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that the President and those whom he would appoint would see to it that the right number of men were kept on the farms and in industry, and that the right number would be sent into the armed forces.
If the President and the Selective Service Director, or others, have not seen fit to do what Congress authorized them to do, and we pass your bill, do you suppose the President will veto it?
Mr. FULMER. That is clearly up to the President. What he does with this bill or any other bill that is written is his responsibility. Many times the President is ill-advised on many matters, just as he was on the question of the Bankhead bill, on the ground that it was going to bring about inflation, when it is not going to bring about inflation.
Mr. ELSTON. You do not think that he is ill advised about the need for farm workers, do you?
Mr. FULMER. I think he is pretty well posted on that. Prior to this war I really believe, as far as my country is concerned, in that we never did get so very much out of the Government, the administration tried to do everything possible to help the farmers, and our farmers have got a lot out of the assistance of the Government; but during this emergency the very people he kicked out all along have got charge of the thing, and they have been able to take in a great many of these people you call bureaucrats. There are only two ways of eliminating those fellows. One is to make your legislation definite; the other is to cut the appropriations so that they cannot carry on. They are the only two ways in which you can remedy the situation.
Mr. Elston. That is because they should not have been appointed in the first place? Mr. FULMER. That is right; but we do not do the appointing.
Mr. ELSTON. I know we do not. If we did, we would not appoint them at all. This is just another case of coming to Congress and asking for legislation that is not needed but is solely to make somebody carry out the express intention of Congress.
Mr. FULMER. That is right.
Mr. FULMER. No. Congress gets the blame, of course, from your constituents and mine.
Mr. Elston. You do not think that it is a criticism of Congress that is warranted, do you?
Mr. FULMER. I do not.
Mr. Elston. As I take it, under your bill, H. R. 1728, you are not insisting, for example, on the provision that every person who was · engaged in an agricultural occupation or endeavor in any capacity during any part of the calendar year 1942 shall be deferred?
Mr. FULMER. The last draft that I submitted here awhile ago is more definite. If you will refer to the last draft, that I referred to a while ago, while the wording used may be "in any endeavor." it goes
back to production, and "production" means planting, cultivating, or harvesting crops. It has got to be in that line of work. That is why we put the word “production” in. That would take care of dairying and feeding cattle and hogs. All of that would be considered under my bill.
Mr. Elston. You mean, in plain words, bona fide farmers?
Mr. FULMER. Absolutely. A man may be in agricultural work in a school or somewhere else. It would not have anything to do with that type of work.
Mr. ELSTON. We are considering the whole manpower problem, not only as it affects agriculture, but also everything else. It will be some time before we can possibly complete hearings, even. In the meantime, the Government can go ahead, take men off the farms, and put them into the armed services. But they could stop it all overnight?
Mr. FULMER. They can do it right now. I have letters from a couple of people who live down near my farm.
Mr. Elston. They could stop it all overnight by one simple order from the Chairman of the Manpower Commission that selective service boards shall not induct into the service bona fide farmers, could they not?
Xir. FULMER. It would be an easy matter to do it. In fact, if they had written rules and regulations governing the drafting from the farm, having this in mind, they would have left the men on the farms all the time. But the manner in which they have written rules and regulations has been to carry out their own views regardless of what might happen to the farms. As I said in my opening statement, the importance of agriculture, from every angle, has just been left out of the picture.
Mr. Elston. They just have not deferred agricultural workers as they should have ?
Mr. FULMER. You can go down into the States right now and find them taking the last man from the farm.
Mr. Elston. Would you agree with me that the whole matter could be corrected by the issuing of a simple regulation by the Chairman of the Manpower Commission that bona fide farmers should not be taken?
Mr. FULMER. I believe that under the provision you read a few moments ago, if they had taken into consideration the importarice of agriculture along with war industry, they could have written rules and regulations that would have done for agriculture just what has been done for the Army and the Navy.
Mr. Elston. They can still do it?
Mr. ELSTON. After the war has been in progress all these months they still have not recognized that?
Mr. FULMER. That is right. Mr. Elston. Although everybody else seems to recognize it? Mr. FULMER. Yes. Mr. ELSTON. That is all, Mr. Chairman. The CHAIRMAN. Mr. Kilday! Mr. KILDAY. I have no questions. The CHAIRMAN. Mr. Gathings? Mr. GATHINGS. Under your revised section 1, what about a man who supervises the actual farming operation? Would he be deferred?
Mr. FULMER. He would not be eligible. He has got to be engaged in the actual farming.
Mr. GATHINGS. He must himself actually farm?
Mr. FULMER. Yes.
Mr. FULMER. Well, if he were actually engaged in farming he would be deferred.
Mr. GAThings. But he would have to put on overalls and a big hat and get out there and plow?
Mr. FULMER. I am not so sure about that. It would just depend on whether his position was a necessary one on the farm to bring about that production. In some instances it is very necessary to have an overseer. If my overseer were drafted today or were to quit me today because of being unable to get anybody to help, it would be just as well for me to fold up my farm. It may be that they would qualify to a certain extent.
Mr. GATHINGS. It ought to be made broad enough to include farm owners?
Mr. FULMER. While I think about it, Mr. Chairman, let me make this suggestion. I have here a draft of an amendment to the Kilday bill. There may be some question whether this is germane, although I think it is, Mr. Chairman.
The CHAIRMAN. That is an amendment to the Kilday bill as it has been reported ?
Mr. FULMER. Yes. Let me read it. On page 4, after line 24, insert the following:
SEC. 2. Every individual who was regularly engaged in an agricultural occupation or endeavor in any capacity in connection with the production of any agricultural commodity during a major part of the calendar year 1942 and who, on or after the date of enactment of this act, is serving within any of the States of he Union or the District of Columbia in the land or naval forces of the United States, shall be granted leave with full pay and allowances for the purpose of permitting such individual to engage in an agricultural occupation or endeavor in any capacity in connection with the production of any agricultural commodity until January 1, 1944, or until the date on which such individual ceases to be regularly engaged in any capacity in connection with the production of any such commodity, whichever first occurs. As used in this section the term "production of any agricultural commodity" includes the raising, feeding, caring for, and management of any dairy animals or other livestock or poultry.
The CHAIRMAN. I notice that you included in the District of Columbia in that. If you will guarantee that that bill will get back onto the farms the thousands of men in the Government departments, I will agree to it. [Laughter.]
Mr. FULMER. Mr. Kilday has a bill of interest to the married folks of the country. I want to say to Mr. Kilday that a great many of the married people under the present situation could much more easily go into the service than these men who are definitely needed to produce something to feed the rest of the people. I do not know just how he is going to get along with his bill in Congress, by way of having it passed by the Congress. I have a son-in-law—I have not a son—with one little child. My son-in-law has been connected all along with General Motors. If he is drafted, I realize what a hardship it will be upon his wife and his little child. But he is not nearly as important in the position he is holding as a man on a farm who is producing something to feed those engaged in the war. I believe if the gentleman would accept this kind of amendment, it would go a long way toward helping the passage of his bill, because I have not met in the House a single man not interested in the passage of this amendment.
Mr. Kilday. Does it make it mandatory for all those coming within your definition to be granted leave?
Mr. FULMER. Yes. They must have served a major portion of 1942.
Mr. KILDAY. That would then take into consideration those who are volunteers, those who were drafted, and those who made no effort to obtain deferment from their local boards?
Mr. FULMER. That is right.
Mr. Kilday. Does it require them to make application, or how would it be handled ?
Mr. FULMER. It does not set that forth. How they would proceed to do it would be, I imagine, under rules and regulations.
Mr. Kilday. With respect to the practical point of handling these men when they were ready to return to duty, just what would you do with them? Put them back in their original organizations!
Mr. FULMER. Oh, yes; when they fail to operate on the farm, they go back to service.
The CHAIRMAN. The Tydings amendment does that.
Mr. Kilday. If they went back to their original organization, they would have been without 4 to 6 months' training, and they could not possibly go back into that organization, because they would be that far behind in their training. The practical difficulty in that connection, that just offhand strikes me—I do not care whether these men are married men, farmers, or other types— is that by taking them out of the Army for from 4 to 6 months and then putting them back in, you would be demobilizing your organization.
Mr. FULMER. I agree with the gentleman; to a certain extent that would be so. But unless something is done along the line of keeping them on the farm or to return some of them to the farm, it is useless to train them.
Mr. Kilday. To what extent do you feel that the training of farm labor might be attributable to the fact that farmers on local boards have not been willing to grant proper farm deferments?
Mr. FULMER. You said farmers on the local boards?
Mr. FULMER. I think that if you will investigate you will find very few farmers on local boards.
Mr. KILDAY. In the farming communities?
Mr. FULMER. In the farming communities. In my own county there is not a farmer on a board.
Mr. KILDAY. While those boards are in agricultural districts, I think this is what has occurred: That they have misconstrued the importance of the situation; they have on them good, old-time Americans who think that the fellows carrying rifles are the ones doing something to win the war, so in those communities they have been too slow to grant occupational deferments to farmers.
Mr. FULMER. I think that a great many members of those boards fully realize the importance of the situation, but they were in about
the same position as the young man on the farm to whom I referred a while ago. His mother was 65 years old. He had a five-horse farm, and there was no one else there to take care of either the mother or the farm. The boy said, “I know I ought to stay on the farm, but I am not going to open my mouth”; and they put him in the service. In another case, there were two brothers, and there was doubt about whether one should be taken and perhaps the other one left. The board said, “If we leave this one and take the other one, we will be in trouble," so they took both of them.
Mr. Kilday. In these old-time American communities, where the people are thoroughly patriotic, the boys feel that they would be unpatriotic if they asked to be deferred. You refer to the case of the boy with a 65-year-old mother. I recall a case in Texas about a year ago in a small agricultural community. There was a man 70 years old or more on the farm. His wife was about his age. He had one boy on the farm. The local board refused to grant the boy an agricultural deferment. The State Director gave him a postponement of something like 4 to 6 months, and the whole local board resigned in protest. They were right there and understood that situation; still they felt that their big duty was to send somebody off to carry his rifle, when his value was really greater at home.
Mr. FULMER. I think the trouble is with those in authority who wrote the rules and regulations governing the operations of local boards. While it would be possible for them to defer one fellow and take another one, they think that under the situation the best thing to do is to take them as they come.
Mr. KILDAY. Insistence on filling quotas is part of it.
Mr. Kilday. That has resulted in the local board thinking it is doing its duty.
Mr. FULMER. For example, right now in some counties in some States they have plenty from which to fill the quotas; but if you take the quota down to the actual county, they have to go in on even married men in order to get their quota, and the States say that they must have
Mr. KILDAY. I think it has never occurred to local boards to wonder what will happen if they do not send them.
The CHAIRMAN. Nothing.
Mr. KILDAY. With reference to my bill with relationship to yours, the first provision of my bill continues occupational deferment, and my bill applies only to those remaining after occupational deferments have been granted. This operation with reference to the farmer does not come into the picture.
First is the occupational deferment. Then those not deferred for occupational reasons shall be classified with respect to persons depending on them, in the following order. It is important that my bill does not defer anyone but only provides the order in which they shall be taken. In other words, if there is a father with 10 totally dependent children, he would be taken when selective-service came down to taking that class of people.
Mr. FULMER. I will suggest this about the bill, having in mind being helpful to you in connection with your bill; that if you can work