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I am trying to take the negative when a witness takes the affirmative side, as we believe that is the best way by which we can get all the facts out. Let us not be judged by the questions we ask.
Mr. CARPER. We realize that there is a surplus in the major commodities that I have in mind, I don't know them all, possibly, but it seems to me the major stockpile of farm commodities is in wheat, corn, and cotton.
The CHAIRMAN. And tobacco. Mr. CARPER. Yes. Of course we are not entering into production of cotton or tobacco in our immediate area, although there are areas in Virginia that do enter into it. Yet at the same time if there is a surplus in wheat, and we know it is enormous, and also in corn, we in our area do not, we did at one time but under controlled acreage we do not produce enough wheat to feed ourselves and wheat has to be imported and it is practically the same way with corn now, though it is not as critical as wheat yet with reduction in wheat acreage it is not profitable for us to grow it, and furthermore, if we wanted parity on it we wouldn't get it because we have no facilities for storing and have to transport it hundreds of miles. We feel because of our geographical location we are not treated fairly in that respect. I don't want to penalize the wheat man in the West but I feel he can take a cut easier than we on the small farms in southwest Virginia, and the Commonwealth of Virginia, too.
I don't know exactly the number of acres per farm in Virginia, but it is relatively small and I would assume it would be approximately the number of acres found in North Carolina inasmuch as we are neighboring States and engaged in practically the same endeavor.
The CHAIRMAN. I am going back to the question I asked: What would be the object of reducing the price of wheat or price of cotton?
Mr. CARPER. I didn't say that, I said reduce parity.
The CHAIRMAN. That is the theory back of the flexible supports, that you will get in the market place a hundred percent of parity if you grow just what the demand is.
Mr. CARPER. Yes, sir.
The CHAIRMAN. That is the theory back of it but some of us don't think that that will work. Now, you think it would.
Mr. CARPER. I am not in a position, I do think it would, if we had wholehearted support.
The CHAIRMAN. I gave you dairying. Dairying is one of the commodities in which we have the flexible price support along the same line as you are now asking be placed on corn and on other commodities.
Mr. CARPER. Sure.
The CHAIRMAN. As I have indicated to you and the testimony is replete to show that in all of these commodities whenever it is left to the farmer to produce with a lower price, he will always try, I don't blame him, to grow all he can in the hope that he can make both ends meet. That to my way of thinking is the reason why we have had this vast increase in the production of milk in the last 2 years. You have had price supports on milk-that is, 90 percent—through 1953.
Mr. CARPER. That wasn't flexible.
The CHAIRMAN. No; they were rigid, but the amount of milk produced was 4 to 5 billion pounds of milk less than on a flexible basis. That is my point.
Mr. CARPER. I see that and see it very clearly after you state those figures.
The CHAIRMAN. That is in the record; here it is from the Federal Government. You take back in 1947, 1948, 1946, we had production with price controls on of 117 billion pounds of milk, but it is only since the flexible price support has been put on that commodity that this year and last year are the biggest production years in history.
Mr. CARPER. Yes, sir.
The CHAIRMAN. That to me confirms the proposition that when you do reduce the price to the farmer under this flexible price-support program as we have for milk, that the tendency is to make all you can so as to make both ends meet.
Mr. CARPER. I am not supposed to ask you a question but it is your opinion from what I gathered from your remarks
The CHAIRMAN. You can ask questions on statistics.
Mr. CARPER. You are of the opinion that if we have controlled acreage and if we take acres out of production in corn and we have flexible parity, that it will increase production of corn.
The CHAIRMAN. Of course if you have the quota system and cut the acreage, you wouldn't.
Mr. CARPER. That is what we are in favor of. The CHAIRMAN. The point I wish to make to you is simply this: That it has been stated so many times by many witnesses across the land that the increase of the surplus in corn and surplus in wheat and surplus in cotton has not been caused by the high price supports. We had a Government in Washington that asked the patriotic farmers of this Nation to grow all they could because of the war in Asia, in Korea. None of us knew how long that would last. The year that the was ended the farmers were asked to produce all they could. Yet because they produced all they could they are now being penalized and kicked around.
I think they ought to be blessed for that rather than be kicked around. If you had spokesmen would would be more sympathetic and give the facts to the American people, the consumer, as to why this thing was done, why this increase took place, you might get more sympathy from the consumer. I think that all of this is a blessing in disguise and it is my considered judgment that if the controls had been placed on the production of these commodities during this Korean war we wouldn't have all the surpluses. We had controls, for instance, in cotton, marketing quota in cotton was 1950-51. In 1950–51, with controls we reduced the cotton bales from 16 million bales in 1919 and 1950 to 10 million bales in 1950–51. The next year when the Korean war came on, the same year, the lid was raised, the farmers were told to plant all you can. They did plant and raised it from 10 million to 15 million. In 1952–53 the same request was made and they kept up production to 15 million the same as the year before.
Mr. CARPER. Yes, sir. Therefore, we have to take acres out of production.
The CHAIRMAN. That is what we are trying to do. If this law that is now on the statute books had been permitted to work in normal
conditions and not in emergencies we might have been able to do with the cotton what the tobacco folks did here with tobacco. Of course you have a little excess in tobacco, someone has said you have a 31/2 years' supply, but it can be regulated by the farmers if they make up their minds to reduce the production to meet the need.
Mr. CARPER. Senator, if the Congress and Senate of the United States can get a plan where it can organize the farmer, we can have a utopia but God Almight couldn't organize them.
The CHAIRMAN. I have long felt that way, but I still have confidence and faith that if they organize the same as the labor unions, somebody would go hungry.
Mr. CARPER. Yes, sir; they would go hungry.
The CHAIRMAN. That may be the solution to it. Have you anything else?
Mr. CARPER. No, sir.
Mr. Cooley. I would like to get the record straight. I am afraid that there is an impression that at some time in the past year we have had controls on the production of dairy products. That is not true. We have never had control on production of dairy products, and never had a mandatory price support for dairy products, and all losses on dairy products have been sustained while the law provided a flexible price support, and although the one man who complains loudest about the highest support level is the Secretary of Agriculture, he kept dairy products at 90 percent of parity for 14 long months and did not lower it. Yet during that 14 long months he was denouncing high price supports all over America. Did you know that?
Mr. CARPER. Yes, sir.
Mr. COOLEY. Where is the consistency in an administration which does that? When did he lower the boom? In January and April 1954 he dropped it from 90 percent of parity to 75 overnight. Now there is one other thing to get straight on. You have come here as a beef-cattle man saying that you do not want a beef price-support program. I hear that year after year but the fact remains that in supporting beef prices in 1 year the Government spent over $250 million, 10 times more than the price-support program on the basic commodities through the Commodity Credit Corporation cost in 21 years, 10 times more.
When you get in trouble you come here and you do not want a controlled production. You do not want price-support programs but when you get in trouble you come to Washington and want the Secretary to support prices. We do not have a price-support program on hogs.
Mr. CARPER. Your remarks are directed to everybody but me.
Mr. CARPER. I would like to see controlled acreage to take our surplus off the market.
Mr. COOLEY. Controlled acreage in what?
Mr. CARPER. On wheat and corn and commodities that we have a surplus on and our Federal Government is spending millions and billions of dollars yearly to put it in the hands of the farmers, that is all right. There is a big industry with tariffs to protect their interests, they have organizations whereby they can protect themselves and
control their production and we can't do it because of inability to organize.
Mr. COOLEY. You are advocating before the committee that we lower the protection from 90 percent of parity to lower than 75 ?
Mr. CARPER. Yes, sir.
STATEMENT OF LAMBERT LEWIS, PEMBROOK, N. C. Mr. LEWIS. I am Lambert Lewis. I am a small farmer in Robinson County. We plant a little tobacco, about 7 acres, and 13 acres in cotton and of course the rest of the 97 open acres in grain and we have pasture, I have some poultry, pigs and cows.
The CHAIRMAN. How long have you been farming ? Mr. LEWIS. All my life. The CHAIRMAN. Doing your own work? Mr. LEWIS. I hire most of it, a good bit, what I can't do myself. The CHAIRMAN. How many acres of cotton do you plant? Mr. LEWIS. I have just come in possession of my part of the home place some time ago. We are cut maybe three-fourths of what we used to plant on the account of livestock. We reduce our acreage ourselves.
The CHAIRMAN. That is why your acreage has been cut?
The CHAIRMAN. I find that in many instances. Have you any solution to offer to the farm problem?
Mr. LEWIS. I am afraid I don't have too much. The farmers in our section have gone along mighty well with the program and they want to continue the 90 percent of parity.
The CHAIRMAN. On basic crops?
Mr. Lewis. Yes, sir. We feel that labor getting a dollar shortly we feel we ought to be compensated some way. We are willing to go along with the control, whatever the acreage control is necessary to keep production in line. Our little farmers are in a bad way, especially.
The CHAIRMAN. Is your farm of sufficient size that you could make a good living on it?
Mr. LEWIS. Yes, sir.
The CHAIRMAN. What do you do with the extra acres? Do you have pasture?
Mr. LEWIS. Pastureland and the rest in grain, none idle.
The CHAIRMAN. Are you able with a farm of that size to buy a tractor and necessary machinery to operate it?
Mr. LEWIS. We have been, yes, sir.
The CHAIRMAN. Would you consider the size of your farm an average-sized farm in the State or are there some smaller than yours? Mr. LEWIS. There are a good many smaller, but it may be the averThe CHAIRMAN. Anything else? Mr. LEWIS. That is all. The CHAIRMAN. Thank you, sir.
. Mr. Rutledge? Give your name in full for the record.
STATEMENT OF J. CHARLES RUTLEDGE, FALLSTON, MD. Mr. RUTLEDGE. J. Charles Rutledge, Harper County, Md. I am a dairy farmer, have been for 53 years on the same farm. I have done nothing but dairy over the years except during the war when I grew tomatoes. When they didn't need those any more we stopped and went back to more alfalfa.
About these 90-percent support prices, that may be necessary to get some money in the farmer's hands but there never has been one question brought up today—what will you do with what you have got?
The CHAIRMAN. That is what we want you to tell us. Can you tell us how to get rid of that surplus ?
Mr. RUTLEDGE. I might attempt to. It might not be feasible but I will make a suggestion.
The CHAIRMAN. I have suggested on many of these meetings that problem No. 1 is for us to try to dispose of these huge surpluses that have been grown during the war years and that is the key to our situation.
Mr. RUTLEDGE. I think so.
The CHAIRMAN. I have stated on many occasions that neither flexible price supports nor rigid price supports in themselves will cure the evils. We have to get rid of the surpluses.
Mr. RUTLEDGE, I have some remarks. I will make a few that have been brought in here today. One man asked for more credit, thought there ought to be more credit. I think the country has too much credit both in buying commodities and buying farms and buying other things. No use putting some easy money into a man's hands that don't know how to farm and go out and farm a while and add some extra surplus to what they have already got and then have to give it up and the Government have to sue him to get the money.
The CHAIRMAN. I thought the suggestion was made to permit a small farm operator to acquire a little more land so that he could operate a unit under present conditions where he could mechanize it.
Would you be in favor of that to make a farming unit more economical?
Mr. RUTLEDGE. Yes, but I was director of Farm Credit Administration for 14 years and it is wonderful the work we did and we would have taken care of just that kind of man that already had something, already on the land, already knew what he was doing and he wanted to go on from there. I could check the records of some men where they started from practically nothing but they were farmers and knew what they were doing and went on from there and the record at the end of 14 years was wonderful. Right next door was a farm home administration. They come in to us, we couldn't do a thing because they had no collateral to do anything with. Farmers Home Administration set them up in farming: How many of them could stay? They didn't know what it was all about.
T'he CHAIRMAN. I think the Government did a lot for the bankers during the earlier part of the Roosevelt administration, isn't that true? Mr. RUTLEDGE. For the bankers? The CHAIRMAN. Yes, to keep you afloat. Mr. RUTLEDGE. Yes.
The CHAIRMAN. The law I understand was passed and was necessary because of the fact that the farmers couldn't get local credit and