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ing from 180 such counties in 1880 to 890 counties in 1935. Thus in the East North Central States of Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, and Wisconsin-to show you that this is not confined entirely to the South-farm tenancy has increased to almost 30 percent. In the West North Central section the percentage has increased from 20.5 percent in 1880 until in 1935 it was 42.6 percent.

Senator MILLER. I think this is very important. Farm tenancy has increased to almost 30 percent of the farms; that is what you mean, isn't it?

Mr. DICKINSON. No; I mean the tenancy has increased that much-30 percent.

Senator BANKHEAD. To 44 percent of the farms?

Mr. DICKINSON. Yes; I believe you are right about that. I get the Senator's point.

From 1880 to 1900 there was an increase from 25 to 35 percent of the farms.

Senator BANKHEAD. In what year was it 35 percent?

Mr. DICKINSON. That was back between 1880 and 1900; but from 1920 to 1935 it went from 38 to 42 percent, which is the percentage today.

Senator HUGHES. The farm owners have decreased; the farms tenants have increased?

Mr. DICKINSON. Yes, sir.

Senator HUGHES. Farms that were owner-operated have now passed into tenancy:

Senator MILLER. The only thing I wanted to be certain about was that the figures apply to the number of farms and not just the number of people. Mr. DICKINSON. Yes.

In the Mountain States—that you may still know that this condition is general and is not localized in the South-where the tenancy problem is overlooked, the percentage has increased from 7.4 percent in 1880 to 26.6 percent in 1935; and to indicate how rapidly this menace is increasing, 15 points of the increase date from 1910, and 11 from 1920. The increase has been more marked probably in the South than in any other area except that extending from North Dakota down through Kansas. In 1935 we find the following percentages of tenancy in the Southern States:

Virginia, 29.5 percent; North Carolina, 47.2 percent; South Carolina, 62.2 percent; Georgia, 65.6 percent; Tennessee, 46.2 percent; Alabama, 64.5 percent; Mississippi, 69.8 percent: Arkansas, 60 percent; Texas, 57.1 percent; Oklahoma, 61.2 percent; Louisiana, 73.7 percent.


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Taking a look at foreclosure figures down to 1935, we find that the numbers of farms in the different States lost through forced sales are an indication that the condition of farmers was much the same in the different sections. Of all farm transfers made-including voluntary sales and trades, forced sales, inheritance and gifts, together with miscellaneous and unclassed—the percentage that were foreclosures or forced sales in the various parts of the country was as follows for the period from 1927 to 1934:


New England, 22.8 percent; Middle Atlantic, 27.0 percent; East North Central, 39.7 percent; West North Central, 50.7 percent; South Atlantic, 44.0 percent; East South Central, 41.4 percent; West South Central, 41.0 percent; Mountain, 49.5 percent; Pacific, 39.1 percent.

These figures have been taken from circular No. 354 of the United States Department of Agriculture for April 1935.

Senator BANKHEAD. In view of the fact that the West North Central States had the highest percentage of foreclosure, do you have available the names of the States that that division includes, so that you could list them right here?

Mr. DICKINSON. No; but I can furnish that information to you.

Senator BANKHEAD. Supose you furnish it for the record and carry it down to 1939.

Mr. DICKINSON. I shall do that, Senator.
(The information requested appears as follows:)

c/o Farm RESEARCH, 1343 H STREET NW.,

Washington, D. C., May 14, 1940. The SECRETARY, Senate Banking and Currency.Committee

Senate Office Building, Washington, D. C. DEAR SECRETARY: During the testimony of Dr. M. F. Dickinson on S. 3509, on Friday, May 10, Senator Miller requested Dr. Dickinson to furnish for the record of the hearings certain figures for the individual States in the West North Central region. The request referred to two tables appearing at the bottom of page 5 and top of page 6 of the mimeographed statement Dr. Dickinson submitted in which figures were given only by regions. Therefore, these figures for individual States should follow respectively the two tables.

A. Percentages that forced sales were of all transfers, 1927–34:

West North Central States


Percent Minnesota. 54. 2 North Dakota...

61. 6 Iowa.. 53. 0 South Dakota.

63. 6 Missouri. 46. 1 Nebraska--

44. 2 Kansas.

52. 5 (Calculated from circulars No. 261, January 1933, and No. 354, April 1935, United States Department of Agriculture.) B. Forced sales per 1,000 farms, 1938 and 1939: 1938 1939

1988 1939 Minnesota 23. 5 22. 4 South Dakota.

53. 6 50. 4 Iowa. 12. 2 13. 0 | Nebraska..

38. 9 39. 9 Missouri.. 27. 0 25. 3 Kansas..

25. 2 25. 7 North Dakota.

32.9 37. 1 We believe this fulfills the Senator's request, as we understand it, but if it included additional figures, we shall be glad to furnish them. Sincerely yours,

ROBERT HANDSCHIN, Secretary, Farmers Union Legislative Committee.



Senate Office Building, Washington, D. C. DEAR SECRETARY: A further examination of the record of the hearings informs us that Senator Bankhead requested Dr. M. F. Dickinson to furnish figures through 1939 to complete one of the tables submitted. We presume that Senator Bankhead also wanted these recent figures for the West North Central States individually. They are as follows:

C. Average annual percentage, 1935-39, that forced transfers were of all transfers Percent

Percent New England. 27. 4 East South Central.

28. 2 Middle Atlantic. 27. 7 West South Central.

32. 1 East North Central. 27. 9 Mountain..

42. 7 West North Central. 42. 7 Pacific

30. 5 South Atlantic.--

26. 8 (Calculated from Circular No. 548, October 1939, U. S. Department of Agriculture.) D. Average annual percentage, 1935–39, that forced transfers were of all transfers,

West North Central States

Percent Minnesota 37. 7 North Dakota.

53. 1 Iowa.. 32. 5 South Dakota..

64. 1 Missouri. 38. 2 Nebraska-

51. 0 Kansas..

42. 6 (Calculated from Circular No. 548, October 1939, U. S. Department of Agriculture.) We believe this completes the Senator's request. Sincerely yours,


Secretary, Farmers Union Legislative Committee. During 1938 and 1939 farmers continued to lose their homes throughout the country through forced sales, as shown by the following figures.

First, let me say that the point I am trying to get over is that the trouble of the American farmer is not limited to drought-stricken areas but is general, and emergency relief to take care of some section of the country will not do the job.

These are the forced sales per thousand farms (reading):

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Those figures are taken from circular No. 548 of the United States Department of Agriculture, published in October 1939. You will see that the trouble is pretty well generalized throughout the nation and is not a local situation.


Now let me cite some figures to show the critical situation facing many borrowers from the land banks and Federal Farm Mortgage Corporation. These figures again show that this is not solely a problem of one area of the country, but rather a more or less general problem throughout the country.

The 24 States having the greatest percentage of delinquencies considering both land-bank and Commissioner loans are to be found in 8 of the 12 land-bank districts, as follows:

First, Springfield district, the States of Maine, Vermont, New York, and New Jersey.

Third, Columbia district, the States of North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida.

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Fifth, New Orleans district, the States of Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana.

Seventh, St. Paul district, the States of Wisconsin, Minnesota, and North Dakota.

Eighth, Omaha district, the States of South Dakota, Nebraska, and Wyoming

Ninth, Wichita district, the States of Kansas, Oklahoma, and Colorado.

Eleventh, Berkeley district, the States of Utah and California.
Twelfth, Spokane district, the States of Montana and Idaho.

The percentage of delinquencies, including extended loans, by bank district and by States, as of December 31, 1939, again reflects serious conditions in every district. This is shown in the following tables:

(The table referred to is as follows:)

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It will be observed that many of the States having the more serious delinquency percentages have not had long-standing drought conditions, as was intimated here in other testimony, such as six of the Southern States, or Maine and Vermont, for example.

Senator BANKHEAD. A few moments ago you used the expression "forced sale." Does that apply to mortgages only?

Mr. DICKINSON. Not necessarily. These figures were taken from the Department of Agriculture, and I imagine they apply to sales

that are either foreclosed or that are made under the laws of the State, where they can advertise or sell.

Senator BANKHEAD. Involuntary sales?
Mr. DICKINSON. Yes, sir; involuntary sales.

Senator FRAZIER. It would be mortgaged property; at least, mortgaged land?


It is hard to look at these percentages without realizing that even the smaller percentages represent at least several hundred farm families in most instances. Since December 31 the national percentage, according to Secretary Wallace's testimony before the House committee, has climbed to 224 percent for land-bank loans, and 29.7 percent for Commissioner loans, representing 139,369 and 130,551 borrowers, respectively.

Attempting to explain away the need for a Nation-wide program of debt adjustment by attributing difficulties solely to drought conditions just doesn't fit the figures. It is evident that the issues concerned here are of a much broader nature than the localized drought conditions that some have sought to make it. Farmers everywhere are in need of aid through adjustment of their mortgages to a more fair valuation. In making this statement I believe that I represent a true cross section of the dirt-farmer opinion from coast to coast.

For instance, I have here a copy of a statement issued by the Dairy Farmers' Union of New York, an entirely independent organization having a membership of 21,000 farm families organized in the States of New York, Pennsylvania, and Vermont, which supports this bill. I should like to offer this statement as an exhibit. With your permission, I shall read it. [Reading:)


Ogdensburg, N. Y., April 16, 1940. Statement in Support of the Debt Adjustment Bill (Farm Credit Act of 1940,

S. 3509) It is obvious that agriculture in New York and New England stands to benefit decidedly from the debt-adjustment bill. Unlike farmers in other sections, those in the East have not been vocal nor pressing in their demands, nor have they always utilized Government agencies to the full extent, frequently to their own detriment. But in the debt-adjustment bill, which so ably complements the more humane policies of the revamped Farm Credit Administration, they see very real and welcome assistance.

For one thing, the debt-adjustment bill opens the way for reducing the number of farm-mortgage foreclosures. It goes a step further in helping to restore to the land farmers who have already lost their farms through foreclosures. To return these farmers to the land is the best possible solution from the standpoint of human welfare, efficiency, and the national economy. But at present, a farmer, once foreclosed, is not eligible for another farm loan.

That provision of the debt-adjustment bill which eliminates the purchase of land-bank stock as a prerequisite to obtaining a loan will be especially commended by eastern farmers. This especially onerous provision has long been regarded as a legalized racket, an unfair toll levied upon those who can least afford it. A pun on the words "stock" and "stuck” has already gone the rounds of the milkshed in this connection.

The stock-purchase plan is so unpopular not only because of the added burden it imposes, but because it is an obvious injustice to make one farmer jointly reliable for the loan of another. A farmer who is a borrower is not impressed with a neatly engraved stock certificate. His major interest is in getting a loan and getting it paid off most expeditiously, and anything which interferes with this is bound to be vexatious, especially when it appears to be unneccesary and unjust.

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