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Senator Young. That would be on all price-support programs? Mr. BRASFIELD. That would be on all efforts of the Corporation other than the wartime consumer-subsidy programs. Senator THYE. You have had earnings of $100,000,000 ? Mr. BRASFIELD. That is right.
Senator THYE. I carried a figure of 180. I think there is a figure somewhere in connection with this that showed a profit of $180,000,000. Another question I should like to ask is this: What commodities have you which you have advanced funds on?
Mr. BRASFIELD. We have under loan at the present time corn, cotton, peanuts, tobacco, wheat, potatoes.
Senator THYE. Which one of those commodities carried the greatest amount?
Mr. BRASFIELD. As of December 31, the largest loan was on tobacco of $175,545,000.
Senator Young. Do you have practically all of the 1947 tobacco crop?
Mr. BRASFIELD. I could not say we have all of the 1947.
Senator AIKEN. How much have you loaned on corn at the present time?
Mr. BRASFIELD. At December 31 we had $17,000 on corn. Senator Aiken. I thought the amount would not be very high. Mr. BRASFIELD. That is the carry-over from the previous year.
Of course, the corn loans which we will make in this crop probably have not all come in, but they would be relatively few.
Senator AIKEN. You mean there will be loans in 1947 ?
Senator AIKEN. I can see how the farmer might want to carry over his own corn for seeding next fall and still have to have some money
Mr. BRASFIELD. That is right.
Senator YOUNG. Suppose you are required to purchase 100,000,000 bushels of wheat for the Army for feeding in the occupied areas.
Does the Army advance the money before the purchase, or do you use Commodity Credit Corporation money to purchase that food, and the Army then reimburse you afterward!
Mr. BRASFIELD. It is not quite as simple as that. We do get advances from the Army concurrently with the requisition, but until their allocations are determined they are not in a position to put up money with us.
We do carry a stock pile of wheat. We must necessarily do so to have the pipe lines full to the ports.
That advance stock piling is paid for out of the Corporation's funds. We do in our pricing make provision for that.
The amount that we have on hand at one time varies rather greatly from one period to another, but we must necessarily carry a stock pile somewhat in advance of the monthly allocation.
However, we do protect ourselves by getting an advance of funds concurrent with their placing their requisition.
Senator BUSHFIELD. How much of a stock pile do you carry?
Mr. BRASFIELD. At December 31 our dollar investment in wheat was $218,000,000.
Senator Aikex. How many bushels does that represent?
Senator AIKEN. That amount is carried both for the Army and the emergency-relief program?
Mr. BRASFIELD. That is right.
Senator AIKEN. How much wheat have you actually disposed of since July 1, 1947?
Mr. BRASFIELD. Our sales in the current fiscal year from June 30 to December 31 were 152,614,000 bushels.
Senator AIKEN. Have any purchases for emergency relief been made through other agencies?
Mr. BRASFIELD. Not on wheat.
Senator AIKEN. Then you are still a long way from any 550,000,000 bushels of wheat for export.
Mr. BRASFIELD. I do not believe the 550,000,000 bushels is all wheat. There are other grains.
There also is the flour. This would be the whole grain. There is a question of flour equivalent.
Senator Aiken. Do you have anything to do with the flour purchases?
Mr. BRASFIELD. We do purchase flour for certain agencies for government purchasing. We do not purchase flour for that portion which is nongovernment. That has been turned back to the trade.
Senator AIKEN. Which is nongovernment ?
Mr. BRASFIELD. For foreign government such as the British Government and the French Government. They buy their flour in commercial channels.
Only for the United States Government do we purchase flour.
Senator AIKEN. The purchases by the French Government of flour or wheat, they would not come out of the emergency relief appropriation?
Mr. BRASFIELD. They would.
France, as I recall, is included in the foreign-aid bill that has just been passed. They were not a recipient under the previous legislation.
Senator AIKEN. Does that mean we would turn over money to the Government of France to purchase flour in this country and deduct it from the emergency relief program?
Mr. BRASFIELD. I cannot answer that question as to what arrangements the State Department has made for the French flour purchases, whether we will make those for them, or perhaps, Mr. Gilmer could answer that.
Senator AIKEN. How would that be handled, Mr. Gilmer?
STATEMENT OF JESSE GILMER, ADMINISTRATOR, PRODUCTION
AND MARKETING ADMINISTRATION, AND PRESIDENT OF COMMODITY CREDIT CORPORATION, UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE, WASHINGTON, D. C.—Resumed
Mr. GILMER. We are in the process now of working out an arrangement whereby it is my understanding that the State Department desires that on grains and flour we procure on requisition from the State Department, and the commodity would be furnished in kind under the interim aid bill to France.
It is my understanding that is the arrangement.
Therefore, instead of turning over to them the dollars to come in and buy, the State Department has asked us to procure those commodities and deliver them at their order to the recipients of interim aid.
Senator AIKEN. They return them to you in kind?
Mr. GILMER. The State Department pays us dollars. The Commodity Credit Corporation gets dollars for everything from the State Department.
Senator Young. During 1945 and the winter of 1946, that year, you made a late purchase in the fall of the year.
It got along into the spring, when wheat was really short, and then the Commodity Credit Corporation made tremendous purchases.
For instance, in the fall of 1945 and in the spring of 1946, when the 30-cent bonus was provided, the Department followed what seemed to me to be a very unwise policy by staying off the market in the fall of 1945 when the wheat was cheap, and buying in the spring of 1946.
In 1947, you bought all during the marketing season, which I thought was a wiser policy. It stabilized the market, and I think the Government bought the wheat at a much cheaper price than would have been true had it followed the policy used in the two previous years.
I wonder if there is sufficient legislation for you to follow that same policy another year.
Mr. GILMER. In my opinion there is, Senator.
Senator YOUNG. I hope there is, and, I think, although there has been some criticism of what sometimes looked to be "buying in advance," certainly it saved the Government a lot of money.
It provided a much more stable price.
Mr. GILMER. We subscribe wholeheartedly to the policy of accumulating these commodities when they are coming off the farm and in an orderly manner, and not repeat some of the history which we have had in the recent past.
Senator YOUNG. There has been some bad criticism of it, for instance, by Mr. Mark Sullivan, the columnist, I noticed today.
Senator AIKEN. What was the amount of grain that was finally determined upon as being necessary for export in this fiscal year?
Mr. GILMER. The Department of Agriculture is using 450,000,000 bushels of wheat and 70,000,000 bushels of other grains.
Senator AIKEN. That is 520,000,000.
Senator AIKEN. How much of that has been secured and is available for shipment at the present time?
Mr. GILMER. I do not have the figures, Senator, so I am going to have to estimate, but I think I can get pretty close to it.
I think, considering the wheat which has been purchased by the Commodity Credit Corporation, and wheat as flour, which has either been purchased by the Commodity Credit Corporation or allocated for commercial procurement, and wheat bought by Mexico—Mexico is the only government which buys its wheat direct here—that there has either been purchased or allocated through February—the March allocations have not been made-through February about 350,000,000 bushels.
Senator AIKEN. Leaving 170,000,000 bushels of grain still to be allocated ?
Mr. GILMER. The other grains have been procured and allocated 70,000,000 bushels.
Senator AIKEN. They have all been?
Senator AIKEN. That really leaves only 100,000,000 bushels more of wheat to be secured.
Mr. GILMER. Yes, sir.
I was talking about through February. There has been procured both wheat and flour against the yet unannounced March allocation.
I think that that will cut the figure down to around 75,000,000 or 80,000,000 bushels of wheat as wheat or flour yet to be procured for this marketing year.
Senator AIKEN. Have you any estimate as to the amount of surplus wheat available from which to secure that 75,000,000 bushels?
Mr. GILMER. Senator Aiken, on the farm storage report which came out a few days ago, the off-farm coming out around the 28th, I think, the on-farm storage of wheat showed in round figures 470,000,000 bushels.
I am speaking from memory again, but I think that is about right.
Senator AIKEN. You have a better record of the on-farm wheat than you have of the elevator wheat?
Mr. GILMER. I doubt it. I do not think we have a better record, but we are supposed to have, I think, on the 28th of January, thé best estimate of the total domestic wheat situation in the country.
Senator AIKEN. Elevators are filled at the present time?
Senator Young. We also have this piece of legislation which I thought was unreasonable and that the Congress just passed, that there has to be 150 million bushels wheat carry-over on the 1st of July.
Mr. GILMER. That is right.
Senator Young. How are you going to operate when you get toward the end of the year and you have to carry over 150 million bushels ?
I never heard of such a provision applying to business.
Mr. GILMER. The law, as you say, Senator, states there must be a carry-over of 150 million bushels on July 1. We will use all of the
information which we can get, of course, through our regular reporting system in the Bureau of Agricultural Economics and other sources to assure fully compliance with that law, that we will have the carryover of 150 million bushels on July 1.
As a preliminary estimate, considering an export program of 450 million bushels, with a carry-over of 150 million bushels, and with the estimated domestic consumption, estimated use for seed, estimated feeding waste, we think the 450 million bushels will be available.
Analyzing it another way—and I do not think I am permitted to predict on this and am not in any manner trying to predict—if there are now in excess of 450 million or 470 million bushels on farms, and if the off-farm holdings hold up anywhere near normal, certainly the removal of an additional 75 or 80 million bushels from the domestic supply is going to leave the 150 million bushels adequately protected, but we are bound to comply fully with the law.
Senator AIKEN. It would be considerably more than that.
Senator Young. It would be rather disastrous for the wheat farmers if they were to come through with a tremendous crop another year when there was not money provided for further purchases.
With that carry-over, on top of a big crop, it would complicate the problem of supporting prices.
It seems to me that is about as unreasonable a provision as Congress has evei passed in relation to any business.
For instance, if we required $450,000,000 worth of automobiles to be carried over that could not be used for another year, business would certainly squawk.
Senator ÅIKEN. It would appear from the information which I have that a balance is being reached between the amount available and the amount consumed.
The dairy feed has been increasing at about the rate of $4 in the Northeast, according to the information which I have.
It has now reached a point where the milk check in some cases is approximately the amount of the feed bill, leaving nothing whatsoever.
As a result, production of milk has fallen off in my section 11 percent.
It is going to fall off still more in proportion to last year. The high price of beef has the result of eliminating a record number of cows from production.
The high price of beef and the high price of grain would indicate we are going to reach a point where we are not going to demand this grain and buy the grain even at the present high prices, and that we will transfer our shortage from beef and grain to a shortage of milk and dairy products.
I suppose it is the law of supply and demand working, but it is very evident that they are likely to have the shortage in other products on account of the high price of grain, and they are not just going to purchase the grain at the present prices.
Senator YOUNG. If the supply and demand would work, then the price of wheat would be reduced and it would be consumed and gotten rid of before another crop was counted on.
Senator AIKEN. Some people holding the grain would find they have held it too long if they have a reasonably good crop this coming year, which is getting away from the subject again.