me particularly as to the possibility of my discontinuing my opposition to this measure. I told him, and I now assure you, that I purpose to oppose the passage of the Corn Sugar Bill to the limit of my capacity as long as I continue a member of the Senate.
"In view of the article on the subject which appeared in the last number of 'Good Housekeeping,' I feel impelled to tell you that I have absolutely no selfish interest of any kind or character in seeking to defeat this legislation. I am prompted to the course I have adopted by a single motive, and that motive is to preserve, protect, and defend the Pure Food Law and thereby protect the health of the people of the country."
On December 17th, 1926, 1 wrote Senator Neelyas follows:
"I hope, even if Congress should pass this measure, that the President will refuse to sign it. I feel certain President Coolidge could not complacently approve of the perpetration of such a huge.fraud upon the American public. It means fraud in every household in this broad land. I sincerely hope you may be able again to block this vicious legislation, either by force of reason, or, if necessary, by filibuster.
Under date of December 18, 1926, Senator Neelywrote me as follows:
"Yesterday Senator Ashurst and I conferred at considerable length about the subject matter of your communication, and rededicated ourselves to the task of preventing the enactment of a measure (despite the good faith of its proponents) which he and I believe thoroughly vicious."
There was organized, therefore, a number of Senatorsinto a committee who promised to guard carefully the rights of the people by objectingto any unanimous consideration of taking the bill from its regular place on the Calendar.This was particularly true in the last days of, the session when night sessions werecalled to consider bills to which no objection was made. I wrote Senator Neely andasked him to organize a watch-meeting to see that at least one Senator was alwayspresent who would object to taking the so-called. Corn Sugar Bill from its placeon the. calendar, by unanimous consent. In this way all legislation of this kindwas blocked until the 69th Congress expired at noon on the 4th day of March,1927.
All pending bills are now dead. If the 70th Congressundertakes to enact a measure of this kind, a powerfully organized minority at least,will be ready to interpose all required parliamentary obstacles to such legislation.It is quite certain, therefore, that any other bill of a similar character wouldhave a very rugged future before it, and it is almost morally certain that no suchlegislation can now be enacted.
ALWAYS THE PROBLEM OF AGRICULTURE
ESTABLISHMENT OF THE DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
"There shall be at the seat of Government a Department of Agriculture, the general design and duties of which shall be to acquire and to diffuse among the people of the United States useful information on subjects connected with agriculture, in the most general and comprehensive sense of that word, and to procure, propagate, and distribute among the people new and valuable seeds and plants"--Act May 15,1862.
From the very beginning of the investigationsof sugar they were given by Congress to the Bureau of Chemistry, Department of Agriculture.Dr. MacMurtrie in the early 70's, first as an assistant and then as Chief of theBureau, worked upon these problems and particularly carried on investigations lookingto the establishment of the beet sugar industry. His successor, Dr. Collier, my immediatepredecessor, made extensive investigations as to the possibility of using sorghumas the principal source of sugar.
When I was put in charge of the chemical workin 1883 it was with the distinct understanding that the sorghum investigations wouldbe completed. To that end, in collaboration with A. A. Denton, the first study ofthe possibility of increasing the content of sugar and the percentage of purity inthe sorghum plant was undertaken and continued for eight years. Varieties of sorghumwere developed showing an average content of 4% increase in sugar. All of these investigationshave been published in numerous bulletins of the Bureau of Chemistry. My successor,Dr. Alsberg, continued these investigations. His successor, Dr. C. A. Browne, haskept the work up. Thus from 1870 to 1927, a period of 57 years, Congress has continuouslyprovided the funds for carrying on these investigations in the Bureau of Chemistry.
The appropriation for the fiscal year ended June30, 1926, provided funds:
"To investigate the chemical composition of sugar and starch-producing plants in the United States and their possessions.
For the fiscal year ended June 30, 1928, theappropriation bill for the Department of Agriculture contains the following authorization:
"For the investigation and development of methods for the manufacture of table syrup and sugar by utilization of new agricultural sources."
If this means anything, it means that levuloseis one of the new sources of sugar production, which Congress in its regular sessioncommitted to the new Bureau of Chemistry and Soils. Does not then this problem byright of possession and by a continued recognition by Congress for 57 years entitlethe Bureau of Chemistry to carry on all investigations of this kind? By right ofpossession, as well as by ethical considerations. that rule ought not to be transgressed.
A careful survey of the original act establishingthe Bureau of Standards fails even to give a hint that any investigations of thiskind should be assigned to any other department than that of agriculture. The investigationswhich led to the establishment of the beet sugar industry were given exclusivelyto the Department of Agriculture, as the original act provided. There is one point,however, in which perhaps it is wise to permit the investigations of levulose throughanother department. The Bureau of Standards has proclaimed that when levulose underits initiative is made as cheaply, as dextrose, then there is no longer any reasonfor the existence of either the beet sugar or the cane sugar industries. Of courseCongress never intended that the Department of Agriculture should be used for thedestruction of established agricultural industries. So, naturally, investigationswhich would destroy these industries would not be germane to the fundamental ideaaround which the Department of Agriculture has been built. It does seem a littlebit strange that Congress which is now bending all its energies to do something forthe relief of the farmer should give to the Bureau of Standards a large sum of moneyfor the purpose of endeavoring to destroy some of our most profitable agriculturalindustries.
DEVELOPMENT OF DEXTROSE AND LEVULOSE INDUSTRIES
Speaking before the committee in favor of a defieiencyappropriation for the development of the levulose industries, the Director of theBureau of Standards gave glowing accounts of what could be done with the Jerusalemartichoke. In answer to a question of the chairman as to the difficulty of gatheringthe wild artichoke economically, it was stated that it would be cultivated, and heillustrated the improvement in the content of sugar, that is levulose, in the artichokefrom what had been done in breeding beets. He called attention to the fact that thepercentage of sugar in the wild beet had been, by careful breeding, more than doubled.
The chairman asked Dr. Burgess (page 279 of thehearings),
"Is any of this sugar which you have shown it is possible to produce used anywhere?"
DR. BURGESS: "Not yet. It has only been actually produced in sugar form in our laboratory. The trick was to get it out of water solution."
The director enlarged on the problems they wereabout to undertake (page 288 of the hearings.)
"The production of sugar is one of the world's largest industries. A new industry which threatens to modify this production is a thing of first importance to mankind. The Bureau of Standards is considering not merely the question of modification, but the possibility to a great extent of replacement of ordinary sugar (sucrose) by levalose.
It is no wonder, therefore, that the $50,000asked for were given to the Bureau of Standards, which is a branch of the Departmentof Commerce, and not to the Department of Agriculture, which is immensely interestedin the maintenance of both the cane and the sugar beet industries. The purpose ofthe Bureau of Standards is to abolish both of these industries.
There are many serious difficulties in the wayof developing an economical levulose industry. It is stated by the Bureau of Standardsthat the present price of levulose is approximately $100 a pound. They proposed tomake it as cheaply as they have been able to manufacture dextrose. The director promisedthe committee that the experimental work would be finished in.1927. This time hascome and gone but no publication of levulose at 5 or 2 cents. a pound has yet beenissued. The wisdom of the proverb, as it is read in Boston to the effect that itis undesirable to enumerate the number of progeny arising from the incubation ofthe ova of gallinaceous birds until the process is entirely completed, is a matterwhich the Bureau of Standards should take under careful consideration. It is quiteevident that if this policy of the Standards Bureau be carried out any further theoriginal intent of Congress will be entirely lost, sight of. Evidently there is nothinggoing on in this world which, following out the plan already adopted, may not comewithin the limits of investigation of this all embracing Bureau. Meanwhile, the workwhich it was intended to do must of necessity be neglected in order to gather inall these miscellaneous activities which plainly are foreign to the purpose of theoriginal act. An unbiased study of these activities magnifies to colossal proportionsthe dangers which Professor Rowland pointed out.
NO DELAY IN STARTING WHAT ROWLAND FEARED
From the first the Bureau of Standards immediatelybegan a system of accretion from all sources, which it has practiced ever since.The following year, 1903, it was transferred to the Depaxtment of Commerce. It tookover at once the supervision of polarizing imported sugars, which for many yearshad been a function of the Bureau of Chemistry. This was its first offense of scientificethics, the cardinal canon of which is, "Don't butt into any problem alreadyin charge of some one else. This was followed by the invasion of fields fully occupiedby the Bureau of Chemistry in studies of leather, paper, farm. wastes, and otherstrictly agricultural problems. This was followed by occupying the field of specificationsfor civil and military supplies, establishing new definitions for Castile soaps,and finally an assault on the Food and Drugs Act.
The encroachments of trade practices on the enforcementof the Food Law will be shown in the last chapter.
I refer solely to the illegal and unethical practices.They are also likely to be dominant in the activities of the Bureau of Standardsin the case of scientific associates. It is even possible that activities of theFood and Drugs Act, or the investigations of the Federal Trade Commission may beinvoked to restrict the scientific investigations of the Bureau of Standards. Oneof the dangers which attend the exploitation of trade practices is illustrated bythe attitude of the Bureau of Standards in regard to Castile soap. The methods employedby the manufacturers of so-called Castile soaps are thoroughly outlined in CircularNo. 62 of the Bureau of Standards devoted to this subject. The trade practices areset out in detail. Brands of Castile soap are made which are entirely foreign tothe original idea universally accepted of this article. In the data below it willbe noticed that the principal chemist who has been consulted in this matter, andwhose suggestions have appaxently been adopted, is the chemist of a firm making so-calledCastile soaps of different kinds without any olive oil whatever entering into theircomposition.
The Food and Drugs Act was passed for the purposeof correcting trade practices. Now the efforts of the Bureau of Standards seem tobe directed toward establishing them as ethical processes. This, of course, meansgreat danger to the consuming public. A great government organization ought not toaid fraudulent trade practices and try to foist them upon the public, even by mentioningthem approvingly.
" Castile Soap was originally made from low-grade olive oils. The name now represents a type of soap, the term 'castile' being applied to a soap intended for toilet or household use, sold usually in large, unwrapped, unperfumed bars, which are cut up when sold or when used. It is often drawn directly from the kettle without 'crutching,' but is sometimes crutched a little or even enough to make it float and is sometimes milled. It is also sold. in small bars both wrapped and unwrapped. The type is not one easily defined, so now when made from olive oil it is invariably sold as olive-oil castile. There are soaps made entirely from cocoanut, oil which are sold as cocoanut castiles or hardwater castiles. Many other castiles are made from a mixture of cocoanut oil and tallow." (Dept. of Commerce--Circular of the Bureau of Standards, No. 62--SOAP--p. 9, Jan. 24, 1923.
NOTE: Previous Edition of Standard Circular No.62 (Second Edition June 17, 1919, p. 7) reads as follows:
'Castile soap, otherwise known as Marseilles or Venetian soap, is prepared from low-grade olive oil.
A letter from Director of the Bureau of Standards,dated September 22, 1924, explains the change in language note above:
"As stated in our letter of Sept ember 9, the statements made in paragraph (c) page 9, of the third edition of our circular No. 62 were intended to give information as to conditions as they are at the present time rather than as to what they should be.
"The Bureau has not issued a specification or set up a standard for Castile Soap, nor has the bureau intentionally, in a passive way or otherwise, injured any existing standard or trade practice regarding this commodity. Our sole aim in circular 62 was to state the facts as we found them." * * * (Signed F. C. Brown, Acting Director; George K. Burgess, Director.)
A further explanation by Dr. Burgess, Director,in letter to T. R. Lockwood, March 27, 1926, is as follows:
" The statements were approved by the Soap Committee of the Soap Section of the American Specialty Manufacturers Association, as indicated by the following quotation from Circular No. 62 (page 4):
'The Bureau has received much valuable assistance in the preparation of this circular from the Soap Committee .of the Soap Section of the American Specialty Manufacturers Association, and especially Messrs. A. Campbell and C. P. Long, chairman and secretary of the soap and soap products committee of the American Chemical Society, for which it wishes to express its grateful appreciation.
Further explained by Dr. Percy H. Walker, U.S. !Bureau of Standards, in his testimony at Trade Practice Submittal at the officeof Federal Trade Commission, March 30, 1926 (Transcript, Page 31).
"The gentleman sitting near me has asked me to read from a circular of the Bureau of Standards. I may preface this by saying that THIS IS A PIECE OF INFORMATION FOR WHICH WE ARE INDEBTED TO THE SOAP TRADE. I SUBMIT IT AS A PIECE OF INFORMATION. IT IS AS FOLLOWS:" (Then follows the quotation from Circular No. 62, 1923, Ed. p. 9, quoted above.)
C. P. Long, referred to as a source of informationfor Bureau of Standards Circular No. 62, is, or was, Chemical director of the GlobeSoap Company, Cincinnati, which manufactured or manufactures four brands of "Castile"referred to as "Castile in combination," namely, GLOBE CASTILE, GLOBE LIONCASTILE, GLOBE WHITE CASTILE, and LION CASTILE.
The statement above that true Castile is "invariablysold as olive-oil Castile" is a gross error. This statement is undoubtedly dueto the regrettable mistake of the revisers of the tenth decennial pharmacopoeia,for the first time in its history of defining Castile soap as olive oil Castile.This gives no warrant for calling other soaps, not made wholly from olive oil, Castile.
DUPLICATION OF WORK OF BUREAU OF CHEMISTRY
BY THE BUREAU OF STANDARDS
The work of the Bureau of Chemistry on tanningmaterials, hides, tanning, and leather which is conducted under the appropriationsfor agricultural investigations, has been and is being duplicated in part by theBureau of Standards of the Department of Commerce. Work along those lines has beendone in the Department of Agriculture almost since its organization in 1862, andwas specifically provided for in 1904, 23 years ago. Investigations on leather, accordingto the annual reports of the Bureau of Standards, were inaugurated as a new lineof work in that Bureau in 1917, but 12 years ago. The attention of the Bureau ofStandards has been called to this duplication which several times has been the subjectof conference between the two Bureaus. Nevertheless the more recent annual reportsof the Bureau of Standards continue to outline a program on leather which involvesa striking and extensive duplication of lines of work plainly within the scope ofthe following long established and published projects of the Bureau of Chemistry:
Investigation of the Wearing Quality of Sole leather.
Investigation of the Composition of Leather and Tanning and Finishing Materials.
Deterioration of Upper, Bookbinding and Other Light Leathers.
Tanning Sole and Harness Leather on a Small Scale.
These projects were known to the Bureau of Standardsnot alone through annual reports, program of work, and other publications, but alsothrough the fact that before the Bureau of Standards had organized and equipped itslaboratories the courtesy of the laboratory of the Bureau of Chemistry was extendedto them and its force was temporarily housed in the laboratories devoted to the leather,tanning and related work of the Bureau of Chemistry. Nevertheless, the Bureau ofStandards later entered these fields despite this knowledge and ignored the usualcustoms of scientific bureaus to referring inquiries and work within the provinceof other bureaus to those bureaus. In other words, the Bureau of Standards has, withoutdiscussing the subject with the Bureau of Chemistry, duplicated and started to buildup on this work, knowing that it was already organized and had been in operationfor some time in the Department of Agriculture.
Moreover, with the view to eliminate the duplicationswhich had become intolerable and indefensible, the Bureau of Chemistry, in July,1914, transferred to the Bureau of Standards and itself discontinued the work ithad been doing for many years, and before the existence of the Bureau of Standards,on paints, varnishes, inks, oil, and miscellaneous supplies for the Government departmentswith the distinct verbal understanding between Dr. Alsberg, then Chief of the Bureauof Chemistry, and Dr. Stratton that work in certain fields, among them leather andtanning, should remain in the Bureau of Chemistry.
Authority for the Work. Authority for the workon tanning materials, hides, tanning and leather, which the Department of Agriculturehas been doing, is contained:
(a) In the organic act creating the Department of Agriculture, which act defines its duties as "to acquire and to diffuse among the people of the United States useful information on subjects connected with agriculture in the most general and comprehensive sense of that word,
(b) In subsequent annual appropriations made for work on these and related subjects after statements by the several bureau chiefs before Congressional committees, describing the work being done;
(c) In a special order, by the Secretary of Agriculture, on July 1, 1904, as follows:
"There is hereby established in the Bureau of Chemistry a laboratory to be known as the Leather and Paper Laboratory to which are to be committed the analyses and investigations relating to the following subjects:
"Investigations of tannins and tanning materials and their effects upon the strength and properties of leather with a view to promoting the agricultural industries relating to the production of tannins and tanning materials and leather of a high quality.
"All technical problems of a chemical nature relating to the production of tannins and tanning products and of leathers.
"All technical problems of a chemical nature relating to the production of leather, * * *."
(Signed) James Wilson, Secretary.
The substance of this order has been made publicin Bureau of Chemistry Circular No. 14, 1904, on " The Organization of the Bureauof Chemistry."
History of the Work. Work on tanning materials,hides, tanning and leather, began in the Deparment of Agriculture in the early daysof its existence, and has been described in the various annual reports as far backas 1872. The nature and results of this work were laid before Congress not only inthese annual reports but in the hearings before the appropriation committees. Thiswork had progressed so that by 1900, that is before the establishment of the Bureauof Standards, it was definitely organized and a cooperative basis between the thenDivisions of Forestry and of Chemistry. The work on all these lines has continueduninterruptedly. Since the specific organization of this work the Bureau of Chemistryhas developed an experienced and informed personnel which has done much valuablework in the conservation and development of raw materials; in the development andimprovement of methods of examination to determine quality: on the care and serviceabilityof leather; and in an advisory capacity to the Government, the public and the industry,the results being published from time to time either as Government bulletins or inscientific journals until the publications now number in all more than eighty-five.
It has been the claim of the Bureau of Standardsthat all standardization work and even all scientific work of the Federal Governmentshould be done there. Obviously this Teutonic, imperialistic viewpoint can not beadmitted by any of the Federal Departments, first because it is not fair, economicalor efficient, and second, because such has never been the intent nor practice ingovernment work. It would seem clear that from any reasonable point of view eachDepartment should, so far as feasible, standardize those materials which fall withinits functions, and this has been the practice until the Bureau of Standards has constantlyencroached upon the fields of other bureaus of the several departments.
This ruthless and expensive duplication of fieldsof work has actually, as is to be expected, resulted in needless duplication on specificproblems, as strikingly shown by the duplication of the work done by the Bureau ofChemistry on the wearing quality of shoe leather, published as Department Bulletin1168 in 1923, which work was duplicated even to the conclusions and published bythe Bureau of Standards in 1925 as Technological Paper 286, "Comparative Durabilityof Vegetable and Chrome Sole Leathers."
The last and most astonishing encroachment ofthe Bureau of Standards on the functions of the Department of Agriculture is foundin the appropriation to investigate agricultural wastes. These studies heretoforehave been almost continuously conducted by the Bureau of Chemistry. It will resultin useless repetition of many studies in the past thirty years looking to utilizationof cornstalks, salvaged fruits and watermelons, waste of canning factories, unmerchantablemarketable products, and various other agricultural wastes. These may not rise tothe dignity of crimes but they afford striking instances of bad ethics.
The most objectional feature of the activitiesof the Bureau of Standards, aside from the attempt to mutilate the Food Law, is seenin employment of research assistants. This activity seems to fly directly in theface of the statements of President Coolidge, at the beginning of this chapter.
In Circular No. 296, Bureau of Standards, Page3, is the following statement:
"Devices developed during the research are for the free use of the industry, the government, and the public and will not be patented unless the patents are dedicated free to such use."
Immediately following this statement is anotherto this effect:
"The work of a research associate is one of peculiar trust, often confidential, on problems of concern to an entire industry."
It is thus seen that much of the research workdone may be of this confidential character and if so would not be published in anymanner to, prejudice the interest of the industry concerned. While associate scientistsconform to government regulations in regard to conduct, hours of work and leave ofabsence, they are paid by the industries interested in their work. I can find nostatement in Bulletin 296 as to the total amount of compensation of these workers.Correspondence with the industries is sent free of postage, and all facilities ofevery description for the work are provided by government appropriation. No estimatesof the total value of these contributions by the government are given. The totalnumber of research associates in 1926 is given at 62. On page 8 the amounts savedby the researches of the Bureau in many instances are stated. From study of brakeliningmethods fifteen million dollars, from tire studies forty million dollars, and frommotor-fuel investigations one hundred million dollars are saved annually. With suchsavings as these the pitifully meager $2,000,000 appropriation granted to the Bureauof Standards proves Uncle Sam a. piratical piker.
The limit of activities seems. to have been reachedin the following case copied from the Washington Star, April 4, 1927. It isan illustration of one of the experiments of the Bureau of Standards with a machineintended to measure the shock absorbed by the driver of an automobile. The descriptionis as follows:
"To find out how much shock the driver of an automobile absorbs through the bumping and rolling of his car on the road is the purpose of this delicate measuring device designed by the Bureau of Standards. The information will be given to manufacturers for its bearing on driving efficiency.
The following pertinent suggestions find an appropriateplace here:
From "YOUR MONEY'S WORTH," by StuartChase and F. J. Schlink, published by The Macmillan Company, comments on the Bureauof Standards.
BUREAU OF STANDARDS
The Bureau of Standards was set up by legislative enactment in 1901. It was placed under the control of the Secretary of Commerce and Labor (now Commerce), but has always functioned with a considerable degree of independence. Its director is appointed by the President, upon nomination by the Secretary of Commerce; its staff is under civil service regulations and protected to an almost unique degree from political pressure.
Its original duties were simple--the erection of suitable scientific standards for weights and measures. Page 198.
Gradually the Bureau began to take on other duties. Its scientific staff provided a nucleus for further investigations on the Government's behalf, (and later on behalf of industry at large.) On account of its excellent equipment and expert staff, other departments got into the habit of referring dubious materials and devices to it for analysis and test. Page 198.
Which brings us to ask a blunt and necessary question. Why does a service run by taxpayers' money refuse information covering competitive products--to that same taxpayer? The answer is obvious but not altogether convincing. It is argued that the general release of test results covering competitive products by the name of maker will promote commercial injustice. Page 203.
In the long run would not the great savings which the Government achieves through the Bureau's work be multiplied a hundred fold if all could take advantage of its findings-both ultimate consumer, manufacturer and dealer? Page 204.
Furthermore there is no reason why the citizens who pay for the Bureau and the other Government laboratories should not have the right to initiate a series of tests when the field is important and the known information either inadequate or non-existent. Manufacturers and promoters can now secure all the results of competitive tests (maker's names deleted); and they have initiated thousands of new tests which the Bureau has conducted often without cost to themselves. Has not the ultimate consumer an equal right? Page 204.
The Bureau of Standards meanwhile has ruled that proper coöperation of the federal authorities with state and other governmental bodies, justifies the release to the latter of technical information. It is willing to approve or condemn commercial products by name in a table giving comparative quality or performance. Local governments can thus secure what the taxpayer can not. If any state or city government wishes to know what is the best typewriter ribbon or lubricating oil to buy, its officers need only write the Bureau to learn the detailed results of tests that have been made upon the product before its acceptance or rejection for Government purchase under specification. If the article has not already been tested by the Bureau, it is likely that the needed analysis can be arranged for without charge. Page 216.
It is clear from the foregoing that a real start in the testing technique has been made in American Government--federal, state and municipal. There is the beginning of solid ground Under our feet. It is equally clear that an .enormous amount remains to be done, both in the direction of coördinating and making available the results of present activities, and in the development of new activities. Uniform state laws and city ordinances would seem to be essential next steps. Another is the release to taxpayers of the invaluable information of the Bureau of Standards, and of the other federal, state and municipal bureaus. Page 217.
During 1926 sixty-two associates representingvarious industries were stationed at the Bureau of Standards. The Portland CementAssociation maintains a corps of eight chemists and physicists at the Bureau. TheNatural Terra Cotta Society has two, the National Dyers and Cleaners has three, theSociety of Automotive Engineers four. Circular, No. 296, describes in part the giganticassociation of the Bureau with big business. Such intimate union as this justly meritsthe condemnation which President Coolidge has pronounced against collaboration ofgovernment with business.
AUTHORITY FOR THE COLLABORATION OF REPRESENTATIVES
OF BIG BUSINESS WITH THE BUREAU OF STANDARDS
In a circular of the Bureau of Standards, No.296, which describes the activities of the research associates of that Bureau, onpage 1 is given the authority for such collaboration.
On April 12, 1892, Congress passed a joint resolutionfor the promotion of learning in the City of Washington, for the express pupose ofopening Government scientific exhibits and collections to students of higher education.The joint resolution provided as follows:
"Whereas, large collections illustrative of the various arts and sciences and facilitating literary and scientific research have been accumulated by the action of Congress through a series of years at the National Capital; and
"Whereas it was the original purpose of the Government thereby to promote research and the diffusion of knowledge, and is now the settled policy and present practice of those charged with the care of these collections specially to encourage students who devote their time to the investigation and study of any branch of knowledge by allowing to them all proper use thereof; and
"Whereas it is represented that the enumeration of these facilities and the formal statement of this policy win encourage the establishment and endowment of institutions of learning at the seat of Government, and promote the work of education by attracting students to avail themselves of the advantages aforesaid under the direction of competent instructors; Therefore,
"Resolved, That the facilities for research and illustration in the following and any other governmen al collections now existing or hereafter to be established in the city of Washington for the promotion of knowledge shall be accessible, under such rules and restrictions as the officers in charge of each collection may prescribe, subject to such authority as is now or may hereafter be permitted by law, to the scientific investigators and to students of any institation of higher education now incorporated or hereafter to be incorporated under the laws of Congress or of the District of Columbia, to wit: 1. Of the Library of Congress. 2. Of the National Museum. 3. Of the Patent Office. 4. Of the Bureau of Education. 5. Of the Bureau of Ethnology. 6. Of the Army Medical Museum. 7. Of the Department of Agriculture. 8. Of the Fish Commission. 9. Of the Botanic Gardens. 10. Of the Coast and Geodetic Survey. 11. Of the Geological Survey. 12. Of the Naval Observatory. (Approved, April 12, 1892.) "
It will be observed that this joint resolutionwas passed about ten years before the Bureau of Standards was established. In 1901another authority is quoted. It is entitled:
GOVERNMENT TO PROMOTE RESEARCH
AND ENCOURAGE STUDENTS
This is found in a Deficiency Appropriation Billwhich became a law on March 3, 1901. The provisions of this bill are as follows:
"That facilities for study and research in the Government departments, the Library of Congress, the National Museum, the Zoological Park, the Bureau of Ethnology, the Fish Commission, the Botanic Gardens, and similar institutions hereafter established shall be afforded to scientific investigators and to duly qualified individuals, students, and graduates of institutions of learning in the several States and Territories, as well as in the District of Columbia, under such rules and restrictions as the heads of the departments and bureaus mentioned may prescribe."
This legislation also was enacted before theBureau of Standards was established. It provided facilities for study and researchalong the line of the joint resolution above mentioned. There is no indication ofany collaboration with big business of any kind but only with students who were seekingopportunity for education and research.
On Page, 20 of Circular No. 296 it is stated,under the caption, 'Actions by Congress":
"The full text of the two actions by which Congress opened the way for the admission of qualified individuals to the use of the research facilities of the National Bureau of Standards is given below."
It seems rather strange that this statement shouldbe made by reason of the fact that there was no National Bureau of Standards in existenceat the time of either of these Congressional authorizations. It is plain that onlystudents of universities and higher institutions of learning were included in thisauthorization.
That it should be the basis of linking up Governmentactivities with corporations who desire research for their own individual benefitsor that such activities as scientific associates could by any means be included ineither one of these enactments is not even to be inferred. It is a well known principleof nearly every kind of business that research is absolutely necessary to keep pacewith the progress of science. A business that does not conduct research is likelyto go upon the rocks. Those corporations which have the most extensive research laboratoriesare those that are making the most progress and securing the best results from theiractivities. In most instances these great corporations conduct their own researches.In some instances they appeal to such institutions as the Mellon Institute of theUniversity of Pittsburgh, or to such scientific institutions as the A. D. LittleCorporation of Cambridge, Mass. In all cases where new processes are devised andnew products perfected, the corporations protect themselves by letters patent. Inthe Mellon Institute, according to, the official report (1925) it is stated thatabout 300 patents on industrial procsses have been the result of their investigations.When we turn to the activities in the Bureau of Chemistry in which new discoveriesare patented for common benefit, we find that 81 patents have been taken out.
The number of investigators and importance ofthe investigations at the Bureau of Standards almost equals those of the Mellon Instituteof the University of Pittsburgh.
"At the close of the Institute's fiscal year on February 28, 1927, as shown in the accompanying chart, fifty-eight industrial fellowships were operating, employing one hundred and two research chemists and engineers. The sum of $598,493 was paid during the year in support of research in the Institute by the fellowship donors--an increase of $70,942 over the payments of the preceding year. The total amount of money appropriated by companies and associations to the Institute, for the sixteen years ended February 28, 1927, was $4,318,397, all of which was disbursed in sustaining fellowship research.
"The extent and variety of the Institute's scientific investigations on behalf of industry are shown in the appended list of the industrial fellowships in operation during the entire fiscal year, February 28, 1926, to February 28, 1927. There were sixty-seven fellowships--twenty-two multiple fellowships and forty-five individual fellowships--on which 124. scientists and engineers were occupied in research.
The Mellon Institute and the A. D. Little Corporationof Cambridge, Mass., are doing the same kind of work. as that conducted by the Bureauof standards and are in direct competition therewith. This is unfair competition.
Apparently all of the expenses of the ScientificAssociates in the Bureau of Standards and in addition their postage are paid by thetax-payers of the United States.
No statement is made of the amounts paid by theindustries to the sixty-two associates employed in the Bureau of Standards in 1926,nor of the number of experts belonging to the Bureau or cooperating with them. Ifthe industries paid the representatives $2,500 a year, their contribution amountedto $155,050 per annum.
While I have called attention to only a veryfew of the activities of the Bureau of Standards, and chiefly those that belong byall right and custom to the Department of Agriculture, at least I have shown theground work of the indictment against this Bureau. It has attempted to repeal someof the most important features of the Food and Drugs Act. It has claimed as its ownthe inventions of others. It has broken deeply into the activities already startedby the Bureau of Chemistry and some of the other Bureaus of the Department of Agriculture,violating the fundamental principle of ethical standards. The Bureau of Standardsshould violate no standards. It has undertaken collaboration with great industriesin such a way that the extent of its activities have not been disclosed, nor do weknow, from any reports that have come to my notice, just how great a contributionis made by these industries in the way of paying the salaries of the scientific associates.In this respect it is in competition with the Mellon Institute and other organizationsof a similar character specifically intended to conduct this research work in anopen and proper manner. The Mellon Institute has given information of the amountcontributed by those industries. I have not been able to discover any such informationin the reports of the Bureau of Standards.
No kind of investigation seems to be foreignto the Bureau of Standards. It has departed so widely from its fundamental conceptionas to be no longer recognized chiefly for the purpose for which it was specificallydesigned, namely, the determination and preservation of all standards of measuresof all deseriptions for all legal and technical purposes. Either the original actestablishing the department of Agriculture should be repealed, or any further incursionsof the Bureau of Standards into the domain of Agriculture "in the most generaland comprehensive sense of that word," should cease.