Images de page
PDF
ePub

But I understand from very reputable authority that the feeder cannot make a profit.

Mr. TALLE. Thank you, Mr. Morris.
Mr. Wolcott. Will you yield, Dr. Talle?
Mr. TALLE. I vield.

Mr. Wolcott. I think a further weakness you suggested, which perhaps was not stressed and which should be stressed, was the President's statement that even when the cattle were in the feed lot, the feeder would not have those cattle in condition to move them right away.

He would hold them for some time against something happening on the market. He either dumps them on the market or he can hold them. So the President is wrong in his assumption that merely because a head of cattle is walking around on four feet that it has to be fattened and got to market.

Mr. MORRIS. You would have to continue to feed the animal, if you produced any flesh on it.

Mr. Wolcott. But you wouldn't have to feed it as you would feed it to condition it for market.

Mr. Morris. That is probably true.

Mr. Wolcott. So you would either take your loss originally by dumping them on the market, or once you saw a better market, you might maintain those cattle and then at a later time, fatten them for market.

Mr. Morris. That is correct. The CHAIRMAN. Maintaining them that way would be expensive, of course.

Mr. Wolcott. Yes, but it goes back to the point that he cannot keep them from the market.

Mr. Talle. Along the same line, may I add that this is the time of the year when pastures are very good in the Middle West-at least the northern portion of the midcontinent area--so the feed lot operator does have a choice. He can turn the cattle back on grass, and he does not necessarily have to finish them off at all.

Mr. Morris. That is right.

Mr. Wolcott. When is the time? There is a time of the year, and I think it is in October, when that problem confronts us, where the tendency is for the raisers to get rid of their stock. Isn't that October?

Mr. MORRIS. I would say probably about that time. I don't know for certain the month, but I think that is probably it.

Mr. Wolcott. I know in 1946, as I recall it, we were up against some date line, at the time when the ranges got rid of their range stock. Wasn't that about October 1st?

Mr. Morris. I think so, along about that time. In the fall, yes, sir

Mr. Talle. It is true also, is it not, Mr. Morris, that a good portion of our meat comes from the culling of dairy herds?

Mr. Morris. Yes, sir. I don't know what the proportion is, but some portion does.

Mr. TALLE. I think it would probably be about a third.

Mr. MORRIS. That would seem to be about accurate, but I am not sure. I have never seen any percentage-wise breakdown on that · particular point.

Mr. Talle. And in the colder areas, the fall would be the time to do the culling, for the reason that the farmers then save the cost of feeding the less productive milk cows over the winter period.

Mr. MORRIS. Yes, sir. We don't have that trouble so much, because our winters are such that we can pretty well graze all winter, but there are areas in the country where it is necessary to feed the cattle all through the winter. So I understand.

Mr. MULTER. Dr. Talle, I did not understand. Is that one-third of the production of meat?

Mr. Talle. It was testified here that approximately a third of the meat that gets into the market for consumption comes from the culling of dairy herds.

Mr. MORRIS. I would think that would be a little high, just as an offhand guess, but it might be that high. I am not sure.

The CHAIRMAN. We are glad to have had your statement, Mr. Morris. We are glad to have your views on any questions affecting your people and the Nation at large, and will be glad to see you at any time.

Mr. Morris. Thank you, Mr. Chairman, you are very kind and I appreciate that very much and appreciate the indulgence of the membership of the committee.

The CHAIRMAN. Call the next witness.
Mr. Hallahan. Congressman Javits, of New York.

STATEMENT OF HON. JACOB K. JAVITS, A REPRESENTATIVE IN

CONGRESS FROM THE STATE OF NEW YORK The CHAIRMAN. Mr. Javits, you may proceed.

Mr. Javits. Mr. Chairman, I have three points that I would like to put before the committee on this extension and amendment of the Defense Production Act.

Mr. Chairman, the first two points are very brief, and they relate to what I consider to be necessary expansion of the Defense Production Act. One is on rent control and the other is on defense housing.

First, with respect to the rent-control situation, many people wonder why we in New York, who have a rent-control law, which in many respects is a considerably tighter law than the Federal law, are still interested in rent control.

The reason is that, of course, we make and sell probably something in the area of 10 percent of whatever is made and sold in the country, something in the neighborhood of $20 billion a year, and we are interested in the people's buying power. We feel that a runaway rental structure reduces the amount of buying power available for the things that New York makes and sells. That is, of course, in addition to the fundamental inflationary influence in the country, destructive of savings, pensions, Government employee's salaries, and so forth. So we are very much nterested that the rent-control statute through the country be extended, and we believe that this act, which contains really, two parts, one dealing with actual defense production, and the other dealing with the protection of the economy, and the efficiency of the country so it may be able to engage in defense production, that that needs protection through an extension of Federal rent control.

[ocr errors]

Some 732 million units remain under rent control. This committee has gone into all the figures, and I gather that something over 800 cities have requested that rent control be continued.

That is point 1. I think that properly belong in this act.

Point 2, on defense housing: We all know the House turned down the defense housing bill. I think many members are beginning to feel that that was quite a turn-down, in the sense

Mr. MULTER. Mr. Javits, they didn't turn down the bill, they refused to consider it.

Mr. Javits. That is correct. Many members are now finding, even when defense facilities are about to be constructed in their own communities, that you can't operate defense facilities without men and you can't get men without housing, and it bears out what my dear friend and colleague-we are very happy that he is with us - Mr. Hays, said a minute ago about dispersing defense plants. You can't disperse unless you have places for people to live.

The builders tell me, and I am sure they tell you, that you can't have defense housing constructed in out-of-the-way areas where there is no logical market for them for the future unless you have some kind of Federal aid, whether by mortgage or in some other fashion.

So I urged upon the committee the real necessity for considering in this omnibus bill for defense mobilization, which is what it is, the inclusion also of defense housing as a proper and organic part of this measure.

The third thing I would like to take up-
Mr. Multer. Before you leave housing, would you

also recommend that we try to repeal that provision that was written into the appropriation bill limiting to 5,000 a year the new public housing units that can be built in the next fiscal year?

Mr. JAVITS. The gentleman will make my blood pressure rise if I go into that, but I might say I have introduced a bill for a repeler. I think that Members around the country-and this is significantin areas that they thought were unaffected by public housing cutbacks, are now finding they are very much affected and are very sorry to see the very drastic action which was taken by the House. I hope very much that we will see our way clear to come back in the main stream on this public housing situation.

Mr. MULTER. I think on that subject the record is clear that our chairman led the fight on the floor to try to stop the rule being adopted. It is part of an appropriation bill, and an item which certainly should be considered by this committee, and in public hearings.

Mr. Javits. Exactly. All arguments of shortage of materials and manpower were strictly ad hoc because there were no hearings on that particular subject, and on the contrary the President deliberately found, after reports of his economic advisers, that 75,000 units would be appropriate.

I hope that we will come back into the main stream on that whole issue. I think it is tragic that at a time like this, when the very low-income families will probably have the worst deal of any, with the least prospect of housing, that this medium of public housing has been cut out.

Mr. Chairman, now I would like to deal with a fundamental question in the Defense Production Act, which has been

Mr. Wolcott. I might say on behalf of the other side of the committee that the mere fact that we are not debating the matter at this

1

particular time does not constitute assent to the statements of Mr. Javits and Mr. Multer.

Mr. Multer. I think, though, Mr. Wolcott, even you will agree with us on this point, and that is that the Appropriations Committee should not have considered what number of public housing units or any other housing units should be built each year; that that is strictly the function and jurisdiction of this committee, and this committee wouldn't report anything like that without public hearings.

I think to that extent you will go along with us.

Mr. Wolcott. No, in that particular case I don't think I could go along with you for the reason that was a limitation upon the use of appropriated funds. It was perfectly within the province of the Appropriations Committee.

Mr. MULTER. Then will you go along with us to this extent, that that committee shouldn't have reported such an amendment without having had public heariogs?

Mr. WOLCOTT. I assume they did have hearings. I don't know. Mr. Javits. They had the regular departmental hearings.

Mr. Chairman, I would like to point out on that that the House had to pass a rule waiving points of order to get this considered.

The CHAIRMAN. I think it is a matter that should come under the jurisdiction of this committee. We will try it out again in the future so there is no use going into it any further now.

Mr. Javits. I would like to discuss the so-called agricultural provisions of the Defense Production Act and suggest a practical amendment in the shape of a bill which I have introduced, which raises the question which is before this committee, H. R. 1778, and which proposes that section 402 (c) (3), which deals with agriculture prices, shall be amended.

I notice the President recommends it be somewhat amended, that is by setting the parity price for each commodity at the beginning of a crop year, and I suggest and I think there is considerable concern about this proposition-that it be amended even further.

We have heard a great deal about the beef roll-back, and that probably is a symbol of the controversy, but I would like to stick for a moment, if I may--I will be very brief---to the fundamentals of the act and why it is inimical to the purposes of defense mobilization.

It is a fact that the act cuts around the area of agriculture commodities and treats them differently from the way it treats everything else. Now that alone, it seems to me, would put the burden of proof upon the agricultural interests to demonstrate that that is essential and that that is fair.

It is significant that 40 percent of the total budget of the average income family—these are normal governmental figures--is represented by food, and, therefore, inflationary pressures in food are probably the most damaging of any to the ordinary family.

Now, the difficulty which has been introduced by this agricultural price section, has extended far beyond the prices of foods themselves. It has interfered, for example, with any real possibility of wage stabilization, because wage stabilization has constantly been interfered with by the complete uncertainty and absolute inability of the Government to give any factor of certainty as to what food prices will be.

top level.

I point out, too, that the standard of the act makes a hundred percent of parity, and parity today is very different from what it was. I heard that question asked before, and though I am not an agricultural expert I think that as representing city dwellers I have taken a considerable interest in these farm problems, and I think if we know what is good for us, we better had, and parity today is the price relationship between what the farmer sold and what he bought in the years 1939 to 1949, it is the so-called moving parity average for the preceding 10 years, and it is now going into 1950.

And these happen to be the highest farm income years in history, right through the great World War II. So parity is right at the top level, as far as the stabilization of farm prices is concerned. It is not the old 1910–14 average, it is modern, up to date, and at the very

Now, under the bill, there is no possibility of stabilizing agricultural prices unless they reach a hundred percent of parity or more, and the only ones that have really been stabilized today are those that have climbed away above parity, anything from, as the gentleman from Georgia said, 115 to 187 percent.

A good many others, which go right into the price of what beef must cost a producer, like corn, for example, I don't think I am too much of a tyro to assume that the cost of feed is a very important factor in what it costs to raise cattle--and if all of these are unstabilized, naturally the price of beef cattle, insofar as the cost to the producer is concerned, is going to continue to mushroom, and we are not yet at the state, even today, where we have reached a hundred percent of parity so we can stabilize the price of these great food crops like corn.

Now, the Government is supporting prices at 90 percent of parity for the basic crops, like wheat and corn, and yet when it comes to endeavoring to stabilize price, it is not the 90 percent standard that is accented, it is the hundred percent or more standard.

Then again, I point out, it is unique for these particular thingsagricultural commodities. We can argue all that we like on the technical details of this proposition. The fact is, gentlemen-and believe me, it is very serious and very important—there is deep resentment among the millions in the cities about this situation. They cannot understand why there is a preference for agricultural commodities as against everything else, and they feel that that is principally responsible for sapping their buying power.

Anyone that you talk to in the cities will tell you the story about the five-dollar bill and the ten-dollar bill and how they went to the grocery store and endeavored to buy things with it and brought nothing home.

This is rankling in the hearts of the city dwellers, and I think it is very, very important to the farm people, too, because they have got to live with the city people, as we must live with them. We have got to get along, and we have to support each other mutually, and the city people, I must say, don't feel that they are being fairly used in this situation.

Let me give you an example.
Mr. Brown. How do you compute parity on beef?

Mr. Javits. Again I will plead not to be an expert, and you folks have undoubtedly had top people here from the Department of Agriculture, but my understanding is that the parity price on beef is

« PrécédentContinuer »