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COMMITTEE ON SCIENCE AND ASTRONAUTICS
GEORGE P. MILLER, California, Chairman OLIN E. TEAGUE, Texas
JOSEPH W. MARTIN, Jr., Massachusetts JOSEPH E. KARTH, Minnesota
JAMES G. FULTON, Pennsylvania KEN HECHLER, West Virginia
OHARLES A. MOSHER, Ohio EMILIO Q. DADDARIO, Connecticut
RICHARD L. ROUDEBUSH, Indiana J. EDWARD ROUSH, Indiana
ALPHONZO BELL, California JOHN W. DAVIS, Georgia
THOMAS M. PELLY, Washington WILLIAM F. RYAN, New York
DONALD RUMSFELD, Mlinois THOMAS N. DOWNING, Virginia
EDWARD J. GURNEY, Florida JOE D. WAGGONNER, JR., Louisiana
JOHN W. WYDLER, New York DON FUQUA, Florida
BARBER B. CONABLE, JR., New York
CHARLES F. DUCANDER, Executive Director and Chief Counsel
PHILIP B. YEAGER, Counsel
RICHARD P. HINES, Staff Consultant
JOSEPH M. F#WON, Counsel
FRANK J. GIROUX, Clerk
Ad Hoc SUBCOMMITTEE TO CONSIDER S. 17
J. EDWARD ROUSH, Indiana, Chairman JOHN W. DAVIS, Georgia
RICHARD L. ROUDEBUSH, Indiana WILLIAM R. ANDERSON, Tennessee
BARBER B. CONABLE, JR., New York WESTON E. VIVIAN, Michigan
W. H. BOONE, Chief Technical Consultant
17, A BILL TO REPEAL CERTAIN ACTS RELATING TO CONTAINERS FOR FRUITS AND VEGETABLES, AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES
TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 27, 1966
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES,
Washington, D.C. The ad hoc subcommittee met, pursuant to call, in Room 2325, wyburn House Office Building, at 10 o'clock a.m., the Hon. J. Tward Roush (chairman of the subcommittee), presiding. Mr. Roush. The subcommittee will be in order. Because the House goes into session this morning at 11 rather than e customary hour of noon, we are going to have to hurry right along th these hearings. We meet this morning to take testimony on S. 17, a bill to repeal e Standard Container Acts of August 31, 1916, and May 21, 1928. These acts establish standard volumes and sizes for wood veneer uit and vegetable containers. The Senate has acted favorably on is bill, stating that the acts are now obsolete and do not meet the andards of new marketing practices. I hope the testimony we receive this morning might explain to us e reason for the need to repeal these previous laws and you might ld any other pertinent facts which will enlighten the committee. As our first witness this morning we have Mr. Arthur E. Browne of e Department of Agriculture. Mr. Browne is Deputy Director, ruit and Vegetable Division, Consumer and Marketing Service. Mr. Browne, will you take a chair right here, sir? I believe you ive a prepared statement; is that correct? Mr. BROWNE. Yes, sir; I have. Mr. Roush. You may proceed then with your testimony, Mr. rowne.
TATEMENT OF ARTHUR E. BROWNE, DEPUTY DIRECTOR, FRUIT AND VEGETABLE DIVISION, CONSUMER AND MARKETING SERVICE, DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE; ACCOMPANIED BY JOHN J. GARDNER, REGULATORY BRANCH, DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE, AND JAMES E. HORTON, OFFICE OF THE GENERAL COUNSEL, DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
Mr. BROWNE. Mr. Chairman, I have with me Mr. John J. Gardner f our Regulatory Branch; and Mr. James E. Horton of the Office of General Counsel, in the event there are questions the committee night wish to direct to these gentlemen, also.
S. 17 would repeal the U.S. Standard Container Acts of 1916 1928, effective January 1, 1967. These acts prescribe standards and capacities for a limited number of types of baskets and hamsa used in the shipment of fresh fruits and vegetables.
The Department recommends that S. 17 be passed.
Briefly, the act of August 31, 1916 (39 Stat. 673; 15 U.S.C. 251-25 commonly called the Standard Container Act of 1916, establishe standard sizes for climax baskets for grapes and other fruits : vegetables and fixes standards for baskets and other containers ? small fruits, berries, and vegetables. The act provides for the exacnation of containers subject to regulation to determine their capliance with the law.
The act of May 21, 1928 (45 Stat. 685; 15 U.S.C. 257-257i), knees as the Standard Container Act of 1928, establishes standard site for hampers, round-stave baskets, and splint baskets used for fres fruits and vegetables. Specifications of containers covered by ? act are submitted to and approved by the Department if such cetainers are of the prescribed capacity and not deceptive in appears.
When the U.S. Standard Container Acts of 1916 and 1928 m enacted, the predominant types of containers used for the shipmee: of fresh fruits and vegetables were baskets, barrels, and hampers At that time, because of the large number of sizes of containers being manufactured, a strong movement developed in the industry to brink about some degree of standardization in these containers.
In the years since the enactment of these acts, substantial changra have taken place in the types of containers used for shipping fred fruits and vegetables. Baskets and hampers have largely been diplaced by newer types of containers, such as boxes, lugs, crate cartons, and bags.
In addition, the trend in trading in fruits and vegetables has been toward selling by weight or count, rather than by volumetric measure As a result, it is estimated that less than 10 percent of the fresh fruits and vegetables shipped in interstate commerce are now packed in containers regulated under the Standard Container Acts of 1916 and 1928.
Further, the number of manufacturers of baskets and hampers subject to these acts has declined steadily in recent years. F# example, during the past 10 years, the number of such factories he declined from 148 to 95 and the number of different containers maz ufactured by these plants has dropped from 611 to 408.
In view of the limited volume of fresh fruits and vegetables current being shipped in containers under the Standard Container Acts on 1916 and 1928, the continuing trend toward wider uses of types de containers not subject to Federal regulation, and the fact that mo fruits and vegetables are now sold by weight or count, the Departmen: believes that the continued administration of these two acts is De longer justified.
Furthermore, a savings of approximately $16,200 annually can be achieved through the repeal of these laws.
Mr. Roush. Mr. Browne, how is $16,200 saved annually? What i this money spent on now?
Mr. BROWNE. This is spent on the testing of containers which are subject to these laws. The administration of these acts is carried on primarily by the examination of samples of containers subject to the acts, which are submitted to the Department.