Page images

TABLE IV (b).-State taxes on selected tobacco productsContinued

[blocks in formation]

Representative CHAPMAN. The next witness is Mr. Turner Gilmer, Jr., president of the Virginia Burley Tobacco Association, Lebanon, Va.




Mr. GILMER. My organization is only a small portion of the burley tobacco producers in the country. Southwest Virginia, which joins the States of Tennessee and Kentucky, has about 14,000 growers. Small though our production may be, it is important to us mainly because it is divided among so many farmers.

The average amount of tobacco grown is about 1 acre in the State of Virginia. It is raised chiefly on the one-man farm and by the tenant farmer. I would say a larger percent of our tobacco is raised on these subsistence farms than in the general part of the tobacco-acre

So while it only represents a small part of the total tobacco production, it is important to us because it represents the difference between a low standard of living and a fairly decent standard of living for at least 75 percent of our 14,000 growers.

Now I want to say that we are completely satisfied with the program as it stands at present. It has been satisfactory to us in every way and we are in accord with the Kentucky association.

We think that any new legislation that may be enacted should embody the essential elements of the legislation under which we are now operating

Thank you.

The CHAIRMAN. Thank you, Mr. Gilmer. Representative CHAPMAN. The next witness will be Mr. L. L. Veal of Murray, Ky., manager of the Western Dark-Fired Tobacco Growers Association.


TOBACCO GROWERS ASSOCIATION, MURRAY, KY. Mr. VEAL. Mr. Chairman and gentlemen of the committee, as Representative Chapman said, I am manager of the Dark-Fired Tobacco Growers Association of Murray, Ky. We have a membership of 20,000 and we are one of the organizations spoken of by Mr. Rudolph in his statement.

I want to endorse what he said in his statement and all the other statements made by the gentlemen who have appeared before me.

That is all I say, and I thank you.
The CHAIRMAN. Thank you, Mr. Veal.

Representative CHAPMAN. The next witness will be Mr. Harry W. Love of Asheville, N. C., executive director of the tobacco division of the Farm Federation Cooperatives.


Mr. LOVE. Mr. Chairman and members of the committee, we have had the privilege of operating in the federation and a great many of the programs, for example, potatoes.

We would like to invite you down to our barns on artificial insemination.

The CHAIRMAN. Asheville, N. C., is a health resort, is it not?

Mr. LOVE. It is a very healthful place, and again we say it has the burley that is grown.

Mr. Chairman, in order to save your time we believe that the summation which Congressman Chapman will make to you in a few moments will carry to you and your committee our wishes in the matter of this loan program and the tobacco program in full.

As I said, we have operated a number of programs, but this program, Senator Aiken, has really been a very satisfactory program. We have very small tobacco farms, perhaps an average of six-tenths of an acre, and we join up with the balance of North Carolina in that 76 percent of tobacco and our cash income on these small farms is from our tobacco.

We appreciate very much, Mr. Chairman, the labors of this committee, not only to extend the program to give us a long-range program so that we will know from year to year what to expect, because this program that we now have is working.

We wish to add our endorsement to the statements that have been made by the witnesses before you.

Thank you.

The CHAIRMAN. Thank you, Mr. Love.

Representative CHAPMAN. Mr. Chairman, the next witness is State Senator C. W. Maloney, of Madisonville, Ky., president of the Stemming District Tobacco Association.



Mr. MALONEY. Mr. Chairman and members of the committee, I endorse everything that has been said by the other gentlemen.

I want to point out to you that I represent type 36 tobacco, which is the dark air-cured type.

In 1947 dark air-cured tobacco took a 10-percent reduction under this program that we endorse. In 1948 we take a 25-percent reduction. We are asking you gentlemen to continue a program that the farm people have endorsed.

Under S. 2318 the farmers would have a reduced loan rate of better than $10 on $100.

Senator AIKEN. That is due to their being tied in to the supply, is it not?

Mr. MALONEY. Of course, Public Law 163 gives us that increase tied to burley.

Senator AIKEN. That is, you get quite an increase in the parity price under that bill?


There is one more thing I would like to point out to this committee, that 90 percent of the labor-producing tobacco is hand labor. Therefore, with the price of labor as it is today farm people could not exist under the present scale of wages.

With respect to this present program when you go to write a bill, I might say that it reminds me of the story of a fellow who had two wives and wrote in his will that he wanted to be buried between both of them, but he wanted to be tilted just a little bit toward Annie. So when you write this bill we want to be tilted just as near to the present program as it is possible for us to have.

Senator AIKEN. Why is the parity price on the air-cured tobacco so low?

Mr. MALONEY. You mean at the present time?
Senator AIKEN. Yes.
Mr. MALONEY. Twenty-four and one-half.
Senator AIKEN. Types 35 and 36 I have here are 17.9 as of March 16.
Mr. MALONEY. That is right.

Senator AIKEN. Under the new formula it would be 22 to 23 cents, depending on what labor you put in. Why is the air-cured tobacco so much below the other types of tobacco? Is that a case of buyers depressing the price?

Mr. MALONEY. That was the case when the base formula was set up. We could find no base here that was comparable to the parity program direct. In 1945 we felt that the cost of production on air-cured tobacco was in comparison to burley tobacco and, therefore, the University of Kentucky and the University of Tennessee worked out a formula and we tied it in to the parity of burley tobacco whereby it would receive 6623 of the parity on burley. That is Public Law 163, section 403 of your bill, that we are asking be stricken.

Senator AIKEN. Now the parity price on burley is given here as 46.6 cents today and parity price on dark air-cured is 17.9 cents, or about 40 percent. Is not that disparity wider than is warranted by the cost of producing the two types ?

Mr. MALONEY. I do not understand.

Senator AIKEN. Is not that disparity between parity on burley and air-cured unwarranted in view of the cost of production ?

Can you produce dark aid-cured for 40 percent of the cost of burley? Mr. MALONEY. We can produce it for 6623 percent.

Senator AIKEN. Then the present parity formula is not applicable to the dark air-cured tobacco.

Senator COOPER. I do not know whether this will have any effect on it or not. Is there a difference in yield per acre of this type of tobacco and burley tobacco which might have some effect?

Mr. MALONEY. I think last year our yield was about 1,136 pounds per acre.

Senator COOPER. There is not any difference as far as the yield is concerned.

Senator AIKEN. No; it is about the same.

Mr. Maloney. Thank you, Mr. Chairman and members of the committee.

The CHAIRMAN. Thank you, Mr. Maloney.

Representative CHAPMAN. Mr. Chairman, Representative Albert Gore, of Tennessee, is the next witness to be called.



The CHAIRMAN. We are very glad to have you here, Mr. Gore.
Representative GORE. Thank you, Senator.

I have been around this place for about 10 years now and gentlemen, I find this quite an unusual hearing. Almost without exception the committee sessions which I have attended have been either for the purpose of settling an unsolved problem, resolving differences of people or providing some assistance.

This group today, all types, comes united, no problems which we are asking you to solve, no assistance that we are seeking. The program has

not yet cost the Government and the people of the United States anything. We do not contemplate that it will. We hope that it will not. If we see that it is running into any expenditures, I think I can bespeak the sentiments of the tobacco industry that we will seek changes.

We come before you asking only that in the enactment of a broad agricultural program the peculiarities of the tobacco industry be recognized and that we be allowed to proceed.

Now I shall not take the time of the committee to a longer extent. You have been very patient and enduring.

The CHAIRMAN. So far, are the indications favorable to that type of program!

Representative GORE. Very favorable, Senator. The people I represent are entirely favorable to the program, as has been shown in various referendums.

I would not like to leave unmentioned, however, the wild claims to quantity and volume made by my colleagues from Kentucky and my friends from North Carolina. It just shows that their minds run to the material things, and being more interested in the human element I will just content myself with saying I represent the best farmers in the world. I can lay no claim to 70-percent production.

The CHAIRMAN. That is a great State from where I come, too.

Representative GORE. Thank you, Mr. Chairman and members of the committee.

The CHAIRMAN. Thank you, Congressman.

Representative CHAPMAN. My colleague, the gentleman from Kentucky, Mr. Gregory, was here during part of the hearing and when he left he gave me a note stating that he and Representative Doughton, of North Carolina, and Representative Cooper, of Tennessee, had to hold a session in regard to a very important measure vitally affecting the agricultural economy of the United States and that all of them would have liked to be present to express their approval of the present program.

Also, I desire to note the presence during most of this hearing of Representative Jennings of Tennessee, Representative Ellis of West Virginia, and Mr. Whitaker of Kentucky, who on Monday will take the oath of office as a Member of the House of Representatives to fill the vacancy created by the recent inauguration of Representative Earl C. Clements as Governor of Kentucky.

All of these gentlemen, if they were here at this moment and were to speak, would express their entire approval of the tobacco program as it has been enacted and administered as the result of legislative enactments during the past 15 years.

The CHAIRMAN. They are not here?
Representative CHAPMAN. They have gone. They had to go.

At a meeting of representatives of growers of flue-cured, fire-cured, burley, dark air-cured and Virginia sun-cured tobacco, held at the Ambassador Hotel in this city, April 23, 1948, an agreement was reached on the five points that have been discussed very ably and fully by these witnesses today.

Tobacco growers of all types of tobacco under quotas are in entire agreement in favor of continuing the present program and I would like, upon the request of these gentlemen at that meeting yesterday, to read into the record of this hearing the brief statement of those five points on which there is complete agreement.

At a meeting of flue-cured, fire-cured, burley, dark air-cured, and Virginia suncured tobacco growers at Washington, D. C., on April 23, 1948, it was agreed as follows:

1. Continue the present method of computing “normal supply” of tobacco in determining the mount of the national quota.

2. Continue the present definition of "parity price.”

3. Continue price support loans at the present percent of parity, in accordance with present law.

4. Continue section 2 of Public Law 163, of the Seventy-ninth Congress, approved July 28, 1945. This section applies to the support level for fire-cured and dark air-cured tobacco.

5. Provide for marketing quotas for types of tobacco now under quota and for Virginia sun-cured tobacco.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman and gentlemen of the committee.
The CHAIRMAN. Thank you, Mr. Chapman.

We will now hear from Senator Cooper, who is a comparatively new member of the Senate. He is an excellent Senator and we are happy to have him before us.

We shall be glad to give you all the time you may desire to make your statement, Senator Cooper.


SENATOR FROM THE STATE OF KENTUCKY-Resumed Senator COOPER. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

I want to say in the beginning that I am going to make a short statement. The ground has been adequately and fully covered by men who are intimately acquainted with the peculiar problems which relate to tobacco.

I do think you realize that there are peculiar problems relating to the production and marketing of tobacco. There has been a great deal of concern about this bill upon the part of tobacco growers but I have told them that in my short time here, one of the happy experi

« PreviousContinue »