Изображения страниц
PDF
EPUB

year or two. There is opportunity then for the man with substantial financial resources to pick up at a sheriff's or forced sale the other man's equipment, including the real estate. It doesn't necessarily follow that the overall unit output would be reduced. The only difference could quite well be just a change in ownership and management. That is what you and I are faced with today. We have to find the answer. The two-price system offers one avenue, but this avenue has certain roadblocks which we must overcome. The one is the diplomatic problem which we have already mentioned. The other is the question of diverting your acres. If you go into a competitive crop, you are going to multiply the problems of other producers.

Mr. PATTERSON. In the natural wheat area I don't believe there would be too many of the diversion crops.

Senator THYE. You answered your own question about maize when you said that if weather conditions had been favorable you surely would have put it on the market.

Mr. PATTERSON. If you had had the domestic parity plan you wouldn't have had that maize.

Senator THYE. I beg your pardon?

Mr. PATTERSON. If you had been under the domestic parity plan you wouldn't have had those acres of maize.

Senator THYE. That is debatable. You would say I probably can sell this many bushels of maize and I will gamble a little. Human nature being what it is, you sometimes have to have a stopper.

The CHAIRMAN. Will you answer one question: In your two-price system you spoke also of the wheat agreement. Of course if you had à two-price system you would do away with the wheat agreement, you would have to.

Mr. PATTERSON. Maybe not.

The CHAIRMAN. You would subsidize wheat both ways, subsidize it for sale abroad and also at home?

Mr. PATTERSON. I am not talking about a wheat agreement or subsidy.

The CHAIRMAN. It costs $50 million a year for the wheat agreement. That is subsidy.

Mr. PATTERSON. Yes.
The CHAIRMAN. You would not want that, too?
Mr. PATTERSON. We could do away with that part of it.

The CHAIRMAN. In other words, your plan contemplates payment to the farmer of 100 percent of parity or parity for his share of the domestic consumption and what he produces over that would be sold on a free market and you do away with the wheat agreement.

Mr. PATTERSON. That is right.
The CHAIRMAN. Thank you.

Senator THYE. I would like to put in the record-I asked for it just before I started the little colloquy with my friend, Mr. Patterson-information as to the increase in production of sorghums, and that of course takes in the crop that you referred to here in Kansas. In 1955 there has been a 94,113,000 increase over 1954 and 1953. That is in bushels. You see what the diversion was and you can predict what the anticipated diversion will be in the future. So therefore be a little sympathetic with us fellows who have to make a legislative determination on this diversion question.

The CHAIRMAN. Senator Schoeppel.

Senator SCHOEPPEL. Mr. Patterson, and Mr. Chairman, I want to get into this record before this group here, by reason of the fact that you have mentioned disposing of that which is beyond the domestic consumption limit in the world market, just this, that all the facts point to one thing that is very important. This Government of yours and mine, this country of ours, is not the only country that is in trouble on surpluses. I have before me a reliable statement which says Canadian farmers are hard hit as their wheat surplus mounts and exports shrink. This year's crop climbed to 498 million bushels, 189 million bushels more than 1954.

In Canada farmers must sell to their Government. They aren't paid until the grain can be delivered. With storage choked throughout the Canadian provinces, they can't sell their wheat. About 550 million bushels of Canada's 832 million bushels of wheat is still on the farms. Wheat amounts to 30 percent of the farm income in Canada so trouble in this segment of the economy has a broad effect, both on the Dominion and on United States firms doing business north of the border. This is significant. Canada is readying now a plan that will permit farmers to borrow on their wheat, which will help tide them through until the grain can be delivered.

Now, the reports are that Canada is in for another big crop; all signs point that way.

Mr. Patterson, if we continue to produce with the surplus that we have, what do you think the foreign or the export price of wheat will be! Many farmers think it will be $1.25 or $1.35. Do you not think that is a terribly optimistic figure if this situation continues for several years, or as is indicated, for two and a half or three years!

Mr. PATTERSON. I am unable to conceive where the bottom would fall out because their economy is at stake. Argentina and Australia are in the same group that have an oversupply of wheat. This problem mounts with those things in mind. I feel that the United States can get their equal share of exports if we will get to the place where we are exporting some wheat that is good. This 16 percent allowable we have in there has to be be changed.

Because Canada now, they tell me, their No. 1 export wheat equals their No. 3 when it gets over there due to this 16 percent allowable that the exporter put in it.

Senator SCHOEPPEL. In other words, foreign matter and the tolerance,

Mr. PATTERSON. Yes.

Senator SCHOEPPEL. Which, by the way, this committee is going to have a series of hearings on, as well as on related problems.

Do you not think that we ought to at least point out, certainly this committee will have to wrestle with it, that we cannot be too optimistic about prices so long as Canada and ourselves, Argentina, Australia, and some of the nations in Europe, are now producing 7 to 10 percent more wheat, and all clamoring to export more? We had better be on the safe side rather than on the optimistic side. That is the fact.

Mr. PATTERSON. The facts are there. No use denying them.

Senator Carlson. I do not happen to be a member of the committee

The CHAIRMAN. We are glad to have you. Senator Carlson. I appreciate your statement in regard to the wheat production because I have followed it closely myself. Do you

not feel as we as a State in reducing acreage from slightly less than 18 million in 1950 and 1951 to 11 million, have done about our share or more than our share in trying to reduce the surplus ?

Mr. PATTERSQN. It is human nature. We think we have done more than our share. But for the benefit of the committee and some of the people here, we secured some facts we need to weigh strongly recently and the increase in the wheat setup is west of the Mississippi River. I am sorry to say that but it is. We have built up this supply in the wheat area.

Senator CARLSON. I want the chairman to get the fact that our State has tried to follow not only Federal statute on this but we have done our share and more than other States because many of the Northwestern States have increased production and therefore I want the chairman to know when he holds hearings to work out legislation, that we have done that very thing in this State.

Last year we had i1 million acres and this year, too. Do you not feel after studying this problem and working with it and a wheatgrowing man yourself, that we have tried flexible parity, we have tried rigid parity and isn't it about time we looked into domestic parity for working out surplus problems on wheat?

Mr. PATTERSON. We think of all the problems it has the best possibility and it is no cure-all. It has some roadblocks that would have to be overcome but we do feel that with the Congress and the wheatgrower all getting together there is a possibility of working out a program for this. I want to make this statement here before you folks.

One of the first things of any program for wheat that we have, there must be a public relations setup that the wheatgrower is going to have to have faith and try to make it work, or no program under the living sun will ever work. You can't have a program that doesn't have loopholes if you hunt for them.

Senator THYE. I would like to say to you, Mr. Patterson, that as Members of Congress we have to represent all the people. Whether he be the farmer, the consumer, or whoever he might be, we represent all of them. Neither Senator Carlson, Senator Schoeppel, Senator Ellender, nor myself could long in our own conscience go about representing just one group.

Now in your two-price system you cannot get full acceptance from all your farm organizations, can you?

Mr. PATTERSON. It hasn't been at the present time.

Senator THYE. Have you endeavored to sit down with the various farm organizations and try to get some agreement on the different phases of this question?

Mr. PATTERSON. I think, Senator, that we are getting near. We will probably both have to give some and take some but we are getting near.

Senator THYE. Last week I wrote to the three major farm organizations in my State and invited them to sit down with me on December 15, at the conclusion of these hearings. I must try to represent all of them, of course. They might not necessarily want me to represent them but that is my responsibility and duty. I have a copy of this letter before me. It was addressed to the heads of the three major farm organizations in my State. What I want to find out is whether we cannot get the question narrowed down to the point where I can represent all of them. That is why I ask you if you can get your

[ocr errors]

people in a frame of mind so that they come before us in Washington as a national organization and stand in full support of us if we endeavor to write your proposals into legislation. We must have, as a congressional committee, some support for your program out among these organizations, nationwide, or otherwise we are going to be in very, very serious trouble. So can you promise us that you

are going to get some support for us outside of the Wheat Belt? We can find many friends for the two-price system, but in certain areas you run into the roadblocks.

Mr. PATTERSON. You are trying to say can we get the corn people to cooperate or can we cooperate with them?

Senator THYE. No; I am not saying it in specific reference to corn producers. I am saying it with respect to all

organizations speaking for the producer, whether it be the Farm Bureau or the Farmers Union or the Grange or the Wheat Growers Association or other organizations. Can you get them together so their representatives do not use scatter-shot on us on congressional committees.

Mr. PATTERSON. We are making an effort to try to get together.
Senator THYE. Does your effort promise any accomplishment?
Mr. PATTERSON. I think so.
Senator THYE. That is encouraging.
Senator Carlson, I apologize for the interruption.
Senator CARLSON. I was through.

Mr. PATTERSON. We are going to make the effort to see if we can come to a common ground on issues and those that we can come to a common ground on we are all right. Then we will try to iron out the others. I feel sorry for you fellows. Four or five groups come in and want something different.

The CHAIRMAN. I do not suppose organizations are in politics; are they?

Mr. PATTERSON. Sir?

The CHAIRMAN. I say, those organizations Senator Thye mentioned are in politics; are they?

Mr. PATTERSON. You never heard of a farm organization in politics.

The CHAIRMAN. I wish to say that I am very sympathetic to the suggestion that was made by Senator Carlson a moment ago about Kansas. You have cut to the bone and that is because you have led the way since early 1900 and my ricegrowers in Louisiana are afflicted with the same kind of thing you are. We grow rice. We started it up. We have been the biggest rice producer but other areas have developed and they are getting a better deal than we are. We are in the same boat.

Thank you ever so much.
The next witness is Mr. Bertholf.

STATEMENT OF W. H. BERTHOLF, SECRETARY, KANSAS INTER

BREED DAIRY CATTLE COUNCIL, WICHITA, KANS. Mr. BERTHOLF. Honorable Members of the United States Senate, my name is W. H. Bertholf. I am proud to represent Kansas InterBreed Dairy Cattle Council of Kansas, which is an organization of the purebred breeders of dairy cattle in the State of Kansas and we feel privileged and honored to have this opportunity to present our views and our philosophy in regard to farm problems.

We farm groups often expend our energies on each other in dispute over the solution of the farm problem. Much more might be accomplished if at least a part of this effort could be effectively directed towards educating our city cousins in a few simple lessons on country economics.

With farm prices off 25 percent in the past 412 years, while at the same time factory wages have gone up to 25 percent, with employment, wages, and industrial profits at an all-time high, why is not agriculture sharing in this vast prosperity? At least a part of the answer to this very complicated question lies in a better understanding of the agricultural problem by all of our people. Much of the urban population does not even accept the fact that there is a valid problem that must be solved. This lack of understanding in the cities, due in great measure to the attitude of the metropolitan press is actually a major part of the agricultural problem.

Farmers are a minority group. Over 85 percent of our population are urban people who are in favor of cheap food. They can also control the vote and any program for American agriculture must receive the approval of our city cousins before it can possibly be put into effect. The farmer, who is without bargaining power in the market place is constantly haunted by the awful results of doing his job too well. The bumper crops always sell for less total income than a small crop or near failure. With these facts in mind, may all phases of agriculture work hard at doing a better job of public relations.

We urge the Agricultural Committees of the United States Congress and the United States Department of Agriculture and the Secretary of Agriculture to handle news releases in such a way and to establish press, radio, and TV relationships in such a way that agricultural problems may be better understood by the American public. In spite of the fact that the consumer's wage today buys more and better food than in any other time in the Nation's history, great portions of the Nation's press is antiagriculture, particularly in metropolitan areas. The milk producer has certainly gotten his share of unfavorable criticism.

Farmers greatly appreciate the tremendous interest and effort which is presently being put forth by our Government and its leaders to bring about a solution of some of the farm problems. Yet all of this is viewed by many as being only a smokescreen rising above the field of political battle. We in agriculture feel that our problems at present represent the Nation's greatest domestic problem and is deserving of the same dignity and consideration as the foreign policy. We are gratified to observe that some of our Senators and Representatives are viewing this matter in the same light. Actually this principle of bipartisan solution is already, an accepted fact on many aspects of the Government farm policy, but its use must be continued in these critical hours for agriculture.

American agriculture, and certainly not the milk producer, is not asking for billions of dollars in settlement of termination of the Korean war. We farmers and dairymen did just what our Nation asked us to do. We delivered the greatest volume of food and fiber to the granaries and warehouses that the world has ever seen. We are proud of our record and only ask that the best brains of the Nation be used in a bipartisan way, with farmer advice and city understanding to work out sensible, honest, and tolerant solutions to our pres

« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »