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TO AMEND THE FEDERAL FARM BOARD ACT APPROVED
JUNE 15, 1929
THURSDAY, JUNE 16, 1932
Washington, D. C. The committee met at 10.30 o'clock a. m., Hon. Edward W. Pou (chairman) presiding.
The CHAIRMAN. Gentlemen, the committee will be in order.
Mr. BANKHEAD. Mr. Chairman, you were not here yesterday; but in reference to this request for a rule on this agricultural bill, I took the liberty of suggesting to Mr. Jones and his associates that they prepare a definite rule incorporating what they felt justified in asking. Mr. Jones, I assume that this rule handed me by Mr. Cannon is the rule you gentlemen have agreed on?
STATEMENT OF HON. MARVIN JONES, A REPRESENTATIVE IN
CONGRESS FROM THE STATE OF TEXAS, CHAIRMAN OF THE COMMITTEE ON AGRICULTURE
Mr. Jones. Yes, sir. The printed rule is here, if you wish it.
Mr. Cox, Mr. Jones calls attention to the fact that it refers to a resolution when it ought to be a bill.
Mr. Jones. Yes; one word there ought to be changed.
Resolved, That upon the adoption of this resolution it shall be in order to move that the House resolve itself into the Committee of the Whole House on the state of the Union for the consideration of H. R. 12617 to amend the Federal Farm Board act, approved June 15, 1929.
After general debate, which shall be confined to the bill and shall continue not to exceed four hours, to be equally divided and controlled by the chairman and ranking minority member of the Committee on Agriculture, the resolution shall be read for amendment under the 5-minute rule..
It shall be in order to consider as a substitute for the pending bill or any subtitle thereof
As I understand, you gentlemen are asking for a rule on H. R. 12617.
It shall be in order to consider as a substitute for the pending bill or any subtitle thereof, or for any substitute therefor which may be agreed to by the Committee of the Whole, the bill (H. R. 12645)
Now, which is that?
To provide for the issuance of agricultural export debentures, to secure to the farmers a fair price for agricultural commodities, and for other purposes, or the bill (H. R. 12644), to amend the agricultural marketing act so as to enable the
producers of agricultural commodities produced in excess of domestic requirements to benefit from tariff protection on that part of their products consumed within the United States, and for other purposes.
Mr. MICHENER. Is that the equalization?
Mr. Jones. That is the Fulmer bill. That embodies some variations of the so-called Wilson plan.
Mr. O'CONNOR. The debenture bill that I have in front of me is H. R. 12574.
Mr. Jones. Yes. On account of having to change a date, the bill having been introduced some time ago, I reintroduced it exactly as it is there, with the date changed.
Mr. BANKHEAD (reading): Such proposed substitutes shall be considered under the 5-minute rule as original bills.
At the conclusion of the reading of the bill and such proposed substitutes for amendment the committee shall rise and report the bill to the House with such amendments as may have been adopted, and the previous question shall be considered as ordered on the resolution and the amendments thereto to final passage without intervening motion except one motion to recommit.
Mr. JONES. Mr. Bankhead, I would like to call attention to the first page, line, 9, the word "resolution," the last word in the line, should be “bill”.
Mr. BANKHEAD. I have not the printed copy before me. I have the manuscript copy.
Mr. GARRETT. What was the original bill?
Mr. GARRETT. I thought the debenture was the original bill and the others would come in as substitutes.
Mr. Jones. I will state to the gentleman that the debenture bill is the bill which I introduced which at the present time I prefer, because of the accumulation that we have at this time and the necessity of disposing of it.
Mr. PURNELL. Mr. Chairman, I would like to ask the chairman of the Agricultural Committee what his views are with reference to the situation as it now stands, in the light of the action of the Senate yesterday, and what he thinks under the circumstances could be done?
Mr. MICHENER. What did the Senate do?
Mr. PURNELL. It is dead; in other words, the bill is dead in the Senate.
Mr. O'CONNOR. For this session.
Mr. JONES. The Senate recommitted that bill by a vote of 38 to 28. However, there are a great many Members of the House who think that farm legislation should be enacted in this emergency, and I have no authority and no desire to say that we will not press the matter further. As a matter of fact, I would like for the committee to report the rule out so that we may have our place in the picture.
Mr. Martin. If this can not become a law, do you not think it were better to give the time, in the few days that remain, to some legislation that has a possibility of becoming law?
Mr. Jones. I have seen a great many things become a law in the last few days of a session that did not look as though at first they had much of a chance.
Mr. BANKHEAD. If this proposition were called up, it would take considerable time, because it calls for the offering of two different substitutes, two entirely different bills, each of which would be subject to amendment as to its details before it could be finally considered in the committee.
Mr. JONES. I am perfectly willing, so far as general debate is concerned, to have that even more limited than suggested in the rule as introduced, which is two hours on each side.
Mr. BANKHEAD. I am not talking about general debate. I am talking about consideration of the details of these substitutes and all of the amendments to the alternative bills, which would be in order under the 5-minute rule.
Mr. Jones. That is very true, but this is a very important subject.
Mr. McMillan. Mr. Chairman and gentlemen, we have here on the table this morning Mr. Hare's bill and if we are interested in agriculture, it seems to me, in view of the action of the Senate yesterday, as Mr. Martin has well said, we can help by passing Mr. Hare's bill, which will relieve these farmers in the matter of their mortgage indebtednesses to these land banks.
Mr. SABATH. That will not help them get anything for their crop. It will save some of these mortgagors; those are the only ones it would help. We are anxious to help the farmer get something for his crop.
Mr. McMILLAN. The Hare bill will help the farmers and in view of the action of the Senate yesterday on this bill of Mr. Jones's, I feel, as Mr. Martin has suggested, that we would be chasing a rainbow to report out a rule on Mr. Jones's bill.
Mr. MICHENER. The Hare bill is very limited in scope. For instance, it will not affect the farmers in my country at all.
Mr. McMillan. It will affect them in my country.
Mr. MICHENER. I will affect the farmers only in certain localities. This other is a very comprehensive bill.
Mr. McMillan. The action of the Senate yesterday I think foreclosed any chance of passing that bill at this session.
Mr. PůRNELL. Of course, it does. We might as well accept the facts as we know them to exist. I have kept in close touch with the work in the Senate and I know had they come to a vote they would have taken out Title III, which is the allotment plan. Following that, the antiequalization fee folk would have kicked out the equalization fee. Everybody else would have been mad and kicked out the debenture, which would have left nothing when they got through. If they had not recommitted that bill, that would have been the exact course that that bill would have taken in the Senate. It is a question of policy, Mr. Chairman. I am jealous of the standing of the Agricultural Committee, having been a member of it for a great many years. I just wonder if we ought to embarrass the committee and make ourselves seem more or less ridiculous by taking up important time when the bill has no chance of final passage. As Mr. Bankhead has suggested, this will involve a lot of time in debate and we are in the closing hours of the session, when, perhaps, we ought to be doing something else.
Mr. MICHENER. It will delay adjournment, because if you ever get that bill out, a great many Members will object to adjourning until something is done.
Mr. BANKHEAD. So far as I am concerned, I am in favor of getting through. This talk of staying here all summer does not appeal to me.
Mr. McMILLAN. Mr. Chairman, I have a great deal of sympathy with Mr. Jones's bill, but we are up against a state of facts on the action of the Senate yesterday. I do not think this rule will do any good.
Mr. Cox. Speaking for myself, I should love to see the bill come out, even though we let it come out with the knowledge that it stands no chance of becoming law. It would be a manifestation of an interest in the farmer.
Mr. Martin. It would bring about pressure on you to get it up on the floor.
Mr. McMILLAN. There is a manifestation of interest in the farmer in the Hare bill, which is right on this table this morning. Mr Hare has asked for a rule on his bill and there is no controversy, at least on the part of the Senate, on the Hare bill.
Mr. GARRETT. Would not the Hare bill be in order under the rule asked for here, as a substitute?
The CHAIRMAN. Gentlemen, the committee will be in order. Mr. Jones, will you submit any authorization you wish to submit, and we will then conclude the hearing?
Mr. Jones. Mr. Lozier wanted to say a word, Mr. Chairman. I just felt this: These farm groups had asked for this particular measure and a number of Members of the House and Mr. Lozier would like to say a word in that connection--think that we ought to go ahead in an effort in this emergency to get some sort of legislation on which the House might agree.
Mr. GARRETT. Before Mr. Jones leaves: Could you broaden this rule to include the Hare bill as a substitute? If you want to have an omnibus rule, why not make it possible to include the Hare bill?
Mr. BANKHEAD. Mr. Jones, let me ask you this. Are you in favor of a rule requiring a vote on each substitute as a finished product, without allowing any amendment on it?
Mr. McMILLAN. Could you not offer as a substitute this Hare bill, which is also aimed to provide relief for the farmers?
Mr. Jones. Personally I can see no objection to requiring the substitute bills to be voted on as a finished product. I am perfectly willing to stand on my bill as a finished product.
Mr. PURNELL. Mr. Chairman, I am as sincerely in favor of some program of farm relief as anybody, but I do not want, in view of the action of the Senate yesterday, to undertake to do a futile thing and unnecessarily take up time and delay other matters that might have a chance of passing.
Mr. FULMER. Mr. Chairman, would you permit me to say a few words?
The CHAIRMAN. Yes.
STATEMENT OF HON. H. P. FULMER, A REPRESENTATIVE IN · CONGRESS FROM THE STATE OF SOUTH CAROLINA, A MEMBER OF THE COMMITTEE ON AGRICULTURE
Mr. FULMER. Gentlemen of the committee: I want to say this, that until we do something to help rehabilitate agriculture, what we have been doing here will practically be lost, so far as any benefits to the country are concerned.
I want to say that the Committee on Agirculture has worked hard to frame some legislation that would be beneficial and that would be satisfactory. The same thing that has happened here this morning has taken place all the time in the Committee on Agriculture. I would like to see this committee get this bill out on the floor and give the House a chance to vote on it.
We have not anything to do with the Senate. This committee has not anything to do with what the committee has done. We have brought you a bill; as far as the allotment plan and Mr. Jones's plan are concerned, they have been perfected, so that we have a real piece of legislation in the interest of agriculture here.
Mr. NORTON. You mean the modified allotment plan?
Mr. FULMER. Yes, sir. I think it is the duty of this committee, if we are going to do anything whatsoever for agriculture, to attempt to get this bill out. What the Senate will do about it does not touch the responsibility of the Committee on Agriculture or of this committee.
I trust, gentlemen, you will report this bill out and give us a chance on the floor of the House.
Mr. Cox. Suppose this committee, in its judgment, should conclude to report out one of the bills. Would the failure to give a rule for the consideration of the others bring about any division on the part of the Agriculture Committee?
Mr. FULMER. I am sure it would. That has been one of the troubles because we have three thoughts in connection with this bill. When you get it out on the floor of the House, you could limit the time and you can vote it up or down. That was the understanding when the bill was introduced.
Mr. Cox. The committee has reported these bills out. Suppose this committee should give a rule for the consideration of one of them, Might it be expected that the Committee on Agriculture would give support to that one bill?
Mr. FULMER. For instance, the 3-way bill?
Mr. Cox. Suppose the committee should decide to report one of the other bills.
Mr. FULMER. Of course, I would give hearty support to the debenture and my bill, but I would not vote for the other bill.
Mr. O'CONNOR. You would have a fight if you reported out any one plan.
Mr. FULMER. Absolutely. Take this 3-way bill as it stands now, we would not vote for it at all.
The CHAIRMAN. We will hear Mr. Lozier at this time.
STATEMENT OF HON. RALPH F. LOZIER, A REPRESENTATIVE IN
CONGRESS FROM THE STATE OF MISSOURI
Mr. LOZIER. Mr. Chairman and gentlemen: I speak with the utmost conservatism and deliberation. I trust that no member of this committee or Congress will minimize the gravity of the agricultural situation. We are on the verge of a social revolution. The conditions which confront us are conditions out of which sedition and revolution grow.