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will be between 30 and 50 million pounds less than anticipated at that time.
The CHAIRMAN. Thank you, sir. Mr. COOLEY. Mr. Hicks, isn't the thing you are disturbed about this 602 million pounds you now have in stabilization ?
Mr. HICKS. I think we all are.
Mr. COOLEY. That was brought about more or less by the 280 million pounds that you are taking out of the 1955 crop?
Mr. HICKS. We had 322 million to begin with. Mr. COOLEY. This is the thing that really aggravated the situation in connection with the 1955 production ?
Mr. HICKS. Yes.
Mr. COOLEY. Tobacco is being preserved and redried and packaged away, and is aging.
Mr. Hicks. Yes, sir.
Mr. COOLEY. I can understand that you are disturbed because of the great amount you still owe the Government, that sum of $279 million. Is that right?
Mr. HICKS. I believe that is correct.
Mr. COOLEY. Even that is a small figure, although it is a lot of money, it is a small figure when related to the enormous tax collected from this crop every year by the Federal Government. Mr. Hicks. Yes, sir.
Mr. COOLEY. The Federal Government itself has a kind of vested interest in tobacco farmers' prosperity.
Mr. Hicks. I believe they collect about a billion and a quarter out of the tobacco products each year.
Mr. COOLEY. If we take 12 percent or 15 or 20 percent this year you think we are in for continuous reduction over a period of the next 3 or 4 years?
Mr. Hicks. My personal analysis of it is this: If you have a continuing 1,500-pound yield per acre, which is approaching this year's yield as against a normal yield of about 1,243, I believe the figure is, you can grow all of the tobacco that the domestic and foreign markets will consume on 750,000 acres of land. What will you do with the surplus if you continue to grow all that the market will absorb?
Mr. COOLEY. You are going to continue to reduce acreage in years to come, is that right?
Mr. Hicks. Under the formula I believe somewhere between 36 and 40 percent would be necessary if the Secretary followed the formula strictly for the year 1956. Mr. COOLEY. What was our reduction in 1955? Mr. Hicks. Five percent. Mr. COOLEY. That was not sufficient. Mr. HICKS. No, sir. The CHAIRMAN. Thank you, Mr. Hicks.
Mrs. Kathleen Devlin. Have a seat, please, and give your name and occupation. STATEMENT OF MRS. KATHLEEN DEVLIN, ST. MATTHEWS, N. C.
Mrs. DEVLIN. Kathleen Devlin, housewife. I have been under obligation to operate my father's farm since he has been under ill health for 2 years, and our neighborhood allotment that we have in
our township, and my allotment on the farm, doesn't compete. We have cleared acres of 88 in cultivation. We have allotment of 7 acres of tobacco, 14 in cotton, and 6 in wheat. With a family of 11 to operate that farm, plus my family, of 88 cleared acres of cultivation, and I would like to know would there be some way of setting up the farms, that the farms could be equally based, so each individual family could support themselves.
The CHAIRMAN. We are looking for a formula like that. We have found in many places farmers growing basic crops, found it more profitable to go into other crops. I don't say that is true in your case, but you have heard the preceding witness here say that something is going to have to be done to further curtail tobacco land and if we are to get support prices by the Government of any consequence it is going to be necessary for the farmer to agree to take the cut necessary to bring production within the amount necessary for consumption.
Mrs. DEVLIN. The little farmer in my neighborhood of St. Matthews township agree for 90 percent support parity.
The CHAIRMAN. Yes.
Mrs. DEVLIN. We agree for the cut of allotments. But we feel like each individual little farm acreage of tobacco should be based equally as of the big farmer.
The CHAIRMAN. You mean entire acreage? Mrs. DEVLIN. I don't know how you explain it. I have only been in this stuff 2 years. This morning it was reported from one of the witnesses that they had 56 acres of cleared cultivation land with 1312 acres in tobacco allotments.
Mr. COOLEY. May I interrupt? The whole philosophy of the tobacco marketing quota law would have to be changed to do what you are proposing.
Mrs. DEVLIN. That is why you make these changes and plans, make it so the little farmer can support himself.
Mr. COOLEY. The idea you present now was presented to our committee many years ago by some prominent farm leaders. We had to abandon it because what you would actually do in the tobacco area which is largely cultivated by tenants would be to put a premium on large tenant families if you allotted the acreage based upon number of people in the family, without regard to the historical growth of the tobacco on the land. We would run into all sorts of trouble. The basis of the law now is that you make the acreage allotment on the land, labor, and equipment and the history of growing tobacco on the farm. If you get away from that I would be afraid you would wreck the entire program.
While your acreage is very small, you will find other people with, comparatively speaking, even smaller acreage than you have on an 88-acre farm. If you did not have the program and grew all the tobacco you wanted to grow, 27 acres might not even bring what 7 is bringing now. I sympathize with you. You have a small allotment. I think you better take it up with your local committee and see if they are able to increase it for you. Mrs. DEVLIN. They say there is nothing you can do.
Mr. COOLEY. Take it up with Horace Godfrey. He is smart enough to do it. He is out at State college. 64440—56pt.
The CHAIRMAN. Do you have any suggestion? Mrs. DEVLIN. My only suggestion, speaking of the little farmers in our township, we would like to have some consideration of getting our farm equal enough we could support our families on it.
The CHAIRMAN. That is what many others want, and as Congressman Cooley just said, it is a problem.
Thank you, Mrs. Devlin. Mr. Upchurch? Give your name in full for the record, please, and your occupation.
STATEMENT OF T. B. UPCHURCH, JR., NORTH CAROLINA COTTON
GROWERS ASSOCIATION, RAEFORD, N. C. Mr. UPCHURCH. I am T. B. Upchurch, Jr. I am a farmer from Raeford, N. C. I represent North Carolina Cotton Growers Association. I would like to file this brief and I will try to be as brief as I can.
(Mr. Upchurch's prepared statement follows:)
I realize that the present farm program is far from perfect. I refer to the program which supports basic crops at 90 percent of parity, but had it not been for the support programs I believe the whole farm economy would now be in a state of panic equal to the 1930 to 1932 period.
I believe also that the farm panic would have carried all of the economy of the Nation at least part way back to the 1930's. I believe this because we would have had a price collapse for agricultural products just as soon as the war demand had been met. History will show this is true and the only reason it did not happen after World War II and the Korean war was because the support program for agricultural products protected the economy from a price collapse for farm crops.
I believe that instead of costing the Federal Government money the pricesupport programs have made billions in income taxes, because the general prosperity of the Nation was not undermined by falling farm prices.
I don't believe we have priced ourselves out of the market through the support programs, but that we have lost most of our export markets because of high tariff, which seems necessary to protect industry and labor.
The attitude of the State Department in saying where we can sell and how much has also cost us many outlets for farm crops.
The embargo that we had on edible oils during and after the war cost us thousands of tons of sales of cottonseed and soybean oil. I well remember how hard the oil-mill interests worked to get the embargo for export lifted on cottonseed oil. Several years after the Commodity Credit Corporation had billions of pounds of oil that they finally sold at reduced prices.
In the 1950–51 cotton season certain textile people thought we might not have enough cotton. An embargo was placed on cotton for export and we lost the sale of over 2 million bales at high prices. The lack of American cotton sent world prices sky high and many nations expanded the production of cotton and have been expanding ever since.
I don't think that 90 percent of parity is too high to support basic crops, as long as farmers are willing to control their acreage. I know we have made very high yields and have made more than we need, but we will not continue to make high per-acre yields right on. We have had years of poor yields and if we keep acreage at a reasonable level and export in every way we possibly can, we can bring production in line with consumption in a few years.
We hear a great deal of what agriculture is costing the Nation, but never a word of what the high wage scale is costing nor anything of the thousands of manufactured products such as trucks, draglines, etc., that the military has stored in the open. These manufactured products were paid for at prices that earned industry a tremendous profit and labor a wage scale twice as high as the farmers get.
I am happy that industry can make a profit and that labor gets good wages but it does not please me to have a great many newspapers and news commentators point with scorn at what the farmers are costing the Nation. I especially don't like for newspapers who do not know what they are talking about to criticize the farmers of America for wanting only 90 percent of what they have every right to expect.
Farming is a very precarious business and if farmers are not allowed to make a profit in good years they will go bankrupt in a year like we had last year in many of the counties of North Carolina and a year like we had in the eastern half of the State this year due to hurricanes and rain.
There are several specific things we should do to help the situation now for cotton:
(1) We should place an import quota on cotton goods because the manufactured goods from Japan contain nearly one-half of foreign growth cotton. We are losing an estimated market for three to three hundred and fifty thousand bales of cotton by the importation of manufactured goods containing that amount of foreign grown cotton.
(2) We should put an export subsidy on cotton large enough to show the world that we expect to regain and keep our share of the world markets.
(3) We should have a Secretary of Agriculture that talks for agriculture instead of one who is frequently saying agriculture is getting too much.
The farmers of America should tell the Nation there is no reason why we should get half of the income of other groups. The Nation should be told often and with all the force we can muster that the farmers of America are proud of their record in peace and war, that, we are not wards of the Nation and all we want is a fair share of the national income. Farm income is down to $10.5 billion for this year, a drop of $1 billion, just about what the farmers will go in debt for the year. This can't go on without a risk that is too costly to take.
I hope you gentlemen will use your influence to see that farmers get at least 90 percent parity for crops grown under acreage control, and use every device at your command to help regain world markets for farm crops.
Mr. UPCHURCH. A few things I would like to point out, one thing, it seems to me we haven't recognized the actual problems that cause the surplus to accumulate that we have been talking about. I am one of the few people perhaps in here that believes the 90-percent support program has not cost the Government anything. In fact, I think the Government has actually made billions of dollars in income tax because of much higher state of economy over the Nation and because of a much more stabilized economy.
I firmly believe had it not been for 90-percent support program that agriculture would have been in a panic today equal to what we had in 1930 and 1932. I don't believe we priced ourselves out of the market through these support programs.
I believe we priced ourselves out of the market, lost our export markets for one of a number of things. In fact the higher tariff that we operate under, nations have not been able to trade with us as freely as they would have had we not had high tariffs. I think we agree we must have high tariff to protect us.
The CHAIRMAN. Do you think it would be possible for the cotton growers of North Carolina, let's say, to grow cotton and make a profit out of it if they have to compete with the peon labor of Mexico, Brazil, and Peru? Mr. UPCHURCH. No, sir; I am not arguing with the high tariffs.
The CHAIRMAN. I understand, but I would like to also put in the record in addition to what you said, other reasons why we cannot compete and you feel that because of our high standard of living it would be almost impossible to grow cotton cheap enough to be able to compete with this peon labor I just spoke about.
Mr. UPCIIURCH. We can't do it. I think the attitude of the State Department has cost us markets for many farm products. We have talked a great deal today about how we lost our markets because of high support price. I don't think it was that reason. The embargoes
Mr. HOKE. It is all part of the cost of these programs.
The CHAIRMAN. Let's put the facts as they are, sir. The commodities that have been assisted—that is, through a program of price supports, are the basics at 40 percent.
Mr. HOKE. My point is it is all money that is appropriated by the United States Congress for specific purposes.
The CHAIRMAN. That is right. Mr. HOKE. That is my point.
The CHAIRMAN. It doesn't amount to billions, as you say it is. Mr. HOKE. I didn't say billions; I said approximately à billion, a billion a year.
The CHAIRMAN. A billion a year? The amount I have just indicated here is for a period of 22 years. Mr. HOKE. It hasn't cost us a billion ?
The CHAIRMAN. I am talking about basic commodities. If you add milk in that Mr. HOKE. I am talking of all commodities.
The CHAIRMAN. If you add potatoes in that and if you add eggs and if you add all those other commodities, that were added during the war at the request of our Government in order to provide more of those commodities, of course you will find a total of $2,117,006,000 over a period of 22 years.
Mr. HOKE. All right. Now, I would like to go back to the statement you made in your opening remarks this morning. We would like for the farmers of these hearings to develop a program to lessen some of the government in this, if I recall, or something to that effect. I think every farmer in the United States is interested in having less government in farm programs.
The CHAIRMAN. I agree. That is what we are trying to do. Mr. HOKE. We are in agreement on that. We could sit here and could debate a lot of questions on a partisan basis, which I am going to refuse to do.
The CHAIRMAN. I have refused to do it since I started these hearings.. Mr. HOKE. Now, then, what is the solution?
The CHAIRMAN. That is what I want to hear. You give us a solution. That is why we invited you here.
Mr. HOKE. I was very happy this morning when I heard you make a statement if only for God's sake the American Farm Bureau Federation, National Grange, National Council of Farmer Cooperatives, I know most of those gentlemen, the Farmers Union, throw those in, would get together, work out a program and I was thinking of that. I put this in here. We are dealing with three things. We are dealing with land, and when I say “land” I mean whether you said commodities or land, to me it is the same thing because it is the same thing.
You produce commodities out of that land, food, and fiber. The farmer and the Government, I am not ready to throw off every program that is in existence now. I sat in a meeting in 1948 where a lot of us were discussing the Steagall amendment and the Steagall amendment was a cushion helping to solve even this rapid drop of farm prices.
The CHAIRMAN. No. The Steagall amendment when first put on the statute books was to provide an incentive that our Government asked be put on the statute books to provide for production of certain crops. The crops that were short at the time, peanuts, they put pea