« PrécédentContinuer »
From some quarter it is intimated that the livestock men and farmers will go on a strike and arbitrarily withhold cattle from the markets. In my opinion very few, if any, will do this arbitrarily but if they face a loss of $25 to $50 per head on their cattle now in the feed lots, they should hold them back awaiting to see if the good judgment and fairness of our representatives in Washington will come to their rescue.
Farmers and livestock men never have gone on a strike and I feel certain that they will not do so now but they do expect and are entitled to the same consideration as other citizens get. With best wishes I beg to remain, Yours very truly,
ANDERSON CATTLE Co., INC., By E. T. ANDERSON, President.
STATEMENT OF HON. KARL M. LeCOMPTE, A REPRESENTATIVE
IN CONGRESS FROM THE STATE OF IOWA
Mr. LECOMPTE. Mr. Chairman, price controls have now been in effect long enough to satisfy most of us as to whether or not we should extend the National Production Act of 1950 and permit them to be continued. From my studied observations and from the correspondence I have received, I am very fearful that to continue these controls is a mistake.
Neither the producer nor the consumer is satisfied, and our experience in World War II makes me very skeptical of being able to prevent widespread black markets. This is particularly true in the case of the Government's meat price control, and in the Corn Belt it is estimated that farmers will receive $150 million less for corn-fed cattle because of the price roll-back. Last month farmers received from $35 to $45 less per head than during the previous month. Receipts in stockyards dropped off perceptibly; and there is great concern that the cattle that are being withheld from legitimate channels eventually will be sold through the black market.
The experience the Government had with selective rent control does not seem to be a happy one. Rent control was not applied in all cities but only in selected places and this caused a great deal of dissatisfaction. My own observation has been that most places seized the first opportunity to come out from under rent control, and that where rent control is needed it can be applied by State authorities.
I submit for consideration of the committee letters from the processors of meat products, letters from typical and representative feeders and farmers of Iowa where more grain-fed beef is produced than any place else in the world; and in order to make the picture complete, I submit letters from the heads of labor organizations whose members are ultimate consumers; and every one of these letters expresses opposition to imposing new controls or extending the controls that exist at the present time and expire the last of June. These letters would seem to indicate an agreement among the three groups-producers, processors, and consumers—that we will not gain by extending controls and that we will most certainly experience the evils of the black market in possibly a more violent form than we had during the late war.
Letters are as follows: From G. M. Foster, president, John Morrell & Co., the fifth meatpacking company of the world, on June 7, 1951:
The tragic situation of 1946 in the livestock and meat industry is being repeated.
Let me review with you the 1946 situation. You will recall that meat shortages existed. This was not only in beef, but also in pork. The price-control law was
scheduled to expire on June 30, 1946. A review of our records of the Ottumwa plant shows that for the 5 days prior to June 30 we were unable to slaughter any hogs. This we believe was due to the uncertainty of the extension of the law and packers could noc pày more than ceiling prices for livestock. This situation continued until the 5th day of July. Then it became apparent that price controls were inoperative and livestock moved to market in normal volume at the higher prices demanded by fai ners.
Ceilings were reimposed in late August, and for a period of slightly over 5 weeks, we were unable to purchase hogs at ceiling prices, and consequently were unable to slaughter. Shortly before the elections of 1946 Mr. Truman by proclamation removed controls from livestock, and immediately we were able to purchase and slaughter livestock.
The story for cattle and sheep was the same, except that the period of subnormal production in June was longer, because beef and lambs are sold as fresh meat rather than as cured and smoked meat, and the black market can more easily handle fresh meat.
The situation today is aggravated by two things:
First, the Government has told us that in the month of June we can only kill 80 percent of the number of cattle that we skilled in June 1950.
Second, they have told us that we must buy cattle in compliance, which means that we must buy cattle for the month at prices which will average at or below the legally permissible cost of the live animal. The effect of this on our business has been to sharply curtail the operation of beef-slaughtering plants at Ottumwa, Iowa; Sioux Falls, S. Dak.; and Topeka, Kans. Under the 80 percent slaughter quota, our three plants would be able to slaughter for the week ending June 9 approximately 3,800 head of cattle. Including today's purchases, we have only been able to buy 849 head of cattle in compliance. This is 22 percent of what we are permitted to slaughter. Our buyers are in the market and in the country each day attempting to buy livestock in compliance. Yesterday at our Ottumwa plant we were only able to buy eight head. We are going to continue our efforts to buy livestock. It certainly appears to me that the tragic lessons of 1946 are being repeated in 1951.
From Paul C. Morehead, secretary of the Auction Sale Operators Association of Iowa, a telegram on June 1, 1951:
The Auction Sale Pavilion Operators of Iowa at their annual convention have unanimously requested me to inform you that they are opposed to the extension of price-control regulations under the present set-up.
We feel that the regulations are imposing an extreme hardship on the producers of beef.
Two letters from a leading labor organization in Iowa: Frank D. Wilson, president, district No. 13, United Mine Workers of America, Albia, Iowa, wrote on May 21, 1951:
The United Mine Workers of district 13 feel that extension of the Defense Production Act of 1950 is further confusion to an already confused administration and the proposed control of prices and wages are not to the best interests of the people of the United States and particularly affect, adversely, all wage earners.
John Reay, secretary, local 206, UMWA, Seymour, Iowa, wrote on May 16, 1951:
Our reason for opposing enactment of legislation providing for the extension of the Defense Production Act of 1950 is that it is not necessary; that such legislation is discriminatory, that it creates so much confusion from the red tape of administration that it defeats its own ends by causing prices to go higher and production to become smaller; that such controls are socialistic and paternalistic; that eventually they must be repealed because of their ultimate failure to accomplish their purposes; that such controls are arbitrary and therefore should be abolished and should not be renewed.
From beef cattle feeders I have these comments: C. Groenendyk, Jr., of Cedar, Iowa, wrote on May 21, 1951:
Reference is made to heavy prime live cattle selling during the week of June 24, 1950, and prime live cattle during the week of April 28, 1951. This comparison is not fair as prime heavy cattle were penalized in 1950 as numbers exceed the demand. This year, 1951, heavy cattle sell at a premium as numbers are not
83473–51-pt. 3 -49
large enough to supply the demand. The reason livestock feeders switched to lighter cattle is that heavy cattle sold to a disadvantage last year. Last year I paid $25 per hundredweight for my cattle, $1.30 to $1.34 per bushel for corn, $66 a ton for supplement, and labor $5 a day. This year I paid $32 per hundredweight for cattle, $97 for a ton of supplement, $1.66 for corn, and $6 a day for labor. According to statistics from the Chicago Daily Drovers Journal of May 17, 1951, to date 221,000 less cattle were marketed this year than during the same period last year.
Melvin T. Fife, route 1-A of Afton, Iowa, wrote on May 12, 1951:
I am definitely against Government control on meat. I firmly believe it will make a definite meat shortage. I also believe the consumer will lose by higher prices in general due to upgrading and the Government will lose the taxes paid by farmers on the income of the meat animals. It will also make more unnecessary Government jobs to eventually have meat rationing which will be bound to come due to Government controls. Meat controls will definitely stop a lot of cattle feeding.
Earle M. Schad, route 3, Creston, Iowa, wrote on May 28:
My meat-producing capacity has been cut 75 percent on beef this year because of the threat of roll-backs, and I am certainly not the only one who feels this way about future meat production. The beef roll-back talk, followed by the order, hit just when farmers should breed sows for fall pigs and plan their beef program. I know of one man in particular who had 140 gilts bred for pigs, took them off breeding rations and put them on full feed of corn and is sending them to market.
Vern C. Johnston, Diagonal, Iowa, wrote on May 24, 1951:
I believe the quota business will hurt worse than the price cut-back. When the packers have killed their quota they cannot buy any more so they are out of the market. This has happened in Omaha. If enough packers have their quotas filled the last few days of the month, it will be bad for the producer that month and the effects will carry over into the next month and it might cause trouble for 3 or 4 months. It will also cause a shortage of feed cattle because it is not profitable to feed cattle after they have reached their prime. It might be 30 days difference in feed might be the margin of profit.
Wilbur L. Plager, field secretary for the Iowa Swine Producers Association wrote on May 22, 1951:
We opposed the Brannan plan when heavy marketings were in sight several years ago, in favor of a good advertising program which placed pork products at the consumer's disposal at prices they could afford and at no cost to the Government. The results were very satisfactory. The record of the swine men over the period of years has been to produce plenty of pork products at prices the consumer can afford to pay:
We feel production is the only known method of holding prices in line. Ceilings retard production which in turn encourages black marketing.
We are opposed to manufactured scares of scarcity to create any unneeded agency that will hinder production and distribution at the expense of the people. To date, most prices are higher than before OPS with the only significant result being jobs created for defeated politicians. We are against extending the OPS; for encouraging production.
From Mrs. Claude L. Nye, Allerton, Iowa, on June 4, 1951: First, Mr. LeCompte, you know that we are patriotic; Claude served in World War I and has not had a well day since; is rated “permanent partial disabled, service-connected.” During the last war we worked day and night to produce, at such a slim profit, but thought it our chance to help”; in fact, I raised 1,000 chicks with a net profit of one-half cent per hour for my labor. Am I doing it again, with labor getting higher and higher wages, and shorter hours? No, we raise chicks for our own consumption.
To bring the already-apparent results of the beef quotas and roll-backs right down to home; last week our neighbor Max Amis went to Aten's at Humestonwhere he has a locker-to buy a quarter of beef for them to process and put in his locker; they informed him they were unable to get enough beef to retail, to say nothing of replenishing lockers. He then went to Corydon, where at the Super Value they informed him they could not get enough beef to sell over the counter "and this week we are even short of pork.” Shortage? Yes, and near and drastic.
Innumerable feeders have sent their stuff to market unfinished—watch your market papers-we have 51 head of calves (our own raising) on feed; would have sold them now but if we did, their grade is such, under these restrictions, that we would definitely lose money on them; our only hope is to gamble further and hope that they do well and reach a grade where they will pay for their feed; no possible hope of any return for our labor or risk, which, since beef is our only project now on account of Claude's health, means that we shall have worked the past year for nothing, at the very best we can hope, and may even be in debt for feed, etc., expended on them.
The future? We are like most of the farmers we talk to and read about; going to cut our production to the absolute minimum; and it will take years to rebuild; but we cannot see any sense or patriotism in working for nothing when Government and Government officials throw money to the four winds.
The so-called control act has no effect or force on wages; they are going up and up and up; and if a person-to-person poll could be taken am sure you would find overwhelming sentiment for refusing to continue same.
Credit controls, tighter and tighter, so people would have to pay as they gothen let them choose for themselves how they want to spend their dollars; when I go to market, if steak is too high, I buy short ribs; if that is too high, I can buy pork or eggs or cheese. When people follow that rule prices will fluctuate at å sensible reasonable level so that farmers can produce with some compensation for their efforts.
These remarks are typical of the comments made by property owners, all of whom oppose continuation of rent controls:
1. The cost of upkeep and redecorating has more than doubled in the past few years.
2. Tenants are far more destructive to property under rent control. 3. The landlord's wages are “frozen." The rent is their wages which have not been put on a sliding scale according to the increase in cost of upkeep and living.
4. If rent controls are extended, there should be provisions made to compensate for increased cost of maintaining rental property (which cost has practically doubled since 1942).
5. Since controls were discontinued locally, the feeling is much more congenial between landlord and tenant since both are kept in line. The landlord knows he cannot abuse the rental fees by charging too much, for controls would be put back on. It allows better maintenance and he feels free to remove undesirable tenants. The tenant is more considerate and careful in the care of property because he knows he cannot abuse the property and remain destructive at his pleasure. It also encourages more home ownership which is good for any nation and makes people assume their responsibilities. Also people with children have a better chance of renting because landlords will often give a family who looks dependable a chance at living in his property when he knows that if they prove undesirable he can have them removed, while under control they were more careful about letting families with children in because the process of removal was too long, permitting too much damage to take place before the correction was made.
On May 19, 1951, Walter V. Verhille, president, Ottumwa Property Owners Association, Ottumwa, Iowa, wrote:
I might add that we here in Ottumwa have had decontrol since last December through the action of the Housing Expediter. This action was only taken when we were all set to go through our local council and it looked certain that it was going to pass. Both tenants and landlords are much happier now and want to make sure that this relationship continues and is not upset again by this new legislation. We are asking you to do your utmost to keep this socialistic legislation from becoming law.
I have scores of additional letters from individuals protesting the extension of price and rent controls. The above quotations are typical of the sentiment they expressed.
JOINT STATEMENT BY REPRESENTATIVES HOWARD BAKER AND
ALBERT GORE OF TENNESSEE
Mr. Chairman and gentlemen of the committee, we (Representative Howard Baker, Second Congressional District of Tennessee and Representative Albert Gore, Fourth Congressional District of Tennessee) feel that a rank injustice is about to be practiced upon citizens of Oak Ridge, Tenn., by the Atomic Energy Commission. "As you know, all housing facilities and other properties in Oak Ridge, Tenn., are owned by the United States Government.
On January 23, 1951, Roane-Anderson Co., as agent for the United States of America and/or the United States Atomic Energy Commission, announced a new schedule of so-called “shelter rent rates for dormitories and family residential units effective August 1, 1951," which increases the rent an average of 28 percent; notwithstanding the fact that the Atomic Energy Commission increased the dwelling rentals on all Government-owned housing in Oak Ridge, Tenn., 10 percent in the summer of 1949. We understand that H. R. 3871, the bill to amend the Defense Production Act of 1950, now being considered by this committee, expressly extends rent control to all Government-owned housing in defense areas and, of course, would include Oak Ridge, Tenn. However, upon the assumption of the possibility that H. R. 3871 may not be enacted and become effective prior to June 30, 1951, and that the Housing and Rent Act of 1947 as amended may be temporarily extended, we urge that the provisions of the Housing and Rent Act of 1947, as amended by the Defense Production Act of 1950, be amended so as to expressly include residential units and dwellings at Oak Ridge, Tenn.
It is not the purpose of this statement to justify in every detail the present rent schedules at Oak Ridge, but it is the purpose of this statement to assert without equivocation that, in our opinions, at a time of rising costs of living, making necessary the consideration of an extension of rent control, wage control, price control, and other economic regulations on a national scale, it is both a contradiction of Government policy and basically unfair for rents to be increased an average of 28 percent at Oak Ridge, Tenn.
We submit for the consideration of the committee and for the committee's record a detailed analysis of the proposed rent increases, together with various resolutions, letters, and statements from citizens and organizations of Oak Ridge, Tenn., consisting of 36 pages.
We have introduced two separate bills, H. R. 4280 and H. R. 4478, respectively, which would accomplish a similar purpose; to wit, the transfer of jurisdiction of rent rate schedules to the United States Housing Expediter. However, since the proposed rent increases are to become effective on August 1, and because of the difficulty in securing expeditious action on individual bills, we feel it urgent that the bill by which it is proposed that the Defense Production Act of 1950 and the Housing and Rent Act of 1947, as amended, be extended