Cold Storage and Shipping Company's Plants in English Cities
They Will Contain Products Worth Hundreds of Millions---Americans Conceive the Scheme
J. M. Smart, who is connected with the Southampton Cold Storage Company, which has recently erected a $2,000,000 plant at Southampton, near the docks, arrived in New York on the American liner St. Paul yesterday morning. Mr. Smart is the President and general manager of the American Cold Storage and Shipping Company, whose offices are in the Produce Exchange Building. This concern is the parent of the Southampton company.
Besides the warehouse at Southampton, the company also has a mammoth establishment at Manchester. The Southampton plant will be operated in conjunction with the London and Southwestern Railroad, which is having constructed modern refrigerator cars for the service, which it is expected will be in working order in a few months. The warehouse in Manchester is run in conjunction with the Manchester Ship Canal Company. Fourteen other warehouses are soon to be opened in England.
Each plant of the system will store goods worth $10,000,000, so that when all of them are stocked they will contain in the aggregate merchandise worth about $160,000,000. England imports yearly farm products to the value of $200,000,000, which mainly come from Canada, New Zealand, and Australia.
When seen yesterday Mr. Smart said that he had been abroad about three months in connection with the affairs of his company. He said it was about to begin business on a most extensive scale, and that it had behind it sufficient capital to make it a success.
"The feeding of the people of England," said he, "is a vast undertaking, because they consume annually $1,100,000,000 worth of foodstuffs, which have to be supplied by other countries. The supplies kept on hand would only feed the English people for thirty days, and were her coast menaced by a hostile fleet and her 712 merchantmen kept from landing there the country could be starved out in less than five weeks.
"The English people are aware of this, and now food-carrying vessels are subsidized, as well as the mail carriers. This is done by putting in the mail-carrying contract a clause that the boats must be provided with certain dimensions of food and cargo-carrying space. The United States should naturally be the feeder of England, and the American Cold Storage and Shipping Company cannot but be successful when it removes the disadvantages which at present exist.
"This we intend to do by running from New York, Philadelphia, and other Atlantic ports our own lines of steamships, all of which will be provided with the best of cold storage facilities. Dairy food supplies which we intend to handle will then reach the English markets in first-class condition, and on account of the cheapness in transportation and handling we will be able to undersell our rivals, and at the same time furnish a better article. We can also keep on hand enough dairy or farm products to last at least six months in case of necessity.
?We will at first only handle supplies of that sort of which England imports $200,000,000 worth annually. That will be a big trade in itself, and of course the market will increase as our facilities will be enlarged. We will have two centres of distribution---one at Southampton, which will supply London and the South of England, and the other at Manchester, which will cover the entire North of England. As the terminal facilities will be perfect, the other sections of England will be supplied by the railroads by means of refrigerator cars from our other cold storage plants.
"Our shipments will be enormous, and will be direct in reaching the consumer. Products such as fruits, fowls, butter, cheese, and eggs are to-day about $700,000,000 worth, and there is no reason why this cannot be increased a couple of hundred million dollars more when we are able to sell these things in England in the same condition as sold in the home markets. Argentina simply sells lean sheep to the people of the North of England, but this sort of mutton cannot be disposed of in London, where fat mutton is in demand. The English people were alarmed when they learned of the Morgan deal in ships, which as yet they are unable to understand. Our company is a New York corporation, and the whole scheme is an American one."
John Montgomery Smart
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(1901) A PLAN TO FEED ENGLAND New York Times (ref: #3610, accessed 26th June 2017 07:08:29 AM) URL : https://www.encyclopedia-titanica.org/a-plan-feed-england.html
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Added to Encyclopedia Titanica Monday 30th August 2004, last updated Monday 3rd April 2017.