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At the upper lake ports 1,911,170 bushels, which net at Syra cuse $2.03 per barrel.
On figuring, the net average price on whole amount of sales is $2.03. The profits of the company for the last twelve months, up to April 1st, is $107,016.58; with the exception of New York city, we sell all our salt so that it brings us cost. Examined by Mr. McDONALD.
At the time of organization blocks were valued at $5,000 ; just before, were worth $4,000; immediately after, worth $5,000; now, worth about $8,000. The change from wood to coal blocks was made by the owners, and company allowed a value of $700, to be added to the aggregate value of block; the average actual cost was about $1,000; the nineteen cents for manufacturing is just about what it cost the manufacturer, and give him good day wages if he run it himself; we pay to the owners of fine works rent on a valuation of $1,777,613.76 ; and to the owners of coarse salt works on a valuation of $1,618,640.00.
We have run up to 180 blocks this year, each block will make from 250 to 280 bushels per day.
Examined by Mr. BELL.
In 1862 we had an early spring; we had a large amount of salt on hand wintered over; we made salt in December, and sold all we made in November; if we had the same demand for it as we did have in 1862, we would always make as much as we did in 1862; if we could produce it in June and July, we would sell from 500,000 to 750,000 bushels of salt more than we now do, but we cannot get brine at that time for it. Examined by Mr. COMSTOCK.
I have been employed in manufacturing salt all my life, and am now secretary and managing agent of the Salt Company; I am familiar with the books of the company, they are correctly kept; the statement produced is correct and a true one. (Put in evidence and marked "B.") It is correct and true in all the matters set forth therein ; 'no profits or dividends have been made by the company except what is therein stated; it truly states the profits arising from the coal contract; the company in 1863, took a lease of a coal mine
in Pennsylvania, and operated under that lease at a eertain royalty or tariff per ton,(16 and 18 cents per ton) until January 1866, when it sold the lease at a clear bonus of $510,000, and taking a contract of seventeen years duration for a future supply of coal, as shown by the statement; that bonus is included in the statement of profits; in 1859 the salt business was very much depressed, price very low, and the general business lost money; the company was formed in the winter of 1860, in January and February ; during the first year of its opetations it lost money; in 1861 it made some money, a dividend of seven per cent on the capital stock; the year 1862, was a very pro
The company then made all the profits it has made on salt; we divided from March 1st to Nov. 15, $380,000; deducting the profits on coal and those on salt in 1862 and 1863, the company never made any money, but on the contrary lost; in the year 1862, the blockade of the Mississippi cut off the usual supply in the west in year 1862, we allowed a drawback to consumers of salt in this State, so that it should not cost over $1.50 per barrel, and we paid in those drawbacks $150,000; I think that in 1864 the company would have suspended, were it not for the coal lease which it then procured, and in 1866 we would have suspended were it not for the profitable sale of that lease ; on an average the company used in addition to the capital stock, about 14 million of dollars; we use the capital of $320,000; our surplus of $768,000, and a further sum of about $400,000, borrowed by us; it has been the policy of the company from its origin to manufacture and sell all the salt that can be sold without a loss; It has never been the policy to abridge the quantity produced, but on the contrary, we have refused to do so; our prices are regulated by the demand at Chicago; our practical price is $2.25 per barrel ; it costs us about thirty-five to forty cents to get it there and pay agency fees, per barrel ; it is a question therefore, of selling it at that price, or of abandoning the market, for Saginaw salt is now under selling us there by five or ten cents per barrel, and the same is now the case in the lower and upper lake
ports; in 1865 we had a tremendous freshet that put us back in the spring, and also a strike of hands; we, as a company, made no money; we have always paid our rents; taking a general view of the salt business, the capital invested is about $1,500,000; the total amount in property and cash, aside from the property of the State, is $ 6,000,000; this combination between the lessors and the [Con. No. 159.]
company expires 1st of March, 1870; the leases then expire; the production of salt, if made by individuals instead of companies, would fall off; the market would not be sold down so close; we have not got more than cost on the average sales in New York city, and a small margin over, in Canada; I think if our company were furnishing this supply of brine they would expend $100,000 in sinking wells, and getting a better supply of brine; I think the net gain to the State will be $30,000 per year, from the salt works during the last seven years; I think the company could afford to pay the State, a fixed price of $50,000 or $60,000 per year, and furnish the brine at its own expense; all expenses to be paid by the company; that would be better for the State than one cent per bushel.
The Committee met December 7th, 1867, and the following testi: mony was taken:
Thomas G. Alvord called and sworn says:
I have been a manufacturer of salt about twenty years, and acquainted with the business twenty-five years, and as conversant with the business as any one I know; in my opinion, since my first acquaintance with the business, it has not paid to the manufacturer more that than seven per cent. on his capital invested, and I think it has paid less than that.
Cross-examined—I mean by the manufacturer the owners of the salt erections, and who make the salt; from manufacturing alone, I am entirely satisfied there have never been any fortunes made, nor much more than a competency; in 1866 it cost from 18 to 20 cents to boil a bushel of salt; a first class block, containing 60 kettles, would cost to-day $8,000; an inferior block of the lower class cost $3,500, or thereabouts, to build before the war; in the very best of times, I have never known a 60 kettle block to be built for less than $2,800; the very poorest, as they are to-day, would be worth from $2,500 to $3,000; one block, if in order, would make about 36 bushels to the ton of coal; the simple work of boiling costs 3 cents per bushel; the incidental expenses of repair will annually average $50 while running, and it would cost from $250 to $400 to set over each spring
(B). The Salt Company of Onondaga, since its organization in 1860, has divided to its stockholders in cash.
$970,442 86 In stock....
(according to the books of the Company) April
Dividends and surplus.
In the winter of 1862 and 1863 the Company made arrangements for supplying themselves with coal, by the lease of coal mining property, from which they mined and received as follows:
Per ton. 1863. 55,509 tons, average cost.
84 19.2 1864. 96,626
5 37.2 1865. 127,417
5 03 1863. Average price of other coal same time.
$5 48.6 1864.
8 97 1865.
In the winter of 1865 and 1866 the Company sold their coal mine leases, for which they received a bonus of $510,000 over costs, and a contract with the purchasers of the same, agreeing to supply them with all the coal they might want for the manufacture of salt for the term of seventeen years, at fifty cents per ton above the prime cost of mining, transporting and delivering said coal to boats on Seneca Lake, without reckoning into said cost any interest upon the capital employed. The Company received on this contract in
Per ton. 1866. 132,503 tons, at cost of.....,
$4 53.7 1866. Average price of other coal same time..
The total quantity of coal procured by the Company (as above stated) is 412,255 tons, at a cost of.....
$1,994,844 58 The sande quantity, if purchased in market at same time and at lowest market rates, would have cost.. 2,984,073 59 Difference...
$989,229 01 $510,000 00
Add to this the $510,000 bonus received on sale of
Profit made in coal operation...
hands of the Company (as before stated) amount
Deduct profit on coal...
1,898,465 94 1,499,229 01
Profit on manufacture of salt (seven years)....
The capitál employed by the Company and in actual use by them on 1st April, 1867, was as follows: Capital stock...
$320,000 00 Surplus ..
768,023 08 Loans from corporations and individuals.
The value of the property leased or owned by the Company for the manufacture of salt is as follows:
38,517 coarse salt vats valued at $57 each..
The average net price at Syracuse of all the coarse salt sold by the Company for past five years is as follows:
1862 1863 .. 1864. 1865. 1866.
$1 54 per barrel.
The net price of fine salt at Syracuse for past five years is as fol. lows: