Clipped From The Courier-Journal
THE JUTE TRUST. Mr. Tapp Explains How He Was Induced To Close His Factory. No Monopoly, But Millionalrea Have Bought Up the Whole Supply. (From Yesterday's Times.) A dispatch to The Tikes from St. Louis yesterday gave the particulars of the formation ot a jute trust, which haa bought up all the jute begging i tbe country and has caused all but one of the manufactories to close. Among others that have closed under an agreement with this trust is the factory ot W. J. Tapp & Co., of this city. A reporter this morning called on Mr. Tapp and asked him if it was true that he had sold out to a trust. Mr. Tapp said: ' 'There is no jute trust anywhere in America. Fire or six men, representing many millions of dollars, have simply bought up all the begging in the country, as they had a perfect right to do, since they paid for it," "Did they buy your goods among the restl" "Yes, they bought all I had. and have paid for it, ail except one payment, which they will make next month. I closed on July 3, because I was tired of operating, to lot these cotton men make 100 per cent, off ot what I was losing money on. I don't care to be reduced to the condition ot that street peddlar there, and if the Mills Bill becomes a law I might as well sell my factory for old Iron." "When will you open your mills again t" asked the reporter. "When they get through fooling with the tariff." - "Is the tariff hill what caused you to closer' asked the reporter. "Not particularly, " said Mr. Tapp. "It had something to do with it. Tbe material that we use grows in India, and we can not compete with the Indians, Greeks and Arabs, who originated jute bagging and who are willing to work for from 5 to 8 cents a day. ou can buy begging in Dundee, Scotland, for 6 cents a yard, and for about tbe same price in India. It can be delivered here at from 7.15 to 7.35 cents a yard. But. ot course, it cannot be sold here for the actual cost of bringing it here. ' ' "What can you afford to make it fort" asked the reporter. "I can stford to sell it for eight cents. I sold some at that last spring and was very well satisfied with it. ' ' This statement scarcely consists with tbe Statement that Mr. Tapp bad been getting poor wnile tbe cotton planters who use jute Lagging for wrapping cotton bales were making 100 per cent, on his goods. However, coming back to the subject of the jute trust, the reporter asked Mr. Tapp if bis begging had been bought on condition that he closed his mills. He said : ' 'Mr goods were bought on condition that I would does my mills for a very limited period, not more than four or firs months lrom now. ' "Then you would not have closed but for tbe fact that you were bought out on condition that you closed!" asked tbe reporter. "It was a good deal better to accept a certainty than to oonUnue to operate on aa uncertainty," said Mr. Tapp. 'Any man would bars done the same thing, wouldn't ha) I had better make certain money than take chances. I could make more money by closingthan by continuing to run. ' ' Mr. Tapp said the purchases had been going on for some months, but that the deal had only been consummated recently. He refused to give the names of the men who had bought the bagging. He would not eren say where they iired, but said they were all citizens ot this country. Tbe Dud low Bagging Company of Boston was still running, he said, and would continue to run. Mr. Tapp walked off declaring there was no jute trust and bowling tor protection. He said a duty ot two cents a yard, was enough for him. According to his own figuring this would ens his him to sell barging at nine cents a yard, or over, when be is satisfied with eight cents. In his argument he said ths only reason why bagging could be made cheaper in India than here was ths difference in ths cost ot labor, which hare is $1 to tl.&O a day, and there is five to eight cents a day. It must be said that there tenms to be little proportion between the difference in the price of labor in ths two countries and the difference in the cost of manufacture in the two countries. Maybe Mr. Tapp is no very accurate in his iigurea; maybe ha is more enthusiastic than wise, and more anxious for money than ambitious to state facts. From his statement, however, it is evident that the combine, or trust, has been formed because ot the unusually large cotton crop, which will create a demand for all the jute bagging now on the market.