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modities. I happen to be in the dairy business myself. I recognize that you can't apply the same principles to sweet milk or butter that you can apply to cotton or to wheat.
But I would want to ask you now how you would apply your proposal for a floor price to cotton and to wheat. Would you simply say by law that no cotton can sell in the United States of America for less than 31 cents a pound? Would you say by law that nobody could sell a bushel of wheat for less than $2.42 a bushel ? And that a man would be a felon if he bought a bushel of wheat for $2?
Mr. FITTs. I would agree with you, Mr. Congressman. I would hate very, very much to ever see such a situation exist. I will admit that. On the other hand, Mr. Congressman, we are actually doing that when our milk control board sets the price of milk. And I see no difference, only the magnitude of the thing, when it would be approached in the method that I might suggest.
Maybe our whole argument is on the fact that over the years these other commodities, dairy commodities—you say the Government has come out of this deal all right on wheat and some of the products that we buy for the dairy and poultry business. But I ask you again: Who is paying for them? The poultrymen. In the meantime, a great many of our New England poultrymen have frankly been driven out of business by the high prices that they paid for the grain and the low prices they have had to take for their products and their eggs. Isn't that true?
Mr. Poage. I think it is true, but do you think that wheat ought to sell for less? Do you think that the producer of wheat ought to sell his wheat for $1.50 a bushel ?
Mr. Fitts. I will answer it this way: I think the wheat that goes into the production of livestock should sell at a different price than the high-priced milling wheat that is used for flour.
Mr. Poage. Who do you think should make up that difference in price? _Should the Government make it up as a subsidy?
Mr. FITTS. I think the farmer who is raising it has got to take some of the licking
Mr. PoAGE. He does. Mr. Frits. No. On the basis of the guaranteed price, doesn't the wheat farmer make money on every bushel he raises?
Mr. POAGE. Some wheat farmers do and some do not. I have known some wheat farmers going broke just as I have known some chicken men going broke. I have known some cotton farmers going broke in the last few years in spite of the support prices. Support prices have not been high enough to guarantee that the farmers are all getting rich in spite of stories to the contrary. I do not know of a group of farmers in America who are all getting rich. We each look a long distance away from home and think that everybody is rich there. Down in my country you couldn't convince everybody down there that everybody in New England isn't rich because they say all the money is up there. I am sure I couldn't convince anybody here that there was a hungry, family in Texas because you say, “You are producing oil down there, and yet I know thousands of people of my own personal knowledge who are barely making a living, and a very poor living, farming in Texas, and in every other State for that matter.
So Í ask you: Would you strike down the support programs for wheat and for cotton and for tobacco ?
Mr. FITTS. I think not, Mr. Congressman. I think it should be modified and approached from enough different angles so that it doesn't do what I am telling your committee is going to happen now. Your wheat growers are going to grow darned near as many bushels of wheat this year as they did
last. Let that be some thought to take home with you. You have got to find out some way to prevent that sort of thing. They are too darned zealous. I don't blame them. If I could get 10 cents a dozen more for my eggs and raise so many dozen more, of course, I am going to do it.
I think you are putting temptation right in their laps. If a man is going to decrease his acreage 20 percent, he is going to do everything in God's world to keep his income up there where it was, and I don't blame him. He will probably go in the chicken business. He will do a lot of things in order to keep his family income up where it should be. I don't blame him.
Mr. Poage. I don't question what you say there, but I would call your attention to another phenomenon I watched all my life, and that is that in the old days when we had no controls, when the price of cotton drops, the man who has been producing 3 or 5 bales and attempting to live on it says, “The only way in the world I can now feed my family is to grow 6 or 8 bales," and he always attempts to increase his production and he always did do it, too, until we controlled acreage on him.
The CHAIRMAN. Mr. Andresen has a question.
Mr. ANDRESEN. I think the record should be complete. What the gentleman from Texas has said about not taking any losses on the support program on the 6 basic commodities is correct, but we should add to that a policy of the Government where from April 3, 1948, and for 3 years thereafter, because it was a policy of the Government—the American taxpayers paid for $1,200 million worth of cotton and gave it away to countries of the world. One billion six hundred million dollars worth of wheat was paid for by American taxpayers and given out to the world. Four hundred and fifty million dollars worth of tobacco was paid for by American taxpayers and given out to the world as a gift.
If it had not been for that, we would have had trouble on the support program for these basic commodities. While that was a national policy of the administration, we can not overlook that the American taxpayers paid for the whole bill.
Mr. KING. Will the gentleman yield to me?
The CHAIRMAN. Let us make just one brief question here because we have got 24 witnesses. So you go ahead, Mr. King, with one question and then we will have to conclude with this witness.
Mr. KING. The gentlemen from Minnesota and Texas imply at least that
this farm subsidy program isn't costing much. The U. S. News & World Report in its issue of last week says that this farm subsidy program has cost the taxpayers $20 billion in the last 12 years.
Mr. ANDRESEN. The gentleman must have misunderstood me. I was pointing out that the American taxpayers paid for what was given away to other countries which runs into at least $5 billion or $10 billion in a 3-year period of time. I did not want to let the record go unchallenged to show that the American taxpayers weren't footing the entire bill.
Mr. King. Isn't it true that when you talk about these commodity programs not costing any money that you are simply taking the cash account of the Commodity Credit, and not charging anything at all for administration in all of these programs! ?
The CHAIRMAN. I am afraid if we get into a discussion here of how much the bookkeeping costs and that sort of thing, we will be here all week. We will not go into that at the present time.
The next witness is Mr. Benjamin P. Storrs, representing the Connecticut Department of Agriculture. Mr. Storrs, we will be happy to hear from you at this time.
STATEMENT OF BENJAMIN P. STORRS, CHIEF, MARKETING DIVI.
SION, CONNECTICUT DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Mr. STORRS. Mr. Chairman and members of the committee, Mr. Christensen of the Connecticut Department of Agriculture has delegated me as chief of the marketing division, to present his ideas here today. If it is agreeable to you, Mr. Chairman, I would like to make a brief preliminary statement and then have three additional witnesses supplement my preliminary statement.
After I have covered this, then I would like to bring up the “big guns" and have some protection when the questioning period started also: Is that agreeable, sir?
The CHAIRMAN. We have the names of some of your-
The CHAIRMAN. There is Mr. Geyer and Mr. Hutton and Mr. Noble and Mr. Goldbeck. We had 1 or 2 other witnesses ahead of them. Do you mind if we go
ahead with the list in the order we have it here? Mr. STORRS. I was going to ask permission to introduce three in particular who had supplemental statements.
The CHAIRMAN. Do you want to present them right now?
We recognize that your committee is engaged in an extremely difficult task. "It is easy to be misled by some witnesses who may not represent the thinking of the majority as accurately as they themselves assume. The ideas of the majority, including the small
, stayat-home, less-vocal operators—is what you are searching for, we understand. Their thinking is most difficult to judge, but the following is our summary of the sentiments of the majority as we appraise them:
Our Connecticut farmers are not opposed to all types of Government price and supply stabilizing programs such as price supports, acreage controls, surplus removal, marketing agreements, merchandising campaigns, and the like. We believe this to be true in spite of some previous reports to the contrary.
Our opinion has been influenced by two referendum votes recently. Last year the broadleaf tobacco growers in Connecticut and Massachusetts voted more than two-thirds in favor of acreage control conditioned on price supports.
In 1950 potato growers in the five southern New England States voted by a two-thirds majority in favor of marketing agreements when it was made an eligibility requirement for price support in the area.
These are two lines of reasoning which influence the opinions of our farmers. One group feels that with our present very complicated and involved economy that Government programs to aid stability are necessary. If aids are available to some classes of farmers and other businesses but not to others, that an unreasonable degree of instability and risk is imposed on those left out. This is the thinking of a majority.
The other group argues that opportunities for individual initiative and the extra rewards for the most alert and expert operators are lost under a controlled economy. They long for the "good old days," when you "got by” 2 or 3 seasons, and then “made a killing" the third or fourth season. Such speculative reasoning is typical of a small minority.
Statistics point to the probability that total national food requirements by 1975 will be 36 percent greater than 1950. The "fifth plate” which will be added to all the present four-plate dinner tables of America by 1975 has been dramatically presented in order to emphasize this increased future need. Our chances of achieving this goal if a “boom and bust” economy prevails will not be as good as under reasonably stable conditions. Our medium- to small-size familyenterprise farms cannot weather erratic economic storms as well as the larger commercial business-size farm. We depend on the large number of smaller farms for our total production more than on the few large operators.
We, therefore, submit that the Congress should give favorable consideration to a continuation of such assistance programs as will contribute to a reasonably stable agriculture, but which will permit a maximum of individual initiative.
I would like to ask Mr. Wadhams to come forward, please?
The CHAIRMAN. Will you come forward, Mr. Wadhams? STATEMENT OF PHILIP J. WADHAMS, MANAGER AND TREASURER,
CONNECTICUT FARMERS' COOPERATIVE ASSOCIATION AND SECRETARY AND TREASURER OF THE CONNECTICUT TURKEY PRODUCER'S ASSOCIATION
Mr. WADHAMS. Mr. Chairman and committee, the poultry industry in the last 10 years has had a tremendous increase in the little State of Connecticut until it has now become the largest of all agricultural industries in our State. Having worked and lived with the poultry farmers for the last 25 years, I feel that I can present some ideas from our farmers. The oldtimers have no use for our newfangled programs that have been thrust upon them over the past 20 years. However, the ideas of the new people who have come into the industry in the last 5 or 10 years is entirely different. When market prices are high and production good, this latter group is entirely happy, but as soon as prices take a dive, there is plenty of excitement and a clamor for somebody to do something.
Poultry products have not been affected by Government programs as much as some other products. Surplus removal programs that have been set up in the past, outside of 1 year, have not operated in our State. These purchases in other parts of the Nation have helped to
stabilize our market. Probably the chief bone of contention of Government programs to the poultryman is the control of commodities that our poultrymen have to buy. The poultryman has to buy practically all the feed that goes into the producing of eggs and poultry meat. Many poultrymen say that if the wheat, corn, and oat producer is going to be helped by the Government, why shouldn't the poultryman?
I do not think any poultryman actually knows what kind of a stabilizing program would be best for himself. The acreage-control and marketing-agreement types would be practically impossible to operate in the poultry industry. Poultrymen feel that there should be some protection for them in any program against drastic market-price reductions. Actually the trade and our great consuming public has done a swell job for our industry. Through research and merchandising programs by the Government, greater uses can be made of our products. Tucked away in any program should be a club which would give protection to the producer against ruinous competition.
I certainly appreciate the opportunity of meeting with the committee and I am particularly pleased that the committee has come to southern New England because usually most people feel that you men in Washington only think of agriculture as coming from the great farming States in the West.
Mr. STORRS. Connecticut dairy farmers received $54 million from sales of milk and livestock the last year estimated. Mr. Kenneth Geyer, manager of the Connecticut Milk Producers Association, Hartford, a marketing cooperative association which is sales agent for a major share of the milk produced and consumed in the State, has prepared testimony for your consideration based on the views of Connecticut dairy farmers.
The CHAIRMAN. Mr. Geyer, we will be happy to hear from you at this time.
STATEMENT OF KENNETH GEYER, MANAGER, CONNECTICUT MILK
PRODUCERS' ASSOCIATION, HARTFORD, CONN. Mr. GEYER. Mr. Chairman and members of the committee, my statement is brief and I will read it so as to keep on your time schedule and give other people an opportunity.
I am manager of the Connecticut Milk Producers' Association whose office is at 990 Wethersfield Avenue, Hartford, Conn. The association is a farmer-owned and farmer-controlled cooperative association marketing the milk produced on the farms of its 1,931 farmer members. In the year 1952 it marketed 331,173,091 pounds of milk, 12,652,476 pounds of butterfat and returned to its members $22,042,191.01.
Approximately 85 percent of the milk produced in Connecticut and the immediate surrounding territory, for Connecticut markets, is sold to consumers as fluid milk. As a result, the interest of dairy farmers in Southern New England in governmental agricultural programs centers around the Marketing Agreement Act of 1937, as amended. By far the most important way in which the Federal Government can help to stabilize dairy farming in the whole eastern part of the country is through the Federal milk order program which functions under authority granted by the Marketing Agreement Act.