« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »
Mr. EDWARDS. I believe our farmers in North Carolina will agree to that statement entirely and will be glad to abide by that statement.
The CHAIRMAN. Something ought to be done with these diverted acres and not let them be planted in crops that will conflict with the producers of similar crops in other places where there has been curtailment?
Mr. EDWARDS. Yes; I can say part of mine are in crotelaria, 30 acres that will stay through the winter, soil building crop. We have to start things of that kind.
The CHAIRMAN. Some have suggested that it might be possible to work a program of diverted acres into this program, set aside, say, 10 percent, and instead of curtailing the entire diverted acres we might get a certain percent of it into crops that may be grown and that may be used locally such as feed for poultry and things like that.
Mr. EDWARDS. I think definitely that can be done and many small growers can increase their income by probably going into things of that kind rather than just sticking to the old crops they have produced.
The CHAIRMAN. I think the problem can be solved if only we can get together and bear with each other and that, as I said at the beginning of these hearings, may spell the difference between having a bill and not having a bill that will pass because it is a very touchy subject in many parts of the country where these diverted acres have been used to do violence to other growers whose acres have been cut in the same crop these diverted acres have been used on.
Mr. EDWARDS. Farmers in North Carolina are ready and willing, it is my opinion, to go along with a program whereby these diverted acres will not be planted in crops that will hurt the growers of similar crops in other areas.
The CHAIRMAN. I wish I could say the same for Louisiana.
STATEMENT OF VICTOR A. SULIN, SEVERN, MD.
Senator, after hearing your early remarks about repetition I will leave out part of mine and get to the crux of this thing.
The CHAIRMAN. I can give you assurance your entire statement will be printed in the record.
Mr. SULIN. We in Maryland believe that the rigid support prices and the acreage control has created the surpluses of tobacco. The New York Times stated editorially on November 6 that this committee had heard many complaints but not many remedies. Gentlemen, I now offer for your deep consideration a remedy for the tobacco situation. That is control by poundage. The Department of Agriculture set the poundage for a certain type of tobacco and that would be the figure. Only that number of pounds could be marketed. This would stop all the griping about measurements before and after the harvesting of crops.
The CHAIRMAN. What would you do with the surplus grown on those acres?
The CHAIRMAN. What would you do with the surplus grown on those acres? Mr. SULIN. There couldn't be a surplus.
The CHAIRMAN. There would if they exceeded their quotas. - Mr. SULIN. Not if there is a poundage.
The CHAIRMAN. You take out'acreage control ?
The CHAIRMAN. Suppose a farmer should make a mistake and put an acre more and the Lord would be good, as this year, the Lord has been good in many areas wherein on a given acreage instead of producing what the farmer thought he would produce he went about a third more. Now, assuming that we would have a poundage control here as you suggest and a farmer produced more on his acres than he thought he would, what would you do with the surplus?
Mr. Sulin. Keep it. Keep it for the year when the Lord wasn't too good for him, let him barter with the farmers. That is one thing I think the farmer should have an opportunity to barter among themselves instead of taking it on the market and have his market price drop down.
The CHAIRMAN. How long have you been raising tobacco ?
The CHAIRMAN. And you started out, what was the size of your farm when you started ? Mr. SULIN. Same as today..
The CHAIRMAN. In tobacco production? Mr. SULIN. Same thing. We have no controls in Maryland. We are afraid of them.
Mr. COOLEY. You came here from Maryland to tell us that the acreage allotment and marketing quota law and price support program have been responsible for the surplus we now have in tobacco ?
Mr. SULIN. Yes, sir. Mr. COOLEY. Yet in Maryland you have never had either. Mr. SULIN. I beg your pardon, sir, we had controls in Maryland 2 years.
Mr. COOLEY. How long ago?
Mr. SULIN. Four years ago we had it and 3 years ago we had it, and we voted it out because we were scared and if you let me finish I will tell you why.
The CHAIRMAN. Proceed. Mr. SULIN. It would stop the farmer from—defeating the real cause it would stop the farmer from planting their crops in their rows closer. As you know, under the present law at the reduction by the Agriculture Committee in acreage the poundage has gone up by the millions of pounds. Yet your dean of agriculture sits here and tells you this morning that the average pound per acre in North Carolina went up 200 pounds. That didn't happen from an act of God. That happened from putting more fertilizer under the tobacco and it also happened by planting the rows closer. I am here to ask for a law for both acreage and poundage and if people in North Carolina like acreage control it is all right, but we in Maryland don't like it.
The CHAIRMAN. That is what I was going to suggest.
Mr. SULIN. I am calm. I am not excited. Representative Cooley here asked me a thing and the only thing
The CHAIRMAN. Let's keep our heads.
Mr. SULIN. He asked me something, sir. I guess he doesn't know it but he is about the most unpopular Representative in Maryland because we think it was an insult to our intelligence to ask other than a farmer into his committee to testify about the farmer.
The CHAIRMAN. We don't want to be personal. Mr. SULIN. I think it would do you good to know how the people feel, sir.
The CHAIRMAN. I am sure the people of North Carolina feel good about him for having sent him so often and I consider him one of the leading Congressmen. Mr. Sulin. I do, too. The CHAIRMAN. Strike that from the record. Mr. COOLEY. Leave it in the record. I should like for his colleagues in Maryland to read it.
The CHAIRMAN. Let's go back to this: The farmers of Maryland grow a certain type of tobacco ?
Mr. SULIN. Type 32. It has less nicotine and tars in it than any domestic tobacco, noncancerous.
The CHAIRMAN. But now the growers on type 32 were given the democratic right to vote for or against controls? Mr. SULIN. Yes, sir; each year.
The CHAIRMAN. You voted against it? Mr. SULIN. Yes.
The CHAIRMAN. Why not give the same privilege to people in North Carolina ?
Mr. Sulin. Yes, sir. What I want to ask you is to try to get us a law where it would give the people, the tobacco growers, an opportunity or an option whether to take it on poundage or have it on acreage allotments.
Mr. Cooley. Will you yield for one point? What other business are you in? Mr. SULIN. Not any, sir; I am a dirt farmer. Mr. COOLEY. You do not want acreage controls on your tobacco ? You do not want a price-support program?
Mr. SULIN. I didn't say that. I am for poundage controls. You are trying to put words in my mouth and I am not going to let you do it, sir.
Mr. COOLEY. You said that acreage allotments and price supports resulted in a surplus.
Mr. SULIN. I certainly did.
Mr. COOLEY. How much have you reduced your acreage in the last 3 years? Mr. SULIN. In Maryland ? Mr. COOLEY. On your own farm. Mr. SULIN. None. We haven't reduced it any. Mr. COOLEY. You haven't reduced acreage in 3 years? Mr. SULIN. Yes.
Mr. COOLEY. Three years ago Maryland farmers came to my committee asking for price-support program on an uncontrolled crop. Mr. Sulin. I remember that.
64440—56—pt. 6- 19
Mr. COOLEY. Did you favor that law?
Mr. COOLEY. The committee brought out the bill to give you a pricesupport program on an unlimited production; did it not?
Mr. SULIN. Yes, sir.
The CHAIRMAN. This is the first excitement we have had since Oc-
Mr. COOLEY. I am already straight. You are the one who is out of line.
The CHAIRMAN. Let's proceed in order, please.
As I understand you, you wanted the law to be amended so that when a farmer votes he can vote for acreage controls or poundage.
Mr. SULIN. Yes, sir. In the State of North Carolina he has an option. When referendum is presented he has an option to take either way, whether by acreage control or by poundage. We in Maryland don't believe that the poundage controls is the solution. We don't believe that is the solution up there because the farmers will cheat. Any time you enact a law—and you have an audience right here-90 percent of them are sitting there figuring how to get around that law.
Mr. COOLEY. They are not cheaters.
Mr. SULIN. It is the truth. Let's face it. I know when I hear about a law I am trying to figure how to get around it and the way farmers get around it with tobacco is putting rows closer. I am trying to offer a solution of what I think will keep that from happening.
The CHAIRMAN. You mean stop cheating? Mr. SULIN. Yes. I say as the Department of Agriculture reduced acreage allotments in the flue-cured belt and burley belt the poundage has gone up by the millions of pounds and under the poundage law this would be entirely eliminated. We seriously believe that the elimination of the rigid support price and practice of flexible support prices it would help to adjust current production to consumption. Our economy then can be and will be where it belongs. It is my honest opinion that you should take the farmers' problems out of politics and to always get opinions from farmers and farmers only.
If any of you gentlement were going to invest $10,000 you wouldn't ask a blacksmith, you would ask a banker.
Mr. COOLEY. You are for flexible supports; are you?
Mr. COOLEY. In other words, you are perfectly willing to penalize the diligent farmer who is able to increase his per-acre yield and put him on a par with the average run of farmers?
Mr. SULIN. No, sir.
Mr. COOLEY. How would you determine your poundage for tobacco to be allotted to each acre?
Mr. SULIN. Well, you know that the Department of Agriculture designates how many acres are to be grown. It could do the same with poundage. The records will show you over a period, the way they tried to do it in Maryland was try to take a 5-year average of the number of acres that farm was in production and do the same thing with poundage.
Mr. COOLEY. You would give the average production over a period of 5 years?
Mr. SULIN. That would be his starting point of poundage. Mr. COOLEY. You would never encourage him to increase his peracre yield ? That is what the colleges and experiment stations are trying to do.
Mr. Sulin. That would defeat the cause, then. We would be producing, if my land now produces 700 or 800 pounds per acre I don't care, that college or who it is, they don't want me to produce a thousand pounds. They don't want me to buy more fertilizers and burn my land
Mr. COOLEY. You could produce 2,000 if you could.
Mr. SULINS. That would be all right, so the Department of Agriculture would cut down on the poundage, I would be cheating.
Mr. COOLEY. You would be what?
The CHAIRMAN. To what extent have you increased your production in tobacco in Maryland in the last 10 years?
Mr. SULIN. That carries about the same. Unless an act of God like the hurricane came this year, and our production I think is estimated at about 35 million pounds.
The CHAIRMAN. On your particular farm you mean to say that your poundage that you produce per acre is the same today as it was 10 years ago under the same conditions ? Mr. SULIN. Yes, sir. The CHAIRMAN. That is not the story I heard all over the country. Mr. SULIN. The real truth of this is I am trying to produce a good grade of tobacco and if I were to put more fertilizer under our tobacco or move the rows in closer, it would produce an inferior grade.
Mr. COOLEY. How many years in the last 10 years have the Maryland growers controlled acreage? Mr. SULIN. Two times. Mr. COOLEY. Two times out of ten? Mr. SULIN. Yes.
Mr. Cooley. You are complaining about having a surplus and you have done nothing to prevent the surplus?
Mr. SULIN. We don't have a surplus.
Mr. SULIN. I am complaining about when there is a surplus in this State or in the burley that it reflects back to us.
Mr. COOLEY. Why?
Mr. COOLEY. I thought you grew a special type of tobacco that could not be substituted for any other.