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has improved to the extent that they should have opened up their borders so as to permit the importation of some of our commodities, including our fruit. Some countries are not living up to their agreements and our State Department has not used a strong policy in dealing with them. They have permitted them to violate their agreements and exclude our commodities by using certain fictitious barriers such as lack of licenses, pleading exchange difficulties, etc.
Emperors are the strongest and hardiest table grape, making them a very desirable grape for export. With an average yield per acre, we have an overproduction of this variety. Therefore, these historical export markets which we had prior to the war are very necessary for the balanced marketing of Emperors. Our Department of Agriculture and our State Department should do everything in their power to help us regain what is rightfully ours.
We have advanced far in the past half century; farming has become a mechanized system, together with scientific cultural practices that are constantly improving. But it seems impossible for us to improve the gap between producer and consumer. We are still going on in the same old horse-and-buggy manner. We all have to get behind the wheel and do something for the improvement of this situation. We all must pray to God to give us the strength and vision and courage and faith in one another that we may live in security, better unity and better understanding and peace among ourselves and the world.
STATEMENT FILED BY F. R. Wilcox, ASSISTANT GENERAL MANAGER AND TREASURER,
SUNKIST GROWERS, INC., Los ANGELES, CALIF. This statement is prepared for your committee on behalf of Sunkist Growers, Inc.
Sunkist Growers is a nonprofit cooperative marketing organization owned by 11,300 citrus growers in the States of California and Arizona. The position of Sunkist Growers with regard to certain important legislative programs pertaining to California and Arizona citrus is outlined below.
Full support is given to the continuance of section 32 programs which apply particularly to perishable commodities. The California and Arizona citrus industry has been aided in solving its own problems through the export-payment program under provisions of section 32. The exportation of small-size oranges, which have been in heavy surplus in this country but in strong demand abroad, has been made possible by this Government program. During recent seasons from 5 to 10 percent of the total California-Arizona orange production has been utilized through export outlets. Aided by this effective Government program the industry has been able to obtain about 60 percent of parity.
This organization believes that the National School Lunch Act was properly designed to safeguard the health and well-being of the Nation's children through the use of nutritious agricultural commodities as distributed under the schoollunch program. This program should be continued both by direct purchase under section 6 and in conjunction with surplus removal as provided by the section 32 program.
The Agricultural Marketing Act of 1937, as amended, permits certain agricultural commodities to establish marketing agreement and order programs for the purpose of orderly marketing. Such programs have been in effect almost continuously for California and Arizona citrus since 1934. The industry has used this provision of Government to keep a regulated and steady flow of fresh citrus in the markets for the benefit of both producers and consumers. Continuance of these programs is strongly supported.
Excise taxes on transportation and communication were instituted as a war measure to restrict unnecessary travel and communication and to obtain revenue under wartime conditions. While these purposes may have been logical in support of the overall war effort, there is definitely no shortage in supply of these services at the present time and they are certainly not luxuries. In addition, these taxes are discriminatory against long-haul users. The citrus industry believes these taxes are no longer necessary and requests termination at the earliest possible date.
NOVEMBER 4, 1955
UNITED STATES SENATE,
Albuquerque, N. Mex. The committee met, pursuant to recess, at 8:30 a. m., in the ballroom of the Hilton Hotel, Albuquerque, N. Mex., Senator Ellender presiding.
Present: Senator Ellender (chairman) and Senator Clinton Anderson.
Also present: Congressman J.J. Dempsey.
The CHAIRMAN. The committee will come to order. The Chair will recognize Senator Anderson.
Senator ANDERSON. I merely wanted to say to this group that it is an honor and a privilege to have the chairman of the Senate Committee on Agriculture and Forestry with us today.
Senator Ellender has worked long and faithfully on the committee. I am very proud that he has chosen our State as one of the States that he would visit on this trip. A long time ago, when we had the matter of agricultural legislation under consideration, Senator Ellender said, "I want to go out and find out from farmers what they think about this problem. I want to examine the thoughts across the country before we report out a bill.”.
And I think that this trip has justified his belief in his conviction that it was desirable to make this trip.
I merely wanted to have this opportunity to say to my homefolk, and those visitors that come from adjoining States, that we in the Agriculture Committee are very proud of our chairman. We are proud of the energetic way in which he works. We are proud of his interest in government and in economy in government. And most of all, we are happy that he is so genuinely devoted to the welfare of the farmers of this country.
I could not have a greater joy than to see the chairmanship of this meeting in the hands of Allen Ellender.
The CHAIRMAN. Thank you, Senator. You know that we Senators are always nice to each other, but I am very happy to be here in New Mexico. Your State is very fortunate in having such a fine Senator as Senator Anderson. He is one of our leaders in Congress, and when he gets up to speak the Senators listen to him. Of course, they do not always vote the way he thinks, but he has much power in Congress.
With respect to these hearings, at the beginning of this session it became apparent that an effort would be made by the House to amend the present act, so as to revert to 90 percent rigid controls. As Senator Anderson indicated, when the matter came to our attention before our own committee of the Senate, it was decided by the Committee as a whole to go back to the people, to find out whether or not we could not get some substantial evidence that would assist us in handling the farm program.
This is not new to me. I happen to be the only member of the Senate Committee on Agriculture and Forestry who, in 1937, made a similar tour all over the country. We had hearings in the northern part of the country, we had hearings in the southern part of the country, in fact, all over the country. From those hearings came the act of 1938, which lasted for quite some time.
Of course, because of the emergencies that arose during the war, the act was amended, and the 90-percent program was then put into effect and retained until last year.
As I have stated on several occasions, when hearing witnesses all over the country, neither the flexible price program nor the rigid program will, in themselves, solve our farm problem.
It will be necessary to go into other matters. That is what we are trying to find from you farmers what you think.
I want to say that my hope is that those who will testify here today will be farmers, people who can give us a message, people who can give us ideas, and information. I do not want this hearing to be a contest between organizations that you may have here in New Mexico. I have made that plain, when I first started these hearings, I have made it plain that not only are we to hear from the farmers, but we want to make these hearings nonpartisan and nonpolitical, because it makes no difference if a farmer is a Democrat or a Republican.
There is no doubt that in many segments of farming they are losing money, and since, in my humble opinion, farming is one of the most important, in fact the most important segment of our society, it strikes me that if help is needed it ought to be accorded.
I need not stress to you gentlemen that we can have big armies, we can have big steel production, and everything else, but unless our country has ample food and fiber, somebody is going to die on the vine.
So with that preliminary explanation I believe the committee is ready to start these hearings, unless Senator Anderson has something else that he would like to add.
Senator ANDERSON. No, thank you.
The first witness on the list is Mr. Reuben V. Anderson. Will you step forward?
I want to say this also, witnesses were placed on this list alphabetically, and the manner and method in which the witnesses may be examined during these hearings is not to be taken as indicating the sentiment of the person examining them. We are simply trying to get the facts. I learned early in life, particularly as a young lawyer, that the best way to get the facts is to take the negative of your opponent's affirmative. So that now, if any of us take an opposite view, it will be done for the purpose of trying to elicit from you various facts, and elaboration of any ideas that you present for the solution of the problem.
I find in these hearings, as I do on the Washington level, that many people come to us and say, “Well, we would like to have 100 percent on everything."
When we ask the question "How would you do that?" we are told, "I do not know, that is up to you. It is up to you to do it.”
We do not want such answers as that if we can help it. If anybody has any concrete information to give us, that is what we are looking for.
All right, is Mr. Boodry here?
STATEMENT OF THE HON. STEPHEN L. BROCK, ROY, N. MEX. Mr. BROCK. Senator Ellender, my name is Stephen L. Brock. I live on and operate a small cattle ranch in Harding County, which is in northeastern New Mexico. We are most grateful to have this opportunity to appear before you gentlemen, and to express our view on one important problem which we feel that you can do something about.
Last year a very intensive study was made by our agricultural organizations in New Mexico, as well as our banking people of New Mexico, as to the type of financing that we needed in the livestock industry to overcome this withering income we have experienced here, brought on by the depressed prices as well as the drought.
As a result of that, you provided us with this Great Plains emergency loan. Our recommendation to you this morning is that the area be extended whereby that loan can be made available to more of our people. It is our understanding that the Department of Agriculture determined where those loans would be made, and only 12 counties in our State have been included in that area.
The CHAIRMAN. Is not that an administrative problem-could not the Secretary of Agriculture, under the law, extend the area, if he is warranted in doing so ?
Mr. BROCK. Senator, I cannot answer that question, because the ruling, as I understand it, came through the Department of Agriculture, and I do not know if that authority rests with the Secretary or if new legislation is needed. Certainly that kind of a loan is very broad in its scope. It certainly will fill one of the needs of our people here. We strongly recommend that it be made available to every county in New Mexico.
Senator ANDERSON. To put a little background in here: You are a member of the New Mexico State Senate, are you not?
Mr. BROCK. Yes.
Senator ANDERSON. You are an official of the Farm Bureau Federation of this State?
Mr. BROCK. Yes, Senator.
Senator ANDERSON. And you have been actively identified with your county farm bureau?
Mr. BROCK. Yes, sir; that is correct.
The CHAIRMAN. When you said you would like to broaden this law, would you make it apply regardless of whether there is a drought condition or some other special situation? Would you limit it to emergencies?
Mr. BROCK. Senator, this is the type of a permanent financing program we need, because of the fluctuation of our prices and because of the weather conditions we have in this country, that is, in this section of the country.
What I mean by broad in scope, this loan enables debts to be consolidated. That is what many of our people have been needing. We need that. It is going to answer one of our needs.
We feel that the loan certainly reflects the thinking of agricultural men and livestock men, who have been in the business in this section of the country for many, many years.
The CHAIRMAN. May I ask this: If the law that is now on the statute books will permit the Secretary of Agriculture, or whoever administers it on his staff, to expand it if conditions warrant, would you be satisfied with that law, or would you want to make it, I repeat, apply aside from an emergency?
Mr. BROCK. Senator, it seems to me that we ought to consider these things more from a point of view of what is a permanent answer to our needs rather than what will take care of the temporary requirements. We feel, because of the high production costs, that it is through low rates of interest and long-term loans that will enable many of our livestock people to continue in business.
To try to answer your question, we think it is a permanent type or method of financing that we need.
The CHAIRMAN. Of course, the law that is on the statute books now, as I understand it, is a permanent type legislation, but only applies in case of emergency.
I am wondering if a permanent law such as you suggest were enacted, whether it would or would not be advisable to give credit only to those who cannot obtain credit locally. The point I am trying to emphasize is that why should the Government go into the business of lending, if a farmer can get it locally.
Mr. BROCK. We feel if that need is taken care of by the Government, to provide where the local credit cannot be made available, that it will take care of it; yes,
The CHAIRMAN. Thank you.
Senator ANDERSON. In other words, you are not trying to tear down the banking business. It is only when your local banker, who is your good friend, is not able to take care of you that you would like to have the Government put it on a permanent basis?
Mr. BROCK. That is right, Senator.
One more statement I would like to make, that is, Senator Anderson, we are most grateful for the stand which you have taken in voting on the agricultural program in the Congress, and the support that you have been giving these programs across the country. We feel certainly that you have been voting on them the way that you think is good for the whole country, not a way in which you think it will get you the most votes in the next election. We commend you for it.