July 6, 1962

CONGRESSMAN'S REPORT

By Morris K. Udall

THE FARM PROBLEM - SWEPT UNDER THE RUG AGAIN

One always hopes that great debates in the Congress will resolve important national problems. The House debate and vote on the Administration's 1962 Farm Bill left me with a feeling of frustration. Nothing was resolved; the farm problem is still with us; the pattern of overproduction, huge farm surpluses and more billions for farm subsidies will likely continue for at least another year. Faced with a choice of farm policies the House in effect decided to have no policy.

In past months I have tried to absorb all the background facts on this intricate problem; before the vote I listened to 3 days of heated debate. This is my report, and here are some conclusions.

AMERICA'S FARM DILEMMA

America's farm problem is largely a result of an astounding technical revolution brought about by a combination of farm research, mechanical advances, and the ingenuity and hard work of our farmers. While the "industrial revolution" rapidly transformed our factories and now confronts us with the problem of automation, there has been a somewhat slower revolution on our farms. By the 1940's farm productivity began to soar and American agriculture has now reached a stage where it can produce huge quantities of food and fiber at low costs with relatively few workers and much less land.

To cope with the problems of this revolution we have gradually built a patchwork program of federal farm laws. Some commodities have price supports; others do not. Some are strictly controlled; others have no controls. There are all kinds of direct and indirect subsidies. The over-all result is tremendously costly for the taxpayer and frustrating for the farmer. Let us take a look at some of the basic facts.
 
 

ITEM: In 1850 over 80% of our people were needed just to produce our food and fiber. Today only 10.7% of the population is on the farm. One American farmer now produces enough food for himself and 17 others. No other country has enjoyed such rapid advances; Russia today uses 45% of her population solely to produce the food she needs. The yield a farmer can harvest from the same amount of land has skyrocketed. For example, in 1962 the U.S. will grow more wheat than it did in 1950, using just 60% of the 1950 land. We will grow half again as much corn with corn acreage down a fifth.

ITEM: Expenditures for agricultural services have quadrupled in the last decade. Most of this increase results from the support programs. These figures compare the total cost of our agricultural programs in 1952 and 1963:
 

1952
1963
Increase
Research and conservation costs
$760 million
$1390 million
83%
Support costs
$650 million
$4600 million
600%

ITEM: Present farm programs have resulted in huge government-owned stocks of farm products. Wheat is the biggest worry. These figures show how the wheat surplus has mounted:
 
Amount
Value
1952
143 million bushels
$364 million
1961
1.2 billion bushels
$3.1 billion

ITEM: Since 1952, losses on support programs have cost the taxpayer $7.3 billion. Interest, storage and transportation have cost another $6.9 billion. This amounts to about one-half of the increase in the national debt since 1952. These costs are an inexcusable burden on the taxpayer.

The surplus stocks of grain and wheat hang menacingly over the market, threatening a collapse of farm income and a depression of prices for grain, cattle, hogs and land values as well. If Congress does not correct this situation, we will continue to amass costly surpluses; chaos will result. Few farmers defend the existing policies, but strong vested interests in the Midwest reap billions of dollars from the price-support and storage bonanza. Only a small part of the billions spent for our farm programs goes to help the farmer; much of the money ends up in the hands of the grain dealers and storagemen.

THE CRAZY QUILT OF FARM PROGRAMS

Let's take a quick look at federal farm laws and programs as they apply to different crops and different situations. We find a strange mixture of good, bad and mediocre:
 

GENERAL SERVICES TO FARMERS: The federal government has made available to our farmers a wide range of invaluable services. The Rural Electrification Administration has brought electricity to the farmers. Watershed programs preserve soil and water resources. Federal loans assist farm ownership and improvement. The quality of our crops and livestock is constantly improving through federal research. And the County Extension Service goes directly to our farmers, tells them of the new farming opportunities, and insures that the discoveries of the laboratory will mean improvements in the field. A federal bracero program provides much seasonal labor.

Sugar: The world free market price for sugar is 2.7 cents a pound. American can and beet producers cannot compete at this price, so Congress has fixed a price of 5.5 cents and subsidizes a specific amount of American production at this figure. To make this work the government completely controls sugar production and price. There is no free market. Domestic producers are limited by production controls and receive price supports; foreign sugar is imported at the 5.5 cents figure (more than double the price at which it could be bought on the open market). The sugar import quotas have long been an indirect subsidy to supposedly friendly nations. Presently this program costs about $672 million a year.

VEGETABLES, MELONS AND CITRUS: An annual estimate made by the federal government determines the amount which producers will be able to market at good prices. These figures are published, and most areas stay within the market level voluntarily. There are no controls or price supports. If


 
producers request, the government will conduct marketing order programs. These require all products which are sold to meet high quality standards. Arizona grapefruit are sold under such a program. In addition, the government conducts a great deal of disease control and research. The frozen orange juice on your breakfast table is largely the result of federal research funds.

LIVESTOCK: The government has played a major part in the success of the livestock industry, but without price supports. In addition to tariff protection against competition of foreign meat, the government provides eradication programs for livestock diseases, inspects and grades meat, and offers low-interest loans for the purchase and improvement of land and stock. When supply exceeds demand, the federal government buys up excess stock and distributes it through welfare and school lunch programs. Millions are spent annually for livestock research. Cattlemen are aided by range and soil programs which seed grasslands. In emergencies the federal government conducts haylifts to protect the cattlemen's investment. Arizona's cattlemen strongly favor these programs and, with their help, have built a strong and immensely valuable part of the Arizona economy.

RICE AND TOBACCO: The Department has been fairly successful with its program for these crops. The government offers price supports but in return the producer must agree to market only a specified quantity. This program has allowed farmers in these commodities to receive a fair return on their products and has kept government surpluses and support payments to a fraction of those paid for wheat and corn.

COTTON: This crop has peculiar problems and a somewhat unusual set of laws. If cotton farmers approve, by secret vote, acreage which may be planted is restricted to a specific allotment and the farmers are given a high-level price support for cotton sold in this country. Export of cotton poses a problem and some more complications. Upland cotton is supported in the U.S. at $171 per bale. The world price is $129. In order to permit American cotton to be sold overseas, Congress pays the cotton grower an "export subsidy" of $42 for every bale sold abroad. Raw cotton imports are limited to a small annual quota, which protects American cotton growers from foreign competition. This arrangement works fine for the cotton farmer, but American textile makers are howling mad. They make cloth out of American cotton they buy at $171 per bale and try to compete against Japanese cloth manufactured from American cotton purchased by the Japanese at $129. They are now demanding a new "import fee" equal to the export subsidy on all cotton cloth coming into the country.

This seems to prove that once we start adjusting in one area, we have to adjust in all related areas, pretty soon we have created a government superstructure of subsidies, import and export controls which regulates the entire market.

WHEAT, CORN AND OTHER FEED GRAINS: The crisis in farm laws really centers on wheat (largely used for human food); and on "feed grains" (a term meaning food for livestock and used generally to include corn, barley, oats, grain sorghums, etc.). The talk about billions of dollars for price supports, excess storage of surpluses, and the storage scandals -- all arises largely from the wheat and feed grain programs. These crops deserve separate discussion later in this report.

*   *   *

From this brief rundown it is apparent that no consistent pattern or philosophy has been followed for different crops. Each program was prescribed as an aid to a specific problem or commodity -- as though one tried to build a house a room at a time with different plans and architects.

Another thing to note is this: of Arizona's major crops, only cotton and grain sorghums are under systems of production controls with price supports. Although the programs for these two crops have this much in common, other features differ.

WHY WHEAT AND FEED GRAIN PROGRAMS HAVE FAILED

Why has the wheat-corn program failed when we have had reasonable success with cotton, tobacco, rice and other crops? The answer is found in the foolish "open-end" supports given producers. Here's how it works for a hypothetical Farmer Brown of Keokuk, Iowa.
 

(a) Since huge corn and wheat surpluses could wreck the market and throw the country into crisis, Congress has taken steps to prevent them, saying to Brown in effect: "If you and other farmers will reduce your corn and wheat acreage down to a minimum of 55 million acres, we will pay you for taking the land out of production. We will also guarantee you a good price for all the crops you do produce on the reduced acreage. Thus WE will avoid serious overproduction and YOU the farmer will have a reasonable income with protection against wildly fluctuating prices.

(b) So far so good. Brown has 200 acres. He leaves 100 idle, and plants the other 100. But perhaps he then takes part of the "soil bank" money for the 100 idle acres and spends it for fertilizer; by using better, more intensive farming methods he produces as much on the 100 acres as he would have otherwise produced on the full 200. Mr. Brown gets what he bargained for (some guarantee of market stability and income). But the government pays out a lot of money and does not get what it bargained for (reduced production). The government is bound to buy, and store EVERY BUSHEL THE FARMER CAN RAISE on his allotted acreage. This is heads I win, tails you lose.

BACKGROUND: HOW WE GOT INTO TROUBLE

During and immediately after World War II, the federal government needed huge quantities of additional food for our soldiers, our devastated allies and the conquered nations. The wheat-corn price support program was devised, not to limit production as it is now used, but to increase it. Farmers were urged to plant every available acre; in return the government guaranteed to buy every bushel they could produce at a set minimum price. Thus the farmer could plant without fear of encountering a falling market; normal risks of the marketplace were removed.

Instead of ending this program when the war emergency was over, we mistakenly continued it. When our reduced foreign markets, and our expanded acreage combined with our improved technical skills, things quickly got out of hand.

THE TRUMAN YEARS -- 1946-1952

In hindsight it is apparent that price supports should have been terminated in the late 1940's when they were relatively inexpensive and no large surpluses were being accumulated. Spokesmen for many specific crops were afraid of changing the pattern and the path of least resistance was followed. The Republicans must share part of the blame, for they controlled Congress in 1947-48 without ending the subsidies.

THE EISENHOWER-BENSON YEARS -- 1952-1960

When President Eisenhower took office in 1953, he named Ezra Benson to be Secretary of Agriculture. This sincere man wanted badly to end supports and subsidies. For 8 years he tried to turn the tide, but the


 
huge surpluses now overflowing our warehouses were largely accumulated during his administration. In all fairness one cannot place the whole blame on Benson. The Democrats controlled Congress for 6 of his 8 years.

The original Benson Plan was simple - it looked like it ought to work:

(a) Benson's first premise was that price supports must be terminated, but gradually. He had inherited Democratic price supports of 90% to 100% of parity.

(b) Second, he reasoned, we must adapt the law of supply and demand in order to reduce production to the level of consumption -- at which point price supports could stop. In an open-market, he reasoned, an oversupply results in lower price; producers faced with lower prices reduce production because it is not profitable.

(c) Thus, concluded Benson, the way to cut farm production is to gradually cut the level of price supports on commodities overproduced, and to keep high supports for commodities in balanced supply. Thus farmers would have a carrot and a stick incentive for cutting their production to levels of need.

The only trouble with Benson's plan was that it simply didn't work. The law of supply and demand always works on free market prices, but it did not work on artificial price supports. Here is how a typical farmer reacted to Benson's new plan:
 

Before and after Benson he needed a total of $10,000 per year for his living expenses, farm machinery and other costs of running the farm. When his wheat was supported at $1.00 per bushel, he raised 10,000 bushels. When Benson offered him 75 per bushel, he did not decrease his production; he increased it to 13,333 bushels so he would still get $10,000.

In addition, farmers were caught in a cost-price squeeze. Prices of machinery, labor, fertilizer, etc., all went up in post-war years; the prices he received for farm commodities stayed level or went down. Thus he needed even more bushels for the same standard of living.

When it became apparent that the Benson plan would not work, the Democratic Congress and President Eisenhower compounded an already difficult situation by a "compromise": it took the worst part of Benson's program (open-end purchases of wheat and corn) and combined it with the worst part of Truman's program (high, rigid price support levels). Production ran wild, giving us the bulging storage bins we have today.

THE 1961 EMERGENCY PROGRAM

The Kennedy Administration came to power in 1961, determined to solve the problem. As a temporary stop-gap measure it proposed that Congress adopt a crash corn program in 1961 to prevent further surpluses. It has been extended to wheat for the 1962 crops. It's a voluntary program; if farmers want to participate they must retire 10% of their land and may retire as much as 40%. In return they were paid a total of $782 million in 1961. This is a high price for idle land.

The program has some redeeming features, however. Nineteen million acres were taken out of production, cutting corn production 550 million bushels below what was expected under the old program. This not only prevented a surplus; for the first time in 8 years the government actually reduced existing surplus stocks. To acquire, store, and pay interest on this extra grain would have cost the government $1.4 billion over the next nine years. Thus the program saved the country about $600 million.

These figures indicate the program's partial success:

CORN SURPLUSES IN GOVERNMENT STORAGE


Amount
Value
1952
143 million bushels
$500 million
1960
2,000 million bushels
$2.7 billion
1961
1,800 million bushels
$2.2 billion*
* USDA estimates

If this program really reduced the surplus, why did the Administration want to discontinue it? First of all, to get more farmers participating the government would have to make still higher payments. To get enough farmers in so the surplus would be reduced to a reasonable level would cost almost as much as the previous program. Secondly, no one can really be happy with a program which will pay farmers $900 million in 1962 for doing nothing.

A WORD ABOUT THE "FAMILY FARM"

Our technological revolution inevitably means that fewer and fewer farmers will be needed to produce our food. The past century has seen a steady exodus from the farm until our rural population is down to 10% of the total.

In a free enterprise system the least efficient producers are eliminated. In agriculture (as in business) large, highly mechanized operations can usually produce cheaper and better products than non-mechanized farms.

Under free market conditions most of the farmers eliminated from the competition would be the small, or "family farm" operators. This produces a good deal of political fallout, for the "family farm" occupies a place in American politics just below motherhood and the flag. I have worked on family farms and will always respect the tremendous contributions of this life to our national character. But unpleasant facts should be faced.

Price supports have never been restricted to "family farmers." The big and little are treated alike. Thus in recent years we have seen programs designed to "save the family farm," paying huge sums of money not only to million-dollar farm corporations, but to such unlikely "farmers" as Ford Motor Company, the City of St. Louis, Louisiana State Penitentiary, Reynolds Metals Company, and Northern Trust Company, the largest bank in Illinois. Each of these organizations operates farm properties and qualifies for substantial price support loans.

To "save the family farm" price supports have been deliberately set in past years at levels which would permit the relatively inefficient small units to break even. But this price support level means a real bonanza to the larger and more efficient operators who participate on the same terms. Large wheat and corn producers have received price support "loans" of as much as $300,000 per year. Some have received support for as many as 4 different crops. These subsidies have further increased the efficiency of the larger farmers, so that they have forced the family farm out of existence even more rapidly than under normal competitive conditions. When government programs miss their objectives so completely as this one has done, some basic changes should be considered.


 
WHERE DO WE GO FROM HERE?

The time for stop-gap measures has passed. The country and the Congress should get down to basic principles and chart a new course. Nature will not wait for legislation; harvest time is approaching for most crops, and 1963 planting is only a few months away. Farmers have a right to know what farm laws will govern them in future years.

As I see the situation we are faced with four available choices:
 

1. Go back to Benson. If Congress takes no action before the end of the session our laws will automatically revert to the hybrid Benson-Democrat program of 1958. This plan has failed; only the grain speculators, warehousemen and large operators who make millions from these programs would like to see this happen. This is not a constructive solution.
2. Continue Present Emergency Programs. The Congress is likely to accept this choice by a process of default and compromise. It has had a limited measure of success in reducing production and costs. But it is not a permanent solution, and is likely to become more costly as technological advances further reduce the number of acres needed to feed our people.
3. Take the Freedom Route. Many in Congress, including myself, are about ready to take some drastic action and terminate most price support programs. There are, however, some strong arguments against it, and they will be considered below.
4. The Kennedy-Freeman Program. Secretary Freeman has proposed a new program for wheat and feed grains with production controls which actually control. This plan was defeated by the House,
215-205, in mid-June. It has some advantages and some drawbacks discussed below.

THE "FREEDOM ROUTE"

Most farmers and politicians like to give speeches about the need to get "government out of farming." When they are put to the test about actually voting for freedom for their specific crops, however, many of them find special reasons why price-supports, subsidies, marketing agreements, or other controls are justified -- at least "temporarily." My mail bag is heavy with letters from Arizonans (including farmers, I am pleased to say) who favor an end to price supports and government acreage and production controls.

I share this sentiment and believe Congress ought to seriously consider whether the time has not come to discard the whole jerry-built structure of supports and controls. I am a little troubled, however, by the views of the most-respected congressmen who specialize in farm problems. They all fear the consequences of such a drastic change, and make these arguments:
 

(a) Pulling out now might trigger off a severe depression. Most American depressions have been preceded by farm crises. In many important crops, we're presently producing twice what we can use. To pull back all government support would drop the bottom out of farm prices for those crops. With the stock market in a bad slump, unemployment and other economic problems still unsolved (say these experts), the economy could not stand the strain.
(b) To pull the government out now would drastically alter the American social pattern based on the intangible values of small-town and rural life. With a return to competitive enterprise, the inefficient family farm would lose out to automated land corporations. Farmer Brown might hold out a couple, perhaps even five, years; after that he'd have to sell to someone with the capital to buy the equipment needed for mass production. This might be the banker or undertaker in the nearest town or it might be large supermarket chains. At any rate, farming would be controlled by fewer and larger units, and the independent farmer, living and farming on his own land, would follow the blacksmith and the buffalo hunter into history.

I believe that small farms will continue to have a place in America, though perhaps on a reduced scale. Small farms will always be able to produce a few specialized commodities on competitive terms, but there is no question that the major crops like wheat, corn, and cotton can be grown more efficiently on large farms requiring much machinery and capital.

The "freedom route" would almost surely bring about a trend to "bigness" in agriculture in the fashion we have seen develop in industry.

Perhaps this is inevitable. In any event such a serious decision should not be made without serious debate and consideration.

Technological change has always had its victims in America, and yet our country has usually found new and useful places for them. When the automobile came along we did not buy and store the products of harness and buggy makers, we absorbed them into industry. This process of adjustment is painful for those directly involved, but it always accompanies social and economic change.

I was surprised during the farm debate to find that for all the bold campaign speeches, not a single member of the House actually offered an amendment to "get the government out of farming" here and now. I'd be surprised if a bill of this kind could get more than a handful of votes. Yet, after looking at all the arguments against it, I still believe that maybe this is the course to take, and that all the predictions of disaster would not be borne out.

THE 1962 KENNEDY-FREEMAN PROGRAM

The only intelligent choices, in my judgment, are between complete "freedom" and the Kennedy-Freeman bill. Mr. Freeman proceeds from two basic assumptions:
 

(a) The Congress is not going to go the "freedom route." We will continue to have agricultural controls.
(b) Therefore, says Freeman, if we are going to continue programs of government agricultural controls, we should have a system which will actually limit production, reducesurpluses, and bring about reasonable prices for farmer and consumer. In short, if we are to have controls, they must control.

It is obvious to everyone by now that you cannot control bushels produced just by controlling acresplanted, especially when Congress limits the extent to which acreage can be cut. The farmers will fool you every time. It is as though the government said to General Motors: "We have a surplus of autos and must


 
limit production. You have 6 factories. Close 2 of them and we will buy every car you can produce in the other 4." The way to control the number of cars produced is to control the number of cars produced, not the number of factories.

This basic principle Freeman would apply to wheat and feed grains. He would not control merely the number of acres planted; he would give the farmer high supports only for a given number of bushels. This plan has worked for rice and tobacco; Freemen would merely extend it to wheat and feed grains. Here is how it would operate:
 

One: The Secretary of Agriculture estimates how much wheat and corn we'll need in the coming year and how many acres it would take to produce it. He then subtracts from that total an amount not more than 16% for wheat and 7% for corn. The 16% and 7% will come from the government surplus, gradually reducing it.

Two: Wheat farmers are allotted acreage and marketing quotas; corn farmers are restricted in acreage only. The acreage which is not used will be put to conservation uses. The government would then pay the farmer an amount not to exceed 50% of what he would have made if the land had been seeded. In the second year the percentage couldn't go over 40, in the third 30%. In this way the government could gradually withdraw from paying tax dollars for unused land.

Three: The bill would abolish the 55 million acre minimum for wheat. In the past acreage has been controlled, but the farmers were guaranteed a national minimum fixed by Congress at a figure which always provided far more wheat than was needed. By abolishing this minimum the government can adjust acreage allotments to increasing yields. The more fertilizer the farmers use, the less acreage they will be allotted.

Four: Wheat produced within the marketing allotments would be supported, getting between 75% and 90% of parity. Excess production would get low supports. Pouring fertilizers on the land to skyrocket yields would no longer be profitable.

Five: A referendum would be held among all the farmers who grow the crop. Only if two-thirds vote for the plan, would it be used. If more than one-third are opposed the government would stop all price supports and begin an orderly and gradual disposal of its surplus.

Six: The cost of this program for 1963 would be $1.8 billion -- far more than we should be spending. But to extend the present program would cost $2.4 billion and to return to open-end policies would cost $2.8 billion. Most important, the costs under the Administration bill would steadily decrease. As the surplus is reduced, storage and interest payments would decrease. Money paid for unused land would get smaller every year.

Seven: When government surpluses are reduced to a desirable level, farmers could go back to producing as much as we could consume. With the backlog gone, prices would begin to fluctuate normally and we could (hopefully) abandon price supports and acreage controls, and return to a competitive market.

Eight: Cotton rice, and tobacco programs, already operating successfully under production controls, would not be changed.

OBJECTIONS TO THE KENNEDY-FREEMAN PROPOSAL

My mail from Arizona farmers has largely opposed Freeman's plans; many good arguments were advanced against it. However, there was also a good deal of misunderstanding about the bill and its effect on Arizona. These points should be understood:

(1) The bill would have little effect on Arizona. Cotton, already under production controls, and livestock, not under control, would not be affected. None of our other major crops would be affected. The bill was aimed primarily at wheat and corn surpluses; these are not important Arizona products. In 1961 Arizona had about 1/2000 of the total wheat acreage in the U.S. and even less for corn.

(2) The bill is not simply a grab for new power by the Administration. I think we should keep these facts in mind: 
 

(a) The Act brings no new crops under government supervision. Wheat and corn have been under various systems of price support and acreage control for years.
(b) The programs suggested for wheat and corn are already well-established in rice, tobacco and other crops. Success with those crops simply suggested wider extension into crops where other methods have proved susuccessful.

(3) This bill would not regiment farmers. The referenda would provide farmers with a clear opportunity for a democratic secret ballot choice. Two-thirds must endorse the Administration plan or it will not go into effect. Any regimentation would be by voluntary choice of farmers each and every year.

(4) The Freeman bill would not ruin Arizona's cattle industry. Arizona cattle growers have voiced real fears about the effects of the Administration plan; many believe that reduced production would create greater demand for the crops which would in turn push prices up. In order to avoid any possibility of higher prices for Arizona cattlemen I voted for an amendment which would have made "deficit" areas (those which consume more than they produce) free from production cutbacks. In any event, I don't think cattle prices would rise. Here are my reasons:
 

(a) Despite the decreased production, there won't be a shortage of feed grains. The government presently stores 67 million tons of these crops; as production drops off some surplus stocks will be released to balance supply with demand. Freemen planned to keep a reserve of at least 30 million tons. With such a large backlog available, the chances for grain shortage are slight.
(b) Production checks in the past have not forced prices up. The 1961 Emergency program cut production some 550 million bushels; corn prices held firm. In fact the history of the livestock industry indicates that cheap feed means cheap livestock and low cattle prices.
In an exchange during the House debate, Representative Poage (Tex.) and Jennings (Va.), both successful cattlemen, stressed this point:

 
Rep. Poage: Now let me ask some of you who are in the livestock business. What do you think your calves would bring in the next 2 years if the price of corn were to drop to 50 cents this fall and stay down there for the next 2 years.

Rep. Jennings: Let me say to the gentleman from Texas that I know exactly what would happen. For the first year we would see heifer calves selling for more than steer calves; we would see all the people -- rather than marketing their current and surplus grain buying livestock, and we would see the largest flood of livestock on the market that we have ever seen in the history of this country. Also we would see the lowest prices we have ever seen in the history of the country.

Many sincere cattlemen have also expressed fear that "if they control corn, they'll soon control cattle." In the whole of Congress no one suggests production controls or price supports for cattle. I would fight any such idea. We need more commodities out from under these programs. The cattle industry, to its everlasting credit, has gone it alone. I want to keep it that way.

CONCLUSION

The more our government extricates itself from farm price support and subsidy programs the better our farm economy will operate. This is, and has been my basic premise. But I faced a dilemma when the final roll call came last week:
 

(a) The vote came on a narrow issue: a Republican motion to kill the Freeman bill by sending it back to committee. I had to vote yes or no.
(b) If the motion were to pass, we would automatically return to the Benson-Democratic "open-end" program of 1958. (It is important to note that the Republican leadership has never advocated and did not advocate "freedom". They advocated a return to the 1958 law!)

In this situation I voted against killing the bill. My choice was not between "freedom" and "controls," but between "Benson Controls" and "Freeman Controls".

The Benson program is a proven failure; Mr. Freeman's program might work. Since Congress will not go the "freedom route," Mr. Freeman's program seemed worth a try. I felt it would reduce surpluses, cut taxpayer costs. I felt it would not have resulted in increased consumer prices, nor have damaged the established Arizona farm and livestock producers. I looked upon the Freeman proposal not as a permanent solution, but as a likely transition phase on the road to a free farm economy.

The House voted 215-205 to bury the bill. It appears dead for this year. But this action only postpones the day of reckoning. Sooner or later farm production will be reduced to levels of demand, by (a) effective supply controls, or (b) the law of supply and demand working in a free market. I favor the freedom route.

Until that route is opened by an aroused public opinion, I will continue to vote for that alternative which is least expensive to the taxpayer, and promises some eventual solution.


Previous Report: June 21, 1962 -- "Out of the Fryingpan--Hope and a Lesson for Arizona"
Next Report: August 2, 1962 -- Freedom for Farmers -- A New Ray of Hope


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