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Mr. MANNING. It didn't do it, though, at that time.
The CHAIRMAN. It did at that time. In other words, as they put it, if a farmer was able to buy a pair of pajamas or pair of overalls for a bushel of wheat, don't you see, as the pajamas or overalls increased in price, so did the wheat.
Mr. MANNING. I am glad you brought that out. I know that is what it is supposed to do.
The CHAIRMAN. It does do that.
Mr. MANNING. You mentioned the fair price. I want to call your attention now, I don't think you need anything else except the next statement I am going to make to show you where we are. Of course you know it without being told.
In 1932 and 1933 the greatest stress we have all ever been in in America, the appropriation that you made in Washington was $4 billion a year. We owed practically $20 billion. We had been reducing it from thirty down to twenty. Cotton brought 6 cents a pound in 1933. Today, as you well know, your appropriations are $70 billion a year, practically. Cotton today is quoted in New York last Friday from 28.75 to 33.50. And that is 5 times 6 or 30 cents. We have appropriations 17 times as high and your debts are 15 times as high. Any intelligent man in the world, that is all that is necessary to tell you all where the cotton farmers are because we buy and trade and do business in the same channels, in the same stores that everybody else does.
As a result of those high appropriations and taxes you have had to raise the price that you pay every soldier, every marine, every Air Force man, every Coast Guard man, post-office employee, civil-service employee, every manufacturing company is paying 11/2 to 2 and 3 times as much for labor they paid before, and we have to buy against them.
So that is all you have got to consider, consider the condition we are in. We are on the way to bankruptcy as fast as we can go. We would have been there this year if it had not been for support prices, under cotton and tobacco in South Carolina.
We would have made the grade this year if it had not been for support prices. In 1951 I bought a Buick Roadmaster for $3,124.26. I was getting 45.39 for cotton. That was the limit that Chester Bowles put on it. We were the only people in the world getting under 75 cents then. Everybody in the world was getting 75 cents except the Americans, and we were getting 45.39. A bale of cotton, the seed alone, would give me a check for ginning for $25 above ginning in 1951. Today, due to stormy weather, most of mine I pay $3 a bale to get it ginned instead of getting $25 a bale out of it. I pay $3 a bale to get it ginned today. They bill me $3 for every bale. And I went down and asked the boy what the Buicks were, and he said $4,200. It is up 35 percent and all farming, so the U.S. News & World Report says, is down 34 percent. I am certain my cotton is down from 45.39 to 30 cents on the exchange in New York yet that Buick is up 35 percent, as is all other implements for the farm, trucks, tractors, every implement you can name, household goods and appliances, everything in the world we use.
The doctor's bill is up just as much and the hospitals have doubled, quadrupled and quintupled. If you have a tenant that makes cotton alone and let him have a spell of sickness for 30 days, there is not a farm in South Carolina on the average that can make the bill. Thirty days in the hospital, it will range from $50 to $500 a week doctor's bills and hospital.
Everything—it is not just one thing up on us everything in the world is up except the price of cotton, and it is down 34 percent.
Now that is the status. What can you do? When you get that parity say to the cotton mills and when you figure that parity justly you will find it 40 to 50 cents a pound under present conditions. Say to the cotton mills, you pay 40 cents a pound minimum for every pound of cotton. The mills won't mind that if you set that price and maintain it there. Now they will squawk and will have a right to squawk if
you set it at 4 cents a day and turn around and lower it next month or next year where a fellow can underbuy them and undersell them, but if you make the price constant the Treasury of the United States will not have to pay one dime of expense. Just like the labor, the Treasury didn't lose any money; they made money because the income tax will bring in money. But the same way with the cotton mills. They don't care what you set the price at provided you firmly fix it and don't let it vary under them.
Today, with cotton selling at 30 cents on the exchange, the price is from 28.75 to 33.50; the 80 by 80 print cloth, most popular cloth sold at 17 to 1742 cents a yard, which made approximately 70 cents a pound. That was when cotton was 45. Today 80 by 80 print cloth 4 yards to the pound, is bringing 20 cents a pound. It is up from 70 to 80 cents a yard and my cotton is down from 45 cents to 30.
The mills can pay this money. Three leading millmen in America: Mr. Love, Mr. Cannon, and Mr. Lowenstein, one other, Mr. Milligan, the 4 biggest producers in America, they have been in public print in the last 30 days saying they were getting along fine and they hoped and expected it to continue through 1956. That is what they expected, continued prosperity through 1956. That is the biggest. The Iittle men are suffering; can't compete against those big enterprises.
Burlington industries, by their own statement, sold $301 million worth of cotton products year before last, and this last year, by his own statement, $450 million worth. You can be the judge of how he is getting along. That is Mr. Spencer Love's figures in the Wall Street Journal. Yet we are getting 15 cents a pound less for cotton than we were when they were getting less for their products.
Another thing is when you get that parity fixed and tell those fellows we don't want—I don't see how any intelligent farmer would want-to sell one bale of cotton abroad.
I have in my pocket right here a clipping cut out of a paper published in the last 3 weeks, an article written from Bombay, India. It tells us that the women working in the cottonfields in Bombay are making 15 cents a day--not an hour, mind you, gentlemen–15 cents a day. And the men are getting the big sum of 20 cents a day. It doesn't take any Solomon or financial wizard to know that there is no earthly way that Americans with their high standard of living can compete with the Hindu and Chinamen and those other foreigners so underfed and underclothed and undernourished. Neither can the cotton-mill men compete with them. They can't compete with those fellows. There is no way it can be done.
There is but one way in my opinion they can possibly export cotton. Have a two-price system; and I am opposed to that. We should make cotton farmers in America make cotton for Americans to wear. There is no percentage what they cost to make goods compared to ours. How are we going to compete against them? It is impossible. There is no way to do it unless you want to have a giveaway.
Let me pay my respects to our Secretary of Agriculture. When he was first appointed, I went to Darlington, S. C., to hear him make a talk. I thought he was as sweet and fine a Christian gentleman as ever lived just to hear him talk. I wasn't so much impressed with his brain, but I did give him that. But when he went all over this land as every one of you gentlemen know, and tried to make it appear to all the housewives and all the consumers of farmers' goods what the supporting prices at 90 percent of parity was bringing the Government of the United States, I knew he was a liar and the truth was not in him.
That couldn't be so because—that isn't all he did. When he got in that cheese deal the President of the United States should have fired him that day; the first inkling he got of it he ought to have fired Ezra. You know with Ezra coaching him, not you gentlemen, because every one of you voted, with Ezra coaching the Congress joined with him on price supports. Ninety percent is not right; 75 percent will cure you. Has any greater fallacy ever been put before the people since the world began? His system would work, but after my farm is transferred to someone else. It will work but it will put the present farmer out and give it to some man who made some money manufacturing. It will work in time.
You all have done a lot of good things for us that will help us. Give us 25 or 30 years and they will come along but today it will take price advances to hold cotton farmers in the business. That is all there is to it.
You all know that Mr. Benson tried to make it appear that it cost nearly $20 billion to support the price of our commodities for 10 years. When he got under his oath where the perjury law would get him he came out that it cost $1,111 million in 20 years, or the sum of $55 million a year. That is what he understood his oath had to come out with. That man that said $20 billion all over America. Now $55 million seems like a lot of money but when you are appropriating $70 billion a year and donating $10 billion down to $4.5 billion abroad, $55 million will serve to relieve the cotton farmers and the farmers of America of that charge that we are bankrupting the Government.
The Government may be bankrupt but it is not the $55 million a year that is doing it, as you well know.
Gentleman, in 1952 a candidate for President of the United States, Ike Eisenhower, spoke on our statehouse steps right over there. I don't pretend to tell you what the President said in Dakota or Minnesota. I read about it. I heard with my own ears. He spoke of his attitude toward the farming situation. These are his words, not part of what he said. He said:
There are no ifs, ands, or buts about it, I am for 90 percent parity for our farmers, and more, too, if necessary, to give them their just share of our national income.
Those are his words. And the saddest thing of my life, gentlemen, except I was sending our boys to Korea, but with that exception the saddest thing is to see a fine man like Ike Eisenhower, a man I put up $750 to elect, I want to say, Senator, I didn't do that following James F. Byrnes, as fine a man as lived, I put it up before I knew how Byrnes was going to be. I didn't put it up because Eisenhower made that speech, gentlemen. That was made long after I put it up. But I went home and said to the boys, “Ike is not only going to be elected, he is going to be favorable to us farmers.”
Think about as good a man as Eisenhower is, we all know he is a good man, his political enemies would say that, would let Ezra Taft Benson influence him to go back on his word made before 60,000 or 75,000 South Carolinians, gentlemen, it is almost unbelievable that it could have taken place. That is right; almost unbelievable. It is sad to me that a man with the love and esteem of Eisenhower would fall to follow Ezra to that degree.
I regret it most exceedingly.
Now, there is one thing more and I will let you rest. I have been here too long. We are here for the cotton farmers and this one thing is very important. The cotton farmers are the victims of an establishment that has been ruining us and is ruining us today and will continue to ruin us if not regulated by the Congress of the United States. Every day, 5 days a week, they have traded on the New York Cotton Exchange alone an average of 150,000 bales of cotton a day. Some days it goes to 250,000 bales. Now, a man who buys cotton on the New York Exchange is called a bull, a man who sells it is called a bear. Now if you buy-Senator Ellender, I am satisfied, is familiar with this—if you buy a hundred bales of cotton or any amount of cotton, you are called a bull. There comes a day-of-delivery notice for the month you buy. Say you bought December cotton.
The 23d of this month—you get this, gentlemen, because this is important—the 23d of this month begins the first notice date. That bear, or seller of cotton, has 20 days in which at any time any day of those 20 days he can tender that cotton to you. Now the buyer of that cotton, the bull, when he notifies him he wants to deliver it, how long do you think he has to say "Give it to me, or I will sell it on the exchange"? Less than 20 minutes; 20 minutes against 20 days.
That isn't the sad part. That bear can deliver that cotton to you at any point in America, any point of 12 different points in America. You might be a millman in Columbia, S. C., or Augusta, Ga., and want your thousand bales of cotton shipped to Augusta or Columbia that bear says I will deliver you that thousand bales in Dallas or Houston, Tex., and it costs $7.50 or $10 to transfer it. This is important because they have been grinding us to death. That isn't all. If you take that cotton and let him send it the farthest way he can it is of such a character and quality no millman wants a bale of it. Now in proof of that statement I don't want to betray a man's confidence because I didn't tell him what I wanted, I called up a good friend of mine that doesn't live in this State, who runs a very large office that does a very large business, dealing in trading, and one of the biggest brokers on the New York Exchange to my knowledge, and he told me,
“You cannot accept delivery of your cotton,” he said. "If you do, no telling where you would get it and they will not deliver any that you would have."
So in the life of his office, with the amount of cotton they have traded in there, and it is tremendous, he has never had 1 man to call for delivery of 1 bale of cotton. Think about it, gentlemen. In the
life of his office never had one man called for delivery of cotton for the very reasons I have just told you about. It is impractical.
As another proof of what the bear's advantage, they sold last year on the New York Cotton Exchange alone 55 million bales of cotton, you think 10 million is a surplus, what about 55 million surplus Fifty-five million bales of cotton and today on the 9th of November the New York Wall Street Journal said there were 7,000 bales of certified stocks for delivery on cotton. Trading three-quarters of a million bales of cotton a week and 7,000 bales of cotton prepared and certified for delivery on contract.
Doesn't that prove that a bale of cotton is never sold on the New York Exchange with intention for delivery? One man could corner all cotton in 10 minutes if they wanted to. They would put him in jail for raising the price of cotton. You know that that is an unfair trading institution. I want you all to look into it and see if you can't make it fairer to buyer and fairer to the seller.
Gentlemen, I am not going to detain you much longer, but if Molotov didn't open the eyes of our Secretary of State and of the Congress of the United States and Ike D. Eisenhower, last week, if he didn't open your eyes, God knows you have not eyes to see.
Every word he said indicated and proved beyond any doubt whatever they are out to enslave the rest of the world. And God knows we better be prepared with cotton, wheat, all agricultural foods, men, radar, bombs of all descriptions, because we just as well get ready if we expect to remain a free people. If that wasn't in every word he said, last week when he pulled the veil down and didn't smile. Think about all the world leaning on one smile of the arch double-crosser of the history of the world. Because he met the reporters with a smile the whole thing is changed and we will be free because Molotov smiled. We should never have met him. He unveiled the subject last week and there is nothing for us to do as intelligent men and freedom-loving Americans but to get ready to meet the challenge and keep prepared to meet the challenge with plenty of food and fiber, guns and shells and plenty of equipped boys. So help me God, the day is coming.
Senator JOHNSTON. You think that our surplus is helping to deter war?
Mr. MANNING. I have it in the manuscript here. Instead of 10 million bales of cotton being a surplus, every man here ought to get on his knees tonight and thank God Almighty for the abundance he bestowed upon our country, foods, and fiber, because we are the best country on this earth. When we think of the hungry, nakedness and illiteracy over the world, we speak of this as a burden. It is all right for newspapers, one of the most subsidized bunch in the world, but for the Senate and Congress of the United States to talk that way it is not wisdom. I want you to consider our cotton surplus. We are going bankrupt and you all can relieve us. So help me God, I know that you didn't vote for it, I know Senator Thurmond didn't vote for it, I don't believe Senator Scott did, I don't know about Senator Ellender, when you reached in your pocket and found no money there, you can't live in Washington on $5,000, it takes that to live in the sandhills of South Carolina at a decent scale, you reached in the Treasury of the United States and pulled up $7,500 a year more. I am not critical of you for doing that.