Page images

we are.

the preacher wanted them to get up and testify they would not do it. He finally said, “Let us see who will raise their hand if they want to go to heaven," and nobody would raise his hand.

He was disturbed. "He was a young man. The old preacher said to him, “Don't be disturbed; these people are perfectly happy where they are and are willing to stay here."

That is the way we are in tobacco. We are willing to stay where Representative CHAPMAN. Mr. Chairman, before calling the next witness, may I supplement Mr. Shaw's answer to your question as to which Śtate is the largest producer of tobacco ? He correctly stated that North Carolina is and that it produces 68 percent of the flue-cured tobacco.

May I add that Kentucky produces 70 percent of the burley tobacco and is the second largest tobacco-producing State.

The next witness is Mr. H. G. Blalock, of South Hill, Va., representing the Virginia State Farm Bureau.



Mr. BLALOCK. Mr. Chairman and members of the committee: I certainly want to say to you that we appreciate your patience with these people who have appeared here this morning. I think that I have been about as close to the tobacco growers in Virginia as any man in Virginia. Our growers, I am sure, if they were all here this morning, would certainly endorse what has been said by these gentlemen who have made statements to you.

We realized years ago the predicament that we were in and we have been working on this program for a long time. This program has brought us out of the red.

As tobacco growers, we are satisfied with the program as it now is, of course with a few wrinkles ironed out, as we are sure you gentlemen can iron out.

Anything further that I might say I think will be just repetitious to what has already been said.

I certainly appreciate the privilege of appearing before you and we hope that this problem can be worked out and that you can take care of our tobacco situation.

Thank you, gentlemen.
The CHAIRMAN. Thank you, Mr. Blalock.
Representative CHAPMAN.

The next witness is R. H. Proctor, representing the Kentucky Farm Bureau, Louisville, Ky. STATEMENT OF R. H. PROCTOR, ASSISTANT EXECUTIVE SECRE

TARY, KENTUCKY FARM BUREAU, LOUISVILLE, KY. Mr. PROCTOR. Mr. Chairman and gentlemen of the committee, I am one of the producers of burley tobacco in Kentucky that Congressman Chapman told you produces 70 percent of the burley tobacco produced in the world.

I have filed a brief statement with the Secretary from the Kentucky Farm Bureau Federation, therefore I think it is useless for me to spend much time before you.

The CHAIRMAN. In your statement do you favor the pending legislation?

Mr. PROCTOR. I will answer that question by saying that I join with President Kline of the American Farm Bureau Federation in most heartily complimenting and thanking the members of this committee for the most constructive job that you are doing in trying to build a long-range farm program. In

ту. statement that is filed for the Kentucky Farm Bureau Federation we take up all phases of the program as outlined in this bill. Largely, when it comes down to tobacco we do agree with the statements that have been made here this morning by the tobacco people. However, we go further than that because the Farm Bureau in Kentucky as well as all over the Nation represents farmers who produce all kinds of crops. Tobacco is the money crop in Kentucky. We produce a lot of other crops. I heartily agree that tobacco is a special kind of crop and that it does require special attention and I will go so far as to agree with my good friend from the warehouse association that it might, and I think it does, require some special kind of legislation but not, as he so well stated, any special favors.

We only hope that we may maintain full and complete parity and we are convinced that that is the purpose of the members of this committee.

I thank you.

(The formal statement referred to is as follows:)



On April 13, 1948, a statement of the position of the American Farm Bureau Federation on S. 2318, dealing with farm programs, was presented to this committee by Allan B. Kline, president of the federation. On behalf of the Kentucky Farm Bureau Federation, I wish to wholeheartedly join with President Kline in complimenting the members of the committee for the contribution you are making to the development of a long-term program for agriculture.

The Kentucky Farm Bureau Federation, with its 52,000 farm family members in 110 of the State's 120 counties, is one of the 45 States whose leaders and delegates, with the approval of its members, formulated and adopted the policies in the light of which the board of directors of the American Farm Bureau Federation carefully considered the bill, which this committee has prepared. We are glad that the board authorized Mr. Kline to present favorable testimony on this proposed legislation with certain amendments which we are convinced will improve the bill. The Kentucky Farm Bureau Federation approves and supports that testimony. We wish to elaborate and expand on that testimony as it relates to one of the six basic crops—tobacco.

Tobacco farming does not lend itself to mechanization. All of the many operations involved in its production and preparation for market, except cultivation on some less sloping land, must be performed by hand. Most of the labor required must be skilled or the producer will suffer an appreciable loss, both in quantity and quality of tobacco marketed. For this reason, marketing quotas and relately adequate price supports are needed to stabilize the industry, as far as tobacco production is concerned. Kentucky is the second largest tobaccoproducing State in the Nation. Three types are produced, with one or more of the types being grown in every section of the Commonwealth.

We emphasize our agreement with Mr. Kline's written testimony on pages 7 and 8 relating to tobacco :

(1) That the adoption of a 10-year moving average-middle of page 7—would be a sounder approach, also the statement at the top of page 8 that "the bill should be changed to avoid forcing commodities and now using the 1910–14 period to return to that base.” We believe the 10-year moving average formula for figuring parity to be an improvement on the old formula. By experience growers have found the 1934–39 base period for tobacco to be the most equitable.

(2) Near the middle of page 8, Mr. Kline states that, “Section 302-H of the old law should be retained.” Price support on tobacco has never cost the taxpayer one cent. Anything less than a nonrecourse loan would not constitute a price support and would therefore destroy the effect of the support program.

(3). On page 9, Mr. Kline suggests a formula for determining marketing quotas but fails to list tobacco in the percentage of the sum of domestic disappearance of the previous year. We suggest that the formula as now provided in the Agricultural Adjustment Act of 1938 should be used for tobacco. Aging of tobacco for a period of about 212 years is a necessary part of processing by manufacturers in order to maintain the long-established standard demanded by the consumer, hence the necessity for a large carry-over.

(4) As demonstrated by better than 95 percent majority vote of tobacco producers during referendums, tobacco farmers favor continuous marketing quotas. We strongly urge this committee to give careful consideration to permitting them to vote quotas regardless of supplies.

We call the attention of the committee to Public Law 163, which ties the support price on Dark Air-Cured and Dark Fire-Cured tobacco to the support price on burley tobacco. It provides the growers of these types with a price support that puts them in a favorable position with growers of other types. We hope that you will give serious consideration to the retention of this law.

Due to the fact that agriculture is still operating under wartime urgency, and world conditions have materially changed during recent months, and since consideration of legislation of this magnitude requires a great deal of time, it is our opinion that the Steagall and Bankhead Commodity Loan Acts should be extended for at least another year.

We hope that this legislation, including amendments suggested by Mr. Kline and myself, will be passed eventually.

We have not meant to be critical of the members of this committee. We are most appreciative of the efforts that you are making in the interest of American agriculture. It is our hope to convey to you some changes in S. 2318 that are sound and in the best interest of the farmers whom we represent.

Representative CHAPMAN. Mr. Chairman, the next witness is Mr. T. B. Hall, Farmville, Va., speaking for the Virginia Dark-Fired Tobacco Association.


FIRED TOBACCO ASSOCIATION, FARMVILLE, VA. Mr. HALL. Mr. Chairman and gentlemen of the committee, your distinguished Senator referred a while ago to the quotas in the old days. I think history will bear me out in this: That in the early days of Jamestown a man was required to grow so many acres of corn, Senator Aiken, before he could grow an acre of tobacco, and tobacco in those days was quite an important factor, because I think they used that even in the purchase of their wives.

Senator AIKEN. They certainly tried to regulate agriculture in a lot of ways in those days, worse than we have now. They tried to force the settlers of Virginia to raise European grapes. It was impossible for them to do it. They tried incentive payments and they tried penalties, and neither of them could make the settlers grow European grapes.

Mr. HALL. Mr. Chairman, I represent the Virginia Dark-Fired Tobacco Association of Farmville, Va., and also the Sun-Cured Cooperative Association of Richmond, Va. We may produce only a small percent of the dark-fired tobacco, but we produce the best.

I want to concur in everything that has been said by the gentleman representing the various types of tobacco, and I also want to express

[blocks in formation]

my gratitude and the gratitude of the farmers of Virginia for your courteous hearing this morning.

My main purpose is to present to you gentlemen a recommendation agreed upon by all types of tobacco representatives in this group.

We recommend that legislation provide for marketing quotas on Flue-Cured, burley, Fire-Cured, Dark Air-Cured, and Virginia SunCured tobacco—and that one is being added; at the present time it has no quotas—even though the total supply may not exceed the reserve supply level. Such legislation has heretofore been provided by Public Laws Nos. 118, 276, and 163.

The provisions of the Agricultural Adjustment Act of 1938 relating to marketing quotas on peanuts do not require that the total supply be in excess of the reserve supply level before quotas can be proclaimed and growers be afforded an opportunity to approve or disapprove marketing quotas. This can be accomplished by adding the following proviso at the end of the first sentence:

Provided, That the Secretary shall, notwithstanding the total supply or the reserve supply level, proclaim a national marketing quota for any kind of tobacco for which a national marketing quota was proclaimed for the immediate preceding marketing year, and shall proclaim a national marketing quota for Virginia Sun-Cured tobacco for any marketing year in which a quota is proclaimed for Fire-Cured tobacco, and, beginning on the first day of the marketing year next following and continuing throughout such year, a national marketing quota shall be in effect for the tobacco marketed during such marketing year.

I thank you.

The CHAIRMAN. Thank you, Mr. Hall.

Representative CHAPMAN. Our next witness will be Mr. J. Mott Robertson, vice president and secretary-treasurer of the Virginia Dark Tobacco Warehouse Association of Lynchburg, Va.

Mr. HALL. Mr. Robertson, I might say, had to leave.

Representative CHAPMAN. Then the next witness will be Mr. R. W. Benson, of Springfield, Tenn., president of the Robertson County Farm Bureau.


Mr. BENSON. Mr. Chairman, my home is in Robertson County,

Senator AIKEN. Did you not come before the committee in Memphis?
Mr. BENSON. Yes, sir. I appreciate your recognizing me.
Senator AIKEN. I remember that I talked with


there. Mr. BENSON. I am a farmer and producer of tobacco. I came here representing the Farm Bureau of Robertson County. We have more than a thousand Farm Bureau members and all producers of tobacco.

The CHAIRMAN. What percent of the total farm population would that be?

Mr. BENSON. Of the total we have a population of about 30,000 people in the county. That is approximately one-half of the farming industry of the county.

The CHAIRMAN. Who belong to the Farm Bureau?
Mr. BENSON. Yes.
The CHAIRMAN. That is pretty good.
Mr. BENSON. Yes, sir.

I would like to say that I personally have talked to each of these Farm Bureau members and those who are not members of the Farm Bureau and I would also like to speak for the tenant class of

people in my county. It has been circulated that maybe the Farm Bureau only played up to the big shots in agriculture, but all of the tenant class of people in my county, and I have talked to hundreds of them, are highly in favor of the program that has been in effect on our types of tobacco. They sent me to Washington to tell you gentlemen that we would like to keep the present program, or something similar to it, in effect.

As one gentleman stated, “Maybe the congressman may find a few wrinkles in it, but let us not find too many wrinkles because we like the program as it is.'

It has increased our standard of living down there, not only for the landowner but for the tenant farmer and for everybody concerned.

We would like to ask you gentlemen to hue as closely to the line as you can and keep our old program in effect because it has been 100 percent satisfactory.

Senator AIKEN. I believe you told us at Memphis that your area produces a good share of the tobacco that goes into snuff, did you not?

Mr. BENSON. Yes, sir. In fact, I come from the county in Tenneesee that produces the finest dark-fired tobacco in the world. These other gentlemen want to brag a little and I do, too.

Thank you, gentlemen.
The CHAIRMAN. Thank you, Mr. Benson.

Representative CHAPMAN. Mr. Chairman, Mr. H. B. Caldwell of Greensboro, N. C., master of the North Carolina State Grange was here until a few minutes ago. He asked that Dr. Lloyd Halvorson, Washington, D. C., representing the National Grange, take his time on this program. STATEMENT OF DR. LLOYD C. HALVORSON, ECONOMIST, THE

NATIONAL GRANGE, WASHINGTON, D. C. Mr. HALVORSON. Mr. Chairman and gentlemen of the committee. Mr. Caldwell asked that I read his statement but because time is short I shall not do so. I will ask in his behalf that the statement which he has prepared be made available to the Senators and inserted in the record.

I would like to summarize briefly three points here. I see in his statement that he endorses the use of quotas more or less as they are now set up.

He endorses a sound method for determining normal supply and prefers the present method.

Third, he says that his people want price support and not less than 90 percent of parity.

Åt the end of Mr. Caldwell's statement, J. T. Sanders, legislative counsel of the National Grange, has added a statement saying that he endorses the statement of Mr. Caldwell and finds it in accord with the programs and policies of the National Grange.

There are some tables in this statement that I believe you might find interesting. One table shows, for example, that the average tobacco acreage is only 3.3 acres per farm in the United States. I

« PreviousContinue »