« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »
If you at the same time are permitted to grow crops that conflict with the corn grower in Iowa, you can readily see where the fellow from Iowa may say to me, now wait a minute, we won't permit you to use these diverted acres to plant wheat or corn. You get out of peanuts, we don't want you to put anything on that land on which you grew peanuts to put anything that conflicts with us.
And that, I repeat, a solution of that problem alone may depend on whether or not we get a bill. That is one we are going to have to solve and I would just like to get your views on it.
In fact, that applies to all witnesses here. Mr. BELL. I still think every farm should be self-supporting. I take that view. I don't mean to go out and sell it or make a commodity out of it but every farm should be self-supporting. That is my opinion of what a farm should be. I can be all wrong about it.
The CHAIRMAN. You are not but I would like to get your views. How many do that the way you do? I met one in Arkansas or in Louisiana who testified that he planted wheat to sell and he sold it. Do you know how many bushels he made per acre? Fifty-seven. Do you know what the average production is in Kansas? Sixteen. What do you think Senator Young, who was on that committee who comes from that area, Senator Schoeppel who comes from that area, what did they think of it?
Mr. BELL. They didn't think much of it.
The CHAIRMAN. Of course not. I pose those questions to you and all those present to indicate the problems we are going to have to wrestle with before we get a bill out. It is not as easy as people think it is to come here and say I would like to have this or that. There are so many farmers affected by what you do for South Carolina or Louisiana or Texas in contrast to the effect it is going to have on people from the Dakotas and from Minnesota and from way up in Öregon. You know those States have two Senators, too. Mr. BELL. I know it is a problem. The CHAIRMAN. I am glad you realize it. Mr. BELL. That completes my statement. The CHAIRMAN. Any further questions? Is Mr. Hawkins here?
I understand he has a few words. Come up, Mr. Hawkins. Give your name in full, please, and your occupation.
STATEMENT OF G. E. HAWKINS, GREENWOOD, S. C. Mr. HAWKINS. I am G. E. Hawkins, dairy farmer from Greenwood County.
Gentlemen, I would like to state at the outset that I am basically opposed to all handouts in any form, any kind of parity payments or anything else, but let me tell you right now I am not hiding my head in the sand because I know in a controlled economy one segment cannot operate free enterprise if the other part of the economy is controlled.
I have served on every Government committee that has been formed in Greenwood County at one time or another. I was on the old Triple A committee for 10 years, and I helped administer that to the best of my ability. I know it is necessary that our agricultural economy be supported, because all other segments of the economy are supported. And the parity program as set up for agriculture I think is very important. I think that one of the things that has hurt the farm parity program is the uncertainty of parity. I bet you could ask every man in this room what is the basis of figuring parity today and I doubt if you Senators yourself could tell him.
The CHAIRMAN. Those who figured it out themselves can't tell you. That is in the record. I am free to confess it. They have so many gadgets but it worked pretty well the way they have guessed at it.
Mr. HAWKINS. The basic idea is to guarantee the farmer he can take a uart of milk and buy the same amount of steel, the man that makes that steel can buy milk for the amount of labor it took me to make the quart of milk. I understand on March 1 last year dairy farmers received 50 cents an hour for wages working 7 days a week to earn that 50 cents an hour. That is not very parity.
The CHAIRMAN. Parity income you talk about?
The CHAIRMAN. We have had that written in the law a long time, but have never been able to make it work yet.
Mr. HAWKINS. I am not criticizing this committee. I know you are here trying to work out something to correct the defects but I have been milking cows since 1925. That is the way of living wtih me. It is a way of life of my family. I have two college-graduate sons back home on the farm with me. That is all the labor on the farm there today, the three of us.
The CHAIRMAN. How many acres have you? Mr. HAWKINS. We have a 200-acre farm with about 165 clear. The CHAIRMAN. How many cows? Mr. HAWKINS. Sixty-five mature milk cows, The CHAIRMAN. Are you in a certain milkshed? Mr. HAWKINS. I am in the Greenwood milkshed. The CHAIRMAN. Do you use a marketing agreement? Mr. HAWKINS. We don't have a marketing agreement, a Federal marketing agreement in South Carolina. We have a State dairy commission that has never functioned as to setting price in South Carolina. We are proud of that record, sir. We have always been able to work out our problems around the table, the distributors, on a statewide basis through our own organization.
The CHAIRMAN. Have you any gadgets that prevent milk coming from other States ?
Mr. HAWKINS. You can't keep milk out of South Carolina as long as it meets local health requirements.
The CHAIRMAN. But local health requirements are sometimes of such character that it is hard to get milk in from other States ? Mr. HAWKINS. That is not in the dairy commission law. The CHAIRMAN. You would be surprised how it is in some. How much milk comes in from outside of South Carolina ? Mr. HAWKINS. I don't know.
The CHAIRMAN. Is there any? Mr. HAWKINS. Yes, I think every plant in South Carolina is importing milk from as far away as Fort Wayne, Ind. We got some this fall. The CHAIRMAN. In shortage? Mr. HAWKINS. Yes.
The CHAIRMAN. Are you still in shortage?
The CHAIRMAN. The dairy industry in this State must be pretty prosperous.
Mr. HAWKINS. Much to the contrary.
Senator JOHNSTON. What is the butterfat requirements in South Carolina ?
Mr. HAWKINS. Three point eight. Senator JOHNSTON. That is higher than a great many other States. Mr. HAWKINS. Federal law is 3.25, Federal health ordinance. The CHAIRMAN. A plan has been proposed that it be made at least 4. Mr. HAWKINS. We tried to get that in this State, but compromised on 3.8.
The CHAIRMAN. The reason for making it 4 percent is that in that way you let the children use the cream up rather than use it to make butter and sell to Uncle Sam. That might be a good way out of these butter surpluses we have.
Mr. HAWKINS. If it were made 4 percent there would be a shortage of butter overnight.
The CHAIRMAN. You are for it? Mr. HAWKINS. I have been for it. Milking Jersey cows you know I would be.
Now, while we are on these Federal milk ordinances, we think it is very, very important that these Federal milk ordinances be retained. They act as a stabilization element whereby when chaos arises in a place you can call on them to stabilize. They were enacted back in the early thirties, these Federal milk marketing ordinances.
The CHAIRMAN. Yes; that was in the same act we talked about. Mr. HAWKINS. Way back. And they worked very satisfactorily. Any changes that they see fit to make to improve them we think should be made from within the law and not rewriting it because
The CHAIRMAN. Can you suggest any improvements ? Mr. HAWKINS. No, sir. The CHAIRMAN. You want to leave well enough alone? Mr. HAWKINS. Yes, sir. The CHAIRMAN. We got that from many areas. Mr. HAWKINS. I hope you don't tamper with it too much. This new school milk program that you have enacted for the past 2 years, we want to commend you for that, the Senate and the House, that enacted the bill. It is serving several purposes. The main purpose is it is teaching children to drink and like milk and they will carry that habit through life and our nutritionists and doctors are coming to believe old people need milk even more than children to maintain good bone structure.
The CHAIRMAN. I don't want to throw bouquets at myself, but I authored that bill together with Senator Russell of Georgia. Of course we got the support of all the Senators, many of them were not in the Senate when the program was put into effect, but I do agree with you it is a very sound program and if they listen to me and Olin here and others who are on the Appropriations Committee, instead of providing $50 to $60 million we might make it $100 million.
Senator SCOTT. As a former dairyman I have listened to a lot of people talk about the school lunch program and I agree with you on that. I would like to ask one thing:
Would flavored milk in a school lunch program be advisable or not? In other words, chocolate and vanilla flavors. Is that advisable or not in your opinion?
Mr. HAWKINS. They would do no harm. I can see no harm in letting them flavor it if some people just naturally don't like plain milk and do like chocolate milk, or like vanilla milk. Yes, any flavor, such as strawberry or pineapple or what-not. Any way you can get them to drink it, more power to you.
The CHAIRMAN. You know, I made a suggestion some time ago that if the dairy people, instead of getting Bob Hope as the main attraction to teach children how to drink milk-you know they tried Bob Hopewould put Hopalong Cassidy on their programs or Davy Crockett, you would sell more milk. I have five little grandsons and the mother doesn't have any trouble at all getting the kids to eat anything that is recommended by Davy Crockett, that is their hero. The same is true of Hopalong Cassidy, the Cisco Kid, and others. If you boys will get together and get that kind of advertising you might be able to get rid of your milk surplus soon.
Mr. HAWKINS. Since you are referring to the self-help that the dairymen are giving to get rid of the surplus by allowing a checkoff in lots of places in the United States, it is not general enough I will say. I think the Department of Agriculture or certain parties in the Department of Agriculture have done more to hinder that program than even you realize by forever keeping this surplus problem and how much the Government is spending on butter and cheese and milk and so forth—you can't pick up a paper that that thing isn't headlined to look like it is trying to build up a resistance in the consuming public to milk.
It acts as a detriment to the self-help program that the dairymen have organized in this advertising program to get people to drink more milk.
The CHAIRMAN. That is what I tried to point out to you a while ago. When Secretary Benson, I am not here to say he did it intentionally, because I will give him more credit than that, but I agree with you thoroughly that the farmers of this Nation have been given the black eye not only by members in the Agriculture Department, but you have a lot of newspaper people who do it, a lot of columnists who do it, and radio commentators who comment on it. They take it from the newspapers in a good many cases. But if the farmers' plight were corectly described by these people and the public shown what would happen to the whole Nation if the farmers fade out, they might do a good job.
Senator JOHNSTON. I think we ought to know too, that the newspapers are subsized to the amount of about $250 million a year.
The CHAIRMAN. Go ahead and explain, Senator.
Senator JOHNSTON. Newspapers and magazines in the last 10 years have cost the Government $2,500 million. So they don't tell you about that.
Mr. HAWKINS. How much is the steel industry subsidized ?
Senator JOHNSTON. It is educational, all little papers get free deliveries but they ought to think about that when they are talking.
Mr. HAWKINS. There is another thing I want to say that I think could be carried further. This surplus milk that is in storage, this
food on their walking uppeaking about the latest it be used the Insteamet
surplus butter going to waste, why couldn't that be distributed through the public welfare and through school-lunch programs? I don't know. There may be a reason why it cannot. I don't know. Instead of letting it rot in the warehouse, why couldn't it be used there?
The CHAIRMAN. They use as much as the kids will eat. Mr. HAWKINS. I am speaking about the public-welfare program. We have them walking up and down the roads every day with sacks of food on their shoulder and they could put some milk in there.
The CHAIRMAN. You would be surprised at the large number of bills we had. I had my name on 2 or 3 of them. Instead of increasing the payments by cash to the aged, give them a certificate to get so much milk, so much of this, but so far Congress hasn't passed it. We have tried it but you know you have to get a majority of the Members of Congress in order to get that into law. Mr. HAWKINS. I would like to go on record as being for it, sir. The CHAIRMAN. Good. Mr. HAWKINS. There is another program I want to commend the Congress for and when I say Congress I mean both Houses of the Legislature. This brucellosis program. That seems on the surface that I am speaking just from the point of the cattleman, but I am speaking for the health of the Nation as a whole, because it is a disease that is transmitted to the human in the form of undulant fever and it can be eradicated and you are taking steps to do it. This new program you have stepped up for the next 2 years is making progress and I would like to see it continued only step it up further and make more money available to carry it out.
There is always a lot in Congress every year about taxing the co-ops. If a co-op is functioning right it has no profit. It is a group of farmers doing their marketing service for themselves and they are going to have to do more and more to stay in business, because every time you pick up statistics the farmer's share of the consumer dollar is getting less and they are going to have to process their product. If you must equalize the tax between your corporations and co-ops, why not take off the double taxation on the corporations?
That is, if you are going to tax it as a corporation why tax it when it goes back to the individual? Or else if you tax the individuals cut out the original corporation tax. I think that would equalize it but I am not a tax expert so don't start questioning me on that.
The CHAIRMAN. We are all silent. We are not experts, either. Don't be disapponted if we do not ask questions on that subject.
Mr. HAWKINS. If we are going to subsidize the agricultural industry in the United States, we are going to subsidize the agricultural industry in the United States, we are going to have to control import quotas because it seems foolish to me for Government to reduce acreage here, subsidize the price and then let this cheap foreign labor put material in here to compete with it to cause more subsidization.
The CHAIRMAN. Any questions? We thank you, sir.
Mr. Agnew, please. Give us your name in full and your occupation.