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Lethbridge Herald Newspaper Archives

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Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - July 28, 1917, Lethbridge, Alberta SATURDAY, JULY 28. 1917 THE LJTHBRIDGE DAILY HERALD PAGE SEVES Alleged Profits of The William Davies Company in 1116 on Bacon, as Indicated by Department of Later to Is Five Cents per Pound, Untrue: Actual Profits two-Thirds of a Cent Per Pound THE statement issued by the Department of Labor concerning the business of The William Davies Company Limited has been given widespread '.circulation throughout the country and provoked public unrest. Whatever the technical wording of the report was, the effect has been lhat the newspapers have published lhat "the profits on Bacon alone" of this-Company "for' 1916" were about "five millions of dollars." This interpretation oi Ihe official report is not surprising in view of certain statements that, the Commissioner of the Cost oi Living makes. The Commissioner is reported as saying that "There were two individual cases of profiteering in 1916 and that had these cases occurred since the passage of the cost of living Ordcr-livCounc.il, he would consider it recommend that the facts be laid before ihe Attorney-General lor consideration as to iheir criminality." The situation created by sUcK and damaging, statements is .serious as emanating from a Government official, fiom whom one looks for not only accurate statements but correct conclusions. _ The William Davies Company, being a private concern, has followed the practice of all private.corporations, except when it made a bond issue in 1911, in that.it has not published reports of its assets', and liabilities (or profit and loss. '1 he pi esent circumstance, how- ever, in which a Government-Official has led the public to false conclusions, makes advisable for this Company, for both the public in- terest and its own interest, to publish particulars of its business as well 35 point out the efror of the statement "of the Government Official For the last fiscal year ending March 27th, 1911, Tho DavieB Company bought and killed hcad'ipf Live Slock (Gnttlc, Hogs and This, plus purchases of outside Meals, produced pounds of Meals. The Company handled pounds of Butter and Cheese, downs of Kggs, and manufactured Grinned Goods. 'The net profits on these were .68 cents (or two-thirds of a cent) per pound oh meats, 1.04 cents on Butter and Cheese, 1.04cents per dozen on EggSj and .47 cents (or slightly less ttan one-half a cent) per tin on Canned Goods. These profits include profits on all By-Products derived from these accounts. During the year the .Company served at its retail stores customers, the average purchnse of each customer was 35c, and the net profit upon each sale wns 5-8 oi 1 cent. The turnover Company from all its operations for the last {iscal year ending Starch 27lh, 1917, was The net percentage of profit upon this turnover, ailer deduct- v ing wsr tax, was 1.69 per.cent., or including war tax 345 per cent. The William Davies Company has assets of. of which is tied up in fired investments. i' To provide the neceaisaryif abilities for the increased volume of business the Company .eipended in buildings and equipment during the year. Companies of other characftr present no more reasonable statement of profit and loss based upon the investments made' in Ihe business. The "William Davies Cdiripsny'offered to the'.Imperial authorities, is Well-as to the War Office Service (which-represents the Imperial authorities in Cnnada) lo place the output of its Factory to Rs.eon supplies, Canned Beef and Pork and Beans at theiservice of the authorities, on the basis' of .cost plus an agreed percentage. These ofters were'successively declined as the aulhoritics'evidently desired to purchase in the open and on this basis The William Davies Company has secured War Office business by open competition with the world. Respecting the Report of the Commissioner on the Cost of Last Winter the Commissioner, nnder author- ity of Order-iri-Cbuncil, required pickers'to under' oath-for aome-'yeara-back: and up to December 1st, incoming stocks, of ilcats arid the cost of such, as well as dents of outgoing product and the selling-value. This Company.reprcsented in.writing at -tie.timt that tho information as specifically required was not in accordance with Packing House. Account-, ing methods, and-invited the Commissioner to send an Officer to the Head Office of 'the Company. to examine the booka for any information de- Bired, and to secure a. viewpoint ai .to the best way. of. collecting data which would be.of ..asq to the Government. This offer was declined, and there was nothing to do but fill in the information required as lilerally as we could dclcrmme it-.Pw- .example, there was no recognition of the fact that 'a raw product may enter a-factory under a specific elassification and leave the factory as a finished product under tome other classification. We submitted a scries of accurate: figures bleed upon our interpretation of the official re- quirements which made no provision'for charges of any description other incoming'-freight and unloading charges to be included in the cost or to be deducted from the selling price. There was nothing in the report which could be'read to as to determine a profit and loss statement.- The very, fact that with only a statement based upon cost of raw and value of sales in Great Britain a Government Official has deduced '-Large "Profiteering" and if it had ocenrrcd since Ilia passage of.a.recent Act, shows trifling and incapacity tolbe permitted'to deal with any important, si ta- iition. The statements of-this Company have been treated by the author of this report as if "the