Page images
PDF
EPUB

fluorspar as above provided and shall be deducted from the total quota determined under section 5(b) and charged pro rata to the countries sharing in such quota.

(f) Notwithstanding the foregoing provisions, the quantity of the quota product entitled to enter under the quota during the unexpired portion of the calendar year 1959 shall be the annual quota quantity less one-twelth thereof for each full calendar month that has expired in such year; and for the purpose of such year the 20 per centum reserve under subsection (c) shall be held for thirty days after the determination under section 4.

BARTER CONTRACTS

SEC. 6. (a) If the proration for any foreign country, established by the Secretary for any calendar year, is in an amount which is less than the average rate of imports of fluorspar from such country for the years 1956, 1957, and 1958, the Secretary shall advise the Commodity Credit Corporation of the resulting deficit, and the Commodity Credit Corporation shall, to the extent possible, enter into barter contracts under the Agricultural Trade Development and Assistance Act of 1954, as amended, in amounts sufficient to bring total imports from such country up to such average rate.

(b) No country shall be eligible for barter in any year when the price of fluorspar sold from that country to domestic consumers under the proration provided in section 5(c) exceeds the following, subject to annual adjustments as determined by increases or decreases in the Bureau of Labor Statistics Nonferrous Metals Index:

Fluorspar containing more than 97 per centum calcium fluoride, free on board port of entry, duty paid, $53.

Fluorspar containing not more than 97 per centum calcium fluoride, free on board port of entry, duty paid:

Ceramic grade fluorspar containing not more than 96 per centum calcium fluoride, $48.

Metallurgical grade fluorspar containing 60 per centum effective units of calcium fluoride, $34.50.

Metallurgical grade fluorspar containing 70 per centum effective units of calcium fluoride, $38.50

Metallurgical grade fluorspar containing 721⁄2 per centum effective units of calcium fluoride, $39.50

PROHIBITED ACTS

SEC. 6. All persons are hereby prohibited

(a) from bringing or importing into the United States from any foreign country any fluorspar after the applicable quota, or the proration of any such quota, has been filled;

(b) from shipping, transporting, or marketing in interstate commerce, or in competition with fluorspar shipped, transported, or marketed in interstate or foreign commerce, any fluorspar produced in the United States after the quota for the United States has been filled.

EXPORTATION OF FLUORSPAR

SEC. 7. Any fluorspar exported from the United States under the provisions of section 313 of the Tariff Act of 1930 shall be credited against any charges which shall have been made with respect to the applicable proration for the country of origin. The country of origin in respect to which any credit shall be established shall be that country with respect to importation from which drawback of the exported fluorspar has been claimed. Fluorspar entered into the United States under an applicable bond established pursuant to orders or regulations issued by the Secretary, for the express purpose of subsequently exporting the equivalent quantity of fluorspar as such, or in manufactured articles, shall not be charged against the applicable proration for the country of origin.

REGULATIONS AND DETERMINATIONS

SEC. 8. (a) The Secretary is authorized to make such orders or regulations, which shall have the force and effect of law, as may be necessary to carry out the powers vested in him by this Act. Any person knowingly violating any order or regulation of the Secretary issued pursuant to this Act shall, upon conviction, be punished by a fine of not more than $100 for each such violation.

(b) Each determination issued by the Secretary in connection with quotas and deficits under this Act shall be promptly published in the Federal Register and shall be accompanied by a statement of the bases and considerations upon which such determination was made.

JURISDICTION OF COURTS

SEC. 9. The several district courts of the United States are hereby vested with jurisdiction specially to enforce, and to prevent and restrain any person from violating, the provisions of this Act or of any order or regulation made or issued pursuant to this Act. If and when the Secretary shall so request, it shall be the duty of the several district attorneys of the United States, in their respective districts, to institute proceedings to enforce the remedies and to collect the penalties and forfeitures provided for in this Act. The remedies provided for in this Act shall be in addition to, and not exclusive of, any of the remedies or penalties existing at law or in equity.

CIVIL PENALTIES

SEC. 10. Any person who knowingly violates, or attempts to violate, or who knowingly participates or aids in the violation of, any of the provisions of section 6, shall forfeit to the United States a sum equal to three times the market value, at the time of the commission of any such act, of that quantity of fluorspar by which any quota or proration is exceeded, which forfeiture shall be recoverable in a civil suit brought in the name of the United States.

FURNISHING INFORMATION TO SECRETARY

SEC. 11. All persons engaged in the manufacturing, marketing, or transportation or use of fluorspar, and having information which the Secretary deems necessary to enable him to administer the provisions of this Act, shall, upon the request of the Secretary, furnish him with such information. Any person willfully failing or refusing to furnish such information or furnishing willfully any false information, shall upon conviction be subject to a penalty of not more than $100 for each such violation.

SUSPENSION OF QUOTAS

SEC. 12. Whenever the President finds and proclaims that a national economic or other emergency exists with respect to fluorspar, he may by proclamation suspend the operation of all the provisions of this Act, and, thereafter, the operation of this Act shall continue in suspense until the President finds and proclaims that the facts which occasioned such suspension no longer exist. The Secretary shall make such investigations and reports thereon to the President as may be necessary to aid him in carrying out the provisions of this section. The CHAIRMAN. Of all the the strategic and critical minerals, none is more vital to the national security than fluorspar, which is an ingredient not only of aluminum, but also of the fuels required for our all-important missiles and rockets.

Today the domestic fluorspar industry, for all practical purposes, is shut down. And, as I see it, Congress has the prime responsibility of revitalizing the domestic fluorspar industry in the interest of national security.

The first witness will be Chairman Wayne Aspinall, of the House Interior and Insular Affairs Committee who has introduced an identical bill to S. 1285 in the House of Representatives.

STATEMENT OF HON. WAYNE N. ASPINALL, A REPRESENTATIVE IN CONGRESS FROM THE STATE OF COLORADO

Mr. ASPINALL. Mr. Chairman, and members of this distinguished subcommittee, I appreciate this opportunity to appear here this morning on behalf of S. 1285. This is my first visit to the new quarters over here and I find them very fine.

The CHAIRMAN. I hope you are very well impressed.

Mr. ASPINALL. I hope, Mr. Chairman, in 2 or 3 years we may be in a similar position.

This is much needed legislation. It is fair and it is equitable. I strongly urge favorable action by this committee and by the Congress. Several of my colleagues in the House of Representatives have joined me in introducing similar legislation.

There are enormous deposits of fluorspar in Colorado, which has become the second largest fluorspar producing State, ranking next to Illinois. The largest fluorspar flotation mill in Colorado is located in my own district. It is believed that the deposit of fluorspar there is one of the largest single deposits in the world.

This particular mill was constructed at the request of the U.S. Government to meet urgent defense needs. It is a major industry in that part of my district. There are other fluorspar flotation mills in Colorado, but today, with the single exception of a small captive producer, all fluorspar mining and milling has ceased.

Production stopped with the termination of the Government purchase program on December 31, 1958. It is doubtful that the single captive producer still operating will long resist the lure of cheap, imported fluorspar.

This situation has brought enormous hardship to the people in the fluorspar producing areas. As is usually the case in mining towns, there is no alternative employment. Although the numbers, Mr. Chairman, are not too significant, nevertheless the hardship is just as important as if there were numbers like those employed in other industries. As unemployment benefits are exhausted, the situation becomes more acute. The unemployed must be cared for and schools must be operated, yet the principal source of tax revenue-the mineswhich makes support of these and other essential community services possible, is no longer available.

The local communities find themselves unable, through no fault of their own, to provide the necessary funds when the mines are shut down.

This deplorable situation is not the result of a lack of consumer demand for fluorspar. Far from it. Domestic consumption of fluorspar is increasing at a rapid rate. The difficulty is that domestic production of fluorspar has almost entirely been displaced by lowcost, foreign-produced fluorspar.

Such fluorspar, I might add, is produced for the most part in plants which were financed either directly or indirectly by U.S. Government aid. It is my understanding that one foreign producer who sold fluorspar to the stockpile, through penalty and premium provisions in his contract, received over $70 per ton for his acid-grade fluorspar, far more than the domestic market price and much greater than the price paid any domestic acid-grade fluorspar producer for fluorspar for the stockpile.

While this was occurring, fluorspar mills in the West were closing and one western producer offered to produce the fluorspar for $10 per ton less, but was refused. It is interesting to note that upon completion of its stockpile contract, that particular mill closed and has not produced since.

I am sure all of us recognize that we cannot completely exclude foreign products. Such a course would be neither desirable nor

equitable, nor in the best interests of the United States. This is fundamental. At the same time we cannot permit our domestic industries to be sacrificed in order to provide a market for imports.

We have almost reached that point, however, in the case of fluorspar. It is essential that another way be found, a living together, a sharing of the market. It seems to me that S. 1285 offers the right approach.

S. 1285 provides for a sharing of the market by domestic and foreign fluorspar producers. It inflicts no injury, nor does it inflict hardship upon the foreign producer. Quite the contrary, it assures the foreign producer of a good market, one in fact equal to the best he has ever had. This measure also contains consumer protection. Unwarranted price increases are prohibited, but at the same time an adequate supply of fluorspar is assured the consumer.

There is another feature of this proposed legislation that is most essential. Fluospar is one of our most strategic and critical materials.

It is absolutely indispensible both from the standpoint of our national security and our national economy.

I can tell you as a member of the Joint Committee on Atomic Energy that what was pointed out in the first report to Congress on atomic energy, the so-called Smyth report, is just as true today as it was then; namely, that an adequate supply of fluorspar is vital to the atomic energy program.

By the enactment of S. 1285 we will have assurance of some domestic production of fluorspar, certainly in sufficient quantity, I hope, to meet the minimum requirements of our mobilization base. But we do more by enacting S. 1285. We add more fluorspar to the supplemental stockpile. Probably for a period of 3 or 4 years there would be additions.

It is my sincere conviction that this is one of the wisest moves we could make, not only for fluorspar, but for other minerals. The best insurance that we can have for either war or peace requirements for raw materials, and particularly nonperishable minerals, is an adequate supply in stockpile of finished minerals ready and available for instant use when needed. In my opinion, we cannot have too much in the way of finished materials.

Mr. Chairman, it may be that some of the provisions of this bill work too great a hardship upon the domestic producer. I refer specifically to section 10, as it might apply to a domestic producer. I urge that the committee give careful consideration to the possible hardships that this section might create, and the ways and means by which they might be averted.

Mr. Chairman, I cannot conceive of a more reasonable solution to an acute problem than the solution provided for the problem of the fluorspar industry by S. 1285. There is ample legislative precedent for this legislation. We have the Sugar Quota Act and other agricultural quota measures. Only recently the administration invoked mandatory quotas for oil, prior to those for lead and zinc.

In the case of the lead, zinc and oil quotas, there was created possible injury abroad. In the present legislation for fluorspar, I believe we have anticipated the injury that might result abroad through the imposition of fluorspar quotas and have provided for relief so as to prevent injury by the use of barter.

By so doing, we have, I believe, forestalled major objections from abroad and certainly should expect none from at home, unless by section 10. This measure is an effort to solve a difficult problem in a just manner. I believe it does so, treating fairly the domestic fluorspar producer, the domestic fluorspar consumer and the foreign fluorspar producer. I strongly urge favorable action on S. 1285.

Mr. Chairman, I do not profess to be an expert in any of the matters which pertain to this particular activity of the United States, the domestic mining industry and especially to fluorspar as such; nevertheless, if I can answer any questions which come to the minds of the committee, I shall do my best.

The CHAIRMAN. Thank you. We will rely on you during the course of our study of the bill and will contact you from time to time.

I want to congratulate you on your excellent statement this morning concerning this situation confronting the fluorspar industry and your recommendations as to how to meet those problems.

Mr. ASPINALL. Thank you very much.

The CHAIRMAN. We thank you very much for your very able state

ment.

Senator ALLOTT. Mr. Chairman, if I may, I would like to congratulate my colleague from Colorado on his fine statement in which he has particularly emphasized the Colorado aspects of this problem. I am sure that all of us recognize his great interest in this and we appreciate that fine statement he has just made.

Mr. ASPINALL. Thank you, Senator.

The CHAIRMAN. The next witness will be my colleague, the distinguished Senator from Montana, Mike Mansfield.

STATEMENT OF HON. MIKE MANSFIELD, A U.S. SENATOR FROM THE STATE OF MONTANA

Senator MANSFIELD. Mr. Chairman and gentlemen of the committee; there is not much that I can add to what the distinguished chairman of the House Interior and Insular Affairs Committee has already brought to the attention of this committee.

I do want to say, though, that after all, when we speak of things national, we speak of a lot of pieces being put together. I can recognize the distinguished chairman's emphasis on Colorado and the fluorspar mining industry as it affects that State, and I am sure that the chairman of this committee will recognize that it provides for us a similar problem in our State.

I would like to point out that to a large extent Montana depends upon mining for its survival. The mining industry has been hit very hard over the past several years. The result is a great deal of unemployment in that particular segment of our economy.

As our distinguished colleague, the Congressman from the First District, Mr. Metcalf, pointed out in our joint newsletter to the people of Montana, some 2 weeks ago, we once again achieved the shameful distinction of leading the Nation in the number of unemployed drawing unemployment compensation insurance on a percentage basis.

Happily, since that time there has been a trend for the better and the percentage is going down and things are looking up for Montana due to some changes in conditions.

« PreviousContinue »