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loans should be conditional upon a commitment by the borrower not to use the prceeds to promote increased production of crops which are in world surplus. This should also be done for Export-Import Bank loans and all other loans and credits.
The future of cotton growing and manufacturing in the United States is overshadowed by the critical nature and urgencies of the immediate situation. Efforts have been made by producers and mills to secure relief through administrative use of the tools already provided by Congress. This relief has not been given.
As cotton farmers, we believe that action to reestablish and retain for the United States a fair share of the world cotton market with adequate protection for domestic mills must be initiated before we can move forward on a sound basis toward developing a long-range cotton program. Under such a program, income parity for cotton should reflect a fair balance and equity between agriculture, industry, labor and other segments of society. With present conditions, the cotton farmer can expect to receive about loan level prices for his cotton. Without this protection and with existing supplies, he is faced with bankruptcy. Sliding scale adjustments, under present conditions, would do little toward reaching the heart of the problem and would only serve to further reduce farm income.
We respectfully urge that the Senate Committee on Agriculture and Forestry initiate necessary action when Congress reconvenes in 1956.
TABLE I.-Cotton exports: World total, foreign countries and United States ?
(Bales of 500 pounds gross]
War Fedollar shornotas.
3 Acute dollar shortages abroad.
Exports under quotas. 5 Preliminary. NOTE.-The marked upward trend of exports from foreign countries since World War II reflects in part the increases in foreign cotton production as shown in table II. It contrasts sharply with the declining trend in American exports which dropped off abruptly after 1951-52.
It will be noted that in the second half of the 1920's--widely regarded by economists as the most nearly normal period between the wars- United States shipped abroad annually more than 812 million bales and held almost 60 percent of the total cotton export trade in the world. In the second half of the 1930's, a period in which price supports were in effect in this country, shipments still exceeded 545 million bales and were over 42 percent of the world total. Passing over the war years and the depressed early postwar years to the years of recovery, we see a 4-year revival from 1948-49 through 1951-52. In this period (which included 1950-51, the year of export restrictions) our exports averaged 5,171,000 bales which amounted to more than 43 percent of the world total. In the last 3 seasons, however, notwithstanding substantial increases in total export trade, United States exports have fallen away abruptly.
Table II.-Cotton production: World total, United States, and other countries, 1949–50/1954–55
NOTE.-Important points to note are: (1) That although producers in the United
and went on to register an aggregate increase of over 40 percent. Lesser producers
Source: International Cotton Advisory Committee, Statistical Bulletin, vol. 8, No. 2.
Farm operators' realized net income and its purchasing power, United States,
The CHAIRMAN. The next witness on the list is Mr. J. H. Gilfoil. May I state, Mr. Gilfoil, that in the past in these hearings we have tried to prevent as much repetition as possible, and I notice you have a written statement and if you can pick from that statement any new matter that has not been developed or if you want to expand on matters already proposed so as to save time and give everybody a chance, the committee will appreciate it, with the understanding, of course, that your statement as prepared will be placed in the record as though you had stated it. Mr. GILFOIL. Yes, sir. The CHAIRMAN. Can you do that? Mr. GILFOIL. Yes, sir. The CHAIRMAN. You may proceed.
STATEMENT OF JAMES H. GILFOIL, LOUISIANA DELTA COUNCIL,
LAKE PROVIDENCE, LA.
Mr. GILFOIL. I appreciate that, Mr. Chairman. I had intended to ask that the preliminary part of my statement be filed for the record and in the interest of brevity I will read the recommendations and answer such questions as you might feel like asking.
The CHAIRMAN. For the record give us your occupation.
Mr. Chairman and members of the United States Senate Committee on Agriculture and Forestry: My name is James H. Gilfoil. I am a farmer from Lake Providence, East Carroll Parish, La., primarily interested in the growing of cotton. I am appearing before you representing the Louisiana Delta Council.
The CHAIRMAN. What connection has the Louisiana Delta Council with what Mr. Cortright represents ?
Mr. GILFOIL. Our organization is a member of the American Cotton Producers Associates.
The CHAIRMAX. That is what Mr. Cortright represents? Mr. GILFOIL. Yes, sir. If you would like I would be glad to give you a little background on it.
The CHAIRMAN. I don't think that is necessary unless other Senators desire to hear it. If the Louisiana council is a part of this other organization I presume that the sentiments expressed by Mr. Cortright are in line with the thinking of the Louisiana council?
Mr. GILFOIL. That is correct.
Mr. GILFOIL. Are you speaking of the American Cotton Producers Associates or Louisiana Delta Council ?
The CHAIRMAN. The association you are speaking for. Mr. GILFOIL. I believe it was formed in about 1949, sir. The CHAIRMAX. Thank you. Mr. GILFOIL. And I would like to point out a little more about the American Cotton Producers Associates, if I may. I notice you evinced some interest in that organization and I would like to tell you about how it came about.
As you all will remember in 1949 we had somewhat of a problem in trying to arrive at what the national acreage allotment should be and what would be equitable and in the best interests of the industry and the various segments. At that time various organizations got together and worked toward a program that would suit everybody as nearly as possible. We were very successful in doing that and secured practically unanimous agreement on what our 1950 acreage allotment should be. At that time I believe the thinking started to develop that an American cotton-producers organization was very much needed.
Over the period of years this mid-south group of organizations made up of the Louisiana Delta Council, Mississippi Delta Council, et cetera, worked together on most all these problems because we had common interests. This year it was determined by these groups that they would begin the formation of an American Cotton Producers Association and I am sure that I express the hope of all of them that eventually they will be able to speak substantially for the American cotton producer from the east coast to the west coast.
With your permission I will proceed with our recommendations on page 9.
The CHAIRMAN. Do your recommendations follow the pattern just outlined by Mr. Cortright?
Mr. GILFOIL. Generally they do, sir.
The CHAIRMAN. Mr. Gilfoil, I would suggest you limit your testimony to new matter, if you will, or an expansion of what Mr. Cortright
Mr. GILFOIL. It is rather difficult for me to pick out any certain thing. I don't recall the exact language of Mr. Cortright. They follow pretty much along the same lines.
The CHAIRMAN. Let's listen to what you have to say, then, and we will find out for ourselves.
Mr. GILFOIL. In summary, our Louisiana Delta Council offers the following recommendations:
1. That the Congress pass Senate bill 2702, which directs that the Commodity Credit Corporation use its existing powers to encourage sales for export of such quantities of cotton as will reestablish and
maintain our fair share of the world market. This bill also directs that United States cotton mills be protected by import quotas at reasonable levels on manufactured cotton goods.
Japanese sales of cotton cloth to buyers in this country since midsummer have spiraled to a dimension equivalent to 19,000 United States textile jobs. Such volume, unless checked, must inevitably take a toll in mill employment and a reduced market for the United States farmer's cotton. August fabric sales by the Japanese Government to United States buyers totaled 52 million yards—a 1-month figure exceeding the entire amount of cloth imported from Japan during all of 1954, which was 47.8 million yards, which figure was taken from Cotton Trade Journal for October 14, 1955.
Japan buys the greater part of its raw cotton from countries other than the United States, so this flood of cloth imports also is the equivalent to the importation of many thousands of bales of foreign grown cotton. Agricultural law in this country requires United States mills to use only domestic cotton except for a negligible fraction of foreign specialty growths under a quota.
Only the imposition by Congress of an import quota on cotton manufactures, similar to the quota long in effect on raw cotton, can protect the jobs of United States textile workers and the market of the United States cotton farmer. United States cotton mills are committed to the cost and wage structure of the United States economy. They now have a floor of $1 an hour minimum, esablished by Congress to be effective March 1, 1957, as compared to 13 cents an hour for the Japanese.
2. We recommend closer coordination at Cabinet aimed at resulting in a stepped-up program of surplus disposal and expansion of markets.
It is reliably reported that when the workable cotton export program first developed by the Department of Agriculture reached the White House for discussion with the President, Secretary Benson urged adoption of the program, but Secretary of State Dulles opposed it. Vice President Nixon also spoke out strongly for the plan. The President sided with Dulles and the argument that sale of stocks at world prices would have international political and economic repercussions.
Further, when the march by Congress on the White House forced some action, the President, still over State Department protests, authorized the limited sale of surplus cotton after January 1.
Senator EASTLAND. That is based on, that limited program is based on what inch staple?
Mr. GILFOIL. Ŝeven-eighth, I believe.
Mr. GILFOIL. Announcement of the qualities to be sold—all grades of 15/16-inch and shorter staples—shows that the State Department succeeded in having them eliminated from cotton eligible for sale.
Senator EASTLAND. Repeat that statement, please.
Mr. GILFOIL. Announcement of the qualities to be sold—all grades of 15/16-inch and shorter staples shows that the State Department succeeded in having them eliminated from cotton eligible for sale.
Senator EASTLAND. Isn't it true that the State Department sat down with officials of the Department of Agriculture and attempted to designate what grades and what staples could be exported ?
Mr. GILFOIL. That is my understanding.