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to pay a service fee. It will range anywhere from 3 to 10 percent, depending on the member camp.
I cannot speak for their management. Some of them find their expenses heavier than others.
Is that what you wanted!
Mr. KING. To what extent does the Federal Government subsidize this Puerto Rican labor program?
Mr. LA TOURETTE. Only in prescreening in Puerto Rico. I do not see that the clearance procedure in this country is any particular job for the Federal Government. I do not feel it is any work. · Mr. KING. You are doing here, at the expense of the farmers, the same job that is done in the Mexican labor deal at Federal expense in the maintenance of those distribution camps; are you not?
Mr. LA TOURETTE. From all I know, that is true. I have heard a lot about the Mexican program. Don't get me involved in it. I think what you are driving at is that the farmers themselves are paying for this program; is that right?
Mr. KING. That is right; whereas, I believe in Texas the Government has considerable expense in the maintenance and operation of these distribution centers that do correspond to your nine farmercperated camps. Mr. LA TOURETTE. It could very well be true.
Mr. PoAGE. I think it can be said that the farmer pays that expense, The Federal Government operates those camps there. The Federal Government has control but the Federal Government makes the farmer pay for the cost of maintaining the Mexican worker in the camp and makes the farmer pay for the cost of transporting the Mexican worker and makes the farmer bear the expenses, although the farmer does not control the operations.
Mr. King. I doubt if the farmer pays the Federal labor involved in the operation of the camps. They probably pay a fee that covers the feeding. I think there you will find the distribution actually handled by Federal employees, whereas here there is no Federal employee involved beyond that first stage of certification. I think that is the word you were looking for.
Mr. LA TOURETTE. That is right. That is what you have in Texas. Mr. Poage. We think we are paying a good deal more than cost. The Government says that is not true. We think we pay more than we should be paying.
Mr. LA TOURETTE. There is the advantage of having this thing operated by farmers. Any time farmers feel that way they will go to their board of directors and tell them.
Mr. Poage. We cannot do it except under the terms that somebody in the Northeast will agree to and say we are not oppressing those Mexicans. You know we used to do it ourselves. The minute we try to do it there is some do-gooder comes down and says we have got to send somebody down here to do this for you because you poor people will take advantage of those Mexicans and mistreat them. So we want a lot of Government officials down here to do it. It is not that we want those folks down here; we did not ask them. It is this crowd up here that feels they must run our business that will come down there to take it over for us.
Mr. LA TOURETTE. We even have it here in New Jersey and Pennsylvania.
Mr. ANDRESEN. Is there anything else you want to add ?
Mr. ANDRESEN. What you have said is very helpful to us. We recognize you are dealing with American citizens in Puerto Rico and there is a difference. Is there anything else?
Mr. GATHINGS. How are you reimbursed for this transportation! You do pay
the transportation up here from Puerto Rico? Mr. LA TOURETTE. That is right. We try to collect $30 of the transportation from the worker before he leaves. That is just a good Yankee proposition. We cannot do that with all the workers. We find we can do that on about 6,000. Then the balance of the transportation is deducted from his wages.
Mr. GATHINGS. A small amount each week!
Mr. GATHINGS. Until the transportation both ways shall have been paid?
Mr. LA TOURETTE. Only one way. We have never yet been successful in getting a return transportation provision in the contract with Puerto Rico. They do not want it. The government of Puerto Rico does not want a return transportation. We can get transportation for the worker at cost. Any time he wants to go back on Eastern Airlines, the same way he came in, we can get that at cost. We are not allowed by the Puerto Rican government to have a return transportation provision in the work agreement, just the incoming transportation.
Mr. GATHINGS. He pays his way back?
Mr. ANDRESEN. We thank you for your statement. I think this represents the witnesses that we had today.
On behalf of the committee I want to thank you people for appearing here today and giving us the benefit of your views. We also want to thank Mr. King for making this arrangement. The committee will now stand in recess.
(Whereupon, at 6:15 p. m., Saturday, July 25, 1953, the hearing was closed.)
LONG RANGE FARM PROGRAM
TUESDAY, AUGUST 4, 1953
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES,
Amherst, Mass. The committee met, pursuant to call, in Stockbridge Hall, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, Mass., at 10:40 a. m., Representative Clifford R. Hope (chairman) presiding.
Present: Representatives Hope, Andresen, Dague, Harvey, Belcher, McIntire, King, Harrison, Poage, Grant, McMillan, Abernethy, Albert, and Jones of Missouri.
Also present: John Heimberger and Frank LeMay of the committee staff, and Walter Wilcox, Library of Congress.
The CHAIRMAN. Mr. Mather, ladies and gentlemen, the members of the Committee on Agriculture of the House of Representatives are very happy to be here today. In a moment I want to present the members to you. I am not going to take much time in the way of preliminaries because we came here to hear what the New England farmers and representatives of New England agriculture have to say. We are not here to try to give you folks any information. We want your help and the information you can give us as the committee in Congress which writes the agricultural legislation.
This is the first of a series of hearings which we expect to hold this fall in all parts of the United States. We expect in all that we will have somewhere between 15 and 20 formal hearings, and we hope a number of informal meetings that will enable us to talk things over with farmers in an informal way and to see the agriculture in various parts of the country, because we realize that agriculture in the United States is not one industry, it is a great many industries--some of which conflict with each other to a certain degree.
We know the agricultural problem, so-called, is not one problem, but it is many problems. As a committee, we know we will not be able to deal with it adequately unless we have a pretty good picture of agriculture in all parts of the United States.
Six years ago we had a splendid hearing in New England at Durham, at the University of New Hampshire. I am sure we are going to have a very fine hearing here today. I am sorry that an announcement came out in the Springfield paper, so I am told, that this would be a closed hearing. We do not have closed hearings. All of our hearings are wide open to the press and to everyone who desires to come. Of course it would be very foolish, I think, for us to come up to New England and have a closed hearing. So I do want to disabuse the minds of anyone who may have gotten the idea, and I hope the press will carry the idea far and wide that this is not a closed hearing, but that everyone is invited to participate.
It may not be possible for us to hear all the witnesses. I hope we can. I will say we will hear all the witnesses, but it may be necessary for us to limit the time of the witnesses as we go along because we do want to hear everyone. In 1 day's time, we can only hear so many people. We will hear everyone, even if we have to limit the time. We will try to start out without putting any limitations on; but it may be necessary to do that a little later on.
We do want to hear everyone and we want to give everyone as much time as possible, and it may be necessary for us to limit the questioning by members of the committee-although we like to have all members have the opportunity to develop the testimony by asking questions. But the limitation of time may interfere with conducting the hearing exactly as we would like to do if we had plenty of time.
I want to present to you at this time the members of the committee who are present at the hearing. We have about half of our committee here, which I think is a very fine attendance, because we are coming here the day after Congress is adjourned—I guess it is adjourned now; Senator Morse was making a report of the Independent Party the last I heard, and that may still be going on in the Senate. I do not know.
I think we have a fine attendance here because many of the members felt it was necessary for them to go home and others had to make arrangements about going home. I am very proud that we have this many members of the committee here at this time.
Beginning on my right, I want to present to you a very distinguished member of this committee that we are very proud of. He represents New England agriculture on this committee and does a grand job of representing it, and a man many of you know, Clifford McIntire of Maine. [Applause.]
The next member also represents eastern agriculture. Most of us are from the West and the South, as you will see when I introduce them, but we are always happy to have the agriculture in this part of the country represented on our committee and fully represented. I think there have been times when it was not too well represented because the Members of Congress from this part of the country do not always ask to be put on the Agriculture Committee. They have a great many other interests that are involved, and there have been times in the past when we didn't have strong representation of agriculture from this section of the country on our committee, as I would like to have seen. But I think we are fortunate at this time that we are on the committee well fortified with representatives of agriculture from this part of the country.
The next man I want to introduce is Mr. King from Pennsylvania. [Applause.]
Now we are going to go out in the Middle West and make a quick trip here to Indiana, Ralph Harvey, of Indiana. [Applause. I
We make a couple more jumps and get out in Nebraska, Mr. Bob, Harrison of Nebraska. [Applause.]
Then we go to Oklahoma, Mr. Page Belcher from Oklahoma is the next member. [Applause.]
Now we are coming back to the great State of Pennsylvania again, and we have Paul Dague of Pennsylvania. [Applause.]
The next man and the man on my right, the ranking Republican member on the committee is Mr. August Andresen from Minnesota. [Applause.]
On my left, just continuing on down the committee here, is Mr. Bob Poage of the great State of Texas. [Applause.]
They tell me they do a little farming down there in Texas. The man next to Mr. Poage is Mr. Grant of Alabama. [Applause.]
Tom Abernethy of Mississippi. [Applause.]
He represents a great cotton-growing district in Missouri. They grow everything, they say, in Missouri. I was out there yesterday, and they grow some mighty hot weather. I can testify to that.
The next man is Mr. Carl Albert from Oklahoma, a member of the committee. [Applause.]
And the next man is John McMillan of South Carolina. [Applause.]
Just one thing I want to say. Down in Washington we have the Democrats sit on one side and the Republicans on another, and I see they sort of lined up, that way today. But I don't want you to get the impression this is a partisan committee, because about ninetynine one-hundredths of the work we do on our committee, and maybe a hundred one-hundredths, is entirely nonpartisan. We don't think agriculture is a partisan question. We could just as well be mingled here, Republicans and Democrats alike, because we do not have to keep them separated to keep them from fighting.
We have some good arguments on the committee, but they are not political arguments. They are geographical or economic or crops or something like that that we talk about on our committee.
I do want to present the members of our staff who are here, Mr. John Heimberger, Mr. Frank LeMay, and Dr. Walter Wilcox, of the Library of Congress. We are happy to have these staff members here today.
I have been furnished with a list of witnesses, and we are happy to have with us today some of the commissioners of agriculture from the States that are represented in this area. The first witness that I desire to call on is Mr. Henry T. Broderick, the commissioner of agriculture for the State of Massachusetts. Will you come forward, Mr. Broderick?
STATEMENT OF HON. HENRY T. BRODERICK, COMMISSIONER OF
AGRICULTURE FOR THE STATE OF MASSACHUSETTS
Mr. BRODERICK. Mr. Chairman and distinguished members of your committee, it is with a great feeling of pride that I, as the commissioner of agriculture of this Commonwealth, have the privilege to be the first speaker at this meeting here today, which is of such tremendous importance to the agricultural population of New England. I heard you speak about the Democrats being on one side and the Republicans being on the other. I understand the only difference in politics is that those who are in, want to stay in, and those who are out, want to get in.
So as far as New England is concerned, we look at the committee here today with the greatest of expectation and hope for the future of our entire Nation.
Might I say that after the session that you have had in Washington, coming up here to our New England, to our wonderful vacationland that we have, it certainly is going to be refreshing. You are in