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tobacco is a crop that quotas particularly and peculiarly suit, and I think we will be very happy to continue it.
One other point, and I am through.
In the beginning, only the farmers favored this sort of legislation. Now, as you have seen here this morning, we have had witnesses from the warehouse association, from the dealers, processors, and all those working in tobacco. That is a pretty good indication that the tobacco program has succeeded.
I want to say, too, that our president of the Farm Bureau in Tennessee would have been here today had it been possible. He is supporting our position, and the Tennessee Burley Tobacco Growers Association is supporting the position of the gentlemen who have spoken.
The CHAIRMAN. You say the farm organizations are opposing action along those lines?
Mr. PORTER. No; they are in favor of it.
Mr. PORTER. I thought probably the Middle West people, some of whom I do not know, had not thought too much of the quota system on wheat, but in tobacco it peculiarly suits the situation.
Senator AIKEN. It is significant that the quota system for tobacco is nothing new in the world.
Other countries have had it since tobacco has been grown. At one time France issued licenses for producing not only so many plants of tobacco but so many leaves per plant. An old priest who lives in Vermont told me that in his boyhood he recalls inspectors coming around to the little farms counting the leaves on the tobacco plant, and the Lord help anyone who was found with 18 leaves when he was not supposed to have but 17.
Representative CHAPMAN. Mr. Chairman, the next witness is Mr. R. Flake Shaw, of Greensboro, N. C., a member of the national board of the American Farm Bureau Federation, and a large grower of flue-cured tobacco, who will speak for the North Carolina State Farm Bureau.
STATEMENT OF R. FLAKE SHAW, EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT,
NORTH CAROLINA STATE FARM BUREAU, GREENSBORO, N. C.
Mr. Shaw. Mr. Chairman and gentlemen of the committee, I would like to say I concur most heartily with all the statements that have been made with reference to the tobacco program. I also express my very deep and grateful appreciation to you fine gentlemen for the way you are working with us.
I need about 2 minutes to mention one or two things that I think maybe have not been covered completely.
One thing I might mention with regard to flue-cured tobacco is the large amount of hand labor that is involved. Approximately 400 man-hours per acre go into it, also tremendous amounts of fertilizers and other things. That is made necessary by reason of the fact that we harvest differently from other people. "I think that justifies within itself a somewhat higher loan rate than some commodities might deem necessary in order to bring equal treatment even on a comparable basis.
Now, I think there is another matter that might be worthy of mention in connection with the national aspect of the tobacco program as such. Understand, we have about 375,000,000 acres of cropland. We have about 2,000,000 acres of tobacco of all varieties. That is about one-half of 1 percent of our total cropland in this country that is in tobacco. What we do with those acres if and when we adjust up and down, Senator, does not amount to much in the aggregate as we look at production in this country.
The CHAIRMAN. Just for our information, I wonder if you know which State has the largest acreage of tobacco ?
Mr. Shaw. North Carolina. We grow about 68 percent of all the flue-cured tobacco grown in the world.
I should like to mention the export thing in connection with the processing and handling of tobacco through the marketing system. There have been many suggestions made—and all of them quite fitting—as to the need of this program, and we folks in flue-cured, while we are subjected to violent actions by export conditions and conditions in this country, have felt the sting and the need of a high support level to a much greater extent than most people that produce in the United States.
For instance, in 1939, we had a big crop of tobacco. Our markets folded up. We had to compete completely. I mention this in order to say to you that in most instances the support level will be the price of flue-cured tobacco. It has already been pointed out why that happens.
I would like to observe that other factors connected with the tobacco industry have been more or less constant all down through the years— the finished product, the cost of manufacturing, Senators, and other things—and nobody has benefited when the farmer has suffered. We only
help three or four of our great industries when we take this great licking.
In order to share equally with other people, we may have to have a little different treatment from a legislative standpoint, not special legislation but special treatment under general legislation.
I think, gentlemen, that is sufficient and I certainly am grateful for the 70,000 people that I represent in North Carolina for this privilege of presenting this brief statement.
The CHAIRMAN. Summing up your statement, you say that the program proposed in this pending bill would be helpful to the tobacco industry?
Mr. SHAW. No. I said I endorsed what had been said. We would like to stay where we are under the present law. We think it is absolutely sufficient.
The CHAIRMAN. Then you are not favoring the program outlined here?
Mr. Shaw. We have no objection to the broad provisions of Senator Aiken's bill in a long-range program, but we simply ask that we people in tobacco be allowed to operate under the present law. You see, Senator, we have worked for 15 years under the provision that deals with tobacco and we have overcome a lot of the things that many other commodities would have to deal with and our law has been improved from time to time to meet the conditions as they have developed and we have brought about such changes as have been necessary.
Out of our experience we have found a fair way to determine a normal supply, for instance. We have found a fair way to adjust acreage, and we are just satisfied, like the people in the church. When
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.
STATEMENT OF H. G. BLALOCK, VICE PRESIDENT, VIRGINIA STATE
FARM BUREAU, SOUTH HILL, VA. 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.
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:)
STATEMENT FILED BY R. H. PROCTOR, ASSISTANT EXECUTIVE SECRETARY, KENTUCKY
FARM BUREAU FEDERATION, LOUISVILLE, KY.
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.
STATEMENT OF T. B. HALL, GENERAL MANAGER, VIRGINIA DARK
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